Quick primer on different Southern CBs

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rad lulz
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Quick primer on different Southern CBs

Postby rad lulz » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:14 am

When I was a young 2L and was doing OCI, I assumed CBs would be like this:

thesealocust wrote:The standard (from which most deviate at least slightly) would be 4 interviews, 30 minutes each


However, down in the South, I've found that the CBs tend to be quite a bit longer and with more variation. In general, the bigger a firm's class, the more you will see CBs like the above. But for firms with smaller classes who are looking for that perfect fit, I've seen some important variation rarely discussed on TLS.

Of all my CBs, only 2 CBs I had were 4 hours-ish and lunch. All others went significantly longer and/or had dinner/drinks/cocktail components. I interviewed in 5 separate Southern markets and had a whole messa CBs. See the following:

The Superday

Oh the super day. These are weird. Basically the firm, instead of separating people and calling them back over separate days or using some other method to keep people segregated will call back a bunch of people in one day. You will end up waiting with these people for things or having a cocktail party or other type of mixer with them. This is common, and it's weird, because you see exactly what the competition is and you will end up interacting with these people. Sometimes interviewers ask questions to the group. These interviews tend to be longer, and this more tiring, as you have to keep your game face up. These types of interviews from what I've gathered from TLS and my own experience tend to be an almost exclusively Southern phenomenon.

Advice: Don't let the competition get to you. Be cool and social, because you will interact with these people. Don't treat other candidates like competition, though they are. Be polite and whatnot. Don't let the presence of competition interfere too much with your mental ability to quality social interactions with firm people.

Long ass CBs

When firms aren't calling back a fuckton of people, they have the luxury of having longer CBs. Longest continuous one I've had was 7 hours, from a noon lunch until 7 pm. I had planned on ending at 5. Some will want you to come up the day before and have dinner with firm people, and then a CB and lunch later the next day. Some will have a drinking component. Longest I've even had was morning interviews, lunch, and more interviews, for a total of like 5-6 hours. There was a cocktail party later with all the candidates, and then dinner. Finally got done at like 11:15. It was insane. I was exhausted.

Advice: Do your best to be perky, even though you're getting the same Qs and asking the same Qs over and over. Still prepare for all the interviewers, though it's a damn pain. Don't get too drunk. If the attorneys do expect you to get drunk though, by all means feel free to do so. I know you, the reader, are an asspie TLSer, but try to suppress that and be cool. Ignore CSO advice to "just have 2 drinks" or whatever when it's applicable. Stay on your toes. Less structured social interactions are less predictable, as opposed to just asking the same stock questions in a 20-30 minute CB segment.

sgoodman
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Re: Quick primer on different Southern CBs

Postby sgoodman » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:44 am

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Last edited by sgoodman on Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

letsdoit
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Re: Quick primer on different Southern CBs

Postby letsdoit » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:47 am

This is very helpful, thanks rad.

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akili
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Re: Quick primer on different Southern CBs

Postby akili » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:51 am

Thanks rad!

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jeeptiger09
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Re: Quick primer on different Southern CBs

Postby jeeptiger09 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:59 am

I would pretty much co-sign on everything that rad said. Some of those marathon interviews (superdays) are round-robin type interviews, so you have to reset after every interview and prepare to start over (finding a new way to connect with someone, a different talking point, etc.). This can be difficult but solved with easy preparation. Then, when you have the big group lunch or cocktail party, make a concerted effort to talking with attorneys you did not interview with. Can make a huge difference.

sgoodman wrote:Thanks for this. As for the interviews themselves, did you notice anything different about them, like specific aspects that southern firms tend to focus on? I'm guessing ties to location would be a big one. Do you think there is any way to get around not having strong ties at cities like Nashville/Bham/etc...


There's no way to get around it--you have ties or you don't. But if you don't, try to mitigate the damage by doing homework on the area and finding good reasons for the inevitable "why Nash/Bham/etc." Sucks because there's no perfect answer, but at least having a basic knowledge of the area makes you sound more prepared/interested.

r6_philly
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Re: Quick primer on different Southern CBs

Postby r6_philly » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:36 am

Thanks!

Do they apply to pure southern firms or national firms' southern offices as well?

rad lulz
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Re: Quick primer on different Southern CBs

Postby rad lulz » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:49 am

r6_philly wrote:Thanks!

Do they apply to pure southern firms or national firms' southern offices as well?

Bigtex firms have been known to do super days (I guess they could be "national" firms). I had at least one CB with a national firm witha Southern office that did the dinner -> CB -> lunch variant. Hard to make a generalization, but generally different offices do their own hiring, and the people in these Southern offices of natioanl firms are Southerners, not Yankees.

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Hodgy
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Re: Quick primer on different Southern CBs

Postby Hodgy » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:54 pm

jeeptiger09 wrote:I would pretty much co-sign on everything that rad said. Some of those marathon interviews (superdays) are round-robin type interviews, so you have to reset after every interview and prepare to start over (finding a new way to connect with someone, a different talking point, etc.). This can be difficult but solved with easy preparation. Then, when you have the big group lunch or cocktail party, make a concerted effort to talking with attorneys you did not interview with. Can make a huge difference.


Pretty much this.

Although, I found my most common CB to be: 3 30min interviews - lunch with 2-4 attorneys (mostly associates) - 3 more 30min interviews. Where the 30min interviews included 2 different attorneys (usually 1 partner and 1 of the partner's associates).

And, no matter how much preparation you do with the provided interview schedule, that schedule will change. I found that the most difficult part.

Most interviews would progress this way: "shooting the shit" (5 min); questions about extracurriculars - journal, clubs, things that indicate you're doing more than just going to class and taking exams (5 min); questions about location, "why x market", and practice area interests (10 min); your questions (last 10 min).




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