NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

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NYC Lit:

Skadden
12
20%
Paul, Weiss
37
62%
Gibson Dunn
11
18%
 
Total votes: 60

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NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:59 pm

I am pretty lucky to hold offers at these three, and I know this has been asked in the past, but I'm curious if anyone has any new input to provide (toward lit in particular). I honestly really enjoyed the people I met at each one, which makes this slightly more difficult. As I see it right now:

Skadden:
+: Name recognition, broad based practice, new building in 2020 (this may be dumb, but it's neat)
-: Reputation as more of a sweatshop, Overly fratty culture, Segregated WC and Antitrust groups, Very leveraged partner/associate ratio

Paul, Weiss:
+: Lit-first firm, genuine pro-bono interest, lack of push to specialize quickly
-: Reputation for being fratty, Very leveraged, Sub-par office situation for the first few years

Gibson:
+: Broad based elite lit groups, lack of early specialization push, genuine pro-bono interest, less leveraged than the others (3a:1p)
-: Not quite at the level of Skadden or PW lit in the NY office, west-coast base
Other considerations: Free market system (sortof ambivilent here), smaller office

Any input would be appreciated!

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:08 pm

PW and not that close.

(Would put GDC, (even GDC NY) above Skadden. Skadden is good and does good work, but you don't want to work there. Paul Weiss does better work.)

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:16 pm

am making a similar choice, so take it with a grain of salt. I'd throw out there that GDC is a class of 40 vs. PW's 140 and that face time requirements seemed lower there to me. Skadden is a sweatshop, seemed to me like PW was not far behind, it's very much a "put in your two years" place.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby SLS_AMG » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:21 pm

I've never heard Paul, Weiss described as fratty. Nerdy, sure. Intellectual, sure. Liberal, definitely. But fratty?

Still, I'd choose Paul, Weiss.

Interestingly, I kind of agree with the above and I would choose Skadden last in most head-to-head comparisons with its peer firms. It's a very good firm, but it has a reputation as a sweatshop even in an industry known for sweatshops. That cannot be good.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:55 pm

Am making same choice, but swap CSM with Skadden.

PW and Skadden certainly have stronger name brand as NYC firms. Do you want to stay in NYC? Long term goals seem worth considering here. Although, I'm not sure if Skadden and GDC being stronger brands in other markets gives you an edge in those markets should you eventually wish to leave NYC.

Personally I'm deciding at this point between the culture of GDC, where I felt I clicked most with the people, and the work at CSM (or to a lesser extent PW) which seems more interesting/challenging/substantive.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:56 pm

I spent the summer at PW. Based on my experience, I would agree that there are some fratty corners of paul weiss. Pretty sure some people were literally former frat bros. But it's a pretty diverse place, so there's a little of everything. Honestly, there are fratty people probably at every law firm, so I wouldn't make a decision on that basis.

And for what it's worth, the dude bros I met at PW were also pretty charming, funny and well-read. They just liked giving each other a hard time and talking about their fantasy sports leagues, in addition to talking about the latest book they read and american politics. Basically, they were well-rounded.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:am making a similar choice, so take it with a grain of salt. I'd throw out there that GDC is a class of 40 vs. PW's 140 and that face time requirements seemed lower there to me. Skadden is a sweatshop, seemed to me like PW was not far behind, it's very much a "put in your two years" place.


OP here.

This is a big part of what I am worried about with PW. I got the impression of more of a churn-and-burn culture there than I did at Gibson. It's hard to tell to what extent this is self-selection or simply small samples, but from my limited exposure, it felt like associates were staying longer/treated better at GDC than at PW.

Obviously partnership odds are vanishingly small at both, though GDC seems to have an edge there, for whatever small amount that is worth.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:am making a similar choice, so take it with a grain of salt. I'd throw out there that GDC is a class of 40 vs. PW's 140 and that face time requirements seemed lower there to me. Skadden is a sweatshop, seemed to me like PW was not far behind, it's very much a "put in your two years" place.


OP here.

This is a big part of what I am worried about with PW. I got the impression of more of a churn-and-burn culture there than I did at Gibson. It's hard to tell to what extent this is self-selection or simply small samples, but from my limited exposure, it felt like associates were staying longer/treated better at GDC than at PW.

Obviously partnership odds are vanishingly small at both, though GDC seems to have an edge there, for whatever small amount that is worth.


FWIW w/r/t the partnership question (and, admittedly, this shouldn't be part of the calculus at this point unless factoring in as a firm-health signal) GDC has been adding 2-3x partners per year as compared with PW. Roughly 15-20 per year, evenly split between lateral and internal promotion, as compared with PW's ~5 per year. Pulling from AmLaw data.

Does anyone have data on what offices for juniors are like? I'm the anon from above deciding between GDC, PW and CSM. I know having/not having a window shouldn't be very important, but rarely seeing the light of day for 2-3 years sounds . . . unpleasant.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:49 pm

Can I jump in on this and ask about PW v. Latham v. Cleary? All in NY, all lit? I think most of the same advice should apply, but just wanted to ask.

Also, in response to the above anon's question about offices: PW and Gibson Dunn don't have windows in the first year, from my interviews in office. I spoke to a third year at Gibson Dunn who still didn't have a window.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can I jump in on this and ask about PW v. Latham v. Cleary? All in NY, all lit? I think most of the same advice should apply, but just wanted to ask.

Also, in response to the above anon's question about offices: PW and Gibson Dunn don't have windows in the first year, from my interviews in office. I spoke to a third year at Gibson Dunn who still didn't have a window.


I could have sworn I met with a first year at GDC who had an officemate, but had a window?

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:01 pm

Just finished pw summer and clearing up a few things:

Also never heard the culture described as fratty. And in my experience, it was not. Several people were in frats, of course, but that does not mean much for their behavior as adults in a professional setting. I think any personality type can thrive there socially. (One of the benefits of it being so big).

You get a window in a shared office as a first year. A few first years share internal offices, but that practice should be ending as ongoing renovations are completed, is my understanding. Then you have a solo internal as a 2nd year, and are guaranteed a solo window by third year. No doubt, the system really sucks.

I assume there is a lot of self selection in leaving after two years, and don't take leaving after two years as meaning people didn't enjoy the firm. I reached out to half a dozeb pw alums, when deciding as a 2L, who were there for short stints and were adamant about how they'd never do biglaw elsewhere, etc. I get the impression that, while it can often be a shitty job and most people want something else out of life, few people wouldn't do it again, and most people are proud to have worked there. Whether or not such feelings are rational or have merit are up to you, but that seems to be the prevailing feeling.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:27 pm

I'm not the same poster as above, but am also deciding among GDC, PW, CSM, and DPW - but probably won't go with CSM due to the rotation.

Based on gut feeling, I really liked GDC the most - the people and its varied types of litigation. Regarding how it's less "prestigious" in the NY market, is there actually a material difference in exit opportunities for lit associates, coming from GDC vs. PW/DPW/CSM?

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:27 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Am making same choice, but swap CSM with Skadden.

PW and Skadden certainly have stronger name brand as NYC firms. Do you want to stay in NYC? Long term goals seem worth considering here. Although, I'm not sure if Skadden and GDC being stronger brands in other markets gives you an edge in those markets should you eventually wish to leave NYC.

Personally I'm deciding at this point between the culture of GDC, where I felt I clicked most with the people, and the work at CSM (or to a lesser extent PW) which seems more interesting/challenging/substantive.


In what way did you think CSM vs. GDC's work was more interesting? I got the opposite impression, since GDC does more types of litigation than CSM's financial sector-heavy litigation. They were also opposite each other in CSM's headline litigation this year (Argentina vs. holdout creditors).

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Am making same choice, but swap CSM with Skadden.

PW and Skadden certainly have stronger name brand as NYC firms. Do you want to stay in NYC? Long term goals seem worth considering here. Although, I'm not sure if Skadden and GDC being stronger brands in other markets gives you an edge in those markets should you eventually wish to leave NYC.

Personally I'm deciding at this point between the culture of GDC, where I felt I clicked most with the people, and the work at CSM (or to a lesser extent PW) which seems more interesting/challenging/substantive.


In what way did you think CSM vs. GDC's work was more interesting? I got the opposite impression, since GDC does more types of litigation than CSM's financial sector-heavy litigation. They were also opposite each other in CSM's headline litigation this year (Argentina vs. holdout creditors).


I've gotten the feeling, after speaking with a half-dozen or so CSM folks, that associates at CSM get materially more responsibility than associates at other firms (including GDC). i.e., taking a dep. in the first or second year as opposed to third; conducting client interviews as a summer as opposed to first or second year. This, I believe, may be a factor of CSM's smaller size / lean staffing, and the rotation / promote-from-within system which incentivizes training associates to handle more substantive responsibilities. So the tasks themselves are more substantive and, thus, more interesting.

Moreover, that GDC does "more types" of litigation doesn't necessarily mean that it's more "interesting." I've heard of GDC folks getting stuck on an entertainment-law case (sexy!) that involved weeks and weeks of just reading TV scripts. Granted, this was in LA, and maybe reading TV scripts is "interesting" to you. But I believe that the industry of the case does not determine how "interesting" a case is. CSM's litigation may be concentrated within the financial sector, but the work itself -- from billion-dollar K breaches to historic antitrust cases -- all seems to be very high-level, challenging, and, in my opinion, fascinating.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:30 pm

.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can I jump in on this and ask about PW v. Latham v. Cleary? All in NY, all lit? I think most of the same advice should apply, but just wanted to ask.

Also, in response to the above anon's question about offices: PW and Gibson Dunn don't have windows in the first year, from my interviews in office. I spoke to a third year at Gibson Dunn who still didn't have a window.


Do not go to Cleary for litigation. Compared especially to PW, and less so to Latham, Cleary just doesn't get the good casework. Litigation is not emphasized there.

Source: current lit associates looking to move to a more lit-focused place, former lit associate who lateraled to a firm in this thread.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Am making same choice, but swap CSM with Skadden.

PW and Skadden certainly have stronger name brand as NYC firms. Do you want to stay in NYC? Long term goals seem worth considering here. Although, I'm not sure if Skadden and GDC being stronger brands in other markets gives you an edge in those markets should you eventually wish to leave NYC.

Personally I'm deciding at this point between the culture of GDC, where I felt I clicked most with the people, and the work at CSM (or to a lesser extent PW) which seems more interesting/challenging/substantive.


In what way did you think CSM vs. GDC's work was more interesting? I got the opposite impression, since GDC does more types of litigation than CSM's financial sector-heavy litigation. They were also opposite each other in CSM's headline litigation this year (Argentina vs. holdout creditors).


I've gotten the feeling, after speaking with a half-dozen or so CSM folks, that associates at CSM get materially more responsibility than associates at other firms (including GDC). i.e., taking a dep. in the first or second year as opposed to third; conducting client interviews as a summer as opposed to first or second year. This, I believe, may be a factor of CSM's smaller size / lean staffing, and the rotation / promote-from-within system which incentivizes training associates to handle more substantive responsibilities. So the tasks themselves are more substantive and, thus, more interesting.

Moreover, that GDC does "more types" of litigation doesn't necessarily mean that it's more "interesting." I've heard of GDC folks getting stuck on an entertainment-law case (sexy!) that involved weeks and weeks of just reading TV scripts. Granted, this was in LA, and maybe reading TV scripts is "interesting" to you. But I believe that the industry of the case does not determine how "interesting" a case is. CSM's litigation may be concentrated within the financial sector, but the work itself -- from billion-dollar K breaches to historic antitrust cases -- all seems to be very high-level, challenging, and, in my opinion, fascinating.


Okay, thanks. I was seeking clarification for what you meant by "interesting/challenging/substantive," and this was really helpful.

Agreed that a case that is superficially sexy or comes from a sexy industry doesn't make it legally more interesting. By more "types" of cases, I was referring to how GDC's work covers a greater scope of litigation, from IP, appellate, admin/regulatory, transnational, to products liability, in addition to the New York classics of securities, M&A lit, and financial regulatory investigations. Friends who've worked at GDC, over the summer and currently, have been able to get onto this variety of matters, including the coveted appellate work - because frankly there is enough work to go around for GDC's relatively small number of associates, at least compared to DPW or PW. Of course, CSM is leanly staffed, but the rotation necessarily reduces your choice of matter type or involvement. I like both places for different reasons, and am thinking though the decision too!

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not the same poster as above, but am also deciding among GDC, PW, CSM, and DPW - but probably won't go with CSM due to the rotation.

Based on gut feeling, I really liked GDC the most - the people and its varied types of litigation. Regarding how it's less "prestigious" in the NY market, is there actually a material difference in exit opportunities for lit associates, coming from GDC vs. PW/DPW/CSM?


Similar position - I loved meeting with the GDC people. Are they just really good at recruiting? Was wondering the same about exit opps.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Am making same choice, but swap CSM with Skadden.

PW and Skadden certainly have stronger name brand as NYC firms. Do you want to stay in NYC? Long term goals seem worth considering here. Although, I'm not sure if Skadden and GDC being stronger brands in other markets gives you an edge in those markets should you eventually wish to leave NYC.

Personally I'm deciding at this point between the culture of GDC, where I felt I clicked most with the people, and the work at CSM (or to a lesser extent PW) which seems more interesting/challenging/substantive.


In what way did you think CSM vs. GDC's work was more interesting? I got the opposite impression, since GDC does more types of litigation than CSM's financial sector-heavy litigation. They were also opposite each other in CSM's headline litigation this year (Argentina vs. holdout creditors).


I've gotten the feeling, after speaking with a half-dozen or so CSM folks, that associates at CSM get materially more responsibility than associates at other firms (including GDC). i.e., taking a dep. in the first or second year as opposed to third; conducting client interviews as a summer as opposed to first or second year. This, I believe, may be a factor of CSM's smaller size / lean staffing, and the rotation / promote-from-within system which incentivizes training associates to handle more substantive responsibilities. So the tasks themselves are more substantive and, thus, more interesting.

Moreover, that GDC does "more types" of litigation doesn't necessarily mean that it's more "interesting." I've heard of GDC folks getting stuck on an entertainment-law case (sexy!) that involved weeks and weeks of just reading TV scripts. Granted, this was in LA, and maybe reading TV scripts is "interesting" to you. But I believe that the industry of the case does not determine how "interesting" a case is. CSM's litigation may be concentrated within the financial sector, but the work itself -- from billion-dollar K breaches to historic antitrust cases -- all seems to be very high-level, challenging, and, in my opinion, fascinating.


Okay, thanks. I was seeking clarification for what you meant by "interesting/challenging/substantive," and this was really helpful.

Agreed that a case that is superficially sexy or comes from a sexy industry doesn't make it legally more interesting. By more "types" of cases, I was referring to how GDC's work covers a greater scope of litigation, from IP, appellate, admin/regulatory, transnational, to products liability, in addition to the New York classics of securities, M&A lit, and financial regulatory investigations. Friends who've worked at GDC, over the summer and currently, have been able to get onto this variety of matters, including the coveted appellate work - because frankly there is enough work to go around for GDC's relatively small number of associates, at least compared to DPW or PW. Of course, CSM is leanly staffed, but the rotation necessarily reduces your choice of matter type or involvement. I like both places for different reasons, and am thinking though the decision too!


Got it. 100% agree that the variety of the kind you mentioned is important, and it sounds great that even summers were able to get on appellate work (although do juniors have those same opportunities? summer assignments != junior assignments). Still, have you read the chapter of James Stewart's book "The Partners" that is about CSM? It covers the IBM antitrust litigation, which included 1) government investigations / trial work; 2) private trial work across the country; 3) appellate work across the country. All for one client. Beyond government, trial, and appellate, I believe CSM also had a products liability trial in CA this summer. And, of course, they do IP. You're probably right that GDC has more diversity of types of cases, but I think that's only a slight edge and probably not the smart deciding factor here (unless you're gung-ho on appellate, in which case why are you even looking NYC BigLaw as opposed to someplace like Wilmer DC?).

IMO the deciding factor is the rotation system vs. free-market. Because while CSM has the diversity of matters, you have no choice over how much of those matters you get exposure to. The other factor for me is culture. As other posters above have described, the culture at GDC (measured in friendly people, associates apparently have some work-life balance) seems bonkers good. Almost too good to be true (as in: what is recruiting not showing us?). Lastly, exit options: does CSM, with its sterling reputation, provide materially better exit options (thinking DOJ, AUSA, in-house, working at a smaller firm and hoping to quickly become partner) than GDC NY, which is the relative new kid on the block? These are questions I hope to have answered in second looks :)

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:04 am

Can anyone speak to the effects of PW's highly leveraged associate:partner ratio on work experience?

How is the substantive responsibility? Are teams unwieldy, overly hierarchical? Are people all crowding to get onto certain matters? Have you been able to develop the skills and have the experiences to set you up well for exit opportunities (DOJ, boutiques, in-house)?

PW's pitch to me has been: there's enough good work to go around. Some cases are big, some cases are small, you learn different things on these different size cases. Everyone is great and smart. You'll like working with each other, and always learn something from each other.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Am making same choice, but swap CSM with Skadden.

PW and Skadden certainly have stronger name brand as NYC firms. Do you want to stay in NYC? Long term goals seem worth considering here. Although, I'm not sure if Skadden and GDC being stronger brands in other markets gives you an edge in those markets should you eventually wish to leave NYC.

Personally I'm deciding at this point between the culture of GDC, where I felt I clicked most with the people, and the work at CSM (or to a lesser extent PW) which seems more interesting/challenging/substantive.


In what way did you think CSM vs. GDC's work was more interesting? I got the opposite impression, since GDC does more types of litigation than CSM's financial sector-heavy litigation. They were also opposite each other in CSM's headline litigation this year (Argentina vs. holdout creditors).


I've gotten the feeling, after speaking with a half-dozen or so CSM folks, that associates at CSM get materially more responsibility than associates at other firms (including GDC). i.e., taking a dep. in the first or second year as opposed to third; conducting client interviews as a summer as opposed to first or second year. This, I believe, may be a factor of CSM's smaller size / lean staffing, and the rotation / promote-from-within system which incentivizes training associates to handle more substantive responsibilities. So the tasks themselves are more substantive and, thus, more interesting.

Moreover, that GDC does "more types" of litigation doesn't necessarily mean that it's more "interesting." I've heard of GDC folks getting stuck on an entertainment-law case (sexy!) that involved weeks and weeks of just reading TV scripts. Granted, this was in LA, and maybe reading TV scripts is "interesting" to you. But I believe that the industry of the case does not determine how "interesting" a case is. CSM's litigation may be concentrated within the financial sector, but the work itself -- from billion-dollar K breaches to historic antitrust cases -- all seems to be very high-level, challenging, and, in my opinion, fascinating.


you are drinking kool-aid. by the liter.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby SLS_AMG » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Am making same choice, but swap CSM with Skadden.

PW and Skadden certainly have stronger name brand as NYC firms. Do you want to stay in NYC? Long term goals seem worth considering here. Although, I'm not sure if Skadden and GDC being stronger brands in other markets gives you an edge in those markets should you eventually wish to leave NYC.

Personally I'm deciding at this point between the culture of GDC, where I felt I clicked most with the people, and the work at CSM (or to a lesser extent PW) which seems more interesting/challenging/substantive.


In what way did you think CSM vs. GDC's work was more interesting? I got the opposite impression, since GDC does more types of litigation than CSM's financial sector-heavy litigation. They were also opposite each other in CSM's headline litigation this year (Argentina vs. holdout creditors).


I've gotten the feeling, after speaking with a half-dozen or so CSM folks, that associates at CSM get materially more responsibility than associates at other firms (including GDC). i.e., taking a dep. in the first or second year as opposed to third; conducting client interviews as a summer as opposed to first or second year. This, I believe, may be a factor of CSM's smaller size / lean staffing, and the rotation / promote-from-within system which incentivizes training associates to handle more substantive responsibilities. So the tasks themselves are more substantive and, thus, more interesting.


lol no. you sound like the type of person who will go to csm because it was ranked #1 on Vault this year while convincing yourself it's for other, substantive reasons, and you will end up absolutely hating your life within a month.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Am making same choice, but swap CSM with Skadden.

PW and Skadden certainly have stronger name brand as NYC firms. Do you want to stay in NYC? Long term goals seem worth considering here. Although, I'm not sure if Skadden and GDC being stronger brands in other markets gives you an edge in those markets should you eventually wish to leave NYC.

Personally I'm deciding at this point between the culture of GDC, where I felt I clicked most with the people, and the work at CSM (or to a lesser extent PW) which seems more interesting/challenging/substantive.


In what way did you think CSM vs. GDC's work was more interesting? I got the opposite impression, since GDC does more types of litigation than CSM's financial sector-heavy litigation. They were also opposite each other in CSM's headline litigation this year (Argentina vs. holdout creditors).


I've gotten the feeling, after speaking with a half-dozen or so CSM folks, that associates at CSM get materially more responsibility than associates at other firms (including GDC). i.e., taking a dep. in the first or second year as opposed to third; conducting client interviews as a summer as opposed to first or second year. This, I believe, may be a factor of CSM's smaller size / lean staffing, and the rotation / promote-from-within system which incentivizes training associates to handle more substantive responsibilities. So the tasks themselves are more substantive and, thus, more interesting.

Moreover, that GDC does "more types" of litigation doesn't necessarily mean that it's more "interesting." I've heard of GDC folks getting stuck on an entertainment-law case (sexy!) that involved weeks and weeks of just reading TV scripts. Granted, this was in LA, and maybe reading TV scripts is "interesting" to you. But I believe that the industry of the case does not determine how "interesting" a case is. CSM's litigation may be concentrated within the financial sector, but the work itself -- from billion-dollar K breaches to historic antitrust cases -- all seems to be very high-level, challenging, and, in my opinion, fascinating.


Okay, thanks. I was seeking clarification for what you meant by "interesting/challenging/substantive," and this was really helpful.

Agreed that a case that is superficially sexy or comes from a sexy industry doesn't make it legally more interesting. By more "types" of cases, I was referring to how GDC's work covers a greater scope of litigation, from IP, appellate, admin/regulatory, transnational, to products liability, in addition to the New York classics of securities, M&A lit, and financial regulatory investigations. Friends who've worked at GDC, over the summer and currently, have been able to get onto this variety of matters, including the coveted appellate work - because frankly there is enough work to go around for GDC's relatively small number of associates, at least compared to DPW or PW. Of course, CSM is leanly staffed, but the rotation necessarily reduces your choice of matter type or involvement. I like both places for different reasons, and am thinking though the decision too!


Got it. 100% agree that the variety of the kind you mentioned is important, and it sounds great that even summers were able to get on appellate work (although do juniors have those same opportunities? summer assignments != junior assignments). Still, have you read the chapter of James Stewart's book "The Partners" that is about CSM? It covers the IBM antitrust litigation, which included 1) government investigations / trial work; 2) private trial work across the country; 3) appellate work across the country. All for one client. Beyond government, trial, and appellate, I believe CSM also had a products liability trial in CA this summer. And, of course, they do IP. You're probably right that GDC has more diversity of types of cases, but I think that's only a slight edge and probably not the smart deciding factor here (unless you're gung-ho on appellate, in which case why are you even looking NYC BigLaw as opposed to someplace like Wilmer DC?).

IMO the deciding factor is the rotation system vs. free-market. Because while CSM has the diversity of matters, you have no choice over how much of those matters you get exposure to. The other factor for me is culture. As other posters above have described, the culture at GDC (measured in friendly people, associates apparently have some work-life balance) seems bonkers good. Almost too good to be true (as in: what is recruiting not showing us?). Lastly, exit options: does CSM, with its sterling reputation, provide materially better exit options (thinking DOJ, AUSA, in-house, working at a smaller firm and hoping to quickly become partner) than GDC NY, which is the relative new kid on the block? These are questions I hope to have answered in second looks :)


Different anon here. My 2c: diversity of cases *can* matter. Whether it's a smart deciding factor just depends on what you're looking for. Ultimately you have an embarrassment of riches, any of these firms can get you where you want.

Cravath and SullCrom do lean towards defense work for big institutional clients. Litigation shops like Quinn and Gibson do that, but will also do more plaintiff-side work and handle some weird government cases uncommon at Cravath, probably because many of the partners were former AUSAs and regulators. Gibson represented Apple this year in the iPhone unlocking controversies, for example. Of course, all these firms' work overlaps, no one escaped RMBS or Madoff. But depending on what gets you going, what you want to do afterward, and what legal issues you want exposure to: who your clients are and who the lawyers at your firm were in a past life does matter! This is based on comparing my friends' and my own experiences at these firms.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone speak to the effects of PW's highly leveraged associate:partner ratio on work experience?

How is the substantive responsibility? Are teams unwieldy, overly hierarchical? Are people all crowding to get onto certain matters? Have you been able to develop the skills and have the experiences to set you up well for exit opportunities (DOJ, boutiques, in-house)?

PW's pitch to me has been: there's enough good work to go around. Some cases are big, some cases are small, you learn different things on these different size cases. Everyone is great and smart. You'll like working with each other, and always learn something from each other.


Bumping this. Curious too about PW's size. Thoughts?



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