Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

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Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:42 am

Got offers from these firms, and I'm having a hard time making a decision. Help would be really appreciated!

All firms are great at something I would love to work on (Restructuring, Cap M, PE/HFs), and all feel like great fits (from what I could observe).

At this point though, I'm trying to evaluate two factors in particular: exit options (if partnership is off the table, I would like to maximize my chances of going in-house at an i-bank or HF/PE firm, or switching to Finance altogether) and likelihood of making partner (and I know the chances of that are slim wherever you go, but I'm looking for relative comparisons).

Basically, I'm trying to get a feel of which firm makes the transition out the smoothest, and which offers the most realistic partnership prospects. Any info on this front would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks a lot!

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby smaug » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:04 am

Not going to make partner at any of them. Schutle's leverage means that partnership is off the table absolutely.

Between Kirkland, Cahill, and Weil, I'd think hard about fit, because if you're trying to last long enough to have a shot at great exits, you will probably not want to hate yourself. I'd probably look hard at Kirkland and if the quality of life doesn't terrify you consider it, because it might be a bit more well-rounded than the others.

But, I'm sure someone can come in and explain why I'm wrong.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:08 am

The only reason to avoid Kirkland is if you dislike their culture. If you feel like every firm was a great fit, Kirkland is an easy choice for every practice area you mentioned.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:12 am

Poster above gets it. Kirkland associate here. If you liked the people you met and are a more outgoing person, then Kirkland.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:12 am

I know a few people who left Cahill, saying it really wasn't a good place to be, and know a person still there who will likely follow suit. I didn't pry into the details as to why, but they all said they would have avoided the firm if they could go back. They said the firm is run pretty poorly, with the partners wondering why they can't attract the very top talent by just throwing the most $$ at them, not realizing that throwing $$ at associates doesn't cure the problems in their workplace.

Of course, I have no personal knowledge, and can only report back based on stories from those who left or who will soon leave (so maybe they are just jaded and biased against the firm. I don't really know.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:20 am

I've heard cahill places the most people into banks, as bankers, and not in-house counsel. Not sure about cahill's freek market assignement system though. Seems you sink or swim as a 1st year.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:37 pm

I'm the OP. Thanks for the input!

I am leaning more towards K&E at this point. But when I hear things like Cahill placing the most people into i-banks as bankers (not a bad exit for me), and other things like the fact that the vast majority of Cahill's partners were SAs, I think twice. I'm not sure K&E could say that wrt their partners (but then maybe I'm wrong).

Schulte's attraction for me is mainly the HF work they do (sounds absolutely awesome for me in theory, but then again I've never done it so I don't really know), and the possibility that I could end up with one of their HF clients, in a legal capacity or otherwise.

Now could I do all of that out of K&E anyway (given any added prestige factor + free market system)? If that's indeed the case, then the balance tilts heavily towards K&E.

What does TLS think?

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby J90 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm the OP. Thanks for the input!

I am leaning more towards K&E at this point. But when I hear things like Cahill placing the most people into i-banks as bankers (not a bad exit for me), and other things like the fact that the vast majority of Cahill's partners were SAs, I think twice. I'm not sure K&E could say that wrt their partners (but then maybe I'm wrong).

Schulte's attraction for me is mainly the HF work they do (sounds absolutely awesome for me in theory, but then again I've never done it so I don't really know), and the possibility that I could end up with one of their HF clients, in a legal capacity or otherwise.

Now could I do all of that out of K&E anyway (given any added prestige factor + free market system)? If that's indeed the case, then the balance tilts heavily towards K&E.

What does TLS think?


Because this bears repeating: why do you think you'll be able to exit to the finance side at a hedge fund? Your expertise coming out of Schulte would be fundraising, compliance, and other legal issues as they arise. In what way is that a finance skill set? Why do you think they'll train you from the ground up? All of their other hires have been doing (surprise) finance for at least several years, plus strings of summer (surprise) finance internships throughout undergrad.

I don't know where your fascination with finance is coming from, but if that's truly what you want to exit to, the only even remotely likely option is Restructuring, and Kirkland would be your best bet.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:33 pm

From what I understand, Cahill's corporate group is largely limited to finance-related areas (think leveraged finance and securities). If that is what you want to do, go for it. But if you want to try other practice areas, go for one of the other firms. Out of the four, Kirkland probably has the most well-rounded corporate group.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:22 pm

Cahill pays a lot more for the same amount of work though.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know a few people who left Cahill, saying it really wasn't a good place to be, and know a person still there who will likely follow suit. I didn't pry into the details as to why, but they all said they would have avoided the firm if they could go back. They said the firm is run pretty poorly, with the partners wondering why they can't attract the very top talent by just throwing the most $$ at them, not realizing that throwing $$ at associates doesn't cure the problems in their workplace.

Of course, I have no personal knowledge, and can only report back based on stories from those who left or who will soon leave (so maybe they are just jaded and biased against the firm. I don't really know.


Can you expound on the firm's management? I'm considering the firm, and they sell their conservative management + bonuses as a good thing. Where did the associates exit to?

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:11 pm

Wait...huh? K&E's NY office is being picked over Weil NY? Really? Weil does almost all the things OP identified, and in many cases better. The cultures are obviously very different -- some call K&E "entrepreneurial/meritocratic" and others call it "dog-eat-dog". But not even considering culture, I think it's a pretty straightforward decision for Weil.

...unless OP wants to specialize in hedge funds, in which case go Schulte if that can be guaranteed.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby smaug » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wait...huh? K&E's NY office is being picked over Weil NY? Really? Weil does almost all the things OP identified, and in many cases better. The cultures are obviously very different -- some call K&E "entrepreneurial/meritocratic" and others call it "dog-eat-dog". But not even considering culture, I think it's a pretty straightforward decision for Weil.

...unless OP wants to specialize in hedge funds, in which case go Schulte if that can be guaranteed.

I thought they were largely peers except KE would probably be better for PE work.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby 5ky » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Cahill pays a lot more for the same amount of work though.


I wouldn't categorize it as a lot more.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:42 pm

5ky wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cahill pays a lot more for the same amount of work though.


I wouldn't categorize it as a lot more.



How much more is it as a 1st year? How would you guys compare Cahill to Cadwalader, Fried Frank, or Seward & Kissel?

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby 5ky » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
5ky wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cahill pays a lot more for the same amount of work though.


I wouldn't categorize it as a lot more.



How much more is it as a 1st year? How would you guys compare Cahill to Cadwalader, Fried Frank, or Seward & Kissel?


i think usually around an extra $10k a year for your first year or two, so about $6 after taxes. it's more for sure, and a nice little perk if you wanted to work there to begin with, but its not a massive difference.

i got an offer there back in the day but didn't love the vibe i felt there so i didn't really consider it, but i don't profess to be an expert on cahill.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby igo2northwestern » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:10 am

smaug wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wait...huh? K&E's NY office is being picked over Weil NY? Really? Weil does almost all the things OP identified, and in many cases better. The cultures are obviously very different -- some call K&E "entrepreneurial/meritocratic" and others call it "dog-eat-dog". But not even considering culture, I think it's a pretty straightforward decision for Weil.

...unless OP wants to specialize in hedge funds, in which case go Schulte if that can be guaranteed.

I thought they were largely peers except KE would probably be better for PE work.

For NY? If the comparison was to KE Chicago, I'd agree -- largely an apples to oranges comparison there. But if we're looking at NY offices, I'd think Weil has a more substantial presence. Not sure why Cahill and Schulte are in the equation given OP's goals.

OP, if you're looking at general corporate exits from a NY firm, I'd recommend Weil. You also mentioned that an objective of yours is to make partner, and just to make sure you're aware, KE has a non-equity partner track -- I know there's talk about eliminating the non-equity partner titles, so current KE folks can weigh in here. But if it still exists, that might be something to consider. That said, I think most recruiters are aware that non-equity partner is essentially = senior associate at other firms.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:33 am

If you're interested in M&A and restructuring, you should choose between Weil and KE. Their NY offices are both Elite Band 1 for restructuring and Elite Band 2 for M&A on Chambers.

The people at both firms are similar: sociable, less awkward/nerdy than people at other top firms. Exit opportunities will be very similar from both.

The biggest difference is that Weil will place you into a certain group, while at KE you can work in different practice areas at once (i.e., be on an IPO and an LBO simultaneously). Which system appeals to you is a personal choice.

KE will pay you more, but it's not a big difference for first years, maybe an extra $5k or so.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:38 pm

Would also point out that Kirkland's NY office is growing really quickly which helps with partnership prospects. And while I can't speak for other offices, the "dog-eat-dog" reputation couldn't be farther from the truth in NY - more than enough work to go around, nobody is sitting around trying to take work from each other. I would say that it comes down to personal preference - Kirkland is generally much more informal and efficiency-focused than its peers, which applies to the work as well as the interpersonal relationships at the firm.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:44 pm

My two cents:

Weil - great firm, gotten some dings past few years but growing its M&A/PE practice extremely well. Restructuring is obviously a key strength and certainly the most "well-established" of these firms in NYC.

Cahill - leading debt finance shop - probably the most direct path from here to an investment bank of any of the firms if you're doing capital markets. Heavily leveraged but generally busy enough to make up for it.

Schulte - leading HF shop. Lots of folks go from here to in-house roles at hedge funds, etc.

K&E - strong nationwide brand name, not as strong in NYC. very sharp elbows all around. famously throwing lots of $ at senior partners (with wide ranges of success). interesting spot, though a bit scary in my view.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know a few people who left Cahill, saying it really wasn't a good place to be, and know a person still there who will likely follow suit. I didn't pry into the details as to why, but they all said they would have avoided the firm if they could go back. They said the firm is run pretty poorly, with the partners wondering why they can't attract the very top talent by just throwing the most $$ at them, not realizing that throwing $$ at associates doesn't cure the problems in their workplace.

Of course, I have no personal knowledge, and can only report back based on stories from those who left or who will soon leave (so maybe they are just jaded and biased against the firm. I don't really know.


Totally disagree with this being Cahill's MO. I know a lot of people who love Cahill and have been there many years. It's also one of the firms rated on Vault as having the happiest and most satisfied lawyers along with the best firm cultures, which is indicative of the fact that the above experiences are not the norm.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know a few people who left Cahill, saying it really wasn't a good place to be, and know a person still there who will likely follow suit. I didn't pry into the details as to why, but they all said they would have avoided the firm if they could go back. They said the firm is run pretty poorly, with the partners wondering why they can't attract the very top talent by just throwing the most $$ at them, not realizing that throwing $$ at associates doesn't cure the problems in their workplace.

Of course, I have no personal knowledge, and can only report back based on stories from those who left or who will soon leave (so maybe they are just jaded and biased against the firm. I don't really know.


Totally disagree with this being Cahill's MO. I know a lot of people who love Cahill and have been there many years. It's also one of the firms rated on Vault as having the happiest and most satisfied lawyers along with the best firm cultures, which is indicative of the fact that the above experiences are not the norm.


To be fair, I sort of figured I was only hearing from biased sources (i.e. jaded people who had either left or were looking to leave). Any place will have dissatisfied associates, but that's not necessarily representative, of course.

Though the internal firm confusion re why they can't cherry pick the top students given their super high bonus structure is seemingly true, as my friends said this was commonly known well before they became dissatisfied with Cahill.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:32 pm

Schulte has a serious revolving door with HFs coming from the Investment Management department after even one year of experience. In this market, the demand is extremely high with people leaving a bit earlier than most partners seem content with.

It should be noted you won't be gaining business side experience, you will be doing fund formation work. But if your goal is to exit and work with hedge funds, SRZ is perfect for that.

The work -- and thus the exit options -- basically all stems from the relationships the firm has with prominent hedge funds and the industry in general.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:44 pm

SRZ is the emperor of hedge funds. Why would you go anywhere else.

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Re: Kirkland v. Cahill v. Schulte v. Weil (ALL NY)

Postby 5ky » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:04 pm

Fund formation work is so boring



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