Best Firm/Company to Work For

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BeerMaker
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Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby BeerMaker » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:57 pm

What firms offer the best benefits. Not looking for the highest salaried firms out there. Where are people the happiest working for places that take super good care of their workers.

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MachineLemon
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby MachineLemon » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:11 pm

This thread is relevant to my interests. Also, can people who've worked for these firms give some sense of the work-life balance? You hear stories of the 80-90 hr weeks right before a case goes to trial, but what is the median week like at your firm?

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Ludo!
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Ludo! » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:22 pm

Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:39 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.


touche. however, i still think it's a relevant question. we can all dream a little.

Edit: Sorry about posting anonymous. Not sure if that's a new feature or not? Same dude as above.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

c3pO4
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby c3pO4 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.


touche. however, i still think it's a relevant question. we can all dream a little.


No, not a relevant question. Don't post here if you are an 0L. What you fail to realize is almost no law students will actually get to choose between enough firms to find that "best work-life balance firm" (also, on another note --- it doesn't exist) because you DON'T GET TO CHOOSE WHO HIRES YOU UNLESS YOU ARE A TOP STUDENT AT A TOP SCHOOL. Even then, an overwhelming majority of students won't end up at their first choice firm. So, come back when you have OFFERS and ask about those firms.

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BeerMaker
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby BeerMaker » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:57 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.


touche. however, i still think it's a relevant question. we can all dream a little.


No, not a relevant question. Don't post here if you are an 0L. What you fail to realize is almost no law students will actually get to choose between enough firms to find that "best work-life balance firm" (also, on another note --- it doesn't exist) because you DON'T GET TO CHOOSE WHO HIRES YOU UNLESS YOU ARE A TOP STUDENT AT A TOP SCHOOL. Even then, an overwhelming majority of students won't end up at their first choice firm. So, come back when you have OFFERS and ask about those firms.


Fair enough. Sorry about that.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:02 pm

We do have some choice on bids. I think it might be nice to know who to avoid and who to seek out.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:24 pm

Sigh...alright, I'll play along.

Firms that consistently have a negative reputation in terms of hospitality to younger associates (i.e. "screaming partners"):

Cadwalader
Dechert

Firms that have a "sweatshop" mentality:

Cravath
Quinn
Wachtell

Note that these are only a few examples; there are many, many others.

And regardless, if you got an offer from any one of those 5 firms, you'd be monumentally foolish not to take it (barring a better offer from another firm). So, again, this thread is generally pointless.

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Cavalier
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Cavalier » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:38 pm

If you want to work fewer hours for less pay, look at smaller firms in secondary market. Some Vault firms are more intense than others, but you're going to be working long, often unpredictable hours regardless of which Vault firm you end up at.

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Grizz
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Grizz » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:09 pm

ITE, the one that gives you an offer.

HTH.

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Campagnolo
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Campagnolo » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:10 pm

This thread is not relevant to my interests.

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Georgiana
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Georgiana » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:15 pm

In the interest of giving a response that might be helpful:

After working biglaw for a couple months (and having a fiance + friends in biglaw in DC and NYC) I have the following notes about what to look for that will indicate a better or worse environment:
1) Work at a firm that assigns practice groups from day 1, none of this unassigned crap. If you're unassigned its just that much more time you're not becoming an expert with relevant skills. If you're going between groups for the first 18 to 24 months, you're not building great relationships, you're a commodity. I'm sure people will feel differently, but for people who worry about "exit options" think about where you'll be after two years as an "unassigned" associate compared to someone who has worked with a specific group for the same amount of time.
2) Work at a firm where you work as closely with partners as possible. This will give you the best experience though also the most stress. Plus it allows you to form relationships with people in charge of giving out work and people who can help you along either within the firm or with going in house.
3) Work at a firm that at least claims to give junior associates real experience (and makes the claim without prompting). Yes everyone will do diligence or doc review, but firms that claim to give you real responsibility at least are thinking about it, the ones that don't make the claim clearly aren't worried about doing it in practice.
4) Realize that no matter what, you won't be adequately prepared for the transition to biglaw, especially if you went straight through to law school from undergrad. Your schedule is not yours to control anymore and it isn't predictable.

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mattviphky
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby mattviphky » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:54 pm

BeerMaker wrote:What firms offer the best benefits. Not looking for the highest salaried firms out there. Where are people the happiest working for places that take super good care of their workers.


Federal Government

zephyr36
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby zephyr36 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:23 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.


But this forum is called the ask a law student/graduate after all. No need to rip into the OP for asking about firm life when it is something that every 0L should consider.

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Ludo!
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Ludo! » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:25 pm

zephyr36 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.


But this forum is called the ask a law student/graduate after all. No need to rip into the OP for asking about firm life when it is something that every 0L should consider.


It got moved

zephyr36
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby zephyr36 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:26 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:
zephyr36 wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.


But this forum is called the ask a law student/graduate after all. No need to rip into the OP for asking about firm life when it is something that every 0L should consider.


It got moved


Got it. Nevermind then.

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IAFG
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby IAFG » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:32 pm

Georgiana wrote:In the interest of giving a response that might be helpful:

After working biglaw for a couple months (and having a fiance + friends in biglaw in DC and NYC) I have the following notes about what to look for that will indicate a better or worse environment:
1) Work at a firm that assigns practice groups from day 1, none of this unassigned crap. If you're unassigned its just that much more time you're not becoming an expert with relevant skills. If you're going between groups for the first 18 to 24 months, you're not building great relationships, you're a commodity. I'm sure people will feel differently, but for people who worry about "exit options" think about where you'll be after two years as an "unassigned" associate compared to someone who has worked with a specific group for the same amount of time.
2) Work at a firm where you work as closely with partners as possible. This will give you the best experience though also the most stress. Plus it allows you to form relationships with people in charge of giving out work and people who can help you along either within the firm or with going in house.
3) Work at a firm that at least claims to give junior associates real experience (and makes the claim without prompting). Yes everyone will do diligence or doc review, but firms that claim to give you real responsibility at least are thinking about it, the ones that don't make the claim clearly aren't worried about doing it in practice.
4) Realize that no matter what, you won't be adequately prepared for the transition to biglaw, especially if you went straight through to law school from undergrad. Your schedule is not yours to control anymore and it isn't predictable.

Thanks for taking the time to explain this from your perspective.

Based on doing OCI/knowing a couple biglawyers, it seems to me that it varies quite a bit by market.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:52 pm

1) Stay out of NY.
2) Don't believe all of the law firm happiness rankings that places like vault put out.
3) When you do a call-back at a firm pay close attention to small things that can say a lot about the firm culture. For example, I interviewed at a satellite office of a firm - only about 40 or so people - and not everyone knew each other, and people did not say hi to each other in the hallway.
4) Echoing what Georgiana seems to be saying - you get out what you put in. Work is miserable a lot of time because people let it be or just go with the flow - make friends, meet partners, don't be a law student (who originally coined this again?).

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IAFG
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby IAFG » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:57 pm

Blindmelon wrote:don't be a law student (who originally coined this again?).

HollyGoLightly

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MachineLemon
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby MachineLemon » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:11 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.


The move was correct, but the question is relevant. Many 0Ls are thinking "if I don't want a super competitive environment, I'll just find a less intense place that still pays market." Perhaps they have no choice, perhaps there are no such places, perhaps you can't avoid the occasional intense week... these are all relevant to carefully choosing a career in law while you are not locked in due to debt.

The point of my specific question was to get a sense of the difference in an ordinary work week between different big law firms. I hear horror stories about 100 hr weeks etc..., but I imagine that isn't your median work week. If, for most of the weeks in the year, firms are pretty similar, it might be worth it to tolerate a few weeks of hell for the preftige/exit options.

Perhaps this question is purely academic ITE, but at least like to know the situation I'd be forced into.

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IAFG
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby IAFG » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:18 pm

You know, I look at those bimodal salary distributions, and I see a field of extremes. If you're looking for a nice, moderate middle ground, I wouldn't go into law assuming such a thing exists.

c3pO4
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby c3pO4 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:36 pm

TylerM wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:Not to be a dick but this is why 0ls aren't supposed to post in the students and graduates forums. The best firm to work for is the one that will actually hire you. If you're at the top of your class at a good school and have your choice of places to work then you can come back and ask this question.


The move was correct, but the question is relevant. Many 0Ls are thinking "if I don't want a super competitive environment, I'll just find a less intense place that still pays market." Perhaps they have no choice, perhaps there are no such places, perhaps you can't avoid the occasional intense week... these are all relevant to carefully choosing a career in law while you are not locked in due to debt.

The point of my specific question was to get a sense of the difference in an ordinary work week between different big law firms. I hear horror stories about 100 hr weeks etc..., but I imagine that isn't your median work week. If, for most of the weeks in the year, firms are pretty similar, it might be worth it to tolerate a few weeks of hell for the preftige/exit options.

Perhaps this question is purely academic ITE, but at least like to know the situation I'd be forced into.



Dude if you want to know the hours you have to work look at hours requirements at firms. Or read the many threads about this issue on TLS. I'll give you a hint, since you insist against using the internet properly. 2500 hours (conservative) / 12 / 4 = 53 hours a week billed. You probably have to work 70-90 hours to actually bill 53. 100 is not unusual, since work ebbs and flows. HTMFH.

Honestly, unless you try a teeeny bit harder to get your information, you will come off like a jackass in interviews and probably strike out, so there's no reason to worry about this at all.

sebastian0622
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby sebastian0622 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:03 pm

Of course it's a relevant question, and don't buy into the nonsense that you won't get a choice unless you're a top student at a top school. First, you have choice in where to pursue jobs. Your networking time (especially in person) is limited. The reach of your mailing campaign will be limited; you won't send letters to every firm in the nation. Etc. The point is that, for people where quality of life is a factor, you're taking the right approach of identifying this BEFORE you hit 1L fall. Second, you might have multiple offers. I'm a median student at a barely t-30 school, and I have two options. My situation isn't typical, but people can't speak in absolutes about how your options will be limited unless you're a certain rank at a certain school.

Now, most law students don't care about the work-life balance piece. They DO care about the money and prestige pieces, so they tend to go to the highest-ranked firm that offers them, making minimal if any adjustments for how well they think they "fit." But here's the point: fit doesn't matter if you're talking about a big law firm. Attorneys at big law firms are unhealthy, overworked, unappreciated, and unhappy. And by unhappy, I mean downright miserable relative to other professions.

If you want work-life balance, you need to work for a smaller firm. Not a midlaw firm that wants to be biglaw and wants you to work constantly, but a small, established lifestyle firm. This will probably be in a smaller city and will probably pay significantly less. Those are the sacrifices you make to work in a decent place. Don't buy into ANY of the crap about how BIG FIRM Y is a wayyy better place to work than BIG FIRM Z. All that noise is like saying that being kicked in the ribs is better than being punched in the face. It sucks either way, and if you do it for a lot of years, you're going to suffer a lot of ill effects.

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BeerMaker
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby BeerMaker » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:43 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:Of course it's a relevant question, and don't buy into the nonsense that you won't get a choice unless you're a top student at a top school. First, you have choice in where to pursue jobs. Your networking time (especially in person) is limited. The reach of your mailing campaign will be limited; you won't send letters to every firm in the nation. Etc. The point is that, for people where quality of life is a factor, you're taking the right approach of identifying this BEFORE you hit 1L fall. Second, you might have multiple offers. I'm a median student at a barely t-30 school, and I have two options. My situation isn't typical, but people can't speak in absolutes about how your options will be limited unless you're a certain rank at a certain school.

Now, most law students don't care about the work-life balance piece. They DO care about the money and prestige pieces, so they tend to go to the highest-ranked firm that offers them, making minimal if any adjustments for how well they think they "fit." But here's the point: fit doesn't matter if you're talking about a big law firm. Attorneys at big law firms are unhealthy, overworked, unappreciated, and unhappy. And by unhappy, I mean downright miserable relative to other professions.

If you want work-life balance, you need to work for a smaller firm. Not a midlaw firm that wants to be biglaw and wants you to work constantly, but a small, established lifestyle firm. This will probably be in a smaller city and will probably pay significantly less. Those are the sacrifices you make to work in a decent place. Don't buy into ANY of the crap about how BIG FIRM Y is a wayyy better place to work than BIG FIRM Z. All that noise is like saying that being kicked in the ribs is better than being punched in the face. It sucks either way, and if you do it for a lot of years, you're going to suffer a lot of ill effects.



Any idea which NLJ 250 have the lowest billable hour requirements?

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Best Firm/Company to Work For

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:36 pm

c3pO4 wrote:2500 hours (conservative) / 12 / 4 = 53 hours a week billed. You probably have to work 70-90 hours to actually bill 53. 100 is not unusual, since work ebbs and flows. HTMFH.

I don't think 2500 billables is a "conservative" estimate for most people outside NYC/top firms.




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