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 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:15 am

Gotten a few variations on this so adding my thoughts here:

When potentially choosing a firm in a non-"home" office, it's important to note that there are two types of satellites, depending heavily on the firm. Some firms have "outposts" - one-10 partners, a very limited number of available practice groups, very specific areas of expertise, etc. Other firms have "offices" (probably a better word, can't think of it, let's go with it for now).

If you are at an "outpost", the realistic likelihood of long-term progression is limited. Additionally, the firm's reputation (while potentially fantastic in the home market) is probably somewhat lessened or unknown. To put it in easily translatable TLS terms: "you should knock a few points off its V ranking bro"

If you are at an "office", it's significantly harder to generalize. Some "offices" are as, if not more, prestigious than the "home office" - think, for example, Gibson/Latham/Kirkland DC. They often have full-service offerings and, while they may be smaller than the "home" office, these "offices" are full members of the firm. In addition to the three above (which mostly applies to their other markets as well), Skadden's offices usually fall into this camp.

Some firms, notably, have both. Think Simpson (Palo Alto's an "office," I believe LA is an "outpost").

It's important to do some digging and try to figure out what you're dealing with.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:05 am

Do you think a hesitance because of this should extend to the IP shops satellites in Silicon Valley? Seems like it is basically the norm there to have 30 man outposts. Think, e.g. Ropes and Gray, Baker Botts, etc...

Would it be a bad idea to go to an office like this? It just seems, to me, that there are very very few Silicon Valley offices that are both large and seem to care about IP lit. (For example, WSGR is large, but IP lit seems to be an afterthought there)

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do you think a hesitance because of this should extend to the IP shops satellites in Silicon Valley? Seems like it is basically the norm there to have 30 man outposts. Think, e.g. Ropes and Gray, Baker Botts, etc...

Would it be a bad idea to go to an office like this? It just seems, to me, that there are very very few Silicon Valley offices that are both large and seem to care about IP lit. (For example, WSGR is large, but IP lit seems to be an afterthought there)


Can't really say whether it would be a "bad idea", especially because this is a hyper-specific question about a practice area I know very little about. If your sole goal is to practice IP litigation, size and quality of that group undoubtedly matters more than overall size/quality of firm/office.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:37 pm

What can new associates expect on the first day of work? First week? Month?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:A few thoughts in no particular order:

1) If you are below our grade cut there are a number of circumstances where we may be forced to interview you. Maybe lottery, maybe partial lottery/pre-select, etc. You know how the day is rough on your end? It's rough on our end too. Why should either of us waste our time? Or even if you are above our grade cut, maybe we have 6 potential callbacks to give out and we know within the first five minutes that you're not going to make it based upon others with whom we've already met. What's the point? You're not going to change my mind.



No disrespect intended whatsoever - I'm just curious and you are knowledgeable - but If you're at a "V15", doesn't that imply a pretty large class size? (Unless this is like Boies or Wachtell or another idiosyncratic hiring pattern, but you seem to be targeting a more mainstream audience with your advice). So at your primary feeder schools, aren't we talking more like 60-100 CB's? Or do you mean just 6 on your schedule of like 13-15 interviews in one day?

Also, do you really form your complete impressions based on the first five minutes of the interview? I understand this time is crucial, but realistically you are evaluating past interviewees based on present performance and vise versa. Still, this seems crude (could be both crude and true).

[Different interviewer than the one that made the assertion, but I generally agree]

First, V15 does not imply a large class size. The designation refers to the firm as a whole. Callbacks/interviews are generally decided office-by-office (at least they are at my firm and I believe that's pretty standard). So, while the NY office may be looking for a class of ~25, the SF office may be looking for a class of 2. (Estimates of actual targets I heard bantied about in the hospitality suite over lunch. And no I won't say what firm...).

So, if you take it to the extreme of the class of 2, the partner conducting the interviews expected to make at most one call-back offer at the T10 where we interviewed--he still had 13 other T-14s to visit plus some other solid regional schools in the area. Grades or no grades it was going to take someone objectively special (not a subjective special snowflake) to pry a callback from that guy.

I interviewed for a larger office within the firm. But even so, out of our 20 interviews (plus whatever gets added on the side from the hospitality suite), we knew in the back of our heads we would only be able to call back 3 to 5. We didn't know in the first 5 minutes whether you would get a call back-- but I'd say in most cases we knew in 5 minutes that you would NOT get a call back. After each interview we gave a rough assessment of placement. We placed packets into two piles: Definite No and Maybe. We then discussed roughly where the person stacked relative to those in the Maybe pile. Our office doesn't have a grade cutoff-- but you'd be crazy to think that grades didn't matter. Remember--> the day after we conduct interviews, we meet with the hiring partner and have to justify who we are going to call back. We would have to have great justification to take someone from the bottom 1/3 of the class and generally a 20 minute interview does not present sufficient justification.



For Anonymous and/or itbdvorm:

Does the underlined statements above also apply to callback interview files at your respective firms? I was invited for callbacks with firms in NYC (V40-50 and V90-100), almost two weeks ago and haven't heard anything since. I suspect I'm comfortably nestled in their "maybe" pile assuming one exists. Are there any other possibilities than this? Or, has my electronic/snail mail ding simply not arrived yet?

I'm at a T20 school, top 30%, prior international work experience, law review, an URM, an athlete and generally awesome- for what it's worth, cheers.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:A few thoughts in no particular order:

1) If you are below our grade cut there are a number of circumstances where we may be forced to interview you. Maybe lottery, maybe partial lottery/pre-select, etc. You know how the day is rough on your end? It's rough on our end too. Why should either of us waste our time? Or even if you are above our grade cut, maybe we have 6 potential callbacks to give out and we know within the first five minutes that you're not going to make it based upon others with whom we've already met. What's the point? You're not going to change my mind.



No disrespect intended whatsoever - I'm just curious and you are knowledgeable - but If you're at a "V15", doesn't that imply a pretty large class size? (Unless this is like Boies or Wachtell or another idiosyncratic hiring pattern, but you seem to be targeting a more mainstream audience with your advice). So at your primary feeder schools, aren't we talking more like 60-100 CB's? Or do you mean just 6 on your schedule of like 13-15 interviews in one day?

Also, do you really form your complete impressions based on the first five minutes of the interview? I understand this time is crucial, but realistically you are evaluating past interviewees based on present performance and vise versa. Still, this seems crude (could be both crude and true).

[Different interviewer than the one that made the assertion, but I generally agree]

First, V15 does not imply a large class size. The designation refers to the firm as a whole. Callbacks/interviews are generally decided office-by-office (at least they are at my firm and I believe that's pretty standard). So, while the NY office may be looking for a class of ~25, the SF office may be looking for a class of 2. (Estimates of actual targets I heard bantied about in the hospitality suite over lunch. And no I won't say what firm...).

So, if you take it to the extreme of the class of 2, the partner conducting the interviews expected to make at most one call-back offer at the T10 where we interviewed--he still had 13 other T-14s to visit plus some other solid regional schools in the area. Grades or no grades it was going to take someone objectively special (not a subjective special snowflake) to pry a callback from that guy.

I interviewed for a larger office within the firm. But even so, out of our 20 interviews (plus whatever gets added on the side from the hospitality suite), we knew in the back of our heads we would only be able to call back 3 to 5. We didn't know in the first 5 minutes whether you would get a call back-- but I'd say in most cases we knew in 5 minutes that you would NOT get a call back. After each interview we gave a rough assessment of placement. We placed packets into two piles: Definite No and Maybe. We then discussed roughly where the person stacked relative to those in the Maybe pile. Our office doesn't have a grade cutoff-- but you'd be crazy to think that grades didn't matter. Remember--> the day after we conduct interviews, we meet with the hiring partner and have to justify who we are going to call back. We would have to have great justification to take someone from the bottom 1/3 of the class and generally a 20 minute interview does not present sufficient justification.



For Anonymous and/or itbdvorm:

Does the underlined statements above also apply to callback interview files at your respective firms? I was invited for callbacks with firms in NYC (V40-50 and V90-100), almost two weeks ago and haven't heard anything since. I suspect I'm comfortably nestled in their "maybe" pile assuming one exists. Are there any other possibilities than this? Or, has my electronic/snail mail ding simply not arrived yet?

I'm at a T20 school, top 30%, prior international work experience, law review, an URM, an athlete and generally awesome- for what it's worth, cheers.


definitely could be in a maybe pile. i'd send an email to recruiting and re-affirm your interest.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:05 pm

^^^ Thanks itbdvorm, I really appreciate the advice.

I emailed recruiting just as you suggested. The recruiting lawyer (from my top choice firm) who invited me for the callback replied, and said recruitment was ongoing and they hope I end up at the firm. Glass half full. It's not (yet) a ding.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:^^^ Thanks itbdvorm, I really appreciate the advice.

I emailed recruiting just as you suggested. The recruiting lawyer (from my top choice firm) who invited me for the callback replied, and said recruitment was ongoing and they hope I end up at the firm. Glass half full. It's not (yet) a ding.


glad to help.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:39 pm

What's your take on different types of in-house exit options, for a V5 corporate associate (Securities and M&A)?

Have you seen people exit to hedge funds or private equity firms? How do they like it?
F500 roles?
Banks?

What seems particularly desirable or undesirable about each to you?

Thanks!

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's your take on different types of in-house exit options, for a V5 corporate associate (Securities and M&A)?

Have you seen people exit to hedge funds or private equity firms? How do they like it?
F500 roles?
Banks?

What seems particularly desirable or undesirable about each to you?

Thanks!


So I think where you work / go matters substantially less than what you'll be asked to do. For example, going to an i-bank as a product specialist / counsel, or as an associate/vp on the deal side, could be great. Going into a compliance role seems like it would be horrible.

Similarly, a F500 role where you've got a broad portfolio could be very interesting. A narrowly defined role wouldn't be that attractive to me, but lots of people love it (they only have one specific area of expertise and they completely own it)

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:42 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What's your take on different types of in-house exit options, for a V5 corporate associate (Securities and M&A)?

Have you seen people exit to hedge funds or private equity firms? How do they like it?
F500 roles?
Banks?

What seems particularly desirable or undesirable about each to you?

Thanks!


So I think where you work / go matters substantially less than what you'll be asked to do. For example, going to an i-bank as a product specialist / counsel, or as an associate/vp on the deal side, could be great. Going into a compliance role seems like it would be horrible.

Similarly, a F500 role where you've got a broad portfolio could be very interesting. A narrowly defined role wouldn't be that attractive to me, but lots of people love it (they only have one specific area of expertise and they completely own it)


Interesting.

Compliance is also the last thing I want to do. With an M&A background from a V5 firm, would it be hard to exit to a bulge-bracket bank in a non-compliance capacity after 3 years? After 5?

Do you have any impression of the hours at these investment banks, on the legal side?

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

Postby OneLisfun » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:37 pm

I've heard that Vault 100/NLJ 250 firms don't care much about what you do 1L summer as long as it's legal work, and it really just comes down to grades unless you did something extraordinary. Would your firm frown upon someone who worked as an intern at a solo law firm for 1L summer (Note: This person has already interned at this solo law firm before having attended law school, so it would be on his resume twice)? Would this person be in worse shape than if he had taken a Gov/PI gig or an internship at a 15 person firm for that summer instead of the solo firm gig?

Thanks for any incite!

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

Postby fats provolone » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:42 pm

you make partner yet bro?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:29 am

fats provolone wrote:you make partner yet bro?


maybe

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:38 am

Have you seen anyone come into a firm off-cycle (i.e. before working at a firm, after graduating, without a previous SA at the firm, and not through OCI)? For example, someone who graduated but did not have a position lined up? What was their path?

Assuming otherwise good credentials (e.g. top 5 law school, etc.), and a legitimate reason for not having a biglaw position in place, how difficult would it be to get hired off-cycle? Any advice for those trying?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:Have you seen anyone come into a firm off-cycle (i.e. before working at a firm, after graduating, without a previous SA at the firm, and not through OCI)? For example, someone who graduated but did not have a position lined up? What was their path?

Assuming otherwise good credentials (e.g. top 5 law school, etc.), and a legitimate reason for not having a biglaw position in place, how difficult would it be to get hired off-cycle? Any advice for those trying?


I did this. Worked in business for a year then went to a V15 corporate firm and started as a first year. Wasn't that hard, just try to get a good resume line before the firm and have a reason for switching.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:43 pm

delete

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Have you seen anyone come into a firm off-cycle (i.e. before working at a firm, after graduating, without a previous SA at the firm, and not through OCI)? For example, someone who graduated but did not have a position lined up? What was their path?

Assuming otherwise good credentials (e.g. top 5 law school, etc.), and a legitimate reason for not having a biglaw position in place, how difficult would it be to get hired off-cycle? Any advice for those trying?


I did this. Worked in business for a year then went to a V15 corporate firm and started as a first year. Wasn't that hard, just try to get a good resume line before the firm and have a reason for switching.


Thanks for this. Sounds similar to my situation, and hoping I can find something.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Have you seen anyone come into a firm off-cycle (i.e. before working at a firm, after graduating, without a previous SA at the firm, and not through OCI)? For example, someone who graduated but did not have a position lined up? What was their path?

Assuming otherwise good credentials (e.g. top 5 law school, etc.), and a legitimate reason for not having a biglaw position in place, how difficult would it be to get hired off-cycle? Any advice for those trying?


I did this. Worked in business for a year then went to a V15 corporate firm and started as a first year. Wasn't that hard, just try to get a good resume line before the firm and have a reason for switching.


Thanks for this. Sounds similar to my situation, and hoping I can find something.


I think also depends on what you're doing and what you're willing to do. For example, bank finance was VERY hot recently (a little slower now), but there was a period of time where anyone with a brain (exaggeration) could be hired so long as they were willing to do bank finance.

Stay in touch with friends at firms, keep talking, keep hustling.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:51 pm

Hello. I have some questions regarding lateral hiring interviews.

A little background: I have an interview with a NLJ 250 firm where I'm meeting in 30 minute intervals with 2 people per interval/6 people total. 5 of the 6 people are partners. I e-mailed this firm on the advice of an attorney at another big time firm because he knew that the firm was hiring in a particular department where I have experience. I've never interviewed with a Big Law firm. My stats are median grades from a top 20 law school with 2 years of experience and very relevant internships, including interning with my wife's father's company during school breaks directly in the relevant area of law for the particular department in the same city. My 2 years out of law school were with several internships right after law school, a mid sized firm for 6 months, and a small firm for 1 year.

My questions are: what should I expect at this interview? What type of questions, aside from basic "why our firm/tell me about yourself/etc.), should I expect? Do big law interviews differ from "regular firm" interviews? How long generally until I hear a response? I've been researching this firm like crazy, but I just wanted to know if I could get some inside info about this process.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hello. I have some questions regarding lateral hiring interviews.

A little background: I have an interview with a NLJ 250 firm where I'm meeting in 30 minute intervals with 2 people per interval/6 people total. 5 of the 6 people are partners. I e-mailed this firm on the advice of an attorney at another big time firm because he knew that the firm was hiring in a particular department where I have experience. I've never interviewed with a Big Law firm. My stats are median grades from a top 20 law school with 2 years of experience and very relevant internships, including interning with my wife's father's company during school breaks directly in the relevant area of law for the particular department in the same city. My 2 years out of law school were with several internships right after law school, a mid sized firm for 6 months, and a small firm for 1 year.

My questions are: what should I expect at this interview? What type of questions, aside from basic "why our firm/tell me about yourself/etc.), should I expect? Do big law interviews differ from "regular firm" interviews? How long generally until I hear a response? I've been researching this firm like crazy, but I just wanted to know if I could get some inside info about this process.


Sorry for the delay in responding here. Not sure I can really speak to the difference in interviews (I only know Big Law). You'll never go wrong with a question like "I understand your firm does X / features X policy / has X offices, how does that work for you?" Good luck.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:48 pm

Interviewing for a very late 2L SA in a practice group my resume isn't "focused on," but I"d still be interested in. Advice on how to best pitch myself?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing for a very late 2L SA in a practice group my resume isn't "focused on," but I"d still be interested in. Advice on how to best pitch myself?


Learn about the practice group. Ask questions that are more than "what is this group" (like, how do you find development X has changed your practice? etc).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:58 pm

What happens to new associates who fail the bar? Do they have an opportunity to try again or are they asked to leave? Is there a stigma that follows a bar failure? If so, how long does it last?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:02 am

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hello. I have some questions regarding lateral hiring interviews.

A little background: I have an interview with a NLJ 250 firm where I'm meeting in 30 minute intervals with 2 people per interval/6 people total. 5 of the 6 people are partners. I e-mailed this firm on the advice of an attorney at another big time firm because he knew that the firm was hiring in a particular department where I have experience. I've never interviewed with a Big Law firm. My stats are median grades from a top 20 law school with 2 years of experience and very relevant internships, including interning with my wife's father's company during school breaks directly in the relevant area of law for the particular department in the same city. My 2 years out of law school were with several internships right after law school, a mid sized firm for 6 months, and a small firm for 1 year.

My questions are: what should I expect at this interview? What type of questions, aside from basic "why our firm/tell me about yourself/etc.), should I expect? Do big law interviews differ from "regular firm" interviews? How long generally until I hear a response? I've been researching this firm like crazy, but I just wanted to know if I could get some inside info about this process.


Sorry for the delay in responding here. Not sure I can really speak to the difference in interviews (I only know Big Law). You'll never go wrong with a question like "I understand your firm does X / features X policy / has X offices, how does that work for you?" Good luck.


None of that mattered. I was prepared and had great researched questions and 5/6 of them really liked me. However, during the interview, I got a lot of questions about my litigation experience and whether I had actually been in front of the judge much or taken many expert depositions. I work at a smaller firm where the owner has a lock on that. I write everything and do 95% and even write the questions for the deposition and the outline of arguments for the hearings, but I guess that wasn't enough. I'm so fucking pissed right now because the position was a hybrid of the 2 law specialties that I have practiced, but that wasn't enough due to my lack of actual courtroom experience, which is only relevant for 5-10% of actual civil practice in these sectors. I really liked this firm and told them to keep me on file for any open positions that come up, but chances are that won't go anywhere. The mix of anger and disappointment right now is especially overwhelming because I spent close to $1000 in traveling expenses for the networking event that led to the referral for the interview and the interview itself.




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