No-offered summer associate. FML

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rayiner
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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby rayiner » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Maybe this is just bias, but I can't imagine firms no offer for reasons like this. Who would get an offer? Unless you are at firms who do 50% each year, this can't be the only reason.

It may be the only reason they tell you, but there has to be another. Even if it's that the firm can't afford it.


it doesn't really matter what the real reason is. the point is that this story and others in this thread go against "common wisdom" on TLS that to get no-offered, you either 1) have to really fuck up assignments; or 2) have major social/aspie problems. here, none of these elements were apparently present.


I think (from observation) that doing sub-par work and having social problems are the major reason people get no-offered. Not the only reason--politics, economics, luck, etc, can all play a role, but those two are the major reasons.


Are that many SAs truly capable of doing work that can't be criticized?

Just a hunch, but I think economics plays a bigger role in all of this. Dewey went under, there is good reason to believe that a NYC-based V20 recently laid off first-year associates, M&A work is down, a Texas Big 3 firm continues to lift its skirt for anybody willing to talk merger, GT just made that capital call. And that's just the stuff we know about. Sure, any one of these issues can be explained in isolation, but it appears to me some firms are struggling right now.

FWIW, I spent my second-half at a market-paying lit boutique (2-5 SAs). During recruitment, they boasted about their near 100% offer rate, and made it clear that fit is what they look for. During the second week, the hiring partner took the SAs out to lunch. He told us that the firm might not make offers to all of us because business has been slow for the past six months. He apologized for the situation, and then strongly hinted that any of us who did not get an offer from our first-half firm would get an offer from the lit boutique.

bdubs wrote:"Good" reviews are subjective. No one wants to give mainly negative feedback. When feedback is mixed, i.e. this is good, but x, y, and z need improvement, that can be a sign of a negative perception. Most people will actually strive to give mixed feedback, but its key to distinguis whether they had to struggle to come up with things to do better, or if they had to stretch to find the positives. I imagine some K-JDs are probably going to have a hard time distinguishing because they've never received feedback from anyone who wasn't a professor.


+1.


If you see 2 no-offers in 5 SA's, I think it's fair to chalk it up to economics. But if you're looking at 2 out of 30, then it's not likely to be economics. At least the last couple of years, it's the latter we've been seeing. Remember, offer rates the last couple of years have been higher in the V100 than they were during the boom. Those no offers in 2006, even at the higher level they were, weren't economic.

As for mixed feedback, one of the classical management techniques is to actually preface bad feedback with positive feedback. Another technique is to give one point of positive feedback for every negative point. I can see SA's who have never had a job before think there getting good feedback when they're not.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby romothesavior » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yup. And it's a response to Romo's "figure out what you did wrong, bro," post. Even though you may ask, either the straight up answer may be nonsensical, or they might not tell you the real reason, so that's not helpful either.

I wasn't calling anyone out or anything, and I know firms are sometimes cryptic about no-offers. But a lot of people are saying, "Got no-offered for work product but not sure what's up." All I'm saying is people should make sure they ask respectfully for feedback. No need to get defensive, bro.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:32 pm

rayiner wrote:If you see 2 no-offers in 5 SA's, I think it's fair to chalk it up to economics. But if you're looking at 2 out of 30, then it's not likely to be economics. At least the last couple of years, it's the latter we've been seeing. Remember, offer rates the last couple of years have been higher in the V100 than they were during the boom. Those no offers in 2006, even at the higher level they were, weren't economic.


Prior anon. Again, I don't pretend to have the answers here, nor am I entrenched in any position.

I think it's tough to say if 2 out of 30 is economic or not. From 2008 to 2010, the NLJ250 lawyer headcount dropped from ~133k to ~126k. We know most of that reduction was economic, but it was well below 10% of all NLJ250 lawyers. I guess the point that I'm making is that if firms are struggling the reduction in the offer rate does necessarily have to be a huge number. Combined with some of the other things we know, it isn't unreasonable to at least entertain the idea that some of these no-offers are economically motivated.

We'll probably know more about this after 2012 OCI. If firms are struggling, I expect we'll see smaller SA classes.

To be clear, I believe people get no-offered for work product and fit reasons. I also don't expect 100% offer rates. I just think that a strong majority of all SAs could be no offered for some of the reasons discussed in this thread.

As for mixed feedback, one of the classical management techniques is to actually preface bad feedback with positive feedback. Another technique is to give one point of positive feedback for every negative point. I can see SA's who have never had a job before think there getting good feedback when they're not.


I agree with this. I was the person giving feedback in my pre-LS career and that's exactly what I did.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby rayiner » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:If you see 2 no-offers in 5 SA's, I think it's fair to chalk it up to economics. But if you're looking at 2 out of 30, then it's not likely to be economics. At least the last couple of years, it's the latter we've been seeing. Remember, offer rates the last couple of years have been higher in the V100 than they were during the boom. Those no offers in 2006, even at the higher level they were, weren't economic.


Prior anon. Again, I don't pretend to have the answers here, nor am I entrenched in any position.

I think it's tough to say if 2 out of 30 is economic or not. From 2008 to 2010, the NLJ250 lawyer headcount dropped from ~133k to ~126k. We know most of that reduction was economic, but it was well below 10% of all NLJ250 lawyers. I guess the point that I'm making is that if firms are struggling the reduction in the offer rate does necessarily have to be a huge number. Combined with some of the other things we know, it isn't unreasonable to at least entertain the idea that some of these no-offers are economically motivated.

We'll probably know more about this after 2012 OCI. If firms are struggling, I expect we'll see smaller SA classes.

To be clear, I believe people get no-offered for work product and fit reasons. I also don't expect 100% offer rates. I just think that a strong majority of all SAs could be no offered for some of the reasons discussed in this thread.

As for mixed feedback, one of the classical management techniques is to actually preface bad feedback with positive feedback. Another technique is to give one point of positive feedback for every negative point. I can see SA's who have never had a job before think there getting good feedback when they're not.


I agree with this. I was the person giving feedback in my pre-LS career and that's exactly what I did.


But to see that 10% reduction in head count was achieved by cutting summer programs by 50-100%, laying off 50% of junior associates at certain firms, etc. Remember, head count is the integral of hiring. You need major reductions in hiring to achieve small changes in head count.

Now, obviously the economy plays some role in hiring always. When the economy is doing really well, voluntary attrition is high and you can afford to bring on an attorney whose work is sub-par. When the economy is bad, there is more scrutiny of every hire. But the idea that the majority of no-offered summer associates acually did solid work and would have gotten offers but for the firm struggling economically is pretty ridiculous when offer rates the last couple of years have been above boom times averages.

Now the proviso is that the above assumes offer rates this year haven't dipped relative to last two years. If they have dipped substantially, then economics becomes a more likely explanation. We'll see in a few months when the NALP data comes out.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:35 pm

From my experience, the quality of summer associates is all over the map. The same goes for everyone else at a firm. By the end of the summer, it's pretty clear who's good and who isn't. Some firms are willing to take the good with the bad; others are not. Considering that the primary hiring metric (grades) has little to do with work in a big firm, this shouldn't be surprising. Hiring based on grades is understandable. There isn't much else to go on. Giving everyone in a class of 50-200 an offer is less so.

I'm sure there are SAs that didn't get an offer for reasons beyond their control. I suspect the typical case is different. There are plenty of smart, well-meaning, hard-working people in law school that aren't cut out for work in a large law firm. Unfortunately, the traits that come with being a poor associate often come with those for not understanding what makes a good associate. Some firms are nice enough to give the bottom quartile time. Others are not.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:55 am

Is it possible that, for economic reasons, firms no-offered a few great candidates in their class whom they knew would accept their offers, reasoning that this might scare some of their offered SAs into looking elsewhere?

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby quakeroats » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it possible that, for economic reasons, firms no-offered a few great candidates in their class whom they knew would accept their offers, reasoning that this might scare some of their offered SAs into looking elsewhere?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqdNe8u-Jsg

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Reprisal » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:09 am

quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it possible that, for economic reasons, firms no-offered a few great candidates in their class whom they knew would accept their offers, reasoning that this might scare some of their offered SAs into looking elsewhere?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqdNe8u-Jsg


Post of the summer

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby EvilClinton » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:59 pm

Bumping this thread to ask those who were no offered to vote in my poll. Thanks.

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=191793

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:50 pm

.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:55 pm

Finally got an email response to mass mail, asking for more info. The conversation ended when I admitted in response to a direct question that I did no get an offer. Despite good qualifications, I feel like a fduckg pariah. Fuck this shit, next time I'm lying. I've yet hear ANY real evidence that firms verify offer status.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Finally got an email response to mass mail, asking for more info. The conversation ended when I admitted in response to a direct question that I did no get an offer. Despite good qualifications, I feel like a fduckg pariah. Fuck this shit, next time I'm lying. I've yet hear ANY real evidence that firms verify offer status.


All you need is one firm to check, and one person from that firm to be enough of a dick to report you to your school, for a note to be put into your record, and a c and f headache you do not want. What's worse, not getting a job at a big firm or never practicing law?

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby sunynp » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:44 pm

Of course they will check your references at some point.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:48 pm

Going through 3LOLci explaining my no offer was a blast.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Lockjaw » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Going through 3LOLci explaining my no offer was a blast.


So did you end up with anything?

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:04 pm

sunynp wrote:Of course they will check your references at some point.

Doesn't mean the firm will say whether I got an offer. Sorry, but this is just a variation of conventional tls wisdom passing as actual knowledge. I'm a looking for actual evidence that firms do give out this info and so far, zip. What I DO know for fact is that one person who actually knows what they are talking about, a recruiter, said that info is not given out. But that's just one person so far.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Tanicius » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sunynp wrote:Of course they will check your references at some point.

Doesn't mean the firm will say whether I got an offer. Sorry, but this is just a variation of conventional tls wisdom passing as actual knowledge. I'm a looking for actual evidence that firms do give out this info and so far, zip. What I DO know for fact is that one person who actually knows what they are talking about, a recruiter, said that info is not given out. But that's just one person so far.


That's also just one firm. Why don't you ask your firm and find this out? It's kind of important.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:15 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
sunynp wrote:Of course they will check your references at some point.

Doesn't mean the firm will say whether I got an offer. Sorry, but this is just a variation of conventional tls wisdom passing as actual knowledge. I'm a looking for actual evidence that firms do give out this info and so far, zip. What I DO know for fact is that one person who actually knows what they are talking about, a recruiter, said that info is not given out. But that's just one person so far.


That's also just one firm. Why don't you ask your firm and find this out? It's kind of important.

I tried. I had been hesitant to (pride...), but when I actually got the question, I picked up the phone and called 3 different persons from recruiting. None of them picked up. I had to answer the email so I took a deep breath and told the truth. Next week I'm definitely asking.

Im just pissed because I know I would have gotten a CB otherwise. My resume and experience are geared toward a narrow field. I can't do anything else. The upside is that I am an attractive candidate in that field. The downside is that there aren't a ton of firms in that field so every chance I blow counts. Sorry just venting. But that why we have this thread.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:44 pm

rayiner wrote:If you see 2 no-offers in 5 SA's, I think it's fair to chalk it up to economics. But if you're looking at 2 out of 30, then it's not likely to be economics. At least the last couple of years, it's the latter we've been seeing. Remember, offer rates the last couple of years have been higher in the V100 than they were during the boom. Those no offers in 2006, even at the higher level they were, weren't economic.


I'm not sure this is really the case. At the very least, I'm certain that this is not always the case. If a firm is paying incoming associates $160k/year - factor in bonuses, bar stipends and benefits packages, and you're talking about $200k/year - then a firm no-offering 2 out of 30 saves $400k/year. That might not sound like much in the context of a large law firm, but it could nevertheless reflect a calculation that the amount of work coming into the firm simply doesn't require an extra $400k/year of help.

Particularly in current economic conditions, $400k/year is nothing to sneeze at for a firm that is wary of its bottom line.

(I'm posting anonymously because my stance pretty clearly outs me as a no-offered SA. If I weren't no-offered, I wouldn't make the effort to respond to the above post, or even to read this thread. This doesn't mean that my perspective is irredeemably biased; I feel pretty sure, especially after learning more about my firm's financials this past summer, that some firms will narrow their hiring needs to an exact number - i.e. "we would hire this last guy if there were more work, but there's just not enough to go around." I suspect this is especially true at firms that don't have a 100%-offer-rate reputation to protect.)

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sunynp wrote:Of course they will check your references at some point.

Doesn't mean the firm will say whether I got an offer. Sorry, but this is just a variation of conventional tls wisdom passing as actual knowledge. I'm a looking for actual evidence that firms do give out this info and so far, zip. What I DO know for fact is that one person who actually knows what they are talking about, a recruiter, said that info is not given out. But that's just one person so far.


Standard HR policy across many industries is not to say anything negative about a candidate in a reference call. Besides, if you were a firm, and you no-offered some idiot, why WOULDN'T you want that idiot going to one of your competitors?

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby rayiner » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:If you see 2 no-offers in 5 SA's, I think it's fair to chalk it up to economics. But if you're looking at 2 out of 30, then it's not likely to be economics. At least the last couple of years, it's the latter we've been seeing. Remember, offer rates the last couple of years have been higher in the V100 than they were during the boom. Those no offers in 2006, even at the higher level they were, weren't economic.


I'm not sure this is really the case. At the very least, I'm certain that this is not always the case. If a firm is paying incoming associates $160k/year - factor in bonuses, bar stipends and benefits packages, and you're talking about $200k/year - then a firm no-offering 2 out of 30 saves $400k/year. That might not sound like much in the context of a large law firm, but it could nevertheless reflect a calculation that the amount of work coming into the firm simply doesn't require an extra $400k/year of help.

Particularly in current economic conditions, $400k/year is nothing to sneeze at for a firm that is wary of its bottom line.

(I'm posting anonymously because my stance pretty clearly outs me as a no-offered SA. If I weren't no-offered, I wouldn't make the effort to respond to the above post, or even to read this thread. This doesn't mean that my perspective is irredeemably biased; I feel pretty sure, especially after learning more about my firm's financials this past summer, that some firms will narrow their hiring needs to an exact number - i.e. "we would hire this last guy if there were more work, but there's just not enough to go around." I suspect this is especially true at firms that don't have a 100%-offer-rate reputation to protect.)


It's always a little bit about economics, in the sense that if a firm is just absolutely balls-to-the-wall swamped with work, they're going to hire someone who doesn't do great work or doesn't fit in because they'll still get some revenue out of him or her. However, I find it hard to imagine a lot of scenarios where the economics change enough that the firm decides it needs to save $400k by no-offering 2 people, but not enough where the firm decides it needs to save $1m by no-offering 5 people. At the end of the day, last year's offer rate of 91.4% is the second-highest in the last 17 years recorded by NALP. Even during the boom, you could expect a couple of no-offers in a class of 30, and that was when firms definitely had enough work to keep those people busy.

I'm not saying this to beat up on people who get no-offered. I have friends who got no-offered in my class and it's just terrible. But the fact is that if 95% of your class got an offer but you didn't, you probably did something wrong. Not always, but it's more likely than not. And you need to introspect and figure out what that was and how you can improve. When you chalk it up to the firm and not yourself, you double down on a strategy that isn't working. That can lead to long-term unemployment. God knows that treating a no-offer as a learning experience isn't a guarantee of bouncing back and getting a good job, but the people I know that did that are the ones who came out the other end with something good in hand.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:19 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:If you see 2 no-offers in 5 SA's, I think it's fair to chalk it up to economics. But if you're looking at 2 out of 30, then it's not likely to be economics. At least the last couple of years, it's the latter we've been seeing. Remember, offer rates the last couple of years have been higher in the V100 than they were during the boom. Those no offers in 2006, even at the higher level they were, weren't economic.


I'm not sure this is really the case. At the very least, I'm certain that this is not always the case. If a firm is paying incoming associates $160k/year - factor in bonuses, bar stipends and benefits packages, and you're talking about $200k/year - then a firm no-offering 2 out of 30 saves $400k/year. That might not sound like much in the context of a large law firm, but it could nevertheless reflect a calculation that the amount of work coming into the firm simply doesn't require an extra $400k/year of help.

Particularly in current economic conditions, $400k/year is nothing to sneeze at for a firm that is wary of its bottom line.

(I'm posting anonymously because my stance pretty clearly outs me as a no-offered SA. If I weren't no-offered, I wouldn't make the effort to respond to the above post, or even to read this thread. This doesn't mean that my perspective is irredeemably biased; I feel pretty sure, especially after learning more about my firm's financials this past summer, that some firms will narrow their hiring needs to an exact number - i.e. "we would hire this last guy if there were more work, but there's just not enough to go around." I suspect this is especially true at firms that don't have a 100%-offer-rate reputation to protect.)


It's always a little bit about economics, in the sense that if a firm is just absolutely balls-to-the-wall swamped with work, they're going to hire someone who doesn't do great work or doesn't fit in because they'll still get some revenue out of him or her. However, I find it hard to imagine a lot of scenarios where the economics change enough that the firm decides it needs to save $400k by no-offering 2 people, but not enough where the firm decides it needs to save $1m by no-offering 5 people. At the end of the day, last year's offer rate of 91.4% is the second-highest in the last 17 years recorded by NALP. Even during the boom, you could expect a couple of no-offers in a class of 30, and that was when firms definitely had enough work to keep those people busy.

I'm not saying this to beat up on people who get no-offered. I have friends who got no-offered in my class and it's just terrible. But the fact is that if 95% of your class got an offer but you didn't, you probably did something wrong. Not always, but it's more likely than not. And you need to introspect and figure out what that was and how you can improve. When you chalk it up to the firm and not yourself, you double down on a strategy that isn't working. That can lead to long-term unemployment. God knows that treating a no-offer as a learning experience isn't a guarantee of bouncing back and getting a good job, but the people I know that did that are the ones who came out the other end with something good in hand.


I think we sort of agree, but you're creating a false dichotomy. No one's denying that people who were no-offered probably did something wrong. The question is whether the summer associate's mistake(s) would have still turned into a no-offer if the firm were doing better in terms of finances and incoming work. I'm sure there are people who screwed up so significantly that not even the busiest, most overly-burdened firm would want to keep them on. However, I don't think that's the case in all (or perhaps even most) instances, as evidenced by some of the stories above (people being no-offered because of issues that were either very fixable or only happened once or twice).

Nobody's "chalk[ing] it up to the firm and not [themselves]." At least, not all of us are, or even most of us. We're saying that it's a bit of each: Partly the firm, partly the person. If you honestly believe that firms don't encounter work slowdowns meriting a cutback of around $400k/yr (2 associates) but not quite of $1m/yr (5 associates), I suggest you talk to your firm's CEO and HR; they'd be delighted to tell you how meticulously they keep track of the firm's work flow and staffing needs (it's their job, after all).

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:00 pm

No offered as of today. Had to actually email/call the firm to learn this news - emailed first over a week ago, then called 3 times with messages before I received a call back. Person I spoke with said, "Oh, X summer hiring head partner didn't call you yet? Well, he has been busy this week." Everyone else was offered/not offered on Monday. Reason given: yet another, mess up on the first assignment given, and despite hard work and following good reviews the rest of the summer, I couldn't rectify the situation. I'm definitely not playing any sort of blame game, and will take at least my fair share of responsibility for the result/not giving 100%. My heart wasn't in big law, and I will be heading the public interest/government direction. I walk away at least with the life lesson that I would not want to work for any firm or company in general that treats employees as such.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No offered as of today. Had to actually email/call the firm to learn this news - emailed first over a week ago, then called 3 times with messages before I received a call back. Person I spoke with said, "Oh, X summer hiring head partner didn't call you yet? Well, he has been busy this week." Everyone else was offered/not offered on Monday. Reason given: yet another, mess up on the first assignment given, and despite hard work and following good reviews the rest of the summer, I couldn't rectify the situation. I'm definitely not playing any sort of blame game, and will take at least my fair share of responsibility for the result/not giving 100%. My heart wasn't in big law, and I will be heading the public interest/government direction. I walk away at least with the life lesson that I would not want to work for any firm or company in general that treats employees as such.


Your view is a reasonable one and I feel sorry that they didn't recognize your good reviews from the later part of the summer. My advice to 2Ls looking at biglaw with a similar position is that while the government doesn't care as much about being no-offered, some ex-big lawyers might ask and you really want to knock your SA out of the park so that you can pick up references and lateral connections, even if you don't plan on going back.

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Re: No-offered summer associate. FML

Postby rayiner » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think we sort of agree, but you're creating a false dichotomy. No one's denying that people who were no-offered probably did something wrong. The question is whether the summer associate's mistake(s) would have still turned into a no-offer if the firm were doing better in terms of finances and incoming work. I'm sure there are people who screwed up so significantly that not even the busiest, most overly-burdened firm would want to keep them on. However, I don't think that's the case in all (or perhaps even most) instances, as evidenced by some of the stories above (people being no-offered because of issues that were either very fixable or only happened once or twice).


Re: being no-offered for fixable mistakes that happen only once or twice... do you really think that in a situation where 2 of 30 summers are no offered, the other 28 turned in work product without so much as a fixable mistake that happened once or twice?

You can't take reviews at face value. Attorneys at firms aren't professional HR people. They hate doing these reviews. Everyone does. People hate pointing out flaws in other peoples' work. Watch the show "Chopped" sometime. See what the judges say about contestants' dishes while discussing amongst themselves, but then see how they candy-coat it when telling the contestant why they got chopped.

The biggest danger to just accepting these reviews at face value is that it can blind you to fixable issues. If a summer got no-offered because he was a complainer (people develop reputations for this very quickly), nobody is going to tell him or her that at his or her exit review. They'll point to some inconsequential mistake in their work product, the kind that all the other summers made too. There's a whole host of issues that can be the subject of firm gossip, get you no-offered, yet never be mentioned in your exit review.




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