Question About Vault Rankings

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Question About Vault Rankings

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:07 am

Why do people care so much about Vault rankings? Does this even matter at all?

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:48 am

Yes. Who wants to work at a no ranking firm without prestige? My mom would not approve.

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jbagelboy

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:02 am

no they don't rly matter at all

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:55 am

Vault is just a way of finding "biglaw" law firms, much like people would use AmLaw/NLJ/Chambers or a host of other rankings. Most large full service firms will be in Vault, but a lot will come down to what kind of law and where you want to practice, since IIRC Vault is very NY-heavy. For instance, Fenwick is ranked in the 70s on Vault but is a pretty well-respected firm in California/SV, where it originates from. Fish is in the 60s, but is a top IP firm. Schulte is in the 80s, but has a top hedge fund practice. That isn't to say there isn't a difference between Cravath and Kellog, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, but generally speaking you shouldn't use it to guide your career decisions if you have a good idea of what you want to practice. You're better off looking at Chambers and Partners for a better idea of top practices and gauging that based on where you want to practice. Vault does weakly correlate with grade selectivity, though, in that V20s will be more grade snobby whereas V100s will be more personality-selective, but it depends on a lot of things in the end.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby run26.2 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:Vault is just a way of finding "biglaw" law firms, much like people would use AmLaw/NLJ/Chambers or a host of other rankings. Most large full service firms will be in Vault, but a lot will come down to what kind of law and where you want to practice, since IIRC Vault is very NY-heavy. For instance, Fenwick is ranked in the 70s on Vault but is a pretty well-respected firm in California/SV, where it originates from. Fish is in the 60s, but is a top IP firm. Schulte is in the 80s, but has a top hedge fund practice. That isn't to say there isn't a difference between Cravath and Kellog, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, but generally speaking you shouldn't use it to guide your career decisions if you have a good idea of what you want to practice. You're better off looking at Chambers and Partners for a better idea of top practices and gauging that based on where you want to practice. Vault does weakly correlate with grade selectivity, though, in that V20s will be more grade snobby whereas V100s will be more personality-selective, but it depends on a lot of things in the end.

While some ideas in this post aren't entirely off-base, the comparison between Cravath and "Kellog, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel" (or, as most people familiar with the firm would refer to as "Kellogg Huber") is a bad example for the point you are trying to make. In terms of credentials required to get a job at the firm, Kellogg Huber is more selective than Cravath, and I could see an argument for them being peers in terms of litigation practices. In the end, though, this only demonstrates the overall point, which is that a firm's Vault ranking isn't a good metric for making a career decision.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby smaug » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:27 am

lmao at the notion that Cravath is anywhere near Kellogg Huber in lit

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby runinthefront » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:51 am

smaug wrote:lmao at the notion that Cravath is anywhere near Kellogg Huber in lit

Or selectivity, or compensation . . .


What a bad example.
Last edited by runinthefront on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:35 am

run26.2 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Vault is just a way of finding "biglaw" law firms, much like people would use AmLaw/NLJ/Chambers or a host of other rankings. Most large full service firms will be in Vault, but a lot will come down to what kind of law and where you want to practice, since IIRC Vault is very NY-heavy. For instance, Fenwick is ranked in the 70s on Vault but is a pretty well-respected firm in California/SV, where it originates from. Fish is in the 60s, but is a top IP firm. Schulte is in the 80s, but has a top hedge fund practice. That isn't to say there isn't a difference between Cravath and Kellog, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, but generally speaking you shouldn't use it to guide your career decisions if you have a good idea of what you want to practice. You're better off looking at Chambers and Partners for a better idea of top practices and gauging that based on where you want to practice. Vault does weakly correlate with grade selectivity, though, in that V20s will be more grade snobby whereas V100s will be more personality-selective, but it depends on a lot of things in the end.

While some ideas in this post aren't entirely off-base, the comparison between Cravath and "Kellog, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel" (or, as most people familiar with the firm would refer to as "Kellogg Huber") is a bad example for the point you are trying to make. In terms of credentials required to get a job at the firm, Kellogg Huber is more selective than Cravath, and I could see an argument for them being peers in terms of litigation practices. In the end, though, this only demonstrates the overall point, which is that a firm's Vault ranking isn't a good metric for making a career decision.


Ahh my bad. I was going to use Troutman or Stroock as the extreme other end to Cravath, but both no longer appear to be in the V100. Stroock at least has some decent practice areas, though (I think bankruptcy?), which again demonstrates the limitation of Vault as a guide for OCI. My experience is that Chambers and Partners is probably the best resource out there, short of just asking attorneys in your practice area of interest.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby heythatslife » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:46 am

smaug wrote:lmao at the notion that Cravath is anywhere near Kellogg Huber in lit

Yeah this illustrates exactly why reliance on Vault is dangerous

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby Toni V » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:06 am

One obvious upside is the major lateraling advantages. Plus, increased income via the lockstep salary mentality that exists with most V firms (as recently seen).

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby TLSModBot » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:20 am

Toni V wrote:One obvious upside is the major lateraling advantages. Plus, increased income via the lockstep salary mentality that exists with most V firms (as recently seen).
It isn't the vault ranking that's primarily driving either of those things. No firm is saying "Well shit candidate A has relevant experience at a firm specifically known for the type of work we're hiring but candidate B is from a firm 3 notches up the ole Vault Rankings what do we do?" Nor are firms looking at their nearest Vault rank people for cues as to whether they need to move on compensation/bonuses (AmLaw and who their actual competition in markets/practice areas are better gauges of this and both operate on, y'know, actually objective metrics rather than what random midlevel attorneys think of firms they don't work at).

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby TLSModBot » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:20 am

Basically just this:

jbagelboy wrote:no they don't rly matter at all


We get a lot of these threads throughout the year. Can we just sticky a locked thread that reads "NO, VAULT RANKINGS DON'T MATTER. EVER." ?

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby run26.2 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:16 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:Basically just this:

jbagelboy wrote:no they don't rly matter at all


We get a lot of these threads throughout the year. Can we just sticky a locked thread that reads "NO, VAULT RANKINGS DON'T MATTER. EVER." ?

Its not that they dont matter for anything--try telling they dont matter to law firm partners. Partners know that there is some marketing value in the rankings. But they are not a good basis for chosing to work at a firm on the list.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby iamgeorgebush » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:01 pm

I mean,
Capitol_Idea wrote:Basically just this:

jbagelboy wrote:no they don't rly matter at all


We get a lot of these threads throughout the year. Can we just sticky a locked thread that reads "NO, VAULT RANKINGS DON'T MATTER. EVER." ?

This is a bit extreme. Vault rankings are a proxy. Like most proxies, they are imperfect, but to say that the rankings do not matter because they are imperfect proves too much. Chambers & Partners, anecdotal evidence from practicing attorneys, and all the other measures that others have proposed in this thread are imperfect. But if we were to disregard them all, we would be left with nothing on which to base our decisions.

The better way to look at things is to recognize that Vault rankings are but one measure to take into account along with several others, including Chambers rankings, advice from practicing attorneys, advice from friends and family, and one's gut feeling after callbacks and second looks.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby TLSModBot » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:13 pm

Vault rankings are literally, LITERALLY, entirely based on surveys received from associates at these firms (and associates can't rank their own firm, I believe). So no, some random Reed Smith associate who knows fuck-all about Wachtell isn't really qualified to remark on its quality in literally any capacity (work-life balance, strength of practices, etc.).

18,000 associates responded to the Vault surveys, ranking these other 99 firms on scales of 1-10. Even if we assume that every single associate has lateraled twice and in their time has worked extensively with 10 other firms (all of these assumptions are incredibly generous, by the way), that gives them experience at 12 firms, and only from their perspective of being a junior/midlevel associate in a particular office, in a particular practice area. That is ~200K dubiously qualified opinions out of 1.78 Million total.



So do tell me how this is meaningfully relevant to anyone

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:21 pm

heythatslife wrote:
smaug wrote:lmao at the notion that Cravath is anywhere near Kellogg Huber in lit

Yeah this illustrates exactly why reliance on Vault is dangerous

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby star fox » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:29 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:Vault rankings are literally, LITERALLY, entirely based on surveys received from associates at these firms (and associates can't rank their own firm, I believe). So no, some random Reed Smith associate who knows fuck-all about Wachtell isn't really qualified to remark on its quality in literally any capacity (work-life balance, strength of practices, etc.).

18,000 associates responded to the Vault surveys, ranking these other 99 firms on scales of 1-10. Even if we assume that every single associate has lateraled twice and in their time has worked extensively with 10 other firms (all of these assumptions are incredibly generous, by the way), that gives them experience at 12 firms, and only from their perspective of being a junior/midlevel associate in a particular office, in a particular practice area. That is ~200K dubiously qualified opinions out of 1.78 Million total.



So do tell me how this is meaningfully relevant to anyone

It's just a rough proxy for prestige which is a self-perpetuating thing.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby AndroidLawyer » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:47 pm

I know that the Vault rankings are meaningless, but my question is why I always see on TLS people saying that they want to get into a certain ranked firm? Such as people saying they want to get into a V10, a V50, etc.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby 2014 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:06 pm

The minutiae is meaningless but they are an OK proxy for breadth of corporate practice, which is not meaningless. Chambers is better but still imperfect.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby TLSModBot » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:10 pm

AndroidLawyer wrote:I know that the Vault rankings are meaningless, but my question is why I always see on TLS people saying that they want to get into a certain ranked firm? Such as people saying they want to get into a V10, a V50, etc.
It is a rough rough proxy of prestige as others have said upthread. It can't really help you distinguish between individual firms but it gives people roughly an idea of the caliber of firm people are discussing. Alternatively, it's a way for people to talk about their firm without giving away the name.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby run26.2 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:04 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:Vault rankings are literally, LITERALLY, entirely based on surveys received from associates at these firms (and associates can't rank their own firm, I believe). So no, some random Reed Smith associate who knows fuck-all about Wachtell isn't really qualified to remark on its quality in literally any capacity (work-life balance, strength of practices, etc.).

18,000 associates responded to the Vault surveys, ranking these other 99 firms on scales of 1-10. Even if we assume that every single associate has lateraled twice and in their time has worked extensively with 10 other firms (all of these assumptions are incredibly generous, by the way), that gives them experience at 12 firms, and only from their perspective of being a junior/midlevel associate in a particular office, in a particular practice area. That is ~200K dubiously qualified opinions out of 1.78 Million total.



So do tell me how this is meaningfully relevant to anyone

You don't have to rank all the firms. It is acknowledged there are problems with the ranking. But it is a measure of the prestige of the firms, as assigned by associates at other firms. Lawyers are obsessed with prestige and with ranking things. Hence the staying power.

What is it relevant to? IDK lawyers standing around with other lawyers at a cocktail party. Who cares. People pat themselves on the back if there firm moves up and feel good about themselves.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby smaug » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:09 pm

yeah not really though

the list of exceptions is as long as the list of firms that vault seems to get right...

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby run26.2 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:21 pm

That it is inaccurate != that it is irrelevant != that it should make a meaningful contribution to someone's decision to go to a firm. I've said my piece. Feel free to disagree.

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby TLSModBot » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:27 pm

"Saying that eating cat shit is categorically bad proves too much. Just because it is not composed of matter fit for human consumption and the vast majority of people find it revolting doesn't mean it can't form a small but meaningful part of a human diet"

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Re: Question About Vault Rankings

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:09 pm

Just curious why Kellogg is voted by associates to be so low in the vault ranks when everybody knows they are ultra selective and preftigious. Also Susman, Keker, etc. Also MTO & W&C. Is it 100% associate votes? Do most associates really think Skadden >>>>>> W&C in "prestige"?



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