Cravath Callback Advice

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Cravath Callback Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:30 am

Anyone who has done one have any insight re how the day goes, how to set yourself apart, whether to commit to a practice group...anything else one should know going into it? Much appreciated.

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:57 am

Cravath has an extremely unique callback amongst its competitors. You'll get almost no information in advance of your interview. At some point after arriving, you will be escorted to an attorney and interviewed for as little or as much time as that attorney sees fit. This means you won't know who you will speak with, how many people you speak with, or how long an interview will take. They probably still tended towards a regular 30 minute interview as at any other firm, but there were also very short and very long ones.

Cravath seems especially adamant about having candidates decide between corporate and litigation as early as possible. Keep this in mind.

In addition to meaning you could have a very long interview, it's worth noting that when it's "over" the attorney will call recruiting but you might have some extra time in the room. That can be awkward.

You'll find a huge variety of opinions about the interview process. I found the attorneys particularly frank about the firm and their experience. I got asked a lot about other firms I was looking at and was given frank assessments of them, which was interesting, useful, and a little odd.

People were also very intense and professional. I don't know anybody who got a "stress" type interview, but the process is grueling - expect to be in their offices for an indefinite period of time. I know people who were there from early Friday morning until after 6pm. A standard lunch happens in the middle, but unlike at many other firms you'll be back at the firm for more interviews afterward.

Some attorneys seem especially interested in probing candidates to see what makes them tick, others are more interested in talking shop or discussing the way the firm works.

At the end you'll likely meet with somebody from recruiting or a hiring partner who will see if you have more questions, double check practice area interests, and wrap up the process. Offers tended to come fairly quickly after callbacks, but not on the spot as at S&C.

Their elevators are slow.

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:05 am

it sucks. they have a superday that lasts all day where they invite about 10-15 callback applicants, put them all in a room together, and randomly the recruiter will come in and call out names and escort them to interviews. the interviews are not timed, so there is no schedule. the recruiter just tries to find someone available at that moment. i found this process completely unprofessional and just plain dumb. the wait for the next interview could last up to 45 min. meanwhile you're stuck in a room with all the other applicants trying to make small talk.

i also found the interviewers to be hard core. they weren't the courteous, gregarious, friendly types that other law firms try to find for interviewers. as mentioned above, some of their interviewers try to probe you. nothing substantive or hard like describe a recent legal opinion, but theyll just probe your personality and reasons for being a lawyer to make sure you are a good fit.

the whole process just seemed unnecessarily long/complex.

to add i think this callback is difficult for introverted or shy types. they really don't have a set of questions they ask and try to make the process more like a conversation - more so than at other firms. some of my interviewers just began with "so what can i tell you about cravath." or "so what do you want to discuss" - nothing is necessarily wrong with this, but such an interview probably wont last more than 20 min if you are quiet or not very talkative and dont like taking control of the conversation. even in more normal interviews if you are not so outgoing it prob wont last more than half an hour. so if you are not talkative and all your interviews are lasting less than 30 min, and meanwhile everyone in the waiting room is telling you all theirs lasted for an hour or more, who do you think will be remembered more. so my advice is just make sure to have multiple topics in mind and try to have open ended questions that can lead to a conversation
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby bjsesq » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:it sucks. they have a superday that lasts all day where they invite about 10-15 callback applicants, put them all in a room together, and randomly the recruiter will come in and call out names and escort them to interviews. the interviews are not timed, so there is no schedule. the recruiter just tries to find someone available at that moment. i found this process completely unprofessional and just plain dumb. the wait for the next interview could last up to 45 min. meanwhile you're stuck in a room with all the other applicants trying to make small talk.

i also found the interviewers to be hard core. they weren't the courteous, gregarious, friendly types that other law firms try to find for interviewers. as mentioned above, some of their interviewers try to probe you. nothing substantive or hard like describe a recent legal opinion, but theyll just probe your personality and reasons for being a lawyer to make sure you are a good fit.

the whole process just seemed unnecessarily long/complex


Seems completely in line with the rest of the firm. How Cravath of them.

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:12 am

Same thing everyone above said, but I wanted to emphasize one thing: You must pick either corporate or litigation. If you go in expressing ambivalence between the two, you will get dinged.

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:24 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:Same thing everyone above said, but I wanted to emphasize one thing: You must pick either corporate or litigation. If you go in expressing ambivalence between the two, you will get dinged.


Just as a small caveat to this, I actually tried to cancel my callback because I was unsure about corp v. lit. The partner that interviewed me at OCI called me back and offered me the opportunity to interview for both. Almost all of the people that interviewed me tried to persuade me that I should pick one or the other. I stuck to my guns. I got an offer to split the summer between the two. Anecdotally, I have heard of this happening to others. But I think you would need to call ahead and explain and hope for the best rather than waffling on the day, as they will set up all your interviews with only one or the other otherwise. However, I can't say if this makes it less likely that you would get an offer(I imagine it probably would so it depends what you want more, cravath v the opportunity to try both corp and lit).

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:40 am

Is there any reason to do a screener with Cravath if the callback sounds like nothing I'd want to do?

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is there any reason to do a screener with Cravath if the callback sounds like nothing I'd want to do?


I did both the screening interview and the callback mostly because I thought Cravath had a hilarious reputation and it seemed like a good experience to have. Afterward I was seriously impressed by the firm and quite tempted to accept their offer.

The process is long and tiring, but it's not really aggressive. There's no reason to give up an interview you already have because you never know how you will respond.

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:55 am

i agree it is a unique experience and if you have a shot you might as well do it. although i know several top students who had offers from several of the v10 and several chose other firms over cravath. i think its losing its appeal. its also interesting to note they are one of the few top firms actively doing 3L recruiting now.

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Re: Cravath Callback Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:38 pm

OP here--thanks for all of your advice.

Anonymous User wrote:so my advice is just make sure to have multiple topics in mind and try to have open ended questions that can lead to a conversation


Is it safe to stick to some of the same "conversation starters"? What kinds of questions did you have the best luck with for eliciting flowing conversation?

imchuckbass58 wrote:You must pick either corporate or litigation.


During my screener I went with an answer along the lines of "well I have some ideas because of *this*, but I'd also like to explore both..." The interviewer said he appreciated the honest response, but of course I'll be interviewing with a lot of different people at the callback. I guess I'll just pick the one I'm leaning toward...




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