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 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So if I'm an incoming associate, my bosses will know on Day 1 whether I'm partner material and I can do nothing about it?

I know there might not be any Jeremy Lin stories in BigLaw, where you are just completely unheard of and then magically become partner, but isn't there some way to improve or out-perform what your original ceiling seemed to be?


Your bosses won't know on Day 1. They'll have a pretty good idea by the end of the first transaction (which could be months, or maybe even years, later) whether you fall into one of the following 3 categories:

Short-termers: Hopelessly inept, not caring or generally indifferent. Clearly not understanding what's going on. Seriously deficient work product. Possible real social issues.

Stars: On-the-ball, super-responsive, thoughtful, trying to advance the ball on a project before asking you what to do, personable, could easily be put in front of a client to explain things. Obviously they don't know everything, but are clearly thinking about issues.

Middle ground: Some strengths, some weaknesses. Worth staffing on another transaction, have some potential, don't get it yet but maybe could with some work.

Now, unsurprisingly, most folks who start in law firms fall into the third category...but most folks who start in law firms don't stick around and make partner (an increasingly difficult prospect, requiring objective quality, growth opportunity for the practice, and "room" given other potential candidates).

So if you fall into the middle ground on day 1, you better hope there aren't that many people who fall into the "star" category in your group, your year +/- 2 years. Because otherwise when you're a 6th year are they thinking about you as a possible partner...or that you probably won't make it given the others around you?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do most associates at your firm have good non-work lives? Are they able to keep up personal relationships, interests, health, etc. while still working at your firm? Can people actually schedule a vacation and then take it? How life-destroying are the hours? Are they happy?


I think most folks are reasonably happy. Balancing is difficult, but potentially doable. You can fall into one of two categories - the "I will schedule 1 vacation a year, and be completely AWOL during that time" or the "I will go away when I can but check in, possibly ruin a day or two of it". But I think most of my friends are reasonably content...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:48 pm

roranoa wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
roranoa wrote:
It's both routine and not. Sometimes it's "what's market", what do people normally ask for, go look at precedent, do due diligence, etc. Sometimes it's creative, come up with a mechanism to solve issue X, come up with a power-sharing provision, etc. Every practice area has creativity involved as you get more senior. At the junior level, less so.


Thanks for the reply!

As you become more senior, does the work become more challenging in a way that you have to take more risks? I mean, in the case of big business executives, as you gain more responsibility and influence you eventually take on more risks when making major business decision. Is that also the case of corporate lawyers?


I don't really think so in terms of "risks". I guess it's a risk if you ask for X or Y on a deal, or suggest to your client that they hold firm on a position (which could blow up in their face). But it's ultimately their call at the end of the day, so....



But does the work nevertheless become more challenging or different in anyway as you gain seniority? Do the partners basically do the same kind of work as the senior associates?


Yes to the first question...some similarities, many differences to the second.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:50 pm

fumagalli wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
1-2 Transactions? That seems so early, how can you tell that easily?


You'd be surprised - talent really is distinguishible almost immediately.


Wow, do you think one can gauge their talent before getting into law school? Do you think one's LSAT score would be a good indicator? I would really want to know if I'm up for it or not before I even set foot in the field.


I'd be surprised if the LSAT score was a particularly useful indicator. I'll say this - I think it's incredibly difficult to be a good corporate/transactional lawyer without excellent leadership skills.

That's not to say that you can't do so in other practice areas, or that there aren't exceptions to the above. But if you can't lead a room you can't lead a deal.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:02 am

If someone has 5 (give or take) years experience doing DA work, particularly white collar crime, would someone like that be able to lateral into (if not a V15) a big law associate position? If so, would things like grades or prestige still matter?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:06 am

How big of an issue would it be if the person you are interviewing has top 10% grades at T14 but has an accent? I don't mean Arnold Schwarzenegger type of accent , but a European accent nonetheless.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:40 am

I'm splitting my summer between a V30 and a V70 in two different secondary markets. Both are satellite offices, but the V30 has a better reputation in this market while the V70 isn't ranked (Chambers or Vault for the city). However, I like the city the V70 is in and the pay scale is supposedly better. If my plan down the road is to "trade up" firms, would it be detrimental to choose the V70 in this case?

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

Postby fumagalli » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:47 am

itbdvorm wrote:
fumagalli wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
1-2 Transactions? That seems so early, how can you tell that easily?


You'd be surprised - talent really is distinguishible almost immediately.


Wow, do you think one can gauge their talent before getting into law school? Do you think one's LSAT score would be a good indicator? I would really want to know if I'm up for it or not before I even set foot in the field.


I'd be surprised if the LSAT score was a particularly useful indicator. I'll say this - I think it's incredibly difficult to be a good corporate/transactional lawyer without excellent leadership skills.

That's not to say that you can't do so in other practice areas, or that there aren't exceptions to the above. But if you can't lead a room you can't lead a deal.


Leadership skills! This is an unexpected answer! I thought you would mention more of an intellectual trait like analytic ability or quick judgement or something along those lines.

But you think leadership skills is what distinguishes those who has talent or not? But then how would you know someone has talent or not within 1-2 transactions if leadership is the main factor of those talents? Can you judge a newbie associates leadership from 1-2 transactions?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:12 am

I got a 1l summer associate position through a diversity program in a secondary market from a local school. I am getting paid market and will be there for the same duration as the 2l summer associates.

Have you seen that these 1l hires have been brought back generally? Also, is it generally ok to ask the hiring managers if they will expect to bring a 1l back? Thanks!

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

Postby roranoa » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:24 am

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So if I'm an incoming associate, my bosses will know on Day 1 whether I'm partner material and I can do nothing about it?

I know there might not be any Jeremy Lin stories in BigLaw, where you are just completely unheard of and then magically become partner, but isn't there some way to improve or out-perform what your original ceiling seemed to be?


Your bosses won't know on Day 1. They'll have a pretty good idea by the end of the first transaction (which could be months, or maybe even years, later) whether you fall into one of the following 3 categories:

Short-termers: Hopelessly inept, not caring or generally indifferent. Clearly not understanding what's going on. Seriously deficient work product. Possible real social issues.

Stars: On-the-ball, super-responsive, thoughtful, trying to advance the ball on a project before asking you what to do, personable, could easily be put in front of a client to explain things. Obviously they don't know everything, but are clearly thinking about issues.

Middle ground: Some strengths, some weaknesses. Worth staffing on another transaction, have some potential, don't get it yet but maybe could with some work.

Now, unsurprisingly, most folks who start in law firms fall into the third category...but most folks who start in law firms don't stick around and make partner (an increasingly difficult prospect, requiring objective quality, growth opportunity for the practice, and "room" given other potential candidates).

So if you fall into the middle ground on day 1, you better hope there aren't that many people who fall into the "star" category in your group, your year +/- 2 years. Because otherwise when you're a 6th year are they thinking about you as a possible partner...or that you probably won't make it given the others around you?


It's surprising to hear that there would be people who fall in the first category at a high ranking firm like yours. Wouldn't you guys filter those types who fall in the first category after their 2L internships?

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:If someone has 5 (give or take) years experience doing DA work, particularly white collar crime, would someone like that be able to lateral into (if not a V15) a big law associate position? If so, would things like grades or prestige still matter?


Probably could, yeah. That type of experience is certainly desired. But a firm like Morvillo would probably be an even better bet.

Shockingly, I've heard of people turned down for grades even at the senior associate level...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:How big of an issue would it be if the person you are interviewing has top 10% grades at T14 but has an accent? I don't mean Arnold Schwarzenegger type of accent , but a European accent nonetheless.


If it's an accent (but your English is "perfect", just accented) not a big deal. We've had many. Bigger issue if there's a question re: fluency.

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm splitting my summer between a V30 and a V70 in two different secondary markets. Both are satellite offices, but the V30 has a better reputation in this market while the V70 isn't ranked (Chambers or Vault for the city). However, I like the city the V70 is in and the pay scale is supposedly better. If my plan down the road is to "trade up" firms, would it be detrimental to choose the V70 in this case?


All depends on where you ultimately want to be and what you want to do. Satellite offices are tough if they're really small, may only have 1-5 partners in a few particular practice groups. I'd try to ask some attorneys in the geography/practice area you're thinking about for their thoughts...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:43 am

fumagalli wrote:
Leadership skills! This is an unexpected answer! I thought you would mention more of an intellectual trait like analytic ability or quick judgement or something along those lines.

But you think leadership skills is what distinguishes those who has talent or not? But then how would you know someone has talent or not within 1-2 transactions if leadership is the main factor of those talents? Can you judge a newbie associates leadership from 1-2 transactions?


see, maybe I think about some of those factors in the "leadership skills" category. you don't have to be the one actually leading the room now (because you're right - your chances to do so will be limited). but it's the potential...do i feel comfortable that if I give you a task w/some obstacles in it that you'll figure out what needs to get done vs. just say "i don't know what i'm doing"? do you seem a step behind in conversations that aren't work-related? i understand if you've been here a week you don't have much to add about how rule 13e-3 works, but you can start adding input/insight/questions on other things and indicate that you're moving at a quick speed...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:I got a 1l summer associate position through a diversity program in a secondary market from a local school. I am getting paid market and will be there for the same duration as the 2l summer associates.

Have you seen that these 1l hires have been brought back generally? Also, is it generally ok to ask the hiring managers if they will expect to bring a 1l back? Thanks!


um...sometimes? I might but I'd be careful about it. Most don't go in with the same "expectation" of bringing you back, but if they liked you I don't see why they wouldn't...

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

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:46 am

roranoa wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So if I'm an incoming associate, my bosses will know on Day 1 whether I'm partner material and I can do nothing about it?

I know there might not be any Jeremy Lin stories in BigLaw, where you are just completely unheard of and then magically become partner, but isn't there some way to improve or out-perform what your original ceiling seemed to be?


Your bosses won't know on Day 1. They'll have a pretty good idea by the end of the first transaction (which could be months, or maybe even years, later) whether you fall into one of the following 3 categories:

Short-termers: Hopelessly inept, not caring or generally indifferent. Clearly not understanding what's going on. Seriously deficient work product. Possible real social issues.

Stars: On-the-ball, super-responsive, thoughtful, trying to advance the ball on a project before asking you what to do, personable, could easily be put in front of a client to explain things. Obviously they don't know everything, but are clearly thinking about issues.

Middle ground: Some strengths, some weaknesses. Worth staffing on another transaction, have some potential, don't get it yet but maybe could with some work.

Now, unsurprisingly, most folks who start in law firms fall into the third category...but most folks who start in law firms don't stick around and make partner (an increasingly difficult prospect, requiring objective quality, growth opportunity for the practice, and "room" given other potential candidates).

So if you fall into the middle ground on day 1, you better hope there aren't that many people who fall into the "star" category in your group, your year +/- 2 years. Because otherwise when you're a 6th year are they thinking about you as a possible partner...or that you probably won't make it given the others around you?


It's surprising to hear that there would be people who fall in the first category at a high ranking firm like yours. Wouldn't you guys filter those types who fall in the first category after their 2L internships?


sadly, the standards necessary to turn a summer job into a full-time offer are not the standards necessary to be good. given the terrible implications about firms who don't offer nearly everyone / people who get no-offered, firms are very selective about not bringing people back fulltime. and since law school grades don't correlate that well......

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:46 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I got a 1l summer associate position through a diversity program in a secondary market from a local school. I am getting paid market and will be there for the same duration as the 2l summer associates.

Have you seen that these 1l hires have been brought back generally? Also, is it generally ok to ask the hiring managers if they will expect to bring a 1l back? Thanks!


um...sometimes? I might but I'd be careful about it. Most don't go in with the same "expectation" of bringing you back, but if they liked you I don't see why they wouldn't...


Thank you for the response. I'm at or slightly above their cutoff and have w/e and an accounting background. They're my top choice, so I was hoping to come back for my second summer. I guess I will just have to wow them this summer and produce a good work product.

Thanks for all the help you've been providing in this thread!

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

Postby fumagalli » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:09 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
fumagalli wrote:
Leadership skills! This is an unexpected answer! I thought you would mention more of an intellectual trait like analytic ability or quick judgement or something along those lines.

But you think leadership skills is what distinguishes those who has talent or not? But then how would you know someone has talent or not within 1-2 transactions if leadership is the main factor of those talents? Can you judge a newbie associates leadership from 1-2 transactions?


see, maybe I think about some of those factors in the "leadership skills" category. you don't have to be the one actually leading the room now (because you're right - your chances to do so will be limited). but it's the potential...do i feel comfortable that if I give you a task w/some obstacles in it that you'll figure out what needs to get done vs. just say "i don't know what i'm doing"? do you seem a step behind in conversations that aren't work-related? i understand if you've been here a week you don't have much to add about how rule 13e-3 works, but you can start adding input/insight/questions on other things and indicate that you're moving at a quick speed...


I think I get what you mean now. Thanks for all your help!

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:24 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If someone has 5 (give or take) years experience doing DA work, particularly white collar crime, would someone like that be able to lateral into (if not a V15) a big law associate position? If so, would things like grades or prestige still matter?


Probably could, yeah. That type of experience is certainly desired. But a firm like Morvillo would probably be an even better bet.

Shockingly, I've heard of people turned down for grades even at the senior associate level...

Thanks! What kind of firm did you hear of senior associates turned down for grades? (Prestige-wise)

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

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If someone has 5 (give or take) years experience doing DA work, particularly white collar crime, would someone like that be able to lateral into (if not a V15) a big law associate position? If so, would things like grades or prestige still matter?


Probably could, yeah. That type of experience is certainly desired. But a firm like Morvillo would probably be an even better bet.

Shockingly, I've heard of people turned down for grades even at the senior associate level...

Thanks! What kind of firm did you hear of senior associates turned down for grades? (Prestige-wise)


Prestigious ones...generally, the places that are hard to get hired at to begin with are still going to be hard to lateral into. Though some are harder than others...

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:58 am

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
itbdvorm wrote:LR might be a requirement, though there is, frankly, another possibility - you may not be a great interview (sorry). If their median is below your GPA and you're not getting many offers, you may not have come across great with them...


Oh yeah, I definitely think that's the dispositive factor, just was actually looking (and frankly, ego-wise, hoping) that there were things that are now beyond my control influencing the bad results.

I actually reached out to one of my interviewers, and she let me know while she thought our interview was great, I just didn't seem like the Biglaw "type." In other words, nothing that I really said was wrong, just "fit" wasn't right. Unfortunately this mostly based on my manner and it seems difficult to correct. Do you deal with this often? Any suggestions?

Thanks again.


How were you dressed? Conservatively or unshaven/beard, bright colors, "different" suit? What sort of prior WE do you have? Lots of PI? Questions about pro bono?


Sorry to recycle a question from much earlier in the thread, but the original user seems to have vanished into the abyss.

I have a beard, though I keep it well-groomed (and would certainly visit a barber prior to an interview). Not a huge beard, but a chinstrap/mustache combination. Is being of the mustachioed tribe a detriment?

If so, is it due to lifestyle connotations (associated with tattoos, drugs, hipster-ism, and other undesirable behavior), or just considered too "different" to properly fit in with the firm culture?

If the latter, then what other mistakes have interviewees made with their dress choices, that are lesser-known and/or not commonly touched on by career services?

And while PI/Pro Bono is obviously a red flag, would volunteering a la Teach for America similarly red-flag a candidate?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:40 am

I'm a 4th year M&A attorney at a V5 firm. I'm entering my 5th year next January. I'm fluent in French and German. How hard/easy will it be to lateral to a firm/inhouse in continental Europe (say, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria)?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 4th year M&A attorney at a V5 firm. I'm entering my 5th year next January. I'm fluent in French and German. How hard/easy will it be to lateral to a firm/inhouse in continental Europe (say, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria)?


Not working yet, but how hard is it to lateral to an Asian office at your firm (this is directed to OP, not the above anonymous)? Assume fluency in the relevant language (Chinese and Japanese).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:19 am

T-10 1L here. Been on two V-25 interviews for an SA position. Both times I met with three partners, I thought the interviews went well, until the end when I heard, “feel free to keep looking.” Ding letter followed.

I then interviewed with the DA’s office and they treated me like a rock star. The next day I had an interview for a judge internship (and was given the green light that very day even after I mentioned I was awaiting word from the DA). A couple days later I was called by a firm, turns out they were a clearing house for judge interns and they recommended me to a number of judges (which I had to decline).

I wish I knew what went sideways with the V-25 interviews. My questions: since a big firm SA position is not in my 1L future, I hear what matters is that my summer is spent in the legal field. True? Also, my grades came out and I am slightly above median. ITE, how far down the Big Law ladder does that put me? I read in an earlier thread that you have a cut-off, can I ask, what is the cutoff? Thanks.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:T-10 1L here. Been on two V-25 interviews for an SA position. Both times I met with three partners, I thought the interviews went well, until the end when I heard, “feel free to keep looking.” Ding letter followed.

I then interviewed with the DA’s office and they treated me like a rock star. The next day I had an interview for a judge internship (and was given the green light that very day even after I mentioned I was awaiting word from the DA). A couple days later I was called by a firm, turns out they were a clearing house for judge interns and they recommended me to a number of judges (which I had to decline).

I wish I knew what went sideways with the V-25 interviews. My questions: since a big firm SA position is not in my 1L future, I hear what matters is that my summer is spent in the legal field. True? Also, my grades came out and I am slightly above median. ITE, how far down the Big Law ladder does that put me? I read in an earlier thread that you have a cut-off, can I ask, what is the cutoff? Thanks.



I'm sure a lot of 2L/3L's can answer this for you - so I'm going to do so. Don't stress missing out on BigLaw for 1L. It's a longshot and you still probably gained some valuable interview experience. Yes, anything legal during 1L summer is good so that you can talk about your experience during 2L OCI.

Median at T10 will depend on a lot of things (what city you're looking at, work experience, interview ability). I would mass-mail your home market during mid-July, as well as any firms in your target market not coming to your OCI. If the OP revealed his firm's cutoff, it wouldn't help you much because you don't know what firm he is at and therefore wouldn't know whether to bid on them or not. Don't try to equate V rankings with law school rankings in terms of what GPA they take. Some V5's would only take top 10% at my T10 school, but some V5's go down to median for good candidates that interview well.

Some firms are more grade-picky than others. Median will cut you off from some firms, but it won't at others. If your grades stay in the same range, you're going to want to go for NYC as your target market. Talk to your OCI or make a post on TLS during June/July when you have to do your bidlist. Then we'll have a better idea on where you should try to interview.




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