Any real difference within V20?

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Anon2008
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Any real difference within V20?

Postby Anon2008 » Sun May 05, 2013 5:25 pm

At the V20 level, is it all about fit/culture, or is there a tangible difference between compensation and prestige from V20 to V10, or V5? I'm gunning for BigLaw and want to know if situations like Davis Polk v. Debevoise are the BigLaw equivalent to Chicago v. UCLA.

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sinfiery
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby sinfiery » Sun May 05, 2013 6:02 pm

Also was curious about the impact of these rankings and exit options to highly competitive in house gigs. Let's say Google for example.

I'd imagine connections/fit is the most important but are there any tangible differences in where the associates lateral out to depending on firm?

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun May 05, 2013 6:15 pm

Anon2008 wrote:At the V20 level, is it all about fit/culture, or is there a tangible difference between compensation and prestige from V20 to V10, or V5? I'm gunning for BigLaw and want to know if situations like Davis Polk v. Debevoise are the BigLaw equivalent to Chicago v. UCLA.

I'm just a 1L, but, there's definitely little to no difference in compensation,* and the difference between DPW and Debevoise is definitely waaay smaller than the difference between Chicago and UCLA. I can't say whether the differences are substantial or not.

One thing a lot of people will say is that it depends on practice area. So for instance, if you wanted to do bankruptcy you'd be better off at Kirkland than Cravath (I think--this is just off the top of my head).

*Or at least it doesn't correlate directly with V rank. WLRK is obviously way above market, but the firms that pay above market (again off the top of my head) are K&E, Boies, Williams & Connolly, Cahill.

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IAFG
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby IAFG » Sun May 05, 2013 6:18 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:
Anon2008 wrote:At the V20 level, is it all about fit/culture, or is there a tangible difference between compensation and prestige from V20 to V10, or V5? I'm gunning for BigLaw and want to know if situations like Davis Polk v. Debevoise are the BigLaw equivalent to Chicago v. UCLA.

I'm just a 1L, but, there's definitely little to no difference in compensation,* and the difference between DPW and Debevoise is definitely waaay smaller than the difference between Chicago and UCLA. I can't say whether the differences are substantial or not.

One thing a lot of people will say is that it depends on practice area. So for instance, if you wanted to do bankruptcy you'd be better off at Kirkland than Cravath (I think--this is just off the top of my head).

*Or at least it doesn't correlate directly with V rank. WLRK is obviously way above market, but the firms that pay above market (again off the top of my head) are K&E, Boies, Williams & Connolly, Cahill.

I can't believe how many people don't know this. Twice this week associates at big firms have said something to me about how DPW attys must be set with their fat bonuses. What?

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thesealocust
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby thesealocust » Sun May 05, 2013 6:21 pm

There can be huge differences, but the differences ripple between practice areas and offices as much as they do between names and ampersands.

Once you control for practice group (or small subset of practice groups) and cities, the differences in matters you work on, expectations, and potential career trajectory exist - but it's very hard to pin down.

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Anon2008
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby Anon2008 » Sun May 05, 2013 6:28 pm

So does it basically come down to having a general idea of where you'd like to lateral and targeting the firms that are best in that? Do Vault practice area rankings generally align with corporate views of attorneys in those areas at those firms?

Sorry to be such a 0L troll, but I want to know how far in advance I need to set myself up on this front.

bdubs
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby bdubs » Sun May 05, 2013 6:51 pm

Anon2008 wrote:So does it basically come down to having a general idea of where you'd like to lateral and targeting the firms that are best in that? Do Vault practice area rankings generally align with corporate views of attorneys in those areas at those firms?

Sorry to be such a 0L troll, but I want to know how far in advance I need to set myself up on this front.


Pretty sure that your lateral options are largely determined by who your clients actually are. Much more likely to get an inhouse job at company X if company X uses your firm for most of their work and you interact with their inhouse guys frequently.

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Lincoln
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby Lincoln » Sun May 05, 2013 6:51 pm

Chambers will give you a better idea of practice area expertise for individual firms and offices than Vault. To go in-house at a specific corporation, it's probably better to work at a law firm with a long-standing relationship to that corporation (IBM-Cravath comes to mind). I think it's a big mistake, however, to specifically target firms based on this. Better to find out what practice area you're interested in and choose a firm that does a lot of high-profile work in that area.

bdubs
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby bdubs » Sun May 05, 2013 6:56 pm

Anon2008 wrote:At the V20 level, is it all about fit/culture, or is there a tangible difference between compensation and prestige from V20 to V10, or V5? I'm gunning for BigLaw and want to know if situations like Davis Polk v. Debevoise are the BigLaw equivalent to Chicago v. UCLA.


I also get the impression that firm reputations matter much more for lateral opportunities than they do for inhouse gigs.

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thesealocust
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Re: Any real difference within V20?

Postby thesealocust » Sun May 05, 2013 7:11 pm

Lateraling is weird. You can abandon ship at any point and hope a headhunter + the line items on your resume will work. You can wind up working for a client. You can jump to the federal government where at least some hiring has to be very rigidly meritocractic. You can also discuss your career goals with the people you work with and go anywhere that will pick up the phone when a partner who likes you calls.

The vault rankings are stupid because they're a step removed from what matters. It's just a survey of what associate think is prestigious. Associates aren't THAT dumb, so yes, Cravath has a more prestigious reputation than firms in the V50. But no effort is made at any point to assign meaning to vault rankings, much less differences in vault rankings.

Basically, vault rankings contain information, but they themselves are poor information. As mentioned earlier, chambers & partners gives you a much clearer picture.

The legal industry is pretty prestige obsessed though. For example, you could shit on Cravath all day and all night, often justifiably, but it's undeniable that it is prestigious and that people in the legal community will treat it (and its former employees) with that knowledge in mind.




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