Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

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Good Guy Gaud

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Good Guy Gaud » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:42 pm

nealric wrote:Hours are going to be brutal at any of those firms. The differences among practice groups and working for different partners is going to matter more than the differences between the firms themselves.

Comparing DPW EIRSA to S&C M&A practices is likely comparing apples to llamas on the hours front.


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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:46 pm

First year STB corp. At about 1100 for the year.

It's impossible to generalize about this other than to say that while most of it will be out of your control there are definitely people who bring it on themselves.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby cookiejar1 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:10 pm

I generally agree with everything said above given my experience and what I've heard from others. However, I wouldn't generalize DPW / STB as ever being "gentler" hours-wise when compared to the others. As repeated endlessly in this thread - it's very group (and partner) dependent. Choosing DPW / STB because of the perceived "gentler hours" would be a mistake, imo. Choose another factor to base your decision off of.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First year STB corp. At about 1100 for the year.

It's impossible to generalize about this other than to say that while most of it will be out of your control there are definitely people who bring it on themselves.


Are you an outlier within your class? Or are others this low? (Also, when does your billing year end?)

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:13 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First year STB corp. At about 1100 for the year.

It's impossible to generalize about this other than to say that while most of it will be out of your control there are definitely people who bring it on themselves.


Are you an outlier within your class? Or are others this low? (Also, when does your billing year end?)

Don't know but presumably on the low end. I do know others in a similar range and some much higher. Year end 12/31.

Gonna easily cross 200 for the first time this month though so I'm not trying to count too many chickens here.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby quiver » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is it true that Wachtell ≈ Cravath > S&C / Skadden > DPW / STB? This seems to be the reputation at my CCN -- particularly that DPW / STB are "gentler" firms.

Are there general trends that can be discerned between these firms, besides that Wachtell works associates the hardest by far? Or is this question totally asinine because it depends entirely on what group you are in / partner you are working for?
Not totally asinine but, like others have said, your experience will vary wildly depending on your practice group and specific partners. I don't think there is much generalizing to do.

That said, I was an associate at one of these firms and I have friends that work at the others. From these anecdotal experiences, I can say the hours look something like: Wachtell ≈ Cravath > S&C / Skadden / DPW / STB. Like I said, though, generalizing isn't really possible.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:48 pm

quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it true that Wachtell ≈ Cravath > S&C / Skadden > DPW / STB? This seems to be the reputation at my CCN -- particularly that DPW / STB are "gentler" firms.

Are there general trends that can be discerned between these firms, besides that Wachtell works associates the hardest by far? Or is this question totally asinine because it depends entirely on what group you are in / partner you are working for?
Not totally asinine but, like others have said, your experience will vary wildly depending on your practice group and specific partners. I don't think there is much generalizing to do.

That said, I was an associate at one of these firms and I have friends that work at the others. From these anecdotal experiences, I can say the hours look something like: Wachtell ≈ Cravath > S&C / Skadden / DPW / STB. Like I said, though, generalizing isn't really possible.

This seems right to me, anecdotally. I think WLRK and Cravath really probably are a notch more intense than the rest on average, but even taking that into account, the distinctions within firms will be greater than across firms.

Keep in mind that any V100 firm will crush you just as hard if they have enough work. The real difference is the tippy-top firms will always have the most work coming in the door in busy times and will be the last to dry up in slow times. If you think any firm will turn down new matters because they don't want to make their associates bill more than 2000 hours ...

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:30 pm

ruski wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wachtell lit you can expect to bill at least 2500-2600 (closer to 2600). Corporate you can expect to log 2700-3000 hours (Depending on deal flow).


speaking with a few reliable sources, I was told wachtell associates don't bill much higher than the other v5 on average. they don't even bill clients by the hour so I don't know what real incentive there is for associates to keep track of hours accurately (although I understand they are still required to). this logically makes sense as well, as I just don't believe the person billing 2800 a year is actually working more than the one billing 2300 a year - he is just much more liberal with billing. once you hit 2200/2300 range everything is just a blur


Having been an associate at WLRK, I can tell you that lit does bill their clients by the hour and all associates are required to log the hours they keep. If you're billing 2200 hours at WLRK, then you're on the very very low end.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In talking to friends or hearing anecdata on each, I believe Wachtell is meaningfully higher than Cravath which is marginally higher than the rest of the group mentioned. Skadden/S&C/DPW/STB are on average very similar but it's practice group dependent and in some cases seasonal. DPW is definitely not a lifestyle/prestige unicorn, people work very hard.


Where do you think Kirkland falls?


Also interested hearing thoughts on K&E hours

Same original anon - I think K&E's hours are every bit as "bad" as the group being discussed, arguably worse in some instances because their NY office is smaller than others. The real difference is the free market vs central assignment thing (and relatedly, the tiered bonuses) though. My friends at K&E have all taken less vacations and generally stress about hours more than friends at the others but it could be a sample size issue. I'm sure some people at K&E have it better than some at the others.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In talking to friends or hearing anecdata on each, I believe Wachtell is meaningfully higher than Cravath which is marginally higher than the rest of the group mentioned. Skadden/S&C/DPW/STB are on average very similar but it's practice group dependent and in some cases seasonal. DPW is definitely not a lifestyle/prestige unicorn, people work very hard.


Where do you think Kirkland falls?


Also interested hearing thoughts on K&E hours

Same original anon - I think K&E's hours are every bit as "bad" as the group being discussed, arguably worse in some instances because their NY office is smaller than others. The real difference is the free market vs central assignment thing (and relatedly, the tiered bonuses) though. My friends at K&E have all taken less vacations and generally stress about hours more than friends at the others but it could be a sample size issue. I'm sure some people at K&E have it better than some at the others.


Sorry to hijack, but could anyone speak to Latham's hours (more for corporate)? I get the impression that although they have a 1900 billable hour requirement, they're the most laid back of the V10 firms?

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:51 pm

Skadden junior from above. One thing about hours as a 1st/2nd year: in many groups there aren't a ton of tasks that a junior can really crank on. What that means is that (i) in lit, people bill a lot when they get stuck on a huge matter with a lot of doc review (ii) in corporate, people bill a lot when they get stuck on a huge deal with a lot of diligence. If you don't happen to get staffed on deals that have tons of doc review or tons of diligence, there's just not going to be that much work for you to do (although there are some other things that are very time consuming (read: week or two leading up to signing/closing)).

This is what YMMV means w/r/t working for particular partners. Big name partners are likely "big name" because they have bigger clients and, thus, are on larger deals. If you work for a big name partner (or, more likely, for a service partner who works for a big name partner), you'll generally have less engaging work but more of it. Bigger deal usually equals bigger team which usually means more diligence and more grunt work for 1st and 2nd years.

For better or for worse, a 1600 pace means that I have mostly dodged the deals with huge amounts of diligence. Some days I wish I had been able to log a bunch of hours doing relatively mindless shit. Other days I'm happy that I've been involved in some marginally more engaging stuff. Either way, there's somewhat of a tradeoff between doing more and less engaging deals as a 1st/2nd year (and, surprise, you don't get to choose). But completely possible I wind up with 250 hour months to close out the year (I've had 100 hour weeks and a 250 hour month). That would suck.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Chad_IRL » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:12 pm

aren't you a 0L who hasn't taken the LSAT yet? What makes you think you know anything at all about these firms? Some people are making life decisions here dude


Where are you drawing this from? It is not so.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Skadden junior from above. One thing about hours as a 1st/2nd year: in many groups there aren't a ton of tasks that a junior can really crank on. What that means is that (i) in lit, people bill a lot when they get stuck on a huge matter with a lot of doc review (ii) in corporate, people bill a lot when they get stuck on a huge deal with a lot of diligence. If you don't happen to get staffed on deals that have tons of doc review or tons of diligence, there's just not going to be that much work for you to do (although there are some other things that are very time consuming (read: week or two leading up to signing/closing)).

This is what YMMV means w/r/t working for particular partners. Big name partners are likely "big name" because they have bigger clients and, thus, are on larger deals. If you work for a big name partner (or, more likely, for a service partner who works for a big name partner), you'll generally have less engaging work but more of it. Bigger deal usually equals bigger team which usually means more diligence and more grunt work for 1st and 2nd years.

For better or for worse, a 1600 pace means that I have mostly dodged the deals with huge amounts of diligence. Some days I wish I had been able to log a bunch of hours doing relatively mindless shit. Other days I'm happy that I've been involved in some marginally more engaging stuff. Either way, there's somewhat of a tradeoff between doing more and less engaging deals as a 1st/2nd year (and, surprise, you don't get to choose). But completely possible I wind up with 250 hour months to close out the year (I've had 100 hour weeks and a 250 hour month). That would suck.


Partially credited, if only because getting in the weeds as a junior (i.e., diligence) is a foundational part of being a good corporate attorney.

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Re: Do hours vary between Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, STB?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:52 pm

Various laterals from Cravath have indicated that there are some groups (i.e., the pods of 2-3 partners plus there associates) at the firm where custom dictates that you don't leave for the night until the more senior folks have left. So, at the most junior end, you can often end up staying late without any particular need to do so. Sounded miserable. I suspect that this applies only to some of the groups, but who knows.



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