CA Litigation Firms

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msdiiva
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CA Litigation Firms

Postby msdiiva » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:47 am

What firms in the Bay Area actually let their younger associates be a part of the litigation process- taking depositions, chairing at smaller trials, etc.? What are the chances in your first 2-3 years as an associate that you would be doing more substantive trial work instead of just writing briefs and memos? I love litigation and I love actual trial work but prosecuting is not for me.

gfd973
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby gfd973 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:11 pm

Check out Shartsis.

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bruinfan10
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:19 pm

Keker & Van Nest hands down for substantive experience in the Bay. Maybe Altshuler Berzon and Shartsis Friese as well. If you're willing to travel a bit further south, the new firm Hueston Hennigan looks like it could be the next Keker. I also believe Susman Godfrey has a presence in Los Angeles, and they're legendary for throwing you into depos, etc, right away.

Re: all the above, you better be a lights. out. candidate to get in the door though. They don't hire the standard "top half at a top 13" kids like the 500+ atty megafirms do (or even the middle of the pack/no law review SLS kids, for that matter).

BigZuck
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby BigZuck » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:35 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:Keker & Van Nest hands down for substantive experience in the Bay. Maybe Altshuler Berzon and Shartsis Friese as well. If you're willing to travel a bit further south, the new firm Hueston Hennigan looks like it could be the next Keker. I also believe Susman Godfrey has a presence in Los Angeles, and they're legendary for throwing you into depos, etc, right away.

Re: all the above, you better be a lights. out. candidate to get in the door though. They don't hire the standard "top half at a top 13" kids like the 500+ atty megafirms do (or even the middle of the pack/no law review SLS kids, for that matter).


I don't think that's true of Shartsis, they seem to be much more about fit than pure superstardom

The other ones though seem to only employ a murderers row from what I can tell

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:42 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:Keker & Van Nest hands down for substantive experience in the Bay. Maybe Altshuler Berzon and Shartsis Friese as well. If you're willing to travel a bit further south, the new firm Hueston Hennigan looks like it could be the next Keker. I also believe Susman Godfrey has a presence in Los Angeles, and they're legendary for throwing you into depos, etc, right away.

Re: all the above, you better be a lights. out. candidate to get in the door though. They don't hire the standard "top half at a top 13" kids like the 500+ atty megafirms do (or even the middle of the pack/no law review SLS kids, for that matter).


Keker is the most selective of the above-listed firms. Susman cares a ton about your clerkship, so if you have a d. ct. to COA clerkship combo, that goes a long way for getting hired at Susman. The other firms appear to be selective, but not nearly as selective as Keker. Keker, W&C and Bartlit Beck are really on an entirely different level when it comes to selectivity, but the latter two obviously don't have offices in California.

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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:35 pm

BigZuck wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:Keker & Van Nest hands down for substantive experience in the Bay. Maybe Altshuler Berzon and Shartsis Friese as well. If you're willing to travel a bit further south, the new firm Hueston Hennigan looks like it could be the next Keker. I also believe Susman Godfrey has a presence in Los Angeles, and they're legendary for throwing you into depos, etc, right away.

Re: all the above, you better be a lights. out. candidate to get in the door though. They don't hire the standard "top half at a top 13" kids like the 500+ atty megafirms do (or even the middle of the pack/no law review SLS kids, for that matter).


I don't think that's true of Shartsis, they seem to be much more about fit than pure superstardom

The other ones though seem to only employ a murderers row from what I can tell


I had a CB at SF with credentials that wouldn't have gotten me a look at any of the other places. The problem with SF is they interview a TON of people for 1-2 spots. Someone there told me between fairs, OCI, and mass mail candidates, they screened around 200 for 1 slot, so I think there is a lot of luck there regardless of credentials. I think they truly do give anyone over their minimum school/grade cutoff a pretty equal shot. They also grilled me about ties despite the fact that I grew up in the area.

The place seemed awesome. I probably would have taken the job if I got offered.

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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:42 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:Keker & Van Nest hands down for substantive experience in the Bay. Maybe Altshuler Berzon and Shartsis Friese as well. If you're willing to travel a bit further south, the new firm Hueston Hennigan looks like it could be the next Keker. I also believe Susman Godfrey has a presence in Los Angeles, and they're legendary for throwing you into depos, etc, right away.

Re: all the above, you better be a lights. out. candidate to get in the door though. They don't hire the standard "top half at a top 13" kids like the 500+ atty megafirms do (or even the middle of the pack/no law review SLS kids, for that matter).


Keker is the most selective of the above-listed firms. Susman cares a ton about your clerkship, so if you have a d. ct. to COA clerkship combo, that goes a long way for getting hired at Susman. The other firms appear to be selective, but not nearly as selective as Keker. Keker, W&C and Bartlit Beck are really on an entirely different level when it comes to selectivity, but the latter two obviously don't have offices in California.

Altshuler is also extremely selective-they basically only take from HYS + Berkeley, and at least at S, you need top 10% grades or so. You also need strong public interest credentials.

Shartsis doesn't appear to be highly grade-selective, at least for SLS students-looks like you'd maybe need to be in the top 40%.

Anonymous User
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:Keker & Van Nest hands down for substantive experience in the Bay. Maybe Altshuler Berzon and Shartsis Friese as well. If you're willing to travel a bit further south, the new firm Hueston Hennigan looks like it could be the next Keker. I also believe Susman Godfrey has a presence in Los Angeles, and they're legendary for throwing you into depos, etc, right away.

Re: all the above, you better be a lights. out. candidate to get in the door though. They don't hire the standard "top half at a top 13" kids like the 500+ atty megafirms do (or even the middle of the pack/no law review SLS kids, for that matter).


Keker is the most selective of the above-listed firms. Susman cares a ton about your clerkship, so if you have a d. ct. to COA clerkship combo, that goes a long way for getting hired at Susman. The other firms appear to be selective, but not nearly as selective as Keker. Keker, W&C and Bartlit Beck are really on an entirely different level when it comes to selectivity, but the latter two obviously don't have offices in California.

Altshuler is also extremely selective-they basically only take from HYS + Berkeley, and at least at S, you need top 10% grades or so. You also need strong public interest credentials.

Shartsis doesn't appear to be highly grade-selective, at least for SLS students-looks like you'd maybe need to be in the top 40%.

Top 30% at an out of state T20 was enough for a callback at Shartsis.

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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:54 pm

What about firms like Cooley and WIlson Sonsini et al? Would an associate ever get to work on in-depth litigation there?

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rpupkin
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby rpupkin » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What about firms like Cooley and WIlson Sonsini et al? Would an associate ever get to work on in-depth litigation there?

An associate would get to work on "in-depth," complex litigation at any big law firm. But what you're probably asking is whether the associate would get significant responsibility while working on that litigation.

As for Cooley and Wilson, I think most associates have to wait quite a while before, say, arguing a motion or examining a witness. The hierarchical limitations aren't likely to be as bad as at some 600-attorney office in NYC, but your experience is unlikely to resemble that of an associate at Keker, Sussman, or a small litigation boutique.

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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:11 pm

Great to find this thread and would love advice! Torn between the following summer offers- I'm a 2L at CA school with an interest in trial work and internet law.

1) Have two SA offers from this list- Cooley/Fenwick/WSGR/Orrick in litigation groups, specifically to work in tech law based lit groups.
Pros: Working in specific area of interest with partners who are very well-versed in such areas. Good pay and good bonuses.
Cons: Possibility of no work/life balance depending on firm. Larger amounts of drudge work and doc review as a young associate. Likelihood of partnership is lower. Hints during interview that associates were working during vacation.

2) Have two SA offers from this list- Shartsis/MTO/Keker/BS.
Pros: Substantive work right off the bat. High likelihood of partnership. Generally interesting case work. Collegial environment.
Cons: No guarantee of internet law work. Maybe some chance of no work/life balance. Hear that these firms are more likely to no-offer summers.

Some people tell me I'm crazy to even consider Group 1 with the options in Group 2. I want to get more opinions before I make a final decision. I am not interested in exit options really- much more looking for partnership track. Also not planning to leave CA market in the near or far future. I am planning to clerk.

Is there a reason to consider Group 1 when there are more selective/great firms in Group 2 with substantive work? Any reason to specialize at typical SV firm instead of generalizing at lit boutique? Should the quality of work trump the type of work or vice versa? Am I missing pros or cons? I'm just looking to make the most informed decision possible and hoping you all can help.

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rpupkin
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby rpupkin » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Great to find this thread and would love advice! Torn between the following summer offers- I'm a 2L at CA school with an interest in trial work and internet law.

1) Have two SA offers from this list- Cooley/Fenwick/WSGR/Orrick in litigation groups, specifically to work in tech law based lit groups.
Pros: Working in specific area of interest with partners who are very well-versed in such areas. Good pay and good bonuses.
Cons: Possibility of no work/life balance depending on firm. Larger amounts of drudge work and doc review as a young associate. Likelihood of partnership is lower. Hints during interview that associates were working during vacation.

2) Have two SA offers from this list- Shartsis/MTO/Keker/BS.
Pros: Substantive work right off the bat. High likelihood of partnership. Generally interesting case work. Collegial environment.
Cons: No guarantee of internet law work. Maybe some chance of no work/life balance. Hear that these firms are more likely to no-offer summers.

Some people tell me I'm crazy to even consider Group 1 with the options in Group 2. I want to get more opinions before I make a final decision. I am not interested in exit options really- much more looking for partnership track. Also not planning to leave CA market in the near or far future. I am planning to clerk.

Is there a reason to consider Group 1 when there are more selective/great firms in Group 2 with substantive work? Any reason to specialize at typical SV firm instead of generalizing at lit boutique? Should the quality of work trump the type of work or vice versa? Am I missing pros or cons? I'm just looking to make the most informed decision possible and hoping you all can help.


How do you define "internet law work" and why do you think you're more likely to find it in the first group than in the second? Also, the Oakland office of Boies is a lot different than the other three firms in your second group. And, come to think of it, Shartis is different than KVN and MTO. I'm not sure your groupings here make sense. It might make more sense for you to come out and say the two firms you have offers from.

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BearState
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby BearState » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Great to find this thread and would love advice! Torn between the following summer offers- I'm a 2L at CA school with an interest in trial work and internet law.

1) Have two SA offers from this list- Cooley/Fenwick/WSGR/Orrick in litigation groups, specifically to work in tech law based lit groups.
Pros: Working in specific area of interest with partners who are very well-versed in such areas. Good pay and good bonuses.
Cons: Possibility of no work/life balance depending on firm. Larger amounts of drudge work and doc review as a young associate. Likelihood of partnership is lower. Hints during interview that associates were working during vacation.

2) Have two SA offers from this list- Shartsis/MTO/Keker/BS.
Pros: Substantive work right off the bat. High likelihood of partnership. Generally interesting case work. Collegial environment.
Cons: No guarantee of internet law work. Maybe some chance of no work/life balance. Hear that these firms are more likely to no-offer summers.

Some people tell me I'm crazy to even consider Group 1 with the options in Group 2. I want to get more opinions before I make a final decision. I am not interested in exit options really- much more looking for partnership track. Also not planning to leave CA market in the near or far future. I am planning to clerk.

Is there a reason to consider Group 1 when there are more selective/great firms in Group 2 with substantive work? Any reason to specialize at typical SV firm instead of generalizing at lit boutique? Should the quality of work trump the type of work or vice versa? Am I missing pros or cons? I'm just looking to make the most informed decision possible and hoping you all can help.


No way. Boies, Susman, MTO--you'll be worked to the bone, more than say Fenwick/Wilson. Unless you really mean Shartsis. Less sure of hours there. You won't find work/life balance here.

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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:50 pm

Anon from above who is trying to decide- Deciding between MTO, KVN, WSGR, and Cooley. I'm assuming Group 1 has more Internet Law work simply because Group 2 (KVN, MTO) don't really have people specialize as much.

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jbagelboy
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anon from above who is trying to decide- Deciding between MTO, KVN, WSGR, and Cooley. I'm assuming Group 1 has more Internet Law work simply because Group 2 (KVN, MTO) don't really have people specialize as much.


From a junior experience/practice perspective, I'd definitely do MTO or KVN (one for LA, one for SF, I'm assuming). WSGR and Cooley are cool firms esp in the tech space but they don't offer the same level of junior exposure, flexibility, partnership prospects/compensation, or participation in the firm's key affairs. I'd almost say these two sets of firms attract different kinds of talent, although I'm sure there's overlap in the Bay Area.

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rpupkin
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anon from above who is trying to decide- Deciding between MTO, KVN, WSGR, and Cooley. I'm assuming Group 1 has more Internet Law work simply because Group 2 (KVN, MTO) don't really have people specialize as much.

I still don't know what you think "internet law work" means. If you think it means working in tech transactions with internet-based startups or something, then you should of course choose WSGR or Cooley. But since you're considering MTO and KVN, I assume you're interested primarily or solely in lit. In the realm of litigation, both MTO and KVN do a lot of "internet law" in that the firms handle litigation in patent, copyright, trade secret, and white collar crime cases that often involve the internet or internet-related technology.

If you're really this confused, I suggest emailing some of the associates you interviewed with. Tell them you want to chat for a few minutes. When you talk to them, explain your interests (don't just say "internet law") and then ask them if their firms work on those kinds of cases.

Anonymous User
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:40 am

I am making a similar decision. Anything I should know about KVN or MTO that's negative? I like the partner to associate ratio, the substantive nature of the work, and the type of work. I've read a few old threads but can't tell what the difference is between the two firma. Anything to help distinguish even?

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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:05 am

If I were choosing between MTO and KVN, I would base my decision on whether I wanted to work in LA or SF. The difference between those two cities is more significant than the difference between those two law firms.

That aside, there are some cultural differences between the firms. KVN is very casual; MTO is more formal and a little stuffier. KVN is more of a trial firm, though MTO obviously does trials as well. MTO is geekier—you're more likely to find academic types there.

If you recoil at the idea of doing patent litigation, you might want to shy away from KVN. Both firms do patent lit, but it's harder to avoid if you're an associate at KVN.

Overall, though, the firms are way more like each other than they're like any other big law firm. I would make my choice based on which city you prefer.

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jbagelboy
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:If I were choosing between MTO and KVN, I would base my decision on whether I wanted to work in LA or SF. The difference between those two cities is more significant than the difference between those two law firms.

That aside, there are some cultural differences between the firms. KVN is very casual; MTO is more formal and a little stuffier. KVN is more of a trial firm, though MTO obviously does trials as well. MTO is geekier—you're more likely to find academic types there.

If you recoil at the idea of doing patent litigation, you might want to shy away from KVN. Both firms do patent lit, but it's harder to avoid if you're an associate at KVN.

Overall, though, the firms are way more like each other than they're like any other big law firm. I would make my choice based on which city you prefer.


Good answer

msdiiva
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Re: CA Litigation Firms

Postby msdiiva » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:54 pm

BearState wrote:
No way. Boies, Susman, MTO--you'll be worked to the bone, more than say Fenwick/Wilson. Unless you really mean Shartsis. Less sure of hours there. You won't find work/life balance here.


Is there a reason you left KVN off of that list?




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