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Rearden

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  1. Heard through the grapevine that a mid-size Bay St firm is reducing salaries for associates (-15%) and partners (-20%).
  2. The issue is that many (I would say most) students don’t know what area they want to practice in (or at least aren’t willing to commit to a practice area during interviews), which is totally understandable. If a candidate expresses an interest in an area, that’s great. If you’re an engineering undergrad and a self-professed IP diehard, we’ll do our best to put you in front of IP lawyers during the interview process (and accommodate that interest, to the extent possible, during your summer and articling experiences). But the reality is that most people aren’t diehard IP people. Some are wavering between litigation and corporate. Some are really interested in corporate but half way through articling figure out that employment is the better fit. And even if you’re diehard corporate, you might not know (again, understandable, since you’re most likely a greenhorn) whether you’re interested in insolvency vs. competition vs. securities vs. early stage company work. Bottom line is that most candidates don’t know what area they want to practice in and that firms, try as they might, aren’t omniscient. All of that boils down to the reality that firms have to use summer and articling programs to filter people into practice groups.
  3. In my experience, cultures differ at the practice group level rather than at the firm level. Our IP group, for instance, has a discernibly different culture than our employment group, which in turn has a different culture than our corporate group (and within our corporate group, there are differences between our sub-groups). Our tax group seems to be from another planet (kidding, sort of).
  4. In terms of how to know, I would take a look at firm websites. You could also try looking at public filings (on SEDAR or DisclosureNet if you have access to it) but my sense is that a lot of this stuff goes on behind the scenes. In terms of whether boutiques practise in this area, in my (limited) experience, this type of work seems to be done mostly by the larger, full-service firms. There are a few reasons why. To start, this work is almost always high stakes (usually of the bet-the-company variety) and fast-paced. If you're an officer/director/shareholder involved in such a situation, you're going to -- because you can't afford not to -- turn to the firms that have the most experience in these matters, and those are typically the big, full-service firms. But beyond that, these situations often (if not always) require expertise from various practice areas, and a full-service firm simply has resources that a boutique doesn't. For example, on a typical "proxy fight" my firm would involve at least two corporate lawyers (a partner and an associate or two) and at least one litigator. We might also have to draw on our research lawyers (if a complex question of law comes up that we can't trust an articling or summer student with, say), employment lawyers (e.g., if the dissident director/shareholder is the CFO, can we fire him/her? What happens if we do that under his/her employment contract?), etc. The "big firm intimidation factor", if there is such a thing, might also come into play. If you're a dissident shareholder, for instance, you're probably going to be more "intimidated" (and ideally more likely to settle/fuck off) by Morgans than by Boutique ABC. Granted, that's probably a very minor, if not completely negligible factor in the grand scheme of things, but it's something that a client might consider nonetheless.
  5. Are you even reading the responses in this thread (most of which are to your many, many questions)?
  6. Have you contacted them to ask if you could come back to meet more people? If not, do that. If you have and still haven’t heard back, there’s not much you can do. This isn’t rocket science.
  7. Depends on the firm. I think it would make sense to send a thank you email to your primary interviewer and in that same email ask to come back tomorrow to meet more people. They will likely forward it to the student director.
  8. That should work. Maybe include the student recruiter on the email as well.
  9. Pretty much the same. Interviews will probably be less formal and shorter. The firm will likely be making more of an effort to sell itself to you rather than the other way around.
  10. You’re not bothering me, and there’s really no need to apologize. But you’re missing the point. In your case there is no such thing as a “pressing question” at this point. For your mental health, please stay away from this forum and stop worrying about the recruit. What will happen will happen.
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