Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

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Shearman or Willkie?

Willkie
9
39%
Shearman
10
43%
Either
4
17%
 
Total votes: 23

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Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:45 pm

Hey guys, I'm fairly set on doing litigation and am lucky enough to be choosing between Shearman and Willkie. It seems like most people advise me towards Shearman because it has more general prestige, but I'm not sure if that's important given that I know I want to lit, and Shearman seems more transactionally oriented. Also I've heard great things about the people at Willkie, and some not-so-great things about the people at Shearman (I hear it's very white shoe).

What are your thoughts?

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:10 pm

I'm also interested in this, but add Kramer Levin to the mix.

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:36 pm

Assuming NY for both, I don't think there is a big difference. Similar or identical band rankings on Chambers (commercial lit is identical). Shearman has a more international reputation so I don't know how much that matters to you. I was considering both firms as well (ended up going with a third). I lean towards Shearman because I liked the people there (I can't even remember who I spoke with at Willkie other than my screener and 1/4 CB interviewers) and the international thing. Also, I'd hedge your bets on litigation unless you found a way to dig deep into litigation over the past summer. Especially if you're K-JD, I'd be careful about "knowing" what you want to do.

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Bilb0Baggins

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Bilb0Baggins » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:44 pm

I met an associate from Shearman at a firm-sponsored event who responded to my question of "How do you like the work" by answering that "It sucks, but they pay you -- which is better than law school, which sucks but you have to pay." I'm sure there are unhappy associates at Willkie too, but that Shearman couldn't trot out a associate less critical of the firm struck me as a major red flag.

From everyone I've spoken with the firms are comparable in respect of practice areas. Shearman has a stronger international reputation and more international work if that's what you want. I would decide based on how comfortable you felt around the people, and whether international appeals to you (in practice at Shearman this means FCPA, and arbitration in the Paris office. Willkie will be more stateside, traditional civil lit.).

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Wild Card

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Wild Card » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:22 pm

Bilb0Baggins wrote:I met an associate from Shearman at a firm-sponsored event who responded to my question of "How do you like the work" by answering that "It sucks, but they pay you -- which is better than law school, which sucks but you have to pay." I'm sure there are unhappy associates at Willkie too, but that Shearman couldn't trot out a associate less critical of the firm struck me as a major red flag.

From everyone I've spoken with the firms are comparable in respect of practice areas. Shearman has a stronger international reputation and more international work if that's what you want. I would decide based on how comfortable you felt around the people, and whether international appeals to you (in practice at Shearman this means FCPA, and arbitration in the Paris office. Willkie will be more stateside, traditional civil lit.).


Yes, I spoke with a partner who has worked at Shearman for over 30 years: he couldn't articulate what made Shearman unique, or even special.

Both are equally strong with respect to Chambers banding in Litigation. IIRC, the only difference is that Willkie is Band 4 in White Collar Defense and Government Investigations, whereas Shearman is unbanded in that practice area.

I keep hearing that both firms are TTTs in decline, which is sad, because both are also my only choices so far.

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:51 pm

Wild Card wrote:I keep hearing that both firms are TTTs in decline, which is sad, because both are also my only choices so far.


Really? I haven't heard that about Willkie at all and have heard that while Shearman did drop heavily after 2008/2009, they're on the upswing now.

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:57 pm

willkie if you like the people better. what is general prestige? why does that matter?

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:08 pm

Probably about the same for litigation. Although, I've heard rumors Shearman is working to expand their lit department. Shearman definitely has the edge in corporate.

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Probably about the same for litigation. Although, I've heard rumors Shearman is working to expand their lit department. Shearman definitely has the edge in corporate.


Where are these rumors from?

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Wild Card » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Probably about the same for litigation. Although, I've heard rumors Shearman is working to expand their lit department. Shearman definitely has the edge in corporate.


Where are these rumors from?


This one is from Chambers, IIRC.

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Re: Shearman v. Willkie for litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:08 pm

The two firms are very similar in ranking and general prestige. Their corporate departments are similarly regarded. Shearman does more international work and I recall that they tout their international arbitration practice especially. I'm not sure who is telling you they either is a "TTT in decline."

Your choice should probably depend on what type of lit you want, whether there are major differences between the assigning systems at each firm, and whether you liked the people. I can say that WFGs lit department does a lot of FCPA/investigations work, as well as the typical work found in NYC lit departments (mostly securities, then some "general commercial," bankruptcy, and antitrust). There are some partners that also do M+A/governance advisory lit which is sort of an interesting subspecialty. I do not know to what extent these are strengths at Shearman.



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