What would have you done differently? The same?

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What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:15 pm

With OCI over everywhere, what have we learned for future generations to learn from?

Me:

(1) Mix in midlaw and biglaw firms. I found there was no real rhyme or reason to my CB's. I got rejected by firms that should have been well within my range. I got CB's from reaches. Mix it up. Don't take a market-or-else approach.

(2) I would have gone in better prepared to talk specific legal matters - little areas of my classes I found interesting, cases I worked on this summer in detail. I think I was way too general about how "amazing!" it was, both law school and my summer experience. If I had to guess, this might have been my biggest failing.

(3) Wondering if I should have been pushier at the CB stage. For example, should I have been keeping in contact with my OCI interviewer for tips and so forth? It felt weird to me to do so, but on the other hand they urge you to give them a call or email if you are wondering anything, and seem to be set up as your advocate to the hiring committee. I'm not sure if I took enough advantage of this.

Thoughts from others on their experience, pro and con?

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:17 pm

1. Use all my bids. WTF was I thinking using only 40 of 60? Could have gotten a couple extra screeners.
2. Bid on more than just DC. Why didn't anyone tell me DC would be so brutal? NYC seems like a walk in the park in comparison.
3. Mass mail much, much sooner.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1. Use all my bids. WTF was I thinking using only 40 of 60? Could have gotten a couple extra screeners.
2. Bid on more than just DC. Why didn't anyone tell me DC would be so brutal? NYC seems like a walk in the park in comparison.

3. Mass mail much, much sooner.


My biggest regret is not doing any NY. NY people seem to have had a much easier time.

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rayiner
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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby rayiner » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:23 pm

1) Not bid on IP boutiques in Chicago. No ties + low UGPA = no callback.
2) Not bid on random NYC firms that didn't suit my practice area. Dinged at firms less selective than ones where I got callbacks/offers because I couldn't give a good pitch.
3) Not research firms so much. Made me a bit mechanical in my earlier interviews.
4) Bid up. Short-changed myself at some DC firms where in retrospect I had a shot.
5) Proof-read my writing sample and Symplicity resume. :oops:

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Person » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:24 pm

OCI worked out for me just about as well as possible, but I think I got extremely lucky. So I wouldn't change anything whatsoever in case I didn't get the same result. But I think a more solid plan would have been to target more safeties more strongly. I got dinged from all my targets and (what I thought were) safeties and got callbacks from a few of my reaches.
Last edited by Person on Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:26 pm

rayiner wrote:1) Not bid on IP boutiques in Chicago. No ties + low UGPA = no callback.
2) Not bid on random NYC firms that didn't suit my practice area. Dinged at firms less selective than ones where I got callbacks/offers because I couldn't give a good pitch.
3) Not research firms so much. Made me a bit mechanical in my earlier interviews.
4) Bid up. Short-changed myself at some DC firms where in retrospect I had a shot.
5) Proof-read my writing sample and Symplicity resume. :oops:


At OCI Orientation, a panel of biglaw partners at my school was going on and on about "Proofread your resume!!!"

This was the day before OCI began, and it was too late at that point.

No f$*$*-ing way was I taking so much as a glance at my Symplicity resume at that point!

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:26 pm

1) Get better grades :)

Seriously, though:

2) Been more of myself during the screeners. I think I tried to play a role more suited for someone who had the grades for a particular firm and just needed not to screw it up rather than someone who needed to make an impression because I didn't have the grades. It's almost like dating, you have to take a chance the interviewer will immediately dislike you for the chance that you will really click with the person, because just "he was nice, I guess" doesn't get a date.

It's so true that cb decisions are either made by HR looking at transcripts or within the first few minutes of the screener.

3) Not wasted a ton of bids on secondary markets even with ties.

4) Mass mailed every firm coming to OCI I didn't get a screener with and resume dropped at suites.

5) Agree with OPs #3, especially because at the cb stage all of my interviewers were associates or newly (1-3 yrs) lateral partners while the OCI interviewers were lifers.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:32 pm

Mass mailed earlier (like the very beginning of August) and not been so hard on myself. Also if possible, and it likely won't be, try to schedule your top picks later on after you have done a bunch of screeners and a CB or two. I learned a lot about how to conduct myself and talk in interviews during the whole process and it culminated in a great CB at my top choice while at a my 2nd choice (which is much less selective / not as well ranked) I floundered because it was my first interview and didn't really know what I was doing.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:34 pm

JPU wrote:Mass mailed earlier (like the very beginning of August) and not been so hard on myself. Also if possible, and it likely won't be, try to schedule your top picks later on after you have done a bunch of screeners and a CB or two. I learned a lot about how to conduct myself and talk in interviews during the whole process and it culminated in a great CB at my top choice while at a my 2nd choice (which is much less selective / not as well ranked) I floundered because it was my first interview and didn't really know what I was doing.


My two offers came from my last two CB's. I can't imagine that was a coincidence.

That being said, I got five CB's from the first week of interviews on campus and five from the second week. So maybe I got worse at OCIs?

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:That being said, I got five CB's from the first week of interviews on campus and five from the second week. So maybe I got worse at OCIs?


Lol it appears that you are quite consistent. Nice work on the CB's.

Also one other thing that a partner told me at a CB that stuck with me:

You need a teflon shell in the this market and hey, it only takes 1, any more than that and you're just showing off.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:42 pm

Wish I had tried much harder to get a 1L gig at a firm. Every callback I've been on, the partners have grilled me on why I didn't work at a firm, how I have no firm experience, etc.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:43 pm

JPU wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:That being said, I got five CB's from the first week of interviews on campus and five from the second week. So maybe I got worse at OCIs?


Lol it appears that you are quite consistent. Nice work on the CB's.

Also one other thing that a partner told me at a CB that stuck with me:

You need a teflon shell in the this market and hey, it only takes 1, any more than that and you're just showing off.


Sorry. Meant five the first week and two the second week.

And the two offers came from the two the second week.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Objection » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:44 pm

Use less bids. I hated interviewing with places I had no desire to work just because I felt pressured to add them.

For the most part though I'm very satisfied.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wish I had tried much harder to get a 1L gig at a firm. Every callback I've been on, the partners have grilled me on why I didn't work at a firm, how I have no firm experience, etc.


Really? Interesting. I didn't get asked that once. I thought it was assumed that no one did any 1L hiring this past summer. Never even thought about it as a ding factor, but maybe it was.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:45 pm

Objection wrote:Use less bids. I hated interviewing with places I had no desire to work just because I felt pressured to add them.

For the most part though I'm very satisfied.


Shit, I was interested in working anywhere that would pay me to do so ITE.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wish I had tried much harder to get a 1L gig at a firm. Every callback I've been on, the partners have grilled me on why I didn't work at a firm, how I have no firm experience, etc.


Really? Interesting. I didn't get asked that once. I thought it was assumed that no one did any 1L hiring this past summer. Never even thought about it as a ding factor, but maybe it was.


Did you go straight through from undergrad? I did, so it probably hurt more than I didn't work at a firm. If you had serious work experience, I don't think they'd care as much.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Objection » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Objection wrote:Use less bids. I hated interviewing with places I had no desire to work just because I felt pressured to add them.

For the most part though I'm very satisfied.


Shit, I was interested in working anywhere that would pay me to do so ITE.


I had an offer from a 1L firm gig, so my position was somewhat different in that regard.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:54 pm

I want to echo something earlier in this thread. If you have multiple CBs, schedule the firm you least care about first. I did this by sheer luck, but yes my first interview was totally bombed. With that I did much better in the next 2. Everyone needs a practice CB to build up their endurance, its not much different than the LSAT.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby legends159 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:57 pm

I would've panicked less and have had more faith that it would work out.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:02 pm

I probably underestimated how much has to do with just "clicking" with your interviewer. Different people and different firms look for different things. Don't make any obvious faux pas ("I"m interested in working at the firm for two or three years and then trying to go in-house or into academia."), but preparing for the personality you'll face behind that closed door is something nobody can do. You just have to be yourself, or the best version of yourself.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Objection » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I probably underestimated how much has to do with just "clicking" with your interviewer. Different people and different firms look for different things. Don't make any obvious faux pas ("I"m interested in working at the firm for two or three years and then trying to go in-house or into academia."), but preparing for the personality you'll face behind that closed door is something nobody can do. You just have to be yourself, or the best version of yourself.


Exactly.

If any 1Ls ask me for advice about OCI, it'll be to ignore OCS advice about practicing answers (calling friends, mock interviews, practicing in the mirror). Surefire way to a ding is to be a robot. Difference between knowing what you want to say and overpracticing.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:17 pm

I got an offer from a firm that I like, but I still did worse than I expected. Here are three things I would do differently:

1) Aim for more interviews. I thought to myself "25 screening interviews is plenty" and decided to neither seek firms that rejected me for a preselect nor do any mailings over the summer. I should have done both to be safe, since callbacks were much harder to get than I anticipated. A mass mailing would have been unnecessary, but there's no reason not to do ten targeted mailings over the summer.

2) Become a better interviewer. I found that good responses to the following questions are a necessity: Why this firm? Why this city? Why law school? Why this practice area? Also I should have been better prepared to discuss a substantive legal issue I dealt with this summer. It doesn't take more than a couple hours of practice to develop good responses, and thankfully I was well prepared for callbacks, but I should have done it before my screening interviews.

3) Bid more on New York. DC is especially competitive, especially from a school where most people target that market.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:26 pm

i would bid more on match firms and less on safeties. i was rejected at the vast majority of my safeties, but received callbacks on almost all my match firms.

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:31 pm

legends159 wrote:I would've panicked less and have had more faith that it would work out.



a non-sarcastic, +1 to that, dood

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Re: What would have you done differently? The same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I want to echo something earlier in this thread. If you have multiple CBs, schedule the firm you least care about first. I did this by sheer luck, but yes my first interview was totally bombed. With that I did much better in the next 2. Everyone needs a practice CB to build up their endurance, its not much different than the LSAT.


Maybe it's just me, but I disagree. Had my first choice as my first callback (and it was a firm that was slightly a reach GPA-wise), but I think my passion for the firm (and the fact that callbacks really are just a series of screeners, and by the first callback you've done enough screeners) was enough to compensate for any first-cb problems. AND getting an offer from them before the rest of my CBs enabled me to cancel one I'd never take, and go to the rest of my CBs much less nervous and anxious.

I wouldn't listen to career services about not bidding on firms slightly out of reach. I didn't get a lottery interview with above-mentioned firm because I bid them lower thanks to them, and came so close to not getting a screener with them outside of OCI (it took a mass mail, resume drop at OCI, and a LOT of last-minute luck to get their last screener for my school), and it's the perfect fit for me practice-area wise. Couldn't be happier with the offer.

I would like to echo what someone else said about not bidding on firms that were below my qualifications. Got dinged from almost all of them.

Oh, and I wouldn't read TLS. Made me nervous as hell.




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