Deferring for 2-3 years after 3 semesters

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Deferring for 2-3 years after 3 semesters

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:48 am

Here's the situation:

1. Decent grades at UT (3.65-3.68), LR

2. Spent some time in Asia and really want to go back there, but looks like I blew the one best chance to get NYC through the UT NY job fair.

3. No debt (scholarships + fellowships that would not disappear after an absence)

If I don't get a firm I want, or worst of all, don't get anything, what would happen if I simply called it quits after 3 semesters, went back overseas, became truly fluent in the applicable language where I was nearly proficient before, maybe threw in another advanced degree (MPA in Accounting, free) and then came back and redid OCI in 2014 or 2015 when the economy has (hopefully) improved? I would still be a 2L after 3 semesters, so I think I would actually be allowed to redo OCI. If not, I'll probably know my OCI results by mid September when the penalty-free drop period is, so I could conceivably leave with just two semesters complete.

Drawback 1: Would very likely have to give up Law Review

Drawback 2: My old company no longer exists, so I might end up teaching English until the next economic boom. (I don't have a really marketable degree) - the economy sucks, and I'm from a small town with no jobs at all.

Drawback 3: What would one tell interviewers in 2014 or 2015 in a situation like this? "I didn't like my offer from Haynes & Boone, Dallas, so I decided to quit for 3 years until I had another chance to be considered by you?" Maybe not. lol

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Deferring for 2-3 years after 3 semesters

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:59 am

Asia or bust sounds like any interesting predicament. My understanding of overseas offices is that it is pretty difficult to get over there, unless you have pull within the firm. (That might be the wrong impression, though, and it also might vary wildly from firm to firm.)

How many U.S. firms have asian offices in locations where you want to work? How many U.S. attorneys work at those locations? Do any of them take on any summer associates? How many U.S. attorneys in those offices are more junior? Did they start in a U.S. office for a year or two and then move over there, summer in a U.S. office then go straight there after asking, or summer at the asian office? If there are young U.S. attorneys over there, is it enough to express a strong desire to be there? Or is a certain combination of great grades and fluency in the area's particular language usually a common trait among these people?

If you know the answers to all or most of these questions, then you probably have a better understanding than most people on TLS what your chances are of going over there (either straight out of law school or after a year or two or three). If you don't know the answer to these questions, I would start figuring them out before you make a huge life decision.

ETA: Do any of these foreign offices take on laterals from other U.S. firms? If so, that might be a possible way to get over there. (Though it seems unlikely that these offices would have to do that--if they are going to take on laterals, it would make sense for them to hire attorneys from the area where the foreign office is.)

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Perseus_I
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Re: Deferring for 2-3 years after 3 semesters

Postby Perseus_I » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:06 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Asia or bust sounds like any interesting predicament. My understanding of overseas offices is that it is pretty difficult to get over there, unless you have pull within the firm. (That might be the wrong impression, though, and it also might vary wildly from firm to firm.)

How many U.S. firms have asian offices in locations where you want to work? How many U.S. attorneys work at those locations? Do any of them take on any summer associates? How many U.S. attorneys in those offices are more junior? Did they start in a U.S. office for a year or two and then move over there, summer in a U.S. office then go straight there after asking, or summer at the asian office?

If you know the answers to all or most of these questions, then you probably have a better understanding than most people on TLS what your chances are of going over there (either straight out of law school or after a year or two or three). If you don't know the answer to these questions, I would start figuring them out before you make a huge life decision.


1. Many firms have China or HK offices they are looking to expand (even if the China office isn't working; many firms are actively expanding their HK or Singapore offices).

2. It usually requires starting out at a firm with such an office doing either 1) Capital Markets or, less often, 2) M&A (getting either in Texas is tough - unless it's energy-related).

3. Many firms I have spoken with have expressed interest in finding attorneys to train up and send to their China offices but wished I was either a little more fluent in the business language or a little more fluent in general than 1 year as even a fast learner can make one. With solid language ability, without any reservations, I think getting a Milbank offer, OMM offer, or a Shearman, etc. offer would be quite easy from what I have found. Given visa hassles and cultural issues, I have it from solid sources that firms actually prefer Americans (usually, but by no means always, ABC's) with language ability over foreign students.

It's not just an Asia-or-bust attitude. I would be fine with working in NYC forever, too. It's just that I don't want to work in Texas, and I chose UT over some better east coast schools solely because of the financial situation and because former Dean Sager (who is no longer Dean) convinced me that UT was fast becoming a national school and that he regularly helped out UT students interested in NYC. Now, I can't even get in contact with him.

Who wouldn't choose the 15-ranked school in the nation for +$30,000 over the #5-ranked school in the nation for -$200,000 (almost all debt) ITE? Am I just stupid, picky, or just unlucky? I am really, really regretting my decisions right now.

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Perseus_I
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Re: Deferring for 2-3 years after 3 semesters

Postby Perseus_I » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:16 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Asia or bust sounds like any interesting predicament. My understanding of overseas offices is that it is pretty difficult to get over there, unless you have pull within the firm. (That might be the wrong impression, though, and it also might vary wildly from firm to firm.)

How many U.S. firms have asian offices in locations where you want to work? How many U.S. attorneys work at those locations? Do any of them take on any summer associates? How many U.S. attorneys in those offices are more junior? Did they start in a U.S. office for a year or two and then move over there, summer in a U.S. office then go straight there after asking, or summer at the asian office? If there are young U.S. attorneys over there, is it enough to express a strong desire to be there? Or is a certain combination of great grades and fluency in the area's particular language usually a common trait among these people?

If you know the answers to all or most of these questions, then you probably have a better understanding than most people on TLS what your chances are of going over there (either straight out of law school or after a year or two or three). If you don't know the answer to these questions, I would start figuring them out before you make a huge life decision.

ETA: Do any of these foreign offices take on laterals from other U.S. firms? If so, that might be a possible way to get over there. (Though it seems unlikely that these offices would have to do that--if they are going to take on laterals, it would make sense for them to hire attorneys from the area where the foreign office is.)


Yes, but as I said, the type of experience required is pretty much only found in NYC or, to a lesser extent, Chicago. Locke Lord, Dallas, waging lawsuits against the former Rangers owner or whatever they do over there just isn't going to cut it.

There are many NYC firms with relevant types of practices. It's unfortunate the extent to which interviewers kept bringing up ties. I guess I am minority in that I am a flight risk primarily from where I'm from rather than where I'm not from?

Another option would be to work for a few years in Texas and then skip town to do a top east coast MBA to help establish ties to the east coast (I originally went into law with the understanding it was an eventual pathway to business/MBA opportunities that would otherwise be closed). Hong Kong itself also has a global top 10 MBA program. Even with this route, however, NYC is still far and away a better option due to both the networking opportunities and the work involved (finding Asia-connected work in TX will be challenging and require far more luck than I have had so far with the recruiting process).

I have no debt to pay off, so leaving after even 2 years of working in TX Big Law with $200,000 in the bank is something I have the complete flexibility to do.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Deferring for 2-3 years after 3 semesters

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:05 am

Perseus_I wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Asia or bust sounds like any interesting predicament. My understanding of overseas offices is that it is pretty difficult to get over there, unless you have pull within the firm. (That might be the wrong impression, though, and it also might vary wildly from firm to firm.)

How many U.S. firms have asian offices in locations where you want to work? How many U.S. attorneys work at those locations? Do any of them take on any summer associates? How many U.S. attorneys in those offices are more junior? Did they start in a U.S. office for a year or two and then move over there, summer in a U.S. office then go straight there after asking, or summer at the asian office? If there are young U.S. attorneys over there, is it enough to express a strong desire to be there? Or is a certain combination of great grades and fluency in the area's particular language usually a common trait among these people?

If you know the answers to all or most of these questions, then you probably have a better understanding than most people on TLS what your chances are of going over there (either straight out of law school or after a year or two or three). If you don't know the answer to these questions, I would start figuring them out before you make a huge life decision.

ETA: Do any of these foreign offices take on laterals from other U.S. firms? If so, that might be a possible way to get over there. (Though it seems unlikely that these offices would have to do that--if they are going to take on laterals, it would make sense for them to hire attorneys from the area where the foreign office is.)


Yes, but as I said, the type of experience required is pretty much only found in NYC or, to a lesser extent, Chicago. Locke Lord, Dallas, waging lawsuits against the former Rangers owner or whatever they do over there just isn't going to cut it.

There are many NYC firms with relevant types of practices. Given the extent to which interviewers kept bringing up ties, I think even at Fordham, I would have an easier time (deferring a year and then transferring up to NYU or down to Fordham is probably not something I'd want to do, given the debt it would involve).

Of course, if I later strike out of TX Big Law, too (quite possible since I hardly bid on TX after getting such a high number of preselects at the NYC job fair) the decision to drop out and redo OCI would be much, much easier and straightforward.

Another option would be to work for a few years in Texas and then skip town to do a top east coast MBA or a judicial clerkship to help establish ties to the east coast - while an MBA might make it difficult to do law again, I might hate law by that time anyway, like most big law lawyers, who knows? Various consulting jobs require the same type of work and the same skill-sets that attract me to transactional law anyway. I have no debt to pay off, so leaving after even 2 years is something I have the complete flexibility to do.


Satellite offices in Texas do a ton of complex work. GDC, Weil, Skadden, and Latham will be taking on cases from all over the country to work on in those Dallas/Houston offices, it's not just local stuff. Baker Botts and V&E aren't exactly minced meat either. Andrews Kirth has a good rep for corporate work. So does Bracewell. Maybe Jones Day and King and Spalding too?

Is it really that late enough that you know that you've struck out on NYC? Or are you just trying to prepare for worst case scenario? If there's still callbacks going out, don't give up hope yet. It's a shitty process, but try to not always assume the worst at every point in time, otherwise you'll go crazy. (But if you do know that you've struck out--sorry man, that sucks. Consider massmailing, resume drops at UT's OCI, and trying to pick up interviews with any new york offices that are coming down.)

As for choosing UT over NYU or Chicago for someone who was set on biglaw in NYC or asia--that might have been a risky decision, especially if you have no desire to have the backup of TX biglaw. (As an aside--if your goal is money at all, big law in Texas crushes NYC in how much money you can make, esp. at the satellite offices that are on the new york lock-step.) The gamble would have paid off if you were able to get something in NYC, but the margin of error for grades and interviews is a lot less forgiving at UT than it would be at either NYU or Chicago. And I liked, and still like, Sager, but cmon, UT was never going to magically become a top 10 school in the next year or two. UT is pretty much the same school it was a year or two ago, but that's true for basically most every law school. There is no such thing as a school drastically changing how well it can place people in different locations and overall in such a short time frame (economy can have huge effects on stuff like this though).

There's another lesson here: Always maximize job opportunities. Correct me if I'm wrong, but NY job fair should not have affected how many firms you could interview with at UT's OCI, right? You should have signed up for 35+ firms to make sure you get the max of 25 screeners. You never want to limit opportunities until you actually have something actually in hand.

ETA: While for biglaw or bust people who somehow know they will love biglaw, you may have made a mistake in choosing UT, but IMO it was the still better call for everyone not like that, even if you get shut out of NYC. I've met too many people who feel trapped in biglaw and who seem miserable about it. Having no debt makes things so much simpler--assuming you can still find something, if you like it then you stay, if you hate it then you go. There's no being trapped like you would with 200K in debt.

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Perseus_I
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Re: Deferring for 2-3 years after 3 semesters

Postby Perseus_I » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:37 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Asia or bust sounds like any interesting predicament. My understanding of overseas offices is that it is pretty difficult to get over there, unless you have pull within the firm. (That might be the wrong impression, though, and it also might vary wildly from firm to firm.)

How many U.S. firms have asian offices in locations where you want to work? How many U.S. attorneys work at those locations? Do any of them take on any summer associates? How many U.S. attorneys in those offices are more junior? Did they start in a U.S. office for a year or two and then move over there, summer in a U.S. office then go straight there after asking, or summer at the asian office? If there are young U.S. attorneys over there, is it enough to express a strong desire to be there? Or is a certain combination of great grades and fluency in the area's particular language usually a common trait among these people?

If you know the answers to all or most of these questions, then you probably have a better understanding than most people on TLS what your chances are of going over there (either straight out of law school or after a year or two or three). If you don't know the answer to these questions, I would start figuring them out before you make a huge life decision.

ETA: Do any of these foreign offices take on laterals from other U.S. firms? If so, that might be a possible way to get over there. (Though it seems unlikely that these offices would have to do that--if they are going to take on laterals, it would make sense for them to hire attorneys from the area where the foreign office is.)


Yes, but as I said, the type of experience required is pretty much only found in NYC or, to a lesser extent, Chicago. Locke Lord, Dallas, waging lawsuits against the former Rangers owner or whatever they do over there just isn't going to cut it.

There are many NYC firms with relevant types of practices. Given the extent to which interviewers kept bringing up ties, I think even at Fordham, I would have an easier time (deferring a year and then transferring up to NYU or down to Fordham is probably not something I'd want to do, given the debt it would involve).

Of course, if I later strike out of TX Big Law, too (quite possible since I hardly bid on TX after getting such a high number of preselects at the NYC job fair) the decision to drop out and redo OCI would be much, much easier and straightforward.

Another option would be to work for a few years in Texas and then skip town to do a top east coast MBA or a judicial clerkship to help establish ties to the east coast - while an MBA might make it difficult to do law again, I might hate law by that time anyway, like most big law lawyers, who knows? Various consulting jobs require the same type of work and the same skill-sets that attract me to transactional law anyway. I have no debt to pay off, so leaving after even 2 years is something I have the complete flexibility to do.


Satellite offices in Texas do a ton of complex work. GDC, Weil, Skadden, and Latham will be taking on cases from all over the country to work on in those Dallas/Houston offices, it's not just local stuff. Baker Botts and V&E aren't exactly minced meat either. Andrews Kirth has a good rep for corporate work. So does Bracewell. Maybe Jones Day and King and Spalding too?

Is it really that late enough that you know that you've struck out on NYC? Or are you just trying to prepare for worst case scenario? If there's still callbacks going out, don't give up hope yet. It's a shitty process, but try to not always assume the worst at every point in time, otherwise you'll go crazy. (But if you do know that you've struck out--sorry man, that sucks. Consider massmailing, resume drops at UT's OCI, and trying to pick up interviews with any new york offices that are coming down.)

As for choosing UT over NYU or Chicago for someone who was set on biglaw in NYC or asia--that might have been a risky decision, especially if you have no desire to have the backup of TX biglaw. (As an aside--if your goal is money at all, big law in Texas crushes NYC in how much money you can make, esp. at the satellite offices that are on the new york lock-step.) The gamble would have paid off if you were able to get something in NYC, but the margin of error for grades and interviews is a lot less forgiving at UT than it would be at either NYU or Chicago. And I liked, and still like, Sager, but cmon, UT was never going to magically become a top 10 school in the next year or two. UT is pretty much the same school it was a year or two ago, but that's true for basically most every law school. There is no such thing as a school drastically changing how well it can place people in different locations and overall in such a short time frame (economy can have huge effects on stuff like this though).

There's another lesson here: Always maximize job opportunities. Correct me if I'm wrong, but NY job fair should not have affected how many firms you could interview with at UT's OCI, right? You should have signed up for 35+ firms to make sure you get the max of 25 screeners. You never want to limit opportunities until you actually have something actually in hand.

ETA: While for biglaw or bust people who somehow know they will love biglaw, you may have made a mistake in choosing UT, but IMO it was the still better call for everyone not like that, even if you get shut out of NYC. I've met too many people who feel trapped in biglaw and who seem miserable about it. Having no debt makes things so much simpler--assuming you can still find something, if you like it then you stay, if you hate it then you go. There's no being trapped like you would with 200K in debt.


Thanks for the tips. I didn't totally strike out - but it does not look very good at the moment, given the number of screeners. How can I determine if my dismal performance at the NY job fair was due to factors under my control (like poor interviewing) as opposed to factors outside my control (like grades and a resume that says "Texas, Texas, overseas, Texas")? I have done several mock interviews and some practice sessions with the CSO. While they always had suggestions, there was nothing major they could find wrong with my interviewing style, and to the extent they made suggestions, I think I incorporated them nicely. I have also gotten interview coaching from a judge and even a UT alum in NY the day prior. I don't think most students do half this much. Having back-to-backs might have created some problems (since I was late to most of my interviews), and I stumbled a lot after the first few. What is a good way to determine what to improve for OCI?

keg411
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Re: Deferring for 2-3 years after 3 semesters

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:32 pm

^

Do more practice interviews and try your best to figure out what is going wrong. Your resume screaming "TEXAS" probably doesn't help; maybe you need to work on your "Why NYC" answer.




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