Penn OCI

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:06 pm

So this is fun... 3 years of 1L for me. 55K a year for the honor of attending such a fine institution that does shit for you.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby gobosox » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:01 pm

Can someone give me a quick synopsis of how the Penn OCI works? Namely, I am interested in the reach of the OCI, as a prospective student. I'm wondering if they have PI groups there and how the Boston legal markets are represented.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Nelson » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:27 pm

gobosox wrote:Can someone give me a quick synopsis of how the Penn OCI works? Namely, I am interested in the reach of the OCI, as a prospective student. I'm wondering if they have PI groups there and how the Boston legal markets are represented.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=189981

Wrong thread.

Try here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=80400&start=2925#p7646770

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So this is fun... 3 years of 1L for me. 55K a year for the honor of attending such a fine institution that does shit for you.


You mean except for the whole OCI bit.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 31, 2014 4:01 pm

PennBull wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You think they send out a mass email to the class asking them to be on the job panel or welcoming committee.


Actually, anybody can be on PAC.

Anonymous User wrote:They send out those invitation to a few select ones that usually are on law review, got multiple V10 offers and have a prestigious clerkship.


There's usually a diverse array of folks on employment panels, so, no.

Anonymous User wrote:Hell at our pre-OCI panel, they had some gunner who did 35 callbacks and 15 offers or some shit like that. Funny when the average is probably like 3 cbs.


I know who that was, and, while your numbers are exaggerated, he did have a ton. However, he did not have great grades (they were solid), was not on law review (anecdotal data suggests law review doesn't even fucking matter unless you wrote-on or for clerkships) or some amazing 1L summer job. He just set up a really safe bidlist in a variety of cities and interviews well. That's why he was on the panel.

I cannot speak to anyone's stress or have advice of my own for 2Ls, but, 1Ls, your best defense against any of this is to set up the largest, safest bidlist possible. Interested in DC? Chicago? California? Make sure you still interview with 15+ NYC firms. Having a job in a city you don't want to be in is better than no job. There's no reason to have less than 25 screening interviews. Is it foolproof? Nothing is, but it's the best defense.


Targeting Philly at Penn OCI, so will be doing a lot of mailing. DC would be my second choice market. Is it remotely rational to split my remaining bids between DC and NYC, or is that just way too risky?
While I would much prefer Philly or DC to NY, this thread has terrified me, and I would be willing to give up a chance at DC if it means significantly better OCI prospects. Especially given what will be around $150,000 debt including leftover UG loans.

I have strong softs and good interviewing skills, mostly due to prior career. Strong ties to Philly, none to DC or NYC. I have no idea what my rank is - I did pretty well first semester, but probably more like "somewhere above median" well than anywhere near top of class. Still only have one grade for second semester (an A-), though I feel much more confident about my exam performance this time around.

Also pretty sure I fucked up the edit portion of the writing competition beyond all hope, though I was proud of my essays, for whatever that's worth.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 31, 2014 5:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
PennBull wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You think they send out a mass email to the class asking them to be on the job panel or welcoming committee.


Actually, anybody can be on PAC.

Anonymous User wrote:They send out those invitation to a few select ones that usually are on law review, got multiple V10 offers and have a prestigious clerkship.


There's usually a diverse array of folks on employment panels, so, no.

Anonymous User wrote:Hell at our pre-OCI panel, they had some gunner who did 35 callbacks and 15 offers or some shit like that. Funny when the average is probably like 3 cbs.


I know who that was, and, while your numbers are exaggerated, he did have a ton. However, he did not have great grades (they were solid), was not on law review (anecdotal data suggests law review doesn't even fucking matter unless you wrote-on or for clerkships) or some amazing 1L summer job. He just set up a really safe bidlist in a variety of cities and interviews well. That's why he was on the panel.

I cannot speak to anyone's stress or have advice of my own for 2Ls, but, 1Ls, your best defense against any of this is to set up the largest, safest bidlist possible. Interested in DC? Chicago? California? Make sure you still interview with 15+ NYC firms. Having a job in a city you don't want to be in is better than no job. There's no reason to have less than 25 screening interviews. Is it foolproof? Nothing is, but it's the best defense.


Targeting Philly at Penn OCI, so will be doing a lot of mailing. DC would be my second choice market. Is it remotely rational to split my remaining bids between DC and NYC, or is that just way too risky?
While I would much prefer Philly or DC to NY, this thread has terrified me, and I would be willing to give up a chance at DC if it means significantly better OCI prospects. Especially given what will be around $150,000 debt including leftover UG loans.

I have strong softs and good interviewing skills, mostly due to prior career. Strong ties to Philly, none to DC or NYC. I have no idea what my rank is - I did pretty well first semester, but probably more like "somewhere above median" well than anywhere near top of class. Still only have one grade for second semester (an A-), though I feel much more confident about my exam performance this time around.

Also pretty sure I fucked up the edit portion of the writing competition beyond all hope, though I was proud of my essays, for whatever that's worth.


Debating the same thing, I really would prefer to be in DC over NYC and trying to determine how best to allocate my bids. From what I understand median following 1L is typically between 3.25-3.30, although I have no facts to back that up...just anecdotes.

Looking at the OCI data we have, a number of firms have 3.5 "requirements" - how hard are those requirements? Last semester I was a little above a 3.4, if I stay around the same GPA range would it be advisable to avoid those firms?

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby OutCold » Sat May 31, 2014 7:22 pm

I think its a bad idea to bid split bids between DC and NY. DC summer classes are really small and tend to be much more selective. You also need a compelling "why DC" answer. DC seems to never be a safe bid, but with very high grades AND strong ties, it might be worth the shot. If your goal is to maximize your chances of big law, DC is usually the wrong play; if you are around median, DC is always the wrong play. That said, you might be able to start as a first year at your summer firm's DC office if you can make a case after you have accepted an offer. Places like Jones Day seem to be more accommodating about that. You also might be able to lateral to DC a few years down the line.

Grade cutoffs are rarely "hard" cutoffs. Larger NY firms tend to be the most flexible in my experience.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby PennBull » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:56 am

OutCold wrote:I think its a bad idea to bid split bids between DC and NY. DC summer classes are really small and tend to be much more selective. You also need a compelling "why DC" answer. DC seems to never be a safe bid, but with very high grades AND strong ties, it might be worth the shot. If your goal is to maximize your chances of big law, DC is usually the wrong play; if you are around median, DC is always the wrong play. That said, you might be able to start as a first year at your summer firm's DC office if you can make a case after you have accepted an offer. Places like Jones Day seem to be more accommodating about that. You also might be able to lateral to DC a few years down the line.

Grade cutoffs are rarely "hard" cutoffs. Larger NY firms tend to be the most flexible in my experience.


I wouldn't be this strict, but not much less. DC is tough, but it can be attainable with a good interview process, and, most importantly, grades that line up at or better than the average grades listed on your pie charts. NY is more flexible, DC isn't.

Mistakes are made when folks put too many eggs in the DC basket. If you're interested in DC with average grades, pick a handful (4-7) firms where you have a good chance, and go for it. Your remaining bids should all be NY firms.

A big part of your bidding strategy has to be maximizing screening interviews from the get-go. Firms with 80 slots can be put lower. Firms with 20 spots should be put higher. If your absolute super-duper favorite firm has 80 interview slots, you probably don't need to put it first.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby PennBull » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Targeting Philly at Penn OCI, so will be doing a lot of mailing. DC would be my second choice market. Is it remotely rational to split my remaining bids between DC and NYC, or is that just way too risky?
While I would much prefer Philly or DC to NY, this thread has terrified me, and I would be willing to give up a chance at DC if it means significantly better OCI prospects. Especially given what will be around $150,000 debt including leftover UG loans.

I have strong softs and good interviewing skills, mostly due to prior career. Strong ties to Philly, none to DC or NYC. I have no idea what my rank is - I did pretty well first semester, but probably more like "somewhere above median" well than anywhere near top of class. Still only have one grade for second semester (an A-), though I feel much more confident about my exam performance this time around.

Also pretty sure I fucked up the edit portion of the writing competition beyond all hope, though I was proud of my essays, for whatever that's worth.


You have three more grades to come through. Wait for them. Law review will only marginally help if you wrote on (if you grade on to law review, it's really not gonna matter because your grades are already excellent.

It seems like you have no real reason to choose DC other than "I prefer the city to NY." Fuck it, man, get the job. Pay off the debt. I won't discourage you from picking a few DC firms to take an interview with, but there's plenty of NY firms you'll be happy at.

Philly is also tough to set up a bidlist around. It's tough to pinpoint how low you can put various Philly firms without missing out on them. Chances are every Philly firm can be put below slot #5, due to their relatively lower popularity.

Finally, don't rely on whatever your "strong ties to Philly" are. Philly firms have seen hundreds of people like you choose NY instead anyways. You'll still have to give them a heavy dose of believable shpiel that yes, you do want to stay in Philly. Maybe throw in a touch of classic Philadelphia inferiority complex, haha.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby OutCold » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:24 pm

PennBull wrote:
OutCold wrote:I think its a bad idea to bid split bids between DC and NY. DC summer classes are really small and tend to be much more selective. You also need a compelling "why DC" answer. DC seems to never be a safe bid, but with very high grades AND strong ties, it might be worth the shot. If your goal is to maximize your chances of big law, DC is usually the wrong play; if you are around median, DC is always the wrong play. That said, you might be able to start as a first year at your summer firm's DC office if you can make a case after you have accepted an offer. Places like Jones Day seem to be more accommodating about that. You also might be able to lateral to DC a few years down the line.

Grade cutoffs are rarely "hard" cutoffs. Larger NY firms tend to be the most flexible in my experience.


I wouldn't be this strict, but not much less. DC is tough, but it can be attainable with a good interview process, and, most importantly, grades that line up at or better than the average grades listed on your pie charts. NY is more flexible, DC isn't.

Mistakes are made when folks put too many eggs in the DC basket. If you're interested in DC with average grades, pick a handful (4-7) firms where you have a good chance, and go for it. Your remaining bids should all be NY firms.

A big part of your bidding strategy has to be maximizing screening interviews from the get-go. Firms with 80 slots can be put lower. Firms with 20 spots should be put higher. If your absolute super-duper favorite firm has 80 interview slots, you probably don't need to put it first.

Fair enough. I did about 7 DC bids and wound up with a few DC screeners. None panned out, likely because I couldn't articulate a good enough reason to want to be in DC (administrative/regulatory law, family, all that generic crap). I still think that, in terms of purely maximizing your chances at a biglaw job, those several bids are better spent on NY firms. Probably would have netted me an extra call back or two. One thing to bear in mind if you do split bids between markets is that there is a good chance Philly and DC firms will ask you if you are interviewing in other markets--your answer to that is up to your own discretion.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby PennBull » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:30 pm

I always found the best avenue for someone interviewing in a market they have no ties is to badmouth other markets haha.

But yeah I mean I wouldn't do any DC interviews at all unless you really want to be there. Merely preferring it to NY for loose reasons is not even close to good enough

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Nelson » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:36 pm

Ties and a reason for DC aren't really that important. Just say you don't like NYC and don't want to do corporate. DC is all about grades. The problem is that the firms with big DC classes are the really selective firms (A&P, Cov, W&C, Wilmer etc) and they mostly only make offers to a handful of Penn people each. If you don't have mostly A range grades, you're going to have a rough time and you're better off using those bids for NYC.

As for the Philly question, you can pick up Philly firms with bids in the high teens and 20s. Most of the firms have tons of slots and aren't that popular. Good luck getting an offer though even with ties. You need to lie if they ask you if you're looking at NYC and you need to take every opportunity to bash NYC.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby OutCold » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:43 pm

In terms of Philly firms, Dechert is the easiest to get an offer from. Point out that the corporate work they do is the same as that in their NY office, without actually being in NY. A number of Dechert partners actually commute to NY a few times a week. Dechert you can get around bid 20, Blank Rome and Duane Morris probably around bid 30. Maybe throw Pepper in there.

Just an FYI: Pepper interviews some candidates that mailed a few weeks before OCI. Mail them around the beginning of July for a shot. I had an offer from them in my pocket before even getting to OCI.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby OutCold » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:45 pm

One thing that worked well for me--and that most other people will not do--is going to OCI about 30 minutes before the day begins and passing out your resume/requesting interviews from firms that you missed out on. I probably lined up 4 or 5 extra interviews that way (from Willkie, STB, Debevoise, Quinn off the top of my head). Beat the pack by getting there before everyone else because they fill any extra spots quickly, and you won't be able to grab individual attention after the place fills up. You want to be there when the lawyers and recruiters are just settling in and getting set up.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby PennBull » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:47 pm

OutCold wrote:One thing that worked well for me--and that most other people will not do--is going to OCI about 30 minutes before the day begins and passing out your resume/requesting interviews from firms that you missed out on. I probably lined up 4 or 5 extra interviews that way (from Willkie, STB, Debevoise, Quinn off the top of my head). Beat the pack by getting there before everyone else because they fill any extra spots quickly, and you won't be able to grab individual attention after the place fills up.


Absolutely credited advice. I got 8 interviews this way; and one of them ended up being my 2nd favorite firm. Even if you don't have a scheduled interview just get there early and talk to anyone available. You may even get an interview on the spot. If your grades are decent I'd also give people your transcript as well.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:56 pm

Different anon here, but still a rising 2L.

With 2 more grades from the spring semester still pending, I'm sitting at or slightly above median, but I also have what I think is strong DC government experience on my resume and a family connection to the city. Do you think these factors would be enough to make up for the grades at some of the top firms (i.e. A&P, Cov, etc.) and would justify bidding more DC firms if that's where I want to end up?

I certainly wouldn't object to living in NY for a couple years and then lateraling to DC, but is that really my only route?

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby PennBull » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:57 pm

Nelson wrote:Ties and a reason for DC aren't really that important.


Yes and no; depends on the interviewer, really. Philly/Boston/California et al are obviously in another league. But some DC interviewers IME genuinely gave a shit as to whether you had any reason to be in DC besides a stupid platitude of "herpderp regulatory work?"

Preparing a convincing reason to be in DC shouldn't take too long and it could be important

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby PennBull » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you think these factors would be enough to make up for the grades at some of the top firms (i.e. A&P, Cov, etc.) and would justify bidding more DC firms if that's where I want to end up?


No. The good news is that some of the strictest DC firms can be slotted lower in your bidlist because they will be unpopular. Put some DC firms where your grades line up in a good position; put the firms where your grades are out of reach below NY firms where you are in a good spot. You'll probably still get the interview.

e.g. I put Covington at I think 25 or 26 two years ago and I think I could have put them 30, maybe 35+

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:57 pm

Thanks. That seems like a smart strategy. One other small question. It might be a bit stupid, but here it is: when on the spreadsheet a firms says they want "Top 10%" for example, but the pie chart shows the grade distribution being heavily weighted towards B+'s and B's, which metric should I go by in considering where to bid them? I'm assuming the pie chart since it is based on the firm's history with Penn students specifically?

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby PennBull » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:12 pm

pie charts are probably your best bet

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:22 pm

Thanks, guys, this is all really helpful.

Nelson wrote:As for the Philly question, you can pick up Philly firms with bids in the high teens and 20s. Most of the firms have tons of slots and aren't that popular. Good luck getting an offer though even with ties. You need to lie if they ask you if you're looking at NYC and you need to take every opportunity to bash NYC.


Would it be stupid to be honest and just say I'm only bidding DC/NY firms to have a fallback for Philly? I mean, surely Philly firms can't expect students to bid only this city and leave the rest of our slots empty.
Alternatively, what are the odds/consequences of them finding out if I lie and say I'm only bidding Philly? And were you serious about bashing NY, despite the traditional "don't be negative about anything" advice one typically gets for interviews?

PennBull wrote:Finally, don't rely on whatever your "strong ties to Philly" are. Philly firms have seen hundreds of people like you choose NY instead anyways. You'll still have to give them a heavy dose of believable shpiel that yes, you do want to stay in Philly. Maybe throw in a touch of classic Philadelphia inferiority complex, haha.


I mean, I legitimately love Philly and would rather live here than pretty much anywhere else in the country. And most of my family lives here. I don't know what I could say to be more convincing than that. Is it OK to also mention how much I would prefer the lifestyle/culture here vs. NY firms, or is that too obviously code for "would rather work 80-hour weeks than 100-hour weeks"?

PennBull wrote:Absolutely credited advice. I got 8 interviews this way; and one of them ended up being my 2nd favorite firm. Even if you don't have a scheduled interview just get there early and talk to anyone available. You may even get an interview on the spot. If your grades are decent I'd also give people your transcript as well.


How goods should grade be before we are voluntarily handing our transcripts out?


PennBull wrote:Yes and no; depends on the interviewer, really. Philly/Boston/California et al are obviously in another league. But some DC interviewers IME genuinely gave a shit as to whether you had any reason to be in DC besides a stupid platitude of "herpderp regulatory work?"

Preparing a convincing reason to be in DC shouldn't take too long and it could be important


OutCold wrote:I did about 7 DC bids and wound up with a few DC screeners. None panned out, likely because I couldn't articulate a good enough reason to want to be in DC (administrative/regulatory law, family, all that generic crap).


What is a more convincing reason than wanting to do admin/regulatory-related work and really liking the city, especially if I've never lived there long-term? Is this another case where NY-bashing might just be the best route to go?
Though at this point it sounds like I should forget DC unless my other 3 grades this semester all turn out to be A/A+.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Nelson » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks. That seems like a smart strategy. One other small question. It might be a bit stupid, but here it is: when on the spreadsheet a firms says they want "Top 10%" for example, but the pie chart shows the grade distribution being heavily weighted towards B+'s and B's, which metric should I go by in considering where to bid them? I'm assuming the pie chart since it is based on the firm's history with Penn students specifically?

Go with the charts.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby PennBull » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks, guys, this is all really helpful.

Would it be stupid to be honest and just say I'm only bidding DC/NY firms to have a fallback for Philly? I mean, surely Philly firms can't expect students to bid only this city and leave the rest of our slots empty.


Yeah that's fine. If/when they ask you just mention you're interviewing with a few other cities because you had extra interview slots and it's entirely reasonable to just throw in some backup options.

Anonymous User wrote:Alternatively, what are the odds/consequences of them finding out if I lie and say I'm only bidding Philly? And were you serious about bashing NY, despite the traditional "don't be negative about anything" advice one typically gets for interviews?


Don't lie about it. You should be fine with the above tip

City-bashing is really only recommended if your ties are strenuous. You can still reasonably, and accurately, paint a negative picture of NY of course. But you probably don't need to go over the top like somebody who needs to grasp for straws.

Anonymous User wrote:I mean, I legitimately love Philly and would rather live here than pretty much anywhere else in the country. And most of my family lives here. I don't know what I could say to be more convincing than that. Is it OK to also mention how much I would prefer the lifestyle/culture here vs. NY firms, or is that too obviously code for "would rather work 80-hour weeks than 100-hour weeks"?


The former is good. Play off of your Philadelphia sports interest if you have them. I wouldn't play up the culture between firms because, in all honesty, you have no effing clue what "law firm culture" is until you start working (no matter what anyone else tells you). However, there is a big culture difference between the cities as a whole. That would be good to play off of too.

Long story short, a guy (girl?) like you doesn't have to force it. I was merely saying you can't just have a resume that screams Philadelphia and just kind of assume "well, duh, of course I want to be in Philadelphia." Interviewers still really need to get that confirmation because so many people still leave for NYC.

Anonymous User wrote:How goods should grade be before we are voluntarily handing our transcripts out?


Consider the firm's general grade distribution. Are you way above? Absolutely give em a transcript. A little below? Maybe just a resume. In any event, you'll probably only have time to talk to 4, mayyyybe 5 firms maximum before the day starts/during lunch. Pick out which firms you want to talk to, and write down something like a Green/Yellow/Red marker indicating how good your grades are to their distribution. Come up with 3-4 things to let them know that you are genuinely interested.

Anonymous User wrote:What is a more convincing reason than wanting to do admin/regulatory-related work and really liking the city, especially if I've never lived there long-term? Is this another case where NY-bashing might just be the best route to go?
Though at this point it sounds like I should forget DC unless my other 3 grades this semester all turn out to be A/A+.


Ready to get out of Philly, don't want to be in New York. Prefer the DC environment. Hit hard on specific work the DC office has done recently and why it interests you. Look, stuff like this and the shpiel you come up with for your pro-Philadelphia interviews is simply your personality and interview skills. Being loose and candid helps with this stuff. Nobody here can give you a script because we're all so different.

I was able to get CBs/offers from a variety of cities besides NY but the things I said probably don't apply to everyone.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby OutCold » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:26 pm

I mean, I legitimately love Philly and would rather live here than pretty much anywhere else in the country. And most of my family lives here. I don't know what I could say to be more convincing than that. Is it OK to also mention how much I would prefer the lifestyle/culture here vs. NY firms, or is that too obviously code for "would rather work 80-hour weeks than 100-hour weeks"?


I was actually really successful in Philly. I think the family connection is what puts one over the top. I'm not saying that you will assuredly get an offer in Philly having grown up nearby, but you will have a much better shot. That said, I'm actually from North Jersey, but routinely said that I was from across the river and left it at that. Just play up the fact that you've spent a lot of time in both cities, and that you really have no interest in moving to New York. Also, play up the fact that you can get New York quality work in whatever area at their firm.

What is a more convincing reason than wanting to do admin/regulatory-related work and really liking the city, especially if I've never lived there long-term? Is this another case where NY-bashing might just be the best route to go? Though at this point it sounds like I should forget DC unless my other 3 grades this semester all turn out to be A/A+.


Here's the thing: if you are going to talk about liking admin/regulatory work, have more than a superficial understanding of what regulatory and admin work entails. They will inevitably inquire further. I also think what Pennbull is saying about city bashing is more along the lines of pointing out the cons of life in New York and explaining why DC is a better alternative for you. Not so much putting New York down as explaining why New York would be a terrible fit for you. This also works better if you can say you've spent a significant bit of time there.

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Re: Penn OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:19 pm

Unemployed 2l summer here - reading all the advice above and crying. Crying for my own situation and for the 25% of 1ls that will find thier hopes and dreams crushed in a few months time. It's been almost a year later and the feeling never goes away.




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