Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

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2014
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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby 2014 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:49 pm

The ten or so firms in NY that offer the same caliber of exit options as Cravath work more or less the same hours as Cravath counterparts. Those who choose Cravath tend to have bought in more (it's very difficult to imagine someone going into Cravath blind, everyone signed up understanding they would work a lot) so they are more likely to talk about their hours or work, but that doesn't mean their counterparts at other firms are working meaningfully less. Cravath's system where you are tied to a partner or small group of partners can also result in more face time if you end up in a group where your seniors/partners spend a lot of time in the office, so on balance that may lead to some extra billables but it's really person dependent. None of the Cravath's peer firms are particularly good about work life balance or institutional support for working from home regularly and you can certainly end up on deals or cases at those firms requiring you to sit there until your seniors leave.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:18 pm

2014 wrote:The ten or so firms in NY that offer the same caliber of exit options as Cravath work more or less the same hours as Cravath counterparts. Those who choose Cravath tend to have bought in more (it's very difficult to imagine someone going into Cravath blind, everyone signed up understanding they would work a lot) so they are more likely to talk about their hours or work, but that doesn't mean their counterparts at other firms are working meaningfully less. Cravath's system where you are tied to a partner or small group of partners can also result in more face time if you end up in a group where your seniors/partners spend a lot of time in the office, so on balance that may lead to some extra billables but it's really person dependent. None of the Cravath's peer firms are particularly good about work life balance or institutional support for working from home regularly and you can certainly end up on deals or cases at those firms requiring you to sit there until your seniors leave.


Cravath mid-level here. I agree with all of this.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:57 pm

This isn't that hard to believe. If he's in transactional, deals will come and go and this is perfectly reasonable.

Even at my lower ranked v50, the first couple of years I billed around 2200-2300. Even billing at those rates, I barely had a life outside of work - I can't imagine billing 3000 hours.

lol @ law students WANTING this life

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:07 pm

I'm a Cravath junior.

Corporate hasn't been all that bad. I've had a few months like what the OP described, but the significant majority of months have been different. He shouldn't assume that he'll bill well over 3,000 based on his first two months at the firm, the work comes and goes... though there are some partner groups here that are consistently busier than others, and Litigation has been overwhelmed with work this last year.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:22 pm

jd20132013 wrote:
runinthefront wrote:
jd20132013 wrote:You guys should really push that staff ratio thing more. It's huge.

In fairness, Anon is defending its firm. That's a reasonable thing to do.


I wasn't being sarcastic. Being understaffed with staff assistance is a killer.


Ask your friends at Quinn.



That's a selling point, the only reason I'd leave my current firm would be if they leaned the staff anymore. It's frustrating having to increasingly screen every call because the numbers of secretaries per attorney have gone down but the number of head hunters per attorney have gone up, fighting printers and scanners, getting beaten up by MS office while making what should be simple edits, doing time entries and other prac sec admin, dealing with membership fees, and drafting pro forma letters.

Then again, if I'm billing 3500 hours anyway, what's the point?

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:20 pm

Former Cravath paralegal (i.e., staff) checking in.

Even the paralegals had staff that we could turn to (duplicating, document processing, etc.), and they were stellar. When your staff's got staff, it makes your job a whole lot easier.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Former Cravath paralegal (i.e., staff) checking in.

Even the paralegals had staff that we could turn to (duplicating, document processing, etc.), and they were stellar. When your staff's got staff, it makes your job a whole lot easier.


This seems pretty standard with big firms though.

Fwiw I am a lit junior at a peer firm (at least for lit) and my hours aren't anywhere near what people are talking about here. The only people that high were on long trials or actively seek it out.

ETA: cravath is one of the two firms that get 10s on my (meaningless) vault surveys though. Appreciate that extra salary.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:21 pm

i summered at cravath at one point. i think the hours are insane and the culture particularly unhealthy, even compared to peer firms (some of which i've also worked for).

the rotation system, and attendant forced face time, are contributing factors. so is the fact that virtually everyone at the firm is extremely highly motivated. i would say that if anything defines the typical CSM attorney, it is *extreme* motivation, competitiveness, and hyper-focus on being a lawyer (to the exclusion of virtually everything else in life). there is basically no one in the building who doesn't fit this description, so insane hours sort of come naturally. no one would complain and most would in fact welcome additional work because no one is prioritizing anything other than excelling at being a CSM attorney. one might view the firm's grade selectivity as a proxy for sussing out who among each new crop of reasonably intelligent law students is prepared to work like crazy (i know that the way i landed near the top of my class 1L year was by working like a dog).

i did ultimately conclude that it's mostly a ponzi scheme for the benefit of the partners, and that people are being compensated at least in part via prestige. (on that point, it's worth noting that the vault 100 is simply wildly inaccurate, as kellogg huber, susman, and munger, all of which should be ahead of CSM, haven't even cracked the so-called "V20".)

that said, i would still recommend it for some small number of people. to justify going to CSM, i would say it's an absolute requirement that you plan on climbing the legal profession ladder with vigor for most of the rest of your life. if you aren't motivated to exit to some place at least as selective as CSM, i would not go to CSM. if there are things in life that you enjoy more than the practice of law, i would not go to CSM. i personally am not even necessarily interested in partnership anywhere (let alone at CSM), so going to CSM seemed like a crazy idea to me in the end. i would add that CSM is not an ideal place for people with an aversion to structure, regimentation, authority, formality, etc.

in reality, most people exit to places less prestigious than CSM. i don't think those firms will necessary promote you straight to partner simply because you worked at CSM rather than some other V20. i would think the strength of your references is at least as important. so generally, i would go to the peer firm where you would be most likely to thrive. i would not put much stock in CSM's prestige, and i would expect to work a lot of extra hours for no extra money.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:i summered at cravath at one point. i think the hours are insane and the culture particularly unhealthy, even compared to peer firms (some of which i've also worked for).

the rotation system, and attendant forced face time, are contributing factors. so is the fact that virtually everyone at the firm is extremely highly motivated. i would say that if anything defines the typical CSM attorney, it is *extreme* motivation, competitiveness, and hyper-focus on being a lawyer (to the exclusion of virtually everything else in life). there is basically no one in the building who doesn't fit this description, so insane hours sort of come naturally. no one would complain and most would in fact welcome additional work because no one is prioritizing anything other than excelling at being a CSM attorney. one might view the firm's grade selectivity as a proxy for sussing out who among each new crop of reasonably intelligent law students is prepared to work like crazy (i know that the way i landed near the top of my class 1L year was by working like a dog).

i did ultimately conclude that it's mostly a ponzi scheme for the benefit of the partners, and that people are being compensated at least in part via prestige. (on that point, it's worth noting that the vault 100 is simply wildly inaccurate, as kellogg huber, susman, and munger, all of which should be ahead of CSM, haven't even cracked the so-called "V20".)

that said, i would still recommend it for some small number of people. to justify going to CSM, i would say it's an absolute requirement that you plan on climbing the legal profession ladder with vigor for most of the rest of your life. if you aren't motivated to exit to some place at least as selective as CSM, i would not go to CSM. if there are things in life that you enjoy more than the practice of law, i would not go to CSM. i personally am not even necessarily interested in partnership anywhere (let alone at CSM), so going to CSM seemed like a crazy idea to me in the end. i would add that CSM is not an ideal place for people with an aversion to structure, regimentation, authority, formality, etc.

in reality, most people exit to places less prestigious than CSM. i don't think those firms will necessary promote you straight to partner simply because you worked at CSM rather than some other V20. i would think the strength of your references is at least as important. so generally, i would go to the peer firm where you would be most likely to thrive. i would not put much stock in CSM's prestige, and i would expect to work a lot of extra hours for no extra money.
Former Cravath associate here. I fully agree with everything but the bolded.

And yeah, the hours being thrown around ITT are not uncommon at all. In my first year as a lit associate, I billed over 3000, as did everyone else on my team.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby esther0123 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:15 pm

I think the mere fact that there is always some controversy over whether CSM's prestige and reputation are legit every few months on this forum says something about the firm too. Not sure what, but just an observation :lol:

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i summered at cravath at one point. i think the hours are insane and the culture particularly unhealthy, even compared to peer firms (some of which i've also worked for).

the rotation system, and attendant forced face time, are contributing factors. so is the fact that virtually everyone at the firm is extremely highly motivated. i would say that if anything defines the typical CSM attorney, it is *extreme* motivation, competitiveness, and hyper-focus on being a lawyer (to the exclusion of virtually everything else in life). there is basically no one in the building who doesn't fit this description, so insane hours sort of come naturally. no one would complain and most would in fact welcome additional work because no one is prioritizing anything other than excelling at being a CSM attorney. one might view the firm's grade selectivity as a proxy for sussing out who among each new crop of reasonably intelligent law students is prepared to work like crazy (i know that the way i landed near the top of my class 1L year was by working like a dog).

i did ultimately conclude that it's mostly a ponzi scheme for the benefit of the partners, and that people are being compensated at least in part via prestige. (on that point, it's worth noting that the vault 100 is simply wildly inaccurate, as kellogg huber, susman, and munger, all of which should be ahead of CSM, haven't even cracked the so-called "V20".)

that said, i would still recommend it for some small number of people. to justify going to CSM, i would say it's an absolute requirement that you plan on climbing the legal profession ladder with vigor for most of the rest of your life. if you aren't motivated to exit to some place at least as selective as CSM, i would not go to CSM. if there are things in life that you enjoy more than the practice of law, i would not go to CSM. i personally am not even necessarily interested in partnership anywhere (let alone at CSM), so going to CSM seemed like a crazy idea to me in the end. i would add that CSM is not an ideal place for people with an aversion to structure, regimentation, authority, formality, etc.

in reality, most people exit to places less prestigious than CSM. i don't think those firms will necessary promote you straight to partner simply because you worked at CSM rather than some other V20. i would think the strength of your references is at least as important. so generally, i would go to the peer firm where you would be most likely to thrive. i would not put much stock in CSM's prestige, and i would expect to work a lot of extra hours for no extra money.
Former Cravath associate here. I fully agree with everything but the bolded.

And yeah, the hours being thrown around ITT are not uncommon at all. In my first year as a lit associate, I billed over 3000, as did everyone else on my team.


I just don't understand why anyone would go to csm as a litigator, assuming their grades would qualify them for an equally brutal boutique that pays bigger bonuses
what was your reasoning ?

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:31 pm

I assume most didn’t get jobs at the boutiques. CSM is significantly less selective than the elite litigation shops.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:01 pm

jd20132013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i summered at cravath at one point. i think the hours are insane and the culture particularly unhealthy, even compared to peer firms (some of which i've also worked for).

the rotation system, and attendant forced face time, are contributing factors. so is the fact that virtually everyone at the firm is extremely highly motivated. i would say that if anything defines the typical CSM attorney, it is *extreme* motivation, competitiveness, and hyper-focus on being a lawyer (to the exclusion of virtually everything else in life). there is basically no one in the building who doesn't fit this description, so insane hours sort of come naturally. no one would complain and most would in fact welcome additional work because no one is prioritizing anything other than excelling at being a CSM attorney. one might view the firm's grade selectivity as a proxy for sussing out who among each new crop of reasonably intelligent law students is prepared to work like crazy (i know that the way i landed near the top of my class 1L year was by working like a dog).

i did ultimately conclude that it's mostly a ponzi scheme for the benefit of the partners, and that people are being compensated at least in part via prestige. (on that point, it's worth noting that the vault 100 is simply wildly inaccurate, as kellogg huber, susman, and munger, all of which should be ahead of CSM, haven't even cracked the so-called "V20".)

that said, i would still recommend it for some small number of people. to justify going to CSM, i would say it's an absolute requirement that you plan on climbing the legal profession ladder with vigor for most of the rest of your life. if you aren't motivated to exit to some place at least as selective as CSM, i would not go to CSM. if there are things in life that you enjoy more than the practice of law, i would not go to CSM. i personally am not even necessarily interested in partnership anywhere (let alone at CSM), so going to CSM seemed like a crazy idea to me in the end. i would add that CSM is not an ideal place for people with an aversion to structure, regimentation, authority, formality, etc.

in reality, most people exit to places less prestigious than CSM. i don't think those firms will necessary promote you straight to partner simply because you worked at CSM rather than some other V20. i would think the strength of your references is at least as important. so generally, i would go to the peer firm where you would be most likely to thrive. i would not put much stock in CSM's prestige, and i would expect to work a lot of extra hours for no extra money.
Former Cravath associate here. I fully agree with everything but the bolded.

And yeah, the hours being thrown around ITT are not uncommon at all. In my first year as a lit associate, I billed over 3000, as did everyone else on my team.


I just don't understand why anyone would go to csm as a litigator, assuming their grades would qualify them for an equally brutal boutique that pays bigger bonuses
what was your reasoning ?
FascinatedWanderer wrote:I assume most didn’t get jobs at the boutiques. CSM is significantly less selective than the elite litigation shops.
I eventually moved to a lit boutique, but most elite lit boutiques require clerkships, which I did not have immediately after law school. I went to Cravath directly out of law school to get the name recognition of a biglaw firm with more substantive experience than comparable biglaw. The trade off for the experience was, of course, the hours, but it was a good way to start my career.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:39 pm

jd20132013 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i summered at cravath at one point. i think the hours are insane and the culture particularly unhealthy, even compared to peer firms (some of which i've also worked for).

the rotation system, and attendant forced face time, are contributing factors. so is the fact that virtually everyone at the firm is extremely highly motivated. i would say that if anything defines the typical CSM attorney, it is *extreme* motivation, competitiveness, and hyper-focus on being a lawyer (to the exclusion of virtually everything else in life). there is basically no one in the building who doesn't fit this description, so insane hours sort of come naturally. no one would complain and most would in fact welcome additional work because no one is prioritizing anything other than excelling at being a CSM attorney. one might view the firm's grade selectivity as a proxy for sussing out who among each new crop of reasonably intelligent law students is prepared to work like crazy (i know that the way i landed near the top of my class 1L year was by working like a dog).

i did ultimately conclude that it's mostly a ponzi scheme for the benefit of the partners, and that people are being compensated at least in part via prestige. (on that point, it's worth noting that the vault 100 is simply wildly inaccurate, as kellogg huber, susman, and munger, all of which should be ahead of CSM, haven't even cracked the so-called "V20".)

that said, i would still recommend it for some small number of people. to justify going to CSM, i would say it's an absolute requirement that you plan on climbing the legal profession ladder with vigor for most of the rest of your life. if you aren't motivated to exit to some place at least as selective as CSM, i would not go to CSM. if there are things in life that you enjoy more than the practice of law, i would not go to CSM. i personally am not even necessarily interested in partnership anywhere (let alone at CSM), so going to CSM seemed like a crazy idea to me in the end. i would add that CSM is not an ideal place for people with an aversion to structure, regimentation, authority, formality, etc.

in reality, most people exit to places less prestigious than CSM. i don't think those firms will necessary promote you straight to partner simply because you worked at CSM rather than some other V20. i would think the strength of your references is at least as important. so generally, i would go to the peer firm where you would be most likely to thrive. i would not put much stock in CSM's prestige, and i would expect to work a lot of extra hours for no extra money.
Former Cravath associate here. I fully agree with everything but the bolded.

And yeah, the hours being thrown around ITT are not uncommon at all. In my first year as a lit associate, I billed over 3000, as did everyone else on my team.


I just don't understand why anyone would go to csm as a litigator, assuming their grades would qualify them for an equally brutal boutique that pays bigger bonuses
what was your reasoning ?


Cravath lit here, with clerkship. Litigating in a boutique environment is very different than litigating in a big law environment. The biggest appeal for me about big law is the sheer infrastructural resources available to you that you just don't get in boutiques. That, of course, comes with a trade off -- bureaucracy and pretty serious hierarchy -- but as a young lawyer, I felt more comfortable with that kind of structural stability. Also, CSM name is more widely known, than say, Susman -- an incredibly selective lit boutique with amazing lawyers -- in secondary markets and in the West Coast, both options that I don't want to rule out. Finally, personal preference and probably revealing my naivete about career, but I don't find the entrepreneurial spirit associated with lit boutiques appealing at all. I'm not a very entrepreneurial/startup type of person.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:10 pm

Just to add a different flavor to the conversation, I'm a stub year M&A associate at CSM and my hours are not that bad at all. There have been a few "late" nights (until 1 or 2 a.m.), and a few weekends where about 10/12 hours of work has come up, but otherwise I'm doing a 10-6 gig on most days.

It isn't just me -- I know plenty of stub years and second years with these more relaxed hours (including in securities and banking practices).

It's cyclical, but extrapolating to a year as OP's friend has, I'm on course for just about 1500 hours.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just to add a different flavor to the conversation, I'm a stub year M&A associate at CSM and my hours are not that bad at all. There have been a few "late" nights (until 1 or 2 a.m.), and a few weekends where about 10/12 hours of work has come up, but otherwise I'm doing a 10-6 gig on most days.

It isn't just me -- I know plenty of stub years and second years with these more relaxed hours (including in securities and banking practices).

It's cyclical, but extrapolating to a year as OP's friend has, I'm on course for just about 1500 hours.


I am a stub year corporate associate at a different firm, V40. Started in September. My hours have been crazy over the last one month. It's been at least 10 hours of work for most days and 16~18 hours on few occasions. I think hours have more to do with practice area (M&A for instance) and the phase of the deal than which firm you are in.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby rpupkin » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Cravath lit here, with clerkship. Litigating in a boutique environment is very different than litigating in a big law environment. The biggest appeal for me about big law is the sheer infrastructural resources available to you that you just don't get in boutiques.

Such as . . . . ?

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:01 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cravath lit here, with clerkship. Litigating in a boutique environment is very different than litigating in a big law environment. The biggest appeal for me about big law is the sheer infrastructural resources available to you that you just don't get in boutiques.

Such as . . . . ?


High quality paralegals, legal assistants, large document processing department, basically unlimited resources in facilitating working on the weekend, late nights, etc.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Nebby » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cravath lit here, with clerkship. Litigating in a boutique environment is very different than litigating in a big law environment. The biggest appeal for me about big law is the sheer infrastructural resources available to you that you just don't get in boutiques.

Such as . . . . ?


High quality paralegals, legal assistants, large document processing department, basically unlimited resources in facilitating working on the weekend, late nights, etc.

You know this because you spent time at a boutique?

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:06 pm

Nebby wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cravath lit here, with clerkship. Litigating in a boutique environment is very different than litigating in a big law environment. The biggest appeal for me about big law is the sheer infrastructural resources available to you that you just don't get in boutiques.

Such as . . . . ?


High quality paralegals, legal assistants, large document processing department, basically unlimited resources in facilitating working on the weekend, late nights, etc.

You know this because you spent time at a boutique?


I have friends at said boutiques and they have worked at both big law (peer to CSM) prior to transitioning post-clerkship. This is their main complaint. I also see my friends at certain boutiques that shall not be named who can't take the black car home even though they've worked late hours. Little things do matter to me personally. You seem skeptical at my knowledge of these things, and perhaps my friends are a skewed sample. Do you find it otherwise as someone who (I assume?) worked at both boutique and big law?

ETA: I get that a lot of people equate selectivity = desirability, and boutiques are generally more selective than big law. But I do think there are legitimate reasons for choosing big law over boutiques, other than one couldn't get hired. And as full disclosure, I somehow doubt I would've gotten hired at likes of Susman, but I think certain other types of boutiques were in play for me post-clerkship.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby PeanutsNJam » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:06 pm

Pretty sure every litigator on the West Coast knows about Susman.

I'd also rather be taking depos and standing in front of a judge a few years earlier than have a dedicated binder-making department, but you also said you're not particularly entrepreneurial so maybe that makes sense?

I don't have the experience to contest whether paralegals and assistants are boutiques are "lower quality," but color me skeptical on that front.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:14 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Pretty sure every litigator on the West Coast knows about Susman.

I'd also rather be taking depos and standing in front of a judge a few years earlier than have a dedicated binder-making department, but you also said you're not particularly entrepreneurial so maybe that makes sense?

I don't have the experience to contest whether paralegals and assistants are boutiques are "lower quality," but color me skeptical on that front.


Me not being entrepreneurial probably has a lot to do with my preference for big law. Taking depos as a 3rd year, which CSM offers, as opposed to 1st year was a marginal difference to me personally, haha.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have friends at said boutiques and they have worked at both big law (peer to CSM) prior to transitioning post-clerkship. This is their main complaint. I also see my friends at certain boutiques that shall not be named who can't take the black car home even though they've worked late hours. Little things do matter to me personally. You seem skeptical at my knowledge of these things, and perhaps my friends are a skewed sample. Do you find it otherwise as someone who (I assume?) worked at both boutique and big law?

ETA: I get that a lot of people equate selectivity = desirability, and boutiques are generally more selective than big law. But I do think there are legitimate reasons for choosing big law over boutiques, other than one couldn't get hired. And as full disclosure, I somehow doubt I would've gotten hired at likes of Susman, but I think certain other types of boutiques were in play for me post-clerkship.


I summered at a boutique. We had black car service and free dinners if you stayed late, we had above-Cravath total comp by quite a fair margin, and we had a bunch of other perks that mirrored biglaw perks. We didn't have a large document processing department. Also no firm gym as we didn't own half the building. Nobody delivers mail to each office. The legal assistants did the formatting and created binders and such, and they seemed pretty good at their job.

Boutiques are idiosyncratic and can't really be generalized the way biglaw can. I have no doubt Cravath may be preferable to some boutiques, but I like mine better than biglaw. It sounds like Cravath also offers more/earlier responsibility and substantive work than most biglaw, so it'd say Cravath isn't representative of the typical biglaw experience on that front either.

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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby rpupkin » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Nebby wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cravath lit here, with clerkship. Litigating in a boutique environment is very different than litigating in a big law environment. The biggest appeal for me about big law is the sheer infrastructural resources available to you that you just don't get in boutiques.

Such as . . . . ?


High quality paralegals, legal assistants, large document processing department, basically unlimited resources in facilitating working on the weekend, late nights, etc.

You know this because you spent time at a boutique?


I have friends at said boutiques and they have worked at both big law (peer to CSM) prior to transitioning post-clerkship. This is their main complaint. I also see my friends at certain boutiques that shall not be named who can't take the black car home even though they've worked late hours.

I'm sure there are plenty of boutiques that aren't as generous as Cravath when it comes to paying for things like transportation and food. But I'm thinking of the small handful of elite litigation boutiques that pay around market (or above) and which tend to hire all or mostly clerks. I'm not sure which boutiques your friends are at, but the ones I'm aware of would definitely pay for the an associate's ride home on a late night.

As for paralegals and legal assistants, it's not obvious to me why Cravath's employees would be of a higher quality. But I can certainly believe that some aspects of litigation support—such as document processing—are meaningfully worse at the elite boutiques. And I don't doubt that weekend support is better at Cravath, though that's partially a symptom of a firm culture that tolerates (and arguably encourages) associates to bill north of 3,000 hours a year.

Overall, it seems to me that leverage is the main difference between Cravath and the elite lit boutiques. The partners at Cravath have the benefit of positive leverage, whereas the partners at Susman and Keker and Kellogg are often operating with flat or even negative leverage—which can mean both lower profits and more grunt work for the partners. But that's a reason to want to be a partner at Cravath instead of a lit boutique. From the perspective of a litigation associate, the environment of a elite boutique will usually seem more attractive.
Last edited by rpupkin on Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cravath hours: are they that insane or is my friend

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Boutiques are idiosyncratic and can't really be generalized the way biglaw can. I have no doubt Cravath may be preferable to some boutiques, but I like mine better than biglaw. It sounds like Cravath also offers more/earlier responsibility and substantive work than most biglaw, so it'd say Cravath isn't representative of the typical biglaw experience on that front either.
Correct. --Former CSM associate now at lit boutique




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