Anonymous User wrote: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.
Is there glass window to the hallway? Is the window tinted for privacy? might as well put people in cubicles if your going to stick 3 associates in an internal office