Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, 2018 Edition.pdf

Associates are more than welcome to but not pressured

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associates are more than welcome to (but not pressured to) approach partners or senior associates about projects.” • “We have a ‘target’ of 2000 hours. It is not a ‘requirement’ (i.e., there are no real consequences if you fail to hit it). Pro bono hours count towards the ‘target.’ Client development, training, and other hours do not. The ‘target’ is discussed in your reviews and is taken into consideration in that way, but there are no consequences or penalties for failing to meet it.” • “The hours are grueling and the workstream is seemingly endless. Face-time isn’t required, which is a plus, but that’s because mobile devices have advanced to a point where
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203 Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, 2018 Edition DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON LLP you can work remotely and are (theoretically) reachable any time.” Compensation • “Debevoise will likely never set the market, but they will always meet it. Between lock step compensation and an hours expectation (but no requirement), competition among associates is virtually nonexistent.” • “We are a true lock-step firm. My base and bonus is identical to all other associates in my class year, regardless of hours. That has benefits and drawbacks, but mostly I value the benefits and the collegial atmosphere that that policy contributes to. That said, the firm could do a much better job about ensuring that the associates are pulling their weight equally.” • “I don’t worry about transparency on compensation because I am confident the firm will match whatever Cravath pays. Also, a major benefit of a lock-step firm is the guaranteed bonus with no relationship to billables.” • “I billed much more than many of my peers last year, but still wouldn’t get rid of lockstep salary and bonuses because it makes Debevoise a wonderful place to work.” Quality of Work • “I am a fourth year. I have managed discovery, drafted memo- randa of law for substantive and discovery motions, taken and defended depositions, argued motions before the court, managed preparation and submission of multiple complex filings, and prepared for hearings/trial, including drafting direct and cross outlines and preparing witnesses. I have direct contact with opposing counsel and with our client. I have been given substantive responsibility throughout my time here, and have been given multiple opportunities to stretch myself.” • “A lot of first year work is typical due diligence or updating drafts with partner comments. I am impressed by how involved I have been in all meetings and calls related to deals that I’m on, and how partners and counsel will take the time to explain aspects of the deal.” • “Have been doing real, substantive work from the beginning.
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