Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

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Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:48 pm

Shoot :wink:

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:50 pm

How long after your CB did you get your offer?

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:50 pm

1) What were some curveballs you were thrown during OCI/callback?

2) If you had one single tip to a rising 2L the week before OCI...what would it be?

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:55 pm

OP here. I'll ID myself by saying *ANSWER*

Anonymous User wrote:How long after your CB did you get your offer?


*ANSWER*
It varied based on the firm. I didn't get any offers during or immediately after a callback.

My first offer came 3 weeks after my first callback. Then, I had another offer come just 1 week after. The longest turnaround time was 1 month.

Some firms will call you shortly after the callback to tell you that they liked you, but that their recruiting committee can't meet until later on. They will typically ask you to tell them if you are considering accepting other offers. I assume you could press them to move faster if you had a NALP deadline approaching on another offer. Of the people I know who got these kinds of calls, this eventually hatched into an offer.

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thesealocust
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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby thesealocust » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:59 pm

I'm glad somebody who has been through OCI finally decided to hang around this forum answer some questions! Definitely a unique set of qualifications deserving of its own anonymous thread.

Thanks OP!

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1) What were some curveballs you were thrown during OCI/callback?

2) If you had one single tip to a rising 2L the week before OCI...what would it be?


*ANSWER*

1) Curveballs? I had one interviewer put down my resume and say: "This is bull. What are you really interested in?" Another interviewer asked me "What would your perfect day entail?" Those questions are easy though.

The hardest questions for me were when an interviewer would start pushing back on my answers, like: "You say you're interested in being a transactional atty, but I don't believe it." The hard part in these questions is giving a satisfactory answer without being either timid OR argumentative.

2) My tip is to take OCI just as seriously as you took your exams 1L year, especially if your grades are not great. I've seen people get SA'ships with median grades... but they worked hard for it. This means serious interview prep, both in your stock answers and in researching the firm. It means mass mailing with personalized covers, attending career fairs in other markets, and polishing your overall interview presentation.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:05 pm

thesealocust wrote:I'm glad somebody who has been through OCI finally decided to hang around this forum answer some questions! Definitely a unique set of qualifications deserving of its own anonymous thread.

Thanks OP!


no prob, brah.

071816
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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby 071816 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:08 pm

Which law school do you attend?

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:12 pm

chimp wrote:Which law school do you attend?


*ANSWER*

One with a full-week, lottery-based OCI. BUT, it was not a T10.

Thus, my OCI experience may vary from other posters on here.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby rad lulz » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
chimp wrote:Which law school do you attend?


*ANSWER*

One with a full-week, lottery-based OCI. BUT, it was not a T10.

Thus, my OCI experience may vary from other posters on here.

Notre Dame.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:16 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
chimp wrote:Which law school do you attend?


*ANSWER*

One with a full-week, lottery-based OCI. BUT, it was not a T10.

Thus, my OCI experience may vary from other posters on here.

Notre Dame.


lol.

Seriously though, 2 questions? I guess all the real grinderz are out there mass mailing...

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:19 pm

Did you hear stories of people with good #'s/softs and just messed up? If so, what seemed to be the trend of the fucking up?

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:23 pm

Any tips for CB interviews vs. Screeners?

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:25 pm

1) What do you wish you did differently in retrospect?

2) Do you think it's better to focus on one or two practice areas or to be open to doing anything? In other words, is it better to say "I'd like to do practice X" even though you'd really be interested in X, Y, or Z?

3) How did you learn about things that are hard to ask (e.g., typical hours, is this a sweatshop, etc)?

4) Is there anything that surprised you about your firm that you didn't already know from going through OCI and callbacks?

5) What practice areas did you express interest in? What practice areas did you actually work in during the summer?

Thanks

legalmindedfella
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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby legalmindedfella » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:25 pm

If you don't have anyone available to do a real practice interview with, but want to practice your answers out loud, any method you found particularly effective? Hear of any useful interview-prep tips from your friends?

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MarylandGirl
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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby MarylandGirl » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:26 pm

How can you talk about your skills without sounding arrogant?

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Did you hear stories of people with good #'s/softs and just messed up? If so, what seemed to be the trend of the fucking up?


*ANSWER*
Yes. I'll give two examples:

1) Overly confident person with top 15% grades and LR was too inflexible about the kind of law he wanted to practice. Literally only wanted to do one specific thing. Ended up getting far fewer CB's than he should have. MORAL: Be flexible. Unless you've worked in the legal world before, you don't know enough to be too picky about practice groups.

2) Shy person with good numbers was shy and thus bad at interviews. MORAL: Practice interviewing with a friend. Wear a suit and have them actually run through interview questions with you for 10 mins. Seriously, you will feel so awkward doing it, but that is the point.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
chimp wrote:Which law school do you attend?


*ANSWER*

One with a full-week, lottery-based OCI. BUT, it was not a T10.

Thus, my OCI experience may vary from other posters on here.

You're already anonymous. Just name the school.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any tips for CB interviews vs. Screeners?


*ANSWER*

This question is far too broad. So here's a generic answer: You need to know more about the firm. You need to show more personality because 30 minutes is a long interview. Try to have a conversation.

More specific questions get better answers.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:31 pm

How quickly does a 20 minute screening interview go by?

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1) What do you wish you did differently in retrospect?

2) Do you think it's better to focus on one or two practice areas or to be open to doing anything? In other words, is it better to say "I'd like to do practice X" even though you'd really be interested in X, Y, or Z?

3) How did you learn about things that are hard to ask (e.g., typical hours, is this a sweatshop, etc)?

4) Is there anything that surprised you about your firm that you didn't already know from going through OCI and callbacks?

5) What practice areas did you express interest in? What practice areas did you actually work in during the summer?

Thanks


*ANSWERS*
1) Stressed less -- used that nervous energy to more productive ends.

2) NO. I think it is a better policy to be open. At most, I would just recommend leaning one way or the other (lit or trans), but not being too hard about it.

Exceptions: some firms want you to be committed... although they aren't too common. Ppl with higher numbers or significant WE can be a bit more choosy.

3) Some interviewers will literally say: "Ask me the q's they tell you not to ask." That makes this easier. Otherwise, I think it is generally not good policy to ask about hours in interviews. Check their NALP sheet, look at the Vault reviews... contact 3L's from your school who summered there. The closest you can come is asking about the firm's culture or work life balance.

4) How intense the summer was. Between social events and work, you often put in 13-15 hour days.

5) My firm lets you pick your groups. I was lucky.

delusional
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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby delusional » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:40 pm

I am researching firms, and I have a recurring problem in that the top firms have obvious answers to the reason I want to work there, while the lower ranked, less prestigious firms have no answers. So I'm stuck basically saying "who the hell wouldn't want to work for Davis Polk" on the one hand, and "Dewey, Cheatem seems to have a strong presence in (international/appellate/finance/private equity/etc.) while not being as immense as the big firms. I would like a career in a place where the work is cutting edge, but the office is lean enough for young associates to get substantive work/make a difference/get varied experience/etc."

I find myself doing that over and over and over. Is there a better way?

(PS: this obviously doesn't apply to three or four dream firms, but it's nearly universal across the rest.)

ETA: I don't mean to say that the lower ranked firms have no answers. What I mean is that as far as the specific lower ranked firm, when there are firms that are far better, it comes across as slightly implausible. "I want to work at Dewey Cheatem because of their top-flight lit practice" sounds like "and I didn't think I had the numbers for Quinn or W&C."
Last edited by delusional on Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:43 pm

MarylandGirl wrote:How can you talk about your skills without sounding arrogant?

*ANSWER*

Funny! I think you are expected to be a bit of a self-promoter in interviews... just don't over-do it.

Weave references to the high points on your resume into your stock answers. Also, if you've done something impressive that isn't on your resume, you should bring that up in conversation. Finally, if the interviewer asks you about a point on your resume, you'd better make it sound good. This isn't a time for false modesty.

I think the line between promoting and boasting is when you stop giving the interviewer facts, and start giving them opinion. They don't want to know how hard your last job was, or that your old boss just LOVED you. Facts are much more tasteful and much more impressive.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:44 pm

OP here.

I have to go. I'll be back later today. Leave 'em.

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Re: Recent SA taking Callback and OCI questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:37 pm

delusional wrote:I am researching firms, and I have a recurring problem in that the top firms have obvious answers to the reason I want to work there, while the lower ranked, less prestigious firms have no answers. So I'm stuck basically saying "who the hell wouldn't want to work for Davis Polk" on the one hand, and "Dewey, Cheatem seems to have a strong presence in (international/appellate/finance/private equity/etc.) while not being as immense as the big firms. I would like a career in a place where the work is cutting edge, but the office is lean enough for young associates to get substantive work/make a difference/get varied experience/etc."

I find myself doing that over and over and over. Is there a better way?

(PS: this obviously doesn't apply to three or four dream firms, but it's nearly universal across the rest.)

ETA: I don't mean to say that the lower ranked firms have no answers. What I mean is that as far as the specific lower ranked firm, when there are firms that are far better, it comes across as slightly implausible. "I want to work at Dewey Cheatem because of their top-flight lit practice" sounds like "and I didn't think I had the numbers for Quinn or W&C."


*ANSWER*

As you say, leaner staffing means that you will work on substantive matters earlier. Don't sell that point short. At some firms you will be writing motions and attending status conferences/depositions. At others you will do nothing but research projects and doc review your first year or two.

It's also the difference between knowing/being friends with the partner you work for, or never even talking to them.

Finally, a small/lower ranked firm may be more likely to look at you as a long term investment, because smaller firms tend to promote partners from within more often than huge ones. Also, small firms don't have the $$ to train associates then ice them out in 2 years.

That said, all the above are generalizations! You should be focused on giving any firm specific praise. Find out what that firm considers its strengths to be. That often can be as easy as a website visit, talking to alums at that firm, or getting a list of 3L's at your school who summered at that firm.

Also, don't assume that people at the lower ranked firm view themselves as inferior to the higher ranked ones. The rankings-oriented worldview of law students is not as applicable to the biglaw universe. By and large, associates all earn the same, and a higher Vault ranking doesn't necessarily equate to a more satisfactory job.




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