Bidding on firms in 2 markets

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Emma.
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Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby Emma. » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:42 pm

If I want to bid in 2 different markets, should I try to bid on the same firm in both areas if they have offices in both? Should I avoid doing this?

I'm worried that it might make any "I really want to work in this market" stories I have seem less convincing if the firm knows for sure that I'm also interested in another market. On the other hand, it might help with making the "I'm really interested in your firm" story seem more convincing.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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thesealocust
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:53 pm

Emma. wrote:If I want to bid in 2 different markets, should I try to bid on the same firm in both areas if they have offices in both? Should I avoid doing this?

I'm worried that it might make any "I really want to work in this market" stories I have seem less convincing if the firm knows for sure that I'm also interested in another market. On the other hand, it might help with making the "I'm really interested in your firm" story seem more convincing.

Anyone have any thoughts?


I wouldn't, but this is an area in which I don't know that my opinion on matters is necessarily the correct one, much less the gospel. I just think it's a much easier sell to work on one office of each firm. On top of that, SOMEBODY will eventually have to make the choice of which office you work at even if it works out for you, so why not take charge?

I don't think it's a fatal strategy, but I also don't think it will meaningfully improve most people's chances. Focus is good.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:59 pm

Our OCS told me to go ahead and bid on multiple offices if I had genuine interest in both markets. Too soon to say how it'll turn out, though. It seems to me that if you can convincingly make the case that you're willing to go to either office, it can't hurt. Sooner or later it's likely to come up that you're interviewing in another market, I don't know many people who are bidding entirely in one city, so it's not like the firms will be shocked that you aren't totally going all in on their city.

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blurbz
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby blurbz » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:03 pm

I'm interested in a few markets but I'm trying not to double-bid on firms. I just don't want them to think that I'm unsure about where I want to work and my cover letters are pretty strong for each market, so it'd be kind of embarrassing if a recruiter in one city saw my cover letter from another city. It cuts down on my options, but it allows me to express strong ties to multiple markets without worrying (too much) about getting busted.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:06 pm

Friend of mine interviewed for and got offers from Ropes' Boston and NYC office.

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thesealocust
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Friend of mine interviewed for and got offers from Ropes' Boston and NYC office.


I know people for whom this is true of Skadden and a few other firms too. It's a judgment call, and a few positive anecdotes doesn't make it universally wise.

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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:13 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Friend of mine interviewed for and got offers from Ropes' Boston and NYC office.


I know people for whom this is true of Skadden and a few other firms too. It's a judgment call, and a few positive anecdotes doesn't make it universally wise.


Yeah, I get that. But it's really hard to pin a number on any people who it may have hurt, a lot more so than trying to figure out who it wasn't at least fatal for. My strategy is to not split offices for firms I really want, and then split for firms from whom a rejection would not be the end of the world.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:15 pm

Another consideration is that just because you bid both markets doesn't mean you'll get both interviews. Say you want to work at R&G Boston and NYC, or Sidley Chicago and NYC, or whatever. Put them both down, see if you get one/both/neither. If you get one or neither, problem solved, but at least you doubled your chances, if you are truly interested in the firm and in both cities.
Last edited by dixiecupdrinking on Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:16 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Friend of mine interviewed for and got offers from Ropes' Boston and NYC office.


I know people for whom this is true of Skadden and a few other firms too. It's a judgment call, and a few positive anecdotes doesn't make it universally wise.

Agreed. While I'm sure it's entirely possible to do well with two markets selected, I personally made the decision to stick to one office per firm, even where both the NYC and SF offices were interviewing. Unless you're sitting top 10% of the class, I was of the school of thought that anything that could potentially detract from "my strong interest in the firm's practice in XYZ city" seemed like an unnecessary gamble. Where all the firm was looking for was merely a couple of people from my school who had made it clear they wanted NYC and NYC only, I didn't think it would bode well for me to give any indication that I may end up elsewhere after the summer.

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thesealocust
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:18 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Another consideration is that just because you bid both markets doesn't mean you'll get both interviews. Say you want to work at R&G Boston and NYC, or Sidley Chicago and NYC, or whatever. Put them both down, see if you get one/both/neither. If you get one or neither, problem solved, but at least you doubled your chances, if you are truly interested in the firm and in both cities.


How exactly did you double your chances? That would only be true in a world where there weren't skads of other firms you could bid on in their place (which there usually are). If you have X bids, and decide to use two of them for two offices of one firm instead of two different firms, in my mind that hurts your chances by lowering the diversity of your bid list.

duckmoney
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby duckmoney » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:22 pm

What about firms in similar / geographically close cities where ties would mean about the same thing? For instance, Tampa and Orlando?

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thesealocust
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:23 pm

duckmoney wrote:What about firms in similar / geographically close cities where ties would mean about the same thing? For instance, Tampa and Orlando?


Closer call, but still, I feel like a firm is going to have a much easier time making an offer to somebody only bidding on one of its offices. An offer is a very personal thing that has to do with fit and feelings about a candidate, stretching yourself across even two geographically similar locations might hurt your chance at getting either.

But it might not. I've given my two cents, I'll bow out.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:24 pm

thesealocust wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Another consideration is that just because you bid both markets doesn't mean you'll get both interviews. Say you want to work at R&G Boston and NYC, or Sidley Chicago and NYC, or whatever. Put them both down, see if you get one/both/neither. If you get one or neither, problem solved, but at least you doubled your chances, if you are truly interested in the firm and in both cities.


How exactly did you double your chances? That would only be true in a world where there weren't skads of other firms you could bid on in their place (which there usually are). If you have X bids, and decide to use two of them for two offices of one firm instead of two different firms, in my mind that hurts your chances by lowering the diversity of your bid list.

It's true in a world where the firm is one of a few in a secondary market that you're interested in, and also one of primary interest in a bigger market. I think both the Skadden and Ropes examples in this thread are good ones; places it would be silly not to bid in Boston if you're interested in working there, but also firms one might understandably put near the top of their NYC preferences too.

dobby
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby dobby » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:41 pm

I'm very interested in this too, and have two questions on it:

1) I second the "what about two offices in the same region" question (Tampa and Orlando, for example)

2) What if I want to split my summer between two offices of one firm (or potentially between two firms)? Then it probably makes sense to bid both offices, right?

Eco
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby Eco » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:44 pm

I don't see why you shouldn't. You won't offend a firm just because you're open to working in either X or Y city.

oneforship
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby oneforship » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:20 pm

I have talked at length with career services about this, and I don't think it's too much of a problem, provided that when you do it, you can articulate clear reasons why you want to be at THAT FIRM, regardless of which office you get selected for. That way, if you go into an interview and they say, "you are interested in X market and Y market, they are totally different, what gives?" You can already be prepared with a credible response for why the firm itself appeals to you, on top of any ties you may have to each of the individual markets.

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Cupidity
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby Cupidity » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Friend of mine interviewed for and got offers from Ropes' Boston and NYC office.

Your friend is my hero.

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Cupidity
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Re: Bidding on firms in 2 markets

Postby Cupidity » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:30 pm

dobby wrote:I'm very interested in this too, and have two questions on it:

1) I second the "what about two offices in the same region" question (Tampa and Orlando, for example)


I talked to one of the 3 firms this could possibly apply to, and they said they didn't care at all. They have simmilar practices (it's not like tampa is all corporate and orlando is all lit) and they understand that at the end of the day, it's a matter of whether the sun is in your eyes as you drive I-4 in the morning.




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