Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

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Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:31 pm

Hey all,

I'm median (maybe just a hair above) at MVP and I went through 38 screeners at OCI. Out of that process I got three callbacks, one of which I already had and got rejected from. I targeted a secondary market with NYC as a backup, which turned out to be a huge mistake. While my friends were interviewing with NYC firms with huge summer classes, I was trying to convince partners to hire me for an office they didn't even know their firm had who had a summer class of four.

Anyway, I have two callbacks left- one at my secondary market and one at a relatively smaller NYC office of a non-NYC based firm. Both firms are hiring a summer class of 6-9 or so (for that office), so I have a bit of an uphill battle. These callbacks are in early September. I asked the one firm I had the callback with for feedback/criticism, and they told me I did everything well and made a great impression, but they had a very small summer class and it was just a numbers thing. So I don't really know what my issue is. I am K-JD with typical work experience (summer internship at a court this summer and a law-related college internship senior year). I think I interview generally well, and am going to do a mock tomorrow to fine-tune things.

Can anyone provide any tips on how to really execute these CBs as well as I can? I have been mass mailing and trying to set myself up with backup options, but I really want to get an offer from one of these firms, both of which I really like and am truly interested in. What is the best way for me to express my enthusiasm and interest in these firms, and maximize my chances of getting an offer from one of them without somehow screwing it up? There is a whole lot riding on this for me, and would really appreciate any help or advice anyone can provide.

Thanks guys.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:39 pm

3 CBs out of 38 screeners is a bad ratio, even if you were bidding on an unusual secondary market. You should try to work more on your interview skills in general.

A lot of the questions at CBs are the same as those at screeners, but I've noticed they do seem to have more focus on "why us?" Common questions include "why this city?" and "what are you looking for in a law firm?" The latter is especially tricky, as the best answer is to basically describe their law firm, in general terms, without making it too obvious you're doing that, and while still coming across as sincere.

If the market doesn't normally get students from schools in your ranking-range, they'll have a bit of an inferiority complex, and "why us?" questions will be very important.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:52 pm

Why so few callbacks do you think? Was it awkward conversation or?

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:10 pm

OP here. I believe there are a few reasons why I got so few:

About 10 of them were at firms I had very little chance of actually getting a CB with (v10 or otherwise very grade selective). Since I had the opportunity to get so many screeners from my school, I took these because I thought "why not"- they didn't prohibit me from getting any other interviews. So basically I never even had a shot at these. (Sullcrom, Skadden, etc.)

My first 23 interviews I had the complete wrong approach entirely. I told firms I was interested in pretty niche practice areas such an environmental law and soft IP, and I didn't have good reasons whatsoever for why I had these interests (such as relevant work experience), I just liked the subjects. I eventually realized this was a horrible approach because such practice areas are very very small parts of a typical firm's body of work. I was just being honest and telling firms what I thought I would like to try, instead of appealing to what they are good at.

I also have a relatively empty resume. While I did a summer internship at a court this summer and worked for 5 months during college at a government law job, I didn't have any summer jobs during college. I didn't realize until late that I needed to emphasize that I was a year-round student during college and was trying to run my own business (which is completely non-law related).

I don't feel I had any awkward conversations- in fact, just the opposite. I generally had such good rapport with my interviewers that we discussed the "interests" section of my resume or other casual/fun conversation topics for 10 minutes, and I didn't get enough change to really sell myself.

With that said, there were about 6 or 7 interviews where I truly don't know why I didn't get the callback. I had great rapport with the interviewer and they seemed to like me, but I think that my dearth of experience and K-JD status, along with my secondary market interviews really hurt me.

Sorry to overload with info, I appreciate you asking. By now since I think I know what was wrong, I can try to rectify it and do as well as I can with these two last shots I have.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:13 pm

OP, i'm in an almost identical situation. Same school range, same grades, 25 screeners, 2 callbacks.

So...tag. And good luck.

Has anyone ever heard of asking a screener interview for feedback on your interview? or is that weird/not ok?

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone ever heard of asking a screener interview for feedback on your interview? or is that weird/not ok?

I wouldn't do that, simply because they're not very likely to tell you the truth, so my guess is that any answer would be more misleading than helpful.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:20 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone ever heard of asking a screener interview for feedback on your interview? or is that weird/not ok?

I wouldn't do that, simply because they're not very likely to tell you the truth, so my guess is that any answer would be more misleading than helpful.


If they are an almuni it might be okay.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP, i'm in an almost identical situation. Same school range, same grades, 25 screeners, 2 callbacks.

So...tag. And good luck.

+1
Good luck to both of you. I've picked up a few screeners from mass mailing (<5), but otherwise I'm just waiting to hear back from one of my CB's while I continue to mass mail. :|

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:24 pm

Wow. You have put yourself in a tough situation. I feel for you. For your callbacks know why you want to work at that firm in that city. Your genuine interest in the firm will help you.
And have more than one or two reasons. Be specific .Look for any alumni that might be at the firm and contact them in advance to ask any questions or get their insights. Show that you've done your research on the firm.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby izy223 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:36 pm

...
Last edited by izy223 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby hoos89 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:37 pm

/
Last edited by hoos89 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:43 pm

Was in a similar situation at CCN and just got an offer so there hope . As for what to do, l I would go for a mock interview with OCS not till after EIW did I relize my why law school answer sucked. Also, my OCS gave me he option of approaching 3 firms I thought I did well with in EIW to see what went wrong ( they would approach and give me data I. Aggregate (maintains autonomy) so maybe that's an approach you can take.

Anyway gl. Know the firms I inside out and you'll get he job!

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby eerie_erie » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:29 am

Mock interviews with OCS or anyone who has good law firm interviewing skills is helpful. Also try to contact people at the firm and ask if they could tell you more about the work that they do/firm culture/whatever firm-related. Could indicate initiative and signal you are genuinely interested in the firm.

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Amity
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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Amity » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:11 am

From my 2L experience. You may only have two callbacks now but that will change. As more students begin cancelling interviews because of having accepted somewhere else other CB opportunities will open up. Even two months after I accepted I was receiving callback invites. That is the way it works. Just keep doing what you are doing.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I believe there are a few reasons why I got so few:

I had great rapport with the interviewer and they seemed to like me, but I think that my dearth of experience and K-JD status, along with my secondary market interviews really hurt me.


Secondary markets, from my experience, tend to care a lot about that. During my 1L summer I worked for a midlaw firm (~200 attorneys) in a secondary market who only hired a single K-JD student (out of a class of ~8), and he had work experience, LR, and tip-top grades from the best school in the state. Peer firms in the region seemed to have similar ratios.

Also, FWIW, very few of my interviewers have cared about my 1L summer but I have gotten tons of questions about my pre-law school paralegal gig.

law321
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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby law321 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:31 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone ever heard of asking a screener interview for feedback on your interview? or is that weird/not ok?

I wouldn't do that, simply because they're not very likely to tell you the truth, so my guess is that any answer would be more misleading than helpful.


AGREED. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. I have never been asked for feedback, but I would find it unusual/off-putting.

Edit - doing this post-dingh is fine...I assumed the questions meant do this right after the initial interview
Last edited by law321 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

law321
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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby law321 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:36 am

eerie_erie wrote:Mock interviews with OCS or anyone who has good law firm interviewing skills is helpful. Also try to contact people at the firm and ask if they could tell you more about the work that they do/firm culture/whatever firm-related. Could indicate initiative and signal you are genuinely interested in the firm.


Do not do the bolded before an upcoming interview. That would be unusual.

The advice about during mock interviews etc is good. Know your resume backwards and forwards, and have canned answers for all of the questions you know are coming (especially the questions about why this city, and why this firm).

Realize also that you may not have done anything wrong in the interviews you felt went really well. This year, in my view, has been insanely competitive.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:23 am

OP here. Thanks for all the advice guys, I really appreciate it. And good luck to the other anons!

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

law321 wrote:Do not do the bolded before an upcoming interview. That would be unusual.


I hope this comment is sarcastic. There is nothing unusual about trying to make contacts at a firm (or any other employer) before an interview. Many people, including me, have been successful with this tactic. Nothing makes a callback better than having someone reach out to HR to put in a good word before the interviews begin. It does not guarantee a job, but it is definitely not unusual.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:05 pm

Keep mass mailing. I was in the same exact boat last year, and got dinged (not saying that will happen to you ... I went for selective firms with small class sizes, so the odds were against me). I have a biglaw offer only because I mass mailed the hell out of my connections to get interviews.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:26 pm

I've pretty much tapped my personal connections at this point. Should I turn to alumni?

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:34 pm

You have no reason not to.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:15 pm

Not OP. I am pretty well connected in a few major markets, via family etc, including in NYC. Unfortunately, a lot of these connections were a) useless and b) used up during OCI because despite having people vouching for me from the inside, I was not meeting grade cutoffs and have therefore received dings from all the firms where I had connections on the inside. (PSA: even the seemingly BEST connections can fall through. I'm above median at a T10 and had the head of corporate at a V20 send my resume to the head of recruiting saying "do what you can to get this guy an interview". Head of recruiting asked for my transcript and then dinged me pre-interview cause I didn't meet their GPA cutoff. This is one of many examples.)

I still have some pretty good connections, a spattering of partners/head of recruiting/clients here and there, but I'm not sure of how to utilize them. These things are, to an extent, expendable, and I feel like it may be a waste of time to send an SOS to any of these people if class sizes are already full and maybe I should just be mass mailing by myself and pulling these triggers later on (like next year or something) if necessary and when they might be more effective.

I guess my question is: what is the best way to utilize/maximize connections at this point?

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Sgtpeppernyc » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:22 pm

There is no way to know whether there are open spots, as firms don't like to advertise that - the only real way to be successful is to cast a wide net. All of your connections are useful to get you out of "the pile."

When you mass mail, you're part of a very large pile of resumes - think about every person in your position, who struck out at OCI and wants a chance to get their foot in the door. It could be that 1,000 people are qualified, but the firm is still only interviewing a handful of those qualified people.

The SOP is for attorneys who receive a resume to send it through to the recruitment office. This helps you because instead of being one of a thousand qualified applicants, you're "the guy that John Doe recommended, who is qualified," and that extra boost can very well get your foot in the door. In other words, you're in a different, smaller pile than you would be if you mass-mailed. There are few, if any people who can get you an interview when you aren't qualified - nobody likes nepotism.

My personal experience: I struck out after my 2 callbacks last year (I was about median at a T14), and in late September caught a break when I emailed a high school school connection (my school has a tight alumni network). He sent my resume through to recruitment, with maybe a light reco ("anon is a good dude, not a psycho, etc."). Turned out that they had given out a number of offers, but not everyone had accepted so they were back to the drawing board. I was well qualified and a good fit for the firm, and I got an offer.

tl;dr any connection who is willing to send your resume to recruitment is extremely useful.

Feel free to PM with questions.

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Re: Only two callbacks, tips on how to do as well as possible?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:15 pm

Sgtpeppernyc wrote:There is no way to know whether there are open spots, as firms don't like to advertise that - the only real way to be successful is to cast a wide net. All of your connections are useful to get you out of "the pile."

When you mass mail, you're part of a very large pile of resumes - think about every person in your position, who struck out at OCI and wants a chance to get their foot in the door. It could be that 1,000 people are qualified, but the firm is still only interviewing a handful of those qualified people.

The SOP is for attorneys who receive a resume to send it through to the recruitment office. This helps you because instead of being one of a thousand qualified applicants, you're "the guy that John Doe recommended, who is qualified," and that extra boost can very well get your foot in the door. In other words, you're in a different, smaller pile than you would be if you mass-mailed. There are few, if any people who can get you an interview when you aren't qualified - nobody likes nepotism.

My personal experience: I struck out after my 2 callbacks last year (I was about median at a T14), and in late September caught a break when I emailed a high school school connection (my school has a tight alumni network). He sent my resume through to recruitment, with maybe a light reco ("anon is a good dude, not a psycho, etc."). Turned out that they had given out a number of offers, but not everyone had accepted so they were back to the drawing board. I was well qualified and a good fit for the firm, and I got an offer.

tl;dr any connection who is willing to send your resume to recruitment is extremely useful.

Feel free to PM with questions.


Thanks, I guess I'll go ahead and utilize them and hope they all don't get used up for nothing. Not much I can do about it, I guess.




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