Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

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BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:32 pm

hos9903 wrote:Can you speak to whether or not there is a disadvantage for K-JDs in OCI? I have an offer to work consulting for a field/market that I have no interest in, and would only consider it if I'd be shooting myself in the foot for OCI by not taking it.

Thanks again!


I had to look up the term K-JD, so thanks for making me feel old!

Disadvantage - yes; disqualifier - no. Almost all firms include a substantial number of K-JDs in their classes - often the majority of the class. From a hiring perspective, if I have two identical candidates commanding an identical salary, but one has some work experience, I'm going to choose the latter. So the work experience does serve as a tie-breaker. But a K-JD with good grades at a top school and who presents well won't be in that situation.

Now, from my experience, students with at least a year off tend to, on average, have better grades -- especially first semester. I know that I appreciated my classes more having taken some time off in between. So from that standpoint I do think it is a greater disadvantage (although there are exceptions to every rule).

doing_it_in_a_car
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Could you comment on general trends in biglaw hiring - do you see it continuing to recover over the next few years, or are 2012/2013 levels the new normal?

What subfields of law do you think will see the most continued growth?

Alexandria
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby Alexandria » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:29 pm

BigLawRecruiter wrote:
stayway wrote:I recently started as corporate counsel for a midsized retailer (class of 2013). What are my chances at lateraling into biglaw? My LS and grades are mediocre but since I'm the only attorney here I got throw into the fire and learning a lot (for a first year). Thanks.


I'm not going to lie - it will be difficult. Lateral hires typically involve attorneys with specific skill sets developed at a law firm (or through clerkships). Unfortunately, although working as corporate counsel is a great experience, the skills that you develop are generally not the same skills as those developed at a law firm. Your best bet will be a firm that your company works with and that would benefit from your particular industry experience or another law firm that specializes in that industry.


I agree about the need to capitalize on particular industry expertise -- you would need to find a firm with a practice in that particular area that you have in-depth knowledge of. I have seen lateral hires from industry groups, and I would imagine it would also not be hard to lateral from a government agency, if you got in straight from law school through the honors program, etc. I'm not sure if being corporate counsel for a retailer lends itself as easily to this as working for, say, a pharmaceutical company, a telecom carrier, or other company in a closely regulated industry might.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:31 pm

Let us talk extras. Law Review/Moot Court/Mock Trial/Secondary Journals.


How do the above factor into decision making? Also, what is level boost for each in comparison to each other. Would you recommend someone taking a -.1 hit on GPA to opt for an Executive Board position in Law Review? Or a similar hit to do Moot Court AND Law Review (assuming the .1 hit doesn't knock you below an important cutoff).

I know many people would be desperate to know. Would your answer at all change at the T14 level versus a lower ranked regional school?

Thank you so much for your time!

kenwash
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby kenwash » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:08 pm

UnderrateOverachieve wrote:Let us talk extras. Law Review/Moot Court/Mock Trial/Secondary Journals.


How do the above factor into decision making? Also, what is level boost for each in comparison to each other. Would you recommend someone taking a -.1 hit on GPA to opt for an Executive Board position in Law Review? Or a similar hit to do Moot Court AND Law Review (assuming the .1 hit doesn't knock you below an important cutoff).

I know many people would be desperate to know. Would your answer at all change at the T14 level versus a lower ranked regional school?

Thank you so much for your time!

Bumping. Would love to hear your thoughts on this as well. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

jarofsoup
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:13 pm

I will be a law clerk at a big firm next semester and I am a 3L. I did not summer at the firm, but my past experience makes me relatively specialized in a certain practice area.

Where do these positions lead? How can I use it to leverage a position at another firm. Any general advice to 3Ls who want to get into big law?

thanks.

mx23250
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby mx23250 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:19 pm

As for IP (patent law) recruiting, what are the most important factors you consider? (e.g., law school gpa, undergrad gpa??, graduate degree/gpa, work experience, law review/moot court)? Thanks!

Humpty Dumpty
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby Humpty Dumpty » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:30 pm

Could you walk us through the process? Particularly mass mailing.

I send a resume off to recruiting. Who looks at it and so makes the decision to bring me in for an interview? Then in a screener, does that interviewer have final authority on who gets callbacks or does he give me some kind of score which is then compared to other candidates?

Who's making the decision after the callback for an offer? The people who actually interviewed me? The recruiting committee which may have people I didn't meet? And are they still looking at my resume at that point or mostly the evaluations?

Thanks.

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:00 pm

doing_it_in_a_car wrote:Could you comment on general trends in biglaw hiring - do you see it continuing to recover over the next few years, or are 2012/2013 levels the new normal?

What subfields of law do you think will see the most continued growth?


As a general matter, the legal hiring market is likely to stay flat or even contract as firms adjust to a "new normal" that demands increased productivity and trims excess expense. Hopefully that will mean more stability for associates who have jobs, but those jobs may be more difficult to obtain. I don't think things will settle at their worst from a couple years back, but hiring for this upcoming summer class likely will reflect the market of the future.

IP continues to be a very hot area that will have continued growth. The M&A market is strong right now, but that can be very cyclical. Real estate still has not fully rebounded, but should grow going forward.

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:21 pm

UnderrateOverachieve wrote:Let us talk extras. Law Review/Moot Court/Mock Trial/Secondary Journals.


How do the above factor into decision making? Also, what is level boost for each in comparison to each other. Would you recommend someone taking a -.1 hit on GPA to opt for an Executive Board position in Law Review? Or a similar hit to do Moot Court AND Law Review (assuming the .1 hit doesn't knock you below an important cutoff).

I know many people would be desperate to know. Would your answer at all change at the T14 level versus a lower ranked regional school?

Thank you so much for your time!


I think you present an artificial construct - participating on law review and moot court/mock trial should not require "sacrificing" GPA. Law firms are impressed by students' abilities to focus on more than one thing. Academic success paired with extra-curricular success makes for the best candidate.

With that said, GPA is and always will be king. If a candidate comes in with a 4.0 and interviews well, not many firms are going to care that the person was not in law review or moot court. Generally, though, most firms expect to see law review or moor court and may question or downgrade a candidate who does not participate in either. If you tell me in an interview that you are dead set on litigation, but you have no experience and no law review, moot court, or mock trial, I am going to question your sincerity. Similarly, unless you have a lot of other interesting experience, law review and moot court/mock trial provide interview fodder that will help you carry a conversation and also fill our your general profile.

At a school outside the T14, it is even more impressive to demonstrate excellence inside and outside the classroom.

Between the two, I would say that if you are on the law review, that will be the most impressive. Lesser journals and moot court are roughly equivalent, and many students manage to do both a journal and moot court (depending on the rules at their school).

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:24 pm

jarofsoup wrote:I will be a law clerk at a big firm next semester and I am a 3L. I did not summer at the firm, but my past experience makes me relatively specialized in a certain practice area.

Where do these positions lead? How can I use it to leverage a position at another firm. Any general advice to 3Ls who want to get into big law?

thanks.


Working as a law clerk at a big firm certainly will help. You should treat this like an extended job interview and try to meet as many people as possible. If the firm does not bring future employment up, you should definitely be proactive near the end of the semester - inquiring about employment at that firm or any assistance that they can provide.

As a general matter, getting into BigLaw as a 3L is very tough. Most firms do not make a regular practice of hiring first years who did not come through their summer programs.

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:26 pm

mx23250 wrote:As for IP (patent law) recruiting, what are the most important factors you consider? (e.g., law school gpa, undergrad gpa??, graduate degree/gpa, work experience, law review/moot court)? Thanks!


Undergraduate GPA is probably the least important of the factors you list.

Law school GPA and law review/moot court are still going to be most important. However, patent hiring often is on a different track than general hiring, so relevant graduate studies and/or work experience may place you into a different candidate pool.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:28 pm

BigLawRecruiter wrote:
UnderrateOverachieve wrote:Let us talk extras. Law Review/Moot Court/Mock Trial/Secondary Journals.


How do the above factor into decision making? Also, what is level boost for each in comparison to each other. Would you recommend someone taking a -.1 hit on GPA to opt for an Executive Board position in Law Review? Or a similar hit to do Moot Court AND Law Review (assuming the .1 hit doesn't knock you below an important cutoff).

I know many people would be desperate to know. Would your answer at all change at the T14 level versus a lower ranked regional school?

Thank you so much for your time!


I think you present an artificial construct - participating on law review and moot court/mock trial should not require "sacrificing" GPA. Law firms are impressed by students' abilities to focus on more than one thing. Academic success paired with extra-curricular success makes for the best candidate.

With that said, GPA is and always will be king. If a candidate comes in with a 4.0 and interviews well, not many firms are going to care that the person was not in law review or moot court. Generally, though, most firms expect to see law review or moor court and may question or downgrade a candidate who does not participate in either. If you tell me in an interview that you are dead set on litigation, but you have no experience and no law review, moot court, or mock trial, I am going to question your sincerity. Similarly, unless you have a lot of other interesting experience, law review and moot court/mock trial provide interview fodder that will help you carry a conversation and also fill our your general profile.

At a school outside the T14, it is even more impressive to demonstrate excellence inside and outside the classroom.

Between the two, I would say that if you are on the law review, that will be the most impressive. Lesser journals and moot court are roughly equivalent, and many students manage to do both a journal and moot court (depending on the rules at their school).


Thank you very much, sir! I was not assuming a de facto drop in GPA. I just know that executive positions in Law Review take massive amounts of time and do not provide credit. So I was wondering if taking the exec position (instead of merely being a "member") would be worth it if there was a possible slip in GPA---if that GPA slip didn't knock you out of a cutoff group.

So follow up questions. Law Review member versus executive board position? Does it really matter?

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:58 pm

Humpty Dumpty wrote:Could you walk us through the process? Particularly mass mailing.

I send a resume off to recruiting. Who looks at it and so makes the decision to bring me in for an interview? Then in a screener, does that interviewer have final authority on who gets callbacks or does he give me some kind of score which is then compared to other candidates?

Who's making the decision after the callback for an offer? The people who actually interviewed me? The recruiting committee which may have people I didn't meet? And are they still looking at my resume at that point or mostly the evaluations?

Thanks.


There is no standard process. Most, but not all, BigLaw hiring occurs through OCI. Depending on the school, either you would select the firm for interviews or the firm will review your resume and select you for an interview. At other schools, you would send your resume to recruiting and someone (it could be the recruiting staff or it could be the committee) would decide to bring you in for a screening interview.

Typically, firms come into a screening interview with some idea of your status based on your resume. At some firms, the screening interview can only lose you a callback, while others go in more open minded. But even in the latter situation, your interviewer will go in knowing your academic standing and that will play into your overall evaluation.

The next step also differs by firm. Some, particularly firms with larger summer classes, empower the interviewer either to decide on callbacks or quickly receive the interviewer's recommendations and rubber stamp them. This is particularly true of large New York firms, which often will extend callback invitations within 24 hours. Other firms decide by committee who to call back and the process can take up to a week.

At the call back, you will interview with 3-6 attorneys. These attorneys may or may not include members of the recruiting committee. The interviewers will submit feedback to the recruiting committee, which generally determines which offers to extend. Typically, the recruiting committee will have your full portfolio -- resume, interview feedback, perhaps writing samples -- to use in making their decision. If you did interview with recruiting committee members their view could carry more weight, but generally no one interview will make a candidate (although it could break a candidate).

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:00 pm

UnderrateOverachieve wrote:Thank you very much, sir! I was not assuming a de facto drop in GPA. I just know that executive positions in Law Review take massive amounts of time and do not provide credit. So I was wondering if taking the exec position (instead of merely being a "member") would be worth it if there was a possible slip in GPA---if that GPA slip didn't knock you out of a cutoff group.

So follow up questions. Law Review member versus executive board position? Does it really matter?


At most schools, you do not join law review executive board until 3L year, so any trade off with academics would not be apparent during the 2L interviewing process. For clerkships, law review executive board is valuable.

20141023
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby 20141023 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:21 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Amity
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby Amity » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:15 pm

Any tips for those starting at a firm? After nearly 3 months as a SA I feel I have a good handle on what to expect, nevertheless, I am open to advice. Also, how long of a time period is there before there is pressure to make a little rain?

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:24 am

kappycaft1 wrote:Do clerkships help law school graduates land "better" biglaw jobs than if they went straight into private practice?

2) Do clerkships make attorneys more "useful" within their firms because the firms can present these credentials to potential clients as a selling point?

3) Do clerkships help attorneys find employment later on in their careers if they get pushed out of their firm or if they voluntarily want to lateral elsewhere?

4) Do the law firms enjoy finding out that someone they offered a 2L summer position to is going to do a 1-year clerkship after graduation, or would they rather have them come straight in?

5) How do firms value the different types of clerkships (state versus federal, and differing levels of both)?[/color]

*Disclaimer: The reason I have 0 interest in clerkships is because I have done literally 0 research on them, and not because I don't think they would be a rewarding experience. The region I want to live in after school is overseas, and going into law school I knew that clerkships would keep me in the United States for at least one year after graduation, so that is why I hadn't even considered applying to them until now.


Under the old system, law students did not apply for clerkships until the start of their 3L year -- well after law firm hiring was complete. So clerkships have not had much influence on entry-level hiring for law firms. As you may know, that system is crumbling, so it is possible that clerkship hiring will advance, but still probably not before OCI and entry-level hiring for large law firms.

Clerkships do make attorneys more attractive as lateral candidates in litigation practices, but not all clerkships are equal. Any clerkship is helpful, but the most attractive clerkships are in courts where the firm regularly practices. So if you want to work in New York, an SDNY clerkship and/or a Second Circuit clerkship is particularly attractive. State court clerkships are less attractive to large law firms, which do not have as large of state court practices.

As to how law firms feel about members of their summer classes leaving for clerkships, most firms are supportive of this practice and account for it in their summer hiring plans. You should beware, however, that not all firms guarantee full time offers to students that leave to clerkships, so you will want to work that out with your firm and know their policy before you apply.

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:28 am

Amity wrote:Any tips for those starting at a firm? After nearly 3 months as a SA I feel I have a good handle on what to expect, nevertheless, I am open to advice. Also, how long of a time period is there before there is pressure to make a little rain?


That's a pretty broad question, but just go in ready to work and approach it like a job. Make good connections early with attorneys who can give you work and remember that the easier you make their job, the more likely they are to come back to you. That means ask good questions along the way and then turn in a finished product, on time, that does not take much editing or rewriting. Do not take on too much as you get started - it is better to deliver quality than quantity as you adjust to law firm life. Finally, try to be flexible on your schedule and put in the extra hours as necessary to show that you are someone that can produce great results without any drama.

As a general matter, associates are not expected to generate business. If you can do so, that is a bonus, but you are there to produce work product. As you get into senior associate status you will want to build a brand, but that does not necessarily mean bringing in new business.

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coolbean2013
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby coolbean2013 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:24 pm

Do you think a JD/MBA is useful for someone who wants to do corporate transactional work at a BigLaw firm? I have a particular interest in start-ups and venture capital. Also, how does a 4 year JD/MBA affect one's hiring? Are JD/MBA's looked at as risky candidates, or is the MBA (from a top ranked school) seen as a useful tool for client work, building a clientele, managerial skills, etc?

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions!!

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twenty
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby twenty » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:58 pm

Thanks for answering questions. :)

Since you're a GULC grad yourself, I was wondering if you could shed some light on the PT program -- does being a PT law student serve as a detriment to biglaw hiring?

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:16 pm

coolbean2013 wrote:Do you think a JD/MBA is useful for someone who wants to do corporate transactional work at a BigLaw firm? I have a particular interest in start-ups and venture capital. Also, how does a 4 year JD/MBA affect one's hiring? Are JD/MBA's looked at as risky candidates, or is the MBA (from a top ranked school) seen as a useful tool for client work, building a clientele, managerial skills, etc?


A JD/MBA is of some value, but it certainly is not necessary. I definitely do not think that it would hold you back at all with regard to law firm hiring (although, in my experience, JD/MBAs are more likely to end up with a bank instead of a law firm).

BigLawRecruiter
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby BigLawRecruiter » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:18 pm

twenty wrote:Thanks for answering questions. :)

Since you're a GULC grad yourself, I was wondering if you could shed some light on the PT program -- does being a PT law student serve as a detriment to biglaw hiring?


The PT program is not a major drawback for biglaw hiring. Many of the PT students do not pursue biglaw because they already have government positions and are not looking to change careers, but I know many PT students who ended up in law firm positions (including several of my colleagues).

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby brotherdarkness » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:22 pm

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Last edited by brotherdarkness on Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nickb285
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Re: Ask a BigLaw Recruiting Committee Member

Postby nickb285 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 am

I'm attending GULC, but I'm looking to work back home in the Mountain West, both for summers and after school. None of the firms (and for that matter, none of the government offices or nonprofits) in my home market participate in OCI or other GULC recruiting events. What do you think is the best way to approach firms/recruiters in markets far from the school you're attending? I met with a couple attorneys over the break and will be traveling back fairly regularly during the school year.




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