Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1) Everyone should do targeted mailings over the summer, because no one is safe ITE. While I don't know any law review grade-ons at my T10 school who struck out, I do know several who came dangerously close, including some who had to resort to mailings post-OCI to find a job. No one should take the attitude "I don't need to do anything except screening interviews at OCI." Targeted mailings also enabled many people to enter OCI with several callbacks lined up, which made the process more bearable for them. I certainly had the time to put together a few cover letters over July; there's no excuse for my decision not to do so.

2) There are many, many more SA positions in NY than anywhere else, especially DC. Thus, bidding exclusively on a super competitive market like DC is way too risky. Many people with great grades at my school struck out entirely in DC, yet managed to get V5 and V10 offers in NY. In retrospect, I would bid half DC and half NY, rather than 90% DC and 10% NY.

3) There's no need to spend a lot of time honing interviewing skills, but solid answers to a few basic questions are necessary. Why this firm? Why this city? Why law school? What practice areas interest you? These topics, in one form or another, will come up during almost every interview. A response to the last question is "litigation or corporate, I'm not really sure yet," will impress no one.


Can we get a definition of a "targeted" versus a "mass" mailing? (Not necessarily this poster but anyone.)

And I'm curious to know what you mean by dangerously close. My top 20% friends pretty much waltzed to V10 NY Biglaw offers, some the week after OCI.

Same poster here.

A targeted mailing is where you pick a few firms and write cover letters that are tailored toward each firm. By contrast, a mass mailing involves picking a lot of firms and using the same generic cover letter (changing the names, of course) for each one. A mass mailing over the summer might make sense for someone with poor OCI prospects, but for students in good positions, sending out 5-10 targeted mailings makes more sense.

The people with good grades who came close to striking out made poor decisions, like targeting exclusively DC or similarly competitive markets. From my observation, anyone with good grades who can't get something in NY must have serious personality issue. But since people are bound to make mistakes during OCI, doing a mailing over the summer can help those who screw up and get only a couple callbacks from OCI.


thanks for this...so just for further clarification...

what type of firms do you send 'targeted' resumes/cover letters to? simply regional firms? firms you know will not be at OCI? firms you do not think will make your bid list at OCI? firms you are very interested in? etc.

2LLLL
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby 2LLLL » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:52 am

^^^^ all of the above

jimmyd11011
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby jimmyd11011 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:46 am

Is there anything you wish you would have done before law school to help you do better at OCI - particularly in the summer before law school? Maybe try to work in a certain field to show commitment/experience/interest in the field? Get some good work references? Travel/volunteer so you have some interesting stories to talk about? Anything?

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:50 am

2LLLL wrote:^^^^ all of the above


One thing to do is grab an alum or two in the area, chat with them, and ask about good local firms. (Ranging from offices of mega-firms to one-office firms.) Also, try Chambers and Partners: search by practice area and location. You can use NALP to spot-verify that firms pay market or market-ish salary. Firms that aren't (inter)national mega-firms may be harder to find, but a practicing attorney is likely to know at least a handful of the really good local firms.

Some might disagree, but I believe there's already been some discussion on this thread to the effect of "Vault is not the whole picture". It really is not USNWR (itself a pretty stupid list), and it is not at all true that a firm that is not on the Vault list is a sketchy firm or even less respectable than most Vault firms. (And of course, do not start talking about how excited you are to go to a "V20" rather than a "V60".) Vault isn't irrelevant, but please don't look at it with crazy law student rankings-obsession, especially if 1) you're not planning on being in NY 2) you're not interested in BigLaw long-term. On the other hand, if you're aiming for partnership at a mega-firm, you probably do want a firm with immense national prestige. (Just think really hard about that objective.)

There are some mega-firms that provide good training/hands-on opportunity early on, and are in that sense the best of both worlds. (Maybe? I think they exist. McDermott Will seemed like it might be that way in Chicago.) But, although I might just be rationalizing my "sub-par" performance, I really think it's especially worthwhile to target firms that might not show up at OCI, especially top-notch smaller firms in distant markets. I might end up at one of these, and I am really excited about that possibility.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:13 pm

2LLLL wrote:^^^^ all of the above


does anyone else have any insight as to this...i know ITE people may agree, but as someone with somewhat substantial work experience in a related (but not directly) field, with direct hiring experience, this just doesn't seem right to me? i would think you would not just want to blanket the whole field pre-OCI (meaning you should have some strategy-->there should be some sort of reason beyond simply getting your resume in front of as many people as possible). i have a feeling that many will disagree with me, but i am curious. to be honest, when these random emails/contacts hit my inbox, they are usually quickly followed by the delete button, unless there is something truly standout

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:17 pm

jimmyd11011 wrote:Is there anything you wish you would have done before law school to help you do better at OCI - particularly in the summer before law school? Maybe try to work in a certain field to show commitment/experience/interest in the field? Get some good work references? Travel/volunteer so you have some interesting stories to talk about? Anything?

Find out if you're a good interviewer. Your friends think you're a great guy. That's why they're your friends. Find an impartial third party who will be brutally honest and get their critiques. I mumble, gesture too much, am tangential, and project disinterest. I had to deal with those things when interviewing, but imagine if I didn't know that stuff going in. Even mock interviewing may not bring your flaws to light. It has to be someone who doesn't care if you dislike them after the feedback. In other words, mock interviews put on by firms may be of limited utility since they want you to like them at the end of the day (and often pull punches during the interview itself).

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:31 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
jimmyd11011 wrote:Is there anything you wish you would have done before law school to help you do better at OCI - particularly in the summer before law school? Maybe try to work in a certain field to show commitment/experience/interest in the field? Get some good work references? Travel/volunteer so you have some interesting stories to talk about? Anything?

Find out if you're a good interviewer. Your friends think you're a great guy. That's why they're your friends. Find an impartial third party who will be brutally honest and get their critiques. I mumble, gesture too much, am tangential, and project disinterest. I had to deal with those things when interviewing, but imagine if I didn't know that stuff going in. Even mock interviewing may not bring your flaws to light. It has to be someone who doesn't care if you dislike them after the feedback. In other words, mock interviews put on by firms may be of limited utility since they want you to like them at the end of the day (and often pull punches during the interview itself).

Very good advice.

Also, if you're lucky enough to get multiple callbacks, schedule 1/2 firms that you aren't THAT interested in first. I went 25% on my first four callbacks, then 80% on the rest. Experience matters.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Bosque » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:53 pm

pasteurizedmilk wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:
jimmyd11011 wrote:Is there anything you wish you would have done before law school to help you do better at OCI - particularly in the summer before law school? Maybe try to work in a certain field to show commitment/experience/interest in the field? Get some good work references? Travel/volunteer so you have some interesting stories to talk about? Anything?

Find out if you're a good interviewer. Your friends think you're a great guy. That's why they're your friends. Find an impartial third party who will be brutally honest and get their critiques. I mumble, gesture too much, am tangential, and project disinterest. I had to deal with those things when interviewing, but imagine if I didn't know that stuff going in. Even mock interviewing may not bring your flaws to light. It has to be someone who doesn't care if you dislike them after the feedback. In other words, mock interviews put on by firms may be of limited utility since they want you to like them at the end of the day (and often pull punches during the interview itself).

Very good advice.

Also, if you're lucky enough to get multiple callbacks, schedule 1/2 firms that you aren't THAT interested in first. I went 25% on my first four callbacks, then 80% on the rest. Experience matters.


Also, it is better to cluster your callbacks around each other as best you can. You don't want to be forced to withdraw from a firm you really like because of the 28 day deadline.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby SpiteFence » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:43 pm

I am interested to see if anyone had this problem. Nearly all of the large market and V100 firms came in early interview week, however many of the regional firms came 2+ weeks later, and often they were at the beginning of their recruitment tour. Now, I was able to avoid the conflict because my early callbacks took over a month to make offers, but I can easily see situations where students who have dreams of practicing in their home markets forced to accept a major market offer due to the 28 day deadline and too scared/denied the opportunity to extend deadlines. Did this happen to anyone or do you know anyone who wen through this? If so, how did they handle it?

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:51 pm

SpiteFence wrote:I am interested to see if anyone had this problem. Nearly all of the large market and V100 firms came in early interview week, however many of the regional firms came 2+ weeks later, and often they were at the beginning of their recruitment tour. Now, I was able to avoid the conflict because my early callbacks took over a month to make offers, but I can easily see situations where students who have dreams of practicing in their home markets forced to accept a major market offer due to the 28 day deadline and too scared/denied the opportunity to extend deadlines. Did this happen to anyone or do you know anyone who wen through this? If so, how did they handle it?

Make a choice or ask for extensions.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby lawschoollll » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:52 pm

tag

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby chadwick218 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:53 pm

lawschoollll wrote:tag


Why tag? :? 9 months from now, this thread will simply be lost amongst a plethora of others. Instead, simply add the thread to your favorites.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby RVP11 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:ITE, every firm has a smaller summer class, meaning that it is no longer sufficient being able to carry out a nice 15-min conversation on World Cup / NFL. It still helps a lot if you are easygoing / personable / funny, but I do think there is something beyond the elusive notion of "personality fit". Law firm is a business, and it is crucial that you could potentially contribute something substantive to their business development.


I still think it's sufficient to just carry a nice conversation about sports if you have the grades. I got callbacks from interviews in which I talked about virtually nothing pertaining to law or law firms, and I know others who did as well.

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is treating a screening interview like it's a sell job (as many CSOs would have you believe). Telling an interviewer why you're qualified is yawn-inducing at best, obnoxious at worst. It's just like picking up a member of the opposite sex - show, don't tell. Show that you're a confident, composed human being by having a normal conversation.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:17 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:ITE, every firm has a smaller summer class, meaning that it is no longer sufficient being able to carry out a nice 15-min conversation on World Cup / NFL. It still helps a lot if you are easygoing / personable / funny, but I do think there is something beyond the elusive notion of "personality fit". Law firm is a business, and it is crucial that you could potentially contribute something substantive to their business development.


I still think it's sufficient to just carry a nice conversation about sports if you have the grades. I got callbacks from interviews in which I talked about virtually nothing pertaining to law or law firms, and I know others who did as well.

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is treating a screening interview like it's a sell job (as many CSOs would have you believe). Telling an interviewer why you're qualified is yawn-inducing at best, obnoxious at worst. It's just like picking up a member of the opposite sex - show, don't tell. Show that you're a confident, composed human being by having a normal conversation.

wat

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Unemployed » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:33 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:ITE, every firm has a smaller summer class, meaning that it is no longer sufficient being able to carry out a nice 15-min conversation on World Cup / NFL. It still helps a lot if you are easygoing / personable / funny, but I do think there is something beyond the elusive notion of "personality fit". Law firm is a business, and it is crucial that you could potentially contribute something substantive to their business development.


I still think it's sufficient to just carry a nice conversation about sports if you have the grades. I got callbacks from interviews in which I talked about virtually nothing pertaining to law or law firms, and I know others who did as well.

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is treating a screening interview like it's a sell job (as many CSOs would have you believe). Telling an interviewer why you're qualified is yawn-inducing at best, obnoxious at worst. It's just like picking up a member of the opposite sex - show, don't tell. Show that you're a confident, composed human being by having a normal conversation.

wat


Just whip it(them) out and drop it(them) on the table with a thud. Seems to work for a lot of people.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:55 pm

pasteurizedmilk wrote:
dood wrote:
pasteurizedmilk wrote:
dood wrote:
are u a bad interviewer or hideous?

15 CBs? Probably not a bad interviewer.

maybe u were too cocky or arrogant? i used to have this problem; assumed i was auto admit because i have a huge cock and acted like it. so i think that kinda confidence is cool for a 20min screener (shows interest, etc), but nobody can stand being around "that" guy for like 1/2 hour + lunch. dunno bro, maybe it was just really bad luck. either way, congrats on ur offer; all it takes is one.
I am not the original poster. I batted about 60% on callbacks.



OP here (of this convo):

I am an average interviewer. Probably 5 on a scale of 1-10. I am also probably below average in looks, but not hideous. I definitely didn't come off as arrogant. I was very happy to get the callbacks; in fact, I felt somewhat out of my element given my upbringing (incredibly poor, went to shit undergrad). I think it may just be a combination of everything we've talked about - no one issue is controlling. I had to schedule my callbacks fairly late too, as I have a MTW professor who drops your grade if you miss more than three classes (callbacks count as misses). So lots of my callbacks were quite late in September. Either way, I got a V30 job in the end, so it's pretty pointless to talk about I suppose.

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:32 pm

That prof sure is doing his already-struggling T30 students a favor. What an ivory tower prick.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:34 pm

I'd strongly suggest not splitting. There just seems to be nothing positive to come from it. It might be acceptable if one half is your 1L firm, but you'd better REALLY like that firm. I've just heard too many stories lately of people who split being utterly stunned when they were no-offered at both.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'd strongly suggest not splitting. There just seems to be nothing positive to come from it. It might be acceptable if one half is your 1L firm, but you'd better REALLY like that firm. I've just heard too many stories lately of people who split being utterly stunned when they were no-offered at both.



Disclaimer:

Most Southern firms only have 6 week programs. They expect and encourage summer associates to split. Some Northern/Major Market firms have begun to move towards this model through 6-8 week programs, but for the most part the norm is anywhere from 10-12 weeks. The advice on not splitting is based on the presumption that a firm has one of those 10-12 week programs.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'd strongly suggest not splitting. There just seems to be nothing positive to come from it. It might be acceptable if one half is your 1L firm, but you'd better REALLY like that firm. I've just heard too many stories lately of people who split being utterly stunned when they were no-offered at both.


This depends on the market. In Texas, it's actually incredibly common given that many summer programs only last 6-8 weeks and the firms tend to encourage splitting.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:09 pm

RVP11 wrote:I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is treating a screening interview like it's a sell job (as many CSOs would have you believe). Telling an interviewer why you're qualified is yawn-inducing at best, obnoxious at worst.


I made this mistake. I think it's what twisted the knife and did me in. My market choice and lack of ninja-bidding/mailing was life-threatening, to be sure, but when I went in and took a pitch approach, I think I guaranteed I'd walk away empty-handed. I've since snagged some other interviews (although it's so late that they're hopeless anyway), and found that the more conversational style (i.e. just talking to them) makes things go much better. Every time I see that happen, I die a little inside. If I had done that with my OCIs, even without doing anything else right, my odds would have at least been "weak" rather than "dead".

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:26 pm

chadwick218 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'd strongly suggest not splitting. There just seems to be nothing positive to come from it. It might be acceptable if one half is your 1L firm, but you'd better REALLY like that firm. I've just heard too many stories lately of people who split being utterly stunned when they were no-offered at both.


This depends on the market. In Texas, it's actually incredibly common given that many summer programs only last 6-8 weeks and the firms tend to encourage splitting.


Yes, Texas is different. But for everyone else, the advice stands.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:29 am


I made this mistake. I think it's what twisted the knife and did me in. My market choice and lack of ninja-bidding/mailing was life-threatening, to be sure, but when I went in and took a pitch approach, I think I guaranteed I'd walk away empty-handed. I've since snagged some other interviews (although it's so late that they're hopeless anyway), and found that the more conversational style (i.e. just talking to them) makes things go much better. Every time I see that happen, I die a little inside. If I had done that with my OCIs, even without doing anything else right, my odds would have at least been "weak" rather than "dead".




Yeah same here. I actually talked to a partner who interviewed me at a CB and he confirmed this. Whenever I got the "so tell me something that's not on your resume" question I went into sell mode and talked about my work ethic, professionalism, how I'm a quick learner, etc.... Turns out that he was looking for me to talk about my favorite NFL team or what kind of books I like to read. /faceslap

Also, the necessary but not sufficient description is perfect w/r/t grades. Grades matter in getting to the CB stage. Once you're there, everyone who is interviewing has the credentials and it becomes all about personality

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:52 pm

At a few CBs a partner flat out said "tell me why I should pick you over the other people we've interviewed." If you get this, sell yourself. Otherwise, a normal conversation is TCR.

Anonymous User
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah same here. I actually talked to a partner who interviewed me at a CB and he confirmed this. Whenever I got the "so tell me something that's not on your resume" question I went into sell mode and talked about my work ethic, professionalism, how I'm a quick learner, etc.... Turns out that he was looking for me to talk about my favorite NFL team or what kind of books I like to read. /faceslap

Also, the necessary but not sufficient description is perfect w/r/t grades. Grades matter in getting to the CB stage. Once you're there, everyone who is interviewing has the credentials and it becomes all about personality



One ridiculous thing about OCI is that you get a quick succession of interviews, and it's not hard to go through in this mode and come up with nothing. I wish they at least split it up somewhat so that you could correct for this kind of mistake. I guess that's another reason why mass-mailing is important.

I actually did the exact same thing in response to "tell me something that's not on your resume". Career services basically encourages this approach, and although I've heard otherwise, I've always had great success in interviews where I went in with my main goal being to bring my resume together and demonstrate some specific skills or talents that I think would be relevant to the position I'm after.




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