Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

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umichman
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Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby umichman » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:18 am

I have heard that the two biggest debtor shops (kirk/weil) are brutal in terms of work intensity and hours. I was wondering if there were any restructuring associates here that can comment on their experience of being associates at either these firms or others and whether it has been positive or not in terms of good experience and less brutal hours? Mostly interested in New York, but also just in general. Vault is kind of useless in my opinion because it ranks mostly based on industry success which is focused on partners. Since being a partner at one of these is nearly impossible, i am more focused on the associate experience.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:38 am

Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.


I'm sure it's been discussed to death, but in this environment (and prior, I guess) what kind of exits and at what years have you seen from your firm?

redsox550
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby redsox550 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.



3500!!! HOLY MOLY

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sublime
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby sublime » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:11 pm

redsox550 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.



3500!!! HOLY MOLY


Yea. Fuck that under any circumstances. I will quit before I bill that much.

redsox550
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby redsox550 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:15 pm

sublime wrote:
redsox550 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.



3500!!! HOLY MOLY


Yea. Fuck that under any circumstances. I will quit before I bill that much.


I Dont even get how that is possible and i am assuming its an exaggeration. That would be 300 hours a month consistently. nobody hits that for one month at my firm EVER

lawlorbust
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby lawlorbust » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.


Did you qualify for a bonus?

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sublime
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby sublime » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:18 pm

Idk. Some partners at my firm say they do it, and I'm sure associates at mine have done it, but I work at a place with a sweatshop reputation, and nothing even close to that is expected.

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zhenders
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby zhenders » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:19 pm

My understanding of restructuring is that if you really want to go into that kind of work, you are going to need to come to terms with a very difficult schedule. Restructuring and Bankruptcy, by their natures, are incredibly time sensitive; when an issue is live, you're working -- A LOT.

Bearing that in mind, your options are going somewhere where you'll have a lot of down time punctuated by insane weeks/months -- as in, a place that doesn't get the "best" work, but does get work -- and a place like the firms mentioned above where you'll get s LOT of work ALL the time.

What I'm trying to say is, restructuring is not, from my understanding, the "work/life balance" practice group. Go in eyes open.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:24 pm

sublime wrote:
redsox550 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.



3500!!! HOLY MOLY


Yea. Fuck that under any circumstances. I will quit before I bill that much.


+1

180k loses its value once you have to bill that much; that's $51 an hour. (Assuming no bonus)

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:54 pm

3500 is crazy and imo not sustainable.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:57 pm

zhenders wrote:My understanding of restructuring is that if you really want to go into that kind of work, you are going to need to come to terms with a very difficult schedule. Restructuring and Bankruptcy, by their natures, are incredibly time sensitive; when an issue is live, you're working -- A LOT.

Bearing that in mind, your options are going somewhere where you'll have a lot of down time punctuated by insane weeks/months -- as in, a place that doesn't get the "best" work, but does get work -- and a place like the firms mentioned above where you'll get s LOT of work ALL the time.

What I'm trying to say is, restructuring is not, from my understanding, the "work/life balance" practice group. Go in eyes open.


Associate from above.

This sums it up pretty well. There are a number of good firms out there that do solid restructuring work, but you have to understand that the large majority of the big debtor side cases go to KE/Weil and this puts a lot of very time sensitive work on small practice groups.

The hours really aren't an exaggeration, they're crazy and totally unsustainable. It's basically 70+ hour weeks punctuated by the occasional series of all nighters around filing/other major events. Bankruptcy in general is pretty crazy right now for a variety of reasons (e.g. the implosion of the retail industry) but we're getting it disproportionately. Having said that when bankruptcy is slow (it's a cyclical practice) we're basically dead.

I genuinely enjoy my work, and the training is great, but if you're thinking about this area I think you should be aware that you're going to work a lot and make your decision accordingly.

jarofsoup
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby jarofsoup » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:09 pm

I've heard that Weil is pretty much the busiest it has ever been.

Also I know they are heavily trying to recruit laterals. They have about 3 junior openings right now.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:(I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).


Does this 3,500 include periods of lull or does it assume that you will be working at your current, frenetic pace until the end of your firm's fiscal year?

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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:(I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).


Does this 3,500 include periods of lull or does it assume that you will be working at your current, frenetic pace until the end of your firm's fiscal year?


I'm not expecting any significant lulls given what I know is coming down the pipe for us. I do fully intend to take the max amount of vacation I can though so end of year hours won't be this high.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:25 pm

Anyone have thoughts on Cleary Gottlieb, Paul Weiss, or Milbank for restructuring?

umichman
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby umichman » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.



Does this include travel time? If so, how much? Also, is that average for your group? You say it is unsustainable, so what do you do when you burn out? are other firms hiring? Also, are there decent mid size or small firms to do restructuring at or is it only big law? Obvously the big cases are big law, but does mid market go to smaller firms?

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone have thoughts on Cleary Gottlieb, Paul Weiss, or Milbank for restructuring?


Weil and Kirkland are traditionally the best debtor-side firms. Davis Polk and Milbank are traditionally the best creditor-side firms.

Cleary does a lot of sovereign debt work internationally, and Paul Weiss does a lot of creditor-side work. Other firms like Akin, Jones Day, Latham, and Skadden come up in the mix too as top restructuring practices.

All firms mentioned are elite firms in restructuring, and you will have a chance to do a mix of debtor/creditor work at any of these firms, but firms will generally work primarily one side over the other.

For your reference:
http://www.thedeal.com/out-of-court/
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

umichman
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby umichman » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
zhenders wrote:My understanding of restructuring is that if you really want to go into that kind of work, you are going to need to come to terms with a very difficult schedule. Restructuring and Bankruptcy, by their natures, are incredibly time sensitive; when an issue is live, you're working -- A LOT.

Bearing that in mind, your options are going somewhere where you'll have a lot of down time punctuated by insane weeks/months -- as in, a place that doesn't get the "best" work, but does get work -- and a place like the firms mentioned above where you'll get s LOT of work ALL the time.

What I'm trying to say is, restructuring is not, from my understanding, the "work/life balance" practice group. Go in eyes open.


Associate from above.

This sums it up pretty well. There are a number of good firms out there that do solid restructuring work, but you have to understand that the large majority of the big debtor side cases go to KE/Weil and this puts a lot of very time sensitive work on small practice groups.

The hours really aren't an exaggeration, they're crazy and totally unsustainable. It's basically 70+ hour weeks punctuated by the occasional series of all nighters around filing/other major events. Bankruptcy in general is pretty crazy right now for a variety of reasons (e.g. the implosion of the retail industry) but we're getting it disproportionately. Having said that when bankruptcy is slow (it's a cyclical practice) we're basically dead.

I genuinely enjoy my work, and the training is great, but if you're thinking about this area I think you should be aware that you're going to work a lot and make your decision accordingly.


Can you pm? I'd love to ask some more specifics

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone have thoughts on Cleary Gottlieb, Paul Weiss, or Milbank for restructuring?


Weil and Kirkland are traditionally the best debtor-side firms. Davis Polk and Milbank are traditionally the best creditor-side firms.

Cleary does a lot of sovereign debt work internationally, and Paul Weiss does a lot of creditor-side work. Other firms like Akin, Jones Day, Latham, and Skadden come up in the mix too as top restructuring practices.

All firms mentioned are elite firms in restructuring, and you will have a chance to do a mix of debtor/creditor work at any of these firms, but firms will generally work primarily one side over the other.

For your reference:
http://www.thedeal.com/out-of-court/

Thanks for this list. Latham #1 on one side and #2 on the other, didn't realize it was such a player there. I'm sure these things are to be taken with a grain of salt, though.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:41 pm

I was an associate at one of these firms, although not in restructuring. Restructuring associates have TERRIBLE hours, on par with top tier investment banking. The hours are just really, really bad, even for biglaw. Everything is a fire drill.

Also, the exit options are not that great. You'd have better exit ops doing pure transactional work/tax/employee benefits. I knew a bunch of restructuring associates who ended up lateraling into another practice area like finance, etc.

I'm not sure why anyone would do restructuring. If you're going to work those hours for $200k, might as well just work 3 jobs - a full time 9 to 5, a part time night job and a part time weekend job. It'd probably be much less stressful, too.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:43 pm

sublime wrote:
redsox550 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Current associate at one of these firms. If you want to do restructuring work these are the places you want to be at. The most interesting work, lean staffing, tons of early responsibility, lots of opportunities to work directly with senior management/outside professionals, etc. The hours though, at least right now, are absolutely brutal (I'm on pace for ~3500 hours this year and it's getting busier).

Happy to answer more specific questions if you would like.



3500!!! HOLY MOLY


Yea. Fuck that under any circumstances. I will quit before I bill that much.


I'd rather just leave the law forever. Biglaw doesn't pay that much money, not enough to bill 3500 hours a year.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:40 am

I'm a restructuring associate, although not at K&E or Weil. I am actively trying to switch practice groups, and as fast as possible. As another poster said, the hours are brutal even by biglaw standards, fire drills all the time, and exit options suck if you're looking for a better lifestyle.

You have to decide what's right for you. But I wouldn't pick restructuring if I was given the opportunity to start over. It sucks from the top firms down to the bottom.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a restructuring associate, although not at K&E or Weil. I am actively trying to switch practice groups, and as fast as possible. As another poster said, the hours are brutal even by biglaw standards, fire drills all the time, and exit options suck if you're looking for a better lifestyle.

You have to decide what's right for you. But I wouldn't pick restructuring if I was given the opportunity to start over. It sucks from the top firms down to the bottom.



If you don't mind me asking, what year are you? Which practice are u trying to switch to and how is he attempt going?

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Re: Best firm to be an associate in restructuring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:14 am

I'm an associate at a top creditor-side firm. The head of the firm gives a talk every year on our performance, and restructuring always tops the list when it comes to billable hours. From what I know of the group, it seems like a miserable life.




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