Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

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Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:27 pm

Hoping to get some insight into which firm folks in the forum think is preferable for someone interested in litigation.

I've lived in both LA and NY. Enjoy both cities for different reasons and don't need help weighing the pros and cons on that front. I'm more interested in which one people would choose if all else is equal and why.

For what it's worth, I don't have a specific practice group within litigation that I'm set on yet. I value salary but I also value QoL and getting meaningful work experience.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by TheProsecutor » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hoping to get some insight into which firm folks in the forum think is preferable for someone interested in litigation.

I've lived in both LA and NY. Enjoy both cities for different reasons and don't need help weighing the pros and cons on that front. I'm more interested in which one people would choose if all else is equal and why.

For what it's worth, I don't have a specific practice group within litigation that I'm set on yet. I value salary but I also value QoL and getting meaningful work experience.

Thanks in advance.
Wachtell, obviously. Wachtell is a M&A powerhouse, but its litigation team is akin to a boutique. You work on small teams, directly with partners, get early client contact, and are paid handsomely. Also, exit options are out of this world. Recently SDNY went on a WLRK hiring binge. Wachtell senior litigation associates often transition to partner at other top firms or to senior roles in house (assuming they don't make partner at WLRK).

Of course, work = life at WLRK so there's that minor downside.
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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Person1111 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:17 pm

Don't think it's obvious at all. They're both top-tier firms in their respective markets. WLRK does more work for financial industry clients and MTO has a broader range of clients/industries. MTO is significantly more humane hours-wise (but is still not a lifestyle firm), whereas compensation is materially better at WLRK. Exits are very good at both - MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits everywhere else. I would make my pick entirely based on fit/intangibles and where you want to be.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Necho2 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hoping to get some insight into which firm folks in the forum think is preferable for someone interested in litigation.

I've lived in both LA and NY. Enjoy both cities for different reasons and don't need help weighing the pros and cons on that front. I'm more interested in which one people would choose if all else is equal and why.

For what it's worth, I don't have a specific practice group within litigation that I'm set on yet. I value salary but I also value QoL and getting meaningful work experience.

Thanks in advance.
Wachtell, obviously. Wachtell is a M&A powerhouse, but its litigation team is akin to a boutique. You work on small teams, directly with partners, get early client contact, and are paid handsomely. Also, exit options are out of this world. Recently SDNY went on a WLRK hiring binge. Wachtell senior litigation associates often transition to partner at other top firms or to senior roles in house (assuming they don't make partner at WLRK).

Of course, work = life at WLRK so there's that minor downside.
Lol if you swap WLRK for MTO, and SDNY for XDCA you've got the same pitch on the other coast. Money's obviously better at WLRK, but NY's also more expensive. Agree with above regarding client types, if that's at all important, but I promise the work isn't going to be substantially different. Beyond just geography, I guess MTO's got more offices, and without having been at both I think the cultures are a little different. Any chance you'd be able to work out a split? The most important thing is really geography + how you click with people because they really are small enough for that to make a difference
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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by 20181989 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:43 pm

Don't think it's obvious at all. They're both top-tier firms in their respective markets. WLRK does more work for financial industry clients and MTO has a broader range of clients/industries. MTO is significantly more humane hours-wise (but is still not a lifestyle firm), whereas compensation is materially better at WLRK. Exits are very good at both - MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits everywhere else. I would make my pick entirely based on fit/intangibles and where you want to be.
Had offers at both firms, and this is spot-on. I will also add that the lifestyle difference is a step change from MTO to WLRK, and you should expect the latter firm to impinge on your family/social life to a degree that MTO will not approach. Obviously, the comp is similarly scaled.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by jbagelboy » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:03 pm

They each have pros and cons, hence why a lot of people used to split (when Munger's program permitted it).

- Munger is lower leveraged and handles more trials, which results in superior substantive work opportunities to junior associates and better partnership prospects. A fourth or fifth year associate at MTO is more likely to be arguing a dispositive motion or taking a trial witness than his or her counterpart at Wachtell, where associates are more often playing supporting roles while the partner takes the stand (still terrific mentorship, but not the same sort of in-court experience).

- Munger has a more varied litigation practice, whereas Wachtell has higher degrees of expertise in particular areas. Wachtell's litigation group does basically three things: white collar/investigations, M&A lit, and securities (with a little complex/commercial). And they do these things very, very well. So, putting aside the white collar partners, wachtell's practice is deeply enmeshed with transactional work and its big blue chip clients and banks. If you are not specifically interested in the financial industry, you will likely get more exposure to other areas such as appellate, entertainment, IP, non-merger antitrust lit, ect. at Munger.

- Wachtell's compensation is higher. No two ways about it, you'll make more money at Wachtell as an associate.

- Wachtell is a corporate firm first, whereas at Munger, litigators are king. It's difficult to see how this really matters from the associate's perspective, but it does mean that Munger is making more litigation partners. No doubt, Wachtell has a terrific litigation practice and is a great place to get litigation experience and get paid; but the firm's preeminence is derived from public M&A, whereas Munger's prestige stems from the brilliance of its trial victories, and now, its all-star DC-based appellate group.

Lastly and obviously, Wachtell is in New York (and only New York) while MTO is in California (and sort of DC). The two firms are comparable enough on all other metrics that location can be a deciding factor here. Its not uncommon when choosing between these firms (and other highly elite shops like Williams & Connolly in DC) to do so on the basis of geography, since they are each incredible in their own ways.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by TheProsecutor » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:13 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:Don't think it's obvious at all. They're both top-tier firms in their respective markets. WLRK does more work for financial industry clients and MTO has a broader range of clients/industries. MTO is significantly more humane hours-wise (but is still not a lifestyle firm), whereas compensation is materially better at WLRK. Exits are very good at both - MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits everywhere else. I would make my pick entirely based on fit/intangibles and where you want to be.
Yeah, it is obvious for one of the reasons you stated: "MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits EVERYWHERE else." (emphasis added).
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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Person1111 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:Don't think it's obvious at all. They're both top-tier firms in their respective markets. WLRK does more work for financial industry clients and MTO has a broader range of clients/industries. MTO is significantly more humane hours-wise (but is still not a lifestyle firm), whereas compensation is materially better at WLRK. Exits are very good at both - MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits everywhere else. I would make my pick entirely based on fit/intangibles and where you want to be.
Yeah, it is obvious for one of the reasons you stated: "MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits EVERYWHERE else." (emphasis added).
Exit options are one of many factors to consider in picking a firm, and both firms have great exit options in any event. So no, not obvious.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by QContinuum » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:Don't think it's obvious at all. They're both top-tier firms in their respective markets. WLRK does more work for financial industry clients and MTO has a broader range of clients/industries. MTO is significantly more humane hours-wise (but is still not a lifestyle firm), whereas compensation is materially better at WLRK. Exits are very good at both - MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits everywhere else. I would make my pick entirely based on fit/intangibles and where you want to be.
Yeah, it is obvious for one of the reasons you stated: "MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits EVERYWHERE else." (emphasis added).
IMO, "everywhere else" really just means "East Coast" in practice. There isn't really a thriving high-end legal market in, say, Kansas or Nebraska. The kinds of work MTO/WLRK alumni tend to want to do is going to be found almost exclusively in CA and NYC/DC.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by TheProsecutor » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:00 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:Don't think it's obvious at all. They're both top-tier firms in their respective markets. WLRK does more work for financial industry clients and MTO has a broader range of clients/industries. MTO is significantly more humane hours-wise (but is still not a lifestyle firm), whereas compensation is materially better at WLRK. Exits are very good at both - MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits everywhere else. I would make my pick entirely based on fit/intangibles and where you want to be.
Yeah, it is obvious for one of the reasons you stated: "MTO will have better exits in CA and WLRK will have better exits EVERYWHERE else." (emphasis added).
Exit options are one of many factors to consider in picking a firm, and both firms have great exit options in any event. So no, not obvious.
Hmmm...the exit options are not the same, and at neither firm are you likely to make partner, so exit options are pretty paramount. So if one place gives you exit options "everywhere" and the other only gives you exit options in California (by the other poster's analysis, not mine), that seems like a significant difference. Also, one poster said Wachtell gives you a pretty good shot at SDNY which another poster said MTO gives you a good shot at some districts in California. None of the districts in California are as good as SDNY and none of those districts would then provide the exit opportunities SDNY provides. There's also no dispute that litigation associates who do not go the USAO route often become partners soon after leaving Wachtell or obtain senior positions in-house. This is not to say that MTO exit options are trash. MTO associates are obviously well-regarded, but there is a difference. I don't think you'd dispute that.

But even if exit options were not paramount, Wachtell still handily beats MTO. As multiple posters have confirmed, neither firm is a lifestyle firm, both firms do exceptional work, and both have varied practices (jbagelboy does a good job outlining the practices, though he undersells the associate experience at WLRK. When I was there, midlevels and seniors handled motions and depositions routinely, some argued appeals, and in cases that went to trial, associates had roles examining witnesses). The difference is, you get paid way more at Wachtell and that difference compounds the more years you're at the respective firms.

If exit options and pay are better at Wachtell and substantive experience is roughly comparable, how is Wachtell not the obvious answer?

Sure, if you're idiosyncratic and want to do a specific practice that MTO happens to have and Wachtell doesn't, then sure go to Munger. But idiosyncratic preferences would rule the day in any firm comparison.

Again, I don't want to suggest by saying it's obvious to go to Wachtell that I'm somehow devaluing MTO or its associates. I think the two hire associates of roughly similar ability, but I think the decision for most comes down to location, which isn't applicable here. On the other big metrics for associates: pay and exit options, I think Wachtell rules the day. Just my .02.
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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by QContinuum » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:But even if exit options were not paramount, Wachtell still handily beats MTO. As multiple posters have confirmed, neither firm is a lifestyle firm, both firms do exceptional work, and both have varied practices (jbagelboy does a good job outlining the practices, though he undersells the associate experience at WLRK. When I was there, midlevels and seniors handled motions and depositions routinely, some argued appeals, and in cases that went to trial, associates had roles examining witnesses). The difference is, you get paid way more at Wachtell and that difference compounds the more years you're at the respective firms.

If exit options and pay are better at Wachtell and substantive experience is roughly comparable, how is Wachtell not the obvious answer?
IMO it's a bit misleading to just say that "neither firm is a lifestyle firm." That wrongly suggests that the workload is comparable. But as another user ITT points out:
20181989 wrote:I will also add that the lifestyle difference is a step change from MTO to WLRK, and you should expect the latter firm to impinge on your family/social life to a degree that MTO will not approach.
MTO's hours are bad, in the sense that all BigLaw hours are bad. WLRK's hours are catastrophic. Make no mistake, they aren't giving you that extra $ for free.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by PeanutsNJam » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:19 pm

For lit, I'd pick Munger and not blink twice. And I'd rather live in NYC than LA.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:57 pm

I summered at MTO and would avoid it like the plague. Terrible. Some things are just not worth any amount of prestige. Munger actually made me wonder whether being a lawyer at all was a huge mistake.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by JoeySkoko » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I summered at MTO and would avoid it like the plague. Terrible. Some things are just not worth any amount of prestige. Munger actually made me wonder whether being a lawyer at all was a huge mistake.
am interested in examples of this experience, if you're comfortable?
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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I summered at MTO and would avoid it like the plague. Terrible. Some things are just not worth any amount of prestige. Munger actually made me wonder whether being a lawyer at all was a huge mistake.
am interested in examples of this experience, if you're comfortable?
I suppose the best way to describe it is that nearly everyone there appears to be defined by what got them there. People aren't particularly friendly, they don't appear to be friends, and it's just a stuffy, arrogant, and oppressive environment. I've had two friends go there as associates (one who I summered with) who quickly realized much the same. I think if your work is your life and prestige is what drives you then it can be an excellent place to start your career. If you want your job to be more than the place you go to earn your paycheck then I'd choose differently.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I summered at MTO and would avoid it like the plague. Terrible. Some things are just not worth any amount of prestige. Munger actually made me wonder whether being a lawyer at all was a huge mistake.
am interested in examples of this experience, if you're comfortable?
I suppose the best way to describe it is that nearly everyone there appears to be defined by what got them there. People aren't particularly friendly, they don't appear to be friends, and it's just a stuffy, arrogant, and oppressive environment. I've had two friends go there as associates (one who I summered with) who quickly realized much the same. I think if your work is your life and prestige is what drives you then it can be an excellent place to start your career. If you want your job to be more than the place you go to earn your paycheck then I'd choose differently.
As a former MTO summer, I emphatically disagree with every single sentence in this post (except for the one about the two friends because I have no means to verify or dispute that point). And while I generally agree that everyone has a unique experience during their summer, some of these points strike me as so flagrantly untrue or exaggerated that I honestly doubt the poster's intentions here.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by PeanutsNJam » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I summered at MTO and would avoid it like the plague. Terrible. Some things are just not worth any amount of prestige. Munger actually made me wonder whether being a lawyer at all was a huge mistake.
am interested in examples of this experience, if you're comfortable?
I suppose the best way to describe it is that nearly everyone there appears to be defined by what got them there. People aren't particularly friendly, they don't appear to be friends, and it's just a stuffy, arrogant, and oppressive environment. I've had two friends go there as associates (one who I summered with) who quickly realized much the same. I think if your work is your life and prestige is what drives you then it can be an excellent place to start your career. If you want your job to be more than the place you go to earn your paycheck then I'd choose differently.
You’re going to find people like this at every law firm, prestigious or not.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:54 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I summered at MTO and would avoid it like the plague. Terrible. Some things are just not worth any amount of prestige. Munger actually made me wonder whether being a lawyer at all was a huge mistake.
am interested in examples of this experience, if you're comfortable?
I suppose the best way to describe it is that nearly everyone there appears to be defined by what got them there. People aren't particularly friendly, they don't appear to be friends, and it's just a stuffy, arrogant, and oppressive environment. I've had two friends go there as associates (one who I summered with) who quickly realized much the same. I think if your work is your life and prestige is what drives you then it can be an excellent place to start your career. If you want your job to be more than the place you go to earn your paycheck then I'd choose differently.
You’re going to find people like this at every law firm, prestigious or not.
Absolutely. There are people like this at every firm but whether it’s the exception or the rule is going to determine how the FIRM feels. My firm might have people like this but they are not the norm and the firm is a pretty great place to work for biglaw.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:I summered at MTO and would avoid it like the plague. Terrible. Some things are just not worth any amount of prestige. Munger actually made me wonder whether being a lawyer at all was a huge mistake.
Want to vehemently dispute this. I know there was an awful summer a couple of years back that people still talk about (and I'm really sorry if you were a part of that), but there have been substantive changes to the structure of the program since then. Beyond that, I really don't think there's any world where the people are even remotely like what you've described, except to the extent anyone in a large corporate can be like that. Nerdy, overly analytical people who can be a little socially awkward? Absolutely! And I can totally see how that comes off as stuffy to an SA. But I promise that is not remotely your day-to-day experience.

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote: Hmmm...the exit options are not the same, and at neither firm are you likely to make partner, so exit options are pretty paramount. So if one place gives you exit options "everywhere" and the other only gives you exit options in California (by the other poster's analysis, not mine), that seems like a significant difference. Also, one poster said Wachtell gives you a pretty good shot at SDNY which another poster said MTO gives you a good shot at some districts in California. None of the districts in California are as good as SDNY and none of those districts would then provide the exit opportunities SDNY provides. There's also no dispute that litigation associates who do not go the USAO route often become partners soon after leaving Wachtell or obtain senior positions in-house. This is not to say that MTO exit options are trash. MTO associates are obviously well-regarded, but there is a difference. I don't think you'd dispute that.

But even if exit options were not paramount, Wachtell still handily beats MTO. As multiple posters have confirmed, neither firm is a lifestyle firm, both firms do exceptional work, and both have varied practices (jbagelboy does a good job outlining the practices, though he undersells the associate experience at WLRK. When I was there, midlevels and seniors handled motions and depositions routinely, some argued appeals, and in cases that went to trial, associates had roles examining witnesses). The difference is, you get paid way more at Wachtell and that difference compounds the more years you're at the respective firms.

If exit options and pay are better at Wachtell and substantive experience is roughly comparable, how is Wachtell not the obvious answer?

Sure, if you're idiosyncratic and want to do a specific practice that MTO happens to have and Wachtell doesn't, then sure go to Munger. But idiosyncratic preferences would rule the day in any firm comparison.

Again, I don't want to suggest by saying it's obvious to go to Wachtell that I'm somehow devaluing MTO or its associates. I think the two hire associates of roughly similar ability, but I think the decision for most comes down to location, which isn't applicable here. On the other big metrics for associates: pay and exit options, I think Wachtell rules the day. Just my .02.
1. To emphasize that this poster is biased and doesn't really know what they're talking about, WLRK based on new partner googling is both larger than MTO, and appears to make roughly half as many partners per year.

2. This responses doesn't in any way come to grips with the FS-concentration of WLRK practice.

3. I am sure WLRK associates do all sorts of cool shit. But there are still roughly 2 of them for every partner. MTO's like 1:1.1. That makes a difference in your day to day.

4.This person's emphasis on exit options feels very corporate-focused, and while if that was a factor you should go to WLRK and not look back, aren't you pretty set on litigation?

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by jbagelboy » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Hmmm...the exit options are not the same, and at neither firm are you likely to make partner, so exit options are pretty paramount. So if one place gives you exit options "everywhere" and the other only gives you exit options in California (by the other poster's analysis, not mine), that seems like a significant difference. Also, one poster said Wachtell gives you a pretty good shot at SDNY which another poster said MTO gives you a good shot at some districts in California. None of the districts in California are as good as SDNY and none of those districts would then provide the exit opportunities SDNY provides. There's also no dispute that litigation associates who do not go the USAO route often become partners soon after leaving Wachtell or obtain senior positions in-house. This is not to say that MTO exit options are trash. MTO associates are obviously well-regarded, but there is a difference. I don't think you'd dispute that.

But even if exit options were not paramount, Wachtell still handily beats MTO. As multiple posters have confirmed, neither firm is a lifestyle firm, both firms do exceptional work, and both have varied practices (jbagelboy does a good job outlining the practices, though he undersells the associate experience at WLRK. When I was there, midlevels and seniors handled motions and depositions routinely, some argued appeals, and in cases that went to trial, associates had roles examining witnesses). The difference is, you get paid way more at Wachtell and that difference compounds the more years you're at the respective firms.

If exit options and pay are better at Wachtell and substantive experience is roughly comparable, how is Wachtell not the obvious answer?

Sure, if you're idiosyncratic and want to do a specific practice that MTO happens to have and Wachtell doesn't, then sure go to Munger. But idiosyncratic preferences would rule the day in any firm comparison.

Again, I don't want to suggest by saying it's obvious to go to Wachtell that I'm somehow devaluing MTO or its associates. I think the two hire associates of roughly similar ability, but I think the decision for most comes down to location, which isn't applicable here. On the other big metrics for associates: pay and exit options, I think Wachtell rules the day. Just my .02.
1. To emphasize that this poster is biased and doesn't really know what they're talking about, WLRK based on new partner googling is both larger than MTO, and appears to make roughly half as many partners per year.

2. This responses doesn't in any way come to grips with the FS-concentration of WLRK practice.

3. I am sure WLRK associates do all sorts of cool shit. But there are still roughly 2 of them for every partner. MTO's like 1:1.1. That makes a difference in your day to day.

4.This person's emphasis on exit options feels very corporate-focused, and while if that was a factor you should go to WLRK and not look back, aren't you pretty set on litigation?
Yeah this post echoes several of my points above; and for what it's worth, I too question the emphasis on "exit options" by the quoted anon in elite litigation. It's a very narrow lens that obscures the genuine differences between these firms and why Munger might appeal to some more than Wachtell and not just for geography. The logic of the approach appears to be that the goal of litigation is to become an AUSA; SDNY is the best AUSA office; and therefore Wachtell is superior because it places more associates at SDNY. By that logic, Davis Polk, Quinn NY, and Paul Weiss would also be better litigation firms than Munger, because they too certainly place many more associates at the SDNY.

The fallacy lies in that AUSA is not the goal, or even necessarily the premier exit, for most litigators; and the fact that a greater number of associates at one firm wind up at a particular job says little in this context about the relative placement power of that firm. Associates at Wachtell and MTO tend to be top 5% of T6 schools (and nearly all have federal clerkships, although this is most true at Munger). They aren't starving for lucrative or interesting job options. They go to Government (e.g. AUSA, or state), yes, but also academia; non-profit; in-house GC; ect. The array of competitive positions to which Munger associates exit (if they leave the firm at all) is certainly as impressive, if not considerably more impressive, than an AUSA position or a partnership at a lower tier firm.
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I summered at MTO and would avoid it like the plague. Terrible. Some things are just not worth any amount of prestige. Munger actually made me wonder whether being a lawyer at all was a huge mistake.
am interested in examples of this experience, if you're comfortable?
I suppose the best way to describe it is that nearly everyone there appears to be defined by what got them there. People aren't particularly friendly, they don't appear to be friends, and it's just a stuffy, arrogant, and oppressive environment. I've had two friends go there as associates (one who I summered with) who quickly realized much the same. I think if your work is your life and prestige is what drives you then it can be an excellent place to start your career. If you want your job to be more than the place you go to earn your paycheck then I'd choose differently.
I don't doubt your experience, since you were at the firm and of course you are entitled to it. But I would note that to varying degrees this post could describe any biglaw office. Munger is certainly less social than firms like Gibson and Latham and Skadden; Munger must have some douchebag partners (like all firms?); and if you are looking for an environment where the younger associates are going out every weekend with each other and building close friendships, then yeah Munger's not the place. How damning that is depends on what you're looking for in an employer.

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TheProsecutor

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by TheProsecutor » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:30 pm

No, the point wasn't that AUSA is the main exit goal for litigation associates. It's that at the most prestigious USAO in the country, Wachtell was basically the farm team in 2016. That's was a pretty good indication of how strong Wachtell associates' exit options are. The other people in this thread simply retort with: But MTO exit options are good too. Sure, but the question is are they as strong? ( If one wanted to compare, laterally provides its customers a database which shows the lateral positions accepted by people who recently departed WLRK and MTO).

To be clear, I don't care what the OP does. To me its obvious that one should choose Wachtell. It pays more, you get great experience, your exit options are great . But if you all think making literally hundreds of thousands more early in your career and having WLRK name on your resume doesn't make it obvious because the other firm "has a more varied litigation practice" (query if that's actually true), then that's ok too. OP will be fine whichever place he/she chooses.
Last edited by QContinuum on Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

AspiringAspirant

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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by AspiringAspirant » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:No, the point wasn't that AUSA is the main exit goal for litigation associates. It's that at the most prestigious USAO in the country, Wachtell was basically the farm team in 2016. That's was a pretty good indication of how strong Wachtell associates' exit options are. The other people in this thread simply retort with: But MTO exit options are good too. Sure, but the question is are they as strong? ( If one wanted to compare, laterally provides its customers a database which shows the lateral positions accepted by people who recently departed WLRK and MTO).

To be clear, I don't care what the OP does. To me its obvious that one should choose Wachtell. It pays more, you get great experience, your exit options are great . But if you all think making literally hundreds of thousands more early in your career and having WLRK name on your resume doesn't make it obvious because the other firm "has a more varied litigation practice" (query if that's actually true), then that's ok too. OP will be fine whichever place he/she chooses.
1. There's nothing to query about. MTO has a more varied lit practice. This is also relevant to exit options -- e.g., their connections with big entertainment companies likely makes it easier for an associate to go in-house there.

2. You point to the more varied lit practices, but you overlook what is arguably a much more important difference: quality of life. Wachtell has an absolutely devastating impact on an associate's personal life. For many who work there, there will be no life outside of work. From what I hear, MTO is relatively humane in that regard. That may be a non-issue for you, but to most that matters, a lot.

3. I think it's completely understandable that, given your preferences, you would take Wachtell. But I think you framing the decision as obvious is what people took issue with. I get that it's just your opinion, it just came off as a bit out of touch.
Last edited by QContinuum on Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

Anonymous User
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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:08 am

I chose another east coast firm over Wachtell during law school (Wachtell didn't even end up among the final two firms I was considering),and I would have certainly chosen Munger over Wachtell if I wanted to be on the West Coast.

My rationale was simple: I wanted to do more than litigate in Delaware chancery court/work as "securities litigation support" for the corporate department at Wachtell. Money isn't the end all be all, especially given that you'd be well compensated at basically any premier biglaw firm/litigation boutique.

Wachtell's litigation department is exceptional at securities litigation, white-collar investigations (which is not nearly as big a focus as they promote), and M&A litigation. That's pretty much it.

The poster touting Wachtell as having better (or even appreciably different) outcomes than Munger, or W&C, or SG . . . just LOL. Obviously a law student. Spoiler alert: There might be a more obvious reason why Wachtell, a top litigation firm in NYC, places more attorneys into SDNY than Munger, a top litigation firm in CA.

Anonymous User
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Re: Munger vs. Wachtell for litigation

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:32 am

No dog in this fight. I will just say that I’ve billed 2.2K hours in 8 months. It was torture and I would have quit after a year of that if it continued. Thankfully it didn’t. The higher pay at wlrk is only worth it if you survive. For me, alarm bells are ringing when I read above poster say that normal blaw is just bad and wlrk is catastrophically bad. If wlrk lit is billing 2.7+K on the reg, I wouldn’t choose it for the pay because I’d quit in 9 months. Could be worth it I suppose even still to knock out the debt in a year and lateral. But it sounds like a lot of pain.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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