Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

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

Postby rayiner » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
dood wrote:this is what i told everyone pre 2010 OCI; everyone made fun of my spreadsheet, now i can say "told ya so"


Where did you get the data on which firms were popular? Purely Vault-based?


Common sense. The school releases GPA charts. Most people are medianish and will bid on the firms that usually take medianish people. Therefore those firms will be the most heavily bidded on.

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

Postby KMaine » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:09 pm

For background, I am a non-traditional student with a non-IP, non-corporate background. I was a high school English teacher for 10+ years. I go to a t-14 and have good grades.

One thing I wish I would have known going in was just how much I needed to sell myself and my desire (and ability) to work for a big law firm given my background. I did not realized this until about 4/5ths of my screening interviews were over. It was not enough to be enthusiastic, have a "good personality" and be positive. I had an uphill battle in getting callbacks from firms that my numbers would say should have given me callbacks.

When I changed my strategy and got more aggressive about selling myself (making a point about really pushing how my previous work experience was relevant), I was MUCH more successful. I became proactive to the point of being almost defensive.

I ended up with a couple of offers, and I am really happy with the firm I will be with next summer, but I don't believe I would have if I had not changed my interview strategy.

Also, I did many interviews with small market firms before OCI. I got a number of SA offers from firms that pay about 80K. They seemed to have much less of an issue with my background. In any case, I am glad I did those interviews, because, for a while, they looked like they would be my only option.

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chadwick218
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:18 pm

Don't underbid. I went into OCI with the goal of maximizing the number of callbacks. I ended up receiving CB interviews from ~80% of my on campus interviews and offers from ~80% of those CB interviews. While I landed a job with a V20 I am not terribly happy how the whole process turned out. I totally shut myself out at any shot at a V10. I worked five years prior to law school and this work experience is relevant to the area of practice that I plan to enter.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:23 pm

bmontminy wrote:Does the 'bit NY' advice hold if you are from UT and aiming at Austin/Dallas/Houston? I've heard the TX markets are doing (relatively) well, but wondering if come bidding next year i would be wise to pad it with NY as well.

I was reading the "bid NY" advice as more of a backup plan, and something for people to do with remaining bids. That matches what I've heard people who went through OCI saying. It's not "bid only NY", so much as "make sure you have enough smart NY bids that you'll get something there even if you don't get anything in your first choice market".

If you want TX and you have a reasonable shot at it (which you do being in TX at UT) then of course bid there. But if you're worried about how tight the TX markets are you might throw a few bids at NY firms since they're still hiring more than anyone else right now, and that way you increase your odds of having something.

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

Postby spondee » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:26 pm

KMaine wrote:When I changed my strategy and got more aggressive about selling myself (making a point about really pushing how my previous work experience was relevant), I was MUCH more successful.


Definitely true. Drawing ties between your previous work/skills and your interest in law/the firm is huge. I have a hodgepodge and artsy background. I knew it was a liability. So I spent a lot of time crafting my resume and then selling my experiences in interviews. The number of callbacks and offers I received far, far outpaced what OCS told me to expect, and I think it was largely because I had work experience and because I sold it.

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

Postby Blindmelon » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:27 pm

chadwick218 wrote:Don't underbid. I went into OCI with the goal of maximizing the number of callbacks. I ended up receiving CB interviews from ~80% of my on campus interviews and offers from ~80% of those CB interviews. While I landed a job with a V20 I am not terribly happy how the whole process turned out. I totally shut myself out at any shot at a V10. I worked five years prior to law school and this work experience is relevant to the area of practice that I plan to enter.


I wouldn't worry too much. I don't think being at a "V20" v. a "V10" is going to have a significant impact on your life trajectory. I think people need to chill out a little. You'll be making market at a firm that many people would give an ear to have on their resume. I think working at Paul Weiss or Sidley isn't going to close off doors that Weil or Cleary would open.

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

Postby Grizz » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:33 pm

KMaine wrote:Also, I did many interviews with small market firms before OCI. I got a number of SA offers from firms that pay about 80K. They seemed to have much less of an issue with my background. In any case, I am glad I did those interviews, because, for a while, they looked like they would be my only option.


How did you get these interviews? Targeted mailings?

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

Postby dood » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:35 pm

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Last edited by dood on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby KMaine » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:40 pm

rad law wrote:
KMaine wrote:Also, I did many interviews with small market firms before OCI. I got a number of SA offers from firms that pay about 80K. They seemed to have much less of an issue with my background. In any case, I am glad I did those interviews, because, for a while, they looked like they would be my only option.


How did you get these interviews? Targeted mailings?


Yes, targeted mailings or emails (depending on what the firm's website recommended). I was 5/5 in getting interviews with firms in Portland, Maine (4 callback-types, and 1 screener that led to a cb). Portland is about 40 miles from my hometown.

1Levening2013
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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby 1Levening2013 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:43 pm

KMaine wrote:
rad law wrote:
KMaine wrote:Also, I did many interviews with small market firms before OCI. I got a number of SA offers from firms that pay about 80K. They seemed to have much less of an issue with my background. In any case, I am glad I did those interviews, because, for a while, they looked like they would be my only option.


How did you get these interviews? Targeted mailings?


Yes, targeted mailings or emails (depending on what the firm's website recommended). I was 5/5 in getting interviews with firms in Portland, Maine (4 callback-types, and 1 screener that led to a cb). Portland is about 40 miles from my hometown.


how early in the summer did you start these mailings?

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

Postby KMaine » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:47 pm

1Levening2013 wrote:
KMaine wrote:
rad law wrote:
KMaine wrote:Also, I did many interviews with small market firms before OCI. I got a number of SA offers from firms that pay about 80K. They seemed to have much less of an issue with my background. In any case, I am glad I did those interviews, because, for a while, they looked like they would be my only option.


How did you get these interviews? Targeted mailings?


Yes, targeted mailings or emails (depending on what the firm's website recommended). I was 5/5 in getting interviews with firms in Portland, Maine (4 callback-types, and 1 screener that led to a cb). Portland is about 40 miles from my hometown.


how early in the summer did you start these mailings?


Beginning of July. Did most of my Portland CBs in early to mid August. I think the timing was good. Would not have wanted to go too much earlier. In fact, as early as I interviewed (and got offers) it got a little dicey with the 28 day NALP guideline when I was waiting on offers from OCI.

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

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:39 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:Don't underbid. I went into OCI with the goal of maximizing the number of callbacks. I ended up receiving CB interviews from ~80% of my on campus interviews and offers from ~80% of those CB interviews. While I landed a job with a V20 I am not terribly happy how the whole process turned out. I totally shut myself out at any shot at a V10. I worked five years prior to law school and this work experience is relevant to the area of practice that I plan to enter.


I wouldn't worry too much. I don't think being at a "V20" v. a "V10" is going to have a significant impact on your life trajectory. I think people need to chill out a little. You'll be making market at a firm that many people would give an ear to have on their resume. I think working at Paul Weiss or Sidley isn't going to close off doors that Weil or Cleary would open.

Agreed. And I think this kinda highlights how silly the Vault rankings are. I'd argue that Sidley/Deb/Wilmer DC/PW would open doors that Skadden couldn't, and maybe even Weil couldn't (assuming you aren't doing BK at Weil).

Vault's useful for very broad strokes, but certain firms outside the V10 will open doors in some practice areas that V10 firms couldn't - i.e. I'd probably take PW for litigation over Skadden, Weil or STB, and K&E over Cleary or Simpson for BK.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:08 pm

Even getting an offer, I'm still kind of confused about the weaknesses I had in the process. I say this because I had 15 callbacks and only got one offer (T20, top 1-2%). I have no idea if it was going to a shitty undergrad, working somewhere 1L summer that was not where I was bidding, or just my school not being in t14.

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

Postby dood » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:22 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:23 pm

dood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Even getting an offer, I'm still kind of confused about the weaknesses I had in the process. I say this because I had 15 callbacks and only got one offer (T20, top 1-2%). I have no idea if it was going to a shitty undergrad, working somewhere 1L summer that was not where I was bidding, or just my school not being in t14.


are u a bad interviewer or hideous?

15 CBs? Probably not a bad interviewer.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:26 pm

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.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:38 pm

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.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have no idea if it was going to a shitty undergrad, working somewhere 1L summer that was not where I was bidding, or just my school not being in t14.


I had a mega-shitty undergrad and worked in Flyover Nowhere in the summer and still had a very good callback-to-offer ratio.

Maybe you got the callbacks based on your grades/resume and didn't do well in the callback interviews? When your grades are that good, I imagine most of the screening interviews are pretty much just formalities.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:32 pm

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.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:00 pm

pasteurizedmilk wrote:
Agreed. And I think this kinda highlights how silly the Vault rankings are. I'd argue that Sidley/Deb/Wilmer DC+ Boston/PW would open doors that Skadden couldn't, and maybe even Weil couldn't (assuming you aren't doing BK at Weil).



FTFY - I hope? Hah.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
pasteurizedmilk wrote:
Agreed. And I think this kinda highlights how silly the Vault rankings are. I'd argue that Sidley/Deb/Wilmer DC+ Boston/PW would open doors that Skadden couldn't, and maybe even Weil couldn't (assuming you aren't doing BK at Weil).



FTFY - I hope? Hah.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:27 am

As someone who has the grades / school range for Biglaw but came dangerously close to striking out in a major market:

Think about 3-5 points that you MUST let the interviewers know, and convey them aggressively no matter how the interviewers phrase the questions. I am talking about things like "I have expertise / interest / experience in X, which is extremely helpful for your firm's area of growth Y. That's why you should hire me over the other 20 kids outside who have comparable grades and are just equally smart."

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.

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Re: Things You Wish You Would Have Known Before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:40 am

chadwick218 wrote:Don't underbid. I went into OCI with the goal of maximizing the number of callbacks.


My advice is don't overbid. Making 160k at even a lower ranked Vault firm is loads better in both the short and long-term than getting shut out and having to settle for mid-law.

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

Postby dood » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:06 am

...
Last edited by dood on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:51 am

dood wrote:
pasteurizedmilk wrote:
dood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Even getting an offer, I'm still kind of confused about the weaknesses I had in the process. I say this because I had 15 callbacks and only got one offer (T20, top 1-2%). I have no idea if it was going to a shitty undergrad, working somewhere 1L summer that was not where I was bidding, or just my school not being in t14.


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.




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