V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

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Dark Horse
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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Dark Horse » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:29 pm

IAFG wrote:
Kronk wrote:ITT, we get a basic outline on how to interview that could be found on any law school website or career office from dude who either works at DPW or got super lucky during OCI hitting it off with a partner about their eerily similar recent family vacations to Peru.

It's another case of someone either having an innate talent or else a stroke of luck and trying to tell others how to follow behind them. Frankly it smacks of shitboomer culture.


I'm not sure if this is directed at me, but I wanted to take a second to address this.

First, I've always been envious of those who are able to connect with those in power (biglaw partners, etc) simply because they grew up in the same culture. I grew up in a middle class household. I have no relatives who are lawyers. We don't take family vacations to Peru. I remember getting so mad when I was a summer and this other summer were at an event and we were talking to a big shot partner. She connected with the partner very well because she attended the same prestigious private school that his daughter attends. I just stood there, drink in hand, and stared blankly because I had nothing relevant to contribute. I don't doubt that at the end of the night, he remembered her better than me, and perhaps it led to her getting some good work. But this has been the story of my short legal career. I've had to figure out all these other strategies and tactics (including those in this thread) to keep up with more privileged folks.

Second, at the same time, I don't doubt for a second that I've been very lucky to get where I am. Compared to many of my childhood friends, I am extremely privileged. I could probably write an entire book about how lucky I am. I grew up in a household where education was prized. I received strong family encouragement and reinforcement to pursue a legal career. My parents are both still alive and are still together. I grew up in a loving home. I could go on and on. So I definitely agree that all sorts of luck played a huge role getting me to where I am.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Kronk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:34 pm

I was more just kind of joking about getting "special advice" that consists of "BE PERSONABLE; SELL YOURSELF; PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEWS; BE ENTHUSIASTIC." I wasn't literally suggesting you take trips to Peru. I was suggesting that the things that you're suggesting are things everyone already does anyway. If you had asked me at 12 years old what I would do if I were to interview for any job, I would've told you to be enthusiastic, be personable, sell yourself, make the employer seem special, prepare for questions. I was laughing that these are the things that you think got you a V5 job. Maybe you are just a naturally likable person. Maybe you had something in common randomly with one of the partners (certainly happened to me during OCI). But I don't think many people are like "Wait--prepare for the interview questions? The secret to the V5 has finally opened up to me."

No offense. But kind of offense.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Dark Horse » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:40 pm

Kronk wrote:I was more just kind of joking about getting "special advice" that consists of "BE PERSONABLE; SELL YOURSELF; PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEWS; BE ENTHUSIASTIC." I wasn't literally suggesting you take trips to Peru. I was suggesting that the things that you're suggesting are things everyone already does anyway. If you had asked me at 12 years old what I would do if I were to interview for any job, I would've told you to be enthusiastic, be personable, sell yourself, make the employer seem special, prepare for questions. I was laughing that these are the things that you think got you a V5 job. Maybe you are just a naturally likable person. Maybe you had something in common randomly with one of the partners (certainly happened to me during OCI). But I don't think many people are like "Wait--prepare for the interview questions? The secret to the V5 has finally opened up to me."

No offense. But kind of offense.


Those are fair points. No offense taken.

I don't think I'm giving any advice that's out of the ordinary either. But I guess the one thing I've never understood about law students is that they spend hundreds, thousands of hours on trying to get marginally better grades, but spend maybe five to ten hours preparing for such a high stakes event like OCI interviews. They do 20 practice exams per semester, but when OCI comes around, they do zero practice interviews. Out of all of my friends, I was the only one who wrote down answers and practiced them in front of a mirror. How many people do you think are doing that?

Just look at the TLS articles that are available, and look at how many there are about OCI interviewing, and how many there are on how to do well during 1L year. That's not to say 1L grades don't matter. But isn't the disparity a bit strange?

At the end of the day, my advice is not meant for someone as skilled and adept at interviewing as you.
Last edited by Dark Horse on Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby redbullvodka » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:41 pm

Kronk wrote:I was more just kind of joking about getting "special advice" that consists of "BE PERSONABLE; SELL YOURSELF; PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEWS; BE ENTHUSIASTIC." I wasn't literally suggesting you take trips to Peru. I was suggesting that the things that you're suggesting are things everyone already does anyway. If you had asked me at 12 years old what I would do if I were to interview for any job, I would've told you to be enthusiastic, be personable, sell yourself, make the employer seem special, prepare for questions. I was laughing that these are the things that you think got you a V5 job. Maybe you are just a naturally likable person. Maybe you had something in common randomly with one of the partners (certainly happened to me during OCI). But I don't think many people are like "Wait--prepare for the interview questions? The secret to the V5 has finally opened up to me."

No offense. But kind of offense.


Then what do you think separates good interviewers from bad ones? Because many people on this site consider themselves average to below average interviewers.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Kronk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:53 pm

redbullvodka wrote:
Kronk wrote:I was more just kind of joking about getting "special advice" that consists of "BE PERSONABLE; SELL YOURSELF; PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEWS; BE ENTHUSIASTIC." I wasn't literally suggesting you take trips to Peru. I was suggesting that the things that you're suggesting are things everyone already does anyway. If you had asked me at 12 years old what I would do if I were to interview for any job, I would've told you to be enthusiastic, be personable, sell yourself, make the employer seem special, prepare for questions. I was laughing that these are the things that you think got you a V5 job. Maybe you are just a naturally likable person. Maybe you had something in common randomly with one of the partners (certainly happened to me during OCI). But I don't think many people are like "Wait--prepare for the interview questions? The secret to the V5 has finally opened up to me."

No offense. But kind of offense.


Then what do you think separates good interviewers from bad ones? Because many people on this site consider themselves average to below average interviewers.


There are probably good tips for interviewing. I am not good at interviewing, actually. I am good at talking to people, but I'm not good at interviewing. I just don't really feel like "Prepare for your interview and be enthusiastic" are the secrets. I mean, maybe a tip would be something more subtle, like "look up the interviewers practice area and ask questions specific to it." Those are the kinds of things that Iactually wonder "Would this actually be a positive in my interview?" not preparing, being excitable, etc.

I am going to stop now because I sound like a cockwad.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby IAFG » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:57 pm

Dark Horse wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Kronk wrote:ITT, we get a basic outline on how to interview that could be found on any law school website or career office from dude who either works at DPW or got super lucky during OCI hitting it off with a partner about their eerily similar recent family vacations to Peru.

It's another case of someone either having an innate talent or else a stroke of luck and trying to tell others how to follow behind them. Frankly it smacks of shitboomer culture.


I'm not sure if this is directed at me, but I wanted to take a second to address this.

First, I've always been envious of those who are able to connect with those in power (biglaw partners, etc) simply because they grew up in the same culture. I grew up in a middle class household. I have no relatives who are lawyers. We don't take family vacations to Peru. I remember getting so mad when I was a summer and this other summer were at an event and we were talking to a big shot partner. She connected with the partner very well because she attended the same prestigious private school that his daughter attends. I just stood there, drink in hand, and stared blankly because I had nothing relevant to contribute. I don't doubt that at the end of the night, he remembered her better than me, and perhaps it led to her getting some good work. But this has been the story of my short legal career. I've had to figure out all these other strategies and tactics (including those in this thread) to keep up with more privileged folks.

Second, at the same time, I don't doubt for a second that I've been very lucky to get where I am. Compared to many of my childhood friends, I am extremely privileged. I could probably write an entire book about how lucky I am. I grew up in a household where education was prized. I received strong family encouragement and reinforcement to pursue a legal career. My parents are both still alive and are still together. I grew up in a loving home. I could go on and on. So I definitely agree that all sorts of luck played a huge role getting me to where I am.

That doesn't mean that your advice is helpful.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby delusional » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:04 pm

I don't see what the point of bashing OP is. First of all, he didn't just hit it off with one partner, he wrote that he got 23/36 callbacks. Secondly, even if what he say is intuitive and available elsewhere, there are lots of things that are intuitive and available elsewhere that aren't true or wouldn't be helpful to particular people. Like any advice, it's useful for people to hear things in a way that may resonate with them or work better for their personality. By Kronk's and IAFG's measure, there's not one bit of useful advice in the entire LSAT or application forum either.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby mvpforme » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:05 pm

tag

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby 20130312 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:06 pm

Nobody's bashing the OP. They're just saying his advice isn't helpful because it's obvious, even to the aspie-est of law students.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Kronk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:07 pm

delusional wrote:I don't see what the point of bashing OP is. First of all, he didn't just hit it off with one partner, he wrote that he got 23/36 callbacks. Secondly, even if what he say is intuitive and available elsewhere, there are lots of things that are intuitive and available elsewhere that aren't true or wouldn't be helpful to particular people. Like any advice, it's useful for people to hear things in a way that may resonate with them or work better for their personality. By Kronk's and IAFG's measure, there's not one bit of useful advice in the entire LSAT or application forum either.


I think you have mismeasured my measure.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Dark Horse » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:12 pm

Kronk wrote:There are probably good tips for interviewing. I am not good at interviewing, actually. I am good at talking to people, but I'm not good at interviewing. I just don't really feel like "Prepare for your interview and be enthusiastic" are the secrets. I mean, maybe a tip would be something more subtle, like "look up the interviewers practice area and ask questions specific to it." Those are the kinds of things that Iactually wonder "Would this actually be a positive in my interview?" not preparing, being excitable, etc.

I am going to stop now because I sound like a cockwad.


I have lots of subtle tips. Here's one:

Talk to attorneys from your top choice law firms during the summer, and be sure to mention them during your interview.

Basically, the firms all hear students say "Oh I would love to work at Kirkland!" and they can't tell who's being real and who's not. One way to give yourself credibility is to say something along these lines:

"For us law students, it's hard to tell what the differences among law firms are. I decided to find out by talking to associates from different law firms to find out. I spoke to David Smith, who graduated two years ahead of me, about how he likes it at Kirkland. He went on and on about the training, especially KITA. Based on my previous work experience at Teach for America, I've learned the value of strong training. And that to me, sets Kirkland apart. The firm really cares about teaching associates the fundamentals so that they'll be fully prepared to litigate. Moreover, David Smith told me about the excellent, cutting edge litigation opportunities that you can't get anywhere else. [list one or two of the most high profile matters]"


- conceding that all firms, at first glance, appear to be the same gives you credibility because honestly, that's what all law students think.
- mentioning David Smith shows that you (1) put in the work ahead of time to prepare and (2) have a real source as to why you want to work at Kirkland
- mentioning training shows that you care about being an excellent practitioner down the line, minimizing the risk that you're going to take the offer, and then go to McKinsey after graduation
- mentioning KITA (as opposed to the summer program version) shows that you intend to be there for the long term
- referencing Teach for America (which is presumably on your resume) shows that you're not pulling stuff out of your ass. You actually worked somewhere before, learned something about how the world works, and are applying the lessons you learned there to law practice. (ie. formal training is important)
- mentioning high profile matters through David gives you an easy transition to show that you've done your homework, as opposed to saying "I've read in the newspaper that ..." This allows you to cite more obscure cases, because you heard from David, instead of through the website. It's a more acceptable form of stalking.

This answer is best given in response to "Why Kirkland?" But even if they never ask, find a way to bring it up. Like, if they ask you "how's OCI going?" you can say "Pretty overwhelming! And a bit stressful. Especially since firms all appear to be the same, at first glance. (transition into spiel)."

This of course, requires you to find a David Smith to talk to before hand. And it's a challenge in itself to get a busy junior associate, whether they're a friend or acquaintance, to talk to you during the summer. But it goes a long way to getting your resume picked up over all the other marginally better resumes.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Kronk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:13 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:Nobody's bashing the OP. They're just saying his advice isn't helpful because it's obvious, even to the aspie-est of law students.


This. Not only that, it's not specific to law interviews, IMO. I even considered what questions they would ask me when I went into a restaurant interview at 16. I also was enthusiastic, complemented the establishment, etc.

Not the same as the LSAT IMO, "make sure you diagram logic games" might be obvious to people who have been studying awhile, but it's not necessarily obvious to someone who hasn't done LG sections yet and is specific to one section on one test. Something like "get a bunch of sleep before the LSAT" would be analogous to something really obvious to everyone who has taken a test.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Kronk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:14 pm

Better, OP. I like it.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:21 pm

Dark Horse wrote:
At the end of the day, my advice is not meant for someone as skilled and adept at interviewing as you.



I think the main problem is not that your advice is obvious or necessarily completely useless, it is that you interviewed for jobs pre-ITE so you lose all credibility IMO in giving advice to law students currently going into OCI (or who have done so recently). Not saying some of the same points don't apply, because they obviously do, but your results are laughable in contrast with OCI results in the past couple years--there was a quantum difference in the type of hiring that was going on when you interviewed, whether or not at that point you outperformed your GPA.

It's almost shocking how much recent grads who got hired pre-ITE (or right on the cusp of it) simply can't seem to grasp how bad things became after 2008. It's not even the same type of experience at all for the vast majority of students (even at top law schools), and so coming in here with 2008 experience comes off wrong. That's true even though you sound like an exceptionally nice dude or dudette, and I don't grudge you your success personally (I do grudge that unintentionally or otherwise you are effectively rubbing it in people's faces and perhaps giving newbies delusions about OCI). HTH

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Dark Horse » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:26 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
Dark Horse wrote:
At the end of the day, my advice is not meant for someone as skilled and adept at interviewing as you.



I think the main problem is not that your advice is obvious or necessarily completely useless, it is that you interviewed for jobs pre-ITE so you lose all credibility IMO in giving advice to law students currently going into OCI (or who have done so recently). Not saying some of the same points don't apply, because they obviously do, but your results are laughable in contrast with OCI results in the past couple years--there was a quantum difference in the type of hiring that was going on when you interviewed, whether or not at that point you outperformed your GPA.

It's almost shocking how much recent grads who got hired pre-ITE (or right on the cusp of it) simply can't seem to grasp how bad things became after 2008. It's not even the same type of experience at all for the vast majority of students (even at top law schools), and so coming in here with 2008 experience comes off wrong. That's true even though you sound like an exceptionally nice dude or dudette, and I don't grudge you your success personally (I do grudge that unintentionally or otherwise you are effectively rubbing it in people's faces and perhaps giving newbies delusions about OCI). HTH


I guess I should say this again: I am *not* giving advice on how to get a V5 job. I am giving advice on how to overcome weaknesses. I mention my grades, vault rankings, and my success rate because people here care about that sort of thing, and will probably ignore my thread unless they know the specifics about my situation.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby attractive_NUisance » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:27 pm

I think OP's advice is pretty helpful even if it is a little generic and its nice of him or her to share some time on a holiday. A bad economy doesn't mean that all of a sudden you need to use completely different interviewing techniques. Good interviews are good interviews. It just raises the stakes because if you blow a callback you won't have as many extra chances as people in the classes of 07 or 08.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:28 pm

Dark Horse wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:
Dark Horse wrote:
At the end of the day, my advice is not meant for someone as skilled and adept at interviewing as you.



I think the main problem is not that your advice is obvious or necessarily completely useless, it is that you interviewed for jobs pre-ITE so you lose all credibility IMO in giving advice to law students currently going into OCI (or who have done so recently). Not saying some of the same points don't apply, because they obviously do, but your results are laughable in contrast with OCI results in the past couple years--there was a quantum difference in the type of hiring that was going on when you interviewed, whether or not at that point you outperformed your GPA.

It's almost shocking how much recent grads who got hired pre-ITE (or right on the cusp of it) simply can't seem to grasp how bad things became after 2008. It's not even the same type of experience at all for the vast majority of students (even at top law schools), and so coming in here with 2008 experience comes off wrong. That's true even though you sound like an exceptionally nice dude or dudette, and I don't grudge you your success personally (I do grudge that unintentionally or otherwise you are effectively rubbing it in people's faces and perhaps giving newbies delusions about OCI). HTH


I guess I should say this again: I am *not* giving advice on how to get a V5 job. I am giving advice on how to overcome weaknesses. I mention my grades, vault rankings, and my success rate because people here care about that sort of thing, and will probably ignore my thread unless they know the specifics about my situation.



Didn't say you were. Maybe you should retitle thread though to make it more consistent with whatever the point is.


EDIT: Ok, sorry, didn't mean to come on so strong. You obviously have experience to offer, and I do think some of it is relevant for sure. Fact is that ppl today at certain T14s with a 3.5 1L year probably still do have a shot at some top firms, even if they won't get anywhere near that ridiculous amount of callbacks that you got (no matter how well they interview).

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby target » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:45 pm

this thread is getting better imo. here is another question for OP or anyone who did OCI. I heard something similar to what Kronk said about look up cases that the firm is handling or, better yet, cases that your interviewers are handling or won, and talk about those cases during interview. This can be a good way to show your interest in the firm and you did your homework. But when does this appear weird, stalkerish?

ETA: if I am interested in a firm, but no one from my school is working there. Is it okay to just email totally stranger associate/partner in the practice group that I am interested in and ask them questions?

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby keg411 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:49 pm

I know a whole bunch of people who did OCI in 2008. It was an entirely different world than OCI is now. People who were median at lower T14's were getting V10's.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:58 pm

i agree with OP. while his advice is obvious, it is too often ignored. people spend countless hours studying, and then barely prep for interviews. i was always surprised at my fellow student's lack of knowledge about the firms they were interviewing at. i would spend 2-3 hours prepping for each interview. going over responses to commonly asked questions, researching the shit out of the firm and interviewer, coming up with unique questions, etc. and and landed multipe v20 offers due to such strategy. if you pretend like each interview is your ONLY shot at a job, you really should get at least something.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Dark Horse » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:08 pm

target wrote:this thread is getting better imo. here is another question for OP or anyone who did OCI. I heard something similar to what Kronk said about look up cases that the firm is handling or, better yet, cases that your interviewers are handling or won, and talk about those cases during interview. This can be a good way to show your interest in the firm and you did your homework. But when does this appear weird, stalkerish?


It's never about the substance of what you bring up, but how you bring it up. Whether something seems stalkerish depends on how it appears you came across the information. When in doubt, always try to connect the information to a personal source.

Terrible:
- I saw on your LinkedIn that ...
- I saw on your Facebook that ...

Bad:
- I saw on Westlaw/Pacer that ...
- I saw on Google that ...

OK:
- I read in the Wall Street Journal that ...
- I saw on Dealbook that ...
(this will probably only work for firm matters, not individual lawyer matters though)

Good:
- I spoke to David Smith, who told me that
- I spoke to Jane Phillips in the hospitality suite, who told me that
(note: that means you can go to the hospitality suite, ask the junior associate what big matters the firm's working on, and then later use that information in your interview)

Now this does NOT mean you shouldn't google or search for what the firm/lawyers have done. You should. Find out as much as you can about the case, and then try to direct the hospitality suite conversation (or other personal conversation) to the case. Now you can bring it up at OCI.

target wrote:ETA: if I am interested in a firm, but no one from my school is working there. Is it okay to just email totally stranger associate/partner in the practice group that I am interested in and ask them questions?


Do whatever it takes to mine the field for people who you have some connection to. (I looked up my undergrad alumni database and found that someone used to work at one of the firms I was targeting at. I e-mailed her.) If there's absolutely nothing, find someone with something similar to your background (similar undergrad, racial background, etc) and contact them. If you're nice, and don't seem too gunner, they will probably won't mind at all. Remember, you can get away with doing gunner things if you're nice, earnest, and avoid acting like a jerk.

Edit: You probably want to avoid e-mailing partners. The more junior the associate, the better. There's no big benefit to dropping a partner's name in an OCI interview anyways.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:21 pm

ITT: lots of mad LR kids who got shut out of the V5

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:28 pm

I think the detractors in this thread are underestimating how clueless the general interviewing population is. However, the same clueless people won't be reading TLS for advice on OCI. So this thread is a bit like preaching to the choir in that sense. I think most ppl in TLS who struggle with interviewing struggle in the execution, not the knowledge of what they're supposed to do. Some people just aren't that charismatic, especially under pressure. Either way, congrats to the OP on doing so well.

I have a question to anyone in general reading this who has gone through it. I plan to bid on a market where the firms often have offices in 2 cities fairly close together, such as San Francisco and Mountain View. While I want the general market, I'm really not that picky about whether I'm in the main city, or one of the surrounding cities. I know you aren't supposed to do 2 offices for the same firm when it's like NYC/LA or Chicago/NYC, etc., but in this case, does it make sense to do both, or when they ask, to say I'm fine with either? These cities are like 30 minute drives from each other, and my primary motivation for that market is 1) the type of work it's strong in and 2) generally like the overall area.

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby uchi12 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:29 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:ITT: lots of mad LR kids who got shut out of the V5

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Re: V5 Associate (3.49 1L GPA at T14) Giving Advice re: OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:36 pm

During networking meetings with associates, what are some good questions to ask that will yield useful info that we can drop at oci?




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