work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

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work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:54 pm

I have offers from Quinn and SBT and CBs scheduled with: Jones Day, Weil, Baker Botts, WilmerHale, Baker McKenzie, and Paul Hastings. (all SV/SF)

I LOVED SBT. I didn't think "fit" was a thing until I went to the office and I can 100% see myself being there. They felt the same; I received an offer a couple of hours after leaving my interview.' I'm considering accepting and canceling my other CBs.

My question is whether there is a noticeable difference in work-life balance between a firm like SBT and the others with which I have CBs? The only way I can see myself choosing a firm other than Simpson is if I feel the same fit AND the work-life balance would be noticeably better. But at this point, won't the difference in hours worked be negligible? If that's the case, I feel that I should just cancel my CBs and take the SBT offer. Paul Hastings supposedly has a great culture, but would it involve just as many hours as SBT?

Would love to hear people's thoughts/experiences/perceptions!

ETA: I want to do litigation. My interview with Weil is specifically for patent lit, and I'm not totally sure I want to funnel myself into only doing that specific practice.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have offers from Quinn and SBT and CBs scheduled with: Jones Day, Weil, Baker Botts, WilmerHale, Baker McKenzie, and Paul Hastings. (all SV/SF)

I LOVED SBT. I didn't think "fit" was a thing until I went to the office and I can 100% see myself being there. They felt the same; I received an offer a couple of hours after leaving my interview.' I'm considering accepting and cancelling my other CBs.

My question is whether there is a noticeable difference in work-life balance between a firm like SBT and the others with which I have CBs? The only way I can see myself choosing a firm other than Simpson is if I feel the same fit AND the work-life balance would be noticeably better. But at this point, won't the difference in hours worked be negligible? If that's the case, I feel that I should just cancel my CBs and take the SBT offer. Paul Hastings supposedly has a great culture, but would it involve just as many hours as SBT?

Would love to hear people's thoughts/experiences/perceptions!


Out of curiosity, what year/school are you? I interviewed at Quinn as a rising 2L and they told me they don't really have a summer program. How did you secure an offer with them?

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:05 pm

OP: I am also a rising 2L, so take this with a grain of salt as this is just what I've heard second-hand from people who are associates/partners at big firms. I'm not so sure that it's true that lower tiered biglaw firms are less intense hours-wise. Even if it is, none of the firms you mentioned are in that category, as far as I know. I'm partial, because I have an offer from STB as well and really loved them (agonizing over my decision currently), but I would take the STB offer and run.

Anonymous User wrote:Out of curiosity, what year/school are you? I interviewed at Quinn as a rising 2L and they told me they don't really have a summer program. How did you secure an offer with them?


Not the original anon, but I also have an offer at Quinn (NY). They all but eliminated the summer program for a couple years (they had 5 summers this year, I think) but I think they are bringing in at least a marginally larger summer class this year. They did not do any OCI's, as far as I know, so I had to contact them directly. My stats: rising 2L, CCN, ~ top 10%, LR
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have offers from Quinn and SBT and CBs scheduled with: Jones Day, Weil, Baker Botts, WilmerHale, Baker McKenzie, and Paul Hastings. (all SV/SF)

I LOVED SBT. I didn't think "fit" was a thing until I went to the office and I can 100% see myself being there. They felt the same; I received an offer a couple of hours after leaving my interview.' I'm considering accepting and cancelling my other CBs.

My question is whether there is a noticeable difference in work-life balance between a firm like SBT and the others with which I have CBs? The only way I can see myself choosing a firm other than Simpson is if I feel the same fit AND the work-life balance would be noticeably better. But at this point, won't the difference in hours worked be negligible? If that's the case, I feel that I should just cancel my CBs and take the SBT offer. Paul Hastings supposedly has a great culture, but would it involve just as many hours as SBT?

Would love to hear people's thoughts/experiences/perceptions!


Out of curiosity, what year/school are you? I interviewed at Quinn as a rising 2L and they told me they don't really have a summer program. How did you secure an offer with them?


2L at UT/Vandy/UCLA level school, law review, top ~10%. They told me the same thing about not having an SA program when I interviewed and when I got the offer the partner really emphasized that they're selective and want who they select because they put more thought into it than others, etc. I did send out a cold app, since they don't do OCIs. I don't really know how I managed to get it, though. I didn't feel a "click" like at STB and, clearly, it wasn't a quick choice for them, since they took nearly 3 weeks to let me know their decision.

I'd actually love thoughts on Quinn vs STB, too.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Out of curiosity, what year/school are you? I interviewed at Quinn as a rising 2L and they told me they don't really have a summer program. How did you secure an offer with them?


Not the original anon, but I also have an offer at Quinn (NY). They all but eliminated the summer program for a couple years (they had 5 summers this year, I think) but I think they are bringing in at least a marginally larger summer class this year. They did not do any OCI's, as far as I know, so I had to contact them directly. My stats: rising 2L, CCN, ~ top 10%, LR


Got it. I never heard back from them after I interviewed. I'm approximately top 40% at HLS, so maybe my grades weren't good enough. Should I contact them to see if they're still hiring? They were at HLS's EIP, but very low key. I asked the interviewer directly for the interview and they gave me one (to be nice probably).

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:13 pm

*STB not SBT. If you're gonna love a firm you should start to get their name/acronym right haha.
If you're completely happy, definitely accept the offer, idk why you should waste your time (and the time of attorneys) elsewhere.

Personally, I've never heard that much about Simpson PA's litigation practice. I know they're really strong on the corporate side out there, especially PE/Cap Markets related things. Amongst the firms you listed, Quinn/Weil/WilmerHale have the strongest litigation reputations in SV. But those reputations are more fixated around IP/Patent type litigation (as are many SV-based litigation groups). I would personally cut out Baker Botts/Baker McKenzie/Paul Hastings.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:19 pm

Paul Hastings does NOT have a strong culture. The vault rankings are manipulated by the firm. The work difference will be negligible among these firms, and also dependent on chance (i.e., how busy your group/partner happens to be). Probably just take STB.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:*STB not SBT. If you're gonna love a firm you should start to get their name/acronym right haha.
If you're completely happy, definitely accept the offer, idk why you should waste your time (and the time of attorneys) elsewhere.

Personally, I've never heard that much about Simpson PA's litigation practice. I know they're really strong on the corporate side out there, especially PE/Cap Markets related things. Amongst the firms you listed, Quinn/Weil/WilmerHale have the strongest litigation reputations in SV. But those reputations are more fixated around IP/Patent type litigation (as are many SV-based litigation groups). I would personally cut out Baker Botts/Baker McKenzie/Paul Hastings.


Ha, my fingers are too quick for me apparently. Don't worry, I know the name and am fairly certain only TLS people use an acronym anyway.

I'm specifically interviewing with Weil's patent lit department; I should have mentioned that.

Re: cutting out BB/BM/PH. Of all the firms listed, I figured these would be the ones with a slightly better work-life balance than the others. Like I said, the only thing I can see changing my mind would be work-life balance.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:44 pm

Re: cutting out BB/BM/PH. Of all the firms listed, I figured these would be the ones with a slightly better work-life balance than the others. Like I said, the only thing I can see changing my mind would be work-life balance.


There isn't really THAT much of a correlation between vault ranking/a firm's national reputation and work-life balance in the SV offices. For the most part, a lot of Silicon Valley offices have relatively tamer cultures than their NY counterparts.

At the end of the day, big law is big law. If you're at a successful office, you'll be busy. The people and the culture are what will make you want to put up with the longish hours. I will say I have heard great things about culture at Quinn SV & Weil SV. Re: BB/BM/PH, I haven't heard much about those offices one way or another, but their reputations lag significantly behind the others enough to the point where I don't personally think any potential difference in workload should be a factor (that is, assuming there is any difference in the first place).

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Re: cutting out BB/BM/PH. Of all the firms listed, I figured these would be the ones with a slightly better work-life balance than the others. Like I said, the only thing I can see changing my mind would be work-life balance.


There isn't really THAT much of a correlation between vault ranking/a firm's national reputation and work-life balance in the SV offices. For the most part, a lot of Silicon Valley offices have relatively tamer cultures than their NY counterparts.

At the end of the day, big law is big law. If you're at a successful office, you'll be busy. The people and the culture are what will make you want to put up with the longish hours. I will say I have heard great things about culture at Quinn SV & Weil SV. Re: BB/BM/PH, I haven't heard much about those offices one way or another, but their reputations lag significantly behind the others enough to the point where I don't personally think any potential difference in workload should be a factor (that is, assuming there is any difference in the first place).


This was really helpful and what I needed to hear. Thanks!

Based on how I felt about Simpson, do people think it's worth continuing with interviews for at least Weil and Jones Day? Or is it worth just stopping if I'm convinced I've found the right "fit"?

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This was really helpful and what I needed to hear. Thanks!

Based on how I felt about Simpson, do people think it's worth continuing with interviews for at least Weil and Jones Day? Or is it worth just stopping if I'm convinced I've found the right "fit"?


I personally would - if anything, the callbacks might just confirm that Simpson is the place you want to be. On the flip side, maybe you find something at one of the other firms that appeals to you.

However, if you honestly think theres nothing that can sway you - I wouldn't take the callbacks. Its a waste of time for both parties, and they can interview more willing candidates.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP: I am also a rising 2L, so take this with a grain of salt as this is just what I've heard second-hand from people who are associates/partners at big firms. I'm not so sure that it's true that lower tiered biglaw firms are less intense hours-wise. Even if it is, none of the firms you mentioned are in that category, as far as I know. I'm partial, because I have an offer from STB as well and really loved them (agonizing over my decision currently), but I would take the STB offer and run.


Thanks. Are you mainly debating between Quinn and STB, or others as well? My heart is telling me STB but it's also very hard to say no to Quinn.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP: I am also a rising 2L, so take this with a grain of salt as this is just what I've heard second-hand from people who are associates/partners at big firms. I'm not so sure that it's true that lower tiered biglaw firms are less intense hours-wise. Even if it is, none of the firms you mentioned are in that category, as far as I know. I'm partial, because I have an offer from STB as well and really loved them (agonizing over my decision currently), but I would take the STB offer and run.


Thanks. Are you mainly debating between Quinn and STB, or others as well? My heart is telling me STB but it's also very hard to say no to Quinn.


If you say no to Quinn, you can sleep well knowing that you opened up a spot to someone who will really appreciate it. ;-)

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby BigZuck » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:37 pm

You're not going to have work-life balance so I'd probably drop that as a consideration

Also real talk: there's a good chance that the people you met that you thought you loved might very well be gone by the time you start as a SA, let alone as an associate.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP: I am also a rising 2L, so take this with a grain of salt as this is just what I've heard second-hand from people who are associates/partners at big firms. I'm not so sure that it's true that lower tiered biglaw firms are less intense hours-wise. Even if it is, none of the firms you mentioned are in that category, as far as I know. I'm partial, because I have an offer from STB as well and really loved them (agonizing over my decision currently), but I would take the STB offer and run.


Thanks. Are you mainly debating between Quinn and STB, or others as well? My heart is telling me STB but it's also very hard to say no to Quinn.


Yup. Was primarily between Quinn and STB, but 90% sure I'm going with Quinn.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:56 pm

BigZuck wrote:You're not going to have work-life balance so I'd probably drop that as a consideration

Also real talk: there's a good chance that the people you met that you thought you loved might very well be gone by the time you start as a SA, let alone as an associate.


This is exactly what I really wanted to know. Thanks. If there's no chance of a firm giving me better work-life balance, the answer is easy.

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby QContinuum » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:06 pm

Further: "Lifestyle" firms (of which none of the listed firms qualify, IMO) present a separate danger: That of being let go due to not making your billables. The stress of trying to hunt down work at a place with insufficient work > the stress of actually being swamped with work.

BigLaw isn't a charity. If they're paying you 180, they sure aren't doing it so you can actually have a life. :P

jd20132013

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Re: work-life balance at prestigious vs. slightly less prestigious firms

Postby jd20132013 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:23 pm

No
Such
Thing
As work life balance

I mean you can just not do the work and get canned but assuming you want to keep the job...



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