Leveraging a scholarship

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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:47 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:This is not the same as giving different bonuses based on merit. There is no reason to think OP has any special skills or will be a better performer than the rest of the class. OP may be more valuable to the firm in that some clients insist that a minority atty be on their deals or whatever. Fine. But don't compare it to people who get a higher bonus for being an unusually good associate or having been a SCOTUS clerk. That is where the ego comes in.


Wait. What?

These scholarships are given out to maybe 1 or 2 candidates per firm. There's an essay component too. And they require letters of recommendation from professors. Do you really believe there's "no reason" to think merit is involved because only URMs could apply?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thelawyerguy
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby thelawyerguy » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:02 pm

OP, will you PM me? I'm in a similar situation. Thanks.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:This is not the same as giving different bonuses based on merit. There is no reason to think OP has any special skills or will be a better performer than the rest of the class. OP may be more valuable to the firm in that some clients insist that a minority atty be on their deals or whatever. Fine. But don't compare it to people who get a higher bonus for being an unusually good associate or having been a SCOTUS clerk. That is where the ego comes in.


Wait. What?

These scholarships are given out to maybe 1 or 2 candidates per firm. There's an essay component too. Do you really believe there's "no reason" to think merit is involved because only URMS could apply?


I was talking about if the firm that does not have the scholarship program agrees to match. The firm that does not have the scholarship has not solicited essays or done any further work beyond deciding OP will be a competent associate, the same decision that has been made about all the people who received offers. Entering SAs generally do not have any special skills, URM or not. Associates with a proven track record of outstanding work at the firm or SCOTUS clerks have actual skills that are valuable to the firm.

What I am saying is that I don't think there is reason at this point to believe that OP, or any other SA in OP's class, has more skills than any other SA. OP may be more valuable and worth another $50K but not because s/he is more skilled.

Yes, there is merit involved in the decision of who to award the scholarship to, but that is not the question OP is asking about.

Blech, I am talking myself in circles. This is such a touchy topic. I am fine with programs like the ones OP describes, but I don't think you can compare it to a SCOTUS bonus or a higher-than-average associate bonus.

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Byakuya769
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby Byakuya769 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Byakuya769 wrote:
fw8014 wrote:
I had an URM scholly as a 1L. It's all for the PR. We're not special snowflakes like SCOTUS clerks, who have the prestige and the work products to backup why they're worth the extra $$ as long-term investments. Chances are, the firm has 1 SCOTUS clerk, while 10-20% of the SA class will be URMs. The firm probably doesn't have SCOTUS clerks on their waitlist, but there are probably excellent URM candidates. I personally treat URM schollys as extra money that I was lucky to get, not as something I am entitled to or deserve more than other candidates.

But you seem to have made up your mind already. Let us know how the firm responds.


Pretty much this. The # of applicants versus SA slots pretty much guarantees there is someone else who is ready and willing to fill your spot. I wouldn't want to be the URM that came into the firm trying to negotiate special treatment, either.


Yeesh. It's like somehow you have all forgotten that in probably 98% of private sector jobs, salary negotiations are expected. How is it acting "entitled" to seek out the employer that values you the most?

The lock-step compensation followed by BigLaw is not because they believe that all associates are equal; it's to simplify things. You may not think that you're no better or worse than your peers, but I can pretty much guarantee you that the partners evaluating your work will have no problem ranking you relative to the rest of your class. Furthermore, come bonus time, merit will probably factor in as well. And let's not forget that should you defy the odds and make partner, at the vast majority of firms, the lockstep system is abandoned entirely.

If you want to chalk all of your success up to dumb luck and being handed things, that's your prerogative, but I choose to believe that my success thus far is the product of hard work, determination, and taking the initiative. If that makes me an egomaniac, so be it.


Well, after that very entitled post, I'm now convinced you don't have an entitlement problem (which I never said in the first place).

fw8014
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby fw8014 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:32 pm

URM schollys are fundamentally different from merit-based bonuses or raises. One is based on actual value you've created for your employer, the other is based on PR, potential value you may bring, and intangible factors. If you don't see this as an important distinction then nothing I can say will change your mind.

My note on my URM scholly as something I feel lucky to get has nothing to do with a low assessment of my own capabilities or my lack of initiative. Based on my reviews this summer, I know I gave the firm a great bang for its buck. The partner also commented that this hasn't always happened with past recipients.

Keep in mind that most of the posters in this thread are giving advice with the best intentions. We warn against doing this because every aspect of your candidacy is scrutinized from the moment you submit a resume to moment you accept that post-graduation employment offer. You may be perceived as a candidate with initiative, but you may also be subjecting yourself to a higher level of scrutiny than you bargained for. Let's say your work products aren't as stellar as your URM personal statement promised (I can't believe I just typed that), do you really think the firm will forget when the partners decide who gets no offers or cold offers?

No one is denying that there are potential gains, people are just saying the risks may not be worth it. Anyways, good luck.

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ryanmot
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby ryanmot » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:30 am

fw8014 wrote: Let's say your work products aren't as stellar as your URM personal statement promised (I can't believe I just typed that), do you really think the firm will forget when the partners decide who gets no offers or cold offers?


This.

Anonymous User
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:31 pm

V10 anon here.

I'm a midlevel associate at a V10 (created this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=193519) and I have a different take from that of those who have posted so far.

I would advise you to definitely try your best to leverage your second choice's scholarship into a scholarship at your top choice. Your approach is key, however. Instead of seeming gauche or greedy by overtly asking your top choice to match, I would advise you to reach out to HR at your top pick to thank them for their offer and explain that you are very excited about their firm and love <<insert 3 or 4 substantive, insightful, firm-specific things>> about them, but you have an offer of both an SA position and a scholarship of xyz amount from a peer firm. Then ask them a couple of questions that are meant to help you decide which firm to go to. Of course, the point of the e-mail is not these questions but rather to let slip that they have competition for you. If HR gets back to you w/ answers to these questions w/out mentioning your scholarship then leave the topic alone. If, however, they ask for additional details such as the peer firm's name, then provide them the info and they just might match. It is not unusual at all for firms to quietly accommodate associates without disclosing to the rest of the class that xyz person just got a concession worth thousands. Just be careful how you go about it. Let them "surprise" you by offering to match (because, you know, it hadn't occurred to you that they might match when you let slip the info about the peer firm).

By the way, some people in this thread have given you ignorant, catty advice and I suspect it is because you are a URM in an enviable position w/ somewhat unearned money. Be careful who you take advice from in this profession because many law students and lawyers are very jealous, competitive people.

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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:38 pm

V10 anon here.
Anonymous User wrote:
spets wrote:Just wondering, what were you looking to get from this thread? Everyone suggested against it, but you seemed to have up made your mind up from the get-go. Were you just looking for validation?


I was looking to be convinced that it was a bad idea. Or maybe anecdotes of it blowing up in someone's face. Something to give me pause. I just didn't find enough of it.

So just to update those who are curious, I took it to the issue to recruiting manager this morning. She told me she'd take it to the hiring partner and get back to me shortly. About 2 hours later she called back to say that they're going to discuss it the next time the full hiring committee meets and asked how long I have to decide with the other firm. I told her they gave me a week on the scholarship (which they did) and she asked me to forward the offer in writing, which I also just did.

Seems like they're at least considering it, which is really all I could ask for. Just the fact that they're even toying with the notion really sold me on the firm and how much they actually care about who they hire. I anticipate going there regardless of their decision.
Didn't see this update before I posted above. Ha, so you did decide to negotiate and they didn't slam the phone down and tell you never to come back, did they? Good job. Whether or not they match, remember this lesson. People like you get concessions precisely because most of your peers are cowards who will leave money on the table that they could have gotten. That frees up money for people like you and me to lay claim to just by asking.

By the way, don't ever feel even a bit guilty or less "meritorious" or "entitled" about getting benefits for being a URM. Non-URM people in our profession get ahead for going to certain schools, coming from certain families, knowing certain people, having certain connections that URMs almost never have because of historical disadvantage. Pure merit is a joke. Laugh all the way to the bank, my friend. I'd take advantage of URM and women's programs if I could.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:43 pm

^
OP has already contacted the firm, so it is too late for your subtle approach, which is probably the best way to approach such a situation. I think you stereotype the posters in this thread who cautioned OP about how to handle this. My opinion is that reasonable minds can disagree about how such a request would be received by the firm (especially if done in an un-subtle "greedy" way as you put it), which means OP is running a risk by asking. Perhaps the people on the receiving end are fine with it, perhaps not.

Most posters with a negative reaction to OP were actually responding OP's comparison of such a scholarship to a SCOTUS bonus or higher-than-average associate bonus for unusually good work. SCOTUS clerks and outstanding associates have proven track records. Entering SAs generally do not.

Am I jealous? I mean, I'd love to get an extra $50K - who wouldn't? But I don't think it is clouding my opinion on this topic.

Anonymous User
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:51 pm

V10 anon here.
somewhatwayward wrote:^
OP has already contacted the firm, so it is too late for your subtle approach, which is probably the best way to approach such a situation. I think you stereotype the posters in this thread who cautioned OP about how to handle this. My opinion is that reasonable minds can disagree about how such a request would be received by the firm (especially if done in an un-subtle "greedy" way as you put it), which means OP is running a risk by asking. Perhaps the people on the receiving end are fine with it, perhaps not.

Most posters with a negative reaction to OP were actually responding OP's comparison of such a scholarship to a SCOTUS bonus or higher-than-average associate bonus for unusually good work. SCOTUS clerks and outstanding associates have proven track records. Entering SAs generally do not.

Am I jealous? I mean, I'd love to get an extra $50K - who wouldn't? But I don't think it is clouding my opinion on this topic.
Neither the guy who started this thread nor SCOTUS clerks have proven track records at law firms, so law firms shouldn't pay any of them a dime extra on that basis. Firms aren't paying because they think SCOTUS clerks have a track record at all relevant to performing well in a firm. Firms are paying for the bragging rights of having attracted members of a rare bunch - the same reason why firms pay extra for URMs. For whatever reason, URM lawyers who are at the level that firms want to hire from are very, very rare. It's always just as much of a crap shoot when we hire SCOTUS clerks as it is when we hire URMs or anyone else. Some SCOTUS clerks I have dealt with have been great lawyers, but some have been duds who are great only studying information handed to them. In fact, some SCOTUS clerks are lazy because they know they can leave any time for any job they want. SCOTUS clerks are good at research but so are regular old junior associates after we've yelled at them a bit and put them in fear of losing their jobs.

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sunynp
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Re: Leveraging a scholarship

Postby sunynp » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:38 pm

Thanks for updating OP.




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