Is "trading up" worth it?

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Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:12 pm

I apologize if this sounds like a flame. I accepted an offer from a V20 firm (NY), but I'm wondering if doing 3L hiring to attempt to trade up to a V5 firm is worth it.

I'm planning to only do biglaw in NY for a few years before moving elsewhere. I don't yet have a specific practice interest or care much about firm culture (since I assume I'll be miserable whichever firm I'm at). My only real considerations are exit options and "preftige" boost to resume. I interviewed with V5 firms this cycle but struck out due to mediocre interviews, so I don't think 3L hiring is a longshot given my interview skills and resume have improved.

Considering the effort required to maintain my grades and risk my SA firm finding out, are the "exit options" from DPW/S&C/Cravath better enough to justify the effort of 3L hiring? Genuinely asking.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:03 pm

I would check by practice group, doubt it matters much otherwise (your WE will matter more).

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jbagelboy

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:16 pm

I don't really see the distinction between "V20" and "V5", except maybe for several rather specific transactional groups. There are several "V20" firms that you'd rather be at for many purposes than "V5" firms. Feels like arbitrary fructuation and variation within the error margin of any subject as amorphous as 'prestige'.

If you want m&a or finance, s&c/dpw/csm offer superior exit options on average than e.g. Jones day or sidley corporate. If that's your question.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:00 pm

jbagelboy wrote:If you want m&a or finance, s&c/dpw/csm offer superior exit options on average than e.g. Jones day or sidley corporate. If that's your question.

How much more "superior" are those exit options though? I guess that is my question. I have a rough impression that CSM/S&C/DPW on my resume rather than Jones Day or Sidley would give some benefit when job hunting as an associate a few years out. But having no experience with lateral hiring or exiting biglaw, I have no clue how great that benefit actually is. Is it worth the effort?

I realize that I am asking about things that are difficult to quantify and I apologize. Thanks for any input.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:If you want m&a or finance, s&c/dpw/csm offer superior exit options on average than e.g. Jones day or sidley corporate. If that's your question.

How much more "superior" are those exit options though? I guess that is my question. I have a rough impression that CSM/S&C/DPW on my resume rather than Jones Day or Sidley would give some benefit when job hunting as an associate a few years out. But having no experience with lateral hiring or exiting biglaw, I have no clue how great that benefit actually is. Is it worth the effort?

I realize that I am asking about things that are difficult to quantify and I apologize. Thanks for any input.


It is probably partly dependent on the quality of your work and your client contact and partly dependent on luck. I know the exit options at those three elite corporate firms are exemplary. How different they are from other very highly regarded firms with less traditionally dominant transactional practices in New York, I'm not sure. There are other people on this site like ibtdvorm that have a much better sense of this.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:16 pm

You can't just post some generic question about being a prestige whore and exit options without being specific. 95% of the time your question is ridiculous and is the essence of why law students/lawyers are insufferable pricks. There are certain career paths in which prestige whoring matters but they are VERY specific and you've given us no information, so I'll default to ridiculing you for being an useless vault ranking prestige slut.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:37 pm

Thanks for your replies. They are pretty much what I expected -- I suppose there are too many unknown factors for there to be a good answer to my question, since I don't have a definitive longterm career goal (and won't until I actually start practicing). I appreciate your opinions.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby zot1 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:27 pm

If you're not gonna shoot for V3, might as well not do anything.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Yukos » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:35 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:You can't just post some generic question about being a prestige whore and exit options without being specific. 95% of the time your question is ridiculous and is the essence of why law students/lawyers are insufferable pricks. There are certain career paths in which prestige whoring matters but they are VERY specific and you've given us no information, so I'll default to ridiculing you for being an useless vault ranking prestige slut.


What possesses someone to have this kind of reaction to an honest, innocent question?

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:47 pm

In any event, there's no reason to worry about this now. (Assuming you're a 2L.) If you go do your SA and realize you like a practice area that your firm doesn't do a ton of or isn't great in, then sure, go try to get a job at Skadden or whatever instead. But cross that bridge when you get there.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:45 am

Yukos wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:You can't just post some generic question about being a prestige whore and exit options without being specific. 95% of the time your question is ridiculous and is the essence of why law students/lawyers are insufferable pricks. There are certain career paths in which prestige whoring matters but they are VERY specific and you've given us no information, so I'll default to ridiculing you for being an useless vault ranking prestige slut.


What possesses someone to have this kind of reaction to an honest, innocent question?


Because it stems from the absolute worst trait law students have - mindless prestige whoring. They see that this firm has a higher number on a meaningless survey and therefore it must be universally better, right? It's insufferable. You say innocent question, I say ignorant question.

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Mr. Fancy

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Mr. Fancy » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:00 am

Transfer students are generally the worst

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:If you want m&a or finance, s&c/dpw/csm offer superior exit options on average than e.g. Jones day or sidley corporate. If that's your question.

How much more "superior" are those exit options though? I guess that is my question. I have a rough impression that CSM/S&C/DPW on my resume rather than Jones Day or Sidley would give some benefit when job hunting as an associate a few years out. But having no experience with lateral hiring or exiting biglaw, I have no clue how great that benefit actually is. Is it worth the effort?

I realize that I am asking about things that are difficult to quantify and I apologize. Thanks for any input.


What a lot of law students don't understand is that your exit opps depend much more on what you did before law school, what you are doing during law school, and what you are going to do at the law firm after starting full-time than the name of your law firm. At V5, there is a wide-range of exit opps.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby FuturePaulClement » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:23 am

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Yukos wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:You can't just post some generic question about being a prestige whore and exit options without being specific. 95% of the time your question is ridiculous and is the essence of why law students/lawyers are insufferable pricks. There are certain career paths in which prestige whoring matters but they are VERY specific and you've given us no information, so I'll default to ridiculing you for being an useless vault ranking prestige slut.


What possesses someone to have this kind of reaction to an honest, innocent question?


Because it stems from the absolute worst trait law students have - mindless prestige whoring. They see that this firm has a higher number on a meaningless survey and therefore it must be universally better, right? It's insufferable. You say innocent question, I say ignorant question.


[Sub-V5 detected]

Seriously though. You shouldn't discourage others from reaching their full potential. Vault rankings DO matter. Firm rank is perhaps the second best indicator of your potential as a lawyer next to school rank. Forget PPP. OP will see so many doors open by trading up. Even at a personal level, firm prestige is important. If you're at a high school reunion, pretty much everyone will have heard the name Cravath, Wachtell, or Skadden. Honestly, can you imagine anyone will know a firm like Boies, Schiller & Flexner?

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby smaug » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:10 pm

You had such an opportunity for a Kirkland joke. Alas.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:50 pm

FuturePaulClement wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Yukos wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:You can't just post some generic question about being a prestige whore and exit options without being specific. 95% of the time your question is ridiculous and is the essence of why law students/lawyers are insufferable pricks. There are certain career paths in which prestige whoring matters but they are VERY specific and you've given us no information, so I'll default to ridiculing you for being an useless vault ranking prestige slut.


What possesses someone to have this kind of reaction to an honest, innocent question?


Because it stems from the absolute worst trait law students have - mindless prestige whoring. They see that this firm has a higher number on a meaningless survey and therefore it must be universally better, right? It's insufferable. You say innocent question, I say ignorant question.


[Sub-V5 detected]

Seriously though. You shouldn't discourage others from reaching their full potential. Vault rankings DO matter. Firm rank is perhaps the second best indicator of your potential as a lawyer next to school rank. Forget PPP. OP will see so many doors open by trading up. Even at a personal level, firm prestige is important. If you're at a high school reunion, pretty much everyone will have heard the name Cravath, Wachtell, or Skadden. Honestly, can you imagine anyone will know a firm like Boies, Schiller & Flexner?


I do hope you're joking; no one outside of law and maybe finance knows what a cravath or davis polk or wachtell is. Vault rankings matter very little. They aren't really 'ranks'. People probably think pearson specter is the most prestigious law firm.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:57 pm

He's a known troll of the WUSTL threads. Don't troll, FPC.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Voyager » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:03 pm

FuturePaulClement wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Yukos wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:You can't just post some generic question about being a prestige whore and exit options without being specific. 95% of the time your question is ridiculous and is the essence of why law students/lawyers are insufferable pricks. There are certain career paths in which prestige whoring matters but they are VERY specific and you've given us no information, so I'll default to ridiculing you for being an useless vault ranking prestige slut.


What possesses someone to have this kind of reaction to an honest, innocent question?


Because it stems from the absolute worst trait law students have - mindless prestige whoring. They see that this firm has a higher number on a meaningless survey and therefore it must be universally better, right? It's insufferable. You say innocent question, I say ignorant question.


[Sub-V5 detected]

Seriously though. You shouldn't discourage others from reaching their full potential. Vault rankings DO matter. Firm rank is perhaps the second best indicator of your potential as a lawyer next to school rank. Forget PPP. OP will see so many doors open by trading up. Even at a personal level, firm prestige is important. If you're at a high school reunion, pretty much everyone will have heard the name Cravath, Wachtell, or Skadden. Honestly, can you imagine anyone will know a firm like Boies, Schiller & Flexner?


It's the difference between proudly carrying your firm name emblazoned bag OUTWARD on the subway or shamefully holding the bag firm name against your leg, constantly fearing that a sudden stop or turn will cause the bag to swing, revealing your professional failure to the world.

Don't even get me started on the umbrella problem...

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:45 pm

Voyager wrote:
FuturePaulClement wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Yukos wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:You can't just post some generic question about being a prestige whore and exit options without being specific. 95% of the time your question is ridiculous and is the essence of why law students/lawyers are insufferable pricks. There are certain career paths in which prestige whoring matters but they are VERY specific and you've given us no information, so I'll default to ridiculing you for being an useless vault ranking prestige slut.


What possesses someone to have this kind of reaction to an honest, innocent question?


Because it stems from the absolute worst trait law students have - mindless prestige whoring. They see that this firm has a higher number on a meaningless survey and therefore it must be universally better, right? It's insufferable. You say innocent question, I say ignorant question.


[Sub-V5 detected]

Seriously though. You shouldn't discourage others from reaching their full potential. Vault rankings DO matter. Firm rank is perhaps the second best indicator of your potential as a lawyer next to school rank. Forget PPP. OP will see so many doors open by trading up. Even at a personal level, firm prestige is important. If you're at a high school reunion, pretty much everyone will have heard the name Cravath, Wachtell, or Skadden. Honestly, can you imagine anyone will know a firm like Boies, Schiller & Flexner?


It's the difference between proudly carrying your firm name emblazoned bag OUTWARD on the subway or shamefully holding the bag firm name against your leg, constantly fearing that a sudden stop or turn will cause the bag to swing, revealing your professional failure to the world.

Don't even get me started on the umbrella problem...


I didn't have an umbrella on Friday except my firm provided umbrella. I was too ashamed to show people I work at a sub v5 so I just sucked it up and walked in that annoying drizzle.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby Voyager » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:13 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Voyager wrote:
FuturePaulClement wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Yukos wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:You can't just post some generic question about being a prestige whore and exit options without being specific. 95% of the time your question is ridiculous and is the essence of why law students/lawyers are insufferable pricks. There are certain career paths in which prestige whoring matters but they are VERY specific and you've given us no information, so I'll default to ridiculing you for being an useless vault ranking prestige slut.


What possesses someone to have this kind of reaction to an honest, innocent question?


Because it stems from the absolute worst trait law students have - mindless prestige whoring. They see that this firm has a higher number on a meaningless survey and therefore it must be universally better, right? It's insufferable. You say innocent question, I say ignorant question.


[Sub-V5 detected]

Seriously though. You shouldn't discourage others from reaching their full potential. Vault rankings DO matter. Firm rank is perhaps the second best indicator of your potential as a lawyer next to school rank. Forget PPP. OP will see so many doors open by trading up. Even at a personal level, firm prestige is important. If you're at a high school reunion, pretty much everyone will have heard the name Cravath, Wachtell, or Skadden. Honestly, can you imagine anyone will know a firm like Boies, Schiller & Flexner?


It's the difference between proudly carrying your firm name emblazoned bag OUTWARD on the subway or shamefully holding the bag firm name against your leg, constantly fearing that a sudden stop or turn will cause the bag to swing, revealing your professional failure to the world.

Don't even get me started on the umbrella problem...


I didn't have an umbrella on Friday except my firm provided umbrella. I was too ashamed to show people I work at a sub v5 so I just sucked it up and walked in that annoying drizzle.


I hear you. When I was a summer, I tried using blue sharpie on my [lower end] V50 blue umbrella. I ended up going through 3 permanent markers trying to "paint" over the entire thing to make it look right (minor victory: they were firm markers). Didn't really work.

Problematic if you run into a partner with it, too...

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:49 pm

jbagelboy wrote:If you want m&a or finance, s&c/dpw/csm offer superior exit options on average than e.g. Jones day or sidley corporate. If that's your question.


I have no experience or facts to back this up, but I just doubt that general counsel of X F100 is gonna take an unknown CSM "star associate" over a Sidley associate that said general counsel's best friend from law school, who is a Sidley partner, highly recommends.

I'd say circumstance and luck overshadows prestige to the point where prestige is relatively worthless when it comes to exit options excepting specific institutional clients that a firm feeds into. I'm sure CSM's partners regularly send associates to some of their long-time clients, but idk if in general, CSM's prestige provides any substantial advantage over Sidley's prestige when it comes to exit options.

TL;DR of all the things a company considers when hiring in-house counsel, the prestige of the firm is at the very bottom of the list. High-ranking firms only have an advantage for exit options because of institutional clients and long-term relationships, not their rank.

I mean, to the extent firm prestige is a signal for law school performance, people can just look at your "education" line on your resume to get a sense of your law school performance. To the extent firm prestige is a signal for superior training and experience, people in the know probably realize it's bs.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby smaug » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:51 pm

Thread has good consensus, some humor, reasonable viewpoints.

PnJ barges in to proudly show he knows nothing.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:28 pm

smaug wrote:Thread has good consensus, some humor, reasonable viewpoints.

PnJ barges in to proudly show he knows nothing.


I mean, the best way to learn things is to be wrong on the internet. Like, I have no problems with you explaining to me why I'm wrong. In fact, I'd appreciate it. I'm not particularly married to my ideas, and I did preface them with the statement that I'm not speaking from experience nor do I have any facts to back anything I say up.

You seem to respond to lots of stuff I say with basically "lol you're so stupid and wrong" and the occasional "your law school is absolute shit" thrown in, which I generally ignore because whatever who cares, but I'm just responding to say that I'd actually appreciate you explaining things. In this regard in particular, since I'd actually like to know how exit options work. Like I said, I'm not that gung ho about my theories and am quite ready to agree that I'm wrong.

inb4 "you're too dumb to be worth my time"

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby smaug » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:50 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:
smaug wrote:Thread has good consensus, some humor, reasonable viewpoints.

PnJ barges in to proudly show he knows nothing.


I mean, the best way to learn things is to be wrong on the internet. Like, I have no problems with you explaining to me why I'm wrong. In fact, I'd appreciate it. I'm not particularly married to my ideas, and I did preface them with the statement that I'm not speaking from experience nor do I have any facts to back anything I say up.

You seem to respond to lots of stuff I say with basically "lol you're so stupid and wrong" and the occasional "your law school is absolute shit" thrown in, which I generally ignore because whatever who cares, but I'm just responding to say that I'd actually appreciate you explaining things. In this regard in particular, since I'd actually like to know how exit options work. Like I said, I'm not that gung ho about my theories and am quite ready to agree that I'm wrong.

inb4 "you're too dumb to be worth my time"

I don't have anything against your school; I do have things against you because you operate on this pattern frequently.

As lazy as "lol, no" is, it's less gratingly entitled than "YOURE WRONG HERES MY BASELESS OPINION OK NOW PROVE WHAT YOU AAID INTIIALLY"

There are loads of threads you can read about edit options. I agree Vault isn't the end all.

That doesn't mean it's that the underlying metric (perceived prestige of corporate groups at top firms) is the last thing to be considered. Sadly, in law, prestige is always one of the first things to be considered. People really do care.

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Re: Is "trading up" worth it?

Postby lawlorbust » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:53 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:
smaug wrote:Thread has good consensus, some humor, reasonable viewpoints.

PnJ barges in to proudly show he knows nothing.


I mean, the best way to learn things is to be wrong on the internet. Like, I have no problems with you explaining to me why I'm wrong. In fact, I'd appreciate it. I'm not particularly married to my ideas, and I did preface them with the statement that I'm not speaking from experience nor do I have any facts to back anything I say up.

You seem to respond to lots of stuff I say with basically "lol you're so stupid and wrong" and the occasional "your law school is absolute shit" thrown in, which I generally ignore because whatever who cares, but I'm just responding to say that I'd actually appreciate you explaining things. In this regard in particular, since I'd actually like to know how exit options work. Like I said, I'm not that gung ho about my theories and am quite ready to agree that I'm wrong.

inb4 "you're too dumb to be worth my time"


(unprestigious)

(untitled to opinion)

ahhhh .. sometimes TLS is too good /too fun not to play around to.



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