Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

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Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:20 pm

Please excuse (and redirect me, please!) if there are topics on this. I did a cursory search and came up empty-handed.

Does it matter if you work at a V10 or a V30 after graduation if you hope to land a government gig later? Right now I'm thinking USAO, but of course that may change in a few years.

Here's why I ask: I have an offer from a V30 for a 1L SA that would be binding for 2L summer, and thus essentially binding for after graduation. But this essentially closes out the prospect of working for a V10.

Prestige means little to me if it's not grounded in anything - meaning, if it's not going to affect my job prospects for leaving the firm, then I don't care.

Thoughts?

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby zot1 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:21 pm

Offers aren't binding on anything.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:35 pm

zot1 wrote:Offers aren't binding on anything.


I'm saying it's a two summer commitment. Once I commit to this summer, I've committed to next summer. That's basically binding for after graduation too, since I wouldn't be able to participate in OCI.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby sublime » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
zot1 wrote:Offers aren't binding on anything.


I'm saying it's a two summer commitment. Once I commit to this summer, I've committed to next summer. That's basically binding for after graduation too, since I wouldn't be able to participate in OCI.


Ok. They can say that but it's not binding.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:44 pm

sublime wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
zot1 wrote:Offers aren't binding on anything.


I'm saying it's a two summer commitment. Once I commit to this summer, I've committed to next summer. That's basically binding for after graduation too, since I wouldn't be able to participate in OCI.


Ok. They can say that but it's not binding.


Ok, I see. Interesting.

But can someone answer the question as to whether the vault ranking matters for finding a gov't gig after graduation?

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby zot1 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:33 pm

The point is that you should take your V30 offer then either during OCI or as a 3L try to get a V10 offer. You don't even know if you will want to continue your government aspirations. So why not put yourself in the best position possible anyway? It's a lot easier to look for a V10 offer when you already have another offer in the bag.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:44 pm

1L summer gig is an easy yes. No Brainer.

Is it a little scummy to bail after having "committed" to second summer? Sure. But do I know a guy who did the Akin pro bono program (supposed to be a 2 summer commitment) and bailed for a firm that was v1 at the time? Yes.


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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby 2014 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:52 pm

Vault won't per se matter but a lot of higher up Vault firms have better in roads to various agencies via well established alum networks, which may matter.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:57 pm

2014 wrote:Vault won't per se matter but a lot of higher up Vault firms have better in roads to various agencies via well established alum networks, which may matter.


Ty for the response. So, in that case, could it be possible that a firm with HQ in DC has better connections to these agencies than, say, a V10 firm with a HQ in New York?

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby favabeansoup » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:Vault won't per se matter but a lot of higher up Vault firms have better in roads to various agencies via well established alum networks, which may matter.


Ty for the response. So, in that case, could it be possible that a firm with HQ in DC has better connections to these agencies than, say, a V10 firm with a HQ in New York?


Vault has an inherent bias towards New York corporate work. Frankly it's not a good measure of anything besides general prestige.

Look for firms with respected partners and solid practices that interface a lot with the agency you want to end up in. More often than not many of that groups attorneys will have gov experience themselves. That will give you the best shot at getting into gov later on.

Chambers by practice area is much better ranking.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:30 pm

Depending on what USAOs you're looking out, no one would give a flying fuck. I'm quite sure no one at either USAO I've worked at cares one iota for Vault rankings. While that may be different in bigger metros than where I am, I agree with the above that it's going to matter what work you've done and who you've worked with, not some random number from a magazine.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby 2014 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:40 pm

favabeansoup wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
2014 wrote:Vault won't per se matter but a lot of higher up Vault firms have better in roads to various agencies via well established alum networks, which may matter.


Ty for the response. So, in that case, could it be possible that a firm with HQ in DC has better connections to these agencies than, say, a V10 firm with a HQ in New York?


Vault has an inherent bias towards New York corporate work. Frankly it's not a good measure of anything besides general prestige.

Look for firms with respected partners and solid practices that interface a lot with the agency you want to end up in. More often than not many of that groups attorneys will have gov experience themselves. That will give you the best shot at getting into gov later on.

Chambers by practice area is much better ranking.

Agreed - where the firm's headquarters is is far less important than how good their government interfacing groups are and how robust their alumni networks are. There are NY V10s that do very well placing into govt but there are others that are ranked that high on vault entirely on the strength of their corporate practice.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:17 pm

OP here. Thank you all so much for the thoughts! I really appreciate it.

Can anyone share specific thoughts on Akin Gump and Hogan Lovells? W/r/t this question, I'm just curious - I was having a debate with another person about working at one of these firms vs. firms in NYC that are highly ranked on Vault. He was convinced that a higher Vault firm = better chance at landing a good government gig.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:He was convinced that a higher Vault firm = better chance at landing a good government gig.

In a vacuum this is silly. A given higher-ranked firm may be better than a given lower-ranked firm, but not because of where they fall on Vault. Getting a government gig is based on having good experience relevant to the agency mission, and (in a lot of cases) connections. Whether a firm provides these things this may have some correlation with a Vault ranking (I have no idea), but it's not causation.

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Re: Does the Vault ranking of a firm matter much if you hope to eventually secure a government gig?

Postby RaceJudicata » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:52 pm

Vault ranking matters bigly.



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