Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

767 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY  10153

(212) 310-8000

www.weil.com

General Info

LOCATIONS

New York, NY (HQ), Austin, TX • Boston, MA • Dallas, TX • Dubai • Houston, TX • Miami, FL • Providence, RI • Silicon Valley, CA • Washington, DC • Wilmington, DE • Beijing • Budapest • Frankfurt • Hong Kong • London • Munich • Paris • Prague • Shanghai • Warsaw 

MAJOR DEPARTMENTS & PRACTICES

Business Finance & Restructuring, Corporate, Litigation,Tax

THE STATS

No. of attorneys: 1,300+

No. of offices: 21

Summer associate offers (2009): 127 out of 167

Chairman:  Stephen J. Dannhauser and Barry M. Wolf

Hiring Partner:  Robert Carangelo

THE BUZZ

  • “Geniuses”
  • “Versatile firm with strong bankruptcy practice”
  • “Party animals”
  • “Too competitive”

BASE SALARY (2010)

All offices

  • 1st year:  $160,000
  • 2nd year:  $170,000
  • 3rd year:  $185,000
  • 4th year:  $210,000
  • 5th year:  $230,000
  • 6th year:  $250,000
  • 7th year:  $265,000
  • Summer associate:  $3,077/week

EMPLOYMENT CONTACTS

Naima Walker-Fierce

Director, Legal Recruiting

Phone: (212) 310-8000

Fax: (212) 310-8007

E-mail: naima.walker-fierce@weil.com

Vault’s Scoop

Fun Facts

“Our Chairman is tight with the rapper/entrepreneur Jay-Z”

“Apparently Ruth Bader Ginsburg used to do her research in our library. She didn't work here, but her hubby did”

Uppers

  • “The work is challenging, and young associates are given the level of work they can handle, regardless of formal year level. People are friendly and the location can't be beat.” (NYC)
  • “Consistent cutting edge work. No cookie cutter deals. Partners are at the top of their fields”
  • “Respectful people and good challenging work”

Downers

  • The hours
  •  “Like all firms, Weil is a political environment, and it can be hard, especially for junior associates, to navigate the office politics”
  •  “If you don't like responsibility and being challenged, this place is no fun”

Notable Perks

  • “Free breakfasts from time to time, well-stocked kitchen”
  • “Subsidized cafeteria. I can buy my yogurt more cheaply at the office than at the corner grocery”
  • “We get tickets to things, a lot of discount programs, gym membership up to $750, access to the Estee Lauder annual sale, as much nasty Flavia coffee as any associate's heart desires”
  • “Gym stipend, mentoring stipend

Associate Life

Vault’s Verdict: Associates say that they generally enjoy their jobs, work environment, and office culture.

Satisfaction

  • “I have been very happy with my work experience here. We work hard, but no harder than people at similar firms do.” -Midlevel associate
  • “I love what I do. The hours are long, but this place is literally the center of the bankruptcy world. Every day we work on the biggest cases doing the most cutting edge work.” -Bankruptcy/Creditor’s Rights associate
  • “Very demanding rewarding job. Overall, I feel happy and grateful for being in such a great law firm which does a fantastic legal work with very down to earth caring people and partners.” -Tax associate
  • “I enjoy the work I'm doing for the most part, but there is far too much of it. Partners do not care that I have no family life when they demand that I work 70-100 hours per week.” -Dallas associate

Firm Culture

  • “As I said before, we are a very social place. Associates do tend to socialize with each other outside of work.” -Midlevel associate
  •  “We do socialize together -- not all the time, but the associates are definitely friends, and there are certainly partners I enjoy chatting with during work hours and even spending time with (grabbing a drink or lunch) outside of the office. I spend time regularly with certain colleagues outside of work. I know a small handful of others in a personal capacity, even if we don't socialize outside of the office, as well.” - Litigator
  •  “Filled with normal people who know how to have a good time while doing excellent work.” -New York associate
  •  “Lawyers are very social during coffee breaks, lunch, and dinner. We have an open door policy in which you do not close your office door unless you're on a long phone call or conference call. It's a very inviting atmosphere.” -Junior associate
  • Many associates (including myself) have children and depending on their work schedule people like to get home to see their kids.” –Tax associate

Associate/Partner Relations

  • “I have never had an issue walking into any partner's office to ask a question or get advice.” -Midlevel associate
  • “I have yet to work for (or even meet) a partner at Weil who I would not want to work with in the future. To a person the partners at Weil appear interested in associate professional development.” -Intellectual Property associate
  • “In my group I am generally satisfied. I've only had a couple of instances where I felt a partner was being disrespectful. The overwhelming majority of the time, the partners are very nice and helpful.” -Junior associate
  • “Our office has a very collegial atmosphere with a lot of mutual respect.” -Senior associate

Office Space

  • “Great office location. Can't beat the views” -New York associate
  • “Gorgeous public spaces, wonderful art collection and comfortable working spaces.” -  Corporate associate
  • “We've got great office space and location.” -Midlevel associate

Hours/Money

Vault’s Verdict: Associates feel they work long hours and are compensated fairly.

Schedule

  • “It's true, you'll work hard. First years are expected to prove themselves by near constant availability. That said, they don't fret too much about you slacking off when things are quiet.” -Midlevel associate
  •  “Few weekends, not many evenings. Overall, a very manageable lifestyle.” -Houston associate
  •  “Some months I bill 300 hours, and others I bill 30. Overall, I have enough work and enjoy the downtime when I have it.” -Midlevel associate
  •  “Generally work from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.” -Dallas associate
  • “It's very up and down. At times it's very reasonable, at other times it's very unpredictable and demanding.” -Intellectual Property associate

Compensation

  • “It's market. Would be great if it was better, but the firm has an entrenched policy of being a follower, not a leader, on compensation.” -Midlevel associate
  • “I think full bonuses should have been awarded to those associates who billed over 2100 hours, and no bonuses awarded to associates billing under 1900.” -Litigator
  • “There is absolutely no incentive to work harder or be better than someone else in your class year or firm. Bonuses have been a joke for the past two years.” -Dallas associate
  •  “Despite the firm’s financial success, it will not compensate above market in bonuses. Thus, bonuses are constrained by firms that may have done worse, which is frustrating. Then again, the firm has continued to raise salaries and not conduct major layoffs despite the downturn, which was nice.” -Junior associate
  • “Weil pays what the other top 10 firms pay, generally no more, no less. They are followers not leaders. On the plus side, no minimum billable hours for a bonus. On the negative, the firm can have a great year (or a bad year) and it has no consequence for associate pay. Our pay is more linked to the type of year our competitors have than with how the firm does.” -Senior associate

Firm says: By all objective measures, our firm continues to provide associates with a strong, secure platform from which they can launch successful careers in private practice. Our roster of blue-chip clients, our balance among practices and geographies, and our diverse, supportive workplace environment is reflected in our perennial high scores in surveys designed to measure firm prestige and success.

Professional Development

Vault’s Verdict: Associates are given every opportunity for training and often  take advantage of the great programs at the firm.

Training

  • “Formal training sometimes tends to be too advanced for junior associates (especially first years). Informal training depends on the mentor's schedule and is not always available.” -Midlevel associate
  • “Our training is top-notch in every respect. I feel like I will develop many skills just from our training that will be very useful in practice.” -Junior associate
  •  “Great formal training system in place. Informal training is sometimes non-existence unless you get assigned to a partner cares about helping associates learn their trade. Mentoring is very strange and not very well communicated. All minority associates have additional mentors and often have mentoring relationships with the most senior partners.” -Dallas associate
  • “Training programs are offered on an almost daily basis. When my schedule permits, I often sit in training sessions unrelated to my practice area because I find the programs interesting and I like a free lunch.” -Tax associate

Diversity

Vault’s Verdict: Associates appreciate the amount of diversity at the firm, though some feel it could be better balanced among everyone at the firm.

Diversity

  • “Weil puts a strong emphasis on cultural diversity. It even hosts a diversity week every year, and includes diversity training as part of its orientation. Various "affinity groups" meet regularly throughout the calendar year, as well.” -New York associate
  •  “The push for diversity in hiring and promoting was much more prominent before the recession. However, the firm does not and has not emphasized that since the legal market changed.” -Midlevel associate
  •  “I think the firm does too much in promoting diversity with respect to women, minorities, and GLBT individuals. As a straight white male, I sometimes feel I will not be given the same opportunity to advance because the firm is so focused on diversity initiatives and I do not fall into any of the protected/desired categories.” -Dallas associate

Firm Says:  Weil is proud of its 25 year commitment to diversity and inclusion, and its pioneering efforts to develop formal mandatory diversity education, 5 professional development affinity groups (Asian, Black, Latino, LGBT, and women), flextime partners, supplier diversity programs, among many others.  In light of the economic environment, Weil intensified its focus in 2009-10 on community and client service by delivering customized business development workshops for affinity group members and deepening its volunteer efforts with local middle and high school students.

Overall Business Outlook

Vault’s Verdict: Associates are optimistic about the future of the firm despite recent cost-cutting measures, but they warn that though the increased business in their bankruptcy division is helping keep the company going, the work will soon level off and the firm will have to restructure again.

Overall Business Outlook

  • “Weil has a very balanced business model, with strong corporation and litigation departments balanced by a cutting-edge restructuring department.” –Corporate associate
  •  “Although the firm holds occasional town hall meetings, many associates have learned to read in between the lines and to expect anything.” –New York associate
  • “Bonuses were far smaller than in past years, so there have been some complaints about compensation, but the smaller bonuses reflect the economic times. The firm is still performing well and, to date, has not made any mass attorney layoffs as a result of the economy.” –D.C. associate

Become a Vault Gold Member or Log in on Vault.com to read the entire Scoop.