My CB conversion rate is shittily low

(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.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:10 pm

I have gone 0 for 5 so far on callbacks. There's one place I'm still waiting to hear back from, and one CB I still have to go on...


WTF am I doing wrong? I am fairly personable, I smile, and I'm not totally awkward. The only thing I can think of is that I don't try to "sell" myself at the interview. Is this something you guys (who have gotten offers) do? What do you say?

Any thoughts on why such a terrible rate?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have gone 0 for 5 so far on callbacks. There's one place I'm still waiting to hear back from, and one CB I still have to go on...


WTF am I doing wrong? I am fairly personable, I smile, and I'm not totally awkward. The only thing I can think of is that I don't try to "sell" myself at the interview. Is this something you guys (who have gotten offers) do? What do you say?

Any thoughts on why such a terrible rate?


Just my two cents, but if I were you I would pick up "The Guerilla Guide to Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams" and read the interviewing section. I read it this summer and ended up with 5 offers out of 6 CBs (all v10-v75) with top 20% grades at a T25.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have gone 0 for 5 so far on callbacks. There's one place I'm still waiting to hear back from, and one CB I still have to go on...


WTF am I doing wrong? I am fairly personable, I smile, and I'm not totally awkward. The only thing I can think of is that I don't try to "sell" myself at the interview. Is this something you guys (who have gotten offers) do? What do you say?

Any thoughts on why such a terrible rate?


Just my two cents, but if I were you I would pick up "The Guerilla Guide to Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams" and read the interviewing section. I read it this summer and ended up with 5 offers out of 6 CBs (all v10-v75) with top 20% grades at a T25.


what did you learn from it

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have gone 0 for 5 so far on callbacks. There's one place I'm still waiting to hear back from, and one CB I still have to go on...


WTF am I doing wrong? I am fairly personable, I smile, and I'm not totally awkward. The only thing I can think of is that I don't try to "sell" myself at the interview. Is this something you guys (who have gotten offers) do? What do you say?

Any thoughts on why such a terrible rate?


Just my two cents, but if I were you I would pick up "The Guerilla Guide to Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams" and read the interviewing section. I read it this summer and ended up with 5 offers out of 6 CBs (all v10-v75) with top 20% grades at a T25.

OP here. Just looked it up; my LS library has it so I'll grab it this weekend. I've still got a screener and the (above-mentioned) CB left to go.

Off the top of your head, can you think of any glaring reasons I'd be floundering so bad?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have gone 0 for 5 so far on callbacks. There's one place I'm still waiting to hear back from, and one CB I still have to go on...


WTF am I doing wrong? I am fairly personable, I smile, and I'm not totally awkward. The only thing I can think of is that I don't try to "sell" myself at the interview. Is this something you guys (who have gotten offers) do? What do you say?

Any thoughts on why such a terrible rate?


It's tough to give thoughts without anything more specific. Maybe it's something you're saying that you don't realize is a problem, maybe it's a question you ask, maybe it's something on your resume, maybe your grades/school aren't up to the level of the rest of the people the firms are giving offers to, maybe it's just bad luck. This is one of them most difficult things to try and diagnose.

Which markets have you been targeting? 0 for 5 is just plain awful for some of the bigger markets, but not as much for some of the smaller ones.

The best advice I can give is when you're interviewing with a partner, come across as somebody who they want working for them and when you're interviewing with an associate, come across as somebody who they want working with them. A number of people I know who didn't fare so well were the type of people who come across as way too nervous or the opposite—too laid back. Either can kill you.

Also, do your research. Know everything about the firm. Know what type of people work there (insofar as any one particular type of person can work anywhere) and know what about their firm they're most proud of.

Be engaging and always come across to a partner as somebody they would want to put in front of a client.

FWIW, I had about a 70% callback:offer ratio and ended up with an offer at a V5 firm's home office that should have been out of reach.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have gone 0 for 5 so far on callbacks. There's one place I'm still waiting to hear back from, and one CB I still have to go on...


WTF am I doing wrong? I am fairly personable, I smile, and I'm not totally awkward. The only thing I can think of is that I don't try to "sell" myself at the interview. Is this something you guys (who have gotten offers) do? What do you say?

Any thoughts on why such a terrible rate?


Just my two cents, but if I were you I would pick up "The Guerilla Guide to Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams" and read the interviewing section. I read it this summer and ended up with 5 offers out of 6 CBs (all v10-v75) with top 20% grades at a T25.


I'm the anon above who ended up with a V5 offer. I thought that "The Guerilla Guide to Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams" was absolutely worthless and in some places even harmful. It's written by somebody who graduated from Case Western, and from what I recall, couldn't even get a legal job. So take it for what it's worth.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have gone 0 for 5 so far on callbacks. There's one place I'm still waiting to hear back from, and one CB I still have to go on...


WTF am I doing wrong? I am fairly personable, I smile, and I'm not totally awkward. The only thing I can think of is that I don't try to "sell" myself at the interview. Is this something you guys (who have gotten offers) do? What do you say?

Any thoughts on why such a terrible rate?


It's tough to give thoughts without anything more specific. Maybe it's something you're saying that you don't realize is a problem, maybe it's a question you ask, maybe it's something on your resume, maybe your grades/school aren't up to the level of the rest of the people the firms are giving offers to, maybe it's just bad luck. This is one of them most difficult things to try and diagnose.

Which markets have you been targeting? 0 for 5 is just plain awful for some of the bigger markets, but not as much for some of the smaller ones.

The best advice I can give is when you're interviewing with a partner, come across as somebody who they want working for them and when you're interviewing with an associate, come across as somebody who they want working with them. A number of people I know who didn't fare so well were the type of people who come across as way too nervous or the opposite—too laid back. Either can kill you.

Also, do your research. Know everything about the firm. Know what type of people work there (insofar as any one particular type of person can work anywhere) and know what about their firm they're most proud of.

Be engaging and always come across to a partner as somebody they would want to put in front of a client.

FWIW, I had about a 70% callback:offer ratio and ended up with an offer at a V5 firm's home office that should have been out of reach.

TY.

(a) If I don't know wtf something is, I'll just say it. E.g., Cahill's practice of "corporate representation of the capital markets, largely on the side of underwriters"... I don't know what the fuck that shit is, and I'm honest about it. Bad idea?

(b) Bad idea to be totally open about practice group preferences? I have been.

(c) Again, do you "sell" yourself? And how? I really don't.

(d) I had one CB in New York (Cahill), and the rest in pretty small markets (all had SA class sizes <10). This may just be bad luck--hell, that's probably the most parsimonious explanation--but I'm obviously pretty fucking desperate at this point.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:(a) If I don't know wtf something is, I'll just say it. E.g., Cahill's practice of "corporate representation of the capital markets, largely on the side of underwriters"... I don't know what the fuck that shit is, and I'm honest about it. Bad idea?


In my interviews, I told them that I had no idea what a capital markets lawyer does on a day-to-day basis as compared to an M&A lawyer. This usually came up after I expressed an interest in corporate and they asked if I had any preference more specific than that. Show them that you are eager to learn and have a general passion for legal work.

(b) Bad idea to be totally open about practice group preferences? I have been.


I always expressed a general interest in corporate. I would try to at least explain why you're leaning litigation or corporate. The people I know who were all "lol, I'll do anything you want!" ended up not doing so well. If you're leaning litigation, tell them that, explain how much you loved 1L and its litigation focus, but then also mention how excited you are to be able to try some corporate work over the summer. If you say you're leaning toward corporate work, be prepared to back that up. Leaning litigation but eager to try corporate work is probably the safest thing to do.

(c) Again, do you "sell" yourself? And how? I really don't.


I never overtly sold myself. I went in with positive characteristics I wanted to highlight and then found ways to subtly weave those characteristics into the conversation via stories. I never said "I'm hardworking" or "I'm very detail-orientated," instead, I seamlessly directed the conversation in a way that let me give examples of the times I was hardworking or showed how detail-oriented I was.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:37 pm

I went 0/6 on CBs last year as a 2L, but received 2 amazing offers this year as a 3L. The one I accepted is a dream job, and it is much, much better than anything I could have gotten out of 2L OCI.

After I struck-out last year, I called up the recruiters to ask what went wrong. They all said that I received good remarks from interviewers, but that I wasn't "excited" about the practices areas the firms emphasized in. I guess that I was on the wait-list, but just below the cut-off line.

So, this year I studied the crap out of the practice that I wanted to sell myself to. In fact, the firm that I chose to go with focuses on Capital Markets. I studied high yield/investment grade debt offerings, equity offerings, etc., so that I could speak knowledgeably about it. I even re-read my securities outline and looked up some guides online to get used to it. And I read tons of WSJ articles about deals, companies, and the firms. This was for the sole purpose of sounding excited about their firm/practice. Interviews went so much smoother!!!! In fact, I would be talking and they would say something about a company, and I could say: "Oh yeah, I read that in the WSJ the other day! Don't you think..."

Also, I thought that Guerilla Tactics would be useless last year, and I struck-out. So, this year I read the entire freaken interview section. Although a lot of it is nonsense, the main points are great. You need to have answers to those typical questions!!! The ones that I saw the most were: (1) Why this firm, (2) Why this practice, (3) Explain some bad grades, (4) Why law school, (5) where do you want to end up in 5-10 years, (6) why this particular area, and some others specific to my resume. Know stone cold how to "sell" these answers. A few of those came up every interview.

Also, list out the "no-no" answers. Sometimes last year I would say something by accident, and I didn't think it was a big deal, but I have a feeling that the small stuff can completely turn off an interviewer. I might mention something about hours, or pay, or religion, just little things, that I made sure to stay far far away from this year.

Anyways, it only takes one offer. Put all your effort into preparing for this one, and hopefully it will work out. Good luck!!!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:30 pm

(a) If I don't know wtf something is, I'll just say it. E.g., Cahill's practice of "corporate representation of the capital markets, largely on the side of underwriters"... I don't know what the fuck that shit is, and I'm honest about it. Bad idea?


I think that's fine. Of course it depends on what it is that you don't know. If you're interviewing with a firm that does 90% "representation of underwriters," it's probably a bad idea to walk in not knowing what that means. If it's a large firm with many practice areas and you happen to hit an interviewer who says that that's what he represents underwriters in capital-market deals, it's probably fine to ask what that means, especially if you're actually interested in the answer. I also hope you don't phrase your question along the lines of "I don't know what the fuck that shit is."

(b) Bad idea to be totally open about practice group preferences? I have been.


Also fine, I think. Although again, not a good idea to walk into an insurance litigation firm saying you want to do divorce law. And a large firm may see you as somewhat rigid if you won't even consider trying other practice groups. Also consider how you say it. "I'm pretty sure that I want to do tax law, because I've taken XYZ course and worked at ABC. But I'm hoping to try some other types of work over the summer, too, because it's hard to get a sense of what the work would be like without trying it" sounds a lot better than "I'm really only considering doing tax work. I'm just not cut out for other types of work."

(c) Again, do you "sell" yourself? And how? I really don't.


Of course you should sell yourself during an interview. When people say you should be yourself during an interview, they mean that you should be the best possible version of yourself. Selling yourself doesn't mean bragging, constantly bringing up all the achievements listed on your resume, or anything like that. It does mean appearing presentable, being engaged in the conversation, showing that you are interested in the firm and in the position for which you are applying.

An example: I had to interview someone recently who had a great resume and pretty good grades from a top school. (I'm an associate.) She wasn't disinterested, but she was talking to me as if I were one of her friends rather than an interviewer: "Yeah, that internship I did, it was, like, really kind of a cool experience, to see a different side of X that I had never thought about and stuff." That kind of talk may have come very natural to the candidate, but it was a hopeless interview, because she was not selling herself.

User avatar
okinawa
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby okinawa » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:02 pm

You are not as personable as you think you are. Maybe your grades aren't great or you are otherwise unimpressive on paper. Maybe you are awkward and don't know it. We can't know.

Go to career services, do a mock interview. Listen to what they tell you.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Go to career services, do a mock interview. Listen to what they tell you.


+1. I was getting rocked by interviews until I got career services to give me a fixer upper. I'm still running through CBs, and I've been doing much, much better.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:I went 0/6 on CBs last year as a 2L, but received 2 amazing offers this year as a 3L. The one I accepted is a dream job, and it is much, much better than anything I could have gotten out of 2L OCI.

After I struck-out last year, I called up the recruiters to ask what went wrong. They all said that I received good remarks from interviewers, but that I wasn't "excited" about the practices areas the firms emphasized in. I guess that I was on the wait-list, but just below the cut-off line.

So, this year I studied the crap out of the practice that I wanted to sell myself to. In fact, the firm that I chose to go with focuses on Capital Markets. I studied high yield/investment grade debt offerings, equity offerings, etc., so that I could speak knowledgeably about it. I even re-read my securities outline and looked up some guides online to get used to it. And I read tons of WSJ articles about deals, companies, and the firms. This was for the sole purpose of sounding excited about their firm/practice. Interviews went so much smoother!!!! In fact, I would be talking and they would say something about a company, and I could say: "Oh yeah, I read that in the WSJ the other day! Don't you think..."

Also, I thought that Guerilla Tactics would be useless last year, and I struck-out. So, this year I read the entire freaken interview section. Although a lot of it is nonsense, the main points are great. You need to have answers to those typical questions!!! The ones that I saw the most were: (1) Why this firm, (2) Why this practice, (3) Explain some bad grades, (4) Why law school, (5) where do you want to end up in 5-10 years, (6) why this particular area, and some others specific to my resume. Know stone cold how to "sell" these answers. A few of those came up every interview.

Also, list out the "no-no" answers. Sometimes last year I would say something by accident, and I didn't think it was a big deal, but I have a feeling that the small stuff can completely turn off an interviewer. I might mention something about hours, or pay, or religion, just little things, that I made sure to stay far far away from this year.

Anyways, it only takes one offer. Put all your effort into preparing for this one, and hopefully it will work out. Good luck!!!


Sorry to thread hijack, but I'm 0/5 so far with one outstanding and really think I need to get some feedback on what went wrong. Just wondering, how did you approach asking for feedback? Phone or email? Did you call up the recruiter or the hiring partner? What if you never got in contact with the recruiter and were dinged by the hiring partner, so he would be the logical call to make?

And as a fellow 3L still waiting on a specific Capital Markets practice group, was the firm a NYC satellite office only hiring for Capital Markets?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:19 am

Your career services office might be willing to do it for you, they did for me last cycle and got some very...honest evaluations.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:07 am

No, the firm was not a NYC firm only hiring Capital Markets.

I called the recruiters last year, and they all told me that they would get back to me within a few days after reading the comments that the interviewers had made for the recruiting committee. I'm not sure if I would call the hiring partner, but I guess there is nothing to lose. I'm just not sure if they would be too happy explaining their rationale, unless you really got along with them. I think the recruiter would be the best person to call in most situations. If you email, they likely won't respond.

Good luck.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:54 am

I went 0-6 in NYC and home markets, then got an offer in Oct. in a random market I have no ties to. I did nothing differently in any interview (used the same script and canned answers). Go figure. Good luck.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:38 pm

I'm not exactly a pro myself - I had only a few callbacks, and one offer so far - but I can tell you what I did at the place where I got the offer. I was genuinely happy to be there, I knew *everything* about that firm going into the interview, and it showed. In fact, one of my interviewers (a partner) commented on how well-prepared, knowledgeable, and confident I seemed. He said I wasn't nervous at all and it was obvious I had "done my homework" and was excited about the firm.

I really wanted this firm, and I got it...I think that comes across in the interviews for sure. Go in like it's your only shot. Overprepare by a mile. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be, and you'll be able to go with the flow of the interview. Try to sort of fall in love with the firm before the interview, and express during it how much you want to work there. If you're earnest, enthusiastic, and can back up your interest with solid reasons that aren't canned and corny, you should be fine.

HTH, best of luck!

User avatar
dood
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:59 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby dood » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:33 pm

R u able to pick up chicks from a bar? CBs are exactly the same, all about confidence and making them want u without looking desperate. HTH BRO!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I went 0/6 on CBs last year as a 2L, but received 2 amazing offers this year as a 3L. The one I accepted is a dream job, and it is much, much better than anything I could have gotten out of 2L OCI.


Woah woah. How did you get 2 amazing offers at 3L OCI without a 2L summer SA? What exactly did you do? Please share. Please please please.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have gone 0 for 5 so far on callbacks. There's one place I'm still waiting to hear back from, and one CB I still have to go on...


WTF am I doing wrong? I am fairly personable, I smile, and I'm not totally awkward. The only thing I can think of is that I don't try to "sell" myself at the interview. Is this something you guys (who have gotten offers) do? What do you say?

Any thoughts on why such a terrible rate?


Anecdotal personal story, but maybe it will help:

I went from 0/4 on my first 4 CBs, did some serious self-reflection, and went 3/3 on my next 3 CBs.

After my self-reflection I (1) realized very quickly that the public interest screaming from my resume was hurting me (I talked to my CSO about how to positively spin my public interest work while convincingly conveying that I want to work for a law firm), and (2) I was not selling myself. I realized I was being much too humble in my interviews by saying things like "I want to do litigation because I think I'm pretty good at research and writing"; I changed that into something like "I want to do litigation; I've excelled at research and writing during law school, was selected as a teaching assistant for the research and writing course at my law school, and want to continue using those skills in your firm's litigation department." When I was "selling" myself I wasn't merely telling the interviewer my skills, but rather showing them how those skills were applied in the past and how I hope to employ them in the firm setting.

You're doing something right by securing callbacks (I was probably over confident after securing my callbacks and thought I could ride the wave and get an offer; I had to realize that just because one person liked me for 20 minutes did not mean that 8 people would like me for the same reasons the screener liked me).

It might be hard, but be very critical of yourself. Examine every moment of your interview and every line on your resume.

[edit]: Whoops, didn't realize this thread was from last season. I hope the anecdote is useful to someone.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
mths
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:24 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby mths » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:48 am

This thread is from last year

User avatar
Lasers
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:46 pm

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Lasers » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:35 am

mths wrote:This thread is from last year

and yet, still relevant this year.

User avatar
mths
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:24 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby mths » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:20 am

Lasers wrote:
mths wrote:This thread is from last year

and yet, still relevant this year.

Not if you're giving advice to OP

SHANbangs
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:36 am

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby SHANbangs » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:29 am

keep this thread alive.

User avatar
Lasers
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:46 pm

Re: My CB conversion rate is shittily low

Postby Lasers » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:06 am

mths wrote:
Lasers wrote:
mths wrote:This thread is from last year

and yet, still relevant this year.

Not if you're giving advice to OP

agreed.

still, it can be useful nevertheless.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.