V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 07, 2014 9:11 am

fxb wrote:
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.



Geez, I couldn't disagree with this answer more. Once someone gave me the "overthought" angle and I dung them for it. Overthought is excuse making. The strongest answer is "Just wasn't my day - I went back and got the exam and went over it with the professor, and it just wasn't as good as my other exams." That's (a) most likely the true answer, so it has the advantage of not bullshitting me and (b) takes ownership. "Overthought" is too close to citing perfectionism as your biggest flaw.

Obviously, as this thread indicates, YMMV even among V15 interviewers, which is why getting jobs ain't easy.

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

Postby fxb » Wed May 07, 2014 9:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
fxb wrote:
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.



Geez, I couldn't disagree with this answer more. Once someone gave me the "overthought" angle and I dung them for it. Overthought is excuse making. The strongest answer is "Just wasn't my day - I went back and got the exam and went over it with the professor, and it just wasn't as good as my other exams." That's (a) most likely the true answer, so it has the advantage of not bullshitting me and (b) takes ownership. "Overthought" is too close to citing perfectionism as your biggest flaw.

Obviously, as this thread indicates, YMMV even among V15 interviewers, which is why getting jobs ain't easy.


Yup, that's the key. I like "overthought" more than "wasn't my day," but just goes to show you won't find consistency among interviewers. Which is also why you shouldn't take any given interview or ding personally.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 07, 2014 9:39 am

This might have been covered, but I couldn't find it in this thread, so I wanted to ask it again.

I know a lot has been discussed about how to approach 3L OCI if you didn't receive an offer from your 2L SA. But, what is the best way to leverage a 2L SA offer during 3L OCI, especially if you're trying to move to a firm that is "lower-ranked," focuses on a different practice area, and is in a different geographical market?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed May 07, 2014 4:32 pm

fxb wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
fxb wrote:
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.



Geez, I couldn't disagree with this answer more. Once someone gave me the "overthought" angle and I dung them for it. Overthought is excuse making. The strongest answer is "Just wasn't my day - I went back and got the exam and went over it with the professor, and it just wasn't as good as my other exams." That's (a) most likely the true answer, so it has the advantage of not bullshitting me and (b) takes ownership. "Overthought" is too close to citing perfectionism as your biggest flaw.

Obviously, as this thread indicates, YMMV even among V15 interviewers, which is why getting jobs ain't easy.


Yup, that's the key. I like "overthought" more than "wasn't my day," but just goes to show you won't find consistency among interviewers. Which is also why you shouldn't take any given interview or ding personally.


I generally agree with fxb's post (this one and the prior one). The reality for us is (sorry), I doubt anyone's going to hit our callback criteria with a "so, what happened there?" grade. But I'd also say that I'd often prefer a candidate with an A, a B+ and a B- vs. a candidate with 3 B+s, as the former shows the capacity for true excellence.

Our reality is at most of the schools we interview at, if we can't pre-select there are other set criteria that allow me to pre-judge whether you're going to hit our GPA cutoffs (honors, law review, % of class, etc.). So even if I'm just getting your transcript as I walk into the room, I have a pretty good idea of whether or not you're in the ballpark. I try to take a quick glance just to see if we're having a "wiggle room, maybe there's a shot" conversation vs. a "no chance in hell" - if the latter I'll usually try to end it a bit early so I can do other stuff / real job. But sometimes I just end early anyway, need a break, start a couple minutes late, etc.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed May 07, 2014 4:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This might have been covered, but I couldn't find it in this thread, so I wanted to ask it again.

I know a lot has been discussed about how to approach 3L OCI if you didn't receive an offer from your 2L SA. But, what is the best way to leverage a 2L SA offer during 3L OCI, especially if you're trying to move to a firm that is "lower-ranked," focuses on a different practice area, and is in a different geographical market?


Move TO a firm that way? Frankly, a weird statement. Unless a compelling reason for moving to the different geographical market that didn't exist a year ago, I'd wonder why you didn't try to spend your prior summer there to begin with.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 07, 2014 11:06 pm

itbdvorm wrote: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.


Can you explain? What do you mean by "burned"? Like they were intellectually not up to par despite presumably being high up in their 1L classes?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 07, 2014 11:55 pm

Hi, this isn't related to OCI but is related to job hunting. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on lateraling based on what you've seen in practice.

I'm a second-year associate at a strong regional firm in the south Atlantic and I'd like to lateral to another area like NYC/DC/LA to gain better work experience and expand my exit options. The issue is that my firm's name recognition is limited to my region. For the record, I'm not seeking to get into a particularly prestigious firm, in fact I'm happy lateraling to a comparable firm or a "lower-tiered" biglaw firm.

What are my chances of success with networking and good work product? And what else should I be doing to best position myself for a successful lateral to a different region?

Thanks!

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu May 08, 2014 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote: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.


Can you explain? What do you mean by "burned"? Like they were intellectually not up to par despite presumably being high up in their 1L classes?


Yes.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu May 08, 2014 12:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, this isn't related to OCI but is related to job hunting. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on lateraling based on what you've seen in practice.

I'm a second-year associate at a strong regional firm in the south Atlantic and I'd like to lateral to another area like NYC/DC/LA to gain better work experience and expand my exit options. The issue is that my firm's name recognition is limited to my region. For the record, I'm not seeking to get into a particularly prestigious firm, in fact I'm happy lateraling to a comparable firm or a "lower-tiered" biglaw firm.

What are my chances of success with networking and good work product? And what else should I be doing to best position myself for a successful lateral to a different region?

Thanks!


Probably fairly decent. The key factor is having experience that travels. So being an expert in Georgia law is not that useful, but DE/NY law, M&A broadly, securities, etc. I'd try to move sooner rather than later and I'd be willing to take a class year cut-back.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 08, 2014 12:49 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi, this isn't related to OCI but is related to job hunting. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on lateraling based on what you've seen in practice.

I'm a second-year associate at a strong regional firm in the south Atlantic and I'd like to lateral to another area like NYC/DC/LA to gain better work experience and expand my exit options. The issue is that my firm's name recognition is limited to my region. For the record, I'm not seeking to get into a particularly prestigious firm, in fact I'm happy lateraling to a comparable firm or a "lower-tiered" biglaw firm.

What are my chances of success with networking and good work product? And what else should I be doing to best position myself for a successful lateral to a different region?

Thanks!


Probably fairly decent. The key factor is having experience that travels. So being an expert in Georgia law is not that useful, but DE/NY law, M&A broadly, securities, etc. I'd try to move sooner rather than later and I'd be willing to take a class year cut-back.


Thanks for all your responses. Not OP but I was wondering how you let the firm know you would be willing to lose a class year. Is that something you would put in the cover letter or wait until you do an interview? Also, if you're assuming you won't make partner at the firm, isn't it almost better to lose a class year?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 12, 2014 6:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi, this isn't related to OCI but is related to job hunting. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on lateraling based on what you've seen in practice.

I'm a second-year associate at a strong regional firm in the south Atlantic and I'd like to lateral to another area like NYC/DC/LA to gain better work experience and expand my exit options. The issue is that my firm's name recognition is limited to my region. For the record, I'm not seeking to get into a particularly prestigious firm, in fact I'm happy lateraling to a comparable firm or a "lower-tiered" biglaw firm.

What are my chances of success with networking and good work product? And what else should I be doing to best position myself for a successful lateral to a different region?

Thanks!


Probably fairly decent. The key factor is having experience that travels. So being an expert in Georgia law is not that useful, but DE/NY law, M&A broadly, securities, etc. I'd try to move sooner rather than later and I'd be willing to take a class year cut-back.


Thanks for all your responses. Not OP but I was wondering how you let the firm know you would be willing to lose a class year. Is that something you would put in the cover letter or wait until you do an interview? Also, if you're assuming you won't make partner at the firm, isn't it almost better to lose a class year?


a) I think it would come up through the interview process

b) probably not, but maybe in certain circumstances. all depends on level-setting expectations

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 12, 2014 6:45 pm

Do you recommend suiting up first day of SA at business casual firm?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 12, 2014 7:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you recommend suiting up first day of SA at business casual firm?


Not really. Maybe suit, no tie

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 18, 2014 7:42 am

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi, this isn't related to OCI but is related to job hunting. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on lateraling based on what you've seen in practice.

I'm a second-year associate at a strong regional firm in the south Atlantic and I'd like to lateral to another area like NYC/DC/LA to gain better work experience and expand my exit options. The issue is that my firm's name recognition is limited to my region. For the record, I'm not seeking to get into a particularly prestigious firm, in fact I'm happy lateraling to a comparable firm or a "lower-tiered" biglaw firm.

What are my chances of success with networking and good work product? And what else should I be doing to best position myself for a successful lateral to a different region?

Thanks!


Probably fairly decent. The key factor is having experience that travels. So being an expert in Georgia law is not that useful, but DE/NY law, M&A broadly, securities, etc. I'd try to move sooner rather than later and I'd be willing to take a class year cut-back.


Not OP here but in a similar situation. This summer I'm a SA at a well respected regional firm. While I'm grateful for this opportunity, for personal and professional reasons I'd like to get into another market. My target region and target firm are geographically very far apart. For example, to use OP's region, I'm in GA and my target area is southern CA. I'm aware transitioning to a different firm as a rising 3L is difficult but I'd still like to try.

a) Is there a risk that my current firm would find out what I'm doing by word of mouth from other firms? Would an interested firm contact my current firm for character references or anything like that without my knowledge?

b) Do you have any networking tips to increase my odds of success in this endeavor? So far I've done the usual: talk to alums, friends at other firms, etc.

I appreciate your help!

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 26, 2014 7:16 pm

Saw this in another thread - it's really great advice for current summers. Read it, know it, live it

nucky thompson wrote:http://ehmunnell.com/posts/best-practices-for-summer-associates-in-three-simple-charts/

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

Postby TooOld4This » Mon May 26, 2014 10:46 pm

itbdvorm wrote:Saw this in another thread - it's really great advice for current summers. Read it, know it, live it

nucky thompson wrote:http://ehmunnell.com/posts/best-practices-for-summer-associates-in-three-simple-charts/


Blows my mind that anyone would read this and think anything other than "well, duh." (and yet, every year my mind is blown)

(the standing out chart should be removed -- anyone who needs the first two, wouldn't know how to implement the third without screwing it up)

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 27, 2014 12:42 am

I struck out at 2L OCI, but had a significant grade boost last fall and am currently ~top 5% at a T20 (this semester's grades still pending). I will be working in-house this summer at a Fortune 500, and I am going to get a JD/MBA in order to get another crack at 2L OCI.

How would you view a candidate such as myself? Would I be on an even playing field with 2Ls? Do you view the JD/MBA as a plus or a minus (or neither)? Would you see the lack of any firm experience after two summers as a red flag? How should I address any questions about my lack of firm experience, if that comes up?


Thanks!

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 27, 2014 10:45 am

I have an interview to lateral into a v100 firm next week; I'm currently at a mid-sized regional firm that's decently respected in the area, but not in the area of this v100 firm. I've seen it mentioned on this forum occasionally that you can show a willingness to be held back a class year (e.g. get hired as a first year associate even though you're a second or third year at your current firm) in order to get a better shot. Is this something I could bring up at my interview, or would it just reek of desperation? I'm a second year, but I'd be willing to be hired as a first year if it meant closing the job.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 27, 2014 10:52 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:Saw this in another thread - it's really great advice for current summers. Read it, know it, live it

nucky thompson wrote:http://ehmunnell.com/posts/best-practices-for-summer-associates-in-three-simple-charts/


Blows my mind that anyone would read this and think anything other than "well, duh." (and yet, every year my mind is blown)

(the standing out chart should be removed -- anyone who needs the first two, wouldn't know how to implement the third without screwing it up)


Captain Obvious is, obviously, not always Obvious...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 27, 2014 10:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I struck out at 2L OCI, but had a significant grade boost last fall and am currently ~top 5% at a T20 (this semester's grades still pending). I will be working in-house this summer at a Fortune 500, and I am going to get a JD/MBA in order to get another crack at 2L OCI.

How would you view a candidate such as myself? Would I be on an even playing field with 2Ls? Do you view the JD/MBA as a plus or a minus (or neither)? Would you see the lack of any firm experience after two summers as a red flag? How should I address any questions about my lack of firm experience, if that comes up?


Thanks!


Screw 2L OCI. Get your JD/MBA and go work for that F500 company full-time.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 27, 2014 10:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have an interview to lateral into a v100 firm next week; I'm currently at a mid-sized regional firm that's decently respected in the area, but not in the area of this v100 firm. I've seen it mentioned on this forum occasionally that you can show a willingness to be held back a class year (e.g. get hired as a first year associate even though you're a second or third year at your current firm) in order to get a better shot. Is this something I could bring up at my interview, or would it just reek of desperation? I'm a second year, but I'd be willing to be hired as a first year if it meant closing the job.


I wouldn't bring it up. If someone there does, you can express your willingness to do so

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:29 pm

if you/your firm were interviewing a 3L candidate, would you be more concerned with their overall GPA or their GPA over 2L year if it was significantly higher than 1L year?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:if you/your firm were interviewing a 3L candidate, would you be more concerned with their overall GPA or their GPA over 2L year if it was significantly higher than 1L year?


Both. We don't look at many 3Ls generally - you probably would need to be just below our grade cut 1L year w/an awesome 2L year given how much easier 2L year is

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:43 pm

What is the likelihood of moves like these within firms after 2-3 years:
NY-->DC
NY-->CA
TX-->DC
TX-->CA
DC-->CA
CA-->DC

I'll probably have a V30 offer in hand for NY going into OCI, but my SO doesn't yet know where they'll end up between DC and CA, so I need to have some flexibility as far as where I work.

Of the firms with offices in DC, Bay Area, TX, and NY (e.g. Akin, Weil, Jones Day, Cadwalader, King & Spalding, etc.) do you have any insight as to how movement between them works? Is this a question I could ask at OCI, or in summer receptions, without drawing red flags?

MVP, above median, ties to all locations save for DC.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What is the likelihood of moves like these within firms after 2-3 years:
NY-->DC
NY-->CA
TX-->DC
TX-->CA
DC-->CA
CA-->DC

I'll probably have a V30 offer in hand for NY going into OCI, but my SO doesn't yet know where they'll end up between DC and CA, so I need to have some flexibility as far as where I work.

Of the firms with offices in DC, Bay Area, TX, and NY (e.g. Akin, Weil, Jones Day, Cadwalader, King & Spalding, etc.) do you have any insight as to how movement between them works? Is this a question I could ask at OCI, or in summer receptions, without drawing red flags?

MVP, above median, ties to all locations save for DC.


Really depends on the firm. Generally, TX is going to be easiest, SF/DC hardest. SV often not that tough. If you're doing well at your firm it all becomes easier. If you're a mediocre associate and they'll be happy to get rid of you at that point anyway...




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