DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

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tengorazon
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DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:47 am

Doing a bit of work from home today. Originally came to see what you kids were talking about these days, but saw so much misinformation re: DC firms that I thought I'd take questions for a bit.

For starters, Hogan and A&P are perfectly fine firms and solidly within the top tier in DC. I don't work for either but know people at both.

Anonymous User
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:49 am

I think the biggest thing you could help with is talk about the realistic grade expectations of DC firms, and also what sorts of softs/WE are actually impressive to you. Lots of people with some Hill experience seem to think they have DC in the bag, but I am skeptical.

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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:50 am

I've heard DC firms care more about journal compared to NYC firms. True?

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think the biggest thing you could help with is talk about the realistic grade expectations of DC firms, and also what sorts of softs/WE are actually impressive to you. Lots of people with some Hill experience seem to think they have DC in the bag, but I am skeptical.


At my firm (generally among the most selective), grades are very important, but not the only consideration. Grades will get you in the door but will not get you an offer. Once you've made the cut, softs play a large role, particularly your interviews. Interviewers are looking for people with whom they might actually want to have an extended conversation. It also helps to have a clear reason for wanting to work at the firm. I don't particularly care about Hill experience over other types of jobs. There are some very interesting people in the t14 (where I interview) who have done very interesting things; Hill experience is among the less interesting. (Though if the Hill experience put you in touch with an influential partner, that could be to your advantage.)

Anonymous User wrote:I've heard DC firms care more about journal compared to NYC firms. True?


More? I suppose that depends on which firms you're talking about. Journal certainly helps.

Anonymous User
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:03 am

One of the reasons I want to work at a DC firm (and this holds true for all of the DC firms I bid on) is that they offer an opportunity to work on issues relating to the federal government and regulatory affairs, which is rare or nonexistent in other markets. However, I am a little worried about expressing so much enthusiasm for this aspect of DC practice that the interviewer thinks I will jump ship for a government job at the earliest opportunity. What is your experience what this phenomenon? Am I overthinking it?

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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:09 am

This isn't really a DC specific question, but I'll ask since you do OCIs: if a person with far below median grades gets preselected to interview with you, is it safe to assume that the firm is willing to look past the grades if the interview goes well?

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:One of the reasons I want to work at a DC firm (and this holds true for all of the DC firms I bid on) is that they offer an opportunity to work on issues relating to the federal government and regulatory affairs, which is rare or nonexistent in other markets. However, I am a little worried about expressing so much enthusiasm for this aspect of DC practice that the interviewer thinks I will jump ship for a government job at the earliest opportunity. What is your experience what this phenomenon? Am I overthinking it?


I think it's fine to express an interest in regulatory work at a firm that has a strong regulatory practice. However, I would also mention some of the other work that the firm does. I think the worry would be less about your jumping ship and more about whether you'd be the right fit the group, and if not, the firm (does the regulatory group utilize summers? You're only a 2L, so how do you know that you will actually like regulatory work in practice rather than in theory? What will you do if you don't like reg work or the reg group doesn't like you?). Better to express an interest in regulatory work but openness to other areas than to exhibit a myopic focus on regulatory work (this goes for most practice areas except for "litigation" and "corporate" in broad strokes).

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:This isn't really a DC specific question, but I'll ask since you do OCIs: if a person with far below median grades gets preselected to interview with you, is it safe to assume that the firm is willing to look past the grades if the interview goes well?


If the interview goes so well that the interviewer is willing to fight for you in the hiring committee meeting, yes. But the odds will not be in your favor if the firm normally selects students with top grades. Good softs will also help.

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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:15 am

Vandy/Texas student with top 20% grades and LR here. What firms will give me a solid look? I've interned for more than 1 federal agency and a couple of DC-based non-profits/lobby groups.

Thanks for taking questions!

PlessFightsFire
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby PlessFightsFire » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:22 am

This may not be a question for you but I'll ask it anyway. If you name someone as an alternate does it make sense for them to send a resume and cover letter (mass mail) to your recruiter?

Logic being that grades and resume were of interest to your firm so might make sense to try backdoor method,

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:Vandy/Texas student with top 20% grades and LR here. What firms will give me a solid look? I've interned for more than 1 federal agency and a couple of DC-based non-profits/lobby groups.

Thanks for taking questions!


I don't think you'd be excluded from any of them except ones like Jenner that only interview at 6 schools.

Anonymous User
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:23 am

tengorazon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:One of the reasons I want to work at a DC firm (and this holds true for all of the DC firms I bid on) is that they offer an opportunity to work on issues relating to the federal government and regulatory affairs, which is rare or nonexistent in other markets. However, I am a little worried about expressing so much enthusiasm for this aspect of DC practice that the interviewer thinks I will jump ship for a government job at the earliest opportunity. What is your experience what this phenomenon? Am I overthinking it?


I think it's fine to express an interest in regulatory work at a firm that has a strong regulatory practice. However, I would also mention some of the other work that the firm does. I think the worry would be less about your jumping ship and more about whether you'd be the right fit the group, and if not, the firm (does the regulatory group utilize summers? You're only a 2L, so how do you know that you will actually like regulatory work in practice rather than in theory? What will you do if you don't like reg work or the reg group doesn't like you?). Better to express an interest in regulatory work but openness to other areas than to exhibit a myopic focus on regulatory work (this goes for most practice areas except for "litigation" and "corporate" in broad strokes).


So you should commit to one, or can you say you'd be willing to do either with a bigger interest in one?

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:24 am

PlessFightsFire wrote:This may not be a question for you but I'll ask it anyway. If you name someone as an alternate does it make sense for them to send a resume and cover letter (mass mail) to your recruiter?

Logic being that grades and resume were of interest to your firm so might make sense to try backdoor method,


What's an alternate? Some schools let you designate someone else to take your place?

Anonymous User
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:25 am

Along those lines, what's your general impression of a student who's sure he wants to litigate, but is unsure of a specific practice area? I have 2 or 3 that interest me, but just am not prepared to commit to that degree...

Anonymous User
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:26 am

If I PM you my resume will you forward it to the recruiting department?

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
tengorazon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:One of the reasons I want to work at a DC firm (and this holds true for all of the DC firms I bid on) is that they offer an opportunity to work on issues relating to the federal government and regulatory affairs, which is rare or nonexistent in other markets. However, I am a little worried about expressing so much enthusiasm for this aspect of DC practice that the interviewer thinks I will jump ship for a government job at the earliest opportunity. What is your experience what this phenomenon? Am I overthinking it?


I think it's fine to express an interest in regulatory work at a firm that has a strong regulatory practice. However, I would also mention some of the other work that the firm does. I think the worry would be less about your jumping ship and more about whether you'd be the right fit the group, and if not, the firm (does the regulatory group utilize summers? You're only a 2L, so how do you know that you will actually like regulatory work in practice rather than in theory? What will you do if you don't like reg work or the reg group doesn't like you?). Better to express an interest in regulatory work but openness to other areas than to exhibit a myopic focus on regulatory work (this goes for most practice areas except for "litigation" and "corporate" in broad strokes).


So you should commit to one, or can you say you'd be willing to do either with a bigger interest in one?


Depends on the firm. If you're interviewing with Hogan, either is fine. If you're interviewing with W&C, saying you're open to corporate will probably get you dinged.

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:Along those lines, what's your general impression of a student who's sure he wants to litigate, but is unsure of a specific practice area? I have 2 or 3 that interest me, but just am not prepared to commit to that degree...


You're a 2L. No one really expects you to know what you want (90% of you will probably say "appellate litigation"). Saying you're generally interested in lit, with a few areas that seem interesting in particular, is fine (provided the firm does work in those areas).

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:If I PM you my resume will you forward it to the recruiting department?


Sorry, no.

McQueen
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby McQueen » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:31 am

Is it misinformation:

DC hiring is nearly nill (way beyond the normal ITE challenges of most markets). Meaning, bidding DC is viewed as a wasted bid.

Little chance for a median-ish T14 candidate.

EDIT: My understanding of the term T14 means, we're not talking HYS or CCNP because they have their own classification.
Last edited by McQueen on Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:34 am

McQueen wrote:Is it misinformation:

DC hiring is nearly nill (way beyond the normal ITE challenges of most markets). Meaning, bidding DC is viewed as a wasted bid.

Little chance for a median-ish T14 candidate.


I don't know of any major firm that is not hiring. Median t14 probably would be a waste at my firm, but I wouldn't write off DC entirely.

Anonymous User
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:43 am

How important are ties in reality? I have no ties to any of the major markets (I have not even been to S.F./N.Y./D.C.), but is it sufficient to just say I'm interested in the firm/office and don't necessarily care about the city?

MoonshineJoe
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby MoonshineJoe » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:43 am

Any advice for T14 graduates in DC still looking for a job? Obviously OCI is a different game, but I would appreciate any insight.

tengorazon
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby tengorazon » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:How important are ties in reality? I have no ties to any of the major markets (I have not even been to S.F./N.Y./D.C.), but is it sufficient to just say I'm interested in the firm/office and don't necessarily care about the city?


No, you should have a reason for wanting to be in the city (except perhaps for NYC). Say what you propose, but then throw in some positives about DC.

MoonshineJoe wrote:Any advice for T14 graduates in DC still looking for a job? Obviously OCI is a different game, but I would appreciate any insight.


It's rough out there. I know people from the t14 who were laid off in 2008-09 and who are still looking for jobs. Be persistent and open is all I can say. Best of luck to you.

Anonymous User
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:28 pm

Ever think you got yield protected from a lower ranked firm?

risingamerican_2l
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Re: DC Associate/OCI Interviewer taking ?s

Postby risingamerican_2l » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:57 pm

How much do firms value working at a prestigious federal government agency? How should I spin my experience in the fed govt to my advantage?




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