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: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:53 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2) I was very prepared to answer the question of why I want to work at a firm when my resume is so PI-heavy, but have not been asked it. Should I try to find a way to preemptively answer it? My answer is that I really enjoyed Corporations class last semester, and I realized I was more interested in transactional work. Is that a good answer, and should I give it even without being asked?


On question 2, were you asked other things that sorta drove to that question? That's honestly not a very good answer (especially if the first one is so open). You've got a huge PI background, been doing that your whole life, now went to law school (presumably because you wanted to go do PI stuff) and it all changed based on one class? That strikes me as odd and possibly not true.



I'm a different anonymous user, but am curious about this. say you spent your first summer in a DA's office, have some PI WE on your resume from before law school, and decide that you really want to take a shot at big law. What is the appropriate way to say, "I loved working in the DA's office, but ultimately I want to make 160k/yr and be able buy my wife a house before im 40"

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2) I was very prepared to answer the question of why I want to work at a firm when my resume is so PI-heavy, but have not been asked it. Should I try to find a way to preemptively answer it? My answer is that I really enjoyed Corporations class last semester, and I realized I was more interested in transactional work. Is that a good answer, and should I give it even without being asked?


On question 2, were you asked other things that sorta drove to that question? That's honestly not a very good answer (especially if the first one is so open). You've got a huge PI background, been doing that your whole life, now went to law school (presumably because you wanted to go do PI stuff) and it all changed based on one class? That strikes me as odd and possibly not true.



I'm a different anonymous user, but am curious about this. say you spent your first summer in a DA's office, have some PI WE on your resume from before law school, and decide that you really want to take a shot at big law. What is the appropriate way to say, "I loved working in the DA's office, but ultimately I want to make 160k/yr and be able buy my wife a house before im 40"


3L here

I spent > 5 years prior to law school in public services, I spent my first summer at a DA's office, and had no problems getting a big law position.

Everyone knows that 1L SA positions are hard to find and DAs provide great substantive experience.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:16 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was not as successful at obtaining callbacks as I should have been. I am in the top 10% of the class at CCN and only got 4 callbacks. I am trying to figure out why. I am not the greatest interviewer but I didn't think I was that bad. I worked before law school for several years and had never had trouble getting jobs before.

A few theories I have are that my resume is too public-interest heavy, I am on a secondary journal (my school only has a few LR slots that are a combo of grades and competition), and I may have seemed too unsure of what I wanted to do and too flexible on the location (i.e. expressing interest in other offices).

Do any of those theories seem right to you?

I am preparing for the callbacks I do have, and could use some advice about a few things:

1) Is it ok to say that I want to explore a variety of practice areas because I think it's hard to really know what you want to do until you have tried it?
2) I was very prepared to answer the question of why I want to work at a firm when my resume is so PI-heavy, but have not been asked it. Should I try to find a way to preemptively answer it? My answer is that I really enjoyed Corporations class last semester, and I realized I was more interested in transactional work. Is that a good answer, and should I give it even without being asked?
3) If I am asked what other firms I have callbacks with, should I lie and add a few more to the list? I don't usually believe in being dishonest but I am afraid my low number of callbacks and the wide variation in the firms that did call me back in terms of location, vault rank and practice area strengths is a red flag. I am thinking that they probably don't verify your answer to that question, right?
4) Several firms have still not gotten back to me either way. Some of them have dinged other people. Is there any hope at this point?

Thanks so much!


Sorry to hear that on the callback front - that actually is pretty surprising. Were you only focused on the most hyper-selective firms or cities (DC, SF)? Also, is top 10% not generally good enough for LR at your school (and/or how do you know you're top 10%, I didn't think CCN ranked?)

The PI-nature of your resume could be a red flag; did you ask about pro bono opportunities as well? That can be a killer combo (especially if you're not a great interview). The secondary journal shouldn't be an issue generally, and the "too many offices" would only be an issue if you were SUPER unsure (saying NY, but open to other offices, for example, shouldn't be an issue).

On question 1, totally fine (and I think it was my answer) though it'd be surprising if you didn't at least have a "lean". 1L year generally drives people one way or the other - totally OK to be flexible unless you're interviewing at one-practice shops.

On question 2, were you asked other things that sorta drove to that question? That's honestly not a very good answer (especially if the first one is so open). You've got a huge PI background, been doing that your whole life, now went to law school (presumably because you wanted to go do PI stuff) and it all changed based on one class? That strikes me as odd and possibly not true.

On question 3, don't lie but be somewhat evasive. I doubt places will flat out ask you (I find it to be unusual). If a firm verified your question (someone called a friend) that would be awful (though I really don't think this happens much). Fantastic answer might be "I'm still meeting with a few different places, though I think [YOUR FIRM] is possibly my top choice due to [REASON]"

On question 4...maybe. Don't know for sure but no ding is always better than ding...


Thanks for your advice. On question 1, I said not sure but leaning toward transactional. I told a story of negotiating a lease for myself and how I realized I was pretty good at thinking of possible contingencies.

I came to law school with a PI/political background but open to the option of working at a firm. I am realizing that I am more of a negotiator than a litigator in terms of personality type, and there are not a lot of PI transactional opportunities. Corporations changed my view in that I found a lot of issues areas interesting that I didn't think would be, and I realized how much of corporate law is not between David and Goliath but between two Goliaths or different players within a Goliath (board v. shareholders, directors v. officers, etc.)

Last summer, I worked on death penalty litigation, and while it was a great experience, I realized that it's not what I want to do with my life. Having been exposed to litigation all summer made me at least want to try the transactional side, and that's what I said in several interviews. Bad answer?

I generally did not bring up pro bono unless asked about it. The only exceptions were firms that are very well known for their pro bono commitment. I actually did get callbacks from a couple of those. The only other way that I mentioned pro bono was if I was asked if I wanted to do death penalty work after this summer, and I said it's something I might be interested in doing as a pro bono matter but it wasn't what I wanted to do as a career. When pro bono did come up, I said that it was something I was interested in but recognized that it's not the primary focus of the firm.

With regard to class rank, you are correct that I do not know my exact rank, as my school does not disclose it. I read an estimated breakdown on this site and a couple other places. My GPA is just above a 3.7, and I think the cutoff last year for LR was around 3.85. So I don't know for sure if I am in the top 10%, but I know my GPA is above the cutoff points the career services office gave us for all the firms.

Any advice on how to better express why I want to work for a firm despite my PI background?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:28 pm

How does 3L hiring work? It seems to be more common than before.

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Two questions:

1. How bad is it that I genuinely don't know what I want to do? My summer experiences were less than spectacular (really bad, in fact - though I don't mention it in interviews, obviously) and have left me with no particular direction I want to go in law. I think I would prefer transactional just because I don't want to be in a courtroom, but apart from that, I really don't know.

2. How important is the "Why this city?" question for you? A lot of my interviews have been with firms in a large market. Really, the best answer I can come up with is that my entire family lives in the region (~6 or less hours away), and I really want to stay close to them. However, my family is not in the same state, and I think my lack of a good answer to this question has also hurt me.

Thanks for any insight!


1 - not particularly bad. But why don't you want to be in a courtroom? What about it do you not like? Most good corporate lawyers would probably do well in front of a jury (good public speakers, etc.), they're just anti-legal writing and research (or were when they were junior). Is it the adversarial thing? You can go with that, leaning, pro-constructive vs. adversarial, totally fine.

2 - totally depends. I'm in NY, so not important at all. SF/LA, very important (people think it's important for DC. it's not. superstar grades or past government experience is what's important for DC). if you're from the area (or near enough), you should tell them that. not sure exactly which states you're talking about, but certainly a NY candidate w/family in Jersey, or a Chicago candidate w/family in Michigan wouldn't raise any eyebrows. talk about family in the region and how you're looking to start in the closest major-market (you're close, but not too close)?

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2) I was very prepared to answer the question of why I want to work at a firm when my resume is so PI-heavy, but have not been asked it. Should I try to find a way to preemptively answer it? My answer is that I really enjoyed Corporations class last semester, and I realized I was more interested in transactional work. Is that a good answer, and should I give it even without being asked?


On question 2, were you asked other things that sorta drove to that question? That's honestly not a very good answer (especially if the first one is so open). You've got a huge PI background, been doing that your whole life, now went to law school (presumably because you wanted to go do PI stuff) and it all changed based on one class? That strikes me as odd and possibly not true.



I'm a different anonymous user, but am curious about this. say you spent your first summer in a DA's office, have some PI WE on your resume from before law school, and decide that you really want to take a shot at big law. What is the appropriate way to say, "I loved working in the DA's office, but ultimately I want to make 160k/yr and be able buy my wife a house before im 40"


"It was an amazing experience, but I know that I want to at least like to begin my career in the private sector, as I think that will give me better exposure to how clients think, yada yada"?

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was not as successful at obtaining callbacks as I should have been. I am in the top 10% of the class at CCN and only got 4 callbacks. I am trying to figure out why. I am not the greatest interviewer but I didn't think I was that bad. I worked before law school for several years and had never had trouble getting jobs before.

A few theories I have are that my resume is too public-interest heavy, I am on a secondary journal (my school only has a few LR slots that are a combo of grades and competition), and I may have seemed too unsure of what I wanted to do and too flexible on the location (i.e. expressing interest in other offices).

Do any of those theories seem right to you?

I am preparing for the callbacks I do have, and could use some advice about a few things:

1) Is it ok to say that I want to explore a variety of practice areas because I think it's hard to really know what you want to do until you have tried it?
2) I was very prepared to answer the question of why I want to work at a firm when my resume is so PI-heavy, but have not been asked it. Should I try to find a way to preemptively answer it? My answer is that I really enjoyed Corporations class last semester, and I realized I was more interested in transactional work. Is that a good answer, and should I give it even without being asked?
3) If I am asked what other firms I have callbacks with, should I lie and add a few more to the list? I don't usually believe in being dishonest but I am afraid my low number of callbacks and the wide variation in the firms that did call me back in terms of location, vault rank and practice area strengths is a red flag. I am thinking that they probably don't verify your answer to that question, right?
4) Several firms have still not gotten back to me either way. Some of them have dinged other people. Is there any hope at this point?

Thanks so much!


Sorry to hear that on the callback front - that actually is pretty surprising. Were you only focused on the most hyper-selective firms or cities (DC, SF)? Also, is top 10% not generally good enough for LR at your school (and/or how do you know you're top 10%, I didn't think CCN ranked?)

The PI-nature of your resume could be a red flag; did you ask about pro bono opportunities as well? That can be a killer combo (especially if you're not a great interview). The secondary journal shouldn't be an issue generally, and the "too many offices" would only be an issue if you were SUPER unsure (saying NY, but open to other offices, for example, shouldn't be an issue).

On question 1, totally fine (and I think it was my answer) though it'd be surprising if you didn't at least have a "lean". 1L year generally drives people one way or the other - totally OK to be flexible unless you're interviewing at one-practice shops.

On question 2, were you asked other things that sorta drove to that question? That's honestly not a very good answer (especially if the first one is so open). You've got a huge PI background, been doing that your whole life, now went to law school (presumably because you wanted to go do PI stuff) and it all changed based on one class? That strikes me as odd and possibly not true.

On question 3, don't lie but be somewhat evasive. I doubt places will flat out ask you (I find it to be unusual). If a firm verified your question (someone called a friend) that would be awful (though I really don't think this happens much). Fantastic answer might be "I'm still meeting with a few different places, though I think [YOUR FIRM] is possibly my top choice due to [REASON]"

On question 4...maybe. Don't know for sure but no ding is always better than ding...


Thanks for your advice. On question 1, I said not sure but leaning toward transactional. I told a story of negotiating a lease for myself and how I realized I was pretty good at thinking of possible contingencies.

I came to law school with a PI/political background but open to the option of working at a firm. I am realizing that I am more of a negotiator than a litigator in terms of personality type, and there are not a lot of PI transactional opportunities. Corporations changed my view in that I found a lot of issues areas interesting that I didn't think would be, and I realized how much of corporate law is not between David and Goliath but between two Goliaths or different players within a Goliath (board v. shareholders, directors v. officers, etc.)

Last summer, I worked on death penalty litigation, and while it was a great experience, I realized that it's not what I want to do with my life. Having been exposed to litigation all summer made me at least want to try the transactional side, and that's what I said in several interviews. Bad answer?

I generally did not bring up pro bono unless asked about it. The only exceptions were firms that are very well known for their pro bono commitment. I actually did get callbacks from a couple of those. The only other way that I mentioned pro bono was if I was asked if I wanted to do death penalty work after this summer, and I said it's something I might be interested in doing as a pro bono matter but it wasn't what I wanted to do as a career. When pro bono did come up, I said that it was something I was interested in but recognized that it's not the primary focus of the firm.

With regard to class rank, you are correct that I do not know my exact rank, as my school does not disclose it. I read an estimated breakdown on this site and a couple other places. My GPA is just above a 3.7, and I think the cutoff last year for LR was around 3.85. So I don't know for sure if I am in the top 10%, but I know my GPA is above the cutoff points the career services office gave us for all the firms.

Any advice on how to better express why I want to work for a firm despite my PI background?


Hmm. Hard to say for sure. I'd hit the corporations class hard if given the opportunity and try to wow w/substantive knowledge / detail about the class and what you liked. Downplay pro bono, even at the firms w/strong commitments. Your resume screams pro bono anyway; no need to overplay it. Keys are (a) you want to be a transactional lawyer (go with your story, corporations class, how you were surprised because that's not what you expected from law school) and (b) you're committed to beginning your career at a large firm and working very hard, learning as much as you can and spending many years at a firm. Delete everything granola/crunchy from your words/appearance to the extent possible. Best of luck.

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How does 3L hiring work? It seems to be more common than before.


In what way? Can you be more specific w/your question? Not sure what to say

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:09 pm

When given a 3 week time-window for answers, can a call after ~4 weeks adversely affect your app?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:29 pm

First, thanks for taking questions.

Do you have any advice for a student with excellent grades at a lower T1 (top 10 students) who transferred to CCN in order to have a shot at working at a firm such as yours and completely struck out at 2L OCIs? Based on my OCI performance, it looks like I'll end up in PI this summer. Do my odds look better during 3L OCI or post-clerkship?

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When given a 3 week time-window for answers, can a call after ~4 weeks adversely affect your app?


To the recruiting folks? Nah, so long as you do it in a nice way

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First, thanks for taking questions.

Do you have any advice for a student with excellent grades at a lower T1 (top 10 students) who transferred to CCN in order to have a shot at working at a firm such as yours and completely struck out at 2L OCIs? Based on my OCI performance, it looks like I'll end up in PI this summer. Do my odds look better during 3L OCI or post-clerkship?


Post-clerkship - definitely. 3L OCI, I guess they couldn't be worse than now, right?

Did you aim too high? Probably common sense / known but your resume should be in the hands of every recruiting manager in the V100 by now.

Talk to career services (again, probably done already) as well as profs from your former school.

Hustle, hustle, hustle. You may not be able to get a job with us this summer but if you get great 2L grades you definitely could have a shot 3L year (if we're hiring) or post-clerkship.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:20 pm

itbdvorm wrote:Hustle, hustle, hustle. You may not be able to get a job with us this summer but if you get great 2L grades you definitely could have a shot 3L year (if we're hiring) or post-clerkship.


This advice will serve you well and will only increase your chances next year. I know a few transfers who did not get the jobs they wanted from OCI (either nothing or with firms they did not want) but who performed well as 2Ls and were able to land clerkships or jobs with solid firms.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:53 pm

how possible is it for the interviewer to check with my current or former boss (previous summers)?

e.g.
1. one interviewer worked with my current boss in the same small office 5 or 10 yrs ago.
my speculation is that the two of them are pretty familiar.
i asked my boss to recommend me to the interviewer, and he agreed...
i don't think he ever actually did...
would this scenario imply to the interviewer that my boss isn't so willing to vouch for me?

2. the firm that i just summered at is in the same building with this large firm. lets say, one is on 20th fl, the other is on 4th fl. this interviewer knows the owner of my previous firm, at least by name. that's a very small firm, but the two are in the very similar practice area.
i hated that firm... but it's such a small world. so every time someone mentions s/he knows that firm, i get nervous LOL

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:how possible is it for the interviewer to check with my current or former boss (previous summers)?

e.g.
1. one interviewer worked with my current boss in the same small office 5 or 10 yrs ago.
my speculation is that the two of them are pretty familiar.
i asked my boss to recommend me to the interviewer, and he agreed...
i don't think he ever actually did...
would this scenario imply to the interviewer that my boss isn't so willing to vouch for me?

2. the firm that i just summered at is in the same building with this large firm. lets say, one is on 20th fl, the other is on 4th fl. this interviewer knows the owner of my previous firm, at least by name. that's a very small firm, but the two are in the very similar practice area.
i hated that firm... but it's such a small world. so every time someone mentions s/he knows that firm, i get nervous LOL


Pretty unlikely. Only way it might happen is if people are very very close (a possibility for sure), or if you're exceptionally weird in reaction to mentions such that they feel they need to check about you...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:52 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was not as successful at obtaining callbacks as I should have been. I am in the top 10% of the class at CCN and only got 4 callbacks. I am trying to figure out why. I am not the greatest interviewer but I didn't think I was that bad. I worked before law school for several years and had never had trouble getting jobs before.

A few theories I have are that my resume is too public-interest heavy, I am on a secondary journal (my school only has a few LR slots that are a combo of grades and competition), and I may have seemed too unsure of what I wanted to do and too flexible on the location (i.e. expressing interest in other offices).

Do any of those theories seem right to you?

I am preparing for the callbacks I do have, and could use some advice about a few things:

1) Is it ok to say that I want to explore a variety of practice areas because I think it's hard to really know what you want to do until you have tried it?
2) I was very prepared to answer the question of why I want to work at a firm when my resume is so PI-heavy, but have not been asked it. Should I try to find a way to preemptively answer it? My answer is that I really enjoyed Corporations class last semester, and I realized I was more interested in transactional work. Is that a good answer, and should I give it even without being asked?
3) If I am asked what other firms I have callbacks with, should I lie and add a few more to the list? I don't usually believe in being dishonest but I am afraid my low number of callbacks and the wide variation in the firms that did call me back in terms of location, vault rank and practice area strengths is a red flag. I am thinking that they probably don't verify your answer to that question, right?
4) Several firms have still not gotten back to me either way. Some of them have dinged other people. Is there any hope at this point?

Thanks so much!


Sorry to hear that on the callback front - that actually is pretty surprising. Were you only focused on the most hyper-selective firms or cities (DC, SF)? Also, is top 10% not generally good enough for LR at your school (and/or how do you know you're top 10%, I didn't think CCN ranked?)

The PI-nature of your resume could be a red flag; did you ask about pro bono opportunities as well? That can be a killer combo (especially if you're not a great interview). The secondary journal shouldn't be an issue generally, and the "too many offices" would only be an issue if you were SUPER unsure (saying NY, but open to other offices, for example, shouldn't be an issue).

On question 1, totally fine (and I think it was my answer) though it'd be surprising if you didn't at least have a "lean". 1L year generally drives people one way or the other - totally OK to be flexible unless you're interviewing at one-practice shops.

On question 2, were you asked other things that sorta drove to that question? That's honestly not a very good answer (especially if the first one is so open). You've got a huge PI background, been doing that your whole life, now went to law school (presumably because you wanted to go do PI stuff) and it all changed based on one class? That strikes me as odd and possibly not true.

On question 3, don't lie but be somewhat evasive. I doubt places will flat out ask you (I find it to be unusual). If a firm verified your question (someone called a friend) that would be awful (though I really don't think this happens much). Fantastic answer might be "I'm still meeting with a few different places, though I think [YOUR FIRM] is possibly my top choice due to [REASON]"

On question 4...maybe. Don't know for sure but no ding is always better than ding...


Thanks for your advice. On question 1, I said not sure but leaning toward transactional. I told a story of negotiating a lease for myself and how I realized I was pretty good at thinking of possible contingencies.

I came to law school with a PI/political background but open to the option of working at a firm. I am realizing that I am more of a negotiator than a litigator in terms of personality type, and there are not a lot of PI transactional opportunities. Corporations changed my view in that I found a lot of issues areas interesting that I didn't think would be, and I realized how much of corporate law is not between David and Goliath but between two Goliaths or different players within a Goliath (board v. shareholders, directors v. officers, etc.)

Last summer, I worked on death penalty litigation, and while it was a great experience, I realized that it's not what I want to do with my life. Having been exposed to litigation all summer made me at least want to try the transactional side, and that's what I said in several interviews. Bad answer?

I generally did not bring up pro bono unless asked about it. The only exceptions were firms that are very well known for their pro bono commitment. I actually did get callbacks from a couple of those. The only other way that I mentioned pro bono was if I was asked if I wanted to do death penalty work after this summer, and I said it's something I might be interested in doing as a pro bono matter but it wasn't what I wanted to do as a career. When pro bono did come up, I said that it was something I was interested in but recognized that it's not the primary focus of the firm.

With regard to class rank, you are correct that I do not know my exact rank, as my school does not disclose it. I read an estimated breakdown on this site and a couple other places. My GPA is just above a 3.7, and I think the cutoff last year for LR was around 3.85. So I don't know for sure if I am in the top 10%, but I know my GPA is above the cutoff points the career services office gave us for all the firms.

Any advice on how to better express why I want to work for a firm despite my PI background?


Hmm. Hard to say for sure. I'd hit the corporations class hard if given the opportunity and try to wow w/substantive knowledge / detail about the class and what you liked. Downplay pro bono, even at the firms w/strong commitments. Your resume screams pro bono anyway; no need to overplay it. Keys are (a) you want to be a transactional lawyer (go with your story, corporations class, how you were surprised because that's not what you expected from law school) and (b) you're committed to beginning your career at a large firm and working very hard, learning as much as you can and spending many years at a firm. Delete everything granola/crunchy from your words/appearance to the extent possible. Best of luck.


By granola/crunchy, I assume you mean hippyish? LOL. The funny thing is, I am not that granola/crunchy at all and certainly don't think I look it. I didn't wear birkenstocks to the interview or anything (don't even think I own any). One of the reasons I decided to apply for firms is that this past summer made me question whether I am sufficiently pious to fit into the public interest world.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:this past summer made me question whether I am sufficiently pious to fit into the public interest world.


:lol:

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:14 pm

Is there really so stark a difference in selectivity between firms ranked V25 and higher and those ranked lower, say in the 25-75 range? I am a CCN transfer coming from a T25 school, and I have a bunch of CB's through OCI and mass mailing (9 with Vault firms, and about 10 from large regional, secondary market firms, etc.) Yet I sort of assumed (based on knowledge from last year's class) that I would have a serious shot at some V25 firms. I interviewed with 13 of the V25, and got all of 0 CB's. Yet I'm not a bad interviewer, as evidenced by the 9 Vault CB's I have, and 19 CB's overall. Any reason you can think of for this striking disparity? I could tell you anything you wanted to know about my background, grades, personality, but none of it would seem to explain the disparity, since these factors were consistent regardless of the interview.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:48 pm

I'm 24, but I have a somewhat boyish face, and people usually think I'm somewhere around 18. Or maybe a little older. Is this something you would notice or care about in a screener/callback?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm 24, but I have a somewhat boyish face, and people usually think I'm somewhere around 18. Or maybe a little older. Is this something you would notice or care about in a screener/callback?


Lol I read this comment and had to think to myself whether it was something I myself typed earlier. Exact same here. I usually wear my glasses and comb my hair in a way that makes me look older. I'd grow a beard but I still just get more messy fuzz than real beard, so that doesn't work

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is there really so stark a difference in selectivity between firms ranked V25 and higher and those ranked lower, say in the 25-75 range? I am a CCN transfer coming from a T25 school, and I have a bunch of CB's through OCI and mass mailing (9 with Vault firms, and about 10 from large regional, secondary market firms, etc.) Yet I sort of assumed (based on knowledge from last year's class) that I would have a serious shot at some V25 firms. I interviewed with 13 of the V25, and got all of 0 CB's. Yet I'm not a bad interviewer, as evidenced by the 9 Vault CB's I have, and 19 CB's overall. Any reason you can think of for this striking disparity? I could tell you anything you wanted to know about my background, grades, personality, but none of it would seem to explain the disparity, since these factors were consistent regardless of the interview.


Frankly, yes. Maybe not towards the lower end (or maybe yes, depending). Vault is of course not a perfect proxy; I guarantee no one who ends up at Cadwalader this summer (33) would make the cut at Munger Tolles (34). But the credentials necessary to get a callback at DLA Piper are not anywhere in the same league as Skadden, Latham, Paul Weiss, W&C, etc.

Again - Vault is not necessarily a great proxy (there are some firms in the V25 that I suspect it's MUCH easier to get a job at than others, though with pretty good reason).

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

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm 24, but I have a somewhat boyish face, and people usually think I'm somewhere around 18. Or maybe a little older. Is this something you would notice or care about in a screener/callback?


Lol I read this comment and had to think to myself whether it was something I myself typed earlier. Exact same here. I usually wear my glasses and comb my hair in a way that makes me look older. I'd grow a beard but I still just get more messy fuzz than real beard, so that doesn't work


Answer: only if you sound/act that way too.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:46 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is there really so stark a difference in selectivity between firms ranked V25 and higher and those ranked lower, say in the 25-75 range? I am a CCN transfer coming from a T25 school, and I have a bunch of CB's through OCI and mass mailing (9 with Vault firms, and about 10 from large regional, secondary market firms, etc.) Yet I sort of assumed (based on knowledge from last year's class) that I would have a serious shot at some V25 firms. I interviewed with 13 of the V25, and got all of 0 CB's. Yet I'm not a bad interviewer, as evidenced by the 9 Vault CB's I have, and 19 CB's overall. Any reason you can think of for this striking disparity? I could tell you anything you wanted to know about my background, grades, personality, but none of it would seem to explain the disparity, since these factors were consistent regardless of the interview.


Frankly, yes. Maybe not towards the lower end (or maybe yes, depending). Vault is of course not a perfect proxy; I guarantee no one who ends up at Cadwalader this summer (33) would make the cut at Munger Tolles (34). But the credentials necessary to get a callback at DLA Piper are not anywhere in the same league as Skadden, Latham, Paul Weiss, W&C, etc.

Again - Vault is not necessarily a great proxy (there are some firms in the V25 that I suspect it's MUCH easier to get a job at than others, though with pretty good reason).


Wow, I'm surprised its so strictly tied to grades with so little, if any, variance. I figured that, by virtue of transferring to a lottery-system OCI school, the ability to get facetime and show a good personality and "fit" would be enough to get 1 or 2 of those V25 firms. My grades were on the lower end for a transfer (closer to top 10% in my class than top 5%), but since all these V25's interview at my old school, I figured that the facetime alone would get me some CB's, especially since I'm a good interviewer (again, not my opinion, but reflected by the number of CB's, albeit from firms outside the V25, and many non-Vault firms). I wish I had known this in advance and I would have completely refrained from bidding on V25 firms, though the chance to bid on them was one of the main reasons why I transferred.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:52 pm

What would you say are the biggest factors that might cause someone to do well at getting callbacks out of OCI, but poorly at translating those callbacks into offers? Just curious, sorry if it's too broad a question or outside your purview.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273381
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:59 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm 24, but I have a somewhat boyish face, and people usually think I'm somewhere around 18. Or maybe a little older. Is this something you would notice or care about in a screener/callback?


Lol I read this comment and had to think to myself whether it was something I myself typed earlier. Exact same here. I usually wear my glasses and comb my hair in a way that makes me look older. I'd grow a beard but I still just get more messy fuzz than real beard, so that doesn't work


Answer: only if you sound/act that way too.


That's what I hoped/figured, I just wanted to make sure. Thanks!




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.