Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

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Anonymous User
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Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:17 pm

Primarily want SF but DC would be my second choice. Don't know if I should focus on the bay or split my bids.

3.883 at M. Strong SF ties (hometown), weak DC ties (two siblings work there, some big law connections).

I know DC is a tough market so I'm guessing bidding DC as a backup is a terrible idea, but I've been getting conflicting opinions from people I've talked to. (admittedly these people know nothing about big law bidding).

I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks!

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:55 pm

These are both tough markets. The right answer is probably SF and NYC, and then maybe a few DC if you're interested. If I were bidding just SF or just SF and DC I would be scared shitless of striking out. You have excellent grades, but still.

Are there even enough SF offices to fill your bid list?

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:27 pm

No, there are not enough firms to fill my bid list. I was contemplating just not filling the list. Laughably terrible idea?

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thelawyler
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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby thelawyler » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:11 pm

Great GPA, but why not bid a few firms to get some free vacations this fall? If you do strike out, they'll be the most worthwhile vacations you've ever taken.

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby hlsperson1111 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:49 pm

I really do think you're good to go on bidding SF exclusively. 3.883 has to be top 5-10%, right? With that sort of GPA plus ties to the area, I'd imagine the odds of striking out are outrageously small.

Why do you want DC? I'm not convinced that you couldn't fill up a bid list with SF, but I'd probably pick a different backup city (LA, NY, and SV all strike me as much better options).

run26.2
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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby run26.2 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:57 pm

If you can't fill up your bid list with SF, then yes, you should also bid another market. But you should really focus on SF because it should be attainable for you.

Assuming you are top 10%, you should have little problem getting SF (unless there are relatively few firms at OCI, which I doubt is the case at your school). What you should think about doing is researching all the firms in the market to identify ones that are a fit for you and that do not come to OCI. Then reach out to those firms directly (try starting with an alum). There are enough firms in SF that you probably will get numerous cbs and offers using this strategy, regardless of the number of firms at OCI.

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:25 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:I really do think you're good to go on bidding SF exclusively. 3.883 has to be top 5-10%, right? With that sort of GPA plus ties to the area, I'd imagine the odds of striking out are outrageously small.

Why do you want DC? I'm not convinced that you couldn't fill up a bid list with SF, but I'd probably pick a different backup city (LA, NY, and SV all strike me as much better options).

Michigan doesn't rank till after graduation but in past years 3.883 fell somewhere between 2-3% for graduating gpas so I'm guessing I'm somewhere in there? I was actually counting SV in with SF. Pretty sure there are less than 30 firms from SF/SV coming to Michigan's OCI but many of them have offices in SF and SV. I'm sort of assuming that most of those firms are not interviewing for each office separately. I've also counted out the IP only firms since I have a social science background and want to do white collar lit/antitrust/securities type things. As for why DC, I like DC in general, some family ties, lots of friends, strong in the legal areas I'm interested in. But that's the extent of my interest. Not anti-NY, just no reason to go there (besides work, I guess). And not a big fan of LA. Lived there for undergrad, I'd prefer not to move back.

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:45 pm

are you in SF this summer? I'd recommend writing to non-OCI firms (and top firms that ARE doing oci, just to express your eager interest, even if they say wait) and seeing if they're willing to interview you before you go back to the cold North. My school had a program where we could do pre-OCI interviews with certain firms; I'd look into that sort of thing if I were you, it's a good way to get more SF interviews if you go to a school on the other side of the country.

I think it's always a good idea to throw in some fail-safes in places you could tolerate - Chicago? NY? Note from my experience with a similar GPA, don't make your fail-safes REALLY low on the Vault rankings, just a little lower than top, because you get some of [insert that word that means you don't give callbacks to people who aren't likely to accept offers].

cheers old boy and good luck

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:28 pm

You're probably better than top 2-3% if that's the at graduation GPA (since I'm assuming GPAs inflate for 2L/3L at UMich). I honestly think as someone in the top 5% at UMich you could probably safely bid SF/DC. That said, I do know people with top grades at top schools that only ended up with 1-2 offers by bidding 2 competitive markets. You could probably use Quinn SF as your safety if you really want since Quinn pretty much only cares about grades/school. Or you could bid an easier city than DC as your backup and then cancel your CBs there when/if you get SF offers. I don't think you will be hurting for SF offers, but weirder things have been known to happen.

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Bronte
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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby Bronte » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:03 pm

I would do all SF with a few NY V10s as backups. The NY firms will love your GPA, especially SullCrom, where you'll be near autoadmit. It would feel pretty good to have SullCrom as a fallback if things go poorly in SF.

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:37 pm

Thanks for all the input. If I'm contacting SF firms over the summer should I start that now? Wait till I hear back from journals?

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bk1
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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for all the input. If I'm contacting SF firms over the summer should I start that now? Wait till I hear back from journals?

Mass mail in late July.

GMVarun
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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby GMVarun » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:12 am

Bronte wrote:I would do all SF with a few NY V10s as backups. The NY firms will love your GPA, especially SullCrom, where you'll be near autoadmit. It would feel pretty good to have SullCrom as a fallback if things go poorly in SF.

+1 to this if you are indifferent between NYC and DC. You should be sure you're indifferent between NYC and DC, which are obviously two very different cities and two very different legal markets.

bk1 wrote:You're probably better than top 2-3% if that's the at graduation GPA (since I'm assuming GPAs inflate for 2L/3L at UMich). I honestly think as someone in the top 5% at UMich you could probably safely bid SF/DC. That said, I do know people with top grades at top schools that only ended up with 1-2 offers by bidding 2 competitive markets. You could probably use Quinn SF as your safety if you really want since Quinn pretty much only cares about grades/school. Or you could bid an easier city than DC as your backup and then cancel your CBs there when/if you get SF offers.

GPAs generally rise 2L to 3L year (you see a significantly higher graduation mean than 1L mean). At the top end of the curve, however, there is not much variance. This poster is likely top 2-3%.

I agree with the rest of your advice though. The poster could very safely only bid SF, bid SF and DC, bid SF and NYC, or bid SF, NYC, or DC. Even though the NYC bid options are slightly safer, if this poster strikes out of a SF only bid-list, he may very well be the one person SullCrum rejects even with that GPA. In any of those four options, it is very unlikely that the poster strikes out. OP, you should think past just striking out though. If you were to bid NYC and SF, you could face a very realistic possibility of (1) not getting the upper-end of the SF market (the Gibson or MoFos of the world) just due to happenstance, fit, etc. (2) getting some solid SF firms and (3) ending up with 2-3 NYC V5s. It might be difficult to turn Davis Polk or Cravath for Orrick for example, unless you are very committed to SF. So think about what you want and I think you can afford to keep your options open.

The only thing I want to stress OP is that no matter how you split up your bid list, make sure you mass-mail firms in markets you find desirable that you are not bidding on. Everyone, even with your great grades, should mass mail. In any case, congrats on those great grades and good luck.

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:06 am

GMVarun wrote:
Bronte wrote:I would do all SF with a few NY V10s as backups. The NY firms will love your GPA, especially SullCrom, where you'll be near autoadmit. It would feel pretty good to have SullCrom as a fallback if things go poorly in SF.

+1 to this if you are indifferent between NYC and DC. You should be sure you're indifferent between NYC and DC, which are obviously two very different cities and two very different legal markets.

bk1 wrote:You're probably better than top 2-3% if that's the at graduation GPA (since I'm assuming GPAs inflate for 2L/3L at UMich). I honestly think as someone in the top 5% at UMich you could probably safely bid SF/DC. That said, I do know people with top grades at top schools that only ended up with 1-2 offers by bidding 2 competitive markets. You could probably use Quinn SF as your safety if you really want since Quinn pretty much only cares about grades/school. Or you could bid an easier city than DC as your backup and then cancel your CBs there when/if you get SF offers.

GPAs generally rise 2L to 3L year (you see a significantly higher graduation mean than 1L mean). At the top end of the curve, however, there is not much variance. This poster is likely top 2-3%.

I agree with the rest of your advice though. The poster could very safely only bid SF, bid SF and DC, bid SF and NYC, or bid SF, NYC, or DC. Even though the NYC bid options are slightly safer, if this poster strikes out of a SF only bid-list, he may very well be the one person SullCrum rejects even with that GPA. In any of those four options, it is very unlikely that the poster strikes out. OP, you should think past just striking out though. If you were to bid NYC and SF, you could face a very realistic possibility of (1) not getting the upper-end of the SF market (the Gibson or MoFos of the world) just due to happenstance, fit, etc. (2) getting some solid SF firms and (3) ending up with 2-3 NYC V5s. It might be difficult to turn Davis Polk or Cravath for Orrick for example, unless you are very committed to SF. So think about what you want and I think you can afford to keep your options open.

The only thing I want to stress OP is that no matter how you split up your bid list, make sure you mass-mail firms in markets you find desirable that you are not bidding on. Everyone, even with your great grades, should mass mail. In any case, congrats on those great grades and good luck.

Great advice, thanks. I agree with you on the class rank. At least two of the guys in my 22 person section have higher GPAs than me. Seems very unlikely that virtually nobody else in the school does. I was actually wondering if the GPAs at the top drop during 2L/3L because I seem to know a disproportionate number of people with >3.9 GPAs.

Any advice on how to not be the one person who gets no offers despite good grades? I assume not being a terrible interviewer is involved. Anything else I should work on, keep in mind?

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any advice on how to not be the one person who gets no offers despite good grades? I assume not being a terrible interviewer is involved. Anything else I should work on, keep in mind?

No magic formula, but just take the process seriously and make a concerted effort to hustle. In reality, that GPA will easily make you competitive at essentially every firm in SF, DC, or NY, but do your best to avoid becoming complacent about the process. Reach out to alumni at firms you're particularly interested in during the summer and enjoy the process of finding the firm/market/practice area where you think you'll be the happiest.

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby quakeroats » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:10 am

What kind of work do you want to do?

GMVarun
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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby GMVarun » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:24 am

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Any advice on how to not be the one person who gets no offers despite good grades? I assume not being a terrible interviewer is involved. Anything else I should work on, keep in mind?

No magic formula, but just take the process seriously and make a concerted effort to hustle. In reality, that GPA will easily make you competitive at essentially every firm in SF, DC, or NY, but do your best to avoid becoming complacent about the process. Reach out to alumni at firms you're particularly interested in during the summer and enjoy the process of finding the firm/market/practice area where you think you'll be the happiest.

Yep, agree with Flight, especially the bolded part. Since your GPA makes you competitive at every firm, the only question will be how well you interview. There are lots of great interview tips threads on here and Guerrilla Tactics also has several good suggestions. I am not sure how much I can add to the wealth of knowledge on here, but I can share what worked for me; it may not be necessary or helpful for anyone else.

I used to always feel nervous in interviews, probably due to lack of experience. I had always been told to "just be myself" in interviews. A good interview is supposed to just be a conversation, where you and the firm are the topic. At the time, however, this didn't mean much to me. I would find myself stumbling to give answers to very simple questions and certainly not giving well-thought out answers spontaneously.

I found that being prepared helped me overcome my nerves. I had a pretty chill 1L summer job, and so whenever I had downtime at work, I would do OCI preparation stuff. I spent a good amount of time figuring out biglaw: for example, the responsibilities and expectations for junior associates, who in general clients were, the type of biglaw work dominant in target markets, and differences among practice areas. Then, I researched a good deal about the firms themselves. Firms look really similar on paper, but there are actual differences among them. This becomes clear once you start interviewing, but getting this sense earlier can help you figure out what you want.

To this end, I found talking with other associates, especially alumni, to be the most helpful. And take full advantage of them: ask them about their experience with other firms, ask them to look at your resume or cover letter, etc.

I also spent time thinking about interview questions I expected to be asked and my answers to those questions. Not to memorize answers. More just thinking through how I wanted to answer certain types of questions, and making sure I could speak intelligently about my 1L summer job, why I wanted litigation, or other typical interview questions.

I also recommend coming up with a list of questions to ask during interviews. This is tricky because you shouldn't be able to answer your question by browsing the firm's website for two minutes. At the same time, firms genuinely try to answer most of the questions you actually have. What I found to work was to have 10-15 generic questions. If I could find the answer to a particular question on the firm's website, then I would just tailor my question to the firm's answer to the question. So instead of asking Firm X "how are associates generally assigned work?', you can ask "I know the Firm prides itself on its free market system. It sounds like a great way to efficiently match demand with interested associates. But how do you like working in this system? Do you find yourself unable to turn down work?" Stuff like that. And you need to pay attention to the response so you can ask follow-up questions along that vein. Also, don't feel like you have to wait until the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. I think if your interviewer asks you a question, and at the end of your answer, it's perfectly natural and good to ask the interviewer a question. So it can be something like "Why are you interested in firm X? Well I like blah blah blah. What made you decide to come here?"

Finally, I tried to do as many interviews before OCI as I could, both mock interviews with alumni and real (through mass mailing and diversity fairs). Everyone gets better by the end of the week once you go through the entire week-long OCI process. You should strive to get there before OCI so you're not wasting interviews at the beginning of the week.

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Re: Which is better bid SF only or SF and DC

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:27 pm

quakeroats wrote:What kind of work do you want to do?

Econ background. Interested generally in market regulation issues and litigation. I'd say antitrust, securities regulation, fraud/ corrupt practices, white collar crime - sort of in that order.




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