Cold Offers

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Omerta
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Cold Offers

Postby Omerta » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:42 pm

People on here have said that cold offers happen every now and then. I was wondering if anyone who was no-offered ever asked their SA firm for a cold offer in order to help them with the job hunt. Presumably, unless you fucked up, the firm wouldn't have an issue with it. I imagine that a lot of firms don't understand how much harder finding a job is after a no-offer or the significance of one, so maybe they wouldn't mind. Thoughts?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:44 pm

I think the whole point of a cold offer is that it's mutually beneficial. The firm gets to save face by having a high offer rate and you get to save face in your 3L interviews. So... yes, I think they exist in order to deal with exactly the situation you're discussing.

Omerta
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby Omerta » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:57 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I think the whole point of a cold offer is that it's mutually beneficial. The firm gets to save face by having a high offer rate and you get to save face in your 3L interviews. So... yes, I think they exist in order to deal with exactly the situation you're discussing.


Sorry, I should have been clearer. What I'm asking is whether anyone has tried to solicit a cold offer from their firm after being no-offered. I hadn't seen that mentioned anywhere in other employment threads or past cold offer discussions, so I wanted to know if anyone had tried and -- more importantly -- succeeded.

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MBZags
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby MBZags » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:10 pm

We had a partner from a big Midwest firm come on campus to talk about SAs.

An SA at this firm got no offered basically because he was a moron. He apparently complained about the quality of the toilet paper in the firm's bathrooms. He also took off his shirt one time and started doing his work wearing only a tank top while rocking out on his iPod. And finally, when the firm brought a judge in to speak to the SAs, this SA asked the judge if it was permissible to lie in a brief in an attempt to buy more time for his client. After he was no-offered, the SA went back to the firm and tried to ask if the firm would tell other prospective employers that he was no-offered purely because of financial problems. They refused and didn't make an attempt to really help him (i.e. give a him a cold offer instead). So I'd guess if you fuck up enough, the firm isn't going to bend over backwards to help you.

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Re: Cold Offers

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:04 pm

MBZags wrote:We had a partner from a big Midwest firm come on campus to talk about SAs.

An SA at this firm got no offered basically because he was a moron. He apparently complained about the quality of the toilet paper in the firm's bathrooms. He also took off his shirt one time and started doing his work wearing only a tank top while rocking out on his iPod. And finally, when the firm brought a judge in to speak to the SAs, this SA asked the judge if it was permissible to lie in a brief in an attempt to buy more time for his client. After he was no-offered, the SA went back to the firm and tried to ask if the firm would tell other prospective employers that he was no-offered purely because of financial problems. They refused and didn't make an attempt to really help him (i.e. give a him a cold offer instead). So I'd guess if you fuck up enough, the firm isn't going to bend over backwards to help you.


Lol its much easier to get no offered than to act like that. I have a friend who summered at a NLJ250 firm. Only 2 people got offers out of 6. He told me that everyone acted very professional the whole time. The firm didn't even offer to "cold offer" the people that they couldn't hire.

09042014
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby 09042014 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:08 pm

I've heard that cold offering doesn't happen very often anymore. Because during the crash people would take a cold offer anyway.

ruski
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby ruski » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:22 pm

Yea a partner at a v20 told me the majority of kids cold offered would just end up accepting anyways. So even if u promise not to accept your cold offer, judging from past experience they prob won't believe u.

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eliekedourie
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby eliekedourie » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MBZags wrote:We had a partner from a big Midwest firm come on campus to talk about SAs.

An SA at this firm got no offered basically because he was a moron. He apparently complained about the quality of the toilet paper in the firm's bathrooms. He also took off his shirt one time and started doing his work wearing only a tank top while rocking out on his iPod. And finally, when the firm brought a judge in to speak to the SAs, this SA asked the judge if it was permissible to lie in a brief in an attempt to buy more time for his client. After he was no-offered, the SA went back to the firm and tried to ask if the firm would tell other prospective employers that he was no-offered purely because of financial problems. They refused and didn't make an attempt to really help him (i.e. give a him a cold offer instead). So I'd guess if you fuck up enough, the firm isn't going to bend over backwards to help you.


Lol its much easier to get no offered than to act like that. I have a friend who summered at a NLJ250 firm. Only 2 people got offers out of 6. He told me that everyone acted very professional the whole time. The firm didn't even offer to "cold offer" the people that they couldn't hire.


An NLJ250 firm that hires 6 summers is an entirely different animal than a V20 with 30-50 summers. I don't think anyone reasonable would expect their summer at the small NLJ250 firm to have an offer rate much better than 33%. Presumably, if the SA did some research before the summer, he would have learned this. What has people freaked out is a V10 with a 98% offer rate that actually hits that number via cold offers. And, if a firm really does have a true 95-100% offer rate over the past few years, it probably because a few outlier SAs got drunk/acted rude/turned in obviously poor work/caused general mayhem.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:20 pm

ruski wrote:Yea a partner at a v20 told me the majority of kids cold offered would just end up accepting anyways. So even if u promise not to accept your cold offer, judging from past experience they prob won't believe u.


It's also worth remembering the idea behind cold offers from a firm's perspective is to be able to be able to report a 100% offer rate. At the top firms, this may matter as T14 Coifs can shop around and it might knock a firm down in the prestige rankings if they suddenly stopped hiring COA clerks because everyone was summering at their competitors. But once you get out of the V50/V100 or out of HQ/primary markets, the competition by students is so rabid that they probably don't care about offer rates and the firms don't care if we slightly ding them in our rankings, because they are getting a glut of applicants.

I was talking to a partner at a 400+ lawyer non-V100 firm and he told me they had almost 1,000 students apply for their 4 SA positions. At that level, the firm doesn't care about the tiny prestige ding if it no-offers people because somewhere in that 1,000 are a bunch of top 10% tier one students who will kill to get the job and will be awesome employees. Cravath may get the same 1,000 applicants, but they need to be pickier and therefore need to present a more desirable hire rate in order to maintain their prestige ranking.

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IAFG
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby IAFG » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:33 pm

eliekedourie wrote:
An NLJ250 firm that hires 6 summers is an entirely different animal than a V20 with 30-50 summers. I don't think anyone reasonable would expect their summer at the small NLJ250 firm to have an offer rate much better than 33%. Presumably, if the SA did some research before the summer, he would have learned this. What has people freaked out is a V10 with a 98% offer rate that actually hits that number via cold offers. And, if a firm really does have a true 95-100% offer rate over the past few years, it probably because a few outlier SAs got drunk/acted rude/turned in obviously poor work/caused general mayhem.

Well that's sort of hilariously arrogant. You don't think smaller firms in smaller markets don't have the exact same recruitment fears as the bigger firms? That every smaller firm has a 33% offer rate? There are smaller firms that pride themselves on 100% offer rates and on-time start dates all through the crash. Which is better than many V20s can claim.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:11 pm

IAFG wrote:
eliekedourie wrote:
An NLJ250 firm that hires 6 summers is an entirely different animal than a V20 with 30-50 summers. I don't think anyone reasonable would expect their summer at the small NLJ250 firm to have an offer rate much better than 33%. Presumably, if the SA did some research before the summer, he would have learned this. What has people freaked out is a V10 with a 98% offer rate that actually hits that number via cold offers. And, if a firm really does have a true 95-100% offer rate over the past few years, it probably because a few outlier SAs got drunk/acted rude/turned in obviously poor work/caused general mayhem.

Well that's sort of hilariously arrogant. You don't think smaller firms in smaller markets don't have the exact same recruitment fears as the bigger firms? That every smaller firm has a 33% offer rate? There are smaller firms that pride themselves on 100% offer rates and on-time start dates all through the crash. Which is better than many V20s can claim.


I had one small firm in an isolated market that prided itself in this manner and I could see top students on this forum willing to kill each other to get SA spots at this firm's competitors in the isolated market because of how few spots there were to go around. The firm may have cared, but they didn't need to because they still could have gotten great students with a shitty offer rate.

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eliekedourie
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby eliekedourie » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:35 pm

IAFG wrote:
eliekedourie wrote:
An NLJ250 firm that hires 6 summers is an entirely different animal than a V20 with 30-50 summers. I don't think anyone reasonable would expect their summer at the small NLJ250 firm to have an offer rate much better than 33%. Presumably, if the SA did some research before the summer, he would have learned this. What has people freaked out is a V10 with a 98% offer rate that actually hits that number via cold offers. And, if a firm really does have a true 95-100% offer rate over the past few years, it probably because a few outlier SAs got drunk/acted rude/turned in obviously poor work/caused general mayhem.

Well that's sort of hilariously arrogant. You don't think smaller firms in smaller markets don't have the exact same recruitment fears as the bigger firms? That every smaller firm has a 33% offer rate? There are smaller firms that pride themselves on 100% offer rates and on-time start dates all through the crash. Which is better than many V20s can claim.



It's not arrogant. It's merely a reflection of how hiring at smaller firms tends to take place. Do you really dispute that smaller firms tend to offer a lower percentage of SAs than the average V20 firms? I'm not saying that small is bad, just that there's probably going to be more risk involved. Perhaps I over stated things a bit for effect, but you can't honestly equate NLJ250 and V20 offer rates. You can't even really compare v20 and V100.

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IAFG
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby IAFG » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:41 pm

eliekedourie wrote:
IAFG wrote:
eliekedourie wrote:
An NLJ250 firm that hires 6 summers is an entirely different animal than a V20 with 30-50 summers. I don't think anyone reasonable would expect their summer at the small NLJ250 firm to have an offer rate much better than 33%. Presumably, if the SA did some research before the summer, he would have learned this. What has people freaked out is a V10 with a 98% offer rate that actually hits that number via cold offers. And, if a firm really does have a true 95-100% offer rate over the past few years, it probably because a few outlier SAs got drunk/acted rude/turned in obviously poor work/caused general mayhem.

Well that's sort of hilariously arrogant. You don't think smaller firms in smaller markets don't have the exact same recruitment fears as the bigger firms? That every smaller firm has a 33% offer rate? There are smaller firms that pride themselves on 100% offer rates and on-time start dates all through the crash. Which is better than many V20s can claim.



It's not arrogant. It's merely a reflection of how hiring at smaller firms tends to take place. Do you really dispute that smaller firms tend to offer a lower percentage of SAs than the average V20 firms? I'm not saying that small is bad, just that there's probably going to be more risk involved. Perhaps I over stated things a bit for effect, but you can't honestly equate NLJ250 and V20 offer rates. You can't even really compare v20 and V100.

Your original statement was that no one can reasonably expect an NLJ250 to have better than 33% offer rates. Which is just wrong. Many non-Vault firms did much better than many Vault firms, though yes, they're the exception and not the rule.

Now you're backing down and talking about classes of firms. Well, fine. Not all V20s are fungible, nor are all V100s, nor are all NLJ250s. Everyone needs to take a close look at the firms they have offers at and go into their summers with their eyes wide open.

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ben4847
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby ben4847 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:41 pm

MBZags wrote:We had a partner from a big Midwest firm come on campus to talk about SAs.

An SA at this firm got no offered basically because he was a moron. He apparently complained about the quality of the toilet paper in the firm's bathrooms. He also took off his shirt one time and started doing his work wearing only a tank top while rocking out on his iPod. And finally, when the firm brought a judge in to speak to the SAs, this SA asked the judge if it was permissible to lie in a brief in an attempt to buy more time for his client. After he was no-offered, the SA went back to the firm and tried to ask if the firm would tell other prospective employers that he was no-offered purely because of financial problems. They refused and didn't make an attempt to really help him (i.e. give a him a cold offer instead). So I'd guess if you fuck up enough, the firm isn't going to bend over backwards to help you.


That doesn't even sound very bad.
He complained about toilet paper- ok.
He once worked in a tank top- not classy, but ok.
He asked a judge who was speaking a "funny" question- socially awkward.

Did he do good work? Was he pleasant to be around?

LawIdiot86
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:45 pm

ben4847 wrote:
MBZags wrote:We had a partner from a big Midwest firm come on campus to talk about SAs.

An SA at this firm got no offered basically because he was a moron. He apparently complained about the quality of the toilet paper in the firm's bathrooms. He also took off his shirt one time and started doing his work wearing only a tank top while rocking out on his iPod. And finally, when the firm brought a judge in to speak to the SAs, this SA asked the judge if it was permissible to lie in a brief in an attempt to buy more time for his client. After he was no-offered, the SA went back to the firm and tried to ask if the firm would tell other prospective employers that he was no-offered purely because of financial problems. They refused and didn't make an attempt to really help him (i.e. give a him a cold offer instead). So I'd guess if you fuck up enough, the firm isn't going to bend over backwards to help you.


That doesn't even sound very bad.
He complained about toilet paper- ok.
He once worked in a tank top- not classy, but ok.
He asked a judge who was speaking a "funny" question- socially awkward.

Did he do good work? Was he pleasant to be around?


I had a friend at a big firm get cold offered for complaining about how HR scheduled summer events; the partner indicated they couldn't trust her to stay on board with what they told her to do if they hired her permanently.

I might understand complaining about TP or asking an awkward question, but would fire a fulltime employee for pulling the tank top stunt even if he was a good worker or was fun to be around. This is a law firm, not a beach; there are basic standards for how to dress. Also, if I had 20 summers and was told I could only hire 18, the complaining awkward kid would be at the top of my list.

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sunynp
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby sunynp » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:51 pm

ben4847 wrote:
MBZags wrote:We had a partner from a big Midwest firm come on campus to talk about SAs.

An SA at this firm got no offered basically because he was a moron. He apparently complained about the quality of the toilet paper in the firm's bathrooms. He also took off his shirt one time and started doing his work wearing only a tank top while rocking out on his iPod. And finally, when the firm brought a judge in to speak to the SAs, this SA asked the judge if it was permissible to lie in a brief in an attempt to buy more time for his client. After he was no-offered, the SA went back to the firm and tried to ask if the firm would tell other prospective employers that he was no-offered purely because of financial problems. They refused and didn't make an attempt to really help him (i.e. give a him a cold offer instead). So I'd guess if you fuck up enough, the firm isn't going to bend over backwards to help you.


That doesn't even sound very bad.
He complained about toilet paper- ok.
He once worked in a tank top- not classy, but ok.
He asked a judge who was speaking a "funny" question- socially awkward.

Did he do good work? Was he pleasant to be around?


No. When you are an SA, you never complain about anything ever. If you complain about tiny things, you are going to be seen as a whiner, and as someone who might not be good under stress at 2am. You are going to be seen as a likely pain in the ass to deal with. Never, ever complain.

Dressing inappropriately in a professional setting is never acceptable. See the massive men's suits thread in this forum and the many other posts about what to wear.

Anyone who thinks that lying in a brief might ever be ok is an auto-ding. You can't trust the guy's judgement. Embarrassing a speaker who is a guest of your firm is never acceptable.

I wouldn't doubt that he did many other "little" things that made him unacceptable.

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eliekedourie
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby eliekedourie » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:25 pm

IAFG wrote:
eliekedourie wrote:
IAFG wrote:
eliekedourie wrote:
An NLJ250 firm that hires 6 summers is an entirely different animal than a V20 with 30-50 summers. I don't think anyone reasonable would expect their summer at the small NLJ250 firm to have an offer rate much better than 33%. Presumably, if the SA did some research before the summer, he would have learned this. What has people freaked out is a V10 with a 98% offer rate that actually hits that number via cold offers. And, if a firm really does have a true 95-100% offer rate over the past few years, it probably because a few outlier SAs got drunk/acted rude/turned in obviously poor work/caused general mayhem.

Well that's sort of hilariously arrogant. You don't think smaller firms in smaller markets don't have the exact same recruitment fears as the bigger firms? That every smaller firm has a 33% offer rate? There are smaller firms that pride themselves on 100% offer rates and on-time start dates all through the crash. Which is better than many V20s can claim.



It's not arrogant. It's merely a reflection of how hiring at smaller firms tends to take place. Do you really dispute that smaller firms tend to offer a lower percentage of SAs than the average V20 firms? I'm not saying that small is bad, just that there's probably going to be more risk involved. Perhaps I over stated things a bit for effect, but you can't honestly equate NLJ250 and V20 offer rates. You can't even really compare v20 and V100.

Your original statement was that no one can reasonably expect an NLJ250 to have better than 33% offer rates. Which is just wrong. Many non-Vault firms did much better than many Vault firms, though yes, they're the exception and not the rule.

Now you're backing down and talking about classes of firms. Well, fine. Not all V20s are fungible, nor are all V100s, nor are all NLJ250s. Everyone needs to take a close look at the firms they have offers at and go into their summers with their eyes wide open.


Jesus. Serves me right for engaging you. If backing down means admitting I exaggerated a statement for effect then yes, I did. You win. But when I made the statement, I wasn't planning on participating in a pissing contest with you. If I had, I might have been more circumspect. All, and I mean all, I cared about saying was that offer rates for V20s and NLJ250s are different and, in general, the V20 is going to be the safer bet. No-offers will more likely be the result of behavioral/work product issues than financial constraints. I don't think this is a particularly controversial point of view.

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bk1
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby bk1 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:41 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I've heard that cold offering doesn't happen very often anymore. Because during the crash people would take a cold offer anyway.


Why would they do this? Wouldn't the firm just fire them?

flcath
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby flcath » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:48 pm

bk1 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I've heard that cold offering doesn't happen very often anymore. Because during the crash people would take a cold offer anyway.


Why would they do this? Wouldn't the firm just fire them?

You know, I've "heard" this too (that ppl would accept their cold offers), and I don't know if it really happens.

Certain types of incidents have a tendency to be overplayed on teh interwebs, and then be repeated IRL. It strikes me as an insanely short-sighted and dickish thing for an SA to do.

Geist13
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby Geist13 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:49 pm

bk1 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I've heard that cold offering doesn't happen very often anymore. Because during the crash people would take a cold offer anyway.


Why would they do this? Wouldn't the firm just fire them?


No; not immediately anyway. I mean they're only cold offering as opposed to no offering to protect their reputation. Immediately firing people you actually offered a job to would probably way worse for your reputation than simply no offering to a couple underperforming law students.

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Re: Cold Offers

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:52 pm

bk1 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I've heard that cold offering doesn't happen very often anymore. Because during the crash people would take a cold offer anyway.


Why would they do this? Wouldn't the firm just fire them?


No, because then the firm would get a reputation as being bad for job security/reneging on offers. They probably shunt them to some very undesirable projects their first year (like running the day-to-day of doc review, in a warehouse, in NJ, on the night shift), a good dose of unbilled time and firm projects no one cares about (put together a 50 state survey of things big firms did that got them hit with Rule 11 motions for the last 20 years), and then a nice negative year end review with the advice to "look elsewhere" because their job is over in 90 days.

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Re: Cold Offers

Postby 2LLLL » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:10 pm

An NLJ250 firm that hires 6 summers is an entirely different animal than a V20 with 30-50 summers. I don't think anyone reasonable would expect their summer at the small NLJ250 firm to have an offer rate much better than 33%. Presumably, if the SA did some research before the summer, he would have learned this. What has people freaked out is a V10 with a 98% offer rate that actually hits that number via cold offers. And, if a firm really does have a true 95-100% offer rate over the past few years, it probably because a few outlier SAs got drunk/acted rude/turned in obviously poor work/caused general mayhem.




I agree that this statement is completely off base. First off, you have to consider the fact that different classes of firms do not have monolithic hiring practices. Even within the V10 or the V50, you have firms known for putting the almighty dollar ahead of SA/associate job security (with Cadwalader and Latham being the two glaring examples, but I'm sure more exist). A non-Vault firm is more likely to only hire 1-2 people (if that's all they know they can give offers to) than to hire 6 with a concerted plan to no-offer 4 of them. I had several NLJ firms at my school's OCI specifically list the fact that no one was no-offered or deferred in 2008/2009 as a reason to go there as opposed to a more major firm.

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Re: Cold Offers

Postby 09042014 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:45 pm

bk1 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I've heard that cold offering doesn't happen very often anymore. Because during the crash people would take a cold offer anyway.


Why would they do this? Wouldn't the firm just fire them?


I don't know, but there is a reason you wouldn't. Firms firing first year associate is seen as TTT.

But there aren't many better options. Finding a job during 3L ITE is tough, but it's getting easier. These stories probably happened in 2009 when it looked like the world was ending.

Omerta
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby Omerta » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:48 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I've heard that cold offering doesn't happen very often anymore. Because during the crash people would take a cold offer anyway.


Why would they do this? Wouldn't the firm just fire them?


I don't know, but there is a reason you wouldn't. Firms firing first year associate is seen as TTT.

But there aren't many better options. Finding a job during 3L ITE is tough, but it's getting easier. These stories probably happened in 2009 when it looked like the world was ending.

Geist13 wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I've heard that cold offering doesn't happen very often anymore. Because during the crash people would take a cold offer anyway.


Why would they do this? Wouldn't the firm just fire them?


No; not immediately anyway. I mean they're only cold offering as opposed to no offering to protect their reputation. Immediately firing people you actually offered a job to would probably way worse for your reputation than simply no offering to a couple underperforming law students.


I'm sure people did stupid things and then ended up not getting a cold offer, but that wasn't the question I was interested in. Since apparently I'm still not getting across what I'm asking, I'll write out a conversation and you tell me if anyone has tried this.
*SA's phone rings*
SA: Hello?
Partner: Hi SA, it's Partner at Firm. [Skipping banalities], sorry but we're not in the position to give you an offer. You did top-flight work and nobody ever had problems with your performance -- both socially and professionally -- but unfortunately Firm's financials are not in a position where we can extend offers to everyone. I'd be happy to make references to help you secure post-grad employment so you don't have to give handjobs in an Albany Olive Garden bathroom.
SA: That's a real bummer; I was hoping to stay in the legal industry rather than enter the oldest profession. Guess I won't be limited to verbal prostitution like I was hoping. I enjoyed working with you and Firm, so can I ask you a favor?
Partner: Do you want some practice for your new career? Sure.
SA: No, would you and Firm allow me to say that I received an offer for the purposes of securing future employment. Of course, should I fail to get a job, I would not be able to accept this non-existent offer at Firm, but having an offer helps immensely with attaining employment in a field that will only make me cry myself to sleep some nights instead of every night.

In other words, when I go into interviews during my 3L year, you give me permission to say that I received an offer at Firm. Since you mentioned that my work and professional demeanor were very good, presumably you wouldn't have a problem making this concession since, in a way, it's just another way of offering an endorsement of my candidacy in a way that carries far more weight than a letter of recommendation.

End Scene.

My question wouldn't apply to a fuck-up because a firm probably wouldn't even bother to recommend that person to other firms anyway.

tldr: Anyone know of a no-offered SA that asked his/her firm say that he/she received an offer for the limited purpose of 3L interviews?

Anonymous User
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Re: Cold Offers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:35 pm

Omerta wrote:
I'm sure people did stupid things and then ended up not getting a cold offer, but that wasn't the question I was interested in. Since apparently I'm still not getting across what I'm asking, I'll write out a conversation and you tell me if anyone has tried this.
*SA's phone rings*
SA: Hello?
Partner: Hi SA, it's Partner at Firm. [Skipping banalities], sorry but we're not in the position to give you an offer. You did top-flight work and nobody ever had problems with your performance -- both socially and professionally -- but unfortunately Firm's financials are not in a position where we can extend offers to everyone. I'd be happy to make references to help you secure post-grad employment so you don't have to give handjobs in an Albany Olive Garden bathroom.
SA: That's a real bummer; I was hoping to stay in the legal industry rather than enter the oldest profession. Guess I won't be limited to verbal prostitution like I was hoping. I enjoyed working with you and Firm, so can I ask you a favor?
Partner: Do you want some practice for your new career? Sure.
SA: No, would you and Firm allow me to say that I received an offer for the purposes of securing future employment. Of course, should I fail to get a job, I would not be able to accept this non-existent offer at Firm, but having an offer helps immensely with attaining employment in a field that will only make me cry myself to sleep some nights instead of every night.

In other words, when I go into interviews during my 3L year, you give me permission to say that I received an offer at Firm. Since you mentioned that my work and professional demeanor were very good, presumably you wouldn't have a problem making this concession since, in a way, it's just another way of offering an endorsement of my candidacy in a way that carries far more weight than a letter of recommendation.

End Scene.

My question wouldn't apply to a fuck-up because a firm probably wouldn't even bother to recommend that person to other firms anyway.


I'm an associate at a biglaw firm right now and this just isn't how things work. First, they will never take the blame (as in say something like the firm isn't financially sound). In case you didn't know, partners don't make mistakes and people don't get fired for it being slow, they get fired/no offered because "they aren't cut out for this," and if you don't toe this line as well then you probably actually aren't cut out for this. Second, they will never discuss your social skills with you, that shit goes unsaid and either you actually have social skills and can figure out where you stand or you lack them and think people actually talk openly about these things. Third, if they no offer you they'll have compiled plenty of reasons in your file, fair or not, so that they can tell next year's summer class, "yeah we no offered this one person last year but they were a complete freak." Fourth, this won't happen over the phone, and they would never admit to you that they're willing to lie on your behalf (they aren't). A cold offer is more like, "yeah we don't think you're cut out for this and can't guarantee you'll get very good work if you come here, .......... but you're not no-offered." That gives them deniability since they clearly no-offered you in a subtle way that allows you to still look for work and them to report 100% offer rates.

The fact you are focused on trying to snag a "cold offer" when/if you get no offered is a completely bizarre concern. Just be a normal person at work and do everything they tell you to do to the best of your abilities and you'll be fine. Much like law school, being a summer associate isn't rocket science.




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