Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
ThreeRivers
Posts: 1142
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:54 am

Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue May 08, 2012 10:44 pm

Why do a lot of people seem obsessed with "V10" / really big law firms. Why would working for a V50 be so much better than working for a V150?

They all pay associates relatively the same, and if I understand correctly the higher ranked the vault firm is the lesser chance of making partner. I understand partners in the really big firms may make more, but honestly if you make partner at any firm you'll be bringing in the bank.

I understand prestige when it comes to law school, but do people really just chose higher ranked firms for prestige, or are there better exit-options or something I'm missing?


User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

Postby thesealocust » Tue May 08, 2012 11:02 pm

First, your points are quite accurate. Second, I'm going to throw around the word better but it's all relative. There is something coherent about the V10/V15 or so firms in New York, but the vault rankings overall are trash. So take it with a grain of salt.

There are, however, some real differences beyond prestige points:

(1) "Better" firms tend to do more cutting edge / bigger news making work (deals, litigation, etc.). It won't matter much for you as a young associate day to day, but it's true.

(2) There "better" firms are better respected and, generally speaking, set up better exit options for their associates. The "best" firms often don't hire laterals, or only do so rarely / from other "best" firms. Starting at a better firm might mean you wind up at - possibly even making partner at - a slightly "lesser" firm later in your career.

(3) "Better" firms monopolize some lucrative practice areas. The V15 basically has finance industry work on lock-down. Exit options there are especially remunerative, though obviously not everybody's cup of tea. Williams & Connolly is always going to get the coolest white collar crime cases. For some practice areas, you just won't find a true analogue lower on the vault list.

(4) "Better" firms, as a group, tend to be on much surer financial footing. The recent firms to have collapsed, canceled summer programs, conducted layoffs, etc. have disproportionately been "lesser" firms.

User avatar
Julio_El_Chavo
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Tue May 08, 2012 11:05 pm

So you have a shot to get a cool job outside of a V10 later in your career.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273551
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 08, 2012 11:08 pm

exit options brah. doing v5 at nyc is excellent job security (not for staying at the v5, but in terms of being able to find employment elsewhere). i was talking to a v20 associate and she was saying that while her exit options were pretty good "they're not like her buddy at skadden, who can get pretty much any job he wants." i've heard this type of sentiment before from other associates. so while yes, while everyone might theoritically start off in the same boat earning 160k and doing grunt work, 5 or 10 years down the line im sure there is a difference (on average of course) between former skadden associates and say former strook associates.

User avatar
dailygrind
Posts: 19668
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:08 am

Re: Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

Postby dailygrind » Wed May 09, 2012 9:48 am

Moved, and a short ban issued, per

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=170603

jim-green
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

Postby jim-green » Wed May 09, 2012 10:33 am

I am going to do patent law. If I'd like to make partner, will my chances of doing so be better at a big-law firm or should I start with an IP boutique right out of school? I don't mind if the initial salary for 7-8 years is lower than big-law if my chances of making partner at the boutique are higher. Once I make partner, i can make up the lost salary.

User avatar
echamberlin8
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:28 pm

Re: Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

Postby echamberlin8 » Wed May 09, 2012 5:37 pm

rayiner wrote:http://abovethelaw.com/2010/04/summer-offer-rates-vault-top-25-are-hot/


I see that the top firms have a much higher acceptance rate for their SAs, and maybe I'm missing something here, but did the article explain why that is?

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Why is "V10" / other really big law firms so coveted?

Postby rayiner » Wed May 09, 2012 6:01 pm

echamberlin8 wrote:
rayiner wrote:http://abovethelaw.com/2010/04/summer-offer-rates-vault-top-25-are-hot/


I see that the top firms have a much higher acceptance rate for their SAs, and maybe I'm missing something here, but did the article explain why that is?


During the recession, there was a rush to quality since only the most import deals or most pressing litigation got done. The firms that handle that sort of work are disproportionately represented in the top 25 of the Vault ranking. The top big firms in the major legal markets are in the Vault 25. E.g. Kirkland and Sidley in Chicago; Covington, Wilmer, and A&P in DC; MoFo in SF, etc. These top firms saw less of a drop-off in their work (and thus less of a drop in their need for new associates) and were also more willing to take a bit of a financial hit to preserve their reputation. This led to high offer rates.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Maaza, splitterfromhell and 5 guests