Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

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Paul Weiss or Gibson Dunn?

Paul Weiss
21
47%
Gibson Dunn
24
53%
 
Total votes: 45

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Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:53 pm

Are the two shops close enough in terms of reputation/quality of work such that I should simply choose based on person/culture fit for someone still currently undecided between litigation/corporate.

I know both are very well respected litigation shops in NY, but is it worth going to either for corporate work if one has other options (e.g. STB/DPW)? Would appreciate any insight!

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:27 pm

For lit, GDC NY, while good, isn't really on the same level as PW NY. For corporate, would choose STB or DPW over PW/GDC in a heartbeat.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:21 pm

Bump because I'm in the exact same position. Leaning litigation. Felt much better about Gibson and PW during my visits than the V5s I was fortunate to get offers from.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Bump because I'm in the exact same position. Leaning litigation. Felt much better about Gibson and PW during my visits than the V5s I was fortunate to get offers from.


For lit, you should absolutely not hesitate to go with PW in particular over a V5. And would probably recommend taking PW over Gibson (assuming both NY).

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:50 pm

FWIW, I did CBs at both and vastly preferred Gibson for a few (perhaps silly) reasons, despite going into the process expecting to prefer PW.
1 (and primarily). PW felt like a factory, while Gibson did not. Gibson's obviously a huge firm, both in NY and nationally, and all biglaw is probably somewhat impersonal, but it seems less likely that you'll get lost in a crowd in an office with ~300 lawyers and a summer class of 50 than in an office with ~700 lawyers and a summer class of 150. My CB experience bore this out: at Gibson, all my interviewers seemed to be at least somewhat acquainted with each other, whereas at PW, they were not. I can't imagine it's great for one's career to work at a place where you're just a face in a huge crowd: how are you supposed to distinguish yourself, get progressively increasing responsibility, etc. when you're one of 150 first years?
2. Gibson's a truly national firm, whereas PW's limited to NY or DC. My interviewers claimed that Gibson operates as one firm, with matters staffed across offices and the opportunity to transfer between offices for personal reasons if necessary. I don't know if this is true (it may have just been interview puffery) but having the option to transfer to, say, Denver or Dallas for lower COL and/or family reasons seems like a plus.
3. Gibson actually asked me about my areas of interest and made the effort to pair me with interviewers who shared my practice interests, while PW did not and stuck me with whoever was around. I'm 100% lit, and at PW, I wound up interviewing exclusively with corporate partners, and they seemed unenthusiastic about talking to me and had a hard time answering my questions. While I realize that the interview process differs significantly from the experience of actually working at a firm, I think my interview experience relates back to my first point about the impersonal feeling I got from PW.
4. PW has a reputation of being the progressive/socially conscious firm in NY, but Gibson actually does significantly more pro bono.
5. At least at my T6, an appreciable number of people with fancy credentials (law review/feeder clerkships/etc) go to Gibson NY, whereas basically none of those people choose PW. These people can presumably go anywhere, and the fact that they're choosing Gibson seems telling.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, I did CBs at both and vastly preferred Gibson for a few (perhaps silly) reasons, despite going into the process expecting to prefer PW.
1 (and primarily). PW felt like a factory, while Gibson did not. Gibson's obviously a huge firm, both in NY and nationally, and all biglaw is probably somewhat impersonal, but it seems less likely that you'll get lost in a crowd in an office with ~300 lawyers and a summer class of 50 than in an office with ~700 lawyers and a summer class of 150. My CB experience bore this out: at Gibson, all my interviewers seemed to be at least somewhat acquainted with each other, whereas at PW, they were not. I can't imagine it's great for one's career to work at a place where you're just a face in a huge crowd: how are you supposed to distinguish yourself, get progressively increasing responsibility, etc. when you're one of 150 first years?
2. Gibson's a truly national firm, whereas PW's limited to NY or DC. My interviewers claimed that Gibson operates as one firm, with matters staffed across offices and the opportunity to transfer between offices for personal reasons if necessary. I don't know if this is true (it may have just been interview puffery) but having the option to transfer to, say, Denver or Dallas for lower COL and/or family reasons seems like a plus.
3. Gibson actually asked me about my areas of interest and made the effort to pair me with interviewers who shared my practice interests, while PW did not and stuck me with whoever was around. I'm 100% lit, and at PW, I wound up interviewing exclusively with corporate partners, and they seemed unenthusiastic about talking to me and had a hard time answering my questions. While I realize that the interview process differs significantly from the experience of actually working at a firm, I think my interview experience relates back to my first point about the impersonal feeling I got from PW.
4. PW has a reputation of being the progressive/socially conscious firm in NY, but Gibson actually does significantly more pro bono.
5. At least at my T6, an appreciable number of people with fancy credentials (law review/feeder clerkships/etc) go to Gibson NY, whereas basically none of those people choose PW. These people can presumably go anywhere, and the fact that they're choosing Gibson seems telling.


Thanks! Are you a rising 2L or did you just summer? If the former, are you leaning toward Gibson with other firms added to the mix also? If the latter, what were your thoughts (if you went to Gibson)? Seems like either way you aren't going to be/weren't at PW.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:05 pm

even for lit. pw is better known and bigger in NY but gibson is best lit shop nationwide

if you have a general interest and aren't sure between corp and lit, I'd go for somewhere like davis or simpson or cravath that has strengths across the board.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, I did CBs at both and vastly preferred Gibson for a few (perhaps silly) reasons, despite going into the process expecting to prefer PW.
1 (and primarily). PW felt like a factory, while Gibson did not. Gibson's obviously a huge firm, both in NY and nationally, and all biglaw is probably somewhat impersonal, but it seems less likely that you'll get lost in a crowd in an office with ~300 lawyers and a summer class of 50 than in an office with ~700 lawyers and a summer class of 150. My CB experience bore this out: at Gibson, all my interviewers seemed to be at least somewhat acquainted with each other, whereas at PW, they were not. I can't imagine it's great for one's career to work at a place where you're just a face in a huge crowd: how are you supposed to distinguish yourself, get progressively increasing responsibility, etc. when you're one of 150 first years?
2. Gibson's a truly national firm, whereas PW's limited to NY or DC. My interviewers claimed that Gibson operates as one firm, with matters staffed across offices and the opportunity to transfer between offices for personal reasons if necessary. I don't know if this is true (it may have just been interview puffery) but having the option to transfer to, say, Denver or Dallas for lower COL and/or family reasons seems like a plus.
3. Gibson actually asked me about my areas of interest and made the effort to pair me with interviewers who shared my practice interests, while PW did not and stuck me with whoever was around. I'm 100% lit, and at PW, I wound up interviewing exclusively with corporate partners, and they seemed unenthusiastic about talking to me and had a hard time answering my questions. While I realize that the interview process differs significantly from the experience of actually working at a firm, I think my interview experience relates back to my first point about the impersonal feeling I got from PW.
4. PW has a reputation of being the progressive/socially conscious firm in NY, but Gibson actually does significantly more pro bono.
5. At least at my T6, an appreciable number of people with fancy credentials (law review/feeder clerkships/etc) go to Gibson NY, whereas basically none of those people choose PW. These people can presumably go anywhere, and the fact that they're choosing Gibson seems telling.


Thanks! Are you a rising 2L or did you just summer? If the former, are you leaning toward Gibson with other firms added to the mix also? If the latter, what were your thoughts (if you went to Gibson)? Seems like either way you aren't going to be/weren't at PW.


Rising 2L. Still considering other markets and non-biglaw jobs (perhaps as a split), but if I do any NY biglaw it'll be Gibson.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:even for lit. pw is better known and bigger in NY but gibson is best lit shop nationwide

if you have a general interest and aren't sure between corp and lit, I'd go for somewhere like davis or simpson or cravath that has strengths across the board.


I didn't feel positively about a callback at one of these places. I have a general interest in both lit and corp in the sense that there are things about both that--I think--interest me and that I also don't know what the f*ck I'm talking about/any of this means really as far as being an actual attorney 5 or 10 or 15 years into my career, so why start ruling stuff out... My background and 1L experience are more lit-related so that's why I'm leaning there, but I can also see myself 5-10 years from now doing something I've never heard of. As tropey as it sounds, I've enjoyed law school, I like to solve problems, and I enjoy the practice of law to the extent that I've been able to experience it. Maybe the places that have better reputations across the board should get a bump, but a lot of me feels like picking based on fit seems to make sense as well.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I didn't feel positively about a callback at one of these places.


Not having a good CB experience at, say, Simpson doesn't mean you should rule out DPW.

Anonymous User wrote:I have a general interest in both lit and corp in the sense that there are things about both that--I think--interest me and that I also don't know what the f*ck I'm talking about/any of this means really as far as being an actual attorney 5 or 10 or 15 years into my career, so why start ruling stuff out...


This is a very good argument for joining a firm with strengths across the board. And a very strong argument against joining, say, Boies. PW and GDC aren't quite in that camp - both have very solid corporate practices - but they definitely are more known for lit than for corporate. Thus it's usually only a good idea to go to PW/GDC if 1) you want lit; 2) you want corporate and they're really the best/only option you have; 3) you have a strong personal reason for choosing them. It doesn't look like any of 1)-3) apply to you.

Anonymous User wrote:My background and 1L experience are more lit-related so that's why I'm leaning there, but I can also see myself 5-10 years from now doing something I've never heard of. As tropey as it sounds, I've enjoyed law school


Everyone's 1L experience (and law school in general) is more lit-related.

Anonymous User wrote:Maybe the places that have better reputations across the board should get a bump, but a lot of me feels like picking based on fit seems to make sense as well.


Picking on fit is definitely very important. Unless there's a truly massive gulf, fit should almost always trump "prestige". But why can't you have the best of both worlds by going to a firm that fits you and also has strengths across the board?

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I didn't feel positively about a callback at one of these places.


Not having a good CB experience at, say, Simpson doesn't mean you should rule out DPW.


My bad. I meant that in reference to the one of these three I have an offer from. Your more general points are well taken. Thanks.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:08 pm

I was between these two firms and CSM last year, ultimately chose P,W, and was very, very happy that I did.

Does politics matter to you? GDC downplays its rightward tilt in recruiting because law students generally lean left, but its political slant mattered to me in at least three ways: (1) you're spending a ton of time with your coworkers, and I tend to get along better with people who share my left-leaning politics; many of the partners at GDC did not share my politics and I felt I fit in better at P,W; (2) I was told by a GDC associate that GDC's rightward-leaning politics push GDC to discourage certain pro bono cases, e.g. because of its class action defense practice the firm avoids pro bono class actions; and (3) P,W felt more committed to pro bono, and a wider range of pro bono cases. For example, P,W, is leading a coalition of firms in the fight against gun violence https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/busi ... ml?mcubz=3 (note GDC's absence from the list)

If you want to stay in NYC, I think the right answer is P,W and it's not close. If you're considering moving into another market, I would say the firms are comparable--though P,W might have a better reputation on the East Coast and GDC on the West. The major downside I see with GDC given your potential interest in corporate is that GDC is really only known for litigation. P,W is also known for having the best litigation practice in NYC, but, with the Barshay hire, the firm has been significantly expanding its corporate practice. Both are great firms, but (and of course this is biased) I would go to P,W.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I didn't feel positively about a callback at one of these places.


Not having a good CB experience at, say, Simpson doesn't mean you should rule out DPW.

Anonymous User wrote:I have a general interest in both lit and corp in the sense that there are things about both that--I think--interest me and that I also don't know what the f*ck I'm talking about/any of this means really as far as being an actual attorney 5 or 10 or 15 years into my career, so why start ruling stuff out...


This is a very good argument for joining a firm with strengths across the board. And a very strong argument against joining, say, Boies. PW and GDC aren't quite in that camp - both have very solid corporate practices - but they definitely are more known for lit than for corporate. Thus it's usually only a good idea to go to PW/GDC if 1) you want lit; 2) you want corporate and they're really the best/only option you have; 3) you have a strong personal reason for choosing them. It doesn't look like any of 1)-3) apply to you.

Anonymous User wrote:My background and 1L experience are more lit-related so that's why I'm leaning there, but I can also see myself 5-10 years from now doing something I've never heard of. As tropey as it sounds, I've enjoyed law school


Everyone's 1L experience (and law school in general) is more lit-related.

Anonymous User wrote:Maybe the places that have better reputations across the board should get a bump, but a lot of me feels like picking based on fit seems to make sense as well.


Picking on fit is definitely very important. Unless there's a truly massive gulf, fit should almost always trump "prestige". But why can't you have the best of both worlds by going to a firm that fits you and also has strengths across the board?


I agree. I think unless you're dead set on lit, all else being equal you should pick a firm with more super-strong practice groups. I love a lot about litigation in theory but I hated it so much when I rotated through it this summer. The actual practice of litigation is just terrible to me (and I was doing substantive work that was "fun" for litigation). I found it easy but holy shit I could not work on one case for two years (for example). Thankfully the firm I'm at has a great non-litigation practice group that's right for me.

I actually pursued firms specifically looking to practice in litigation (or bankruptcy) so I was surprised at how much I hated it.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:06 pm

bump for some more perspectives.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:26 pm

So if interested in corporate, choose PW over GD then??

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:40 am

summered at GDC and could not have been happier that I picked it over PW. class of 40 is far better than a class of 100, national brand is stronger, option to move between offices is much greater, I even thought the office was nicer (though that's a very small consideration). I'm not sure if I encountered a single conservative person over the summer; all 5 partners I worked with directly were liberal, and two were HRC fundraisers. surely there are some deeply conservative people at the firm but my guess is the majority of them are in DC. if you're lit or even real estate, I'd say definitely GDC. if you're truly corporate, I'd do neither GDC nor PW.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:17 pm

Still making this decision, hoping to have it decided in the near future. Going to do lit.

I know "going with your gut" is key and I have done that to get it down to these two firms. But my gut isn't pushing me super strongly in either direction and I also don't really know how valuable my gut is after extremely limited interactions with each firm. Here are my general thoughts that I am taking with a grain of salt:

--I really liked everyone I met at both interviews and callbacks. If I had to nitpick, I felt like the people I met at GDC maybe liked me more/were more enthusiastic than the people at PW.
--I have heard anecdotes of anecdotes that indicate that PW doesn't have the best rep for treating its associates well.
--GDC obviously has a conservative (politically) rep. I don't know how true that actually is and am not really sure how much I even care, but I probably would prefer to work at a more liberal firm.
--As far as office environment, GDC seemed a bit more laid-back and the people I met seemed "cooler."
--PW may have more cache in NY; any difference nationally is pretty negligible.
--GDC has a significantly smaller incoming class (sub-50 v. over-100).
--I think I'd be okay with free-market (I like talking with people and can network fine) at GDC, but am a little worried about being my own staffing partner, especially when I have 0 idea what I'm doing for the first few years. PW seems to have a pretty traditional staffing system w/ a mix of assignments and work arising from previous relationships.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:18 pm

If you are planning to stay in NY, I'd go PW. If GDC is an LA firm first, a DC firm second and a NY firm 3rd. Definitely still a peer in the city, but a smaller name here than PW imo.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:01 pm

1) Have you done second looks at each?

2) Do you value geographic flexibility?

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1) Have you done second looks at each?

2) Do you value geographic flexibility?


1) Not yet. Ideas of particular questions to ask? I've been told to go with day-to-day life and partner-associate relations.

2) I don't think so. Definitely at this point, I don't really care. A lot would depend on how the relationship I'm in looks in 2-3 years and where our respective families are. Even then, neither of us really has super strong geographic ties to any region.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:56 am

I summered at PW last summer and will be starting next week. I, like you, didn't know whether I wanted to do lit or corporate (or something else) and I liked the idea that PW, while known for being a lit powerhouse, still has a strong (and growing) corporate practice such that if I chose to go that route I'd still be in a respectable situation. Not to say that the same isn't true of many other firms, but PW was probably the most "balanced" of the firms I had an offer from.

I was only there for a summer, but liked everything about the firm. I ended up choosing litigation, but it was a very difficult decision and am still not sure it was the right one. But in any event, in the interest of trying to be unbiased, I think Gibson and PW are actually probably pretty similar. I think the two are comparably excellent for lit, even in NY, and if you end up going that route you'll be at a great firm either way. I'd give the edge in corporate to PW but slight. Based on opinions from friends who are there, I think the conservative lean at Gibson is overblown. However, the liberal lean at PW is probably underestimated on here, if anything. It is basically politically incorrect to be conservative at PW and while there are plenty of conservatives, they keep it to themselves. I don't think it really affects anyone's work, though it may affect social situations at firm events and such.

I would give Gibson a substantial edge if you have interest to work anywhere besides NY. PW's model is based on NY, and purposely tries to avoid having many/large other offices. The only real non-NY presence is in DC, and lateraling there from NY isn't a realistic option given it is very small and usually requires higher credentials to begin with (and no one in DC does anything but lit).

I think it's true that it's more likely you're a cog in the machine at PW, given the leverage and large summer/first yr assoc classes. But the upside is that they will always find work for you if you can't find your own and there is no pressure to go out and make connections in order to get on teams/projects if you don't want to. It's also easier to "hide" and coast if that's your jam. Otoh, I also think you can get all the substantive work you want, as long as you're willing to go out and ask for it.

The one thing I wouldn't do is base your choice on anything to do with the people you met. I disliked everyone I interviewed with at PW, but was not so naive to believe that 4 people was indicative of the other 700+ and chose it anyway since I heard the people were great. Indeed, it was just a bad sample, and the people are largely great. I'm sure the same is true of Gibson.

It's a tough choice, but take some solace in knowing that you can't really make a wrong one.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Gibson Dunn (NY)?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:I was between these two firms and CSM last year, ultimately chose P,W, and was very, very happy that I did.

Does politics matter to you? GDC downplays its rightward tilt in recruiting because law students generally lean left, but its political slant mattered to me in at least three ways: (1) you're spending a ton of time with your coworkers, and I tend to get along better with people who share my left-leaning politics; many of the partners at GDC did not share my politics and I felt I fit in better at P,W; (2) I was told by a GDC associate that GDC's rightward-leaning politics push GDC to discourage certain pro bono cases, e.g. because of its class action defense practice the firm avoids pro bono class actions; and (3) P,W felt more committed to pro bono, and a wider range of pro bono cases. For example, P,W, is leading a coalition of firms in the fight against gun violence https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/busi ... ml?mcubz=3 (note GDC's absence from the list)

If you want to stay in NYC, I think the right answer is P,W and it's not close. If you're considering moving into another market, I would say the firms are comparable--though P,W might have a better reputation on the East Coast and GDC on the West. The major downside I see with GDC given your potential interest in corporate is that GDC is really only known for litigation. P,W is also known for having the best litigation practice in NYC, but, with the Barshay hire, the firm has been significantly expanding its corporate practice. Both are great firms, but (and of course this is biased) I would go to P,W.


Quoting for context:

I was in a similar boat as this poster this time last year and wound up choosing the opposite route and going with GDC and am very, very satisfied with that decision.

I'll admit that the political angle concerned me to some extent, but I encountered basically nothing that left me with any pause in this regard over the summer. Yes, nationally the firm has historically leaned conservative (especially if doing appellate work in DC), but that pull isn't really felt in the NY office at all. Honestly, outside of Randy Mastro I can't think of anyone I encountered over the summer that I would describe as particularly conservative. You're certainly not going to find many (if any) friends of Trump up there. Most of the NY office is quite liberal, at least outwardly.

Honestly, though, the whole political question is a bit ridiculous. Even at PW, you're looking at a firm who makes most of its money off defending wall street banks and private equity firms - they weren't exactly hanging out down in Zucotti park. There are no firms that are crusaders for the progressive movement. Both of these firms represent clients that will make you a bit uncomfortable, and both of them do a ton of good through pro bono. Just this summer at GDC I can personally attest to knowing associates and partners who were down at JFK during the fallout from the muslim ban and I know summers who worked on probono matters ranging from transgender rights, to criminal justice reform, to immigration defense and even animal rights activism. I'm sure this is true at PW as well.

Both firms are excellent lit shops and have decent-to-good corporate groups as well. The real differences you'll feel as an associate are (1) PW is NY-centric while Gibson does have a more national footprint, (2) PW is a much larger office with a higher associate:partner ratio, for better or worse. I can't speak to PW's assignment system, but Gibson is very serious about their free market system, so if that matters to you then take it into consideration. Another big factor for me was the culture at GDC regarding working remotely - it's widely accepted and embraced. Lastly, this may seem a bit silly, but location mattered a bit to me as well on the margin. With Gibson located right above Grand Central, commuting can be very convenient if you're looking at anywhere on the east side, Queens, or even outside the city (I know a number of folks who come in from Westchester or even Connecticut - since the Metro North lines run right into the building). By contrast, if you're looking at living in Jersey or somewhere on the UWS or some such, it can be pretty annoying. I know that the Columbia summers who stayed up there did not relish their morning commute.

At the end of the day, go to the place that you felt more comfortable at. For me that was Gibson, and it definitely bore out over the summer. Everyone I worked with, top to bottom, was fantastic in my mind. I honestly can't imagine heading anywhere else after graduation.

Obvious caveat: Some of this could be rose colored glasses from just recently having been a SA, but I definitely never got the vibe that anyone was hiding the ball.



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