Median Penn Bid List Critique

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I graduated from Penn last month and am working at a big Philly firm after the bar. I had a similar OCI strategy to you.

Here are some observations and tips:

Put Schander higher. They are pretty highly regarded and had a full slot. Unless you don't want lit.

Saul is still 110. But I wouldn't make too much of a big deal out of that -- you are really trying to predict your salary in fall 2014, not next summer. A lot can change. Your firm could Dewey, or it could land some big new case or client and make it rain on the associates.

Drop other Morgan and Dechert offices except London. I think London is different enough to keep.

You will see the same 20-25 names on every Philly firm list, including a lot of transfers. But Dechert and Morgan seemed to get a few more NYC people even for their Philly office.

I don't see any Wilmington firms. Good. If you don't have Delaware ties, don't bother. Is CPP still telling Philly folks to bid on Wilmington?

If there's anything that can move down its Pepper. 80 slots non-NY! Also be aware of their new interview format.

Archer and Greiner doesn't seem to like Penn students and wants strong South Jersey ties. Consider putting them lower to get another NY slot.


Thanks for the advice! And any reason why Schnader is so highly regarded?


Poster you're quoting here. I think they are highly regarded because they are a go-to trial firm. If you want lit and insight into the trial process they are one of the best. If you are not sure what you want, look for a firm that is more flexible/diversified.

I'd be happy to help you or anyone else with any Philly market questions. Anything that takes me away from bar study :P

Are Conrad O'brien and Kline and specter interviewing this year? If so I wouldn't bother. They rarely actually hire someone.


Conrad is, but I don't think Kline is.

And which Philly firm is the most "Mad Men-esque" haha. I think I'll just put all of my eggs and Bourbon in their basket.

Also, are there any Philly firms that you recommend avoiding for whatever reason?

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:20 am

run26.2 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Saul Ewing didn't hire anyone last year.


But Saul did hire 4 people from the class of 2012 in a class of 6-8 people.

I would not use my #1 bid on this firm because 1) your grades are good enough that they should really be a safety, and 2) last years' data is more valuable than c/o 2012. I think you should use your #1 for a firm that you would really like to be at and that is also probably pretty competitive. If that firm is Saul Ewing for you, then keep it as your #1.


Hmmm, what Philly firm would qualify as my "safety" if I dropped Saul, ya think?

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:04 am

Penn alum from above here.

I don't really believe in the idea of a safety firm. Truth is, a lot of firms have 3 or 4 interviews going on at once. You might have had everything in common with the interviewer meeting with your friend across the hall, but you got stuck with the awkward person who's practice area you want nothing to do with. Your safety just turned into a bust.

Plus, when it comes to getting callbacks the rich usually get richer. If there is just a baller out there gunning for Philly -- LR, great WE, did her research etc, she is going to get called back most everywhere. Leaving you with one fewer slot to take when a firm interviewing 60 people calls back 15.

I like to think of it in tiers, not necessarily by prestige. If you are median, carry yourself and dress in somewhat lawyerly way and have a good answer to the why Philly question, I think your results will look like this:

1 callback out of: Morgan, Dechert, Duane (firms that are looking for grades/LR mostly but will make some exceptions for WE, demonstrated interest, connections, etc.)

3-4 callbacks out of: Pepper, Ballard, Cozen, Blank, Drinker, Reed Smith. These are firms with medium to big SA classes that want the best Penn students they can get but care about fit. Be in the top 2/3rds and you should get an offer here.

1-2 callbacks out of: Stradley, Saul, Fox, Schnader. These are smaller firms with smaller SA classes that care a lot about fit I think. Edit: Ok Fox isn't small but it's my understanding that they only take 1-2 SAs in Philly.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:20 am

Fox indeed only takes 1-2 in Philly. The whole class is 10+ I think but they are spread out. They do bring the class together for some events, but for the most part it will be 1-2 in each office. I am not sure how they decide final offers, but looks like some offices will have 1 SA and end up with no offer.

Another tip about interview: you might end up with no interview in front of Penn alum. People from other area schools sometimes feel a certain way about Penn students, so be sure to not play into the stereotype and don't rub people the wrong way. Understand your school can get you in the door, but it's all you in there. So try not to talk all about what you did in law school and how cool it is if that person did not go to Penn. Even if they did, they might not had the same experience as you.

I have been told that Penn's no GPA/rank policy actually drives smaller employers nuts because they can't aggregate and figure out where you stand as easily as large NY firms. There are just not enough data points to compare you to, in the current class or historically. So I think top 2/3 is ok because I doubt some firm with <10 SAs can figure out the difference between the middle 20%.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:34 am

r6_philly wrote:I have been told that Penn's no GPA/rank policy actually drives smaller employers nuts because they can't aggregate and figure out where you stand as easily as large NY firms. There are just not enough data points to compare you to, in the current class or historically. So I think top 2/3 is ok because I doubt some firm with <10 SAs can figure out the difference between the middle 20%.


I can totally see that. I have been thinking through the eyes of an interviewer a lot. Imagine interview A. Seems like a bright kid, and he gives you this transcript. B+ B B+ A- B A B

Then interview B walks in. Seems like a perfect match. She gives you: B B B A A B+ B+

You went to law school because you hated math. The only math you do is for the tip at restaurants. Who had the better transcript? Interview B wins by a nose, but it would have been a lot easier if there was just a little round number. It definitely works to our advantage.

r6_philly
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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
r6_philly wrote:I have been told that Penn's no GPA/rank policy actually drives smaller employers nuts because they can't aggregate and figure out where you stand as easily as large NY firms. There are just not enough data points to compare you to, in the current class or historically. So I think top 2/3 is ok because I doubt some firm with <10 SAs can figure out the difference between the middle 20%.


I can totally see that. I have been thinking through the eyes of an interviewer a lot. Imagine interview A. Seems like a bright kid, and he gives you this transcript. B+ B B+ A- B A B

Then interview B walks in. Seems like a perfect match. She gives you: B B B A A B+ B+

You went to law school because you hated math. The only math you do is for the tip at restaurants. Who had the better transcript? Interview B wins by a nose, but it would have been a lot easier if there was just a little round number. It definitely works to our advantage.


I would qualify that I know it really is a problem at screeners (told by OCI interviewers) because you walk in with your transcript and bam they have to see how good you are. So most of us with a mix of grades, they may just go for how many A/A- do you have and how many B/B- do you have and make a snap judgment of whether if your grades are "decent" or "bad". lol

More analysis may go into the callback stage, but for smaller employers all they can do is to compare you to other callback candidates. But for smaller employers fit is more important, so if you get past the screener, grades are less important. All in all, I like our system.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:57 am

Not a UPenn student. And I know lawyers stereotypically hate math.

But c'mon.
r6_philly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
r6_philly wrote:I have been told that Penn's no GPA/rank policy actually drives smaller employers nuts because they can't aggregate and figure out where you stand as easily as large NY firms. There are just not enough data points to compare you to, in the current class or historically. So I think top 2/3 is ok because I doubt some firm with <10 SAs can figure out the difference between the middle 20%.


I can totally see that. I have been thinking through the eyes of an interviewer a lot. Imagine interview A. Seems like a bright kid, and he gives you this transcript. B+ B B+ A- B A B

Then interview B walks in. Seems like a perfect match. She gives you: B B B A A B+ B+

You went to law school because you hated math. The only math you do is for the tip at restaurants. Who had the better transcript? Interview B wins by a nose, but it would have been a lot easier if there was just a little round number. It definitely works to our advantage.


I would qualify that I know it really is a problem at screeners (told by OCI interviewers) because you walk in with your transcript and bam they have to see how good you are. So most of us with a mix of grades, they may just go for how many A/A- do you have and how many B/B- do you have and make a snap judgment of whether if your grades are "decent" or "bad". lol

More analysis may go into the callback stage, but for smaller employers all they can do is to compare you to other callback candidates. But for smaller employers fit is more important, so if you get past the screener, grades are less important. All in all, I like our system.


You barely need math to figure out a rough ballpark GPA. Assuming B+ median:

1) See how many classes are taken (7)
2) See the grades that cancel each other out (e.g. A/B-, A/2 Bs, etc.)
3) Whatever isn't cancelled out, figure out how far the total is from median and divide by # of classes -- DONE

Example 1 from above: B+ B B+ A- B A B

1) 7 classes
2) 1 A, 1 A-, 2 B+, 3 B (so A-/B cancel each other out, A/2 Bs cancel each other out; only B+s are left)
3) Person is a median student

Example 2 from above: B B B A A B+ B+

1) 7 classes
2) 2 As, 2 B+s, 3 Bs (A/ 2 Bs cancel each other out; B+s, one B, and one A is left over)
3) Person is .3ish above median; .3/7 = ~ .05 so person has about a 3.35 GPA

The point is, they have interviewed students before and can probably do this pretty quickly and probably won't adjust for small discrepancies in credit hours.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:12 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:You barely need math to figure out a rough ballpark GPA. Assuming B+ median:

1) See how many classes are taken (7)
2) See the grades that cancel each other out (e.g. A/B-, A/2 Bs, etc.)
3) Whatever isn't cancelled out, figure out how far the total is from median and divide by # of classes -- DONE

Example 1 from above: B+ B B+ A- B A B

1) 7 classes
2) 1 A, 1 A-, 2 B+, 3 B (so A-/B cancel each other out, A/2 Bs cancel each other out; only B+s are left)
3) Person is a median student

Example 2 from above: B B B A A B+ B+

1) 7 classes
2) 2 As, 2 B+s, 3 Bs (A/ 2 Bs cancel each other out; B+s, one B, and one A is left over)
3) Person is .3ish above median; .3/7 = ~ .05 so person has about a 3.35 GPA

The point is, they have interviewed students before and can probably do this pretty quickly and probably won't adjust for small discrepancies in credit hours.


1) you are assuming that the B+ "mean" is the same as the "median", which may not always true or even close. You can infer the mean from grade distributions, not the median.
2) the middle 20% could be separated by .05-0.1 in GPA, and it could be anywhere from 3.15-3.2, or 3.2-3.25, or 3.25-3.3 or 3.3-3.5. Without an ACTUAL rank/median, it is hard to figure out.

Your simply cannot assume a median. If the median is 3.3 vs. 3.25, it may shift people's percentile by 10% or more. So people don't/can't just assume. It's too risky to get it wrong.

20 minute screeners are not enough time for someone to even compare the 20 students they are interviewing that day, because they don't get to see the transcript before the interview.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:16 pm

OK. Even assuming the median is a mystery, you can still do really crude math to see how each candidate compares to one another. This could just as easily be done after the interview as before it. Grades may not be sufficient to land an offer but they are often necessary to a point with most employers.

Also, out of curiosity, do UPenn students not put their GPA on their resume at all?

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby drd » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:31 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:OK. Even assuming the median is a mystery, you can still do really crude math to see how each candidate compares to one another. This could just as easily be done after the interview as before it. Grades may not be sufficient to land an offer but they are often necessary to a point with most employers.

Also, out of curiosity, do UPenn students not put their GPA on their resume at all?


Nope. We don't have GPAs. But I bet most employers calculate them out, wouldn't take that long for some admin staff to do

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:40 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:OK. Even assuming the median is a mystery, you can still do really crude math to see how each candidate compares to one another. This could just as easily be done after the interview as before it. Grades may not be sufficient to land an offer but they are often necessary to a point with most employers.


No, but you are assuming that grades is the most important factor in the hiring process. It is important in that it is a screening tool. That if you have grades bad enough you will not qualify. But for everyone who made the cut off it lessens into a comparison factor. So without it, the interviewer would have to rely on fit, personality, and other qualities. That means, in the case of person A (with better grades) and person B (with worse grades): if the screener can tell A has better grades, B faces an uphill battle because the person is predisposed to the notion that A may be a better candidate. If the screener things they are similar however, A and B are on equal footing to start, and B may come across as a better candidate as A. I mean think about how this works out in court, why we don't want to prejudice the jury.

So even if the screener can take the transcript after the day is over and plug in all the grades, now your fit/personality is actually creating dispositions in his/her mind. So if screener likes B better than A, but A has slightly better grades, B may still get the callback. May not be that way in the other scenario.

People may ask different questions and engage people differently based on categorical assumptions. So not being able to easily compare GPA gets rid of one of the biggest assumptions.

When we were talking about school admissions, everyone hates strictly judging on GPA/LSAT, and everyone loves "holistic" approaches. For the most part, hiring is holistic. There are GPA floors, beyond that it's mostly yours.

Also, out of curiosity, do UPenn students not put their GPA on their resume at all?


We are not allowed to. Because there is no GPA on our transcripts, you would technically be making up a GPA.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:45 pm

r6_philly wrote:
When we were talking about school admissions, everyone hates strictly judging on GPA/LSAT, and everyone loves "holistic" approaches. For the most part, hiring is holistic. There are GPA floors, beyond that it's mostly yours.


Ehhh, not everyone loves "holistic" hiring. For every person you advantage who has a better resume but a lackluster GPA you are possibly putting someone with a good GPA and a lackluster resume at a disadvantage. I don't think grades should be determinative of offers but they should play a large factor as they show how you stack up to the competition in a law learning environment.

Don't get me wrong; I understand this. But a lot of employers have a floor (let's say top third for most of the V10). Then it comes down to other things. That is what I meant by necessary but not sufficient.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby run26.2 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:49 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:Not a UPenn student. And I know lawyers stereotypically hate math.

But c'mon.
r6_philly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
r6_philly wrote:I have been told that Penn's no GPA/rank policy actually drives smaller employers nuts because they can't aggregate and figure out where you stand as easily as large NY firms. There are just not enough data points to compare you to, in the current class or historically. So I think top 2/3 is ok because I doubt some firm with <10 SAs can figure out the difference between the middle 20%.


I can totally see that. I have been thinking through the eyes of an interviewer a lot. Imagine interview A. Seems like a bright kid, and he gives you this transcript. B+ B B+ A- B A B

Then interview B walks in. Seems like a perfect match. She gives you: B B B A A B+ B+

You went to law school because you hated math. The only math you do is for the tip at restaurants. Who had the better transcript? Interview B wins by a nose, but it would have been a lot easier if there was just a little round number. It definitely works to our advantage.


I would qualify that I know it really is a problem at screeners (told by OCI interviewers) because you walk in with your transcript and bam they have to see how good you are. So most of us with a mix of grades, they may just go for how many A/A- do you have and how many B/B- do you have and make a snap judgment of whether if your grades are "decent" or "bad". lol

More analysis may go into the callback stage, but for smaller employers all they can do is to compare you to other callback candidates. But for smaller employers fit is more important, so if you get past the screener, grades are less important. All in all, I like our system.


You barely need math to figure out a rough ballpark GPA. Assuming B+ median:

1) See how many classes are taken (7)
2) See the grades that cancel each other out (e.g. A/B-, A/2 Bs, etc.)
3) Whatever isn't cancelled out, figure out how far the total is from median and divide by # of classes -- DONE

Example 1 from above: B+ B B+ A- B A B

1) 7 classes
2) 1 A, 1 A-, 2 B+, 3 B (so A-/B cancel each other out, A/2 Bs cancel each other out; only B+s are left)
3) Person is a median student

Example 2 from above: B B B A A B+ B+

1) 7 classes
2) 2 As, 2 B+s, 3 Bs (A/ 2 Bs cancel each other out; B+s, one B, and one A is left over)
3) Person is .3ish above median; .3/7 = ~ .05 so person has about a 3.35 GPA

The point is, they have interviewed students before and can probably do this pretty quickly and probably won't adjust for small discrepancies in credit hours.

My guess is that interviewers probably do a very quick pass over the transcript to see how many grades begin with the letter A.

It they are comparing 2 candidates, and they have the same number of A's they'll see if 1 has more B-s.

r6_philly
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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:56 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
When we were talking about school admissions, everyone hates strictly judging on GPA/LSAT, and everyone loves "holistic" approaches. For the most part, hiring is holistic. There are GPA floors, beyond that it's mostly yours.


Ehhh, not everyone loves "holistic" hiring. For every person you advantage who has a better resume but a lackluster GPA you are possibly putting someone with a good GPA and a lackluster resume at a disadvantage. I don't think grades should be determinative of offers but they should play a large factor as they show how you stack up to the competition in a law learning environment.


There are many factors that determines how profitable to the firm as a young associate. The relevance of how you stack up to the competition in a law learning environment varies depending on the firm/hiring person. If you are 1% in everything else they look for but 60% on grades, you may very well pass the test. Yes, most K-JD candidates are fungible goods, but you don't have to be.

Don't get me wrong; I understand this. But a lot of employers have a floor (let's say top third for most of the V10). Then it comes down to other things. That is what I meant by necessary but not sufficient.


Well, I feel like 80% of the class are not aiming for the V10 (lol), so I think I talking about the hiring process for most of the (other) firms/jobs.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:28 pm

r6_philly wrote:2) the middle 20% could be separated by .05-0.1 in GPA

Thx for trying to explain this confusing system. I need to ask, what exactly is the Middle 20%? I understand top/middle/bottom third, but middle 20%, what does that mean?

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
r6_philly wrote:2) the middle 20% could be separated by .05-0.1 in GPA

Thx for trying to explain this confusing system. I need to ask, what exactly is the Middle 20%? I understand top/middle/bottom third, but middle 20%, what does that mean?


Oh I am using an arbitrary numbers. 10% above and below the median to approximate just above or below the median. The middle of the curve is probably jam packed, so I feel that if you are not an outlier you grades are just fine.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:20 pm

Trying to decipher all the above. If your grades are split between B+ and Bs (perhaps 1 A-), is that median? My guess is that median might be in-between a B+ and B. Roughly a 3.21. When that is all said and done, one then optimistically hopes median is good enough.

r6_philly
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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Trying to decipher all the above. If your grades are split between B+ and Bs (perhaps 1 A-), is that median? My guess is that median might be in-between a B+ and B. Roughly a 3.21. When that is all said and done, one then optimistically hopes median is good enough.


My personal guess is median could be anywhere between 3.2 to 3.3. And the 40-60% can be squeezed in a very tight range. So I say your 3.2 is sufficiently close to median to probably not make any difference.

I also think within that same GPA, the more A- you have, the better it looks.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby bluelovebug » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Penn alum from above here.

I don't really believe in the idea of a safety firm. Truth is, a lot of firms have 3 or 4 interviews going on at once. You might have had everything in common with the interviewer meeting with your friend across the hall, but you got stuck with the awkward person who's practice area you want nothing to do with. Your safety just turned into a bust.

Plus, when it comes to getting callbacks the rich usually get richer. If there is just a baller out there gunning for Philly -- LR, great WE, did her research etc, she is going to get called back most everywhere. Leaving you with one fewer slot to take when a firm interviewing 60 people calls back 15.

I like to think of it in tiers, not necessarily by prestige. If you are median, carry yourself and dress in somewhat lawyerly way and have a good answer to the why Philly question, I think your results will look like this:

1 callback out of: Morgan, Dechert, Duane (firms that are looking for grades/LR mostly but will make some exceptions for WE, demonstrated interest, connections, etc.)

3-4 callbacks out of: Pepper, Ballard, Cozen, Blank, Drinker, Reed Smith. These are firms with medium to big SA classes that want the best Penn students they can get but care about fit. Be in the top 2/3rds and you should get an offer here.

1-2 callbacks out of: Stradley, Saul, Fox, Schnader. These are smaller firms with smaller SA classes that care a lot about fit I think. Edit: Ok Fox isn't small but it's my understanding that they only take 1-2 SAs in Philly.


Rising 3L at Penn here. This is absolutely correct. There is no such thing as a "safety firm." The firms that I had the worst luck with at OCI were firms that I probably would have characterized as "safeties." The fact that my grades were far above what they usually take was an obstacle that I had to overcome, and if I didn't have some really compelling reason why I wanted to work there over a more "prestigious" firm that I could have gotten with my grades they didn't seem to want to waste the time interviewing me. One glance at my transcript and firms that I thought of as "safeties" spent the entire 20 minutes grilling me on "why this firm specifically?" not "why this market?" The only times I got callbacks at those firms was when I had a personal connection and I could say "Oh, I know XYZ who summered there and loved it, these are the things she said she loved about it and I want to be in a place that has these characteristics."

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:36 pm

bluelovebug wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Penn alum from above here.

I don't really believe in the idea of a safety firm. Truth is, a lot of firms have 3 or 4 interviews going on at once. You might have had everything in common with the interviewer meeting with your friend across the hall, but you got stuck with the awkward person who's practice area you want nothing to do with. Your safety just turned into a bust.

Plus, when it comes to getting callbacks the rich usually get richer. If there is just a baller out there gunning for Philly -- LR, great WE, did her research etc, she is going to get called back most everywhere. Leaving you with one fewer slot to take when a firm interviewing 60 people calls back 15.

I like to think of it in tiers, not necessarily by prestige. If you are median, carry yourself and dress in somewhat lawyerly way and have a good answer to the why Philly question, I think your results will look like this:

1 callback out of: Morgan, Dechert, Duane (firms that are looking for grades/LR mostly but will make some exceptions for WE, demonstrated interest, connections, etc.)

3-4 callbacks out of: Pepper, Ballard, Cozen, Blank, Drinker, Reed Smith. These are firms with medium to big SA classes that want the best Penn students they can get but care about fit. Be in the top 2/3rds and you should get an offer here.

1-2 callbacks out of: Stradley, Saul, Fox, Schnader. These are smaller firms with smaller SA classes that care a lot about fit I think. Edit: Ok Fox isn't small but it's my understanding that they only take 1-2 SAs in Philly.


Rising 3L at Penn here. This is absolutely correct. There is no such thing as a "safety firm." The firms that I had the worst luck with at OCI were firms that I probably would have characterized as "safeties." The fact that my grades were far above what they usually take was an obstacle that I had to overcome, and if I didn't have some really compelling reason why I wanted to work there over a more "prestigious" firm that I could have gotten with my grades they didn't seem to want to waste the time interviewing me. One glance at my transcript and firms that I thought of as "safeties" spent the entire 20 minutes grilling me on "why this firm specifically?" not "why this market?" The only times I got callbacks at those firms was when I had a personal connection and I could say "Oh, I know XYZ who summered there and loved it, these are the things she said she loved about it and I want to be in a place that has these characteristics."


How far above their callback average were you?

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:48 pm

Way too conservative.

If you do have decent w/e, you should have Skadden, Debevoise, Paul Weiss, and Simpson all up there. All of them took median candidates with work experience.

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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby bluelovebug » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
bluelovebug wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Penn alum from above here.

I don't really believe in the idea of a safety firm. Truth is, a lot of firms have 3 or 4 interviews going on at once. You might have had everything in common with the interviewer meeting with your friend across the hall, but you got stuck with the awkward person who's practice area you want nothing to do with. Your safety just turned into a bust.

Plus, when it comes to getting callbacks the rich usually get richer. If there is just a baller out there gunning for Philly -- LR, great WE, did her research etc, she is going to get called back most everywhere. Leaving you with one fewer slot to take when a firm interviewing 60 people calls back 15.

I like to think of it in tiers, not necessarily by prestige. If you are median, carry yourself and dress in somewhat lawyerly way and have a good answer to the why Philly question, I think your results will look like this:

1 callback out of: Morgan, Dechert, Duane (firms that are looking for grades/LR mostly but will make some exceptions for WE, demonstrated interest, connections, etc.)

3-4 callbacks out of: Pepper, Ballard, Cozen, Blank, Drinker, Reed Smith. These are firms with medium to big SA classes that want the best Penn students they can get but care about fit. Be in the top 2/3rds and you should get an offer here.

1-2 callbacks out of: Stradley, Saul, Fox, Schnader. These are smaller firms with smaller SA classes that care a lot about fit I think. Edit: Ok Fox isn't small but it's my understanding that they only take 1-2 SAs in Philly.


Rising 3L at Penn here. This is absolutely correct. There is no such thing as a "safety firm." The firms that I had the worst luck with at OCI were firms that I probably would have characterized as "safeties." The fact that my grades were far above what they usually take was an obstacle that I had to overcome, and if I didn't have some really compelling reason why I wanted to work there over a more "prestigious" firm that I could have gotten with my grades they didn't seem to want to waste the time interviewing me. One glance at my transcript and firms that I thought of as "safeties" spent the entire 20 minutes grilling me on "why this firm specifically?" not "why this market?" The only times I got callbacks at those firms was when I had a personal connection and I could say "Oh, I know XYZ who summered there and loved it, these are the things she said she loved about it and I want to be in a place that has these characteristics."


How far above their callback average were you?


I don't remember the specific grade averages for firms. I interviewed in NYC and my grades were competitive for the V10 and i did very well interviewing in that range and did very well within the V20. Any firms that were lower ranked that than that I bid on thinking of them as "safeties" were incredibly skeptical of why I wanted to work there.

I also interviewed in Philadelphia, but I didn't have great ties to Philly (or any major legal market really, which is why i focused on NYC) so I don't think my experiences there would be as representative of most people who want Philly.

HeavenWood
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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby HeavenWood » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
r6_philly wrote:Well, the problem with the CPP stats is: if 80 people all put Saul as the first bid, it would turn out to be 25%. If all 80 people put Saul as their last (60th) bid, it would still turn out to be 25%. So you have no way of knowing how popular Saul really is. So realistically, you could rank Saul 30th and still get in - it all depends on where the other 79 bids are. If everyone rank it as a backup at the bottom of their lists, then it inflates the %.

My guess is, since most people at Penn don't want Philly firms as top choice, most people load up the Philly firms mid-low as backup/safeties, and that's why Philly firms appear to be more popular. Realistically, there are only about 20% of the class who want Philly first (that's 50 people, being generous). Many of those are able to get Philly firms through the diversity fair. So I can't imagine way-below-market Philly firms to be actually in demand in top 15 bids.


Well IDK if 120 is "way-below-market" in Philly. What's market, 145? And only a few firms here actually pay that from what I know. I know Saul isn't "ideal" but it's also a great safety. While I would be a little upset if that's what I ended up with in the end, I can still survive and pay off my six figure debt with what they're offering. And if push came to shove, I'll probably have some NYC offer to choose from that I could take over Saul if I wanted more dough (though, after factoring in COA, 160 NYC probably really isn't that much more than 120 Philly). I just feel that since Saul is a safety for seemingly everyone (just taking a look at who they hire from CPP's graphs) I just want to make sure I get it, because it seems that I can bid most of the other Philly firms anywhere in the top 20 or so and count on getting them.

After factoring bin COA, 160 in NYC is actually a good bit less than 120 in Philly. 160k in NYC is more like 100k in Philly.

Anonymous User
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Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:54 am

bluelovebug wrote: Any firms that were lower ranked that than that I bid on thinking of them as "safeties" were incredibly skeptical of why I wanted to work there.


New Anonymous User Here:

Can you give more details about this? This kinda scares me, only because my absolute #1 choice firm is also a firm I happen to be way over their grade distributions for. I don't want them thinking they're a safety for me when in fact I really want them.

How did your interviews go?

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

Re: Median Penn Bid List Critique

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:45 am

HeavenWood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
r6_philly wrote:Well, the problem with the CPP stats is: if 80 people all put Saul as the first bid, it would turn out to be 25%. If all 80 people put Saul as their last (60th) bid, it would still turn out to be 25%. So you have no way of knowing how popular Saul really is. So realistically, you could rank Saul 30th and still get in - it all depends on where the other 79 bids are. If everyone rank it as a backup at the bottom of their lists, then it inflates the %.

My guess is, since most people at Penn don't want Philly firms as top choice, most people load up the Philly firms mid-low as backup/safeties, and that's why Philly firms appear to be more popular. Realistically, there are only about 20% of the class who want Philly first (that's 50 people, being generous). Many of those are able to get Philly firms through the diversity fair. So I can't imagine way-below-market Philly firms to be actually in demand in top 15 bids.


Well IDK if 120 is "way-below-market" in Philly. What's market, 145? And only a few firms here actually pay that from what I know. I know Saul isn't "ideal" but it's also a great safety. While I would be a little upset if that's what I ended up with in the end, I can still survive and pay off my six figure debt with what they're offering. And if push came to shove, I'll probably have some NYC offer to choose from that I could take over Saul if I wanted more dough (though, after factoring in COA, 160 NYC probably really isn't that much more than 120 Philly). I just feel that since Saul is a safety for seemingly everyone (just taking a look at who they hire from CPP's graphs) I just want to make sure I get it, because it seems that I can bid most of the other Philly firms anywhere in the top 20 or so and count on getting them.

After factoring bin COA, 160 in NYC is actually a good bit less than 120 in Philly. 160k in NYC is more like 100k in Philly.

Is there a reliable place to go to find out salary information for these firms?




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