Best firms for good culture in DC? Forum

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Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 01, 2023 3:28 pm

I am a clerk looking to potentially switch firms post clerkship. I’m interested in litigation and my main goal is to find a firm with a manageable work-life balance (as much as you can attain that in biglaw) that has a decent remote work policy with nice people. I’ve been searching this forum and trying to do research but it’s hard to get good info. Does anyone have tips on which firms to target and which to avoid? I don’t really care about prestige. From what I can tell it seems like Orrick and O’Melveny might be good options? I’m interested specifically in doing either a mix of appellate and commercial lit or else going into white collar/investigations.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:02 pm

Avoid Morgan lewis, kirkland, & squire boggs. Crowell is known for good people and manageable WLB. They are just below market though so take that as you will. I hear good things about Latham.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm

Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 02, 2023 11:05 am

Latham

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2023 12:12 am

Willkie DC - from personal experience, and it is about as good as biglaw can be.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2023 12:17 am

Probably should avoid Sidley. Nice folks but the remote policy is veering into "surveillance state" territory.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2023 12:59 am

Thirding Latham, it always shows up on the good side of these threads for a reason

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 03, 2023 2:01 am

Arnold & Porter seems to check all those boxes. Very nice people and culture, especially in those practice areas, and a very laissez-faire remote policy.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 05, 2023 1:38 pm

Hijacking a bit to ask if there's any top firms in DC with flexible remote policies?

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:40 pm

What is Covington litigation's reputation?

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 2:01 am
Arnold & Porter seems to check all those boxes. Very nice people and culture, especially in those practice areas, and a very laissez-faire remote policy.
I don't know about particular practice areas or remote work, but many of the A&P attorneys I met during OCI seemed kind of stuffy. Not saying they were mean or anything, but it all felt very formal/DC elite-ish. I have a couple friends there who couldn't be further from that description, but a couple others who fit it to a T. FWIW, every firm in DC has at least one person like that.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 05, 2023 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 2:01 am
Arnold & Porter seems to check all those boxes. Very nice people and culture, especially in those practice areas, and a very laissez-faire remote policy.
I don't know about particular practice areas or remote work, but many of the A&P attorneys I met during OCI seemed kind of stuffy. Not saying they were mean or anything, but it all felt very formal/DC elite-ish. I have a couple friends there who couldn't be further from that description, but a couple others who fit it to a T. FWIW, every firm in DC has at least one person like that.
This just in: groups of 500 people are not monolithic

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 05, 2023 8:27 pm

Based purely on callback experiences Hogan seems like the chillest of the bunch.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 06, 2023 10:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 8:13 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 2:01 am
Arnold & Porter seems to check all those boxes. Very nice people and culture, especially in those practice areas, and a very laissez-faire remote policy.
I don't know about particular practice areas or remote work, but many of the A&P attorneys I met during OCI seemed kind of stuffy. Not saying they were mean or anything, but it all felt very formal/DC elite-ish. I have a couple friends there who couldn't be further from that description, but a couple others who fit it to a T. FWIW, every firm in DC has at least one person like that.
This just in: groups of 500 people are not monolithic
Sure, but IME A&P has more people that I wouldn't want to work with. I didn't even take the callback.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm
Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.
This is almost exactly backwards from what I've heard. Kirkland DC is known as a sweat shop. Latham DC has one of the best cultures, and Jones Day DC has a reputation as a low-intensity option for people willing to take a pay haircut at the mid/senior levels.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 07, 2023 1:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 2:01 am
Arnold & Porter seems to check all those boxes. Very nice people and culture, especially in those practice areas, and a very laissez-faire remote policy.
I don't know about particular practice areas or remote work, but many of the A&P attorneys I met during OCI seemed kind of stuffy. Not saying they were mean or anything, but it all felt very formal/DC elite-ish. I have a couple friends there who couldn't be further from that description, but a couple others who fit it to a T. FWIW, every firm in DC has at least one person like that.
This is exactly how I felt about a handful of others, especially Covington and Wilmer. Latham seemed very fratty, which was not what I was going for, but obviously works well for some.

OP, end of the day, best advice is to apply broadly, meet people and hopefully find a group where the vibe seems right. Anon anecdotes will only get you so far in figuring out the option that will work best for you.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 07, 2023 5:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm
Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.
This is almost exactly backwards from what I've heard. Kirkland DC is known as a sweat shop. Latham DC has one of the best cultures, and Jones Day DC has a reputation as a low-intensity option for people willing to take a pay haircut at the mid/senior levels.
Seconded. The person who’s trying to steer you to Kirkland DC is not a reliable person.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2023 5:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm
Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.
This is almost exactly backwards from what I've heard. Kirkland DC is known as a sweat shop. Latham DC has one of the best cultures, and Jones Day DC has a reputation as a low-intensity option for people willing to take a pay haircut at the mid/senior levels.
Seconded. The person who’s trying to steer you to Kirkland DC is not a reliable person.
Latham DC and Jones Day DC are just as much sweatshops as Kirkland DC. This is a classic example of Kirkland getting more hate than it deserves. In terms of tangible benefits, it is true that Kirkland still maintains a very flexible remote policy, and that the free lunch/breakfast that firms such as LATHAM decided to cut this year are still being offered at Kirkland. Everybody talks about Latham's "great culture" but cannot elaborate on what exactly this means in a meaningful manner that distinguishes it from other firms. Jones Day's black-box pay also sucks. If you have done a SCOTUS clerkship or if the firm thinks you have a chance of doing one (i.e. COA already locked down), it may be a better option than Kirkland and Latham because of the large clerkship bonus.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2023 5:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm
Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.
This is almost exactly backwards from what I've heard. Kirkland DC is known as a sweat shop. Latham DC has one of the best cultures, and Jones Day DC has a reputation as a low-intensity option for people willing to take a pay haircut at the mid/senior levels.
Seconded. The person who’s trying to steer you to Kirkland DC is not a reliable person.
Latham DC and Jones Day DC are just as much sweatshops as Kirkland DC. This is a classic example of Kirkland getting more hate than it deserves. In terms of tangible benefits, it is true that Kirkland still maintains a very flexible remote policy, and that the free lunch/breakfast that firms such as LATHAM decided to cut this year are still being offered at Kirkland. Everybody talks about Latham's "great culture" but cannot elaborate on what exactly this means in a meaningful manner that distinguishes it from other firms. Jones Day's black-box pay also sucks. If you have done a SCOTUS clerkship or if the firm thinks you have a chance of doing one (i.e. COA already locked down), it may be a better option than Kirkland and Latham because of the large clerkship bonus.
Lunch is still free at Latham lmao. Speaking from experience, it's just been a pleasant place to work, and people have been supportive and kind. That's the extent to which I can elaborate on it. I can't speak for other groups or other people - just my two cents.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 10, 2023 4:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:53 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2023 5:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm
Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.
This is almost exactly backwards from what I've heard. Kirkland DC is known as a sweat shop. Latham DC has one of the best cultures, and Jones Day DC has a reputation as a low-intensity option for people willing to take a pay haircut at the mid/senior levels.
Seconded. The person who’s trying to steer you to Kirkland DC is not a reliable person.
Latham DC and Jones Day DC are just as much sweatshops as Kirkland DC. This is a classic example of Kirkland getting more hate than it deserves. In terms of tangible benefits, it is true that Kirkland still maintains a very flexible remote policy, and that the free lunch/breakfast that firms such as LATHAM decided to cut this year are still being offered at Kirkland. Everybody talks about Latham's "great culture" but cannot elaborate on what exactly this means in a meaningful manner that distinguishes it from other firms. Jones Day's black-box pay also sucks. If you have done a SCOTUS clerkship or if the firm thinks you have a chance of doing one (i.e. COA already locked down), it may be a better option than Kirkland and Latham because of the large clerkship bonus.
Lunch is still free at Latham lmao. Speaking from experience, it's just been a pleasant place to work, and people have been supportive and kind. That's the extent to which I can elaborate on it. I can't speak for other groups or other people - just my two cents.
We were told that they’re going to end it later this year to cut costs. It was supposed to be just a COVID thing.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2023 11:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2023 4:16 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:53 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2023 5:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm
Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.
This is almost exactly backwards from what I've heard. Kirkland DC is known as a sweat shop. Latham DC has one of the best cultures, and Jones Day DC has a reputation as a low-intensity option for people willing to take a pay haircut at the mid/senior levels.
Seconded. The person who’s trying to steer you to Kirkland DC is not a reliable person.
Latham DC and Jones Day DC are just as much sweatshops as Kirkland DC. This is a classic example of Kirkland getting more hate than it deserves. In terms of tangible benefits, it is true that Kirkland still maintains a very flexible remote policy, and that the free lunch/breakfast that firms such as LATHAM decided to cut this year are still being offered at Kirkland. Everybody talks about Latham's "great culture" but cannot elaborate on what exactly this means in a meaningful manner that distinguishes it from other firms. Jones Day's black-box pay also sucks. If you have done a SCOTUS clerkship or if the firm thinks you have a chance of doing one (i.e. COA already locked down), it may be a better option than Kirkland and Latham because of the large clerkship bonus.
Lunch is still free at Latham lmao. Speaking from experience, it's just been a pleasant place to work, and people have been supportive and kind. That's the extent to which I can elaborate on it. I can't speak for other groups or other people - just my two cents.
We were told that they’re going to end it later this year to cut costs. It was supposed to be just a COVID thing.
Right, but they haven't, so the post above isn't accurate

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Pulsar » Sun Jan 15, 2023 12:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 2:01 am
Arnold & Porter seems to check all those boxes. Very nice people and culture, especially in those practice areas, and a very laissez-faire remote policy.
A&P does have an hours-minimum for bonuses though, and plenty of associates don't make hours, or so someone there told me. So you might not get a bonus. Could still be great (wow, you might not have to bill much), but also stressful if worrying about hours is more of a thing.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 15, 2023 3:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2023 5:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm
Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.
This is almost exactly backwards from what I've heard. Kirkland DC is known as a sweat shop. Latham DC has one of the best cultures, and Jones Day DC has a reputation as a low-intensity option for people willing to take a pay haircut at the mid/senior levels.
Seconded. The person who’s trying to steer you to Kirkland DC is not a reliable person.
Latham DC and Jones Day DC are just as much sweatshops as Kirkland DC. This is a classic example of Kirkland getting more hate than it deserves. In terms of tangible benefits, it is true that Kirkland still maintains a very flexible remote policy, and that the free lunch/breakfast that firms such as LATHAM decided to cut this year are still being offered at Kirkland. Everybody talks about Latham's "great culture" but cannot elaborate on what exactly this means in a meaningful manner that distinguishes it from other firms. Jones Day's black-box pay also sucks. If you have done a SCOTUS clerkship or if the firm thinks you have a chance of doing one (i.e. COA already locked down), it may be a better option than Kirkland and Latham because of the large clerkship bonus.
The hours are not at all equal, especially when compared to Jones Day. All that extra money Kirkland PCs make doesn't exactly just grow on trees. Jones Day also doesn't pay "large clerkship bonuses." It pays normal ones. Clerks go there for other reasons, including the low hours requirements.

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2023 8:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2023 5:34 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:40 pm
Don't avoid Kirkland DC. I have many friends and mentors there (both first-year associates and partners) that are wonderful and really enjoy the firm. Kirkland also has a great remote policy and offers nice amenities and free lunch/breakfast if you choose to come in the office.

I would recommend avoiding Jones Day, Latham, Faegre Drinker, and Goodwin.
This is almost exactly backwards from what I've heard. Kirkland DC is known as a sweat shop. Latham DC has one of the best cultures, and Jones Day DC has a reputation as a low-intensity option for people willing to take a pay haircut at the mid/senior levels.
Seconded. The person who’s trying to steer you to Kirkland DC is not a reliable person.
Latham DC and Jones Day DC are just as much sweatshops as Kirkland DC. This is a classic example of Kirkland getting more hate than it deserves. In terms of tangible benefits, it is true that Kirkland still maintains a very flexible remote policy, and that the free lunch/breakfast that firms such as LATHAM decided to cut this year are still being offered at Kirkland. Everybody talks about Latham's "great culture" but cannot elaborate on what exactly this means in a meaningful manner that distinguishes it from other firms. Jones Day's black-box pay also sucks. If you have done a SCOTUS clerkship or if the firm thinks you have a chance of doing one (i.e. COA already locked down), it may be a better option than Kirkland and Latham because of the large clerkship bonus.
Kirkland gets more hate on this sub because they do overwork their lawyers more than other firms. Many lawyers I know have said verbatim "DC biglaw has generally better WLB--except Kirkland"

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Re: Best firms for good culture in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2023 8:41 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Sun Jan 15, 2023 12:35 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 2:01 am
Arnold & Porter seems to check all those boxes. Very nice people and culture, especially in those practice areas, and a very laissez-faire remote policy.
A&P does have an hours-minimum for bonuses though, and plenty of associates don't make hours, or so someone there told me. So you might not get a bonus. Could still be great (wow, you might not have to bill much), but also stressful if worrying about hours is more of a thing.
former A&P DC associate here. second all of this. never interacted with a partner, associate, paralegal, support staff, etc who I actively disliked. vast majority of ppl are kind and personable. I know of no screamers. very family-friendly w/ childcare in the building. but yes it can be harder to hit hours which is necessary for bonus

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