Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
acr wrote:

lol some parts of this sound like they were copy and pasted directly from the Cadwalader website


LOL it's like recruiting reads these sites. Should be more subtle than an "amazing start"


Recruiting does not, and I standby that it was an amazing start. However, I'm not here to trash firms (or speak for the NY office), just to correct the notion that CWT isn't a good firm to work for and see if any former associates need help finding new employment. Also, if any 2L's or 3L's want to know more, then I'm happy to help.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:40 pm

Have two very close friends (that I knew from before law school) go to Cad NYC. Neither of them made it past year 2, even though they are hard workers and seemingly well-respected in their current firms. Also, I've posted this before but my firm has poached Cad partners and is trying to poach a few more.

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Former Cadwalader DC associate here. Please do not spread lies about our old firm.

The summer classes keep getting smaller, the D.C. office no longer has a summer program and a very large portion of the 2016 summer class did not even return. The firm had to bring in a bunch of recent grads to fill the first year ranks. The 2016 associates who did return have also left in record numbers and two were already fired.


This is untrue. The DC office does have a summer program, any 2016 summer not part of the practice group that moved got an offer to return and will, and the 2016 associates all returned save two: one moved with the practice group to another firm and another went to go clerk. The rest came back. The offices that shut down were in Asia, because they were branches to aid the DC practice group that left.

The reality is that the firm experienced some unanticipated departures and now everyone's making a big deal out of something that has happened to every other firm. (WSRG has taken a group from Sidley, Winston from McDermott, Quinn from Skadden, Holland & Knight from Jones Day -- it's part of the industry.) But that isn't to say that young associates shouldn't look forward to an amazing start to their career. I loved my time at CWT: there was good work, hands-on experience with drafting/filing and plenty of face time with partners. There was one partner who is brilliant, who has been at CWT his whole career, and who is without a doubt the nicest and most effective mentor I've ever had. Also, the current attorney resources department is top-notch. It's run by a former attorney who used to give us practical, useful advice whenever we asked for it. Even when I was lateraling (I left DC to go home to my family and SO) partners and associates were happy to call connections and former classmates on my behalf, and when I got my current job (V15 firm in my top choice market-- having partners calling on your behalf helps), they and staff threw me a goodbye party (or two). In short... don't listen to OP. I'm not sure why he's bitter at CWT, but his experience is likely personal.


"a very large portion of the 2016 summer class did not even return. The firm had to bring in a bunch of recent grads to fill the first year ranks. The 2016 associates who did return have also left in record numbers and two were already fired." This was in reference to the NYC office and NYC SA class and nothing in my posting is a "lie". These claims are all documented on NALP, Laterally.com, Vault, etc. The DC office did recently cancel its summer program (I did not know it was brought back since I no longer work there).

The NYC office's SA class had lots of defections (it is a small class to begin with). The NYC SA class sizes when I started there ranged from 25-30, now there are only 20 SAs.

Also, note this another exception to the rule. This is a former associate from the DC office. My post was about the NYC office. If you summer at Cad NYC you will most likely not be one of these "exceptions". These feelings were shared by all of my friends, so I guess they took the firm's treatment of them "personally" too. Cad's reputation extends to its NYC office, I have also heard bad things from the Charlotte people. Once again, please look at the attrition numbers, surveys, office closings, departments fleeing, partners jumping ship, firm financials, etc.



To the Cad superfan above: what do you think about the fact that CWT has seen crazy levels of attrition not only in associate ranks, but also with their managing partners? Between 2013-2015, CWT had no less than 3 managing partners at the helm (White, then Woolery, then Quinn). I mean, come on

When even a managing partner with a guaranteed $10MM salary bails after 2 years, you gotta at least consider the fact that the firm has major cultural problems

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Have two very close friends (that I knew from before law school) go to Cad NYC. Neither of them made it past year 2, even though they are hard workers and seemingly well-respected in their current firms. Also, I've posted this before but my firm has poached Cad partners and is trying to poach a few more.


To the Cad superfan above: what do you think about the fact that CWT has seen crazy levels of attrition not only in associate ranks, but also with their managing partners? Between 2013-2015, CWT had no less than 3 managing partners at the helm (White, then Woolery, then Quinn). I mean, come on

When even a managing partner with a guaranteed $10MM salary bails after 2 years, you gotta at least consider the fact that the firm has major cultural problems


Again, I'm not saying the firm doesn't have cultural problems, just that it's not as severe as OP makes it sound and it's definitely not true for all of CWT's offices. As for the managing partners, I believe White retired to spend more time with family and Woolery is a habitual exiter (he left his new company a year after he left CWT). Quinn is still there. And as someone who spends a lot of time with family, I can understand White's departure and Quinn never left.

Any chance your friends were cap markets? I've heard things about some partners in that practice group being difficult to work with. I did have one partner in my old practice group that wasn't great to work with, but folks just avoided them and loaded up on work from other partners.

Out of curiosity, do you like your current firm? Or are you in law school?

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Former c/o 2014/2015 associate here. Many of the horror stories you hear are true. The firm has a reputation for a reason and if you speak to anyone in the legal field they all know how this place treats its associates. Most bring it up unprompted. The firm has a toxic environment, high associate attrition rate, little to no training and mentorship and utter disregard for its juniors. It's a miserable place. The turnover rate is astounding and despite the firm's commitment to changing, all the same partners and strategies remain intact. This is all lip service. The firm made a decision long ago to place the bottom line over everything and to be a shark tank that views juniors as disposable billing cogs.

The summer classes keep getting smaller, the D.C. office no longer has a summer program and a very large portion of the 2016 summer class did not even return. The firm had to bring in a bunch of recent grads to fill the first year ranks. The 2016 associates who did return have also left in record numbers and two were already fired. These are already small classes to begin with and the firm is forced to fill its summer classes with SAs from lower ranked schools.

Multiple offices have been shut down over the past year, entire practice groups have left and the firm doesn't really know what it wants to be, besides a sweatshop. Think very long and hard before accepting an offer and only take it if you have no other options. Lateralling was the best decision I ever made and my former CWT colleagues share this sentiment. The differences between the place I am at and CWT is like night and day. I am happy to be honest and answer any questions. But I felt a duty to make this thread to warn others.

Good luck during OCI. People's experiences matter and talk to as many people as you can. You don't know more than people who have worked at these places and don't just sheepishly believe what recruiting tells you.


Is there a possibility I could PM you somehow?

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Have two very close friends (that I knew from before law school) go to Cad NYC. Neither of them made it past year 2, even though they are hard workers and seemingly well-respected in their current firms. Also, I've posted this before but my firm has poached Cad partners and is trying to poach a few more.


To the Cad superfan above: what do you think about the fact that CWT has seen crazy levels of attrition not only in associate ranks, but also with their managing partners? Between 2013-2015, CWT had no less than 3 managing partners at the helm (White, then Woolery, then Quinn). I mean, come on

When even a managing partner with a guaranteed $10MM salary bails after 2 years, you gotta at least consider the fact that the firm has major cultural problems


Again, I'm not saying the firm doesn't have cultural problems, just that it's not as severe as OP makes it sound and it's definitely not true for all of CWT's offices. As for the managing partners, I believe White retired to spend more time with family and Woolery is a habitual exiter (he left his new company a year after he left CWT). Quinn is still there. And as someone who spends a lot of time with family, I can understand White's departure and Quinn never left.

Any chance your friends were cap markets? I've heard things about some partners in that practice group being difficult to work with. I did have one partner in my old practice group that wasn't great to work with, but folks just avoided them and loaded up on work from other partners.

Out of curiosity, do you like your current firm? Or are you in law school?


1 friend in cap markets, 1 in M&A. And no, I don't particularly like my firm but we don't have cultural problems that pose existential threats to the firm. I can't be entirely sure that's the case with CWT, but a lot of the posts in this thread point to issues larger than the standard "prominent partner screams" or "no one lets me work from home on Fridays". I'm happy you used CWT as a jumping off point to greater things, but come on - it's not every day that a managing partner decide at 63 that he was actually a family man all along. If Brad Karp or Faiza Sayeed decided tomorrow that "lol, big law is just not for me!", that would certainly strike most of us as odd.

But your post seems to acknowledge CWT has cultural problems, which I suppose is all 2Ls need to make their OCI decisions.

Edit: And to all 2Ls with only the Cadwalader offer in hand: You'll be fine. Just put in your 2 years, and lateral if you don't like it. The anon I quoted shows that if you play your cards right that is totally possible
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

acr
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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby acr » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
acr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Former Cadwalader DC associate here. Please do not spread lies about our old firm.

The summer classes keep getting smaller, the D.C. office no longer has a summer program and a very large portion of the 2016 summer class did not even return. The firm had to bring in a bunch of recent grads to fill the first year ranks. The 2016 associates who did return have also left in record numbers and two were already fired.


This is untrue. The DC office does have a summer program, any 2016 summer not part of the practice group that moved got an offer to return and will, and the 2016 associates all returned save two: one moved with the practice group to another firm and another went to go clerk. The rest came back. The offices that shut down were in Asia, because they were branches to aid the DC practice group that left.

The reality is that the firm experienced some unanticipated departures and now everyone's making a big deal out of something that has happened to every other firm. (WSRG has taken a group from Sidley, Winston from McDermott, Quinn from Skadden, Holland & Knight from Jones Day -- it's part of the industry.) But that isn't to say that young associates shouldn't look forward to an amazing start to their career. I loved my time at CWT: there was good work, hands-on experience with drafting/filing and plenty of face time with partners. There was one partner who is brilliant, who has been at CWT his whole career, and who is without a doubt the nicest and most effective mentor I've ever had. Also, the current attorney resources department is top-notch. It's run by a former attorney who used to give us practical, useful advice whenever we asked for it. Even when I was lateraling (I left DC to go home to my family and SO) partners and associates were happy to call connections and former classmates on my behalf, and when I got my current job (V15 firm in my top choice market-- having partners calling on your behalf helps), they and staff threw me a goodbye party (or two). In short... don't listen to OP. I'm not sure why he's bitter at CWT, but his experience is likely personal.



lol some parts of this sound like they were copy and pasted directly from the Cadwalader website


LOL it's like recruiting reads these sites. Should be more subtle than an "amazing start"


LOLOL it's that and the "the current attorney resources department is top-notch" that got me smh'ing. It sounds like a bad sales pitch - forget our horrible reputation and legitimate problems....no, Cadwalader is great because of the attorney resources department

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:37 pm

Can only speak for Charlotte but things seem good. Attrition has been super low this year, a new finance partner has come on board, and cap markets is aggressively hiring. Seven first years are coming in and the office should be 70+ attorneys by the end of the year. Everyone is working really hard and many have had 250-300 hour months this summer.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can only speak for Charlotte but things seem good. Attrition has been super low this year, a new finance partner has come on board, and cap markets is aggressively hiring. Seven first years are coming in and the office should be 70+ attorneys by the end of the year. Everyone is working really hard and many have had 250-300 hour months this summer.


How is having a 300 hour month "good"?

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby HillandHollow » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:52 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:
How is having a 300 hour month "good"?


Because bonuses?
ETA: And general firm health?

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Have two very close friends (that I knew from before law school) go to Cad NYC. Neither of them made it past year 2, even though they are hard workers and seemingly well-respected in their current firms. Also, I've posted this before but my firm has poached Cad partners and is trying to poach a few more.


To the Cad superfan above: what do you think about the fact that CWT has seen crazy levels of attrition not only in associate ranks, but also with their managing partners? Between 2013-2015, CWT had no less than 3 managing partners at the helm (White, then Woolery, then Quinn). I mean, come on

When even a managing partner with a guaranteed $10MM salary bails after 2 years, you gotta at least consider the fact that the firm has major cultural problems


Again, I'm not saying the firm doesn't have cultural problems, just that it's not as severe as OP makes it sound and it's definitely not true for all of CWT's offices. As for the managing partners, I believe White retired to spend more time with family and Woolery is a habitual exiter (he left his new company a year after he left CWT). Quinn is still there. And as someone who spends a lot of time with family, I can understand White's departure and Quinn never left.

Any chance your friends were cap markets? I've heard things about some partners in that practice group being difficult to work with. I did have one partner in my old practice group that wasn't great to work with, but folks just avoided them and loaded up on work from other partners.

Out of curiosity, do you like your current firm? Or are you in law school?


1 friend in cap markets, 1 in M&A. And no, I don't particularly like my firm but we don't have cultural problems that pose existential threats to the firm. I can't be entirely sure that's the case with CWT, but a lot of the posts in this thread point to issues larger than the standard "prominent partner screams" or "no one lets me work from home on Fridays". I'm happy you used CWT as a jumping off point to greater things, but come on - it's not every day that a managing partner decide at 63 that he was actually a family man all along. If Brad Karp or Faiza Sayeed decided tomorrow that "lol, big law is just not for me!", that would certainly strike most of us as odd.

But your post seems to acknowledge CWT has cultural problems, which I suppose is all 2Ls need to make their OCI decisions.

Edit: And to all 2Ls with only the Cadwalader offer in hand: You'll be fine. Just put in your 2 years, and lateral if you don't like it. The anon I quoted shows that if you play your cards right that is totally possible


This is terrible advice. Yes, NYC Biglaw all sucks, but do not make your life more miserable than it has to be by choosing CWT and hoping you can last 2 years. Many, many do not. If it is your only option fine, but then I would recommend mass mailing and 3L OCI as well. Speak with as many associates and people as you can before you commit to an offer to any potential firm. This is your life and your career, choose a firm wisely with plenty of research. Reputations exist for a reason and CWT is universally accepted as one of, if not, the worst places to work in NYC biglaw.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:22 pm

I'm a junior associate in NYC, and I don't really get the fever pitch of the OP. Maybe I'm too quick to buy management's rationalizations, or perhaps I just don't have another biglaw point of reference, but I'm pretty satisfied. I like the people I work with, and never got any impression that the work itself was unusual for biglaw.

1) Summers. Summer classes shrink, sure, but the firm itself has slimmed down quite a bit, so that seems obvious — more on the shrinkage below. Most of the summers this year were still T-14, and even for the ones who weren't, Cad has always hired from a broader range of law schools than some peer firms. That might be a consequence of many top-billing partners graduating from Fordham and other non-14 schools, especially the second-tier NYC schools. So that's not a sudden product of today's dynamics. I mean, for example, our two young partners named Law 360 rising stars a couple weeks ago went to Fordham and Ohio State, respectively — and now they're closing billion-dollar deals. So I always thought that was a cool part of the firm culture.

2) Closures. As for office closures, I get it — I was genuinely alarmed when the DC antitrust group left. But they seem like the only blindsiding hit, the rest of the attrition seemed logical. The only reason we were in Houston or Hong Kong or Beijing was a desperate attempt to diversify business after the financial crisis. As it turns out, if somebody in Texas needs an energy lawyer, there are plenty of Texas energy firms to do the trick. No reason to hire a Wall Street firm that happens to have a satellite office in Houston. Same issue with Asian markets. I think that CWT management expected our brand relationships with key financial institutions in NY to translate to HK, and they just didn't. So both expansion strategies flopped.

But neither attempt really speaks to the core NYC business, which is what law students today would be considering, and what CWT attorneys do now.

Like I said initially, maybe I'm too deep in the Kool Aid, who knows. But these strike me as non-absurd explanations.

3. Departures. I don't know about associate turnover, again, I don't really have anything to compare it to. I haven't checked laterally, I don't know how reliable their data is or what we can draw from it, maybe associate turnover is unusually high. If so, that sucks, I always assumed it was just part of the biglaw gig.

But I do take issue with the "partners/practice groups jumping ship" characterization, because for all the partner turnover, this year has seen a pretty steady stream of incoming lateral partners too.

I don't have access to internal firm financials, but incoming partners do. These men and women aren't dopes. They do their diligence, and "run for the hills" failing firms can't keep hiring new partners at the rate CWT is hiring. At the very least, it doesn't seem consistent with OP's doom and gloom outlook.

Admittedly, I'd say the culture does have a general fatigue of bad news. People occasionally make gallows humor-style jokes about the constant drip of stories. So there's an element of that I'm not denying, I've made those jokes myself, but I haven't felt any of the OP's deep resentment.

Instead, I think readers should remember that you occasionally find extremes, people who really hate it and have nothing but bad things to say, and I suspect that there's some self-selection in who starts online TLS threads based on the passion of their feelings. Likewise, I think some "everybody in New York knows" stereotypes are self-perpetuating memes that obviously come with a grain of salt. (E.g. I have friends who love working at Skadden, but you'd never know it from their QOL stereotype).

So in an office with hundreds of people, I'd wager that most have more nuanced feelings than OP. In any case, I would be surprised if the "BEWARE" sentiment prevails, and a reader of this thread might even be surprised at how many of us are fairly content.

If I could do it all over again, would I take an offer again? I don't know, maybe, I certainly don't have any flashing red "stay away" signs the OP pushes. I'm not saying law students should disregard everything in this thread, but I am saying they should take a more nuanced view than OP.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:38 pm

HillandHollow wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:
How is having a 300 hour month "good"?


Because bonuses?
ETA: And general firm health?

Maybe the second, but market is getting a market bonus at 1,800-2,000 hours (150-170 hr months). 300 hr months may mean the firm is healthy but it also means you're working twice as much for the same bonus. Especially in a city such as Charlotte.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby RaceJudicata » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:37 am

God forbid y'all have to work with non-t14 folks.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Love With The Coco » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:Former Cadwalader DC associate here. Please do not spread lies about our old firm.

The summer classes keep getting smaller, the D.C. office no longer has a summer program and a very large portion of the 2016 summer class did not even return. The firm had to bring in a bunch of recent grads to fill the first year ranks. The 2016 associates who did return have also left in record numbers and two were already fired.


This is untrue. The DC office does have a summer program, any 2016 summer not part of the practice group that moved got an offer to return and will, and the 2016 associates all returned save two: one moved with the practice group to another firm and another went to go clerk. The rest came back. The offices that shut down were in Asia, because they were branches to aid the DC practice group that left.

The reality is that the firm experienced some unanticipated departures and now everyone's making a big deal out of something that has happened to every other firm. (WSRG has taken a group from Sidley, Winston from McDermott, Quinn from Skadden, Holland & Knight from Jones Day -- it's part of the industry.) But that isn't to say that young associates shouldn't look forward to an amazing start to their career. I loved my time at CWT: there was good work, hands-on experience with drafting/filing and plenty of face time with partners. There was one partner who is brilliant, who has been at CWT his whole career, and who is without a doubt the nicest and most effective mentor I've ever had. Also, the current attorney resources department is top-notch. It's run by a former attorney who used to give us practical, useful advice whenever we asked for it. Even when I was lateraling (I left DC to go home to my family and SO) partners and associates were happy to call connections and former classmates on my behalf, and when I got my current job (V15 firm in my top choice market-- having partners calling on your behalf helps), they and staff threw me a goodbye party (or two). In short... don't listen to OP. I'm not sure why he's bitter at CWT, but his experience is likely personal.


Weak effort. Pro tip to the Cad recruiting person who wrote this - be more subtle. If you had just wrote "IDK I'm a former associate and thought it was OK" then people might have taken notice. You went overboard and made it too obvious.

Pro tip to law students - recruiting at stable and decent firms doesn't require posting fake tls testimonials

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby Love With The Coco » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
acr wrote:

lol some parts of this sound like they were copy and pasted directly from the Cadwalader website


LOL it's like recruiting reads these sites. Should be more subtle than an "amazing start"


Recruiting does not.


Lol

Embarrassing Cad, embarrassing.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby HillandHollow » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:16 am

This is awkward, but I happen to know the anon who is posting and being accused of being a Cad recruiter or rep. They are neither. They've accurately represented who they are here.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby tyrant_flycatcher » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:33 am

HillandHollow wrote:This is awkward, but I happen to know the anon who is posting and being accused of being a Cad recruiter or rep. They are neither. They've accurately represented who they are here.


I believe you. Why is it so hard to believe that there would be at least one person who had a positive experience and/or wanted to defend their firm? Accusing someone of being a recruiter is lazy.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby acr » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:33 am

tyrant_flycatcher wrote:
HillandHollow wrote:This is awkward, but I happen to know the anon who is posting and being accused of being a Cad recruiter or rep. They are neither. They've accurately represented who they are here.


I believe you. Why is it so hard to believe that there would be at least one person who had a positive experience and/or wanted to defend their firm? Accusing someone of being a recruiter is lazy.


Because the fact that this "one person" had a good personal experience doesn't mean that every attorney will have an "amazing start" to their career at CWT, like they claimed. That's extremely hyperbolic an the kind of BS you hear from recruiters - "we have fantastic work life balance"; "we work on the most complex and challenging deals"; etc.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:59 pm

I'll never, ever understand people who rabidly defend the firm they work at.

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Re: Be very wary of Cadwalader (NYC)

Postby jhett » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:19 pm

Are the CWT defenders all home grown associates? If that firm is all you know of biglaw, then it's reasonable to think all other firms are the same. But they are not. Sometimes people don't really know how bad their firm is until they lateral and realize firms can be different as night and day.




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