Jump to content
QMT20

Firm Comparisons/Rankings/Discussion etc.

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, onepost said:

As a coda to the above comments, there are genuinely 'international' firms -- they just aren't the vereins, nor are they in Canada. 

There are a handful of tiny satellites of those firms in Toronto, at least.

You're really restricted in what you're doing, so your development as a lawyer starts out very niche. But a lot of people care more about the name and money than what they actually do, so they'll take the 200k USD plus bonus at Skadden without blinking, even if it means doing a sliver of capital markets work for the rest of their career.

Edited by pzabbythesecond

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Yes. Agreed. And Clyde & Co does good international insurance work, I think. My point is merely that the 'international' full service firms in Canada operate mostly as solid national firms with international referral networks. They are quite different from, e.g., Freshfields which -- although UK-based -- handles cross-border transactions and global disputes as its bread-and-butter. 

 

Edited by onepost
EDIT: Wrong firm!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/4/2020 at 11:58 AM, levin said:

no. but i would like information on which firm would feed me when they force me to work really late. my friend articled at a firm where they survived on mcdonalds and liptons microwave chicken noodle soup on most evenings. only on rare occasions did the firm pay for dinner.  i didn't think that was very nice, given the hours the students were expected to put in. 

*laughs in public sector*

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, beyondsection17 said:

*laughs in public sector*

When I was at MAG, our after hours meals were covered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, beyondsection17 said:

*laughs in public sector*

It gets dangerous for the waistline to have meals provided. I remember working late several weeks in a row and ordering chicken parm EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I gained 5 lbs and felt like shit. It was partly my own fault - I technically could have gotten salads but comfort food is really the only thing that takes the edge off. I’d much rather have gone home at 5pm and cooked something healthy.

My greatest accomplishment In this sphere was expensing an $80 prime rib dinner I had ordered to the office, totally expecting it to not be approved, but it was. 

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, joeyman365 said:

When I was at MAG, our after hours meals were covered.

Under this government?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Under this government?

No, it was several years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, joeyman365 said:

No, it was several years ago.

Yeah. As far as I've heard, this government wasn't even paying for conference lunches. Counsel would pay for the students out of their own pockets (I'm always surprised just how generous the legal profession is).

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Yeah. As far as I've heard, this government wasn't even paying for conference lunches. Counsel would pay for the students out of their own pockets (I'm always surprised just how generous the legal profession is).

Just ask the businesses that bid for the catering contracts at QP based on expected sales what they think of this government. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, whoknows said:

Just ask the businesses that bid for the catering contracts at QP based on expected sales what they think of this government. 

Just ask Rainbow Caterers too 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so I will say any student of mine never pays for her lunch. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hegdis said:

Ok so I will say any student of mine never pays for her lunch. 

This was the policy at a small firm I worked at as well... if the lawyers wanted to duck out to eat, I wasn’t paying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, XiHes said:

[Calgary Rankings]

 

I've been in the Calgary market several years now and you've caused me to come out of my occasional lurking (more frequent since COVID) to say how bad this ranking is. Blakes and BJ at the top I can understand, if purely corporate focused.  The rest, yikes.

First, this list is only redeemable at all if considering corporate work exclusively.  Litigation is obviously a completely different beast. In my opinion on litigation rankings, Blakes would fall to B or C, Fasken, Stikes and Torys would disappear altogether, and Osler, BD&P and McT would move to A or A/B with BJs.  The top civil litigation boutique in town is Peacock, Linder, Halt and Mack, and JSS Is great too.

Second, doing holistic rankings is a fool's errand to begin with, as people pointed out, but I am genuinely baffled you could put Stikes and Fasken in B (they are probably more D, holistically), and BD&P in D (certainly ranking on par with the other firms in B, holistically and speaking just of Calgary).  While most of this list is maybe within the margin of error, those rankings are not.  Lawson Lundell (with its recent expansion) and Dentons are probably also both a tier too low for Calgary but that could be a matter of opinion.  "D" is also missing solid local firms.  If you're going to put Cassels and McMillan in this category, you could add McLeod Law and Carscallen to name a couple others, who are at least on par in terms of quality work and reputation as those two Ontario-based firms. 

Honestly, this seems like a list a Toronto law student put together based on how things are out east.  

If students and lawyers are looking at these rankings in the future to assist them in making decisions: first, stop.  If you won't stop, I'd strongly urge you to check Lexpert, M&A deal tables, whatever else before consulting a random internet person's opinion (mine included). While bias is rife in those too obviously (some of them depend on firm advertising for their revenue) they at least have a broader swath of biased opinions to draw from.  

 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, leafs_law said:

 I gained 5 lbs and felt like shit. It was partly my own fault - I technically could have gotten salads but comfort food is really the only thing that takes the edge off. I’d much rather have gone home at 5pm and cooked something healthy.

Yeah I too would much rather have gone home at 5pm and cooked something healthy.

Speaking from experience, I think the "bay street lawyers = dinner and long hours, everyone else = no dinner and 5pm end time" dichotomy is a false one. 

13 hours ago, joeyman365 said:

When I was at MAG, our after hours meals were covered.

Yeah, by way of example and setting aside our day-to-day hours, we couldn't even get our lunches or dinners covered during a three-week jury trial.

(On the other hand, by virtue of working where I do, I was lucky enough to actually be counsel on a three-week jury trial. Gotta take your wins where you get them. ;))

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Yeah, I agree that Calgary rankings on the previous page don't make a lot of sense.  Just a few points I'll add:

I) Miller Thomson is a national firm from out east, not a "regional western firm"

II) Fasken has a solid reputation in regulatory work, but otherwise does not have a strong Calgary presence

III) BDP is in a completely different ball park than firms like Field.  Last I heard they are still one of the top paying firms in the city (along with Blakes and BJs) and they are still very strong in the market.

IV) Torys should be higher.  They are developing a strong Calgary presence in corporate work and are not just an "outpost".  

I could go on but as the above poster mentioned, Lexpert/Chambers/Benchmark Litigation, etc. are all better places to go for practice area rankings.

Edited by calglaw91
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miller Thomson can't get no respect. Everyone wants to "p" on them by adding a p to Thomson. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, mcgillstudent said:

From where you stand right now, it's understandable that rankings seem important. I guarantee you, however, that over the long term law firm rankings are not very important. Your concern with rankings is largely driven by your ego -- you want to work at a prestigious firm because you think that will reflect well on you, or because you believe it is a measure of your worth. If you are being honest with yourself, you do not want to work at these firms because that is where you think "the work is the best", "the people are the smartest", or "that is where you will be happiest". As you go through your career, you will realize those statements could be true of a lot of firms. You want to work at these top firms to make your parents proud and feel good about yourself when you tell people where you work. 

The wake-up call all corporate lawyers one day get is this: these firms do not care about you, as a human. Law firms are not benevolent organisations. They are for-profit pyramid structures where lots of associates serve as cannon fodder so that a small group of partners can make vast sums of money. As a general trend, the better the firm (according to your rankings), the higher the pay. But the higher the pay, the worse the hours. Firms are not charities, they are not giving you more pay because they like you. They are giving you more money because they are charging their clients more, and they are charging their clients more not because they can do work that other firms cannot (when you do deals you will sit across from "lower ranked" firms), but because they can get it done faster (a.k.a. you work longer hours). These firms rank well because they deliver for their clients, yes, but at your expense. To these firms, you are 100% dispensable until you become a partner, at which point you prove your worth largely by how much money you bring in.

If you want to have a long and prosperous career, where you make lots of money, feel fulfilled and have real responsibility, do not worry about law firm rankings. Worry about doing a good job at whatever firm you do end up at and about making career moves based on genuine enjoyment of the work. Over time, it is this behavior which will be the determinant of your long-term financial success, stamina, and happiness. Loosen your grip on the image or story you've crafted for yourself about how your life can or should play out. The reality is that you have very little control over the future and the trajectory of your life will ultimately be determined in large part by events beyond your control. Most people can barely control their own thoughts and emotions, so what makes you think you will be able to bend the world to your will. Yes, you should continue to work hard and push yourself. And yes, if you are genuinely interested by a certain practice area, you should try to work at firms with strengths in that area. But stop obsessing over rankings. Focus on what is real in the present moment, let go of your ego, and you will find your way. 

I cannot emphasize enough how much I agree with this post.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, mcgillstudent said:

I graduated law school in 2018. I used to read forums like these a lot, and looking at them now, I can clearly see so much of the anxiety I once felt about law firm rankings. I've made a lot of progress on those anxieties and wanted to share some wisdom of how things look from "the other side".

From where you stand right now, it's understandable that rankings seem important. I guarantee you, however, that over the long term law firm rankings are not very important. Your concern with rankings is largely driven by your ego -- you want to work at a prestigious firm because you think that will reflect well on you, or because you believe it is a measure of your worth. If you are being honest with yourself, you do not want to work at these firms because that is where you think "the work is the best", "the people are the smartest", or "that is where you will be happiest". As you go through your career, you will realize those statements could be true of a lot of firms. You want to work at these top firms to make your parents proud and feel good about yourself when you tell people where you work. 

The wake-up call all corporate lawyers one day get is this: these firms do not care about you, as a human. Law firms are not benevolent organisations. They are for-profit pyramid structures where lots of associates serve as cannon fodder so that a small group of partners can make vast sums of money. As a general trend, the better the firm (according to your rankings), the higher the pay. But the higher the pay, the worse the hours. Firms are not charities, they are not giving you more pay because they like you. They are giving you more money because they are charging their clients more, and they are charging their clients more not because they can do work that other firms cannot (when you do deals you will sit across from "lower ranked" firms), but because they can get it done faster (a.k.a. you work longer hours). These firms rank well because they deliver for their clients, yes, but at your expense. To these firms, you are 100% dispensable until you become a partner, at which point you prove your worth largely by how much money you bring in.

If you want to have a long and prosperous career, where you make lots of money, feel fulfilled and have real responsibility, do not worry about law firm rankings. Worry about doing a good job at whatever firm you do end up at and about making career moves based on genuine enjoyment of the work. Over time, it is this behavior which will be the determinant of your long-term financial success, stamina, and happiness. Loosen your grip on the image or story you've crafted for yourself about how your life can or should play out. The reality is that you have very little control over the future and the trajectory of your life will ultimately be determined in large part by events beyond your control. Most people can barely control their own thoughts and emotions, so what makes you think you will be able to bend the world to your will. Yes, you should continue to work hard and push yourself. And yes, if you are genuinely interested by a certain practice area, you should try to work at firms with strengths in that area. But stop obsessing over rankings. Focus on what is real in the present moment, let go of your ego, and you will find your way. 

 

Ego aside, this thread grew from me asking what some of the posters meant in the articling hireback thread when they said not all firms are equal. I had in mind the question why people pointed to inequality between firms when the hireback at some places were weaker seemingly due to the pandemic while others held up, and also the posts in the COVID 19 Compensation/Layoffs thread where people pointed to inequality between firms when it was mentioned certain places were cutting salaries. 

I would admit that my ego gets the best of me sometimes when making judgments. I try to be conscious of my vanity when it isn't well placed and I take everyone's point about rankings being unnecessary/harmful. 

Surely though, you might understand that students hope whether they are hired back or whether they can work at a firm for a long time be tied to their work and not things outside their control such as how a firm fairs during difficult times? From that perspective, when some people mention that a few of the firms have more public clients with deeper pockets that mitigate their damage from a crisis/recession, I'm interested in knowing which firms those are/why they don't seem to be suffering as much? As much as I'll admit my anxiety may be rooted in sub-conscious ego, I think it is just as much out of a desire for security and greater control over my own career in the future. 

Perhaps the questions I've asked result from my ignorance, which I've readily admitted multiple times. I also understand that  I can never truly have control over everything that happens. But I can't help wanting less risk. I understand when everyone says that once you are a lawyer, it doesn't matter what your platform is so much as the quality of your own work. But I also can't help being worrying that forces outside my own control can lead to losing the platform before I can establish myself. That's my perspective when I asked for these opinions, and why I thought knowing which firms were doing relatively better, had public clients, and which had futures that were more secure would have been important information when I was doing the recruit.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, QMT20 said:

Ego aside, this thread grew from me asking what some of the posters meant in the articling hireback thread when they said not all firms are equal. I had in mind the question why people pointed to inequality between firms when the hireback at some places were weaker seemingly due to the pandemic while others held up, and also the posts in the COVID 19 Compensation/Layoffs thread where people pointed to inequality between firms when it was mentioned certain places were cutting salaries. 

I would admit that my ego gets the best of me sometimes when making judgments. I try to be conscious of my vanity when it isn't well placed and I take everyone's point about rankings being unnecessary/harmful. 

Surely though, you might understand that students hope whether they are hired back or whether they can work at a firm for a long time be tied to their work and not things outside their control such as how a firm fairs during difficult times? From that perspective, when some people mention that a few of the firms have more public clients with deeper pockets that mitigate their damage from a crisis/recession, I'm interested in knowing which firms those are/why they don't seem to be suffering as much? As much as I'll admit my anxiety may be rooted in sub-conscious ego, I think it is just as much out of a desire for security and greater control over my own career in the future. 

Perhaps the questions I've asked result from my ignorance, which I've readily admitted multiple times. I also understand that  I can never truly have control over everything that happens. But I can't help wanting less risk. I understand when everyone says that once you are a lawyer, it doesn't matter what your platform is so much as the quality of your own work. But I also can't help being worrying that forces outside my own control can lead to losing the platform before I can establish myself. That's my perspective when I asked for these opinions, and why I thought knowing which firms were doing relatively better, had public clients, and which had futures that were more secure would have been important information when I was doing the recruit.

 

My post was in no way directed at you. It is totally appropriate to inquire as to differences between firms in terms of practice areas, structure, type of client, etc. That is something which actually is grounded in reality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Recent Posts

    • yeppers. got mine last night and got hit by a car while driving my bike 5 minutes later, what a day! (i'm fine, no broken bone) i'm wondering why they closed it so early too, but oh well. keep us posted if you end up calling!
    • After graduating, i decided to study for the LSAT while volunteering. My first score was pretty bad (due to nerves i think), but the second time around (June 15th) i was able to score a 154. I know that a 154 is still lower than the current minimum for law schools in Canada.. Now, while doing PTs, i usually score around a 157-160. I have a CGPA of 3.5, and my B2 would roughly be around a 3.6. Again, just shy of the minimum. I know that law schools look at your application holistically. Just to give you an idea of my work/volunteering experience, I interned for the federal government in Ottawa as a policy analyst for around 2 years, and will be working for the government again in the next month or so. I volunteered at a Non-profit as a policy analyst and advocacy director, as well as other noteworthy volunteer positions such as working with ex-convicts, and helping immigrant refugees integrate into Canadian society. Submission of applications for law school begin in September and i don't want to wait any longer. I'm unsure whether i should take the LSAT for the third time in August and risk getting a lower score, or if i should apply and try my luck. I feel like some of you folks would have a better idea as to whether I have a shot getting in with these scores if i have a strong application (personal statement, resume, ECs, etc.). I think it's the risk of getting a lower score that scares me, because if i do, that would look pretty bad on my application and i think it would ruin my chances of ever getting in. Thanks so much!!  
    • I dont think any schools will look at the two tests differently. I think it is important to recognize that waiting for a regular test to be administered (if that is what you prefer) will probably not happen for a few months, so if you're looking to apply this cycle, I wouldn't wait until the end of the year in hopes of avoiding the flex. You don't want to feel like you're studying or taking the test too last minute... especially if you have to take the test again! 
    • I have bought it when 7sage gave a discount on it, but there are no contents even relevant to Canadian law. So, don't buy it.
    • yes i did. i don't get it either to be honest. I wanted to call them but they're closed today.. very frustrating 

×
×
  • Create New...