V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

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itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for all this! What puzzles me is, in som CB's, the decision-making or at least very important interviewers are some what arrogant. Not too bad, but their gestures and facial expressions just say "I'm not too impressed with you are telling me."

I tend to have some self doubt when the above scenario happens because -- I'm top 10% at a 80ish school in a major market on west coast.
I also have an employment gap before going to law school (unemployed about 1.5 yrs before entering law school, although I have decent explanation).
But, some say litigators just have poker faces (I'm interviewing for litigation).

I guess my resume is strong in junior or even mid-level associates' eyes. But what would you suggest me to do to improve my interview in front of a decision maker with some ego? e.g. be bold, or be submissive?


What makes you think your resume is so strong in junior or mid-level associates' eyes? I'm not trying to increase your self-doubt but different people have different attitudes. Is your school someplace the firm you're interviewing at normally hires from? If not, you may indeed need to "wow" these people. I can't tell you how to do that for yourself - the goal is to maximize the best parts of your skills/attributes.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a few CBs in market A and only 1 CB in market B. The firms in market A aren't in market B. What should I do if the firm in market B asks me who else I am interviewing with while there?

If market A is NYC or LA, tell them that while Market B is your target market, you aren't attracted to the idea of unemployment. It's gotten me CB's.


Hah. Not bad. I think if you can tell them honestly that you really want to work in market B because of reason X but you didn't get any other CBs there, that's fine and they'll believe you (though frankly I only ever ask someone where else they're looking at in a post-offer second round). You could also demur and say something like "I'm looking at a few firms but would rather not mention them" though they'll probably take that as other firms not as strongly ranked

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:08 pm

I interviewed with a V15 the other day and each interviewer nailed me down for a list of other firms where I have callbacks. I tried the vague answer that I am interviewing at other big NY firms, but each one asked for names specifically. I don't understand why. I really didn't feel like telling them as it seemed a bit weird that they were so insistent. Will it hurt may chances that I was interviewing at several "higher ranked" firms? I really couldn't give a shit less about a few V spots because I am much more interested in fit and the work. I just couldnt shake their questions though. They actually wrote down the names of the other firms. Then they proceeded to describe those other firms and compare them to themselves (in a rather neutral way, not all in a "this firm sucks" kind of way). I was thinking they were trying to gauge my seriousness about their firm. This questioning is the only thing that really really irked me during the callback.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with a V15 the other day and each interviewer nailed me down for a list of other firms where I have callbacks. I tried the vague answer that I am interviewing at other big NY firms, but each one asked for names specifically. I don't understand why. I really didn't feel like telling them as it seemed a bit weird that they were so insistent. Will it hurt may chances that I was interviewing at several "higher ranked" firms? I really couldn't give a shit less about a few V spots because I am much more interested in fit and the work. I just couldnt shake their questions though. They actually wrote down the names of the other firms. Then they proceeded to describe those other firms and compare them to themselves (in a rather neutral way, not all in a "this firm sucks" kind of way). I was thinking they were trying to gauge my seriousness about their firm. This questioning is the only thing that really really irked me during the callback.


Maybe they were trying to gauge your seriousness, or maybe they think you're a strong candidate and want to figure out how to convince you to choose them over their competition. If they think you're a good fit for them, I doubt they're going to ding you just because you're interviewing with a couple V5's.

005618502
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 005618502 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:21 pm

I hope you are still around taking questions.

Assume you have two students 1.) Went to Harvard/Stanford and 2.) Went to Duke/UVA/Berkeley.

Both just make the grade cut off for their respective school at your firm. Does the Harvard/Stanford grad have a large advantage still even though they have used the cushion your firm gives their GPA. Or once the interview comes are they on equal footing?

Thanks again for taking questions!

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:09 pm

Two candidates at a T14 you regularly recruit from. Assuming all else equal and both have engaging personalities + good interview skills. Who gets the CB?

Top 10% + Secondary Journal
Top 33% + Main Journal

I guess what my question boils down to is how big a factor is lack of main journal for a candidate with great greats?

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with a V15 the other day and each interviewer nailed me down for a list of other firms where I have callbacks. I tried the vague answer that I am interviewing at other big NY firms, but each one asked for names specifically. I don't understand why. I really didn't feel like telling them as it seemed a bit weird that they were so insistent. Will it hurt may chances that I was interviewing at several "higher ranked" firms? I really couldn't give a shit less about a few V spots because I am much more interested in fit and the work. I just couldnt shake their questions though. They actually wrote down the names of the other firms. Then they proceeded to describe those other firms and compare them to themselves (in a rather neutral way, not all in a "this firm sucks" kind of way). I was thinking they were trying to gauge my seriousness about their firm. This questioning is the only thing that really really irked me during the callback.


Maybe they were trying to gauge your seriousness, or maybe they think you're a strong candidate and want to figure out how to convince you to choose them over their competition. If they think you're a good fit for them, I doubt they're going to ding you just because you're interviewing with a couple V5's.


I'd agree with that, though I find the behavior frankly odd. I suspect the person is really trying to get a sense of who the competition for you will be - probably liked you a lot. If you liked the firm other than that move I wouldn't hold it against them. PM me if you'd like to discuss details

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:17 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:I hope you are still around taking questions.

Assume you have two students 1.) Went to Harvard/Stanford and 2.) Went to Duke/UVA/Berkeley.

Both just make the grade cut off for their respective school at your firm. Does the Harvard/Stanford grad have a large advantage still even though they have used the cushion your firm gives their GPA. Or once the interview comes are they on equal footing?

Thanks again for taking questions!


They probably are on relatively equal footing. Difference is probably though that the Duke/UVA/Berkeley person is going to need to nail the interview (not just a check-the-box thing for us) whereas the Harvard/Stanford kid probably just needs to be someone I like. I think we just have more spots available for callbacks for the Harvard/Stanford folks.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Two candidates at a T14 you regularly recruit from. Assuming all else equal and both have engaging personalities + good interview skills. Who gets the CB?

Top 10% + Secondary Journal
Top 33% + Main Journal

I guess what my question boils down to is how big a factor is lack of main journal for a candidate with great greats?


I might legitimately wonder why the kid with superlative grades didn't get on the main journal (i.e., if the criteria are such that with those grades the only way to not make it is truly terrible writing). And I probably give the top 33% with the main journal a bit of a boost in my mind. But the ultimate answer is probably that they both get callbacks if they're great interviews; the top 10% for meeting the grade cut and the top 33% for being at least very close to our grade standards (depending on school) and being charming plus top journal (though not guaranteed).

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 005618502 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:13 pm

This may have already been answered, although I looked through most and did not see it. On here we always talk about the T14 schools and the different groupings HYS--> CCN--> MVPB--> DCNG

Do you see it that way? Is Michigan and UVA (or any two in that group) really looked upon as equal? or is there a different thought at your firm? Going by what you remember the rankings as, or looking up the rankings each year and taking that into consideration.

I picked UVA over Michigan and Penn, now Michigan jumped to 7 and UVA is 9, does that make any difference?

Thanks again for taking questions, not very often we get this opportunity.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Two candidates at a T14 you regularly recruit from. Assuming all else equal and both have engaging personalities + good interview skills. Who gets the CB?

Top 10% + Secondary Journal
Top 33% + Main Journal

I guess what my question boils down to is how big a factor is lack of main journal for a candidate with great greats?


Just to give a second perspective on this:

I go to a school in the bottom half of the T13. I and a couple friends are in the first group you mentioned (Top 10%, secondary journal). I have 2-4 friends who are in the other group (Top third plus LR). They're KILLING us in callbacks. We're getting 3-5, and they're getting 8-12, and they're getting CBs from firms that rejected us outright. It seems like a lot of the best firms either have a mandatory LR requirement, or weigh it VERY heavily.

(Note: The people I mentioned above are all personable and able to hold good conversations and prepare for interviews. In theory, I'd say we're all roughly equal in interviewing skills)

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:47 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:I picked UVA over Michigan and Penn, now Michigan jumped to 7 and UVA is 9, does that make any difference?

I'll leave it to itbdvorm to answer for himself or herself, but it seems that the majority of recruiters—and the vast majority of partners and associates—do not know where a school is ranked in USNWR in any given year. Most lawyers at most firms seem aware of a school being a "top 10" school or a "top 20" school, but the lawyers base their impressions on reputations that the schools have earned over the course of several years or even decades.

I also found that most lawyers seem unaware of the "tiers" within the T14 that we obsess over on TLS. Many lawyers had no idea that NYU is ranked above Berkeley or that NU is ranked above Cornell. I think most hold Harvard in higher regard than, say, Penn, and hold Penn in higher regard than, say, USC, but the distinctions aren't as granular as TLS's conventional wisdom would suggest.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:41 pm

If I sent a thank-you e-mail after a screening interview and don't get a response, then should I assume it is a ding?

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:11 pm

I don't really get the law review fascination. In my own case, it seems especially misplaced, because as a transfer, I couldn't grade on and there were only two spots left for transfers anyway, out of a huge transfer class. So I ended up in a secondary and now I'm the Managing Editor. But even for the typical non-transfer student, it's just one writing contest, vis-a-vis the eight or so exams you've taken and the 1-2 semesters of legal writing in which you have grades. So can't they tell a whole lot better whether you can write/think from that than from how you did in a single write-on, graded by students?

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:48 pm

I think that much of this process is about credentials that are rough proxies for merit but are marketable. It may not ultimately be the fairest system for individual students who on paper may over or underperform their actual abilities, but from an employer's perspective, operating with limited information and wanting to impress clients, it makes sense. There seems to be a certain surprise to this realization by many law students, but fairness to individual candidates is not anyone's primary goal, at the end of the day.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:49 pm

At the CB stage, how much is it about fit vs. credentials?

Let's say that I exceed the firm's grade cutoff, but don't have something like LR. But I get a CB. Can the lack of LR ding me at the CB stage?

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:05 pm

Marketabilty is a good response to my law review question, though some firms are strong enough to sell themselves. I just don't see that law review is much of a proxy for merit; it's like singling out first semester legal writing, or your grade in civil procedure, and making that an all-important proxy. Though even that's better, as professors are the graders there. But if it matters to clients, I agree that's all that matters; this is, after all, a business.

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Two candidates at a T14 you regularly recruit from. Assuming all else equal and both have engaging personalities + good interview skills. Who gets the CB?

Top 10% + Secondary Journal
Top 33% + Main Journal

I guess what my question boils down to is how big a factor is lack of main journal for a candidate with great greats?


Just to give a second perspective on this:

I go to a school in the bottom half of the T13. I and a couple friends are in the first group you mentioned (Top 10%, secondary journal). I have 2-4 friends who are in the other group (Top third plus LR). They're KILLING us in callbacks. We're getting 3-5, and they're getting 8-12, and they're getting CBs from firms that rejected us outright. It seems like a lot of the best firms either have a mandatory LR requirement, or weigh it VERY heavily.

(Note: The people I mentioned above are all personable and able to hold good conversations and prepare for interviews. In theory, I'd say we're all roughly equal in interviewing skills)


I'm a top 10% secondary journal guy who just completed a pretty terrible OCI. Thought most of my interviews went pretty well.

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20160810
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 20160810 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:39 pm

How often--if ever--do you change GPA cutoffs for schools you interview at in response to changes in rankings? (Full disclosure: I am a 3L at UC Davis, and we've gone from ~40 to 23 in the past few years, but I ask this because I suspect that employers don't much care.)

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Two candidates at a T14 you regularly recruit from. Assuming all else equal and both have engaging personalities + good interview skills. Who gets the CB?

Top 10% + Secondary Journal
Top 33% + Main Journal

I guess what my question boils down to is how big a factor is lack of main journal for a candidate with great greats?


Just to give a second perspective on this:

I go to a school in the bottom half of the T13. I and a couple friends are in the first group you mentioned (Top 10%, secondary journal). I have 2-4 friends who are in the other group (Top third plus LR). They're KILLING us in callbacks. We're getting 3-5, and they're getting 8-12, and they're getting CBs from firms that rejected us outright. It seems like a lot of the best firms either have a mandatory LR requirement, or weigh it VERY heavily.

(Note: The people I mentioned above are all personable and able to hold good conversations and prepare for interviews. In theory, I'd say we're all roughly equal in interviewing skills)


Interesting, and somewhat surprising.

I think that certain law firms may indeed have a mandatory (or nearly mandatory) LR requirement. Nonetheless, I recall that people from my class both on LR and not ended up at virtually every selective / super-selective firm you can think of (a better time than now, and I was higher up the USN rankings, but still).

I'm pretty sure grades are always (or almost always) more of the deciding factor for us though.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:I picked UVA over Michigan and Penn, now Michigan jumped to 7 and UVA is 9, does that make any difference?

I'll leave it to itbdvorm to answer for himself or herself, but it seems that the majority of recruiters—and the vast majority of partners and associates—do not know where a school is ranked in USNWR in any given year. Most lawyers at most firms seem aware of a school being a "top 10" school or a "top 20" school, but the lawyers base their impressions on reputations that the schools have earned over the course of several years or even decades.

I also found that most lawyers seem unaware of the "tiers" within the T14 that we obsess over on TLS. Many lawyers had no idea that NYU is ranked above Berkeley or that NU is ranked above Cornell. I think most hold Harvard in higher regard than, say, Penn, and hold Penn in higher regard than, say, USC, but the distinctions aren't as granular as TLS's conventional wisdom would suggest.


I would generally agree with the above, though I think there is some tiering at least in my mind. YHS, CCN, and then a big clump of relatively similar (UVA, Michigan, Penn, Boalt). I would honestly say between schools in each tier to pick the one you like the most (maybe with Yale on its own) because, assuming equivalent performance, choosing one over another is not going to do that much one way or another in the end.

That is probably a slight overgeneralization if you take geographic preferences into account (probably south - go to UVA; west coast - go to Boalt; midwest - go to Michigan)

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:If I sent a thank-you e-mail after a screening interview and don't get a response, then should I assume it is a ding?


Probably too late by now (been busy, apologies for the delay in writing back) but this doesn't necessarily mean anything. Many lawyers (including me) get really busy and can't always write back.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't really get the law review fascination. In my own case, it seems especially misplaced, because as a transfer, I couldn't grade on and there were only two spots left for transfers anyway, out of a huge transfer class. So I ended up in a secondary and now I'm the Managing Editor. But even for the typical non-transfer student, it's just one writing contest, vis-a-vis the eight or so exams you've taken and the 1-2 semesters of legal writing in which you have grades. So can't they tell a whole lot better whether you can write/think from that than from how you did in a single write-on, graded by students?


Aren't most law reviews a combo (grades + writing competition)?

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:At the CB stage, how much is it about fit vs. credentials?

Let's say that I exceed the firm's grade cutoff, but don't have something like LR. But I get a CB. Can the lack of LR ding me at the CB stage?


Probably not. If the firm is picking between two people it likes for one offer slot and the other person has law review, that might give him/her a bump. But if you nail your callback interviews you'll almost certainly get an offer (at least from us)

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Re: V15 OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:58 am

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't really get the law review fascination. In my own case, it seems especially misplaced, because as a transfer, I couldn't grade on and there were only two spots left for transfers anyway, out of a huge transfer class. So I ended up in a secondary and now I'm the Managing Editor. But even for the typical non-transfer student, it's just one writing contest, vis-a-vis the eight or so exams you've taken and the 1-2 semesters of legal writing in which you have grades. So can't they tell a whole lot better whether you can write/think from that than from how you did in a single write-on, graded by students?


Aren't most law reviews a combo (grades + writing competition)?


To give the example of my own school (NYU, where law review is ridiculously hard to get due to the large class size):

15 slots are grade-on only (writing doesn't matter)
15 slots are write-on only (grades don't matter)
5 slots are mixed (grades and writing matter)*
12 slots are for diversity (only need to be in the top half of the class in grades and on the writing competition, diversity is based solely on personal statement)

*In practice, these slots go to the next 5 students who didn't grade on directly, so it's almost all about grades here, too.

I think this is a fairly typical system, although the particulars may vary. Not very many students or schools are ever judged on a combination of writing and grades; it's usually one or the other.




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