Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

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Sidley, Skadden, or Steptoe?

Sidley
10
37%
Skadden
12
44%
Steptoe
5
19%
 
Total votes: 27

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Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:41 pm

Hi,

Right now I have three offers - from Sidley, Skadden, and Steptoe, all in Chicago. I also had callbacks with Ropes and Paul Hastings, but I haven't heard anything so I'm assuming I'll only get offered if someone else turns down an offer.

I'm interested in mostly litigation but also would try tax. I felt like the people at Steptoe were a great fit - but it's a small office (only 35 people) and I would be their first summer associate class in the commercial litigation group (1 out of 2 SAs). I feel like Steptoe would have a better w/l balance and the people are really cool, but I worry about the exit options and the name vs. Sidley and Skadden.

Skadden was nice, but the people felt a little more formal/quiet than Steptoe. I'd be able to do both litigation and tax there over the summer, but getting my first choice isn't guaranteed and I know Steptoe does more trial work than Skadden and being smaller = more substantive work experience.

Sidley seems pretty intent on making me do transactional, and since I have a preference for lit over tax, I am not considering them as much. If there is any reason not to be discounting them, let me know.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:16 pm

.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:16 pm

.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:25 pm

I personally don't know much at all about lit, but being in a tiny, satellite office (Steptoe) would make me nervous. Especially since their SA class is only 2 and you'd be the first hire in your dept.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:56 pm

OP here: is it wrong that I find it part of the draw to work at a smaller, growing office with only 2 associates? In my prior work experience I worked at a smaller, growing organization and was able to take on leadership roles and learn a lot about how to run organizations at a younger age than most. Maybe that doesn't translate well to the legal field, but I feel like getting in at Steptoe early in Chicago would give me a better shot at making partner and way more experience than at other firms. Would love to hear pushback on that idea.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:57 pm

Or it's a small office that doesn't generate much business and you get stealthed in two years.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:03 pm

That is a real concern. The folks at the firm told me they've been generating more business than they can handle right now and are looking to double or triple their size down the road. Obviously I should take that with a grain of salt. I guess the Steptoe office would be a riskier move, but the risk could alternatively pan out well.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby RaceJudicata » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:21 pm

Go Skadden if they are hiring u for lit. The small Office could be a big risk, particularly since they haven't ever hired summers before.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:15 am

RaceJudicata wrote:Go Skadden if they are hiring u for lit. The small Office could be a big risk, particularly since they haven't ever hired summers before.


can i ask why Skadden if hiring for lit?

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:23 am

How do you know that Sidley wants you to do transactional work? Isn't the class size big enough that you're free to choose any practice area you like?

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nealric

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby nealric » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:26 am

Do tax you fool.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:Go Skadden if they are hiring u for lit. The small Office could be a big risk, particularly since they haven't ever hired summers before.


can i ask why Skadden if hiring for lit?


Because op said he wanted to do lit, and because he said sidley was hiring him/her for Corp, so they can be elimated (that said, feel like he/she could get assignments in a summer class of 50+ without much trouble).

Steptoe does not have remotely the presence in Chicago (or elsewhere) that Skadden does. It's objectively a better firm. If he/she hates it in a few years, can lateral elsewhere

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby kipp » Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How do you know that Sidley wants you to do transactional work? Isn't the class size big enough that you're free to choose any practice area you like?


OP here -That's generally true, but I've heard from current associates and this year's summers that they generally like you to pick transactional or lit and work within those one of those two spheres. This could be untrue or perhaps I've misconstrued what people have told me. I'm considering making one last push to put my hat into trying both, explicitly, but we'll see.

RaceJudicata wrote:It's objectively a better firm. If he/she hates it in a few years, can lateral elsewhere


I disagree with this in part. I think the kind of work you do makes a difference - and it has the potential to be qualitatively different at Skadden than Steptoe (Steptoe apparently does a lot more trial work in Chicago than typical V100 firms, which I'm into).

nealric wrote:Do tax you fool.


Why? I'm into tax because I've heard it's the most intellectually rigorous of the transactional practices and offers a decent w/l balance comparatively, but on the other hand it is a service practice area (I'm an extrovert), you don't get to build a client base typically, and the exit options seem pretty narrow. Plus, most of the tax partners I've met seem super jaded about being lawyers in general...would love to hear any criticisms of what I've said.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby nealric » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:25 pm

kipp wrote:
Why? I'm into tax because I've heard it's the most intellectually rigorous of the transactional practices and offers a decent w/l balance comparatively, but on the other hand it is a service practice area (I'm an extrovert), you don't get to build a client base typically, and the exit options seem pretty narrow. Plus, most of the tax partners I've met seem super jaded about being lawyers in general...would love to hear any criticisms of what I've said.


1) Extroversion: Tax is actually great for extroverts in part because there are so many introverts in tax. You need to be able to sell yourself internally and externally. The extroverted tax people I've met tend to be the most successful.

2) Client base: this is actually not true. While a lot of your work will come from just working on firm deals, there's more tax-specific work than one might think. There are actually a decent number of tax lawyers who have a big book of business.

3) Exit options: Tax has some of the BEST exit options. Way more in-house tax work than litigation, but other firms are always looking for tax people. You can also transition into business as you often end up understanding the economics of the deal better than the corporate types. The IRS pays better than being an AUSA as well if you are looking for government.

4) Tax is actually the most happy of the practice areas. See : http://abovethelaw.com/2012/10/and-bigl ... mpers-are/

Also, worth noting that if you love the idea of being in the courtroom, there is still tax controversy work.
Last edited by nealric on Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sidley v. Skadden v. Steptoe

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:57 pm

nealric wrote:2) Client base: this is actually not true. While a lot of your work will come from just working on firm deals, there's more tax-specific work than one might think. There are actually a decent number of tax lawyers who have a big book of business.

This is especially true at Skadden Chicago. Rayis has one of the biggest books of business in all of Skadden as a tax partner in Chicago.



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