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Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:12 am
by Anonymous User
Finally narrowed down my options to 2 firms S&C in New York and Sidley in Chicago, liked both firms equally, interested in transactional work (investment funds, finance..., but not really M&A).

Currently leaning toward Sidley. I like New York a lot but Chicago seems more amenable to establishing roots and settling down, plus it's more affordable.

Everyone around me, however, keeps telling me that I should take S&C, which is making me doubt myself. I understand that New York offers more/better deals/greater variety in terms of corporate work but is there something so magical about corporate in New York that I'd be doing myself a disservice by starting in Chicago?

Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks.

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:59 am
by trebekismyhero
If you think you would be happier in Chicago go with Sidley. They have a good investment funds group. I chose Chicago over NY and don't regret it at all

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:13 am
by yodamiked
If Chicago is where you want to end up in the long run, then definitely start in Chicago. Starting at a big firm in NY definitely opens up doors for you if you're unclear where you want to be/what you want to be doing in the future, but coming from someone in NY, I find the benefits you're told as a law student/junior to be somewhat over-exaggerated.

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:39 am
by The Lsat Airbender
yodamiked wrote:Starting at a big firm in NY definitely opens up doors for you if you're unclear where you want to be/what you want to be doing in the future, but coming from someone in NY, I find the benefits you're told as a law student/junior to be somewhat over-exaggerated.


Especially when we're talking about the delta between NY and a major market like Chicago. If you're trying to choose between, say, NYC and Louisville, then it might make sense to worry about the kind of generic transactional work you'd get.

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:08 pm
by Anonymous User
trebekismyhero wrote:If you think you would be happier in Chicago go with Sidley. They have a good investment funds group. I chose Chicago over NY and don't regret it at all


Completely agreed. I had a similar choice as OP. I ended, up choosing a top Chicago firm over Cravath, and I don't have a single regret. Chicago is a major market with high quality of work and a very affordable cost of living. Why turn that down for more prefftige when you're already hanging out in the highest echelon of biglaw in your major market?

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:55 pm
by MillllerTime
Sidley, Kirkland, and (to a lesser extent) other major Chicago firms are full of people who either turned down top NY firms or who lateraled here after a few years. I have yet to meet anyone who was unhappy with their decision.

The work is only a very minor step down from the Cravaths and S&Cs, and not a step down at all from lesser NY shops - definitely not enough to make up for the lifestyle. It's mentioned on here plenty, but I can't stress enough how different the NY lifestyle is from the rest of the legal markets out there. If you have comparable options outside of NYC and you don't have a strong desire to live there, don't.

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:42 pm
by JHP
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
yodamiked wrote:Starting at a big firm in NY definitely opens up doors for you if you're unclear where you want to be/what you want to be doing in the future, but coming from someone in NY, I find the benefits you're told as a law student/junior to be somewhat over-exaggerated.


Especially when we're talking about the delta between NY and a major market like Chicago. If you're trying to choose between, say, NYC and Louisville, then it might make sense to worry about the kind of generic transactional work you'd get.

Seconding this and everyone else's comments. If you want to end up in Chicago, start in Chicago. Whatever negligible difference there may be between Sidley and S&C's work will probably be worth it for you to start off in the city you actually want to be in. It's where you'll be cultivating your reputation, your network, personal life, etc., so no use putting in an extra step by going to New York first only to have to uproot yourself to go to Chicago.

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:26 pm
by Anonymous User
OP here.
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the comments.
I am just curious about what was mentioned regarding the different lifestyle in the NY legal market. What does the NY law firm life entail that would be different in Chicago? I heard the hours in Chicago are fairly similar, especially at places like Sidley.

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:45 am
by Res Ipsa Loquitter
if this was Sidley NY vs. S&C NY, then answer would be S&C.

but it's not worth uprooting your life for a marginal amount of firm prestige. take sidley Chicago if that's where you want to live.

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:26 pm
by trebekismyhero
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the comments.
I am just curious about what was mentioned regarding the different lifestyle in the NY legal market. What does the NY law firm life entail that would be different in Chicago? I heard the hours in Chicago are fairly similar, especially at places like Sidley.


Generally NY requires a lot more face time. At my Chicago office, corporate associates work in the office between 9:30 and 5 and then usually can do everything else from home, lit associates have it even easier. Whereas I know in our NY office associates are expected to be in the office when working. Late nights working at home are a lot better than in the office. Also, I think most NY firms require first years to share offices. That is not the case in Chicago. Plus the money goes a lot further in Chicago.

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:27 pm
by RaceJudicata
trebekismyhero wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the comments.
I am just curious about what was mentioned regarding the different lifestyle in the NY legal market. What does the NY law firm life entail that would be different in Chicago? I heard the hours in Chicago are fairly similar, especially at places like Sidley.


Generally NY requires a lot more face time. At my Chicago office, corporate associates work in the office between 9:30 and 5 and then usually can do everything else from home, lit associates have it even easier. Whereas I know in our NY office associates are expected to be in the office when working. Late nights working at home are a lot better than in the office. Also, I think most NY firms require first years to share offices. That is not the case in Chicago. Plus the money goes a lot further in Chicago.


Yep, number of hours may be the same, but working X hours in the office at 2am is infinitely worse than doing so on your couch. Also, I’ve never understood why NY folks tend to get to the office super late in the morning. Unnecessarily causes you to be in office later at night. But it’s pervasive (at least at my firm)..

Re: Sullivan & Cromwell NY v. Sidley Chicago

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:27 pm
by Anonymous User
RaceJudicata wrote:
Yep, number of hours may be the same, but working X hours in the office at 2am is infinitely worse than doing so on your couch. Also, I’ve never understood why NY folks tend to get to the office super late in the morning. Unnecessarily causes you to be in office later at night. But it’s pervasive (at least at my firm)..


At my firm, 9:30-10:00 is the regular start time, and I believe official business hours start at 9:30. I always found it bizarre too.