Choosing among Boston firms

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Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:37 pm

Hey TLS, I have been very fortunate to get some offers this recruiting season and I am having a very difficult time choosing among them as they all seem like great opportunities and I have really liked the people at each of the firms. I am choosing between Cooley, Goodwin, Kirkland, and Ropes (all Boston). I will definitely be going corporate, rather than lit, and I think it would be cool to do emerging company/startup work, but I am not 100% sure or set on that. My thought process is that if I decide I am set on startup work then I should choose between Cooley and Goodwin, and if not then it should be more of a choice between Ropes and Goodwin and maybe Kirkland (wild-card because it is a new office and offering a decent signing bonus).

I really liked Cooley because of the laid-back nature and how it is very focused on start-up work, but I am a little hesitant to turn down the bigger Boston names for it. Goodwin didn't click with me quite as much but obviously does a lot in the emerging companies space and I am thinking may be a "safer" bet because it is a bigger name in the Boston area. Any insight into the differences between Cooley and Goodwin in terms of culture or the quality of startup work they get in the Boston area would be great.

Ropes is obviously Ropes, and would be really hard to turn down. They don't have the startup work that I am interested in, but honestly, as a rising 2L I realize that it may be pretty stupid to think that I know what I want to do at this point and going to the larger, more general corporate shop might be a good idea. Work-life balance is also very important to me (to the extent that it can be in biglaw), and it seems like Ropes might be better for that as I have heard a lot about them not having facetime requirements and allowing people to work from home. If anyone has insight into that aspect I would really appreciate it.

Any advice would be appreciated, and if there is something I am overlooking or something you think I should check into further I would be happy to hear that as well. Thanks a lot.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:43 pm

This is a pretty simple decision. If you want to do start-up work and you want to be in Boston, you should probably choose Goodwin. Your work-life balance isn't going to be any better at Ropes.

Cooley I do not know anymore to comment on.

Kirkland is almost 100% PE, is it not? If you don't think you want to do PE then that's out.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:48 pm

If you want to do startup work but you're not sold on it, Goodwin let's you try that with a top group in Boston but if you don't love it, you have more options than if you went to Cooley. Ropes would give you some options but not really emerging company work. No idea about Kirkland.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is a pretty simple decision. If you want to do start-up work and you want to be in Boston, you should probably choose Goodwin. Your work-life balance isn't going to be any better at Ropes.

Cooley I do not know anymore to comment on.

Kirkland is almost 100% PE, is it not? If you don't think you want to do PE then that's out.

OP here, yeah I did some PE work over the summer and liked it, so if I don't decide on start-up work I would be fine with PE, which Ropes and Kirkland are strong in.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is a pretty simple decision. If you want to do start-up work and you want to be in Boston, you should probably choose Goodwin. Your work-life balance isn't going to be any better at Ropes.

Cooley I do not know anymore to comment on.

Kirkland is almost 100% PE, is it not? If you don't think you want to do PE then that's out.

OP here, yeah I did some PE work over the summer and liked it, so if I don't decide on start-up work I would be fine with PE, which Ropes and Kirkland are strong in.


Goodwin also has a strong PE practice. I don't know. It seems like if you're leaning toward start-up work but want to try different things, you can't go wrong with Goodwin's depth and breadth.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby euskadi » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote: My thought process is that if I decide I am set on startup work then I should choose between Cooley and Goodwin, and if not then it should be more of a choice between Ropes and Goodwin and maybe Kirkland (wild-card because it is a new office and offering a decent signing bonus).


OP -- Please feel free to PM me. Although I don't know loads about the other firms, I have some insight here.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is a pretty simple decision. If you want to do start-up work and you want to be in Boston, you should probably choose Goodwin. Your work-life balance isn't going to be any better at Ropes.

Cooley I do not know anymore to comment on.

Kirkland is almost 100% PE, is it not? If you don't think you want to do PE then that's out.

OP here, yeah I did some PE work over the summer and liked it, so if I don't decide on start-up work I would be fine with PE, which Ropes and Kirkland are strong in.


Goodwin also has a strong PE practice. I don't know. It seems like if you're leaning toward start-up work but want to try different things, you can't go wrong with Goodwin's depth and breadth.

Yeah I think that's a fair assessment re: my interests in start-up vs other work. So it seems like there is some consensus that the general advantages of Ropes over Goodwin in Boston (if any, this is just coming from a naive 2L with some vague understanding of Ropes being the "top" Boston shop) are overshadowed by Goodwin's strength in start-up work even if I am not dead-set on that? This makes sense to me, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything completely stupid by potentially turning down Ropes. If anyone has a different perspective or anymore insight on anything else I would still love to hear it.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is a pretty simple decision. If you want to do start-up work and you want to be in Boston, you should probably choose Goodwin. Your work-life balance isn't going to be any better at Ropes.

Cooley I do not know anymore to comment on.

Kirkland is almost 100% PE, is it not? If you don't think you want to do PE then that's out.

OP here, yeah I did some PE work over the summer and liked it, so if I don't decide on start-up work I would be fine with PE, which Ropes and Kirkland are strong in.


Goodwin also has a strong PE practice. I don't know. It seems like if you're leaning toward start-up work but want to try different things, you can't go wrong with Goodwin's depth and breadth.

Yeah I think that's a fair assessment re: my interests in start-up vs other work. So it seems like there is some consensus that the general advantages of Ropes over Goodwin in Boston (if any, this is just coming from a naive 2L with some vague understanding of Ropes being the "top" Boston shop) are overshadowed by Goodwin's strength in start-up work even if I am not dead-set on that? This makes sense to me, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything completely stupid by potentially turning down Ropes. If anyone has a different perspective or anymore insight on anything else I would still love to hear it.


I also decided between Goodwin and Ropes within the last 3 years. While Goodwin had a better reputation in my area of interest (financial regulations), I picked Ropes because I just got along better with the people and kept getting weird vibes from Goodwin. I have zero regrets since. So I'm going to say that if you arent 100% dedicated to emerging companies work or are picking the emerging market area based on hunches, don't discount the people element and what your intuition may be telling you about where you'll be happier. While nearly all firms are pretty interchangeable and who knows, if I picked Goodwin I may still be giving this advice, but don't discount weighing whether you feel like you "fit" with the people.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:43 pm

Is Goodwin's proclaimed work-life balance just a cliche like all the others

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is Goodwin's proclaimed work-life balance just a cliche like all the others

Yes, any variations between big firms will be more about individual teams you're on/who you're working with/how busy they are/practice area.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:23 pm

Having done a little research/some visits before choosing to focus exclusively in NY, Choate was by far my favorite. Sophisticated/challenging work, genuinely cool people, little pretension, one office, strong and growing rep nationwide. I really liked it.

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Re: Choosing among Boston firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:wild-card because it is a new office and offering a decent signing bonus


I haven't heard about this. What's the signing bonus?



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