Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

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Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:34 pm

Leaning litigation fairly strongly, but I don't want to tie myself to anything until I've experienced it next summer. If i do pursue lit, my dream would be a AUSA or DoJ position. Although I wouldn't want to close myself off to a potential in-house position (I know, harder to get) or moving to another firm. Don't really know what I want to do in terms of lit practice area, potentially securities or antitrust. Maybe white-collar. Again, could end up doing transactional work if I fall in love with it.

As much as I liked the people at Akin (and despite its stronger vault rankings), it seems like both Willkie and Milbank would be a better choice in terms of my practice area. Willkie's vault ranking makes me nervous in terms of prestige/portability, but it seems to be better ranked in almost everything aside from general commercial lit. I understand Milbank is trying to grow its lit departments, is that reason enough coupled with its generally higher ranking to choose it?

Anyone know much about the exit options at the firms? Planning on going to the offer dinners but I mostly use that as a way to gauge culture because they're never going to say exit options are terrible.

I intend on clerking if I can nab one (top 1/3 CCN and planning to improve - so hopefully) which would impact my decision on the lit/transactional divide. Willkie also seems to be better ranked in Corp work, although Milbank has better banking/finance (honestly, unsure of the differences here). Fwiw, the Milbank people have been much better than the Willkie people about outreach post-offer.

Any insight would be great :D

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Re: Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:59 am

Bump! Not OP, but in eerily similar position.

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Re: Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:14 pm

I had both offers from Willkie and Akin Gump and went with Willkie. For me, being in the headquarters office was pretty important. I felt like the quality of the work you would do there would be superior, and I was worried that being in a satellite office (especially such a new satellite office) would mean that I would be working more to assist attorneys in other offices. Willkie is also a brand name in New York and has had a very strong presence there, whereas Akin, like I said, is still pretty recent to the market and seems to be more focused in other places (like Texas). I do think regardless that the work you would be doing at Willkie would be superior to that at Akin, and if you're looking to stay in New York in particular Willkie would make more sense.

For what it's worth, too, part of my hesitation with choosing Willkie was also that they hadn't really done any outreach to me post-offer (unlike some of the other firms I got offers from, Akin included). But I talked to career services and they basically said not to focus too much on that; all the firms you get offers from want you. And I knew of Willkie's reputation for the quality of people, and for what it's worth that definitely turned out to be true from my experience so far. I made a lot of friends in my summer class and the attorneys I worked for were all really great.

I didn't interview at all with Milbank, so I obviously can't speak to them, but I do know of them being more corporate-focused but not sure how that would factor into your decision. Feel free to reply with any more questions and best of luck with the decision! It's never easy but you've got some great options, so congrats.

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Re: Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Leaning litigation fairly strongly, but I don't want to tie myself to anything until I've experienced it next summer. If i do pursue lit, my dream would be a AUSA or DoJ position. Although I wouldn't want to close myself off to a potential in-house position (I know, harder to get) or moving to another firm. Don't really know what I want to do in terms of lit practice area, potentially securities or antitrust. Maybe white-collar. Again, could end up doing transactional work if I fall in love with it.

As much as I liked the people at Akin (and despite its stronger vault rankings), it seems like both Willkie and Milbank would be a better choice in terms of my practice area. Willkie's vault ranking makes me nervous in terms of prestige/portability, but it seems to be better ranked in almost everything aside from general commercial lit. I understand Milbank is trying to grow its lit departments, is that reason enough coupled with its generally higher ranking to choose it?

Anyone know much about the exit options at the firms? Planning on going to the offer dinners but I mostly use that as a way to gauge culture because they're never going to say exit options are terrible.

I intend on clerking if I can nab one (top 1/3 CCN and planning to improve - so hopefully) which would impact my decision on the lit/transactional divide. Willkie also seems to be better ranked in Corp work, although Milbank has better banking/finance (honestly, unsure of the differences here). Fwiw, the Milbank people have been much better than the Willkie people about outreach post-offer.

Any insight would be great :D


Corp, so take w a grain of salt, but I think all 3 will do you more than fine. Take a look at the NY offices' chambers rankings for a better sense than vault - each has a strong litigation department (better in some areas than others).

Exit options for litigators are "eh" everywhere. Go where you clicked the best and you'll be fine.

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Re: Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:I had both offers from Willkie and Akin Gump and went with Willkie. For me, being in the headquarters office was pretty important. I felt like the quality of the work you would do there would be superior, and I was worried that being in a satellite office (especially such a new satellite office) would mean that I would be working more to assist attorneys in other offices. Willkie is also a brand name in New York and has had a very strong presence there, whereas Akin, like I said, is still pretty recent to the market and seems to be more focused in other places (like Texas). I do think regardless that the work you would be doing at Willkie would be superior to that at Akin, and if you're looking to stay in New York in particular Willkie would make more sense.

For what it's worth, too, part of my hesitation with choosing Willkie was also that they hadn't really done any outreach to me post-offer (unlike some of the other firms I got offers from, Akin included). But I talked to career services and they basically said not to focus too much on that; all the firms you get offers from want you. And I knew of Willkie's reputation for the quality of people, and for what it's worth that definitely turned out to be true from my experience so far. I made a lot of friends in my summer class and the attorneys I worked for were all really great.

I didn't interview at all with Milbank, so I obviously can't speak to them, but I do know of them being more corporate-focused but not sure how that would factor into your decision. Feel free to reply with any more questions and best of luck with the decision! It's never easy but you've got some great options, so congrats.


Thanks for this! Your line of reasoning seems very similar to how I'm feeling right now.

Tbh, as you mentioned, Willkie's outreach is distinctly worse than Milbanks which concerns me a bit but probably isn't reflective as the attorneys/firm as a whole. My one (and probably silly) concern is Willkie's Vault rank compared to Milbank/Akin, but it seems like at the very least it outperforms its rank in NYC, especially in the areas its good at.

-OP

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Re: Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:08 am

WFG midlevel lit associate here:

You can't really go wrong with either firm. I will say that you should be looking more at Chambers rankings for practice areas and Amlaw for general firm health/financial metrics. I remember placing stock in the Vault rankings when I was in law school - even a few years out it just seems so ridiculous.

Vault is not going to tell you anything useful about exit options - those depend on where the firm's clients are concentrated and the type of work that you are exposed to. WFG/Milbank probably overlap with most of their client base in terms of industries (lots of financial firms/funds, some blue chip clients, international work through the foreign offices), so I can't imagine the exit options are considerably different.

WFG has a strong white collar/securities group, but then again so does Milbank. One thing you may want to consider is how much antitrust is integrated into the lit department - our antitrust group is somewhat of a subgroup within litigation, so as a junior lit associate you'll have the opportunity to work on antitrust matters but also securities/white collar.

Feel free to ask any questions, although I don't know enough about Milbank to give you good advice on what it's like to work there.

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Re: Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:WFG midlevel lit associate here:

You can't really go wrong with either firm. I will say that you should be looking more at Chambers rankings for practice areas and Amlaw for general firm health/financial metrics. I remember placing stock in the Vault rankings when I was in law school - even a few years out it just seems so ridiculous.

Vault is not going to tell you anything useful about exit options - those depend on where the firm's clients are concentrated and the type of work that you are exposed to. WFG/Milbank probably overlap with most of their client base in terms of industries (lots of financial firms/funds, some blue chip clients, international work through the foreign offices), so I can't imagine the exit options are considerably different.

WFG has a strong white collar/securities group, but then again so does Milbank. One thing you may want to consider is how much antitrust is integrated into the lit department - our antitrust group is somewhat of a subgroup within litigation, so as a junior lit associate you'll have the opportunity to work on antitrust matters but also securities/white collar.

Feel free to ask any questions, although I don't know enough about Milbank to give you good advice on what it's like to work there.


Thanks for this! Makes me feel a lot better about making a choice. So far I'm leaning toward Willkie (seemed to like the culture/people there more notwithstanding the not-so-great recruitment outreach) but planning on going to events at both firms next week to get a better sense. Are there any particular metrics that're useful on Amlaw for checking health? Willkie seems to have weathered the last recession pretty well.

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Re: Willkie v. Milbank v. Akin (All NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:04 pm

Again, these are imperfect metrics, but make sure PPP and RPL are not severely out-of-whack - either with each or with other firms in that firm's general band/location. Generally, you'll find the the huge and large NY firms have been posting monster numbers over the last couple of years. Stable PPP, low RPL might equal room to cut. Whether headcount is increasing or decreasing is also important, obviously if a firm's numbers are high or stable because it just fired 10 associates or had a bunch of partners leave is not a great thing.



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