V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

(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.
imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby imchuckbass58 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:32 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:Somewhat unrelated to recruiting: do you think it's harder to become partner as a litigation associate? I've heard corporate associates have an easier time making partner for various reasons.


I think it depends on the firm. But I suspect that, in general, it may be harder, in that corporate associates naturally get the opportunity to develop the expertise / experience people look for from corporate partners (negotiation, drafting, etc.) more often than litigators do (stand-up courtroom experience). I could be wrong.


Keep in mind also that at most firms, the litigation department is significantly more highly leveraged than the corporate department. Leverage in corporate departments of big NY firms is typically between 2:1 and 3:1, whereas litigation departments are around 4:1 to 5:1, and can be as high as 6:1 (Paul Weiss).

This is very debatable, but many would argue that corporate departments have better/more exit options and thus have higher voluntary attrition.

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why are grades the most important factor in firm recruiting? Law exams test a very narrow subset of skills that are only questionably related to the work environment at a law firm, and are mitigated very much by things like typing speed and subjective grading methods. One ridiculous and inexperienced professor can ruin your entire GPA.

Can people with demonstrated leadership experience and work experience for Biglaw clients in the field of law they want to work in overcome grade cutoffs?

It seems to me from my experience so far that only average performance (median grades) on typing race exams completly overrides everything else you've ever done in your life, even if you go to an upper-level T1 school, i.e. firms won't even look at other attributes on your resume that would eventually help out at a law firm (sales skills, leadership positions, corporate work team experience, knowing exactly what field you want to practice in, knowing you want to do biglaw for as long as you can and not just bounce after three years, etc.). I know that's the way things often work, but I would think real-world experience is more predictive of future success than "performance" in the bubble of academia.


Well, maybe.

But, speaking from my personal experience, I want (and often get) both. The fact is that I get two things out of an interview that I can judge "fairly" based upon my (and my firm's) experiences - your grades and how you come across in my 20 minute snapshot of you. How do I know what skills you really have in your past lives? If your skills were so great and you were so successful, why are you taking 3 years off to go to school instead of sticking with it? How do I know how you got your impressive-sounding past job anyway? How do I know that you're telling the truth about what you want to do at a law firm? You bounced from your prior job to go to law school, how do I know you're not going to bounce from mine?

We hire the best of the best. That's our goal. Are we perfect with our standards? Of course not - there are plenty of extraordinarily successful people (in law firms and otherwise) who didn't do well enough to get hired by us. I saw a former Supreme Court clerk who wouldn't have made our grade cut first year (shocking, I know). But standards help us ensure that, of the pool we're choosing from, we're more likely to choose a better group.

It's possible to wow me and get me to try to seek an exception. But it's not easy. And having been on the other side of the law school exam paper as a TA I'll say this - there were substantial differences that I saw in people's exams. Maybe not every one every time in every class falls into that category (I'm proof of that given my own grades) but I was not surprised about where some of my former students ended up (good and bad).


Thanks. I figure a V15 firm would get the privilege of asking for both. What kinds of exceptions are we talking about here? Getting a note published? Moot court success? Raw persistence (is maintaining contact with the firm after not getting an interview stalker behavior, or does it show true interest)? Reference from your 1L job? Asking for informational interviews?

I am fairly sure I will never get top grades on a law exam simply because I think at a steady, methodical pace. I studied with people both below median and in the top 5%. Just from daily discussions and going through the results of joint practice tests, I understood and applied the material as well as anyone. I spotted all the same issues. The only difference was that I had half as many words. I knew it way better than the other people at median when going over practice problems...basically helping others understand the tough concepts. I was at school 15 hours a day between class and studying. I got an LSAT scholarship. I had my professors review practice exams during office hours and they all basically told me I was in great shape and that I would do great. Maybe they were just blowing smoke up my ass, but law schools and firms like yours make it very hard for people to stand out if you can't type fast under artificially severe time constraints. I seems it would be mutually beneficial for your firm and for students if firms like yours would start requesting that law schools assess their students' abilities through a more diverse and valid set of exams. Grades could definitely be made more meaningful. I keep hearing that associate turnover is a problem, so it makes me think the current system isn't working. But maybe law firms' business model is to just hire a bunch of people quickly and let the situation sort itself out.


Not sure what to tell you here. You're basically telling me that you don't think or write or produce as quickly as some of your peers and that's what the issue is for you on law school exams. Can you see why that could be an issue for a big law firm?

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How would you or your firm view a candidate who was already admitted to practice law in the state he or she was interviewing in (by virtue of having a foreign law degree but then choosing to pursue a JD)? Would this be viewed suspiciously or as a benefit?

Thanks very much for answering questions!


I don't know ultimately. Somewhat odd so raises an eyebrow, but can't be too bad

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Have you ever recommended a callback for a candidate with a noteworthy GPA drop their second semester -- a drop that took them from well within your firm's range to below it? If so, what helped them overcome their grades? If not, is there anything that might help you to overlook the grade drop? Assume there was not a medical reason or anything similar.


I honestly usually spend so little time focusing on grades in the interview that I could easily miss it. Only way that might happen is if (a) I wanted to give the person a callback anyway, (b) they brought it up and there was a medical/personal/family reason and/or (c) they were still reasonably close to our GPA cutoff or their first semester grades were very substantially above it

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:40 pm

hey thanks for doing this..during screening interviews, when do you make the decision as to whether to offer a person a CB? Do you jot down a note immediately after the interview? Or do you wait until the end of the day and make your decisions then? If it's the latter, is there a disadvantage to interviewing in the middle of the day?

thanks again!

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:hey thanks for doing this..during screening interviews, when do you make the decision as to whether to offer a person a CB? Do you jot down a note immediately after the interview? Or do you wait until the end of the day and make your decisions then? If it's the latter, is there a disadvantage to interviewing in the middle of the day?

thanks again!


I usually have a pretty good sense right away. I'll jot something down at the time, and assuming grades are where they need to be that's usually that. No big disadvantage I think

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:55 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:what do you think about sending thank you e-mails after a callback to all the partners/associates who interviewed you? i had a callback yesterday, and i haven't sent thank you e-mails, and now i am wondering if i should have and if it is too late to do so.....do you view them as annoying in a callback context? expected?


It's a neutral. I've had one e-mail ever that was good enough to potentially change our ultimate decision, and even that one didn't actually do so.

Just read more closely and realized you were referring to callback rather than OCI. Could be slightly more beneficial there as your interviewer probably isn't lumping you into a giant pool. I'd do it quickly though because by T+2 you've probably been judged already or forgotten entirely


For an OCI screener, what are your thoughts on having a well-known professor that came up in the interview email the interviewing partner?


Sounds a bit weird. Is this a professsor that the interviewer knows (personally, not by reputation)? What would professor email about?


I worked for him. He's well known in the practice area I want, and a fair amount of each interview I'd send it for involved the interviewer reminiscing about him.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:10 pm

How many screening interviews do you typically do in a day? Do you have a preset number of CBs you're willing to give, or is the number of CBs based more on your experience during the day?

Thanks!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:23 pm

When you interview someone with top grades from a top school whose resume and 1L summer job look fairly public interest focused, do you tend to worry that person is using BigLaw as a short-term stepping stone to government or other public interest work? If so, how can such a student convince you in an interview that he/she really is interested in working in BigLaw, if only for a limited time? In other words, do you ask the "why private practice" question, or is that subsumed into "why X firm"?

Either way, what is a decent answer to that question given that such a student may have no interest in being a law firm attorney for his/her whole life? How much does this even matter?

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:26 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
It's a neutral. I've had one e-mail ever that was good enough to potentially change our ultimate decision, and even that one didn't actually do so.

Just read more closely and realized you were referring to callback rather than OCI. Could be slightly more beneficial there as your interviewer probably isn't lumping you into a giant pool. I'd do it quickly though because by T+2 you've probably been judged already or forgotten entirely


For an OCI screener, what are your thoughts on having a well-known professor that came up in the interview email the interviewing partner?


Sounds a bit weird. Is this a professsor that the interviewer knows (personally, not by reputation)? What would professor email about?


I worked for him. He's well known in the practice area I want, and a fair amount of each interview I'd send it for involved the interviewer reminiscing about him.


I guess OK, but again by the time he's emailing the interviewer the decision's probably been made. Also just don't see how it wouldn't come across weird

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How many screening interviews do you typically do in a day? Do you have a preset number of CBs you're willing to give, or is the number of CBs based more on your experience during the day?

Thanks!


Could be a full schedule, so as many as 15 I guess? Usually the office as a whole will have a target and we discuss people as a whole.

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When you interview someone with top grades from a top school whose resume and 1L summer job look fairly public interest focused, do you tend to worry that person is using BigLaw as a short-term stepping stone to government or other public interest work? If so, how can such a student convince you in an interview that he/she really is interested in working in BigLaw, if only for a limited time? In other words, do you ask the "why private practice" question, or is that subsumed into "why X firm"?

Either way, what is a decent answer to that question given that such a student may have no interest in being a law firm attorney for his/her whole life? How much does this even matter?


Honestly, if it's too obvious that you're a public interest person, I'm probably not giving you a callback. I don't want you burning cash/time/space at my firm that could be better used by someone else.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:31 pm

How fast are callbacks notified after screening interviews? Can you compare to other firms?

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How fast are callbacks notified after screening interviews? Can you compare to other firms?


We're usually pretty quick, day or two. Don't know about others

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:40 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How fast are callbacks notified after screening interviews? Can you compare to other firms?


We're usually pretty quick, day or two. Don't know about others

Is there a specific time of day callbacks go out?

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How fast are callbacks notified after screening interviews? Can you compare to other firms?


We're usually pretty quick, day or two. Don't know about others

Is there a specific time of day callbacks go out?


no

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:34 pm

Do interviewers (for callbacks) compare thank you notes?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:57 pm

Does your firm generally give priority to students from higher-ranked schools, i.e. students from lower ranked schools are only considered for whatever spots are left after this initial cut is made? (I can rephrase if this sounds confusing)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:41 pm

Both from your firm, and what you know of others:

If a week or two has passed and we haven't gotten a CB and haven't gotten an email/snail mail rejection yet, should we assume it's a silent rejection? Or is there any truth to these rumors of a quasi-waitlist or resumes held for a second round of callbacks?

Z3RO
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:57 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Z3RO » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do interviewers (for callbacks) compare thank you notes?

lol

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do interviewers (for callbacks) compare thank you notes?


Not generally. Do something too specific / too wacky and people will discuss it.

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does your firm generally give priority to students from higher-ranked schools, i.e. students from lower ranked schools are only considered for whatever spots are left after this initial cut is made? (I can rephrase if this sounds confusing)


Not sure exactly what you mean, but we give offers generally on a rolling basis throughout the callback season. If late in the season we have room in our class and a candidate from a school we don't traditionally interview at comes across we might consider him...so guess it depends on what you mean by "lower ranked"

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Both from your firm, and what you know of others:

If a week or two has passed and we haven't gotten a CB and haven't gotten an email/snail mail rejection yet, should we assume it's a silent rejection? Or is there any truth to these rumors of a quasi-waitlist or resumes held for a second round of callbacks?


Probably at my firm it's a rejection and the letter's coming. Really don't know about others but could definitely be waitlist / second round.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:12 pm

If it's been a week since a mass-mail interview at a firm's office and only silence....ding?

How long is appropriate before sending a follow-up e-mail to find out status after mass-mail interview? Especially if they said they weren't sure of the timeline during the interview (different firm than first question).

These are firms that used to recruit at my T14, and whose median GPA I'm at, but who are doing resume collects or not coming this year.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If it's been a week since a mass-mail interview at a firm's office and only silence....ding?


Full round or just screener? Either way if mass mail hard to say. Nothing's for sure.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.