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Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:27 pm
by Anonymous User
Seriously considering a lateral offer to one of their California offices.

I've looked around and everyone calls them cheap and everyone says its a terrible experience for associates. Why is this?

I get that their bonus structure is terrible (no incentives for billing over 2100), but I don't plan to bill that much and I don't plan on making partner.

I'm considering QE because I like litigating and want to do more of it. QE sold me hard on associates getting to do real litigation. I'm currently at big fed, on trial team. I've first chaired jury trials, bench trials, hearings, etc so I don't want to go into a firm and just fade into doc review background.


I've been applying to plaintiffs firms also -- hsould I hold out for that instead?

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:32 pm
by TheoO
but I don't plan to bill that much


Im not sure that this is how it works.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:40 pm
by Anonymous User
TheoO wrote:
but I don't plan to bill that much


Im not sure that this is how it works.


Can't I just turn down work? I'm not gunning for partner or naything. I started my career at a DC v20 and I billed a fair amount but there was always a point where I could just tell the partner trying to give me something that I was too busy to do it.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:51 pm
by biglaw-ama
Anonymous User wrote:
TheoO wrote:
but I don't plan to bill that much


Im not sure that this is how it works.


Can't I just turn down work? I'm not gunning for partner or naything. I started my career at a DC v20 and I billed a fair amount but there was always a point where I could just tell the partner trying to give me something that I was too busy to do it.


Not at Quinn. https://abovethelaw.com/2012/04/how-man ... -are-busy/

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:21 pm
by nybar2017
At least in NY, you only get $23 for dinner, when other firms give $35. 'nuff said

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:26 pm
by biglaw-ama
nybar2017 wrote:At least in NY, you only get $23 for dinner, when other firms give $35. 'nuff said


$35 is downright cheap these days. $23? With delivery charge, tax, and tip, you're only getting McDonald's.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:30 pm
by Anonymous User
QE is an amazing place to work where you can do substantive work early if you prove you’re up to it. It’s not really a place for folks who just want to chill out, though. Winning trials takes work.... lots of work.

QE is cheap in some ways (office furniture is kind of dinged up) and splashy in others (free hike somewhere exotic each year — this year was Mt Fuji/ Tokyo; global Exchange program). Also, the firm gives GIANT SIGNING BONUSES and retention bonuses on top of cravath level bonuses for mid level associates. Signing bonuses available even for folks who didn’t clerk. Take the $30,000+ signing bonus; don’t sweat the $23 dinner per diem.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:09 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:QE is an amazing place to work where you can do substantive work early if you prove you’re up to it. It’s not really a place for folks who just want to chill out, though. Winning trials takes work.... lots of work.

QE is cheap in some ways (office furniture is kind of dinged up) and splashy in others (free hike somewhere exotic each year — this year was Mt Fuji/ Tokyo; global Exchange program). Also, the firm gives GIANT SIGNING BONUSES and retention bonuses on top of cravath level bonuses for mid level associates. Signing bonuses available even for folks who didn’t clerk. Take the $30,000+ signing bonus; don’t sweat the $23 dinner per diem.


Firm hike, though subsidized, is not free.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:22 pm
by Anonymous User
biglaw-ama wrote:
nybar2017 wrote:At least in NY, you only get $23 for dinner, when other firms give $35. 'nuff said


$35 is downright cheap these days. $23? With delivery charge, tax, and tip, you're only getting McDonald's.


Also, I believe you have to actually bill 8 hours to get free dinner. At least that's the case in NY.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:40 pm
by Anonymous User
biglaw-ama wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TheoO wrote:
but I don't plan to bill that much


Im not sure that this is how it works.


Can't I just turn down work? I'm not gunning for partner or naything. I started my career at a DC v20 and I billed a fair amount but there was always a point where I could just tell the partner trying to give me something that I was too busy to do it.


Not at Quinn. https://abovethelaw.com/2012/04/how-man ... -are-busy/


Ouch. Okay, point taken. Great share. thanks.

Anonymous User wrote:QE is an amazing place to work where you can do substantive work early if you prove you’re up to it. It’s not really a place for folks who just want to chill out, though. Winning trials takes work.... lots of work.

QE is cheap in some ways (office furniture is kind of dinged up) and splashy in others (free hike somewhere exotic each year — this year was Mt Fuji/ Tokyo; global Exchange program). Also, the firm gives GIANT SIGNING BONUSES and retention bonuses on top of cravath level bonuses for mid level associates. Signing bonuses available even for folks who didn’t clerk. Take the $30,000+ signing bonus; don’t sweat the $23 dinner per diem.


This is a fair point though. Hmmm

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:41 pm
by Anonymous User
used to work in a CA office.

just like the rumors about it are probably worse than it really is, this idea that you'll be getting to do "real trial work" there is likely being overstated by whomever you're talking to.

yes, the firm is focused on trial work and does a fair amount of it. not all partners do that often, or even ever. not all associates get a lot of trial work, and very much of it isn't glamorous. I don't think the firm is especially worse than other firms, but I will note that some good partners have recently left NorCal and the remainder who are up there are generally seen as not great to work for. More rumors.

It won't be like your current job. Plaintiff's firms are also interesting but also have flaws -- significantly less pay, generally, until you make equity partner.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:50 pm
by Wild Card
biglaw-ama wrote:
nybar2017 wrote:At least in NY, you only get $23 for dinner, when other firms give $35. 'nuff said


$35 is downright cheap these days. $23? With delivery charge, tax, and tip, you're only getting McDonald's.


The Bacon McDouble is $2.00. You could buy 10 of them for $23.00.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:44 pm
by biglaw-ama
Wild Card wrote:
biglaw-ama wrote:
nybar2017 wrote:At least in NY, you only get $23 for dinner, when other firms give $35. 'nuff said


$35 is downright cheap these days. $23? With delivery charge, tax, and tip, you're only getting McDonald's.


The Bacon McDouble is $2.00. You could buy 10 of them for $23.00.


Only five of them after delivery charge, tax, and tip!

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:42 pm
by Anonymous User
Cahill only allows $25 for dinner, do other firms really give 35?

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:36 am
by dabigchina
Anonymous User wrote:Cahill only allows $25 for dinner, do other firms really give 35?

I believe Cahill is another firm that is notoriously cheap with perks.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:04 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Cahill only allows $25 for dinner, do other firms really give 35?


At my firm, there's no particular cap. $35 is kind of a guideline, but I've gone as high as $45 on occasion (not regularly) without anyone commenting.

As someone else noted, I think Cahill is also somewhat known for being cheap, although not to the degree of Quinn's constant feeling of being nickeled and dimed.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:26 pm
by Anonymous User
With that much litigation experience, can't you negotiate for a better title than associate? Does Quinn have non-equity partners?

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:49 pm
by Anonymous User
Don’t work at either Cahill or Quinn, but for what it’s worth I would rather have money in my back pocket than lose sleep over allotments for meals. Both firms give above market bonuses.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:50 pm
by tyrant_flycatcher
biglaw-ama wrote:
nybar2017 wrote:At least in NY, you only get $23 for dinner, when other firms give $35. 'nuff said


$35 is downright cheap these days. $23? With delivery charge, tax, and tip, you're only getting McDonald's.


What are you ordering for dinner? I struggle to hit $35 on Seamless.

Re: Why do people say Quinn Emanuel is cheap/bad?

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:38 pm
by nleefer
I worked at Quinn (CA office) for a few years; I left for a government position. It is not terrible. In fact, I think Quinn is a good place to go if you want trial experience as an associate. Over the course of a few years I attended a number of trials and got substantive litigation experience (depositions, writing briefs, etc). But it won't be like you experience as a trial lawyer in the federal government. It's unlikely you'll be getting to first chair trials anytime soon, and frankly stand-up court experience is extremely hard to get as an associate.

That's the good. As for the bad; Quinn is very cheap. The offices and furniture are lousy, and a lot of standard biglaw perks are absent or minimal. But the worst part is that the support staff is paid well below what they would get at peer firms, which carries with it all sorts of consequences. This stems from the culture of the place, which exalts profits at the expense of everything else.