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.
itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Mon May 22, 2017 1:50 pm

Martin Brody wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am noticing a lot of lateral movement from friends and colleagues, but they often seem to land on the same rank firm, same group and same city. Do you know what causes these moves? I do not get for example the point of moving from 1 NYC corporate v25 to another v25. Am I missing something?


People are deluding themselves that the grass is greener. Also firm 2 doesn't know how many hours you billed at firm 1. So you get a clean slate.


I would suspect a decent number of them were pushed out. I know one person we asked to leave wound up at a comparable firm.

redsox550

Bronze
Posts: 307
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:15 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby redsox550 » Tue May 23, 2017 12:12 am

itbdvorm wrote:
redsox550 wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Johann wrote:do you think someone with near flawless work product would never bill more than 2,000 hrs in a year? some other partners would want in on that efficient junior/midlevel right?


I was extraordinarily efficient and flawless as a junior. That meant that EVERY partner wanted in on me.


Can you describe what flawless means in this context? Never a typo? Never any comments to your work? Never missed a single thing?


Truly flawless doesn't exist. But extremely few typos, and doing very advanced work relative to my class year.


What would you attribute your ability to be so close to flawless and do very advanced work to? Do you have a particular method for approaching work, did you re-read work 10000 times?

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 23, 2017 12:45 pm

redsox550 wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
redsox550 wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Johann wrote:do you think someone with near flawless work product would never bill more than 2,000 hrs in a year? some other partners would want in on that efficient junior/midlevel right?


I was extraordinarily efficient and flawless as a junior. That meant that EVERY partner wanted in on me.


Can you describe what flawless means in this context? Never a typo? Never any comments to your work? Never missed a single thing?


Truly flawless doesn't exist. But extremely few typos, and doing very advanced work relative to my class year.


What would you attribute your ability to be so close to flawless and do very advanced work to? Do you have a particular method for approaching work, did you re-read work 10000 times?


Luck?

Honestly, no idea. Maybe this was just really the right job for me. I was always good at noticing typos and such, and had a good understanding of legal dynamics and how to get deals done. I worked my ass off, but I also think some of it came naturally.

For most folks I think that won't be the case. So would advise creating a system to fake it til you make it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 321224
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 24, 2017 10:43 pm

How do you normally approach reviewing a first-year associate after only six months? I received what seemed to me to be over-the-top positive reviews, but it's hard to tell what's genuine, and what's standard practice so as to not scare off the new associates.

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu May 25, 2017 5:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How do you normally approach reviewing a first-year associate after only six months? I received what seemed to me to be over-the-top positive reviews, but it's hard to tell what's genuine, and what's standard practice so as to not scare off the new associates.


Enthusiasm/eagerness/commitment/proofreading are about 90% of it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 321224
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 9:24 pm

In your experience, do former clerks make better associates/lawyers than others with the same law school pedigree? (i.e. top of the class Cornell clerk vs top of the class Cornell non-clerk)

Anonymous User
Posts: 321224
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 25, 2017 9:51 pm

I don't mean to be nosy at all, just genuinely curious:

Has your lifestyle caught up to your income? As I'm going through the lockstep and bonuses, I'm struggling with how much I should take advantage of the extra income or whether I should maintain my (very comfortable though not luxurious) first/second-year spending habits. I imagine the shift is probably more extreme at the partnership level.

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri May 26, 2017 4:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In your experience, do former clerks make better associates/lawyers than others with the same law school pedigree? (i.e. top of the class Cornell clerk vs top of the class Cornell non-clerk)


Guessing yes re: litigation, not necessarily re: corporate? Certainly a helpful exercise but by no means a "must"

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri May 26, 2017 4:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't mean to be nosy at all, just genuinely curious:

Has your lifestyle caught up to your income? As I'm going through the lockstep and bonuses, I'm struggling with how much I should take advantage of the extra income or whether I should maintain my (very comfortable though not luxurious) first/second-year spending habits. I imagine the shift is probably more extreme at the partnership level.


Well, all depends on long-term views.

I don't think I really cranked up my spending as I progressed through the associate ranks, partially because I didn't know whether this would be a long term path and partially just because of my nature. I put a decent amount in the bank/market and accordingly, when partnership brought with it the promise of many future years of stable income (and the accordant willingness of lenders to offer me ungodly amounts) I was able to take a chunk and buy a nice home.

So, benefits to passing the marshmallow test.

User avatar
Wild Card

Bronze
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Wild Card » Sun May 28, 2017 2:38 am

How does one find out about firms' practices when it comes to letting associates go? I know that Cravath is an "up or out" firm, but which others?

Have you seen the Paul Hastings and Dechert threads? How does one find out which firms fire associates after only the first or second year?

LurkerTurnedMember

Bronze
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:31 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Sun May 28, 2017 2:45 am

Should we be worried about the latest wave of layoffs (40 from Seyfurth, dozen or so from Deschert even first years, and some firms firing lawyers after they failed the bar just once)? Are these isolated incidents or is there a wave coming? Is the market gonna take a hard hit soon?

User avatar
jkpolk

Silver
Posts: 1180
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:44 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby jkpolk » Sun May 28, 2017 2:56 am

What kept you going? Someone makes the calls, you write the papers with the calls they make. I'm only a few years in but it's fucking soul crushing to watch the idiots that pay the bills be idiots while I put in many, many hours.

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 30, 2017 11:31 am

Wild Card wrote:How does one find out about firms' practices when it comes to letting associates go? I know that Cravath is an "up or out" firm, but which others?

Have you seen the Paul Hastings and Dechert threads? How does one find out which firms fire associates after only the first or second year?


No firm will let you stick around forever unless you're continuing to add value. At the senior ranks, that either means near-partner level capabilities (running deals, etc.) and/or specific niche knowledge (specialist talents, etc.). These may or may not result in moving you into a different category (counsel at many firms, "senior attorney" at Cravath, which hides it). Once you stop being able to produce the requisite level of quality work product relative to your seniority/experience/rate, your days are numbered everywhere.

Every firm is willing to fire a first or second year associate if the case warrants it. Rare, but it does happen. I haven't heard the latest re: Paul Hastings but did hear re: Dechert, and usually that suggests some broader financial trends that aren't great (whether short-term or long-term is usually TBD). For the most part, the higher you go on vault the less likely to occur; profits per partner is an imperfect metric there as firms like Cadwalader have historically juiced leverage to the extreme to produce high PPP

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 30, 2017 11:33 am

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:Should we be worried about the latest wave of layoffs (40 from Seyfurth, dozen or so from Deschert even first years, and some firms firing lawyers after they failed the bar just once)? Are these isolated incidents or is there a wave coming? Is the market gonna take a hard hit soon?


Definitely hard to tell. I think firms like ours (assume everyone in the V20-30 or so) are doing pretty well and no real risk anytime soon. But I would not love to be at a NYC based firm without a few top-tier practice groups - I think the guys in the bottom quartile of Vault / AmLaw 200 are seriously at risk as the industry continues stratifying into winners and losers

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 30, 2017 11:36 am

jkpolk wrote:What kept you going? Someone makes the calls, you write the papers with the calls they make. I'm only a few years in but it's fucking soul crushing to watch the idiots that pay the bills be idiots while I put in many, many hours.


Luck, timing? World went through some weird cycles during my associate years. I think bigger picture they started dangling the keys to the kingdom in front of me at some point - that kept the hamster wheel turning. Of course, little did I know that beyond that first door were many, many more doors (to which the keys were not yet provided). Still, much better being on the inside even if I'm not in the penthouse.

Anonymous User
Posts: 321224
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 30, 2017 4:37 pm

itbdvorm wrote:...when partnership brought with it the promise of many future years of stable income (and the accordant willingness of lenders to offer me ungodly amounts) I was able to take a chunk and buy a nice home.

I realize that the amount varies from firm-to-firm, but how much does an equity partnership buy-in cost (i.e, V firm 15-30, or whatever you are comfortable with)? What is the income difference between equity income and non-equity (half as much, etc.)? Generally speaking.

redsox550

Bronze
Posts: 307
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:15 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby redsox550 » Tue May 30, 2017 5:33 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
jkpolk wrote:What kept you going? Someone makes the calls, you write the papers with the calls they make. I'm only a few years in but it's fucking soul crushing to watch the idiots that pay the bills be idiots while I put in many, many hours.


Luck, timing? World went through some weird cycles during my associate years. I think bigger picture they started dangling the keys to the kingdom in front of me at some point - that kept the hamster wheel turning. Of course, little did I know that beyond that first door were many, many more doors (to which the keys were not yet provided). Still, much better being on the inside even if I'm not in the penthouse.


To quote DJ Khaled, can you please describe those "keys, keys, keys" and all the twists and turns it takes to be where you are beyond the obvious of being good enough to be a partner.

User avatar
Vincent Adultman

Silver
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 2:08 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Vincent Adultman » Tue May 30, 2017 5:43 pm

What is the ratio of partners who are genuinely nice people just trying to do right by their clients and better their families v. partners who are pure sociopaths that are invigorated by the worst aspects of this job? And how good is the latter group at disguising themselves as the former?

User avatar
Lincoln

Silver
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Lincoln » Tue May 30, 2017 6:33 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
jkpolk wrote:What kept you going? Someone makes the calls, you write the papers with the calls they make. I'm only a few years in but it's fucking soul crushing to watch the idiots that pay the bills be idiots while I put in many, many hours.


Luck, timing? World went through some weird cycles during my associate years. I think bigger picture they started dangling the keys to the kingdom in front of me at some point - that kept the hamster wheel turning. Of course, little did I know that beyond that first door were many, many more doors (to which the keys were not yet provided). Still, much better being on the inside even if I'm not in the penthouse.


I'm at the point where that first key is at least starting to get mentioned in conversation. At risk of mixing our metaphors too much, what are the other doors that only became apparent after you got that (first) brass ring?

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 30, 2017 7:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:...when partnership brought with it the promise of many future years of stable income (and the accordant willingness of lenders to offer me ungodly amounts) I was able to take a chunk and buy a nice home.

I realize that the amount varies from firm-to-firm, but how much does an equity partnership buy-in cost (i.e, V firm 15-30, or whatever you are comfortable with)? What is the income difference between equity income and non-equity (half as much, etc.)? Generally speaking.


There's a saying: "if you have to ask, you can't afford it."

That's not the case with the buy-in; if anything, it's effectively the opposite. You can't afford it now, but firms find ways to finance it for you. So it's not meaningful in the short term.

Think about it more than anything else as a forced allocation of your post-partnership investment portfolio into something that gets a relatively meager return.

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 30, 2017 7:09 pm

redsox550 wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
jkpolk wrote:What kept you going? Someone makes the calls, you write the papers with the calls they make. I'm only a few years in but it's fucking soul crushing to watch the idiots that pay the bills be idiots while I put in many, many hours.


Luck, timing? World went through some weird cycles during my associate years. I think bigger picture they started dangling the keys to the kingdom in front of me at some point - that kept the hamster wheel turning. Of course, little did I know that beyond that first door were many, many more doors (to which the keys were not yet provided). Still, much better being on the inside even if I'm not in the penthouse.


To quote DJ Khaled, can you please describe those "keys, keys, keys" and all the twists and turns it takes to be where you are beyond the obvious of being good enough to be a partner.


Don't really follow this question?

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 30, 2017 7:13 pm

Martin Brody wrote:What is the ratio of partners who are genuinely nice people just trying to do right by their clients and better their families v. partners who are pure sociopaths that are invigorated by the worst aspects of this job? And how good is the latter group at disguising themselves as the former?


I'd say I've encountered only a handful of those sociopaths. But they are absolutely out there, and most are actually really good at disguising themselves over a short term period. Be generally wary of partners who are repeat laterals over a relatively short-term period. If you graduated law school after 1995 and you're on your 4th partnership (other than in instances where firms are no longer in existence) that's not a good sign.

itbdvorm

Gold
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue May 30, 2017 7:17 pm

Lincoln wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
jkpolk wrote:What kept you going? Someone makes the calls, you write the papers with the calls they make. I'm only a few years in but it's fucking soul crushing to watch the idiots that pay the bills be idiots while I put in many, many hours.


Luck, timing? World went through some weird cycles during my associate years. I think bigger picture they started dangling the keys to the kingdom in front of me at some point - that kept the hamster wheel turning. Of course, little did I know that beyond that first door were many, many more doors (to which the keys were not yet provided). Still, much better being on the inside even if I'm not in the penthouse.


I'm at the point where that first key is at least starting to get mentioned in conversation. At risk of mixing our metaphors too much, what are the other doors that only became apparent after you got that (first) brass ring?


Frankly almost too many to list. I guess the basic premise is to think about the dynamic between a junior associate and a senior associate. Then think about the dynamic between a junior partner and a senior partner. A decent number of similarities, from an understanding of the profession, to compensation, to visibility into long-term future, to decisions regarding the direction of the firm...

User avatar
stannis

Silver
Posts: 1274
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:01 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby stannis » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:00 pm

What's the longest vacation you've taken since starting in biglaw? How about non-working vacation?

Anonymous User
Posts: 321224
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:23 am

How do you handle (and have you ever handled) OCI interviews with students that are completely out of range / much lower in terms of traditional GPA/Ranking requirements for your firm? For example, if someone bid on your firm and were chosen by the lottery for an interview, but their ranking is significantly lower than what you typically hire. Do they still have a chance to impress you/sell themselves? Or are they basically out from the beginning?



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.