Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

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How fucked am I?

Fucked
15
26%
Might still get an offer
42
74%
 
Total votes: 57

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Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:37 am

Had my end of summer review today and it did not go how I expected. My midsummer review was nothing but praise, but this time they told me my feedback had been inconsistent. When I asked what the problem was they said that one senior associate had given me a bad review. It was a research assignment on which I absolutely could not find an answer. He asked me for an update a couple days ago even though the assignment was technically not due yet and I gave him the best answer I could come up with. Well he was annoyed with that, he researched it himself, and he found the answer he was looking for right away.

They also brought up my 2l grades, which slipped because once I got my summer offer I stopped giving a fuck.

How fucked am I? Is this automatic no-offer territory? Has anyone ever gotten a bad review but still gotten an offer?

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby somewhatwayward » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:44 am

i voted for 'might still get an offer' but that depends on the market

also, you might consider taking an advanced legal research class next year

also, and i'll stop editing after this, i don't understand why people let their grades slide substantially during 2L year....why risk it?

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:47 am

Was the review generally more mixed or was it pretty negative overall?

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:03 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:i voted for 'might still get an offer' but that depends on the market

also, you might consider taking an advanced legal research class next year

also, and i'll stop editing after this, i don't understand why people let their grades slide substantially during 2L year....why risk it?


Market is Chicago.

It wasn't really a legal research question. I'm pretty good at Westlaw and stuff like that. It was a transactional type question that involved a lot of googling and calling people.

I just found it impossible to be motivated. Conventional wisdom said 2l grades don't matter, firm has 99% offer rate.

IAFG wrote:Was the review generally more mixed or was it pretty negative overall?


They didn't focus on the positives that's for sure. But this was the only negative feedback they brought up so I'm assuming the rest of my reviews were good.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:11 pm

I really doubt one bad review will sink you, especially at a 99% firm. But the fact that they only harped on the negatives in your review is more disconcerting. This may just be a sign that they don't like you period.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:16 pm

Is that senior associate generally nice to you? know anything about his/her reputation? if s/he desn't have a bad reputation try to get more work with them and do well this time.

also how did you mess up. your firm has a library and you have an associate mentor and other summer associates. you should not have messed up given all the resources available to you.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:17 pm

Former hiring committee member here.

Subjective answer: I would probably no-offer you. It's not so much the bad review, but the combination of the bad review and the grades. To me, the bad review can go either way (Is the associate well-respected? Or is s/he less well respected? How did you respond: with excuses, or with credible assurances that it wouldn't happen again? Was it an obvious mistake or something any 2L might miss?) The grades are much more indicative of poor judgment. You thought you'd won the war, when in fact all you did was fare well in a skirmish. I'd worry that if we hired you, you'd win a summary judgment defense and fail to prep for trial because you thought you won the day. ITE, we can hire someone just like you, but with better maturity.

Objective answer: Depends on a lot of factors, such as....

1. How were your other reviews? Did others gush about you, or were they just "meh"?
2. Are you a top prospect (i.e. strong "grades" at HYS) or someone who was lucky to get the SA position (i.e. median at non-T14)?
3. How did you respond? What most 2Ls would say: "Excuses, excuses, excuses." What I want to hear: "Here's how I'm going to fix this. My law school offers an 'advanced legal research class.' I'll take that and make sure this never happens again."
4. What's the firm culture? Gunners or relaxed?

I don't mean to be harsh, just honest. Hope it helps you prepare for the future or, if there's time, to say the right things. Good luck. Learn from this experience.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:22 pm

Let me just take this as an opportunity to point out one of the biggest fallacies on this website---that 2L grades don't matter when it comes to getting an offer. THEY DEFINITELY DO. As I found out first hand this summer they are very important. Maybe they aren't in a market where the firms have massive summer class sizes (like 70) etc. But other than that they definitely matter. They don't matter more than work product but if a cut needs to be made and the work product between 2 associates is equal, grades definitely enter the picture. And notice what the former hiring committee member above said. People need to start being a bit more mature about this sort of thing and using there common sense instead of relying on TLS hearsay. If your 1L grades meant EVERYTHING during the recruiting phase (and I'm sure you know they did) why wouldn't they continue to matter?

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Let me just take this as an opportunity to point out one of the biggest fallacies on this website---that 2L grades don't matter when it comes to getting an offer. THEY DEFINITELY DO. As I found out first hand this summer they are very important. Maybe they aren't in a market where the firms have massive summer class sizes (like 70) etc. But other than that they definitely matter. They don't matter more than work product but if a cut needs to be made and the work product between 2 associates is equal, grades definitely enter the picture. And notice what the former hiring committee member above said. People need to start being a bit more mature about this sort of thing and using there common sense instead of relying on TLS hearsay. If your 1L grades meant EVERYTHING during the recruiting phase (and I'm sure you know they did) why wouldn't they continue to matter?


Because they get to see your actual work product?

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby RVP11 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:26 pm

No, the common wisdom is correct.

2L grades don't matter...if you're at a good firm. Sucks for you bros who aren't. And LOL at the idea that 1L is just a "skirmish." If you go to a good school and get a 2L SA with a good firm, it's the entire war.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby keg411 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:28 pm

RVP11 wrote:No, the common wisdom is correct.

2L grades don't matter...if you're at a good firm. Sucks for you bros who aren't.


My firm didn't even ask for 2L grades. The only thing a partner suggested was don't let them fall too far because firms hiring laterals are starting to ask for transcripts.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:34 pm

Firm asked for grades a couple weeks before end of summer. Then, managing partner specifically mentioned them when I was saying good-bye at end of summer, after offer.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:36 pm

Appreciate everyone's responses. Harsh and honest is good. I honestly never even worried about grades, my work product has gotten good reviews all summer. This seems to be the only thing I fucked up. But now I'm worried that the grades plus the fuck up will be enough.

Does anybody have any anecdotes at least about people with a bad review still getting an offer? That would be nice :D

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:38 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Let me just take this as an opportunity to point out one of the biggest fallacies on this website---that 2L grades don't matter when it comes to getting an offer. THEY DEFINITELY DO. As I found out first hand this summer they are very important. Maybe they aren't in a market where the firms have massive summer class sizes (like 70) etc. But other than that they definitely matter. They don't matter more than work product but if a cut needs to be made and the work product between 2 associates is equal, grades definitely enter the picture. And notice what the former hiring committee member above said. People need to start being a bit more mature about this sort of thing and using there common sense instead of relying on TLS hearsay. If your 1L grades meant EVERYTHING during the recruiting phase (and I'm sure you know they did) why wouldn't they continue to matter?


Because they get to see your actual work product?


That's fine if you're at a firm that always gives 100 percent offers regardless, as I stated. But if you're not and everyone's work product is fine--guess what pops up next?

RVP11 wrote:No, the common wisdom is correct.

2L grades don't matter...if you're at a good firm. Sucks for you bros who aren't. And LOL at the idea that 1L is just a "skirmish." If you go to a good school and get a 2L SA with a good firm, it's the entire war.


LMAO priceless. I'm glad that you took the time to help out current 2L summers with that. OP think about these sort of "mature" responses to your question and how they were the one's that you used to determine whether grades mattered after 1L or not. My firm specifically asked for them right before the end of the summer program and a partner told me that, assuming no work product problems, the firm just prefers to give offers out to the most qualified as determined by grades first. Also on the lateral market grades are very important at the associate level. Many lateral opportunities are now specifically commenting that "outstanding" or not worse than top 25% are required. But you can always rely on TLS "conventional wisdom" if you'd like.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby keg411 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:LMAO priceless. I'm glad that you took the time to help out current 2L summers with that. OP think about these sort of "mature" responses to your question and how they were the one's that you used to determine whether grades mattered after 1L or not. My firm specifically asked for them right before the end of the summer program and a partner told me that, assuming no work product problems, the firm just prefers to give offers out to the most qualified as determined by grades first. Also on the lateral market grades are very important at the associate level. Many lateral opportunities are now specifically commenting that "outstanding" or not worse than top 25% are required. But you can always rely on TLS "conventional wisdom" if you'd like.


I agree somewhat with the lateral part, but the bolded makes me think you work at a TTT gunner firm.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Appreciate everyone's responses. Harsh and honest is good. I honestly never even worried about grades, my work product has gotten good reviews all summer. This seems to be the only thing I fucked up. But now I'm worried that the grades plus the fuck up will be enough.

Does anybody have any anecdotes at least about people with a bad review still getting an offer? That would be nice :D


I had to completely redo an assignment last summer after turning in what was considered a lackluster work product. Had done very strong work the rest of the time, but (a) didn't like the project, (b) didn't like the partner, and (c) didn't understand what was actually being asked of me (part of the reason for a and b). Oh, and my grades had dropped, from top 15% to closer to top 40%.

I redid the project how they asked and took the blame for failing to understand the assignment. Ended up getting an offer after the end of the summer (they didn't even say anything about my grades). V20 firm known for giving offers to nearly all, but not every, summer.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby RVP11 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My firm specifically asked for them right before the end of the summer program and a partner told me that, assuming no work product problems, the firm just prefers to give offers out to the most qualified as determined by grades first.


If this was in any summer other than the summer of 2009 - when many firms were forced to no-offer people - then you work at a firm that takes more summers than it can give offers to. Sounds like a firm with poor judgment (and pretty TTT) to me.

Anonymous User wrote:Also on the lateral market grades are very important at the associate level. Many lateral opportunities are now specifically commenting that "outstanding" or not worse than top 25% are required. But you can always rely on TLS "conventional wisdom" if you'd like.


No one is saying grades are totally unimportant for lateraling. The conventional wisdom is just that (1) the firm you're lateraling from, and (2) your law school, matter more than your grades.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:04 pm

Former hiring committee member back....

RVP11 wrote: If you go to a good school and get a 2L SA with a good firm, it's the entire war.


I suspect it's generally true that most firms don't look at 2L grades. This common wisdom likely stems from the fact that the vast majority of SAs from strong schools with good grades do well in the summer. If someone is in that situation, why look at 2L grades?

But, OP's situation is different. Once there was reason to be concerned, my firm started looking deeper. One easy step is to look at 2L grades. Do all firms do this? I have no idea. Did ours? Yes, if someone was a close call. Most importantly, OP's firm looked, so apparently it mattered.

Again, good luck OP. I hope it works out for you.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby somewhatwayward » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Former hiring committee member here.

Subjective answer: I would probably no-offer you. It's not so much the bad review, but the combination of the bad review and the grades. To me, the bad review can go either way (Is the associate well-respected? Or is s/he less well respected? How did you respond: with excuses, or with credible assurances that it wouldn't happen again? Was it an obvious mistake or something any 2L might miss?) The grades are much more indicative of poor judgment. You thought you'd won the war, when in fact all you did was fare well in a skirmish. I'd worry that if we hired you, you'd win a summary judgment defense and fail to prep for trial because you thought you won the day. ITE, we can hire someone just like you, but with better maturity.

Objective answer: Depends on a lot of factors, such as....

1. How were your other reviews? Did others gush about you, or were they just "meh"?
2. Are you a top prospect (i.e. strong "grades" at HYS) or someone who was lucky to get the SA position (i.e. median at non-T14)?
3. How did you respond? What most 2Ls would say: "Excuses, excuses, excuses." What I want to hear: "Here's how I'm going to fix this. My law school offers an 'advanced legal research class.' I'll take that and make sure this never happens again."
4. What's the firm culture? Gunners or relaxed?

I don't mean to be harsh, just honest. Hope it helps you prepare for the future or, if there's time, to say the right things. Good luck. Learn from this experience.


i'm a little skeptical that you're not just trolling us. i agree that it is stupid to let your grades slide during 2L (as i mentioned in my first post in this thread).....and it is much easier to get good grades 2L year because people aren't gunning as hard and because you can take some classes with easier curves.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:49 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I really doubt one bad review will sink you, especially at a 99% firm. But the fact that they only harped on the negatives in your review is more disconcerting. This may just be a sign that they don't like you period.


I'm trying to be totally honest with myself and I really don't think that's the case. I have pretty good relationships with everyone. Talking to other summers, they got negative feedback as well. Maybe for this round of reviews they're just not being overly positive?

pasteurizedmilk wrote:Is that senior associate generally nice to you? know anything about his/her reputation? if s/he desn't have a bad reputation try to get more work with them and do well this time.

also how did you mess up. your firm has a library and you have an associate mentor and other summer associates. you should not have messed up given all the resources available to you.


I've been trying to figure him out all summer actually. He is kind of moody and seems to get annoyed easily. But he's also taken me to lunch a few times and we've gotten along well. I don't know what his reputation is generally. I can't really get more work from him because my last day is tomorrow and they're telling us not to take on new assignments.

As far as how I messed up, it's hard to explain. I was basically looking for how to do something complicated with regards to a sale. Associate told me to figure it out and mentioned that there should be city or county laws governing it. I could not find anything for my city but found the perfect answer for a different city in the same county. When he asked for an update on the research, that was the best I had at the time. Not good enough apparently. I did ask my mentors and other summers, but it never occured to me to call the librarian. I probably should've done that.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Former hiring committee member here.

Subjective answer: I would probably no-offer you. It's not so much the bad review, but the combination of the bad review and the grades. To me, the bad review can go either way (Is the associate well-respected? Or is s/he less well respected? How did you respond: with excuses, or with credible assurances that it wouldn't happen again? Was it an obvious mistake or something any 2L might miss?) The grades are much more indicative of poor judgment. You thought you'd won the war, when in fact all you did was fare well in a skirmish. I'd worry that if we hired you, you'd win a summary judgment defense and fail to prep for trial because you thought you won the day. ITE, we can hire someone just like you, but with better maturity.

Objective answer: Depends on a lot of factors, such as....

1. How were your other reviews? Did others gush about you, or were they just "meh"?
2. Are you a top prospect (i.e. strong "grades" at HYS) or someone who was lucky to get the SA position (i.e. median at non-T14)?
3. How did you respond? What most 2Ls would say: "Excuses, excuses, excuses." What I want to hear: "Here's how I'm going to fix this. My law school offers an 'advanced legal research class.' I'll take that and make sure this never happens again."
4. What's the firm culture? Gunners or relaxed?

I don't mean to be harsh, just honest. Hope it helps you prepare for the future or, if there's time, to say the right things. Good luck. Learn from this experience.


Appreciate the response. Don't know how I could really learn from the experience if I get no-offered though. My career would probably be over before it started. As for the questions

1. Midsummer reviews were gushing. I don't know how the other reviews since then have been because they only talked about this negative one.
2. Not a top prospect at all. Was top 10% at a T1 school. Still at about top third. Law review. Nothing special
3. I don't think my response was great because I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach. Explained the situation. I don't think I came off as too defensive but who even knows. I didn't say it will never happen again, I should have.
4. Culture is VERY laid back. Not gunnerish at all

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby RVP11 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Former hiring committee member here.

Subjective answer: I would probably no-offer you. It's not so much the bad review, but the combination of the bad review and the grades. To me, the bad review can go either way (Is the associate well-respected? Or is s/he less well respected? How did you respond: with excuses, or with credible assurances that it wouldn't happen again? Was it an obvious mistake or something any 2L might miss?) The grades are much more indicative of poor judgment. You thought you'd won the war, when in fact all you did was fare well in a skirmish. I'd worry that if we hired you, you'd win a summary judgment defense and fail to prep for trial because you thought you won the day. ITE, we can hire someone just like you, but with better maturity.

Objective answer: Depends on a lot of factors, such as....

1. How were your other reviews? Did others gush about you, or were they just "meh"?
2. Are you a top prospect (i.e. strong "grades" at HYS) or someone who was lucky to get the SA position (i.e. median at non-T14)?
3. How did you respond? What most 2Ls would say: "Excuses, excuses, excuses." What I want to hear: "Here's how I'm going to fix this. My law school offers an 'advanced legal research class.' I'll take that and make sure this never happens again."
4. What's the firm culture? Gunners or relaxed?

I don't mean to be harsh, just honest. Hope it helps you prepare for the future or, if there's time, to say the right things. Good luck. Learn from this experience.


Appreciate the response. Don't know how I could really learn from the experience if I get no-offered though. My career would probably be over before it started. As for the questions

1. Midsummer reviews were gushing. I don't know how the other reviews since then have been because they only talked about this negative one.
2. Not a top prospect at all. Was top 10% at a T1 school. Still at about top third. Law review. Nothing special
3. I don't think my response was great because I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach. Explained the situation. I don't think I came off as too defensive but who even knows. I didn't say it will never happen again, I should have.
4. Culture is VERY laid back. Not gunnerish at all


At a firm with a 99% offer rate, you will still get an offer.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:34 pm

Former hiring committee here.... The updated info paints a less negative picture. Most importantly, the research assignment was far from a total airball (putting in the effort to get info from another city was good), you've had other gushing reviews, and it's a laid-back firm with a high offer rate. Keep your chin up.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:05 pm

There are only two firms in Chicago with enough SAs to say that they give 99% but not 100%. being at a firm that gives 14/15 ain't 99%.

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Re: Bad feedback from senior associate - no offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:15 pm

Desert Fox wrote:There are only two firms in Chicago with enough SAs to say that they give 99% but not 100%. being at a firm that gives 14/15 ain't 99%.


I meant firmwide. In this office last year was 100%




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