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

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:43 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.


As it turns out, that's generally not the case. Lesser firms have lower effective billing rates (even if list rates are same) so,in order to generate the same, or even less revenue, need to work just as much or more as the firms that can charge their list billing rates.

Or, put differently, the RPL difference between a top firm and a second tier firm is more of a difference in revenue/hr rather than hr/lawyer

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:22 pm

No firms pay Wachtell bonuses besides Wachtell. Almost every other firm follows Cravath, with a few paying more (Kirkland, Boies, and Cahill are the ones I can think of), and some paying less.

Chambers is a much better way to gauge exit options and prestige within specific practice areas. If you want to do capital markets, project finance, hedge fund work, anything tech related, etc., there are v50 and v100 firms that are at least as good as any top vault firm. There's just no way to make a blanket statement about it.

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

Postby Lexaholik » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:26 pm

As a former V20 litigator, I agree that you would probably get a better litigation experience (and thus learn more) at a elite litigation boutique. Or a V100 firm. However, there are real benefits to going to V20:

Clerking: There's a trend for more and more district judges to hire associates with a few years of experience. So if one of your goals is to clerk, you might be better off at some big V20 factory because (1) the firm will let you go whenever you want and let you return whenever you want thus guaranteeing you substantial job security; (2) they will pay you an obscene amount of money as a clerkship bonus and give you seniority credit; (3) many judges in smaller cities may not have heard of some of the elite litigation firms but have heard of Skadden or Paul Weiss and would presume you are a good lawyer.

In House: Lots of in house opportunities for banks relate to compliance or dealing with regulatory stuff. Those jobs do not involve depositions, motion practice, or any of the other bread and butter litigation skills. Instead they involve creating chronologies, charts and stuff like that. You would be better positioned skill wise and connection wise for certain in house positions going to a V20 over other firms.

Job Security: Sweatshop = job security. When I was at my V20 I complained about how much work our litigation department had to do despite having relatively few junior associates. The flip side of that is that I had tremendous job security. Labor has job security when management has more work than they can handle. Perhaps this is also the case at lower vault firms or elite litigation boutiques. But top vault firms have decades if not over a century of proven demand for their work.

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

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:32 pm

I'm not sure V20 is a good indicator of how much experience you get as a junior. How heavily staffed cases are is a practice group by practice group issue.

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

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:21 pm

just having finished my first summer in lit at a V30-something firm (in a secondary market, where this firm is far more prominent than its NYC office), so outside the V20 but not far outside. I'll comment briefly, and transparently, on the work product: I did zero doc review, drafted briefs or large sections of the supporting briefs, and wrote many other research memos that were essentially copy pasted or incorporated into briefs ultimately written by the senior associate, on motions that went before the court during my summer. On the IP side, I did a bunch of invalidity & non-infringement claim charting analysis, which will be part of our report. So that was pretty cool. I also did a bunch of business development work that's less directly "substantive", whether on a pitch or community development. A little pro bono too.

For corporate, the "top clients at top vault firms" thing is pretty accurate. That's not what I've seen in litigation. Nearly every case I worked on was for either a household name client or a F100 that's just in a more anonymous industry. Honestly, this is because these are the only clients that can afford our rates. One of the start-ups I started the summer working on as a client wound up having to go with a boutique firm because they were defaulting on payment to the megafirm.

I will say that I found it interesting how while listed opposing counsel was almost always another large firm, the cases in SDNY or EDNY were against Cravath, Davis Polk, ect. The ones in other parts of the country had much more variety, i.e., Jenner, MoFo, Sidley, Irell, Sheppard Mullin, Quinn, whatever. This only reinforced my impression of vault as a new york phenomenon.

It looks like I'll probably be at a V10 (or V15, whatever) next summer so I can compare the experience.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:26 pm

FWIW, my firm (and I'm sure many others) have nearly mandatory "no doc review / diligence for summer associates" policy. Don't read too much into that.

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

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:21 pm

jbagelboy wrote:just having finished my first summer in lit at a V30-something firm (in a secondary market, where this firm is far more prominent than its NYC office), so outside the V20 but not far outside.

It looks like I'll probably be at a V10 (or V15, whatever) next summer so I can compare the experience.


smdh

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

Postby First Offense » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:38 pm

jbagelboy wrote:just having finished my first summer in lit at a V30-something firm (in a secondary market, where this firm is far more prominent than its NYC office), so outside the V20 but not far outside.

It looks like I'll probably be at a V10 (or V15, whatever) next summer so I can compare the experience.

I don't know if you're aware, but holy shit do you come off as a colossal douche.

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

Postby arklaw13 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:39 pm

First Offense wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:just having finished my first summer in lit at a V30-something firm (in a secondary market, where this firm is far more prominent than its NYC office), so outside the V20 but not far outside.

It looks like I'll probably be at a V10 (or V15, whatever) next summer so I can compare the experience.

I don't know if you're aware, but holy shit do you come off as a colossal douche.

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

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:43 pm

This whole discussion seems to thrive on stereotypes. The v20 is a pretty large group of firms with wildly different levels of responsibility delegated to junior associates (and as DF pointed out, even practice groups within the same firm matter immensely).

It seems like, at best, there's a stereotyped version of Skadden/Sull Crom circa 1994 that is being painted onto the entire v20. In reality, the current v20 contains firms that are well known for giving their junior associates substantive experience (e.g. Boies and Quinn).

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

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:56 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:just having finished my first summer in lit at a V30-something firm (in a secondary market, where this firm is far more prominent than its NYC office), so outside the V20 but not far outside.

It looks like I'll probably be at a V10 (or V15, whatever) next summer so I can compare the experience.


smdh


SUCK IT GOODWIN PROCTOR, I'M PAUL WEISS OR BUST.

Seriously though, teh dumbest part of his thing was thinking a Summer Associate is getting real work.

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

Postby gk101 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:00 pm

jbagelboy wrote:just having finished my first summer in lit at a V30-something firm (in a secondary market, where this firm is far more prominent than its NYC office), so outside the V20 but not far outside. I'll comment briefly, and transparently, on the work product: I did zero doc review, drafted briefs or large sections of the supporting briefs, and wrote many other research memos that were essentially copy pasted or incorporated into briefs ultimately written by the senior associate, on motions that went before the court during my summer. On the IP side, I did a bunch of invalidity & non-infringement claim charting analysis, which will be part of our report. So that was pretty cool. I also did a bunch of business development work that's less directly "substantive", whether on a pitch or community development. A little pro bono too.

For corporate, the "top clients at top vault firms" thing is pretty accurate. That's not what I've seen in litigation. Nearly every case I worked on was for either a household name client or a F100 that's just in a more anonymous industry. Honestly, this is because these are the only clients that can afford our rates. One of the start-ups I started the summer working on as a client wound up having to go with a boutique firm because they were defaulting on payment to the megafirm.

I will say that I found it interesting how while listed opposing counsel was almost always another large firm, the cases in SDNY or EDNY were against Cravath, Davis Polk, ect. The ones in other parts of the country had much more variety, i.e., Jenner, MoFo, Sidley, Irell, Sheppard Mullin, Quinn, whatever. This only reinforced my impression of vault as a new york phenomenon.

It looks like I'll probably be at a V10 (or V15, whatever) next summer so I can compare the experience.

This always makes me laugh. Somehow so many summers convince themselves that they are the special snowflake whose work product really counted

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

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:05 pm

SUMMER ASSOCIATES: YOU ARE BEING RECRUITED

EVERYTHING YOU DO IS PART OF THE RECRUITING PROCESS

IF YOUR FIRM TELLS YOU THAT YOU'RE DOING REAL WORK IT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE RECRUITING YOU

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

Postby gk101 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:18 pm

Its sorta sad that so many law students think of working late nights or on weekends during the summer as something to be proud of. Enjoy your fucking summer schedule of 9-530 while getting paid as a full time associate. You will have plenty of time for the all nights and weekends work schedule once you join full time.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:19 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:SUMMER ASSOCIATES: YOU ARE BEING RECRUITED

EVERYTHING YOU DO IS PART OF THE RECRUITING PROCESS

IF YOUR FIRM TELLS YOU THAT YOU'RE DOING REAL WORK IT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE RECRUITING YOU



Ditto. I had a recruiting lunch with some summers at our firm a couple weeks ago and one of them spent the entire time bragging about how all of his time was being billed when everyone else was using a special summer client matter number (in front of other summers). It's amazing how there are a few people every year who drink the Kool-aid and really feel like they are being treated differently. (If it wasn't a recruiting lunch I would have found a not so tactful way to show him how easy it is to write off time.)

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

Postby El Pollito » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:20 pm

gk101 wrote:Its sorta sad that so many law students think of working late nights or on weekends during the summer as something to be proud of. Enjoy your fucking summer schedule of 9-530 while getting paid as a full time associate. You will have plenty of time for the all nights and weekends work schedule once you join full time.

God, law students are such dumb motherfuckers.

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

Postby gk101 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:27 pm

El Pollito wrote:
gk101 wrote:Its sorta sad that so many law students think of working late nights or on weekends during the summer as something to be proud of. Enjoy your fucking summer schedule of 9-530 while getting paid as a full time associate. You will have plenty of time for the all nights and weekends work schedule once you join full time.

God, law students are such dumb motherfuckers.

I will admit that the first time there was a "all hands on deck" situation, I was sorta excited and felt really important. Then the novelty wore off and the misery set in after one long week.

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

Postby NEdelton1987 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:58 pm

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.


Learn to read. SullCrom at 3.

http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... ?sRankID=9

Though at this level, it's splitting hair.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


Learn to read.

http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... ?sRankID=9

But...

http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... t-law-100/

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

Postby NEdelton1987 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:10 pm

Using Vault 100 to determine the top 3 firms in New York is stupid. Use Chambers.

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

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:31 pm

whatever

honestly I thought I posted that anon b/c its work related but it's not a huge deal it's not like I can say anything helpful without being snarked at. Mal will probably be eating up his time at Kirkland Chicago next summer but he acts like everyone who ever talked about their legal employment on a legal employment forum is some sort of clueless toolbag

the whole point is that most summer work is useless but since your hours aren't billed the attorneys can use you for something helpful and keep the client tab down, i.e., writing a section or contributing research to a brief which otherwise would be a few senior associate hours and several thousand dollars for the client that they will want struck at end of month anyway, and yes, I can read the fucking court docket and see the text of the motions so you know when what you worked on was ignored or not selected, which is often the case, and when it was used, which also does happen, albeit less frequently. Obviously most of your work as a summer and even much of it as a first year associate serves as background if that, and sometimes you even duplicate work when you're on a case with attorneys in other offices and then someone takes pains to incorporate that work to make you feel better - those are the circumstances where you know you're just being humored for recruitment purposes but it's not the entire gig, at least not for everyone. and that's what OP was looking for as a response

my friends at AG or USAO also had some of their own written work used in court or put towards live motions, it's not unheard of in a lot of forums, this isn't to say they don't spend some days counting cars in the parking lot too but enough of the patronizing bullshit because you're one step up on the foodchain (or equal and just confused)

moreover, I hate the vault horseshit and the us news horseshit and the whole industry of helping insecure uncreative amateurs amass ego points they left on the table elsewhere, I only applied that vocabulary & those metrics because OP made a thread about V20 vs. other. statistically speaking it just so happens that the majority of people where I go to school summer at those firms, not to say they are better than other firms - I actually dont' think they are, fuck it how a magazine ranks them the whole point is that's a very NY/corporate-centric bullshit metric - and it shouldn't be a SHOCKER that someone who goes to a school which feeds into those same places might summer once there too JFC obviously it comes off douchey out of context but this is a heavily biglaw-oriented forum and why do I have to veil every obvious point in seven layers of condescending self-deprecation

we pay a fuckton of money and cross innumerable barriers to entry to get to the point where we can push paper for major companies and we all know this because it's all around you

so fuck the hypocrisy ITT

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

Postby baal hadad » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:35 pm

jbagelboy wrote:whatever

honestly I thought I posted that anon b/c its work related but it's not a huge deal it's not like I can say anything helpful without being snarked at. Mal will probably be eating up his time at Kirkland Chicago next summer but he acts like everyone who ever talked about their legal employment on a legal employment forum is some sort of clueless toolbag

the whole point is that most summer work is useless but since your hours aren't billed the attorneys can use you for something helpful and keep the client tab down, i.e., writing a section or contributing research to a brief which otherwise would be a few senior associate hours and several thousand dollars for the client that they will want struck at end of month anyway, and yes, I can read the fucking court docket and see the text of the motions so you know when what you worked on was ignored or not selected, which is often the case, and when it was used, which also does happen, albeit less frequently. Obviously most of your work as a summer and even much of it as a first year associate serves as background if that, and sometimes you even duplicate work when you're on a case with attorneys in other offices and then someone takes pains to incorporate that work to make you feel better - those are the circumstances where you know you're just being humored for recruitment purposes but it's not the entire gig, at least not for everyone. and that's what OP was looking for as a response

my friends at AG or USAO also had some of their own written work used in court or put towards live motions, it's not unheard of in a lot of forums, this isn't to say they don't spend some days counting cars in the parking lot too but enough of the patronizing bullshit because you're one step up on the foodchain (or equal and just confused)

moreover, I hate the vault horseshit and the us news horseshit and the whole industry of helping insecure uncreative amateurs amass ego points they left on the table elsewhere, I only applied that vocabulary & those metrics because OP made a thread about V20 vs. other. statistically speaking it just so happens that the majority of people where I go to school summer at those firms, not to say they are better than other firms - I actually dont' think they are, fuck it how a magazine ranks them the whole point is that's a very NY/corporate-centric bullshit metric - and it shouldn't be a SHOCKER that someone who goes to a school which feeds into those same places might summer once there too JFC obviously it comes off douchey out of context but this is a heavily biglaw-oriented forum and why do I have to veil every obvious point in seven layers of condescending self-deprecation

we pay a fuckton of money and cross innumerable barriers to entry to get to the point where we can push paper for major companies and we all know this because it's all around you

so fuck the hypocrisy ITT

I'm not gonna read this

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

Postby 2014 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


Learn to read. SullCrom at 3.

http://www.vault.com/company-rankings/l ... ?sRankID=9

Though at this level, it's splitting hair.

You can't be serious

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

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:48 pm

jbagel just accept responsibility for your douche status.

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

Postby loomy78 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:05 am

who cares? most will be unemployed after their 5 years in biglaw

i'm a 0L posting in the employment forum while abusing anon and contributing nothing.



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