Firm Christmas Party

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273382
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Firm Christmas Party

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:59 am

Hey folks,

A big firm in my region invited my entire 1L class to a "christmas party" where we can bring our resumes and network. I was planning on heading on back home after my last exam, but I'm starting to think it might not be wise to miss out on the party. Anybody have an opinion on whether or not this is a "must go" or if its really not a big deal either way?

Thanks,
Obsessive 1L

User avatar
nmcdgt
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:58 am

Re: Firm Christmas Party

Postby nmcdgt » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:01 am

My gut feeling tells me it isn't a huge deal. On the one hand you may be able to talk to a few people and hand out your resume, which can't hurt. However, you'll have a chance to apply to them again through the proper channels (OCI), which is when they will actually review these things with the intent of hiring. Also, if it's really your entire 1L class going, it's going to be nearly impossible to make a meaningful impression. You may give them your resume, but so will everyone else, and it will more likely than not end up being a partner surrounded by 7-8 law students who are talking over each other. Not to mention that you won't even have any law school grades on your resume yet, so giving it to them really is not going to accomplish much.

If it's not a huge inconvenience you may want to go, if nothing else to get your name out a little bit and get a little bit of practice at these types of things. Honestly, though, if you miss it I wouldn't worry about it, and I would bet that this "party" has 0 effect on the actual hiring the firm does.
Last edited by nmcdgt on Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: Firm Christmas Party

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:22 am

I'll start by saying that this is not a make or break event, and that your career isn't riding on you changing your plans.

However, the post above feels too dismissive these types of events. Making connections early is one of the best insurance policies you can create for yourself. Sure, if it turns out that you are a rockstar and clean up on grades, you won't need to network as much. (Though networking is still the best way to get "the" job rather than "a" job.) But someone who can say in an interview or cover letter that they became interested in the firm as a 1L after having the opportunity to speak with John Doe (and then continue with something relevant that showed you were LISTENING) is in a much better position than someone who is culling through the web to figure out why X firm rather than Y firm.

In your shoes, I'd consider writing whomever in recruiting sent the message and thank them for the invitation, explain that your travel plans are already set, but that you would appreciate the opportunity to speak with attorneys at the firm. Ask whether they plan to host other such events, or if there is anyone they might suggest you reach out to independently.

User avatar
nmcdgt
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:58 am

Re: Firm Christmas Party

Postby nmcdgt » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:31 am

TooOld4This wrote:I'll start by saying that this is not a make or break event, and that your career isn't riding on you changing your plans.

However, the post above feels too dismissive these types of events. Making connections early is one of the best insurance policies you can create for yourself. Sure, if it turns out that you are a rockstar and clean up on grades, you won't need to network as much. (Though networking is still the best way to get "the" job rather than "a" job.) But someone who can say in an interview or cover letter that they became interested in the firm as a 1L after having the opportunity to speak with John Doe (and then continue with something relevant that showed you were LISTENING) is in a much better position than someone who is culling through the web to figure out why X firm rather than Y firm.

In your shoes, I'd consider writing whomever in recruiting sent the message and thank them for the invitation, explain that your travel plans are already set, but that you would appreciate the opportunity to speak with attorneys at the firm. Ask whether they plan to host other such events, or if there is anyone they might suggest you reach out to independently.


I don't disagree that networking early and often is a great insurance policy and is very important. Rather, my point is that -- having been to events like this -- when you have 200+ students and a handful of lawyers, I'd be very surprised if any networking on any meaningful level actually occurs. My experience repeatedly with these events (on an even smaller scale; I can't imagine what it's like with an entire 1L class) is that there are just too many people and the lawyers are too preoccupied to make any meaningful connections with any individual student. When you combine that with the fact that no one has any grades yet (making the resumes essentially useless), I just don't think it is anything to fret over.

In my opinion, if you really want to network in a way that may lead people to actually remember you, contact them personally and try to get an informational interview or at least start a correspondence. Those are the connections that actually lasted in my experience, and thus had any effect come hiring time.

ETA: This is not to say that smaller events of this sort cannot be helpful; it's the sheer size of this event and the fact that it is so early in the school year that gives me my impression

xcountryjunkie
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:52 pm

Re: Firm Christmas Party

Postby xcountryjunkie » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:27 pm

Agreed with above poster. The events aren't meant for you to be able to network and have a better shot at getting hired. The firm throws them so that they can drum up interest in the firm so that come OCI they get more applicants or at least better applicants (assuming the firm becomes so popular that students in the lower part of the class won't bid because they know they won't get the job). While the benefits for the firm are obvious at schools where firms need to accept your bid for you even to get a screen at OCI, it also applies to lottery-based schools (it just takes longer for the requisite popularity to build up, creating that aura of selectivity).

NotMyRealName09
Posts: 1394
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: Firm Christmas Party

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:55 pm

While not make or break, in a tight legal market every advantage counts. During OCI next year, if you say "I went to your firm's christmas party and (a) I introduced myself to you, and/or (b) it piqued my interest in your firm - well, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by showing up. Just another way to distinguish yourself - just go, it might be meaningless, or it might have a positive impact. You can guarantee it won't have a positive impact if you don't go.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.