Chicago Firms

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DELG
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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby DELG » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:52 pm

Mine too but associates don't clear out until more like 7. So if they are typically doing "a few" more hours after that, on a non-fire drill day, that's a lot of hours.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Julien_Benda » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:53 pm

feralinfant wrote:ETA: Fuck Winston.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:59 pm

DELG wrote:Mine too but associates don't clear out until more like 7. So if they are typically doing "a few" more hours after that, on a non-fire drill day, that's a lot of hours.

I think you're taking "a few" a little too literally. Just an incoming SA so only going off a few remarks I've heard and the general idea was just simply if you have to work late you can do it from home. No one said it was every night or that it was >= 3 hours. Was just responding to Homestyle's comment that Skadden had a more strict facetime requirement than other Chicago firms.

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DELG
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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby DELG » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
DELG wrote:Mine too but associates don't clear out until more like 7. So if they are typically doing "a few" more hours after that, on a non-fire drill day, that's a lot of hours.

I think you're taking "a few" a little too literally. Just an incoming SA so only going off a few remarks I've heard and the general idea was just simply if you have to work late you can do it from home. No one said it was every night or that it was >= 3 hours. Was just responding to Homestyle's comment that Skadden had a more strict facetime requirement than other Chicago firms.

Too literally? I think that when associates tell you that's what they're working, you should take it at face value. The associates I know who talk like that are billing crushing hours.

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skers
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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby skers » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:11 pm

Yeah, remember as a summer you're still in recruiting mode. At my firm there were things associates weren't allowed to talk w/ summers about. Very few associates, and usually only after you have a decent relationship w/ them, will actually be honest w/ you about firm life and politics.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:30 pm

I was an associate at one of the big Chicago firms until several years ago. I billed 1850, 2050, 2500, 2200, 2350 then left while on pace for 2400. (So that's what, about 2190 average?)

Anyway, taking out the first year when I was building up a workload, and the 2500 year when I had two big multi-week trials, my days typically looked like: Arrive at 9:15, work until 7:30, go home, eat dinner or whatnot with wife (no kids then), work for an hour or so -- usually something mindless like doc review or reading cases/other materials I pulled before coming home.

I'd probably work a few hours or so at home on one weekend day during the average weekend. One weekend a month would be completely free. One weekend I'd have to go in for most of a day. Maybe once a quarter there would be a limited fire drill where I'd have to work until midnight or later for a night or two in the week, and/or come in both weekend days. Maybe once a year there would be a trial, which would involve long days (until 10:00 PM or so) starting a couple weeks before, plus eighteen hour days during the trial itself. Travel maybe every two months; extended trip (a week or more) once every couple of years.

The 2500 year was something else, though. I had a two week trial plus a three week trial, plus really frequent travel on other cases, plus several big briefs throughout the year. We did a 1.5 week vacation in Europe, and I spent the first half of it working maybe 6-8 hours a day (I'd get up really early and stay up really late). My wife almost left me by the end of the year. Not even joking.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby nonsharepartner » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was an associate at one of the big Chicago firms until several years ago. I billed 1850, 2050, 2500, 2200, 2350 then left while on pace for 2400. (So that's what, about 2190 average?)

Anyway, taking out the first year when I was building up a workload, and the 2500 year when I had two big multi-week trials, my days typically looked like: Arrive at 9:15, work until 7:30, go home, eat dinner or whatnot with wife (no kids then), work for an hour or so -- usually something mindless like doc review or reading cases/other materials I pulled before coming home.

I'd probably work a few hours or so at home on one weekend day during the average weekend. One weekend a month would be completely free. One weekend I'd have to go in for most of a day. Maybe once a quarter there would be a limited fire drill where I'd have to work until midnight or later for a night or two in the week, and/or come in both weekend days. Maybe once a year there would be a trial, which would involve long days (until 10:00 PM or so) starting a couple weeks before, plus eighteen hour days during the trial itself. Travel maybe every two months; extended trip (a week or more) once every couple of years.

The 2500 year was something else, though. I had a two week trial plus a three week trial, plus really frequent travel on other cases, plus several big briefs throughout the year. We did a 1.5 week vacation in Europe, and I spent the first half of it working maybe 6-8 hours a day (I'd get up really early and stay up really late). My wife almost left me by the end of the year. Not even joking.


This is all too familiar. But goes to my point that the 2500 years are not the median. Good job getting out, I stayed in but cut back on the billables quite a bit.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:56 pm

2400-2500 hr years sounds just as terrible as NYC. Yikes.

Can anyone comment or elaborate on Jenner -- it's hard to get a read on them. I was considering them for litigation because they seem a little different in style from K&E, Sidley, and Winston and I have heard anecdotally the office is a much more pleasant place hours-wise and colleagues-wise, but maybe that does not ring true?

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:16 pm

Cobretti wrote:McDermott has market shattering rugs in their lobby. Seriously that thing has to be 300x200 feet.


Holy shit this. Worth the CB alone.

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feralinfant
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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby feralinfant » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2400-2500 hr years sounds just as terrible as NYC. Yikes.

Can anyone comment or elaborate on Jenner -- it's hard to get a read on them. I was considering them for litigation because they seem a little different in style from K&E, Sidley, and Winston and I have heard anecdotally the office is a much more pleasant place hours-wise and colleagues-wise, but maybe that does not ring true?



I don't work at Jenner but I spent a fair amount of time on these boards and in IRL trying to learn about the firm b/c i was very interested.

This board will on a semi-annual basis fly around with rumors about Jenner's stability etc. and that if associates aren't busy that's just because the end is imminent. This is almost certainly overblown. However, when I met with associates during the recruiting process I sort of got the impression that the GM matter was consuming the firm and keeping people busy. Which meant they were busy, but maybe meant that they hadn't been (as) busy without GM and wouldn't be (as) busy after. This is rampant speculation and I hope a current associate can chime in, but it was something I thought about when I thought I might have a shot at the firm.

They actually are serious about pro bono. It's for real, I met an associate who billed 700 pro bono one year b/c it went to trial (his first or second year at the firm). He couldn't do anything close to that the next year obviously, but he didn't feel it had held him back in terms of his standing at the firm (he was a fifth year when I talked to him.).

They do come across as a little more chill, I met a guy who had absconded to go to World Cup and some other things. Not everyone is jet setting but its worth something that some people are finding time to do this stuff.

They do have black box compensation and it's not lockstep. That's something of a bummer.

The problem with looking for "chill" or "lifestyle" firm in Chicago is that if you're not being worked to the bone you might have to ask some questions about how stable the firm is (not like it's Dewey unstable but like will partners get greedy and axe or de-equitize to maintain PPP or otherwise be less than kind to associates). See, e.g., Jenner bonuses this year and the managing partner telling all the DC attorneys you can't eat prestige.

In general Jenner is probably a more chill firm but it's not clear that they're going to be fed as well as a KE or Sidley.

I wouldn't lump Winston in with any of these firms. Because Fuck Winston.

ETA the quote for context

ETA2: I also met a fair number of people who seemed to like and see their families on a regular basis. So that's always a plus.
Last edited by feralinfant on Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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wojo98
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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby wojo98 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:23 pm

Cobretti wrote:If you're staying in Chicago over the summer I also recommend using that time to reach out to alums at your target firms and try to get coffee with some.

feralinfant wrote:I'll also add that you should not even hint at the idea that you applied anywhere but Chicago from the tippy top all the way down to shittiest shit-law firm.

Strongly endorse both these suggestions.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:51 am

I know lots of people who left Jenner for KE/Skadden/Sidley because the hours were too much. In general, especially at the top Chicago firms, the "lifestyle" calling-card is bs.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby cookiejar1 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know lots of people who left Jenner for KE/Skadden/Sidley because the hours were too much. In general, especially at the top Chicago firms, the "lifestyle" calling-card is bs.


What blows my mind is that Sidley legitimately tries to market itself as a "lifestyle" firm to prospective summers.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:05 am

.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know lots of people who left Jenner for KE/Skadden/Sidley because the hours were too much. In general, especially at the top Chicago firms, the "lifestyle" calling-card is bs.


Lol at "lots of people" leaving for KE from anywhere because the hours were too much.

I interviewed at Jenner a while back and was pretty impressed by how laid back the people seemed. Both partners and associates had pictures their kids had drawn hanging around the office. Now, it's true that maybe that those pictures were the max extent to which they ever saw anything remotely close to their kids, but the people did seem pretty upbeat generally. According to NALP they have a "target" of 2100 hrs, which seems on the high end if its not so much a target but a bare minimum. Again, hard to tell whether that reflected actual expectations and I agree they seemed a bit consumed with the GM investigation, although I didn't get any impression that the health of the firm was at all dependent on that matter. I'm still curious though if any associates there want to chime in about work/life balance?

FWIW I also interviewed at a few regional firms at the time that I thought would be more "lifestyle" places with decent pay. I was blown away when one firm of about 80-100 lawyers that was paying about $80-90k quoted me hours of around 2050 in the interview. I almost walked out right then and there. I have known far too many that have fallen for the trap of going to mid-law or regional under the guise of a break on hours only to end up working near biglaw hours for half the pay.

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bjsesq
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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby bjsesq » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:59 am

Deeply appreciative of all the fuck Winstons going on in here.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have known far too many that have fallen for the trap of going to mid-law or regional under the guise of a break on hours only to end up working near biglaw hours for half the pay.


*raises hand slowly*

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:17 am

feralinfant wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2400-2500 hr years sounds just as terrible as NYC. Yikes.

Can anyone comment or elaborate on Jenner -- it's hard to get a read on them. I was considering them for litigation because they seem a little different in style from K&E, Sidley, and Winston and I have heard anecdotally the office is a much more pleasant place hours-wise and colleagues-wise, but maybe that does not ring true?


They do come across as a little more chill, I met a guy who had absconded to go to World Cup and some other things. Not everyone is jet setting but its worth something that some people are finding time to do this stuff.



FWIW I know a 3-4 year transactional dude at K&E who did the same thing. The more I'm around big law, the more the differences in experiences between firms seem really thin and artificial and the more stuff just has to deal with whatever partners you happen to be working with or what matters you happen to be staffed on.

Also, fuck Winston.

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feralinfant
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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby feralinfant » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
feralinfant wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2400-2500 hr years sounds just as terrible as NYC. Yikes.

Can anyone comment or elaborate on Jenner -- it's hard to get a read on them. I was considering them for litigation because they seem a little different in style from K&E, Sidley, and Winston and I have heard anecdotally the office is a much more pleasant place hours-wise and colleagues-wise, but maybe that does not ring true?


They do come across as a little more chill, I met a guy who had absconded to go to World Cup and some other things. Not everyone is jet setting but its worth something that some people are finding time to do this stuff.



FWIW I know a 3-4 year transactional dude at K&E who did the same thing. The more I'm around big law, the more the differences in experiences between firms seem really thin and artificial and the more stuff just has to deal with whatever partners you happen to be working with or what matters you happen to be staffed on.

Also, fuck Winston.


Fuck Winston.

Yeah I've been trying to answer questions based on my limited interactions and I don"t think i emphasized enough that this is an exercises in trying to formulate distinctions that for the most part are probably meaningless. All these places are in the business of churning that bill.

Also, fuck Winston.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Dog » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:28 am

I really liked the lobby area on the top floor of Jenner. Dat view.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Cobretti wrote:McDermott has market shattering rugs in their lobby. Seriously that thing has to be 300x200 feet.


Holy shit this. Worth the CB alone.

Rugs are on the move - both MWE and DLA Piper eventually moving to West Loop (~2017). Upgrade in view, marginal downgrade in commute imo.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:07 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know lots of people who left Jenner for KE/Skadden/Sidley because the hours were too much. In general, especially at the top Chicago firms, the "lifestyle" calling-card is bs.


What blows my mind is that Sidley legitimately tries to market itself as a "lifestyle" firm to prospective summers.


This is what I found to be true also. I consider them to be all essentially similar in terms of hours. I know people at Skadden who are getting absolutely boned right now. Also heard similar things at basically everywhere listed.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:14 pm

There are def some lifestyle firms in Chicago. Probably not going to find them looking to the top of Vault, like Mayer, Skadden, and KE, but they're out there.

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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby bjsesq » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There are def some lifestyle firms in Chicago. Probably not going to find them looking to the top of Vault, like Mayer, Skadden, and KE, but they're out there.

Name names

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skers
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Re: Chicago Firms

Postby skers » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:31 pm

I'm really enjoying the trend of people deciding to casually mention where they got callbacks (oh, the carpets were so nice) for internet points from strangers rather than actually helping OP.

Definitely hit up receptions to gauge personality to the extent you can. I know the amorphous fit thing does get thrown around a lot on here, but you'd be surprised to the extent personalities gravitate toward certain firms. I don't have any idea how you know you want to do corp (unless you just really hate legal research b/c it's awful, which is probably an ok answer). But w/ that qualification I probably wouldn't look at any firms beyond Skadden, Sidley, Kirkland, and Mayer (McDermott as well if you want to do healthcare deal work).




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