{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Does anyone have insight into the SD Biglaw market? I know LW,SMRH, Cooley, DLA, JD, & MoFo are the big players. Anyone have insight into the strengths of each firm or culture? How does SD biglaw compare to LA/SV?", "post_id": "60fb93bc362a85001c3d8bfe", "reply_count": 13, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law" }

Does anyone have insight into the SD Biglaw market? I know LW,SMRH, Cooley, DLA, JD, & MoFo are the big players. Anyone have insight into the strengths of each firm or culture? How does SD biglaw compare to LA/SV?

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SD is smaller and harder to get. SD is biochem heavy; LA is more mixed. LA is a faster growing market (especially with sillicon beach). Really depends on what you want to do tbh and I wouldn't use the term big players since subject area matters a great deal. For example, Fish's SD office is great if you have any interest in patent lit and better than most of the firms you mentioned for that. LA has Irell, Quinn, and Hueston Hennigan (again I'm more patent lit and know those firms). The biggest corporate players in CA non-area specif are generally Cooley, Mofo, Fenwick, WSGR, Latham, Orrick, and Gunderson. If you prefer Fenwick over one of the firms you listed they have LA and not SD. SV of course is more tech and tech client heavy/not as purely biochem focused as SD.

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Depends on your goals and practice A4. Partnership odds are probably better in LA. LA is also better for some things like patent lit. That said SD is definitely nicer to live in short of working at a Santa Monica firm.

Depends on what you are looking to do. SD is a niche market and is said to be one of the most family friendly cities in the US. Makes it very affordable with a BigLaw salary. I've considered moving out there... In my view, Cooley and Latham are the firms with the farthest reach in SD, and have the strongest brands in that market. Those firms (and others like them) also let you do work that isn't SD focused. For example, a co-Chair of Cooley's capital markets group is based in SD and the global co-Chair of Latham's Investment Funds group is (or was) based out of SD. Doesn't mean you have to practice in those areas, but it shows that the SD office will give you exposure to deal flow outside of SD. LA is more entertainment heavy, with Latham and Skadden being the big players. Cooley and Fenwick have offices there, but not sure it's an area that the tech and life science focused firms see as a key growth area. SV is, of course, heavy on tech, with Cooley, WSGR, Fenwick and Gunderson being the big tech-company players. That said, Latham, Skadden, Kirkland and a few other firms are (again) making large investments into having a bigger presence in SV. I think it will (continue to) be very hard to compete with the likes of Cooley and WSGR. Firms like K&E and Skadden are more PE focused than the emerging company/issuer-side tech firms, so there is room for them. All of the above is deal focused. Not sure about litigation groups, but would think it would be similar with MoFo near the top of the pack (with a number of really excellent litigation boutiques).

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Fair enough. I haven't looked too closely into LA and associates in LA haven't featured too heavy on the deals I've worked on. I also don't know anything about litigation!

JD is mostly lit. Cooley has a big lit group too. CapM and M&A are there too. Gunderson is very very small. Nice people from my limited experience. WSGR has a smaller corporate group that does everything, also a large for SD patent group (prosecution and tech trans). Latham does some ec/VC but also alot of project finance which seems kind of random. Not very much capM there I don't think. Most law firm offices are in del Mar, not SD fyi. Oh and mofo is all lit I think. Beautiful city. Not sure there's a better place to be in big law from a lifestyle perspective if you like being outside.

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Oh and as others have mentioned: SD is biotech and life sciences almost exclusively it seems.

Following.

Also consider Mintz for corporate work.

Why would you work at Mintz for corporate over the CA VC firms; especially considering they don't pay market bonuses?

I’m a lateral to one of the firms mentioned. In terms of culture, it’s a very chilled and laid back culture compared to east coast big law. It is a smaller market area than LA but there’s a good amount of corporate positions. My firm’s SD office is mostly corporate.

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