08' TTT Grad at Small Boutique NYC Firm Taking Questions...

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reasonable_man
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Re: 08' TTT Grad at Small Boutique NYC Firm Taking Questions...

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:25 am

ajax adonis wrote:Enlightening. How much weight does your firm place on school when selecting candidates?


There is no set formula. The last time we hired and I was going through resumes I'd say that a person from a strong academic background, i.e. solid UG and a T30 LS had a much easier time getting me to read their transcript and writing sample where as someone from a lower ranked school NEEDED eye catching qualifications Like significant past legal experience to really capture my attention. The partners at my firm have strong pedigrees, but they are willing to accept that people from lower ranked LSs can be good lawyers too (they just need to stand out more to get noticed). That said - we don't hire from NYLS, the partners believe it isn't a real LS and I don't have the time or desire to convince them otherwise.

Oddly, the ability to follow simple instructions is a unique skill. You should pay close attention to send a resume to the correct person at the firm and to submit only the materials requested (and not leave out requested materials). I will interview Simone with a C on the transcript but I won't interview someone who didn't send a transcript when I asked for one.

Thank you notes are very important. Not because I care that you thanked me, but because I need to see that you can write a well tailored note based on a conversation we just had and that it is grammatically correct.

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Re: 08' TTT Grad at Small Boutique NYC Firm Taking Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:58 am

Asked this question in another thread, but I wanted various perspectives:

I'm a current 3L. I have a job lined up. Many of my classes this semester are pass/no pass. In fact, I only have one regular graded class. Will this look bad? Will it limit my lateral opportunities? I have a pretty good GPA overall (at least top 25%), but I don't want this to hold me back.

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Re: 08' TTT Grad at Small Boutique NYC Firm Taking Questions...

Postby bk1 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:01 am

reasonable_man wrote:Thank you notes are very important. Not because I care that you thanked me, but because I need to see that you can write a well tailored note based on a conversation we just had and that it is grammatically correct.

This is interesting. How representative do you feel this feeling is among the lawyers you work with and have worked with?

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reasonable_man
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Re: 08' TTT Grad at Small Boutique NYC Firm Taking Questions...

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:13 am

bk1 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Thank you notes are very important. Not because I care that you thanked me, but because I need to see that you can write a well tailored note based on a conversation we just had and that it is grammatically correct.

This is interesting. How representative do you feel this feeling is among the lawyers you work with and have worked with?



It’s funny - by the second or third time I had to do go through the hiring process (between both firms), I started to really notice a trend in that I was seeing the same 4 things happen after an interview with a possible candidate:

1) No note;
2) Obviously generic stock note;
3) Well thought out note that looked like a 4th grader wrote it (words spelled wrong, punctuation a mess, etc.); and
4) Well thought out note with perfect composition.

The way we worked hiring at my current firm was that I would review all resumes and choose who would come in for an interview. I would do the interview and if I liked you and thought you might be a good fit; I would call you back in to meet with the partner(s). I would say that I got about 100 to 200 resumes for the position and that I ultimately brought in about 10 people for interviews with me and then 3 people to meet with the partner(s). If you made it to the partner interview, no one was looking at your written submissions (i.e. I was the only one to see resumes, cover letters, transcripts, etc.). The partners didn’t need to waste their time with that stuff because they knew that if a candidate got through to a partner interview, all of the written materials checked out. The one thing that they would see (and that we would briefly talk about – and always forward to me with some analysis), was the thank you note. It was honestly the only writing the partners would see from any given candidate (beyond looking at the resume for 2 to 5 seconds before an interview). So at least for us, the thank you note (as silly as this sounds), was extremely important. We are a small firm and have an incredible office environment. It’s a real pleasure to work here and a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that nice people who all get along with each other work here. In a small firm, it takes but one asshole to ruin a dynamic. So seeing how someone can interact quasi informally is extremely important.

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Re: 08' TTT Grad at Small Boutique NYC Firm Taking Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:09 pm

I am going to V5 NY biglaw from H with a strong background in business law (leadership position on relevant top secondary journal, going to publish a note in a relevant field, relevant fellowships etc.), and with decent grades in law school (with top grades in UG). I intend to stay for 4 or 5 years and then lateral elsewhere -- potentially to a midlaw firm in NY. Do you have any advice on how to accomplish this? I would want to gun for partner at the midlaw firm and would like a reduction in hours (similar to yours). Is this possible? Probable? Any way of increasing my chances?

I'm also curious if top biglaw to midlaw lateraling success has something to do with the relative prestige found within the V10 or V5 (i.e., would a Cravath associate or Wachtell associate have a leg-up on a DPW associate or S&C associate, all else equal? Would a DPW associate or S&C associate have a leg-up on a Cleary associate or STB associate? Are they all equal?). I ask because a lot of my friends and a lot of 1Ls at H are seriously confused about the importance of law firm prestige, and I'd like some insight into its importance within this particular range from someone in the field who isn't as biased.

Your advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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reasonable_man
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Re: 08' TTT Grad at Small Boutique NYC Firm Taking Questions...

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:02 am

Sorry this took a while, I’ve been taking depositions non-stop for about a week now.

I’ll say a couple things on this point. Keep in mind, my experience here is limited because frankly, a V5 firm wouldn’t use my resume for kindle in a partner’s fireplace ;)The better the firm, the better your lateral movement. That is sort of universal and there is a difference between lateraling from a strong unit at a V5 as opposed to a strong unit at a V50. There is also a difference between coming from a super-well known firm like a Cravath or a WLRK or a Boise Shiller, etc. That sort of name recognition is similar to the name recognition you get out of HYS. When you combined the HYS pedigree with that firm, you’re in a great position to lateral.

However, your talk of a “reduction in hours” is probably less realistic. People leave V5 and V15 firms for mid-law firms looking for this big reduction in hours that often times does not happen. The reality is that what you are leaving for is an increased chance at partnership and a slight reduction in hours. I have friends at the sort of mid-law firms that like to pull washouts of V5 to V15 firms and I know that many of those people are quickly disenchanted because the reduction in salary was more than the reduction in hours.

You may also want to solicit advice from high end recruiters earlier than 4 or 5 years. I’m not saying that your plan of leaving at the 4 or 5 year mark is wrong (that might be the sweet spot), but you should probably consider speaking with a recruiter a little earlier than that because once you hit the 6 to 7 year mark you are less marketable and also much closer to partnership than you ought to be when you are considering lateraling over to a new firm.




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