Firm Reputations

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lawschoolboundfuture
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Firm Reputations

Postby lawschoolboundfuture » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:59 am

1L here, I feel like all firms seem very similar. What are the best ways to tell them apart. What are the reputations of different firms

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ph14
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Re: Firm Reputations

Postby ph14 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:07 am

lawschoolboundfuture wrote:1L here, I feel like all firms seem very similar. What are the best ways to tell them apart. What are the reputations of different firms


It's really difficult. You can try reading around TLS, http://www.chambers-associate.com/ and http://www.chambersandpartners.com/guide/usa/5. Keep in mind though that people on TLS often exaggerate minute differences or describe a firm's culture based on second-hand information or perhaps a call back interview. I guess what i'm saying is take everything with a grain of salt.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Firm Reputations

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:03 am

ph14 wrote:
lawschoolboundfuture wrote:1L here, I feel like all firms seem very similar. What are the best ways to tell them apart. What are the reputations of different firms


It's really difficult. You can try reading around TLS, http://www.chambers-associate.com/ and http://www.chambersandpartners.com/guide/usa/5. Keep in mind though that people on TLS often exaggerate minute differences or describe a firm's culture based on second-hand information or perhaps a call back interview. I guess what i'm saying is take everything with a grain of salt.


+1

I found chambers-associate to be especially helpful. Chambers and partners has substantially similar information, but it's laid out in a WAY clunkier fashion. The only downside is that chambers-associate doesn't have all of the major firms listed, but for the ones that it does list, it's really great.

The only other thing I would point out is that different offices of the exact same firm can have wildly different cultures, especially if it's a larger firm. The NY office with 200 attorneys might reflect the "firm culture" but a satellite office in LA with only 40 attorneys might be swayed by a handful of strong personalities. That's why the callback process is super important - you need to see the culture of the office and not just assume that the firm-culture exists in the same form everywhere.

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RedGiant
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Re: Firm Reputations

Postby RedGiant » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:55 pm

I would also add that the Vault Guides can be helpful. Most helpful will be "on-the-ground" interviews--you should be connecting with alums that work at each firm over coffee (if you are in the market you want to end up in) to get their take on what the firm culture is. Note that younger alums will still have drunk the Kool-Aid, and as such, will probably parrot back the marketing schpiel that you are getting on the firm website, whereas people who have been there a few years, at least, will have their own and their former classmates', views of different firms, and will have a slightly better perspective.

Also, if you have a mentor (alum) or 3L friend who has been through recruiting, they can also tell you things like, "This firm sees all of their people as team players/cogs in a wheel/etc."

Hope that helps a little. If you have questions about specific firms/offices, I would also search the AboveTheLaw archives to see if there is any specific dirt...I have been a paralegal in several major markets (US and abroad), and I can say that based on my own experiences, about 50% of a firm's image is based on prestige-whoring or marketing and the other half is probably closer to the real deal. It truly is difficult to discern.

Also cosign that the satellite offices of firms have widely varying cultures, particularly if those offices were cobbled together from legacy firms or poached partners from other shops during all of the late 90s-mid aughts biglaw consolidation.




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