OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

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OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:50 pm

Hey all, I'm putting together a bid list for OCI and would really appreciate any input on firms I should add or reorder based on my preferences. Any insights beyond what I've found on Vault, Chambers, etc. would be awesome.

I'm in the top ~10-15% at HLS so no bid is going to be too unreasonable and it'll mostly come down to my interviewing skills. I'm bidding NYC and DC.

I'm definitely interested in litigation rather than transactional work. I'm interested in potentially doing appellate lit if I manage to get an appellate clerkship and break into that world, but also have interests in antitrust and general litigation. Some strong lit firms on my list are a little lower if they really don't have any appellate practice or if they appeared to me to not meet my other criteria:

Things I'm into:
-Prestige and selectivity
-Firms that cater to introverted personalities (probably less fratty)
-Firms that are collaborative and collegial - I really want to make close friends at work - I think this also means a preference for smaller firms
-Strong litigation groups + firms that actually care about their litigation groups
-Relatively tolerable hours and work-life balance (but this is BigLaw, so it's hard for this to be a huge factor)
-Decent partnership prospects - I think I'll want to just stay at law firms forever
-I'm a highly liberal person, so maybe a very slight preference for liberal firms

My current list (true preferences, not strategic bidding):

Cravath
Williams and Connolly
Gibson NY
Skadden NY
S&C NY
Kirkland & Ellis NY
Covington DC
Wachtell
Boies NY
Gibson DC
Latham DC
Wilmer DC
Paul, Weiss NY
Davis Polk NY
Simpson Thacher NY
Cleary NY
Debevoise NY
Ropes NY
Paul Hastings NY
Arnold and Porter DC
Sidney NY
Jones Day DC

[I do have some safeties I'll be throwing in, but didn't include here]

Any and all input is appreciated! Please let me know if you think there are certain resources or firms I should look further into.

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Mullens

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Mullens » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:04 pm

Go post in the HLS EIP thread. You'll get more responses

ETA: Cravath being at the top of your list seems like a very strange choice minus their recent rise to the top of Vault (which is really about transactional/corporate prestige).

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:16 pm

Mullens wrote:Go post in the HLS EIP thread. You'll get more responses

ETA: Cravath being at the top of your list seems like a very strange choice minus their recent rise to the top of Vault (which is really about transactional/corporate prestige).


Thank you - I'll do that. Thought I'd post in a general forum because I don't really need any HLS-specific advice and I'm hoping people who've actually worked at some of these firms might be able to chime in with interesting insights.

Cravath ranks 3, 8, 9, and 14 in securities, general commercial, antitrust, and appellate lit on Vault, so that combined with its overall prestige and selectivity are what led me to put it up there (also the rotation + lockstep system). But didn't realize the overall Vault boost was from their transactional side, so thanks, I'll scrutinize that decision.

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby favabeansoup » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
-Relatively tolerable hours and work-life balance (but this is BigLaw, so it's hard for this to be a huge factor)
-Decent partnership prospects - I think I'll want to just stay at law firms forever
-I'm a highly liberal person, so maybe a very slight preference for liberal firms



Normally I'm not a Debbie downer, so first off, you are 10-15% at HLS, you will get nearly any job you want and be perfectly fine. You will have several offers from many, many of the places on your list.

But you need to be reasonable. No place on that list will give you any work-life balance. You will be gunning for 2000+ hours minimum, much more so if you want any shot at the unlikely partnership chance (Cravath made 2 partners in 2015, as an example). Especially if litigation focused, you are likely to go biglaw --> partnership at smaller firm/gov work --->maybe back to biglaw partner if prestigious enough gov job. No firm is "liberal" really either. Individual partners may be more or less conservative/liberal, but it's not like it's a firm culture thing to say X firm is liberal (and would probably be bad for clients if they did). All firms will be LGBT/minority friendly for diversity reasons.

I see a distinct lack of litigation boutiques on here as well. Any particular reason for that? You might get the best of everything there. A firm that really cares about its litigation, better partnership chances, and smaller more collegial environment.

Again though, 10-15% at HLS virtually guarantees you some NYC/DC biglaw job, so you will have your pick.

Also don't use Vault to rank your decisions. Vault ranking is basically only "rank this firm in terms of prestige 1-10". Go to http://www.chambersandpartners.com/guide/usa/5 for a much better run down of ranking of firms by practice group.

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Clemenceau

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Clemenceau » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:40 pm

Where are like Kellogg, Keker, Susman, Horvitz etc etc.? Granted I know next to nothing about elite lit, but aren't those the kind of places someone with your preferences should be looking?

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:07 pm

favabeansoup wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
-Relatively tolerable hours and work-life balance (but this is BigLaw, so it's hard for this to be a huge factor)
-Decent partnership prospects - I think I'll want to just stay at law firms forever
-I'm a highly liberal person, so maybe a very slight preference for liberal firms



Normally I'm not a Debbie downer, so first off, you are 10-15% at HLS, you will get nearly any job you want and be perfectly fine. You will have several offers from many, many of the places on your list.

But you need to be reasonable. No place on that list will give you any work-life balance. You will be gunning for 2000+ hours minimum, much more so if you want any shot at the unlikely partnership chance (Cravath made 2 partners in 2015, as an example). Especially if litigation focused, you are likely to go biglaw --> partnership at smaller firm/gov work --->maybe back to biglaw partner if prestigious enough gov job. No firm is "liberal" really either. Individual partners may be more or less conservative/liberal, but it's not like it's a firm culture thing to say X firm is liberal (and would probably be bad for clients if they did). All firms will be LGBT/minority friendly for diversity reasons.

I see a distinct lack of litigation boutiques on here as well. Any particular reason for that? You might get the best of everything there. A firm that really cares about its litigation, better partnership chances, and smaller more collegial environment.

Again though, 10-15% at HLS virtually guarantees you some NYC/DC biglaw job, so you will have your pick.

Also don't use Vault to rank your decisions. Vault ranking is basically only "rank this firm in terms of prestige 1-10". Go to http://www.chambersandpartners.com/guide/usa/5 for a much better run down of ranking of firms by practice group.


Thanks for the feedback! Yea I figured I was probably over-relying on Vault. I hadn't really looked into litigation boutiques because in my mind boutiques were a place you could go after gaining some experience in a larger firm, or perhaps out of a prestigious clerkship. Definitely going to do some more research on which ones come to campus. I'm definitely closer to the 15% mark than the 10% mark though, so I'm not sure if I'll be quite competitive enough for elite lit boutiques which seem to want people with appellate level clerkships (which I might get if I'm lucky, but I'm kind of on the line + disadvantages like being K-JD and a non-citizen which comes with paperwork for the judge).

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:31 pm

Clemenceau wrote:Where are like Kellogg, Keker, Susman, Horvitz etc etc.? Granted I know next to nothing about elite lit, but aren't those the kind of places someone with your preferences should be looking?


Thanks- I definitely neglected to look into boutiques. They might be reaches for me though, and it doesn't seem like all that many NY/DC lit boutiques come to OCI (of the ones you named it seems like only Susman is on the East Coast and at OCI).

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Clemenceau

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Clemenceau » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Clemenceau wrote:Where are like Kellogg, Keker, Susman, Horvitz etc etc.? Granted I know next to nothing about elite lit, but aren't those the kind of places someone with your preferences should be looking?


Thanks- I definitely neglected to look into boutiques. They might be reaches for me though, and it doesn't seem like all that many NY/DC lit boutiques come to OCI (of the ones you named it seems like only Susman is on the East Coast and at OCI).


Gotcha. Yeah I really don't have any idea about whether they attend OCIs/have summer programs. You're likely right that many of those are looking for people at least coming off clerkships already.

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:11 pm

@ PW so am biased, but I think it's closer to what you're looking for in New York, relative to the firms you have ranked above it. Focused first and foremost on lit, does not force you into a certain practice area or rotation within litigation, has a comparatively diverse lit practice (though the focus is not as much on appellate, but it's NYC), is laid-back and low-key socially, and has as brazenly (politically) liberal a culture as any other biglaw firm. Can't say the same about Cravath/Skadden/S&C/etc. w/r/t most of those criteria.

But these firms are all pretty much the same exact thing. Just do what feels right after the dust settles.

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby polareagle » Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the feedback! Yea I figured I was probably over-relying on Vault. I hadn't really looked into litigation boutiques because in my mind boutiques were a place you could go after gaining some experience in a larger firm, or perhaps out of a prestigious clerkship. Definitely going to do some more research on which ones come to campus. I'm definitely closer to the 15% mark than the 10% mark though, so I'm not sure if I'll be quite competitive enough for elite lit boutiques which seem to want people with appellate level clerkships (which I might get if I'm lucky, but I'm kind of on the line + disadvantages like being K-JD and a non-citizen which comes with paperwork for the judge).


Just FYI, there's a little more to it than paperwork. My understanding is that non-citizens are not allowed to serve as paid term clerks for federal judges in the continental United States. (Leaving Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico along with the non-Article III territorial courts.) States vary widely, and I know some states do allow non-citizen clerks. You should look into this more before getting dead-set on American appellate lit. OCS has more on their website somewhere and OSCAR has info here.

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby PeanutsNJam » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:34 am

I am very confused why Wachtell is so low. It hits all your requirements. I'd do Wachtell, W&C, and MTO (if you're not averse to Cali), Keker, and Susman. I don't think the other boutiques do summer programs. You should also be going for a DC/2 CoA feeder judge and gun for SCOTUS if you aren't already.

You should get all the other firms on your list as long as you don't use a racial slur more than twice.

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Re: OCI bid list: Request for criticisms and suggestions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:27 pm

Since you are clearly still inside the law school bubble, some advice from a practicing lawyer: don't make a (somewhat) major life decision based on the alleged prestige/selectivity of the firms you listed. In the real world there may be a difference between a V20 and V100 BigLaw firm, but there is literally no distinction between the firms you listed in your OP. They are all prestigious and selective, nobody cares what "ranking" Cravath has in the Vault survey. Believe me, by 6 months after graduation you will not care either.

Decide what market you want to live in, the type of work you want to do, and the firm culture you want to work in.



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