How do hiring committees work?

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Anonymous User
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How do hiring committees work?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:16 pm

Obviously there will be exceptions but is there a typical method of how a hiring committee makes a decision (majority with or without certain people having vetos, etc.?)

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thesealocust
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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:46 pm

There's really no uniform system.

It's fairly common for interviewers to have discretion to do as they see fit at the CB stage, especially if the interviewer is senior/a partner.

For making offers, the committee will often meet at somewhat regular intervals and make decisions. It's certainly rolling, so the later in the process the more random and/or fewer slots they may have.

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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:52 pm

If a partner from a satellite office who I met with voluntarily tells me I can't give you a number now and that I have to talk with my partner so that I don't give you the wrong information and that it goes along with the main office's salary numbers. And, then he continues to assure me he will try to get back to me quickly. He kept telling me that I would be working at least initially with this other partner. And then when I asked if I could reintroduce myself to the other partner (met him at the preselect interview), he said that was not necessary because I am sitting here for a reason and there was no need.

How long of a turn around do you think it will take? I am assuming they are working out logistics of an offer, right? I met with the partner on Monday.

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thesealocust
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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:57 pm

Nobody knows the answer to that except your interviewer and future-you, anonymous friend.

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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:28 am

I had this explained to me in detail the other day. I'm post-law school, summered at this firm, and got a permanent offer. On drinking terms with the hiring partner. Middle-market, midlaw firm ~125 attorneys:

1) Resumes submitted through symplicity yield 18 OCIs (set number, based on time) per school. This is pure numbers. Highest ranked students with ANY demonstrated ties to the area (i.e. the word [city where the firm is HQ'd] is mentioned in the resume, and you're in) are the winners. This part is done by the secretary of the hiring partner.
2) Two randomly available senior level associates are sent to the school and conduct the screening interviews. These two associates select around 5 per school to do callbacks with complete discretion. The thinking is that almost all of the candidate selected are equal academically and capable of doing the work. They're weeding out the mouthbreathers and people who show up with the wrong color tie (or some equally arbitrary basis for their decision). These two attorneys are not involved in the process again.
3) Callbacks are a round of 20 minute interviews with literally any lawyer at the firm who is a) in the building that day and b) actually responds to the email sent out the day before to gauge availability. You get a different batch of attorneys interviewing the CBs depending on the day. Sometimes a law student interviews with 12 attorneys, sometimes 4. There is no consistency or system to selecting them, although those who are in the office regularly naturally conduct more CB interviews than those who are in the middle of a deal/trial, etc. The only times people volunteer for are the lunch interviews. Those are handed out based on a totally unofficial mix of seniority and frequency of interviewing that year. It also helps if you're friendly to the hiring partner's secretary, as she's the one who slots the attorneys in.
4) Each CB interviewer fills out a form that has two blanks: a) "Yes/No" and b) "Any comments?" These attorneys are not involved in the process after that unless they happen to be on the hiring committee or the executive committee. But even then, they rarely remember anything about the CB when they're making their decisions ex post.
5) Hiring partner's secretary tallies up the Yes and No votes from each CB and averages to account for the number of interviewers they met with. With as few law students as our firm calls back (around 15 or so per year), it's usually not even close as to who's in an who's out. Immediate offers to the resounding Yes votes, immediate dings to the resounding No votes. Those who might be borderline are kept on hold until the Yes votes accept or decline and are offered accordingly. If this yields a class of 8, there's a class of 8. If only two people make the cut, then there are only two SAs that summer.
6) Summer associates do the summer associate thing and compile work product.
7) Evaluations are sent to each attorney who worked with the SAs. They make recommendations based on work product and a metric ton of other vague considerations (i.e. "fit" with the firm).
8 ) Hiring partner's secretary compiles the evals for the hiring partner to glance through. The hiring partner already has his/her mind made up at this point about his/her favorites, but claims that s/he reviews everything all the same because it's his/her ass on the line.
9) Hiring partner goes to hiring committee and reports on each SA, Roman Emperor style. Hiring committee selects and ranks those to recommend and those not to recommend for offers. I've been told this year's meeting lasted a grand total of 20 minutes to evaluate/rank 8 SAs.
10) Hiring partner takes the hiring committee rankings to the executive committee. He says "We had 8 summer associates last year, we think we should hire these 7." The exec. committee says, "you can only hire 6."
11) Hiring partner picks the highest ranked 6 from the hiring committee meeting and sends out offers. NALP deadline passes. Those who have accepted have a job. Those who don't have their offers expire unless an alternative arrangement is made (i.e. applying to clerkships, DOJ Honors, etc.).
12) For each offer declined, they go down the hiring committee's "recommended" list till they either fill all the spots or run out of "recommended" candidates.
13) When all offers are out, (i.e. the first six accept) hiring partner dings the rest of the SAs who didn't make the "recommended" list, but who couldn't be dinged before all the other offers went out for firm image purposes.
14) Hiring partner also dings the rest of the "recommended" candidates who didn't make the final cut. Apparently it's bad to have auto-dings, those in limbo, and those who are auto-offers, so they wait and do all the dings at the end so you don't know if you were an auto-ding or someone who just barely didn't make the cut.

In all, I found the process to be really arbitrary and cavalier.

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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:I had this explained to me in detail the other day. I'm post-law school, summered at this firm, and got a permanent offer. On drinking terms with the hiring partner. Middle-market, midlaw firm ~125 attorneys:

1) Resumes submitted through symplicity yield 18 OCIs (set number, based on time) per school. This is pure numbers. Highest ranked students with ANY demonstrated ties to the area (i.e. the word [city where the firm is HQ'd] is mentioned in the resume, and you're in) are the winners. This part is done by the secretary of the hiring partner.
2) Two randomly available senior level associates are sent to the school and conduct the screening interviews. These two associates select around 5 per school to do callbacks with complete discretion. The thinking is that almost all of the candidate selected are equal academically and capable of doing the work. They're weeding out the mouthbreathers and people who show up with the wrong color tie (or some equally arbitrary basis for their decision). These two attorneys are not involved in the process again.
3) Callbacks are a round of 20 minute interviews with literally any lawyer at the firm who is a) in the building that day and b) actually responds to the email sent out the day before to gauge availability. You get a different batch of attorneys interviewing the CBs depending on the day. Sometimes a law student interviews with 12 attorneys, sometimes 4. There is no consistency or system to selecting them, although those who are in the office regularly naturally conduct more CB interviews than those who are in the middle of a deal/trial, etc. The only times people volunteer for are the lunch interviews. Those are handed out based on a totally unofficial mix of seniority and frequency of interviewing that year. It also helps if you're friendly to the hiring partner's secretary, as she's the one who slots the attorneys in.
4) Each CB interviewer fills out a form that has two blanks: a) "Yes/No" and b) "Any comments?" These attorneys are not involved in the process after that unless they happen to be on the hiring committee or the executive committee. But even then, they rarely remember anything about the CB when they're making their decisions ex post.
5) Hiring partner's secretary tallies up the Yes and No votes from each CB and averages to account for the number of interviewers they met with. With as few law students as our firm calls back (around 15 or so per year), it's usually not even close as to who's in an who's out. Immediate offers to the resounding Yes votes, immediate dings to the resounding No votes. Those who might be borderline are kept on hold until the Yes votes accept or decline and are offered accordingly. If this yields a class of 8, there's a class of 8. If only two people make the cut, then there are only two SAs that summer.
6) Summer associates do the summer associate thing and compile work product.
7) Evaluations are sent to each attorney who worked with the SAs. They make recommendations based on work product and a metric ton of other vague considerations (i.e. "fit" with the firm).
8 ) Hiring partner's secretary compiles the evals for the hiring partner to glance through. The hiring partner already has his/her mind made up at this point about his/her favorites, but claims that s/he reviews everything all the same because it's his/her ass on the line.
9) Hiring partner goes to hiring committee and reports on each SA, Roman Emperor style. Hiring committee selects and ranks those to recommend and those not to recommend for offers. I've been told this year's meeting lasted a grand total of 20 minutes to evaluate/rank 8 SAs.
10) Hiring partner takes the hiring committee rankings to the executive committee. He says "We had 8 summer associates last year, we think we should hire these 7." The exec. committee says, "you can only hire 6."
11) Hiring partner picks the highest ranked 6 from the hiring committee meeting and sends out offers. NALP deadline passes. Those who have accepted have a job. Those who don't have their offers expire unless an alternative arrangement is made (i.e. applying to clerkships, DOJ Honors, etc.).
12) For each offer declined, they go down the hiring committee's "recommended" list till they either fill all the spots or run out of "recommended" candidates.
13) When all offers are out, (i.e. the first six accept) hiring partner dings the rest of the SAs who didn't make the "recommended" list, but who couldn't be dinged before all the other offers went out for firm image purposes.
14) Hiring partner also dings the rest of the "recommended" candidates who didn't make the final cut. Apparently it's bad to have auto-dings, those in limbo, and those who are auto-offers, so they wait and do all the dings at the end so you don't know if you were an auto-ding or someone who just barely didn't make the cut.

In all, I found the process to be really arbitrary and cavalier.


Interesting. Now this is good use of anon.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had this explained to me in detail the other day. I'm post-law school, summered at this firm, and got a permanent offer. On drinking terms with the hiring partner. Middle-market, midlaw firm ~125 attorneys:

...

In all, I found the process to be really arbitrary and cavalier.


Interesting. Now this is good use of anon.

To be clear, this is only for sure the process at my firm. I'm sure others do it differently, and there are exceptions.

For instance, we put had to put a female SA up in a hotel the other night because she got so hammered at a firm event that she couldn't walk straight and was (among other things) putting her legs across associates' laps and making them feel her legs so she could show off her "perfect, post-baby body."

She's still getting an offer because her family has DAT PRESTIGE in the middle-market city the firm is HQ'd. It's amazing how well the good-ole-boys club still operates.

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JenDarby
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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby JenDarby » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To be clear, this is only for sure the process at my firm. I'm sure others do it differently, and there are exceptions.

For instance, we put had to put a female SA up in a hotel the other night because she got so hammered at a firm event that she couldn't walk straight and was (among other things) putting her legs across associates' laps and making them feel her legs so she could show off her "perfect, post-baby body."

She's still getting an offer because her family has DAT PRESTIGE in the middle-market city the firm is HQ'd. It's amazing how well the good-ole-boys club still operates.

Oh, wow.

Thanks for the info on your firm's process!

Anonymous User
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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:02 pm

I'm really interested in this, and would like to know if anyone has more inside information? For instance: What if you went on a CB, there were a couple of partners, but no members of the hiring committee? Do the people interviewed by the hiring committee have more of a shot because the person interviewing actually is in the room when decisions are made?

Anonymous User
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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:09 pm

Anyone ever BOMB BOMB BOMB one interview and still ended up getting a CB?

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patrickd139
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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone ever BOMB BOMB BOMB one interview and still ended up getting a CB?

I think the thread you're looking for is over here.

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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:01 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone ever BOMB BOMB BOMB one interview and still ended up getting a CB?

I think the thread you're looking for is over here.

I meant offer sorry

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patrickd139
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Re: How do hiring committees work?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone ever BOMB BOMB BOMB one interview and still ended up getting a CB?

I think the thread you're looking for is over here.

I meant offer sorry

I'm sure it's happened before.

And why is this anonymous?




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