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Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:39 am

To the extent there are a lot of tax LLMs and JDs who either work at a Big4, wish to work for a Big4, or just want more information about the Big4, I thought we could start a general Big4 thread. The purpose of this thread is to talk about all things Big4, including hiring, compensation, day-to-day, different groups, training, lateraling both in and out, exit opportunities, any anything else.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:52 am

I heard through the grapevine that KPMG Law in Toronto cancelled its summer program and didn't say anything about hireback. Not sure how things are south of the border.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:58 am

I am an incoming international tax associate, specifically coded to private equity, in NYC. I have a JD and a tax LLM, neither of which are T14. The Big4 has always been my goal and I was fortunate enough to have offers (for the international tax, M&A, and controversy groups) with three NYC Big4 firms. Ultimately, I chose the exact firm and exact group that I always wanted. I consider myself very fortunate. I spent the summer with the group last summer where I got to meet everyone on the team and do substantive work for 10-12 weeks. I have been counting down the months until I can go back. I was given a September start date prior to the Coronavirus outbreak and haven't heard anything with respect to deferrals since.

I look forward to hearing about everyone else's experiences with the Big4 and I'm happy to answer anything I can.

Anon for obvious reasons.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:13 pm

Does anyone have experience or know of people who have experience with lateralling after a while at Big 4? Either to law firms or in house?

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have experience or know of people who have experience with lateralling after a while at Big 4? Either to law firms or in house?
Yes, I know several people who went from Big4 to BigLaw (anywhere from v30 to v100). There are BigLaw firms who specifically state that Big4 experience is comparable to BigLaw experience. For example, a few months ago Fox Rothschild NYC (I believe) had a posted tax associate position wherein the posting specifically said "3-5 years big law firm or Big4 experience preferred." I also know a few people who went in-house to a client. It seems like it's very dependent on your Big4 group. What do you want to know exactly?

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Re: Big4

Post by Sackboy » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have experience or know of people who have experience with lateralling after a while at Big 4? Either to law firms or in house?
It seems quite common. I also know some Big4 folks who got NYU/GULC/Northwestern LLMs (haven't seen any Florida folks) and do exec comp work now. I do most of my work in NY and Chicago, so I can't really speak for other markets.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:55 pm

Thought this thread about Big4 comp would be useful here:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... nting+firm

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have experience or know of people who have experience with lateralling after a while at Big 4? Either to law firms or in house?
Yes, I know several people who went from Big4 to BigLaw (anywhere from v30 to v100). There are BigLaw firms who specifically state that Big4 experience is comparable to BigLaw experience. For example, a few months ago Fox Rothschild NYC (I believe) had a posted tax associate position wherein the posting specifically said "3-5 years big law firm or Big4 experience preferred." I also know a few people who went in-house to a client. It seems like it's very dependent on your Big4 group. What do you want to know exactly?
I had the choice of either ITS or M&A (NYC) and I chose ITS thinking that I would have better exit options. Do you know which practice group has better exit opps? Do you think market is super important? How do Big4 associates proceed to apply to law firms after starting? Of course wait a few years before the move, but do they use recruiters or apply directly?

I guess I am trying to play out the next few years of my life and I am trying to prepare myself the best I can in the event that I do wish to leave Big4 and practice law. So, with that said, any information would be helpful! Thanks!!!

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:27 am

Sackboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have experience or know of people who have experience with lateralling after a while at Big 4? Either to law firms or in house?
It seems quite common. I also know some Big4 folks who got NYU/GULC/Northwestern LLMs (haven't seen any Florida folks) and do exec comp work now. I do most of my work in NY and Chicago, so I can't really speak for other markets.

Thank you. I would be interested in those markets, DC, and LA. So this is helpful!

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:17 am

The move from big4 to biglaw is fairly common in a good economy. However, as mentioned above, most of the time, it seems like it is from M&A/International to employee benefits and exec comp. This is the route I took.

However, I don’t think some firms consider big4 associates for lateral positions even in a good economy. I forget who the actual person was, but someone high up at STB came to our LLM program and was asked whether his firm hires Big4 associates and he said that while it is not impossible to lateral from a big4, it would be highly unlikely that STB would consider a big4 associate because of the competition from other law firms.

We don’t know what the economy will look like after this, so the lateral opportunities may be slimmer.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:27 am

Out of curiosity, what do you do as a lawyer in Big4? Just normal lawyerly stuff or more accounting/finance side of things?

I was under the impression that there are restrictions placed on Big4 giving legal advice and whatnot.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:The move from big4 to biglaw is fairly common in a good economy. However, as mentioned above, most of the time, it seems like it is from M&A/International to employee benefits and exec comp. This is the route I took.

However, I don’t think some firms consider big4 associates for lateral positions even in a good economy. I forget who the actual person was, but someone high up at STB came to our LLM program and was asked whether his firm hires Big4 associates and he said that while it is not impossible to lateral from a big4, it would be highly unlikely that STB would consider a big4 associate because of the competition from other law firms.

We don’t know what the economy will look like after this, so the lateral opportunities may be slimmer.
It's interesting you say this. I've had this discussion with several people before my LLM and before my interviews. I've been told that KPMG NYC's real estate group does a lot of work for Blackstone (both REPE and REITs). I also understand that Blackstone largely uses STB as counsel. That said, I've been told that a lot of the real estate group's LLMs leave to go in house at Blackstone. I've also been told by someone who works in the group that s/he personally works with STB almost everyday on Blackstone deals and therefore believes they could make the move over to the firm just because of the longevity of the working relationship between the partners at STB, the Big4 individual, and the client. To me, this makes sense. A Big4 associate who works predominately on one specific client probably has a better shot at going to the law firm that represents that same client because the Big4 associate has built a relationship with the BigLaw team that routinely works on the same deals. Additionally, that Big4 associate has presumably also built a relationship with the client. If, for example, Blackstone trusts Big4 Individual X, and STB has worked with Big4 Individual X on 15 deals over the years, it seems like it wouldn't be much of a stretch for Big4 Individual X to lateral from Big4 to BigLaw to work on the same client. Seems like everyone is a winner in that situation.
Anonymous User wrote:Out of curiosity, what do you do as a lawyer in Big4? Just normal lawyerly stuff or more accounting/finance side of things?

I was under the impression that there are restrictions placed on Big4 giving legal advice and whatnot.
I did a combination of both. I was worried that not having an accounting background I would struggle at the Big4 in NYC. To my surprise, my first project was entirely law. I was sent a large deck containing a 10-12 step plan in order to effectuate a very large (9 digit) upstream loan. I was told to review the deck and reach out when I felt like I had a general understanding of the plan. I didn't understand the nuance of the structure but I understood the gist of what they were trying to accomplish (just an upstream loan). I was then told to read a newly released SCOTUS decision discussing upstream loans and ultimately send a memo explaining the case and how it applies to the deck I just read and flag any issues I think we might run into. That project seemed like a strictly legal project.

On the other hand, however, another project was to look into a mutual fund's (think Vanguard/Blackrock) international holdings and calculate the worst and best case scenario tax consequences per country (largely looking into tax treaties). I was to create an Excel spreadsheet for each fund, and then list each country's best and worst liability with a note explaining where the tax rates came from (treaty analysis). That was very much an accounting/finance project. After finishing the spreadsheet, I was told to convert all those spreadsheets into a memo (what looked to me like a legal opinion) explaining everything in words. That memo turned into a 25 page (single spaced) memo that went to the client. Writing that memo was no different, in substance, than writing a legal opinion (I spent hours with the Bluebook on that project). The differences, however, are (1) I did the financial analysis myself and I wrote the memo, rather than a law firm being sent the financial analysis and told to convert the analysis into a legal opinion; and (2) my Big4 memo was just a memo--it was not a legal opinion. Big4 attorneys who are barred and in good standing of one or more states (like me) can not render legal advise pursuant to the ABA rules of professional conduct (among others). So even if what we do is similar to legal advice, it is not--and will never be--legal advice. To that end, I will give you one more example.

I was CC'd (really just for educational purposes) on a lengthy email chain between my Big4 group, a prestigious biglaw firm (easily at the higher end of the v10), and Goldman Sachs on a deal. BigLaw was counsel and GS was the investment bank. To the best of my understanding, GS' job was already done by the time I got CC'd on the emails. For a few days/weeks, my group was going back and forth with BigLaw with respect to certain tax provisions in one of the contracts (I don't remember what document it was). Big4 would explain (using memos and decks) how the transaction should be structured for tax purposes. BigLaw would then convert that plan into legal clauses in the contract. Once BigLaw finished the clauses, they would send those clauses to Big4 for comments. So although my group was not rendering legal advice, we played an integral part in finalizing the deal.

Also please note that I have a JD and LLM (non t14) and it's very possible I got lucky with my projects. I had a coworker who has a JD from a T6 school and she was put onto more compliance projects than consulting projects. I think it's in part the group you're in and a little bit of luck. I sought out things I was specifically interested in and even though some of those things were above my head (the BigLaw deal), I was CC'd just to learn and to be given smaller parts of that type of work where appropriate.

I'm very happy with my decision to go Big4 over BigLaw. I like the nuanced technicality discussions of tax/deal work and I think the Big4 offers more of that than BigLaw.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:10 pm

To the above poster regarding Blackstone, I don’t disagree with your analysis. The partner from STB just seemed to take a hard stance on LLM lateral hiring. He said that the Big4 tend to specialize quickly and STB prefers its associates to be generalists, at least early on. It could’ve changed, but I don’t think the sample size is large enough to really determine whether it still holds true.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:15 pm

Someone mentioned most lateral from big 4 goes to big law exec comp/ employee benefits. Would you say it is common for big law exec comp associates with tax llm lateral to big4 m&a /international?

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Re: Big4

Post by alpacino1234321 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To the extent there are a lot of tax LLMs and JDs who either work at a Big4, wish to work for a Big4, or just want more information about the Big4, I thought we could start a general Big4 thread. The purpose of this thread is to talk about all things Big4, including hiring, compensation, day-to-day, different groups, training, lateraling both in and out, exit opportunities, any anything else.
Can I ask if you were hired as a consultant/analyst/associate/senior consultant? Are you treated the same as those with only MBAs? Thank you

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Re: Big4

Post by nealric » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Writing that memo was no different, in substance, than writing a legal opinion (I spent hours with the Bluebook on that project). The differences, however, are (1) I did the financial analysis myself and I wrote the memo, rather than a law firm being sent the financial analysis and told to convert the analysis into a legal opinion; and (2) my Big4 memo was just a memo--it was not a legal opinion. Big4 attorneys who are barred and in good standing of one or more states (like me) can not render legal advise pursuant to the ABA rules of professional conduct (among others). So even if what we do is similar to legal advice, it is not--and will never be--legal advice. To that end, I will give you one more example.
As a Big4 and Biglaw tax client, I will say that the distinction between "legal advice" and non-legal tax/accounting device is often one without a difference (notwithstanding the ABA rules). Whether Big4 or Biglaw is involved matters for things like privilege, but it's not uncommon for clients to have a choice between the two and regard them as essentially fungible. The biggest difference is that Big 4 will run the numbers for you, but Biglaw won't (or at least shouldn't- I've seen them try and it usually doesn't work well if they are getting into the weeds on numbers). Biglaw will write transaction documents for you, but Big 4 can't (and probably shouldn't in most cases). If all you are doing is putting together a step plan and want a memo, either will do. Which we pick mostly boils down to expertise, relationships, and cost considerations. I've also used Big4 for legal advice and transaction document drafting in foreign countries that allow it.

There are fantastic technical experts at both, but Big 4 tends to have a slight edge on hyper technical subjects and subjects that have a political bent (i.e. pending legislation or regs). That's mostly because they have access to their respective Washington national tax offices with super specialized subject matter experts. Biglaw tends to be better on matters where there are significant non-tax considerations, or where there's a lot of case law involved.

As a final item, I'd mention as a client that I never ever want to see anybody spend a single minute with the bluebook on anything that isn't going to be submitted to a court. As long as the cite is in some form that Westlaw will recognize when I copy and paste it, I couldn't care less how it's formatted. Spending time bluebooking just runs up the bill. But then again, I tend to agree with Richard Posner that the Bluebook is "560 pages of rubbish."

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:58 pm

nealric wrote:
As a Big4 and Biglaw tax client, I will say that the distinction between "legal advice" and non-legal tax/accounting device is often one without a difference (notwithstanding the ABA rules). Whether Big4 or Biglaw is involved matters for things like privilege, but it's not uncommon for clients to have a choice between the two and regard them as essentially fungible. The biggest difference is that Big 4 will run the numbers for you, but Biglaw won't (or at least shouldn't- I've seen them try and it usually doesn't work well if they are getting into the weeds on numbers). Biglaw will write transaction documents for you, but Big 4 can't (and probably shouldn't in most cases). If all you are doing is putting together a step plan and want a memo, either will do. Which we pick mostly boils down to expertise, relationships, and cost considerations. I've also used Big4 for legal advice and transaction document drafting in foreign countries that allow it.

There are fantastic technical experts at both, but Big 4 tends to have a slight edge on hyper technical subjects and subjects that have a political bent (i.e. pending legislation or regs). That's mostly because they have access to their respective Washington national tax offices with super specialized subject matter experts. Biglaw tends to be better on matters where there are significant non-tax considerations, or where there's a lot of case law involved.

As a final item, I'd mention as a client that I never ever want to see anybody spend a single minute with the bluebook on anything that isn't going to be submitted to a court. As long as the cite is in some form that Westlaw will recognize when I copy and paste it, I couldn't care less how it's formatted. Spending time bluebooking just runs up the bill. But then again, I tend to agree with Richard Posner that the Bluebook is "560 pages of rubbish."
Really cool insights. Thanks!

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:12 pm

nealric wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Writing that memo was no different, in substance, than writing a legal opinion (I spent hours with the Bluebook on that project). The differences, however, are (1) I did the financial analysis myself and I wrote the memo, rather than a law firm being sent the financial analysis and told to convert the analysis into a legal opinion; and (2) my Big4 memo was just a memo--it was not a legal opinion. Big4 attorneys who are barred and in good standing of one or more states (like me) can not render legal advise pursuant to the ABA rules of professional conduct (among others). So even if what we do is similar to legal advice, it is not--and will never be--legal advice. To that end, I will give you one more example.
As a Big4 and Biglaw tax client, I will say that the distinction between "legal advice" and non-legal tax/accounting device is often one without a difference (notwithstanding the ABA rules). Whether Big4 or Biglaw is involved matters for things like privilege, but it's not uncommon for clients to have a choice between the two and regard them as essentially fungible. The biggest difference is that Big 4 will run the numbers for you, but Biglaw won't (or at least shouldn't- I've seen them try and it usually doesn't work well if they are getting into the weeds on numbers). Biglaw will write transaction documents for you, but Big 4 can't (and probably shouldn't in most cases). If all you are doing is putting together a step plan and want a memo, either will do. Which we pick mostly boils down to expertise, relationships, and cost considerations. I've also used Big4 for legal advice and transaction document drafting in foreign countries that allow it.

There are fantastic technical experts at both, but Big 4 tends to have a slight edge on hyper technical subjects and subjects that have a political bent (i.e. pending legislation or regs). That's mostly because they have access to their respective Washington national tax offices with super specialized subject matter experts. Biglaw tends to be better on matters where there are significant non-tax considerations, or where there's a lot of case law involved.

As a final item, I'd mention as a client that I never ever want to see anybody spend a single minute with the bluebook on anything that isn't going to be submitted to a court. As long as the cite is in some form that Westlaw will recognize when I copy and paste it, I couldn't care less how it's formatted. Spending time bluebooking just runs up the bill. But then again, I tend to agree with Richard Posner that the Bluebook is "560 pages of rubbish."
As a long-time TLS lurker, I really appreciate all the input nealric brings to the table.

I went from big4 to biglaw (anon to not disclose where), and everything that nealric stated is true.

From an associate’s perspective, however, the experience at a big4 will be significantly different depending on the group/office. If you go to one of the WNT offices, you really can’t go wrong depending on your passion (e.g., if you find yourself loving sub K at law school, go to a passthru group and that’s all they’ll do all day everyday). Field offices will be more of a coinflip, as you’d inevitably have to spend a ton of time on business development / admin work, which eats into your time you otherwise could have worked to build your technical expertise. It doesn’t help that you are generally given a research assignment that shouldn’t take up too many hours, which you then have to confirm with the appropriate WNT expert. At a law firm, you are the WNT person to your partner, and every answer you give must carry its weight, whereas at a big4 there is more protection due to its chain of command. All in all, I enjoyed the holistic perspective of deals I was able to learn at a big4 (as someone mentioned above, big4 churns out ppt decks for which mostly associates are staffed on, with a lot of precedent templates that all have a lot of substance if you decide to take your own time to read into them), but am happier at a law firm where I can provide my interpretations and “write” more (I’m an avid writer and there definitely is less writing projects at a big4; for example, you’d actually run the numbers for a PFIC analysis at a big4, but at a law firm you’d take those numbers to agree/disagree and provide your input in writing to 20-Fs). Big4 also generally works more. Typed on phone so excuse me for any typos.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Writing that memo was no different, in substance, than writing a legal opinion (I spent hours with the Bluebook on that project). The differences, however, are (1) I did the financial analysis myself and I wrote the memo, rather than a law firm being sent the financial analysis and told to convert the analysis into a legal opinion; and (2) my Big4 memo was just a memo--it was not a legal opinion. Big4 attorneys who are barred and in good standing of one or more states (like me) can not render legal advise pursuant to the ABA rules of professional conduct (among others). So even if what we do is similar to legal advice, it is not--and will never be--legal advice. To that end, I will give you one more example.
As a Big4 and Biglaw tax client, I will say that the distinction between "legal advice" and non-legal tax/accounting device is often one without a difference (notwithstanding the ABA rules). Whether Big4 or Biglaw is involved matters for things like privilege, but it's not uncommon for clients to have a choice between the two and regard them as essentially fungible. The biggest difference is that Big 4 will run the numbers for you, but Biglaw won't (or at least shouldn't- I've seen them try and it usually doesn't work well if they are getting into the weeds on numbers). Biglaw will write transaction documents for you, but Big 4 can't (and probably shouldn't in most cases). If all you are doing is putting together a step plan and want a memo, either will do. Which we pick mostly boils down to expertise, relationships, and cost considerations. I've also used Big4 for legal advice and transaction document drafting in foreign countries that allow it.

There are fantastic technical experts at both, but Big 4 tends to have a slight edge on hyper technical subjects and subjects that have a political bent (i.e. pending legislation or regs). That's mostly because they have access to their respective Washington national tax offices with super specialized subject matter experts. Biglaw tends to be better on matters where there are significant non-tax considerations, or where there's a lot of case law involved.

As a final item, I'd mention as a client that I never ever want to see anybody spend a single minute with the bluebook on anything that isn't going to be submitted to a court. As long as the cite is in some form that Westlaw will recognize when I copy and paste it, I couldn't care less how it's formatted. Spending time bluebooking just runs up the bill. But then again, I tend to agree with Richard Posner that the Bluebook is "560 pages of rubbish."
As a long-time TLS lurker, I really appreciate all the input nealric brings to the table.

I went from big4 to biglaw (anon to not disclose where), and everything that nealric stated is true.

From an associate’s perspective, however, the experience at a big4 will be significantly different depending on the group/office. If you go to one of the WNT offices, you really can’t go wrong depending on your passion (e.g., if you find yourself loving sub K at law school, go to a passthru group and that’s all they’ll do all day everyday). Field offices will be more of a coinflip, as you’d inevitably have to spend a ton of time on business development / admin work, which eats into your time you otherwise could have worked to build your technical expertise. It doesn’t help that you are generally given a research assignment that shouldn’t take up too many hours, which you then have to confirm with the appropriate WNT expert. At a law firm, you are the WNT person to your partner, and every answer you give must carry its weight, whereas at a big4 there is more protection due to its chain of command. All in all, I enjoyed the holistic perspective of deals I was able to learn at a big4 (as someone mentioned above, big4 churns out ppt decks for which mostly associates are staffed on, with a lot of precedent templates that all have a lot of substance if you decide to take your own time to read into them), but am happier at a law firm where I can provide my interpretations and “write” more (I’m an avid writer and there definitely is less writing projects at a big4; for example, you’d actually run the numbers for a PFIC analysis at a big4, but at a law firm you’d take those numbers to agree/disagree and provide your input in writing to 20-Fs). Big4 also generally works more. Typed on phone so excuse me for any typos.

Thank you both for your insight! Can I ask what was your process in transitioning to Big Law? Would it be pretty difficult coming from a Big4 associate in the NYC office? I am concerned about losing my "writing skill" when I start at Big4; is there anything you recommend that I should do to keep those skills sharp?

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
As a long-time TLS lurker, I really appreciate all the input nealric brings to the table.

I went from big4 to biglaw (anon to not disclose where), and everything that nealric stated is true.

From an associate’s perspective, however, the experience at a big4 will be significantly different depending on the group/office. If you go to one of the WNT offices, you really can’t go wrong depending on your passion (e.g., if you find yourself loving sub K at law school, go to a passthru group and that’s all they’ll do all day everyday). Field offices will be more of a coinflip, as you’d inevitably have to spend a ton of time on business development / admin work, which eats into your time you otherwise could have worked to build your technical expertise. It doesn’t help that you are generally given a research assignment that shouldn’t take up too many hours, which you then have to confirm with the appropriate WNT expert. At a law firm, you are the WNT person to your partner, and every answer you give must carry its weight, whereas at a big4 there is more protection due to its chain of command. All in all, I enjoyed the holistic perspective of deals I was able to learn at a big4 (as someone mentioned above, big4 churns out ppt decks for which mostly associates are staffed on, with a lot of precedent templates that all have a lot of substance if you decide to take your own time to read into them), but am happier at a law firm where I can provide my interpretations and “write” more (I’m an avid writer and there definitely is less writing projects at a big4; for example, you’d actually run the numbers for a PFIC analysis at a big4, but at a law firm you’d take those numbers to agree/disagree and provide your input in writing to 20-Fs). Big4 also generally works more. Typed on phone so excuse me for any typos.
Great insights. Thank you. As someone who churned out a dozen (or more) PFIC tests over the summer, I'd be very curious to see what a BigLaw associate does with a PFIC test as compared to what I did at a Big4.

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Re: Big4

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:37 pm

Can anyone discuss partnership prospects, specifically as compared to biglaw partnership prospects? I once read a post (I think on here) that said something to the extent of if you stay at the Big4 long enough you'll make partner. Is it true that partnership is just a function of seniority? This doesn't seem right to me because I know there are people who get stuck at senior manager level for 10 years and never make partner. In a NYC ITS or M&A group, how likely is it that an LLM associate will be able to move up the ranks and make partner, and what is the time frame?

I've also heard a rumor that LLM associates who start in ITS/M&A in NYC, and stay 5-7 years until manager/senior manager level, have nearly a guaranteed position as an MD/Partner should they decide to leave NYC and go to a secondary market. Is there any truth to this?

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Re: Big4

Post by Sackboy » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone discuss partnership prospects, specifically as compared to biglaw partnership prospects? I once read a post (I think on here) that said something to the extent of if you stay at the Big4 long enough you'll make partner. Is it true that partnership is just a function of seniority? This doesn't seem right to me because I know there are people who get stuck at senior manager level for 10 years and never make partner. In a NYC ITS or M&A group, how likely is it that an LLM associate will be able to move up the ranks and make partner, and what is the time frame?

I've also heard a rumor that LLM associates who start in ITS/M&A in NYC, and stay 5-7 years until manager/senior manager level, have nearly a guaranteed position as an MD/Partner should they decide to leave NYC and go to a secondary market. Is there any truth to this?
This isn't my space, but I grew up and spent most of my early adult life with my father working in the Big4/tax space in-house. I remember him talking about folks that were pretty much career Directors. They weren't skilled, connected, or soulless enough to make partner, but Big4 would keep them around indefinitely because they have enough expertise and positive client relationships. Partner definitely did not seem guaranteed as a function of seniority. There really seemed to be a fair chance that you'd get stuck at Director (i.e. biglaw "counsel") and either stick around because the money was solid enough or leave to go in-house.

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Re: Big4

Post by dabigchina » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:05 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone discuss partnership prospects, specifically as compared to biglaw partnership prospects? I once read a post (I think on here) that said something to the extent of if you stay at the Big4 long enough you'll make partner. Is it true that partnership is just a function of seniority? This doesn't seem right to me because I know there are people who get stuck at senior manager level for 10 years and never make partner. In a NYC ITS or M&A group, how likely is it that an LLM associate will be able to move up the ranks and make partner, and what is the time frame?

I've also heard a rumor that LLM associates who start in ITS/M&A in NYC, and stay 5-7 years until manager/senior manager level, have nearly a guaranteed position as an MD/Partner should they decide to leave NYC and go to a secondary market. Is there any truth to this?
This isn't my space, but I grew up and spent most of my early adult life with my father working in the Big4/tax space in-house. I remember him talking about folks that were pretty much career Directors. They weren't skilled, connected, or soulless enough to make partner, but Big4 would keep them around indefinitely because they have enough expertise and positive client relationships. Partner definitely did not seem guaranteed as a function of seniority. There really seemed to be a fair chance that you'd get stuck at Director (i.e. biglaw "counsel") and either stick around because the money was solid enough or leave to go in-house.
guaranteed partnership is strong, but director is definitely doable. I question how good the lifestyle is as a director tho - think biglaw counsel, except with 80% of the work for 55-70% of the pay.

The play is 100% to exit in house. In house recruiting from Big4 is stronger than from biglaw. You might make 20-30% less money, but the positions are plentiful and the quality of life is generally pretty great.

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Re: Big4

Post by Pomeranian » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:08 pm

I thought you needed a CPA to become a partner in a big4?

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Re: Big4

Post by dabigchina » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:38 pm

Pomeranian wrote:I thought you needed a CPA to become a partner in a big4?
they just call you "principal" instead. same thing.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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


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