Litigation prestige

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Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:53 pm

How much does/should prestige matter in Litigation? If I'm considering Sidley (Chi) vs. Katten (Chi), looking at a firm I can stay at long-term and hopefully make partner at, would it still make sense to start at Sidley just to get the name on my resume, or should I just go all-in on Katten?

From my understanding, the exit options in litigation < being partner, so maybe it's better to go for partner than prestige? After all, the more prestigious firms are more leveraged, which I think means less of a chance of making partner compared to "lower" firms which have more partners than associates...

Thoughts?

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rpupkin

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby rpupkin » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:From my understanding, the exit options in litigation < being partner

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but way, way, way more people "exit" out of a law firm than make partner. Your chances of making partner at either Sidley or Katten are quite low. That doesn't mean, of course, that you shouldn't gun for partner if that's what you want, but it does mean that you should make career choices based on the assumption that you probably won't make partner.

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Jchance » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:40 pm

I'd take Sidley. Chance that you'd make partner at Sidley is ~1/30. After that, you get to move to Katten for another 1/30 roll. That's 2 rolls.
Starting at Katten, once you miss your 1/30 roll, you gotta move somewhere else and it's not on the same level as Sidley or Katten.

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:23 pm

how do u even measure litigation prestige

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jbagelboy

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:how do u even measure litigation prestige


Basically # of SCOTUS and COA clerks & selectivity of hiring across offices.

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:52 pm

I was going to say by Chambers band in my target market...

Is it a safe assumption that one can lateral down from a top firm? I've heard past year 4ish for litigation, it gets harder to lateral if you don't bring a book of business with you. Also, do firms treat laterals from "higher" firms the same way they'd treat a home-grown associate who started off there?

Thanks for the help!

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rpupkin

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby rpupkin » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it a safe assumption that one can lateral down from a top firm?

You can lateral down, up, or sideways—depending on the hiring needs of the firms you're looking at.


I've heard past year 4ish for litigation, it gets harder to lateral if you don't bring a book of business with you.

Eh, you're most marketable as a lateral when you're a 3rd/4th year, but there are plenty of firms that will hire a 5th or 6th year if they're busy. Very few big-law associates have "books of business"; and those that do are, for obvious reasons, in a great position to make partner at their home firms, so they're generally not on the lateral market.


Also, do firms treat laterals from "higher" firms the same way they'd treat a home-grown associate who started off there?

It depends, but usually not. A homegrown associate—a good homegrown associate, that is—has the advantage of working for years at the firm. A lateral can overcome the "firm networking" deficit, but it's hard. Also, the "higher" firm consideration isn't really a thing. The way you're treated is going to depend entirely on the quality of your past experience and the quality of your work at the firm, not on whether you started at a V10 or a V40.

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:46 am

Thanks! Very helpful. If that's the case, which of the two routes would make sense if the end goal is partner:

1) Start at "lower" firm, which has much better partnership prospects, and just put all eggs in one basket there

2) Start at higher firm, try for unlikely partnership, if it doesn't seem like it's going to happen by year 4-5, lateral and try again somewhere else

The higher firm seems like it also helps with exit options (gov/in house), so that's also a plus. But would it be totally crazy, in this situation, to just go straight for the lower firm since that's where partnership chances are greatest?

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks! Very helpful. If that's the case, which of the two routes would make sense if the end goal is partner:

1) Start at "lower" firm, which has much better partnership prospects, and just put all eggs in one basket there

2) Start at higher firm, try for unlikely partnership, if it doesn't seem like it's going to happen by year 4-5, lateral and try again somewhere else

The higher firm seems like it also helps with exit options (gov/in house), so that's also a plus. But would it be totally crazy, in this situation, to just go straight for the lower firm since that's where partnership chances are greatest?


I'll bite, but take what I say with a grain of salt because I'm a 2L also deciding between Sidley and another lower ranked firm.

rpupkin is giving you the solid and risk averse advice. 99/100 you will not be an exception to the rule. Don't plan on being that exception. Having said that, it sounds like you really like Katten and are just looking for somebody to tell you you're not crazy for liking them.

You're not crazy. Everybody has different preferences in regards to people/culture. However, only you can evaluate your like/dislike. TLS can't do that for you. Ultimately, it's your life--go where you think you'll be happy.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:04 am

Going to Katten definitely does not foreclose you from lateraling up either. Katten may not be the best example since its still a big firm, but at a somewhat smaller-yet still reputable firm- you might be able to lateral into the "better" firm with more legitimate experience.

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:57 pm

Not OP but similar situation.

What about McDermott v. Sidley?

RaceJudicata

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP but similar situation.

What about McDermott v. Sidley?


Sidley. McDermott doesn't have a great litigation group (as far as Chicago standards), Katten does.

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:25 pm

I don't believe in reflexively going to the highest ranked firm (especially if you want to be a litigator), but there is zero reason to go to Katten over Sidley if you want to litigate. This question is much more interesting if it's Sidley v. Jenner.

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:05 pm

Also not OP, but similarly: Quinn or S&C for lit?

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't believe in reflexively going to the highest ranked firm (especially if you want to be a litigator), but there is zero reason to go to Katten over Sidley if you want to litigate. This question is much more interesting if it's Sidley v. Jenner.


Not OP, but I'm stuck between Sidley v. Jenner. Want to litigate. Have deadlines next week and have no idea what to do. Help?

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Re: Litigation prestige

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:45 am

For whatever it's worth...

With few exceptions, when thinking about firms of roughly equivalent quality, I generally don't think the "partner-level" candidates at firm A are any worse than the "partner-level" candidates at firm B

So to apply to this scenario, if you were "good enough" to make partner at Katten, you probably would be "good enough" to make partner at Sidley

Obviously lots of different things need to go right for that to happen at either firm. But I don't think someone should think about it as "I'll try to make partner at Sidley, and if I can't, I'll lateral to Katten around year 7 and I can just make it there." If you're "good enough" to make partner at Katten, Sidley will want to keep you around indefinitely, and while they may lengthen the partner track or make you counsel instead, they will almost certainly try to keep you there.

The place you would just go make partner at instead would be of several degrees lesser quality than Katten



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