Venable DC vs Mayer Brown DC

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Which firm?

Venable
4
57%
Mayer Brown
3
43%
 
Total votes: 7

Anonymous User
Posts: 309443
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Venable DC vs Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:11 pm

Trying to do transactional work but don't want to be in NY, I know that sounds odd.

Anyway, I've narrowed it to these two offers, both excellent fit and opportunities that I've seen. Any insight on any of these firms that I might be missing? I am leaning Venable at the moment.

Anonymous User
Posts: 309443
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Venable DC vs Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Trying to do transactional work but don't want to be in NY, I know that sounds odd.

Anyway, I've narrowed it to these two offers, both excellent fit and opportunities that I've seen. Any insight on any of these firms that I might be missing? I am leaning Venable at the moment.


I work at Venable (though not in DC office), and really like it. I know many people in the DC office and they are great folks over there. I used to be at a much higher Vault ranked mega firm and was absolutely miserable. Was on the verge of leaving biglaw altogether. Decided to make the switch to Venable and it literally turned my career around. SO much more substantive experience for juniors, so much more client contact, so much more chill an environment compared to my old firm. I could see myself working here for many years (and certainly hope for the chance to do so). Happy to answer questions you may have about the firm.

Anonymous User
Posts: 309443
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Venable DC vs Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:37 am

Thanks for the reply. I'd love to know more about how much transactional work I'd be able to get into in DC, and whether or not that bodes well for a possible in-house exit in case I do decide to do that. And, I am still confused about the exact compensation and bonus structure, and ability to make partner longterm.

Anonymous User
Posts: 309443
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Venable DC vs Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:13 am

I actually do labor & employment, so I'm on the litigation side, rather than transactional. As a result, I can't really speak to the substance of the transactional work since its pretty far off my radar. Though I'll sometimes do some work on the periphery of transactional matters, to the extent they need L&E advice.

As far as in-house opportunities, I think transactional usually provides the more established route, as compared to litigation (with the exception of certain specialized subsets of litigation). I don't think its really a Venable-specific thing. Also depends on what kind of transactional work you will be doing. Some tend to open up more in-house opportunities than others. But at the end of the day, with the Venable name on your resume, and multiple years of transactional experience, I'd imagine that you would be very competitive for in-house openings.

Compensation is still a tiny bit up in the air since they are finalizing a few details. First 3 years are now lockstep. 1st year is 180, 2nd is 190, and 3rd is 210 (across all offices I believe). In 4th year and beyond, they do a "band" structure, in which they have discretion to pay within a pre-set range. At the moment, we have the top of these ranges but not the bottom. We know 4th years can make as high as 230, 5th years as high as 250, etc. But unclear what the low end is. Presumable a 4th year could make something like 215 to 230, and 5th years 235 to 250, or something along those lines. In prior practice, something like 90% of people made somewhere in the middle of the band, with few outliers.

Bonuses aren't great but they balance it out with an entirely fair hours requirement that allows for a pretty good work-life balance. Hour requirement for first years is only 1800, and rises to 1900 past that (though no one is going to make an issue if you fall a little short). You become bonus eligible at 1950 (with 50 hours of pro bono counting toward that total). I believe the bonus amount was about $5,000 for every interval of 50 (beginning at 1,950). So, for example, someone who works 2,100 would get $20,000.

As for ability to make partner, its a bit hard for me to say since I'm still a junior/midlevel. The pathway to partnership appears to take about 8 or 9 years. I'd imagine very few make partner, just like at any other biglaw firm. Though, to the firm's credit, they are happy to teach the junior folks how to network and plant the seeds that will one day lead to business. They are always sharing business development techniques to those interested in learning, and provide many opportunities to network. My perception may be a bit skewed since my particular practice group leader places a huge premium on sharing these skills/opportunities with junior folks, but it looks to be part of the firm culture.



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