What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

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WhirledWorld

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby WhirledWorld » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote: How does that work with a firm like Fried Frank, where the atmosphere is (slightly) more relaxed, but they're doing a bunch of deals with Goldman on as the Ibanker? I mean, I know S&C is THE PLACE if you want to work with Goldman, but do people from these lower ranked firms really have no shot when they actually are working with GS regularly? *I don't mean this to sound contentious. I'm a rising 2L so I have not dog in this fight


Ok this is silly. Yes, S&C probably has the largest market share of GS business. But it's like 20-30%, not 95%. Another 10-20% goes to e.g. Cravath, Skadden, etc.

And the guy who said the most preftigious companies only go to the most preftigious firms is full of it. Large companies work with large firms all across the vault scale. This is (slightly) less true with financial institutions, but is very true of e.g. healthcare/pharma, consumer goods, etc.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby yadiermolina » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:17 pm

Solid thread. I always enjoy a little prestige whoring. But can we get some more litigators ITT?

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:33 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:FF also works their summers like associates. At least S&C is considerate enough to let you have a nice summer before they drop the hammer.


I'm just finishing my summer at S&C and you're wrong. Many of us pulled all-nighters and worked straight through weekends.

Have you worked at S&C or FF? Aren't you a rising 2L?


I know FF and S&C summers. The S&C worked basically 9-5. The late stuff was probably your choice.


STB summer here, never left earlier than 7:00, and that was entirely because of my choice to take on extra work. From everyone I know at the other v10 firms, the hours you work beyond 5:30 or 6 were dependent on whether you wanted to load up on work or not. And STB actively encouraged us to enjoy the summer as much as we could, ; the norm was the 5:30-6ish exit.

This little side argument really isn't germane to the core of this thread, but I wanted to defend Mal's statement here.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:35 pm

I've heard the exact same thing at K&E too.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:21 pm

yadiermolina wrote:Solid thread. I always enjoy a little prestige whoring. But can we get some more litigators ITT?



Yeah man the corporate bias is unreal.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:29 am

Mal Reynolds wrote:I've heard the exact same thing at K&E too.


Heard what?

I have friends at K&E and they get made fun of if they stay past 5.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:I've heard the exact same thing at K&E too.


Heard what?

I have friends at K&E and they get made fun of if they stay past 5.


That nobody has to work late. Context clues are your friend anon.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:32 am

Mal Reynolds wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:I've heard the exact same thing at K&E too.


Heard what?

I have friends at K&E and they get made fun of if they stay past 5.


That nobody has to work late. Context clues are your friend anon.


Coolio. Sorry for the confusion.

I mean, there are some people who want to work late and more power to them. I think it's weird that firms bring us in to "teach us what it's like at the firm" and then have us work 9-5.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:I've heard the exact same thing at K&E too.


Heard what?

I have friends at K&E and they get made fun of if they stay past 5.


That nobody has to work late. Context clues are your friend anon.


Coolio. Sorry for the confusion.

I mean, there are some people who want to work late and more power to them. I think it's weird that firms bring us in to "teach us what it's like at the firm" and then have us work 9-5.

They're recruiting you.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Phil Brooks » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:28 am

Thank you all for your responses.

Prestige, feel, and exit options keep re-surfacing ITT.

Assume that prestige is valued at zero, while feel and exit options are valued equally at n>0.

If a litigator has the best feel with a lower-ranked firm (V80), what is the likelihood that a higher-ranked firm (V10) offers a greater enough advantage in exit options to justify foregoing the firm with the better feel?

Put another way--is the disparity in exit options for litigators the same as that for transactional attorneys?

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby TooOld4This » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:53 am

Phil Brooks wrote:Thank you all for your responses.

Prestige, feel, and exit options keep re-surfacing ITT.

Assume that prestige is valued at zero, while feel and exit options are valued equally at n>0.

If a litigator has the best feel with a lower-ranked firm (V80), what is the likelihood that a higher-ranked firm (V10) offers a greater enough advantage in exit options to justify foregoing the firm with the better feel?

Put another way--is the disparity in exit options for litigators the same as that for transactional attorneys?


Why are you looking at Vault rankings if you want to litigate?

Exit options are not some sort of predefined path. This seems to come up time after time here and I think it's because so many law students are Type A high achiever a who have been glued to a path of well laid out steps. OCI ends that path. It is where the road ends and you have to look at a wide open landscape, figure out what you want, and start hacking out your own road.

What kind of exit options do you want? What experiences are you looking to collect? What sorts of employment settings sound interesting? Do you care what area of the law, or do you want to stay as much a generalist as possible? Do you always want to litigate?

Your firm name has very little to do with your exit options. The experience you seek out and the networking you do is far more important. Yes, if you have a passion for products liability lit, and you choose a firm that doesn't do that and sticks you on securities lit, your firm matters. But you need to have some idea of what you want to do. Then crack open Chambers and weigh the firm's ranking there with the likelihood you will actually get to do what you want (and what your fallback options at the firm will be).

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:57 am

WhirledWorld wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: How does that work with a firm like Fried Frank, where the atmosphere is (slightly) more relaxed, but they're doing a bunch of deals with Goldman on as the Ibanker? I mean, I know S&C is THE PLACE if you want to work with Goldman, but do people from these lower ranked firms really have no shot when they actually are working with GS regularly? *I don't mean this to sound contentious. I'm a rising 2L so I have not dog in this fight


Ok this is silly. Yes, S&C probably has the largest market share of GS business. But it's like 20-30%, not 95%. Another 10-20% goes to e.g. Cravath, Skadden, etc.

And the guy who said the most preftigious companies only go to the most preftigious firms is full of it. Large companies work with large firms all across the vault scale. This is (slightly) less true with financial institutions, but is very true of e.g. healthcare/pharma, consumer goods, etc.


Not all work are the same. The most complex, cutting-edge work in financial services goes to S&C, which led on the GS IPO, JPM $13 billion settlement deal, Barclays dark-pool matters.

The top three firms in New York offers great opportunities in different ways, some of which are very subtle. You will work very hard at Wachtell doing work relating to M&A, and you will be compensated well for it. At S&C and Cravath, you will never have to specialize in any one area, and clients would still regard you as good as (if not better than) someone who specializes in one of the many areas that you have practiced.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby TooOld4This » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
WhirledWorld wrote:
Ok this is silly. Yes, S&C probably has the largest market share of GS business. But it's like 20-30%, not 95%. Another 10-20% goes to e.g. Cravath, Skadden, etc.

And the guy who said the most preftigious companies only go to the most preftigious firms is full of it. Large companies work with large firms all across the vault scale. This is (slightly) less true with financial institutions, but is very true of e.g. healthcare/pharma, consumer goods, etc.


Not all work are the same. The most complex, cutting-edge work in financial services goes to S&C, which led on the GS IPO, JPM $13 billion settlement deal, Barclays dark-pool matters.

The top three firms in New York offers great opportunities in different ways, some of which are very subtle. You will work very hard at Wachtell doing work relating to M&A, and you will be compensated well for it. At S&C and Cravath, you will never have to specialize in any one area, and clients would still regard you as good as (if not better than) someone who specializes in one of the many areas that you have practiced.


Stop. Please. You clearly aren't a client and don't hire firms, so please don't opine on how "clients would regard" associates.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby gk101 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:26 am

Phil Brooks wrote:Thank you all for your responses.

Prestige, feel, and exit options keep re-surfacing ITT.

Assume that prestige is valued at zero, while feel and exit options are valued equally at n>0.

If a litigator has the best feel with a lower-ranked firm (V80), what is the likelihood that a higher-ranked firm (V10) offers a greater enough advantage in exit options to justify foregoing the firm with the better feel?

Put another way--is the disparity in exit options for litigators the same as that for transactional attorneys?

If you are going to obsess over rankings, at least focus your obsession on Chambers and look at your specific practice group area.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby baal hadad » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
WhirledWorld wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: How does that work with a firm like Fried Frank, where the atmosphere is (slightly) more relaxed, but they're doing a bunch of deals with Goldman on as the Ibanker? I mean, I know S&C is THE PLACE if you want to work with Goldman, but do people from these lower ranked firms really have no shot when they actually are working with GS regularly? *I don't mean this to sound contentious. I'm a rising 2L so I have not dog in this fight


Ok this is silly. Yes, S&C probably has the largest market share of GS business. But it's like 20-30%, not 95%. Another 10-20% goes to e.g. Cravath, Skadden, etc.

And the guy who said the most preftigious companies only go to the most preftigious firms is full of it. Large companies work with large firms all across the vault scale. This is (slightly) less true with financial institutions, but is very true of e.g. healthcare/pharma, consumer goods, etc.


Not all work are the same. The most complex, cutting-edge work in financial services goes to S&C, which led on the GS IPO, JPM $13 billion settlement deal, Barclays dark-pool matters.

The top three firms in New York offers great opportunities in different ways, some of which are very subtle. You will work very hard at Wachtell doing work relating to M&A, and you will be compensated well for it. At S&C and Cravath, you will never have to specialize in any one area, and clients would still regard you as good as (if not better than) someone who specializes in one of the many areas that you have practiced.

Wtf is this garbage

8:37 am EST, stupidest thing I'll see all day, calling it now

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby englawyer » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:58 am

yadiermolina wrote:Solid thread. I always enjoy a little prestige whoring. But can we get some more litigators ITT?


I am a litigator. While exit options to clients are tougher for us, it is still nice to have access to better clients. It is of course still possible to go in-house. I also stand by my statement that it is easy to lateral down the food chain if you don't make the partner cut at Firm 1. As an example of what I am talking about:

http://graisellsworth.com/Profiles/ByTi ... Grais.aspx

The former firms of the partners:

Dewey/Gibson
Dewey
Gibson
Cravath
Gibson
Kirkland
Baker Hostetler
Gibson/Cravath

Literally none of the partners were homegrown and 7/8 came from V20 firms. The legal industry is a bunch of prestige whores that respect the experience gained at top ranked firms. Most litigation senior associates I have seen leaving the firm head to lower ranked firms or in-house. People are not shitcanned->doc review/unemployed. Maybe that is true at V100s too, but certainly the the associates from my firm are landing on their feet.

I would say one more benefit about working at a V20: the firms are usually doing very well financially. It is easy to get work and the top firms are not likely to fall apart.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby 2014 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
WhirledWorld wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: How does that work with a firm like Fried Frank, where the atmosphere is (slightly) more relaxed, but they're doing a bunch of deals with Goldman on as the Ibanker? I mean, I know S&C is THE PLACE if you want to work with Goldman, but do people from these lower ranked firms really have no shot when they actually are working with GS regularly? *I don't mean this to sound contentious. I'm a rising 2L so I have not dog in this fight


Ok this is silly. Yes, S&C probably has the largest market share of GS business. But it's like 20-30%, not 95%. Another 10-20% goes to e.g. Cravath, Skadden, etc.

And the guy who said the most preftigious companies only go to the most preftigious firms is full of it. Large companies work with large firms all across the vault scale. This is (slightly) less true with financial institutions, but is very true of e.g. healthcare/pharma, consumer goods, etc.


Not all work are the same. The most complex, cutting-edge work in financial services goes to S&C, which led on the GS IPO, JPM $13 billion settlement deal, Barclays dark-pool matters.

The top three firms in New York offers great opportunities in different ways, some of which are very subtle. You will work very hard at Wachtell doing work relating to M&A, and you will be compensated well for it. At S&C and Cravath, you will never have to specialize in any one area, and clients would still regard you as good as (if not better than) someone who specializes in one of the many areas that you have practiced.

S&C isn't a top 3 firm bro.

Also they must be kicking themselves at DPW wondering how they can get their hands on cutting-edge work with banks. It's really too bad the big banks just pull out Vault and stop at 4.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:01 am

Put another way--is the disparity in exit options for litigators the same as that for transactional attorneys?


This is the dumbest question in this thread. If you approach law firms like law school admissions and law school rankings, you're going to be dead in the water. It's just not how real life works. Time to grow up.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Hooch » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:19 am

Phil Brooks wrote:
gk101 wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:Everyone in this thread seems to have a corporate bias. What about Lit? I turned down some prestige for a better work/life balanace and more substantive work in another market. I always understood why it was important for corp associates to go to top firms, but never really understood the draw for litigation folks.

Vault rankings in general have a corporate bias. With litigation, the work and fit within the practice group is far more important than the rankings. The same may be true in practice for corporate as well (fit + work>>>>> vault ranking) but I get the impression that vault rankings are an acceptable proxy for picking "elite" firms. Prestige whoring based on vault rankings in litigation is objectively dumb


Asked and answered. Thank you.

One final thing: is "prestige whoring based on vault rankings in litigation objectively dumb" because the allegedly primary advantage of highly ranked firms--exit options--does not apply to litigation? I.e. Litigators are screwed for exit options regardless of the rank of the firm?


Doing so is "objectively stupid" because, as rough a proxy as vault is for firm quality when it comes to transactional work from an associate's perspective, it's even worse of a proxy for firm quality when it comes to litigation. Williams & Connolly, Debevoise, Gibson Dunn, Quinn, Irell, any of the unranked lit boutiques, etc., are, at least in my mind, superior to any of the V5's litigation practices. And, some firms might not even do the particular kind of litigation you're interested in.

Also, on a bit of a tangent... please, please don't think firms are actually fungible or that you should merely try to go to the "best" firms. There are very real differences between the firms. For example, there was the above the law story in which Ropes & Gray associates were all given computers and phones and whatnot to make it easier to work from home, which is a far cry from Quinn, which, the last I heard, did not (always? sometimes?) give laptops to first-year associates because they prefer the first years to work in the office. Which firm is better depends on your situation and personality. If you have a family and would like to be able to go home at 5:30, have dinner with them, and then work from a home office, well, good luck doing that without a firm-issued laptop. If you're single and want to dive in to work and and really be engrossed with what you do, then maybe having you and all of your friends working in the office at the same time would be fun.

Is it hard as a 2L to figure out these real differences when you're interviewing? Absolutely. But that difficulty doesn't mean you should give up and pretend the firms are all the same. They're not, even if it can be hard for you to tell at this point.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:24 am

2014 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
WhirledWorld wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: How does that work with a firm like Fried Frank, where the atmosphere is (slightly) more relaxed, but they're doing a bunch of deals with Goldman on as the Ibanker? I mean, I know S&C is THE PLACE if you want to work with Goldman, but do people from these lower ranked firms really have no shot when they actually are working with GS regularly? *I don't mean this to sound contentious. I'm a rising 2L so I have not dog in this fight


Ok this is silly. Yes, S&C probably has the largest market share of GS business. But it's like 20-30%, not 95%. Another 10-20% goes to e.g. Cravath, Skadden, etc.

And the guy who said the most preftigious companies only go to the most preftigious firms is full of it. Large companies work with large firms all across the vault scale. This is (slightly) less true with financial institutions, but is very true of e.g. healthcare/pharma, consumer goods, etc.


Not all work are the same. The most complex, cutting-edge work in financial services goes to S&C, which led on the GS IPO, JPM $13 billion settlement deal, Barclays dark-pool matters.

The top three firms in New York offers great opportunities in different ways, some of which are very subtle. You will work very hard at Wachtell doing work relating to M&A, and you will be compensated well for it. At S&C and Cravath, you will never have to specialize in any one area, and clients would still regard you as good as (if not better than) someone who specializes in one of the many areas that you have practiced.

S&C isn't a top 3 firm bro.

Also they must be kicking themselves at DPW wondering how they can get their hands on cutting-edge work with banks. It's really too bad the big banks just pull out Vault and stop at 4.



To be fair, from the perspective of an associate, there probably isn't a bigger cultural difference among big swinging dick NYC shops than DPW (probably requiring the most specialization of the top NYC corporate firms) and S&C (probably requiring the least). The point that the poster above was making, which is that Cravath and S&C are two of the last firms out there that let associates practice as generalists past their second year (and don't force "rotations" as juniors) is more or less accurate.

Which model is preferable is probably a matter of taste.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Phil Brooks » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:30 am

Hooch wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
gk101 wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:Everyone in this thread seems to have a corporate bias. What about Lit? I turned down some prestige for a better work/life balanace and more substantive work in another market. I always understood why it was important for corp associates to go to top firms, but never really understood the draw for litigation folks.

Vault rankings in general have a corporate bias. With litigation, the work and fit within the practice group is far more important than the rankings. The same may be true in practice for corporate as well (fit + work>>>>> vault ranking) but I get the impression that vault rankings are an acceptable proxy for picking "elite" firms. Prestige whoring based on vault rankings in litigation is objectively dumb


Asked and answered. Thank you.

One final thing: is "prestige whoring based on vault rankings in litigation objectively dumb" because the allegedly primary advantage of highly ranked firms--exit options--does not apply to litigation? I.e. Litigators are screwed for exit options regardless of the rank of the firm?


Doing so is "objectively stupid" because, as rough a proxy as vault is for firm quality when it comes to transactional work from an associate's perspective, it's even worse of a proxy for firm quality when it comes to litigation. Williams & Connolly, Debevoise, Gibson Dunn, Quinn, Irell, any of the unranked lit boutiques, etc., are, at least in my mind, superior to any of the V5's litigation practices. And, some firms might not even do the particular kind of litigation you're interested in.

Also, on a bit of a tangent... please, please don't think firms are actually fungible or that you should merely try to go to the "best" firms. There are very real differences between the firms. For example, there was the above the law story in which Ropes & Gray associates were all given computers and phones and whatnot to make it easier to work from home, which is a far cry from Quinn, which, the last I heard, did not (always? sometimes?) give laptops to first-year associates because they prefer the first years to work in the office. Which firm is better depends on your situation and personality. If you have a family and would like to be able to go home at 5:30, have dinner with them, and then work from a home office, well, good luck doing that without a firm-issued laptop. If you're single and want to dive in to work and and really be engrossed with what you do, then maybe having you and all of your friends working in the office at the same time would be fun.

Is it hard as a 2L to figure out these real differences when you're interviewing? Absolutely. But that difficulty doesn't mean you should give up and pretend the firms are all the same. They're not, even if it can be hard for you to tell at this point.


I am aware of everything you're saying, and I have done weeks of research on the firms. I paid no attention to rankings. Now that I am at the end of my research, I am wondering if I should.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:50 am

Phil Brooks wrote:I am aware of everything you're saying, and I have done weeks of research on the firms. I paid no attention to rankings. Now that I am at the end of my research, I am wondering if I should.


Look, if you want the TL;DR of the thread:

For corporate, rankings are overwhelmingly important, and you should only choose between firms within roughly the same tier.

For litigation, slightly less so, but still important. They enhance your marketability if/when you want to look for a second job.

The notion that lesser ranked firms offer superior lifestyle is a myth. The notion that higher ranked firms offer a magic "in" to their key clients; also a myth.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:22 am

I'd imagine the hours at the lesser firms are generally better, not by choice, but just by lack of work.

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:35 am

Desert Fox wrote:I'd imagine the hours at the lesser firms are generally better, not by choice, but just by lack of work.


Nope. It's difficult to make generalizations about this. A lot of times expectations are generally lower (which can create a feedback loop in that partners take in less work because they don't foresee their associates going above 2100 or something like that, which feeds into your point).

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Re: What is Redeeming about V20 (aside from Wachtell bonus)?

Postby gchatbrah » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:43 am

2014 wrote:S&C isn't a top 3 firm bro.

Also they must be kicking themselves at DPW wondering how they can get their hands on cutting-edge work with banks. It's really too bad the big banks just pull out Vault and stop at 4.



Legitimately the funniest response I'll read on TLS this month. Possibly all year.
Last edited by gchatbrah on Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.



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