Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

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Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:49 pm

Have offers from the above firms but having trouble deciding. No preference as to location, I'd be perfectly happy in either market. Id try to do m&a or PE at Weil/Paul Weiss, or a mixture of emerging companies/VC/M&A at Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick.

Just trying to get some input on what sort on considerations I should be thinking about re: the type of work, the quality of the firms wrt that type of work, and exit options. Thanks in advance!

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SmokeytheBear

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:55 pm

There has been a wealth of information shared on these boards over the last month specifically about the SV firms you asked about.

Do some reading

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=281877&p=10160238&hilit=gunderson#p10160238

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=280981&p=10141210&hilit=gunderson#p10141210

Also just search for Fenwick or Gunderson and more will come up.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby dabigchina » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:13 pm

They're all good firms and do good work in their respective markets and practice areas.

If you really have no preference as to practice area or location, then close your eyes and throw darts at a piece of paper until you hit a firm name. We can't make life decisions for you.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:15 am

I would strongly recommend SV. STRONGLY.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:17 am

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:I would strongly recommend SV. STRONGLY.


Thanks - I assume general work-life balance is better? Are exit options generally better out there?

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
oblig.lawl.ref wrote:I would strongly recommend SV. STRONGLY.


Thanks - I assume general work-life balance is better? Are exit options generally better out there?


I think work life balance is better. I work with some people in SV who have never done NYC BL and like to think it's no different. I don't think I've ever spoken to a NYC lateral, other than maybe those few self-grinding to death on their way to partnership, that didn't think work-life balance was much better in SV.

Exit options are great here. As soon as you hit mid way in your third year and certainly by 4th year, it's hard to keep people around. People have been exiting to late-stage pre-IPO and recently IPO'd and large tech companies so fast lately we can't staff our deals. Also partnership is actually theoretically possible here, unlike prestigious NYC. Note this is all for gen corp/M&A/tech trans. No idea about other practices.

If you're agnostic on location, I think someone would be crazy to take prestigious NYC over SV indigenous firms. But I've also had some people tell me it's the other way around. Personally I suspect there may be some prestige whoring going on there or an east coast bias, which does not seem to be at play with you.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby quikpitch » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:11 pm

oblig.lawl.ref wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
oblig.lawl.ref wrote:I would strongly recommend SV. STRONGLY.


Thanks - I assume general work-life balance is better? Are exit options generally better out there?


I think work life balance is better. I work with some people in SV who have never done NYC BL and like to think it's no different. I don't think I've ever spoken to a NYC lateral, other than maybe those few self-grinding to death on their way to partnership, that didn't think work-life balance was much better in SV.

Exit options are great here. As soon as you hit mid way in your third year and certainly by 4th year, it's hard to keep people around. People have been exiting to late-stage pre-IPO and recently IPO'd and large tech companies so fast lately we can't staff our deals. Also partnership is actually theoretically possible here, unlike prestigious NYC. Note this is all for gen corp/M&A/tech trans. No idea about other practices.

If you're agnostic on location, I think someone would be crazy to take prestigious NYC over SV indigenous firms. But I've also had some people tell me it's the other way around. Personally I suspect there may be some prestige whoring going on there or an east coast bias, which does not seem to be at play with you.


I'm going to disagree with this, although I'm not some expert. I just think if it's exit options that you're looking for (which should be an important consideration for anyone going into transactional work), NYC biglaw will give you the most. But it sounds like there's no shortage of flexibility in SV either.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:49 pm

quikpitch wrote:I'm going to disagree with this, although I'm not some expert. I just think if it's exit options that you're looking for (which should be an important consideration for anyone going into transactional work), NYC biglaw will give you the most. But it sounds like there's no shortage of flexibility in SV either.


Curious about this. are you saying in your opinion that NY firms will give you "more" exit options or better quality exit options?

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby quikpitch » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:53 pm

I think NYC will give more exit options, not necessarily better (although, I don't see how NYC exit options wouldn't be the best). If you can hack it as a biglaw associate in NYC, you can hack it as a biglaw associate anywhere - at least if we're talking hours. On top of that NYC has the best work (quality) and the most work, so you're getting the best experience. It's the largest legal market in the country.

I rarely hear about biglaw associates lateraling to NYC (although I'm sure it happens), usually it's the other way around.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:56 pm

quikpitch wrote:I think NYC will give more exit options, not necessarily better (although, I don't see how NYC exit options wouldn't be the best). If you can hack it as a biglaw associate in NYC, you can hack it as a biglaw associate anywhere - at least if we're talking hours. On top of that NYC has the best work (quality) and the most work, so you're getting the best experience. It's the largest legal market in the country.

I rarely hear about biglaw associates lateraling to NYC (although I'm sure it happens), usually it's the other way around.


Re: emerging companies/VC/tech work though - I assume SV is leaps and bounds above anything available in NYC?

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:43 pm

quikpitch wrote:I think NYC will give more exit options, not necessarily better (although, I don't see how NYC exit options wouldn't be the best). If you can hack it as a biglaw associate in NYC, you can hack it as a biglaw associate anywhere - at least if we're talking hours. On top of that NYC has the best work (quality) and the most work, so you're getting the best experience. It's the largest legal market in the country.

I rarely hear about biglaw associates lateraling to NYC (although I'm sure it happens), usually it's the other way around.


Not trying to put anyone on blast here really but have you graduated from law school? Judging from your post-history it kind of doesn't look like it. I practice in SV, most of my law school friends went to NYC firms and I spent a summer there. So I know a bit about it and I'm not sure that the advice above is the complete picture.

Except yes, if you ever decide you want to work in an NYC law firm it would be difficult to lateral there from the SV firms but not vice versa. But lateralling to SV later isn't a sure thing either. You're better off summering where you want to work than planning on lateralling later.

If you want to work for Snap, or Facebook or Google, or whatever comes next, working at PW first is not going to help you. At all. If you want to work for Apollo go to PW. But I would note that Snap and what comes next will be hiring dozens of lawyers in the coming years. Apollo will probably hire a couple, if that. I think that math is reflected in the exits I have seen from my peers in NYC v. SV. There's some great stuff from BernieTrump about the problem and non-marketability of NYC corporate practices, particularly, PE, which is a lot of what Weil and PW do. That's been hotly debated but based on conversations with senior corporate associates during my summer in NYC I got the impression that lots had similar critiques.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:04 pm

quikpitch wrote:I think NYC will give more exit options, not necessarily better (although, I don't see how NYC exit options wouldn't be the best). If you can hack it as a biglaw associate in NYC, you can hack it as a biglaw associate anywhere - at least if we're talking hours. On top of that NYC has the best work (quality) and the most work, so you're getting the best experience. It's the largest legal market in the country.

I rarely hear about biglaw associates lateraling to NYC (although I'm sure it happens), usually it's the other way around.

This is stupid. People don't lateral to New York biglaw because there's no reason to work more hours for the same money in a higher cost of living city. It's not about "hacking it", it's about not wanting to deal with it. The only folks I know who lateraled to New York did so for non-work related reasons, like being closer to family or for significant others.

As for New York having higher "quality" work, I recently relocated to NYC for personal reasons from another market (think DC/Chicago/Boston) as a mid-level in corporate and got multiple offers from V-whatever firms; no one doubted my abilities because I was working in a different market. The work isn't suddenly more sophisticated because your rent is higher. You'll be working opposite firms based in NYC, DC, LA, Chicago, wherever, even if you're in Silicon Valley; they don't break out the better legal arguments or draft the merger agreement any better when they're opposite another New York firm. And if you just mean you'll be working on higher profile cases/larger deal sizes in New York, I can tell you from experience that the big sized deals I worked on were usually the least substantive as a junior since there was more diligence/scut work to do, and were no more interesting or qualitatively different as a mid-level; just because the dollar value is higher, doesn't mean there is anything more interesting about the transaction. The best experience I got were probably smaller deals since I got more substantive responsibility early on, which in turn helped me in lateral interviews since I could describe doing more substantive tasks than they were probably used to from their own New York associates of the same class year. Similarly, I would imagined the leverage would be smaller at the Silicon Valley firms and thus you'd get more/better substantive experience there.

And as for exit options, I wound up finding an in-house gig in NYC, despite not being at an NYC office before. To the extent there's a difference between NYC and other markets for exits, I have to think it's fairly marginal based on my experience and that of others I know who made moves to in-house or boutique firms, and there may be some advantage to going to certain clients of your current firm, so NYC firms to NYC exits and Silicon Valley firms to Silicon Valley exits, but I've seen enough people who do emerging company work get in-house gigs at an F500 or I-Bank or wherever to think it's not a big difference there.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:24 pm

quikpitch wrote:I think NYC will give more exit options, not necessarily better (although, I don't see how NYC exit options wouldn't be the best). If you can hack it as a biglaw associate in NYC, you can hack it as a biglaw associate anywhere - at least if we're talking hours. On top of that NYC has the best work (quality) and the most work, so you're getting the best experience. It's the largest legal market in the country.

I rarely hear about biglaw associates lateraling to NYC (although I'm sure it happens), usually it's the other way around.


Almost none of this post is true.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby quikpitch » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:02 pm

Everything I said was anecdotal and I would definitely defer to what these posters above me are saying. My apologies OP. All of these posts are very helpful.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby mohdban » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:50 am

It boils down to what type of work you want to do. SV is you want to do emerging companies work, and NYC if you want to do PE. If you are unsure, then SV would be the safer option because you can still get great PE/M&A work there too; for example, WSGR in SF specializes in M&A.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:31 am

mohdban wrote:It boils down to what type of work you want to do. SV is you want to do emerging companies work, and NYC if you want to do PE. If you are unsure, then SV would be the safer option because you can still get great PE/M&A work there too; for example, WSGR in SF specializes in M&A.


Do you know how Cooley/Fenwick compare to WSGR when it comes to M&A? Also, whether it is possible at these firms to move from their SV offices to their SF offices after a year or two as an associate?

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby mohdban » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mohdban wrote:It boils down to what type of work you want to do. SV is you want to do emerging companies work, and NYC if you want to do PE. If you are unsure, then SV would be the safer option because you can still get great PE/M&A work there too; for example, WSGR in SF specializes in M&A.


Do you know how Cooley/Fenwick compare to WSGR when it comes to M&A? Also, whether it is possible at these firms to move from their SV offices to their SF offices after a year or two as an associate?


I am not sure about Fenwick/Cooley for M&A. I know summers at WSGR PA have the opportunity to spend a portion of their summers in the WSGR SF office with the M&A group, and can get offered to return to WSGR SF full-time. I am not sure how common it is for associates to move from SV to SF though.

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Re: Paul Weiss/Weil (NYC) vs. Cooley/WSGR/Fenwick(SV)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:28 am

bump. intersted in this as well.



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