Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Interficio wrote:I assume that W&C has better hours, just because it's in DC, and Wachtell is definitely a firm with a sweatshop reputation. My classmates who summered at Wachtell frequently worked 9am-9pm (as summers!), and the actual associates stayed longer than them.

But, also, I'm just not sure why someone who wants to do litigation would choose Wachtell. Even if you wanted some link to SDNY, there are plenty of litigation shops there (e.g. Paul Weiss) that may give you more useful connections and experience.

Do you actually have offers at these places?


Thank you for this. Unfortunately, I was aware of the W and C process. I'm just trying to find out if everyone from my school has been interviewed yet! Lol

Yes, I have an offer at both firms.


Any chance you could clue us in on your school range? I'm waiting on Williams and Connolly post-cb.


W&C makes decisions after they interview everyone from your school. For some people it will be quick (if they were the last to go), but if you're the first, you could wait a little bit.



Thank you for this. Unfortunately, I was already aware of the W and C process. I'm just trying to find out if everyone from my school has interviewed! Lol

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby JusticeJackson » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:20 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby OutCold » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:31 am

JusticeJackson wrote:For what it's worth, my interview with the SDNY USAO indicated that being local matters at least some to them. All of my interviewers had strong New York ties, clerked for federal judges in New York, and worked for New York firms. All but one went to CLS. The interview (which went terribly for me) basically focused on why a guy with a west coast district court and COA clerkship wouldn't just stay out west/did I really want to be in New York.

So from my limited experience, if you want to be an AUSA, I'd lean towards WLRK because SDNY is pretty objectively where you want to go if you want to be an AUSA (no disrespect towards D.C., but they require years doing their state court practice before you can do federal work, which I think would be awesome but doesn't seem like it would fit in with what you're looking for). This is coming from someone that never could have landed first round interviews at W&C or WLRK.

Again, take this for what it's worth: one guy had a first round interview where a bunch of New Yorkers were aghast that a guy would rather do sdny-type cases instead of endless illegal reentries.

Not to derail, but how many years out of school were you when you applied to SDNY and landed the interview? I ask because I'm trying to make the same move and am several years out, but am not sure how long I need to wait.

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby JusticeJackson » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:07 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:44 pm

JusticeJackson wrote:For what it's worth, my interview with the SDNY USAO indicated that being local matters at least some to them. All of my interviewers had strong New York ties, clerked for federal judges in New York, and worked for New York firms. All but one went to CLS. The interview (which went terribly for me) basically focused on why a guy with a west coast district court and COA clerkship wouldn't just stay out west/did I really want to be in New York.

So from my limited experience, if you want to be an AUSA, I'd lean towards WLRK because SDNY is pretty objectively where you want to go if you want to be an AUSA (no disrespect towards D.C., but they require years doing their state court practice before you can do federal work, which I think would be awesome but doesn't seem like it would fit in with what you're looking for). This is coming from someone that never could have landed first round interviews at W&C or WLRK.

Again, take this for what it's worth: one guy had a first round interview where a bunch of New Yorkers were aghast that a guy would rather do sdny-type cases instead of endless illegal reentries.


the DMV also has EDVA which has a number of former Williams & Connolly associates and former WLRK associates. EDVA is pure federal court.

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby JusticeJackson » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:54 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:56 pm

I'd take WLRK for the pay... At a certain point, you no longer need to think about your long term goals/which job best positions you for your desired exit because you're playing in a league that opens every door, and WLRK and W&C are both in that league.


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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby wisdom » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:01 pm

W&C has better hours on average than Wachtell even in litigation, and junior associates get more substantive work/early experience (this is not speculation, but it is of course anecdotal and limited to personal experience at one firm compared to friends at the other).

I'd lean toward Wachtell if I wanted SDNY, but for a lot of people who want to become AUSAs, SDNY is not the end all be all for a number of reasons (fewer trials, longer hours, which is the price one pays for more prestige and better exit opportunities). That being said, connections to an office, such as through clerking for a judge with a relationship to that office (e.g., SDNY or 2d Circuit clerks whose judges were once highly placed in SDNY), matter a lot more than minute differences in law firm prestige. S&C, for instance, has a ton of connections and places a lot of people into SDNY as well. So does Davis Polk.

Feel free to PM me for more info.

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:12 pm

All things considered, I'd pick W&C even with the lower pay. People I know at W&C still have somewhat of a life - the hours are crushing even by biglaw standards, but they have some weekends / nights / even less busy weeks or months. Can't really say the same about WLRK. I value being able to spend a little of my money over gathering huge amounts of money I can't use, so I'd go with W&C.

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Re: Wachtell (WLRK) v. Williams & Connolly (W&C) -- AUSA Exit Opps. & Work-Life Balance

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:19 am

wisdom wrote:W&C has better hours on average than Wachtell even in litigation, and junior associates get more substantive work/early experience (this is not speculation, but it is of course anecdotal and limited to personal experience at one firm compared to friends at the other).

I'd lean toward Wachtell if I wanted SDNY, but for a lot of people who want to become AUSAs, SDNY is not the end all be all for a number of reasons (fewer trials, longer hours, which is the price one pays for more prestige and better exit opportunities). That being said, connections to an office, such as through clerking for a judge with a relationship to that office (e.g., SDNY or 2d Circuit clerks whose judges were once highly placed in SDNY), matter a lot more than minute differences in law firm prestige. S&C, for instance, has a ton of connections and places a lot of people into SDNY as well. So does Davis Polk.

Feel free to PM me for more info.


Juniors at WLRK get a lot of substantive experience early and given the narrow focus of W&C's litigation practice, I'm pretty sure WLRK associates get a more broad set of skills and subject matter. Also W&C doesn't hire former prosecutors, so there's not that network that can propel you into DOJ based on personal work bonds. WLRK has some of the best former prosecutors as partners and each of them works with and mentors junior associates. Each will also -- assuming the associate does good work for them -- provide guidance and help with obtaining AUSA positions at SDNY and other offices around the country. W&C also underpays its associates and WLRK, i won't say overpays, but it pays a ridiculous amount of money to associates and provides other amazing benefits that other firms do not. I may be biased because I was an associate at WLRK for a long time and enjoyed the experience.

Also, the hours are nothing to sneeze at, but my weekend evenings were generally free and I could go out on occasion after work during the week. You sort of get used to the hours and they're not so bad. As bad as the reputation is for being a sweatshop (a very well-deserved reputation), most WLRK associates are pretty satisfied with their choice.



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