Michigan 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
SkyVan64
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby SkyVan64 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:12 pm

J-Ro was VERY soft-spoken! Still a cool visit is a cool visit.

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Alexandria » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:36 pm

This video about Michigan Law's first Innocence Clinic exoneration is SO touching! Everyone should watch it!!!

http://cgi2.www.law.umich.edu/flashmedi ... ediaid=133

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tralinds
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby tralinds » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:39 am

Quite a game today huh??? :)

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vidhartha
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby vidhartha » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:58 am

tralinds wrote:Quite a game today huh??? :)

Awesome game!!

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Lawlcat
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Lawlcat » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:20 pm

Alexandria wrote:This video about Michigan Law's first Innocence Clinic exoneration is SO touching! Everyone should watch it!!!

http://cgi2.www.law.umich.edu/flashmedi ... ediaid=133



Wow. That is pretty touching. I'd heard about it, but it made more sense when I saw the more complete explanation.

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Alexandria » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:09 pm

Lawlcat wrote:
Alexandria wrote:This video about Michigan Law's first Innocence Clinic exoneration is SO touching! Everyone should watch it!!!

http://cgi2.www.law.umich.edu/flashmedi ... ediaid=133



Wow. That is pretty touching. I'd heard about it, but it made more sense when I saw the more complete explanation.


Yeah, I didn't really get the point of it being a non-DNA Innocence Project before. I was like, oh, so it's worse. But no, it's really cool. :) And I didn't realize one of my former section-mates was one of the two students who won the case.

Erie Doctrine
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Erie Doctrine » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:03 pm

I'm curious - are we able to use our summer grades in the 1L summer internship search?

My instincts tell me that is one advantage of Michigan's summer start program.

awesomepossum
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby awesomepossum » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:07 pm

Erie Doctrine wrote:I'm curious - are we able to use our summer grades in the 1L summer internship search?

My instincts tell me that is one advantage of Michigan's summer start program.



yes. This is either an advantage or disadvantage.....obviously depending on your grades...

Erie Doctrine
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Erie Doctrine » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:11 pm

awesomepossum wrote:
Erie Doctrine wrote:I'm curious - are we able to use our summer grades in the 1L summer internship search?

My instincts tell me that is one advantage of Michigan's summer start program.



yes. This is either an advantage or disadvantage.....obviously depending on your grades...


Cool. I know there aren't too many 1L summer positions to go around any more, obviously, but it would be nice to land something at least.

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just a girl
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby just a girl » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:25 pm

As we summer starters just got our grades today...I don't want to think about what they mean for my future job search.

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Capercaillie
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Capercaillie » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:10 pm

just a girl wrote:As we summer starters just got our grades today...I don't want to think about what they mean for my future job search.


What do you think they mean?

Cheezboogers.
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Cheezboogers. » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:38 pm

just a girl wrote:As we summer starters just got our grades today...I don't want to think about what they mean for my future job search.


What do teh grades mean? Please tell. Thansk.

mr.undroppable
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby mr.undroppable » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:42 pm

They mean if OCI is anything like it was for 2011 you best be hoping you are above a 3.55 if you are only interested in getting biglaw.

Cheezboogers.
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Cheezboogers. » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:30 pm

mr.undroppable wrote:They mean if OCI is anything like it was for 2011 you best be hoping you are above a 3.55 if you are only interested in getting biglaw.


I am screwed. Should I drop out now!?

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Capercaillie
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Capercaillie » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:39 pm

Indiana was robbed. Victors my ass.

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Go State
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Go State » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:09 pm

Cheezboogers. wrote:
mr.undroppable wrote:They mean if OCI is anything like it was for 2011 you best be hoping you are above a 3.55 if you are only interested in getting biglaw.


I am screwed. Should I drop out now!?


Class of 2012 will have it better then we did (but not as good as it had been in the past). The problem this year was that there were all the deferrals from class of 2010 so about half the firms just cut out their summer programs for this summer altogether. Then the firms that were having a summer program cut their program down to around half of what it was for class of 2010 last summer (which is really bad considering last summer wasn't a particularly good year). A recruiter during OCI from a firm that was around 3.3 (average) across the last 8 years said that they were hiring around 3.55 this year (so basically firms that hired around average of top 40% were hiring around top 25% (or better?) this year). My prediction is that the pipeline will open up some next year and top 33% or so will be fine (but not top 50%+ that class of 2007 saw).

marigolds
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby marigolds » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:15 am

Go State wrote:
Cheezboogers. wrote:
mr.undroppable wrote:They mean if OCI is anything like it was for 2011 you best be hoping you are above a 3.55 if you are only interested in getting biglaw.


I am screwed. Should I drop out now!?


Class of 2012 will have it better then we did (but not as good as it had been in the past). The problem this year was that there were all the deferrals from class of 2010 so about half the firms just cut out their summer programs for this summer altogether. Then the firms that were having a summer program cut their program down to around half of what it was for class of 2010 last summer (which is really bad considering last summer wasn't a particularly good year). A recruiter during OCI from a firm that was around 3.3 (average) across the last 8 years said that they were hiring around 3.55 this year (so basically firms that hired around average of top 40% were hiring around top 25% (or better?) this year). My prediction is that the pipeline will open up some next year and top 33% or so will be fine (but not top 50%+ that class of 2007 saw).


Right and wrong (to both of you).

3.55+ doesn't guarantee anything. I know people with GPAs above that who struck out (and, yes, they have great personalities). I know people with lower than that you are sitting on offers in the V10 (you're looking at one of them).

In general, Biglaw is a guarantee for no one at Michigan. While firms like DPW, SullCrom, Deb, W&C (the more prestigious W&C), Covington are hiring as usual (and with the intention of maintaining enormous summer classes), they are getting plenty more selective. Meanwhile, less prestigious firms that typically have smaller summer classes are going to have even smaller summer classes, and what's worse is that they can get more selective too. The problem is that things aren't just getting more selective on the grades-front. They're also getting more selective on the personality-front. Whereas you could have a 4.0+LR and a boring personality and guarantee Biglaw in years past, this is hardly the case this year (and, in fact, I know a 4.0+LR at a higher ranked school who just struck out), and it definitely won't be the case next year.

Now, let me assess your claims, one by one:

Class of 2012 will have it better then we did (but not as good as it had been in the past).


Not necessarily. This assumption hinges on your prognostication of the direction of the market, and how a recovery will take place. A V-shaped recovery might make 2010 recruiting slightly better. But all signs point to a W-shaped recovery, which means that a shit-storm is on the horizon for you too.

But even if recovery is here to stay, that's not to say law firms will increase recruiting as a result. The only people more risk-averse than law students are lawyers, and you can bet they'll be super-conservative in their hiring strategies. Even if they do find extra cash in their coffers, that doesn't translate into increased recruiting. Sometimes it's just better to have extra capital on the side in case things really go on.

Ultimately, firms are also PR-dependent. The problem with 2008 recruiting was that, since the shitstorm begin during the middle of recruiting season, firms overhired... and firms now look bad because they've had to do things that would be downright evil in other economies (no-offer most of classes, defer like crazy, cut salaries, etc.). Firms, even the shittier ones, are looking to avoid the negative PR associated with engaging in such acts, and will thus be conservative. The hiring numbers I've heard from recruiters for 2010 are not just shocking because they reflect the terrible economy, they also reflect the desire to ensure that every single person who is in the summer class gets a permanent offer and can start on time (assuming they don't do something terribly moronic during the summer).

The one advantage '12 will have is a stable set of data. '11 only had 6 years of data, which was essentially useless because this crisis had not happened in the past 6 years. On top of that, we had career services telling us to bid super-conservatively, which through the whole screening process out of wonk... then we had the general mystery of not understanding how bad hiring would be, and what the process would be like for callbacks and offers. Really, knowledge is power, and you can use us as an example.

The problem this year was that there were all the deferrals from class of 2010 so about half the firms just cut out their summer programs for this summer altogether.


"About half the firms"? This isn't right. I can count on two hands the firms that have eliminated summer classes, and those firms were already circling the drain anyways; it wasn't a function of a backlog of deferred associates (though that could have been a factor). In fact, there are plenty of firms with deferred associates that plan to have summer classes (Weil, Skadden, Cravath, Shearman... I could go on).

Then the firms that were having a summer program cut their program down to around half of what it was for class of 2010 last summer (which is really bad considering last summer wasn't a particularly good year).


Also inaccurate. Some firms intend to have a similar program to year's past. In fact, from what I know, DPW is increasing. Cleary is staying the same. WLRK and SullCrom are staying the same. Weil, Skadden, and Cravath are decreasing. Debevoise is staying constant/increasing. Kirkland is decreasing.

A recruiter during OCI from a firm that was around 3.3 (average) across the last 8 years said that they were hiring around 3.55 this year (so basically firms that hired around average of top 40% were hiring around top 25% (or better?) this year).


This is nothing from which you can extrapolate. While this might seem like a good rule of thumb when it comes to bidding, I got offers from firms that were traditionally in my GPA range (according to the GPA charts OCS handed out), and even got offers from firms that were, presumably, way out of my reach (no, I'm not on a journal and I'm not an under-represented minority or LGBT or whatever).

I think law students tend to put too much emphasis on grades, which is easy because it lends some predictability to the whole process. The problem is that it really doesn't work that way. I used the OCS grade charts as sort of a rough indicator of selectivity, and that really didn't hurt me.

I also think you're thinking about this a little too simplistically. Yes, law firms are getting more selective, but "grades" are not the only dimension along which selectivity can increase. Through my own mathematical analysis of the increases in mean GPAs from 2007->2008, only a handful of firms increased grade selectivity by a statistically significant margin (and... I got an offer from one of them; don't know how. It was out of my reach in 2007, and was even more out of my reach in 2008). Through my discussions with recruiters throughout the V20, as well as insiders that I happen to know on recruiting teams, many GPA cutoffs didn't really increase. And if there were GPA cut-offs, they were set very low (and if they did increase, they went maybe from a 3.1 to a 3.2).

I don't think anyone holds a calculator and sort of looks at grades with the precision that law school admissions offices do it. Grades just give interviewers a gauge of your competence. It really just is a subjective feeling. I've never known someone to be like "oh you have a 3.3, so I'll take you, but you have a 3.29, so I can't take you). That's just silly. It just doesn't happen that way.

My prediction is that the pipeline will open up some next year and top 33% or so will be fine (but not top 50%+ that class of 2007 saw).


Again, this is harmful. No one is "fine," and especially not anyone above a certain (arbitrarily chosen) percentile.


If there's any advice, based on my success, that I can give for the 2010 recruiting season, it's as follows:
1) Personality. If you're an asshole, fix yourself. Firms don't like assholes, they don't like people who reek of entitlement. Do as many practice interviews as you can so you can root out that inner-asshole, or at least work on concealing it long enough to convince someone you're not a douchebag. In the same vein, if you're really socially awkward, work on that too. Networking can help make up for deficient grades. One of the offers I received was from a firm whose recruiting team I got to know during my spring semester of law school. They were in touch with me throughout the screening process, callback process, and offer stage. I sometimes think I had an unfair advantage, but that isn't true. I reached out early and made the connections I needed to make. This doesn't mean you pepper your resume to every firm on the planet. It just means that if a firm is holding a reception or whatever, know how to schmooze and make a good impression. People will remember you (it's hard to believe, I know, but they really do... it's scary). At the end of the day, even if firms aren't looking to take students from these receptions, they are ALL recruiting events of some sort. Take advantage of them.
2) Know about law firm structure and economics. Let's face it, law firms are facing a lot of trouble too, and being able to empathize with an interviewer scored points for me. One of my interviewers was lamenting how other firms had dissolved, and I hopped on that by saying, "well, they paid the price because they were poorly leveraged. I'm looking for a firm that has a more reasonable partner/associate ratio, because I think they're more stable. You're that firm." I got a callback there. Know how training and mentoring and assigments work, as they give you a glimpse into the firm's intangibles (one firm prides itself on the free-market system... so associates who succeed there are usually more aggressive people; another firm puts you on rotations, does a little more hand-holding. Know how to convey a personality for each of those firms). Know what type of work is giving the firm money, and know what the firm has strength in doing. I used chambersandpartners for this, which gave me knowledge of the firm's strength in a given specialty, and deals they worked on. Don't name-drop deals like a robot. Be natural and smooth, and also be enthusiastic.
3) Have some semblance of what you want to do. This point might be more controversial, but I really think what set me apart from others is that I knew what I wanted to do, and I had good reasons for backing it up. No, I'm not just saying "choose between corporate and litigation." I actually had a spiel for why I wanted to do a specific area of litigation. The caveat to this approach is that you can't be too enthusiastic. Admit, at the beginning, that you're just a law student and are open to everything (and use this as an opportunity to extol the virtues of the summer program's assignment system, which will give you broad exposure to different fields), but also express enthusiasm for a specific specialty. What you're showing here is not that you really want to do that specialty (you could hop out of general commercial lit and go into tax at the and of the summer and your interviewer won't get angry or anything); you're really just showing your knowledge about what big firms do, as opposed to midlaw and shitlaw and whatever.
4) I cannot stress this enough. Be sure to have good, 5 minute answers for every question an interviewer could ask. I'm not saying that you write some speech in advance. When I was preparing my answers, I just had some bullet points in my mind that I made sure I covered, and I let my self organically reach those points. Some questions to which you should have a nice, long answer:

1) Tell me about your summer (or short variation thereof). (Answer: Summer was [adjective]. I worked on [project], which was [adjective], because [it touched on a subject I enjoyed as a 1L, etc., etc.). This will organically lead to questions like "what was the issue in the case?" etc. Don't ever answer the question with just, "my summer was great."
2) What was your favorite 1L course?
3) Describe a challenge you encountered during your summer job, and how you faced it?
4) What areas of law would you be interested in pursuing at our firm?
5) Why [firm]?
6) Why law school?
7) How was your first year of law school?
8) Why biglaw?

There are probably more. If it helps any, I was never asked bullshit questions like "what's your strength?" and "what's your weakness?" As one hiring partner put it to me, those questions are really only asked if your resume is that boring or if your personality is that shit. Don't know if this applies to all interviewers there.

mr.undroppable
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby mr.undroppable » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:59 am

marigolds, I agree a 100%. I don't want to get into an online pissing contest but I am in a similar situation as you (as far as having V10 offers but not top top grades). I just threw 3.55 out there because I don't know anyone with a ton of offers who have a GPA below that range but I am sure they exist.

What you said about interviewing should be stressed again because I really feel like people underestimate how much the interview matters. I felt like a lot of people are thinking, "Well I have a 3.5 but struck out at OCI because of the economy, woe is me." When they should have been thinking about what they did wrong in interviews to fix themselves up for another go around during 3L. The problem with law school students is every single person thinks they are good at interviewing because they were popular frat type dudes in college or raise their hand a lot in class. The reality of it is I heard some people saying things about their OCI interviews that made me cringe. Not having a fantastic answer for why you want to work at a firm, telling a recruiter you would be willing to do any kind of practice, not having any meaningful questions about a firm to ask the recruiter, etc. And don't even get me started on the attire. Nobody is going to put you in front of a client if you're wearing black sneakers or a black shirt and purple tie, you're entering the law profession, a suit is not a suit and I am not talking about price. You're expected to be pretty stuffy, if you don't like it the firms will be more than happy to show you the door on the way out.

My tips to current 1Ls:
1) Do not let the recruiter go into a long speech about what they do all day or how they choose their practice. Interrupt them if you have to and make the question specific. They get asked dumb questions all day like, "Can you describe your firm's training programs?" or "How did you end up in X practice?" There is nothing wrong with those questions but you need to realize everyone is asking them so if you make them more pointed and can then comment on their answers and relate it back to your strengths you will make a much more favorable impression. For example, if you ask something like, "What is the best part of you job?" and the recruiter tells you it is talking on the phone with clients about how to solve their problems (or some stupid shit like that) you should relate it back to yourself, "That sounds great, I got into law because I love the idea of working with people to help solve their problems and I had a job in college as a tutor and I got a real sense of satisfaction when the students figured something out because of my advice. One of the things I am really excited about is not just learning about the law but also the client service aspect of it because I have always been a people person which is why finance never appealed to me. Do you ever get to talk to CEO's?" And then you just move the conversation forward naturally instead of staring at them blankly waiting for the recruiter to ask you if you have any other questions.

2) Never forget who your audience is. If an associate is interviewing you they want to know that they can work with you at 3AM on the morning of July 4th and not want to murder you. Partners want to see that you will earn them money. When a partner asks why you went to law school DO NOT give some stupid answer like, "what else was I going to do with a poli sci degree" or "well I really want to help people through pro bono." Pro bono is fine and some firms really pride themselves on it (however that is not because they like helping people, it is because it gives their young associates free training - look on nalp how the pro bono hours drop off dramatically once you make partner). However, a partner wants to know you will be a good little worker bee. Don't forget that. You are not their friend, you are a potential source of income to them and biglaw is all about the profits.

3) Research the firms and reach out early. As with Marigolds I had met with a partner at one of the top firms I got an offer from several times over the early spring and summer and that was just because I knew what I wanted to do and took the initiative to reach out. If you think OCI is a place for you to feel out a firm or choose a practice area you are way way behind the eight ball. Know what you want, take steps to get your foot in the door early, and then lock it up with a great interview. Do not approach this process blind, in years past it might have been alright, but not anymore.

4) Ignore Vault rankings. Use Chambers & Partners, it will give rankings in bands and will give you the real deal on a firm's practice area strength instead of the firm's general reputation based off attorney questionnaires sent all over the country. If you're shooting for NY white collar crime practice do you really think a midlaw transactions lawyer from St. Louis is qualified to give you advice? Well those are the people voting on vault (and why some firms are overrated just because they have a decent office in a lot of different markets). It shocks me how some current 2Ls still blindly use vault as their guide, I would take some V20 firms in a second over a couple V5 ones based on their clients/practice area strengths.

Sorry for the essay.

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Go State
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Go State » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:36 pm

marigolds wrote:
Go State wrote:
Cheezboogers. wrote:
mr.undroppable wrote:They mean if OCI is anything like it was for 2011 you best be hoping you are above a 3.55 if you are only interested in getting biglaw.


I am screwed. Should I drop out now!?


Class of 2012 will have it better then we did (but not as good as it had been in the past). The problem this year was that there were all the deferrals from class of 2010 so about half the firms just cut out their summer programs for this summer altogether. Then the firms that were having a summer program cut their program down to around half of what it was for class of 2010 last summer (which is really bad considering last summer wasn't a particularly good year). A recruiter during OCI from a firm that was around 3.3 (average) across the last 8 years said that they were hiring around 3.55 this year (so basically firms that hired around average of top 40% were hiring around top 25% (or better?) this year). My prediction is that the pipeline will open up some next year and top 33% or so will be fine (but not top 50%+ that class of 2007 saw).


Right and wrong (to both of you).

3.55+ doesn't guarantee anything. I know people with GPAs above that who struck out (and, yes, they have great personalities). I know people with lower than that you are sitting on offers in the V10 (you're looking at one of them).

In general, Biglaw is a guarantee for no one at Michigan. While firms like DPW, SullCrom, Deb, W&C (the more prestigious W&C), Covington are hiring as usual (and with the intention of maintaining enormous summer classes), they are getting plenty more selective. Meanwhile, less prestigious firms that typically have smaller summer classes are going to have even smaller summer classes, and what's worse is that they can get more selective too. The problem is that things aren't just getting more selective on the grades-front. They're also getting more selective on the personality-front. Whereas you could have a 4.0+LR and a boring personality and guarantee Biglaw in years past, this is hardly the case this year (and, in fact, I know a 4.0+LR at a higher ranked school who just struck out), and it definitely won't be the case next year.

Now, let me assess your claims, one by one:

Class of 2012 will have it better then we did (but not as good as it had been in the past).


Not necessarily. This assumption hinges on your prognostication of the direction of the market, and how a recovery will take place. A V-shaped recovery might make 2010 recruiting slightly better. But all signs point to a W-shaped recovery, which means that a shit-storm is on the horizon for you too.

But even if recovery is here to stay, that's not to say law firms will increase recruiting as a result. The only people more risk-averse than law students are lawyers, and you can bet they'll be super-conservative in their hiring strategies. Even if they do find extra cash in their coffers, that doesn't translate into increased recruiting. Sometimes it's just better to have extra capital on the side in case things really go on.

Ultimately, firms are also PR-dependent. The problem with 2008 recruiting was that, since the shitstorm begin during the middle of recruiting season, firms overhired... and firms now look bad because they've had to do things that would be downright evil in other economies (no-offer most of classes, defer like crazy, cut salaries, etc.). Firms, even the shittier ones, are looking to avoid the negative PR associated with engaging in such acts, and will thus be conservative. The hiring numbers I've heard from recruiters for 2010 are not just shocking because they reflect the terrible economy, they also reflect the desire to ensure that every single person who is in the summer class gets a permanent offer and can start on time (assuming they don't do something terribly moronic during the summer).

The one advantage '12 will have is a stable set of data. '11 only had 6 years of data, which was essentially useless because this crisis had not happened in the past 6 years. On top of that, we had career services telling us to bid super-conservatively, which through the whole screening process out of wonk... then we had the general mystery of not understanding how bad hiring would be, and what the process would be like for callbacks and offers. Really, knowledge is power, and you can use us as an example.

The problem this year was that there were all the deferrals from class of 2010 so about half the firms just cut out their summer programs for this summer altogether.


"About half the firms"? This isn't right. I can count on two hands the firms that have eliminated summer classes, and those firms were already circling the drain anyways; it wasn't a function of a backlog of deferred associates (though that could have been a factor). In fact, there are plenty of firms with deferred associates that plan to have summer classes (Weil, Skadden, Cravath, Shearman... I could go on).

Then the firms that were having a summer program cut their program down to around half of what it was for class of 2010 last summer (which is really bad considering last summer wasn't a particularly good year).


Also inaccurate. Some firms intend to have a similar program to year's past. In fact, from what I know, DPW is increasing. Cleary is staying the same. WLRK and SullCrom are staying the same. Weil, Skadden, and Cravath are decreasing. Debevoise is staying constant/increasing. Kirkland is decreasing.

A recruiter during OCI from a firm that was around 3.3 (average) across the last 8 years said that they were hiring around 3.55 this year (so basically firms that hired around average of top 40% were hiring around top 25% (or better?) this year).


This is nothing from which you can extrapolate. While this might seem like a good rule of thumb when it comes to bidding, I got offers from firms that were traditionally in my GPA range (according to the GPA charts OCS handed out), and even got offers from firms that were, presumably, way out of my reach (no, I'm not on a journal and I'm not an under-represented minority or LGBT or whatever).

I think law students tend to put too much emphasis on grades, which is easy because it lends some predictability to the whole process. The problem is that it really doesn't work that way. I used the OCS grade charts as sort of a rough indicator of selectivity, and that really didn't hurt me.

I also think you're thinking about this a little too simplistically. Yes, law firms are getting more selective, but "grades" are not the only dimension along which selectivity can increase. Through my own mathematical analysis of the increases in mean GPAs from 2007->2008, only a handful of firms increased grade selectivity by a statistically significant margin (and... I got an offer from one of them; don't know how. It was out of my reach in 2007, and was even more out of my reach in 2008). Through my discussions with recruiters throughout the V20, as well as insiders that I happen to know on recruiting teams, many GPA cutoffs didn't really increase. And if there were GPA cut-offs, they were set very low (and if they did increase, they went maybe from a 3.1 to a 3.2).

I don't think anyone holds a calculator and sort of looks at grades with the precision that law school admissions offices do it. Grades just give interviewers a gauge of your competence. It really just is a subjective feeling. I've never known someone to be like "oh you have a 3.3, so I'll take you, but you have a 3.29, so I can't take you). That's just silly. It just doesn't happen that way.

My prediction is that the pipeline will open up some next year and top 33% or so will be fine (but not top 50%+ that class of 2007 saw).


Again, this is harmful. No one is "fine," and especially not anyone above a certain (arbitrarily chosen) percentile.


If there's any advice, based on my success, that I can give for the 2010 recruiting season, it's as follows:
1) Personality. If you're an asshole, fix yourself. Firms don't like assholes, they don't like people who reek of entitlement. Do as many practice interviews as you can so you can root out that inner-asshole, or at least work on concealing it long enough to convince someone you're not a douchebag. In the same vein, if you're really socially awkward, work on that too. Networking can help make up for deficient grades. One of the offers I received was from a firm whose recruiting team I got to know during my spring semester of law school. They were in touch with me throughout the screening process, callback process, and offer stage. I sometimes think I had an unfair advantage, but that isn't true. I reached out early and made the connections I needed to make. This doesn't mean you pepper your resume to every firm on the planet. It just means that if a firm is holding a reception or whatever, know how to schmooze and make a good impression. People will remember you (it's hard to believe, I know, but they really do... it's scary). At the end of the day, even if firms aren't looking to take students from these receptions, they are ALL recruiting events of some sort. Take advantage of them.
2) Know about law firm structure and economics. Let's face it, law firms are facing a lot of trouble too, and being able to empathize with an interviewer scored points for me. One of my interviewers was lamenting how other firms had dissolved, and I hopped on that by saying, "well, they paid the price because they were poorly leveraged. I'm looking for a firm that has a more reasonable partner/associate ratio, because I think they're more stable. You're that firm." I got a callback there. Know how training and mentoring and assigments work, as they give you a glimpse into the firm's intangibles (one firm prides itself on the free-market system... so associates who succeed there are usually more aggressive people; another firm puts you on rotations, does a little more hand-holding. Know how to convey a personality for each of those firms). Know what type of work is giving the firm money, and know what the firm has strength in doing. I used chambersandpartners for this, which gave me knowledge of the firm's strength in a given specialty, and deals they worked on. Don't name-drop deals like a robot. Be natural and smooth, and also be enthusiastic.
3) Have some semblance of what you want to do. This point might be more controversial, but I really think what set me apart from others is that I knew what I wanted to do, and I had good reasons for backing it up. No, I'm not just saying "choose between corporate and litigation." I actually had a spiel for why I wanted to do a specific area of litigation. The caveat to this approach is that you can't be too enthusiastic. Admit, at the beginning, that you're just a law student and are open to everything (and use this as an opportunity to extol the virtues of the summer program's assignment system, which will give you broad exposure to different fields), but also express enthusiasm for a specific specialty. What you're showing here is not that you really want to do that specialty (you could hop out of general commercial lit and go into tax at the and of the summer and your interviewer won't get angry or anything); you're really just showing your knowledge about what big firms do, as opposed to midlaw and shitlaw and whatever.
4) I cannot stress this enough. Be sure to have good, 5 minute answers for every question an interviewer could ask. I'm not saying that you write some speech in advance. When I was preparing my answers, I just had some bullet points in my mind that I made sure I covered, and I let my self organically reach those points. Some questions to which you should have a nice, long answer:

1) Tell me about your summer (or short variation thereof). (Answer: Summer was [adjective]. I worked on [project], which was [adjective], because [it touched on a subject I enjoyed as a 1L, etc., etc.). This will organically lead to questions like "what was the issue in the case?" etc. Don't ever answer the question with just, "my summer was great."
2) What was your favorite 1L course?
3) Describe a challenge you encountered during your summer job, and how you faced it?
4) What areas of law would you be interested in pursuing at our firm?
5) Why [firm]?
6) Why law school?
7) How was your first year of law school?
8) Why biglaw?

There are probably more. If it helps any, I was never asked bullshit questions like "what's your strength?" and "what's your weakness?" As one hiring partner put it to me, those questions are really only asked if your resume is that boring or if your personality is that shit. Don't know if this applies to all interviewers there.


Just out of curiosity, what did you say your favorite 1L course was and why the hell do firms asks this? Out of all the questions this was the one that made no sense to me (I know they are trying to pull some mind reading out of the answers you provide, but what could what your favorite class and your worst class possibly provide)? I actually had a hard time with that question because "my favorite class" was really only my favorite class because the prof was really good, and my worst class was my worst because the prof was a complete moran and couldn't teach...

Alexandria
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Alexandria » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:43 pm

I think they just want to hear you show some sort of legal interest. Just that you're somewhat engaged with law school. And other than that, they're just throwing you a softball to get you talking and showing your personality.

mr.undroppable
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby mr.undroppable » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:24 pm

Go State wrote:I actually had a hard time with that question because "my favorite class" was really only my favorite class because the prof was really good, and my worst class was my worst because the prof was a complete moran and couldn't teach...


I assume you didn't say this to the recruiter, but this is a perfect example of where you can run with a question and turn it into a positive or you can give an aspergerish answer (like saying you hated/loved a class because of the prof - this is a bad answer on so many levels even though it is obviously true for everyone) and potentially ruin the interview.

Something like, "I liked legal practice the best because I really enjoyed the chance to write and try out doing an oral argument. Even though it was just for practice I enjoy doing competitive things like that and plan on doing moot court this year. I went to law school because I was interested in litigation and I probably spent too much time on the legal practice homework, because it was only pass fail, but I found a lot of the assignments to be fun...." Just be sincere and don't sound like you practiced it a million times. After that you can talk about journal note topics, moot court, or ask stuff like how often a junior associate gets to write memos/briefs/appear in court (never), etc.

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Lawlcat
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Lawlcat » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:36 pm

mr.undroppable wrote:I assume you didn't say this to the recruiter, but this is a perfect example of where you can run with a question and turn it into a positive or you can give an aspergerish answer (like saying you hated/loved a class because of the prof - this is a bad answer on so many levels even though it is obviously true for everyone) and potentially ruin the interview.


I'm not quite seeing the connection between talking about how a class was good because of a great professor and Asperger's. I can understand how "The prof was really nice and told a lot of jokes!" would be irrelevant, and not as good as something that lets you segue into your interests or strengths, but I'm similarly not quite grasping how this would "ruin the interview". When I hear "ruin the interview", I think more like, "Well, the problem with CivPro was that my prof was a Negroid."

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Lawlcat
Posts: 156
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Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Lawlcat » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:05 am

What's the story on these clinics? Is there any point going to the info session as a 1L?

More precisely: if there's something else you're trying to be at during that time, is it worth ditching your prior commitment to go?

awesomepossum
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:49 am

Re: Michigan 2012

Postby awesomepossum » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:10 am

Lawlcat wrote:What's the story on these clinics? Is there any point going to the info session as a 1L?

More precisely: if there's something else you're trying to be at during that time, is it worth ditching your prior commitment to go?



you can do it out of interest. But you won't be doing a clinic next semester.

Alexandria
Posts: 593
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:41 am

Re: Michigan 2012

Postby Alexandria » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:49 pm

Lawlcat wrote:What's the story on these clinics? Is there any point going to the info session as a 1L?

More precisely: if there's something else you're trying to be at during that time, is it worth ditching your prior commitment to go?


I wouldn't bother thinking about clinics until next semester (when you can apply for one for fall of your 2L year).




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