Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

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Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:14 pm

Title essentially says it all. How feasible is it for someone (me!) from a non T-14 school to get a job at Wachtell after 2L OCI (so during 3L year)?

I'm currently on track to graduate with honors from my T1 law school (top 10-15%) and graduated from a top 25 undergraduate, with a degree in finance. In terms of some of my resume highlights, I'm currently at a V5 NYC firm, have externed at the SEC and am the Student Body President of my law school. Wachtell has taken people from my school before, but they don't show up to OCI on a consistent basis.

What does the firm look for in the people they hire?

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:14 pm
Title essentially says it all. How feasible is it for someone (me!) from a non T-14 school to get a job at Wachtell after 2L OCI (so during 3L year)?

I'm currently on track to graduate with honors from my T1 law school (top 10-15%) and graduated from a top 25 undergraduate, with a degree in finance. In terms of some of my resume highlights, I'm currently at a V5 NYC firm, have externed at the SEC and am the Student Body President of my law school. Wachtell has taken people from my school before, but they don't show up to OCI on a consistent basis.

What does the firm look for in the people they hire?

Wachtell took someone from Samford once, but they had something like 14 CALI awards. I don’t think they took a single person outside the top 3% at my T6. The better question is why you are putting them on a pedestal like this.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:34 pm

My reading of the NALP tables is that Wachtell doesn’t do much, or possibly any, 3L hiring. That plus the other factors suggests to me that this would not be feasible whatsoever.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:14 pm
Title essentially says it all. How feasible is it for someone (me!) from a non T-14 school to get a job at Wachtell after 2L OCI (so during 3L year)?

I'm currently on track to graduate with honors from my T1 law school (top 10-15%) and graduated from a top 25 undergraduate, with a degree in finance. In terms of some of my resume highlights, I'm currently at a V5 NYC firm, have externed at the SEC and am the Student Body President of my law school. Wachtell has taken people from my school before, but they don't show up to OCI on a consistent basis.

What does the firm look for in the people they hire?

Wachtell took someone from Samford once, but they had something like 14 CALI awards. I don’t think they took a single person outside the top 3% at my T6. The better question is why you are putting them on a pedestal like this.
OP here. I think that's a pretty big assumption that I'm putting anything on a pedestal. Like a fair amount of people, most of my interest in the firm stems from of its unique pay structure. If I'm going to work hella hours, I might as well try to get paid more for it. No need to be aggressive about it.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by ExpOriental » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:27 pm

Wachtell took someone from Samford once, but they had something like 14 CALI awards. I don’t think they took a single person outside the top 3% at my T6. The better question is why you are putting them on a pedestal like this.
That's a dumb question. Wachtell is on a pedestal compared to the rest of biglaw. Even if you (incorrectly) ignore the prestige factor, it spanks the shit out of every other firm on comp.

That's not to say it's the right fit for everyone; personally I'd look elsewhere if I had a resume that could get me an offer there, but that's just me. But the fact remains that the firm is in a league of its own in several ways, the most important being the vast gulf in comp.

As for OP: look into chancery court clerkships. Your resume is probably not sufficient for WLRK as is, and the ship has probably sailed, though you might as well apply. I'm no expert on this, but a chancery court clerkship (or something with similar import to the firm) could be an in.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by dyemond » Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:14 pm
Title essentially says it all. How feasible is it for someone (me!) from a non T-14 school to get a job at Wachtell after 2L OCI (so during 3L year)?

I'm currently on track to graduate with honors from my T1 law school (top 10-15%) and graduated from a top 25 undergraduate, with a degree in finance. In terms of some of my resume highlights, I'm currently at a V5 NYC firm, have externed at the SEC and am the Student Body President of my law school. Wachtell has taken people from my school before, but they don't show up to OCI on a consistent basis.

What does the firm look for in the people they hire?
0%.

No amount of resume burnishing (the reference to the SBA makes me think this is flame) is going to help you out. They have like, a dozen people from non-T14 schools. Being T14 is essentially a pre-req and then you need to be top 25% and have specific other factors (have 2 years at an elite hedge fund or something) that get you a second look.

Pull up the profiles of the non-T14 people there -- they are absolute top of their class and frequently have another "hook" to work there (willing to work for a specialty group (RE for high net-worth individuals, ERISA), summa at GWU/Fordham and then have elite clerkships/fed experience, specialty/intense UG majors).

Take stock of the fact that you're at a top shop and do good work there. Get your head out of the clouds.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:37 pm

dyemond wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:14 pm
Title essentially says it all. How feasible is it for someone (me!) from a non T-14 school to get a job at Wachtell after 2L OCI (so during 3L year)?

I'm currently on track to graduate with honors from my T1 law school (top 10-15%) and graduated from a top 25 undergraduate, with a degree in finance. In terms of some of my resume highlights, I'm currently at a V5 NYC firm, have externed at the SEC and am the Student Body President of my law school. Wachtell has taken people from my school before, but they don't show up to OCI on a consistent basis.

What does the firm look for in the people they hire?
0%.

No amount of resume burnishing (the reference to the SBA makes me think this is flame) is going to help you out. They have like, a dozen people from non-T14 schools. Being T14 is essentially a pre-req and then you need to be top 25% and have specific other factors (have 2 years at an elite hedge fund or something) that get you a second look.

Pull up the profiles of the non-T14 people there -- they are absolute top of their class and frequently have another "hook" to work there (willing to work for a specialty group (RE for high net-worth individuals, ERISA), summa at GWU/Fordham and then have elite clerkships/fed experience, specialty/intense UG majors).

Take stock of the fact that you're at a top shop and do good work there. Get your head out of the clouds.
OP here again. I do have experience with a top management consulting firm (one of Bain/BCG/McKinsey), if that changes the calculus, but I do see your point. The SBA thing isn't intended to be a flame, but just something I thought was worth highlighting I guess.

Furthermore, my head definitely isn't "in the clouds" lol. I'm happy with where I am and I think it's a stretch to assume that asking a question on a public forum indicates otherwise. I'm literally just asking a question.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:37 pm
dyemond wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:14 pm
Title essentially says it all. How feasible is it for someone (me!) from a non T-14 school to get a job at Wachtell after 2L OCI (so during 3L year)?

I'm currently on track to graduate with honors from my T1 law school (top 10-15%) and graduated from a top 25 undergraduate, with a degree in finance. In terms of some of my resume highlights, I'm currently at a V5 NYC firm, have externed at the SEC and am the Student Body President of my law school. Wachtell has taken people from my school before, but they don't show up to OCI on a consistent basis.

What does the firm look for in the people they hire?
0%.

No amount of resume burnishing (the reference to the SBA makes me think this is flame) is going to help you out. They have like, a dozen people from non-T14 schools. Being T14 is essentially a pre-req and then you need to be top 25% and have specific other factors (have 2 years at an elite hedge fund or something) that get you a second look.

Pull up the profiles of the non-T14 people there -- they are absolute top of their class and frequently have another "hook" to work there (willing to work for a specialty group (RE for high net-worth individuals, ERISA), summa at GWU/Fordham and then have elite clerkships/fed experience, specialty/intense UG majors).

Take stock of the fact that you're at a top shop and do good work there. Get your head out of the clouds.
OP here again. I do have experience with a top management consulting firm (one of Bain/BCG/McKinsey), if that changes the calculus, but I do see your point. The SBA thing isn't intended to be a flame, but just something I thought was worth highlighting I guess.

Furthermore, my head definitely isn't "in the clouds" lol. I'm happy with where I am and I think it's a stretch to assume that asking a question on a public forum indicates otherwise. I'm literally just asking a question.
Different poster. 0%, even with MBB, unless you finish top 3 (students, not percent) in your class. Even so, your odds aren't good.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:37 pm
OP here again. I do have experience with a top management consulting firm (one of Bain/BCG/McKinsey), if that changes the calculus, but I do see your point. The SBA thing isn't intended to be a flame, but just something I thought was worth highlighting I guess.

Furthermore, my head definitely isn't "in the clouds" lol. I'm happy with where I am and I think it's a stretch to assume that asking a question on a public forum indicates otherwise. I'm literally just asking a question.
Your defensiveness given the very direct and substantiated responses suggests that you are not "literally just asking a question." Or at not least asking without some preconception of what you want to hear.

As another user suggested, pull up the bios of junior non-T14 associates and see what patterns emerge.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:54 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:37 pm
OP here again. I do have experience with a top management consulting firm (one of Bain/BCG/McKinsey), if that changes the calculus, but I do see your point. The SBA thing isn't intended to be a flame, but just something I thought was worth highlighting I guess.

Furthermore, my head definitely isn't "in the clouds" lol. I'm happy with where I am and I think it's a stretch to assume that asking a question on a public forum indicates otherwise. I'm literally just asking a question.
Your defensiveness given the very direct and substantiated responses suggests that you are not "literally just asking a question." Or at not least asking without some preconception of what you want to hear.

As another user suggested, pull up the bios of junior non-T14 associates and see what patterns emerge.
I'm not being defensive at all, I just think the extra snark is uncalled for? Like, I got a great answer to my question, but the end part is unnecessarily snarky. You wouldn't answer anybody's question like this in person, so why over the internet on anonymous forums?

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by BrainsyK » Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:24 am

OP, even within the T14, WLRK only formally holds open interviews at OCIs at T6 + Penn. They work with the OCS of the remaining schools to interview a few people, whose rankings are measured by single digit numbers, not a percentile and possibly offer a small selection of those.

Without any snark, your odds are 0. It's not an indicator of your achievements. Most T14ers odds are 0.

With regard to what WLRK looks for, in my year at Columbia, mid- to upper-tier Ivy UG degrees (or equivalents) were heavily favored. I recall about 4/6 were of that persuasion. One remainder had IB or MBB experience, I don't remember which. The last person had nothing special but was #1 ranked person after 1L and upon graduation. The one thing that didn't really seem to matter that much was Law Review.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:08 pm

Completely anecdotal and just one small datapoint that merely proves the other posters’ points - a friend got a screener at Wachtell after ~x yrs of experience at a Vxx in a specialty group (being vague here intentionally). He was top x% at T20. Didn’t get a callback.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by jimmythecatdied6 » Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:57 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:54 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:37 pm
OP here again. I do have experience with a top management consulting firm (one of Bain/BCG/McKinsey), if that changes the calculus, but I do see your point. The SBA thing isn't intended to be a flame, but just something I thought was worth highlighting I guess.

Furthermore, my head definitely isn't "in the clouds" lol. I'm happy with where I am and I think it's a stretch to assume that asking a question on a public forum indicates otherwise. I'm literally just asking a question.
Your defensiveness given the very direct and substantiated responses suggests that you are not "literally just asking a question." Or at not least asking without some preconception of what you want to hear.

As another user suggested, pull up the bios of junior non-T14 associates and see what patterns emerge.
I'm not being defensive at all, I just think the extra snark is uncalled for? Like, I got a great answer to my question, but the end part is unnecessarily snarky. You wouldn't answer anybody's question like this in person, so why over the internet on anonymous forums?
you need a strong dose of reality, ASAP.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by 2013 » Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:26 pm

OP, depending on where your law school falls and practice area, your chances could be 0% or more.

If you’re at Fordham and you somehow graduate top 10% and agree to do ERISA or Tax, I think you’d have like a 10% chance.

If you want to do M&A and you’re at like Maryland, your chances remain 0% even if you’re in the top 10%.

If you want more money than you’re going to get at Cravath (which I’m assuming you’re at), then just go to Kirkland.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by TigerIsBack » Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:45 pm

2013 wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:26 pm
OP, depending on where your law school falls and practice area, your chances could be 0% or more.

If you’re at Fordham and you somehow graduate top 10% and agree to do ERISA or Tax, I think you’d have like a 10% chance.

If you want to do M&A and you’re at like Maryland, your chances remain 0% even if you’re in the top 10%.

If you want more money than you’re going to get at Cravath (which I’m assuming you’re at), then just go to Kirkland.
I don't think anyone has a 10% chance at Wachtell. Even top grads from HYS don't have a 10% chance at Wachtell.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:37 pm

TigerIsBack wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:45 pm
2013 wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:26 pm
OP, depending on where your law school falls and practice area, your chances could be 0% or more.

If you’re at Fordham and you somehow graduate top 10% and agree to do ERISA or Tax, I think you’d have like a 10% chance.

If you want to do M&A and you’re at like Maryland, your chances remain 0% even if you’re in the top 10%.

If you want more money than you’re going to get at Cravath (which I’m assuming you’re at), then just go to Kirkland.
I don't think anyone has a 10% chance at Wachtell. Even top grads from HYS don't have a 10% chance at Wachtell.
You're overstating the difficulty after you get to the top of the class of a school Wachtell recruits at, although that's the real issue of course. Using Columbia Law as an example -- Wachtell offers about 3-5 people every year, and they are almost always Kent scholars, the top 3-5% of the class. In a normal year, there are only about 20 at maximum, and you would think a good amount have little interest in Wachtell, probably because they prefer DC litigation and don't even apply.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:37 pm
You're overstating the difficulty after you get to the top of the class of a school Wachtell recruits at, although that's the real issue of course. Using Columbia Law as an example -- Wachtell offers about 3-5 people every year, and they are almost always Kent scholars, the top 3-5% of the class. In a normal year, there are only about 20 at maximum, and you would think a good amount have little interest in Wachtell, probably because they prefer DC litigation and don't even apply.
This is all true.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Sackboy » Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:54 pm

0%

/thread

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by NYCValeoftears » Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:55 pm

Almost zero percent. Why do you want Wachtell? Posts like this seem to be the problem with this industry. People want things, but have no understanding of what they are and then when they get into big law they start hating usually around midlevel time (years 3-4). The fundamental issue is T-14 law schools (and other peer schools such as probably the one OP attends) do not effectively teach/preview to students what most will be doing (which is big law work) so you get students who desire things purely based on (diminishing notions of) prestige without understanding the day-to-day.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:37 pm
TigerIsBack wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:45 pm
2013 wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:26 pm
OP, depending on where your law school falls and practice area, your chances could be 0% or more.

If you’re at Fordham and you somehow graduate top 10% and agree to do ERISA or Tax, I think you’d have like a 10% chance.

If you want to do M&A and you’re at like Maryland, your chances remain 0% even if you’re in the top 10%.

If you want more money than you’re going to get at Cravath (which I’m assuming you’re at), then just go to Kirkland.
I don't think anyone has a 10% chance at Wachtell. Even top grads from HYS don't have a 10% chance at Wachtell.
You're overstating the difficulty after you get to the top of the class of a school Wachtell recruits at, although that's the real issue of course. Using Columbia Law as an example -- Wachtell offers about 3-5 people every year, and they are almost always Kent scholars, the top 3-5% of the class. In a normal year, there are only about 20 at maximum, and you would think a good amount have little interest in Wachtell, probably because they prefer DC litigation and don't even apply.
I was just below Kent, non-elite UG, but spoke multiple (4+) languages. Nothing after the screener. They hire (at least for the corporate group) with the intention of making you a partner, so the usual up/out model doesn't quite work.

From what I understand, the learning curve is just brutal. Good people to work with but you are thrown to swim in the ocean.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:21 pm

NYCValeoftears wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:55 pm
Almost zero percent. Why do you want Wachtell? Posts like this seem to be the problem with this industry. People want things, but have no understanding of what they are and then when they get into big law they start hating usually around midlevel time (years 3-4). The fundamental issue is T-14 law schools (and other peer schools such as probably the one OP attends) do not effectively teach/preview to students what most will be doing (which is big law work) so you get students who desire things purely based on (diminishing notions of) prestige without understanding the day-to-day.
OP here. I think that's a pretty big assumption that I'm putting anything on a pedestal. Like a fair amount of people, most of my interest in the firm stems from of its unique pay structure. If I'm going to work hella hours, I might as well try to get paid more for it. No need to be aggressive about it.


First, I'd like to thank everybody in this thread who gave me substantive responses. The majority of these answers have given me really good insights into the competitiveness of the process as well as what the firms looks for- I appreciate the people who took the time to respond.

In addressing, yet another, unsubstantiated claim/assumption about "why I want Wachtell", I would refer you to the above. I don't care about prestige. I'm currently working as a summer associate and did SEO prior to law school; I know what big law attorneys do.

That being said, someone on this thread had a great point about Kirkland. If possible, could you elaborate on their pay structure, if you have the knowledge? Is this a reference to their bonus structure?

Thanks.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by lolwutpar » Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:24 pm

Not all hours are created equal. While you can certainly work like a dog at other firms, especially in corporate in the last 1.5 years, WRLK is a whole 'nother ballgame. I know a few people there and the hours are a step above - let alone the responsibility given to you - which is a large reason why they are compensated so handsomely (in addition to stellar credentials).

It's one thing to think "I'm gonna work a lot, may as well make that $$$" but it's a very different thing to *actually* work those hours. I'd rather shave a few hundred hours off a year and make market comp.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 03, 2021 5:15 pm

lolwutpar wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:24 pm
Not all hours are created equal. While you can certainly work like a dog at other firms, especially in corporate in the last 1.5 years, WRLK is a whole 'nother ballgame. I know a few people there and the hours are a step above - let alone the responsibility given to you - which is a large reason why they are compensated so handsomely (in addition to stellar credentials).

It's one thing to think "I'm gonna work a lot, may as well make that $$$" but it's a very different thing to *actually* work those hours. I'd rather shave a few hundred hours off a year and make market comp.
This. 2500 hours of due diligence + substantive drafting (AKA copy pasting past precedent) is a lot easier than 3000+ hours of drafting ancillary docs. Wachtell makes you earn that money, and it's really not worth it because you get thrown in the deep end and you basically never get out. Sure you'll learn a lot, but I bet you'll learn a lot at another V10 too just maybe at a more manageable pace. Part of the reason Wachtell can churn out that kind of PPP is because their paralegals are doing a lot of the work that juniors would be doing at a different V5 firm.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:21 pm

That being said, someone on this thread had a great point about Kirkland. If possible, could you elaborate on their pay structure, if you have the knowledge? Is this a reference to their bonus structure?

Thanks.
I’m by no means an expert, but yes, KE generally pays above-market bonuses. There’s a bunch more detail and data points in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=307892

My takeaway from skimming that thread was that most KE associates receive 1.1-1.2x market bonuses (the exact multiplier is tied to your hours and performance rating, I think). So a far cry from the ‘100% base salary’ WLRK bonuses that people talk about here. Somebody from KE should correct me if I’ve misrepresented their system.

FYI, back to Wachtell, just to level-set expectations one more time. I applied in a recent year with GPA > 4.0 at a T6, elite (HYP) undergrad, and prior finance (IB) experience. (I did have one drawback I won’t disclose that might out me.) Result: callback but no offer.

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Re: Wachtell from a Non T-14 School

Post by lolwutpar » Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:32 pm

K&E isn't that great coming in as a 1st year. The real money (six figure signing bonuses) is when you are a lateral.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
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