Which DC firm would you choose?

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HIREMEPLZ

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Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby HIREMEPLZ » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:21 pm

Sorting through OCI callbacks. Which of these firms would you go to, assuming you had offers from all of them? What's the dirt? General litigation goals, want to try sexy stuff like appellate/white collar but how can a 2L really know at this point? Appreciate any thoughts.

Gibson
Skadden
Ropes
Kirkland
Jones Day
Simpson
Cooley
Hogan
Quinn

All DC, but if national reputation/financial health seem relevant happy to hear that too! Thanks!

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:17 pm

Stay away from Jones Day; the black box comp system is just a way for them to systematically underpay people.

NY-centric firms (i.e. Simpson) tend to have shitty DC presences -- Skadden is the exception. (But no personal knowledge of STB DC)

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Elston Gunn

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:09 pm

For lit, Gibson is the runaway winner here. Kirkland probably second, your feelings about culture permitting. Consider Skadden or Hogan if you’re interested in trying out regulatory work (you should be), since they’re also solid in lit. Yes, stay away from JD. The others are I’m sure totally solid places to be but are not major DC players in my experience, though I’ve been impressed at least with the lawyering ability of limited people I’ve met from Quinn.

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:10 pm

Gibson is the most prestigious but also right-leaning. Quinn is also very good but they have a culture that some find off putting. As for the rest, Hogan is a DC powerhouse and Ropes is just cool. But it's really your call unless you are a fedsoc type in which case, Gibson by a mile.

cheaptilts

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby cheaptilts » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:17 pm

Gibson or Hogan (I think either is a defensible choice and basically peers) > the field.

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Wild Card

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Wild Card » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:49 pm

You should go through every callback, but schedule the best firms first and as soon as possible.

Ropes, Cooley, and Simpson are nowhere as good as the others.

HarryPutter

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby HarryPutter » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:01 pm

HIREMEPLZ wrote:Sorting through OCI callbacks. Which of these firms would you go to, assuming you had offers from all of them? What's the dirt? General litigation goals, want to try sexy stuff like appellate/white collar but how can a 2L really know at this point? Appreciate any thoughts.

Gibson
Skadden
Ropes
Kirkland
Jones Day
Simpson
Cooley
Hogan
Quinn

All DC, but if national reputation/financial health seem relevant happy to hear that too! Thanks!


Mind sharing which school you’re at? Would help clear up some OCI questions on movement

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:39 pm

I chose between Gibson and Kirkland -- I think those are two of the best lit shops in the city. The other firms you've named might have other specialties/services that Gibson and Kirkland do not focus as much on, but I think those two are the best on your list for pure litigation. Also the best on your list for appellate, since they have fairly strong practices with former SGs.

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jbagelboy

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:52 pm

Gibson or Hogan

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:18 pm

I am at one of these offices and had a similar choice. Realistically, Cooley, Ropes, and STB are nowhere near the rest of that list in DC. Quinn's a bit of a wild card here and I don't know a lot about it but it's not a big DC player.

The common theme here is that Gibson's the best of your bunch; I agree. The next tier IMO would be Kirkland, Hogan, and Jones Day with Skadden a bit behind. Fortunately for you, those three firms and DC offices have noticeably different focuses and cultures, so if you miss on a Gibson offer (or decide you don't like for some reason) you'll likely end up deciding that you prefer one of those three. No one's going to be able to tell you which is best; spend half a day at each and consider doing a second look if you get multiple offers and are still stuck.

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broadstreet11

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby broadstreet11 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:53 am

Also at one of these offices. Take the callbacks and focus on culture. The DC power players (Gibson, Kirkland, Hogan, Skadden, JD) will have similar exit opps (AUSA, DOJ, etc.). QOL is really, really undervalued when going through interviews, so pick somewhere that you'll fit, not burn out, and be successful.

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Dubbus » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:16 pm

Tangential question OP, but how long ago did you interview with Hogan, if you don't mind me asking? This thread made me think I might have gotten dinged lol.

HIREMEPLZ

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby HIREMEPLZ » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:49 am

Dubbus wrote:Tangential question OP, but how long ago did you interview with Hogan, if you don't mind me asking? This thread made me think I might have gotten dinged lol.


Haven’t yet, just got the callback. These are all firms I’m called back at, not that I have offers for yet. Advice here usually rolls in over a few days or weeks (thank you everyone for your interesting thoughts btw!!) so I wanted to post now instead of when I’m on an offer deadline.

Dubbus

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Dubbus » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:10 pm

HIREMEPLZ wrote:
Dubbus wrote:Tangential question OP, but how long ago did you interview with Hogan, if you don't mind me asking? This thread made me think I might have gotten dinged lol.


Haven’t yet, just got the callback. These are all firms I’m called back at, not that I have offers for yet. Advice here usually rolls in over a few days or weeks (thank you everyone for your interesting thoughts btw!!) so I wanted to post now instead of when I’m on an offer deadline.


Sorry for being unclear, I meant when was your screener interview.

HIREMEPLZ

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby HIREMEPLZ » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:55 pm

Dubbus wrote:
HIREMEPLZ wrote:
Dubbus wrote:Tangential question OP, but how long ago did you interview with Hogan, if you don't mind me asking? This thread made me think I might have gotten dinged lol.


Haven’t yet, just got the callback. These are all firms I’m called back at, not that I have offers for yet. Advice here usually rolls in over a few days or weeks (thank you everyone for your interesting thoughts btw!!) so I wanted to post now instead of when I’m on an offer deadline.


Sorry for being unclear, I meant when was your screener interview.


Oh gotcha gotcha. It was last week.

BlackAndOrange84

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:00 pm

I think Hogan is kind of an underrated choice here (not saying it should certainly be your top choice). Obviously not as good as GDC for pure lit or white collar, but has great regulatory practices and seems to be one of the more humane shops to work at (though YMMV depending on group). Friendly culture too. Also an old-school DC firm, and that still means something.

ETA: btw no Covington? Kinda surprised they didn't offer a CB given everything else you got.

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby wwwcol » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:21 am

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:I think Hogan is kind of an underrated choice here (not saying it should certainly be your top choice). Obviously not as good as GDC for pure lit or white collar, but has great regulatory practices and seems to be one of the more humane shops to work at (though YMMV depending on group). Friendly culture too. Also an old-school DC firm, and that still means something.

ETA: btw no Covington? Kinda surprised they didn't offer a CB given everything else you got.


yes to this. On average your QOL will be way higher at hogan then Gibson or Kirkland

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby notinbiglaw » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:30 am

On QoL, I have heard extremely good things about Cooley in DC for their transactional practice, especially the startup group.

I heard a lot of Jones “Days and Nights,” more than usual even by biglaw standards.

For pure litigation, out of list, it’s probably still Quinn then Gibson then the clump around huge DC offices like Hogan.

You should be asking about practice groups you will likely be staffed on and trying to get a feel for your likely bosses. Those factors have much stronger influence on your life than firm prestige and overall firm culture.

HIREMEPLZ

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby HIREMEPLZ » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:04 am

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:ETA: btw no Covington? Kinda surprised they didn't offer a CB given everything else you got.


Right?! Me too. I thought things went well with them on campus and everything. Who knows...

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:54 am

notinbiglaw wrote:On QoL, I have heard extremely good things about Cooley in DC for their transactional practice, especially the startup group.

I heard a lot of Jones “Days and Nights,” more than usual even by biglaw standards.

For pure litigation, out of list, it’s probably still Quinn then Gibson then the clump around huge DC offices like Hogan.

You should be asking about practice groups you will likely be staffed on and trying to get a feel for your likely bosses. Those factors have much stronger influence on your life than firm prestige and overall firm culture.


Fit and “prestige” aside, I agree with the Quinn point - I’ve seen them massacre K&E and GDC in litigation.


But I think most important to the original poster - these firms are all very different fit wise. They are all great (but I think STB, Ropes, and Skadden aren’t big DC players) so perhaps do second looks and see where you can see yourself being the happiest.

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:25 am

A small bit of pushback here is that OP probably needs to think about what he/she/ze wants to do before picking a firm based on QOL.

I'm in lit, and have also heard that these mysterious "regulatory" practices are nice to work for. That said, if OP were to want to litigate, then I would write off all of OP's choices but Gibson, Kirkland, and Quinn pretty quickly. It's easy to learn a lot at those places and then lateral down somewhere with maybe-better QOL if needed.

If OP wants regulatory or some other practice, then that changes the calculus obviously.

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:39 am

Showing some bias here, but Gibson and it’s not close. The QOL at Gibson DC is markedly better than is being implied here. Sure, you’ll have your late nights and weekend projects, but it’s not a regular occurrence and the face-time expectations are pretty relaxed. The work is great, the partners are nice (I’ve never had a negative interaction), and the culture is pleasant.

I can’t say I’ve heard the same about some of those others, especially Kirkland.

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beepboopbeep

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby beepboopbeep » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:32 pm

Some weird anon-ing in this thread, other than the last one. That said, agree with this:

A small bit of pushback here is that OP probably needs to think about what he/she/ze wants to do before picking a firm based on QOL.


I also had "general litigation goals" going into 2L summer. Managed to end up summering at a DC shop (not among those listed) that did a lot more regulatory, and regulatory within a specific sub-area of the law, than I thought. That was probably determinable in advance. You can look at firm websites and associate/partner bios and to some degree figure out what work is actually happening in a particular office. You can also glean a lot of this from going on the CBs. What's the breakdown of your practice, what do you perceive as the breakdown of available work originating in this office, how often do you work on cases with partners from other offices, etc.

And if you are checking off ropes/cooley/stb from the outset, as people have suggested, then just go on all the remaining callbacks. You can squeeze 6 into a week or less fairly easily.

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Showing some bias here, but Gibson and it’s not close. The QOL at Gibson DC is markedly better than is being implied here. Sure, you’ll have your late nights and weekend projects, but it’s not a regular occurrence and the face-time expectations are pretty relaxed. The work is great, the partners are nice (I’ve never had a negative interaction), and the culture is pleasant.

I can’t say I’ve heard the same about some of those others, especially Kirkland.


FWIW my experience at Kirkland DC is not like what you have apparently heard. K&E definitely has lower face-time expectations than you might find elsewhere. It’s not a firm you think of for QoL/hours reasons, but then again the median or average (I forget) K&E associate hours last year was 1950ish, and I’m confident the DC office is below average firmwide.

Also I think all the big lit shops do mostly the same kind of work. Generally speaking the partners are good to work with as well. There are nights and weekends where you’ll work. You will find those at any biglaw firm.

I have a close friend at GDC and I have only heard good things subject to the usual biglaw gripes. It’s probably the most prestigious office on OP’s list in terms of litigating in DC too. But I would also be generally positive about KE in DC which is very similar to GDC in work, perception (generally although GDC will be shinier to those in the know), and associate expectations as far as I know. I think KE NY is a different animal entirely, though.

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Re: Which DC firm would you choose?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:55 pm

Covington



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