Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

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liLtuneChi
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Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby liLtuneChi » Sat May 28, 2011 1:01 am

Hey guys would I be stupid for bidding on just these firms.

I'm a rising 2L at CLS. Right now my GPA puts me in the top 5% of the class with a decent chance at being a Kent Scholar as long as I get at least an A- on my last 2 exams.

I am considering only bidding on these firms:

(1) Wachtell
(2) Williams & Connolly
(3) Susman Godfrey
(4) Cravath
(5) Sullivan & Cromwell
(6) Munger Tolles
(7) Davis Polk
(8) Cleary Gottlieb


I know we can potentially bid on 30 spots but I really don't want do many interviews. Are my grades strong enough that I can be guaranteed a spot at one of these firms or should I use all 30 of my bids.

Thanks

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Doritos
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Doritos » Sat May 28, 2011 1:03 am

This does not really answer your question but can't you bid on more firms and then decline the interviews? If so, why not bid on 30 and then if you get the ones you like don't interview for the others? I do not know if you can do that or not but if you can it seems silly to not bid.

liLtuneChi
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby liLtuneChi » Sat May 28, 2011 1:09 am

Doritos wrote:This does not really answer your question but can't you bid on more firms and then decline the interviews? If so, why not bid on 30 and then if you get the ones you like don't interview for the others? I do not know if you can do that or not but if you can it seems silly to not bid.


I could do that but the interviews are over two days. And I most likely would do 20 or so interviews during those 2 days before getting a single callback let alone a job offer.

I personally don't want to work at any other firms either so it would be highly disingenuous for me to interview with them when I don't want to work with them.

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20121109
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby 20121109 » Sat May 28, 2011 1:14 am

Your grades are strong enough...but what about your interview skills? If you suck at interviewing, your grades won't save you at 8 of the most selective firms.

Though I recognize that you don't want to be disingenuous, you can still use these other interviews as practice and just general networking tools. You can never have enough practice nor know enough people in the corporate field.

liLtuneChi
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby liLtuneChi » Sat May 28, 2011 1:50 am

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Your grades are strong enough...but what about your interview skills? If you suck at interviewing, your grades won't save you at 8 of the most selective firms.

Though I recognize that you don't want to be disingenuous, you can still use these other interviews as practice and just general networking tools. You can never have enough practice nor know enough people in the corporate field.


I was able to get a SA position as a 1L and thought I did well enough during the interview season to get a couple of offers.

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swc65
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby swc65 » Sat May 28, 2011 1:59 am

Just use all of you bids. bids=/=interviews. What if you are seriously unlucky in the lottery and only get a few of those firms and then have very limited choices in August.

Why are these the only firms you want to work for?

And no grades are NOT a guarantee of getting a job. Go to career services and have them tell you stories of Kent Scholars who struck out at OCI because they act as if they are entitled to a job because of their grades (kind of like only using 8/30 bids on firms that just happen to be some of the most prestigious firms there are).

Not only that, we have no idea what is going to happen between now and Aug. A couple of sovereign defaults or something similar and it could be 08 all over again or worse.

And you can cancel the interviews later if you really don't want to do them.

So the short answer is Yes, it would be stupid.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat May 28, 2011 2:05 am

swc65 wrote:Yes, it would be stupid.


Always good to keep options open.

liLtuneChi
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby liLtuneChi » Sat May 28, 2011 2:08 am

swc65 wrote:Just use all of you bids. bids=/=interviews. What if you are seriously unlucky in the lottery and only get a few of those firms and then have very limited choices in August.

Why are these the only firms you want to work for?

And no grades are NOT a guarantee of getting a job. Go to career services and have them tell you stories of Kent Scholars who struck out at OCI because they act as if they are entitled to a job because of their grades (kind of like only using 8/30 bids on firms that just happen to be some of the most prestigious firms there are).

Not only that, we have no idea what is going to happen between now and Aug. A couple of sovereign defaults or something similar and it could be 08 all over again or worse.

And you can cancel the interviews later if you really don't want to do them.

So the short answer is Yes, it would be stupid.


damn that is scary

I guess I should use all the bids. Thanks for the advice.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Sat May 28, 2011 2:25 am

liLtuneChi wrote:Damn that is scary. I guess I should use all the bids. Thanks for the advice.

Rest easy tonight, TLS. You done good.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat May 28, 2011 2:33 am

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
liLtuneChi wrote:Damn that is scary. I guess I should use all the bids. Thanks for the advice.

Rest easy tonight, TLS. You done good.


Image

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quakeroats
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby quakeroats » Sat May 28, 2011 3:27 am

Every year we have a student whom, after doing really well the first semester of his 1L, decides he's definitely going to grade onto law review. He's confident enough that he turns in a terrible casenote and doesn't apply to any other journals. If you can see where this is going, you can see why you should use all your bids.

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RVP11
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby RVP11 » Sat May 28, 2011 4:57 am

liLtuneChi wrote:(1) Wachtell
(2) Williams & Connolly
(3) Susman Godfrey
(4) Cravath
(5) Sullivan & Cromwell
(6) Munger Tolles
(7) Davis Polk
(8) Cleary Gottlieb


Munger likes to no-offer-pwn its summers, and firms like Wachtell, Susman, DPW, and W&C are very particular in who they hire. And I don't just mean on grades.

So you're basically giving yourself THREE solid bet callbacks, and that's assuming you interview well. And you could easily go 0 for 3 on offers.
Last edited by RVP11 on Sat May 28, 2011 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Lawquacious » Sat May 28, 2011 4:58 am

quakeroats wrote:Every year we have a student whom, after doing really well the first semester of his 1L, decides he's definitely going to grade onto law review. He's confident enough that he turns in a terrible casenote and doesn't apply to any other journals. If you can see where this is going, you can see why you should use all your bids.


Didn't you just finish your 1L year at Duke? Sorry if I have you confused with someone else, but this post makes it sound like you are talking as law school faculty/admin/or a professor who sees this every year (or at least a 3L who has seen it a couple years in a row), rather than someone who just finished 1L (which would make the post warning against what amounts to arrogance somewhat ironic IMO)...

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Lawquacious
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Lawquacious » Sat May 28, 2011 5:03 am

To OP: congrats dude. Your grades are very impressive. I'm sure there are a ton of people quite envious of your position. It does seem like in this legal market you can't be too careful, but I think you are in about as good shape as possible for a great biglaw gig, especially given that you already worked a firm job over 1L summer.

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quakeroats
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby quakeroats » Sat May 28, 2011 10:09 am

Lawquacious wrote:
quakeroats wrote:Every year we have a student whom, after doing really well the first semester of his 1L, decides he's definitely going to grade onto law review. He's confident enough that he turns in a terrible casenote and doesn't apply to any other journals. If you can see where this is going, you can see why you should use all your bids.


Didn't you just finish your 1L year at Duke? Sorry if I have you confused with someone else, but this post makes it sound like you are talking as law school faculty/admin/or a professor who sees this every year (or at least a 3L who has seen it a couple years in a row), rather than someone who just finished 1L (which would make the post warning against what amounts to arrogance somewhat ironic IMO)...


Since when do anecdotes have to be strictly first hand?

Anonymous User
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 28, 2011 10:30 am

Take this for what it's worth from a 3L who was almost in your position two years ago (similar grades, lesser ranked school) and turned down offers and withdrew post-callback from a few firms on OP's list to go to a separate V10 due to a better fit:

The OP is in a unique opportunity to choose whatever firm would be the best fit for them and they should make the most of it, in no way am I suggesting any of the firms on the above list are bad or not superior to most other firms. My only concern is that this list is entirely prestige driven and makes no logical sense. OP, you must have some kind of goal for what you want to do right? Well Susman and Cleary couldn't possible be more different, the same goes for S&C and W&C. What is your goal here? For example, if you are interested in bankruptcy and/or private equity work then you're list makes absolutely no sense. Likewise for many other practice areas. Honestly, if I was interviewing you and you said those were the firms you were looking at you'd be an autoding because it sounds like, while you are clearly smart and driven, you're just looking to get more prestige and aren't interested in the work itself - and yes, that is a huge reason why some people with your grades might accidentally strike out bidding like this. Obviously I don't know you so I'm not saying that is true, but that is what your list screams. Ignore my advice, doesn't matter to me, but you'd be wise to take some time this summer and really think about what you want to do and then bid on firms accordingly. You might be pleasantly surprised by a firm you never even considered or you will just end up reinforcing your decision to focus on the above eight firms, either way, it can't hurt to have an open mind throughout the process.

Before 0L's and 1's jump in and freak out about 'exit options' you should realize law firms and exit options aren't at all like law schools. They don't hire you based solely on your grades (like law schools do with gpa/lsat) and your exit options are largely a function of the experience you manage to get and the clients you end up working with - nobody is going to hire you solely because you worked at a prestigious firm and, in fact, if you leave law firm life then be aware most clients aren't as sensitive to law firm prestige as you would think and if you want to go business side you can forget it - your exit options will have more to do with your skills and how you present yourself than the firm you worked at. So if you're doing lit at W&C your exit options couldn't possibly be more different than if you were doing M&A at Wachtell. I'm not saying exit options don't matter or that your exit options at either firm would be bad, but your exit options will be drastically different depending on the firm you choose even if you get into all of your above 8 choices.

liLtuneChi
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby liLtuneChi » Sat May 28, 2011 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Take this for what it's worth from a 3L who was almost in your position two years ago (similar grades, lesser ranked school) and turned down offers and withdrew post-callback from a few firms on OP's list to go to a separate V10 due to a better fit:

The OP is in a unique opportunity to choose whatever firm would be the best fit for them and they should make the most of it, in no way am I suggesting any of the firms on the above list are bad or not superior to most other firms. My only concern is that this list is entirely prestige driven and makes no logical sense. OP, you must have some kind of goal for what you want to do right? Well Susman and Cleary couldn't possible be more different, the same goes for S&C and W&C. What is your goal here? For example, if you are interested in bankruptcy and/or private equity work then you're list makes absolutely no sense. Likewise for many other practice areas. Honestly, if I was interviewing you and you said those were the firms you were looking at you'd be an autoding because it sounds like, while you are clearly smart and driven, you're just looking to get more prestige and aren't interested in the work itself - and yes, that is a huge reason why some people with your grades might accidentally strike out bidding like this. Obviously I don't know you so I'm not saying that is true, but that is what your list screams. Ignore my advice, doesn't matter to me, but you'd be wise to take some time this summer and really think about what you want to do and then bid on firms accordingly. You might be pleasantly surprised by a firm you never even considered or you will just end up reinforcing your decision to focus on the above eight firms, either way, it can't hurt to have an open mind throughout the process.

Before 0L's and 1's jump in and freak out about 'exit options' you should realize law firms and exit options aren't at all like law schools. They don't hire you based solely on your grades (like law schools do with gpa/lsat) and your exit options are largely a function of the experience you manage to get and the clients you end up working with - nobody is going to hire you solely because you worked at a prestigious firm and, in fact, if you leave law firm life then be aware most clients aren't as sensitive to law firm prestige as you would think and if you want to go business side you can forget it - your exit options will have more to do with your skills and how you present yourself than the firm you worked at. So if you're doing lit at W&C your exit options couldn't possibly be more different than if you were doing M&A at Wachtell. I'm not saying exit options don't matter or that your exit options at either firm would be bad, but your exit options will be drastically different depending on the firm you choose even if you get into all of your above 8 choices.


I understand what your saying there but this is only my preliminary list. I don't know whether I want to do litigation or transactional work yet. I'm gonna use this summer as a trial run on which practice I prefer. Right now like most 1L's I'm leaning toward litigation cause I actually have an idea of what they do. I have no idea what transactional lawyers do so I want to see if thats what I want to do long term. If not, then firms like Wachtell won't be so high on my list.

I have these 8 firms in mind right now because I've either heard or read good things about them and I know that they are the best in some of the practice groups I might want to practice in. For example, if I just love doing M&A work over the summer, then Wachtell and Cravath would definitely lead my list. If I instead want to do litigation then of course I would look at W&C and Susman. I'm also interested in Davis Polk and Cleary because I have some friends in biglaw and they said those are 2 of the best firms to work at not only in terms of top of the line work but also when it comes to work-life balance.

However I am not gonna lie. I am also highly motivated to not only go to the firm that is the best fit for my interests but is also the most prestigious. However I'm not gonna accept Wachtell over W&C if litigation is my thing just because they are more prestigious overall or pay more.

Indubitably
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Indubitably » Sat May 28, 2011 11:50 am

quakeroats wrote:Every year we have a student whom, after doing really well the first semester of his 1L, decides he's definitely going to grade onto law review.

Image

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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby quakeroats » Sat May 28, 2011 12:03 pm

Indubitably wrote:
quakeroats wrote:Every year we have a student whom, after doing really well the first semester of his 1L, decides he's definitely going to grade onto law review.

Image


In my defense, it was 2:30. :) "The best rule for dealing with who vs. whom is this: Whenever whom is required, recast the sentence. This keeps a huge section of the hard disk of your mind available for baseball averages." -Safire

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Cavalier
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Cavalier » Sat May 28, 2011 12:13 pm

You'd be taking a huge risk by doing that. W&C will only offer a small handful of people within the top 10% of the class, so your odds of getting it are very slim. I suspect Wachtell and Susman are similar. For Cravath and Sullcrom, you'll be competing against everyone else in top of the class, many of whom will not get offers at either of those firms. DPW calls back many more people than it offers because it's more concerned with fit than most firms. I could go on...

Unless you're a mediocre interviewer you'll probably get hired at one of those eight firms. But there's no point in taking even a 10% chance of getting zero offers when you don't have to. Do at least 20 interviews, and schedule any callbacks you receive from those eight firms as early as you can (especially Sullcrom, since they like to give offers on the spot). Once you have an offer, then you can start declining interviews.

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traehekat
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby traehekat » Sat May 28, 2011 12:23 pm

No reason to take a risk like that just because you "really don't want to do many interviews," IMO.

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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 28, 2011 12:24 pm

As someone who did 20+ interviews during OCI (although at H, not CLS), I am going to disagree a little bit with the advice given above. I don't care how many firms you bid on—do whatever makes sense. But I think that 8 firms is a totally reasonable number to end up interviewing with so long as you have safety firms. If I could do it all over again, I probably would have done that instead.

I had the interview with my second-choice firm on a day when I had already done six interviews. I was completely exhausted, sucked at the interview, and didn't get a callback. In contrast, my first-choice firm (nominally more prestigious but basically equivalent) was the first interview of the day. I was refreshed, energetic, and got the offer. Obviously this is anecdotal, but the point is that you may very well burn out if you try to do too much.

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rayiner
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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby rayiner » Sat May 28, 2011 12:43 pm

Just to put a finer point on it: you know those XO anecdotes where people are like "the economy sucks, I know top 10% at CLS striking out!"

Well this is how that happens.

I think you'll definitely get one of those firms, but as RVP pointed out above Cravath, Cleary, and SullCrom are really the only sure bets. DPW is a good bet too as long as you've got the EQ to figure out how to nail the callback (they've got a 30% callback/offer rate).

As for the other four firms, you need to have a good perspective of where you stand with them. Your grades are excellent, but Susman, W&C, Wachtell, and Munger hire people who are exceptional. Susman and W&C like the elite litigation boutiques, like to hire people who have a legit shot at SCOTUS/selective COA. They also want people who leave and breathe litigation, not folks who are on the fence. Wachtell hires folks in your range, but remember there are 150 people at H/C/N alone in the top 10%, and there are 15-20 spots at Wachtell. People with grades better than you at H will get dinged from there. I don't know too much about Munger, but same deal, and I'd imagine they don't recruit heavily from CLS.

Ultimately... you're going to be a lawyer. Start thinking like one. Why expose yourself to more risk than you have to?

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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby Moxie » Sat May 28, 2011 1:06 pm

liLtuneChi wrote:Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?


Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yessss.

Odds are that you'd land one of those 8 firms, but why risk it when you're competing with the top 10% of HYS and CCN (which includes hundreds of students)?

If you have a bad interview with a firm or two, your chance of getting a firm offer would decline significantly (like RVP said, "you're basically giving yourself THREE solid bet callbacks, and that's assuming you interview well. And you could easily go 0 for 3 on offers.")

Don't be an idiot, suck it up and maximize your chances. You might even find out you like another firm more than the 8 you picked, or just use other interviews to practice presenting yourself in an interview.

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Re: Would I be stupid to bid on only 8 firms during OCI?

Postby RVP11 » Sat May 28, 2011 1:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As someone who did 20+ interviews during OCI (although at H, not CLS), I am going to disagree a little bit with the advice given above. I don't care how many firms you bid on—do whatever makes sense. But I think that 8 firms is a totally reasonable number to end up interviewing with so long as you have safety firms. If I could do it all over again, I probably would have done that instead.

I had the interview with my second-choice firm on a day when I had already done six interviews. I was completely exhausted, sucked at the interview, and didn't get a callback. In contrast, my first-choice firm (nominally more prestigious but basically equivalent) was the first interview of the day. I was refreshed, energetic, and got the offer. Obviously this is anecdotal, but the point is that you may very well burn out if you try to do too much.


I'm sorry, but if 20 minute sessions of chit chat with (generally friendly) lawyers exhausts someone so much that they have to significantly cut down their number of OCI interviews, then they were probably never going to make it very far in BigLaw anyway.

Chances are if you only have 8 or so OCIs you might put too much pressure on yourself for each one and that could be much worse than being a little worn out from interviewing all day every day.

Also, there is no such thing as a safety firm if you don't interview well. If OP is a great interviewer then he will easily get a few offers (Cravath, Cleary, and SullCrom all have big classes and are not super selective within the group of people with OP's credentials). If OP is a crappy interviewer then he will strike out completely.




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