Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

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Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:15 pm

Really torn between the two. Had "second look" and no red flags at either places.

Cultures are different, but feel like I can appreciate & adapt at either.

95% want to do litigation, but is okay with transactional work as well. Both have very good white collar work, which is something I'm into.

So Gibson NY or Paul Weiss NY?

Need to commit within the next week. Please help! Thanks.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:53 pm

I was making the same choice and ultimately chose PW for two reasons:

1) Politics. The GDC line here was 'day to day it doesn't matter because Ted Olson and Gene Scalia are in DC.' Which, fine. But for your own identity's sake, you (hopefully) have some feelings about wanting to associate yourself with the firm that argued the case which made the federal government recognize gay marriage, vs. the firm that put George Bush in the White House. I think those cases are representative of the pro bono work generally, in that PW will give you more left-leaning options (see eg Brad Karp's letter after the Orlando shooting) and GDC fewer left-leaning opportunities. So, this was one area where I found the firms meaningfully different.

2) I know I want to be in NYC long term, so being at PW's main office in NY felt like a better choice than GDC's NY office which, though its largest, is not the firm's HQ operationally or, to get somewhat squishy, spiritually. Or less squishy, reputationally. A lot of GDC's work seems to be national cases, as opposed to PW's work which seemed to me more NY-focused. So if you want to eventually leave NY-especially to DC or LA-this could tilt I'm GDC's favor. If NY is where you want to be, PW seems to be a stronger name here. Especially for litigation, and hopefully increasingly for corporate too w/ the Barshay and antitrust hires.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby loverlycastle » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:18 pm

OP here. I totally agree with your point on politics. PW is undoubtedly left-leaning, and in a way that I'm comfortable with.

GDC (NY), on the other hand, appears to have people of very diverse views as well, although, as you correctly noted, iconic figures in the firms have Republican credentials.

GDC attracts me, to some extent, because it allows associates more flexibility in picking up work. PW's assignment system works fine also, I assume, but seems rigid in that once I pick lit/trans, I remain there. What if I hate lit and want to move over to trans? I'm sure PW would allow, but GDC explicitly allows this.

What are your thoughts on PW's flexibility in practice area rotation & work assignment? GDC's banner allowing associates to shape their own career really appeals to me. Without that, I think I would go with PW.

Again thanks so much for the input.
Anonymous User wrote:I was making the same choice and ultimately chose PW for two reasons:

1) Politics. The GDC line here was 'day to day it doesn't matter because Ted Olson and Gene Scalia are in DC.' Which, fine. But for your own identity's sake, you (hopefully) have some feelings about wanting to associate yourself with the firm that argued the case which made the federal government recognize gay marriage, vs. the firm that put George Bush in the White House. I think those cases are representative of the pro bono work generally, in that PW will give you more left-leaning options (see eg Brad Karp's letter after the Orlando shooting) and GDC fewer left-leaning opportunities. So, this was one area where I found the firms meaningfully different.

2) I know I want to be in NYC long term, so being at PW's main office in NY felt like a better choice than GDC's NY office which, though its largest, is not the firm's HQ operationally or, to get somewhat squishy, spiritually. Or less squishy, reputationally. A lot of GDC's work seems to be national cases, as opposed to PW's work which seemed to me more NY-focused. So if you want to eventually leave NY-especially to DC or LA-this could tilt I'm GDC's favor. If NY is where you want to be, PW seems to be a stronger name here. Especially for litigation, and hopefully increasingly for corporate too w/ the Barshay and antitrust hires.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:24 pm

PW allows that. I was in orientation today with a former 3rd year from the other side of corp/lit than I am. That person mentioned that even a 6th year had made the switch before. Firm is fine with it.

I love PW so far, but I have only summered and just started, so grain of salt.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:32 pm

Thanks for confirming.

My only other concern is PW's partner to associate ratio and, relating to this, class size. The ratio at PW, I hear, is something like 1:6, whereas inGDC NY is only a half of that. Did you get the sense, while you summered, that too many associates are on a assignment with too few partners?

I know that lots of work is coming to PW. But I'm still a bit concerned about the class size. For a firm with 700+ attorneys, a summer class of 100+ seems to me a lot of people. Should I be concerned about potential layoff?

Thanks.
Anonymous User wrote:PW allows that. I was in orientation today with a former 3rd year from the other side of corp/lit than I am. That person mentioned that even a 6th year had made the switch before. Firm is fine with it.

I love PW so far, but I have only summered and just started, so grain of salt.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for confirming.

My only other concern is PW's partner to associate ratio and, relating to this, class size. The ratio at PW, I hear, is something like 1:6, whereas inGDC NY is only a half of that. Did you get the sense, while you summered, that too many associates are on a assignment with too few partners?

I know that lots of work is coming to PW. But I'm still a bit concerned about the class size. For a firm with 700+ attorneys, a summer class of 100+ seems to me a lot of people. Should I be concerned about potential layoff?

Thanks.
Anonymous User wrote:PW allows that. I was in orientation today with a former 3rd year from the other side of corp/lit than I am. That person mentioned that even a 6th year had made the switch before. Firm is fine with it.

I love PW so far, but I have only summered and just started, so grain of salt.


Yea, the leverage is kind of annoying.

I wouldn't be worried about offer rates. My summer was a big jump (we had like 150) and everybody got a full offer. Both departments seem pretty fucking slammed, and the recent laterals should only help that. Karp views it as a positive, and pointed to it as an intentional expansion since the recession, which shows the strength of the firm. (Karp is a complete badass, btw).

As far as leverage, I couldn't really get a good feel over summer. It seemed that pro-bono is the best way for close partner interaction (and their pro bono isn't just marketing bullshit either), but I had decent interaction on my paid matters, but at the same time, as a summer I wasn't put on a mega case. I wouldn't worry that much about it. All the partners have been nice as well. I'm sure there are exceptions, but Karp really seems to discourage a lot of the stereotypical terrible partner behavior, and because he is Karp, I believe him when he says shit like that. He also alluded to it in a recent interview. I think our partnership payment structure helps with this.

Obviously, I will have a better idea of how right or wrong I am in a few months to a few years, but I don't regret going there at all

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:55 pm

I'd check the NALP form on the 1:6 number. I think someone floated that stat once, but it includes staff attorneys (which are not included on GDC's NALP form, and at PW I was told don't sit on the same floors as associates/partners and don't affect partner interaction time). After removing staff attorneys I think PW is around 4-4.5? And GDC is around 3? So, GDC still wins but not by a whole lot. Also I'm going off memory here and don't have access to the #'s right now, so could be wrong. W/r/t layoffs, if another recession hits, no one is safe. No matter where you are.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:23 pm

I made this same decision this season as well, but went with Gibson. I will say it was a tough decision because I liked the people I met at both.

Frankly, I preferred the smaller office feel (and with it the much smaller summer class). Leverage absolutely factored into that.

The politics issue gave me a bit of pause, but the NY office isn't notably different in that respect than PW, and while the firm wide partnership does lean Republican, (a) that happens when you include offices in Dallas and Orange County, (b) it's more the country club Republicans than the Trump types, and (c) I don't feel like I'm in a position to judge when both firms make their money representing Wall Street and Corporate America. There are some pretty high profile Democrats working for Gibson too, and the pro bono opportunities at GDC are just as legit as at PW.

I got the vibe that Gibson was much better for day-to-day associate life w/r/t hours and face time. PW has more of a sweatshoppy reputation than the Cali firms.

Lastly, I placed value on the global/national footprint of Gibson. I like NY, and I can see a scenario in which I stay there, but I like knowing that the other offices are there, and that Gibson is reputedly willing to work with people if they have a reason to need a move. PW has national name recognition, sure, but is an admittedly NY-centric firm.

PS - I didn't place much value on this - but I just loved the Gibson offices, whereas I found the PW ones pretty meh by comparison.

ETA: Obviously just a 2L, so most of this is just impressions and is just the best knowledge I could glean.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'd check the NALP form on the 1:6 number. I think someone floated that stat once, but it includes staff attorneys (which are not included on GDC's NALP form, and at PW I was told don't sit on the same floors as associates/partners and don't affect partner interaction time). After removing staff attorneys I think PW is around 4-4.5?


+1

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'd check the NALP form on the 1:6 number. I think someone floated that stat once, but it includes staff attorneys (which are not included on GDC's NALP form, and at PW I was told don't sit on the same floors as associates/partners and don't affect partner interaction time). After removing staff attorneys I think PW is around 4-4.5?


+1


Going by NALP numbers: PW NY has 123 Partners, 464 Associates (and 66 counsel). Excluding staff attorneys and rolling counsel into associates (I think this makes the most sense?), you're looking at 4.3 associates/counsel per partner.

For GDC: 91 partners, 220 associates (and 19 counsel). That leaves us with 2.6 associates/counsel per partner.

These numbers were grabbed by looking at NALP broken down by practice area and totaling columns. To the extent that those numbers are wrong, these will be.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'd check the NALP form on the 1:6 number. I think someone floated that stat once, but it includes staff attorneys (which are not included on GDC's NALP form, and at PW I was told don't sit on the same floors as associates/partners and don't affect partner interaction time). After removing staff attorneys I think PW is around 4-4.5? And GDC is around 3? So, GDC still wins but not by a whole lot. Also I'm going off memory here and don't have access to the #'s right now, so could be wrong. W/r/t layoffs, if another recession hits, no one is safe. No matter where you are.



Anon who is starting PW associate above here - my impression is it is closer to 4.5 as well.


Also, PW didn't lay off, no offer, or defer any associates during the recession, to my knowledge, which makes me somewhat more comfortable there, if a recession were to happen. I also think part of that is that apparently certain practices were way busy during/after. Mainly lit and regulatory side propped up Corp side during the recession,according to a corp partner I spoke to and they still have business from it.

Obviously, no guarantees that it goes down that way this time, but I don't think there are many firms I would feel more comfortable at.

ETA: Thanks for looking at that anon above me. That sounds about right based on my experience.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:19 am

Another factor to consider is that GDC has non-equity partners. PW does not -- all PW partners have equity, and the compensation structure for partners is lock-step w/ a small bonus pool to compensate star earners (which is how they attract stars like Rick Rule and Scott Barshay). If GDC's leverage # was calculated using only equity partners, the number would come out closer to PW's. Whether this matters to you will, of course, depend on your views of the two-tier partnership model. Regardless, something to consider.

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Re: Gibson Dunn NY v. Paul Weiss NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:37 am




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