WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

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Which firm should I go to?

WLRK
68
84%
CSM
6
7%
S&C
7
9%
 
Total votes: 81

Anonymous User
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WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:20 pm

I'm having trouble deciding between these firms. My goal is to leave for an in-house position after a few years. I realize that this is a very good position to be in, but I am just totally lost as to how to decide. I'm down to these options because I want to work at an elite M&A shop (to get experience faster and facilitate going in-house sooner), and I felt super uncomfortable at DPW and STB. I'm trying to avoid megafirms so Kirkland/Latham/Skadden are out.

If anyone has any thoughts on the relative amount of face-time required in the M&A shops at these firms, whether there is really any appreciable difference between exit ops, or anything else that might make my decision more informed including anecdotes, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks everyone.

S&C

Pros: I really, really liked and got along with everyone I met. The generalist thing seems like it might enable me to sell myself as experienced in whatever a particular in-house job was looking for. If I hate M&A, it's easy to switch to something else. They seem to have a reputation for being slightly more humane than the other two hours-wise.

Cons: Seems like the firm, even in M&A, is more focused on banking clients, which I'm not all that interested in. Worried about getting stuck with work I don't want to do. Seems like you have to hustle/network to get the most interesting work, which sounds lame. Least likely of the three to give me responsibility early.

CSM

Pros: Responsibility early. Larger variety of work (More interesting/complex deals than just sell-side public M&A). Got along well with everyone. One of the partners has a very similar background and offered to mentor me, which I think would be really valuable and help mitigate the "what if you get stuck with a psycho" issue. Central assignment system means I don't have to hunt down work.

Cons: More work for same pay on average. Second rotation would end right as I want to leave, so half my time will be in non-M&A group. If I hate something, I can't get out of it until the rotation is over.

WLRK

Pros: $$$. Tons of experience very early. Name opens doors, so I might be able to leave earlier than the other firms. Not rolling the dice that I'll get slammed anyway at one of the other 2 and bill 3000 for the same pay. Former associates seem to have loved their time there, with the obvious caveat that they had no life outside work.

Cons: Substantively worse hours on average. Almost exclusively public, sell-side M&A which I've heard is not as interesting/difficult as other M&A. If I can't hack it and want to lateral, CSM and S&C are out because they don't hire laterals.

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Sacred Cow
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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Sacred Cow » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:45 pm

I'm in lit so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I don't see how you turn down Wachtell if you're interested in M&A. From my understanding, it's the go-to shop for the biggest deals. I don't know enough about M&A to know why public or sell-side would be less interesting than the alternatives, but from talking to people the work there sounds plenty interesting.

I don't know that much about the exit opportunities. I'm sure all three do just fine, but I have to imagine Wachtell gives you the best. I've also heard Wachtell gives a lot of responsibility early on, so it seems like great (and intense) training for future jobs.

I'm guessing other people are going to give you grief about considering CSM or S&C for their hours. I do think it's a fair consideration because Wachtell's are noticeably worse, and those marginal hours are tough, but it's also a fair point that if you're worried about hours, CSM and S&C won't be a walk in the park, either. All three have very high face-time requirements. Personally, I would feel a lot better about working very long hours if I was making almost double what my peers were making.

I'd pick Wachtell for the $$$, experience, and name. But these are all great options, congrats OP.

Although I will say I'm not sure I understand your definition of "megafirm."

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:04 pm

Sacred Cow wrote:I'm in lit so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I don't see how you turn down Wachtell if you're interested in M&A. From my understanding, it's the go-to shop for the biggest deals. I don't know enough about M&A to know why public or sell-side would be less interesting than the alternatives, but from talking to people the work there sounds plenty interesting.

I don't know that much about the exit opportunities. I'm sure all three do just fine, but I have to imagine Wachtell gives you the best. I've also heard Wachtell gives a lot of responsibility early on, so it seems like great (and intense) training for future jobs.

I'm guessing other people are going to give you grief about considering CSM or S&C for their hours. I do think it's a fair consideration because Wachtell's are noticeably worse, and those marginal hours are tough, but it's also a fair point that if you're worried about hours, CSM and S&C won't be a walk in the park, either. All three have very high face-time requirements. Personally, I would feel a lot better about working very long hours if I was making almost double what my peers were making.

I'd pick Wachtell for the $$$, experience, and name. But these are all great options, congrats OP.

Although I will say I'm not sure I understand your definition of "megafirm."


Thank you. This is pretty in line with my thinking. I've worked a very rough/unpredictable job before (for much, much less money), and from talking to associates who were in my line of work the stress of biglaw is not dissimilar. Wachtell does sound like something else altogether though, but the money really makes it seem worth it, especially if it's only for 2/3 years. That kind of nest egg can mean retiring a few years earlier.

I hadn't heard that all three have very high face-time requirements, that's disheartening.

By megafirm, I just mean firms that are expanding as quickly as possible in many different offices, getting to be 2/3k lawyers. It seems like there's much less investment in associates by partners at those kinds of firms than at CSM/WLRK, and to a lesser extent S&C. They also seem like the would be much quicker to blindly cut large swaths of junior associates (M&A associates particularly) if the economy tanks.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:09 pm

Think very carefully about whether or not to believe everything partnets tell you during the recruiting. I work at one of these firms, and I strongly disagree with your dissertation that partners care/are more invested in the associates at xyz firm. Remember, associates are replaceable and they don't need you to stay at the firm more than a few years.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:14 pm

Former CSM corporate summer associate here. Three points:

1. The biggest difference between CSM on the one hand and WLRK and S&C on the other (aside from the higher pay at WLRK) is that CSM's rotation system requires you to rotate between different practice areas until you leave the firm. In my view, that is a tremendous positive because it means you'll be a well-rounded corporate lawyer (something that is important for the typical in-house lawyer, I understand). But if you're set on doing only M&A for some reason, it would be better to go to one of the other firms (and probably WLRK). (Honestly, though, think hard about whether you want to do nothing but M&A for 3+ years. It's pretty fucking brutal, and it's not nearly as interesting as the WSJ headlines make it seem.)

2. As for hours, my sense is that CSM, WLRK, and S&C M&A associates all have similar hours, but non-M&A associates generally work fewer (and more predictable) hours, though it'll still be tough. The M&A/non-M&A distinction is relevant because M&A is all you're likely to do at WLRK, while you can mix it up at the other two. (One piece of advice I heard from CSM corporate associates was to start in securities or banking and then move into M&A for your second or third rotation when you're more senior. This way, you get to avoid the shittiness of being a junior M&A associate, and you'll have developed better drafting skills in securities or banking.)

3. Don't confuse "early responsibility" with early responsibility for substantive work. You could be responsible, quite early on, for mundane, boring work, but that is not some great benefit. Being responsible for searching a thousand documents for change-of-control clauses does not make the work valuable. (If you choose CSM, this is another reason to save M&A for your second or third rotation, IMO.)

If I were in your position, I would sideline S&C and weigh WLRK's higher pay against the benefits of CSM's rotation system (namely, early exposure to substantive work if you start in securities or banking and more humane hours during that rotation).

Incidentally, what is WLRK paying these days? The most recent thing I've read was before the $180k raise, and it said salaries were $165k and bonuses something like 50% of the base salary, and supposedly higher before the recession (http://www.businessinsider.com/what-its ... ton-2013-8).

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Former CSM corporate summer associate here. Three points:

1. The biggest difference between CSM on the one hand and WLRK and S&C on the other (aside from the higher pay at WLRK) is that CSM's rotation system requires you to rotate between different practice areas until you leave the firm. In my view, that is a tremendous positive because it means you'll be a well-rounded corporate lawyer (something that is important for the typical in-house lawyer, I understand). But if you're set on doing only M&A for some reason, it would be better to go to one of the other firms (and probably WLRK). (Honestly, though, think hard about whether you want to do nothing but M&A for 3+ years. It's pretty fucking brutal, and it's not nearly as interesting as the WSJ headlines make it seem.)

2. As for hours, my sense is that CSM, WLRK, and S&C M&A associates all have similar hours, but non-M&A associates generally work fewer (and more predictable) hours, though it'll still be tough. The M&A/non-M&A distinction is relevant because M&A is all you're likely to do at WLRK, while you can mix it up at the other two. (One piece of advice I heard from CSM corporate associates was to start in securities or banking and then move into M&A for your second or third rotation when you're more senior. This way, you get to avoid the shittiness of being a junior M&A associate, and you'll have developed better drafting skills in securities or banking.)

3. Don't confuse "early responsibility" with early responsibility for substantive work. You could be responsible, quite early on, for mundane, boring work, but that is not some great benefit. Being responsible for searching a thousand documents for change-of-control clauses does not make the work valuable. (If you choose CSM, this is another reason to save M&A for your second or third rotation, IMO.)

If I were in your position, I would sideline S&C and weigh WLRK's higher pay against the benefits of CSM's rotation system (namely, early exposure to substantive work if you start in securities or banking and more humane hours during that rotation).

Incidentally, what is WLRK paying these days? The most recent thing I've read was before the $180k raise, and it said salaries were $165k and bonuses something like 50% of the base salary, and supposedly higher before the recession (http://www.businessinsider.com/what-its ... ton-2013-8).


Super useful and insightful, thank you. I should clarify, I have no special love for M&A. I want to do M&A because right now I don't know what it's like to practice in any corporate group, but M&A places better in in-house positions. So, all things being equal, I would prefer to start there and see if I like it. If I hate it, I'd be fine switching.

The being well-rounded part makes sense, but couldn't you do that in S&C's unassigned system as well? It seems like the rotation system gives you the benefit of learning other skillsets, but without the flexibility.

As I understand it, WLRK's base is 185 and the last few years their bonuses have been 100% (after dipping to ~50% for a while post recession), so all in 370k.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Think very carefully about whether or not to believe everything partnets tell you during the recruiting. I work at one of these firms, and I strongly disagree with your dissertation that partners care/are more invested in the associates at xyz firm. Remember, associates are replaceable and they don't need you to stay at the firm more than a few years.


Thanks for the input. I know they're selling the place, but it does make sense in a vacuum that the no lateral structure at CSM would create greater incentives for partners to invest in and develop associates, at least ones they think might have a shot at partner. Especially when compared to other firms where so many of the new partners are lateral hires, and barely any of the associates that work there will ever make partner at that firm. I mean, the whole place seems to be predicated on mentorship, training, working with every partner, etc. Does it really come down to a marketing gimmick? I guess it wouldn't be surprising given the attrition rate even at no-lateral firms.

To be clear, I don't think working a person hard or asking unreasonable things of them means you don't want to develop them.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Think very carefully about whether or not to believe everything partnets tell you during the recruiting. I work at one of these firms, and I strongly disagree with your dissertation that partners care/are more invested in the associates at xyz firm. Remember, associates are replaceable and they don't need you to stay at the firm more than a few years.


Thanks for the input. I know they're selling the place, but it does make sense in a vacuum that the no lateral structure at CSM would create greater incentives for partners to invest in and develop associates, at least ones they think might have a shot at partner. Especially when compared to other firms where so many of the new partners are lateral hires, and barely any of the associates that work there will ever make partner at that firm. I mean, the whole place seems to be predicated on mentorship, training, working with every partner, etc. Does it really come down to a marketing gimmick? I guess it wouldn't be surprising given the attrition rate even at no-lateral firms.

To be clear, I don't think working a person hard or asking unreasonable things of them means you don't want to develop them.


You drank the Kool-Aid - understandably, it tastes great in the summer, so refreshing. Some partners might take the time to teach you and walk you through questions you might have. But in my experience (both personal and by talking with other associates), that is the exception to the rule. They need 2 or 3 out of 100 summers to become partner. I promise you that many many many more associates than 2 in each class that are capable enough to be a partner. I disagree with the assertion that they are invested in retaining or training even good associates.

That said, its a great firm and there are many many reasons to work here. I just don't think the partners caring about you is a valid one.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Former CSM corporate summer associate here. Three points:

1. The biggest difference between CSM on the one hand and WLRK and S&C on the other (aside from the higher pay at WLRK) is that CSM's rotation system requires you to rotate between different practice areas until you leave the firm. In my view, that is a tremendous positive because it means you'll be a well-rounded corporate lawyer (something that is important for the typical in-house lawyer, I understand). But if you're set on doing only M&A for some reason, it would be better to go to one of the other firms (and probably WLRK). (Honestly, though, think hard about whether you want to do nothing but M&A for 3+ years. It's pretty fucking brutal, and it's not nearly as interesting as the WSJ headlines make it seem.)

2. As for hours, my sense is that CSM, WLRK, and S&C M&A associates all have similar hours, but non-M&A associates generally work fewer (and more predictable) hours, though it'll still be tough. The M&A/non-M&A distinction is relevant because M&A is all you're likely to do at WLRK, while you can mix it up at the other two. (One piece of advice I heard from CSM corporate associates was to start in securities or banking and then move into M&A for your second or third rotation when you're more senior. This way, you get to avoid the shittiness of being a junior M&A associate, and you'll have developed better drafting skills in securities or banking.)

3. Don't confuse "early responsibility" with early responsibility for substantive work. You could be responsible, quite early on, for mundane, boring work, but that is not some great benefit. Being responsible for searching a thousand documents for change-of-control clauses does not make the work valuable. (If you choose CSM, this is another reason to save M&A for your second or third rotation, IMO.)

If I were in your position, I would sideline S&C and weigh WLRK's higher pay against the benefits of CSM's rotation system (namely, early exposure to substantive work if you start in securities or banking and more humane hours during that rotation).

Incidentally, what is WLRK paying these days? The most recent thing I've read was before the $180k raise, and it said salaries were $165k and bonuses something like 50% of the base salary, and supposedly higher before the recession (http://www.businessinsider.com/what-its ... ton-2013-8).


Super useful and insightful, thank you. I should clarify, I have no special love for M&A. I want to do M&A because right now I don't know what it's like to practice in any corporate group, but M&A places better in in-house positions. So, all things being equal, I would prefer to start there and see if I like it. If I hate it, I'd be fine switching.

The being well-rounded part makes sense, but couldn't you do that in S&C's unassigned system as well? It seems like the rotation system gives you the benefit of learning other skillsets, but without the flexibility.

As I understand it, WLRK's base is 185 and the last few years their bonuses have been 100% (after dipping to ~50% for a while post recession), so all in 370k.

Previous poster here. On the well-rounded point, I suspect CSM's rotation system does a better job than S&C's "unassigned" system because it's very difficult to get really good experience in an area of corporate practice (or type of deal) without being immersed in it, and it's hard to become immersed in something when you're just dabbling. When you're doing an M&A deal here, a securities deal there, a banking deal there, etc., you may get some exposure to all those areas. But how deep will that exposure be? Are partners really going to trust you to draft the principal documents and "run" the deals when you've been experimenting with different practice areas? I doubt it. If the firm immerses you in a single practice area for one to two years, on the other hand, a good associate could quite possibly be running his/her own deals by the end of that period.

At any rate, that's my impression. You should decide for yourself. Go ask S&C associates how frequently they were running deals under the "unassigned system." Then ask CSM associates how frequently they were running deals by the end of their first rotation.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby throwaway_ » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Almost exclusively public, sell-side M&A which I've heard is not as interesting/difficult as other M&A.


... Where did you hear this from?

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Jomarch » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:01 pm

Does WLRK do only sell-side M&A? I'm interested in corporate generally and obviously WLRK has a great reputation which is hard to turn down. But what if I realize after I start working at WLRK that I hate M&A? Would it be safer to go to CSM/DPW/STB? (different anon here)

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby liam31 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:03 am

Jomarch wrote:Does WLRK do only sell-side M&A? I'm interested in corporate generally and obviously WLRK has a great reputation which is hard to turn down. But what if I realize after I start working at WLRK that I hate M&A? Would it be safer to go to CSM/DPW/STB? (different anon here)


They do a ton of take over work to defend companies.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm having trouble deciding between these firms. My goal is to leave for an in-house position after a few years. I realize that this is a very good position to be in, but I am just totally lost as to how to decide. I'm down to these options because I want to work at an elite M&A shop (to get experience faster and facilitate going in-house sooner), and I felt super uncomfortable at DPW and STB. I'm trying to avoid megafirms so Kirkland/Latham/Skadden are out.

If anyone has any thoughts on the relative amount of face-time required in the M&A shops at these firms, whether there is really any appreciable difference between exit ops, or anything else that might make my decision more informed including anecdotes, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks everyone.

S&C

Pros: I really, really liked and got along with everyone I met. The generalist thing seems like it might enable me to sell myself as experienced in whatever a particular in-house job was looking for. If I hate M&A, it's easy to switch to something else. They seem to have a reputation for being slightly more humane than the other two hours-wise.

Cons: Seems like the firm, even in M&A, is more focused on banking clients, which I'm not all that interested in. Worried about getting stuck with work I don't want to do. Seems like you have to hustle/network to get the most interesting work, which sounds lame. Least likely of the three to give me responsibility early.

CSM

Pros: Responsibility early. Larger variety of work (More interesting/complex deals than just sell-side public M&A). Got along well with everyone. One of the partners has a very similar background and offered to mentor me, which I think would be really valuable and help mitigate the "what if you get stuck with a psycho" issue. Central assignment system means I don't have to hunt down work.

Cons: More work for same pay on average. Second rotation would end right as I want to leave, so half my time will be in non-M&A group. If I hate something, I can't get out of it until the rotation is over.

WLRK

Pros: $$$. Tons of experience very early. Name opens doors, so I might be able to leave earlier than the other firms. Not rolling the dice that I'll get slammed anyway at one of the other 2 and bill 3000 for the same pay. Former associates seem to have loved their time there, with the obvious caveat that they had no life outside work.

Cons: Substantively worse hours on average. Almost exclusively public, sell-side M&A which I've heard is not as interesting/difficult as other M&A. If I can't hack it and want to lateral, CSM and S&C are out because they don't hire laterals.


OP - No offense, but much of your first post seems a little clueless. I don't want to rag on you because clearly you busted your ass in school, but don't worry about stuff like whether "sell-side M&A" will be interesting enough for you. Sell-side is very different from buy-side (at least at my firm), but only at the bird's eye view/partner level. For junior associates, all of these practices groups will be nearly identical on an intellectual level until a few years down the line. Also, working at a "megafirm" like K&E can't possibly be that different than working at a V5 like S&C or whatever.

This decision is considerably simpler than you're making it out to be. Basically, I think you should just decide if the WLRK money is more important than the generalist/rotation experiences you'll get at CSM/S&C. And it probably is.

Congrats on the offers!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:02 pm

Anon from above. Double post.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm having trouble deciding between these firms. My goal is to leave for an in-house position after a few years. I realize that this is a very good position to be in, but I am just totally lost as to how to decide. I'm down to these options because I want to work at an elite M&A shop (to get experience faster and facilitate going in-house sooner), and I felt super uncomfortable at DPW and STB. I'm trying to avoid megafirms so Kirkland/Latham/Skadden are out.

If anyone has any thoughts on the relative amount of face-time required in the M&A shops at these firms, whether there is really any appreciable difference between exit ops, or anything else that might make my decision more informed including anecdotes, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks everyone.

S&C

Pros: I really, really liked and got along with everyone I met. The generalist thing seems like it might enable me to sell myself as experienced in whatever a particular in-house job was looking for. If I hate M&A, it's easy to switch to something else. They seem to have a reputation for being slightly more humane than the other two hours-wise.

Cons: Seems like the firm, even in M&A, is more focused on banking clients, which I'm not all that interested in. Worried about getting stuck with work I don't want to do. Seems like you have to hustle/network to get the most interesting work, which sounds lame. Least likely of the three to give me responsibility early.

CSM

Pros: Responsibility early. Larger variety of work (More interesting/complex deals than just sell-side public M&A). Got along well with everyone. One of the partners has a very similar background and offered to mentor me, which I think would be really valuable and help mitigate the "what if you get stuck with a psycho" issue. Central assignment system means I don't have to hunt down work.

Cons: More work for same pay on average. Second rotation would end right as I want to leave, so half my time will be in non-M&A group. If I hate something, I can't get out of it until the rotation is over.

WLRK

Pros: $$$. Tons of experience very early. Name opens doors, so I might be able to leave earlier than the other firms. Not rolling the dice that I'll get slammed anyway at one of the other 2 and bill 3000 for the same pay. Former associates seem to have loved their time there, with the obvious caveat that they had no life outside work.

Cons: Substantively worse hours on average. Almost exclusively public, sell-side M&A which I've heard is not as interesting/difficult as other M&A. If I can't hack it and want to lateral, CSM and S&C are out because they don't hire laterals.


OP - No offense, but much of your first post seems a little clueless. I don't want to rag on you because clearly you busted your ass in school, but don't worry about stuff like whether "sell-side M&A" will be interesting enough for you. Sell-side is very different from buy-side (at least at my firm), but only at the bird's eye view/partner level. For junior associates, all of these practices groups will be nearly identical on an intellectual level until a few years down the line. Also, working at a "megafirm" like K&E can't possibly be that different than working at a V5 like S&C or whatever.

This decision is considerably simpler than you're making it out to be. Basically, I think you should just decide if the WLRK money is more important than the generalist/rotation experiences you'll get at CSM/S&C. And it probably is.

Congrats on the offers!


No offense taken, I came into this thread ready to be called clueless because I know I am. Super useful insights, thank you. The "Wachtell only does X" info came from someone trying to sell me on their firm vs WLRK. He basically said they have to pay associates that much to stay there because it's so mind numbing relative to what other firms do, which sounded like BS. Considering the source I figured getting some unbiased perspective would be useful, so thanks.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm having trouble deciding between these firms. My goal is to leave for an in-house position after a few years. I realize that this is a very good position to be in, but I am just totally lost as to how to decide. I'm down to these options because I want to work at an elite M&A shop (to get experience faster and facilitate going in-house sooner), and I felt super uncomfortable at DPW and STB. I'm trying to avoid megafirms so Kirkland/Latham/Skadden are out.

If anyone has any thoughts on the relative amount of face-time required in the M&A shops at these firms, whether there is really any appreciable difference between exit ops, or anything else that might make my decision more informed including anecdotes, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks everyone.

S&C

Pros: I really, really liked and got along with everyone I met. The generalist thing seems like it might enable me to sell myself as experienced in whatever a particular in-house job was looking for. If I hate M&A, it's easy to switch to something else. They seem to have a reputation for being slightly more humane than the other two hours-wise.

Cons: Seems like the firm, even in M&A, is more focused on banking clients, which I'm not all that interested in. Worried about getting stuck with work I don't want to do. Seems like you have to hustle/network to get the most interesting work, which sounds lame. Least likely of the three to give me responsibility early.

CSM

Pros: Responsibility early. Larger variety of work (More interesting/complex deals than just sell-side public M&A). Got along well with everyone. One of the partners has a very similar background and offered to mentor me, which I think would be really valuable and help mitigate the "what if you get stuck with a psycho" issue. Central assignment system means I don't have to hunt down work.

Cons: More work for same pay on average. Second rotation would end right as I want to leave, so half my time will be in non-M&A group. If I hate something, I can't get out of it until the rotation is over.

WLRK

Pros: $$$. Tons of experience very early. Name opens doors, so I might be able to leave earlier than the other firms. Not rolling the dice that I'll get slammed anyway at one of the other 2 and bill 3000 for the same pay. Former associates seem to have loved their time there, with the obvious caveat that they had no life outside work.

Cons: Substantively worse hours on average. Almost exclusively public, sell-side M&A which I've heard is not as interesting/difficult as other M&A. If I can't hack it and want to lateral, CSM and S&C are out because they don't hire laterals.


OP - No offense, but much of your first post seems a little clueless. I don't want to rag on you because clearly you busted your ass in school, but don't worry about stuff like whether "sell-side M&A" will be interesting enough for you. Sell-side is very different from buy-side (at least at my firm), but only at the bird's eye view/partner level. For junior associates, all of these practices groups will be nearly identical on an intellectual level until a few years down the line. Also, working at a "megafirm" like K&E can't possibly be that different than working at a V5 like S&C or whatever.

This decision is considerably simpler than you're making it out to be. Basically, I think you should just decide if the WLRK money is more important than the generalist/rotation experiences you'll get at CSM/S&C. And it probably is.

Congrats on the offers!


No offense taken, I came into this thread ready to be called clueless because I know I am. Super useful insights, thank you. The "Wachtell only does X" info came from someone trying to sell me on their firm vs WLRK. He basically said they have to pay associates that much to stay there because it's so mind numbing relative to what other firms do, which sounded like BS. Considering the source I figured getting some unbiased perspective would be useful, so thanks.


Previous anon.

Well it's good you took my comment in stride haha. And I was far more clueless as a law school student so there's that.

As for the "Wachtell only does X" line, if the guy who told you that is from S&C, they said that at my interview too (although I never got a WLRK offer). That's kind of the go-to anti-Wachtell line for other firms too. But its BS, since the vast majority of transactional fields have their fair share of mind-numbing work in the early years. Maybe BK is the exception, but not always.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
As for the "Wachtell only does X" line, if the guy who told you that is from S&C, they said that at my interview too (although I never got a WLRK offer). That's kind of the go-to anti-Wachtell line for other firms too. But its BS, since the vast majority of transactional fields have their fair share of mind-numbing work in the early years. Maybe BK is the exception, but not always.


Wasn't Sullcrom, but interesting to hear that's the standard line. Thanks again.

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
This decision is considerably simpler than you're making it out to be. Basically, I think you should just decide if the WLRK money is more important than the generalist/rotation experiences you'll get at CSM/S&C. And it probably is.

Congrats on the offers!


If you take money out of the equation is there any reason to choose Wachtell over CSM/S&C?

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:36 pm

Bump

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deepseapartners
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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby deepseapartners » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
This decision is considerably simpler than you're making it out to be. Basically, I think you should just decide if the WLRK money is more important than the generalist/rotation experiences you'll get at CSM/S&C. And it probably is.

Congrats on the offers!


If you take money out of the equation is there any reason to choose Wachtell over CSM/S&C?

Name, experience, better fit (I guess?) - each firm has its plusses and minuses, and WLRK's only plus is not money, even if it's the best/dealbreaker reason for most people to choose them over other V-whatever firms.

foregetaboutdre
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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby foregetaboutdre » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:10 am

if you only plan on staying a few years it may be worth (like 1%) considering who will give you a "better" summer experience (aka WLRK may work you a little harder).

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:47 am

Would you mind commenting on why you found DPW/STB weird?

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rpupkin
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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby rpupkin » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:The "Wachtell only does X" info came from someone trying to sell me on their firm vs WLRK. He basically said they have to pay associates that much to stay there because it's so mind numbing relative to what other firms do, which sounded like BS.

Yes, and WLRK clients pay above-market billing rates because otherwise no firm would do all that mind-numbing work. This also explains why contract attorneys doing doc review earn the highest wages in the industry.

(Your "BS" assessment is accurate.)

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jbagelboy
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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:29 am

Wachtell seems obvious. The other two firms are in a different bucket

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Re: WLRK v. S&C v. CSM for in-house

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:01 am

jbagelboy wrote:Wachtell seems obvious. The other two firms are in a different bucket


But there is literally zero work life balance at Wachtell. There's more of a semblance of work life balance at CSM and S&C




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