What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like? Forum

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:28 am

Hello,
So after accepting a position as a Summer Associate at Weil Gotshal last fall, I decided to sign up for Corporate Bankruptcy for this spring semester since I know that Weil is one of the best bankruptcy firms in the country. Surprisingly, I have really enjoyed the class so far and am seriously considering it as a potential career path.

However, I do not know much about what actual bankruptcy practice is like, especially in the big law setting. It seems to me to be somewhat of a hybrid practice between litigation and transaction. Can you guys with knowledge of practice illuminate me? Especially as a young first year associate what life and practice is like, and similarly what life and practice would be like later on moving up the ladder.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:39 am

Every corporate group at Weil is good - great on the spectrum of reputation. Do yourself a favor and don't do BFR there, you are either getting shit on 24-7 or have no work, not a sustainable way job.

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:57 am

OP - I have a friend of a friend who is at Weil. Just as a heads up, the bankruptcy group typically takes only 1 summer associate a year (business is not booming as much for that group). So that's great that your interested, but don't get your hopes up because there is a chance it won't happen. Which might be a good thing, exit ops for debtor side BK lawyers are a tricky thing

Tls2016

Silver
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:58 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Tls2016 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP - I have a friend of a friend who is at Weil. Just as a heads up, the bankruptcy group typically takes only 1 summer associate a year (business is not booming as much for that group). So that's great that your interested, but don't get your hopes up because there is a chance it won't happen. Which might be a good thing, exit ops for debtor side BK lawyers are a tricky thing
You mean they only hire 1 person in NYC for bankruptcy?
I would check with people at the firm. That doesn't sound right to me.

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:08 am

I would not want to be a junior bankruptcy associate at Weil. I've never worked there but by reputation in the (big law bankruptcy) industry, that's a very tough gig.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:38 am

sorry to hijack the threat. but does bk practice vary greatly between law firm? also, what is the bk like at kirkland? is it also slow and slow to hire?

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:42 am

not OP. How's working on prepackaged bankruptcies different from the "normal" bankruptcy practice?

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:57 pm

I'm a junior at a big law firm practicing in bankruptcy. For us, work is slow right now. Perhaps it will pick up this year, but that's uncertain.

I think bankruptcy is one of the tougher practice groups. Constant fire drills and your schedule is extremely unpredictable. However, I have received a lot of substantive experience. In the first few months of when I started I was arguing motions in court. Most of my peers at other firms seem to be getting substantive experience early on. This practice group is all hands on deck.

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:40 pm

OP here, thank you for all of the replies so far, as it is much appreciated! Too bad about the constant firesales. I hadn't really thought about it but I guess it makes sense since you're dealing with clients going to hell.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


User avatar
20160810

Diamond
Posts: 18121
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by 20160810 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:53 pm

This might pick up as more energy firms fold but for now bk at almost every firm is extremely slow

whysoseriousbiglaw

Bronze
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:36 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by whysoseriousbiglaw » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:15 pm

Avoid at all costs.

I know multiple bankruptcy attorneys in biglaw who have now lateralled (and taken multiple year cuts) to do transactional work/another practice area.

Bankruptcy is constant fire drills; constantly being shit on; late nights; weekend work; etc. The exit ops in general are also shit, maybe even worse than general litigation. However, you may be able to work for a hedge fund (depending on debtor or lenders side bankruptcy work), but a lot of hedge funds are awful places to work for anyway.
Last edited by whysoseriousbiglaw on Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:18 pm

I moved out of BK and into litigation because of the crappy experience I was getting (nothing substantive really and the quality we were churning out was absolute shit relative to pure lit) and also because the exits were neither good generally nor interesting to me personally. Add the fact that it's a boom/bust practice where you're either drowning in work or terrified by how slow you are and I couldn't get out fast enough. But: I was interested in the lit aspects (worked for a BK judge) so maybe it would have been different if I had a transactional interest.

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:02 pm

OP here. Does anyone have anything positive to say about bankruptcy practice? It seemed like such a cool and different practice, so I'm surprised that the responses have been universally negative :(

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:27 pm

My father was a corporate bankruptcy associate then partner in biglaw, and as a 0L I've talked to him a lot about his experiences with it. It sounds like a very mixed bag:

-Like you said, it's a bit of a hybrid between litigation and transaction.
-When the economy's good, the work really slows down. On the contrary, he was constantly swamped during the recession.
-He said the cases and clients he dealt with were much more varied than other practice areas, which kept the work from growing repetitive. However, and he mentioned this as one of the biggest negatives, most of the clients he represented were the parties filing for bankruptcy, and he often felt like he was just another aspect of a really shitty, draining experience (seeing their business tank).

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:52 pm

I'll be joining a biglaw firm whose big practice area is restructuring and bankruptcy focusing on representing the bondholders. Anyone have experience with this? The firm is on the smaller size, about 250 attorneys total, and apparently first years get plenty of substantive experience. I was hoping exit options would be good, considering you get both litigation and transactional experience, but I suppose this is not the case from what I'm reading?

whysoseriousbiglaw

Bronze
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:36 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by whysoseriousbiglaw » Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
-Like you said, it's a bit of a hybrid between litigation and transaction.
It's also only really a hybrid once you become more senior. From the junior to midlevel years, it's mainly litigation, except your deadlines are super compressed compared to general litigation and everything is a fire drill with constant late nights/weekends.

It is not a pleasant group to be in if you want any semblance of quality of life.

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:04 pm

whysoseriousbiglaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
-Like you said, it's a bit of a hybrid between litigation and transaction.
It's also only really a hybrid once you become more senior. From the junior to midlevel years, it's mainly litigation, except your deadlines are super compressed compared to general litigation and everything is a fire drill with constant late nights/weekends.

It is not a pleasant group to be in if you want any semblance of quality of life.
This is bad advice. It is almost entirely corporate at some firms, almost entirely litigation at others, and a true hybrid at others still. It all depends on what end of the pool your firm plays in.

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'll be joining a biglaw firm whose big practice area is restructuring and bankruptcy focusing on representing the bondholders. Anyone have experience with this? The firm is on the smaller size, about 250 attorneys total, and apparently first years get plenty of substantive experience. I was hoping exit options would be good, considering you get both litigation and transactional experience, but I suppose this is not the case from what I'm reading?
Saying "exit options would be good" depends on what you mean by "exit options". Exit options to, say, go in-house at a distressed fund or a distressed desk at a bank (what's left of those, anyways) would be very good indeed. Exit options to go work at a startup would not be good, because you will not have that sort of experience. Exit options are very tied to what you build up in your experience bank, though credentials can get you in the door for a job that your experience doesn't qualify you for, if they feel like you're an attractive enough candidate that you're worth it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Does anyone have anything positive to say about bankruptcy practice? It seemed like such a cool and different practice, so I'm surprised that the responses have been universally negative :(
I am a senior bankruptcy guy, have worked as a bankruptcy guy from day 1, and absolutely love it. But I did two things to protect myself, which I think are essential:

- first, I went to a place with a strong finance practice, and I worked out a deal with them where I am allowed to do some finance work when the economy is up, which smooths out the natural up-and-down work flow of pure bankruptcy work. It also means I get to work with some healthy clients, and maintain relationships with PE clients who generate both distressed work and normal portfolio company finance work.

- second, I am dominantly transactional. I do some litigation - real litigation too, like depos and such - but I'd say its only like 20% of my workflow. One of the advantages to that is that it gives you bankruptcy work to do in times where there aren't many new filings - the litigation tail from a chapter 11 can extend years after the debtor has emerged from bankruptcy. It also is a nice change of pace - its so different from deal work. But you don't end up in the trap of doing pure lit, which is a bit like doing normal lit but with more fire drills.

For me, I basically need to do bankruptcy to like my job. It means I am never doing the same deal twice, since I am bouncing between restructuring deal work, finance work, lit work . . . all over the place. I'd blow my brains out with boredom if I was just churning out, say secured credit facilities over and over and over and over again. Not for me. Instead, just to use the last week as an example - I appeared before a judge at a hearing, reached a settlement to an objection from a party trying to get in the way of a distressed M&A deal I've been working on, negotiated an intercreditor for a distressed secured credit facility, gave a presentation to some partners about a really interesting legal issue that's coming up in the recent oil and gas cases, etc. Now that is what a week of work should be. You actually get to be a real lawyer, IMO.

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
whysoseriousbiglaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
-Like you said, it's a bit of a hybrid between litigation and transaction.
It's also only really a hybrid once you become more senior. From the junior to midlevel years, it's mainly litigation, except your deadlines are super compressed compared to general litigation and everything is a fire drill with constant late nights/weekends.

It is not a pleasant group to be in if you want any semblance of quality of life.
This is bad advice. It is almost entirely corporate at some firms, almost entirely litigation at others, and a true hybrid at others still. It all depends on what end of the pool your firm plays in.
OP here. Could you elaborate on which end of the pool is which please?

User avatar
radient

New
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:49 pm

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by radient » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Does anyone have anything positive to say about bankruptcy practice? It seemed like such a cool and different practice, so I'm surprised that the responses have been universally negative :(
I am a senior bankruptcy guy, have worked as a bankruptcy guy from day 1, and absolutely love it. But I did two things to protect myself, which I think are essential:

- first, I went to a place with a strong finance practice, and I worked out a deal with them where I am allowed to do some finance work when the economy is up, which smooths out the natural up-and-down work flow of pure bankruptcy work. It also means I get to work with some healthy clients, and maintain relationships with PE clients who generate both distressed work and normal portfolio company finance work.

- second, I am dominantly transactional. I do some litigation - real litigation too, like depos and such - but I'd say its only like 20% of my workflow. One of the advantages to that is that it gives you bankruptcy work to do in times where there aren't many new filings - the litigation tail from a chapter 11 can extend years after the debtor has emerged from bankruptcy. It also is a nice change of pace - its so different from deal work. But you don't end up in the trap of doing pure lit, which is a bit like doing normal lit but with more fire drills.

For me, I basically need to do bankruptcy to like my job. It means I am never doing the same deal twice, since I am bouncing between restructuring deal work, finance work, lit work . . . all over the place. I'd blow my brains out with boredom if I was just churning out, say secured credit facilities over and over and over and over again. Not for me. Instead, just to use the last week as an example - I appeared before a judge at a hearing, reached a settlement to an objection from a party trying to get in the way of a distressed M&A deal I've been working on, negotiated an intercreditor for a distressed secured credit facility, gave a presentation to some partners about a really interesting legal issue that's coming up in the recent oil and gas cases, etc. Now that is what a week of work should be. You actually get to be a real lawyer, IMO.
Great post

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Does anyone have anything positive to say about bankruptcy practice? It seemed like such a cool and different practice, so I'm surprised that the responses have been universally negative :(
I am a senior bankruptcy guy, have worked as a bankruptcy guy from day 1, and absolutely love it. But I did two things to protect myself, which I think are essential:

- first, I went to a place with a strong finance practice, and I worked out a deal with them where I am allowed to do some finance work when the economy is up, which smooths out the natural up-and-down work flow of pure bankruptcy work. It also means I get to work with some healthy clients, and maintain relationships with PE clients who generate both distressed work and normal portfolio company finance work.

- second, I am dominantly transactional. I do some litigation - real litigation too, like depos and such - but I'd say its only like 20% of my workflow. One of the advantages to that is that it gives you bankruptcy work to do in times where there aren't many new filings - the litigation tail from a chapter 11 can extend years after the debtor has emerged from bankruptcy. It also is a nice change of pace - its so different from deal work. But you don't end up in the trap of doing pure lit, which is a bit like doing normal lit but with more fire drills.

For me, I basically need to do bankruptcy to like my job. It means I am never doing the same deal twice, since I am bouncing between restructuring deal work, finance work, lit work . . . all over the place. I'd blow my brains out with boredom if I was just churning out, say secured credit facilities over and over and over and over again. Not for me. Instead, just to use the last week as an example - I appeared before a judge at a hearing, reached a settlement to an objection from a party trying to get in the way of a distressed M&A deal I've been working on, negotiated an intercreditor for a distressed secured credit facility, gave a presentation to some partners about a really interesting legal issue that's coming up in the recent oil and gas cases, etc. Now that is what a week of work should be. You actually get to be a real lawyer, IMO.
OP here, thanks for this, that sounds awesome! Would love to have a setup like that

jduluoz54

New
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:00 pm

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by jduluoz54 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:38 pm

Senior bankruptcy guy --> Would you be willing to private message me? I have a bankruptcy clerkship lined up for next year and am curious about path...

Anonymous User
Posts: 428451
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
whysoseriousbiglaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
-Like you said, it's a bit of a hybrid between litigation and transaction.
It's also only really a hybrid once you become more senior. From the junior to midlevel years, it's mainly litigation, except your deadlines are super compressed compared to general litigation and everything is a fire drill with constant late nights/weekends.

It is not a pleasant group to be in if you want any semblance of quality of life.
This is bad advice. It is almost entirely corporate at some firms, almost entirely litigation at others, and a true hybrid at others still. It all depends on what end of the pool your firm plays in.
OP here. Could you elaborate on which end of the pool is which please?
Generally, the more debtor-y or litigation-y your firm is, the more likely you will be doing dominantly litigation work as a junior, though TBF, Paul Weiss's bankruptcy practice is firmly on the more transactional side.

Tls2016

Silver
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:58 am

Re: What is Big Law Bankruptcy Practice like?

Post by Tls2016 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Does anyone have anything positive to say about bankruptcy practice? It seemed like such a cool and different practice, so I'm surprised that the responses have been universally negative :(
I am a senior bankruptcy guy, have worked as a bankruptcy guy from day 1, and absolutely love it. But I did two things to protect myself, which I think are essential:

- first, I went to a place with a strong finance practice, and I worked out a deal with them where I am allowed to do some finance work when the economy is up, which smooths out the natural up-and-down work flow of pure bankruptcy work. It also means I get to work with some healthy clients, and maintain relationships with PE clients who generate both distressed work and normal portfolio company finance work.

- second, I am dominantly transactional. I do some litigation - real litigation too, like depos and such - but I'd say its only like 20% of my workflow. One of the advantages to that is that it gives you bankruptcy work to do in times where there aren't many new filings - the litigation tail from a chapter 11 can extend years after the debtor has emerged from bankruptcy. It also is a nice change of pace - its so different from deal work. But you don't end up in the trap of doing pure lit, which is a bit like doing normal lit but with more fire drills.

For me, I basically need to do bankruptcy to like my job. It means I am never doing the same deal twice, since I am bouncing between restructuring deal work, finance work, lit work . . . all over the place. I'd blow my brains out with boredom if I was just churning out, say secured credit facilities over and over and over and over again. Not for me. Instead, just to use the last week as an example - I appeared before a judge at a hearing, reached a settlement to an objection from a party trying to get in the way of a distressed M&A deal I've been working on, negotiated an intercreditor for a distressed secured credit facility, gave a presentation to some partners about a really interesting legal issue that's coming up in the recent oil and gas cases, etc. Now that is what a week of work should be. You actually get to be a real lawyer, IMO.
Lol. How great for you that you get to be a "real lawyer." You know lots of corporate people do reorg work too and negotiate all those documents and settlements.
You're just another cog in the biglaw finance machine. Let's not get crazy.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”