Is working at Wachtell worth it?

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I worked alongside WLRK on a matter for a few months (non-corporate) - they’re really, really good at what they do and were pleasant to work with. Common biglaw lore says it’ll be a 24hr job but get the feeling it’s not a bad experience beyond the hours.

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If it was between Wachtell and another NY V5, I would say yes. I doubt the hours are that much different between Cravath, Sullcrom, Skadden, etc. and Wachtell but Wachtell provides a significant boost in prestige which could translate to better exit options.

With that said, I don’t think NY big law is “worth it” in any sense when you take into account there are now many other markets that pay exactly the same with significantly lower expectations.

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Late to this but there are firms in DC, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, and Houston that all pay virtually the same as NY Big Law with significantly lower expectations and better QOL. I’m at a large DC firm and the attorneys in our NY office work significantly longer / more unpredictable hours than I do as a DC based litigation associate.

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Are the money and prestige worth the hours and stress

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My S/O was at Wachtell and crushed it but he often time had stomach ulcers and came home at 2 am and 9 am sometimes when a deal closed. We had like 6 days together as a couple in 5 years. Wachtell made it easy for him to be on top of the law game but also… the business world probably does not care that you were at WLRK or Cravath. He did say tho that it’s great if you want to be surrounded by the smartest people.

Do you have an offer? If so and in your 20s, do take and work for a few years and gain experience.

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I would do Wachtell until I cried uncle and then lateral.

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You can DM me if you’d like to discuss

From what I hear you are also largely spared from doing any bankruptcy work since Wachtell doesn’t bill clients by the hour and thus can’t get their fees approved by a bankruptcy court.

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Wachtel 100% does creditor work. I have been on various matters with them. It’s a combined Rx/Finance team.

For me, no. But for plenty of talented people, yes.

I’d rather go somewhere with lower pay that I can stay for years and maybe get promoted rather than somewhere I’ll probably burn out in 1-2 years.

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If you are choosing between WLRK and another intense corporate practice lower down the Vault rankings, I would go with Wachtell. I’m in a v20 practice and it’s a 24/7 job but with somewhat less prestige. If I wasn’t a foreign graduate (we have very limited options in US big law despite perfect academic history) and had a WLRK offer, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

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Would 100% do it. No matter what it feels like sometimes, we are in Biglaw by own own volition, and can leave the role any time. It’ll open a lot of doors and you’ll always have the stamp of approval. Your pastures will be green at WLRK.

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It’s a no brainer to me, especially if you’re in corporate. Wachtell is meaningfully different from any other NYC firm, and you’ll get paid more for doing the same nonsense as you will anywhere else.

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Say goodbye to: your friends, family, hobbies, waistline, health, hair, self. “I’ll just stay for a couple of years and leave” isn’t as easy at it sounds. There’s a real, personal, human toll that sort of job will take on you.

That said, you should ask someone who works there, but good luck getting a hold of them. Doubt they have time to fuck around on fishbowl.

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My S/O legit shed 40 pounds since he left WLRK.

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Do it. The avg is 2400 hours (you’ll do that at any V10) and pay is double. I see my friends that work there frequently, they also have children—i.e., they still have a life.

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In what sense?

Would do WLRK. Its a league of its own, at least corp wise

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