S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:27 am

I realize SullCrom culture is a subject that has been discussed ad nauseam in the past, but it seems like the bulk of this discussion occurred at least a year or two ago, and I would be very interested to hear perspectives from current or very recent NYC SullCrom associates (or their close friends/colleagues) about the present firm culture; I'd rather not hear from pathological cynics with no real connection to the firm, but I have no doubt that they will chime in anyway (so at least make it entertaining). As you might have guessed, I have a SA offer from S&C and am leaning towards acceptance; I had a very pleasant experience when I visited the firm for interviews and stuck around for a social function. All of the associates I talked to seemed genuinely happy and excited about their work, and while they acknowledged that the hours were sometimes intense, they did not appear terribly burnt out (and in my previous line of work, I ran into plenty of chronically sleep-deprived, miserable people and am familiar with the outward manifestations). Granted, most of the associates were at least in their third year, and they admitted that first and second year juniors have to do the most evening/weekend work, but I am totally fine with doing this for a couple years to reap the long-term benefits. Likewise, all of the partners I spoke with seemed like interesting, well-adjusted people. Honestly, the only people at the firm that rubbed me the wrong way were a few of the interviewees (the arrogant blowhards and pretentious pencil-pricks -- hopefully they got dinged).

All in all, my *extremely limited* experience at S&C did not really square with the negative coverage here and elsewhere; if the culture is as "brutal" as it is often described, I would've expected more cracks in the facade. So here is my question: is the S&C culture legitimately changing in a positive way? Or am I just naive? I would really like to accept, but not if it will crush my soul. I think my past experiences have made me a resilient, highly-motivated person, and I am more than willing to pay my dues for a few years as long as I generally enjoy my work and the people I work with, but I am not willing to sacrifice my marriage or my health. I have offers in secondary/tertiary markets at v25-AmLaw200 firms, but I want to maximize my future career prospects, and my spouse and I would love to live in NYC (we have good friends there, so spouse will not be isolated if I end up working crazy hours). Thanks for any insight you can offer.

TLDR: Is SullCrom's culture improving? Should I accept their offer?

negativefeedback

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:31 pm

n/a

Postby negativefeedback » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:36 am

n/a
Last edited by negativefeedback on Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

oblig.lawl.ref

Bronze
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:I realize SullCrom culture is a subject that has been discussed ad nauseam in the past, but it seems like the bulk of this discussion occurred at least a year or two ago, and I would be very interested to hear perspectives from current or very recent NYC SullCrom associates (or their close friends/colleagues) about the present firm culture; I'd rather not hear from pathological cynics with no real connection to the firm, but I have no doubt that they will chime in anyway (so at least make it entertaining). As you might have guessed, I have a SA offer from S&C and am leaning towards acceptance; I had a very pleasant experience when I visited the firm for interviews and stuck around for a social function. All of the associates I talked to seemed genuinely happy and excited about their work, and while they acknowledged that the hours were sometimes intense, they did not appear terribly burnt out (and in my previous line of work, I ran into plenty of chronically sleep-deprived, miserable people and am familiar with the outward manifestations). Granted, most of the associates were at least in their third year, and they admitted that first and second year juniors have to do the most evening/weekend work, but I am totally fine with doing this for a couple years to reap the long-term benefits. Likewise, all of the partners I spoke with seemed like interesting, well-adjusted people. Honestly, the only people at the firm that rubbed me the wrong way were a few of the interviewees (the arrogant blowhards and pretentious pencil-pricks -- hopefully they got dinged).

All in all, my *extremely limited* experience at S&C did not really square with the negative coverage here and elsewhere; if the culture is as "brutal" as it is often described, I would've expected more cracks in the facade. So here is my question: is the S&C culture legitimately changing in a positive way? Or am I just naive? I would really like to accept, but not if it will crush my soul. I think my past experiences have made me a resilient, highly-motivated person, and I am more than willing to pay my dues for a few years as long as I generally enjoy my work and the people I work with, but I am not willing to sacrifice my marriage or my health. I have offers in secondary/tertiary markets at v25-AmLaw200 firms, but I want to maximize my future career prospects, and my spouse and I would love to live in NYC (we have good friends there, so spouse will not be isolated if I end up working crazy hours). Thanks for any insight you can offer.

TLDR: Is SullCrom's culture improving? Should I accept their offer?


OP, I think you will fit in fine.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:45 am

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
OP, I think you will fit in fine.


OP here. Love a good backhanded compliment :twisted:

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:Honestly, the only people at the firm that rubbed me the wrong way were a few of the interviewees (the arrogant blowhards and pretentious pencil-pricks -- hopefully they got dinged).


S&C's callback offer rate is extremely high. This is the source of your problem right here.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:09 am

One of my best friends got an offer from S&C - she blew them off. But then again, she went on to have a very successful OCI (as was expected), so she might have accepted the office's offer if she had sucked at OCI.

User avatar
smokeylarue

Silver
Posts: 585
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby smokeylarue » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:23 am

S&C only cares about your grades. If you have the grades, you get the offer. There's not much of a screening for personality. That said, their classes are full of pleasant, gunnerish, and somewhat socially awkward people ("ambitious nerds"). All my friends who work there are legitimately nice people if that matters.

lawlorbust

Bronze
Posts: 425
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:50 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby lawlorbust » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:One of my best friends got an offer from S&C - she blew them off. But then again, she went on to have a very successful OCI (as was expected), so she might have accepted the office's offer if she had sucked at OCI.


What is the point of this story?

notrub14

New
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:15 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby notrub14 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:20 am

smokeylarue wrote:S&C only cares about your grades. If you have the grades, you get the offer. There's not much of a screening for personality. That said, their classes are full of pleasant, gunnerish, and somewhat socially awkward people ("ambitious nerds"). All my friends who work there are legitimately nice people if that matters.


This isn't entirely true. I know someone who had nothing below an H at HYS and didn't even get a callback.

negativefeedback

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:31 pm

n/a

Postby negativefeedback » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:31 am

n/a
Last edited by negativefeedback on Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
LaLiLuLeLo

Silver
Posts: 648
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:54 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:35 am

notrub14 wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:S&C only cares about your grades. If you have the grades, you get the offer. There's not much of a screening for personality. That said, their classes are full of pleasant, gunnerish, and somewhat socially awkward people ("ambitious nerds"). All my friends who work there are legitimately nice people if that matters.


This isn't entirely true. I know someone who had nothing below an H at HYS and didn't even get a callback.


I'm sure there's a snarky comment about that person's ethnicity that could be made, which would then be blown up by saying they were actually white. Unless they weren't...

notrub14

New
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:15 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby notrub14 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:47 am

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
notrub14 wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:S&C only cares about your grades. If you have the grades, you get the offer. There's not much of a screening for personality. That said, their classes are full of pleasant, gunnerish, and somewhat socially awkward people ("ambitious nerds"). All my friends who work there are legitimately nice people if that matters.


This isn't entirely true. I know someone who had nothing below an H at HYS and didn't even get a callback.


I'm sure there's a snarky comment about that person's ethnicity that could be made, which would then be blown up by saying they were actually white. Unless they weren't...


No blowing up would occur.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:00 pm

Working at S&C sucks and there are plenty of difficult personalities, but it's hard to say if it's any different at another NYC biglaw firm. You do have a tiny bit of control over who you work with and because of the generalist system, it's easy to hide out for a bit if you need to. People respect vacations but otherwise there's no work life balance. Weekends are work at home days. You can expect your work to be picked apart to death on a regular basis, usually politely.

dixiecupdrinking

Gold
Posts: 3440
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:38 pm

1. It's insane to draw conclusions about the culture, work/life balance, etc. based on the associates you met at a callback and what they told you.
2. A firm's culture is not going to change materially in 2, 3, 4, whatever years, at least not without a huge change over in the partnership.

All that said, is S&C any worse than comparable firms? Probably a bit because these reputations are self-fulfilling in the long run. You'll probably work with and under some mid level and senior associates who on average are more OK with being dicks because those are the people on average who go to S&C given its reputation. Will it be categorically different from comparable firms? Probably not.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:57 pm

OP here with a follow-up question. Although the work-life balance at S&C is probably pretty bad, do you think it is materially worse than the biggest firms in Pittsburgh? And do you think the improvement in long-term career potential at S&C is significant enough to choose it over one of these Pitt firms? Not sure where we want to live in 5-10-15 years; we really like Pitt and NYC.

User avatar
bearsfan23

Gold
Posts: 1755
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby bearsfan23 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here with a follow-up question. Although the work-life balance at S&C is probably pretty bad, do you think it is materially worse than the biggest firms in Pittsburgh? And do you think the improvement in long-term career potential at S&C is significant enough to choose it over one of these Pitt firms? Not sure where we want to live in 5-10-15 years; we really like Pitt and NYC.


If the Pittsburgh offer you have is from KL Gates then I'd choose S&C solely because it will actually still be a firm in 3 years

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here with a follow-up question. Although the work-life balance at S&C is probably pretty bad, do you think it is materially worse than the biggest firms in Pittsburgh? And do you think the improvement in long-term career potential at S&C is significant enough to choose it over one of these Pitt firms? Not sure where we want to live in 5-10-15 years; we really like Pitt and NYC.


I've never worked at a NYC firm. I work at one of RS, K&L Gates, or Jones Day. I mean it's tough to tell. At my firm associates average about 1900 to 2000 hours. Some associates bill at lot more than that. My friends in New York bill anywhere from 2200 to 2400 hours depending on the firm. Some bill less, but most bill around there. It's a material difference of like 200 hours, which is pretty huge to me.

After you do your analysis of COL and pay differential, how much money/prestige is those extra 200 hours worth? This is purely anecdotal, but may give you something to go on. Good luck.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:31 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
notrub14 wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:S&C only cares about your grades. If you have the grades, you get the offer. There's not much of a screening for personality. That said, their classes are full of pleasant, gunnerish, and somewhat socially awkward people ("ambitious nerds"). All my friends who work there are legitimately nice people if that matters.


This isn't entirely true. I know someone who had nothing below an H at HYS and didn't even get a callback.


I'm sure there's a snarky comment about that person's ethnicity that could be made, which would then be blown up by saying they were actually white. Unless they weren't...


I'm white (VERY white) and was in the top 5% of my class at a T14. I didn't get a callback at S&C. YMMV.

That being said, from what I heard afterwards, i'm kind of happy I didn't.

User avatar
Vincent Adultman

Silver
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 2:08 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Vincent Adultman » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:46 pm

You are naive. The top vault firms will all crush your soul. Don't try to split hairs.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:23 pm

notrub14 wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:S&C only cares about your grades. If you have the grades, you get the offer. There's not much of a screening for personality. That said, their classes are full of pleasant, gunnerish, and somewhat socially awkward people ("ambitious nerds"). All my friends who work there are legitimately nice people if that matters.


This isn't entirely true. I know someone who had nothing below an H at HYS and didn't even get a callback.


Right. Maybe the "only cares about grades" thing was true in the past - maybe. Even if it was, it wasn't true at my CCN last year. ~80% of S&C CBs turned into offers, which is a rate comparable to Deb (~80%), Gibson (~75%), PW (~80%), Skadden (~80%) and Weil (~80%). Yes, there are firms that have lower conversion rates (e.g. Cleary), but Deb, Gibson, PW, Skadden, Weil (to name just a few examples) have equally high offer rates and somehow don't get bashed on TLS for accommodating a motley crew of misfits.

OP, you should trust your gut more than TLS hearsay. If you liked S&C, go to S&C. TLS is a yuge resource but is far from perfect.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:29 pm

Via a source on the inside, S&C's partner heading up recruiting is the same one the firm has had for the last several years, and that in itself should lead to concern. Hours for associates are same as in past years, if not worse, as is an S&C-specific (that is, not at all common to NY peer firms) concern with preserving hierarchy throughout the organization for hierarchy's sake, to just about everyone's detriment.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:33 pm

The only 2 people I know who went to S&C left within a year. Their stories of the firm life were nothing new, but significantly worse than my experiences with my current firm. Not sure that means I have a "real connection" to the firm, but I wouldn't doubt them

Look, no one will hold it against you if you take the offer and turn that into a satisfying, well-compensated legal career. But don't come to TLS asking to have your naiviete validated. There is a large chance your social life and all-around happiness will plummet rapidly, as would happen with most well-known firms. Ignore it if you want, it's your call

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Via a source on the inside, S&C's partner heading up recruiting is the same one the firm has had for the last several years, and that in itself should lead to concern.


But how is this relevant since OP already has an offer? Further, aren't hiring decisions made by a committee, primarily based on interviewer evaluations? Is there actually a single partner stamping Yea or Nay on every candidate's file?

Anonymous User wrote:an S&C-specific (that is, not at all common to NY peer firms) concern with preserving hierarchy throughout the organization for hierarchy's sake, to just about everyone's detriment.


My understanding is Cravath is the most hierarchical V firm, but most all firms are pretty hierarchical. Could you elaborate on the unique S&C "concern with preserving hierarchy"? How exactly does this differ from its peer firms?

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:35 pm

S&C corporate 3rd year here. Happy to answer any specific questions, but short answer is that the S&C culture has been fine in my experience and the generalist approach is a real thing that I have personally found valuable (i.e. I have done m&a, credit, cap markets, bank regulation all in the last year).

Among our peer firms, I think the similarities are much greater than the differences'and splitting hairs between them is a waste of your time. Though our office is downtown so that's a material upside (midtown blows).

Only warning is that if your interested in lit you will work hard -- lit has been slammed for a few years now. Much more than corp.

And lol at the chorus of non-S&C posters opining on how terrible the firm is.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327246
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:S&C corporate 3rd year here. Happy to answer any specific questions, but short answer is that the S&C culture has been fine in my experience and the generalist approach is a real thing that I have personally found valuable (i.e. I have done m&a, credit, cap markets, bank regulation all in the last year).

Among our peer firms, I think the similarities are much greater than the differences'and splitting hairs between them is a waste of your time. Though our office is downtown so that's a material upside (midtown blows).

Only warning is that if your interested in lit you will work hard -- lit has been slammed for a few years now. Much more than corp.

And lol at the chorus of non-S&C posters opining on how terrible the firm is.



Would you mind elaborating on how hard are you talking about for lit? I have an offer, but not from NY office. For example, 7 days/week till 10 p.m.? or do they get a weekend off here and there. Do you get to use your holiday every year/every other year?

Also, the sense I got was that expectations are high for incoming associates, would people get fired for not meeting that expectation soon enough?

Thanks a lot!



Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.