Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

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Baker, Latham, or Kirkland?? All the above considered....

Baker McKenzie;
0
No votes
Latham & Watkins;
14
25%
Kirkland & Ellis.
43
75%
 
Total votes: 57

aromano95

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Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby aromano95 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:30 pm

Hello,

Deciding between offers from 3 Chicago firms: Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, and Baker McKenzie.
Plan: short stint in Biglaw (1-4 years), transition to commercial real estate development or private equity (business side not legal side).
Important factors I'm looking for: decent lifestyle (I understand it'll be tough everywhere), exposure to big clients, relatively large responsibility early on, early client exposure, and best set-up for leaving.
Latham is leading the way for me right now - absolutely great experience interviewing, networking, and learning about the firm -- but open to reconsideration.
I know Kirkland is an insanely great firm and a titan in Chicago, but the hours/intensity are what is holding me back.
Questions: bonus structure at these 3 spots, insider info that isn't attainable via TLS or Vault or ABove the law, harsh reality of transitioning out to business world, best summer program, best real estate clients (I know K&E has best private equity clients), and anything else you think is relevant to this important decision.

If I can provide more details, let me know.
THANKS!
Last edited by aromano95 on Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

umichman

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby umichman » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:35 pm

In before u get the talk on how planning on going to pe or re dev. From any firm is incredibly difficult, Kirkland and Latham are both a cut above baker. Kirklands office in chi is much much bigger and Chicago is home office. Latham has awesome people. Go on your culture feel between those two

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:39 pm

So are you going into the real estate groups at one of these firms?

aromano95

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby aromano95 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So are you going into the real estate groups at one of these firms?


Plan is to enter under the general corporate umbrella, and settle into either RE, M&A, or PE

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Mullens

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Mullens » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:11 pm

aromano95 wrote:Hello,

Deciding between offers from 3 Chicago firms: Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, and Baker McKenzie.
Plan: short stint in Biglaw (1-4 years), transition to commercial real estate development or private equity (business side not legal side).
Important factors I'm looking for: decent lifestyle (I understand it'll be tough everywhere), exposure to big clients, relatively large responsibility early on, early client exposure, and best set-up for leaving.
Latham is leading the way for me right now - absolutely great experience interviewing, networking, and learning about the firm -- but open to reconsideration.
Questions: bonus structure at these 3 spots, insider info that isn't attainable via TLS or Vault or ABove the law, harsh reality of transitioning out to business world, best summer program, best real estate clients (I know K&E has best private equity clients), and anything else you think is relevant to this important decision.

If I can provide more details, let me know.
THANKS!


If you wanna go to the business-side then K&E makes more sense. K&E does exclusively sponsor-side work while Latham does more bank side work.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:15 pm

aromano95 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So are you going into the real estate groups at one of these firms?


Plan is to enter under the general corporate umbrella, and settle into either RE, M&A, or PE


You can't do that at Kirkland. You have to pick corporate or real estate.

The K&E real estate group is 100% toxic. I know of at least four associates who have left in the past year. I would strongly advise against picking RE. The corporate group is it's own ball of wax but you at least know what you're signing up for when you pick K&E corporate.

throwaway_

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby throwaway_ » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:16 pm

umichman wrote:In before u get the talk on how planning on going to pe or re dev.


oof, beat me to it

DON'T GO INTO K&E, LATHAM OR B&M IF YOU WANT TO WORK IN FRONT OFFICE PE.

aromano95

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby aromano95 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:39 pm

throwaway_ wrote:
umichman wrote:In before u get the talk on how planning on going to pe or re dev.


oof, beat me to it

DON'T GO INTO K&E, LATHAM OR B&M IF YOU WANT TO WORK IN FRONT OFFICE PE.


More interested in real estate. But Can you suggest Alternatives?

throwaway_

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby throwaway_ » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:02 pm

aromano95 wrote:
throwaway_ wrote:
umichman wrote:In before u get the talk on how planning on going to pe or re dev.


oof, beat me to it

DON'T GO INTO K&E, LATHAM OR B&M IF YOU WANT TO WORK IN FRONT OFFICE PE.


More interested in real estate. But Can you suggest Alternatives?


I don't know much about real estate. It's possible that CRE is different; that industry's supposedly more about connections and getting-your-hands dirty, so maybe being a RE lawyer is looked on more favorably. General advice: you've got offers at those firms, now ask every associate you can get a hold off what exit opps they've seen, and press them on it (e.g., "there've been guys who've gone into banking" more often than not means one dude in the last three years).

PE? PE is simply very difficult to break into now, assuming you didn't do the prerequisite two years post-college top consulting or banking. For some context, your average HBS (or M7 b-school) grad will struggle to get PE. Even if he spends a bunch of years at McKinsey or Goldman after, her odds of then making the jump aren't going to improve dramatically. But as you can imagine, still leaps and bounds over a practicing lawyer with no hook. I won't say it's impossible, just that every example you find to prove me wrong will be a true outlier.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:51 pm

They seem nice. Do you have any additional intel on what makes them so "toxic"?

Anonymous User wrote:
aromano95 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So are you going into the real estate groups at one of these firms?


Plan is to enter under the general corporate umbrella, and settle into either RE, M&A, or PE


You can't do that at Kirkland. You have to pick corporate or real estate.

The K&E real estate group is 100% toxic. I know of at least four associates who have left in the past year. I would strongly advise against picking RE. The corporate group is it's own ball of wax but you at least know what you're signing up for when you pick K&E corporate.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They seem nice. Do you have any additional intel on what makes them so "toxic"?

Anonymous User wrote:
aromano95 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So are you going into the real estate groups at one of these firms?


Plan is to enter under the general corporate umbrella, and settle into either RE, M&A, or PE


You can't do that at Kirkland. You have to pick corporate or real estate.

The K&E real estate group is 100% toxic. I know of at least four associates who have left in the past year. I would strongly advise against picking RE. The corporate group is it's own ball of wax but you at least know what you're signing up for when you pick K&E corporate.


The intel is I personally know many of the real estate associates and they are/were miserable. A significant proportion of the group's associates have left in the past few months - far more than general attrition would warrant.

You either have only encountered people during recruiting events or have an interest in the answer to this question.

chingwoo

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby chingwoo » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:22 am

aromano95 wrote:Hello,

Deciding between offers from 3 Chicago firms: Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, and Baker McKenzie.
Plan: short stint in Biglaw (1-4 years), transition to commercial real estate development or private equity (business side not legal side).
Important factors I'm looking for: decent lifestyle (I understand it'll be tough everywhere), exposure to big clients, relatively large responsibility early on, early client exposure, and best set-up for leaving.
Latham is leading the way for me right now - absolutely great experience interviewing, networking, and learning about the firm -- but open to reconsideration.
I know Kirkland is an insanely great firm and a titan in Chicago, but the hours/intensity are what is holding me back.
Questions: bonus structure at these 3 spots, insider info that isn't attainable via TLS or Vault or ABove the law, harsh reality of transitioning out to business world, best summer program, best real estate clients (I know K&E has best private equity clients), and anything else you think is relevant to this important decision.

If I can provide more details, let me know.
THANKS!


Do Kirkland Summer and then recruit for mbb. Bain preferably due to PE due diligence.

Work at Burford during the school year.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:31 pm

Wait. Are you telling me someone who asked a question has an interest in the answer to the question? Mind. Blown.

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:They seem nice. Do you have any additional intel on what makes them so "toxic"?

Anonymous User wrote:
aromano95 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So are you going into the real estate groups at one of these firms?


Plan is to enter under the general corporate umbrella, and settle into either RE, M&A, or PE


You can't do that at Kirkland. You have to pick corporate or real estate.

The K&E real estate group is 100% toxic. I know of at least four associates who have left in the past year. I would strongly advise against picking RE. The corporate group is it's own ball of wax but you at least know what you're signing up for when you pick K&E corporate.


The intel is I personally know many of the real estate associates and they are/were miserable. A significant proportion of the group's associates have left in the past few months - far more than general attrition would warrant.

You either have only encountered people during recruiting events or have an interest in the answer to this question.

Anonymous User
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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:02 pm

My point was that you (i) don't know much about the real estate group other than from recruiting event encounters or (ii) have an interest that runs counter to my opinion that the real estate group is toxic.

Which one is it? Are you a RE partner? Summer associate that's already accepted into the group? If the latter try to get out.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:32 pm

Didn't a bunch of K&E real estate attorneys leave for Latham a couple years back? I interviewed at Latham (not Kirkland) last year and kind of remember a couple attorneys talking about this. Others confirm . . .

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My point was that you (i) don't know much about the real estate group other than from recruiting event encounters or (ii) have an interest that runs counter to my opinion that the real estate group is toxic.

Which one is it? Are you a RE partner? Summer associate that's already accepted into the group? If the latter try to get out.


Neither. But that's a much clearer way of stating your point. Just FYI, I'm not the one who asked it in the first place, but as an observer I am curious about what makes it so toxic. Putting myself in the shoes of someone trying to decide, I'm not as interested in knowing the fact that people left as much as I'm interested in knowing why those people left.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Didn't a bunch of K&E real estate attorneys leave for Latham a couple years back? I interviewed at Latham (not Kirkland) last year and kind of remember a couple attorneys talking about this. Others confirm . . .


Probably. And a bunch of LW real estate lawyers left LW for K&E just this year to form a group in LA. Not uncommon. This is why I think it's important to know why people left, not just the fact that people left. Hoping others have some insight on why.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My point was that you (i) don't know much about the real estate group other than from recruiting event encounters or (ii) have an interest that runs counter to my opinion that the real estate group is toxic.

Which one is it? Are you a RE partner? Summer associate that's already accepted into the group? If the latter try to get out.


Neither. But that's a much clearer way of stating your point. Just FYI, I'm not the one who asked it in the first place, but as an observer I am curious about what makes it so toxic. Putting myself in the shoes of someone trying to decide, I'm not as interested in knowing the fact that people left as much as I'm interested in knowing why those people left.


Well I thought the why answer was pretty implicit in my previous comments - the partners are pretty awful to work for, in addition to high hours. The hours and work don't really change at any top firm. But when people start leaving in droves it points towards terrible culture. And mind you, this is terrible culture even relative to other Kirkland groups, which says a lot.

Also have my doubts either commenter is just a disinterested observer when one knows that a large segment of LW attorneys lateraled to the KE LA office (?).

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:08 pm

It's just helpful to have specificity, even if anecdotal. Notice I'm not advocating for or against any firm, K&E or otherwise. I'm just really nosy and would like to know stories.

I'm an associate at a big law firm (I am only responsible for two of the previous anonymous posts), and you only need to check your daily Law360 morning email to know of such practice group moves. I can give you a handful of other recent moves off the top of my head, but those are two firms mentioned in this thread and the practice group being discussed, so it seemed relevant.

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My point was that you (i) don't know much about the real estate group other than from recruiting event encounters or (ii) have an interest that runs counter to my opinion that the real estate group is toxic.

Which one is it? Are you a RE partner? Summer associate that's already accepted into the group? If the latter try to get out.


Neither. But that's a much clearer way of stating your point. Just FYI, I'm not the one who asked it in the first place, but as an observer I am curious about what makes it so toxic. Putting myself in the shoes of someone trying to decide, I'm not as interested in knowing the fact that people left as much as I'm interested in knowing why those people left.


Well I thought the why answer was pretty implicit in my previous comments - the partners are pretty awful to work for, in addition to high hours. The hours and work don't really change at any top firm. But when people start leaving in droves it points towards terrible culture. And mind you, this is terrible culture even relative to other Kirkland groups, which says a lot.

Also have my doubts either commenter is just a disinterested observer when one knows that a large segment of LW attorneys lateraled to the KE LA office (?).

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:16 pm

I'm dubious, but if you say so.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm dubious, but if you say so.


Cool. How do you know so much about the group anyway?

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:50 pm

.

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Re: Battle of The Chicago Big Shots

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:29 am

I am/was/might have been a mid-level associate at one of the two front runner firms.

As another poster mentioned, for PE, you are better off going to K&E because of its deal volume, particularly from middle market sponsors. For RE, it's a toss up AFAIK and you should go with culture/fit.

Frankly, I know both firms have swapped a couple of corp associates over the past few years, and at least at my firm, if you asked to do a second look and specified who you were considering between, they would most likely be able to put you in touch with these people (if still at the firm).

Also, it's an entirely different discussion, but your exit plan (at least for PE) is an *extremely* uphill climb these days and I would give it very little weight in your present decision.



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