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 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:04 pm

opX wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
opX wrote:Could you please provide some examples of "seperator" questions?

Thank you for sharing your time and wisdom.


i have no idea what you mean by your first question.


Thank you for answering.

To explain the first question:
What are some questions that you ask students, which you particularly consider in order to separate "potential winners" from those students who are "not what the firm is looking for." I understand that the entire interview process is geared toward this, but if you were on the fence about a candidate, are their any questions you might go to see what s/he is made of or to test the student.


Probably not. I'm more of a "show, don't tell" question guy. You should wow me by being you, not by trying to be someone else...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
opX wrote:Could you please provide some examples of "seperator" questions?

- What do you look for in a transfer student to have confidence that s/he can be a great hire for your summer program?

Thank you for sharing your time and wisdom.


i have no idea what you mean by your first question.

on the second, mind-numbingly crushing grades at the first institution (i'm somewhat skeptical of transfers - sorry - we've had a bunch of bad experiences) and awesome personalities. despite my parenthetical i have given many callbacks/offer recommendations to transfer students - but since we would only give so many callbacks to a student at the initial institution i would expect that student's performance to meet those criteria


Can you elaborate on your bad experiences with transfers? Are you talking in terms of work product being a lower quality or something else? I'm a transfer going to a firm this summer (lower-ranked Vault firm) and I don't want to be a "bad experience".


Some bad work product, unprepared for "big-firm" life, etc.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does your firm care if a 2L Summer associate experiences a grade drop during 2L year? Does your firm take that into account when making job offers for summer associates?


depends on how big a drop.

What about a drop by about 0.2? More specifically from top 10% to top 33%. Began with high GPA and got nothing lower than B.


Probably fine. I'd be pretty surprised if that was a big deal at most firms.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for your time.

Question: When you are looking at a transfer applicant and their previous grades, are there certain t14 institutions that "slide the scale" more favorably towards the applicant in relation to others?

To explain: Take someone who can transfer into MPBV and desires to work at your firm. Do you treat an interviewee more favorably from Penn compared to UVA? The guy who got into Penn with Straight A's and a B from their former T2 compared to someone with the exact same numbers who decided to take UVA instead? Or take DNCG, would D weigh more that G?

In other words, are there institutions which are ranked as piers that have more comparative sway?

Sorry if this is a completely irrelevant question because the difference I am trying to address is so negligible or all together nonexistent.


Totally irrelevant. Bigger issue with the word "piers" for "peers" than anything else you said. Former institution means much more than current one.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:how talented do you have to be to last 6-7 years? suppose i started in a class of 10 in my department, do I need to be in the top 10%, or really just the top 80% (if we must speak in those terms)?


to last 6-7 years, you need to be competent. question doesn't work because it's not on a curve. if you've got 9 awesome people, they could all stick around and it'd be great. partnership might be a difficult call but sticking around is a good / not good test.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:14 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Can you elaborate on your bad experiences with transfers? Are you talking in terms of work product being a lower quality or something else? I'm a transfer going to a firm this summer (lower-ranked Vault firm) and I don't want to be a "bad experience".


Some bad work product, unprepared for "big-firm" life, etc.


Bad work product is self-explanatory, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by the latter. Is there a certain way to prepare for "big firm" life as a SA that you find that transfers don't do? And by "etc." what are some of the other things you find transfers do wrong as a SA that "native" students don't?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:18 pm

Thanks a lot for doing this, itbdvorm- this thread will remain legend among TLSers for years to come.

1. Do you have any thoughts on how you weigh practical skill courses as opposed to substantive courses? I got flat median on my legal writing course the first semester (for silly reasons, needless to say I plan to fix that my second semester) and although it's worth relatively few credits so it didn't hurt my GPA/Rank much, I've heard that employers put a ton of weight on it since writing and research is what you're likely to do your first year at any legal job. Any thoughts?

2. You mentioned earlier that you might like to see K-JDs have interesting summer employment. What sort of summer employment is this? How do you view things like working for solo practitioners, RA positions, etc.

Thanks again!!

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:37 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does your firm care if a 2L Summer associate experiences a grade drop during 2L year? Does your firm take that into account when making job offers for summer associates?


depends on how big a drop.

What about a drop by about 0.2? More specifically from top 10% to top 33%. Began with high GPA and got nothing lower than B.


Probably fine. I'd be pretty surprised if that was a big deal at most firms.

Thank you for answering questions, as they are very helpful. And your answer makes me feel more relieved.
If that is not that big of a deal, at what point do firms, like yours, begin to care?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:40 pm

I'm a student in a "flyover" state who will also be a SA in said state. However, my firm has indicated that they will not be making decisions about offers before 3L OCI has ended. Accordingly, I plan to interview. How can I convince firms in other markets that I am willing to work there?

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

Postby dingbat » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:15 am

In many law schools, it is possible to graduate in 2 1/2 years by taking summer classes both summers.
However, the student would not be able to take an SA position or an internship.

Is there any value to this strategy?

Is the lack of SA/internship a problem? (what if candidate already has relevant work experience)
Is the fact that student graduates in December a problem?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:11 am

Thank you very much. I think you said before that you don't want someone who's bleeding public interest to take the spot of someone more committed to the private sector at your firm. However, what if someone had a public interest background but was genuinely interested in working for a firm at least in the medium term (around 3 yrs or so)? Also, would it be a red flag to you if they talked about how your firm has a good pro bono rep, which is one of the reasons they are excited about interviewing with your firm?

Thanks again!

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:37 am

itbdvorm wrote:
pferaso wrote:What do you think about an international lawyer (from Colombia) that is attending a T14 school?


as a JD? so long as your english is top-notch, sounds like a plus to me.


To follow up on this, what are your views on international LLM's? Any chance at landing a position with a US firm?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Can you elaborate on your bad experiences with transfers? Are you talking in terms of work product being a lower quality or something else? I'm a transfer going to a firm this summer (lower-ranked Vault firm) and I don't want to be a "bad experience".


Some bad work product, unprepared for "big-firm" life, etc.


Bad work product is self-explanatory, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by the latter. Is there a certain way to prepare for "big firm" life as a SA that you find that transfers don't do? And by "etc." what are some of the other things you find transfers do wrong as a SA that "native" students don't?


I think some of the really lower-tier law schools (don't want to name names, but I'm not talking about a Brooklyn to Columbia transfer - lower down than that) don't really prepare people for "big firm" life because that's not the route they anticipate sending people to. I'm talking about truly unprepared, no concept of appropriate dress code, etc.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks a lot for doing this, itbdvorm- this thread will remain legend among TLSers for years to come.

1. Do you have any thoughts on how you weigh practical skill courses as opposed to substantive courses? I got flat median on my legal writing course the first semester (for silly reasons, needless to say I plan to fix that my second semester) and although it's worth relatively few credits so it didn't hurt my GPA/Rank much, I've heard that employers put a ton of weight on it since writing and research is what you're likely to do your first year at any legal job. Any thoughts?

2. You mentioned earlier that you might like to see K-JDs have interesting summer employment. What sort of summer employment is this? How do you view things like working for solo practitioners, RA positions, etc.

Thanks again!!


Really depends on the transcript as a whole. Some of my colleagues basically just look at the transcript, do the math, accept as that. I like to take a look and see what courses people did well / not well in. But I'm probably the opposite of the above - figure legal writing and research is a skill that can be learned, and would rather see people wth raw brain power (but still some polish around the edges). Though I'm corporate - maybe litigators view things differently.

As for your second question, really can run the gamut. I'm probably more impressed with jobs like working for investment banks, government positions, research positions than solo practitioners, small law firms, etc.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:What about a drop by about 0.2? More specifically from top 10% to top 33%. Began with high GPA and got nothing lower than B.


Probably fine. I'd be pretty surprised if that was a big deal at most firms.

Thank you for answering questions, as they are very helpful. And your answer makes me feel more relieved.
If that is not that big of a deal, at what point do firms, like yours, begin to care?[/quote]

Basically it becomes a big deal if your GPA is now worse than what our requirements are - especially since 2L year is generally "easier" than 1L year. Or if you get Cs/Fs. But if your work product was great, people loved you, etc., as a summer it can probably be overcome. It's always a mix, never one thing in isolation.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a student in a "flyover" state who will also be a SA in said state. However, my firm has indicated that they will not be making decisions about offers before 3L OCI has ended. Accordingly, I plan to interview. How can I convince firms in other markets that I am willing to work there?


Depends on what the market is. I would think that some of the bigger cities (Chicago, for example) won't be much of an issue. Otherwise I'd at least have some rationale for why you want to work at X (either the firm or the city - particular things about the firm, particular practice groups, particular cities, etc.)

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:18 pm

dingbat wrote:In many law schools, it is possible to graduate in 2 1/2 years by taking summer classes both summers.
However, the student would not be able to take an SA position or an internship.

Is there any value to this strategy?

Is the lack of SA/internship a problem? (what if candidate already has relevant work experience)
Is the fact that student graduates in December a problem?


100% depends. For example, what do you want to do? Right now, since so many firms fill the bulk of their spots via 2L summer positions, it will severely disadvantage you in getting a big firm job. If you want to clerk, probably not a big issue (though you wouldn't start until later so you'd need to find something to do Dec-Sept). I'd say then the biggest "value" would be "time" and "money" but both could be counterbalanced (possibly) by decreased work opportunities.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you very much. I think you said before that you don't want someone who's bleeding public interest to take the spot of someone more committed to the private sector at your firm. However, what if someone had a public interest background but was genuinely interested in working for a firm at least in the medium term (around 3 yrs or so)? Also, would it be a red flag to you if they talked about how your firm has a good pro bono rep, which is one of the reasons they are excited about interviewing with your firm?

Thanks again!


Huge, enormous, idiotic red flag that I've seen tons of people do. Mentioning pro bono at an OCI interview is a way to negatively differentiate yourself. Unless you're already deemed to be a superstar that the firm would be dying to have (Rhodes Scholar at Yale or something) it's a turn-off to them.

You need to convince me in the interview that you're committed to be a rockstar for me for some period of time. Of course, it's not for everyone long-term. But there's public interest but want to learn the system and understand how bigfirms work and be a kickass contributor, and there's public interest but want to pay off some debts while doing as much pro bono and as little real work as possible. Why would we want the second one?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
pferaso wrote:What do you think about an international lawyer (from Colombia) that is attending a T14 school?


as a JD? so long as your english is top-notch, sounds like a plus to me.


To follow up on this, what are your views on international LLM's? Any chance at landing a position with a US firm?


international students with JDs in foreign countries and LLMs at top US schools? certainly a chance, probably even a very good chance. but your english better be perfect if you really want to work in NY (or we better have an office / interest in expanding where you're from)

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

Postby dingbat » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:25 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
dingbat wrote:In many law schools, it is possible to graduate in 2 1/2 years by taking summer classes both summers.
However, the student would not be able to take an SA position or an internship.

Is there any value to this strategy?

Is the lack of SA/internship a problem? (what if candidate already has relevant work experience)
Is the fact that student graduates in December a problem?


100% depends. For example, what do you want to do? Right now, since so many firms fill the bulk of their spots via 2L summer positions, it will severely disadvantage you in getting a big firm job. If you want to clerk, probably not a big issue (though you wouldn't start until later so you'd need to find something to do Dec-Sept). I'd say then the biggest "value" would be "time" and "money" but both could be counterbalanced (possibly) by decreased work opportunities.


I want a specific practice area of biglaw and have already got a lot of related work experience (structuring/product development for a niche firm)
As I'm coming to law late, I want to start as soon as possible.
(also - giving up a six figure job for it, so I'm very hung-ho)

Thanks, by the way

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:41 pm

I've heard of some biglaw firms being rather "fratty". Is it a big deal in your opinion if a SA doesn't really drink much? This isn't to say I'm not social, I just don't like alcohol and bars that much.

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

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:40 pm

Generally, what are your thoughts when you see a PhD on a CV?

And, more specifically, what about someone with a humanities PhD, a little time working in academia, and a Yale JD? I'm guessing that person would have to work to convince you he/she wasn't interested in returning to academia.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:42 pm

dingbat wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
dingbat wrote:In many law schools, it is possible to graduate in 2 1/2 years by taking summer classes both summers.
However, the student would not be able to take an SA position or an internship.

Is there any value to this strategy?

Is the lack of SA/internship a problem? (what if candidate already has relevant work experience)
Is the fact that student graduates in December a problem?


100% depends. For example, what do you want to do? Right now, since so many firms fill the bulk of their spots via 2L summer positions, it will severely disadvantage you in getting a big firm job. If you want to clerk, probably not a big issue (though you wouldn't start until later so you'd need to find something to do Dec-Sept). I'd say then the biggest "value" would be "time" and "money" but both could be counterbalanced (possibly) by decreased work opportunities.


I want a specific practice area of biglaw and have already got a lot of related work experience (structuring/product development for a niche firm)
As I'm coming to law late, I want to start as soon as possible.
(also - giving up a six figure job for it, so I'm very hung-ho)

Thanks, by the way


While you probably would be a great fit, it doesn't matter if you can't get hired. Why are you leaving your current gig? That sounds silly. You're going to blow 3 years of your career and lots of $ to try to get a job on the legal side in an industry you're already in?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've heard of some biglaw firms being rather "fratty". Is it a big deal in your opinion if a SA doesn't really drink much? This isn't to say I'm not social, I just don't like alcohol and bars that much.


Really depends. Even the "frattiest" of firms just want you ultimately to be a good worker. If you can be social and well-liked in your peer group without being weird and without drinking you'll be totally fine. This falls into a "know thyself" category.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:44 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:Generally, what are your thoughts when you see a PhD on a CV?

And, more specifically, what about someone with a humanities PhD, a little time working in academia, and a Yale JD? I'm guessing that person would have to work to convince you he/she wasn't interested in returning to academia.


Yeah, that's probably right. I'd want to know why they made the switch. Frankly, that's one case where someone mentioning something about how they were frankly looking for something more lucrative wouldn't be a bad thing...




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