job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

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job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:32 pm

Today was my second day of OCI. Shortly after leaving an interview, I received a phone call from an employer I interviewed with yesterday. It is a very small firm but they are very, very good at what they do (SuperLawyers, etc.). The problem is that they told me they want to know if I'm willing to accept the job offer "as soon as possible." I think the general rule is you should let people know within two weeks, but I won't even be halfway done with OCI (not even considering interviews from mass mailing/non OCI stuff) by the time a two week period would be up. Secondly, I have absolutely no idea how much an associate would start at were I to be hired full time. The pay for the summer clerkship is about half of what you would get at a big firm, but I honestly have NO idea at all what an associate would make. To be frank, I'm not willing to work in the private sector for less than $80k, but I'm not sure of a delicate way to ask this. I got the feeling from the interview and the callback that they were for sure going to hire their summer clerk if he/she did good work next summer. I suppose it is never a sure thing, but this job really interests me, but I honestly wouldn't want to work there if the pay is going to be as low as an associate as it is for a summer clerk. I don't want to accept the job offer and foreclose better options (interviewing with Gibson Dunn, Faegre, and many, many others still), but I also don't want to string this small firm along. I am going to chat with my career services office, but I figured you all would have some advice as well. Thanks in advance. Thoughts/Suggestions?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:38 pm

1. Can you split your summer if you work there?

2. The two week window still would not be enough time for some firms to get back to you after OCI. Would you be willing to take the firm smaller without knowing how you will fare in the rest of the OCI process?

3. What is your Career Services policy on accepting and then turning down an offer?

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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:42 pm

1) Probably. He told me I could start/end whenever I wanted.

2) If I knew the starting salary of an associate, yes. The problem is that this firm hasn't really hired new associates in a while so I can't really think of a good way to ask without sounding like I am only interested in money. They made a big deal about my "character" and how I seem like a guy who would be interested in helping grow the firm over a lifetime, etc. I am not only interested in money, but I can't very well take a job that pays 40k when I have 150k in student loans (although like I said, I have absolutely no idea what kind of money they would pay an associate, only what they'd pay me for the summer which isn't very much).

3) I'll have to talk to them about that. I didn't really expect to get an offer this soon. I thought I would have another round of interviews or something.

seatown12
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby seatown12 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:18 am

If the money is a dealbreaker for you you should have asked in the interview, and you should ask now. Nobody will think less of you for inquiring about compensation before accepting a job offer.

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Moxie
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Moxie » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:19 am

seatown12 wrote:If the money is a dealbreaker for you you should have asked in the interview, and you should ask now. Nobody will think less of you for inquiring about compensation before accepting a job offer.


+1. Find out the compensation, then make a decision. I'm surprised they didn't bring it up when offering you.

MrAnon
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby MrAnon » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:30 am

I'd normally say Bird in the Hand... but it sounds like they were so overwhelmed with you they decided they'd like to cancel the rest of their recruiting if they can lock you up. If you are that much of a superstar then 1. keep interviewing and 2. tell them to wait. Telling them to wait is only fair, even to them.

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Heartford
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Heartford » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:34 am

Just to clarify, this offer came after a screening interview? No callback? Also, can you give us a hint about your stats? Some of us would love to have this "problem".

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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:44 am

Heartford wrote:
Just to clarify, this offer came after a screening interview? No callback? Also, can you give us a hint about your stats? Some of us would love to have this "problem".



So I'm not sure what exactly a "screening interview" is, but at my school we submit our information for OCI, and the employers preselect who they want to interview. After this, we have 20-30 minute interviews with firms. After a 20 minute interview with two partners at this small firm, they called me the next day (today) and offered me the position. This was really unexpected because I thought there would be another round of interviews or something (I assumed that is the way OCI works).

I go to a school the bounces around between T30-50. Top 10%, Law Review, Military xp, HIGH level xp with nonprofits, president of one of the biggest/most prominent groups at my law school, worked full-time during my undergrad, also have lots of cool stories to tell. Might sound like a lot, but I consistently feel like my peers have so much more on their resumes than I.'

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Heartford
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Heartford » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Heartford wrote:
Just to clarify, this offer came after a screening interview? No callback? Also, can you give us a hint about your stats? Some of us would love to have this "problem".



So I'm not sure what exactly a "screening interview" is, but at my school we submit our information for OCI, and the employers preselect who they want to interview. After this, we have 20-30 minute interviews with firms. After a 20 minute interview with two partners at this small firm, they called me the next day (today) and offered me the position. This was really unexpected because I thought there would be another round of interviews or something (I assumed that is the way OCI works).

I go to a school the bounces around between T30-50. Top 10%, Law Review, Military xp, HIGH level xp with nonprofits, president of one of the biggest/most prominent groups at my law school, worked full-time during my undergrad, also have lots of cool stories to tell. Might sound like a lot, but I consistently feel like my peers have so much more on their resumes than I.'


Interesting. The common OCI model is to have a 10-30 minute "screening interview" first. If that goes well, one can be invited, or "called back" to a "callback interview" which typically involves going to spend the day at the firm and a barrage of interviews with lots of different partners/associates. It sounds like you got an offer after your screener (or what would normally be considered such.) Congrats, and sorry I can't help with your question.

HITeacher2
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby HITeacher2 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I go to a school the bounces around between T30-50. Top 10%, Law Review, Military xp, HIGH level xp with nonprofits, president of one of the biggest/most prominent groups at my law school, worked full-time during my undergrad, also have lots of cool stories to tell. Might sound like a lot, but I consistently feel like my peers have so much more on their resumes than I.'


Wow, that explains everything. Not just your exceptional background and academic credentials, but also how humble you are about them. You should be forward with the firm about compensation, that's standard no matter what job you're recruiting for. If they ask, you can frame it in terms of the debt burden you're expecting. This shouldn't be an uncomfortable conversation at all.

TooOld4This
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby TooOld4This » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:57 am

Ask some frank questions.

Let them know you are very interested in your offer, but as they have indicated, you are looking for a long-term fit and not just an SA position. Then ask whether they feel that this is a position they plan on leading to a permanent position. If so, ask what their compensation structure and career advancement paths are. Ask if you can go to the firm and meet with other attorneys or can at least call them and speak with them. Then state that you understand that they are looking for an answer as soon as possible, but that you are still in the process of interviewing and making an informed commitment is important to you. Ask them what the latest they need an answer by is.

johndhi
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby johndhi » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:33 am

Why have none of these responses mentioned the NALP standard 28 day window to decide?

http://www.nalp.org/fulltextofnalpprinc ... dstandards

Is the firm so small it isn't a member of NALP or something (I'm not sure how NALP works)? I'd be pretty pissed if a firm did this to me and would have mentioned this on the phone already. Talk to your career services and wonder why you are being pressured to respond more quickly than 28 days.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby pleasetryagain » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:52 am

johndhi wrote:Why have none of these responses mentioned the NALP standard 28 day window to decide?

http://www.nalp.org/fulltextofnalpprinc ... dstandards

Is the firm so small it isn't a member of NALP or something (I'm not sure how NALP works)? I'd be pretty pissed if a firm did this to me and would have mentioned this on the phone already. Talk to your career services and wonder why you are being pressured to respond more quickly than 28 days.


definitely don't do this. with your credentials I doubt you are the whiny type and essentially getting career services to call/inquire on your behalf (which they will) is a bit whiny/embarrassing. also.. just because you have 28 days to respond doesn't mean the firm isn't going to be insta-offering other people and rescinding your offer if you don't respond.

RPK34
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby RPK34 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:58 am

johndhi wrote:Why have none of these responses mentioned the NALP standard 28 day window to decide?

http://www.nalp.org/fulltextofnalpprinc ... dstandards

Is the firm so small it isn't a member of NALP or something (I'm not sure how NALP works)? I'd be pretty pissed if a firm did this to me and would have mentioned this on the phone already. Talk to your career services and wonder why you are being pressured to respond more quickly than 28 days.


This is some quality advice. Take an attitude and be "pretty pissed" at employer after they offer you a job.

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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:I go to a school the bounces around between T30-50. Top 10%, Law Review, Military xp, HIGH level xp with nonprofits, president of one of the biggest/most prominent groups at my law school, worked full-time during my undergrad, also have lots of cool stories to tell. Might sound like a lot, but I consistently feel like my peers have so much more on their resumes than I.'


it sounds like if you want biglaw, you've got a good shot. your credentials are impressive & you must be a good interviewer to get an offer out of a screening interview with no callback in between. since you don't fall into the category of someone who is lucky to have *a* firm job, regardless of the size of the firm or compensation, you should make sure you give yourself enough time to interview with gibson dunn, etc.

28 days to decide after an offer is standard, & the small firm should give you at least this much time to decide (maybe ask them for a more specific timeline to get back to them than 'ASAP'). if you can't find anything about compensation through researching on your own, it seems perfectly fine to ask. personally, i've never received a job offer that didn't specify compensation and think it's one of the most basic pieces of information a job seeker needs, especially for law school students with 100k+ in loans to pay off.

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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:19 am

seatown12 wrote:If the money is a dealbreaker for you you should have asked in the interview, and you should ask now. Nobody will think less of you for inquiring about compensation before accepting a job offer.

Huh. Discussing compensation during an interview is a no-no.

meshtdagn
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby meshtdagn » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:25 am

Some really terrible advice on this thread. Never ask about compensation until the offer is presented. Also, clearly you need to cool your jets, interview with your biglaw firms, and let the other firm know as soon as you can. 28 days, at least. Offer right after screening before callback raises a ton of red flags about this firm.

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Veyron
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Veyron » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:29 am

I've always played by the rule that after you have an offer it is OK to ask about compensation directly. A firm that would make a stink about disclosing this to a candidate they have made a (summer) offer to is hiding something.

Aqualibrium
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:38 am

I don't think an offer after a screener raises red flags. I've had it happen a couple of times, and actually ended up working as an SA for two of the firms that made me offers w/o callbacks. I think it might be a Southern thing...every time it ever happened I either a) knew someone at the firm who vouched for me or b) interviewed with the managing or hiring partner at the firm (if those people like you, there is generally no veto).

As for the NALP thing. I guess we'll have this discussion every year now. The NALP "rules" are less rules and more guidelines. Even NALP firms don't HAVE TO follow the NALP guidelines.

As far as this firm goes, op, I'd ask them your questions about hiring and compensation, and also ask them for more time to think about it. I had one firm near my hometown do something similar, and I was able to get them to give me a month to think about it, because I had a few other callbacks (and even if you don't have callbacks, just say you have a few more interviews and you want to consider all your options).

If they say no, then you really don't have much of a dilemma. Politely decline the offer, and move on hoping you get something else.

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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby MPMP » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:57 am

I'd just like to reiterate that you should not hesitate to ask about compensation, just do it with a bit of tact and honesty. I've worked with a smaller, midlaw firm and am considering passing up biglaw firms to work with this firm long term.

I've generally said something along the lines of "I don't want to be short-sighted, and I appreciate the greater partnership prospects and leadership opportunities your firm presents, but being able to pay off my loans is also a major concern that I have to keep in mind. Would you mind telling me about associate's compensation?"

I might be in the minority, but I tend to think honesty is the best policy with these types of things, and is generally recognized and respected.

Aqualibrium
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:04 am

MPMP wrote:I'd just like to reiterate that you should not hesitate to ask about compensation, just do it with a bit of tact and honesty. I've worked with a smaller, midlaw firm and am considering passing up biglaw firms to work with this firm long term.

I've generally said something along the lines of "I don't want to be short-sighted, and I appreciate the greater partnership prospects and leadership opportunities your firm presents, but being able to pay off my loans is also a major concern that I have to keep in mind. Would you mind telling me about associate's compensation?"

I might be in the minority, but I tend to think honesty is the best policy with these types of things, and is generally recognized and respected.


+1

seatown12
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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby seatown12 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
seatown12 wrote:If the money is a dealbreaker for you you should have asked in the interview, and you should ask now. Nobody will think less of you for inquiring about compensation before accepting a job offer.

Huh. Discussing compensation during an interview is a no-no.

I don't know that this is always true, but in this case I mistakenly thought he received the offer at the end of the interview. He should have asked when he got the offer over the phone shortly after.

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Re: job offer at small firm second day of OCI, idk what to do

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:52 am

OP here.

Thanks all. Great advice. I have a meeting with my career services office tomorrow and my adviser is going to let me know how she thinks I should handle this situation. I think I'll be alright. It is just kind of weird because I've never turned down a job offer before and I'm kind of a sappy, sentimental person and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and whatnot.




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