ITT: Describe your SA

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:25 pm

I was an SA at Cleary Gottlieb in NYC in 2013 with 97 other people.

The Cleary SA was very glamorous but also very intense work-wise. We had some amazing parties (yacht trip, soho roof party, etc). But, I also worked a ton. I was there until after midnight multiple days doing pretty mundane work. And this wasn't because I'm a masochist--I'm not too much of a striver and wouldn't have stayed late so often if I didn't absolutely have to.

The culture at Cleary is very interesting because there are some creative, unique individuals with cool backgrounds (since this is the culture the firm prides itself on), but there are also a lot of hardcore NY finance types that will make your life pretty hellish as either a summer or an associate. For what it's worth, there are more of the former in lit and more of the latter in corporate.

Most of my summer class was super cool, and I became good friends with a few of them. However, only 2.5 years later and almost all of the ones I was friends with have left the firm (or never accepted the offer). As an aside, and it will probably come as a surprise to no one, but the firm is absolutely dominated by NYU and Columbia students, and I would say that the culture of the firm reflects that (I.e, a lot aboit the firm feels stereotypically NYUish and a lot feels stereotypically Columbia-ish).

I am very glad I summered there and very glad I decided not to start there. Cleary has some amazing people, but it's a New York beast and I can't imagine how long I would have lasted...

doing_it_in_a_car
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:I was an SA at Cleary Gottlieb in NYC in 2013 with 97 other people.

The Cleary SA was very glamorous but also very intense work-wise. We had some amazing parties (yacht trip, soho roof party, etc). But, I also worked a ton. I was there until after midnight multiple days doing pretty mundane work. And this wasn't because I'm a masochist--I'm not too much of a striver and wouldn't have stayed late so often if I didn't absolutely have to.

The culture at Cleary is very interesting because there are some creative, unique individuals with cool backgrounds (since this is the culture the firm prides itself on), but there are also a lot of hardcore NY finance types that will make your life pretty hellish as either a summer or an associate. For what it's worth, there are more of the former in lit and more of the latter in corporate.

Most of my summer class was super cool, and I became good friends with a few of them. However, only 2.5 years later and almost all of the ones I was friends with have left the firm (or never accepted the offer). As an aside, and it will probably come as a surprise to no one, but the firm is absolutely dominated by NYU and Columbia students, and I would say that the culture of the firm reflects that (I.e, a lot aboit the firm feels stereotypically NYUish and a lot feels stereotypically Columbia-ish).

I am very glad I summered there and very glad I decided not to start there. Cleary has some amazing people, but it's a New York beast and I can't imagine how long I would have lasted...


Thanks very much for sharing. Would you mind PMing me?

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:57 am

Mid-Law in the Pacific Northwest within the past 3 years. I did strictly litigation, and I was never at the office past 7pm. Wrote a lot of memos, but I did get to sit in on some meetings with big clients. Didn't get a chance to sit in on a depo though others did. Weekend work was rare and only usually because I was chose to catch up/get ahead on something. Events were fun but there weren't so many that it became a chore on its own. Did a baseball game, wine tasting, dinners, happy hours. No big extravagant events. Small summer class (<10), and everyone got offers.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:41 pm

Summered at a v5 in New York this past summer doing M&A. Lots and lots and lots of diligence/cross-reference checks, some target profiles, and got to draft first takes at sections of the registration statements. Mostly diligence. Lots of diligence.

Most days in around 9:30. When I left varied greatly with where deals were. ~30% of the time got to leave before 8, ~40% of the time left between 8 and 10, and 30% left after 10. Worked a little more than half my weekends. Few days past midnight, and two all-nighters. I'd say I was around median for time worked among the summers.

We had a fair number of events, though not as many as at other firms, but they were pretty nice. Got lunches and dinners at the best places in the city. Events and lunches weren't very well-attended by summers because of work though. Attorneys often canceled lunches they had planned as well.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:29 am

:shock:

Firm?

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:30 am

Working that hard as a summer is absurd.

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sublime
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby sublime » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:38 am

..

lawman84
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby lawman84 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:12 am

sublime wrote:Sounds like Cravath.

I'm also tagging to anon post later about my SA.


Why do people subject themselves to that? If they do that to you as a summer, I have to imagine things are even worse when you're an associate. :shock:

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Mr. Blackacre
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Mr. Blackacre » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:54 am

lawman84 wrote:
sublime wrote:Sounds like Cravath.

I'm also tagging to anon post later about my SA.


Why do people subject themselves to that? If they do that to you as a summer, I have to imagine things are even worse when you're an associate. :shock:


Cravath is actually much more honest than the rest of the NYC sweatshops. They are known to work you the way they would work an associate during your SA. Honestly, if I were to do NYC corporate, I'd almost rather have the firm show me how it's really going to be, and let me see how I handle it, than giving me 9-6 busy work and feeding me bs about how great and enjoyable firm life is. I can definitely see why some people would pick that kind of attitude over say, STB/DPW/Skadden.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby El Pollito » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:48 am

Mr. Blackacre wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
sublime wrote:Sounds like Cravath.

I'm also tagging to anon post later about my SA.


Why do people subject themselves to that? If they do that to you as a summer, I have to imagine things are even worse when you're an associate. :shock:


Cravath is actually much more honest than the rest of the NYC sweatshops. They are known to work you the way they would work an associate during your SA. Honestly, if I were to do NYC corporate, I'd almost rather have the firm show me how it's really going to be, and let me see how I handle it, than giving me 9-6 busy work and feeding me bs about how great and enjoyable firm life is. I can definitely see why some people would pick that kind of attitude over say, STB/DPW/Skadden.

I'd rather have one more enjoyable summer since you don't really need them to literally show you how it's going to be to have a good idea of how it's going to be.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:50 am

El Pollito wrote:
Mr. Blackacre wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
sublime wrote:Sounds like Cravath.

I'm also tagging to anon post later about my SA.


Why do people subject themselves to that? If they do that to you as a summer, I have to imagine things are even worse when you're an associate. :shock:


Cravath is actually much more honest than the rest of the NYC sweatshops. They are known to work you the way they would work an associate during your SA. Honestly, if I were to do NYC corporate, I'd almost rather have the firm show me how it's really going to be, and let me see how I handle it, than giving me 9-6 busy work and feeding me bs about how great and enjoyable firm life is. I can definitely see why some people would pick that kind of attitude over say, STB/DPW/Skadden.

I'd rather have one more enjoyable summer since you don't really need them to literally show you how it's going to be to have a good idea of how it's going to be.
Yeah 8 fucking thousand times this. Also I just drank the damn kool aid last summer and enjoyed it because it's gonna be in very short supply once I'm actually working there for realsies.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:16 am

Had 1L SA experience before doing 2L at CSM. It's true that the CSM working summer is unique but I think that the distinction is meaningful and not a waste of time.

Even though I generally knew associates at my non-NYC major market 1L SA firm worked hard I was still sheltered from what "working hard" did to me both physically and mentally. Sure, I listened when my 1L SA mentor told me that she billed over 2,300 hours the year prior and that it takes a toll on your personal life. But after my 1L SA experience, I told myself: "You know what? Biglaw might suck but we get paid well and I'm sure I can pull off an all-nighter every now and then—hell, I do it during finals week consistently! I'm going to be a damn good lawyer." But after having to actually pull some all-nighters and put up with my college friends calling me a "flake" during my working summer at CSM . . . I at least now have a concrete idea of what I'm getting into. Now I sit here wondering if I'm actually even capable of pulling consecutive all-nighters every other week (should I need to). It's one thing for people to tell you how bad work is and it's an entirely other thing to experience just a dose of it.

Just my experience for what it's worth.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby heythatslife » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:44 am

I'd rather just have one last relaxing summer before I commit myself to biglaw lifestyle. Y'all saying CSM working summer is good for you have Stockholm syndrome. Reminds me of an article I read some time ago, "To avoid Monday blues, start working on Sundays!"

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:50 am

heythatslife wrote:I'd rather just have one last relaxing summer before I commit myself to biglaw lifestyle. Y'all saying CSM working summer is good for you have Stockholm syndrome. Reminds me of an article I read some time ago, "To avoid Monday blues, start working on Sundays!"


E:stretchedtoothin

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:01 pm

I also summered at CSM and it completely depends on which group you are in. I was slow and barely had weekend work or late late nights. They don't treat the SA's any different from the first years. The summer was fun, there is still events and I actually learned something. We still had yacht trips, fancy lunches, Broadway plays, yda yada yada.

Would I have drank more at Kirkland or PW? Yea probably. But I didn't base my decision on that type of stuff. Also, I had a blast 3L year.

There are many reasons not to work at Cravath. Having to work over the summer is pretty far down on that list.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I also summered at CSM and it completely depends on which group you are in. I was slow and barely had weekend work or late late nights. They don't treat the SA's any different from the first years. The summer was fun, there is still events and I actually learned something. We still had yacht trips, fancy lunches, Broadway plays, yda yada yada.

Would I have drank more at Kirkland or PW? Yea probably. But I didn't base my decision on that type of stuff. Also, I had a blast 3L year.

There are many reasons not to work at Cravath. Having to work over the summer is pretty far down on that list.


Former 1L summer at a non-Cravath V10. Went in at 10, left at 6, "lunched" four times a week.

Spent more time on consulting case prep than I did on real legal work. Picked up my $31k and left for MBB the next summer, where I've happily continued.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:13 pm

There are plenty of firms where real associates work substantially less than Cravath SAs apparently do, so let's not overstate the value of getting a "real world" summer experience that objectively sucks.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:31 pm

When I hit 35+ "billable" hours for the week, the recruitment people pulled me in to ask if I was overworking myself and made sure I was still having an enjoyable experience.

You can keep your "early exposure to the real thing."

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Had 1L SA experience before doing 2L at CSM. It's true that the CSM working summer is unique but I think that the distinction is meaningful and not a waste of time.

Even though I generally knew associates at my non-NYC major market 1L SA firm worked hard I was still sheltered from what "working hard" did to me both physically and mentally. Sure, I listened when my 1L SA mentor told me that she billed over 2,300 hours the year prior and that it takes a toll on your personal life. But after my 1L SA experience, I told myself: "You know what? Biglaw might suck but we get paid well and I'm sure I can pull off an all-nighter every now and then—hell, I do it during finals week consistently! I'm going to be a damn good lawyer." But after having to actually pull some all-nighters and put up with my college friends calling me a "flake" during my working summer at CSM . . . I at least now have a concrete idea of what I'm getting into. Now I sit here wondering if I'm actually even capable of pulling consecutive all-nighters every other week (should I need to). It's one thing for people to tell you how bad work is and it's an entirely other thing to experience just a dose of it.

Just my experience for what it's worth.


I'm the original Anon that started this whole conversation. Yes, it was Cravath. And I totally agree with this poster. Also, I'm glad I got a does of the real thing, as it led me to reject my offer and seek other work.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Serett » Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:03 pm

I wonder if Cravath's recruitment team is popping champagne reading what a great job they did with "fit" last summer.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:35 pm

Serett wrote:I wonder if Cravath's recruitment team is popping champagne reading what a great job they did with "fit" last summer.


:lol:

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:23 pm

The other possible problems that seems to have led to no offers over the last couple years has been going all-in on really small practice areas without properly hedging. Something like benefits, tax, and IP transactions will only take 1-2 associates from each class, so if your personality doesn't happen to mesh with a partner, it's a bigger deal since work isn't as diversified. You'll know if this is a problem with time to correct things, but if things don't seem to be going well in those groups it's probably a good idea to branch out into general corporate or litigation work to make sure you'd still get an offer.


Does this also apply to summers recruited specifically into those practice groups?

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North
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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby North » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:01 pm

OP updated to include SA descriptions to date.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Had 1L SA experience before doing 2L at CSM. It's true that the CSM working summer is unique but I think that the distinction is meaningful and not a waste of time.

Even though I generally knew associates at my non-NYC major market 1L SA firm worked hard I was still sheltered from what "working hard" did to me both physically and mentally. Sure, I listened when my 1L SA mentor told me that she billed over 2,300 hours the year prior and that it takes a toll on your personal life. But after my 1L SA experience, I told myself: "You know what? Biglaw might suck but we get paid well and I'm sure I can pull off an all-nighter every now and then—hell, I do it during finals week consistently! I'm going to be a damn good lawyer." But after having to actually pull some all-nighters and put up with my college friends calling me a "flake" during my working summer at CSM . . . I at least now have a concrete idea of what I'm getting into. Now I sit here wondering if I'm actually even capable of pulling consecutive all-nighters every other week (should I need to). It's one thing for people to tell you how bad work is and it's an entirely other thing to experience just a dose of it.

Just my experience for what it's worth.


I'm the original Anon that started this whole conversation. Yes, it was Cravath. And I totally agree with this poster. Also, I'm glad I got a does of the real thing, as it led me to reject my offer and seek other work.


Completely agree. I was at a V100 firm my 1L summer, but at an international office location that didn't have a formal SA program, so there wasn't any wining or dining. You got to see what everyone really did everyday. There wasn't any fluff. You had to earn the work by doing good work. No obligation to waste their time to figure out meaningless work for you to do. Found out I still really enjoyed the work and the pace, so knew it was for me and am looking forward to drinking as much kool aid as I can over my 2L summer and making the best out of 3LOL b/c it's never going to be like that again.

But I do know of another classmate that also did an international law firm experience where right off the first week, he had an all-nighter. Realized he hated it so didn't even bother with OCI when he came back from his summer. And you know what, good for him. I think it's best when you see it up front and open. Yeah you can sort of get a sense of it during the summer as an SA, but it's just not the same as actually experiencing having less than 4 hours of sleep in short intervals over 2-3 days. And doing that more often than you should.

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Re: ITT: Describe your SA

Postby lawman84 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:25 pm

Mr. Blackacre wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
sublime wrote:Sounds like Cravath.

I'm also tagging to anon post later about my SA.


Why do people subject themselves to that? If they do that to you as a summer, I have to imagine things are even worse when you're an associate. :shock:


Cravath is actually much more honest than the rest of the NYC sweatshops. They are known to work you the way they would work an associate during your SA. Honestly, if I were to do NYC corporate, I'd almost rather have the firm show me how it's really going to be, and let me see how I handle it, than giving me 9-6 busy work and feeding me bs about how great and enjoyable firm life is. I can definitely see why some people would pick that kind of attitude over say, STB/DPW/Skadden.


That's the thing. Why willingly choose to work at a sweatshop like that? I just don't understand the mindset.




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