Bay Area Firm Culture

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone speak to the culture at White & Case or S&C SV? both pretty small offices.

I have a friend who works in W&C. A couple of observations.

1.They don't have a lot of work right now. This means that they are not making hours. However...
2. They are also expected to do a lot of bullshit nonbillable work - ie client development. There is a cap on how much client dev can be billed. This friend is forced to do a shitload of work and is not getting credit for it.
3. They seem to have more of a free market system in SV. You need to be good at saying no. My friend is not and as a result she gets stuck with all this bullshit client dev work.
4. They are a tiny office. As a result, you may be forced to do work that does not interest you. My friend is a litigator and so far she has been working mostly in corporate and antitrust.
5. My friend is miserable.


This is interesting. I'm doing 2L summer callbacks now and part of the reason I don't want to go back to my 1L firm is seeing firsthand how miserable it is when a group isn't making hours.

Does anybody know if any of the other SV satellite offices (think the V10/V15 firms) have had similar hours issues in the corporate groups?

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone speak to the culture at White & Case or S&C SV? both pretty small offices.

I have a friend who works in W&C. A couple of observations.

1.They don't have a lot of work right now. This means that they are not making hours. However...
2. They are also expected to do a lot of bullshit nonbillable work - ie client development. There is a cap on how much client dev can be billed. This friend is forced to do a shitload of work and is not getting credit for it.
3. They seem to have more of a free market system in SV. You need to be good at saying no. My friend is not and as a result she gets stuck with all this bullshit client dev work.
4. They are a tiny office. As a result, you may be forced to do work that does not interest you. My friend is a litigator and so far she has been working mostly in corporate and antitrust.
5. My friend is miserable.


This is interesting. I'm doing 2L summer callbacks now and part of the reason I don't want to go back to my 1L firm is seeing firsthand how miserable it is when a group isn't making hours.

Does anybody know if any of the other SV satellite offices (think the V10/V15 firms) have had similar hours issues in the corporate groups?


Skadden PA is getting a LOT of work right now.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:36 pm

Mr. Fancy wrote:KE SF, like all KE offices and other firms that focus on PE work, is a grind house. A specific type of person chooses/"thrives" in that environment.


What kind of personality would thrive there

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone speak to the culture at White & Case or S&C SV? both pretty small offices.

I have a friend who works in W&C. A couple of observations.

1.They don't have a lot of work right now. This means that they are not making hours. However...
2. They are also expected to do a lot of bullshit nonbillable work - ie client development. There is a cap on how much client dev can be billed. This friend is forced to do a shitload of work and is not getting credit for it.
3. They seem to have more of a free market system in SV. You need to be good at saying no. My friend is not and as a result she gets stuck with all this bullshit client dev work.
4. They are a tiny office. As a result, you may be forced to do work that does not interest you. My friend is a litigator and so far she has been working mostly in corporate and antitrust.
5. My friend is miserable.


This sounds like a nightmare. Would it be safer than to look at local firms like WSGR, Fenwick, Cooley, etc. that have bigger presence in SV instead of transplant offices that may be more 'prestigious'?

Yes and no. WSGR has the reputation of being a sweatshop/cut throat due to how they silo their associates. Fenwick is known for working their associates just as hard as everyone else but pays below market bonuses (at least as of 2015). Cooley seemed a bit weird when I interviewed with them (nothing concrete, I just got a weird vibe from everyone). I don't think there's a one size fits all answer to this. In general I would avoid offices with fewer than 50 people though.


Thanks for the great info. I know they're all great firms, but what's the general reputation ranking/tiers? The reason I ask is because I really have no idea how firms are perceived. In NYC, I think it's a little easier to see where the firms stand (i.e. Cravath, Skadden generally have stronger practices than lower-ranked firms). Would it be safe to say WSGR/Fenwick/Cooley are all peers?


They are peers. It depends on what you want to do though.

WSGR: mix of large established companies and emerging co.
Fenwick: Mostly emerging co work. Killer tax group.
Cooley: one of the best, if not the best life sciences group in the country. deep relationships on the VC side.

I think WSGR was seen as more or less the #1 in the valley. I think Fenwick has effectively challenged that perception in recent years.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mr. Fancy wrote:KE SF, like all KE offices and other firms that focus on PE work, is a grind house. A specific type of person chooses/"thrives" in that environment.


What kind of personality would thrive there

I don't work there, but from my interviews I would guess obnoxiously type A personalities.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Mr. Fancy » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mr. Fancy wrote:KE SF, like all KE offices and other firms that focus on PE work, is a grind house. A specific type of person chooses/"thrives" in that environment.


What kind of personality would thrive there

People who get off on working hard and prestige of firm/deals.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:37 pm

Anyone know about o'melveny and Latham ST culture?

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about o'melveny and Latham ST culture?

SF

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:45 pm

We have a lot of laterals from a lot of more "prestigious" firms at Fenwick, and seemingly a good many particularly from S&C, DPW, and K&E. The general consensus with the laterals seems to be that the cultures could not be more different. It is great place to work because of the people-smart, nice, and reasonable.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:57 pm

I work at WSGR and I think the sweatshop rumors are well overblown. I think cuttthroat is likely also overblown, though I guess there can be some competition sometimes. That honestly probably happens just about everywhere. As people have said before, WSGR just acknowledges that there are partner groups but that isn't much different than elsewhere. That being said, Fenwick has a reputation for a great culture and being a great place to work. Cooley seems good too but is a bit corky.

Weil does great M&A out here but like many big M&A shops can have a lot of hours. Latham is big and has its hands in a lot of deals around here, including some VC/EC stuff. Goodwin is also a pretty big player in SV too. If you really like the EC work Gunderson is worth a look and even Orrick too.

Honestly, I don't understand the allure of the V10s here (outside maybe Weil, which has a different history). I especially wouldn't do KE out here, personally, either, if I had any other decent options. MoFo's a big player too but I don't really know that much about them really.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby notgreat » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I haven't heard anything bad about them before do you mind saying what else you've heard other than it being a grind house?



So, I can only speak about KE SF from experience of screener and callbacks. Throughout the course of my interviews the people I met at KE SF were either bros (including females) or very intense. I actually really liked the people and the vibe and would have taken an offer if I had gotten one, but I know people that got a bad vibe from the office just from the screener.

RE Skadden Palo Alto: I've met a lot of nice people from this office, but they are mostly weirdos.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:21 pm

are the people asking about firm culture in this thread asking because they actually have cubs or offers there? if so, mind letting me know what school or school range? Seems a lot of schools on this thread haven't heard back yet..

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:are the people asking about firm culture in this thread asking because they actually have cubs or offers there? if so, mind letting me know what school or school range? Seems a lot of schools on this thread haven't heard back yet..


I'm at Berkeley. I have CBs at several of these firms and an offer at one.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:34 am

I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.


Is it a bad place to work? Are exit options strictly PE?

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.


Is this a good place to start your career if you are unsure about PE work? I know I want to do corporate but I don't know what kind yet. Is M&A or capital markets a better option?

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.


How does Kirkland compare to Ropes and STB?

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:are the people asking about firm culture in this thread asking because they actually have cubs or offers there? if so, mind letting me know what school or school range? Seems a lot of schools on this thread haven't heard back yet..


I'm at Berkeley. I have CBs at several of these firms and an offer at one.


Sorry to ask, but where were your CBs and your offer from? I cb'd with one and haven't heard anything yet although I know tomorrow is likely the day I'd hear about an offer or not. Thanks !

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.


Is it a bad place to work? Are exit options strictly PE?

The first thing to understand is that your experience will vary depending on your practice area (corporate, lit or up lit) and, within corporate, your sub-area (m&A, debt or funds). I personally don't think it is a bad place to work. But, the greatest determinant (as is true of large firms nearly across the board) is who you work with. If you're willing to work hard, have confidence in yourself, and like the people in your practice area you meet when you interview, it's a very good place to work.

With respect to exit options, I would say exits to PE shops are rare. In the last five years maybe two partners, three NSPs, and an associate who went with one of the partners? They just don't have huge demand for attorneys in house at funds. More typical outcomes are other firms (60%), in-house (with non-clients) (30%) or other (10%). Varies slightly by group.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.


How does Kirkland compare to Ropes and STB?

No idea - I haven't worked at either of those places. No one who hasn't worked at both could really tell you otherwise. You can research the objective factors - office location, size, clients. The rest is that special sauce. All are great outcomes. Assuming all are Bay Area, I would take STB or K&E, mostly based on where I wanted to live.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.


Is this a good place to start your career if you are unsure about PE work? I know I want to do corporate but I don't know what kind yet. Is M&A or capital markets a better option?

Obviously, it depends what your ultimate goals are. Not choosing a particular path is itself a choice, just with different costs and benefits. I would first figure out if you want to rotate or not. This is a know yourself kind of choice. If not, then choose capital markets or M&A. Lots of resources out there to educate yourself for this choice. If you choose M&A, PE vs. public company M&A is really not that major of a difference long term. I would choose based on the people you'll work with. Go back for second visits.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.


Is this a good place to start your career if you are unsure about PE work? I know I want to do corporate but I don't know what kind yet. Is M&A or capital markets a better option?

Obviously, it depends what your ultimate goals are. Not choosing a particular path is itself a choice, just with different costs and benefits. I would first figure out if you want to rotate or not. This is a know yourself kind of choice. If not, then choose capital markets or M&A. Lots of resources out there to educate yourself for this choice. If you choose M&A, PE vs. public company M&A is really not that major of a difference long term. I would choose based on the people you'll work with. Go back for second visits.


For M&A (and SF exit options), would you choose KE or Skadden Palo Alto?

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:20 pm

Got a CB with Cooley SF, litigation group. Any insights on this group specifically? I can PM you if you reply to this.

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got a CB with Cooley SF, litigation group. Any insights on this group specifically? I can PM you if you reply to this.

None, sorry

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Re: Bay Area Firm Culture

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a current or recent former K&E SF associate. It seems there is demand for this, so if you post your questions about that office, I'll answer as best I can. Not going to post personally identifiable information or anything sensitive. If I don't know or don't have a good answer, I'll just say so.


Is this a good place to start your career if you are unsure about PE work? I know I want to do corporate but I don't know what kind yet. Is M&A or capital markets a better option?

Obviously, it depends what your ultimate goals are. Not choosing a particular path is itself a choice, just with different costs and benefits. I would first figure out if you want to rotate or not. This is a know yourself kind of choice. If not, then choose capital markets or M&A. Lots of resources out there to educate yourself for this choice. If you choose M&A, PE vs. public company M&A is really not that major of a difference long term. I would choose based on the people you'll work with. Go back for second visits.


For M&A (and SF exit options), would you choose KE or Skadden Palo Alto?

Six of one. The differences that matter at that level are where do you want to live and where did you feel like a better fit with the people?



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