Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF) Forum

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Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:06 pm

Title says it all, but I want to do corporate work in Silicon Valley long term. MoFo is great but it's not Fenwick/Wilson Sonsini/Cooley (which I didn't get), which have most of the clients I'd like to work for - I'd like to work for a private Silicon Valley company for some time, and hopefully stay in that area.

Would it be better to start in New York, and put in a few years at a great NY firm before trying to lateral to one of the above three SV firms? Or would I be better served by starting in San Francisco and either looking to make the switch, or stay at MoFo and do what private company work I can anyway?

If you need other information let me know.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:45 pm

This is relevant to my interests

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:48 am

OP again.

I worry that I won't have the same latitude to switch from MoFo to one of these firms that I will from a NY powerhouse... sort of like having trouble "switching up." At the same time, Silicon Valley's a bit unique in that the clients are far different than those in New York, and time spent in and networking within that area for those three years might be a very good thing.

Any help's appreciated.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by WhiskeynCoke » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:06 pm

OP,

In my opinion, this is an easy call. Given your goals, I think you should go with MoFo by a mile, and here's why:

NorCal does not give one shit about vault rankings. Vault rankings are for NY corporate associates, it has far less bearing on Bay area firms' perception of you than the chambers' bands and general familiarity. (Also, note that MoFo is #1 on Vault for NorCal anyway....).

MoFo is, unequivocally, the top dog in NorCal. Everyone knows them. They are definitely more lit-centric, but still have a huge corporate practice by virtue of the size of their SF office. You will also have FAR MORE client overlap and will work on the other side of the table with the SV firms by being at MoFo. You'll make far more useful connections, considering your goals. It's true that MoFo does far less of the startup stuff, but a lot of the big names (Google types, etc.) use MoFo for lots of other shit like IP lit. Cravath/Cleary have 0 presence out here and DP's SV office is only a minor player, and does completely different shit than the WSGR types.

When I interviewed in SV, I could not believe the sheer number of partners/associates I met who were MoFo laterals. I didn't see a single Cravath/DP/Cleary lateral. Living in SF will also be far superior to NY if you care about your quality of life/sanity. Those NY firms (esp. Cravath) will destroy you. They're only worth it if you want NYC long-term, since you've got a better option for the Bay.

You want to work in the Bay Area = Go to the best-known firm in the bay area (MoFo).

Disclaimer: 2L who will be at a firm in the bay area that is not one of those you listed.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:42 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:OP,

In my opinion, this is an easy call. Given your goals, I think you should go with MoFo by a mile, and here's why:

NorCal does not give one shit about vault rankings. Vault rankings are for NY corporate associates, it has far less bearing on Bay area firms' perception of you than the chambers' bands and general familiarity. (Also, note that MoFo is #1 on Vault for NorCal anyway....).

MoFo is, unequivocally, the top dog in NorCal. Everyone knows them. They are definitely more lit-centric, but still have a huge corporate practice by virtue of the size of their SF office. You will also have FAR MORE client overlap and will work on the other side of the table with the SV firms by being at MoFo. You'll make far more useful connections, considering your goals. It's true that MoFo does far less of the startup stuff, but a lot of the big names (Google types, etc.) use MoFo for lots of other shit like IP lit. Cravath/Cleary have 0 presence out here and DP's SV office is only a minor player, and does completely different shit than the WSGR types.

When I interviewed in SV, I could not believe the sheer number of partners/associates I met who were MoFo laterals. I didn't see a single Cravath/DP/Cleary lateral. Living in SF will also be far superior to NY if you care about your quality of life/sanity. Those NY firms (esp. Cravath) will destroy you. They're only worth it if you want NYC long-term, since you've got a better option for the Bay.

You want to work in the Bay Area = Go to the best-known firm in the bay area (MoFo).

Disclaimer: 2L who will be at a firm in the bay area that is not one of those you listed.
OP. I have some of the hesitations you've described, but is it really that plain? MoFo's corporate group is lean, which I love, but it's geared almost entirely toward public company work (and some private M&A for private equity clients). That's wonderful for what it does, but will that really afford me the emerging company work I want? I'm not looking to move to a large public company - and if I did, MoFo doing Google's patent lit doesn't mean that there are a wide variety of in-house corporate options at Google for MoFo associates.

Litigation is the last thing I want to do, particularly patent lit, and MoFo's definitely solid on the corporate end but Fenwick/Cooley/Wilson just stream into emerging company work that much better. I'd like to transfer to one of those firms. Will I be able to transfer to Fenwick/Cooley/Wilson from MoFo? I think I might be able to from Cravath.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:54 pm

If you want to end up in CA take Mofo. If you want to end up in NY take the other firms. Its that simple. You can always lateral from Mofo.

Logistics become very hard at some point. You have to think about when you would take the CA bar and move across country.

Mofo is a great name to have and I am sure you could lateral to any of these firms. It is easier to do it all from CA than from NY.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by WhiskeynCoke » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:OP,

In my opinion, this is an easy call. Given your goals, I think you should go with MoFo by a mile, and here's why:

NorCal does not give one shit about vault rankings. Vault rankings are for NY corporate associates, it has far less bearing on Bay area firms' perception of you than the chambers' bands and general familiarity. (Also, note that MoFo is #1 on Vault for NorCal anyway....).

MoFo is, unequivocally, the top dog in NorCal. Everyone knows them. They are definitely more lit-centric, but still have a huge corporate practice by virtue of the size of their SF office. You will also have FAR MORE client overlap and will work on the other side of the table with the SV firms by being at MoFo. You'll make far more useful connections, considering your goals. It's true that MoFo does far less of the startup stuff, but a lot of the big names (Google types, etc.) use MoFo for lots of other shit like IP lit. Cravath/Cleary have 0 presence out here and DP's SV office is only a minor player, and does completely different shit than the WSGR types.

When I interviewed in SV, I could not believe the sheer number of partners/associates I met who were MoFo laterals. I didn't see a single Cravath/DP/Cleary lateral. Living in SF will also be far superior to NY if you care about your quality of life/sanity. Those NY firms (esp. Cravath) will destroy you. They're only worth it if you want NYC long-term, since you've got a better option for the Bay.

You want to work in the Bay Area = Go to the best-known firm in the bay area (MoFo).

Disclaimer: 2L who will be at a firm in the bay area that is not one of those you listed.
OP. I have some of the hesitations you've described, but is it really that plain? MoFo's corporate group is lean, which I love, but it's geared almost entirely toward public company work (and some private M&A for private equity clients). That's wonderful for what it does, but will that really afford me the emerging company work I want? I'm not looking to move to a large public company - and if I did, MoFo doing Google's patent lit doesn't mean that there are a wide variety of in-house corporate options at Google for MoFo associates.

Litigation is the last thing I want to do, particularly patent lit, and MoFo's definitely solid on the corporate end but Fenwick/Cooley/Wilson just stream into emerging company work that much better. I'd like to transfer to one of those firms. Will I be able to transfer to Fenwick/Cooley/Wilson from MoFo? I think I might be able to from Cravath.
Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:39 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.
I haven't Vault whored and you're coming off a little belligerent. It's still helpful though, so thanks.

I know Cravath doesn't have the best work-life balance but that's secondary to getting the career I want. The reason I like Cravath isn't because it's ranked highly on Vault, I've never said "V-anything" in this thread. It's because the rotation system guarantees me substantial work experience very early in my career, so by the time the third year comes I'm actually marketable. I'd be running lower-level securities deals by 1-1.5 years and could see much more M&A action than I would at a Californian firm by the third year. It's not private company work, that's definitely true. But if it boosts the demand for me at one of these SV firms enough, then that's more than I could ask for from MoFo.

Where do you search for firm alums, though? The three WSGR associates I've found that worked at MoFo all work in the SF office now, not Palo Alto, and that's hardly an earth-shattering number. Cravath has three attorneys too, including one partner, and in the office I want (PA). I can't find any previously from either firm at Fenwick.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Rahviveh » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.
I haven't Vault whored and you're coming off a little belligerent. It's still helpful though, so thanks.

I know Cravath doesn't have the best work-life balance but that's secondary to getting the career I want. The reason I like Cravath isn't because it's ranked highly on Vault, I've never said "V-anything" in this thread. It's because the rotation system guarantees me substantial work experience very early in my career, so by the time the third year comes I'm actually marketable. I'd be running lower-level securities deals by 1-1.5 years and could see much more M&A action than I would at a Californian firm by the third year. It's not private company work, that's definitely true. But if it boosts the demand for me at one of these SV firms enough, then that's more than I could ask for from MoFo.
Did the Cravath recruiting partner tell you that or is that actually the case?

It's also not clear to me that your QOL will be much better at MoFo or at a SV place like WSGR versus Cravath. Apparently the corporate groups at these SF/SV firms are miserable

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:06 pm

Rahviveh wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.
I haven't Vault whored and you're coming off a little belligerent. It's still helpful though, so thanks.

I know Cravath doesn't have the best work-life balance but that's secondary to getting the career I want. The reason I like Cravath isn't because it's ranked highly on Vault, I've never said "V-anything" in this thread. It's because the rotation system guarantees me substantial work experience very early in my career, so by the time the third year comes I'm actually marketable. I'd be running lower-level securities deals by 1-1.5 years and could see much more M&A action than I would at a Californian firm by the third year. It's not private company work, that's definitely true. But if it boosts the demand for me at one of these SV firms enough, then that's more than I could ask for from MoFo.
Did the Cravath recruiting partner tell you that or is that actually the case?

It's also not clear to me that your QOL will be much better at MoFo or at a SV place like WSGR versus Cravath. Apparently the corporate groups at these SF/SV firms are miserable
Yea the cravath kool-aid here is a little disturbing. yes the lean staffing model does allow for some substantive work exposure, but to say you are running the deal at 1-1.5 years is to severely mistake the nature of the hierarchy and the rotation system. Most of these "smaller" deals will have a partner supervising, a mid-level, and a junior. The mid-level will 'run' the deal, per se, as client point person, but you won't serve in that role under most partners after one year - you'll be the junior on the deal doing diligence and some drafting. You typically wouldn't get that type of experience until a "4th" year (could be 3rd, depends on your rotation).

experience will vary but this is more the norm than 1 yr

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by WhiskeynCoke » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.
I haven't Vault whored and you're coming off a little belligerent. It's still helpful though, so thanks.

I know Cravath doesn't have the best work-life balance but that's secondary to getting the career I want. The reason I like Cravath isn't because it's ranked highly on Vault, I've never said "V-anything" in this thread. It's because the rotation system guarantees me substantial work experience very early in my career, so by the time the third year comes I'm actually marketable. I'd be running lower-level securities deals by 1-1.5 years and could see much more M&A action than I would at a Californian firm by the third year. It's not private company work, that's definitely true. But if it boosts the demand for me at one of these SV firms enough, then that's more than I could ask for from MoFo.

Where do you search for firm alums, though? The three WSGR associates I've found that worked at MoFo all work in the SF office now, not Palo Alto, and that's hardly an earth-shattering number. Cravath has three attorneys too, including one partner, and in the office I want (PA). I can't find any previously from either firm at Fenwick.
Sorry for the belligerence, I was annoyed because it seemed like you ignored my answer to your question and simply asked the same question again. Also, when someone who says they want to work in the Bay Area is considering taking Cravath (NY) over MoFo (SF), it's hard not to jump to the conclusion that they are just chasing the prestige dragon.

You appear to be thinking this through a little better, but I would still be careful about the assumptions you seem to be making. I have heard mixed reviews about Cravath's rotation system, and more bad than good. The general gripe seems to be that you are often switched before having a chance to really develop your skills (6 mo's), and may get stuck in a group with some tyrannical partners for awhile. I wouldn't take it for granted that this system will automatically get you more "substantive experience earlier." I also wouldn't automatically assume that CA firms won't get you good M&A experience - the Bay Area is nuts right now.

Also, I don't have a good method for sorting through associate bio's, other than going through them one-by-one. Considering WSGR has hundreds, it might take awhile. I still don't understand your skepticism about MoFo though, it's quite strange. It's fairly intuitive that going to the most prominent firm in a given Market will give you many lateral options in that Market.

Good luck with the decision.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:21 pm

I work at one of Gunderson/WSGR/Fenwick/Cooley:

I don't think MoFo is necessarily better than Cravath or Davis Polk when it comes to lateraling to one of the Silicon Valley practices. Firms in SV definitely know the prestige difference between the firms and also desire the training/work ethic that Cravath/Davis Polk lawyers bring to the table.

I see a lot of lateral resumes every day. The market is hot for people to come over. But a lot of people apply here so we have the luxury of being picky. I can definitely say that we've preferred V10 associates from NY.

It's also just a mentality thing. V10 associates are used to being abused, so they view us as a paradise. Not so for people indigenous to the region.

that said, we of course take a lot of people from other big law firms. Just saying that in terms of the offers we've given, definite bias toward the V10 in NYC.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:31 pm

Rahviveh wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.
I haven't Vault whored and you're coming off a little belligerent. It's still helpful though, so thanks.

I know Cravath doesn't have the best work-life balance but that's secondary to getting the career I want. The reason I like Cravath isn't because it's ranked highly on Vault, I've never said "V-anything" in this thread. It's because the rotation system guarantees me substantial work experience very early in my career, so by the time the third year comes I'm actually marketable. I'd be running lower-level securities deals by 1-1.5 years and could see much more M&A action than I would at a Californian firm by the third year. It's not private company work, that's definitely true. But if it boosts the demand for me at one of these SV firms enough, then that's more than I could ask for from MoFo.
Did the Cravath recruiting partner tell you that or is that actually the case?

It's also not clear to me that your QOL will be much better at MoFo or at a SV place like WSGR versus Cravath. Apparently the corporate groups at these SF/SV firms are miserable
I talked to an associate who had a 2.5-year rotation. The rotation system has become harder to administer in recent years because the firm is so big, so you may not be getting as many skills as you'd like in a short period of time.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:36 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.
I haven't Vault whored and you're coming off a little belligerent. It's still helpful though, so thanks.

I know Cravath doesn't have the best work-life balance but that's secondary to getting the career I want. The reason I like Cravath isn't because it's ranked highly on Vault, I've never said "V-anything" in this thread. It's because the rotation system guarantees me substantial work experience very early in my career, so by the time the third year comes I'm actually marketable. I'd be running lower-level securities deals by 1-1.5 years and could see much more M&A action than I would at a Californian firm by the third year. It's not private company work, that's definitely true. But if it boosts the demand for me at one of these SV firms enough, then that's more than I could ask for from MoFo.

Where do you search for firm alums, though? The three WSGR associates I've found that worked at MoFo all work in the SF office now, not Palo Alto, and that's hardly an earth-shattering number. Cravath has three attorneys too, including one partner, and in the office I want (PA). I can't find any previously from either firm at Fenwick.
Sorry for the belligerence, I was annoyed because it seemed like you ignored my answer to your question and simply asked the same question again. Also, when someone who says they want to work in the Bay Area is considering taking Cravath (NY) over MoFo (SF), it's hard not to jump to the conclusion that they are just chasing the prestige dragon.

You appear to be thinking this through a little better, but I would still be careful about the assumptions you seem to be making. I have heard mixed reviews about Cravath's rotation system, and more bad than good. The general gripe seems to be that you are often switched before having a chance to really develop your skills (6 mo's), and may get stuck in a group with some tyrannical partners for awhile. I wouldn't take it for granted that this system will automatically get you more "substantive experience earlier." I also wouldn't automatically assume that CA firms won't get you good M&A experience - the Bay Area is nuts right now.

Also, I don't have a good method for sorting through associate bio's, other than going through them one-by-one. Considering WSGR has hundreds, it might take awhile. I still don't understand your skepticism about MoFo though, it's quite strange. It's fairly intuitive that going to the most prominent firm in a given Market will give you many lateral options in that Market.

Good luck with the decision.
This reflects an extremely poor view of Cravath corporate, as have some of the other opinions in this thread. Rotations are never as short as 6 months. They range from 12 months at the shortest and typically lean towards 18 months. Also, if you actually speak to associates in their banking and securities groups, they are absolutely expected to be running the deals from year one (there are usually only 2 associates staffed on any given matter). M&A is a little more top heavy which is why many choose that for a 2nd or 3rd rotation, and at that point they are allowed to run the deal.
Also, you don't get stuck with one tyrannical partner because mostly all corporate groups have 3-5 partners you are staffed with that rotate the usage of associates.

Finally, again there are reasons to choose MoFo but to say MoFo (or any bay area) M&A is on the same level as Cravath is absurd, sorry. Their only peers are WLRK and Skadden IMO for that particular practice area. I do agree that the overall lifestyle is probably better however.

There are valid reasons to choose MoFo for OP but don't bash Cravath for no reason.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Logistics become very hard at some point. You have to think about when you would take the CA bar and move across country.
I think this is an underrated point. OP my guess is that in a few years you'll be looking to lateral to CA and trying to take that bar exam and deal with the logistics of a mid-career cross country move will not be fun. Certainly not a dealbreaker but definitely something to consider given that you know where you want to end up.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:33 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Logistics become very hard at some point. You have to think about when you would take the CA bar and move across country.
I think this is an underrated point. OP my guess is that in a few years you'll be looking to lateral to CA and trying to take that bar exam and deal with the logistics of a mid-career cross country move will not be fun. Certainly not a dealbreaker but definitely something to consider given that you know where you want to end up.
Many of the CA firms are giving offers to NY associates contingent on CA bar passage. It's great--you start, go on bar leave, and then come back and work. And bar study is better than working.

It's highly contingent on how hot the market is, though. Since the hiring market is hot right now, firms are willing to make the above accommodation. In a more limited market, they would prefer CA bar passage already.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:45 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.
I haven't Vault whored and you're coming off a little belligerent. It's still helpful though, so thanks.

I know Cravath doesn't have the best work-life balance but that's secondary to getting the career I want. The reason I like Cravath isn't because it's ranked highly on Vault, I've never said "V-anything" in this thread. It's because the rotation system guarantees me substantial work experience very early in my career, so by the time the third year comes I'm actually marketable. I'd be running lower-level securities deals by 1-1.5 years and could see much more M&A action than I would at a Californian firm by the third year. It's not private company work, that's definitely true. But if it boosts the demand for me at one of these SV firms enough, then that's more than I could ask for from MoFo.

Where do you search for firm alums, though? The three WSGR associates I've found that worked at MoFo all work in the SF office now, not Palo Alto, and that's hardly an earth-shattering number. Cravath has three attorneys too, including one partner, and in the office I want (PA). I can't find any previously from either firm at Fenwick.
Sorry for the belligerence, I was annoyed because it seemed like you ignored my answer to your question and simply asked the same question again. Also, when someone who says they want to work in the Bay Area is considering taking Cravath (NY) over MoFo (SF), it's hard not to jump to the conclusion that they are just chasing the prestige dragon.

You appear to be thinking this through a little better, but I would still be careful about the assumptions you seem to be making. I have heard mixed reviews about Cravath's rotation system, and more bad than good. The general gripe seems to be that you are often switched before having a chance to really develop your skills (6 mo's), and may get stuck in a group with some tyrannical partners for awhile. I wouldn't take it for granted that this system will automatically get you more "substantive experience earlier." I also wouldn't automatically assume that CA firms won't get you good M&A experience - the Bay Area is nuts right now.

Also, I don't have a good method for sorting through associate bio's, other than going through them one-by-one. Considering WSGR has hundreds, it might take awhile. I still don't understand your skepticism about MoFo though, it's quite strange. It's fairly intuitive that going to the most prominent firm in a given Market will give you many lateral options in that Market.

Good luck with the decision.
Good experience? Sure. But MoFo isn't even in the same universe when it comes to M&A as Cravath, DPW, and Cleary.

Also lol @ this "lifestyle" meme being perpetuated by the 2L in this thread. Check the Labor Day hours thread on this forum and you'll see that the 2nd poster (on the west coast) is already over 1800 billables here on the first day of September. You are not going to have a "good lifestyle" in NY or SF. Let's just be clear.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:54 pm

You are not going to have a "good lifestyle" in NY or SF. Let's just be clear.
What? I've worked both at an NYC V10 and am now at one of the major CA firms. My hours are definitely, significantly and life-changingly better. In fact, I haven't billed more than two hours this labor day weekend. By no means are CA firms "lifestyle firms" and of course there will be exceptions to the rule (i.e., many pockets of WSGR), but overall it's definitely better.

Your belligerence makes it seem like you're overcompensating for ignorance.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Donkeykongmadness » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:54 pm

You clearly have never taken a stats class. Sample of 1 person must mean it's true!

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:57 pm

Donkeykongmadness wrote:You clearly have never taken a stats class. Sample of 1 person must mean it's true!
I actually have never taken a stats class. But I can say this as well: All of the NY transplants at my firm, and there are many, have better hours.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Logistics become very hard at some point. You have to think about when you would take the CA bar and move across country.
I think this is an underrated point. OP my guess is that in a few years you'll be looking to lateral to CA and trying to take that bar exam and deal with the logistics of a mid-career cross country move will not be fun. Certainly not a dealbreaker but definitely something to consider given that you know where you want to end up.
Many of the CA firms are giving offers to NY associates contingent on CA bar passage. It's great--you start, go on bar leave, and then come back and work. And bar study is better than working.

It's highly contingent on how hot the market is, though. Since the hiring market is hot right now, firms are willing to make the above accommodation. In a more limited market, they would prefer CA bar passage already.

I stick to my point about logistics. OP has great offers in all markets. But do not bank on being able to make the jump back easily 2 to 3 years from now. I am trying to set myself up to do it from the DC market after taking the CA bar exam and I still feel like it will be hard.

If you haven't looked at statistics yet on the CA attorneys exam pass rate I would take a look. The pass rate is very low. While you could take time off from work to take the bar exam and you may enjoy it. Bar prep sucks and I would hate to do it again.

If you take Mofo you will be working in SF. You will be living near the SV and this will allow you to go to networking events and meet people at these firms. As a poster said above, you will also have deal exposure to other attorneys at WSGR, Cooley, and Fenwick. This would make it easier to jump ship down the line.

I think arguing over the M&A experience that you will get between Mofo and Cravath is a bit of a waste of time. Cravath, DPW and Cleary are all elite firms and Mofo is very white shoe. If you want to end up in CA put yourself in that market ASAP.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by WhiskeynCoke » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:Read my post again, you appear to have entirely missed my point.

Yes, MoFo's corporate group is more public company-focused, but so what? Of course WSGR, etc. are better for startup work, but you said you don't have offers at these firms. Do you think you're going to do more startup work at Cravath? Lol. Also, MoFo is band 3 in VC work so you definitely will have opportunities to interact with startups - far more than at one of the NY firms.

And yes, you can probably eventually lateral from Cravath to one of the SV shops (if you have solid ties). However, I am contending that doing so will be easier from MoFo. MoFo is the top dog in the bay area legal market, and their clients are far more similar to the clients the SV shops represent (tech-type companies, etc.). You will meet WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick associates & partners simply by virtue of being on the other side of the table of them on deals. (Your companies acquiring their startups, etc.)

If you don't believe me go look at the firm bios of the associates/partners at the firms you want and count the MoFo laterals. There are a lot, I promise. Cravath? Not so much, but I suppose that could be self-selection. But again, SF is far better than NYC for quality of life, and Cravath is an infamously terrible place to work.

On the other hand, if you're just looking for an excuse to prestige-whore, just go to Cravath. Just know that the bay area does not give a fuck about Vault, and MoFo will get you much further out here.
I haven't Vault whored and you're coming off a little belligerent. It's still helpful though, so thanks.

I know Cravath doesn't have the best work-life balance but that's secondary to getting the career I want. The reason I like Cravath isn't because it's ranked highly on Vault, I've never said "V-anything" in this thread. It's because the rotation system guarantees me substantial work experience very early in my career, so by the time the third year comes I'm actually marketable. I'd be running lower-level securities deals by 1-1.5 years and could see much more M&A action than I would at a Californian firm by the third year. It's not private company work, that's definitely true. But if it boosts the demand for me at one of these SV firms enough, then that's more than I could ask for from MoFo.

Where do you search for firm alums, though? The three WSGR associates I've found that worked at MoFo all work in the SF office now, not Palo Alto, and that's hardly an earth-shattering number. Cravath has three attorneys too, including one partner, and in the office I want (PA). I can't find any previously from either firm at Fenwick.
Sorry for the belligerence, I was annoyed because it seemed like you ignored my answer to your question and simply asked the same question again. Also, when someone who says they want to work in the Bay Area is considering taking Cravath (NY) over MoFo (SF), it's hard not to jump to the conclusion that they are just chasing the prestige dragon.

You appear to be thinking this through a little better, but I would still be careful about the assumptions you seem to be making. I have heard mixed reviews about Cravath's rotation system, and more bad than good. The general gripe seems to be that you are often switched before having a chance to really develop your skills (6 mo's), and may get stuck in a group with some tyrannical partners for awhile. I wouldn't take it for granted that this system will automatically get you more "substantive experience earlier." I also wouldn't automatically assume that CA firms won't get you good M&A experience - the Bay Area is nuts right now.

Also, I don't have a good method for sorting through associate bio's, other than going through them one-by-one. Considering WSGR has hundreds, it might take awhile. I still don't understand your skepticism about MoFo though, it's quite strange. It's fairly intuitive that going to the most prominent firm in a given Market will give you many lateral options in that Market.

Good luck with the decision.
Good experience? Sure. But MoFo isn't even in the same universe when it comes to M&A as Cravath, DPW, and Cleary.

Also lol @ this "lifestyle" meme being perpetuated by the 2L in this thread. Check the Labor Day hours thread on this forum and you'll see that the 2nd poster (on the west coast) is already over 1800 billables here on the first day of September. You are not going to have a "good lifestyle" in NY or SF. Let's just be clear.
1. Of course MoFo is not in the same Universe as Cravath. NY corporate work is very different than CA corporate work. If you want the highest level M&A around, Cravath is the clear winner. However, OP never articulated that as a goal. Rather, OP wanted to do SV corporate work.

2. I never said SF corporate work would be a "good lifestyle," it's still going to be rough. I said it would be a better lifestyle than NY corporate work, especially if were talking about Cravath. This is a very non-controversial point to make, and is widely accepted as generally true (see above poster re: "NY associates view us as paradise"). The fact that you know one CA corporate guy who's on track to bill 2500+ doesn't change the fact that, on average, you will work far more brutal hours at Cravath than at MoFo SF.

3. It was interesting to hear SV associate anon's view of the v10 firm bonus. I suppose I stand corrected. However, picking Cravath instead of MoFo SF solely because you think it will better position you for lateraling to SV in a few years is probably not worth it.

4. Question for WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson anon:
Just saying that in terms of the offers we've given, definite bias toward the V10 in NYC.
- Does this "definite bias" also apply to V10 bay area offices that are fairly big players in the region? Or is does it primarily have to do with the NYC offices in particular?

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Rahviveh » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
You are not going to have a "good lifestyle" in NY or SF. Let's just be clear.
What? I've worked both at an NYC V10 and am now at one of the major CA firms. My hours are definitely, significantly and life-changingly better. In fact, I haven't billed more than two hours this labor day weekend. By no means are CA firms "lifestyle firms" and of course there will be exceptions to the rule (i.e., many pockets of WSGR), but overall it's definitely better.

Your belligerence makes it seem like you're overcompensating for ignorance.
How many hours are you on track for?

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
You are not going to have a "good lifestyle" in NY or SF. Let's just be clear.
What? I've worked both at an NYC V10 and am now at one of the major CA firms. My hours are definitely, significantly and life-changingly better. In fact, I haven't billed more than two hours this labor day weekend. By no means are CA firms "lifestyle firms" and of course there will be exceptions to the rule (i.e., many pockets of WSGR), but overall it's definitely better.

Your belligerence makes it seem like you're overcompensating for ignorance.
Yeah, my ignorance is also tied to first-hand knowledge of two associate friends at . . . MoFo -- you know, the firm in question here. Both of them billed over 2000 hours last year, despite this idea on TLS that CA associates are billing 1800 compared to 2500 in NYC. Turns out the difference is much closer.

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Re: Cravath/Davis Polk/Cleary (NY) v. Morrison Foerster (SF)

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Donkeykongmadness wrote:You clearly have never taken a stats class. Sample of 1 person must mean it's true!
I actually have never taken a stats class. But I can say this as well: All of the NY transplants at my firm, and there are many, have better hours.
Also, you seem to have unintentionally answered the OP's question about mobility -- it's easy to move from NYC to SF/SV. Vault may not be as important in the Bay as it is in New York, but firms like MoFo know that Cravath/DPW/Cleary are the cream of the crop in New York.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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