Firm Open Houses - worth it?

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duckmoney
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Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby duckmoney » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:29 pm

Does going to a firm open house / reception give you any boost at all when you apply the next year? Or is it just to give you an opportunity to "learn more about the firm"?

de5igual
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby de5igual » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:36 pm

as a 1L? nah...focus on your grades. there's really not much to learn about the firm honestly. just don't rsvp to show up and then not show up. these receptions are more important during 2L OCI, where going won't necessarily help, but not going will most likely get you dinged.

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Lincoln
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby Lincoln » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:41 pm

I disagree. I had at least one screener where they asked if I attended the 1L reception. I also ended up getting a CB with a V10 without a screener because the hiring partner and I hit it off. In what way can it hurt to attend?

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:15 pm

I went to an open house cocktail hour event last summer at the firm I'll be at this summer. I thought it really helped me during OCI. I talked to the current summers and got some insight into the mechanics of the summer program so I could talk about it intelligently later. I met a few partners and talked to them about what practice areas were hot, so I could express my interest in those during formal interviews. I got a few tidbits about what the firm does a little differently from others so I could answer the "why this firm" questions. Made some contacts that I tried to keep in touch with, especially alums of my school. And so on. Just a bunch of little things, but OCI is tricky and every little bit helps.

r6_philly
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:44 pm

I didn't find receptions have much networking value because too many 1Ls went and it's hard to stand out. I also don't feel that the partners came with the mindset of trying to networking/recruit. They were there to promote the firm. I did find it useful to strike up conversations with younger associates and see what the firm life/culture is like. If you have a whole routine or set of questions to ask every firm, you will quickly figure out the differences between firms. I find that part valuable for OCI.

2LLLL
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby 2LLLL » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:09 pm

It won't give you a huge boost in the sense that there is no job that you would be disqualified for by not going to their open house. But, there's a good chance you could talk to someone who might interview you next fall, and then you can lead the interview with "Hey, we met at the open house!" which will at least distinguish you from the other 2Ls they talk to that day...

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Bobby Dazzler
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby Bobby Dazzler » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:12 pm

IMO, if you have the credentials to meet the firm's cutoffs, you're likely to get an interview regardless of whether you went. You can always make up an excuse about why you weren't at their meet & greet if asked during the interview. If you don't have the credentials, you're very unlikely to get an interview even if you go to an open house. I think open houses are primarily for the people that have a good shot at getting hired at multiple firms and could benefit from meeting attorneys at a few of them to see if they like the fit.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Yes, they are worth it if you socialize well. Also, firms sometimes invite appellate judges. Worthwhile for information & connections.

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blurbz
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby blurbz » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:44 pm

I went to a bunch of these as a 1L and I think it helped because it gave me more to talk about at the interview and an easy answer to "why us?" They don't host them for fun, they host them to see who comes and what people are like. Sure, they're probably not taking notes on everyone but if you are socially inept or incredibly socially gifted, they'll probably take notice. I know a few people at a few firms and they said that they definitely look at the list of attendees post-OCI and use them as tie-breakers to see who gets callbacks.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:36 am

I think going is great. Depending on which market you are applying to, you might be able to swing callback-style interviews before Fall OCI. You just have to schmooze hard, be persistent in finding high-powered partners, then follow-up with emails. Then you let them know you will be in town in late July/early August. I got 3 CBs this way.

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Bronte
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby Bronte » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:47 am

I skipped all of those things 1L and as many as possible during OCI. I'm sure that there are some people who are good at turning them into something, but for me it's a waste of time.

desertlaw
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby desertlaw » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:05 pm

How often do you get nice food/booze for free in law school, especially as a 1L? That enough should be reason to go.

I wouldn't go to every single one, but it's good to polish your people-skills if they are rusty from sitting in the library for the past 6 months.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:49 pm

I've been to about 15 as a 1L, there were never more than 10 or so students there, so it's a great way to talk 1 on 1 with partners and associates. At one I ended up hanging out with a partner in his office for about an hour talking about something he was working on, got an interview offer on the spot, and got a job out of it. And the other ones I went to I get lots of contacts, great food, and free alcohol. I don't see how going could possibly hurt unless you have absolutely abysmal social skills.

TooOld4This
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Re: Firm Open Houses - worth it?

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:39 pm

I'm not sure I understand the disconnect between some perspectives in this thread and so many other threads in this section from the student's perspective.

Jobs are no longer anyone's to lose anymore, no matter what school you go to or what rank you are. There are very few students who can coast on their resume. Most students would benefit from any edge that they can muster. If a firm cares enough to host a 1L reception, they care if people show up to it. Unless you have zero social skills, going can only help you.

You should go and avoid standing around talking with your fellow classmates. Go up to the attorneys that attend. Ask questions and listen to the answers. We understand that you are 1Ls and don't know much. That's why we host these events -- to keep our profile up and to give students at schools we are interested in an opportunity to prepare for eventual interviews.

You can find out about different practice areas at these events, what the pace of practicing is like, what path attorneys took to get to where they are, what things they wish they had done differently their last two years of law school, etc. When you go to interview during OCI all of this information should make it less likely that you say something stupid. More than that, you won't be in the position of so many people on this board of whining about how they don't know how to answer the "why us" question.

They key to networking effectively is to start laying the foundation before you actually want something out of the deal. Going as a 1L shows that you are either actually interested in the firm or smart enough to realize how to build relationships. Either of these points are helpful. Even if going doesn't wind up making or breaking your chances with a firm, it doesn't mean it can't help. And in this economy, I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to get any possible advantage you are given.




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