Considering a lateral move from one big law firm to another. Anyone have insight on what the culture and expectations are at McDermott (NY office - corporate practice)? Is there a work-life balance?

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They’re all basically the same - bad work life balance. Always has been.

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You can hide your incompetence for a longer time switching firms frequently

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I have been very lucky and have had a great WLB because investment management/fund formation tends to be a great practice for WLB - I would be moving because the work and group is more prestigious than my current firm and it would be a better opportunity for my career. I am used to a 160-200 billable hour month but I do not want to go somewhere and be consistently over 200 every month.

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McDermott culture is highly dependent on which partners you work for. If you’re going into their funds group, the culture depends on how you mesh with their partners (I’ve heard horror stories) and the hours are consistently 200+ per month.

Also with respect to funds, I doubt the prestige is any kind of bump up. No one even knows McDermott has a funds practice. If you’re looking at firm vault rankings or amlaw rankings maybe, but that shouldn’t really matter to you. If you’re already doing funds work at your current firm, pretty solid chance your practice is more prestigious lol. I wouldn’t move for the prestige or WLB.

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OP what are you looking for from this move? Do you want to make partner? Consider that this move will lengthen your track.

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