S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
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!


S&C anon here.

At the moment, in lit you will bill ~200 hours a month. It's my sense that hours are more predictable that corp (so not a bunch of 1am nights) but honestly I don't know more than that.

Outside of NYC tends to be choppier with higher peaks and valleys. California offices bill a bit more than NYC in lit on average (or at least have done so historically).

Vacation, especially as a junior associate, is 100% encouraged and is respected. You can take your 4 weeks a year without issues (much better to do in big chunks though).

Literally no one in lit would get fired these days. Realistically very few people get pushed out at junior/midlevel under any circumstances. I mean, you have to perform of course but I don't see people being let go.

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:39 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.


OP here. Thank you kindly for taking the time to offer your insight. I do have a few pretty straightforward questions if you have time to answer:
(1) do you have a significant other and/or kids, and if so, have you been able to devote adequate time to those relationships? (i.e. like a couple hours per night and most weekends)
(2) Are you able to average at least six hours of sleep per night?
(3) Do you think your answer to either question would be different if you were in lit rather than corp? [I'm not set on either at this point; I've heard corp hours are less consistent than lit on a month-to-month basis]

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


OP here. Thank you kindly for taking the time to offer your insight. I do have a few pretty straightforward questions if you have time to answer:
(1) do you have a significant other and/or kids, and if so, have you been able to devote adequate time to those relationships? (i.e. like a couple hours per night and most weekends)
(2) Are you able to average at least six hours of sleep per night?
(3) Do you think your answer to either question would be different if you were in lit rather than corp? [I'm not set on either at this point; I've heard corp hours are less consistent than lit on a month-to-month basis]


Sure.

Am married but no kids. I do not have dinner with my spouse most weeknights, but I guess if you wanted to eat at 9pm you could do it. Generally fine to work from home in the evening and take a 30 min dinner break but depends on the matter and the team. My spouse also works a high intensity job (with a lot of travel) and we're fine not spending time together on weeknights.

I wouldn't want this job with kids but I don't think S&C is different from any peer firm in this respect.

Yes, I get 6 hours of sleep. You can work yourself to death if you want but you but you can also manage your workload (to a degree) if you're strategic.

At a high level, S&C lit is busier right now and over past couple of years than corp (partly because summers get to choose what they want, and tend to select corp over lit). Also at a high level, lit tends to be more predictable than corp on day to day basis. Don't think my answers would change too much if I were lit, though some on margins as you would expect.

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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.


OP here. Thank you kindly for taking the time to offer your insight. I do have a few pretty straightforward questions if you have time to answer:
(1) do you have a significant other and/or kids, and if so, have you been able to devote adequate time to those relationships? (i.e. like a couple hours per night and most weekends)
(2) Are you able to average at least six hours of sleep per night?
(3) Do you think your answer to either question would be different if you were in lit rather than corp? [I'm not set on either at this point; I've heard corp hours are less consistent than lit on a month-to-month basis]


Sure.

Am married but no kids. I do not have dinner with my spouse most weeknights, but I guess if you wanted to eat at 9pm you could do it. Generally fine to work from home in the evening and take a 30 min dinner break but depends on the matter and the team. My spouse also works a high intensity job (with a lot of travel) and we're fine not spending time together on weeknights.

I wouldn't want this job with kids but I don't think S&C is different from any peer firm in this respect.

Yes, I get 6 hours of sleep. You can work yourself to death if you want but you but you can also manage your workload (to a degree) if you're strategic.

At a high level, S&C lit is busier right now and over past couple of years than corp (partly because summers get to choose what they want, and tend to select corp over lit). Also at a high level, lit tends to be more predictable than corp on day to day basis. Don't think my answers would change too much if I were lit, though some on margins as you would expect.


Thank you! (not OP, but the none-NY anon)

Can I ask you why you chose/choose to stay at S&C? My understanding is that you get paid marginally more than peer/lower ranked firms, but work a lot more hours; what makes it worth it for you?

v5junior

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby v5junior » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:26 am

AFAIK, S&C does not pay more but is also not worse in terms of culture or QOL than any other V10. Just go with your gut bc it really doesn't matter.

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:28 am

OP here. Thanks again! What you describe sounds pretty reasonable in light of the NYC BigLaw salary.

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:37 am

v5junior wrote:AFAIK, S&C does not pay more but is also not worse in terms of culture or QOL than any other V10. Just go with your gut bc it really doesn't matter.


What about firms in the 2000 billable range? say V50. From my CB I sensed that the tension was much lower. If all I need to sacrifice by not going to S&C is losing 50k bonus in my 3rd year, I think I am fine with that. As a law student though, I wonder if there are significant advantages (byd $) that I am missing out by not joining the firm that challenges me the most.

Thank you!

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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.


OP here. Thank you kindly for taking the time to offer your insight. I do have a few pretty straightforward questions if you have time to answer:
(1) do you have a significant other and/or kids, and if so, have you been able to devote adequate time to those relationships? (i.e. like a couple hours per night and most weekends)
(2) Are you able to average at least six hours of sleep per night?
(3) Do you think your answer to either question would be different if you were in lit rather than corp? [I'm not set on either at this point; I've heard corp hours are less consistent than lit on a month-to-month basis]


Sure.

Am married but no kids. I do not have dinner with my spouse most weeknights, but I guess if you wanted to eat at 9pm you could do it. Generally fine to work from home in the evening and take a 30 min dinner break but depends on the matter and the team. My spouse also works a high intensity job (with a lot of travel) and we're fine not spending time together on weeknights.

I wouldn't want this job with kids but I don't think S&C is different from any peer firm in this respect.

Yes, I get 6 hours of sleep. You can work yourself to death if you want but you but you can also manage your workload (to a degree) if you're strategic.

At a high level, S&C lit is busier right now and over past couple of years than corp (partly because summers get to choose what they want, and tend to select corp over lit). Also at a high level, lit tends to be more predictable than corp on day to day basis. Don't think my answers would change too much if I were lit, though some on margins as you would expect.


Thank you! (not OP, but the none-NY anon)

Can I ask you why you chose/choose to stay at S&C? My understanding is that you get paid marginally more than peer/lower ranked firms, but work a lot more hours; what makes it worth it for you?


S&C anon again.

Why did I choose S&C and why so I stay? S&C has a much broader range of practices than its peer firms (when I say peer firms I mean in terms of PPP and RPL). If you're interested at being a top nyc transactional practice (with all the upside and downside that has), S&C has the advantage of opening up opportunities in a huge variety of practice areas beyond that of our peers (ie don't go to Cravath if you want to do finance; STB doesn't have bank regulatory work; DPW M&a is much weaker than S&C, etc).

I'm still here because I actually think the culture is fairly good (the generalist thing matters, and there are lots of partners and associates who care about your intellectual development as a lawyer) and because the exit options are amazing.

It sounds like you're choosing between NYC big law vs secondary/tertiary market. That is an much more personal decision than between, say, cravath and s&c. However -- and I realize this won't resonate for some -- being at a large, "super rich" firm (see the AM Law articles on this term), is a unique opportunity to begin your legal training. You'll never have another chance to see these types of transactions or learn from this caliber of lawyer at a Pittsburgh firm. Also don't discount the security of working for a firm with a stable (and rich) equity partnership that isn't eat what you kill (we are a very lightly modified lockstep). There is a level of collegiality here that I don't think is true at firms where partners are scraping and competing for business. people don't get pushed out at S&C because the firm had a down year.

At least this has been my experience.

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks again! What you describe sounds pretty reasonable in light of the NYC BigLaw salary.


I posted earlier in the thread too, but just want to let you know that my experience is not the same as the other S&C associate. I've gone weeks without getting a full six hours of sleep, and have spent countless nights working until 3 AM while my SO is sleeping in the next room. I have had very few weekends free. While I agree that there are a lot of pleasant people here, I've also worked with some personalities that fit the S&C stereotype and will turn everything into an accusation / fire drill. I agree vacations are respected if they don't conflict with a deal closing. Also, just because S&C has a practice group doesn't mean you'll get a lot of work in that group. Again, I'm not sure if any of this is unique to this place, but you should be very clear what you're signing up for.

liam31

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby liam31 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:19 am

From friends that I know there, I'll tell you that whoever you meet at S&C at these events and interviews are a selected group that will make the firm look good. The miserable senior associates and partners that will drive you crazy do not attend these events.

runinthefront

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby runinthefront » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:13 pm

liam31 wrote:From friends that I know there, I'll tell you that whoever you meet at S&C at these events and interviews are a selected group that will make the firm look good. The miserable senior associates and partners that will drive you crazy do not attend these events.

In fairness, I think the same can be said about any firm.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

liam31

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Re: S&C Culture 2017 - Improving?

Postby liam31 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:44 pm

runinthefront wrote:
liam31 wrote:From friends that I know there, I'll tell you that whoever you meet at S&C at these events and interviews are a selected group that will make the firm look good. The miserable senior associates and partners that will drive you crazy do not attend these events.

In fairness, I think the same can be said about any firm.


True. I haven't worked there so I cannot pass along more than what I've heard from those that have... but what I have heard is the senior associates at S&C that are bad to work with are really bad even relative to other peer firms. It's probably because they take so many gunners.

Anyway, the point I was making was that OP should not draw any conclusions on S&C's culture based upon who he/she meets during the recruitment process.



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