V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

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20160810
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby 20160810 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:31 pm

One of the things that's changed most about TLS now relative to when it started is people have begun to appreciate the importance of having "ties" to the market you're applying in. It used to be that this was never discussed, but now the topic of "ties" comes up whenever people are applying to markets outside of NYC, DC, and maybe SF/LA. (Conventional wisdom is, basically, that those are the only places where you can get hired unless you're from there or have a good reason you can articulate for wanting to live there).

My question is, do you think the pendulum has swung too far the other way and we now over-emphasize ties to the area, or is it that crucial of a factor? If it is key for getting hired in secondary markets, do you have any recommendations--apart from prayer--for people looking to get hired without ties?

It strikes me that the emphasis law firms place on local ties might be hurting them in the long run--in an economy like this, most law students I know would be thrilled to move out-of-state for a good job. It seems like by emphasizing local ties, law firms are costing themselves the opportunity to pick better talent from a broader pool.

AnotherYearOlder
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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:32 pm

zomginternets wrote:
AnotherYearOlder wrote:
ajax adonis wrote:
AnotherYearOlder wrote:Depends on the interview. If the interview starts out poorly, I'm going to get to that question pretty quickly and try to run out the clock. If it's going well, I may never get there, or just ask right at the end to make sure I'm not leaving someone hanging when they really had a question that they wanted to ask.


Along those lines, what are some signs that an interview is going poorly? or going well? Do you give any "tells" in this regard?


If the "what can I tell you about the firm" comes out in the first 7 minutes, you're in trouble (unless it's the first question, in which case that's just the interviewer's style). The "awkward pause" is another bad sign, because it means that the interviewer has run out of steam and you've run out of questions.

The best interviews, in my opinion, are those that didn't really feel like an interview. It means that you've established a rapport with the interviewer, which is key -- you're a person they're going to remember. If I've got specific questions about your resume, I'm going to ask them, so don't feel bad if the interview never gets to that point. Sometimes (especially for 1Ls), I'm going to look at a resume and see that you're qualified for the spot (most of the time, that's going to be a general decision, because you probably don't have industry-specific experience, you may have interned at a small firm in college, etc.,) but there's not going to be much to dissect. At that point, we're just going to start talking and I'm going to find out if you've got the interpersonal skills to succeed.


A related question - is it bad when the interviewer ends up doing most of the talking? I worry that the less I talk, the less the interviewer is going to remember me.


The OCI with the firm I'm with was the strangest damned experience I've had -- I'm not sure I said 10 words. I really enjoyed listening to the guy, but I didn't think I had a shot coming out of the interview.

I think the best interviews are when the conversation is split 50/50, but I don't think you can read to much into it when an interview careens off in either direction. It certainly could be a bad sign -- "okay, I"m going to get this kid to ask me questions, because I have no interest in asking him anything further" or it could be a good sign, indicating that you've engaged the interviewer and got her talking about something that she enjoys speaking about.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How do you view military veterans for hiring? How about former JAG members?


Military experience is certainly a positive. It's experience where you're operating outside of your comfort zone, taking risks and demonstrating leadership, all in high-pressure situations.

As for JAG, it's another positive. Most JAG veterans have had a lot of trial and case management experience at a pretty young age. That's certainly a bonus. Same reason a lot of litigation practices like former DAs, PDs, and USAs.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:39 pm

AreJay711 wrote:2L here. What kinds of things (under my control) can I do to avoid not getting hired at the end of the summer?


Have you seen the episode of the office where Ryan becomes "the fire guy"? Don't be that guy.

Do you work, be conscientious, be timely and responsive, ask intelligent questions. Biggest errors are turning in sloppy work, not being responsive and not asking enough intelligent questions.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:46 pm

IAFG wrote:
AnotherYearOlder wrote:
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.

From your perspective, it should feel like we did this. You don't want to feel like you just got "spammed," and if it does feel that way, we probably weren't careful enough. From our perspective, betting on only a handful of firms isn't enough, and larger volume is necessary in this tight economy.

That advice became prevalent in part because of the many, many TLSers who got jobs that way.


I'm sure some people have had success. I'm sure those people scream it from the rooftops. I also think the likelihood of success is pretty low and is much, much greater if you target your search. There are soooo many mass-mailed resumes that get lost in the shuffle. No amount of timing or delivery method or anything else can overcome it. So, it's not a lost cause, but it's far from your best bet.

Also, mass mailings are much more prone to errors. There's nothing that causes me to cast a resume aside quicker than one where there's a cover letter that starts out "Dear Dave, I'm writing because I'm interested in applying for a summer associate position with your firm." This is mostly annoying because my name is not Dave.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:52 pm

TatNurner wrote:Thanks again for sharing your experience with us.

I'm curious how far along in your career you were when you found out you had a shot at partner? Did you have to start doing some things differently to cement your position (e.g. billing more, politicking more)? Finally, how have your billables per year changed over the years? Do you bill less now that you are a partner?


I'd say I was pretty comfortable by the time I was a 4th year associate. I was never certain that I was going to make it until about the last year, but I wasn't apprehensive after that point -- if that makes any sense. I don't recall changing my approach to things at all -- I was always a hard worker (but rarely a top biller), I was thorough and conscientious, responsive and practical in my approach to things. I just tried to make people like working with me and it seemed to get the job done.

As a junior partner, I billed the same, if not more some years. As I've taken on more administrative responsibilities within the firm and have taken more of a lead role in client development, my billable hours have decreased overall, but I still have rough months once in a while when we have closings, etc.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:56 pm

AnotherYearOlder wrote:
IAFG wrote:
AnotherYearOlder wrote:
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.

From your perspective, it should feel like we did this. You don't want to feel like you just got "spammed," and if it does feel that way, we probably weren't careful enough. From our perspective, betting on only a handful of firms isn't enough, and larger volume is necessary in this tight economy.

That advice became prevalent in part because of the many, many TLSers who got jobs that way.


I'm sure some people have had success. I'm sure those people scream it from the rooftops. I also think the likelihood of success is pretty low and is much, much greater if you target your search. There are soooo many mass-mailed resumes that get lost in the shuffle. No amount of timing or delivery method or anything else can overcome it. So, it's not a lost cause, but it's far from your best bet.

Also, mass mailings are much more prone to errors. There's nothing that causes me to cast a resume aside quicker than one where there's a cover letter that starts out "Dear Dave, I'm writing because I'm interested in applying for a summer associate position with your firm." This is mostly annoying because my name is not Dave.

So the problem is with the typos and failure to tailor cover letters, not with the volume of mailings.

I am just pointing out that, from your position, this advice sounds perfectly reasonable. Choose a few firms and make a really good pitch to them. From our perspective as law students or recent grads out here in this market, that is a really terrible bet, that one of the firms you decided to focus on will hire you. That is why your advice isn't the conventional wisdom around here. To get a job when the odds are against you, you need to apply (effectively) to MANY firms.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks very much for doing this.

What advice would you give to a 2L in regard to preparing for his or her SA? What, in your opinion, makes a really successful SA as opposed to one that you're hesitant to extend an offer to? Any do's/dont's that stand out to you?

Thanks!


I tried to address some of the "do's" earlier. Be responsive, timely, and thorough. Don't be sloppy. Ask good questions -- it builds confidence from your assigning attorney.

"Dont's"? We once had a kid try to call opposing counsel and try to settle a case. Probably not a good idea. I should write a book -- we've had a lot of "he said what?" moments.

Biggest "don't" is don't show up acting like you know everything. Overconfidence is going to eat you up every time. There are few summer associate experiences that are more enjoyable than jolting the cocky kid back to reality -- everyone enjoys it.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you. Similar question to one a few posts up:

How'd you become hiring partner? Does that add non-billable work on top of a billable requirement that's already pretty burdensome, or does it allow you to bill less and do something you enjoy?


Being hiring partner isn't quite the big deal that it seems to be from people coming up through the system. I think I got the job because I enjoy recruiting, I can sell our firm really well, and I'm a pretty good judge of character. I started recruiting pretty early on because our firm decided to heavily target my law school and I was the only young alum in our office. I just kept doing it and wore everyone down, I suppose.

It doesn't necessarily take any load off of my other firm requirements -- I still have to bill a lot of hours and generate business, but it also helps me enjoy my job even more. I like what I do and I like telling people about it.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:11 pm

IAFG wrote:
AnotherYearOlder wrote:
IAFG wrote:
AnotherYearOlder wrote:
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.

From your perspective, it should feel like we did this. You don't want to feel like you just got "spammed," and if it does feel that way, we probably weren't careful enough. From our perspective, betting on only a handful of firms isn't enough, and larger volume is necessary in this tight economy.

That advice became prevalent in part because of the many, many TLSers who got jobs that way.


I'm sure some people have had success. I'm sure those people scream it from the rooftops. I also think the likelihood of success is pretty low and is much, much greater if you target your search. There are soooo many mass-mailed resumes that get lost in the shuffle. No amount of timing or delivery method or anything else can overcome it. So, it's not a lost cause, but it's far from your best bet.

Also, mass mailings are much more prone to errors. There's nothing that causes me to cast a resume aside quicker than one where there's a cover letter that starts out "Dear Dave, I'm writing because I'm interested in applying for a summer associate position with your firm." This is mostly annoying because my name is not Dave.

So the problem is with the typos and failure to tailor cover letters, not with the volume of mailings.

I am just pointing out that, from your position, this advice sounds perfectly reasonable. Choose a few firms and make a really good pitch to them. From our perspective as law students or recent grads out here in this market, that is a really terrible bet, that one of the firms you decided to focus on will hire you. That is why your advice isn't the conventional wisdom around here. To get a job when the odds are against you, you need to apply (effectively) to MANY firms.


No, the problem isn't with the typos and bad covers, although that certainly doesn't help. The problem is that if your resume is sitting in a pile of resumes, all of which are generic, you're just hoping against hope that it catches someone's eye. If you've got the time, send out as many resumes as you want, but you're much better off targeting your search.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:15 pm

AnotherYearOlder wrote:No, the problem isn't with the typos and bad covers, although that certainly doesn't help. The problem is that if your resume is sitting in a pile of resumes, all of which are generic, you're just hoping against hope that it catches someone's eye. If you've got the time, send out as many resumes as you want, but you're much better off targeting your search.

Can I add my resume to your pile? :mrgreen:

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:19 pm

SBL wrote:One of the things that's changed most about TLS now relative to when it started is people have begun to appreciate the importance of having "ties" to the market you're applying in. It used to be that this was never discussed, but now the topic of "ties" comes up whenever people are applying to markets outside of NYC, DC, and maybe SF/LA. (Conventional wisdom is, basically, that those are the only places where you can get hired unless you're from there or have a good reason you can articulate for wanting to live there).

My question is, do you think the pendulum has swung too far the other way and we now over-emphasize ties to the area, or is it that crucial of a factor? If it is key for getting hired in secondary markets, do you have any recommendations--apart from prayer--for people looking to get hired without ties?

It strikes me that the emphasis law firms place on local ties might be hurting them in the long run--in an economy like this, most law students I know would be thrilled to move out-of-state for a good job. It seems like by emphasizing local ties, law firms are costing themselves the opportunity to pick better talent from a broader pool.


I think in secondary markets you either have to have "ties" or a convincing reason why you want to move there. The problem is that firms view people without ties or without a reason to be there as flight risks and they're reluctant to invest resources in someone who isn't going to be around long term. With smaller market firms having only a few slots to fill, they're going to want to make a safe decision. This is where mass mailing isn't going to work out -- you need to target places and sell a story. Call someone within the firm, either in your area of interest or within the firm's recruiting function and start to sell yourself. Convince them that you want to come to that market. You'll be surprised how many people are willing to give you a hand.

You're right, though. While firms are playing it safe by looking for folks with local ties, they're also hurting themselves by making that a "gatekeeping" issue.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:22 pm

dingbat wrote:
AnotherYearOlder wrote:No, the problem isn't with the typos and bad covers, although that certainly doesn't help. The problem is that if your resume is sitting in a pile of resumes, all of which are generic, you're just hoping against hope that it catches someone's eye. If you've got the time, send out as many resumes as you want, but you're much better off targeting your search.

Can I add my resume to your pile? :mrgreen:


Sure -- use your avatar as the watermark for your resume so I'll know it's you. :D

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Hippononymous » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:24 pm

AnotherYearOlder wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks very much for doing this.

What advice would you give to a 2L in regard to preparing for his or her SA? What, in your opinion, makes a really successful SA as opposed to one that you're hesitant to extend an offer to? Any do's/dont's that stand out to you?

Thanks!


I tried to address some of the "do's" earlier. Be responsive, timely, and thorough. Don't be sloppy. Ask good questions -- it builds confidence from your assigning attorney.

"Dont's"? We once had a kid try to call opposing counsel and try to settle a case. Probably not a good idea. I should write a book -- we've had a lot of "he said what?" moments.

Biggest "don't" is don't show up acting like you know everything. Overconfidence is going to eat you up every time. There are few summer associate experiences that are more enjoyable than jolting the cocky kid back to reality -- everyone enjoys it.

Awesome.

No question, just wanted to say thanks for your time.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:38 pm

As for JAG, it's another positive. Most JAG veterans have had a lot of trial and case management experience at a pretty young age. That's certainly a bonus. Same reason a lot of litigation practices like former DAs, PDs, and USAs.


With respect to the former USAs and similar government attorneys, how would you recommend approaching firms when you're interested in switching? Obviously call the attorneys that you've worked with/against on cases, but what about the firms that you haven't? Recruiter? Cold calls?

Assume the candidate would come in as an of counsel level hire -- about 8-10 years out. Also assume a pretty decent resume -- good grades from a top school, AIII clerkship, good stint at a V10 firm, first-chaired about a dozen published opinions, lots of publications (both trade and law review articles), good references from the USA/section head/whatever. (But no book of business.)

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby 20160810 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:39 pm

Also I can't be the only one wondering if the called-to-offer-a-settlement kid got an offer...

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:45 pm

SBL wrote:Also I can't be the only one wondering if the called-to-offer-a-settlement kid got an offer...


And whether they accepted the settlement offer...

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby son_of_ben » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:17 pm

Should you ever take a class because you think a prospective firm will want to see it on your transcript for an entry-level job?

More specifically, what would you do in my situation?

3L, TT/TTTish school, top 10%, mid-sized firm I was at for 2L summer has not given me an offer and probably will not because of the economy. I have not taken Evidence yet because all the profs who have taught it are terrible even though I am interested in litigation. I could take two Law Review credits to reach the graduation requirement for credits while having an easier Spring 3L and feverishly searching for a job before the bar or take the 4 credit Evidence class (and pay for 2 credits I do not need) . FWIW, I have a couple interviews coming up that look somewhat promising.

Thank you for answering all the previous questions too.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:50 pm

How would you advise for competitive 2Ls that didn't get a job through OCI, to find those few elusive biglaw positions that may turn up during Spring semester? Thanks!

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:18 pm

Grade drops after OCI and before the end of 2L summer. How much does your firm care about them? (we're talking about .1 or so). I wasn't slacking off, it just kind of happened. I feel bad about it and will try harder next semester. Thanks.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby zomginternets » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Grade drops after OCI and before the end of 2L summer. How much does your firm care about them? (we're talking about .1 or so). I wasn't slacking off, it just kind of happened. I feel bad about it and will try harder next semester. Thanks.


AnotherYearOlder wrote:
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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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby skw » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:40 pm

What is your opinion of 2L SAs who are Law Review staff members, but elect not to pursue the Editorial Board? Does this impact your hiring decisions significantly?

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:01 pm

I tried to find a job with a firm doing litigation while in school and struck out on that. Fortunately I got hired on in-house with a large corporation after school. However, I still really want to go to a firm and get a more hands on litigation position. As of now my job mainly consists of asking someone above me to hire counsel, reviewing counsels work, and approving their bills to the company and making sure they're on budget. Any advice for me on the best way to lateral from a position like this to a firm? Unfortunately I will likely never have contact with counsel in my target market (my hometown). Also, how long do I need to stay here before it wouldn't look bad to potential firms that I'm looking to move on? It's only coming up on 3 months I've been here now. Thanks

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:18 pm

I realize this is outside the scope of the thread a bit, but it is rare to have anonymous access to a lawyer with your level of experience.

I'm a third year associate in corporate group, in a major market, and probably do not have it in me to go the partner route (assuming it is even an option for me). I don't think I can handle work/life balance. When is the best time for me to go in-house? Stick it out to hone my skills as long as possible, or make the jump as soon as possible? Any tips on assessing opportunities for the best career trajectory? Any thoughts are much appreciated. I love the work, but the lifestyle is just difficult and takes its toll on personal relationships, in my experience. I realize there are articles out there about this topic. I have read a ton of them, but I have never been able to have a discussion with someone at your level about it (for fear of word getting back to my firm). Thank you for contributing your time.

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Re: V100 Hiring Partner Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:19 pm

3L at a top 50 school here. I rank in the top 30%, on LR and participated on a moot court team. I worked for the government for my summers (Public Defenders and the Attorney Generals).

I sent off an OCI application at the firm that I want to work at and they declined to interview me. I sought an entry level position, but they ended up interviewing only 2Ls. I am graduating early and I realize that they were looking solely for a summer associate. Also, I go to school in the state I want to practice in, but I realize that the fact that I am from out of state makes me seem like more of a flight risk.

I know someone who has clerked at the firm and I am beginning the process of trying to get their attention. What is your advice for a 3L in my position? What should I do to get their attention? How bad is the fact that they declined to interview me in the past?

My friend who clerked there has given me the name of the hiring partner. What is the most effective way to make an initial positive contact with the firm?




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