Deciding between firms

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Which firm should I choose?

Firm 1
6
15%
Firm 2
33
85%
 
Total votes: 39

Anonymous User
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Deciding between firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:50 pm

I have to keep this anonymous and vague but I'm having a very tough time choosing between firms. This is for post clerkship. Both firms are in the geographical area I want and both will provide great substantive experience. Medium-term goal is to transition into government, but I could see staying at a firm forever if I really like it.

Firm 1: well established and well known; very good track record of sending people into government; very specialized in one area of law (I think I'd like it, but I'm not 100% sure); pay is market; people were very nice but didn't blow me away; no chance at partnership

Firm 2: good reputation but too new to be well known or have a track record of placing people anywhere; practices in numerous areas of law, which I really like (including the practice area of Firm 1); pay slightly above market; people were nice overall and a few of them really impressed me; very good shot at partnership if I stay


I feel like I've thought about this 1000 different ways, but I'm still deadlocked in my mind. Any factors I'm not considering? Any and all thoughts are really appreciated.

Longtimecoming19
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby Longtimecoming19 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:47 pm

Went through a similar situation, PM me with more info if you'd like.

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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:34 pm

This is OP. Any voters mind explaining their rationale?

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emptyflare
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby emptyflare » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Firm 1: well established and well known; very good track record of sending people into government; very specialized in one area of law (I think I'd like it, but I'm not 100% sure); pay is market; people were very nice but didn't blow me away; no chance at partnership

Firm 2: good reputation but too new to be well known or have a track record of placing people anywhere; practices in numerous areas of law, which I really like (including the practice area of Firm 1); pay slightly above market; people were nice overall and a few of them really impressed me; very good shot at partnership if I stay


The bolded is what I personally picked up on. It seems you give the "people" edge to Firm 2 and that you also value Firm 2's numerous practice areas, which include the practice area of Firm 1 anyway. I think quality of people--specifically the quality of the people in the practice group you'll be working with day to day--largely determine your day to day satisfaction (as much as biglaw can provide).

Finally, you've likely done this already, but is it worth asking your judge his/her thoughts on the two firms to see if there's anything you're missing?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:20 pm

I don't see anything to recommend firm 1 here? Except the reputation, I guess? I am assuming that though firm 2 is new, there are partners there who have good reputations. that's what really should matter for placement opportunities.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:24 pm

"very good shot at partnership if I stay" sounds like total flame.

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emptyflare
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby emptyflare » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:14 pm

Another consideration: when you say that Firm 2 is new in town, may be worth figuring out whether it's a solid firm office presence or a complete satellite office/"outpost," as itbdvorm describes it: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=163550&p=8012862#p8012862.

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los blancos
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby los blancos » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:16 pm

Desert Fox wrote:"very good shot at partnership if I stay" sounds like total flame.


I don't know man, there are some places where they'll give you like 10 years to scrap enough business together to make partner and a high # of associates do end up making partner. It's hard to tell here.

Even then good partnership prospects are only worth a damn if that's what OP is actually interested in.

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dood
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby dood » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:51 pm

sounds about equal, so i would decide based on the people. your life will be infinitely better when you have partners who care about your career, mid-levels who help you up, cool people you can chill with.

you should ask some of the mid-levels to go get drinks (the firms will recognize the importance of this and encourage it), and: (1) really try to get the inside scoop because every partner/office is unique; and (2) think if you really can work with these people for long hours. hth.

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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:04 pm

This is OP. Thanks, all, for the responses. Just to address a few things:
emptyflare wrote:The bolded is what I personally picked up on. It seems you give the "people" edge to Firm 2 and that you also value Firm 2's numerous practice areas, which include the practice area of Firm 1 anyway. I think quality of people--specifically the quality of the people in the practice group you'll be working with day to day--largely determine your day to day satisfaction (as much as biglaw can provide).

Finally, you've likely done this already, but is it worth asking your judge his/her thoughts on the two firms to see if there's anything you're missing?
I appreciate this perspective. I should clarify that, although some of the people at Firm 2 really impressed me, the people at Firm 1 were very nice and I could definitely see myself being fine there as well. I've asked my judge to weigh in, and that has largely gotten me to this point--i.e., s/he suggested some important factors to consider.

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I don't see anything to recommend firm 1 here? Except the reputation, I guess? I am assuming that though firm 2 is new, there are partners there who have good reputations. that's what really should matter for placement opportunities.
Yeah, I think the reputation is what's really making this tough for me. It has a very good track record of placing people into government, which has been a goal of mine for a long time. Firm 2 may be able to get me there as well (given the good reputations of the partners, as you suggest), but it's just a complete unknown at this point, in contrast to Firm 1 that has an established alumni network and partners that actively help funnel associates into government.

Desert Fox wrote:"very good shot at partnership if I stay" sounds like total flame.
I didn't divulge this info at first because I was trying to avoid being specific, but both firms are lit boutiques. So there really is a good shot at partnership at Firm 2.

emptyflare wrote:Another consideration: when you say that Firm 2 is new in town, may be worth figuring out whether it's a solid firm office presence or a complete satellite office/"outpost,"
It's a good point, but I suspect I threw you off because I didn't explain off-the-bat that both firms are lit boutiques. It is actually new in town and not a satellite office.

los blancos wrote:Even then good partnership prospects are only worth a damn if that's what OP is actually interested in.
That's true, and part of the problem is that I have sort of an open mind. I have wanted to go into government for a while so I think that's my first priority, but if I go to Firm 2 and really love it, I could see staying for a long time. I just don't know how to balance those considerations up front (before I've worked a single day there).

dood wrote:sounds about equal, so i would decide based on the people. your life will be infinitely better when you have partners who care about your career, mid-levels who help you up, cool people you can chill with.

you should ask some of the mid-levels to go get drinks (the firms will recognize the importance of this and encourage it), and: (1) really try to get the inside scoop because every partner/office is unique; and (2) think if you really can work with these people for long hours. hth.
Very good points. I think the associates at both firms meet your description, although Firm 2 seems to have partners that are more down-to-earth and easier to talk to. That said, the partners at Firm 1 are nice enough and it's pretty clear that they do care about the careers of their associates (and help them transition into other jobs, especially government).

The drinks idea is good and I'm in the process of trying to find a time to do it. (I should say that I'm fairly sick of the whole interview/selection process by this point, so if I could decide without taking more time out of my schedule, that'd be ideal. Maybe the answer is just for me to get over it haha.)

Thanks again for the responses and please keep them coming. The more opinions, the better.

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los blancos
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby los blancos » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:42 pm

I mean, I don't know if this will help, but I would think one would have some idea of whether or not she is potentially interested in partnership just by personality type. Are you interested in networking and bringing in business? Are you the type of person that likes schmoozing and making social connections and such? At a smaller firm, especially if there aren't huge institutional clients, there's often going to be a big focus on business development.

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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:56 pm

los blancos wrote:I mean, I don't know if this will help, but I would think one would have some idea of whether or not she is potentially interested in partnership just by personality type. Are you interested in networking and bringing in business? Are you the type of person that likes schmoozing and making social connections and such? At a smaller firm, especially if there aren't huge institutional clients, there's often going to be a big focus on business development.

Yeah that's a fair point. I'd generally lean against that sort of schmoozing and networking for business, which is why I think I heavily lean toward government. At the same time, I've never done it before, so it's tough to tell. Maybe I'll end up liking the business development aspect. Or maybe I'll learn to tolerate it as a necessary feature of being able to do interesting work with colleagues I like. I just don't know how it'll work out.

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:23 pm

Do they have similar bonus structures? Similar billable hour requirements for getting a bonus?

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AreJay711
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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:53 pm

The one that pays more, you fool.

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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:58 pm

AreJay711 wrote:The one that pays more, you fool.
Other25BeforeYou wrote:Do they have similar bonus structures? Similar billable hour requirements for getting a bonus?
Haha very similar bonuses and bonus structures, unfortunately.

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Re: Deciding between firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:15 pm

This is OP. I see a lot of votes for Firm 2. However, is there any benefit in the following: Firm 1 provides a better shot at government and, if I hopefully end up going into government, I could stay if I really like it or lateral to another firm that values government experience (possibly even Firm 2)?




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