Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

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Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:44 pm

Junior associate looking to lateral to either NoCal or SoCal. Interested in hearing people's thoughts on which biglaw firms have good tech transaction practices in terms of learning experience (i.e. the amount of substantive work, diversity of experience), office / practice group atmosphere, pay, growth potentials, and chances of going in-house. Thanks!

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby merde_happens » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:57 pm

Top two that come to mind in SV are Cooley and Gunderson.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:13 am

I have a friend at the latter -- they seem fairly happy.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:35 am

I've heard WSGR and Mofo also have large groups.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:25 am

mofo has a good group. there's much more tech transaction work in norcal than socal in general.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:35 am

Gunderson, Cooley, Goodwin.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:16 pm

Currently work at one of the aforementioned places in tech transactions. Chance of landing a good in house exit is like 100% if you are normal after 2+ years of experience.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:02 pm

Can non-tech undergrad degree + mediocre grades at a T25 -T30 range w 1yr of soft IP exp get a job at one of these firms?

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby favabeansoup » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can non-tech undergrad degree + mediocre grades at a T25 -T30 range w 1yr of soft IP exp get a job at one of these firms?


If by mediocre grades from a T25-30 you mean around the median and not at UCI, the answer is very likely no. If by mediocre grades you mean in the top 30% from UCI, the answer is maybe but still probably unlikely.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can non-tech undergrad degree + mediocre grades at a T25 -T30 range w 1yr of soft IP exp get a job at one of these firms?


It won't be easy, but it is possible if you can try to spin what experience you do have into something relevant. Technical degree is not really important.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:30 pm

favabeansoup wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can non-tech undergrad degree + mediocre grades at a T25 -T30 range w 1yr of soft IP exp get a job at one of these firms?


If by mediocre grades from a T25-30 you mean around the median and not at UCI, the answer is very likely no. If by mediocre grades you mean in the top 30% from UCI, the answer is maybe but still probably unlikely.

Curious why you say that about UCI. Just because it's a California school or because it's considered at a higher level than the others in the range?

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby bk1 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Currently work at one of the aforementioned places in tech transactions. Chance of landing a good in house exit is like 100% if you are normal after 2+ years of experience.

This is my understanding of tech transactions, that it is one of the best practices for going in-house.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:59 pm

Possible to lateral as a second or third year into tech transactions from a general corporate/M&A background?

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:13 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses. Assuming T6 slightly below medium, 2 years of patent prosecution experience in CS/EE with some licensing experience. Any chance at the above-mentioned places?

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks everyone for the responses. Assuming T6 slightly below medium, 2 years of patent prosecution experience in CS/EE with some licensing experience. Any chance at the above-mentioned places?


Possible, but not a guarantee. Patent prosecution is not particularly relevant experience. I would play up the licensing work. Maybe try to get some deal experience.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
favabeansoup wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can non-tech undergrad degree + mediocre grades at a T25 -T30 range w 1yr of soft IP exp get a job at one of these firms?


If by mediocre grades from a T25-30 you mean around the median and not at UCI, the answer is very likely no. If by mediocre grades you mean in the top 30% from UCI, the answer is maybe but still probably unlikely.

Curious why you say that about UCI. Just because it's a California school or because it's considered at a higher level than the others in the range?


Curious to the reasoning behind this statement?

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Possible to lateral as a second or third year into tech transactions from a general corporate/M&A background?

Yeah. Would help to have some background and have M&A experience with tech deals that you can at least spin.

Also seems like there is some variety with what is meant by tech transactions. Some places you could be just doing M&A for tech companies. Other places you could be the IP guy who is on a bunch of different deals doing a lot of IP diligence but not running things.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Mr. Fancy » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:37 pm

For the Bay Area, it'll mostly be the same firms as those that have good startup (i.e. tech company) practices since those are the clients you'll be servicing. So Wilson, Cooley, Fenwick, Gunderson, Orrick, Goodwin, MoFo and DLA.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:51 pm

Mr. Fancy wrote:For the Bay Area, it'll mostly be the same firms as those that have good startup (i.e. tech company) practices since those are the clients you'll be servicing. So Wilson, Cooley, Fenwick, Gunderson, Orrick, Goodwin, MoFo and DLA.


Interested in the bolded. I had no idea they had a large presence in the valley.

I think Latham has a decent sized group as well, though not as large as Wilson, Cooley, etc.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby favabeansoup » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
favabeansoup wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can non-tech undergrad degree + mediocre grades at a T25 -T30 range w 1yr of soft IP exp get a job at one of these firms?


If by mediocre grades from a T25-30 you mean around the median and not at UCI, the answer is very likely no. If by mediocre grades you mean in the top 30% from UCI, the answer is maybe but still probably unlikely.

Curious why you say that about UCI. Just because it's a California school or because it's considered at a higher level than the others in the range?


Curious to the reasoning behind this statement?


Disclaimer: not in tech trans but can generalize.

From a work experience perspective: Tech trans is closer to M&A than it is to IP work, so a 1 year soft IP work exp isn't really transferable at all. Previous work exp in general isn't that transferable unless you are talking CPA/Hard IP tech background/etc.

From a grade/school perspective: T25-30 mediocre grades (lets say top 50%) have a very slim chance of getting biglaw at all anyway. Typically you only see 30-35% of kids at those schools getting biglaw, and usually those kids are confined to the markets their schools are located in. Only one school (UCI) is even in CA, the rest are on the east coast. If you get biglaw (which is difficult with mediocre grades), it will be even more difficult to move from east coast to west coast with lack of traditional hiring by certain local biglaw firms.

From a hiring perspective: Only a few firms actually do tech trans work. You can't guarantee the 1-2 biglaw offers you *might* get from a T-25-30 school will be one of those firms.

UCI: UCI might get you in because (1) it's in CA (2) it might have some alumni working at the few specific firms that do it. Still probably need top 30% minimum though.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:51 pm

Wilson sonsini for sure. They're a powerhouse. Even generally in northern cali wilson sonsini and mofo are the two top firms.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:02 pm

3L here. Sorry to derail a bit, but does anyone have lateral experience with MoFo (I know a few people there) or others? I'm going into regional biglaw in a west coast secondary to do M&A/start-up work and have considered moving to SF down the road for personal & professional reasons; expecting to graduate at median from an east coast lower T13, so I'm wondering at what point are grades no longer a deal-breaker?

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks everyone for the responses. Assuming T6 slightly below medium, 2 years of patent prosecution experience in CS/EE with some licensing experience. Any chance at the above-mentioned places?


From what I have seen at Cooley, prosecution experience will not help your goals at all. They don't let associates switch a whole lot between prosecution and litigation/transactions, so it is rare that an associate has a healthy docket of prosecution + anything else. So trying to get into the prosecution group with the aim of going into transactions isn't likely to work for you. Also, most of the partners who do CS/EE prosecution work there are also on the east coast; it's incredibly unlikely that they'll hire you in CA to do prosecution work. So if I were you I wouldn't market the prosecution experience as a way to get into the firm; I would be trying to market myself as a straight-up transactions associate.

Whether you get a job there or not would depend on more specifics.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:3L here. Sorry to derail a bit, but does anyone have lateral experience with MoFo (I know a few people there) or others? I'm going into regional biglaw in a west coast secondary to do M&A/start-up work and have considered moving to SF down the road for personal & professional reasons; expecting to graduate at median from an east coast lower T13, so I'm wondering at what point are grades no longer a deal-breaker?


Just speculating here, but if you look at the schools that MoFo's SF associates went to, it's...kind of intimidating. I'd bet that you'd need several years of good experience (so, you'd need to be a mid-level or better) before you'd be distanced enough from your grades to get in.

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Re: Which California biglaw has a good tech transaction practice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:30 pm

TTG associate in NorCal, so no sense of SoCal firms. In the Bay Area, Latham SV and MoFo SF for buy-side tech. WSGR, Fenwick, Gunderson for sell-side tech. Cooley SV and WSGR for life sciences transactions. S&C also does tech-side TTG work as a satellite. They all do a mix of tech and life sciences commercial work and the M&A support work just depends on what corporate brings in.

100% on great exit options, particularly if you're interested in working for a client, so you can't go wrong from a career perspective. Just choose the group you like the most culturally (or if you have to be in SF, hope for MoFo). WSGR does good work, but can be a big hit or miss on culture - anecdotally, I've only heard bad things about their tech-side TTG culture, but very positive on the life sciences transactions half.



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