NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

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NYC Lit:

Skadden
12
20%
Paul, Weiss
37
63%
Gibson Dunn
10
17%
 
Total votes: 59

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:50 am

jbagelboy 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.


you are drinking kool-aid. by the liter.


kool aid drinker here. care to elaborate?

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:42 pm

FWIW, I had offers from all three of these firms (plus several other V10 firms in NYC). I picked GDC NYC and am so, so thankful that I did. Aside from the obvious pros that it shares with PW and Skadden (national reputation, top of the line litigation work, etc.), there are several things that make GDC NYC stand out.

(1) As mentioned before, the litigation work is super varied--this summer, I myself worked on appellate litigation (including two different Supreme Court matters--one at cert stage and one at the merits stage), securities litigation, white collar, international litigation, SLAPP litigation, corporate governance, and class action matters. Through my interactions with associates, I gleaned that this variety is normal. GDC wants you to be a generalist until at least you are a third year, after which you can start to specialize. This is super valuable for someone like me who knows I want to do litigation, but am unsure about exactly what type of litigation.

(2) GDC's low leverage (3.08) compared to Skadden (3.47) and PW's (5.80) comparatively high leverages has significant consequences. Rarely was I staffed on a matter in which there were fewer partners than associates. This includes several appellate matters in which it was just me, an associate, and a partner. This means you end up doing meaningful work and forging meaningful relationships with big shot partners, all the better for exit opportunities.

(3) GDC's work-life balance is so, so much better than PW and Skadden. I heard horror stories from summer associates at PW and Skadden about them (and, of course, associates) staying at the office until wee hours of the morning working on some matter. That is not the norm at GDC. Obviously, associates at any big law firm sometimes have to pull long nights, but at GDC, the culture is all about minimizing such scenarios. Every associate has a laptop and can work remotely. Most associates I spoke to worked at least one day a week from home--that's huge if you consider the time/hassle saved by not having to get ready and commute to/from work about 50 or so days in a year. Also, people leave the office sooner than later. Many a times, I would leave the office later in the evening than our standard 6/630 PM departure (usually because I had evening plans in midtown and wanted to hang out rather than commute home and back) and everyone on my floor was already gone. Sure, they sometimes probably left and logged back in from home later in the evening, but I'd much rather do that than work where there may be a culture of being glued at your desk until late at night.

(4) The people at GDC fall perfectly on the spectrum between bro-y and nerdy. I wanted a firm where people are fun, pleasant, nice, and interesting but also wicked intelligent (and somewhat nerdy about the law). You get that with the people at GDC and it makes working there a pleasure. These are people I enjoyed spending time with even after work, but it was not at all a work hard/play hard atmosphere. The culture of this place is really first-rate.

(5) GDC is great about staffing matters across offices. This means you can really work on all of the varied types of work it takes on as a firm. I often worked on matters with partners and associates across offices (EX: one partner in NYC, one partner in LA, one associate in OC, one associate in DC, and a couple of associates in NYC). Not only did this allow me to get to work on different matters, but it allowed me to expand my network. When I come back to the firm, I am very comfortable picking up the phone and calling any partner in any office to get work. I'm not sure you get that at all of the other firms you're considering.

(6) GDC has the very best office space. It has sick views all across midtown, with a sick location right above Park Ave. Obviously, this isn't a deal maker, but I'd rather work someplace that has a swanky office if I'm going to be spending a lot of time there. On the other hand, PW's offices are so basic and boring (even the remodel is not anything special) and Skadden's current offices are down-right disgusting (and word on the street is that their new offices are going to be Paul Hastings-y teamwork oriented--AKA a lot of big shared space). Oh, and to answer the previous question raised: first and second year associates share offices with windows, third and fourth year associates have single internal offices, and fifth year associates onwards have their own window offices (don't quote me on that though, because I'm forgetting the exact ranges, but that is the cycle for sure).

(7) GDC is one of the best managed firms in the country. For 20 years straight, the firm's revenues/profits have increased (yes, even during the Great Recession). Bloomberg recently did a podcast/story on Gibson and highlighted the exact same thing. PPP at GDC are at the top of the AmLaw 100 and there is no concern about job safety at Gibson.

(8) GDC is much smaller than PW and Skadden. GDC NYC has maybe 350 attorneys compared to the 700+ attorneys at PW and Skadden. Similarly, the summer associate program had 50 summers instead of the 130-150 behemoths that were PW and Skadden's summer programs. I like being personally known by everyone I work with, not just one of a hundred or so, which is why GDC was much more appealing to me than PW and Skadden. At the end of the summer, everyone in GDC NYC knew each other by name and had had real conversations with everyone else--I imagine that is not the case at PW and Skadden.

Obviously, I really enjoyed my summer at Gibson and am very thankful I picked the firm. I know it seems like I'm drinking the kool-aid, but I was thoughtful throughout my summer to question and be critical of everything I was experiencing (am I only getting Supreme Court matters because I'm a summer associate and they're trying to woo me? do the associates really work from home or are they just saying that? are only the people who show up to summer events super nice and friendly or is everyone else, even those who don't come for whatever reason, similar?) and was still impressed. Sitting in your position last summer, I wish someone had laid out these factors for me like I have for you, so I figured I'd invest the time to do so now.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:36 pm

Really appreciate the above post, thanks for the help!

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:50 pm

how the fuck/why does GDC have a 50 person summer class if its NYO is only 350 attys

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:54 pm

not the above poster, but per NALP and what I've heard during recruiting, their normal class is 28-35. this year's was particularly large and they've said they may bring it back down.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:13 pm

Just think something doesn't add up if the sunshine and rainbows talk above is true.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Joscellin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just think something doesn't add up if the sunshine and rainbows talk above is true.


I mean, 50 summers is 1/7th of a 350 attorney office. That's not off, ratio wise, from PW bringing in 110 for a 750 attorney office.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:24 pm

Firms don't always have the number of acceptances that they expect. I interviewed at WilmerHale and they had twice the yield they expected last year. It shows that they have a good rep and/or do a good job recruiting.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:50 am

Obviously GDC is really good at recruiting when they get people to post stuff like the above on TLS.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:Obviously GDC is really good at recruiting when they get people to post stuff like the above on TLS.


yea there's a lot of firm kool-aid going around in this thread.

your experience at cravath and gibson is not materially different from your experience at paul weiss or skadden. I do believe that GDC would have slightly lower hours than CSM, PW, or Skadden, but it could totally fluctuate depending on what kind of case you are on. None of these firms do a particular type of "high-level, challenging" work that the others do not do. PW is a little more sweatshoppy in litigation than the other three, but all have leveraged practices and junior attorneys will not be conducting significant depositions or evading doc review at any of them.

It is good to get a diversity of opinion. It's also good to keep things in perspective when you finish your summer or "speak with a half dozen folks" at a firm that they are pitching you, and not act like any of these truly similar and often indistinguishable choices are revolutionary.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:19 am

Is GDC NY a significant prestige drop relative to the other firms mentioned in this thread?

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Traynor Brah » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, I had offers from all three of these firms (plus several other V10 firms in NYC). I picked GDC NYC and am so, so thankful that I did. Aside from the obvious pros that it shares with PW and Skadden (national reputation, top of the line litigation work, etc.), there are several things that make GDC NYC stand out.

(1) As mentioned before, the litigation work is super varied--this summer, I myself worked on appellate litigation (including two different Supreme Court matters--one at cert stage and one at the merits stage), securities litigation, white collar, international litigation, SLAPP litigation, corporate governance, and class action matters. Through my interactions with associates, I gleaned that this variety is normal. GDC wants you to be a generalist until at least you are a third year, after which you can start to specialize. This is super valuable for someone like me who knows I want to do litigation, but am unsure about exactly what type of litigation.

(2) GDC's low leverage (3.08) compared to Skadden (3.47) and PW's (5.80) comparatively high leverages has significant consequences. Rarely was I staffed on a matter in which there were fewer partners than associates. This includes several appellate matters in which it was just me, an associate, and a partner. This means you end up doing meaningful work and forging meaningful relationships with big shot partners, all the better for exit opportunities.

(3) GDC's work-life balance is so, so much better than PW and Skadden. I heard horror stories from summer associates at PW and Skadden about them (and, of course, associates) staying at the office until wee hours of the morning working on some matter. That is not the norm at GDC. Obviously, associates at any big law firm sometimes have to pull long nights, but at GDC, the culture is all about minimizing such scenarios. Every associate has a laptop and can work remotely. Most associates I spoke to worked at least one day a week from home--that's huge if you consider the time/hassle saved by not having to get ready and commute to/from work about 50 or so days in a year. Also, people leave the office sooner than later. Many a times, I would leave the office later in the evening than our standard 6/630 PM departure (usually because I had evening plans in midtown and wanted to hang out rather than commute home and back) and everyone on my floor was already gone. Sure, they sometimes probably left and logged back in from home later in the evening, but I'd much rather do that than work where there may be a culture of being glued at your desk until late at night.

(4) The people at GDC fall perfectly on the spectrum between bro-y and nerdy. I wanted a firm where people are fun, pleasant, nice, and interesting but also wicked intelligent (and somewhat nerdy about the law). You get that with the people at GDC and it makes working there a pleasure. These are people I enjoyed spending time with even after work, but it was not at all a work hard/play hard atmosphere. The culture of this place is really first-rate.

(5) GDC is great about staffing matters across offices. This means you can really work on all of the varied types of work it takes on as a firm. I often worked on matters with partners and associates across offices (EX: one partner in NYC, one partner in LA, one associate in OC, one associate in DC, and a couple of associates in NYC). Not only did this allow me to get to work on different matters, but it allowed me to expand my network. When I come back to the firm, I am very comfortable picking up the phone and calling any partner in any office to get work. I'm not sure you get that at all of the other firms you're considering.

(6) GDC has the very best office space. It has sick views all across midtown, with a sick location right above Park Ave. Obviously, this isn't a deal maker, but I'd rather work someplace that has a swanky office if I'm going to be spending a lot of time there. On the other hand, PW's offices are so basic and boring (even the remodel is not anything special) and Skadden's current offices are down-right disgusting (and word on the street is that their new offices are going to be Paul Hastings-y teamwork oriented--AKA a lot of big shared space). Oh, and to answer the previous question raised: first and second year associates share offices with windows, third and fourth year associates have single internal offices, and fifth year associates onwards have their own window offices (don't quote me on that though, because I'm forgetting the exact ranges, but that is the cycle for sure).

(7) GDC is one of the best managed firms in the country. For 20 years straight, the firm's revenues/profits have increased (yes, even during the Great Recession). Bloomberg recently did a podcast/story on Gibson and highlighted the exact same thing. PPP at GDC are at the top of the AmLaw 100 and there is no concern about job safety at Gibson.

(8) GDC is much smaller than PW and Skadden. GDC NYC has maybe 350 attorneys compared to the 700+ attorneys at PW and Skadden. Similarly, the summer associate program had 50 summers instead of the 130-150 behemoths that were PW and Skadden's summer programs. I like being personally known by everyone I work with, not just one of a hundred or so, which is why GDC was much more appealing to me than PW and Skadden. At the end of the summer, everyone in GDC NYC knew each other by name and had had real conversations with everyone else--I imagine that is not the case at PW and Skadden.

Obviously, I really enjoyed my summer at Gibson and am very thankful I picked the firm. I know it seems like I'm drinking the kool-aid, but I was thoughtful throughout my summer to question and be critical of everything I was experiencing (am I only getting Supreme Court matters because I'm a summer associate and they're trying to woo me? do the associates really work from home or are they just saying that? are only the people who show up to summer events super nice and friendly or is everyone else, even those who don't come for whatever reason, similar?) and was still impressed. Sitting in your position last summer, I wish someone had laid out these factors for me like I have for you, so I figured I'd invest the time to do so now.

This poster is trolling, right?

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is GDC NY a significant prestige drop relative to the other firms mentioned in this thread?


Also curious - thoughts? Exit opportunities don't seem materially different than at PW/DPW? What about CSM/S&C?

Or, as above posters pointing out, we are all overthinking these firms' differences.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:16 am

jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Obviously GDC is really good at recruiting when they get people to post stuff like the above on TLS.


yea there's a lot of firm kool-aid going around in this thread.

your experience at cravath and gibson is not materially different from your experience at paul weiss or skadden. I do believe that GDC would have slightly lower hours than CSM, PW, or Skadden, but it could totally fluctuate depending on what kind of case you are on. None of these firms do a particular type of "high-level, challenging" work that the others do not do. PW is a little more sweatshoppy in litigation than the other three, but all have leveraged practices and junior attorneys will not be conducting significant depositions or evading doc review at any of them.

It is good to get a diversity of opinion. It's also good to keep things in perspective when you finish your summer or "speak with a half dozen folks" at a firm that they are pitching you, and not act like any of these truly similar and often indistinguishable choices are revolutionary.


Given marginal differences, which of the firms in this thread (GDC CSM P,W and Skadden) would you choose and why? Or is it really just wherever you liked the people the most?

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby SLS_AMG » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is GDC NY a significant prestige drop relative to the other firms mentioned in this thread?


Also curious - thoughts? Exit opportunities don't seem materially different than at PW/DPW? What about CSM/S&C?

Or, as above posters pointing out, we are all overthinking these firms' differences.


Stop abusing anon.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is GDC NY a significant prestige drop relative to the other firms mentioned in this thread?


Also curious - thoughts? Exit opportunities don't seem materially different than at PW/DPW? What about CSM/S&C?

Or, as above posters pointing out, we are all overthinking these firms' differences.


PW, CSM, DPW and S&C are all equally 'prestigious' in litigation and offer comparable exit opportunities. There's no realistic way to group them differently. Each of these firms has a little more clout and recognition than CA-based Gibson Dunn, but how that affects your experience as a junior is blurrier.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Obviously GDC is really good at recruiting when they get people to post stuff like the above on TLS.


yea there's a lot of firm kool-aid going around in this thread.

your experience at cravath and gibson is not materially different from your experience at paul weiss or skadden. I do believe that GDC would have slightly lower hours than CSM, PW, or Skadden, but it could totally fluctuate depending on what kind of case you are on. None of these firms do a particular type of "high-level, challenging" work that the others do not do. PW is a little more sweatshoppy in litigation than the other three, but all have leveraged practices and junior attorneys will not be conducting significant depositions or evading doc review at any of them.

It is good to get a diversity of opinion. It's also good to keep things in perspective when you finish your summer or "speak with a half dozen folks" at a firm that they are pitching you, and not act like any of these truly similar and often indistinguishable choices are revolutionary.


Given marginal differences, which of the firms in this thread (GDC CSM P,W and Skadden) would you choose and why? Or is it really just wherever you liked the people the most?


If I wanted to stay in New York forever, and I had only those four options, I would definitely be choosing between Paul Weiss and Cravath, and it would come down in large measure to personality and firm culture, but with regard also to client mix and where the emphasis of the firm lies. These are my unbiased observations, but they are not gospel. Cravath is formal and rigidly hierarchical, from the office layout to the social interactions to the work assignments; partners sit on different floors as associates, secretaries' offices are designed for partner exclusivity, young attorneys are assigned to specific older attorneys that may or may not be interested in cultivating a mentorship relationship; attire is business formal even in 95% humidity. You have to buy into their system and LOVE work: it's best when you develop the same cultish narrative as recruiting. You have less flexibility in some ways than peers at e.g. DPW and PW but you might receive more responsibility. Summers have to actually work.

Cravath is a corporate based firm, whereas Paul Weiss is traditionally litigation based (although they are growing their transactional practice and stealing Cravath partners while they're at it). PW has a mega-practice that's less leanly staffed than Cravath (although neither are truly 'leanly staffed') so teams are bigger and there's more of a slush fund, which contributes to PW's much higher PPP. PW is a slightly more aggressive but less stiff place to work that prides itself on a different set of traditions than CSM: Paul Weiss considers itself path-breaking and original, whereas Cravath is a preserver of golden rules. I don't know as much about Paul Weiss' interior and culture by first hand since I did not receive an offer there, but I know they have a broader array of industry representations and you are more likely to be able to avoid securities work.

I think they are equally valid choices and I have plenty of friends that considered both. Where I would pick if push came to shove? Maybe Cravath for the smaller teams, but DPW and Simpson would be preferable in other ways if they were on the table. Many litigation summers at this level will be clerking at least within their first two or three years so they get a chance at another choice when they play the clerkship market; many switch at that juncture, some stay.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:43 pm

Would the exit ops for GDC be materially different vs. CSM, DPW and S&C?

Thinking about choosing GDC over them.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:44 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Obviously GDC is really good at recruiting when they get people to post stuff like the above on TLS.


yea there's a lot of firm kool-aid going around in this thread.

your experience at cravath and gibson is not materially different from your experience at paul weiss or skadden. I do believe that GDC would have slightly lower hours than CSM, PW, or Skadden, but it could totally fluctuate depending on what kind of case you are on. None of these firms do a particular type of "high-level, challenging" work that the others do not do. PW is a little more sweatshoppy in litigation than the other three, but all have leveraged practices and junior attorneys will not be conducting significant depositions or evading doc review at any of them.

It is good to get a diversity of opinion. It's also good to keep things in perspective when you finish your summer or "speak with a half dozen folks" at a firm that they are pitching you, and not act like any of these truly similar and often indistinguishable choices are revolutionary.


Given marginal differences, which of the firms in this thread (GDC CSM P,W and Skadden) would you choose and why? Or is it really just wherever you liked the people the most?


If I wanted to stay in New York forever, and I had only those four options, I would definitely be choosing between Paul Weiss and Cravath, and it would come down in large measure to personality and firm culture, but with regard also to client mix and where the emphasis of the firm lies. These are my unbiased observations, but they are not gospel. Cravath is formal and rigidly hierarchical, from the office layout to the social interactions to the work assignments; partners sit on different floors as associates, secretaries' offices are designed for partner exclusivity, young attorneys are assigned to specific older attorneys that may or may not be interested in cultivating a mentorship relationship; attire is business formal even in 95% humidity. You have to buy into their system and LOVE work: it's best when you develop the same cultish narrative as recruiting. You have less flexibility in some ways than peers at e.g. DPW and PW but you might receive more responsibility. Summers have to actually work.



Some of this isn't wrong, but a few points so that people making decisions currently are not misinformed.

- Partners do not sit on different floors from associates. Partners do sit in suites in the corners of the floors (typically with 3-4 partner offices in each), but are almost always on the same floor as the associates in their group.

- I know these are the buzzwords people use when talking about csm on this forum, but how exactly are the "social interactions" "formal and rigidly hierarchical"? Having worked here and another NYC firm (think DPW, STB, Deb, CGSH) before law school, I've noticed zero difference in the "social interactions" of colleagues at either firm.

- I don't really know what the bolded sentence above means.

- Firm dress policies really shouldn't matter either way when deciding where to go, but the firm goes business casual when it is hot in New York. Happened on many occasions this summer, in some cases for an entire week at a time.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Obviously GDC is really good at recruiting when they get people to post stuff like the above on TLS.


yea there's a lot of firm kool-aid going around in this thread.

your experience at cravath and gibson is not materially different from your experience at paul weiss or skadden. I do believe that GDC would have slightly lower hours than CSM, PW, or Skadden, but it could totally fluctuate depending on what kind of case you are on. None of these firms do a particular type of "high-level, challenging" work that the others do not do. PW is a little more sweatshoppy in litigation than the other three, but all have leveraged practices and junior attorneys will not be conducting significant depositions or evading doc review at any of them.

It is good to get a diversity of opinion. It's also good to keep things in perspective when you finish your summer or "speak with a half dozen folks" at a firm that they are pitching you, and not act like any of these truly similar and often indistinguishable choices are revolutionary.


Given marginal differences, which of the firms in this thread (GDC CSM P,W and Skadden) would you choose and why? Or is it really just wherever you liked the people the most?


If I wanted to stay in New York forever, and I had only those four options, I would definitely be choosing between Paul Weiss and Cravath, and it would come down in large measure to personality and firm culture, but with regard also to client mix and where the emphasis of the firm lies. These are my unbiased observations, but they are not gospel. Cravath is formal and rigidly hierarchical, from the office layout to the social interactions to the work assignments; partners sit on different floors as associates, secretaries' offices are designed for partner exclusivity, young attorneys are assigned to specific older attorneys that may or may not be interested in cultivating a mentorship relationship; attire is business formal even in 95% humidity. You have to buy into their system and LOVE work: it's best when you develop the same cultish narrative as recruiting. You have less flexibility in some ways than peers at e.g. DPW and PW but you might receive more responsibility. Summers have to actually work.



Some of this isn't wrong, but a few points so that people making decisions currently are not misinformed.

- Partners do not sit on different floors from associates. Partners do sit in suites in the corners of the floors (typically with 3-4 partner offices in each), but are almost always on the same floor as the associates in their group.

- I know these are the buzzwords people use when talking about csm on this forum, but how exactly are the "social interactions" "formal and rigidly hierarchical"? Having worked here and another NYC firm (think DPW, STB, Deb, CGSH) before law school, I've noticed zero difference in the "social interactions" of colleagues at either firm.

- I don't really know what the bolded sentence above means.

- Firm dress policies really shouldn't matter either way when deciding where to go, but the firm goes business casual when it is hot in New York. Happened on many occasions this summer, in some cases for an entire week at a time.


Let me preface by repeating what I said: that considering everything I listed, I would probably have chosen Cravath above those four firms, including Paul Weiss, and so I am in no way disparaiging it.

The bolded means that junior litigators start with a particular group of litigation partners and then after some fixed but not always constant period of time, rotate to another partner or group of partners.

The firm's dress policies have no bearing independently. They are one element of an office culture that in some ways is particular to the firm, and in other ways is indistinguishable from peers.

Partners offices are further separated--and felt to me intentionally so--from associates' working spaces than at other firms. I apologize if I was misleading when I said they were on different floors.

The firm is more hierarchical in many of the ways described than paul weiss. It cultivates, in my limited experience and those that I trust, an environment that is a little stuffier, more "work"- and a certain kind of professionalism focused. IMO think is not for everyone. When choosing between firms with identical reputation and quality of work, this becomes an important consideration. It's even an attraction for many.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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.


Just want to add that bolded is wrong. The system you described was the old system. All first years at PW now share an internal office. The only exception is if you request/are given an office with 2 officemates, i.e. 3 people total. Then you will be given a large, windowed office. If you want only 1 officemate (2 total people), you will share a small internal office with no window.

You are correct however in your description of 2nd and 3rd year offices. It is also important to note that your 2nd year internal office will be as large as your first year shared office, so you have quite a bit more space in addition to being solo.

It's not ideal, but seems way way better than GDC since they have to wait until year 5 to get solo external offices.

Having said all that, I had offers at several V10s and chose PW and don't regret it at all. It is so large and electic personality wise that it's seemingly impossible to not fit in somewhere. There are just too many people there to not find other people that are similar to you and that you get along with. I've heard that it has a nerdy rep, a quirky rep, a frat-boy rep, and every other kind of rep you can think of. The truth, ime, is that it's all true and it's all false. I've met tons of bros. I've met tons of nerdy shy types and nerdy outgoing types. I've met tons of work hard play hards. I've met tons of work hards never plays. What I haven't met are many insufferable people. There are a few, but that's true of every firm, and it's so few that people will even tell you who you are so you can avoid them.

It is true that the firm is very liberal. I'm fairly confident that every NYC big law firm is liberal though, as is all of the NYC professional world. PW may be a bit more liberal than these other places, but it's not really an issue for anyone, and I have even met a whole bunch of conservatives who don't seem to be in any rush to leave.

Also that PW burns and churns out associates claim is only half true. Yes it is very large and can feel at times like you are just hired labor thrown onto a matter and no one really cares what happens to you. But the reality is the firm very much cares about its associates, and is very much involved in helping them leave to exit options (which are as good as it gets for litigation and still very strong for corporate). Additionally, because it is so big, it is very much a choose your own adventure type of place. It is definitely possible to get substantive work early in your career, but you will have to go out and seek it. On the other hand, I know several associates who have billed UNDER 1800 hours for MULTIPLE YEARS IN A ROW and NO ONE has ever said a word to them and they've gotten the same salary/bonus as everyone else Let that sink in for a minute. It may not be the best strategy to getting the top exit options but if that's not your primary concern and instead you want to skate by through the miserable big law experience with as much semblance of a life as possible, it is considerably easier to do at PW than at other firms, given its size.

Oh and as a corollary to that I've never heard of anyone asked to leave here before the end of Year 5, and in many cases even longer. You won't make partner, but if you want to chase the money for a while they are usually very happy to have you stay for 5-7 years, which is not true of many other firms.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:09 am

Some PW questions:

1. Exit opportunities: can anyone give examples about how PW literally or logistically helps you out? For instance, DPW's assignment coordinator for midlevels and higher asks associates where they want to go after and tries hard to place them on cases with partners who have the relevant connections.

2. Informal training: I'm particularly interested in legal writing. Is it common for partners to sit down and review drafts with associates? Will you lose opportunities to take on difficult writing again if you don't do great right off the bat?

3. Substantive responsibility/ownership: as the poster above said, seems like PW has diverse personalities, so it's been hard for me to get a read on the associate experience. I've met amazing proactive associates with great casework, and defeated, downtrodden, admittedly shy-seeming, ones stuck on very few cases since they've started - all juniors. How do you get the work you want, whether case type or more responsibility for paid (not pro bono) matters? Is the firm responsive to your expressed priorities? Does the firm care about your holistic skills development, or is it really more about the bottom line and slotting you wherever there's need notwithstanding that you're not getting to develop different skills on different types of cases? Can you get ownership as a first year?

4. How is partner/associate interaction? While I've really liked the partners I met at a reception, it stood out starkly how uninvolved PW partners are in recruiting compared to at every peer firm I'm considering. Other firms' partners I interviewed with have proactively reached out by phone or email several times, offered to meet up again, even took me out to dinner - but PW couldn't get one partner onto my second look schedule. HOWEVER, I know recruiting does not equal reality, and PW recruiting may just be poor at logistics. For instance, they put associates who were about to leave (one foot out, didn't like PW) or had just returned (disoriented, still getting settled in again) on my second look schedule.

I'm asking all of the above because I really like PW - some of the most impressive people I've met in the process. But I'm kicking the tires because I've also encountered some real red flags.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:57 pm

Since we have some folks here who have spent time at each of these firms, can anyone speak to the bathroom games at each?

I hear a rumor that Skadden only springs for single ply?

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would the exit ops for GDC be materially different vs. CSM, DPW and S&C?

Thinking about choosing GDC over them.


Not at all. I looked at all of these firms and worked at one, and they all have similar exit options.

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Re: NYC Lit: GDC v PW v Skadden

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:53 pm

anon above said he/she knows several people bill under 1800 hours several yrs in a row at pw. i know several pw people who bill over 2400 several yrs in a row, some higher, and not by "choice." yr 2 pw associate. sweatshop like all of em.



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