Vault 2021 Predictions

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Wild Card

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Wild Card » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:11 pm
As someone who works at Weil (so biased), I don't get why people keep thinking, and some hoping, that it drops. It's a good firm.
I think GULC is a good, national law school, and the T14 should stay as is. Others have been trying to forcememe T13.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by ChairmanKaga » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:25 pm

Vault has always been driven by the aura surrounding the long-established, NYC-headquartered firms with ties to financial institutions. Firms without those characteristics aren't and might never be seen as peers irrespective of PEP, RPL, bonuses, Chambers rankings, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if K&E fails to hit V5 this year or ever.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:14 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:07 pm
ChairmanKaga wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:59 pm
but what about the others (particularly Shearman which seems like a meaningful fall)?
It was one of the first firms to deequitize unprouctive partners, of which it had very many, after the Great Recession. Also, its portfolio of clients was not sufficiently diversified, so it was left behind as those clients sought greener pastures. Its only strong practice is public M&A.

More recently, it has earned a reputation for mistreating associates: assigning them to random practice groups, paying underperforming associates full bonuses while denying bonuses to productive associates, stealthing second years and even first years, seconding associates and then assigning them to random practice groups upon their return.
Your anti-Shearman schtick is really something. I've never seen someone have such a personal vandetta against a firm.

Doesn't Shearman also have a pretty robust CM practice? I also thought it did good Securities Lit and Project Finance work? Broadly speaking though, I agree with your assessment that Shearman has seen better days and is largely buoyed by far too few practice areas. I'm at a very PE-heavy firm (think K&E/STB), and Shearman has pretty much zero PE capabilities, which is pretty sad considering the PE wave has been clear/present for awhile now and doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Wild Card » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:14 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:07 pm
ChairmanKaga wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:59 pm
but what about the others (particularly Shearman which seems like a meaningful fall)?
It was one of the first firms to deequitize unprouctive partners, of which it had very many, after the Great Recession. Also, its portfolio of clients was not sufficiently diversified, so it was left behind as those clients sought greener pastures. Its only strong practice is public M&A.

More recently, it has earned a reputation for mistreating associates: assigning them to random practice groups, paying underperforming associates full bonuses while denying bonuses to productive associates, stealthing second years and even first years, seconding associates and then assigning them to random practice groups upon their return.
Your anti-Shearman schtick is really something. I've never seen someone have such a personal vandetta against a firm.

Doesn't Shearman also have a pretty robust CM practice? I also thought it did good Securities Lit and Project Finance work? Broadly speaking though, I agree with your assessment that Shearman has seen better days and is largely buoyed by far too few practice areas. I'm at a very PE-heavy firm (think K&E/STB), and Shearman has pretty much zero PE capabilities, which is pretty sad considering the PE wave has been clear/present for awhile now and doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
I have close friends from both college and law school who were former associates of the firm. Word gets around now, and we would be complicit in the needless suffering of the next generation of grads if we didn't speak out. Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is; and Dechert, Shearman, and Cadwalader deserve to fall well outside the V50. And as a poster above said, Latham has no business being anywhere in the V5.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:11 pm
As someone who works at Weil (so biased), I don't get why people keep thinking, and some hoping, that it drops. It's a good firm.
I used to work at Weil until I lateraled to another V10 and am similarly mystified. More than a few times, partners at the V10 explicitly praised their counterparts at Weil during CLE and other practice groups presentations.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Spectator » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:31 am
I used to work at Weil until I lateraled to another V10* and am similarly mystified.
*Note to readers: Weil isn't a v10 anymore, although it may have been at the time you lateraled.

And speaking of Latham, fall to v7 incoming.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Ultramar vistas » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:31 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:11 pm
As someone who works at Weil (so biased), I don't get why people keep thinking, and some hoping, that it drops. It's a good firm.
I used to work at Weil until I lateraled to another V10 and am similarly mystified. More than a few times, partners at the V10 explicitly praised their counterparts at Weil during CLE and other practice groups presentations.
Being disliked for mystery reasons by posters on TLS should be seen as a compliment - unless backed up by some explicit reason, it’s usually insecurity/jealousy arising out of the sense that one firm’s loss must be another law firm’s gain.

There’s no reason to dislike Weil specifically, ergo it’s probably safe to say that this is coming from someone who works at a v10-v15, who thinks that their firm deserves for some reason to be ranked higher. Who cares?

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by nealric » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:50 am

Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:14 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:07 pm
ChairmanKaga wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:59 pm
but what about the others (particularly Shearman which seems like a meaningful fall)?
It was one of the first firms to deequitize unprouctive partners, of which it had very many, after the Great Recession. Also, its portfolio of clients was not sufficiently diversified, so it was left behind as those clients sought greener pastures. Its only strong practice is public M&A.

More recently, it has earned a reputation for mistreating associates: assigning them to random practice groups, paying underperforming associates full bonuses while denying bonuses to productive associates, stealthing second years and even first years, seconding associates and then assigning them to random practice groups upon their return.
Your anti-Shearman schtick is really something. I've never seen someone have such a personal vandetta against a firm.

Doesn't Shearman also have a pretty robust CM practice? I also thought it did good Securities Lit and Project Finance work? Broadly speaking though, I agree with your assessment that Shearman has seen better days and is largely buoyed by far too few practice areas. I'm at a very PE-heavy firm (think K&E/STB), and Shearman has pretty much zero PE capabilities, which is pretty sad considering the PE wave has been clear/present for awhile now and doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
I have close friends from both college and law school who were former associates of the firm. Word gets around now, and we would be complicit in the needless suffering of the next generation of grads if we didn't speak out. Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is; and Dechert, Shearman, and Cadwalader deserve to fall well outside the V50. And as a poster above said, Latham has no business being anywhere in the V5.
Not really news though. Shearman had a reputation as a "has been" firm among law students back in the 00's when I was first researching law firms for OCI. I suppose there was a day when it was uttered in the same breath as S&C, though I don't really know when that was. 80s perhaps?

That being said, unless you are a total type A gunner and truly plan on going for partnership, I'm not sure how meaningful most of this stuff is. Any firm in the v100 will have reasonably good exit options. I think a lot of law students think of firms like law schools, where outside the T20 or so things fall off a cliff in terms of opportunities presented. Law firms are not so differentiated. Sure, you probably won't work on a WSJ headline deal at a V50-100, but it's not like your work on a WSJ headline deal as a v10 junior is going to be particularly meaningful anyways- nor are the page 13 byline deals really all that substantively different from the headline ones from the perspective of an associate.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by kovdak02 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:12 pm

nealric wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:50 am
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:14 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:07 pm
ChairmanKaga wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:59 pm
but what about the others (particularly Shearman which seems like a meaningful fall)?
It was one of the first firms to deequitize unprouctive partners, of which it had very many, after the Great Recession. Also, its portfolio of clients was not sufficiently diversified, so it was left behind as those clients sought greener pastures. Its only strong practice is public M&A.

More recently, it has earned a reputation for mistreating associates: assigning them to random practice groups, paying underperforming associates full bonuses while denying bonuses to productive associates, stealthing second years and even first years, seconding associates and then assigning them to random practice groups upon their return.
Your anti-Shearman schtick is really something. I've never seen someone have such a personal vandetta against a firm.

Doesn't Shearman also have a pretty robust CM practice? I also thought it did good Securities Lit and Project Finance work? Broadly speaking though, I agree with your assessment that Shearman has seen better days and is largely buoyed by far too few practice areas. I'm at a very PE-heavy firm (think K&E/STB), and Shearman has pretty much zero PE capabilities, which is pretty sad considering the PE wave has been clear/present for awhile now and doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
I have close friends from both college and law school who were former associates of the firm. Word gets around now, and we would be complicit in the needless suffering of the next generation of grads if we didn't speak out. Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is; and Dechert, Shearman, and Cadwalader deserve to fall well outside the V50. And as a poster above said, Latham has no business being anywhere in the V5.
Not really news though. Shearman had a reputation as a "has been" firm among law students back in the 00's when I was first researching law firms for OCI. I suppose there was a day when it was uttered in the same breath as S&C, though I don't really know when that was. 80s perhaps?

That being said, unless you are a total type A gunner and truly plan on going for partnership, I'm not sure how meaningful most of this stuff is. Any firm in the v100 will have reasonably good exit options. I think a lot of law students think of firms like law schools, where outside the T20 or so things fall off a cliff in terms of opportunities presented. Law firms are not so differentiated. Sure, you probably won't work on a WSJ headline deal at a V50-100, but it's not like your work on a WSJ headline deal as a v10 junior is going to be particularly meaningful anyways- nor are the page 13 byline deals really all that substantively different from the headline ones from the perspective of an associate.
It’s certainly not as differentiated as law schools, but there are meaningful gradations that matter even to associates without any dreams of partnership. We are living a good example of some of them. Even though dozens of firms are on 190k + Cravath bonus scale, we have seen salary cuts or furloughs at lower-ranked (less profitable) firms now that have not found their way into the V20 or so.

More meaningfully, the Vault rankings are a rough but decent shorthand for lateral opportunities. As a 4th year, I’m unlikely to lateral from a V50-60 to DPW or Kirkland, but the reverse is common. That gives associates with partnership aspirations a real second chance at very strong firms, and those without such aspirations an extension of years to earn the big bucks.

So I think all of this stuff does matter beyond just pure prestige seeking (which is common and relatively irrelevant) and should continue to drive 2L decision making. I know lots of former classmates who said “I loved the culture and Partner X at (V60 callback), but I’m taking (V15) offer.” That still makes a lot of sense even when the pay scales are identical.

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nealric

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by nealric » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:35 pm

kovdak02 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:12 pm
nealric wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:50 am
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:14 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:07 pm
ChairmanKaga wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:59 pm
but what about the others (particularly Shearman which seems like a meaningful fall)?
It was one of the first firms to deequitize unprouctive partners, of which it had very many, after the Great Recession. Also, its portfolio of clients was not sufficiently diversified, so it was left behind as those clients sought greener pastures. Its only strong practice is public M&A.

More recently, it has earned a reputation for mistreating associates: assigning them to random practice groups, paying underperforming associates full bonuses while denying bonuses to productive associates, stealthing second years and even first years, seconding associates and then assigning them to random practice groups upon their return.
Your anti-Shearman schtick is really something. I've never seen someone have such a personal vandetta against a firm.

Doesn't Shearman also have a pretty robust CM practice? I also thought it did good Securities Lit and Project Finance work? Broadly speaking though, I agree with your assessment that Shearman has seen better days and is largely buoyed by far too few practice areas. I'm at a very PE-heavy firm (think K&E/STB), and Shearman has pretty much zero PE capabilities, which is pretty sad considering the PE wave has been clear/present for awhile now and doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
I have close friends from both college and law school who were former associates of the firm. Word gets around now, and we would be complicit in the needless suffering of the next generation of grads if we didn't speak out. Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is; and Dechert, Shearman, and Cadwalader deserve to fall well outside the V50. And as a poster above said, Latham has no business being anywhere in the V5.
Not really news though. Shearman had a reputation as a "has been" firm among law students back in the 00's when I was first researching law firms for OCI. I suppose there was a day when it was uttered in the same breath as S&C, though I don't really know when that was. 80s perhaps?

That being said, unless you are a total type A gunner and truly plan on going for partnership, I'm not sure how meaningful most of this stuff is. Any firm in the v100 will have reasonably good exit options. I think a lot of law students think of firms like law schools, where outside the T20 or so things fall off a cliff in terms of opportunities presented. Law firms are not so differentiated. Sure, you probably won't work on a WSJ headline deal at a V50-100, but it's not like your work on a WSJ headline deal as a v10 junior is going to be particularly meaningful anyways- nor are the page 13 byline deals really all that substantively different from the headline ones from the perspective of an associate.
It’s certainly not as differentiated as law schools, but there are meaningful gradations that matter even to associates without any dreams of partnership. We are living a good example of some of them. Even though dozens of firms are on 190k + Cravath bonus scale, we have seen salary cuts or furloughs at lower-ranked (less profitable) firms now that have not found their way into the V20 or so.

More meaningfully, the Vault rankings are a rough but decent shorthand for lateral opportunities. As a 4th year, I’m unlikely to lateral from a V50-60 to DPW or Kirkland, but the reverse is common. That gives associates with partnership aspirations a real second chance at very strong firms, and those without such aspirations an extension of years to earn the big bucks.

So I think all of this stuff does matter beyond just pure prestige seeking (which is common and relatively irrelevant) and should continue to drive 2L decision making. I know lots of former classmates who said “I loved the culture and Partner X at (V60 callback), but I’m taking (V15) offer.” That still makes a lot of sense even when the pay scales are identical.
It's true that you are more a bit more likely to be stiffed on bonuses or subject to paycuts in tough times at lower tier firms, though I'm not sure job security is much better. Stealth layoffs and counselling out happens pretty much up and down the vault range. Potential lost bonuses and paycuts tend not to mean as much to juniors as you need to get into 4th+ year range before bonuses start really becoming a game changer for comp.

I think people way overestimate the differences in lateral opportunities. To be fair, there's little actual data on this sort of thing, so I will have to speak from experience, but several of the associates from my first year v50-100 law firm class ended up at V10s (including Kirkland by the way). In fact, multiple associates who were pushed out actually lateralled up. My "lower tier" biglaw firm didn't seem to matter to any of the in-house jobs I interviewed for. At the end of the day, lateral/exit op employers mostly care what you have done and what that means you can do for them. Your academic credentials also still matter a lot until you get pretty senior. Someone who had the credentials for a v10 and chose to go lower will have an easier time lateraling up than someone who never had a shot at the v10 out of law school.

To be clear: I'm not suggesting that someone pick Cadwalader over S&C or anything silly like that, but just saying that the distinctions in different rank levels are a lot less stark than law students (who have been socialized by the academic world to be prestige seeking missiles) tend to assume. I might have advised your friend to take the v60 over the v15 if he'd fit in better and find superior mentorship at the v60. I'd put more stock in the Chambers practice group rankings for your desired practice area.

Overall, I think the biggest danger to a new associate is failure to get good experience. By that, I mean experience that teaches you the core skills you need to build a sustainable practice wherever you land. The pay in the first few years is nothing compared to what you will earn in years 10-30 of a successful career. I've seen people go to highly ranked firms and do nothing but diligence or doc review then flame out of law altogether having done little of substance. The best firm to pick is one that gives you the least likelihood of that happening. That may be the highest ranked firm you are offered at or it may not- it depends on a lot of factors.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:39 pm

kovdak02 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:12 pm
nealric wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:50 am
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:14 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:07 pm
ChairmanKaga wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:59 pm
but what about the others (particularly Shearman which seems like a meaningful fall)?
It was one of the first firms to deequitize unprouctive partners, of which it had very many, after the Great Recession. Also, its portfolio of clients was not sufficiently diversified, so it was left behind as those clients sought greener pastures. Its only strong practice is public M&A.

More recently, it has earned a reputation for mistreating associates: assigning them to random practice groups, paying underperforming associates full bonuses while denying bonuses to productive associates, stealthing second years and even first years, seconding associates and then assigning them to random practice groups upon their return.
Your anti-Shearman schtick is really something. I've never seen someone have such a personal vandetta against a firm.

Doesn't Shearman also have a pretty robust CM practice? I also thought it did good Securities Lit and Project Finance work? Broadly speaking though, I agree with your assessment that Shearman has seen better days and is largely buoyed by far too few practice areas. I'm at a very PE-heavy firm (think K&E/STB), and Shearman has pretty much zero PE capabilities, which is pretty sad considering the PE wave has been clear/present for awhile now and doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
I have close friends from both college and law school who were former associates of the firm. Word gets around now, and we would be complicit in the needless suffering of the next generation of grads if we didn't speak out. Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is; and Dechert, Shearman, and Cadwalader deserve to fall well outside the V50. And as a poster above said, Latham has no business being anywhere in the V5.
Not really news though. Shearman had a reputation as a "has been" firm among law students back in the 00's when I was first researching law firms for OCI. I suppose there was a day when it was uttered in the same breath as S&C, though I don't really know when that was. 80s perhaps?

That being said, unless you are a total type A gunner and truly plan on going for partnership, I'm not sure how meaningful most of this stuff is. Any firm in the v100 will have reasonably good exit options. I think a lot of law students think of firms like law schools, where outside the T20 or so things fall off a cliff in terms of opportunities presented. Law firms are not so differentiated. Sure, you probably won't work on a WSJ headline deal at a V50-100, but it's not like your work on a WSJ headline deal as a v10 junior is going to be particularly meaningful anyways- nor are the page 13 byline deals really all that substantively different from the headline ones from the perspective of an associate.
It’s certainly not as differentiated as law schools, but there are meaningful gradations that matter even to associates without any dreams of partnership. We are living a good example of some of them. Even though dozens of firms are on 190k + Cravath bonus scale, we have seen salary cuts or furloughs at lower-ranked (less profitable) firms now that have not found their way into the V20 or so.

More meaningfully, the Vault rankings are a rough but decent shorthand for lateral opportunities. As a 4th year, I’m unlikely to lateral from a V50-60 to DPW or Kirkland, but the reverse is common. That gives associates with partnership aspirations a real second chance at very strong firms, and those without such aspirations an extension of years to earn the big bucks.

So I think all of this stuff does matter beyond just pure prestige seeking (which is common and relatively irrelevant) and should continue to drive 2L decision making. I know lots of former classmates who said “I loved the culture and Partner X at (V60 callback), but I’m taking (V15) offer.” That still makes a lot of sense even when the pay scales are identical.
DPW maybe, but is that really true of K&E? In better times at least, K&E seemed to give everyone and anyone a chance to survive at K&E as a lateral. As for exits, practice area and experience are much more important than the firm's rank or name.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by kovdak02 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:30 pm

Don’t disagree with anything in the last two posts and, to be clear, my examples were all else being equal. Of course a lower ranked firm by Vault can be stronger in Preferred Practice Area X.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:01 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:18 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:11 pm
As someone who works at Weil (so biased), I don't get why people keep thinking, and some hoping, that it drops. It's a good firm.


I think GULC is a good, national law school, and the T14 should stay as is. Others have been trying to forcememe T13.

As an incoming associate at Weil, I find this very hilarious and am laughing to death

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:32 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm
Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is;
I just want to note, as a current associate, my understanding of PH, and this could explain it's higher ranking, is that it's really a story of two firms, as far as associate life etc. West coast offices, basically every associate I talk to speaks positively of the firm, and NY (I don't really speak to anyone in DC) is much more neutral/negative.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Excellent117 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:32 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm
Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is;
I just want to note, as a current associate, my understanding of PH, and this could explain it's higher ranking, is that it's really a story of two firms, as far as associate life etc. West coast offices, basically every associate I talk to speaks positively of the firm, and NY (I don't really speak to anyone in DC) is much more neutral/negative.
PH on the West Coast (at least in SoCal) is a miserable associate experience according to most people I know who have worked or currently work there, particularly if you're a woman.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:52 pm

Excellent117 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:24 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:32 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm
Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is;
I just want to note, as a current associate, my understanding of PH, and this could explain it's higher ranking, is that it's really a story of two firms, as far as associate life etc. West coast offices, basically every associate I talk to speaks positively of the firm, and NY (I don't really speak to anyone in DC) is much more neutral/negative.
PH on the West Coast (at least in SoCal) is a miserable associate experience according to most people I know who have worked or currently work there, particularly if you're a woman.
Fair enough, I've heard differently, but most of the people I talk to are in NorCal. Maybe there's just a few smaller offices that are good and the rest are shit.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by cheaptilts » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:52 pm
Excellent117 wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:24 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:32 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:29 pm
Therefore, it's outrageous that Paul Hastings is as highly ranked as it is;
I just want to note, as a current associate, my understanding of PH, and this could explain it's higher ranking, is that it's really a story of two firms, as far as associate life etc. West coast offices, basically every associate I talk to speaks positively of the firm, and NY (I don't really speak to anyone in DC) is much more neutral/negative.
PH on the West Coast (at least in SoCal) is a miserable associate experience according to most people I know who have worked or currently work there, particularly if you're a woman.
Fair enough, I've heard differently, but most of the people I talk to are in NorCal. Maybe there's just a few smaller offices that are good and the rest are shit.
I’ve also heard differently (i.e., I’ve heard mainly positive things) from both male and female PH associates in SoCal. I’m unfamiliar with NorCal. I guess it goes to show that everyone has a different firm experience!

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by FedFan123 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:01 pm
Wild Card wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:18 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:11 pm
As someone who works at Weil (so biased), I don't get why people keep thinking, and some hoping, that it drops. It's a good firm.


I think GULC is a good, national law school, and the T14 should stay as is. Others have been trying to forcememe T13.

As an incoming associate at Weil, I find this very hilarious and am laughing to death
For real - not sure why weil people are so sensitive to not being in the v10 anymore. It is still oddly overranked, particularly now that kirkland is so far ahead of it in bankruptcy. Should be around v15 at highest

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:40 am

lol no, I’m really laughing at how law students /junior are obsessed with the top 14 / v10 threshold, where in real world these law schools are still the top feeder schools nationally and most renown academically / blue chip clients will still hire these law firms for their deals no matter how the ranking changes every year.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by sms18 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:48 pm
Joachim2017 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:04 pm
kovdak02 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:52 pm
Too many people on TLS think of "best firms" in the sense of "the order of firms I would accept offers from as a 2L" when in reality Vault rankings are not about this. As Sackboy mentioned, Kirkland has a very strong argument to be one of the top five firms even if most HLS 2Ls aiming for NY preftige would not have it in their top five.
Well also, even aside from the fact that HLS 2Ls are not a very well-informed group, they're going to come around to reality. Prestige can be sticky, but K&E pays above-market bonus for the same amount of work you'd do at a place like Cravath or DPW. And it has all-star caliber talent in multiple corporate areas. I think as the older generations of students thinking that stuffy bank/finance-heavy "white shoe" = prestige gets older and older, and younger students come in, they'll care less and less about those traditional markers of prestige and more about stuff like pay, dynamic practice, etc.

The old picture of the V5 as necessarily having to include white-show stalwarts like S&C and DPW is going to steadily decline, and in the next 5-10 years, with more and more access to information and less rigid conceptions of prestige, that picture will have become a relic.
Anon because my firm is pretty much outable by this post (especially to those at K&E).


K&E is known for poaching high-achieving partners from elsewhere. I can’t really name a “star” corporate or litigation partner at K&E who isn’t a lateral. I’m sure there are a few (every firm has a few); I’m just saying I can’t name any, and the most prominent names in the corp and lit departments are laterals.

Moreover, K&E over the past several months has offered many midlevels and seniors from my firm, offering six figure bonuses to join (or offering to make the associates “whole” when it comes bonus time to account for the bonus they would’ve received had they stayed at their original firms).

Obviously pecuniary gain is one of the most important goals that one should keep in mind when evaluating firms. But I think it’s fair for many to question why a firm that labels more employees “partners” than anywhere else also must try to recruit away other associates and partners to keep the engine humming. In other words, what are third, fourth, and fifth years learning at my firm that they aren’t at K&E such that K&E’s willing to pay such a high premium to try and lure them away?
I don't work at K&E (so pls let me know if i'm wrong about this), but from what I heard, one of the main reasons why K&E is so profitable compared to their peer firms is that they pay their non-equity partners associate salaries (plus larger bonuses) while billing them to clients as if they were real partners. So it totally makes economic sense for them to pay six figure signing bonuses to lure away capable midlevel/senior associates at other firms so that they can anoint them non-eq partners and juice the profits (and these profits are used in turn to poach partners from CSM and STB to get that KKR, Blackstone business). This has worked out very well for the partners, so far.

Ultramar vistas

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Ultramar vistas » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:16 am

sms18 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:59 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:48 pm
Joachim2017 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:04 pm
kovdak02 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:52 pm
Too many people on TLS think of "best firms" in the sense of "the order of firms I would accept offers from as a 2L" when in reality Vault rankings are not about this. As Sackboy mentioned, Kirkland has a very strong argument to be one of the top five firms even if most HLS 2Ls aiming for NY preftige would not have it in their top five.
Well also, even aside from the fact that HLS 2Ls are not a very well-informed group, they're going to come around to reality. Prestige can be sticky, but K&E pays above-market bonus for the same amount of work you'd do at a place like Cravath or DPW. And it has all-star caliber talent in multiple corporate areas. I think as the older generations of students thinking that stuffy bank/finance-heavy "white shoe" = prestige gets older and older, and younger students come in, they'll care less and less about those traditional markers of prestige and more about stuff like pay, dynamic practice, etc.

The old picture of the V5 as necessarily having to include white-show stalwarts like S&C and DPW is going to steadily decline, and in the next 5-10 years, with more and more access to information and less rigid conceptions of prestige, that picture will have become a relic.
Anon because my firm is pretty much outable by this post (especially to those at K&E).


K&E is known for poaching high-achieving partners from elsewhere. I can’t really name a “star” corporate or litigation partner at K&E who isn’t a lateral. I’m sure there are a few (every firm has a few); I’m just saying I can’t name any, and the most prominent names in the corp and lit departments are laterals.

Moreover, K&E over the past several months has offered many midlevels and seniors from my firm, offering six figure bonuses to join (or offering to make the associates “whole” when it comes bonus time to account for the bonus they would’ve received had they stayed at their original firms).

Obviously pecuniary gain is one of the most important goals that one should keep in mind when evaluating firms. But I think it’s fair for many to question why a firm that labels more employees “partners” than anywhere else also must try to recruit away other associates and partners to keep the engine humming. In other words, what are third, fourth, and fifth years learning at my firm that they aren’t at K&E such that K&E’s willing to pay such a high premium to try and lure them away?
I don't work at K&E (so pls let me know if i'm wrong about this), but from what I heard, one of the main reasons why K&E is so profitable compared to their peer firms is that they pay their non-equity partners associate salaries (plus larger bonuses) while billing them to clients as if they were real partners. So it totally makes economic sense for them to pay six figure signing bonuses to lure away capable midlevel/senior associates at other firms so that they can anoint them non-eq partners and juice the profits (and these profits are used in turn to poach partners from CSM and STB to get that KKR, Blackstone business). This has worked out very well for the partners, so far.
This is not correct. NSPs bill at similar levels to other V10 associates of the same class year, and there is not a dramatic jump upon making NSP.

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sms18

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by sms18 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:48 am

Ultramar vistas wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:16 am
sms18 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:59 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:48 pm
Joachim2017 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:04 pm
kovdak02 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:52 pm
Too many people on TLS think of "best firms" in the sense of "the order of firms I would accept offers from as a 2L" when in reality Vault rankings are not about this. As Sackboy mentioned, Kirkland has a very strong argument to be one of the top five firms even if most HLS 2Ls aiming for NY preftige would not have it in their top five.
Well also, even aside from the fact that HLS 2Ls are not a very well-informed group, they're going to come around to reality. Prestige can be sticky, but K&E pays above-market bonus for the same amount of work you'd do at a place like Cravath or DPW. And it has all-star caliber talent in multiple corporate areas. I think as the older generations of students thinking that stuffy bank/finance-heavy "white shoe" = prestige gets older and older, and younger students come in, they'll care less and less about those traditional markers of prestige and more about stuff like pay, dynamic practice, etc.

The old picture of the V5 as necessarily having to include white-show stalwarts like S&C and DPW is going to steadily decline, and in the next 5-10 years, with more and more access to information and less rigid conceptions of prestige, that picture will have become a relic.
Anon because my firm is pretty much outable by this post (especially to those at K&E).


K&E is known for poaching high-achieving partners from elsewhere. I can’t really name a “star” corporate or litigation partner at K&E who isn’t a lateral. I’m sure there are a few (every firm has a few); I’m just saying I can’t name any, and the most prominent names in the corp and lit departments are laterals.

Moreover, K&E over the past several months has offered many midlevels and seniors from my firm, offering six figure bonuses to join (or offering to make the associates “whole” when it comes bonus time to account for the bonus they would’ve received had they stayed at their original firms).

Obviously pecuniary gain is one of the most important goals that one should keep in mind when evaluating firms. But I think it’s fair for many to question why a firm that labels more employees “partners” than anywhere else also must try to recruit away other associates and partners to keep the engine humming. In other words, what are third, fourth, and fifth years learning at my firm that they aren’t at K&E such that K&E’s willing to pay such a high premium to try and lure them away?
I don't work at K&E (so pls let me know if i'm wrong about this), but from what I heard, one of the main reasons why K&E is so profitable compared to their peer firms is that they pay their non-equity partners associate salaries (plus larger bonuses) while billing them to clients as if they were real partners. So it totally makes economic sense for them to pay six figure signing bonuses to lure away capable midlevel/senior associates at other firms so that they can anoint them non-eq partners and juice the profits (and these profits are used in turn to poach partners from CSM and STB to get that KKR, Blackstone business). This has worked out very well for the partners, so far.
This is not correct. NSPs bill at similar levels to other V10 associates of the same class year, and there is not a dramatic jump upon making NSP.
Oh, okay. This WSJ article from last yr (https://www.wsj.com/articles/being-a-la ... 1565362437) also made it sound like a NSPs get a bump in billing rate when they become "partners" but guess it's not a meaningful jump.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:17 pm

In my experience as a KE associate and talking to law school classmates at other comparable firms, I think KE associates and NSPs (what other firms would call 7th year and up associates) on the whole bill a meaningfully higher number of hours than most of their peers at similar firms. KE also commands top-end rates from clients. Those two facts just by themselves lead to KE having astronomical PPP.

Most of my colleagues are aware that they could work less at other peer firms; many of them don’t care (most of those have partner aspirations) and most of the rest are happy with the above market bonuses, even though the bonus delta is really not worth the extra time.

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Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:17 pm
In my experience as a KE associate and talking to law school classmates at other comparable firms, I think KE associates and NSPs (what other firms would call 7th year and up associates) on the whole bill a meaningfully higher number of hours than most of their peers at similar firms. KE also commands top-end rates from clients. Those two facts just by themselves lead to KE having astronomical PPP.

Most of my colleagues are aware that they could work less at other peer firms; many of them don’t care (most of those have partner aspirations) and most of the rest are happy with the above market bonuses, even though the bonus delta is really not worth the extra time.
Based on my experience, this is accurate. High RPL can be explained by either higher prices (rates) or higher quantity (hours billed). In-house counsel are not dumb, and they wouldn't pay partner rates for a 6th-year NSP at K&E and associate rates for a 6th-year associate at another V10. The quality of work is not going to be meaningfully different. K&E's advantage might be charging New York rates across all offices, even as "market" rates in say, Houston, are lower. As I understand it, Kirkland's RPL is comparable to the V10 New York firms. I doubt Kirkland charges higher rates than Cravath or Davis Polk.

Anonymous User
Posts: 372809
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Vault 2021 Predictions

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:30 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:17 pm
In my experience as a KE associate and talking to law school classmates at other comparable firms, I think KE associates and NSPs (what other firms would call 7th year and up associates) on the whole bill a meaningfully higher number of hours than most of their peers at similar firms. KE also commands top-end rates from clients. Those two facts just by themselves lead to KE having astronomical PPP.

Most of my colleagues are aware that they could work less at other peer firms; many of them don’t care (most of those have partner aspirations) and most of the rest are happy with the above market bonuses, even though the bonus delta is really not worth the extra time.
Based on my experience, this is accurate. High RPL can be explained by either higher prices (rates) or higher quantity (hours billed). In-house counsel are not dumb, and they wouldn't pay partner rates for a 6th-year NSP at K&E and associate rates for a 6th-year associate at another V10. The quality of work is not going to be meaningfully different. K&E's advantage might be charging New York rates across all offices, even as "market" rates in say, Houston, are lower. As I understand it, Kirkland's RPL is comparable to the V10 New York firms. I doubt Kirkland charges higher rates than Cravath or Davis Polk.
former (as in left for a different firm in February of this year) v5 midish year associate. I've chatted with my Kirkland counterparts and counterparts at other similar firms. We all bill out at about the same rate of about 1k an hour. Before someone starts shouting about realization rates and that not actually being paid, I also help to put together bills for partners and saw funds flows. Very few hours were written off or not collected (at least on the work that I did). The amount of profit being made on associates (especially transactional associates) by these firms is outrageous.

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