Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm basically a clone of the OP except at UT on Law Review, and I went 1/29 (native Texan, bid mostly on Houston with some Dallas). I got some feedback from a Dallas firm which basically said they liked me, but they didn't think I had a genuine interest in working for them. I did not sell my interest in firms. The reason is because the CSO told me not to express interest in a practice area even if the firm is known for this. "It's not safe because you never know where they're hiring," said a member of the CSO repeatedly. This advice is complete bullshit, the person who said it should be fired, especially someone with strong and relevant work experience like myself. That basically hamstrung my ability to sell my interest in any firm because it's very hard for a 2L to distinguish firms otherwise (I have no feel for, nor do I give a fuck about "firm culture"), and I'm a concrete thinker who can't talk about abstractions like the "practice of law" without reference to something concrete like a practice area. I actually have experience in bankruptcy and capital markets, so I ought to have emphasized my interest in these at firms that had those practice areas.

What's funny is I worked with the CSO for weeks on prepping for interviews, and it took 5 minutes of practicing with a former member of the hiring committee to narrow down my problem (lack of enthusiasm for the firm and the practice of law - caused by my reluctance to talk about practice areas). I am going to print out some emails and talk to the new Dean prior to withdrawing about my awful experience with the CSO (assuming my one callbacks doesn't turn into an offer, though it very well might now that I've narrowed down the problem). Hopefully, he can make some phone calls to help me get something for the summer, so I don't have to withdraw. I have a full-ride and can quit and go on Above the Law any time with 0 consequences.

I think the behavior of the CSO in this instance amounts to professional incompetence. Also, the fact that they don't publish callback statistics like just about every other law school does. I hope Dean Farnsworth fires a bunch of the CSO just like he did Georges Cafe.

The tone of this post has nothing to do with why I struck out (someone who talks like this probably would strike out, though, so don't do it during OCI). It does probably sound entitled and arrogant, but that is because I am genuinely pissed at the moment, and most of my friends don't know either my grades or the fact that I'm on Law Review. The only reason I publicize these things is to give context. I was resigned for a long time to the fact that I struck out due to my own deficiencies. I did not become truly pissed until I found out it was a totally correctable error and due to bad advice from the CSO (maybe good advice for a K-JD, whom they are used to advising, but I think most firms would expect someone with 4 years of relevant work experience similar to some common practice areas to have some focus, so it doesn't just look like I went to law school and applied to firms on a whim).


Sorry about the awful OCI experience. And I have no doubt that UT's CSO could be improved. In their defense, I have heard multiple people from the CSO say that for people who are "second-career" type people, it is important to show some clear direction with what you want to do with your legal education. I have also heard advice from law firms, law students, multiple career service people, and even TLS that ITE it is much safer to show flexibility when it comes to practice area--that's not to say you show no interest in any area, but rather you show interest in multiple areas ("I really am interested in A for x, y, and z reason. And while I don't have much background in B, reasons q, r, and s make me think it is something that I could enjoy and excel in."). When I did OCI, I had relevant experience in two different areas, one area I was much more interested in and another where I was somewhat curious (but probably knew that I didn't want to do that in the long term). The latter interest was actually key for a few different firms and they didn't care that I had also expressed interest in other things as well. It just comes down to at least giving off the impression that you have 1) a basic understanding of the legal world, 2) interests that match up with actual legal practice, and 3) stuff on your resume that supports those interests.

Also, I hate to say this but while I am all for UT improving its CSO, I think laying the blame pretty much fully on them is unfair. You were the one interviewing with the firms and it was your job to sell yourself. Maybe they gave you shit advice by saying "express interest in nothing," but it's not too hard of a jump to realize that it's much easier to sell yourself to a firm by selling yourself on multiple interests (thus going for flexibility as opposed to a lack of interest in anything). It's absolutely shitty that OCI can hinge on a person's ability to sell themselves in 20-minute sound bites, but that can be the reality of the situation.

I really do hope something opens up for you. Please PM me if there is anything I can do to help--I don't really have much in terms of connections but I know a decent amount about Texas firms (and I can try to put you in touch with UT people that have first-hand knowledge about particular firms).

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby sunynp » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:47 pm

Out of curiosity- how many callbacks are people with similar stats getting from UT

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:49 pm

Woops, just outed myself. Hope no one saw that. :oops: :oops:

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:53 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm basically a clone of the OP except at UT on Law Review, and I went 1/29 (native Texan, bid mostly on Houston with some Dallas). I got some feedback from a Dallas firm which basically said they liked me, but they didn't think I had a genuine interest in working for them. I did not sell my interest in firms. The reason is because the CSO told me not to express interest in a practice area even if the firm is known for this. "It's not safe because you never know where they're hiring," said a member of the CSO repeatedly. This advice is complete bullshit, the person who said it should be fired, especially someone with strong and relevant work experience like myself. That basically hamstrung my ability to sell my interest in any firm because it's very hard for a 2L to distinguish firms otherwise (I have no feel for, nor do I give a fuck about "firm culture"), and I'm a concrete thinker who can't talk about abstractions like the "practice of law" without reference to something concrete like a practice area. I actually have experience in bankruptcy and capital markets, so I ought to have emphasized my interest in these at firms that had those practice areas.

What's funny is I worked with the CSO for weeks on prepping for interviews, and it took 5 minutes of practicing with a former member of the hiring committee to narrow down my problem (lack of enthusiasm for the firm and the practice of law - caused by my reluctance to talk about practice areas). I am going to print out some emails and talk to the new Dean prior to withdrawing about my awful experience with the CSO (assuming my one callbacks doesn't turn into an offer, though it very well might now that I've narrowed down the problem). Hopefully, he can make some phone calls to help me get something for the summer, so I don't have to withdraw. I have a full-ride and can quit and go on Above the Law any time with 0 consequences.

I think the behavior of the CSO in this instance amounts to professional incompetence. Also, the fact that they don't publish callback statistics like just about every other law school does. I hope Dean Farnsworth fires a bunch of the CSO just like he did Georges Cafe.

The tone of this post has nothing to do with why I struck out (someone who talks like this probably would strike out, though, so don't do it during OCI). It does probably sound entitled and arrogant, but that is because I am genuinely pissed at the moment, and most of my friends don't know either my grades or the fact that I'm on Law Review. The only reason I publicize these things is to give context. I was resigned for a long time to the fact that I struck out due to my own deficiencies. I did not become truly pissed until I found out it was a totally correctable error and due to bad advice from the CSO (maybe good advice for a K-JD, whom they are used to advising, but I think most firms would expect someone with 4 years of relevant work experience similar to some common practice areas to have some focus, so it doesn't just look like I went to law school and applied to firms on a whim).


Sorry about the awful OCI experience. And I have no doubt that UT's CSO could be improved. In their defense, I have heard multiple people from the CSO say that for people who are "second-career" type people, it is important to show some clear direction with what you want to do with your legal education. I have also heard advice from law firms, law students, multiple career service people, and even TLS that ITE it is much safer to show flexibility when it comes to practice area--that's not to say you show no interest in any area, but rather you show interest in multiple areas ("I really am interested in A for x, y, and z reason. And while I don't have much background in B, reasons q, r, and s make me think it is something that I could enjoy and excel in."). When I did OCI, I had relevant experience in two different areas, one area I was much more interested in and another where I was somewhat curious (but probably knew that I didn't want to do that in the long term). The latter interest was actually key for a few different firms and they didn't care that I had also expressed interest in other things as well. It just comes down to at least giving off the impression that you have 1) a basic understanding of the legal world, 2) interests that match up with actual legal practice, and 3) stuff on your resume that supports those interests.

Also, I hate to say this but while I am all for UT improving its CSO, I think laying the blame pretty much fully on them is unfair. You were the one interviewing with the firms and it was your job to sell yourself. Maybe they gave you shit advice by saying "express interest in nothing," but it's not too hard of a jump to realize that it's much easier to sell yourself to a firm by selling yourself on multiple interests (thus going for flexibility as opposed to a lack of interest in anything). It's absolutely shitty that OCI can hinge on a person's ability to sell themselves in 20-minute sound bites, but that can be the reality of the situation.

I really do hope something opens up for you. Please PM me if there is anything I can do to help--I don't really have much in terms of connections but I know a decent amount about Texas firms (and I can try to put you in touch with UT people that have first-hand knowledge about particular firms).


Yeah, not from the CSO person I talked to and did mock interviews with. Yeah, I don't think I can fully blame the CSO. I should have just ignored everything they said and used common sense. There's a difference between showing some flexibility (bankruptcy because of X, capital markets because of X) and coming across as if you haven't a clue what you want to do (which is basically where I was put by listening to the CSO's advice in mock interviews). I will PM you in a bit if that's ok because I know I'm still in the running for 2 top Texas firms.

These are the only two practice areas that I know about (due to 1 internship and a pre-LS career), so it makes sense to talk about my interest in these. I know I don't want to do regular litigation (bankruptcy litigation is its own species). In my defense, I had doubts about law school from the beginning, so this was mostly an experiment I undertook knowing I would walk away with nothing lost but time if OCI indicated that the legal profession is not a good fit (a point of view that is becoming more clear) since I have a job I can return to. I really hate being around law students (too loud, immature, and ostentatious), and, starting the second semester, I had to force myself to attend class because I really disliked the material and the atmosphere of law school. Maybe it's for the best?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm basically a clone of the OP except at UT on Law Review, and I went 1/29 (native Texan, bid mostly on Houston with some Dallas). I got some feedback from a Dallas firm which basically said they liked me, but they didn't think I had a genuine interest in working for them. I did not sell my interest in firms. The reason is because the CSO told me not to express interest in a practice area even if the firm is known for this. "It's not safe because you never know where they're hiring," said a member of the CSO repeatedly. This advice is complete bullshit, the person who said it should be fired, especially someone with strong and relevant work experience like myself. That basically hamstrung my ability to sell my interest in any firm because it's very hard for a 2L to distinguish firms otherwise (I have no feel for, nor do I give a fuck about "firm culture"), and I'm a concrete thinker who can't talk about abstractions like the "practice of law" without reference to something concrete like a practice area. I actually have experience in bankruptcy and capital markets, so I ought to have emphasized my interest in these at firms that had those practice areas.

What's funny is I worked with the CSO for weeks on prepping for interviews, and it took 5 minutes of practicing with a former member of the hiring committee to narrow down my problem (lack of enthusiasm for the firm and the practice of law - caused by my reluctance to talk about practice areas). I am going to print out some emails and talk to the new Dean prior to withdrawing about my awful experience with the CSO (assuming my one callbacks doesn't turn into an offer, though it very well might now that I've narrowed down the problem). Hopefully, he can make some phone calls to help me get something for the summer, so I don't have to withdraw. I have a full-ride and can quit and go on Above the Law any time with 0 consequences.

I think the behavior of the CSO in this instance amounts to professional incompetence. Also, the fact that they don't publish callback statistics like just about every other law school does. I hope Dean Farnsworth fires a bunch of the CSO just like he did Georges Cafe.

The tone of this post has nothing to do with why I struck out (someone who talks like this probably would strike out, though, so don't do it during OCI). It does probably sound entitled and arrogant, but that is because I am genuinely pissed at the moment, and most of my friends don't know either my grades or the fact that I'm on Law Review. The only reason I publicize these things is to give context. I was resigned for a long time to the fact that I struck out due to my own deficiencies. I did not become truly pissed until I found out it was a totally correctable error and due to bad advice from the CSO (maybe good advice for a K-JD, whom they are used to advising, but I think most firms would expect someone with 4 years of relevant work experience similar to some common practice areas to have some focus, so it doesn't just look like I went to law school and applied to firms on a whim).


Sorry about the awful OCI experience. And I have no doubt that UT's CSO could be improved. In their defense, I have heard multiple people from the CSO say that for people who are "second-career" type people, it is important to show some clear direction with what you want to do with your legal education. I have also heard advice from law firms, law students, multiple career service people, and even TLS that ITE it is much safer to show flexibility when it comes to practice area--that's not to say you show no interest in any area, but rather you show interest in multiple areas ("I really am interested in A for x, y, and z reason. And while I don't have much background in B, reasons q, r, and s make me think it is something that I could enjoy and excel in."). When I did OCI, I had relevant experience in two different areas, one area I was much more interested in and another where I was somewhat curious (but probably knew that I didn't want to do that in the long term). The latter interest was actually key for a few different firms and they didn't care that I had also expressed interest in other things as well. It just comes down to at least giving off the impression that you have 1) a basic understanding of the legal world, 2) interests that match up with actual legal practice, and 3) stuff on your resume that supports those interests.

Also, I hate to say this but while I am all for UT improving its CSO, I think laying the blame pretty much fully on them is unfair. You were the one interviewing with the firms and it was your job to sell yourself. Maybe they gave you shit advice by saying "express interest in nothing," but it's not too hard of a jump to realize that it's much easier to sell yourself to a firm by selling yourself on multiple interests (thus going for flexibility as opposed to a lack of interest in anything). It's absolutely shitty that OCI can hinge on a person's ability to sell themselves in 20-minute sound bites, but that can be the reality of the situation.

I really do hope something opens up for you. Please PM me if there is anything I can do to help--I don't really have much in terms of connections but I know a decent amount about Texas firms (and I can try to put you in touch with UT people that have first-hand knowledge about particular firms).


Yeah, not from the CSO person I talked to and did mock interviews with. Yeah, I don't think I can fully blame the CSO. I should have just ignored everything they said and used common sense. There's a difference between showing some flexibility (bankruptcy because of X, capital markets because of X) and coming across as if you haven't a clue what you want to do (which is basically where I was put by listening to the CSO's advice in mock interviews). I will PM you in a bit if that's ok because I know I'm still in the running for 2 top Texas firms.


This. I would show flexibility and say you may be interested in practice areas because of x, y and z. However, culture and fit is very important. You're overlooking that and should focus more on that as to differentiate between firms. When you have to spend 12 hours a day working with these people its important you get along well.

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:59 pm

sunynp wrote:Out of curiosity- how many callbacks are people with similar stats getting from UT


Similar stats and I have 10 callbacks so far. Some firms haven't decided yet. Some I've been dinged at. It really depends on how good at interviewing you are. I don't know what the "standard number" is.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:EDIT: In response to non-profit, I did sometimes talk about firm culture on a very basic level in my interviews , but I think it sounded insincere and commercialized because I have little feel for this sort of thing having never been around a large law firm before. At risk of outing myself, I tried to ask every firm not on Chambers & Associates whether they did the "free market system" or the "Cravath model" and tried to sell my interest based on their answer. But I realize this probably sounded really canned--since I have never experienced either and have no particular authentic reason to care about one or the other-- and didn't win me any friends. I also occasionally asked about partnership tracks. But these kinds of questions do not sound real, ya know? They sound like questions someone memorized for an interview. Firms want to hire people with a genuine interest in their practice areas and the ability to relate to normal people, which questions like these don't bespeak.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking about the culture or personality about a particular firm, and asking that to every firm you meet with. (Even asking that to every single person you talk to at the same firm when doing a callback--it can be even more helpful in this scenario since you can get slightly different pictures and start to notice commonalities and differences among answers.) It can be a sincere question, so just sound sincere when you ask it. That question alone can take a few minutes talking about. Asking about partnership track is typically not the best answer b/c a lot of times that stuff in public information and the chances of you making partner are so low anyway at most bigfirms that it comes off as what should be a low priority question.

How work is distributed might not be the best question either, just because it can come as mechanical and the answer will be pretty mechanical. If you really had an interest in, say, wanting to know the pros and cons of Latham not assigning you to a department until your 2nd (or is it 3rd?) year, feel free to ask, b/c then it gives them a chance to offer a sincere answer (they can sell themselves while also showing some honesty about potential downsides). But I would say these sort of questions work best when you can already show you know what the system currently is and you just want to talk more about how they feel about it.

You can ask simple questions like "what made you choose X Firm out of law school?" (Try to ask this question to people you know started at the firm and didn't lateral over, though it's not always possible to know this.) Or even really basic stuff like, "What are some of the questions students should be asking, but they don't?" --that question is such a cop-out question, but it can actually go over really well, depending on the interviewer. It provides a nice flip to the dynamic, where they are suddenly put on the spot and answer a question they may have not answered so far that day. And it can actually give you great info about how to be a better interviewer.

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm basically a clone of the OP except at UT on Law Review, and I went 1/29 (native Texan, bid mostly on Houston with some Dallas). I got some feedback from a Dallas firm which basically said they liked me, but they didn't think I had a genuine interest in working for them. I did not sell my interest in firms. The reason is because the CSO told me not to express interest in a practice area even if the firm is known for this. "It's not safe because you never know where they're hiring," said a member of the CSO repeatedly. This advice is complete bullshit, the person who said it should be fired, especially someone with strong and relevant work experience like myself. That basically hamstrung my ability to sell my interest in any firm because it's very hard for a 2L to distinguish firms otherwise (I have no feel for, nor do I give a fuck about "firm culture"), and I'm a concrete thinker who can't talk about abstractions like the "practice of law" without reference to something concrete like a practice area. I actually have experience in bankruptcy and capital markets, so I ought to have emphasized my interest in these at firms that had those practice areas.

What's funny is I worked with the CSO for weeks on prepping for interviews, and it took 5 minutes of practicing with a former member of the hiring committee to narrow down my problem (lack of enthusiasm for the firm and the practice of law - caused by my reluctance to talk about practice areas). I am going to print out some emails and talk to the new Dean prior to withdrawing about my awful experience with the CSO (assuming my one callbacks doesn't turn into an offer, though it very well might now that I've narrowed down the problem). Hopefully, he can make some phone calls to help me get something for the summer, so I don't have to withdraw. I have a full-ride and can quit and go on Above the Law any time with 0 consequences.

I think the behavior of the CSO in this instance amounts to professional incompetence. Also, the fact that they don't publish callback statistics like just about every other law school does. I hope Dean Farnsworth fires a bunch of the CSO just like he did Georges Cafe.

The tone of this post has nothing to do with why I struck out (someone who talks like this probably would strike out, though, so don't do it during OCI). It does probably sound entitled and arrogant, but that is because I am genuinely pissed at the moment, and most of my friends don't know either my grades or the fact that I'm on Law Review. The only reason I publicize these things is to give context. I was resigned for a long time to the fact that I struck out due to my own deficiencies. I did not become truly pissed until I found out it was a totally correctable error and due to bad advice from the CSO (maybe good advice for a K-JD, whom they are used to advising, but I think most firms would expect someone with 4 years of relevant work experience similar to some common practice areas to have some focus, so it doesn't just look like I went to law school and applied to firms on a whim).


Sorry about the awful OCI experience. And I have no doubt that UT's CSO could be improved. In their defense, I have heard multiple people from the CSO say that for people who are "second-career" type people, it is important to show some clear direction with what you want to do with your legal education. I have also heard advice from law firms, law students, multiple career service people, and even TLS that ITE it is much safer to show flexibility when it comes to practice area--that's not to say you show no interest in any area, but rather you show interest in multiple areas ("I really am interested in A for x, y, and z reason. And while I don't have much background in B, reasons q, r, and s make me think it is something that I could enjoy and excel in."). When I did OCI, I had relevant experience in two different areas, one area I was much more interested in and another where I was somewhat curious (but probably knew that I didn't want to do that in the long term). The latter interest was actually key for a few different firms and they didn't care that I had also expressed interest in other things as well. It just comes down to at least giving off the impression that you have 1) a basic understanding of the legal world, 2) interests that match up with actual legal practice, and 3) stuff on your resume that supports those interests.

Also, I hate to say this but while I am all for UT improving its CSO, I think laying the blame pretty much fully on them is unfair. You were the one interviewing with the firms and it was your job to sell yourself. Maybe they gave you shit advice by saying "express interest in nothing," but it's not too hard of a jump to realize that it's much easier to sell yourself to a firm by selling yourself on multiple interests (thus going for flexibility as opposed to a lack of interest in anything). It's absolutely shitty that OCI can hinge on a person's ability to sell themselves in 20-minute sound bites, but that can be the reality of the situation.

I really do hope something opens up for you. Please PM me if there is anything I can do to help--I don't really have much in terms of connections but I know a decent amount about Texas firms (and I can try to put you in touch with UT people that have first-hand knowledge about particular firms).


Yeah, not from the CSO person I talked to and did mock interviews with. Yeah, I don't think I can fully blame the CSO. I should have just ignored everything they said and used common sense. There's a difference between showing some flexibility (bankruptcy because of X, capital markets because of X) and coming across as if you haven't a clue what you want to do (which is basically where I was put by listening to the CSO's advice in mock interviews). I will PM you in a bit if that's ok because I know I'm still in the running for 2 top Texas firms.


This. I would show flexibility and say you may be interested in practice areas because of x, y and z. However, culture and fit is very important. You're overlooking that and should focus more on that as to differentiate between firms. When you have to spend 12 hours a day working with these people its important you get along well.


Culture and fit is more for them to decide. I don't really have any idea about this sort of thing. The fact that I have no feel for nor understanding for "firm culture" --how can one possibly know this at the screening stage?-- might be an indication that I should not be doing law. Glad I can dump the whole project and walk away debt free. I also find talking to big law lawyers to be super super boring, so I probably did not learn as much as I should have during 1L networking events.

I just find it more natural and sincere for me to talk about practice areas since I'm a concrete, practical person rather than "culture" which I don't really know much about (it all seems the same to me - unless we're talking about big differences like chummy Texas mid law like Porter Hedges vs. NYC white shoe like Milbank or lit boutique Ware Jackson vs. Vault Giant Baker & McKenzie). Every firm basically says its "diverse" and "collegial" on its website. Websites don't help much.

Maybe concrete, practical people have no place in law. I am used to talking about the job and selling my ability to do a particular job better than other candidates. Everything in law seems so airy, wishy-washy, and abstract, which I fundamentally despise.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sunynp wrote:Out of curiosity- how many callbacks are people with similar stats getting from UT


Similar stats and I have 10 callbacks so far. Some firms haven't decided yet. Some I've been dinged at. It really depends on how good at interviewing you are. I don't know what the "standard number" is.


UT student who did OCI last year, also on TLR with a higher GPA. Targeted only Texas firms and ended up with six callbacks (then went 2/3 on offers from CBs and cancelled the rest). I think I was definitely on the low end of callbacks because 1) I was noticeably much worse of an interviewer at the beginning of OCI just b/c I had no clue what I was doing (even with mock interviewers, this sort of interaction just felt really weird and awkward for me initially) and 2) I had a lot of screeners with lit boutiques, which meant I did not interview with a few relatively bigger Texas firms with bigger SA class sizes since UT caps screeners at 25.

But, overall, hard to say what an average amount should be, especially because a difference of a year might have substantially changed things (I know a few Texas firms are taking bigger classes this year).

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Gorki » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:But I think you need to convey the point: "you're my #1 choice and I would definitely work here if you gave me an offer."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FltRUoAaGdo

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:45 pm

UT student who got screwed by CSO.

I got a callback at a selective lit boutique in a secondary market where I have no ties outside of OCI (big oil market, non-Texas, and seaside should give it away). I read a bunch of cases the firm did (and my interviewer worked on) and engaged my interviewer with a conversation about them. I got into a lot of detail, and held my end of the conversation up well. I think different people have different styles, and the CSO should work with students to find out what works for them. I can't talk like some 22-year-old college kid about college sports. I know everything about pro football, but it just doesn't seem natural for someone like me with a previous to not be direct, focused, and down to business. The CSO's one-size fits all advice, in retrospect, is terrible without some context and the use of common sense.

My way of showing enthusiasm is to show that I am interested in what a company does since I know little about how a law firm functions. I was totally honest about not having ties to that market. On the other hand, I did the CB about 3 weeks ago and haven't heard back, so maybe this doesn't mean anything.

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Re: Top 15%, LR, T20 - struck out at OCI and taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm basically a clone of the OP except at UT on Law Review, and I went 1/29 (native Texan, bid mostly on Houston with some Dallas). I got some feedback from a Dallas firm which basically said they liked me, but they didn't think I had a genuine interest in working for them. I did not sell my interest in firms. The reason is because the CSO told me not to express interest in a practice area even if the firm is known for this. "It's not safe because you never know where they're hiring," said a member of the CSO repeatedly. This advice is complete bullshit, the person who said it should be fired, especially someone with strong and relevant work experience like myself. That basically hamstrung my ability to sell my interest in any firm because it's very hard for a 2L to distinguish firms otherwise (I have no feel for, nor do I give a fuck about "firm culture"), and I'm a concrete thinker who can't talk about abstractions like the "practice of law" without reference to something concrete like a practice area. I actually have experience in bankruptcy and capital markets, so I ought to have emphasized my interest in these at firms that had those practice areas.

What's funny is I worked with the CSO for weeks on prepping for interviews, and it took 5 minutes of practicing with a former member of the hiring committee to narrow down my problem (lack of enthusiasm for the firm and the practice of law - caused by my reluctance to talk about practice areas). I am going to print out some emails and talk to the new Dean prior to withdrawing about my awful experience with the CSO (assuming my one callbacks doesn't turn into an offer, though it very well might now that I've narrowed down the problem). Hopefully, he can make some phone calls to help me get something for the summer, so I don't have to withdraw. I have a full-ride and can quit and go on Above the Law any time with 0 consequences.

I think the behavior of the CSO in this instance amounts to professional incompetence. Also, the fact that they don't publish callback statistics like just about every other law school does. I hope Dean Farnsworth fires a bunch of the CSO just like he did Georges Cafe.

The tone of this post has nothing to do with why I struck out (someone who talks like this probably would strike out, though, so don't do it during OCI). It does probably sound entitled and arrogant, but that is because I am genuinely pissed at the moment, and most of my friends don't know either my grades or the fact that I'm on Law Review. The only reason I publicize these things is to give context. I was resigned for a long time to the fact that I struck out due to my own deficiencies. I did not become truly pissed until I found out it was a totally correctable error and due to bad advice from the CSO (maybe good advice for a K-JD, whom they are used to advising, but I think most firms would expect someone with 4 years of relevant work experience similar to some common practice areas to have some focus, so it doesn't just look like I went to law school and applied to firms on a whim).


I'm so sad your school stole Farnsworth from us. But our CDO also isn't great, so I doubt Farnsworth will help. But yeah, I also performed best with firms where I showed enthusiasm for some of their major practice areas.




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