Anonymous User wrote:2/25, focussed mainly on New York, but I'm a 3L. Basically, don't blow 2L EIP kids because 3L EIP is a cruel cruel joke
You are posting anonymously, so I suppose I can ask, did you actually blow it last year in terms of the way that you handled yourself at interviews?
Short answer: I'm probably not an unusually talented interviewer, but I don't think that being a poor interviewer was my main problem.
Long answer: In the past, virtually all CLS students landed jobs with V100 firms through EIP. As long as you didn't drop a bunch of racial slurs while walking around the Double Tree, get overly drunk at the hotel bar before heading up for your screening interviews, or steal too many things from the hotel rooms while you were still in front of your interviewers, the world of BigLaw eagerly accepted you into its ranks. In recent years, I would estimate that the percentage of CLS students who can land a job through EIP has dropped to about 65%. Transfers tend to do a bit better than non-transfers, and I would guess that about 85% of transfers get at least one offer. After accounting for the large size of the transfer class, I would estimate that about 60% of non-transfers will get at least one offer from EIP. Stated slightly differently, the supply of CLS students currently exceeds the demand for them by a pretty significant margin.
What percentage of CLS students are so horrible at interviewing that it will cause them to be unemployable? To be fair, there are some pretty douchey people at Columbia. However, I would guess that the percentage for whom douchebaggery will be a serious hindrance probably isn't that high. Maybe 5%. Even some of the most awkward and offensive people that I know can still keep it together during a 20 minute screening interview or a 4 hour callback. You'll talk about sports, about practice areas that you're interested in, and about how humid or hot it is outside. Unless the person interviewing you is a hiring partner, interviewing skills (or lack thereof) probably only come into play if you are the single best or single worst interviewer that the person you're meeting with has seen that day.
So, lets return to that 35% strike-out figure that I listed above. Columbia (and to some extent the law firms that recruit from Columbia) are going to need to explain why 35% of the students at the fourth best law school in the country suddenly can't get a job that will enable them to pay back the astronomical loans that they took out in order to finance their education. It would be easy to say that we're going through a tough economy right now and that some people just slip through the cracks. But it would be even easier to blame the students. Say that they're lazy and not networking hard enough. Say that the classes after the Class of 2009 forgot how to interview. And say that the students are coming up with bad EIP bid lists. Viola. Problem solved.
Following EIP, I ended up with 3 callbacks in my hometown (think Chi, DC, LA, SF, etc...). Each place hired 2-4 SAs, and all of the SAs came from local schools because those were the schools that most of the partners went to. To be fair, the schools that they hired from were all very good schools, and if the firms can only bring in a few people during a massive recession, they want to make sure that they strengthen their ties with the schools that they figure they'll mainly be recruiting from later on. But honestly, I felt like I could have walked into each of those interviews looking like Johnny Depp, analyzing things like Learned Hand, and eating my meals with the poise, grace, and silverware handling skills of a fifth grade cotillion teacher and still struck out.