WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

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Which Silicon Valley Firm for corporate?

WSGR
17
27%
Fenwick & West
27
44%
Davis Polk
2
3%
Kirkland & Ellis
8
13%
Latham & Watkins
8
13%
 
Total votes: 62

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interested in doing corporate work, with a preferred exit towards VC/startup. Culture > work > prestige.

Offers from all of the firms on the list, looking for recommendations/thoughts.


When did you get WSGR offer?

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:29 pm

How long does it typically take dpw, Latham and fenwick to make offers after callbacks?

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When did you get WSGR offer?


Not OP but mine came yesterday.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:I was going to post something similar, hopefully it's cool if I hop on here instead.

I want to do emerging companies work for innovative tech companies. I'd like to focus on EC/VC but also be able to try a bit of M&A and do some IPOs. I plan on staying at least 4-6 years before exiting to either a large tech company or a quickly growing emerging growth company. Like OP, priority is culture (normal, friendly, cool people, effort to train/mentor, collaborative and team-oriented) > work (substantive early on, can scale up with companies, diverse practice within corporate tech, get the most innovative tech company clients) > prestige (how hard will it be to move in-house at a large or small tech company; if I become a partner, will it be harder to build a book of business and attract/retain clients).

Offers from: Cooley (SV), Goodwin (SF), Orrick (SF), MoFo (SV)
For hypothetical purposes assume I get offers from: WSGR (SV), Fenwick (SV)

I am going to live in the city. If I prefer the culture of Goodwin, am I crazy to choose them over Cooley or Fenwick? Can someone in the know tell me how the substance of my work would differ if I chose them over Fenwick or Cooley? Is there a concern unrelated to prestige?


I'm a SF associate who used to work for a SV office and do the SF-SV commute. My two cents:

(1) Do everything you can to prioritize accepting a great position in SF or at least negotiating to split your time between SF-SV so you're officially in SF at least 60 percent of the time. All of the SV firms you name have SF offices, so there's a potential for negotiation. For instance, I know someone who took a Fenwick SV offer but then explicitly negotiated to spend most of their summer in SF and to join the SF office after graduation; I know other Fenwick associates who started in SV but transferred to SF in ~ 2 years.

(2) Understand that the commute will absolutely dominate your life, to an extent you probably won't fully appreciate until you do it *as an associate* (you will not be able to gauge how hard this will be as a summer). When biglaw is at its most challenging, the commute can escalate "tough" into "unbearable." Imagine leaving the office at 2 AM knowing you have to be back at 7 AM. Now imagine adding in 2+ hours of drive time into those 5 hours. Now imagine dealing with that throughout the entirety of a deal crunch. When you're working 80-90 hour weeks, seeing 10-15 hours of weekly free time slip through your fingers due to traffic is brutal. And when biglaw is not at its most challenging, you'll still be constantly frustrated with how you are missing out on many of the perks of living in the City that your friends enjoy. Want to slip out for a networking happy hour, then back to work? Sorry - that means leaving at 4:30 PM (probably unrealistic) then sitting in 90+ minutes of traffic to try to access downtown SF. Ditto date nights, etc. The City is effectively off-limits to you during the early evening hours unless you work from your firm's SF office (which won't always be feasible, and when you're there, you are likely to feel the frustration of being stuck in an uncomfortable visitor office and surrounded by folks who have a better commute and resultant better work-life balance than you do (or was that just me?). If you can get a visitor office, that is. Multiple firms you list lack sufficient visitor space to consistently accommodate their commuting SF-SV associates in SF visitor offices on request.)

(3) All of that being said, it is STILL better to live in SF and commute to SV than live in SV for the sake of not having a commute. I'd deal with all of the frustration described in paragraph #2 and more, again, than voluntarily live in Palo Alto, Mountain View, or San Jose for one single day. (Disclaimer: I have several friends who tried the commute, reached the opposite conclusion, bit the bullet, and moved to SV.)

Good luck. And push for the SF-based lifestyle you want. It is possible to have a SV-focused client base but live and work up here.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When did you get WSGR offer?


Not OP but mine came yesterday.


OP here. Pre-OCI offer.

Anonymous User wrote:How long does it typically take dpw, Latham and fenwick to make offers after callbacks?


DPW - CBed on a Wed, offered on the following Monday
Latham - CBed on a Tues, offered Thurs
Fenwick - CBed on a Thurs, offered Monday

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby RedGiant » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:18 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Correct. For VC/start up work the only thing more prestigious than WSGR is Gunderson. Kirkland is more of a private equity shop.


Eh, I may be biased because I'm ex-WSGR Palo Alto, but that's not how most of the Valley sees it. As someone else mentioned, Gunderson is excellent at startups, but you also need more later-stage companies to pay the bills, and that's where WSGR beats Gunderson. They have both strong startup practices and clients that can pay too.

I also was a paralegal at Latham SV. Latham has a really broad corporate practice in SV, everything from startups to public company work. It's a good firm, but their KM resources are not as good as WSGR (and this makes a difference when you're the one looking for precedents.)

I don't necessarily think WSGR is a sweatshop--really depends on the group, and juniors are not assigned to groups anymore anyway. You have amazing resources there and the exit opps are top-notch. But same with Fenwick.

DPW and K&E do completely different work. DPW has a strong public company and capital markets practice. K&E does most PE M&A, funds work. So...yeah. They're not the same as Fenwick or WSGR in that they are doing less "Valley-style" work (although DPW does a fair number of IPOs).

If you want culture and startup exit opps at the top, then I'd pick Fenwick or WSGR. Latham next and then DPW/K&E last.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:37 pm

RedGiant wrote:DPW and K&E do completely different work. DPW has a strong public company and capital markets practice. K&E does most PE M&A, funds work. So...yeah. They're not the same as Fenwick or WSGR in that they are doing less "Valley-style" work (although DPW does a fair number of IPOs).


Not OP, but any thoughts on STB?

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
(3) All of that being said, it is STILL better to live in SF and commute to SV than live in SV for the sake of not having a commute. I'd deal with all of the frustration described in paragraph #2 and more, again, than voluntarily live in Palo Alto, Mountain View, or San Jose for one single day. (Disclaimer: I have several friends who tried the commute, reached the opposite conclusion, bit the bullet, and moved to SV.


Is San Jose really that bad? I have some friends who work in SV and some lived in San Jose and some lived in SF. The commute from SF is BRUTAL. There's no way I could put in biglaw hours and then on top of it 2.5 hours of commuting EVERY day. The friends in San Jose seemed happy. If you live downtown where there is more of a city feel and more busy people and restaurants/bars around, it's not bad. Sure, it's not SF but SF is just a drive away even SF gets boring after a while.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
(3) All of that being said, it is STILL better to live in SF and commute to SV than live in SV for the sake of not having a commute. I'd deal with all of the frustration described in paragraph #2 and more, again, than voluntarily live in Palo Alto, Mountain View, or San Jose for one single day. (Disclaimer: I have several friends who tried the commute, reached the opposite conclusion, bit the bullet, and moved to SV.


Is San Jose really that bad? I have some friends who work in SV and some lived in San Jose and some lived in SF. The commute from SF is BRUTAL. There's no way I could put in biglaw hours and then on top of it 2.5 hours of commuting EVERY day. The friends in San Jose seemed happy. If you live downtown where there is more of a city feel and more busy people and restaurants/bars around, it's not bad. Sure, it's not SF but SF is just a drive away even SF gets boring after a while.


I'm the prior poster, and I have lived in both SJ and PA. Both were that bad, in my experience, with the caveat that it's been several years since I lived in SJ and downtown has evolved a bit since then. That said, it's a subjective thing--as I said, I find living in SV more unbearable than a long commute (having tried both), but have several friends who tried both and reached the opposite conclusion. The bottom line is that for most people, both options are suboptimal compromises (live in SV/work in SV and live in SF/work in SV). So the real advice is, the poster in question (who seemingly feels strongly about SF) should be trying for the optimal option: live in SF/work in SF. If they can't get that, then which suboptimal option is less awful will be a really individual decision.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:54 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby dabigchina » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
(3) All of that being said, it is STILL better to live in SF and commute to SV than live in SV for the sake of not having a commute. I'd deal with all of the frustration described in paragraph #2 and more, again, than voluntarily live in Palo Alto, Mountain View, or San Jose for one single day. (Disclaimer: I have several friends who tried the commute, reached the opposite conclusion, bit the bullet, and moved to SV.


Is San Jose really that bad? I have some friends who work in SV and some lived in San Jose and some lived in SF. The commute from SF is BRUTAL. There's no way I could put in biglaw hours and then on top of it 2.5 hours of commuting EVERY day. The friends in San Jose seemed happy. If you live downtown where there is more of a city feel and more busy people and restaurants/bars around, it's not bad. Sure, it's not SF but SF is just a drive away even SF gets boring after a while.


It's absolutely not bad. You can have a car down here so you can actually buy groceries without schelping that crap on muni. It's quieter and less crowded. Schools are much better so if you ever want kids you are going to need to move down here anyway. Many like myself, prefer it to San francisco.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:42 pm

RedGiant wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Correct. For VC/start up work the only thing more prestigious than WSGR is Gunderson. Kirkland is more of a private equity shop.


Eh, I may be biased because I'm ex-WSGR Palo Alto, but that's not how most of the Valley sees it. As someone else mentioned, Gunderson is excellent at startups, but you also need more later-stage companies to pay the bills, and that's where WSGR beats Gunderson. They have both strong startup practices and clients that can pay too.

I also was a paralegal at Latham SV. Latham has a really broad corporate practice in SV, everything from startups to public company work. It's a good firm, but their KM resources are not as good as WSGR (and this makes a difference when you're the one looking for precedents.)

I don't necessarily think WSGR is a sweatshop--really depends on the group, and juniors are not assigned to groups anymore anyway. You have amazing resources there and the exit opps are top-notch. But same with Fenwick.

DPW and K&E do completely different work. DPW has a strong public company and capital markets practice. K&E does most PE M&A, funds work. So...yeah. They're not the same as Fenwick or WSGR in that they are doing less "Valley-style" work (although DPW does a fair number of IPOs).

If you want culture and startup exit opps at the top, then I'd pick Fenwick or WSGR. Latham next and then DPW/K&E last.

+1 to all of this, with the caveat that Latham has pivoted heavily towards ttg and EC in SV. They have lost a bunch of their larger semiconductor work as a result of consolidation in that industry.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Pasting this from the SF thread

"If you are transactional-leaning and interested in startup/EC/VC work but also want to try out more traditional public company M&A type corporate work, is there any benefit to starting out an NYC V-5 for a few years and then lateraling out-west? Deciding between Cooley/Fenwick/MoFo (SF) and Cravath and similar NY firms."

Also re. commuting. Is living in the city and working in SV so horrible that it would be worth taking MoFo SF over the other bay area firms listed even though the EC/VC group is comparatively weaker? More to the point, would exiting to a startup be significantly more difficult from MoFo than Cooley or Fenwick?


Junior corporate associate at one of WSGR/Fenwick/Cooley/Gunderson here (+ have friends at each of those firms). If you want startup work, going to a v5 in NYC in your position makes zero sense. Both Cooley and Fenwick will give you plenty of opportunities to do M&A (both public & private). The only reason to go NYC v5 with your goals would be if you didn't have the Cooley/Fenwick offers and were hoping to set yourself up for a second bite at the apple (i.e. by lateraling to the SV firms as a 3rd year or whatever).

Re Mofo - No, it's not worth it. Their corporate group isn't much of a player out here (Mofo is known for lit, not corp) and you will have a much slimmer chance of actually getting any startup work at all (Mofo does very little startup work). Plus, I have heard almost universally bad things about the culture of their SF office. You'll just get much better corporate work at Fenwick/Cooley and will have much better chances to jump to a startup as a result.

Between Fenwick/Cooley - if both of your offers are for the SV offices, I think Fenwick has the edge if you're set on living in SF. Fenwick is in downtown Mountain View a few blocks from Caltrain, so you can easily live near a Caltrain station in SF (either in SOMA by 4th and King or in the Dogpatch) and not have to deal with driving in rush hour traffic. Cooley is in a Palo Alto office park on Page Mill near WSGR (far from public transportation). All of the Palo Alto freeway exits are totally fucked during rush hour, and this is what will really take years off your life. Plus, Cooley has stricter separation between their offices, so I think it's harder to work in SF if you're based in SV. I get the sense that Fenwick is more fluid ("free market") so it's easier to work in the SF office a couple days a week or even move up permanently after a year or two.

Hope this helps.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:48 am

Withdrawn

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pasting this from the SF thread

"If you are transactional-leaning and interested in startup/EC/VC work but also want to try out more traditional public company M&A type corporate work, is there any benefit to starting out an NYC V-5 for a few years and then lateraling out-west? Deciding between Cooley/Fenwick/MoFo (SF) and Cravath and similar NY firms."

Also re. commuting. Is living in the city and working in SV so horrible that it would be worth taking MoFo SF over the other bay area firms listed even though the EC/VC group is comparatively weaker? More to the point, would exiting to a startup be significantly more difficult from MoFo than Cooley or Fenwick?


Junior corporate associate at one of WSGR/Fenwick/Cooley/Gunderson here (+ have friends at each of those firms). If you want startup work, going to a v5 in NYC in your position makes zero sense. Both Cooley and Fenwick will give you plenty of opportunities to do M&A (both public & private). The only reason to go NYC v5 with your goals would be if you didn't have the Cooley/Fenwick offers and were hoping to set yourself up for a second bite at the apple (i.e. by lateraling to the SV firms as a 3rd year or whatever).

Re Mofo - No, it's not worth it. Their corporate group isn't much of a player out here (Mofo is known for lit, not corp) and you will have a much slimmer chance of actually getting any startup work at all (Mofo does very little startup work). Plus, I have heard almost universally bad things about the culture of their SF office. You'll just get much better corporate work at Fenwick/Cooley and will have much better chances to jump to a startup as a result.

Between Fenwick/Cooley - if both of your offers are for the SV offices, I think Fenwick has the edge if you're set on living in SF. Fenwick is in downtown Mountain View a few blocks from Caltrain, so you can easily live near a Caltrain station in SF (either in SOMA by 4th and King or in the Dogpatch) and not have to deal with driving in rush hour traffic. Cooley is in a Palo Alto office park on Page Mill near WSGR (far from public transportation). All of the Palo Alto freeway exits are totally fucked during rush hour, and this is what will really take years off your life. Plus, Cooley has stricter separation between their offices, so I think it's harder to work in SF if you're based in SV. I get the sense that Fenwick is more fluid ("free market") so it's easier to work in the SF office a couple days a week or even move up permanently after a year or two.

Hope this helps.

How long after callback does it take Fenwick/Cooley SV to extend offers? If callbacks were > a week ago, should we move on?

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
How long after callback does it take Fenwick/Cooley SV to extend offers? If callbacks were > a week ago, should we move on?


Fenwick meets on Tuesdays to have hiring committee meetings and won't give callbacks before that. If a Tuesday has passed they might just be waiting another week because you're borderline.

Cooley was almost right away for me, can't say that's the norm though or a policy or anything. If you're borderline they might be waiting to see what others do.

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Re: WSGR, Fenwick, DPW, K&E, Latham (SV/SF)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
How long after callback does it take Fenwick/Cooley SV to extend offers? If callbacks were > a week ago, should we move on?


Fenwick meets on Tuesdays to have hiring committee meetings and won't give callbacks before that. If a Tuesday has passed they might just be waiting another week because you're borderline.

Cooley was almost right away for me, can't say that's the norm though or a policy or anything. If you're borderline they might be waiting to see what others do.


Does the Fenwick hiring committee also tend to give offers after the Tuesday meetings? Does not getting an offer after a couple weeks mean we are most likely rejected? Thanks!



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