Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
beach_terror
Posts: 7256
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby beach_terror » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:04 pm

Okay so most of the firms at our OCI are biglaw firms with huge litigation and business transaction departments. However, while that stuff mildly interests me, I really want to get into environmental law. Most of the firms have small departments (10-12 attorneys total) for that, would it be a good thing to bring up in the interview? I'm not sure how one goes about showing interest in a smaller niche practice within the firm - and whether that's even a good idea. Another obstacle with wanting this is that all of the people I make contact with in the interviews will be from the big 2 departments, so if I express interest in a different practice area they may not care or may not be able to give any input on that particular practice's needs.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:07 pm

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:Whoops. Sorry about that. I don't want to answer this in too much detail because I would prefer to stay anonymous. I went to law school but never wanted to practice and was recruited for this position. I love my job and feel very well compensated.

Can you answer the last bit of my question?


If one has an interest in firm recruitment, what's a good way to go about looking at those types of positions? Are they mostly looking for law students with HR backgrounds or something else? I personally find the whole OCI/recruitment thing fascinating.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:45 pm

beach_terror wrote:Okay so most of the firms at our OCI are biglaw firms with huge litigation and business transaction departments. However, while that stuff mildly interests me, I really want to get into environmental law. Most of the firms have small departments (10-12 attorneys total) for that, would it be a good thing to bring up in the interview? I'm not sure how one goes about showing interest in a smaller niche practice within the firm - and whether that's even a good idea. Another obstacle with wanting this is that all of the people I make contact with in the interviews will be from the big 2 departments, so if I express interest in a different practice area they may not care or may not be able to give any input on that particular practice's needs.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!


Different firms all organize subgroups differently. Sometimes the enviro group is a sub to the major "official" groups. Do some research about the firms you ar interviewing with to see what their internal organization is and how those client needs are being met. Start with the website and move on from there.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:Whoops. Sorry about that. I don't want to answer this in too much detail because I would prefer to stay anonymous. I went to law school but never wanted to practice and was recruited for this position. I love my job and feel very well compensated.

Can you answer the last bit of my question?


If one has an interest in firm recruitment, what's a good way to go about looking at those types of positions? Are they mostly looking for law students with HR backgrounds or something else? I personally find the whole OCI/recruitment thing fascinating.


You can check with the NALP job page. Those have most available positions for both firms and schools.

User avatar
daesonesb
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:18 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby daesonesb » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:53 pm

You said that undergrad majors aren't really important. Would engineering help?
Last edited by daesonesb on Sun May 06, 2012 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:40 pm

daesonesb wrote:You said that undergrad majors aren't really important. Would an economics or finance major help? What about taking a number of financial law classes?

Also, another person asked you about getting jobs at a firm location that is outside of your market. You recommended going to that area for an in person interview, or getting a phone interview. What is the best way to secure that interview in the first place? Should a candidate just email the firm with a resume and cover letter? Or, would it be best to call first and have a phone conversation with someone, so that they remember your name when you then send your resume?


Generally they are not that important except Econ, finance, etc. Those would be great because they will help in the long run when you are dealing with business clients.

I prefer a resume followed up by a direct call. Helps make a personal connection with the application.

User avatar
Heartford
Posts: 430
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:02 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Heartford » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:33 pm

What advice would you give to a student who doesn't really have any particular focus (i.e. litigation, ip, tax, etc.), but would be excited to work on pretty much anything? Should such a student pretend to be focused? Develop a focus? I ask because it seems like we're supposed to be picking a specific field to pursue, but I don't see that much difference between them. For instance, researching/addressing an issue relating to real estate feels basically the same as an issue relating to tort law. Is it ok to lack focus?

User avatar
beach_terror
Posts: 7256
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby beach_terror » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:34 pm

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
beach_terror wrote:Okay so most of the firms at our OCI are biglaw firms with huge litigation and business transaction departments. However, while that stuff mildly interests me, I really want to get into environmental law. Most of the firms have small departments (10-12 attorneys total) for that, would it be a good thing to bring up in the interview? I'm not sure how one goes about showing interest in a smaller niche practice within the firm - and whether that's even a good idea. Another obstacle with wanting this is that all of the people I make contact with in the interviews will be from the big 2 departments, so if I express interest in a different practice area they may not care or may not be able to give any input on that particular practice's needs.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!


Different firms all organize subgroups differently. Sometimes the enviro group is a sub to the major "official" groups. Do some research about the firms you ar interviewing with to see what their internal organization is and how those client needs are being met. Start with the website and move on from there.

Just to follow up, would the outcome of the above situation change whether I should raise the interest in the subgroup during the interview?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:48 pm

When does your firm make practice group assignments? Upon giving the offer, a few months later, right before starting, or fluid even after you've begun working? How much of a role do practice group preferences play at your firm in issuing offers?

I'm interested in a smaller practice group and I'm trying to figure out if my firm is an outlier in the way it does things. I'm feeling jerked around but don't know if I should feel that way.

Appreciate it!

User avatar
camstant
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:59 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby camstant » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:51 am

Any thoughts on whether one should include or exclude on a resume leadership positions in a social fraternity in undergrad? In other words, am I risking a possible negative perception of some "frat" stereotype?

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:13 am

Heartford wrote:What advice would you give to a student who doesn't really have any particular focus (i.e. litigation, ip, tax, etc.), but would be excited to work on pretty much anything? Should such a student pretend to be focused? Develop a focus? I ask because it seems like we're supposed to be picking a specific field to pursue, but I don't see that much difference between them. For instance, researching/addressing an issue relating to real estate feels basically the same as an issue relating to tort law. Is it ok to lack focus?


This is a great example of the disconnect going on in the whole hiring process. Assuming you are working at a big law firm, you need to realize that our businesses are built around specialists and more and more often we are hiring that way. Firms need to be able to "slot" you into a particular area to fill a specific client need. When you do not specify what you prefer, it makes it difficult for the firm when it is time to fill the class. At the very least, you should be able to start deciding if you really feel like you are a litigator or a transactional person.

You should certainly not pretend to be focused but you do need to take ownership of the type of career path you want. It is very difficult to change gears once you are on a certain practice path.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:When does your firm make practice group assignments? Upon giving the offer, a few months later, right before starting, or fluid even after you've begun working? How much of a role do practice group preferences play at your firm in issuing offers?

I'm interested in a smaller practice group and I'm trying to figure out if my firm is an outlier in the way it does things. I'm feeling jerked around but don't know if I should feel that way.

Appreciate it!


We have changed the way we recruit students all together and now require the students to apply for specific practice areas upon application to our 3L apprentice program.

That said, when we had a more traditional program, I asked students to rank their top 3 preferences going into summer and then again at the end of the program. I used that information to work with the practice leaders to slot students into the appropriate groups.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:18 am

camstant wrote:Any thoughts on whether one should include or exclude on a resume leadership positions in a social fraternity in undergrad? In other words, am I risking a possible negative perception of some "frat" stereotype?


I don't think it would be viewed negatively, just downplay any overly social leadership responsibilities. Example - president of fraternity looks better and sounds better than social chair. Make sense?

User avatar
quakeroats
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby quakeroats » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:38 am

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
Heartford wrote:What advice would you give to a student who doesn't really have any particular focus (i.e. litigation, ip, tax, etc.), but would be excited to work on pretty much anything? Should such a student pretend to be focused? Develop a focus? I ask because it seems like we're supposed to be picking a specific field to pursue, but I don't see that much difference between them. For instance, researching/addressing an issue relating to real estate feels basically the same as an issue relating to tort law. Is it ok to lack focus?


This is a great example of the disconnect going on in the whole hiring process. Assuming you are working at a big law firm, you need to realize that our businesses are built around specialists and more and more often we are hiring that way. Firms need to be able to "slot" you into a particular area to fill a specific client need. When you do not specify what you prefer, it makes it difficult for the firm when it is time to fill the class. At the very least, you should be able to start deciding if you really feel like you are a litigator or a transactional person.

You should certainly not pretend to be focused but you do need to take ownership of the type of career path you want. It is very difficult to change gears once you are on a certain practice path.


How many students have you interviewed (and hired) that can make a serious case for the kind of law they want to practice? It's my experience that most students at my school don't know what they want to do. A majority can make the case for litigation or transactional practices at a general level--most of these students choose litigation by default for whatever reason. A fraction of us can go further and describe in reasonable depth what we'd like to do, but only a handful of students I've talked with have a fully formed idea of what they want, e.g., I'd like to work on SEC enforcement defense and shareholder litigation.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:50 am

quakeroats wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
Heartford wrote:What advice would you give to a student who doesn't really have any particular focus (i.e. litigation, ip, tax, etc.), but would be excited to work on pretty much anything? Should such a student pretend to be focused? Develop a focus? I ask because it seems like we're supposed to be picking a specific field to pursue, but I don't see that much difference between them. For instance, researching/addressing an issue relating to real estate feels basically the same as an issue relating to tort law. Is it ok to lack focus?


This is a great example of the disconnect going on in the whole hiring process. Assuming you are working at a big law firm, you need to realize that our businesses are built around specialists and more and more often we are hiring that way. Firms need to be able to "slot" you into a particular area to fill a specific client need. When you do not specify what you prefer, it makes it difficult for the firm when it is time to fill the class. At the very least, you should be able to start deciding if you really feel like you are a litigator or a transactional person.

You should certainly not pretend to be focused but you do need to take ownership of the type of career path you want. It is very difficult to change gears once you are on a certain practice path.


How many students have you interviewed (and hired) that can make a serious case for the kind of law they want to practice? It's my experience that most students at my school don't know what they want to do. A majority can make the case for litigation or transactional practices at a general level--most of these students choose litigation by default for whatever reason. A fraction of us can go further and describe in reasonable depth what we'd like to do, but only a handful of students I've talked with have a fully formed idea of what they want, e.g., I'd like to work on SEC enforcement defense and shareholder litigation.


We understand that students may not know which niche practice area within those broad categories they prefer (most of the time). However, the majority of students we interview and hire can at least choose between litigation and transactions - especially since we focus on 3Ls.

(Pardon my soapbox moment - yet another problem with starting the hiring process so early and interviewing students after only 1 year of law school is that you have no idea what kind of lawyer you want to be and have only taken the basic core classes. Not at all in line with our business and our client needs. Okay, I'm done for now.)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:17 am

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:A low credit score by itself would not prevent you from getting a position with our firm. If/when I see credit issues, I talk to the candidate to hear what caused it. There is most likely a reason behind it and as long as the candidate is truthful and has a plan in place, everything is fine.


Do you credit check your summer hires? or only after offers have been made.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:A low credit score by itself would not prevent you from getting a position with our firm. If/when I see credit issues, I talk to the candidate to hear what caused it. There is most likely a reason behind it and as long as the candidate is truthful and has a plan in place, everything is fine.


Do you credit check your summer hires? or only after offers have been made.


We run background/credit checks prior to offers. Occasionally we will go ahead and make the offer but it will be contingent on a clean background check.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:12 pm

A student is able to get an SA as a 1L, but doesn't get an offer to come back the next summer. How unfavorably will other firms look at this during 2L OCI? Some friends say it is insignificant, others say it will be the death knell of my OCI if it comes up.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A student is able to get an SA as a 1L, but doesn't get an offer to come back the next summer. How unfavorably will other firms look at this during 2L OCI? Some friends say it is insignificant, others say it will be the death knell of my OCI if it comes up.


Personally, I would not view it as a death knell but you should expect the "what happened" question. Just answer that you did summer there and move directly into what wonderful experience you gained, etc. It will re-direct the question and put the positive spin on the fact that you did have a rare and coveted 1L SA job.

User avatar
NYC Law
Posts: 1569
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 3:33 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:44 pm

If a firm has a section on their website to apply, does it make a difference whether you apply through the site or if you just email the recruiter directly? Some sites have what looks like a form that emails the recruiter anyway, and this form message with a standard subject line seems like it'd make your materials even less likely to stand out...

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:49 pm

NYC Law wrote:If a firm has a section on their website to apply, does it make a difference whether you apply through the site or if you just email the recruiter directly? Some sites have what looks like a form that emails the recruiter anyway, and this form message with a standard subject line seems like it'd make your materials even less likely to stand out...


On behalf of the recruiter, please apply directly through the site . . . there are processes in place to help get the info in the right hands and organized in the best way. That said, to help you stand out, e-mail the recruiter and let him/her know that you have applied and that you look forward to hearing from the firm soon.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:57 pm

Is there any advice you could give to a transfer student trying to secure a job, or a callback? Is there anything in particular a transfer would need to emphasize more so than a non-transfer? (moved up from T2 to top 25)

Also... smaller question is it worth it to put "Invited to Law Review" under your old school on your resume?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:59 pm

How would you react to a public intoxication charge that was subsequently dismissed? Particularly if it occurred within the past eighteen months?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:18 pm

First off, this has been a great resource, we really appreciate your time. I've got a ? in regards to nepotism/family history. A close relative of mine (think father/mother/uncle) worked for several large firms in the city I'm going to be practicing in (hopefully, depending on OCI etc). That relative branched off and formed their own boutique firm about 10 years ago. Should I bring up family ties to the firm during my interview even though they are no longer a part of the firm? Would this give me a bonus, or since they are long gone should I not bring it up at all given the fact that I dont know how well liked this person was throughout the firm (to my knowledge there were not any major issues with other attorneys upon them leaving the firm, and he/she is generally well respected and liked). I think it could help a bit, but could also end up hurting me depending on how I approach it. Have you dealt with this in the past? Thanks!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273578
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm recruiter answering questions for a bit

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:27 pm

For a 3L doing a mass mailing, how do you approach firms with multiple offices? I have a hunch, but wanted to confirm:

If each office has it's own recruiting coordinator, then I'm assuming separate letters for each city? (And as a follow-up, when, if ever, would I tell the office of one firm that I've also been talking with another city's office?)

What if several offices all list the same recruiting coordinator on NALP? I'm assuming one letter expressing my interest in multiple offices, rather than a separate letter for each city that all go to the same person?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.