Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Current SA at one of BB/VE/NRF/LL. Wanting to do transactional work in the future. Any advice on if staying at my current firm will be a bad career choice if Kirkland and Latham are beginning to dominate the market? I interviewed with Kirkland and didn't exactly love their culture and some associates but I wonder if I should overlook that if the career prospects are better.


The 4 firms you listed are so different I don't know how you could group them in the same corporate category. If you are at one of BB/VE, moving to KE will be about the same I would imagine. If you are at NRF/LL (guessing this is the case since you looped them in), then yes, you should move to one of BB/VE/LW/KE if possible. NRF basically has no corporate group left (top players went to BB) and LL is a solid tier or two below the rest.


+1 - TX associate. If you're at NRF/LL then I would absolutely switch to BB/VE/LW/KE if possible. To move from VE/BB I would say is more of a personal choice.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby surrealfx » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Will someone please comment on the typical amount of hours billed by a junior associate in the Houston office (on an annual and/or weekly basis). I'm not scared of long hours and I understand that the hiring surge lowers the value of such data moving forward, but I actually think that is the most helpful number when evaluating what the culture is really like at K/E.

Obviously it varies between associates, but I'm looking for something along the lines of:

Example 1: "Most associates work more than 2300."

or

Example 2: "Its usually between 2XXX and 2XXX, but it would be rare to exceed 2XXX."

or

Example 3: "My hours personally for 2015 were 2XXX, and this is fairly standard for my class level give or take 100 hours."


My hours last year were just shy of 2200. That being said I think it is super important to state that hours do not equal culture. There are plenty of places where the associates don't bill very much (read: below 2000), but they still sit in the office 9-7 because the partners are there and they have to be in the office for show. Also aggregate yearly hours don't tell you much, because you have no idea how they breakdown. I've been across from associates at "lifestyle" firms exchanging emails at 3am before a signing/closing because that is what happens in corporate no matter what firm you're at. The difference will come after signing/closing when I bill 30-40 hours from my couch the next week and that associate bills 10 hours but still has to be in the office for "face time" or whatever.

Also there are lots of reasons why folks may not bill much - including, that they want to bill more, but they don't have the work or that the firm over hired. Further firms that have low average annual billings can still have bad cultures and firms that have average billing at 2400 may be great places to work. By your statement above, I think you're placing too much emphasis on that number.


This is true. I am at one of VE/BB and hit almost 2500 last year, but would say it is a great place to work. Lots of people were under 2300, not many under 2000. With corporate its hard to place an emphasis on hours so generally. Some places are a sweat shop, but most of the time a lot of the work is on you to accept or turn down. If you want to be slammed all year, you probably can. If you want to be slow all year you probably can do that as well. When you are closing a deal you are going to have to put in the hours it takes, even at a "lifestyle firm". If they want to close the deal and there is work to be done ... you do the work till it is done. I think its more about the people you work with. Think about having to pull late nights with those people and how you feel you would interact with them.


I'm a third-year litigation associate at a big firm in Los Angeles, and I have a different view from those quoted above. I'd take less quantity and a slightly worse culture over a great culture and more hours. There is no substitute for free time, and a great work culture certainly is not one. And I love being an attorney. 1,900 hours a year at my efficiency rate is 50 hours a week (9 - 7), 50 weeks a year--at minimum. That's more than enough for me.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:41 pm

surrealfx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Will someone please comment on the typical amount of hours billed by a junior associate in the Houston office (on an annual and/or weekly basis). I'm not scared of long hours and I understand that the hiring surge lowers the value of such data moving forward, but I actually think that is the most helpful number when evaluating what the culture is really like at K/E.

Obviously it varies between associates, but I'm looking for something along the lines of:

Example 1: "Most associates work more than 2300."

or

Example 2: "Its usually between 2XXX and 2XXX, but it would be rare to exceed 2XXX."

or

Example 3: "My hours personally for 2015 were 2XXX, and this is fairly standard for my class level give or take 100 hours."


My hours last year were just shy of 2200. That being said I think it is super important to state that hours do not equal culture. There are plenty of places where the associates don't bill very much (read: below 2000), but they still sit in the office 9-7 because the partners are there and they have to be in the office for show. Also aggregate yearly hours don't tell you much, because you have no idea how they breakdown. I've been across from associates at "lifestyle" firms exchanging emails at 3am before a signing/closing because that is what happens in corporate no matter what firm you're at. The difference will come after signing/closing when I bill 30-40 hours from my couch the next week and that associate bills 10 hours but still has to be in the office for "face time" or whatever.

Also there are lots of reasons why folks may not bill much - including, that they want to bill more, but they don't have the work or that the firm over hired. Further firms that have low average annual billings can still have bad cultures and firms that have average billing at 2400 may be great places to work. By your statement above, I think you're placing too much emphasis on that number.


This is true. I am at one of VE/BB and hit almost 2500 last year, but would say it is a great place to work. Lots of people were under 2300, not many under 2000. With corporate its hard to place an emphasis on hours so generally. Some places are a sweat shop, but most of the time a lot of the work is on you to accept or turn down. If you want to be slammed all year, you probably can. If you want to be slow all year you probably can do that as well. When you are closing a deal you are going to have to put in the hours it takes, even at a "lifestyle firm". If they want to close the deal and there is work to be done ... you do the work till it is done. I think its more about the people you work with. Think about having to pull late nights with those people and how you feel you would interact with them.


I'm a third-year litigation associate at a big firm in Los Angeles, and I have a different view from those quoted above. I'd take less quantity and a slightly worse culture over a great culture and more hours. There is no substitute for free time, and a great work culture certainly is not one. And I love being an attorney. 1,900 hours a year at my efficiency rate is 50 hours a week (9 - 7), 50 weeks a year--at minimum. That's more than enough for me.


3rd year corporate associate at big law LA. Fully agreed with directly above. Love LA big law.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:16 pm

Did K&E Houston push out its restructuring associates? Heard they were told they had to switch offices when bankruptcy cooled off.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:Did K&E Houston push out its restructuring associates? Heard they were told they had to switch offices when bankruptcy cooled off.


trouble in paradise?

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:07 am

RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Did K&E Houston push out its restructuring associates? Heard they were told they had to switch offices when bankruptcy cooled off.


trouble in paradise?


People will claim anything to try to cast doubt on this office. This is a non-issue. There's only two restructuring attorneys in Houston (a partner and an associate). The rest of the practice group firmwide is essentially entirely in Chicago/NYC. The partner is cross-listed between NYC/Houston and travels between both cities quite often.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Did K&E Houston push out its restructuring associates? Heard they were told they had to switch offices when bankruptcy cooled off.


trouble in paradise?


People will claim anything to try to cast doubt on this office. This is a non-issue. There's only two restructuring attorneys in Houston (a partner and an associate). The rest of the practice group firmwide is essentially entirely in Chicago/NYC. The partner is cross-listed between NYC/Houston and travels between both cities quite often.


So what happen to the associate?

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Did K&E Houston push out its restructuring associates? Heard they were told they had to switch offices when bankruptcy cooled off.


trouble in paradise?


People will claim anything to try to cast doubt on this office. This is a non-issue. There's only two restructuring attorneys in Houston (a partner and an associate). The rest of the practice group firmwide is essentially entirely in Chicago/NYC. The partner is cross-listed between NYC/Houston and travels between both cities quite often.


So what happen to the associate?



Nothing has happened as of this moment (he's still in Houston). I believe he knew when he took this position that the restructuring group would always be based out of Chicago/NYC (with 100+ attorneys) and it may require him to move especially once there is no partner co-located in Houston. It makes very little sense to have a single associate elsewhere away from the group.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:23 pm

Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?

TexasHays

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby TexasHays » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:02 am

TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.

Edit-my above post was incorrect. I will reply to this post to provide more details
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby TexasHays » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.


Oh wow. I had no idea. Thanks for the heads up, going into OCI soon and they were one of my top picks.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Right2BearArms » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:41 am

TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.


Oh wow. I had no idea. Thanks for the heads up, going into OCI soon and they were one of my top picks.


This should have no effect on them being a top pick or not. No other firm in Houston gives signing bonuses to SAs, and KE is easily in the top tier of firms in Houston if you want to do corporate work. The SA bonus was a nice perk for those who got it, but in the grand scheme of the salary/benefits you will earn over a career / lifetime, it will not move the needle overall, and should not be a deciding factor in your choice.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby TexasHays » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:16 pm

Right2BearArms wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.


Oh wow. I had no idea. Thanks for the heads up, going into OCI soon and they were one of my top picks.


This should have no effect on them being a top pick or not. No other firm in Houston gives signing bonuses to SAs, and KE is easily in the top tier of firms in Houston if you want to do corporate work. The SA bonus was a nice perk for those who got it, but in the grand scheme of the salary/benefits you will earn over a career / lifetime, it will not move the needle overall, and should not be a deciding factor in your choice.


Oh, absolutely. I didn't mean "were" as in they are no longer on the list. Just that any new information is good to know.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:25 pm

Any idea of approximately how much the SA signing bonus was and whether they are likely to also offer this in the Boston office that is starting up?

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby favabeansoup » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any idea of approximately how much the SA signing bonus was and whether they are likely to also offer this in the Boston office that is starting up?


It was like $2x000+ if I recall correctly from friends. I wouldn't count on it from Boston if they do start hiring summers. Houston was a bigger market for them to make a name for themselves fast.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Right2BearArms » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:09 pm

TexasHays wrote:
Right2BearArms wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.


Oh wow. I had no idea. Thanks for the heads up, going into OCI soon and they were one of my top picks.


This should have no effect on them being a top pick or not. No other firm in Houston gives signing bonuses to SAs, and KE is easily in the top tier of firms in Houston if you want to do corporate work. The SA bonus was a nice perk for those who got it, but in the grand scheme of the salary/benefits you will earn over a career / lifetime, it will not move the needle overall, and should not be a deciding factor in your choice.


Oh, absolutely. I didn't mean "were" as in they are no longer on the list. Just that any new information is good to know.


Makes sense, just making sure. Something like a signing bonus should only ever move the needle if you are 100% torn between two choices. General advice here, if you like a firm better than another, don't let something like a signing bonus sway you to a firm you like less than another. For all the people who loved KE and got a bonus as an SA, great for them, but I hope no one took an offer at KE over a firm they liked better because of the money. It just isn't a material number in the grand scheme of your lifetime earnings.

Back more on topic, I am not sure about some of the specific questions asked as I do not work at KE, but the KE Houston office seems to be as busy as it has ever been and they just moved into the prime spot in the newest building downtown. If anyone is worried about the viability / permanency of KE in Houston, I do not think that is a consideration you need to seriously consider. They are here to stay.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.

Edit-my above post was incorrect. I will reply to this post to provide more details


Word has spread like wildfire amongst the summer class due to TLS that all 8 females in the summer class were given $25k signing bonuses in an effort to add women to the office (the office is severely lacking females at this moment in time).

No signing bonus was offered to any of the 20 male summers and word is that essentially all summer males are highly upset and disappointed with the lack of transparency and non-merit based bonuses. Many have expressed their intent to look for opportunities elsewhere (unless the office gives bonuses to all) based on firm culture and in light of recent events despite having already accepted their offers.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.

Edit-my above post was incorrect. I will reply to this post to provide more details


Word has spread like wildfire amongst the summer class due to TLS that all 8 females in the summer class were given $25k signing bonuses in an effort to add women to the office (the office is severely lacking females at this moment in time).

No signing bonus was offered to any of the 20 male summers and word is that essentially all summer males are highly upset and disappointed with the lack of transparency and non-merit based bonuses. Many have expressed their intent to look for opportunities elsewhere (unless the office gives bonuses to all) based on firm culture and in light of recent events despite having already accepted their offers.


In addition to this drama, a male summer was no-offered earlier this week.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.

Edit-my above post was incorrect. I will reply to this post to provide more details


Word has spread like wildfire amongst the summer class due to TLS that all 8 females in the summer class were given $25k signing bonuses in an effort to add women to the office (the office is severely lacking females at this moment in time).

No signing bonus was offered to any of the 20 male summers and word is that essentially all summer males are highly upset and disappointed with the lack of transparency and non-merit based bonuses. Many have expressed their intent to look for opportunities elsewhere (unless the office gives bonuses to all) based on firm culture and in light of recent events despite having already accepted their offers.


Haha, if this is true...wow! It is a dumb move by the firm, and hope it gets the media coverage it deserves.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby TEIAM » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TexasHays wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why did Kirkland try to keep the summer associate signing bonus a secret?


SA signing bonus? Do tell.


Current summer here. There wasn't a signing bonus this year. The office did that for the first two summer classes in 2015 and 2016, but not this year.

Edit-my above post was incorrect. I will reply to this post to provide more details


Word has spread like wildfire amongst the summer class due to TLS that all 8 females in the summer class were given $25k signing bonuses in an effort to add women to the office (the office is severely lacking females at this moment in time).

No signing bonus was offered to any of the 20 male summers and word is that essentially all summer males are highly upset and disappointed with the lack of transparency and non-merit based bonuses. Many have expressed their intent to look for opportunities elsewhere (unless the office gives bonuses to all) based on firm culture and in light of recent events despite having already accepted their offers.


Haha, if this is true...wow! It is a dumb move by the firm, and hope it gets the media coverage it deserves.

The only thing that is dumb is that the other summers are bitching about it. It's a business and they have quotas they want to meet. Every large company does this to some extent.

What do you think firms are doing by hiring 1Ls at diversity fairs? What about your school? Do you not think they lower the admissions standards for some students to try to make the class diverse? That probably includes scholarships.

Even the NFL does it with Rooney rule. These kids are in for a sad sad future if not getting $25,000 because they are men ruins their lives.

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:58 am

Anonymous User wrote: Many have expressed their intent to look for opportunities elsewhere (unless the office gives bonuses to all) based on firm culture and in light of recent events despite having already accepted their offers.


Can you elaborate?

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:07 pm

-
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AmericanEagleee

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby AmericanEagleee » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:19 pm

And suddenly all the guys are realizing that a lot of them busted their ass all summer, same as the women, but got comped a whole bunch less, and that isn't sitting right.

I'm curious for elaboration on this point. I've heard a range of things about the summer program. Regardless, congrats on the offer Anon.

I'm also curious about the time commitment to retain that bonus. Is it just purely for signing, or do they have to pay it back if they leave within 2-3 years? (If the latter, I wouldn't be upset).

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Re: Kirkland (Houston) Associate - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:25k is meaningless as a monetary value in the overall scheme of associate pay, sure. But that's not what it's about - after all, none of us were expecting the bonus. What's frustrating (and I can't speak for all of us of course) is the principle:

Kirkland Houston pitched itself to many of us as a young, entrepreneurial office full of straight shooters and no bullshit, where hard work would be rewarded with above market compensation. You knew it wasn't a lifestyle firm but that wasn't the point - it's a place you go because you believe in your value, and that's reflected in firm culture, and the free market system: the best are rewarded for being the best.

What this bonus does is essentially double the summer pay for the women, regardless of performance. And suddenly all the guys are realizing that a lot of them busted their ass all summer, same as the women, but got comped a whole bunch less, and that isn't sitting right. Call it first world problems, I wouldn't blame you seeing it that way from the outside. But 25k after tax is a year of rent, so shrugging it off isn't so easy when you're looking at your colleagues who did exactly the same as you all summer walk away with that kind of money.


Look man, I get that you're upset. But this right here: "all the guys are realizing that a lot of them busted their ass all summer, same as the women, but got comped a whole bunch less, and that isn't sitting right" -- is what women and minorities have to deal with all. the. time. You should also keep in mind that as a white guy in an office dominated by white guys, it is inherently easier for you to "perform" better. The playing field is never equal when one demographic controls everything. I agree with you that the firm should have been transparent from the start, but I hope you realize that what you're experiencing right now is a world that's becoming more fair, not the other way around.



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