Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

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Anonymous User
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Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 29, 2011 10:11 am

I'm at a lower T14. We received a list of the firms that will be participating, as well as a list of the median GPA of students they've hired in the past. I understand that, generally, people bid on firms that match up with their GPAs. Wouldn't it be a safer option, though, to bid entirely on firms with median GPAs below mine? Why don't people do this? I have zero interest in "prestige" or how high a firm's vault ranking is.

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Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 29, 2011 10:32 am

Firms that hire people with higher GPAs tend to be better firms. Better firms tend to have better summer associate offer rates, perks, bonuses, salaries, job security (with some blazing obvious exceptions to the rule), and outcome options for exiting associates. There are reasons beyond prestige to take a better firm if you can get it.

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Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 29, 2011 10:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:Firms that hire people with higher GPAs tend to be better firms. Better firms tend to have better summer associate offer rates, perks, bonuses, salaries, job security (with some blazing obvious exceptions to the rule), and outcome options for exiting associates. There are reasons beyond prestige to take a better firm if you can get it.


But will firms with lower median GPAs ding someone with a higher GPA because they think they're using them as a "safety" option? Is there a risk to bidding this way?

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Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 29, 2011 10:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Firms that hire people with higher GPAs tend to be better firms. Better firms tend to have better summer associate offer rates, perks, bonuses, salaries, job security (with some blazing obvious exceptions to the rule), and outcome options for exiting associates. There are reasons beyond prestige to take a better firm if you can get it.


But will firms with lower median GPAs ding someone with a higher GPA because they think they're using them as a "safety" option? Is there a risk to bidding this way?


Not in my experience. The silly bastards will run to you like a cat to a can opener. Everything really is that prestige driven. (I interviewed at firms with very low GPA histories / no OCI history at my T14 because I was interested in landing a job at one of two specific cities, neither of which were NY/LA/etc.)

Firms aren't law schools. I don't think they view themselves as "low GPA" or "safety" firms.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun May 29, 2011 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Renzo
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Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Renzo » Sun May 29, 2011 10:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:Firms that hire people with higher GPAs tend to be better firms. Better firms tend to have better summer associate offer rates, perks, bonuses, salaries, job security (with some blazing obvious exceptions to the rule), and outcome options for exiting associates. There are reasons beyond prestige to take a better firm if you can get it.


Every last word of this is wrong.

OP: Firms mostly use GPA as a screening device, so that as long as you are above their cutoff (which varies between firms and schools, and is why your OCS gave you the data) it becomes less important, and only one of many criteria upon which you will be evaluated.

Rather than focusing just on the GPA data alone, use it to figure out if there are firms that are out of your reach, and don't waste bids on those. Then, look at the remaining firms and decide which you want to prioritize, based on location, practice area strength, firm reputation, etc.. If you don't have strong preferences, and you're just looking for any job, then firms with big classes should be a priority.

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Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 29, 2011 10:45 am

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Firms that hire people with higher GPAs tend to be better firms. Better firms tend to have better summer associate offer rates, perks, bonuses, salaries, job security (with some blazing obvious exceptions to the rule), and outcome options for exiting associates. There are reasons beyond prestige to take a better firm if you can get it.


Every last word of this is wrong.


Explain. You're saying that firms with higher GPA cutoffs tend not to have any material advantages, for summers and associates, than firms with low GPA cutoffs.

LurkerNoMore
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Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby LurkerNoMore » Sun May 29, 2011 11:11 am

One thing to watch out for is that these firms may be over-subscribed during OCI. The lower the GPA cut-off, the more people in your class that will view themselves as a good fit for it (either people right on target, people like you who are looking for safeties, or people looking for reaches).

I wouldn't put all of your eggs into this basket. Give yourself a healthy mix of firms and bid on them on the basis of how popular you think they will be.

Renzo
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Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Renzo » Sun May 29, 2011 11:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Firms that hire people with higher GPAs tend to be better firms. Better firms tend to have better summer associate offer rates, perks, bonuses, salaries, job security (with some blazing obvious exceptions to the rule), and outcome options for exiting associates. There are reasons beyond prestige to take a better firm if you can get it.


Every last word of this is wrong.


Explain. You're saying that firms with higher GPA cutoffs tend not to have any material advantages, for summers and associates, than firms with low GPA cutoffs.


Yep. First, you are defining "better" firms as those firms that are most sensitive to GPA. That's flat absurd--more absurd by far than defining "better" as "higher up the Vault rankings."

Second, none of those "rules" you cite exist. GPA sensitivity does not correlate to offer rates, job security, perks, bonuses, base pay, or exit options. All the real players in NYC, and most of the non-NYC V25 pay lockstep base salary and bonuses. There are maybe three firms that pay above-market (I can only think of 2 right now). Lots of GPA-sensitive firms are highly leveraged, and more than a few had terrible offer rates (until last year, when things got a bit more stable).

For example, Patterson Belknap is particularly GPA sensitive, and is far more likely to take someone from a lower-ranked school with outstanding grades than someone with just OK grades at a very top school. Davis Polk is the opposite--more likely to reach deep in the class at CLS/NYU than to reach down in the rankings for a top student. Why, exactly, is Patterson Belknap better in your world?

Anonymous User
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Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 29, 2011 11:47 am

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Firms that hire people with higher GPAs tend to be better firms. Better firms tend to have better summer associate offer rates, perks, bonuses, salaries, job security (with some blazing obvious exceptions to the rule), and outcome options for exiting associates. There are reasons beyond prestige to take a better firm if you can get it.


Every last word of this is wrong.


Explain. You're saying that firms with higher GPA cutoffs tend not to have any material advantages, for summers and associates, than firms with low GPA cutoffs.


Yep. First, you are defining "better" firms as those firms that are most sensitive to GPA. That's flat absurd--more absurd by far than defining "better" as "higher up the Vault rankings."

Second, none of those "rules" you cite exist. GPA sensitivity does not correlate to offer rates, job security, perks, bonuses, base pay, or exit options. All the real players in NYC, and most of the non-NYC V25 pay lockstep base salary and bonuses. There are maybe three firms that pay above-market (I can only think of 2 right now). Lots of GPA-sensitive firms are highly leveraged, and more than a few had terrible offer rates (until last year, when things got a bit more stable).

For example, Patterson Belknap is particularly GPA sensitive, and is far more likely to take someone from a lower-ranked school with outstanding grades than someone with just OK grades at a very top school. Davis Polk is the opposite--more likely to reach deep in the class at CLS/NYU than to reach down in the rankings for a top student. Why, exactly, is Patterson Belknap better in your world?


OP here. Thank you for all the replies, and thanks for the very helpful insight Renzo. I want a specific large market, and have a few practice areas I'm especially interested in, but for personal reasons, my criteria outside of that comes down to likelihood of an offer + market salary (most firms at OCI pay market) + reasonable billable hour requirement. I don't want to make partner, I don't want to be there for the long haul. I want to pay off my debt as quickly and painlessly as possible, and my exit strategy is hanging a shingle. That's why I really don't care about exit options, partnership prospects, or prestige.

Renzo
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Stupid OCI bidding strategy question

Postby Renzo » Sun May 29, 2011 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
OP here. Thank you for all the replies, and thanks for the very helpful insight Renzo. I want a specific large market, but for personal reasons, my criteria outside of that comes down to likelihood of an offer + market salary (most firms at OCI pay market) + reasonable billable hour requirement. I don't want to make partner, I don't want to be there for the long haul. I want to pay off my debt as quickly and painlessly as possible.


Given that, I would focus on firms that have large classes (easier to get a job in the first case), and firms that will help you exit into the area that you want to land in after you leave biglaw. So, if you want to be district attorney, prioritize firms that do litigation; while if you want to do government work, focus on firms with regulatory practices, etc.




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