Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

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keg411
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Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:38 am

Other 3L's, feel free to chime in. Most of this advice is skewed towards T14's, though if you have very good grades at a lower-ranked school, some of this advice may be applicable to you too. If you don't want to ask questions here, feel free to PM me.

If you're sitting on zero-a low number of CB's from OCI, you are probably freaking out right now. I was in your place last year, and I ended up with BigLaw. Keep in mind, it is going to take a ton of hustle, and a ton of emotional and physical energy.

1) WHAT WENT WRONG: grades? bidding? interviewing? At this point, you should have an idea of what's wrong. If you and your grade peers (or transfer peers) have the same number of CB's, then it's probably just your grades. However, if you're under-performing significantly, it's probably a mix of interviewing/bidding.

2) VISIT YOUR CAREER SERVICES OFFICE: this is the stage where OCS becomes extremely useful. Make sure you meet with either the head of the office or the person with the best reputation within the office. They can help in getting you more mocks to see went wrong. They can give you advice on additional firms to mail. They will even eventually make calls to firms for you to help you get CB's and pass along firms that are contacting them looking to fill their classes.
-Is this what you really want?: if BigLaw really isn't in your heart, consider talking to your school's public interest faculty.

3) MASS MAILING:
-If you mass mailed pre-OCI: Great! If you haven't heard from these firms yet, now is the perfect time to follow-up, especially for "home market" firms. I got a whole bunch of CB's this way. In addition, you should start mailing every single firm in every market that you'd be willing to work in, including firms that came to OCI. Do it NOW.
-If you didn't mass mail pre-OCI: If you didn't mass mail pre-OCI, you should start now. Start with your home market, but also don't forget your school's market and absolutely ANY market you'd be willing to work in (start with ones you have ties to, but don't worry about ties at this point; you just need to sell someone that you'd be willing to work there).
-Keep in mind, most midlaw firms in small markets will not arrange your travel, so be willing to pay your own way a bit in this regard.
-DO NOT STOP MAILING UNTIL YOU HAVE AN ACTUAL OFFER IN HAND.

4) FOLLOW UP WITH OCI SCREENERS: If you don't hear either way about a week after OCI, I'd suggest that you follow up with the person who screened you and reiterate your interest in the firm. While this most likely won't yield much, I did end up with a CB this way (don't know if I was on a "wait list", the person forgot about me, or what -- but a CB is a CB).

5) HAVE A PLAN B, C, D, E: consider what you want to do if you don't get BigLaw. And no, "killself" should not be a choice. The best thing that can happen to you is that you don't have to execute these plans. But you want to have them in the back of your mind -- just in case.

Anonymous User
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:48 am

Can you tell us what you said for 4?

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can you tell us what you said for 4?


It was along the lines of "I enjoyed meeting you at SCHOOL Y (OCI/EIW/EIP/etc.) and want to reaffirm my interest in working at FIRM X this summer." I also let them know when I would be in the area and available to come in for an interview, but that made more of a difference in #3 then in #4. (My school was in a different market than my target OCI market).

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:00 pm

Thanks for this!
Would you also recommend following up with mass mail screeners?
I had an in-person one and it's nearing the 2 wk mark. Haven't heard a peep from them.
People have said mass mail screeners are a bit different from OCI ones and might take longer. What do you think?
One of my professors summered at the office within the past 5 years so I sent him an email yesterday requesting that he pass along a good word for me.

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this!
Would you also recommend following up with mass mail screeners?
I had an in-person one and it's nearing the 2 wk mark. Haven't heard a peep from them.
People have said mass mail screeners are a bit different from OCI ones and might take longer. What do you think?


Yes, follow up with mass mail screeners, follow-up with early mass mailings that you haven't heard from, etc. Anything you did prior to OCI (CB's, screeners, or even just mailings) are probably the first places you should follow up since those have been outstanding the longest.

I actually went back in my "sent mail" to get a timeline of how I did follow-ups/mailings:
1) Week after OCI - followed up with firms I had mass mailed prior to OCI; you can probably follow up with pre-OCI screeners here as well
2) Two Weeks After OCI - mailed OCI firms that I did not interview with in my target market; followed up on screeners
3) Three Weeks After OCI - e-mailed screeners where rejected asking for advice (since I identified "interviewing" as my weakness); a few were willing to actually talk to me and provide something, but I (stupidly) decided not to take them up on it since I secured a few CB's by then.
4) One Month After OCI* - followed up again everywhere I still hadn't heard

*The last week of September, I started getting leads from Career Services. Additionally, I had the majority of my CB's between the last two weeks of September and early October (from most of my mass mailings and my late OCI CB's).

ETA: One thing I decided NOT to do was to mail outside of my three target markets (one large, one secondary, one tertiary). I would really really really recommend doing this as part of the "Week After OCI" mailings and not ignoring other markets. Even if you don't have ties.
Last edited by keg411 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jessuf
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby jessuf » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:20 pm

for mailing OCI firms that you didn't interview with, did you mention anything about OCI/bidding in your cover letter like "I was unable to secure an interview with your firm through OCI and would like the opportunity to speak with you further about the summer program" ?

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:24 pm

Jessuf wrote:for mailing OCI firms that you didn't interview with, did you mention anything about OCI/bidding in your cover letter like "I was unable to secure an interview with your firm through OCI and would like the opportunity to speak with you further about the summer program" ?


No. I figured at that point OCI was over with anyway and it didn't matter anymore. However, I did say something to that effect if I went to the hospitality suite during OCI and dropped off my resume/transcript.

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:59 pm

Thanks, OP! Mind sharing a few of your stats? I'm guessing this process will work out differently for top 1/3 Harvard vs. below median Georgetown.

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks, OP! Mind sharing a few of your stats? I'm guessing this process will work out differently for top 1/3 Harvard vs. below median Georgetown.


I was a transfer to a lower T14, so it was kind of easy to figure out that interviewing was my personal issue (although some firms probably thought I didn't have strong enough grades from my original school). But I think this advice is still applicable to the below-median GULC'er, considering it's basically an "everything and the kitchen sink" approach.
Last edited by keg411 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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beachbum
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby beachbum » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:02 pm

Great thread. Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:20 pm

I can't stress the importance of mass-mailing. I understand that it's hard to find motivation to do it; when I went through OCI and didn't receive as many callbacks as I had hoped for, I was too depressed to do anything besides read TLS and wait beside my phone. Things eventually worked out, but many people in my shoes were unable to convert their few callbacks into offers. After having watched two groups of friends (those in the classes of 2012 and 2013) go through OCI, it seems like most of those who refused to stop mailing until they got an offer managed to do fine, even if they didn't end up at the major-market Vault firm they hoped for. Many of those who refused to apply to mid-size firms in secondary markets that paid SAs $2000/week because they felt that their good grades at a T14 entitled them to something better ended up with nothing.

And don't take the attitude "I'll just wait until I strike out at OCI before mailing." Each day you wait, more spots at mid-size firms will be filled. Start mailing now (literally, right now), and don't stop until you get an offer (from OCI or elsewhere).

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:30 pm

^ Agreed with the above Anon. While the title of this thread says "BigLaw", your mailings should definitely include "MidLaw"/regional BigLaw/etc. I was lucky to get BigLaw in a major market, but a lot of my CB's were at more regional and mid-sized firms and a good part of my strategy was emphasizing these firms.

An additional tip: if you have a clear interest in a practice area (from your background, or just an area you are extremely knowledgeable about and taking a ton of 2L classes in), you should definitely check out Chambers & Partners in this area. There are certain niche-y practice areas that have smaller boutique-type firms that do SA programs that are also worth mailing. This is something I failed to do that I should have done more of.

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:36 pm

So I'm the worst, any tips on finding small and midsize firms? If my home market is a major one should I keep mailing there or mail to secondary's i have little to no connection with?

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:03 pm

I know this may be on other posts but what questions did you ask while you were at screeners and CBs? And was there much of a difference in the types of questions you were asking?

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I'm the worst, any tips on finding small and midsize firms? If my home market is a major one should I keep mailing there or mail to secondary's i have little to no connection with?


Tips on finding firms:
1) NALP - will have most, but not all large firms
2) Chambers & Partners - if you have a certain practice area you are interested in
3) State Law Journal - if your state puts out a Law Journal, there should be recruiting issue/issues that talk about the most profitable/largest firms in the state.
4) Resume Launchpad - I never used it, but others have had success (look for kalvano's thread -- it's excellent)
5) Martindale - great for small firms

***When using any of these, just use them for firm names. Get the rest of the information (recruiting contact, whether the firm has a SA program, etc.) from the firm website.

If your home market is a major one:
1) First mail that one
2) Then mail tertiary and secondary markets that are in your home state but not your home market
3) Then mail tertiary and secondary markets outside of your home state, but close to your home state/home city
4) Then mail every major, secondary or tertiary market where you have "ties" (family, undergrad, etc.)
5) Then mail every major, secondary or tertiary market where you would consider working regardless of ties

Anonymous User wrote:I know this may be on other posts but what questions did you ask while you were at screeners and CBs? And was there much of a difference in the types of questions you were asking?


I'm an admittedly atrocious interviewer, so I can't really give good advice here. Best to ask 3L's/alums who got a ton of OCI screeners and converted most of their CB's to offers. From what I remember, I didn't really change all that much, and if I had, I probably would've converted more of my CB's to offers. I basically just went at the whole thing with brute force and figured if I did enough CB's (and I ended up doing 10+ CB's), that I would eventually get something.
Last edited by keg411 on Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:22 pm

Not sure why you admit so quickly to being an atrocious interviewer. Transfer OCI is hard to predict, much more so than someone at median at the school you transferred to.

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not sure why you admit so quickly to being an atrocious interviewer. Transfer OCI is hard to predict, much more so than someone at median at the school you transferred to.


I did a mock interview after OCI with a real BigLaw attorney who did hiring. And yes, it was that bad :). If people want more details on what NOT to do in interviews and about what I did wrong, feel free to PM me.

henry flower
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby henry flower » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:21 pm

If I did an mass email bomb of OCI employers, and now I'm touching base with them post-OCI, should I include a cover letter (I didn't the first time around)?

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:25 pm

Keg: could you post interview tips for us to see as a PSA?

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby DallasCowboy » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:25 pm

henry flower wrote:If I did an mass email bomb of OCI employers, and now I'm touching base with them post-OCI, should I include a cover letter (I didn't the first time around)?


Just have the email body do the talking.

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:26 pm

henry flower wrote:If I did an mass email bomb of OCI employers, and now I'm touching base with them post-OCI, should I include a cover letter (I didn't the first time around)?


I only included cover letters for firms I didn't interview with at OCI. I have no idea if firms read them or not, so I can't say if it was helpful or not.

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby bowser » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:26 pm

tag. Thanks for doing this keg.

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:37 pm

keg411 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this!
Would you also recommend following up with mass mail screeners?
I had an in-person one and it's nearing the 2 wk mark. Haven't heard a peep from them.
People have said mass mail screeners are a bit different from OCI ones and might take longer. What do you think?


Yes, follow up with mass mail screeners, follow-up with early mass mailings that you haven't heard from, etc. Anything you did prior to OCI (CB's, screeners, or even just mailings) are probably the first places you should follow up since those have been outstanding the longest.

I actually went back in my "sent mail" to get a timeline of how I did follow-ups/mailings:
1) Week after OCI - followed up with firms I had mass mailed prior to OCI; you can probably follow up with pre-OCI screeners here as well
2) Two Weeks After OCI - mailed OCI firms that I did not interview with in my target market; followed up on screeners
3) Three Weeks After OCI - e-mailed screeners where rejected asking for advice (since I identified "interviewing" as my weakness); a few were willing to actually talk to me and provide something, but I (stupidly) decided not to take them up on it since I secured a few CB's by then.
4) One Month After OCI* - followed up again everywhere I still hadn't heard

*The last week of September, I started getting leads from Career Services. Additionally, I had the majority of my CB's between the last two weeks of September and early October (from most of my mass mailings and my late OCI CB's).

ETA: One thing I decided NOT to do was to mail outside of my three target markets (one large, one secondary, one tertiary). I would really really really recommend doing this as part of the "Week After OCI" mailings and not ignoring other markets. Even if you don't have ties.

It's been three weeks since I did a mass mail, and got some straight rejections, a couple "under review" responses, and silence from the rest. Is it too soon/late to follow-up with the firms I got an "under review" response or silence from? What exactly say in your follow-up emails to firms you mass mailed?

Also, I've heard advice that following up is not good. What made you decide to follow-up?

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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:42 pm

When following up, email an alum of your school and ask for assistance or email the recruiter (whoever you emailed initially) or both?

keg411
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Re: Keg Gives Advice on Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI

Postby keg411 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:46 pm

Judge Philip Banks wrote:It's been three weeks since I did a mass mail, and got some straight rejections, a couple "under review" responses, and silence from the rest. Is it too soon/late to follow-up with the firms I got an "under review" response or silence from? What exactly say in your follow-up emails to firms you mass mailed?

Also, I've heard advice that following up is not good. What made you decide to follow-up?


I did my first set of pre-OCI mass mail follow-ups about one month after I initially sent the e-mails. In my e-mail, I just wrote that I wanted to check the status of my application and that I had an updated resume and that I would be in the area around X date to interview.

I followed-up because it was one of the things career services told me to do post-OCI and I ended up getting at least one interview this way.

I e-mailed the recruiter. I never reached out to alumni for help. They didn't know me and I'd been at my school for all of a week -- why would they help me?




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