Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
sperry
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:52 pm

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby sperry » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:15 pm

MrKappus wrote:
sperry wrote:Also, is it possible to get the entry level banking positions that go to straight out of UG people as a law school grad


Banks recruit from elite UG's, not law schools. They care way less about quant backgrounds, and way more about pedigree. I have numerous history major/polisci friends at banks, in research and trading positions. Maybe some Wharton classes would make you more marketable, but there's a very specific track for trading/i-banking, and it doesn't involve 3 yrs of law school. You go to Penn Law. I wouldn't freak out.



I'm not freaking out, as again, I won't have debt so I'm not completely screwed no matter what happens. Just, the big law ship appears to have sailed and I'm just asking questions that may be relevant to future job searches.

sperry
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:52 pm

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby sperry » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:17 pm

Unemployed wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
sperry wrote:Also, is it possible to get the entry level banking positions that go to straight out of UG people as a law school grad


Banks recruit from elite UG's, not law schools. They care way less about quant backgrounds, and way more about pedigree. I have numerous history major/polisci friends at banks, in research and trading positions. Maybe some Wharton classes would make you more marketable, but there's a very specific track for trading/i-banking, and it doesn't involve 3 yrs of law school. You go to Penn Law. I wouldn't freak out.


+1

I must admit, I am a little surprised that a median-ish applicant from Penn struck out entirely... I thought things were supposed to be better this year :|



Poor bidding + unimpressive resume + mediocre grades = ding. There are certainly people with worse grades than me that will get big law from Penn.

Action Jackson
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:46 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby Action Jackson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:25 am

sperry wrote:
Unemployed wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
sperry wrote:Also, is it possible to get the entry level banking positions that go to straight out of UG people as a law school grad


Banks recruit from elite UG's, not law schools. They care way less about quant backgrounds, and way more about pedigree. I have numerous history major/polisci friends at banks, in research and trading positions. Maybe some Wharton classes would make you more marketable, but there's a very specific track for trading/i-banking, and it doesn't involve 3 yrs of law school. You go to Penn Law. I wouldn't freak out.


+1

I must admit, I am a little surprised that a median-ish applicant from Penn struck out entirely... I thought things were supposed to be better this year :|



Poor bidding + unimpressive resume + mediocre grades = ding. There are certainly people with worse grades than me that will get big law from Penn.

Median-ish wasn't a very strong position to be in this year. Based on what I've gathered it was about 50/50 at and around median.

That this year was "better" is extremely relative, and on a scale much smaller than I would have hoped. I don't want to sound doom and gloomy, but the recent threads warning people to put extra thought into law school -- even a T14 law school -- is highly credited.

HamDel
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:53 pm

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby HamDel » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:42 am

You're a huge loser if you really feel like "OMG MY LIFE IZ OVER BC I DIDN'T GET A JOB HANDED TO MEEE!!!!" Grow a pair, get a job at a DA's office in a smaller town or something and try again later if things aren't working out right now and biglaw is really what you want. Your choices are either to lie down and die or fight, so make the right choice. If you're really that upset about not having a job and have no faith in your own ability to find something then you weren't going to make it anyway.

sperry
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:52 pm

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby sperry » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:You're a huge loser if you really feel like "OMG MY LIFE IZ OVER BC I DIDN'T GET A JOB HANDED TO MEEE!!!!" Grow a pair, get a job at a DA's office in a smaller town or something and try again later if things aren't working out right now and biglaw is really what you want. Your choices are either to lie down and die or fight, so make the right choice. If you're really that upset about not having a job and have no faith in your own ability to find something then you weren't going to make it anyway.



Since your response doesn't address what anyone in this thread has been talking about, I'm just going to guess you're talking to yourself.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:35 am

HamDel wrote:You're a huge loser if you really feel like "OMG MY LIFE IZ OVER BC I DIDN'T GET A JOB HANDED TO MEEE!!!!" Grow a pair, get a job at a DA's office in a smaller town or something and try again later if things aren't working out right now and biglaw is really what you want. Your choices are either to lie down and die or fight, so make the right choice. If you're really that upset about not having a job and have no faith in your own ability to find something then you weren't going to make it anyway.

This REALLY didn't need to be anonymous, considering this was your first post on the forum.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273574
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:02 pm

Hi thread. Harvard below-median 2L here, struck out at EIP, no interviews yet from the extra-EIP job search (CA, NY, WA).

I've talked to career services, I've read Guerrilla Tactics cover-to-cover, I know I shouldn't "horribilize" my situation. But when all my friends are complaining about how they had too many callbacks, or talking about how it's all good now that we all have jobs, it's hard not to feel some sense of alienation.

Like a lot of law students, I just kind of went to law school by default. I was a sociology major, what else was I going to do? (The recruiter in the Quinn Emanuel lounge had an idea--she looked at my resume and commented offhand that it really looked like that of an academic. I was just about crushed. At any rate, I don't have the grades for academia.) Basically the main driving factor in my choice of school was fear of being that-guy-who-passed-up-Harvard. (On their side, I suspect they only took me because of my LSAT.)

Now contrary to some perceptions, I never had any intention of partying it up and leaning on the Harvard name for a job. I wouldn't call myself a gunner, but from day one, I took classes seriously, stayed caught up on the readings, never let myself get caught off-guard in Socratic, etc. When that didn't work, I saw my professors for exam feedback, outlined early, swore up and down I'd turn things around second semester. Didn't happen. I actually had to triple-check my second-semester transcript to make sure I wasn't looking at first semester's.

So it's hard not to think that maybe my professors know something I don't. Maybe those 70+ firms know something I don't. Maybe Harvard made a mistake on me, maybe I made a mistake on Harvard, maybe I made a mistake on law school in general.

Of course, none of this is to say I should lie down and die. I'm still in the game. I just wanted to get all this out of my system so it doesn't find its way, subliminally, into a cover letter.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby rayiner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:21 pm

Your grades aren't what's keeping you from getting a job out of HLS, unless maybe you have straight Ps or something. Nobody has any idea what your median is. Are you seeming defensive about your grades in interviews?

The biggest problem is definitely lack of direction. That seems to be killer ITE.

If you're going to apply to firms, you have to get the stench of academia off your resume. Smaller firms will already assume you think you're too good for them because of HLS, so you need to come across as sincere, genuine, enthusiastic and focused.

Are there any areas of law you care about? I know you feel like just applying to every job you can find, but lack of focus and direction won't get you interviews. Is there anything you can leverage in your background, even indirectly? You need a pitch, something that makes it sound like you've waited your whole career so far to apply to that one specific job. You need to tailor your resume to make it seem like you're the perfect candidate for a niche they need filled.

Do you know anyone? You'd be surprised at the people who know that know lawyers.

ITE is rough, but you're at Harvard. You will get a job if you do a 180 on how you've been approaching the process so far.

Action Jackson
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:46 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby Action Jackson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:54 pm

Just wondering what on a resume could telegraph academia? In this case, not great grades, so is it a bunch of research papers? Don't firms want people capable of being published?

User avatar
hmlee
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:12 pm

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby hmlee » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:51 pm

Off the top of my head... I would guess research papers, jobs that are exclusively of the RA or TA variety. A masters degree not in a science...

User avatar
dood
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:59 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby dood » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:00 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby rayiner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:15 pm

Action Jackson wrote:Just wondering what on a resume could telegraph academia? In this case, not great grades, so is it a bunch of research papers? Don't firms want people capable of being published?


Ultimately it depends on how you spin things. If you write a paper on X, when you go into an interview talk about how X is a pressing issue for a particular industry. Firms will think you are a critical thinker about clients' issues. Do not talk about precedent, how your work contributes to the other literature in the area, etc. Firms will think you're more interested in the abstract ideas than in the underlying tangible problems.

This is a general point. When talking about what classes you liked, don't say you loved con law because you love arguing about social policy. Law firms want lawyers who are at least at some level interested in their client's business. They want intellectual, analytical people yes, but they want ones that think about concrete things, not abstract ones.

User avatar
Stanford4Me
Posts: 6049
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:23 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby Stanford4Me » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:18 pm

dood wrote:
THIS is good advice. lemme emphasize the genuine and sincere part. in my opinion that was wut separated me from the rest. the key to being genuine is that u gotta tell urself the same shit day in and day out, like recite the lines u'r gonna say in the shower every morning. imagine every interview as a screening for a big role in a movie and u gotta play the part perfectly. every morning i wake up and look in the mirror and recite "i dont just want to be a good lawyer, i want to be a great litigator, and i want to do with [insert firm name here]." sounds CHEESY right? well brah, i practiced it so much people are moved to tears by it....u need to say it while looking DEEP into their eyes, without blinking, slow and emphasizing every syllable. helps to nod too (standard sales technique to get somebody to agree with u). if u r median, u need to stand out, they will remember u for shit like the aborve. note the above "pitch" is for a firm that is known for "aggressive litigators", so u must tailor every pitch to the firm.

Image

User avatar
D. H2Oman
Posts: 7469
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:47 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby D. H2Oman » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:19 pm

dood wrote:every morning i wake up and look in the mirror and recite "i dont just want to be a good lawyer, i want to be a great litigator, and i want to do with [insert firm name here]."


Quote for something

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:37 pm

Thread is starting to make me re-reconsider my approach. Interesting.

User avatar
OperaSoprano
Posts: 4410
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:54 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:53 pm

The "focus" comments are interesting. I had always thought my background was too focused-- I mean, I do know a decent amount about my industry, and I would definitely like to do something related to it, but isn't it also important to demonstrate flexibility? Even a firm with fashion clients probably isn't going to have more than a few people working on these issues, and it genuinely isn't all I'm interested in, as the public interest and arts related entries on my resume demonstrate. I don't want to be locked in, and yet I've had the best interviewing results, ironically, when I focused on my background instead of trying to show that I had moved on from it or wanted to do so. Having a very specific focus almost seems like something of a luxury ITE. What do people think?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273574
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:01 pm

rayiner wrote:Your grades aren't what's keeping you from getting a job out of HLS, unless maybe you have straight Ps or something. Nobody has any idea what your median is. Are you seeming defensive about your grades in interviews?


Straight P's, so obviously I don't draw attention to them. Only Quinn (during EIP) brought them up, and I addressed the issue head-on while redirecting attention to my work experience ASAP.

Are there any areas of law you care about? I know you feel like just applying to every job you can find, but lack of focus and direction won't get you interviews. Is there anything you can leverage in your background, even indirectly? You need a pitch, something that makes it sound like you've waited your whole career so far to apply to that one specific job. You need to tailor your resume to make it seem like you're the perfect candidate for a niche they need filled.


All my substantive experience has been in government or public interest (undergrad faculty research, legal aid, city prosecutor), and my extracurriculars here mostly point to Internet and technology. Obviously I try to emphasize the latter angle, but the problem is that I don't have a science background. Most of my applications have been to general-service litigation outfits, where my angle is that I'm used to research, writing and fact-finding.

But no, I can't claim I've always wanted to do ERISA or anything.

Action Jackson
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:46 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby Action Jackson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:07 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:The "focus" comments are interesting. I had always thought my background was too focused-- I mean, I do know a decent amount about my industry, and I would definitely like to do something related to it, but isn't it also important to demonstrate flexibility? Even a firm with fashion clients probably isn't going to have more than a few people working on these issues, and it genuinely isn't all I'm interested in, as the public interest and arts related entries on my resume demonstrate. I don't want to be locked in, and yet I've had the best interviewing results, ironically, when I focused on my background instead of trying to show that I had moved on from it or wanted to do so. Having a very specific focus almost seems like something of a luxury ITE. What do people think?

I think it's the opposite. That ITE you MUST focus or specialize. I think the days of firms just needing warm bodies is over. They want people that can do something another applicant can't. I know for a fact that I got my SA job because of one specific thing on my resume. I think you should work your contact to the hilt to get yourself working, and then at some point down the road, when we're not ITE and you've got a career going, you can break out and do something else that might interest you.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby rayiner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:08 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:The "focus" comments are interesting. I had always thought my background was too focused-- I mean, I do know a decent amount about my industry, and I would definitely like to do something related to it, but isn't it also important to demonstrate flexibility? Even a firm with fashion clients probably isn't going to have more than a few people working on these issues, and it genuinely isn't all I'm interested in, as the public interest and arts related entries on my resume demonstrate. I don't want to be locked in, and yet I've had the best interviewing results, ironically, when I focused on my background instead of trying to show that I had moved on from it or wanted to do so. Having a very specific focus almost seems like something of a luxury ITE. What do people think?


You can be flexible while being focused on a goal. The trick is not to go into an interview saying: "Oh I'd be happy doing A, B, C, D, E..." Instead, say that "Long term I really want to do A, and I'm interested in B, C, D, etc since it's a good way to get involved with A."

I met someone at an interview who wanted to represent independent artists. He had played in a band for a long time. Obviously very few firms do a lot of that work. His pitch ways: "Because of my music background I have a strong interest in representing artists. I got really interested in IP licensing work because it raises a lot of the same issues and involves the same skills and will give me contact with the media industry."

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby rayiner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:All my substantive experience has been in government or public interest (undergrad faculty research, legal aid, city prosecutor), and my extracurriculars here mostly point to Internet and technology. Obviously I try to emphasize the latter angle, but the problem is that I don't have a science background. Most of my applications have been to general-service litigation outfits, where my angle is that I'm used to research, writing and fact-finding.

But no, I can't claim I've always wanted to do ERISA or anything.


Talking about being used to research, writing, etc, is way non-specific. You're at Harvard Law, everyone can do those things. And barking up the internet/technology tree with no background in the area is futile. There isn't really much internet/technology law that isn't patent law, and for that clients demand technical backgrounds.

You're an economics major, and have experience with legal aid and the prosecutor's office. SEC and other government investigations, anti-trust, white collar defense, regulatory litigation, etc, is the perfect pitch for you. You're interested in the financial industry as a result of your economics background, and in government and litigation as a result of your research and prosecution experience. You really want to practice in an area where you can leverage your background and based on your research you were really drawn to government investigations, anti-trust, etc.

I don't know if this is still useful to you, since I think the big firm ship has probably sailed. You should look and see if you can find smaller firms that do work in these areas and try to get interviews with them. Also apply for internships on the government side in these areas.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273574
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:25 pm

i think its ok to do either a focus area or "i am leaning towards this bc that is where my experience is, but i am interested about other practice areas, so i am willing to be flexible"

also, i think the focus approach is sometimes successful bc its easier to be convincing when you are excited about a practice area and when you can speak competently about it with other attorneys. esp if you request to meet w attorneys in your focus area

yellowjacket2012
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:01 pm

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:32 pm

rayiner wrote:You can be flexible while being focused on a goal. The trick is not to go into an interview saying: "Oh I'd be happy doing A, B, C, D, E..." Instead, say that "Long term I really want to do A, and I'm interested in B, C, D, etc since it's a good way to get involved with A."

this is really good advice.

User avatar
OperaSoprano
Posts: 4410
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:54 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:40 pm

rayiner wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:The "focus" comments are interesting. I had always thought my background was too focused-- I mean, I do know a decent amount about my industry, and I would definitely like to do something related to it, but isn't it also important to demonstrate flexibility? Even a firm with fashion clients probably isn't going to have more than a few people working on these issues, and it genuinely isn't all I'm interested in, as the public interest and arts related entries on my resume demonstrate. I don't want to be locked in, and yet I've had the best interviewing results, ironically, when I focused on my background instead of trying to show that I had moved on from it or wanted to do so. Having a very specific focus almost seems like something of a luxury ITE. What do people think?


You can be flexible while being focused on a goal. The trick is not to go into an interview saying: "Oh I'd be happy doing A, B, C, D, E..." Instead, say that "Long term I really want to do A, and I'm interested in B, C, D, etc since it's a good way to get involved with A."

I met someone at an interview who wanted to represent independent artists. He had played in a band for a long time. Obviously very few firms do a lot of that work. His pitch ways: "Because of my music background I have a strong interest in representing artists. I got really interested in IP licensing work because it raises a lot of the same issues and involves the same skills and will give me contact with the media industry."


I like this idea, Ray. Because of my background I've gotten to do some trademark related anti-counterfeiting work I find fascinating, and I do think I could talk about it in this way. I know fashion still raises some eyebrows, but the right employer will hopefully find my interest and experience to be genuine.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby romothesavior » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:51 pm

Tagged to serve as a motivator to study. Not that it will matter, cause there won't be any jobs either way.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Striking out at OCI- a frank discussion

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:57 pm

I really have to comend Opera on even sharing all of this with us. Rightly or wrongly and knowingly or unknowingly, Opera's law school experience has become a sort of case study for people on legal forums across the internet. I'm sure there is already a "lol told you so" thread somewhere on xoxo or the like. Says a lot about the person you are to share your story with us despite your very real lack of anonymity.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.