Anonymous User wrote: 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.)
The fact that Irell was number one on the American Lawyer's A-list last year is probably a big, fairly legitimate reason. I'd certainly take them over Latham.
Also they're still a decent sized firm (over 2x Hueston and like 10x Susman). When someone thinks of the best litigation places in LA they're not thinking about Dovel or Susman because the question almost always means "biglaw-sized office" and not "hyper prestigious boutique with <20 attorneys." (Yes, Susman has more outside of LA, but that's not relevant). Hueston is somewhat in the same boat - they're bigger than Dovel, but they're still more comparable to Bird Marella and, formerly, Caldwell Leslie, than they are to a GIbson Dunn. Not that they don't have elite talent, but they're still more on the boutique-y side than the full service side.
As an LA-based litigator, I honestly think some of the distinctions ITT are overblown. I think Munger and maybe
Gibson are considered a notch above, but after that, you have a mess of firms like Quinn, Irell, Latham, and O'Melveny - big firms that have been here for a while and are reasonably all-around prestigious. Depending on the type of lit you want different ones will be "best." For entertainment lit it might be O'Melveny CC, for patent, Irell, etc... and yes, boutiques and tiny biglaw offices fit into the equation as well, e.g. Hueston for white collar-ish lit or Sullivan for giant securities / financial work.
Figuring out the sub-specialty of lit you want is going to be pretty determinative of what your rankings look like. If you can't decide or for some reason you just want general commercial, I'd probably advise going to one of the bigger firms (so Latham/Gibson/Quinn/OMM) and just hoping for the best.