Post-Offer Visits

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Anonymous User
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Post-Offer Visits

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:21 pm

Going on a few post-offer visits before I make a decision on which firm I'll be going to next summer. Some of these visits include lunch or dinner with associates and/or partners. What are some of the questions you ask on these visits?

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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:28 pm

Depends on what is important to you but I asked these questions:

1) What's something you don't like about the firm?
2) What is the culture like?
3) Are partners lock-step?
4) Do people take their full vacations?
5) What is your schedule like?
6) Is face time important?

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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Depends on what is important to you but I asked these questions:

1) What's something you don't like about the firm?
2) What is the culture like?
3) Are partners lock-step?
4) Do people take their full vacations?
5) What is your schedule like?
6) Is face time important?


great questions... what do you mean by "are partners lock-step?"?

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Ahhhnold
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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby Ahhhnold » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Depends on what is important to you but I asked these questions:

1) What's something you don't like about the firm?
2) What is the culture like?
3) Are partners lock-step?
4) Do people take their full vacations?
5) What is your schedule like?
6) Is face time important?


great questions... what do you mean by "are partners lock-step?"?


I think he means is there a standard number of years it takes to become a partner. Many have a set number of minimum years before you can even be under consideration.

Renzo
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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby Renzo » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:51 pm

Ahhhnold wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Depends on what is important to you but I asked these questions:

1) What's something you don't like about the firm?
2) What is the culture like?
3) Are partners lock-step?
4) Do people take their full vacations?
5) What is your schedule like?
6) Is face time important?


great questions... what do you mean by "are partners lock-step?"?


I think he means is there a standard number of years it takes to become a partner. Many have a set number of minimum years before you can even be under consideration.

Lock step refers to compensation. Partners are either all paid the same, in a "lock-step" scheme, or they are paid different amounts according to the business they bring in and the value they contribute in an "eat what you kill" scheme.

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:49 pm

I always like to ask if you had the power to do so, what would you change about the firm?
^
That draws some pretty interesting responses

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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:07 pm

Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:I always like to ask if you had the power to do so, what would you change about the firm?
^
That draws some pretty interesting responses


Excellent question.

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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:04 pm

First, post offer visit was real important to me. I was deciding between two firms, leaning towards one prior to the visits. I wound up going with the other one, the one I was less favorable towards going in.

I agree with the above poster about asking about face-time and protecting vacation. Those are things you might be less willing to ask about during the callback stage. I would also make sure to ask to meet with some of the younger associates in the department you want to work in i.e. corp or lit. They will give you the most insight. And don't hesitate to ask them what firms they were deciding between when they chose the firm they are at. I thought this was really important, especially since one person was facing the same decision I was.

Sorry for the anon response, but I need to change my username since it gives me away too much.

biglawrefugee
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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby biglawrefugee » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:12 pm

I urge everyone to do post-offer visits. You most likely will end up spending a few years at the firm you summer at and nobody wants to have to do 3L OCI; this is a huge decision. Good tips above and some of the open-ended questions suggested will get you interesting answers. Make sure to get some time with junior associates (with one to three years with the firm); here are some specific questions to ask them:

  • How exactly is work assigned? Does anyone think the work assignment process could be improved?
  • Does almost everyone make their hours?
  • Does everyone have enough work to make their hours?
  • What happens to people who don't make their hours?
  • If you've been at the firm during a busy year, is there pressure to bill above target?
  • If there is one thing you would advise law students about working at X firm or in a large firm generally, what is it?

biglawrefugee
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Re: Post-Offer Visits

Postby biglawrefugee » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:40 pm

Two more if you're interviewing at lower than V20: have you ever been given a budgeted amount of time to spend on a project? Have you ever felt that you should not bill all of your time on a project to keep the bill low or make a fixed fee project look profitable to the firm?

Even V100 firms are competiting on price these days and more often working on fixed fee or fee cap arrangements. With respect to price-sensitive clients, partners, especially junior partners, can get dinged for "writing off" too much associate time from a bill, but are also afraid of hearing complaints from the client. Fixed-fee arrangements are also an associate trap. You think that it's awesome because "it's fixed fee, I can spend as much time as I want," but there is some metric focused managerment-type partner someplace that will go ballistic on the junior partner responsible for the project if you spend 20 hours of your $400/hour time on a project for which the firm was paid $4,000.

In some firms, only some practices will be subject to this type of pressure and I doubt one sees this at all at a place like Skadden, DPW, Paul Weiss, etc. If, however, you are looking at a firm that places a lot of emphasis on client value in its marketing materials, expect this type of pressure and use these types of questions to get a sense of how much trickles down to associates.




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