Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 31, 2013 11:24 pm

I anticipate being in this situation - median- at a peer school (VNDC). How many letters should i be sending out this summer and when should i start?

Panic is slowly setting in...

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:51 am

I was median after 1L, and now I'm SAing at a v-30. I made an aggressive plan, stuck to it, and now I received multiple offers in DC (no connection) and my home market (secondary) and a few in random places.

1). If you have a 1L SA (whether firm, pro bono, judge, whatever) figure out a way to interact with attorneys at big law firms. Be blunt with your boss: "I want you to help me set up 1 lunch/ week with a lawyer at a big firm. Can you help me with this?"

2). Find "double" alumni. Find every attorney who went to both your undergrad and Michigan. Write them a two or three sentence email asking to speak with them on the phone. Remember, networking doesn't work well when a law student calls up some random attorney the week before OCI; it's just too transparent.

3). Ask you whole family if they know any lawyers. Ask your whole family if they know anyone who may know a lawyer. Set up phone calls and lunches.

4). If you have a 1L SA, unearth one or two very, very specific niche areas of law that are related to your job. These areas should be things that 1Ls do not study, things that 1Ls do not generally know about (e.g., FCPA, CFIUS, trade remedies, government contract petitions). Do an assignment in that area (or multiple assignments in those areas) you unearth. Use http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA to find the firms that are ranked highly in that practice area. Before OCI, send an email cover letter and your resume directly to that area's PRACTICE GROUP HEAD. The cover letter should be direct and confident: "I do X. I've learned through speaking with other attorneys that your firm has an excellent practice in X. I absolutely, 100% want to do X because X is the greatest fucking thing in the world. I want to talk to you about X." People who practice in some random, regulatory area never get emails like this. They'll be excited that their group is getting attention. Since nobody typically gives these groups attention (unlike lit., m&a, finance), the group probably doesn't make a lot of we-want-you-to-hire-this-guy-for-an-SA requests, which means that the other partners will likely oblige if the group pushes to hire you.

5). I spent a lot, lot, lot of time on my resume. In fact, someone at a v-10 said it was the "best looking" resume she'd every seen. I used a book called Resume Magic and another called Knock 'em Dead Cover Letters. I had three different people in career services look over my resume and my cover letters. I had my legal writing professor look it over. I had my 1L SA boss look it over. I spent $200 on stationary from http://www.crane.com. (get "ecru white" for letters, but get thank you cards with a little more flair, make sure the envelopes match the paper.) I hand addressed and hand stamped every envelope. I made sure the water mark was facing the right way. I made sure I was writing on my stationary with the "right" kind of pen. I dropped a handwritten thank you card in the mail box the day after I met someone. I sent them to everyone that helped me or anyone who talked to me.

Basically, everything about reading my resume and cover letter was a pleasant experience. The paper felt nice in their hands. They noticed that every single detail was perfect. I didn't do this, but if you have the money why not spend money on a professional resume consultant? How many should you send out? As many as you have time for.

6). Learn how to wear your clothes well. I'm a bumpkin, so I checked out these books from the Ann Arbor library: Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion, Clothes and the Man: The Principles of Fine Men's Dress, Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion, The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men's Style, Elegance - A Guide to Quality in Menswear, and Eminently Suitable. Based on what I read in those books, I bought a completely new interviewing wardrobe. I had my suit altered 4 times, until it was perfect. I wore my suit and shoes around to break them in before OCI, so I didn't look like some guy who just bought his suit (even though I was that guy). Get your tailoring done at Vahan's Clothing and Tailoring (two week turnaround). However, if you need something simple done very quickly (same or next day) go to "My Tailor in 2878 Washtenaw Ave, Ypsilanti, MI." These are the two best places around. If you read those books, buy what you need, and get it tailored and re-tailored, you'll look like a guy who's spent time wearing suits and knows how to do it right.

I noticed that, in general, the Michigan guys were dressed worse than the male attorneys who interviewed them them. When your future career is on the line, why the hell are you wearing a J-Crew tie from high school, sleeves that are too long, and shoes with rubber soles?

7). I'm very nervous in interviews and very quiet in general. Not a type-A. The way to do well in interviews is to 1) practice and 2) trick yourself into looking down on the people who interview you. If you force yourself to have lots of lunches with attorneys and spend lots of time on the phone with attorneys, you'll get better. I did. The second thing works for me. It's kind of cruel. Whatever the person I'm meeting with has accomplished, I imagine the "next step" and imagine that they've failed at accomplishing that, then I tell myself I could easily accomplish that. Let me explain. I'm meeting with someone who went Stanford undergrad, went to Harvard law school, and is a partner. I think to myself, "Princeton probably rejected this guy, Yale Law didn't take him, and how he's pissed because he can't make practice group head." Then I think, "I could easily do those things." Truth be told, I couldn't do any of those things . . . lol. He's way more accomplished than I'll ever be. But by playing that mental game I start to view him as a peer or as an inferior. Then I'm not nervous, and I'm more relaxed, and he thinks I'm confident. Like I said, this is cruel; I am meeting with someone that has taken time out of their day to help me by having a lunch, or whatever. But it works for me. The following books helped me as well: Tiffany's Table Manners for Teenagers, Never Eat Alone, How to Talk to Anyone, The Etiquette Advantage in Business, and Emily Post's Etiquette.

(also, read the paper every morning. instant small talk material)

Final Thoughts:

OCI is not the time to cut corners. When you're spending $180k on law school, it's not unreasonable to spend $1.5-2.5k to make sure you look like a professional adult, it's not unreasonable to spend too much money on stationary, it's not unreasonable to buy a $100+ leather padfolio that doesn't look like a piece of shit, it's not unreasonable to have a tie shipped to you from Drakes of London because Drakes specifically makes tie lengths for men under 5'10', it's not unreasonable to buy an expensive pen to keep in your expensive padfolio. I put all these things on a credit card but guess what?, my first week's summer paycheck covered it all. A good investment, IMHO.

Your grades and experience are what they are. You cannot change them at this point. What you can do is 1) make damn sure that you will project a confident, professional image at OCI, 2) make sure that immaculate, quality "materials" (resume, etc.) project that image as well, and 3) spend the majority of your time between now and OCI networking and learning how to network better.

Do you need to do any of these things? No. Do people at median not do these things and still get big law offers? Absolutely. Should you do these things if you have median grades and you want to do absolutely everything possible to increase your chance of getting an offer? Yes.

Image and confidence counts for more than people realize. I'll end with this anecdote:

I didn't get a bid for a Chicago firm I wanted. I went by their suite multiple times, but they couldn't find a time to squeeze me in. I stood around until they left the room and I approached a senior looking partner in the parking lot. I said, "I'm _____ and I didn't get an interview. I'm seriously interested in your firm's _____ practice and I want to come out for an interview next week. I'd like you to fly me out Monday. What do you think?" He stared at me hard for a few seconds and then said, "Yes. What's your name." He hadn't even seen my resume. I was WAY below their cut off but I ended up receiving an offer from the firm.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:06 pm

gnuwheels wrote:
Pokemon wrote:It neither excludes nor includes you from the top firms.


This is false. Median most certainly excludes you from the most of the V10 and any other very selective firms.

Advice on TLS is so all over the place. In another thread people are saying at median you should be thinking about dropping out while here people are saying you're in the running for the likes of Cravath. Can we get a happy medium please?


I didn't get an offer from Cravath, but I did get offers from two v-10 firms. I'm median at Michigan. So there.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby mr.hands » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
gnuwheels wrote:
Pokemon wrote:It neither excludes nor includes you from the top firms.


This is false. Median most certainly excludes you from the most of the V10 and any other very selective firms.

Advice on TLS is so all over the place. In another thread people are saying at median you should be thinking about dropping out while here people are saying you're in the running for the likes of Cravath. Can we get a happy medium please?


I didn't get an offer from Cravath, but I did get offers from two v-10 firms. I'm median at Michigan. So there.


Do you have any WE? (And i assume that these are both NYC offices)

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Jsa725 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:24 pm

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Last edited by Jsa725 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:38 pm

mr.hands wrote:Do you have any WE? (And i assume that these are both NYC offices)


I didn't apply to NY. It's an awful place.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:44 pm

Jsa725 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was median after 1L, and now I'm SAing at a v-30. I made an aggressive plan, stuck to it, and now I received multiple offers in DC (no connection) and my home market (secondary).

1). If you have a 1L SA (whether firm, pro bono, judge, whatever) figure out a way to interact with attorneys at big law firms. Be blunt with your boss: "I want you to help me set up 1 lunch/ week with a lawyer at a big firm. Can you help me with this?"

^^^ Anon, can you PM me please.


Just ask here i'm not going to out myself.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Jsa725 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:59 pm

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Last edited by Jsa725 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:22 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Jsa725 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:35 am

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Last edited by Jsa725 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby gnuwheels » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The top firms you can get at median aren't great places to work that's why they have to dip lower


Is this unconditionally the case?

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:06 pm

gnuwheels wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The top firms you can get at median aren't great places to work that's why they have to dip lower


Is this unconditionally the case?


LOL, of course not. Vortex of misinformation in this thread.

Median students can land jobs at "V10" firms.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Jimbo_Jones » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I made sure I was writing on my stationary with the "right" kind of pen.


What is the "right" kind of pen

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Bronte » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was median after 1L, and now I'm SAing at a v-30. I made an aggressive plan, stuck to it, and now I received multiple offers in DC (no connection) and my home market (secondary) and a few in random places.

1). If you have a 1L SA (whether firm, pro bono, judge, whatever) figure out a way to interact with attorneys at big law firms. Be blunt with your boss: "I want you to help me set up 1 lunch/ week with a lawyer at a big firm. Can you help me with this?"

* * *


:shock: No words.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:21 am

Not OP but I ended up with a 3.26. According to this thread that is well below median, correct? Is this 'think about dropping out' territory? The firm GPA cutoffs a make it look that way but I don't really know how to read into those

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:18 am

I don't think 3.26 is below median at M? Can someone clarify?

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't think 3.26 is below median at M? Can someone clarify?


Yea I'm not sure i just said that cause OP said 3.35 was slightly above median

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby DaftAndDirect » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:06 pm

Whoever made the giant post about dressing well and tricking yourself into viewing your interviewer as an equal - please PM me. That was the most awesomely self-aware post I have ever seen. I'm a rising 2L at Mich going into OCI and would love some more advice.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby BuckinghamB » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:50 pm

3.26 is most likely a little above median. I think the target mean for each class is 3.2

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:56 pm

BuckinghamB wrote:3.26 is most likely a little above median. I think the target mean for each class is 3.2


But isn't that "target" based on what the school asks profs to grade as and don't profs grade on the higher end? Meaning the actual median will be higher? It's crazy that the school gives us no idea about this depending on our year. I've heard people say as low as 3.15 and as high as 3.35. That's a pretty wide span. I have no idea what to think. Not sure why I trusted the OP, they just spoke with such confidence.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby BuckinghamB » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:10 pm

Yeah that's true. I think the max profs can go with the average is 3.25. Even assuming professors max out 3.35 is still probably decently above median though. Who knows

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:53 am

So I'm slightly above median. I'm having a hard time interpreting the GPA cutoffs, because if I read them strictly I only seem to be in the running for less than 10 firms. Putting aside competitive bidding, what firms range are simply out of the running for me? Or to put a more optimistic spin on it, what are some of the better firms I should still throw a bid at?

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BuckinghamB
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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby BuckinghamB » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:So I'm slightly above median. I'm having a hard time interpreting the GPA cutoffs, because if I read them strictly I only seem to be in the running for less than 10 firms. Putting aside competitive bidding, what firms range are simply out of the running for me? Or to put a more optimistic spin on it, what are some of the better firms I should still throw a bid at?


by cutoffs do you mean the median gpas for offers, or bottom quartile?

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:32 pm

BuckinghamB wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So I'm slightly above median. I'm having a hard time interpreting the GPA cutoffs, because if I read them strictly I only seem to be in the running for less than 10 firms. Putting aside competitive bidding, what firms range are simply out of the running for me? Or to put a more optimistic spin on it, what are some of the better firms I should still throw a bid at?


by cutoffs do you mean the median gpas for offers, or bottom quartile?


I mean the median/mean GPAs. I know i'm not competitive for basically any firm at OCI, so it will be hard to create a bid list, but i'm curious which are strictly no-goes. Like i said, if you read the cutoffs, basically every firm is a no go.

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Re: Median @ Michigan + Chances at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:So I'm slightly above median. I'm having a hard time interpreting the GPA cutoffs, because if I read them strictly I only seem to be in the running for less than 10 firms. Putting aside competitive bidding, what firms range are simply out of the running for me? Or to put a more optimistic spin on it, what are some of the better firms I should still throw a bid at?


Bumping this. Anyone have insight?

Also, being medianish, is it extremely unwise not to bid on one of the really unselective firms because I would never ever want to work there?




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