Anonymous User wrote:
I've come across two schools of thought:
(1) beware of underbidding; the very top firms are still taking big classes; therefore I should still be using bids on them because they haven't necessarily gotten any more selective with regard to grades
(2) ITE, "underbid" as much as possible and don't waste any bids on firms where my GPA was only borderline in 2007-2008.
Both make sense. How many bids do you have? I think you should do a bit of both.
I'll repeat what I posted in another thread, with some adaptation:
I think the key is to do more firm research than you might have done in a normal year with a healthy economy. In a good economy, where everyone could count on getting a dozen offers, it was OK to do some rough research and then just see what happened during EIP. Now, it's important to make sure your resume and your interests are as compatible as possible with the firms you're interviewing with, and that you know exactly why you are bidding on each firm you're bidding on.
A firm might still overlook a GPA that is below their usual cutoff if they think that you are an exceptionally good fit. More importantly perhaps, a firm whose GPA requirements you meet, but which suddenly has hundreds of applicants for its ten-member summer-associate class, will require you to stand out in some way. Your school and grades will get you in the door for at least an interview at many places, but there will be many others with you. At that point it's your task to convince the employer that you are the person they want to hire, because you are interested in doing exactly the type of work that the firm does, or you have exactly the right language skills or work experience. If you don't have relevant experience or skills, at least make sure you can articulate why you want to work for them, what sets them apart from other employers in your mind, whatever it is that makes them sound better to you than other firms. Especially firms that hire smaller summer classes place a lot of emphasis on finding the right candidates, passing up on students with stellar grades from top schools in favor of candidates who want to do the work that the firm does and fit well in the firm culture. You want to be that kind of candidate.
Others may have better ideas on how to spread your chances strategically, but my advice would be to apply only with firms that genuinely pique your interest, because of the work they do, their location, the way they assign work, or whatever other interesting information you find out about them by reading their website, Vault, Chambers, Google news, etc.
If everyone says Firm A is better than Firm B, but somehow you get a better 'vibe' from Firm B, screw Firm A and apply with Firm B. Even if Firm A has a higher Vault ranking or is more popular in your school. If you try to sign up with firms that truly seem interesting to you, it will shine through in your interview, and you won't be one of those candidates giving standard answers to every question asked of them.
One last thing:
(1) Does not having anything NYC-related or business/finance-related hurt me badly on interviewing with NYC firms with mostly transactional practices?
No. NYC firms seem to assume that the whole world wants to work in NY, which will work in your favor. NY is the one place where firms don't want to see geographical ties, because they just assume that you'll want to stay.
And based on
Anonymous User wrote:Slightly more outgoing than average - would probably prefer an outgoing/fratty atmosphere
, Gibson Dunn should be on your list. (And no, I didn't work for them.)