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

There is no uncomfortable hierarchy that we need to

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There is no uncomfortable hierarchy that we need to stick to when we have questions or comments and everyone is extremely willing to answer questions and give advice on our work or professional career. Even in really large teams, the partners go out of their way to get to know the associates. I’ve gotten to know all the partners in my practice area and have had many chances to work directly with them. The partners are all also extremely close and very open with the rest of the firm about all the behind the scenes progress. … We are also given many opportunities to review the partners and express our satisfaction or dissatisfaction.” • “With a few notable exceptions, partners here are extremely respectful to associates. There is no yelling, snapping, voice-raising, etc. That behavior is not ‘Debevoisian.’ In my experience, most partners give you room to create work/life balance. There are a few who don’t, but they are easy to avoid. The firm could be far more transparent, however. It is not uncommon to hear about changes in policy after the fact. The firm also could be a lot better about messaging towards associates. Often, they deliver messages across the board, rather than in a nuanced fashion (e.g. telling all associates we could be billing more hours, instead of telling only those associates who truly need to step up their game).” • “It varies partner to partner. In general, most partners treat associates very well, but on the bigger M&A deals there is almost no interaction between a first year associate and the partner on the deal. However, in smaller groups, there can be deals working one on one with a partner. Some of the older partners are a little more formal in dealing with first year associates whereas some younger partners will take more of an active role in associates’ education. I don’t know much about how internal promotion works but we have many performance reviews, both up and down.” • “Associates are typically treated very well, but there are some real outliers--a few partners who are well-known to be extremely unkind. In terms of internal promotion, Debevoise likes to tell junior associates that internal promotion is in the cards, but in practice, it is rare—you can count the number of litigation partners who were internally promoted in the past 5 years (if not more) on one hand, choosing instead to hire a ton of lateral counsel and partners. The firm hasn’t been particularly transparent about this at all.” Hours • “Work is evenly distributed and most people are in the same situation. I am happy with the amount of work, although the amount is very unpredictable. The firm is flexible on face- time if there is a need for flexibility and is very reasonable about working nights and weekends remotely.” • “I find having a central coordinator for assignments very important to the firm culture. The system ensures that work is far more evenly distributed than at other firms and junior
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  • Fall '16
  • Hugard

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