Age and OCI for New York

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bowser
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Age and OCI for New York

Postby bowser » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:38 pm

Any advice for bidding New York firms for a 32-year old at a CCN, Army veteran, who is around top 10% of the class? I know I'm at sort of that weird age where I don't completely stick out like a sore thumb (and I look very young), but it is quite unusual (I am not familiar with anyone doing OCI at my school younger than 27).

At my school, people in my position usually do very well because V10 firms with big class sizes take huge classes from us every year with good grades, and at this point I would probably take DPW or Debevoise or Cravath over another firm all things being equal just because I don't have much else to differentiate on other than prestige. So generally the right strategy would be to aim for those firms. I'm just thinking maybe I oughta change up my strategy a little bit 'cause of my age. Anyone have any info on who might be a little hesitant to hire someone my age, and who might be more amenable?

Myself
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Postby Myself » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:00 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:13 pm

bowser wrote:Any advice for bidding New York firms for a 32-year old at a CCN, Army veteran, who is around top 10% of the class? I know I'm at sort of that weird age where I don't completely stick out like a sore thumb (and I look very young), but it is quite unusual (I am not familiar with anyone doing OCI at my school younger than 27).

At my school, people in my position usually do very well because V10 firms with big class sizes take huge classes from us every year with good grades, and at this point I would probably take DPW or Debevoise or Cravath over another firm all things being equal just because I don't have much else to differentiate on other than prestige. So generally the right strategy would be to aim for those firms. I'm just thinking maybe I oughta change up my strategy a little bit 'cause of my age. Anyone have any info on who might be a little hesitant to hire someone my age, and who might be more amenable?


Congrats on ur success and thank you for your service. I think your safe bidding anywhere you want. A 30 year old from my school got a V5 last year. No Problems. The thing I think you should look at IMO is whether you really want a V10 or V5 firm or you are just taking those firms because you can get them.

They are very demanding, much more so then other firms even in NY. I'm in a position where I can get some pretty good NY firms through OCI, but would rather go back to my home market for a better lifestyle, COL, etc. Just something to think about as an older candidate. Do you really want to bill 3000 hours a year at Cravath for the next few years just for some added prestige.

Anonymous User
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:28 pm

This user is being too flip about the difference between the top firms and the rest. Working at Cravath doesn't simply give you "some added prestige" but I'm sure you're well aware of that.

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guano
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby guano » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:46 pm

bowser wrote:Any advice for bidding New York firms for a 32-year old at a CCN, Army veteran, who is around top 10% of the class? I know I'm at sort of that weird age where I don't completely stick out like a sore thumb (and I look very young), but it is quite unusual (I am not familiar with anyone doing OCI at my school younger than 27).

At my school, people in my position usually do very well because V10 firms with big class sizes take huge classes from us every year with good grades, and at this point I would probably take DPW or Debevoise or Cravath over another firm all things being equal just because I don't have much else to differentiate on other than prestige. So generally the right strategy would be to aim for those firms. I'm just thinking maybe I oughta change up my strategy a little bit 'cause of my age. Anyone have any info on who might be a little hesitant to hire someone my age, and who might be more amenable?

Top 10% at CCN can get a job anywhere
(Unless you're socially awkward)

thegrayman
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby thegrayman » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:48 pm

CCN, did OCI at 29. Didn't seem to have any impact. I don't think it will hurt you at all, you have awesome grades and that is what firms care about.

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swc65
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby swc65 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:09 pm

You will be just fine. Only odd-ball question you should be prepared for is "are you OK taking orders from people younger than you?" I got that few times. I just responded with "I don't give a shit how old people are." It went over just fine.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:51 pm

CCN, I did OCI at 32, no one blinked, and I didn't have a distinguished record of service. Or your grades. :mrgreen: I got offers in the V10.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:56 pm

swc65 wrote:You will be just fine. Only odd-ball question you should be prepared for is "are you OK taking orders from people younger than you?" I got that few times. I just responded with "I don't give a shit how old people are." It went over just fine.



Were those your exact words?

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:14 pm

Absolutely no negative impact. Your service will be viewed as a plus. Given your grades you will kill it. From experience (hence the anon) my advice is to seek a fit in terms of a firm instead of the most prestigious. I personally bristled at S&C, cravath, and Davis Polk. Some firms are way fewer k-JD and/or generally have a culture more conducive to older students.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This user is being too flip about the difference between the top firms and the rest. Working at Cravath doesn't simply give you "some added prestige" but I'm sure you're well aware of that.


Something to keep in mind: there are more prestigious firms but if you don't fit into the culture of a firm you will be worse off than at a lower ranked firm where you are comfortable, fit in, work well, gel with clients etc. Exit options are a function of prestige of firm but also experience there (were you doing doc review or substantive work), repoir with clients, connections/references from partners at firm particularly in practice area.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:20 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This user is being too flip about the difference between the top firms and the rest. Working at Cravath doesn't simply give you "some added prestige" but I'm sure you're well aware of that.


Something to keep in mind: there are more prestigious firms but if you don't fit into the culture of a firm you will be worse off than at a lower ranked firm where you are comfortable, fit in, work well, gel with clients etc. Exit options are a function of prestige of firm but also experience there (were you doing doc review or substantive work), repoir with clients, connections/references from partners at firm particularly in practice area.



exactly what i said lol. Got no love with my post tho.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:29 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This user is being too flip about the difference between the top firms and the rest. Working at Cravath doesn't simply give you "some added prestige" but I'm sure you're well aware of that.


Something to keep in mind: there are more prestigious firms but if you don't fit into the culture of a firm you will be worse off than at a lower ranked firm where you are comfortable, fit in, work well, gel with clients etc. Exit options are a function of prestige of firm but also experience there (were you doing doc review or substantive work), repoir with clients, connections/references from partners at firm particularly in practice area.



exactly what i said lol. Got no love with my post tho.


You got it. And beyond billing hours what kind of people do you want to work with? I don't want to name names but having seen some v5/v10 firms and compared them with lower ranked (v50) I'd rather take a tad bit less prestige.

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NinerFan
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby NinerFan » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:09 am

There were multiple summers in my class in their 30's, you'll be fine.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:13 am

NinerFan wrote:There were multiple summers in my class in their 30's, you'll be fine.

This. Also what lacepiece said.

cjw55
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby cjw55 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:34 am

Not from a CCN, but I know at my DCNG a couple of friends were older - some with extensive military experience as well - who ended up crushing OCI. You'll be fine.

Two points I would add. IMO, age would only be a factor if your interviewer gave a cursory look at your resume and notice some abnormalities in your work history, like a significant gap in employment or a skittish work history of jumping from one field to the next.

Also, and more importantly, it's all about attitude. It could be that the V10 you're interviewing at is looking for just this kind of applicant to round out their summer class. With the bevy of undergrad-law school applicants, someone whose been in the military is bound to stick out. It's up to you to convince them - and every other firm you interview at - that your experience is a positive. Most of TLS here is saying that it is, now just find a way to communicate that in any interview.

You're going to have to (informally) sell yourself to the senior associates, partners, and clients of your firm wherever you go to advance your career. Start practicing with OCI.

You've worked hard and served our country. Congrats and thank you. Sell yourself and those characteristics and you'll reap the rewards come OCI.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:08 am

I graduated Coif from a CCN at age 35 this year, so was in a similar position to you, minus the military background, a couple years ago. I had 21 callbacks. The further I went up the Vault rankings, the more receptive the firms seemed to be, perhaps because of the sheer numbers of associates these offices take. I personally think that prestige chasing, i.e. "I'd much prefer to be at a V5 than a V10!" is something for douchey 25 year olds rather than thirtysomethings who usually have a bit more perspective, but you will have plenty of opportunities to take those jobs unless you're a lousy interviewer.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:18 am

I think you'll do fine. At least my V25 firm highly values work and real life experience. For example, one of my fellow summers is a 35-year-old with a kid. There is also an attorney who started at the firm in his 40's after having an NFL career. Just focus on your story and interviews and you'll do fine.

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Rotor
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Rotor » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:30 am

swc65 wrote:You will be just fine. Only odd-ball question you should be prepared for is "are you OK taking orders from people younger than you?" I got that few times. I just responded with "I don't give a shit how old people are." It went over just fine.

The first couple of times I got this question, the generic "it won't be a problem/I don't care how old people are" fell kinda flat (and did not receive call backs from those firms; causation or correlation I have no idea).

I spun it and explained "when I was an Ensign on Day 1, I had Chief Petty Officers who had been in the Navy 30 years and I expected them to follow orders. If I didn't do the same now, I'd be a hypocrite." Hypocrite is a sharp word and jumps out at the interviewer in a good way. Had a very solid return in terms of call backs from firms that brought up this question when I used this answer. (Again: causation? correlation?)

Did OCI at 44 with medianish grades from B and did better than my numbers would suggest. I'm sure you'll do fine. I will echo the people who said to look out for fit more than prestige. As an older associate, you may not have as much flexibility to lateral as your younger classmates and you'll want to be happy where you land for the long term.

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guano
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby guano » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think you'll do fine. At least my V25 firm highly values work and real life experience. For example, one of my fellow summers is a 35-year-old with a kid. There is also an attorney who started at the firm in his 40's after having an NFL career. Just focus on your story and interviews and you'll do fine.

Which firm?

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:59 am

Another thing to add: there are some firms in the V50 where almost everyone is K-JD, and there are other firms with more than a few associates who have 8-15 years between undergrad and law school. I think it's possible to have a great fit at any type of firm, but looking at particular firms or offices with older associates may be something to consider.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:27 pm

I am in a similar situation as the poster here. I'm former Army and 30 years old with a wife and a child. I'm in the top ~5% of MVP and I am looking to work in DC.

I am not a "prestige whore." Does anyone know of any good DC firms where an older associate would have an easier time fitting in and would have a better chance of having a majority of weekends free? I am interested in litigation and regulatory work (hence DC). Before you say read Chambers, Vault, or the Nalp Directory, I've done that. They are not extremely helpful as lots of firms list 2000 billable hours, but the average associate there actually bills in the region of 2300.

-Slightly Younger Vet

Myself
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Postby Myself » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:44 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:20 pm

FWIW, I'm with a V10 firm in Chicago, MVPB 3.6. When I got my offer I was 40. I did well at OCI, but not as well as my male counterparts 35-40+. I hate to call sexism but I think it's easy for interviewers to assume someone my age will be very wrapped up in her kids, when in actuality I don't intend to have any (but they had no way of knowing that). I still did well and had multiple offers with great firms.

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Rotor
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Re: Age and OCI for New York

Postby Rotor » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:09 pm

ajax adonis wrote:
Rotor wrote:
swc65 wrote:You will be just fine. Only odd-ball question you should be prepared for is "are you OK taking orders from people younger than you?" I got that few times. I just responded with "I don't give a shit how old people are." It went over just fine.

The first couple of times I got this question, the generic "it won't be a problem/I don't care how old people are" fell kinda flat (and did not receive call backs from those firms; causation or correlation I have no idea).

I spun it and explained "when I was an Ensign on Day 1, I had Chief Petty Officers who had been in the Navy 30 years and I expected them to follow orders. If I didn't do the same now, I'd be a hypocrite." Hypocrite is a sharp word and jumps out at the interviewer in a good way. Had a very solid return in terms of call backs from firms that brought up this question when I used this answer. (Again: causation? correlation?)

Did OCI at 44 with medianish grades from B and did better than my numbers would suggest. I'm sure you'll do fine. I will echo the people who said to look out for fit more than prestige. As an older associate, you may not have as much flexibility to lateral as your younger classmates and you'll want to be happy where you land for the long term.


That's a pretty solid answer.

Thanks-- it was the product of some really great advice I got from another vet who had gone before me and told me to treat each screener as if it's a mission. Take copious notes (but not to the point of distraction) and conduct a mission debrief afterwards. It was pretty obvious that question was the weak spot in that first interview and I needed to have something substantive to fill the hole.




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