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 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are the typical exit options that a corporate attorney from your firms sees as a midlevel associate? How does that change as you get more senior? How often do you get recruiter calls?


varies. in-house counsel at various corporations/banks, some people going directly into business/legal combo roles, some people quitting to start their own businesses. frankly these don't change so so much as you get senior though occasionally some come along that really make you think about them. recruiter calls come all the time, though the vast majority are just for other firms.

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

Postby boosk » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:51 pm

itbdvorm wrote:occasionally some come along that really make you think about them.


what are these??

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:48 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What are the typical exit options that a corporate attorney from your firms sees as a midlevel associate? How does that change as you get more senior? How often do you get recruiter calls?


varies. in-house counsel at various corporations/banks, some people going directly into business/legal combo roles, some people quitting to start their own businesses. frankly these don't change so so much as you get senior though occasionally some come along that really make you think about them. recruiter calls come all the time, though the vast majority are just for other firms.


Are these exclusively from "lower ranked firms" or do recruiter calls run the general spectrum of prestige?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:39 pm

you've discussed transferring offices (after SA) a little bit - just wondering if you have any insight on when it is appropriate to ask about transferring locations if you know it may become an issue?

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5ky
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 5ky » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:24 pm

What are your thoughts on Quinn's "new" recruiting process? Has your firm ever given any thought to mixing up its recruiting?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:29 pm

What tips would you give an incoming associate for being successful in the biglaw environment that they wouldn't intuitively know based on previous work experiences?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What are the typical exit options that a corporate attorney from your firms sees as a midlevel associate? How does that change as you get more senior? How often do you get recruiter calls?


varies. in-house counsel at various corporations/banks, some people going directly into business/legal combo roles, some people quitting to start their own businesses. frankly these don't change so so much as you get senior though occasionally some come along that really make you think about them. recruiter calls come all the time, though the vast majority are just for other firms.


Are these exclusively from "lower ranked firms" or do recruiter calls run the general spectrum of prestige?


Run the general spectrum of prestige. Just about every place wants a senior corp associate.

As for "make you think about", some hybrid business/legal things, some senior legal positions...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:you've discussed transferring offices (after SA) a little bit - just wondering if you have any insight on when it is appropriate to ask about transferring locations if you know it may become an issue?


I'd talk to the recruiting folks (either while you're a summer or when you know). Usually these things take time. Better to have the conversation earlier rather than later (may even change the firm's planned OCI process depending on office sizes and expected capacity).

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:33 pm

5ky wrote:What are your thoughts on Quinn's "new" recruiting process? Has your firm ever given any thought to mixing up its recruiting?


Interesting, but not really anything new. We do those 1L on-campus things too (or at least have in the past). Sometimes you meet folks who make an impression on you, basically same thing.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What tips would you give an incoming associate for being successful in the biglaw environment that they wouldn't intuitively know based on previous work experiences?


Um. Be available. Blackberry can summon you anywhere. And no matter how good you think your attention to detail is, it's not good enough.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:10 pm

In terms of attrition from the ranks of associates, how much is voluntary v. forced? For example: if someone wanted to last til their 6/7/8th year how difficult would that be?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In terms of attrition from the ranks of associates, how much is voluntary v. forced? For example: if someone wanted to last til their 6/7/8th year how difficult would that be?


Not super difficult. But "wanted to last" is a weird thing to think about. If you're doing the work - and doing it compentently - you can stick around for quite awhile. But there's a difference between that and just "lasting"

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:33 pm

If I get a full-time offer from my firm this summer, I have until Nov. 1 to accept. Does your firm (or any other firm you know of) look down upon those who take the full amount of time to make a decision? There's a chance I'll be interviewing for non-law related jobs in late summer/early fall, but I don't particularly want to run the risk of annoying my SA firm.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:50 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In terms of attrition from the ranks of associates, how much is voluntary v. forced? For example: if someone wanted to last til their 6/7/8th year how difficult would that be?


Not super difficult. But "wanted to last" is a weird thing to think about. If you're doing the work - and doing it compentently - you can stick around for quite awhile. But there's a difference between that and just "lasting"


What do you mean there is a difference? As in, someone who was just hanging around could last longer than one might think?

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

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In terms of attrition from the ranks of associates, how much is voluntary v. forced? For example: if someone wanted to last til their 6/7/8th year how difficult would that be?


Not super difficult. But "wanted to last" is a weird thing to think about. If you're doing the work - and doing it compentently - you can stick around for quite awhile. But there's a difference between that and just "lasting"


What do you mean there is a difference? As in, someone who was just hanging around could last longer than one might think?


He's saying that you need to work your ass off and not be an idiot to stick around. This involves nothing which is synonymous with "lasting" because "lasting" implies you're doing the bare minimum or just scraping by which is exactly the mindset people have who get fired.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I get a full-time offer from my firm this summer, I have until Nov. 1 to accept. Does your firm (or any other firm you know of) look down upon those who take the full amount of time to make a decision? There's a chance I'll be interviewing for non-law related jobs in late summer/early fall, but I don't particularly want to run the risk of annoying my SA firm.


Vaguely. You'll annoy the recruiting staff and recruiting committee members a bit. But no one really remembers that after you get back usually.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:11 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In terms of attrition from the ranks of associates, how much is voluntary v. forced? For example: if someone wanted to last til their 6/7/8th year how difficult would that be?


Not super difficult. But "wanted to last" is a weird thing to think about. If you're doing the work - and doing it compentently - you can stick around for quite awhile. But there's a difference between that and just "lasting"


What do you mean there is a difference? As in, someone who was just hanging around could last longer than one might think?


He's saying that you need to work your ass off and not be an idiot to stick around. This involves nothing which is synonymous with "lasting" because "lasting" implies you're doing the bare minimum or just scraping by which is exactly the mindset people have who get fired.


Exactly. Most senior associates here - even the ones with no shot at partnership - have worked their asses off for years and can be counted on to produce work product that is, at the worst, competent. You can probably make it a year or two, maybe as late as fourth-fifth year, in various degrees of duck and cover mode. But it'd be tough.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:02 pm

2nd year corporate associate here. I imagine you've seen a lot of turn-over in your years at a V15 firm. Can you please discuss what separated those that stayed with those that involuntarily moved on? I'm sure there is a wide range of reasons that will vary firm to firm, but I am still interested to hear your experiences. The most difficult part of being a junior associate is not being allowed to say no to work, but also having the expectation of perfect work...if your plate is overflowing it is nearly impossible to do perfect work.

Additionally, what made you stay at a firm so long? To some degree (depending on my week), I find it difficult to understand why some people stick around at firms when in-house gigs don't seem to be paying that much worse right now...and the lifestyle is so much better.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2nd year corporate associate here. I imagine you've seen a lot of turn-over in your years at a V15 firm. Can you please discuss what separated those that stayed with those that involuntarily moved on? I'm sure there is a wide range of reasons that will vary firm to firm, but I am still interested to hear your experiences. The most difficult part of being a junior associate is not being allowed to say no to work, but also having the expectation of perfect work...if your plate is overflowing it is nearly impossible to do perfect work.

Additionally, what made you stay at a firm so long? To some degree (depending on my week), I find it difficult to understand why some people stick around at firms when in-house gigs don't seem to be paying that much worse right now...and the lifestyle is so much better.


Biggest difference is "getting it" vs. not. Ownership over matters (feeling like you're responsible for everything, it's on you if something goes wrong) vs. passing the buck up to a supervisor. If an urgent email comes in on your deal, do you take the lead in responding (if you can) or passively wait for your supervisor to do so? There's of course a balance here but if you draft a complicated, detailed email and send to your supervisor and say "ok to respond with this?" you'll be a hero. With the caveat that it's OK for your email to not be perfect, or even to be wrong, but it shouldn't be wildly wrong / demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding of the deal.

I actually also think you can so no to work (at least to new deals) - or at least have people understand what you're on. Sometimes you truly can't take on something else. All depends on how staffing works (obviously) but key is making sure supervisors know what else you're on and finding a balance.

In answer to what made me stay...it started to become reasonably clear to me that I actually had a real shot. I didn't pull the trigger and jump early in my career (should I have? who knows), but once I got reasonably senior I figured it was worth making a run for it (since the opportunities didn't really keep getting significantly better from years 3-5). They're a little better now, but again seems silly to go before I get a new title.

In answer to your final question, really depends on what your goals are. Sure, it's "better" on day 1 (since the pay/lifestyle exchange in-house is really no question), but what about day 365? How about day 2000? Where will your career in-house take you? All depends on where you go, what type of place it is, what the opportunities are. There are great in-house career paths and frankly pretty terrible ones. Key is making the right choices.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:06 pm

In answer to what made me stay...it started to become reasonably clear to me that I actually had a real shot.


In the bolded excerpt you say "had" - do you necessarily think that you won't get to partner, or is there still a chance? I guess I am just trying to determine how long they keep you in the dark w/r/t your partnership prospects (i.e. what year do you basically know whether or not you are headed to partnership- 5th? 8th?)

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

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
In answer to what made me stay...it started to become reasonably clear to me that I actually had a real shot.


In the bolded excerpt you say "had" - do you necessarily think that you won't get to partner, or is there still a chance? I guess I am just trying to determine how long they keep you in the dark w/r/t your partnership prospects (i.e. what year do you basically know whether or not you are headed to partnership- 5th? 8th?)


From what I've heard, they keep you in the dark until you become partner. And even then you might be kept in the dark about remaining a partner at the firm. Partners get their equity taken away all the time ITE. I get the impression that you view partnership as some kind of end goal when in reality it's just an invitation to take on more responsibility and spend even more time at work than you did as a senior associate. As the oft-used analogy goes: making partner is like winning a pie eating contest and your prize is more pie.

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

Postby fumagalli » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:43 pm

Before I get started, mind you that I'm asking this because I pretty much have no idea on what a corporate lawyer really does on a daily basis so....well, I hope I don't annoy you.

I'm curious about the general nature of the work that you do. That is, does it involve a lot of (or at least some) creativity? Or is it more routine work? I'm sure every deal is different (is it? I don't know) but does your work fall into a certain pattern after a few years in which you would get efficient as you get more experience under your belt or..... do you often have to approach your tasks differently?

(This question is terribly formulated, sorry. This is partly due to the fact that I don't know anything about the life of lawyers)

I guess what I want to ask is, what differentiates a good lawyer from a lawyer who would get fired soon? I mean apart from work ethic. You wrote on previous responses that even associates that don't have a chance at getting partner work their ass off, so I'm assuming work ethic isn't really an issue. Then what?


Hope you can share some wisdom.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:26 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
In answer to what made me stay...it started to become reasonably clear to me that I actually had a real shot.


In the bolded excerpt you say "had" - do you necessarily think that you won't get to partner, or is there still a chance? I guess I am just trying to determine how long they keep you in the dark w/r/t your partnership prospects (i.e. what year do you basically know whether or not you are headed to partnership- 5th? 8th?)


From what I've heard, they keep you in the dark until you become partner. And even then you might be kept in the dark about remaining a partner at the firm. Partners get their equity taken away all the time ITE. I get the impression that you view partnership as some kind of end goal when in reality it's just an invitation to take on more responsibility and spend even more time at work than you did as a senior associate. As the oft-used analogy goes: making partner is like winning a pie eating contest and your prize is more pie.


I can't speak to most of the second person here...but on the first one, I continue to believe I have a strong chance to be making it in the reasonably near term. Here's hoping that's correct.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:27 pm

fumagalli wrote:Before I get started, mind you that I'm asking this because I pretty much have no idea on what a corporate lawyer really does on a daily basis so....well, I hope I don't annoy you.

I'm curious about the general nature of the work that you do. That is, does it involve a lot of (or at least some) creativity? Or is it more routine work? I'm sure every deal is different (is it? I don't know) but does your work fall into a certain pattern after a few years in which you would get efficient as you get more experience under your belt or..... do you often have to approach your tasks differently?

(This question is terribly formulated, sorry. This is partly due to the fact that I don't know anything about the life of lawyers)

I guess what I want to ask is, what differentiates a good lawyer from a lawyer who would get fired soon? I mean apart from work ethic. You wrote on previous responses that even associates that don't have a chance at getting partner work their ass off, so I'm assuming work ethic isn't really an issue. Then what?


Hope you can share some wisdom.


I think the "getting it" vs. "not getting it" from a few paragraphs ago is most of it. That and leadership, human dynamics, etc. Shockingly important given how little credit people give it when thinking about the law (at least for corporate, and to be a star in many other areas too).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:12 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
fumagalli wrote:Before I get started, mind you that I'm asking this because I pretty much have no idea on what a corporate lawyer really does on a daily basis so....well, I hope I don't annoy you.

I'm curious about the general nature of the work that you do. That is, does it involve a lot of (or at least some) creativity? Or is it more routine work? I'm sure every deal is different (is it? I don't know) but does your work fall into a certain pattern after a few years in which you would get efficient as you get more experience under your belt or..... do you often have to approach your tasks differently?

(This question is terribly formulated, sorry. This is partly due to the fact that I don't know anything about the life of lawyers)

I guess what I want to ask is, what differentiates a good lawyer from a lawyer who would get fired soon? I mean apart from work ethic. You wrote on previous responses that even associates that don't have a chance at getting partner work their ass off, so I'm assuming work ethic isn't really an issue. Then what?


Hope you can share some wisdom.


I think the "getting it" vs. "not getting it" from a few paragraphs ago is most of it. That and leadership, human dynamics, etc. Shockingly important given how little credit people give it when thinking about the law (at least for corporate, and to be a star in many other areas too).


How long does it take before you can tell if someone "gets it" or not? To that end, if someone isn't "getting it," are they given a chance to fix it or are they normally given the idea that they should leave?




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