Why does Cravath take so many summers?

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rpupkin

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:11 am

star fox wrote:The no laterals thing is funny. Like the idea that a Davis Polk 4th year associate is just too tainted and beyond repair... like lol.

Well, if the bolded is a rationale for Cravath's policy, then I must concede that they have a point.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:The whole "no-lateral" policy is really loose. Cravath definitely takes litigators coming off of clerkships who have both summered and, in some cases, worked for 1-2 years at other shops. It's really a "no lateraling straight from a firm" policy.

It was my understanding that they take people off clerkships who summered at another firm, but not if they worked as an associate at another firm. If that's true, then it still seems to be a no laterals policy; someone who summered at another firm is not a "lateral" in the usual sense of the word.

The no-lateral-partners policy is is also pretty important, although that has some recent, notable exceptions (Kappos, Varney).

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby TLSModBot » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:28 am

Johann wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Very few if any cravath summers will clerk for SCOTUS

It's a great firm, but I am not sure why Cravath is so mythologized and idealized among law students. It's no different than other premier wall street firms in new york

Few people will clerk for SCOTUS at all, especially summers from any equivalent big shop in NYC generally.

To throw out a few reasons Cravath is idealized - comparatively small shop (~200 corporate lawyers total); therefore lean staffing; "top deals" in all practices; market leader on comp; no laterals; uniqueness in rotations/system; many of the foregoing has been the case for many years leads to developing that heir of prestige

Personally, I think the other top firms in NYC/otherwise are equally "good" for training, attorney exits, work quality, etc., but I do understand why Cravath stands out in terms of prestige amongst peers


how can you be a market leader on comp when your peer pays nearly 2x the salaries you pay?

Market leader does not mean "pays the most." It means "sets the salary that other major firms follow". There have been some others in the upper ranks like Simpson that have made moves first, but Cravath is traditionally the most influential in raises and salaries.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:49 am

Is it a bunch of Cravath summers ITT?

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:17 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Very few if any cravath summers will clerk for SCOTUS

It's a great firm, but I am not sure why Cravath is so mythologized and idealized among law students. It's no different than other premier wall street firms in new york

Because V1 prestige.

On a more serious note, it's not just the students. I have noticed professors and administrators using Cravath as a byword for "reputable Wall Street law firm".


Cravat IS a reputable Wall Street law firm, but that doesn't mean its summers are law school savants with feeder clerkships lined up.


I'll also add that at my t14, I had 3 tenured professors who had at least summered at Cravath (at least one or two had been actual associates)-- no other big law firm was represented like that. So it makes sense to me that professors would be more inclined to mention it.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby TLSModBot » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:31 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:Is it a bunch of Cravath summers ITT?

I'd guess the number here of Cravath Summers/associates in this thread is somewhere between 0 and -1

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:22 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:I'd guess the number here of Cravath Summers/associates in this thread is somewhere between 0 and -1


As a Cravath summer, I have to disagree; the number is at least 1. :lol:

As for the number of summers, I really enjoyed having so many people in our summer class, though I obviously didn't see most of them after orientation outside of social events. Lots of folks from different walks of life and a fair number of individuals from schools that the TLS community regularly advises against.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:57 pm

Not sure how this turned into a "How prestigious is Cravath thread?"

I don't think the no-lateral policy is the sole reason why Cravath (or S&C which has a slightly more lax no-lateral policy) has so many summers because Cravath could be more selective with the matters they take on. Some reasons/theories as to why they take so many summers:

1. Cravath is the go-to firm for a lot of large companies that have a lot of work. Stated differently, they are client-focused firm, rather than project-focused one (e.g., Wachtell), with a lot of clients and a lot of work. Because of this, they need a lot of hands to do the "grunt" (for lack of a better word) work but they don't necessarily need more people at the top (partners) to work with the clients they attract nor are there enough clients of that size to justify making the partnership larger.

2. Cravath wants to spread its alumni network. If you take 100 highly-competent summers and 95 of them will eventually move on to other things, thats 95 people who (a) have been trained by Cravath, (b) have seen first-hand the quality of Cravath's work, and (c) may be a client of the firm one day. A lot of Cravath alums end up becoming CEOs, top Bankers, etc.

3. Its easier to find 5 superstars, which is all they need, in a class of 100 summers than it is in a class of 50.

Also, although Cravath, Wachtell, and S&C all claim they don't take laterals, they all break that rule for the right candidate and if they need someone with the laterals skills/experience. If you're one of the best at what you do, you can lateral to one of these firms.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'll also add that at my t14, I had 3 tenured professors who had at least summered at Cravath (at least one or two had been actual associates)-- no other big law firm was represented like that. So it makes sense to me that professors would be more inclined to mention it.

I went to one of HYS, and I did not have a single professor—tenured or otherwise—who had ever worked at Cravath. So it makes sense to me that professors don't think of Cravath as prestigious.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not sure how this turned into a "How prestigious is Cravath thread?"

I don't think the no-lateral policy is the sole reason why Cravath (or S&C which has a slightly more lax no-lateral policy) has so many summers because Cravath could be more selective with the matters they take on. Some reasons/theories as to why they take so many summers:

1. Cravath is the go-to firm for a lot of large companies that have a lot of work. Stated differently, they are client-focused firm, rather than project-focused one (e.g., Wachtell), with a lot of clients and a lot of work. Because of this, they need a lot of hands to do the "grunt" (for lack of a better word) work but they don't necessarily need more people at the top (partners) to work with the clients they attract nor are there enough clients of that size to justify making the partnership larger.

2. Cravath wants to spread its alumni network. If you take 100 highly-competent summers and 95 of them will eventually move on to other things, thats 95 people who (a) have been trained by Cravath, (b) have seen first-hand the quality of Cravath's work, and (c) may be a client of the firm one day. A lot of Cravath alums end up becoming CEOs, top Bankers, etc.

3. Its easier to find 5 superstars, which is all they need, in a class of 100 summers than it is in a class of 50.

I'm not sure I understand your first point, but these all seem like reasons that could theoretically apply to other biglaw firms with less drastic summer-to-lawyer ratios. The question as originally stated was why there is such a disparity between the number of summers and the size of the firm:

proleteriate wrote:I don't understand, how/why do Cravath take 100 summers for a single office with less than 500 attys? Are there ~100 associates leaving every year? I understand some of these summers will go clerk for SCOTUS or something, but I'd imagine the majority of them will return right?
So while all your points may counsel in favor of more summers at the margins, I think the biggest factor has to be the "no laterals" policy. Speaking only for lit, it takes 40-60 Cravath summers to get ~10 6th year associates (that's sort of one more step beyond your third point).

Anonymous User wrote:Also, although Cravath, Wachtell, and S&C all claim they don't take laterals, they all break that rule for the right candidate and if they need someone with the laterals skills/experience. If you're one of the best at what you do, you can lateral to one of these firms.

I'm not sure where you're getting this info, but it is not entirely accurate for Cravath. As I said upthread:
quiver wrote:It was my understanding that they take people off clerkships who summered at another firm, but not if they worked as an associate at another firm. If that's true, then it still seems to be a no laterals policy; someone who summered at another firm is not a "lateral" in the usual sense of the word.

The no-lateral-partners policy is is also pretty important, although that has some recent, notable exceptions (Kappos, Varney).
Cravath never takes "lateral" associates (in the traditional sense of the word). Outside partners are brought in very rarely, but only if they (a) already worked at Cravath (Buretta, Stuart), or (b) are true laterals that fill an important niche (Kappos for IP, Varney for antitrust). If that's what you meant by "one of the best at what you do," then fair enough.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:13 pm

quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The whole "no-lateral" policy is really loose. Cravath definitely takes litigators coming off of clerkships who have both summered and, in some cases, worked for 1-2 years at other shops. It's really a "no lateraling straight from a firm" policy.

It was my understanding that they take people off clerkships who summered at another firm, but not if they worked as an associate at another firm. If that's true, then it still seems to be a no laterals policy; someone who summered at another firm is not a "lateral" in the usual sense of the word.

The no-lateral-partners policy is is also pretty important, although that has some recent, notable exceptions (Kappos, Varney).


Because so many people are now working for a year before their first clerkship, this standard for associates has relaxed

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The whole "no-lateral" policy is really loose. Cravath definitely takes litigators coming off of clerkships who have both summered and, in some cases, worked for 1-2 years at other shops. It's really a "no lateraling straight from a firm" policy.

It was my understanding that they take people off clerkships who summered at another firm, but not if they worked as an associate at another firm. If that's true, then it still seems to be a no laterals policy; someone who summered at another firm is not a "lateral" in the usual sense of the word.

The no-lateral-partners policy is is also pretty important, although that has some recent, notable exceptions (Kappos, Varney).


Because so many people are now working for a year before their first clerkship, this standard for associates has relaxed
Fair enough. My info might be out of date.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:24 pm

quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The whole "no-lateral" policy is really loose. Cravath definitely takes litigators coming off of clerkships who have both summered and, in some cases, worked for 1-2 years at other shops. It's really a "no lateraling straight from a firm" policy.

It was my understanding that they take people off clerkships who summered at another firm, but not if they worked as an associate at another firm. If that's true, then it still seems to be a no laterals policy; someone who summered at another firm is not a "lateral" in the usual sense of the word.

The no-lateral-partners policy is is also pretty important, although that has some recent, notable exceptions (Kappos, Varney).


Because so many people are now working for a year before their first clerkship, this standard for associates has relaxed
Fair enough. My info might be out of date.


While this might be true, I have still yet to see that many associates who spent their time outside of Cravath in their first two years of practice, clerked, then came to Cravath, outside of maybe T&E and Tax. What I have seen relaxed is the firm's attitude towards associates who work first and clerk. They used to be resist this trend pretty vigorously but now I think it's not uncommon to see associates to work first, clerk, then return to the firm.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby jingosaur » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:12 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'll also add that at my t14, I had 3 tenured professors who had at least summered at Cravath (at least one or two had been actual associates)-- no other big law firm was represented like that. So it makes sense to me that professors would be more inclined to mention it.

I went to one of HYS, and I did not have a single professor—tenured or otherwise—who had ever worked at Cravath. So it makes sense to me that professors don't think of Cravath as prestigious.


I have a professor who worked at Cravath. He lasted for 16 months. William O. Douglas quit after 4 months.

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Re: Why does Cravath take so many summers?

Postby lawlorbust » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:14 pm

jingosaur wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'll also add that at my t14, I had 3 tenured professors who had at least summered at Cravath (at least one or two had been actual associates)-- no other big law firm was represented like that. So it makes sense to me that professors would be more inclined to mention it.

I went to one of HYS, and I did not have a single professor—tenured or otherwise—who had ever worked at Cravath. So it makes sense to me that professors don't think of Cravath as prestigious.


I have a professor who worked at Cravath. He lasted for 16 months. William O. Douglas quit after 4 months.


Don't think Bill was cut out for biglaw in general



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