An associate at Sullivan & Cromwell - Aaron Charney - sued it. He contended sexual-orientation discrimination.
Everyone assumed Charney was committing career suicide. Here is the coverage back then in New York Magazine.
As the litigation moved forward, Charney's description of alleged partners' behavior entertained the legal world. For the legal media such as Abovethelaw, it was the gift that kept of giving.
You bet, the S&C brand became, well, infamous.
Meanwhile, there was not only a settlement between S&C and Carney. The rumor was it was lucrative since he then bought an expensive condo in Manhattan. He also landed another job in BigLaw at Clifford Chance. Take the Money & Stay was the happy ending to that major story.
Well, here it is 2018, and S&C can stand tall. At least on Glassdoor. There it has a 3.6 rating, based on 85 employee reviews. Here you can read them.
Essentially they fall into two categories:
- The Brand Ambassadors, who are the largest group
- The Malcontents, who sound like they are unaware how the real world operates.
The Brand Ambassadors salute:
- Being part of a prestigious brand
- Good pay, including Christmas bonuses for staff
- Excellent training in the practice of law
- Advancement possible if you can figure out how to get into the feedback loop about what it takes to be promoted
Of course, they cite the no work/life balance but make explicit that's to be expected in BigLaw.
The Malcontents have beefs about:
- Working there is a job, not a career
- No feedback on how to advance in firm
- Sudden terminations
- Brutal bottom-line mindset at the Palo Alto office, where associates often sleep in their offices.
There might be fewer malcontents throughout BigLaw if the career functions in law school explain the pros and cons of the many possible career paths for JDs.
The tone and content of the Malcontents' posts indicate they are unaware of or unwilling to make sacrifices which have to be made working in BigLaw. It's not for everyone. In addition, given the stagnant demand in the legal sector, that tough tour of duty will likely be on short time. Take the money. And, leverage the experience for The Next. The new game is all about putting together The Next.
Here I bring the Charney saga up-to-date.
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