Help me choose a firm

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Which firm?

Wachtell
36
62%
SullCrom
2
3%
Hogan Lovells (DC)
14
24%
Jones Day (DC)
3
5%
Sidley Austin (DC)
3
5%
 
Total votes: 58

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Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:38 am

I'm coming down to the deadline here, can people weigh in?

I'm 24, top ~3% at CCN. I'd like to clerk and then go to government as quickly as I can. I'll have 130,000 in debt. I have a slight preference for DC. Is it crazy to summer at Wachtell and then reevaluate after graduation or a clerkship (re-recruit, as it were)? Is there any reason to go to S&C over WLRK given the compensation differences? Is it possible to summer at a firm like WLRK and then move to a DC firm (I missed W&C, Cov, and GDC).

I'll be honest, the work life balance at WLRK scares the shit out of me and is deeply unappealing. Frankly, any/all biglaw culture seems deeply unappealing.Of the the three DC firms, I found Hogan's culture to be the most appealing.

End goal: Main Justice/USAO. I'm heavily liberal with VA/DA ties but my resume doesn't reflect that so I got a lot of "Why DC" questions but was ultimately able to pick up 6 DC offers off 10 DC callbacks.

ambrajdurbra131313

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby ambrajdurbra131313 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:09 pm

For me, the desire to quickly transition to gov and that amount of loans would make WLRK the easy call for now; obviously, you'd have other options after your clerkship if the lack of work/life balance would be unbearable.

cavalier1138

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:10 pm

ambrajdurbra131313 wrote:For me, the desire to quickly transition to gov and that amount of loans would make WLRK the easy call for now; obviously, you'd have other options after your clerkship if the lack of work/life balance would be unbearable.


How does Wachtell make the transition to government faster than a DC firm would?

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:End goal: Main Justice/USAO. I'm heavily liberal


Jones Day and Sidley DC are pretty conservative, although I still can't get a handle on the extent to which the politics of your firm matter for exits. If that's a concern, probably go Hogan. What are your other 3 DC options?

liam31

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby liam31 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:17 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
ambrajdurbra131313 wrote:For me, the desire to quickly transition to gov and that amount of loans would make WLRK the easy call for now; obviously, you'd have other options after your clerkship if the lack of work/life balance would be unbearable.


How does Wachtell make the transition to government faster than a DC firm would?


You pay off your loans much faster allowing you to transition?

ambrajdurbra131313

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby ambrajdurbra131313 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:27 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
ambrajdurbra131313 wrote:For me, the desire to quickly transition to gov and that amount of loans would make WLRK the easy call for now; obviously, you'd have other options after your clerkship if the lack of work/life balance would be unbearable.


How does Wachtell make the transition to government faster than a DC firm would?


Not necessarily in terms of opportunity, but I would want no/minimal debt before the pay-cut

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:27 pm

My other three options are

Cleary-don't want to go there because I don't want to work in a satellite/do antitrust
Davis Polk- office is too small (I LOVED the people) and I don't want to work in a satellite.
Steptoe Johnson- I liked the people but I feel like the other options are better.

Politics matter because Id want people with Democratic ties who will rotate in to a Democratic administration (rather than Jones Day, where the partners have ties to the Republican administrations).

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:38 pm

Ok, yeah, go to Hogan. Just wanted to make sure you weren't ruling out Jenner DC or something.

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok, yeah, go to Hogan. Just wanted to make sure you weren't ruling out Jenner DC or something.


Why Hogan over WLRK? (Obviously I get that Jenner DC is pretty elite- they told me they basically only hire from Yale)

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:42 pm

.

cavalier1138

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:34 pm

liam31 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
ambrajdurbra131313 wrote:For me, the desire to quickly transition to gov and that amount of loans would make WLRK the easy call for now; obviously, you'd have other options after your clerkship if the lack of work/life balance would be unbearable.


How does Wachtell make the transition to government faster than a DC firm would?


You pay off your loans much faster allowing you to transition?


But you still can't make the transition faster. $130k isn't that much with a biglaw paycheck. Wachtell certainly pays it down faster, but I'm not sure that it sets up a litigator for an easier transition to government work in DC.

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:07 pm

I'm a V30 DC associate in a white collar practice. Go with Hogan or Sidley, whichever one gives you more exposure to former DOJ/USAO folks. Pretty much every biglaw associate in DC white collar world wants to get into a USAO or Main Justice, so it's very competitive (depending on what you're willing to accept and where you're willing to go). You want to make as many connections as possible to former federal prosecutors who can make calls to friends in their old offices on your behalf when you apply. You also want to work with associates or partners who might end up in government before you, and then can help you from the inside.

If you've paid attention to Main Justice hiring since January, a lot of former Bush people are getting those jobs, as well as other associates/partners working in conservative DC white collar shops. The opposite will happen in 2021 if the Dems take back the White House -- for example, you'll probably see a bunch of Covington associates who work with Eric Holder getting hired at DOJ, and maybe we'll see people like Sally Yates, Vanita Gupta, etc. back in charge. Hiring for line AUSAs at most USAOs isn't nearly political as Main Justice, but it still really helps if you work with people connected to the U.S. Attorney in the office you want. Otherwise, AUSA is all about combining a shiny resume (district court clerkship + 2-5 years biglaw experience) with luck and a U.S. Attorney who happens to like your profile.

Wachtell is pretty unhelpful unless you're specifically targeting SEC/SDNY. I would stay away from Jones Day unless you're prepared to hold your nose and work for Trump and his cronies, and then pretend to be a Republican to tap the JD network in government.

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ok, yeah, go to Hogan. Just wanted to make sure you weren't ruling out Jenner DC or something.


Why Hogan over WLRK? (Obviously I get that Jenner DC is pretty elite- they told me they basically only hire from Yale)


Hogan is one of the quintessential DC revolving door firms, just like Covington or Wilmer. Given your goals, it's a far better place to make the connections you need to achieve them. Also, if you don't really like biglaw and are just using it instrumentally, why sign yourself up for Wachtell's insane hours?

runinthefront

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby runinthefront » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:26 pm

I would go to Wachtell and then re-evaluate where you want to be post-clerkship.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:10 pm

I don't think you'll have any trouble moving to a DC firm post clerkship if you want to try Wachtell for the summer. But I'm not sure I'd bother since it sounds like you want to be in DC anyway. I don't think Wachtell pays its summers more than any other firm? If so, I don't think there's a real reason.

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:29 pm

Wachtell pays a bit more to its summers (a negligible amount).

I personally think that Wachtell on the resume would help for clerkships in desirable areas over Sidley DC or even Jones Day DC, to the extent that some judges care (I would guess that most don't, though both of mine has commented about firms) about where an applicant worked.

I also think that OP would have little trouble going back to DC post-clerkship, and the DC firms that OP is really targeting (W&C. Cov, GDC, etc.) would still bite if OP summered in NYC.

Finally, if OP does end up liking Wachtell, OP can just stay there/return there post-clerkship.

For what it's worth, when I declined an offer from Wachtell as a rising 2L, their follow-up letter, unlike the other ones I received, didn't make it seem like the door was still open for me to re-apply later.

ambrajdurbra131313

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby ambrajdurbra131313 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:36 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
liam31 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
ambrajdurbra131313 wrote:For me, the desire to quickly transition to gov and that amount of loans would make WLRK the easy call for now; obviously, you'd have other options after your clerkship if the lack of work/life balance would be unbearable.


How does Wachtell make the transition to government faster than a DC firm would?


You pay off your loans much faster allowing you to transition?


But you still can't make the transition faster. $130k isn't that much with a biglaw paycheck. Wachtell certainly pays it down faster, but I'm not sure that it sets up a litigator for an easier transition to government work in DC.

This may come down to one's comfortablitly with debt, but to me $130k after taxes is a lot even with a big law salary - my ability to pay off that debt and build up my portfolio would impact my thoughts on transitioning to gov

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:40 pm

There's former Wachtell associates at other usao's other than Sdny. In the DMV for example, there's wlrk associates who went from wlrk to edva usao and d.md usao. Wlrk name opens doors outside of New York and especially in dc where prestige matters a lot.

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Re: Help me choose a firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:23 pm

Congrats on the amazing opportunities!!

Imo, being in DC and having the opportunity to network will serve you better than the additional money you'll be making at Wachtell. I only say this because you have some great DC firms to choose from as well. If you want to be in DC, Hogan and Sidley are excellent firms.



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