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Career Center Survey Results: Top Partners to Work For – California (Part 1)

Deborah Cussen, of Gibson Dunn, and Carla Feldman, of Morgan Lewis.

Welcome to the third installment of our Top Partners to Work For series, as selected by our readers (see last week’s posts here and here). In the first two weeks, we covered New York and D.C.; this week, we head west, and cruise on over to sunny California.

The ten partners we highlight today work at some of the country’s leading law firms: Kirkland & Ellis, Morrison & Foerster, Gibson Dunn, Latham & Watkins, Munger Tolles, Wilson Sonsini, Morgan Lewis, Baker & McKenzie, Bryan Cave, and Jones Day.

So, which West Coast partners do associates enjoy working for?

James Basile.  Associates want to work for Basile, a Kirkland & Ellis litigation partner, for a whole host of reasons:  “Jim demands a lot from the associates with whom he works, but he gives far more in terms of guidance, mentoring, and the opportunity to take on responsibility far beyond that of associates of your year if you prove you can do it.  He is never hesitant to give credit where credit is due, including publicly and to clients.  He is also completely transparent; you always know where you stand and how he views the quality of your work.  Finally, if you work hard on Jim’s cases and do quality work, you can be assured that he has your back — completely — whether at bonus time, in terms of advancement, or even with matters outside of work and the firm.  It’s hard not to like working for this guy and to always put in extra effort; he’s one of a kind.”

Ruth Borenstein.  An associate praises Borenstein, a Morrison & Foerster litigation partner, for being “a model of professionalism and mentoring, and set[ting] the bar for excellent partner-associate relations at MoFo.”

Deborah Cussen.  A corporate partner at Gibson Dunn, Cussen received the highest ratings in almost all survey categories.

Robert Dell.  To put it simply, as the Chairman and Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins, Dell “is one of the top partners to work for because if you’re working for him, it means he hasn’t
fired you yet.”

Richard Drooyan.  One associate “can’t think of higher praise” of Drooyan, a Munger Tolles litigation partner, than that he “brings out the very best in the associates who work with him.”

Keith Eggleton.  A Wilson Sonsini litigation partner, Eggleton received the highest marks in all survey categories.

Carla Feldman.  As a Morgan Lewis labor and employment partner, Feldman sets the bar for the firm in all survey categories.

Matthew Gemello.  Gemello, a corporate partner and chair of Baker & McKenzie’s Northern California Corporate & Securities practice group, is an exemplary partner in all survey categories.

Andrew Klungness. A Bryan Cave intellectual property partner, Klungness sets the bar for the firm in almost all survey categories.

Jeff LeVee.  LeVee, a Jones Day litigation partner, is one of the best partners because “he’s respectful, creative, open to ideas and takes the time to explain his,” “he’s also whip smart,” and “he’s very practical – he picks his fights carefully with opposing counsel, and models this for his associates.”  In addition, “he encourages associate/client interaction and provides associates with as much responsibility as they are willing/able to handle.

Stay tuned for the next nine top partners to work for in California, which we’ll bring you later this week.  If you are at a firm with partners whom you don’t enjoy working for and you are considering a transition, let Lateral Link help you make a lateral move.

Earlier: Prior ATL Career Center posts