What does it take to get in Wachtell?

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crazi4law
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What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby crazi4law » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:35 pm

I know that they recruit almost exclusively from T6, and you have to be in the top 5-10%, but I still have some questions as to what they look for:

1. Do most successful candidates have prior prestigious finance experience (i.e. bulge bracket i-banking, MBB consulting, PE/HF/VC)?
2. Did most successful candidates go to a top 15 UG?
3. How much does networking help in getting a summer associate position?
4. I currently go to a top 25 UG, and plan on working for a year at an average finance job before law school (i.e. commercial banking, corporate banking). What are my chances at Wachtell if I end up in the top 10% at HLS or CLS after 1L?

Thanks!

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Homelandsagreatshow
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby Homelandsagreatshow » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:37 pm

In before the laughing commences

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holmesboy
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby holmesboy » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:45 pm

I think you might be getting a little ahead of yourself.

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Davidbentley
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby Davidbentley » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:52 pm

At Least he's in the right forum. Go to t-6, be top 10% and roll your dice.

alabamabound
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby alabamabound » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:21 pm

Oddly enough (or maybe not), NYC ties are very helpful.

kaiser
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby kaiser » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:27 pm

I invoke the horse and cart adage for this one

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Ramius
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby Ramius » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:35 pm

I'm a 0L, but I want to be President of the Universe...will going to a top UG help?

LaBarrister
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby LaBarrister » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:36 pm

Why don't you just wach down there and see if they'll tell you?
Last edited by LaBarrister on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Davidbentley
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby Davidbentley » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:40 pm

matthewsean85 wrote:I'm a 0L, but I want to be President of the Universe...will going to a top UG help?

You can always transfer brah. Occidental FTW.

ETA:
LaBarrister wrote:Why don't you walk down to the firm and ask the partners, and then tell us what they say?

You edited your post to add that shitpun? :shock:

InterArma
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby InterArma » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:01 pm

I'm a 2L at HLS, went through the EIP process last fall, but wasn't applying to Wachtell or any NY firms. Thus, what I can tell you is entirely second-hand knowledge from friends who are going to Wachtell this summer or after graduation, and from professors who worked with/at the firm. Discount this information as you deem appropriate.

Basically, there is some truth to the "Wachtell only takes the super high-achievers" trope. It probably has one of, if not the, highest grade cutoffs. It's not necessary to be at the top of your class, though. I'd say if you're in the top quartile, you'll have a fair shot. In large part, the reason for this is that there is not a huge population of students who want to work at Wachtell. First, you basically have to want to practice M&A law. It's true that they have other practices, but the bulk of the work they do, and their forte, is M&A (both litigation and transactional). If you get some finance experience under your belt after college, and you find you really enjoy it, you'll probably be happier (work-wise, anyway) at a firm like Davis Polk, which has a reputation as the go-to firm for Wall St. banks. Second, you have to be willing to sacrifice any semblance of a life outside the office for nearly a decade. You'll get paid substantially more than you will at other law firms, but these people don't give money away for free. Even the summer associate experience, which is usually an endless parade of expensive lunches and firm outings, is very spartan at Wachtell. You are there to work. Consequently, you won't find a tidal wave of applicants for positions at the firm. In terms of grades, achievements, etc., it is much more difficult to get a position at the State Dept., or in the appellate practice of a real hotshot D.C. firm, because there are tons of people vying for very few spots.

Having said all this, you should think hard about tailoring your pre-law career to build a resume such that Wachtell will want you. In 3-4 years time, if you're like most people, you're not going to want Wachtell. Most people value the extra 30 hours per week that they get to spend at home as worth more than then extra $150k in bonus that you'll get at Wachtell as opposed to most other firms. This is not to say that there aren't good reasons for wanting to work at Wachtell, but you should ask yourself if you have a lot in common with the people who (a) want to go to a firm like that and (b) ultimately thrive there.

Hope that helps.

pastapplicant
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby pastapplicant » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:22 pm

crazi4law wrote:I know that they recruit almost exclusively from T6, and you have to be in the top 5-10%, but I still have some questions as to what they look for:

1. Do most successful candidates have prior prestigious finance experience (i.e. bulge bracket i-banking, MBB consulting, PE/HF/VC)?
2. Did most successful candidates go to a top 15 UG?
3. How much does networking help in getting a summer associate position?
4. I currently go to a top 25 UG, and plan on working for a year at an average finance job before law school (i.e. commercial banking, corporate banking). What are my chances at Wachtell if I end up in the top 10% at HLS or CLS after 1L?

Thanks!


you aren't going to be working there much less getting an interview so drop the dream. don't feel bad, 99.99% of us are in the same position.

LaBarrister
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby LaBarrister » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:32 pm

Davidbentley wrote:
matthewsean85 wrote:I'm a 0L, but I want to be President of the Universe...will going to a top UG help?

You can always transfer brah. Occidental FTW.

ETA:
LaBarrister wrote:Why don't you walk down to the firm and ask the partners, and then tell us what they say?

You edited your post to add that shitpun? :shock:


It worked, did it not?

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patrickd139
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:54 pm

LaBarrister wrote:Why don't you just wach down there and see if they'll tell you?

I chuckled.

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Lovely Ludwig Van
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:55 pm

InterArma wrote:I'm a 2L at HLS, went through the EIP process last fall, but wasn't applying to Wachtell or any NY firms. Thus, what I can tell you is entirely second-hand knowledge from friends who are going to Wachtell this summer or after graduation, and from professors who worked with/at the firm. Discount this information as you deem appropriate.

Basically, there is some truth to the "Wachtell only takes the super high-achievers" trope. It probably has one of, if not the, highest grade cutoffs. It's not necessary to be at the top of your class, though. I'd say if you're in the top quartile, you'll have a fair shot. In large part, the reason for this is that there is not a huge population of students who want to work at Wachtell. First, you basically have to want to practice M&A law. It's true that they have other practices, but the bulk of the work they do, and their forte, is M&A (both litigation and transactional). If you get some finance experience under your belt after college, and you find you really enjoy it, you'll probably be happier (work-wise, anyway) at a firm like Davis Polk, which has a reputation as the go-to firm for Wall St. banks. Second, you have to be willing to sacrifice any semblance of a life outside the office for nearly a decade. You'll get paid substantially more than you will at other law firms, but these people don't give money away for free. Even the summer associate experience, which is usually an endless parade of expensive lunches and firm outings, is very spartan at Wachtell. You are there to work. Consequently, you won't find a tidal wave of applicants for positions at the firm. In terms of grades, achievements, etc., it is much more difficult to get a position at the State Dept., or in the appellate practice of a real hotshot D.C. firm, because there are tons of people vying for very few spots.

Having said all this, you should think hard about tailoring your pre-law career to build a resume such that Wachtell will want you. In 3-4 years time, if you're like most people, you're not going to want Wachtell. Most people value the extra 30 hours per week that they get to spend at home as worth more than then extra $150k in bonus that you'll get at Wachtell as opposed to most other firms. This is not to say that there aren't good reasons for wanting to work at Wachtell, but you should ask yourself if you have a lot in common with the people who (a) want to go to a firm like that and (b) ultimately thrive there.

Hope that helps.


On a serious note, thanks for that insight.

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jbiresq
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby jbiresq » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:23 am

My uncle is good friends with a partner (who's also an alumni of my school.) I couldn't even get a rejection letter :D

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crazi4law
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby crazi4law » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:02 am

InterArma wrote:I'm a 2L at HLS, went through the EIP process last fall, but wasn't applying to Wachtell or any NY firms. Thus, what I can tell you is entirely second-hand knowledge from friends who are going to Wachtell this summer or after graduation, and from professors who worked with/at the firm. Discount this information as you deem appropriate.

Basically, there is some truth to the "Wachtell only takes the super high-achievers" trope. It probably has one of, if not the, highest grade cutoffs. It's not necessary to be at the top of your class, though. I'd say if you're in the top quartile, you'll have a fair shot. In large part, the reason for this is that there is not a huge population of students who want to work at Wachtell. First, you basically have to want to practice M&A law. It's true that they have other practices, but the bulk of the work they do, and their forte, is M&A (both litigation and transactional). If you get some finance experience under your belt after college, and you find you really enjoy it, you'll probably be happier (work-wise, anyway) at a firm like Davis Polk, which has a reputation as the go-to firm for Wall St. banks. Second, you have to be willing to sacrifice any semblance of a life outside the office for nearly a decade. You'll get paid substantially more than you will at other law firms, but these people don't give money away for free. Even the summer associate experience, which is usually an endless parade of expensive lunches and firm outings, is very spartan at Wachtell. You are there to work. Consequently, you won't find a tidal wave of applicants for positions at the firm. In terms of grades, achievements, etc., it is much more difficult to get a position at the State Dept., or in the appellate practice of a real hotshot D.C. firm, because there are tons of people vying for very few spots.

Having said all this, you should think hard about tailoring your pre-law career to build a resume such that Wachtell will want you. In 3-4 years time, if you're like most people, you're not going to want Wachtell. Most people value the extra 30 hours per week that they get to spend at home as worth more than then extra $150k in bonus that you'll get at Wachtell as opposed to most other firms. This is not to say that there aren't good reasons for wanting to work at Wachtell, but you should ask yourself if you have a lot in common with the people who (a) want to go to a firm like that and (b) ultimately thrive there.

Hope that helps.


Thank you for your insight InterArma. What you wrote goes contrary to all the other posters though, who say that it is next to impossible to get in.

I guess I just wanted to ask what my chances are if I end up in the top 10% of CLS (my current goal) after a year of mid-tier finance experience and apply to Wachtell? And what I can do to increase my chances?

071816
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby 071816 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:18 am

Calm your balls.

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Ave
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby Ave » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:15 am

patrickd139 wrote:
LaBarrister wrote:Why don't you just wach down there and see if they'll tell you?

I chuckled.

and at the OP too.

AllTheLawz
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby AllTheLawz » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:35 am

crazi4law wrote:
InterArma wrote:I'm a 2L at HLS, went through the EIP process last fall, but wasn't applying to Wachtell or any NY firms. Thus, what I can tell you is entirely second-hand knowledge from friends who are going to Wachtell this summer or after graduation, and from professors who worked with/at the firm. Discount this information as you deem appropriate.

Basically, there is some truth to the "Wachtell only takes the super high-achievers" trope. It probably has one of, if not the, highest grade cutoffs. It's not necessary to be at the top of your class, though. I'd say if you're in the top quartile, you'll have a fair shot. In large part, the reason for this is that there is not a huge population of students who want to work at Wachtell. First, you basically have to want to practice M&A law. It's true that they have other practices, but the bulk of the work they do, and their forte, is M&A (both litigation and transactional). If you get some finance experience under your belt after college, and you find you really enjoy it, you'll probably be happier (work-wise, anyway) at a firm like Davis Polk, which has a reputation as the go-to firm for Wall St. banks. Second, you have to be willing to sacrifice any semblance of a life outside the office for nearly a decade. You'll get paid substantially more than you will at other law firms, but these people don't give money away for free. Even the summer associate experience, which is usually an endless parade of expensive lunches and firm outings, is very spartan at Wachtell. You are there to work. Consequently, you won't find a tidal wave of applicants for positions at the firm. In terms of grades, achievements, etc., it is much more difficult to get a position at the State Dept., or in the appellate practice of a real hotshot D.C. firm, because there are tons of people vying for very few spots.

Having said all this, you should think hard about tailoring your pre-law career to build a resume such that Wachtell will want you. In 3-4 years time, if you're like most people, you're not going to want Wachtell. Most people value the extra 30 hours per week that they get to spend at home as worth more than then extra $150k in bonus that you'll get at Wachtell as opposed to most other firms. This is not to say that there aren't good reasons for wanting to work at Wachtell, but you should ask yourself if you have a lot in common with the people who (a) want to go to a firm like that and (b) ultimately thrive there.

Hope that helps.


Thank you for your insight InterArma. What you wrote goes contrary to all the other posters though, who say that it is next to impossible to get in.

I guess I just wanted to ask what my chances are if I end up in the top 10% of CLS (my current goal) after a year of mid-tier finance experience and apply to Wachtell? And what I can do to increase my chances?


InterArma is spot on. Top quarter plus solid "other factors" put you in range. It isn't a guarantee for anyone at any grade level, contrary to TLS wisdom that just isn't how law firms work. What I am surprised you aren't paying attention to is the fact that it isn't really a dream firm for the people who end up getting offers. Their yield on SA offers is pretty pedestrian and it is not uncommon that people turn down after they summer with them. If you are coming into law school gunning for a specific firm you really need to re-evaluate yourself.

mr.hands
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby mr.hands » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:54 am

OP, do you really know what Wachtell does? Is there something about the firm that you like? Or do can you admit that you're just say this because its V1?

swoozie
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby swoozie » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:24 pm

InterArma wrote:Second, you have to be willing to sacrifice any semblance of a life outside the office for nearly a decade. You'll get paid substantially more than you will at other law firms, but these people don't give money away for free. Even the summer associate experience, which is usually an endless parade of expensive lunches and firm outings, is very spartan at Wachtell. You are there to work. Consequently, you won't find a tidal wave of applicants for positions at the firm. In terms of grades, achievements, etc., it is much more difficult to get a position at the State Dept., or in the appellate practice of a real hotshot D.C. firm, because there are tons of people vying for very few spots.

Having said all this, you should think hard about tailoring your pre-law career to build a resume such that Wachtell will want you. In 3-4 years time, if you're like most people, you're not going to want Wachtell. Most people value the extra 30 hours per week that they get to spend at home as worth more than then extra $150k in bonus that you'll get at Wachtell as opposed to most other firms. This is not to say that there aren't good reasons for wanting to work at Wachtell, but you should ask yourself if you have a lot in common with the people who (a) want to go to a firm like that and (b) ultimately thrive there.

Hope that helps.

Yeah...I got cornered into a convo with an associate from Wachtell at one of our schools events, at some point in the conversation someone mentioned the phrase "work hard, play hard." The associate responded, "Well, it's really only work hard."

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crazi4law
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby crazi4law » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:31 am

mr.hands wrote:OP, do you really know what Wachtell does? Is there something about the firm that you like? Or do can you admit that you're just say this because its V1?


Yes I know that they are a M&A powerhouse and that they pretty much only do M&A. That is a field that I am very interested in. Obviously the pay and prestige also attracts me.

Does anyone else have any experience (1st or 2nd hand) with recruitment at WLRK?

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:40 am

crazi4law wrote:
mr.hands wrote:OP, do you really know what Wachtell does? Is there something about the firm that you like? Or do can you admit that you're just say this because its V1?


Yes I know that they are a M&A powerhouse and that they pretty much only do M&A. That is a field that I am very interested in. Obviously the pay and prestige also attracts me.

Does anyone else have any experience (1st or 2nd hand) with recruitment at WLRK?


You're not getting in anywhere. "obviously the pay and prestige also attracts me." Dude, you're a -1L. Slow your roll.

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guano
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby guano » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:54 am

ManOfTheMinute wrote:
crazi4law wrote:
mr.hands wrote:OP, do you really know what Wachtell does? Is there something about the firm that you like? Or do can you admit that you're just say this because its V1?


Yes I know that they are a M&A powerhouse and that they pretty much only do M&A. That is a field that I am very interested in. Obviously the pay and prestige also attracts me.

Does anyone else have any experience (1st or 2nd hand) with recruitment at WLRK?


You're not getting in anywhere. "obviously the pay and prestige also attracts me." Dude, you're a -1L with a 3.69 and no LSAT. Slow your roll.

toothbrush
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Re: What does it take to get in Wachtell?

Postby toothbrush » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:57 am

InterArma wrote:I'm a 2L at HLS, went through the EIP process last fall, but wasn't applying to Wachtell or any NY firms. Thus, what I can tell you is entirely second-hand knowledge from friends who are going to Wachtell this summer or after graduation, and from professors who worked with/at the firm. Discount this information as you deem appropriate.

Basically, there is some truth to the "Wachtell only takes the super high-achievers" trope. It probably has one of, if not the, highest grade cutoffs. It's not necessary to be at the top of your class, though. I'd say if you're in the top quartile, you'll have a fair shot. In large part, the reason for this is that there is not a huge population of students who want to work at Wachtell. First, you basically have to want to practice M&A law. It's true that they have other practices, but the bulk of the work they do, and their forte, is M&A (both litigation and transactional). If you get some finance experience under your belt after college, and you find you really enjoy it, you'll probably be happier (work-wise, anyway) at a firm like Davis Polk, which has a reputation as the go-to firm for Wall St. banks. Second, you have to be willing to sacrifice any semblance of a life outside the office for nearly a decade. You'll get paid substantially more than you will at other law firms, but these people don't give money away for free. Even the summer associate experience, which is usually an endless parade of expensive lunches and firm outings, is very spartan at Wachtell. You are there to work. Consequently, you won't find a tidal wave of applicants for positions at the firm. In terms of grades, achievements, etc., it is much more difficult to get a position at the State Dept., or in the appellate practice of a real hotshot D.C. firm, because there are tons of people vying for very few spots.

Having said all this, you should think hard about tailoring your pre-law career to build a resume such that Wachtell will want you. In 3-4 years time, if you're like most people, you're not going to want Wachtell. Most people value the extra 30 hours per week that they get to spend at home as worth more than then extra $150k in bonus that you'll get at Wachtell as opposed to most other firms. This is not to say that there aren't good reasons for wanting to work at Wachtell, but you should ask yourself if you have a lot in common with the people who (a) want to go to a firm like that and (b) ultimately thrive there.

Hope that helps.

All trolling aside, THIS is what TLS is for.

I love when people get great insights into seemingly troll or stupid questions.

Thanks




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