V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

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AnotherYearOlder
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V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:52 pm

Hi All,

As someone who's been through the process, done thousands of interviews and reviewed about 25 resumes for every one of those interviews, I've seen a lot of, frankly, bad advice on this forum (not that that's necessarily the fault of anyone giving the particular advice -- I recognize that some of this is just the "best guess" of people that are in the same mutual boat). Recognizing that the 1L Summer Associate Hiring Process is starting to pick up speed and that many 2Ls and 3Ls are still looking for employment, I thought I'd step up and answer questions for a while.

I don't think it's fair for me to answer questions about specific firms, so I won't do that, but I'm happy to weigh in on markets (to the extent I know anything about a particular market, interview strategies, networking strategies, resume drops, OCI, call-backs, resume content, references, etc.

Fire away....

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hyakku
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby hyakku » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:01 pm

1L here, thanks for doing this. I'm assuming you may have had some experience reviewing 1L applications for summer job searches (although perhaps this is relevant for some 2L job seekers as well), and I was wondering whether you could comment on the major differences between individualized cover letters for a position, and personal statements or diversity statements for 1L diversity positions. For law school it was more or less a narrative we were giving, but we also were generally given more space and targeted prompts.

I notice a lot of firms that have 1L hiring programs, and especially those with diversity programs, often want an additional personal statement or diversity statement. It's easy enough usually to discuss why I want to be at a firm, what attracts me to it, and why I think I'd fit in, but all of those seem like things that could (and maybe should) be put into a cover letter. What are you all usually looking for outside of these standard things when it comes to personal statements and/or diversity statements? Should we be thinking about them more akin to law school personal statements, or more of a hybrid between a cover letter and personal statement? Thanks again.

Mr. December
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Mr. December » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:03 pm

What would you say is the most prevalent bad advice on TLS?

Anonymous User
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:06 pm

Thanks for taking the time out to help out some law students. I'm a 3L who has recently been hired for a two-year bankruptcy clerkship. I didn't work as a summer associate during my 1L or 2L summers and I'd like to work for a firm during my post-3L summer. Has your firm ever hired a 3L summer associate, and do you think it'd be best to just send an email straight to a partner in a firm's bankruptcy/restructuring group?

Thanks again!

Anonymous User
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:08 pm

As a 1L, I've rejected the advice suggesting I send in my application without grades. I've decided to wait until the end of January. Is that a mistake and have I fucked up?

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TatNurner
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby TatNurner » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:11 pm

As a hiring partner, what are your thoughts about candidates with JD/MBAs? Do you think the combination has any value?

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:30 pm

I'm going to be trying to transition back to private practice after several years away (for a federal clerkship and a government stint). The long story short is that I wanted to get away from billing 2500 hours a year while my kids were little. It worked -- and I got to do some really fun stuff with the government! But now they youngest is about to head off to school, so I'd like to move back to trying to make a little more money.

Possible to move back? Best way to go about it?

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:01 pm

Should I try to note-on to a journal even though I already have a biglaw SA position for the upcoming summer (I'm a 2L)? I have heard conflicting advice on this. Thanks!

dc2013
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby dc2013 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:04 pm

Thank you for doing this. What are you looking for in a 3L candidate interviewing for an entry-level associate position? There are not nearly as many entry-level positions as there are summer associate positions, so I was wondering whether what firms look for in a 3L is different than what firms look for in a rising 2L interviewing for a summer associate position.

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:17 pm

hyakku wrote:1L here, thanks for doing this. I'm assuming you may have had some experience reviewing 1L applications for summer job searches (although perhaps this is relevant for some 2L job seekers as well), and I was wondering whether you could comment on the major differences between individualized cover letters for a position, and personal statements or diversity statements for 1L diversity positions. For law school it was more or less a narrative we were giving, but we also were generally given more space and targeted prompts.

I notice a lot of firms that have 1L hiring programs, and especially those with diversity programs, often want an additional personal statement or diversity statement. It's easy enough usually to discuss why I want to be at a firm, what attracts me to it, and why I think I'd fit in, but all of those seem like things that could (and maybe should) be put into a cover letter. What are you all usually looking for outside of these standard things when it comes to personal statements and/or diversity statements? Should we be thinking about them more akin to law school personal statements, or more of a hybrid between a cover letter and personal statement? Thanks again.


I think whether you're doing a cover letter or personal (diversity) statement your main goal should be to be straightforward, be efficient in communication and have a clear goal in mind. A diversity statement is, at its core, a mechanism to test the legitimacy of the diversity claim (trust me, you'd be shocked). It's also an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself in the event of a "tie".

In reality, I don't think there's much difference between the two, they're just meant to convey different information.

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:20 pm

Mr. December wrote:What would you say is the most prevalent bad advice on TLS?


Initially, it was from the "if you don't get 8,000 resumes out by December 2nd, you're not getting a job" crowd. The correct advice was -- study hard, do well on finals and impress people with the quality of your résumé, not the fact that you got it in first.

Now, it's the notion that mass mailing resumes to everyone in the world is somehow useful. If you qualify for OCI, great, apply at every opportunity. If you're sending cold resumes, pick a handful, research the firm, make a few calls and get your foot in the door that way.

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for taking the time out to help out some law students. I'm a 3L who has recently been hired for a two-year bankruptcy clerkship. I didn't work as a summer associate during my 1L or 2L summers and I'd like to work for a firm during my post-3L summer. Has your firm ever hired a 3L summer associate, and do you think it'd be best to just send an email straight to a partner in a firm's bankruptcy/restructuring group?

Thanks again!


We've had a few 3L summer associates in the past, but it was in very specific circumstances and almost always (maybe just always) involved situations where the SA wasn't taking the bar that summer. Since you have your clerkship (congratulations!), I'd just focus on studying for the bar, then work on being a good clerk. If your judge doesn't take care of you at the end of your clerkship with some recommendations, the contacts you've made during the course of your clerkship (from attorneys who've seen you be thorough, reasonable, responsive, etc.) will pay off.

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a 1L, I've rejected the advice suggesting I send in my application without grades. I've decided to wait until the end of January. Is that a mistake and have I fucked up?


Nope. You're good.

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:36 pm

TatNurner wrote:As a hiring partner, what are your thoughts about candidates with JD/MBAs? Do you think the combination has any value?


Absolutely. Be prepared to discuss in your interview why you think it's beneficial, though. Just having it on paper is only half the battle. Use it to differentiate yourself when it counts. The biggest problem you can have is not knowing how to apply all of that education you've received. If you can't, you risk coming off like a professional student.

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm going to be trying to transition back to private practice after several years away (for a federal clerkship and a government stint). The long story short is that I wanted to get away from billing 2500 hours a year while my kids were little. It worked -- and I got to do some really fun stuff with the government! But now they youngest is about to head off to school, so I'd like to move back to trying to make a little more money.

Possible to move back? Best way to go about it?


I'd mine the contacts you made while you were clerking as a starting point, reaching out to the attorneys you got to know and inquiring about their needs. It's absolutely possible to move back. Many firms prefer former clerks to associates right out of school.

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Should I try to note-on to a journal even though I already have a biglaw SA position for the upcoming summer (I'm a 2L)? I have heard conflicting advice on this. Thanks!


Meh, unless you've got some good reason to be on a journal (love of writing, spading, etc.) I'd skip it. Your resume was already good enough to get you the job you wanted (presumably).

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:03 pm

dc2013 wrote:Thank you for doing this. What are you looking for in a 3L candidate interviewing for an entry-level associate position? There are not nearly as many entry-level positions as there are summer associate positions, so I was wondering whether what firms look for in a 3L is different than what firms look for in a rising 2L interviewing for a summer associate position.


It's the same information we're looking for, it's just that the level of difficulty has increased. Write a good resume, give a good interview, research your subjects, etc. Good luck!

Anonymous User
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:04 pm

Assuming one has a 2L SA position, how much do 2L grades really matter at most biglaw firms for getting a full time offer? Is there a GPA drop/level of grades below which you put an offer in jeopardy? Or it really just pass your classes and no one cares?

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Assuming one has a 2L SA position, how much do 2L grades really matter at most biglaw firms for getting a full time offer? Is there a GPA drop/level of grades below which you put an offer in jeopardy? Or it really just pass your classes and no one cares?


Depends on the firm and even then it can be case-by-case. If you go in and light the world on fire as a SA, it's possible that nobody even looks at your transcript to check your grades. If you're not quite so successful and become a borderline hire, it could make or break you.

If you're in a situation where your grades have dropped, but you already have a SA position, don't lose any sleep over it. Nothing you can do about those grades now anyway. Work hard and get your GPA up, that way you can convince your employer that the drop was an aberration, then be the best SA you can. You may not be in the position you'd like, but it's far from Game Over.

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20160810
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby 20160810 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:12 pm

What would you recommend as a timeline or strategy for clerks sending out applications? My clerkship ends in August, and most people have told me that March is probably the best time to start the job search, but I was curious what your take was. Also most firms don't seem to have a streamlined application process for judicial clerks the way they do for 2Ls. Would you recommend contacting individuals within the firm in my practice area of choice (I'm in a pretty specialized field) with my resume and just hitting them up for advice/offering to buy them lunch, or is it a pain in the ass to get contacted that way by random law students/clerks?

Appreciate your taking the time to help us out with this thread.

Anonymous User
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:13 pm

If I connect/network with a non exec committee partner at your firm can I that overcome my bottom of the class grades at a top 10 (i.e. Michigan, UVA, Penn).

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2014
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:16 pm

How quickly do you get to "What questions can I answer for you?" when you are interviewing, and do you have examples of some good questions?

Additionally, once an interview moves into this phase, are you looking for the applicant to maintain a dialogue or is it irritating if they kind of impose their opinion rather than just asking engaging questions and listening to your response?

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:25 pm

SBL wrote:What would you recommend as a timeline or strategy for clerks sending out applications? My clerkship ends in August, and most people have told me that March is probably the best time to start the job search, but I was curious what your take was. Also most firms don't seem to have a streamlined application process for judicial clerks the way they do for 2Ls. Would you recommend contacting individuals within the firm in my practice area of choice (I'm in a pretty specialized field) with my resume and just hitting them up for advice/offering to buy them lunch, or is it a pain in the ass to get contacted that way by random law students/clerks?

Appreciate your taking the time to help us out with this thread.


I think the notion of a March job search is pretty solid advice. I would reach out to contacts you've made and offer lunch/coffee when it seems appropriate. I think that's the best approach for anyone going through non-OCI applications. Get someone within the firm to say "hey, I met with so-and-so and she seems like a good candidate". If you've got a specialized area of interest, all the better for that approach.

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TTH
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby TTH » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I connect/network with a non exec committee partner at your firm can I that overcome my bottom of the class grades at a top 10 (i.e. Michigan, UVA, Penn).


With writing skills like this, I don't see why not.



When interviewing an otherwise qualified candidate, what are the things that most frequently set apart the candidate from the pack, for either better or worse?

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If I connect/network with a non exec committee partner at your firm can I that overcome my bottom of the class grades at a top 10 (i.e. Michigan, UVA, Penn).


Probably depends on the rest of your resume, the firm and the market you're interviewing in. You're thinking about it the right way, though. Getting someone to go to bat for you is key.




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