Stupid OCI Question

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Anonymous User
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Stupid OCI Question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 15, 2011 11:43 am

I'm a rising 2L who has to start thinking about bidding for OCI. Do summer associates get placed in a particular practice group, or do they rotate throughout multiple practice groups? If and when you get a permanent offer from that firm, how do you get placed in a practice group?

I have a strong interest in a select few areas of practice and 0% interest in many others. I'm going to bid on firms that have large practice groups in the fields I'm interested in, but I'd absolutely hate my life if I was subjected to working in some of the other practice groups...

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Cavalier
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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby Cavalier » Sun May 15, 2011 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a rising 2L who has to start thinking about bidding for OCI. Do summer associates get placed in a particular practice group, or do they rotate throughout multiple practice groups? If and when you get a permanent offer from that firm, how do you get placed in a practice group?

I have a strong interest in a select few areas of practice and 0% interest in many others. I'm going to bid on firms that have large practice groups in the fields I'm interested in, but I'd absolutely hate my life if I was subjected to working in some of the other practice groups...

It depends on the firm. Most firms give their summer associates the opportunity to try out different practice groups, but once you're a first year associate, things vary a lot. Some firms will put you through mandatory rotations in different practice groups, some will let you take on whatever work you want, some will give you a year or two to take on whatever work you want before having to choose a practice group, and some will start you off in a certain practice group and that's where you'll probably stay.

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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 15, 2011 1:32 pm

OP here. Thank you both for the information!

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swc65
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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby swc65 » Sun May 15, 2011 1:45 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Yeah, 2L summer basically all firms force you to rotate among a number of practice groups (or, at firms that have no formal groups, among a variety of projects). So being forced into work you are not interested in is a low risk as a 2L SA -- although you might have to spend a few weeks in an area you don't love.

Things are different after you get a permanent offer, as firm practices vary widely. Some firms hire you into a specific practice group, based on firm need and other factors. In those firms, you can express preferences, but it is really up to them what happens, and once you're in a particular group, it can be difficult to switch. Another common model is the forced 1st year associate rotation, wherein the firm has you move around during your first year or so as a full-time associate, and then choose (on your own or with their guidance) where you will land. A third approach, the one used by my firm, is to let you choose essentially any group(s) you want before arriving, with the caveat that if there isn't enough work to fill your hours in those groups, you will eventually have to look in new areas.



Where's the best place to find this info? I really would prefer to work at a firm with a rotational system the first year or two.

sullidop
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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby sullidop » Sun May 15, 2011 1:57 pm

swc65 wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Yeah, 2L summer basically all firms force you to rotate among a number of practice groups (or, at firms that have no formal groups, among a variety of projects). So being forced into work you are not interested in is a low risk as a 2L SA -- although you might have to spend a few weeks in an area you don't love.

Things are different after you get a permanent offer, as firm practices vary widely. Some firms hire you into a specific practice group, based on firm need and other factors. In those firms, you can express preferences, but it is really up to them what happens, and once you're in a particular group, it can be difficult to switch. Another common model is the forced 1st year associate rotation, wherein the firm has you move around during your first year or so as a full-time associate, and then choose (on your own or with their guidance) where you will land. A third approach, the one used by my firm, is to let you choose essentially any group(s) you want before arriving, with the caveat that if there isn't enough work to fill your hours in those groups, you will eventually have to look in new areas.



Where's the best place to find this info? I really would prefer to work at a firm with a rotational system the first year or two.


Firms love to talk about this on the SA portion of their website. If not there, then ask a former SA or alum at the firm. If you still have nothing, during the interview ask the interviewer to speak on the range of experiences SAs get. This way you don't come off as unprepared while also allowing the interviewer to boast about all the cool things you'll get to do.
Last edited by sullidop on Sun May 15, 2011 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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swc65
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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby swc65 » Sun May 15, 2011 2:00 pm

sullidop wrote:
swc65 wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Yeah, 2L summer basically all firms force you to rotate among a number of practice groups (or, at firms that have no formal groups, among a variety of projects). So being forced into work you are not interested in is a low risk as a 2L SA -- although you might have to spend a few weeks in an area you don't love.

Things are different after you get a permanent offer, as firm practices vary widely. Some firms hire you into a specific practice group, based on firm need and other factors. In those firms, you can express preferences, but it is really up to them what happens, and once you're in a particular group, it can be difficult to switch. Another common model is the forced 1st year associate rotation, wherein the firm has you move around during your first year or so as a full-time associate, and then choose (on your own or with their guidance) where you will land. A third approach, the one used by my firm, is to let you choose essentially any group(s) you want before arriving, with the caveat that if there isn't enough work to fill your hours in those groups, you will eventually have to look in new areas.



Where's the best place to find this info? I really would prefer to work at a firm with a rotational system the first year or two.


Firms love to talk about this on the SA portion of their webpage. If not there, then ask a former SA or alum at the firm. If you still have nothing, during the interview ask the interviewer to speak on the range of experiences SAs get. This way you don't come off as unprepared while also allowing the interviewer to boast about all the cool things you'll get to do.


yeah that's what worried me about asking during the screening interview.

Thanks for the info, I was hoping there'd be an easy list somewhere!!!

imchuckbass58
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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun May 15, 2011 2:13 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
swc65 wrote:Where's the best place to find this info? I really would prefer to work at a firm with a rotational system the first year or two.

You can ask during screening interviews, or maybe poke around firm websites. I suppose it is possible that info might also be available in the Vault guides or Chambers Associate, although I doubt you'll have much luck there.


It's a good question to ask during interviews. Chambers associate usually has the info though - they have an entire section in each profile about how work is assigned and how associates get placed into practice groups (if at all).

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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun May 15, 2011 3:11 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:There is a 0% chance that you will "look unprepared" if you ask about this during a screening interview or callback. No firm anywhere expects you to know it in advance. In fact, asking about this issue is perfect for interviews, for the reason stated above (it gives the firm rep an opportunity to boast about/explain their summer program and associate placement model).

If it is clearly displayed on their website, then it might make you look unprepared. I have no idea how much of an effect this would have on their opinion of the interviewee, though.

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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun May 15, 2011 3:40 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:There is a 0% chance that you will "look unprepared" if you ask about this during a screening interview or callback. No firm anywhere expects you to know it in advance. In fact, asking about this issue is perfect for interviews, for the reason stated above (it gives the firm rep an opportunity to boast about/explain their summer program and associate placement model).

If it is clearly displayed on their website, then it might make you look unprepared. I have no idea how much of an effect this would have on their opinion of the interviewee, though.

I just can't see it. No firm expects you to have read their website closely. Sure, you should have a good sense of what the firm is known for, why you want to work there (as opposed to why you want biglaw generally), and so on. But having gone through dozens of firm interviews myself, not once did I ever feel that an interviewer expected me to know details about how work is assigned in their summer program, or other process-oriented things like that. I don't recall whether you have gone through OCI already -- so maybe you had a different experience.

I'm just super conservative when it comes to knowing (basic) information if it's provided on the website. I don't think it will make or break your interview, and from my interview experience - not OCI but I did go through 7 interviews with firms over winter break - I was surprised at how much basic information they gave me during the interview. I don't know if that is because I'm a 1L, or if everything I have read and been told about knowing the basic information provided on the firm's website is false. Overall, I agree with you, but I still try to know as much information as possible just because I'm an over-worrier, I guess

Renzo
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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby Renzo » Sun May 15, 2011 4:17 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:There is a 0% chance that you will "look unprepared" if you ask about this during a screening interview or callback. No firm anywhere expects you to know it in advance. In fact, asking about this issue is perfect for interviews, for the reason stated above (it gives the firm rep an opportunity to boast about/explain their summer program and associate placement model).

If it is clearly displayed on their website, then it might make you look unprepared. I have no idea how much of an effect this would have on their opinion of the interviewee, though.

I just can't see it. No firm expects you to have read their website closely. Sure, you should have a good sense of what the firm is known for, why you want to work there (as opposed to why you want biglaw generally), and so on. But having gone through dozens of firm interviews myself, not once did I ever feel that an interviewer expected me to know details about how work is assigned in their summer program, or other process-oriented things like that. I don't recall whether you have gone through OCI already -- so maybe you had a different experience.


I disagree, because of one glaring exception to your generally correct rule: Cravath. They are really proud of the Cravath system (which does not involve rotating practice groups), and anecdotally, people who were unfamiliar with it did not do well.

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Re: Stupid OCI Question

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue May 17, 2011 3:34 pm

My firm didn't tell us we were assigned to particular practice groups as summer associates . . . but the secret was, we were hired to join a particular practice group, and everyone knew it but us.

Its all going to depend on where they have a need for bodies. Sure, you can rotate assignments all day, and sure, they may tell you that you're going to get a well rounded experience with broad exposure. But the fact is, if corporate doesn't have the need, you're not getting into the corporate group.




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