Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:19 pm

Couple questions regarding family connections. I'm top 15% at a Top 20 school and have a number of close family members who are attorneys in the area I want to work. They've offered to make phone calls to the partners they know at the firms I interview with at OCI. The career office said this might come off across poorly at some firms if partners are pushing my résumé to the recruiting coordinator or hiring committee before I even interview. I don't wanna come across as entitled because I worked hard and have good grades and a solid résumé and I'm confident I could get something on my own. At the same time if these connections can help me I don't want to not utilize them. I'm not interested in firms looking for students at the very top of my class so all the firms I'm interested in I either exceed their grade requirements by a lot or meet them.

The connections run from the relative being a former partner at a firm and office i want (left on good terms), one of my relatives was the general counsel of a large fortune 500 company that utilized another firm for a lot of their legal work, and the other connections range from simply being friends with partners in the office I want to being good friends with the global managing partner of a firm.

So what's the consensus on this? My gut says to use the connections if I have them and that's what my relatives think too but the career office is making me think twice.

NYstate
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby NYstate » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:56 pm

So when does your career office think you should use them? When would be a better time- after you get a callback?


I would let the people with connections decide when and how to use them. Trust their judgement not career services.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:49 pm

It can vary wildly from firm to firm, in my experience. I used to work at a big firm with a very large summer class. I was there prior to law school for over 3 years, had stellar reviews, and a promotion. I've maintained a good relationship with my former boss, so she passed along my resume and got me a screener. Afterwards we had lunch, and she told me the head of the hiring committee had told her that don't hire top 1/3 from my top40 school. I basically already knew this (as I used to work for an attorney on the hiring committee), but it still sucked.

Meanwhile, my dad has an old childhood friend who is very senior at a different Biglaw firm who seems to be recruiting me pretty heavily. I'm lucky my dad is such a great guy, haha.

I don't think I'm I'm their typical grade/school range, but the key is there are things to sell to the hiring committee: my school and grades aren't atrocious; I'm on law review; I have a couple CALIs; I externed for a judge (they put this type of stuff on attorney bios); the firm I used to work for is a client of theirs (and my boss from the old firm put in a good word); and I told an anecdote at our first meeting that made them think I would be good at bringing in clients eventually.

I think connections can definitely help and even allow a person to outperform his or her numbers. BUT the connection will still have to sell the person.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:00 pm

From knowledge/experience:

Firm A: partner can guarantee me a screener, the rest is up to me
Firm B: partner can get me a callback, no guaranteed job
Firm C: partner is global head of X practice, can, but won't, bypass screener/callback, but still needs OK from the hiring committee.

My understanding is that it helps to a certain degree, depending on the partner and the firm, but the decision is still in the hands of the hiring committee

bdubs
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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby bdubs » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:one of my relatives was the general counsel of a large fortune 500 company that utilized another firm for a lot of their legal work

My gut says to use the connections if I have them and that's what my relatives think too but the career office is making me think twice.


The only one that I think is particularly relevant is the GC, but probably only if they are still in that position (use of the past tense makes me think they're not).

Why don't you tell your relatives (all of them) to wait until after you get bid results and mass mail responses. If you're still worried about getting a response for a screener or sealing the deal on a CB that you're starting to worry about then you can ask them to make a call on your behalf.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:56 pm

I can confirm this 100% DOES happen at V100 firms. In my current SA class, there are 2 summers who both attend TTTT schools, probably have decent grades, but are there because of their parents. 1 is the daughter of the general counsel of a major client and the other is the niece/granddaughter/something of the head of some institutional client.

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Re: Big Law Hiring from Personal Connection- is this a thing?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:52 pm

NYstate wrote:So when does your career office think you should use them? When would be a better time- after you get a callback?


I would let the people with connections decide when and how to use them. Trust their judgement not career services.


Career services suggested dropping the name during the cover letter or interview. I think I'm just going to leave it up to my relatives and the people they know at the various firms.




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