How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

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legaleagle9
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How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby legaleagle9 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:15 am

0L here. Just found out the my cousins very best friend (like pretty much brother) is an associate at K&L Gates. How good is that for me? Or is it completely irrelevant?

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby gbpackerbacker » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:30 am

sounds sketchy

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dood
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby dood » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:35 am

...

HTH bro
Last edited by dood on Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MrKappus
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby MrKappus » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:45 am

Except for getting some insight into the firm that allows you to ask probing questions during an interview, it's virtually irrelevant.

keg411
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby keg411 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:35 am

MrKappus wrote:Except for getting some insight into the firm that allows you to ask probing questions during an interview, it's virtually irrelevant.


I disagree. I know someone who was no-offered after 2L, but managed to get a BigLaw job after graduation partially because of someone that person knew. This person had particularly good credentials thought (T14, LR).

Renzo
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Renzo » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:31 am

keg411 wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Except for getting some insight into the firm that allows you to ask probing questions during an interview, it's virtually irrelevant.


I disagree. I know someone who was no-offered after 2L, but managed to get a BigLaw job after graduation partially because of someone that person knew. This person had particularly good credentials thought (T14, LR).

That person's credentials got them the job, not the contact. At best, a personal contact might bet someone an interview, but the firm isn't going to hire someone they wouldn't have otherwise considered (because of bad grades, no-name school, etc.) just because he or she has a buddy who works in the firm.

Rule11
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Rule11 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:46 am

On a scale of 1 to helpful, it's a 1. Associates have less than no influence over hiring decisions.

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Cavalier
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Cavalier » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:54 am

The associate can probably ensure your resume gets past the recruiting staff who discard most applications, but not much more. But it really depends on (a) his influence at the firm, and (b) the firm's hiring procedures.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:04 am

Your credentials are more important. If you are a borderline candidate for the firm, it may make a enough of a difference to get you in for an initial interview (say median at a T14).

If you are clearly not within the range for the firm, you are most likely not going to receive a boost.

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vamedic03
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:24 am

It's worth mentioning that OP's 'connection' is not really a strong connection. I agree with the general consensus that if you are otherwise qualified (T14+good grades) it can help get your materials looked at by the recruiting staff. That said, there are two additional considerations:

(1) It's an associate, so he's likely to have little pull; and, more importantly
(2) A good connection is someone who will go to bat for you - i.e., stake their reputation on your abilities. It's highly unlikely that a someone will put their reputation on the line for a friend's cousin.

Rule11
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Rule11 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:33 am

Connections that might help you get biglaw that you otherwise would not have gotten:

  • Close family member is GC or Deputy GC of an important client
  • Close family friend is the hiring partner, or on the hiring or executive committee
  • You're having an affair with the hiring partner

Connections that won't help:
  • Pretty much everything else

Note that having a family member who's a partner at the firm probably won't help you, because most firms have fairly strict anti-nepotism norms (and sometimes hard rules).

taxguy
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby taxguy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:37 am

Connections can be VERY important depending on the connection. My son is a superb networker. He has several "guaranteed" jobs once he graduates from law school. Moreover, the quality and ranking of the law school won't matter. So yes, connections can result in a major "leg up" if done correctly.

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vamedic03
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:41 am

taxguy wrote:Connections can be VERY important depending on the connection. My son is a superb networker. He has several "guaranteed" jobs once he graduates from law school. Moreover, the quality and ranking of the law school won't matter. So yes, connections can result in a major "leg up" if done correctly.


We're talking about big law here. For big law the rank of a law school has a dramatic impact as do a student's grades.

Rule11
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Rule11 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:44 am

Taxguy: biglaw? Sorry, but things might not work out the way you think.

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paratactical
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby paratactical » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:52 am

taxguy wrote:Connections can be VERY important depending on the connection. My son is a superb networker. He has several "guaranteed" jobs once he graduates from law school. Moreover, the quality and ranking of the law school won't matter. So yes, connections can result in a major "leg up" if done correctly.

I have several great connections in NYC biglaw and the best anyone can do is "if you go to good enough school, I can promise you interviews and I'll speak on your behalf to your interviewers and anyone else at the firm I can" and this is from partners on biglaw hiring commitees. Maybe if your son is looking at small or midlaw or if he's sucked a lot of dick, what you say might be true, but given your post history, I'm inclined to think that 1) you are "your son" and 2) you have no idea wtf you're talking about.

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tome
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby tome » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:58 am

Out of 16 OCI interviews, I got call-backs at exactly four firms. At each of those four firms I had made at least one contact during my 1-L year. (I actually made one really good contact who then led to most of the others.) At three of the interviews, the interviewer actually mentioned the person I had talked to. At the other interview I brought up my conversation with the contact as part of my answer to the inevitable "why firm X" question.

Out of the 12 firms that I did not get a call back from, at only one had I made a good contact. (One disclaimer: I focused largely on small firms--a strategy that I do not recommend--but the call backs were at both big and small firms, as were the rejections.)

"My cousin's best friend works at your firm" is worthless to bring up in an interview. However, "I've talked with X and Y who work at your firm and form talking to them it sounds like a really good fit for ABC reasons" is worth bringing up. First, it shows you have made more of an effort to understand the firm than just look at the website. People like it when you show genuine interest in something that they are invested in. Second, it shows that someone they trust does not think you are a complete twat. Again, people just seem to like this.

Making contacts is a pain. But most people are happy to take twenty minutes to have a coffee with a law student to talk about their job. And this is exactly how you should frame it--never mention anything about wanting them to put in a good word for you. Thank them afterward, and then when OCI comes around, send them an email, tell them you have an interview with their firm, and ask them if they have any advice. If they think you are worthwhile, they will probably put in a good word for you, so you never have to deal with uncomfortably asking.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Stringer Bell » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:03 am

Taxguy really may be the most diligent flame I've ever seen on this site.

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gwuorbust
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby gwuorbust » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:44 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:Taxguy really may be the most diligent flame I've ever seen on this site.


I love how all his posts are about HIS SON. wtf?

Sup Kid
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Sup Kid » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:45 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:Taxguy really may be the most diligent flame I've ever seen on this site.

+1

timbs4339
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:28 pm

I had a former boss (high up in management at a major corp) try to vouch for me to his clients and friends, partners at major firms, and he was surprised at the rigidity of the hiring process. Most partners told him I'd missed the OCI hiring, and others asked for my grades. I felt kind of bad his opinion wasn't worth as much as he'd thought. In his opinion trying to find jobs for business school students was infinitely easier.

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Lawquacious
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:46 pm

It can be VERY significant, but probably depends a lot on how much clout the person has with the particular firm, how much they are willing to bat for you, and also what the firm's policy is re: recruiting procedures etc. I go to a lower T1 and just found out a classmate got a biglaw SA in CA (the school I'm at isn't even in CA); his uncle is in-house counsel for the firm. I'm sure that had a ton to do with it, because I don't think he's a top student (don't know for sure- the guy could have straight As, but I would be a little bit surprised), and I don't even personally know of other 1Ls who landed paying biglaw gigs (or even mid-law for that matter) from my school. Not 100% sure this guy is getting paid biglaw wage, but I get the impression he probably is. Even if not, I think his case still illustrates that connections can have a MAJOR impact.

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nealric
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby nealric » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:32 pm

An associate isn't that much of a connection. I am an associate at a biglaw firm. While I could probably at least make sure someone's resume got at least a look, I couldn't do much for someone who doesn't meet the firm's hiring criteria (grades/school).

It can actually be better to have a connection with a key client than with someone at the firm.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:43 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:Taxguy really may be the most diligent flame I've ever seen on this site.


This is so goddamn true.

Anonymous User
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:59 pm

I have a relationship of trust with the hiring partner of an NYC BigLaw firm. Coached his kids for multiple years and have had a number of conversations with him about legal hiring/law school/etc.

That's about as good of a connection as you can get in BigLaw, and I'm not optimistic about how much it will help me.

That should give an indication of how important smaller connections are.

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tome
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Re: How good are connections in regards to finding a biglaw job?

Postby tome » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:13 pm

Lawquacious wrote: . . . I go to a lower T1 and just found out a classmate got a biglaw SA in CA (the school I'm at isn't even in CA); his uncle is in-house counsel for the firm. I'm sure that had a ton to do with it . . .


What? Don't they at least teach you enough at a lower T1 to construct a coherent bullshit law hiring story?




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