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SmokeytheBear
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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:08 am

KM2016 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
KM2016 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
KM2016 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Curious about how Pillsbury stacks up among LA firms...any knowledge about their general rep and what practice groups they're known for?


Reputation = Meh. They're kind of second tier in LA. Can't speak to other markets.

what's top tier/mid tier/low tier for transactional?


Totally depends.

General corporate looks something like: Latham/Gibson/Skadden/Simpson/Kirkland ---> Sidley/Milbank/Winston/OMM/Proskauer ---> PH/Pillsbury/Perkins Coie/Katten

If you're looking at more specialized groups, it varies. For instance, Milbank is head and shoulders above everyone else for project finance and restructuring, Sidley does great real estate, OMM, Latham and Gibson do a lot of work in entertainment, Winston (I think) has a good tax group, Sheppard does great labor employment, etc.


Generally agree. Though Cooley, Gunderson, and Orrick should also be on there somewhere between first and second. MTO is def tier one.


So you believe Cooley, Gunderson, and Orrick are better than Sidley/Milbank/Winston/OMM/Proskauer?


No way Orrick is in the top tier unless you're talking strictly IP. For general corporate I'd argue they're more in line with PH/Pillsbury/Perkins/Katten. Gunderson is great, I was just thinking in terms of biglaw and not boutiques. Cooley is pretty average for general corporate, IMO. I'd group them with Sidley/Milbank etc.

No argument re MTO. Goes without saying they are elite.


Agreed that Gunderson isn't big law. But since it is a MASSIVE player in eg vc (top of the league tables every quarter with no competition anywhere near it) I think it has to be discussed in this conversation, in the same way you have to discuss Keker when discussing litigation in CA even though it's not "big law."

EDIT: KM2016, based on your posts it looks like you're a first year associate? So your knowledge comes from what others have said and your experience on the job market, rather than from working with/against these firms or lateraling? Not trying to impugn wholly your knowledge, but is that the case?
Last edited by SmokeytheBear on Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:53 pm

How would you place the selectivity/prestige of the following firms with Los Angeles offices for general corporate work?

MoFo
Morgan Lewis
Hogan Lovells
Akin Gump
Crowell & Moring
Mayer Brown
DLA Piper
Jones Day

Are any of the firms particularly grade-conscious/not? Do any of the firms have a particularly good/bad culture?

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How would you place the selectivity/prestige of the following firms with Los Angeles offices for general corporate work?

MoFo
Morgan Lewis
Hogan Lovells
Akin Gump
Crowell & Moring
Mayer Brown
DLA Piper
Jones Day

Are any of the firms particularly grade-conscious/not? Do any of the firms have a particularly good/bad culture?


From my experience, I would say MoFo and JD are the top in that group. I can't say much about DLA, Morgan, and Mayer, but due to the sheer size the LA office likely gets pulled into deals from other offices. Akin has a good real estate transactional group.

JD will take anyone with decent grades and you don't need over the top grades. MoFo will be a bit more selective.

But none of the above, except for maybe MoFo, are big players in LA or have standout groups in LA so I can't say much.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby KM2016 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:20 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
KM2016 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
KM2016 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
KM2016 wrote:


Reputation = Meh. They're kind of second tier in LA. Can't speak to other markets.

what's top tier/mid tier/low tier for transactional?


Totally depends.

General corporate looks something like: Latham/Gibson/Skadden/Simpson/Kirkland ---> Sidley/Milbank/Winston/OMM/Proskauer ---> PH/Pillsbury/Perkins Coie/Katten

If you're looking at more specialized groups, it varies. For instance, Milbank is head and shoulders above everyone else for project finance and restructuring, Sidley does great real estate, OMM, Latham and Gibson do a lot of work in entertainment, Winston (I think) has a good tax group, Sheppard does great labor employment, etc.


Generally agree. Though Cooley, Gunderson, and Orrick should also be on there somewhere between first and second. MTO is def tier one.


So you believe Cooley, Gunderson, and Orrick are better than Sidley/Milbank/Winston/OMM/Proskauer?


No way Orrick is in the top tier unless you're talking strictly IP. For general corporate I'd argue they're more in line with PH/Pillsbury/Perkins/Katten. Gunderson is great, I was just thinking in terms of biglaw and not boutiques. Cooley is pretty average for general corporate, IMO. I'd group them with Sidley/Milbank etc.

No argument re MTO. Goes without saying they are elite.


Agreed that Gunderson isn't big law. But since it is a MASSIVE player in eg vc (top of the league tables every quarter with no competition anywhere near it) I think it has to be discussed in this conversation, in the same way you have to discuss Keker when discussing litigation in CA even though it's not "big law."

EDIT: KM2016, based on your posts it looks like you're a first year associate? So your knowledge comes from what others have said and your experience on the job market, rather than from working with/against these firms or lateraling? Not trying to impugn wholly your knowledge, but is that the case?[/quote]

--------------------------

Not a first year -- my little brother, also in biglaw uses my account too and he's a first year but in another market. I'm a midlevel, and for better or worse, have plenty of experience working across from some of these firms. Maybe I should make a new account lol.

Edit: The quoting got messed up and I'm too lazy to fix it.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:14 pm

how is akin gump relative to the bands that you guys posted for general corp? and just in general

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:18 pm

Also interested in any general opinion on Reed Smith LA.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:how is akin gump relative to the bands that you guys posted for general corp? and just in general


Can't speak to this.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Also interested in any general opinion on Reed Smith LA.


Can't speak to this.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:20 pm

I guess I want to speak to a comment I made earlier about separating firms into three bands.

As KM noted, there are certain firms that, due to their sheer size, corp associates there will be involved in large transactions, if not because of the LA office but because they get pulled in from the NY office. This includes Skadden, Latham, GDC, S&C, Kirkland. This does not mean these offices on their own don't do super dope work--Skadden LA did the Dermalogia deal last year; Milbank did the WFC deal; and S&C LA did the most recent Whole Foods/Amazon deal.

Then there are offices that aren't doing quite as "prestigious" front page stuff--Sheppard Mullin, Paul Hastings, Pillsbury, Katten, etc. This does not mean the work you are doing in these offices is less good. Quite the contrary, because of the size of the deal junior associates will get much more client contact, responsibility, and deal flow than they would at a Skadden. Rather than making checklists and certificates well into your second and third year, you're composing Disclosure Schedules, running reps and warranties page flips, and taking cracks at sections of the Purchase Agreement. But these are not the big sexy deals; these are selling small and medium sized businesses in the $60-$200 million range. As I noted earlier, I know people at GDC who were corporate associates who got pulled into regulatory and litigation matters as third and fourth years because there just was not enough work in corporate.

There is also the issue that there is an array of transnational work that fits into "general corporate"--corporate governance, project finance, M&A, private equity, eg/vc, debt markets, capital markets, etc. And while some firms will be good at one thing (i.e. Kirkland at private equity deals; Skadden at M&A), they will be less good at somethings that another firm dominates at (i.e. Milbank at project finance); though Milbank definitely does M&A in LA and Skadden definitely does project finance in LA.

I can say for certain that there are no firms that have an office in LA that have the deal flow and size of group to be better than two other tiers of firms. That is because of the sheer nature of corporate work and law firm size--the vast majority of corporate deals are done in NYC for obvious reasons and where the offices are three to ten times the size of LA offices. For example, I would say there is a good delineation in NYC of

Cravath, S&C, Wachtel, Skadden, Kirkland >
Milbank, Proskauer, Davis Polk >
everyone else

(I put some, but not a ton of thought into that ranking)

I don't think it's wholly useful to separate firms in LA based on corporate work into tiers, because there are so many factors at play, some of which might be important to you and not another person--do you want to be doing grunt work on front page deals, or do you want to be doing hands on work on less sexy deals?

This is all in my effort to get you guys to think less straight up about "prestige" and more about what is actually happening in that office unrelated from silly vault ranking. Also to get you guys to think about what is important for you in the group that you want to join.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:31 pm

What kind of reputation does JD's Irvine office have.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:32 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Also interested in any general opinion on Reed Smith LA.


Can't speak to this.


I hear from my law school classmate who used to be there that RS corporate in LA is completely toxic. Insanely high turnover with very unreasonable partners. This is of course all hearsay, so take it as you will.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:01 pm

Could you speak to these tiers in LA biglaw in regards to lit? What is the culture like in the lit departments of the major players?

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Could you speak to these tiers in LA biglaw in regards to lit? What is the culture like in the lit departments of the major players?


I'll need to let someone else chime in on this. But, from my experience, top tier is going to be Munger, irell, Latham, Quinn, Sidley, GDC. Probably missing a few.

Also depends what kind of lit you want to be doing--IP, appellate, insurance, complex corporate, white collar, labor/employment. Will be vastly different depending on type.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:33 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Could you speak to these tiers in LA biglaw in regards to lit? What is the culture like in the lit departments of the major players?


I'll need to let someone else chime in on this. But, from my experience, top tier is going to be Munger, irell, Latham, Quinn, Sidley, GDC. Probably missing a few.

Also depends what kind of lit you want to be doing--IP, appellate, insurance, complex corporate, white collar, labor/employment. Will be vastly different depending on type.


Interested in complex corp and white collar.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby candidlatke » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:37 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Could you speak to these tiers in LA biglaw in regards to lit? What is the culture like in the lit departments of the major players?


I'll need to let someone else chime in on this. But, from my experience, top tier is going to be Munger, irell, Latham, Quinn, Sidley, GDC. Probably missing a few.

Also depends what kind of lit you want to be doing--IP, appellate, insurance, complex corporate, white collar, labor/employment. Will be vastly different depending on type.

+ susman/hueston/dovel right? though i'd imagine most of the people who can get these three are probably well aware of them

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:16 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Could you speak to these tiers in LA biglaw in regards to lit? What is the culture like in the lit departments of the major players?


I'll need to let someone else chime in on this. But, from my experience, top tier is going to be Munger, irell, Latham, Quinn, Sidley, GDC. Probably missing a few.

Also depends what kind of lit you want to be doing--IP, appellate, insurance, complex corporate, white collar, labor/employment. Will be vastly different depending on type.


For a young associate I'd put Munger in its own tier at the top (uber elite with unsurpassed opportunities for young attorneys), followed by GDC and Irell, although this could possibly change if you're dead set on one practice area. Quinn also does interesting work, although I've heard not-so-great things about the culture there.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:28 pm

Are exit opportunities objectively better as a corporate associate as compared to a lit associate?

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:Are exit opportunities objectively better as a corporate associate as compared to a lit associate?


I think the conventional wisdom is yes with some caveats, like labor and employment places well and most lit places better into government than most transactional.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:47 am

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are exit opportunities objectively better as a corporate associate as compared to a lit associate?


I think the conventional wisdom is yes with some caveats, like labor and employment places well and most lit places better into government than most transactional.


Okay, but aside from govt. work (which i am not interested in), a corporate attorney has a far better shot at an in-house gig?

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are exit opportunities objectively better as a corporate associate as compared to a lit associate?


I think the conventional wisdom is yes with some caveats, like labor and employment places well and most lit places better into government than most transactional.


Okay, but aside from govt. work (which i am not interested in), a corporate attorney has a far better shot at an in-house gig?


I wouldnt say a far better shot, as I said it depends.

This is why, as I have been explaining, it's difficult to break down things into just "corporate" as it is to just break things down into "litigation."

A lit associate who does labor and employment is going to have a good shot, if not better shot, on some in house roles than a corp associate. A corporate associate who does debt or capital markets or lev finance is going to only have limited exit ops.

Associates who do corp gov, eg/vc,M&A, prviate equity, and maybe cap markets have a better shot at in house gigs than your average litigation associate. But I wouldnt say a "far better" shot.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:38 am

Any idea about reputation of Venable in LA?

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Could you speak to these tiers in LA biglaw in regards to lit? What is the culture like in the lit departments of the major players?


I'll need to let someone else chime in on this. But, from my experience, top tier is going to be Munger, irell, Latham, Quinn, Sidley, GDC. Probably missing a few.

Also depends what kind of lit you want to be doing--IP, appellate, insurance, complex corporate, white collar, labor/employment. Will be vastly different depending on type.


For a young associate I'd put Munger in its own tier at the top (uber elite with unsurpassed opportunities for young attorneys), followed by GDC and Irell, although this could possibly change if you're dead set on one practice area. Quinn also does interesting work, although I've heard not-so-great things about the culture there.


I'm not sure why people keep including Irell in top lit shop lists. Don't get me wrong, its still a great firm, but its not 2015, and prospective summers should probably only consider Irell if they want to do IP lit.

In terms of elite lit shops in LA, I would say Susman/Hueston/Munger/Gibson are in the top tier, maybe also throwing in a couple other LA biglaw firms (e.g., Latham). If you are talking about individual niche areas in litigation, however, the top tiers will shift wildly. (e.g., Gibson is in a league of its own for appellate, etc.)

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Could you speak to these tiers in LA biglaw in regards to lit? What is the culture like in the lit departments of the major players?


I'll need to let someone else chime in on this. But, from my experience, top tier is going to be Munger, irell, Latham, Quinn, Sidley, GDC. Probably missing a few.

Also depends what kind of lit you want to be doing--IP, appellate, insurance, complex corporate, white collar, labor/employment. Will be vastly different depending on type.


For a young associate I'd put Munger in its own tier at the top (uber elite with unsurpassed opportunities for young attorneys), followed by GDC and Irell, although this could possibly change if you're dead set on one practice area. Quinn also does interesting work, although I've heard not-so-great things about the culture there.


I'm not sure why people keep including Irell in top lit shop lists. Don't get me wrong, its still a great firm, but its not 2015, and prospective summers should probably only consider Irell if they want to do IP lit.

In terms of elite lit shops in LA, I would say Susman/Hueston/Munger/Gibson are in the top tier, maybe also throwing in a couple other LA biglaw firms (e.g., Latham). If you are talking about individual niche areas in litigation, however, the top tiers will shift wildly. (e.g., Gibson is in a league of its own for appellate, etc.)


I concur and your list comports with my point of separating firms into what they specialize in. But, yes, my inclusion of Irell in that list was due to its IP lit practice.

EDIT: I do think that Quinn belongs in the top tier.

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:16 pm

If I am interested in M&A work, can you rank the top few firms I should focus on?
What about for capital markets?

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Re: UCLA/USC/UCI OCI Stuff -- Free Advice

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I am interested in M&A work, can you rank the top few firms I should focus on?
What about for capital markets?


Cap markets isn't a big practice in LA, so you shouldn't focus on firms here that do cap markets. If you want cap markets go to NYC. Certainly some firms in LA do cap markets, but they do other work for the most part and cap markets when a deal comes up.

For large M&A, look at Latham, Skadden, Kirkland, MTO.
For middle market M&A, look at Sheppard, Paul Hastings.




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