V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:39 am

brotherdarkness wrote:How important are extracurriculars like board positions on a secondary journal, moot court, negotiation competitions and other things like that for a 2L who has secured a biglaw SA and has kept his grades up? Is not attempting to pile on more work than necessary going to harm me later on down the road?


zero.

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

Postby brotherdarkness » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:41 am

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby downinDtown » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:48 am

Tag. May have to take a half-day and real of this.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:40 pm

Bumping, a little slow, hi everyone.

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retaking23
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby retaking23 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:47 pm

Suppose I don't look very professional, how much does this hurt me? As in I'll wear the proper attire but everything will be a little off (sleeves a little long, etc.). How much does appearance, height, chest-size (lol), beauty, etc. affect interviews compared to personality and grades?

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

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:54 pm

retaking23 wrote:Suppose I don't look very professional, how much does this hurt me? As in I'll wear the proper attire but everything will be a little off (sleeves a little long, etc.). How much does appearance, height, chest-size (lol), beauty, etc. affect interviews compared to personality and grades?

Why wouldn't you just buy clothes that fit and shave your face? That's the easiest part compared to personality and grades.

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bk1
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:59 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
retaking23 wrote:Suppose I don't look very professional, how much does this hurt me? As in I'll wear the proper attire but everything will be a little off (sleeves a little long, etc.). How much does appearance, height, chest-size (lol), beauty, etc. affect interviews compared to personality and grades?

Why wouldn't you just buy clothes that fit and shave your face? That's the easiest part compared to personality and grades.

More importantly:

This forum is not for 0Ls.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:10 pm

Is anyone in this thread involved with 3L hiring at your firms?

If so, I have two related questions.

Assuming one has an offer from the summer, how does a 2L who was rejected at the callback stage fare when applying as a 3L? I would assume that the credentials were enough to get hired and it was more of a fit/culture issue. This doesn't disappear in a year. Obviously hiring needs have changed, but it would seem as though, all things being equal, a 3L who hadn't interviewed and been rejected as a 2L would be more attractive.

Also, how do your firms view 3Ls who turned down an offer to summer at your firm?

Anonymous for obvious reasons.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is anyone in this thread involved with 3L hiring at your firms?

If so, I have two related questions.

Assuming one has an offer from the summer, how does a 2L who was rejected at the callback stage fare when applying as a 3L? I would assume that the credentials were enough to get hired and it was more of a fit/culture issue. This doesn't disappear in a year. Obviously hiring needs have changed, but it would seem as though, all things being equal, a 3L who hadn't interviewed and been rejected as a 2L would be more attractive.

Also, how do your firms view 3Ls who turned down an offer to summer at your firm?

Anonymous for obvious reasons.


Answer is frankly highly dependant. If you were a "not bad, just not great" candidate and we had some stars, then you're available again 3L year and we think we need bodies, good shot. If you flamed out spectacularly you may be in trouble. But remember, grades/credentials don't go to zero at the callback stage - just means you're over the minimum. If on campus we have 5 kids we call back and we think we have room for 2, the grades likely get taken into account along with the overall interview reviews if it's borderline. Frankly a very difficult judgment but never hurts to apply.

3Ls who turned down the offer may be looked at skeptically absent a change in circumstance. But I know we've hired them.

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

Postby hous » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:40 pm

Would working 20 hours a week in a small litigation firm throughout all three years of law school get a boost over others that just interned somewhere over summer?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:45 pm

Considering transferring schools but curious how employers find this on the resume when going into OCI? I'm guessing i'm in the top 25-40% of the class (we don't rank so not sure where i exactly fall, but well above the curve). My current school is ranked between 20-25 and has great name recognition/alumni base around the nation. My target schools fall into the MVP bracket and I was admitted at MVP before picking my current school for scholarship reasons.

I come from a finance/Investment Banking/Consulting background (worked there between UG and LS) and I was fortunate to land a Fellowship/Summer Associate position in the Legal Department of a Fortunate 10's VC group over the summer in a major market. I'd like to go into transactional related law after school - ideally in the finance/VC/startup/Corporate practice groups (I started a few companies of my own in UG hence the interest and focus).

I'm curious what you look for when evaluating transfers during OCI. Will the name of my past school, grades be a key focus and my 1L experience reinforce i'm employable; are you more prone to look at my past employment history; or is it strictly grades and that's it? How do you compare a student with GPA from old school who transfers in, with a student with GPA from new school which is higher ranked, even though they are now at the same school; is the GPA cutoff the same or are the standards different? I always hear there are stigmas against transfers so I want to mitigate these as much as possible if i go through with the transfer (assuming i'm readmitted). Thanks for any advice/comments you have.

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

Postby roranoa » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:33 pm

Do old (30-35) applicants bother you?

How bad would it be to have a "pending" Master's Degree on one's resume. (but has good enough gpa)

Would it be fine if can explain myself?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:40 pm

roranoa wrote:Do old (30-35) applicants bother you?

How bad would it be to have a "pending" Master's Degree on one's resume. (but has good enough gpa)

Would it be fine if can explain myself?

For patent prosecution applicants, you're more likely to bother the interviewer if you're UNDER 30 since they prefer work experience and advanced degrees, especially for biotech. This could also go for other areas like corporate/tax/accounting/financial law. Work experience is highly desirable. Being 30-35 won't bother them at all in most cases as long as you were up to relevant things during those 8+ years.

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

Postby Dafaq » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:44 pm

Do you have any “don’t” for those of us starting at a firm in a few months? In other words, what have other 1st years done that was annoying?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:25 pm

is asking about diversity initiatives (e.g. what the firm specifically does to promote diversity other than the vague statement on every firm website) a big no-no on an interview? does it matter if i'm asian (as opposed to "traditional" URMs like black/hispanic)?

i genuinely care, but i don't want to seem like a jerk and put the interviewer on the spot. this is for a lateral interview, and not oci btw

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 05, 2014 2:13 pm

hous wrote:Would working 20 hours a week in a small litigation firm throughout all three years of law school get a boost over others that just interned somewhere over summer?


not particularly

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 05, 2014 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Considering transferring schools but curious how employers find this on the resume when going into OCI? I'm guessing i'm in the top 25-40% of the class (we don't rank so not sure where i exactly fall, but well above the curve). My current school is ranked between 20-25 and has great name recognition/alumni base around the nation. My target schools fall into the MVP bracket and I was admitted at MVP before picking my current school for scholarship reasons.

I come from a finance/Investment Banking/Consulting background (worked there between UG and LS) and I was fortunate to land a Fellowship/Summer Associate position in the Legal Department of a Fortunate 10's VC group over the summer in a major market. I'd like to go into transactional related law after school - ideally in the finance/VC/startup/Corporate practice groups (I started a few companies of my own in UG hence the interest and focus).

I'm curious what you look for when evaluating transfers during OCI. Will the name of my past school, grades be a key focus and my 1L experience reinforce i'm employable; are you more prone to look at my past employment history; or is it strictly grades and that's it? How do you compare a student with GPA from old school who transfers in, with a student with GPA from new school which is higher ranked, even though they are now at the same school; is the GPA cutoff the same or are the standards different? I always hear there are stigmas against transfers so I want to mitigate these as much as possible if i go through with the transfer (assuming i'm readmitted). Thanks for any advice/comments you have.


I've noted a few times that I don't believe transfers have much of a boost in 2L OCI over performance at the prior school. We've gotten burned many times by transfers (though also have plenty that have done great). You'll be judged based upon performance at prior school (i.e., if our GPA cutoff at St. John's is 3.8, you won't get to take advantage of NYU's lower grade cutoff by transfering there), and will be expected to perform at current school up to our standards (i.e., don't slack off 2L year).

Past employment history is always good. People who undersatnd what we do interview better.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 05, 2014 2:22 pm

roranoa wrote:Do old (30-35) applicants bother you?

How bad would it be to have a "pending" Master's Degree on one's resume. (but has good enough gpa)

Would it be fine if can explain myself?


No. Does working for someone 5-10 years younger than you bother you? You should think about it honestly.

Fine, though the resume should explain if possible (i.e., thesis defense pending or something)

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 05, 2014 2:23 pm

Dafaq wrote:Do you have any “don’t” for those of us starting at a firm in a few months? In other words, what have other 1st years done that was annoying?


Be eager (but not annoyingly so), be responsive (no such thing as "too responsive"), be humble (you really do not know anytihng), be OCD-level attention to detail

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 05, 2014 2:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:is asking about diversity initiatives (e.g. what the firm specifically does to promote diversity other than the vague statement on every firm website) a big no-no on an interview? does it matter if i'm asian (as opposed to "traditional" URMs like black/hispanic)?

i genuinely care, but i don't want to seem like a jerk and put the interviewer on the spot. this is for a lateral interview, and not oci btw


do it after you have the job. if you meet with someone from your ethnic group, you can maybe ask about what their experience is like as a member of that group at that firm. i wouldn't, though (but my perspective may be different).

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

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Hey, thanks for keeping up with this. Will have OCI this summer.

How do you view students going into OCI with a 1L SA from another big firm? Is it a potential negative if you think an applicant might have another outstanding offer on the table (don't want to hurt your yield, ect.)? Or mild positive since I'll have a better idea of what the work is actually like (although it might be a different practice area)?

Also, is talking about pre-law school professional work experience annoying to you? (take, for example, consulting). I can imagine an interviewee going on about a different service industry being a distraction, although there are a few interesting experiences to speak to and I've been asked about it in prior interviews at length. Don't want to repeat that if it's a mistake in the OCI context though.

Does it matter to be president of an important student group on-campus? Do the titles of student orgs/specialized moot courts/journals that show up on your resume ect. automatically "slot" you into a specific niche - and could that have a negative impact on being called back if your niche is more selective? A little afraid of having too heavy a focus on a particular area of law that some people on this site especially don't view very favorably.

For our oci, the interviewers never see your grades until you come into the interview with your transcript. When you first see the transcript, how visibly does it impact how you decide to proceed with the interview? Do you ask different questions to students with different grades (if you haven't seen those grades before). Any advice on how to react to an interviewer's reaction to seeing your grades first time would be appreciated.

Lastly, if your firm as offices in NY and CA, and you find out that a student has interviews lined up with both offices, is that kid totally fucked? Or is there flexibility? I know some firms organizationally keep recruiting entirely separate and others don't.

Sorry this is a lot of rather specific/irritating questions. This is TLS, though.

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

Postby fxb » Tue May 06, 2014 11:11 am

jbagelboy wrote:Hey, thanks for keeping up with this. Will have OCI this summer.


Not OP but a V50 interviewer and legal recruiting committee member.

How do you view students going into OCI with a 1L SA from another big firm? Is it a potential negative if you think an applicant might have another outstanding offer on the table (don't want to hurt your yield, ect.)? Or mild positive since I'll have a better idea of what the work is actually like (although it might be a different practice area)?


Positive. Shows commitment to private practice. Not worried about another offer on the table, but would expect you to be able to say good things in response to "why our firm?" (E.g. if we are in a different city than your 1L firm, or if our work is very different, I would be a little worried about which one you "really" want.)

Also, is talking about pre-law school professional work experience annoying to you? (take, for example, consulting). I can imagine an interviewee going on about a different service industry being a distraction, although there are a few interesting experiences to speak to and I've been asked about it in prior interviews at length. Don't want to repeat that if it's a mistake in the OCI context though.


Not annoying if I ask, just don't drone on or sound like you were too in love with it. Whatever your experience was, you have now chosen a different career path, so don't make it sound like your dream is the first career. "Management consulting gave me some good opportunities and I learned X, but I left that for law school because I'm also looking for Y," is good. And just try to develop a sense of how much you are BS-ing. This is esp. true for consulting. I will eyeroll and look down on any applicant who says something remotely like, "management consulting was great because I truly got to be a high-level strategist to our clients, providing advice to C-suite executives who were attuned to my every word, and everyone at that client is going to fondly remember our engagement for years to come."

Does it matter to be president of an important student group on-campus? Do the titles of student orgs/specialized moot courts/journals that show up on your resume ect. automatically "slot" you into a specific niche - and could that have a negative impact on being called back if your niche is more selective? A little afraid of having too heavy a focus on a particular area of law that some people on this site especially don't view very favorably.


Not totally sure what you're getting at, but we might be concerned that someone is "too" public interest so it's just a question of how much of that particular area/niche is on your resume. Single items won't really sink you. A 1L position for an environmental NGO isn't a problem. Being a member of a clinic isn't a problem. Being a member of the public interest law society isn't even a problem. But, for instance, someone who was in the Peace Corps, is the founder of the International Human Rights Society, spent their 1L summer in Rwanda, etc. will have to have an extremely compelling story for why they are interested in a big firm. (And not a story that relies on the pro bono section of our website!)

For our oci, the interviewers never see your grades until you come into the interview with your transcript. When you first see the transcript, how visibly does it impact how you decide to proceed with the interview? Do you ask different questions to students with different grades (if you haven't seen those grades before). Any advice on how to react to an interviewer's reaction to seeing your grades first time would be appreciated.


Ehh, don't worry about it. I personally make a point of not even looking at the transcript during the interview because I think it's rude, I just shove it under my legal pad when the student hands it to me. If interviewers do look at the transcript, there could be such a range of reactions that you shouldn't try to read the tea leaves. The risk is that you misunderstand a raised eyebrow and seem defensive. I can't think of a situation where being proactively defensive about grades ("Just so you know, I was sick and my cat died on the day of my Torts exam") will help you. Some interviewers will ask about bad grades ("What happened in Contracts?") which might feel awkward but is about the kindest thing they can do for you.

Lastly, if your firm as offices in NY and CA, and you find out that a student has interviews lined up with both offices, is that kid totally fucked? Or is there flexibility? I know some firms organizationally keep recruiting entirely separate and others don't.


Not totally fucked, but depends on the firm. We understand that law students don't always know where they want to be and deciding between 2 cities isn't bad. Deciding between 6 is. And you would only be fucked in your scenario if you lied to one ("I definitely plan on spending my summer in NY") and then we find out you are interviewing elsewhere. Even at a "offices interview separately" firm, they would find that stuff out.

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

Postby Danger Zone » Tue May 06, 2014 6:00 pm

How do you appropriately answer the "what happened in contracts" question? Making excuses seems like you're blaming anyone but yourself, but saying something like *shrug* "luck of the curve I suppose" makes you seem like you can't accurately assess your own weaknesses. And bringing up any weakness seems like a bad idea too.

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

Postby Pulsar » Tue May 06, 2014 8:40 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Hey, thanks for keeping up with this. Will have OCI this summer.

For our oci, the interviewers never see your grades until you come into the interview with your transcript. When you first see the transcript, how visibly does it impact how you decide to proceed with the interview?



About half of my screeners looked at my transcript immediately upon getting it at the beginning of the interview. I think it definitely colored the pace of some of these interviews, in about the ways you might expect.

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

Postby fxb » Tue May 06, 2014 11:12 pm

Danger Zone wrote:How do you appropriately answer the "what happened in contracts" question? Making excuses seems like you're blaming anyone but yourself, but saying something like *shrug* "luck of the curve I suppose" makes you seem like you can't accurately assess your own weaknesses. And bringing up any weakness seems like a bad idea too.


Good question. Answer isn't simple because there are so many possibilities (and because, as I suggested in my previous response, this isn't a question I would ask of an interviewee). But off the top of my head, depending on how bad the grade is, maybe the best you can do for a mediocre-but-not-failing grade is short and sweet -- "I've been over the exam since then, trying to figure that out myself, and I think I just misread/overthought one or two of the questions."

The idea is to try to convey that you were interested in the class, had a good grasp of the material, and just missed something. The nice thing about the words "overthought" or "misread" or other similar ways of putting it is that they don't necessarily come across as, "well, my answer was brilliant, the professor just didn't understand it," but they don't make you seem dumb either.

Depending on the tenor of the interview, maybe even just saying that you had an "off day" would work, if your other grades show that it really was an outlier.

Biggest point is that what will not work is, "I was sick that day," "my girlfriend dumped me the night before," "it was my third day in a row having an exam and I also had a paper due." I would also be careful about saying something like, "I guess Contracts just isn't my subject!" I think that we all understand that law school grading is a little random and that anyone can have an off day or can miss the point of a question, but what would be unforgivable is you suggesting that a subject was simply unlearnable and beyond your grasp.




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