Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

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Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:10 pm

Hi everyone,

Have an offer from both lowenstein sandler, riker danzig, proskauer and KL Gates (NJ offices), was wondering if anyone has input on pros/cons of each firm? Leaning towards lowenstein or riker but not sure

Thanks in advance

Danger Zone

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:20 pm

Of the NJ offices, Lowenstein by far has the most name recognition and prestige, and the most revenue. They like to consider themselves a NY firm, which means you will work NY hours, but also be compensated at the absolute top of the NJ market.

For Riker, I've heard nothing but horror stories. They don't pay top dollar, and they don't have the same name recognition, so I'm not sure why it's making the cut over the others.

I'd really put a lot of thought into whether you want to be in a main office or satellite office, as Lowenstein and Riker are the only ones that have their main office in NJ. You can search around these forums for pros and cons of satellite vs main office.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

1styearlateral

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:31 pm

I interviewed at Riker and really liked the people there. Culture seems down to earth and somewhat more relaxed. I still keep in touch with several attorneys there. Things to note though is that they went through a pretty severe restructuring recently and things didn't look too good for them although they seem to be still standing on their feet. Not sure where DZ is getting his information; yeah, they don't pay top dollar but they're still $100k+ and have really great name recognition in NJ (IMO they're a top 3 NJ-based firm). You might not be getting paid the most in NJ if you took a job there but Morristown and the surrounding towns are relatively cheap so you should factor that in. If they stay strong financially, I'd consider them when I'm ready to leave the city and settle down.

SFSpartan

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby SFSpartan » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:24 pm

No experience/knowledge of NJ market, but I would cross K&L Gates off your list given that firm's well publicized financial issues.

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:37 pm

Riker still has an excellent reputation in Northern NJ, as far as the quality of their work. DZ is right that they don't pay top dollar, but they do come close; Drinker and Lowenstein both pay $160k. I'm not sure about MLB down in Princeton, they might too; other than that, $130-135 is NJ market, and that is what Riker pays. Lowenstein, of course, also has an amazing reputation among NJ firms. They also do really different things, though; Riker's bread and butter are mass torts and insurance (some shitlaw insurance, some complicated insurance stuff), but they also have cool practice groups like Governmental Affairs, Education Law, etc. etc. Lowenstein is more standard.

That being said, they also have similar reputations as to how they treat their associates. Both of them have a reputation for working their associates really hard, and both of them share the NYC attitude towards billables, despite the lower pay over at Riker. The Riker financial troubles are also credited; they have a 15-20 person defection a few years ago (from a 130-150 person firm), and they never really recovered although I don't think they're in any danger of falling apart.

Another consideration is exit opportunities. Riker does really well feeding into federal clerkships in NJ, and they're actually (IMO) better for laterals within NJ because of the NJ cred they have (and NJ is a surprisingly insular market). Lowenstein will have plenty of portability too, but it's better outside NJ. For that reason, Riker folks get tapped often to go to the AG's office and other state gov't jobs. Lowenstein has more standard exit ops to other NYC area firms.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. I'm really familiar with NJ's legal market, but I'm anon because I've worked at one of the two firms discussed here.

1styearlateral

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The Riker financial troubles are also credited; they have a 15-20 person defection a few years ago (from a 130-150 person firm), and they never really recovered although I don't think they're in any danger of falling apart.

From what I understand yes, a few people lateraled to other firms but the majority of people who left retired and pretty much bankrupted the firm by all trying to collect their pensions at once. Caused a lot of Of Counsels there to be offered partnership (who perhaps wouldn't have normally been offered). I think some big clients left after that whole ordeal, too, but I'm not certain.

But I agree with you pretty much with everything else; Riker is considered one of the most prestigious NJ firms and is like the second oldest NJ firm next to McCarter English.

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi everyone,

Have an offer from both lowenstein sandler, riker danzig, proskauer and KL Gates (NJ offices), was wondering if anyone has input on pros/cons of each firm? Leaning towards lowenstein or riker but not sure

Thanks in advance


How long after your Lowenstein Sandler callback did you receive an offer?

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:36 pm

Also curious as to time frame between callback and offer

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:40 am

Heard back next day.

So if both have the same expectation in terms of billables/weekend work/etc wouldnt it be better to take the higher pay? or are exit options that much better from riker that its worth it? I thought riker was more so M-F than other firms

thanks again
Anonymous User wrote:Riker still has an excellent reputation in Northern NJ, as far as the quality of their work. DZ is right that they don't pay top dollar, but they do come close; Drinker and Lowenstein both pay $160k. I'm not sure about MLB down in Princeton, they might too; other than that, $130-135 is NJ market, and that is what Riker pays. Lowenstein, of course, also has an amazing reputation among NJ firms. They also do really different things, though; Riker's bread and butter are mass torts and insurance (some shitlaw insurance, some complicated insurance stuff), but they also have cool practice groups like Governmental Affairs, Education Law, etc. etc. Lowenstein is more standard.

That being said, they also have similar reputations as to how they treat their associates. Both of them have a reputation for working their associates really hard, and both of them share the NYC attitude towards billables, despite the lower pay over at Riker. The Riker financial troubles are also credited; they have a 15-20 person defection a few years ago (from a 130-150 person firm), and they never really recovered although I don't think they're in any danger of falling apart.

Another consideration is exit opportunities. Riker does really well feeding into federal clerkships in NJ, and they're actually (IMO) better for laterals within NJ because of the NJ cred they have (and NJ is a surprisingly insular market). Lowenstein will have plenty of portability too, but it's better outside NJ. For that reason, Riker folks get tapped often to go to the AG's office and other state gov't jobs. Lowenstein has more standard exit ops to other NYC area firms.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. I'm really familiar with NJ's legal market, but I'm anon because I've worked at one of the two firms discussed here.

Danger Zone

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:48 am

I just completely disagree with the above quoted poster about portability within NJ. Everyone knows that Lowenstein is top dog here. Riker might work you less hard, but that's more a function of which partners you end up working for rather than the firm as a whole.
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Danger Zone

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:19 am

Took a hot second to find this, but the proof is in the pudding. Riker barely makes the fold, Lowenstein stands head and shoulders above it in terms of RPL and PPP:

Image
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

1styearlateral

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:43 am

Danger Zone wrote:Took a hot second to find this, but the proof is in the pudding. Riker barely makes the fold, Lowenstein stands head and shoulders above it in terms of RPL and PPP:

Image

Good find and I would pretty much agree with you. But I think as far as NJ prestige goes (if you care about that): Lowenstein, Sills, McCarter, Gibbons, and Riker are the most widely-known and most highly-regarded. Doesn't mean you should pick one over the other unless you wanna be governor. Riker lost people and clients over the last two years so it's gonna take some time for them to move back up the rankings.

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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi everyone,

Have an offer from both lowenstein sandler, riker danzig, proskauer and KL Gates (NJ offices), was wondering if anyone has input on pros/cons of each firm? Leaning towards lowenstein or riker but not sure

Thanks in advance


If you don't mind me asking, when did you get your offer from Riker?

Anonymous User
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Re: Lowenstein Sandler vs Riker Danzig

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:08 pm

Lowenstein. People there are great. Firm has the best reputation in NJ, good reputation in NY. They're moving to a new office which should be fuckin sweet.



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