Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

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lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:44 pm

beach_terror wrote:Does an upward in trend grades help at all in the initial interviewing process? Would it be a good talking point/something to highlight if possible?


Sure. It is always good to show a positive trend in grades. This makes for a good story to tell in the interview, especially if you start getting those behavioral questions we all so love asking now. . .

lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:47 pm

romothesavior wrote:This is the most helpful thread I have seen in a long time, and it is really firing me up for OCI. If you're from the Midwest, I hope to see you at OCI this fall. :lol:

If you are located in an insular market (and I imagine you are, since most mid-sized cities are to some degree), what are some ways besides the obvious answers (spouse, family, etc.) to sell your commitment to an area? For example, I'm in a highly insular market and I often get skeptical looks when I say I came to my school to stay in this market. I'm only from a few hours away, but people still assume I want another city. How do I sell my commitment to being here in he long term?



Hmm. Showing commitment to a market is always difficult but necessary. Are you only bidding for firms in your city/market? If so, that is a great way to prove dedication. Other than that and family ties, etc., have you gotten involved in any civic activities or affiliations? Just try to show that you are developing ties to the city outside the school environment.

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romothesavior
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:59 pm

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:Hmm. Showing commitment to a market is always difficult but necessary. Are you only bidding for firms in your city/market? If so, that is a great way to prove dedication. Other than that and family ties, etc., have you gotten involved in any civic activities or affiliations? Just try to show that you are developing ties to the city outside the school environment.

I'm not only bidding in my city/market, because it is so small that doing so with my grades would be very risky (they're solid, but not a lock for biglaw). I've been networking my ass off (coffee with partners at firms once a week and happy hours, etc.) and I'm involved in the local bar association. I'm hoping that this will be enough, and I'm hoping that I can sell them on the fact that I chose this school over objectively better schools/offers in order to wind up in this market. It just worries me how finicky this market is about ties.

Thanks so much for doing this. Very nice to hear things from your perspective, and I hope you'll continue to contribute.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:04 pm

romothesavior wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:Hmm. Showing commitment to a market is always difficult but necessary. Are you only bidding for firms in your city/market? If so, that is a great way to prove dedication. Other than that and family ties, etc., have you gotten involved in any civic activities or affiliations? Just try to show that you are developing ties to the city outside the school environment.

I'm not only bidding in my city/market, because it is so small that doing so with my grades would be very risky (they're solid, but not a lock for biglaw). I've been networking my ass off (coffee with partners at firms once a week and happy hours, etc.) and I'm involved in the local bar association. I'm hoping that this will be enough, and I'm hoping that I can sell them on the fact that I chose this school over objectively better schools/offers in order to wind up in this market. It just worries me how finicky this market is about ties.

Thanks so much for doing this. Very nice to hear things from your perspective, and I hope you'll continue to contribute.


Sounds like you have covered all of your bases. If a firm doesn't believe you, that is their problem. Good luck! It sounds like you are very prepared and will do well.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:14 pm

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
beach_terror wrote:Does an upward in trend grades help at all in the initial interviewing process? Would it be a good talking point/something to highlight if possible?


Sure. It is always good to show a positive trend in grades. This makes for a good story to tell in the interview, especially if you start getting those behavioral questions we all so love asking now. . .


In a similar vein, I finished 1L year a bit below median (I'd estimate about 40th percentile) on account of two C+'s in the spring. I did much better as a 2L; I was top 5% for the year. Now I'm top 35% overall. I have three questions:

(1) Earlier you suggested that journals weren't a huge boost, but could make the difference between to otherwise-similarly situated applicants. Is the converse of this also true: lack of a journal isn't an auto-ding, but I could lose out to somebody with similar credentials and journal membership? (With my poor 1L grades, I didn't make any journal).

(2) I'll soon be embarking on the 3L job hunt. When I reach out to firms, how do I highlight my great 2L grades without sounding pompous? Or do I trust they will noticed from my transcript and Dean's List notation on my resume?

(3) Is the issue of how I went from getting C+'s to A's likely to arise in an interview? If so, how should I handle it? The truth is that my spouse and I were having money problems, which gave me a lot of stress. But that doesn't sound like it would play well in an interview.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:07 pm

Before law school I took a year off working 6 months each for a Boutique Real Estate Litigation Firm and a Transactional Consumer Law Practice. I am concerned recruiters may ask me to explain my brief stay at each position. I wanted to get a taste of both litigation and transactional practices, but my decision to leave the first firm was made easier by the prospect of freeing myself from an unreasonable boss. How would you advise I answer/deflect a question about this pre-LS employment? As a recruiter, would this even be noteworthy to you?

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Kronk
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Kronk » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:12 pm

Would it concern you if a law student had interests that were policy-based, government-based, or PI-based? i.e. if most of your extracurriculars were PI-focused rather than business-focused, how do you approach that?

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for taking the time to answer questions.

1) How much does Law Review or a secondary journal make up for being outside the preferred percentile, if any? For instance, if someone was in the top half of the class and on Law Review, would that perhaps get them past the "top 33%" preference? Or does it simply not matter that much?

2) If you are open to working in different parts of the country but have no ties to those parts, what is the best way to get that across in interviews? If you're willing and wanting to work in the firm's office in XYZ, Random State, but have no real reason to want to be there other than you would like a change of scenery.

3) Building off the last question, what's the best way to make an impression if you are mass mailing and have no personal ties to the area? Is there something that would make a candidate stand out and be considered? Or do you need some sort of connection to the area to be successful?


1. Could make a little bit of difference
2. Know about my city and my firm and give concrete reasons why you like it here and want to build a practice here
3. You don't have to have a direct connection but you should be able to explain why you really want to be in X city



Following up on this, what in a cover letter, specifically, would make you take notice of someone who doesn't have ties to an area? Is there any particular "trigger" that pulls that application out of the many and gets a closer look? Or is it simply being able to say "I would like to move here because...X, Y, & Z."



Shameless question bump.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:45 pm

If I applied for a lateral position, 3-5 year associate position, at your firm (assuming one is open), would I be competitive with the following stats?

- Lower T50 law school
- Graduated between median and 1/3rd but still graduated with honors
- Secondary journal
- 3rd year associate at a 50+ attorney plaintiff's firm (but left the firm to pursue a judicial clerkship because I wasn't getting any real legal experience)
- 2 year clerkship with a federal magistrate judge
- Published several times

Also, assuming a lateral applicant was in a practice area your firm (a) does not specialize in or (b) is not hiring for that group at the moment, would you still consider him/her (i.e. someone at a plaintiff's firm trying to get a job at a defense firm)?

MrAnon
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby MrAnon » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:08 pm

Has your firm acknowledged sputtering economic indicators that point to a decline in revenue for Q1 and Q2 and point to further declines in Q3 and Q4. How will latest economic slowdown affect hiring at your firm?

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby NarwhalPunter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:45 pm

MrAnon wrote:Has your firm acknowledged sputtering economic indicators that point to a decline in revenue for Q1 and Q2 and point to further declines in Q3 and Q4. How will latest economic slowdown affect hiring at your firm?


Oh my god. Really?

The economy may slow down or it may not. The forward indicators looked significantly more grim than this last July, but if you'd bet the house on a slump then you'd be sleeping on a park bench. Making conclusory, "sky is falling" statements based on a 7% percent decline in the stock market and disappointing employment numbers over a six week time span is an overreaction.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby MrAnon » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:47 pm

NarwhalPunter wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Has your firm acknowledged sputtering economic indicators that point to a decline in revenue for Q1 and Q2 and point to further declines in Q3 and Q4. How will latest economic slowdown affect hiring at your firm?


Oh my god. Really?

The economy may slow down or it may not. The forward indicators looked significantly more grim than this last July, but if you'd bet the house on a slump then you'd be sleeping on a park bench. Making conclusory, "sky is falling" statements based on a 7% percent decline in the stock market and disappointing employment numbers over a six week time span is an overreaction.


The economy already is slowing down, and already has been slow for years. I was just wondering how his/her firm plans to respond to it this fall. Investment banks have already begun a round of layoffs and I just wondered what the timetable is for firms to follow suit. Sorry if my post focused on negative economic news but if you can find some positive economic news that would be a nice contribution as well.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby NarwhalPunter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:22 pm

MrAnon wrote:
NarwhalPunter wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Has your firm acknowledged sputtering economic indicators that point to a decline in revenue for Q1 and Q2 and point to further declines in Q3 and Q4. How will latest economic slowdown affect hiring at your firm?


Oh my god. Really?

The economy may slow down or it may not. The forward indicators looked significantly more grim than this last July, but if you'd bet the house on a slump then you'd be sleeping on a park bench. Making conclusory, "sky is falling" statements based on a 7% percent decline in the stock market and disappointing employment numbers over a six week time span is an overreaction.


The economy already is slowing down, and already has been slow for years. I was just wondering how his/her firm plans to respond to it this fall. Investment banks have already begun a round of layoffs and I just wondered what the timetable is for firms to follow suit. Sorry if my post focused on negative economic news but if you can find some positive economic news that would be a nice contribution as well.


Lulz, where to start. Firstly, the majority of the layoffs in the financial sector are either directly or derivatively related to Dodd-Frank. This was planned 6+ months ago and has little to do with the recent downturn in the numbers (most economists actually expect merger activity to accelerate).

Secondly, do you honestly anticipate firm layoffs? That would take one helluva downturn considering how much they pruned their workforce in 2009-2010 and how frugally they've hired since. I would say that a lot of firms are in pretty terrific shape to handle a slowdown in growth, if and when it happens.

Some positive economic news? Try continued loose monetary policy, plateaued energy prices, the recent bounceback in manufacturing production, better retail sales numbers, et al. There are plenty of data points to support arguments on either side and acting otherwise betrays ignorance.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby MrAnon » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:30 pm

NarwhalPunter wrote:
MrAnon wrote:
NarwhalPunter wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Has your firm acknowledged sputtering economic indicators that point to a decline in revenue for Q1 and Q2 and point to further declines in Q3 and Q4. How will latest economic slowdown affect hiring at your firm?


Oh my god. Really?

The economy may slow down or it may not. The forward indicators looked significantly more grim than this last July, but if you'd bet the house on a slump then you'd be sleeping on a park bench. Making conclusory, "sky is falling" statements based on a 7% percent decline in the stock market and disappointing employment numbers over a six week time span is an overreaction.


The economy already is slowing down, and already has been slow for years. I was just wondering how his/her firm plans to respond to it this fall. Investment banks have already begun a round of layoffs and I just wondered what the timetable is for firms to follow suit. Sorry if my post focused on negative economic news but if you can find some positive economic news that would be a nice contribution as well.


Lulz, where to start. Firstly, the majority of the layoffs in the financial sector are either directly or derivatively related to Dodd-Frank. This was planned 6+ months ago and has little to do with the recent downturn in the numbers (most economists actually expect merger activity to accelerate).

Secondly, do you honestly anticipate firm layoffs? That would take one helluva downturn considering how much they pruned their workforce in 2009-2010 and how frugally they've hired since. I would say that a lot of firms are in pretty terrific shape to handle a slowdown in growth, if and when it happens.

Some positive economic news? Try continued loose monetary policy, plateaued energy prices, the recent bounceback in manufacturing production, better retail sales numbers, et al. There are plenty of data points to support arguments on either side and acting otherwise betrays ignorance.


Thanks. Are you a law firm recruiter or a member of a hiring committee? Do you work at a law firm? Or is this a law student perspective?

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby beach_terror » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:33 pm

Hey assholes, don't fucking derail a helpful thread. Go touch each other somewhere else.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby NarwhalPunter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:37 pm

MrAnon wrote: Sorry if my post focused on negative economic news but if you can find some positive economic news that would be a nice contribution as well.



So, you didn't actually want positive economic news. I see.

Your question to the recruiter is beyond loaded.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby MrAnon » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:47 pm

I was accepting that those points were good economic news. You win. Get ready for booming times in the legal world. I didn't catch--do you do financial forecasts for law firms?

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby stratocophic » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:49 pm

NarwhalPunter wrote:
MrAnon wrote: Sorry if my post focused on negative economic news but if you can find some positive economic news that would be a nice contribution as well.



So, you didn't actually want positive economic news. I see.

Your question to the recruiter is beyond loaded.
It's what he does. It isn't always rational, like when he tried to say UMiami = or > Emory in another thread, but it's his schtick. Best to just ignore - if this is really a recruiter, s/he has no reason to answer the question any differently based on the way it's presented.

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:19 pm

When 3Ls apply for jobs, how significant are 1L grades? What if the student showed tremendous improvement in 2L and 3L?

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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
beach_terror wrote:Does an upward in trend grades help at all in the initial interviewing process? Would it be a good talking point/something to highlight if possible?


Sure. It is always good to show a positive trend in grades. This makes for a good story to tell in the interview, especially if you start getting those behavioral questions we all so love asking now. . .


In a similar vein, I finished 1L year a bit below median (I'd estimate about 40th percentile) on account of two C+'s in the spring. I did much better as a 2L; I was top 5% for the year. Now I'm top 35% overall. I have three questions:

(1) Earlier you suggested that journals weren't a huge boost, but could make the difference between to otherwise-similarly situated applicants. Is the converse of this also true: lack of a journal isn't an auto-ding, but I could lose out to somebody with similar credentials and journal membership? (With my poor 1L grades, I didn't make any journal).

(2) I'll soon be embarking on the 3L job hunt. When I reach out to firms, how do I highlight my great 2L grades without sounding pompous? Or do I trust they will noticed from my transcript and Dean's List notation on my resume?

(3) Is the issue of how I went from getting C+'s to A's likely to arise in an interview? If so, how should I handle it? The truth is that my spouse and I were having money problems, which gave me a lot of stress. But that doesn't sound like it would play well in an interview.


1. Not terrible to not have journal, but we would prefer it.
2. I have seen them listed separately and liked that. Shows there is a story to the overall GPA and shows improvement. I understand that it takes some students a little longer to hit their stride and that is fine as long as there is an upward movement.
3. Don't go into details too far. You had some personal issues you had to deal with. You did and started to improve. That is the real story you should focus on.

lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Before law school I took a year off working 6 months each for a Boutique Real Estate Litigation Firm and a Transactional Consumer Law Practice. I am concerned recruiters may ask me to explain my brief stay at each position. I wanted to get a taste of both litigation and transactional practices, but my decision to leave the first firm was made easier by the prospect of freeing myself from an unreasonable boss. How would you advise I answer/deflect a question about this pre-LS employment? As a recruiter, would this even be noteworthy to you?


Stick with the trying two different practices story and steer way clear of talking about hateful boss. Even though it is true, recruiters don't EVER want to hear a candidate badmouth a former employer.

lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:49 pm

Kronk wrote:Would it concern you if a law student had interests that were policy-based, government-based, or PI-based? i.e. if most of your extracurriculars were PI-focused rather than business-focused, how do you approach that?


Not really a problem. Especially if you explain your interest in a particular area and how it relates to your extras.

lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for taking the time to answer questions.

1) How much does Law Review or a secondary journal make up for being outside the preferred percentile, if any? For instance, if someone was in the top half of the class and on Law Review, would that perhaps get them past the "top 33%" preference? Or does it simply not matter that much?

2) If you are open to working in different parts of the country but have no ties to those parts, what is the best way to get that across in interviews? If you're willing and wanting to work in the firm's office in XYZ, Random State, but have no real reason to want to be there other than you would like a change of scenery.

3) Building off the last question, what's the best way to make an impression if you are mass mailing and have no personal ties to the area? Is there something that would make a candidate stand out and be considered? Or do you need some sort of connection to the area to be successful?


1. Could make a little bit of difference
2. Know about my city and my firm and give concrete reasons why you like it here and want to build a practice here
3. You don't have to have a direct connection but you should be able to explain why you really want to be in X city



Following up on this, what in a cover letter, specifically, would make you take notice of someone who doesn't have ties to an area? Is there any particular "trigger" that pulls that application out of the many and gets a closer look? Or is it simply being able to say "I would like to move here because...X, Y, & Z."



Shameless question bump.



Cover letters are always tricky and can actually cause more troubles for a candidate. Keep it short and concise. Tell me you want to be in X city and come to my firm because of 1-2 reasons. Surely there are two sentences you can come up with to cover that. Any longer and it sounds like you are justifying your application.

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nealric
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby nealric » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:54 pm

Investment banks have already begun a round of layoffs and I just wondered what the timetable is for firms to follow suit. Sorry if my post focused on negative economic news but if you can find some positive economic news that would be a nice contribution as well.


Slow down there champ. For firms to start laying people off, there would actually need to be a slowdown in business for firms. There has not been. Yes, I work in biglaw.

You have to understand that after Lehman people sat around in biglaw firms for 6 months straight doing literally nothing. I'm talking quite a few people showed up every weekday for a month and didn't bill a single hour.

lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I applied for a lateral position, 3-5 year associate position, at your firm (assuming one is open), would I be competitive with the following stats?

- Lower T50 law school
- Graduated between median and 1/3rd but still graduated with honors
- Secondary journal
- 3rd year associate at a 50+ attorney plaintiff's firm (but left the firm to pursue a judicial clerkship because I wasn't getting any real legal experience)
- 2 year clerkship with a federal magistrate judge
- Published several times

Also, assuming a lateral applicant was in a practice area your firm (a) does not specialize in or (b) is not hiring for that group at the moment, would you still consider him/her (i.e. someone at a plaintiff's firm trying to get a job at a defense firm)?


Unfortunately, no. All of my lateral positions seek specific qualifications in a specific area. Your biggest problem is (b) not your qualifications.

Also, don't sell yourself short on your experience. You should be fine. Just find firms that are looking for the skills you have developed.




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