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.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:34 am

Question about the firm I'll be summering at regarding career development, since I would potentially like to go in-house one day.

I'm going to be working this summer at a small (~25 lawyer) secondary market satellite office of a NLJ250 BigLaw firm which is HQ'd in one of the primary markets (NY/CHI/DC). The secondary market I'm in is pretty big, but not huge (think Philly/Houston/Atlanta/Boston). The firm is still a nationally known BigLaw firm, although this office isn't particularly well-established my city since the office is relatively new. Because the office is so small, the cases will be pretty leanly staffed and I'll take on responsibility pretty quickly, and the firm is not highly-leveraged at all so being on the partner track is a real possibility. I will have several practice areas to choose from, so I'm not going to forced to work in any particular niche, although I would like to be on the transactional side.

My question: in terms of career development and potential in-house exit options in my secondary market, is it better to be at a smaller office like this and have potentially greater experience and responsibility, or to be at one of the biggest firms in the city with a better reputation, even if your experience may not be quite as substantial. I worry that because my firm isn't as well-known in my secondary market as it is in it's primary city, it might hurt me in the long run for exit options, either to in-house or possibly even to another firm.

itbdvorm
Posts: 1578
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:I will be interning in DC this summer and DC is my ultimate goal. Any advice for how to use my time there to help my chances for OCI? Would contacting recruiters and trying organize a lunch/coffee be appropriate or not advisable? I'm a 1L and my school is not in the area so I want to make the most of my time.

Thanks in advance.


Sure. Send them your resume and transcript and say that, since you were in DC, you were wondering if they'd be willing to meet with you for a few minutes and discuss the summer program. If your credentials are good enough you can probably sneak into an actual interview and bypass OCI entirely. Treat it like a full interview.

itbdvorm
Posts: 1578
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:If a firm is providing various start dates for first year associates, how should one pick his or her start date? What are the drawbacks of starting later?


Less money and others have a little bit of a head start. If there's a particular group you want earlier is probably better

itbdvorm
Posts: 1578
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:Question about the firm I'll be summering at regarding career development, since I would potentially like to go in-house one day.

I'm going to be working this summer at a small (~25 lawyer) secondary market satellite office of a NLJ250 BigLaw firm which is HQ'd in one of the primary markets (NY/CHI/DC). The secondary market I'm in is pretty big, but not huge (think Philly/Houston/Atlanta/Boston). The firm is still a nationally known BigLaw firm, although this office isn't particularly well-established my city since the office is relatively new. Because the office is so small, the cases will be pretty leanly staffed and I'll take on responsibility pretty quickly, and the firm is not highly-leveraged at all so being on the partner track is a real possibility. I will have several practice areas to choose from, so I'm not going to forced to work in any particular niche, although I would like to be on the transactional side.

My question: in terms of career development and potential in-house exit options in my secondary market, is it better to be at a smaller office like this and have potentially greater experience and responsibility, or to be at one of the biggest firms in the city with a better reputation, even if your experience may not be quite as substantial. I worry that because my firm isn't as well-known in my secondary market as it is in it's primary city, it might hurt me in the long run for exit options, either to in-house or possibly even to another firm.


Answer is that for best options, being in the/a primary office of a top tier firm is probably best. For secondary office of a national firm, the national firm's reputation will probably be helpful generally for going in-house, but you may not be as well-positioned as a secondary firm that's known as the best in that city. So for example, Jones Day Atlanta may give you a better shot at going in-house somewhere in the country than Alston & Bird, but Alston & Bird may be better in Atlanta. make sense?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:18 pm

Lately I have seen a lot about “exiting” being an important consideration. As a 2L BL SA I do not totally understand the importance. Is it about being dismissed and exiting on your feet or is it about some grandiose plan one should formulate from the get-go? If so, noting any examples of typical [exiting] plans would be appreciated. Thanks.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby TooOld4This » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lately I have seen a lot about “exiting” being an important consideration. As a 2L BL SA I do not totally understand the importance. Is it about being dismissed and exiting on your feet or is it about some grandiose plan one should formulate from the get-go? If so, noting any examples of typical [exiting] plans would be appreciated. Thanks.


Both.

Very few people will make partner. It is rather absurd to go into a big firm thinking that you will make partner. Therefore you should start at a firm thinking about what you want next. Not all firm opportunities lead to the same exit options. Do you want to go in house? Work for the government? Start your own firm? Work at a smaller firm? Do something non-legal? The people who have the best options when they are either given the message that they have no future at the firm or decide they can't take it anymore are the ones that have been collecting experiences with an eye on their post-big law firm goals almost from the start.

Now setting yourself up for good exit options is not generally incompatible with also going for partner if you want it. Networking, seeking quality experiences and specific skills can also make you a well regarded associate.

Getting the big law job isn't the finish line, it's the starting line. Everything you've done so far is just warm-ups.

itbdvorm
Posts: 1578
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:54 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Lately I have seen a lot about “exiting” being an important consideration. As a 2L BL SA I do not totally understand the importance. Is it about being dismissed and exiting on your feet or is it about some grandiose plan one should formulate from the get-go? If so, noting any examples of typical [exiting] plans would be appreciated. Thanks.


Both.

Very few people will make partner. It is rather absurd to go into a big firm thinking that you will make partner. Therefore you should start at a firm thinking about what you want next. Not all firm opportunities lead to the same exit options. Do you want to go in house? Work for the government? Start your own firm? Work at a smaller firm? Do something non-legal? The people who have the best options when they are either given the message that they have no future at the firm or decide they can't take it anymore are the ones that have been collecting experiences with an eye on their post-big law firm goals almost from the start.

Now setting yourself up for good exit options is not generally incompatible with also going for partner if you want it. Networking, seeking quality experiences and specific skills can also make you a well regarded associate.

Getting the big law job isn't the finish line, it's the starting line. Everything you've done so far is just warm-ups.


100% agreed.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:17 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Lately I have seen a lot about “exiting” being an important consideration. As a 2L BL SA I do not totally understand the importance. Is it about being dismissed and exiting on your feet or is it about some grandiose plan one should formulate from the get-go? If so, noting any examples of typical [exiting] plans would be appreciated. Thanks.


Both.

Very few people will make partner. It is rather absurd to go into a big firm thinking that you will make partner. Therefore you should start at a firm thinking about what you want next. Not all firm opportunities lead to the same exit options. Do you want to go in house? Work for the government? Start your own firm? Work at a smaller firm? Do something non-legal? The people who have the best options when they are either given the message that they have no future at the firm or decide they can't take it anymore are the ones that have been collecting experiences with an eye on their post-big law firm goals almost from the start.

Now setting yourself up for good exit options is not generally incompatible with also going for partner if you want it. Networking, seeking quality experiences and specific skills can also make you a well regarded associate.

Getting the big law job isn't the finish line, it's the starting line. Everything you've done so far is just warm-ups.


100% agreed.

Follow up. If reaching the finish line denotes making it to partner, how does this sound? See if I can lateral to a smaller, but highly respected firm (42 attorneys) that offered me last year. This firm (in a very large secondary market) pays nearly as well as my bigger-law SA firm. In checking their web site 40% of the their attorneys accomplished the [partner] feat inside of 4-6 years. 17 of 42 are partners (another 2-3 have a higher title) and five are general council (do not know how that ranks on the food chain). With "partner" in mind....opinions?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:15 pm

Do you ever do interviews for 1L SAs? Anything different about that, or should I be expecting pretty much the same questions?

itbdvorm
Posts: 1578
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Lately I have seen a lot about “exiting” being an important consideration. As a 2L BL SA I do not totally understand the importance. Is it about being dismissed and exiting on your feet or is it about some grandiose plan one should formulate from the get-go? If so, noting any examples of typical [exiting] plans would be appreciated. Thanks.


Both.

Very few people will make partner. It is rather absurd to go into a big firm thinking that you will make partner. Therefore you should start at a firm thinking about what you want next. Not all firm opportunities lead to the same exit options. Do you want to go in house? Work for the government? Start your own firm? Work at a smaller firm? Do something non-legal? The people who have the best options when they are either given the message that they have no future at the firm or decide they can't take it anymore are the ones that have been collecting experiences with an eye on their post-big law firm goals almost from the start.

Now setting yourself up for good exit options is not generally incompatible with also going for partner if you want it. Networking, seeking quality experiences and specific skills can also make you a well regarded associate.

Getting the big law job isn't the finish line, it's the starting line. Everything you've done so far is just warm-ups.


100% agreed.

Follow up. If reaching the finish line denotes making it to partner, how does this sound? See if I can lateral to a smaller, but highly respected firm (42 attorneys) that offered me last year. This firm (in a very large secondary market) pays nearly as well as my bigger-law SA firm. In checking their web site 40% of the their attorneys accomplished the [partner] feat inside of 4-6 years. 17 of 42 are partners (another 2-3 have a higher title) and five are general council (do not know how that ranks on the food chain). With "partner" in mind....opinions?


There's not nearly enough information to make a determination like this. Not all partners are created equal. I'd try to find out a lot more...

itbdvorm
Posts: 1578
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you ever do interviews for 1L SAs? Anything different about that, or should I be expecting pretty much the same questions?


Not really. Probably same questions.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:08 pm

Does your firm keep statistics on associate turnover (and/or exit outcomes for those who leave)? Is it reasonable for 2Ls holding offers after OCI to ask for this stuff or is it just not done?

Firms are such a black box of anecdotes; it would be nice to get good data but I don't want to look like an ass.

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 005618502 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:12 pm

If you had strong ties to a secondary market like TX or CA, how hard would it be for you to move to a firm there that would likely put you on partnership track (assuming you were looking to leave or told to start looking for another job)? Do you think this would be different for someone form a V5/10 firm?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:22 pm

Sorry if something similar is already in this thread somewhere. I've heard that having a 1L SA is not necessarily any better than any other legal job going into OCI. That said, is there anything one can do during a 1L SA to maximize its effect on OCI? The firm I will be working at has a policy of not extending offers to 1L SAs or inviting them back for 2L SAs, with very few exceptions, so i'm starting fresh come August. I am currently below median, and will do whatever I can to bring myself up, but assuming I am still below median (or around median), how can I best use the 1L SA to my advantage?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:30 pm

itbdvorm wrote:Not all partners are created equal.

Aside from managing partner, vice chair, etc., how are partners not created equal? Another way to ask, typically when an associate is elevated to partner what does that normally entail (status wise, otherwise. etc.).

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry if something similar is already in this thread somewhere. I've heard that having a 1L SA is not necessarily any better than any other legal job going into OCI. That said, is there anything one can do during a 1L SA to maximize its effect on OCI? The firm I will be working at has a policy of not extending offers to 1L SAs or inviting them back for 2L SAs, with very few exceptions, so i'm starting fresh come August. I am currently below median, and will do whatever I can to bring myself up, but assuming I am still below median (or around median), how can I best use the 1L SA to my advantage?


Get a 2L offer.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:17 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:If you had strong ties to a secondary market like TX or CA, how hard would it be for you to move to a firm there that would likely put you on partnership track (assuming you were looking to leave or told to start looking for another job)? Do you think this would be different for someone form a V5/10 firm?


Depends on your experience and book. Coming from a V10 could hurt you because you are less likely to have gotten the type of experience that someone of your year has from a smaller firm and your clients are more likely to be institutional ones that you would have almost no chance of bringing with you. The fact that you worked on more complicated deals doesn't help you much, if your new firm doesn't really do that kind of work.

Unless you are bringing something to the table that the new firm needs, expect that you will need to prove yourself the same as any other candidate. You may even get docked a few years. (ie, if you are a 6th year jumping and your new firm evaluates at year 7, they might put you back to a 2 year look so that you have time to develop your BD plan and put it into action).

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:Not all partners are created equal.

Aside from managing partner, vice chair, etc., how are partners not created equal? Another way to ask, typically when an associate is elevated to partner what does that normally entail (status wise, otherwise. etc.).


Entirely firm dependent. Some firms first promote to income partner. Some firms use income partner as a separate track (meaning once they decide to make you income, you have little chance of making equity).

Partnership draws are also done very differently at every firm. Some do a system closer to lockstep on seniority, some allocate shares based on new business brought in, some weight administrative roles heavily, some stick poorer performers with those jobs.

Look at the clawback docs from the Dewey bankruptcy and you can clearly see that partners there were in no way treated equally. Obviously a single example, but not entirely atypical to see.

tsk123
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:10 pm

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby tsk123 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:59 pm

1L here. As an OCI interviewer, do you tend to say certain things or hint to the interviewee when you know you aren't going to hire them? I have had a few rejections so far and I noticed that during the interview itself, the interviewer seemed to stress how "amazing" I am and not to "feel bad" if I am not selected and to "keep trying," etc, etc.

Sorry if you already answered this. Flipped through 7 pages and there are 75!

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 005618502 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:16 pm

.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:25 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry if something similar is already in this thread somewhere. I've heard that having a 1L SA is not necessarily any better than any other legal job going into OCI. That said, is there anything one can do during a 1L SA to maximize its effect on OCI? The firm I will be working at has a policy of not extending offers to 1L SAs or inviting them back for 2L SAs, with very few exceptions, so i'm starting fresh come August. I am currently below median, and will do whatever I can to bring myself up, but assuming I am still below median (or around median), how can I best use the 1L SA to my advantage?


Get a 2L offer.


Ok let me try this again, sorry. They told me explicitly that they do not hire 2L SAs because they only hire full time attorneys laterally. So a 2L SA offer is off the table. Thus, are there any ways this 1L SA could benefit me going into OCI for a 2L SA at another firm?

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 005618502 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry if something similar is already in this thread somewhere. I've heard that having a 1L SA is not necessarily any better than any other legal job going into OCI. That said, is there anything one can do during a 1L SA to maximize its effect on OCI? The firm I will be working at has a policy of not extending offers to 1L SAs or inviting them back for 2L SAs, with very few exceptions, so i'm starting fresh come August. I am currently below median, and will do whatever I can to bring myself up, but assuming I am still below median (or around median), how can I best use the 1L SA to my advantage?


Get a 2L offer.


Ok let me try this again, sorry. They told me explicitly that they do not hire 2L SAs because they only hire full time attorneys laterally. So a 2L SA offer is off the table. Thus, are there any ways this 1L SA could benefit me going into OCI for a 2L SA at another firm?


Is this an Austin, TX firm? I know of on there that does exactly this as well. They bring on 1Ls but wont bring on 2Ls in any case.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thus, are there any ways this 1L SA could benefit me going into OCI for a 2L SA at another firm?

I would like to add an addendum to this question. If you are a 2L SA with the hope of getting offered, how risky is it to venture into the world of OCI? Do firms become indignant if their SA is participating in OCI? I realize that there might not be a “one size fits all” answer, but generally speaking, what’s the lay of the land for this situation?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:01 am

AssumptionRequired wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry if something similar is already in this thread somewhere. I've heard that having a 1L SA is not necessarily any better than any other legal job going into OCI. That said, is there anything one can do during a 1L SA to maximize its effect on OCI? The firm I will be working at has a policy of not extending offers to 1L SAs or inviting them back for 2L SAs, with very few exceptions, so i'm starting fresh come August. I am currently below median, and will do whatever I can to bring myself up, but assuming I am still below median (or around median), how can I best use the 1L SA to my advantage?


Get a 2L offer.


Ok let me try this again, sorry. They told me explicitly that they do not hire 2L SAs because they only hire full time attorneys laterally. So a 2L SA offer is off the table. Thus, are there any ways this 1L SA could benefit me going into OCI for a 2L SA at another firm?


Is this an Austin, TX firm? I know of on there that does exactly this as well. They bring on 1Ls but wont bring on 2Ls in any case.


Graves Dougherty is now more flexible with this and may bring back 1Ls if they believe they will have a spot to hire them full time after graduation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Graves Dougherty is now more flexible with this and may bring back 1Ls if they believe they will have a spot to hire them full time after graduation.


Interesting, that must be as of this year or something. Great firm, from what I have heard, though exit options from some of those small Austin firms are not amazing. But also much better shot at parter (or shareholder in their case?)




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.