The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

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Peg
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The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby Peg » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:00 pm

Firms are always talking about a potential candidate being a "fit" for their firm, but they never really say what that means and you can only kind of get a clue when you attend their networking events to see what their associates are like. But even there, associates have their networking face on and you have no idea what they're really going to be like.

I'm relatively quiet unless I know someone well, and while I don't have trouble breaking the ice when it comes to my peer group, partners and associates are a different story. What do you do if you're the friendly but quiet nerd? I know I would get along with an interviewer (and colleague for that matter) who, for example, liked the same books and shows that I like, or who subscribed to same science magazines, etc. From what I've seen, people who "interview well" at my school are fratty extroverts who have big smiles, big laughs, are really informal and great at breaking down the barriers partners put up and drawing them out. I just can't do that. I'm friendly and pleasant, but I'm not going to roar and slap people on the back, or easily crack jokes (not that I don't appreciate jokes, I just don't really do it with people I don't know). The only way I can see myself relating to an interviewer enough to make a real impression on him/her is if it's someone from a firm that has people like me.

What are some nerd-friendly law firms that have those kind of interviewers?

alabamabound
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby alabamabound » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:03 pm

Mayer.

shmoo597
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby shmoo597 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:05 pm

You sound like a complete aspie. Just be FRIENDLY and nice and unpretentious and you'll do fine in your interviews and call backs. Don't make such a big deal out being an introvert/extrovert, being shy, whatever. Just be a friendly, nice person and 90% of humans everywhere will respond well to you.

r6_philly
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:05 pm

IP firms usually have less "lawyerly" types. But interviewing well isn't just about being outgoing. It helps if you are not nervous, but the really good interviewers understand all the questions and give the most appropriate answers, and can adjust their answers on the fly based on the person they are talking to.

I would say go and try to get into a lot of networking events before interviews. Get used to talking to lawyers, finding out for yourself that 1) they are just persons and 2) they sat in your chair not very long ago and felt the same way or worse.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:10 pm

This is why I'm never surprised to see people at T6's get no-offered. Being a lawyer is partly about interacting well with people. You can't be a loner. One of my college professors said it best: shyness is something you have to grow out of. I know that you're not necessarily saying you're shy, but in most cases, it's part of the problem.

Peg
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby Peg » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:12 pm

shmoo597 wrote:You sound like a complete aspie. Just be FRIENDLY and nice and unpretentious and you'll do fine in your interviews and call backs. Don't make such a big deal out being an introvert/extrovert, being shy, whatever. Just be a friendly, nice person and 90% of humans everywhere will respond well to you.


Haha, I swear I'm not. I'm actually really friendly and had no trouble making friends before 1L. I didn't necessarily have trouble during 1L either, except for the fact that initially I just didn't want to make friends (with other law students that is, not lawyers). My problem is that being friendly, pleasant and easy to chatter with in an interview doesn't make yourself stand out from the other hundreds of friendly, pleasant, willing-to-be-chatty law students that are also being interviewed by the same firm. That's why I think specific "fit" must be so important. The closer your personality type and interests match with the general firm culture, the better your chances are...right?

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bceagles182
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby bceagles182 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:19 pm

Peg wrote:
shmoo597 wrote:You sound like a complete aspie. Just be FRIENDLY and nice and unpretentious and you'll do fine in your interviews and call backs. Don't make such a big deal out being an introvert/extrovert, being shy, whatever. Just be a friendly, nice person and 90% of humans everywhere will respond well to you.


Haha, I swear I'm not. I'm actually really friendly and had no trouble making friends before 1L. I didn't necessarily have trouble during 1L either, except for the fact that initially I just didn't want to make friends (with other law students that is, not lawyers). My problem is that being friendly, pleasant and easy to chatter with in an interview doesn't make yourself stand out from the other hundreds of friendly, pleasant, willing-to-be-chatty law students that are also being interviewed by the same firm. That's why I think specific "fit" must be so important. The closer your personality type and interests match with the general firm culture, the better your chances are...right?


"Fit" is overstated IMO. All firms want students who look presentable, have a personality and can carry on a conversation. Your chances in callbacks often just depend on who you're interviewing with and how well their day is going.

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piccolittle
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby piccolittle » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:42 pm

Peg wrote:
shmoo597 wrote:You sound like a complete aspie. Just be FRIENDLY and nice and unpretentious and you'll do fine in your interviews and call backs. Don't make such a big deal out being an introvert/extrovert, being shy, whatever. Just be a friendly, nice person and 90% of humans everywhere will respond well to you.


Haha, I swear I'm not. I'm actually really friendly and had no trouble making friends before 1L. I didn't necessarily have trouble during 1L either, except for the fact that initially I just didn't want to make friends (with other law students that is, not lawyers). My problem is that being friendly, pleasant and easy to chatter with in an interview doesn't make yourself stand out from the other hundreds of friendly, pleasant, willing-to-be-chatty law students that are also being interviewed by the same firm. That's why I think specific "fit" must be so important. The closer your personality type and interests match with the general firm culture, the better your chances are...right?

I completely know what you mean, and I am just like this. Very worried that simply being pleasant won't cut it. My plan is to spend the summer going to as many networking events as possible, and getting feedback from the people at my summer job about ways to improve the impression I give. I'm very social once I know you, but just maybe make a mediocre first impression because I don't just chat about whatever comes into my head.

LawIdiot86
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:07 am

Do a shot of vodka and chew gum before going into the interview. Or just hope your grades are high enough they don't care. I'll also say Paul Hastings and Debevoise have reputations for intellectualism at my school.

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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:16 am

LawIdiot86 wrote:Do a shot of vodka and chew gum before going into the interview. Or just hope your grades are high enough they don't care. I'll also say Paul Hastings and Debevoise have reputations for intellectualism at my school.


I'm very presentable (as in chicks hit on me on a regular basis) and have top 2% grades at a T35 law school. But, I am pretty aspie when first meeting people. Will I be okay for big law?

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fatduck
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby fatduck » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:Do a shot of vodka and chew gum before going into the interview. Or just hope your grades are high enough they don't care. I'll also say Paul Hastings and Debevoise have reputations for intellectualism at my school.


I'm very presentable (as in chicks hit on me on a regular basis) and have top 2% grades at a T35 law school. But, I am pretty aspie when first meeting people. Will I be okay for big law?

probably not. they'll expect you to have the balls to post under your real name.

acrossthelake
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:25 am

Peg wrote:. My problem is that being friendly, pleasant and easy to chatter with in an interview doesn't make yourself stand out from the other hundreds of friendly, pleasant, willing-to-be-chatty law students that are also being interviewed by the same firm.


A lot of people actually can't pull off friendly, pleasant, easy to chatter + articulate, cogent answers under that sort of pressure. If you can do both, you can go fairly far assuming your grades can meet their cutoffs.

Disclaimer: Just finished 1L, but did a lot of interviewing for my summer job, and mock interviews, and got fairly detailed updates from some ppl going through their OCI on how things were going and what results they saw for themselves and other people.

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kalvano
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:28 am

You'd be surprised at how many people who seem bright and like they would come across well at an interview just absolutely lose their shit when it's time to actually interview.

Peg
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby Peg » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:31 am

I'm top 25% at a T30, so I don't think Debevoise and Paul Hastings are going to dip their beaks that low in my class. Probably out of my league. Mayer might be a possibility though, I'll email their recruiting person and ask about their cutoff.

You'd be surprised at how many people who seem bright and like they would come across well at an interview just absolutely lose their shit when it's time to actually interview.


Yeah, I hope this isn't me. It's even more important if you don't have STELLAR grades, just barely-in-there grades.

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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:55 am

1) Mayer is unusually grade snobby relative to its V ranking, way more so than, say, Paul Hastings (in general, grade snobbiness is only weakly correlated to V ranking, especially if you want to do lit). It is nerdy/introverted though.
2) Cleary, Jenner, and Irell are good firms for nerds/introverts/quiet people. They are also somewhat-to-very grade snobby.
3) Avoid, inter alia: Skadden; Weil; Latham; Quinn; Kirkland.

(Anon b/c I am an SA at one of these firms).

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IAFG
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby IAFG » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:1) Mayer is unusually grade snobby relative to its V ranking, way more so than, say, Paul Hastings (in general, grade snobbiness is only weakly correlated to V ranking, especially if you want to do lit). It is nerdy/introverted though.
2) Cleary, Jenner, and Irell are good firms for nerds/introverts/quiet people. They are also somewhat-to-very grade snobby.
3) Avoid, inter alia: Skadden; Weil; Latham; Quinn; Kirkland.

(Anon b/c I am an SA at one of these firms).

The only thing worse than using inter alia casually is using it casually and incorrectly at the same time.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:35 am

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1) Mayer is unusually grade snobby relative to its V ranking, way more so than, say, Paul Hastings (in general, grade snobbiness is only weakly correlated to V ranking, especially if you want to do lit). It is nerdy/introverted though.
2) Cleary, Jenner, and Irell are good firms for nerds/introverts/quiet people. They are also somewhat-to-very grade snobby.
3) Avoid, inter alia: Skadden; Weil; Latham; Quinn; Kirkland.

(Anon b/c I am an SA at one of these firms).

The only thing worse than using inter alia casually is using it casually and incorrectly at the same time.

Tso upset nobody in my classes ever dropped it.

LawIdiot86
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:48 am

Peg wrote:I'm top 25% at a T30, so I don't think Debevoise and Paul Hastings are going to dip their beaks that low in my class. Probably out of my league. Mayer might be a possibility though, I'll email their recruiting person and ask about their cutoff.

You'd be surprised at how many people who seem bright and like they would come across well at an interview just absolutely lose their shit when it's time to actually interview.


Yeah, I hope this isn't me. It's even more important if you don't have STELLAR grades, just barely-in-there grades.


Based purely on my personal observations, Squire Sanders, Venable, Fulbright, Crowell, Goodwin Procter, Patton Boggs, McKenna would also have good fits for nerds.

Peg
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby Peg » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:54 am

LawIdiot86 wrote:Based purely on my personal observations, Squire Sanders, Venable, Fulbright, Crowell, Goodwin Procter, Patton Boggs, McKenna would also have good fits for nerds.


Thanks! I heard that about Goodwin too actually.

ruski
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby ruski » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:38 pm

kalvano wrote:You'd be surprised at how many people who seem bright and like they would come across well at an interview just absolutely lose their shit when it's time to actually interview.


agree. people of the more 'outgoing' type can have the tendency to just start blabbering, especially if there is a pause, and this often leads to saying stuff that is inappropriate (or divulging info they shouldn't) and could get them dinged. conversely, i also know a few extroverts who are just awful at interviewing and get really nervous b/c they've never interviewed for a professional job before.

it might be a little harder if you're really shy, but you just need to fake it for 30 or so minutes. just dont be outwardly nervous (voice cracking, hands shaking, etc.) and you should be fine as long as you come across as normal. practice answering the standard questions and think of longer responses to give beforehand, and make sure to have a enough question to ask the interviewer if it does end early.

acrossthelake
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:02 pm

Also be prepared to be hit with "So do you have any questions for me?" as your first question.

Peg
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby Peg » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:26 am

Updating this for anyone else who is stacking up a nerd-friendly bidding list: some conversations with various 2Ls and 3Ls I've met from other schools have stories from Foley Hoag, Kenyon, and Patterson Belknap that suggest nerd-friendliness.

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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:53 am

Peg wrote:Updating this for anyone else who is stacking up a nerd-friendly bidding list: some conversations with various 2Ls and 3Ls I've met from other schools have stories from Foley Hoag, Kenyon, and Patterson Belknap that suggest nerd-friendliness.

I'd add Covington if you have the grades. Maybe Kaye Scholer. Also look at the Vault profiles; if a place is described as "polite," you might find it up your alley. Keep in mind that none of these places will be cool with you being weird to talk to, but tend to be amenable to more intellectual types rather than the type-A people that populate much of biglaw.

HeavenWood
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Re: The "Right Fit" - Nerd Firms

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:03 am

Peg wrote:Firms are always talking about a potential candidate being a "fit" for their firm, but they never really say what that means and you can only kind of get a clue when you attend their networking events to see what their associates are like. But even there, associates have their networking face on and you have no idea what they're really going to be like.

I'm relatively quiet unless I know someone well, and while I don't have trouble breaking the ice when it comes to my peer group, partners and associates are a different story. What do you do if you're the friendly but quiet nerd? I know I would get along with an interviewer (and colleague for that matter) who, for example, liked the same books and shows that I like, or who subscribed to same science magazines, etc. From what I've seen, people who "interview well" at my school are fratty extroverts who have big smiles, big laughs, are really informal and great at breaking down the barriers partners put up and drawing them out. I just can't do that. I'm friendly and pleasant, but I'm not going to roar and slap people on the back, or easily crack jokes (not that I don't appreciate jokes, I just don't really do it with people I don't know). The only way I can see myself relating to an interviewer enough to make a real impression on him/her is if it's someone from a firm that has people like me.

What are some nerd-friendly law firms that have those kind of interviewers?

I interview well and I'm not at all a fratty extrovert. Be yourself; don't lay it on too thick, otherwise you won't come across as genuine. The best interviewers come across as friendly, calm, and confident. From the sound of things you only really need to work on the last part.




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