Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

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NYstate
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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby NYstate » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:During my SA, I asked what someone has to do in order to get no-offered. The attorneys I worked with said that the only people they gave negative reviews to were those with the wrong attitudes, who didn't get along with others, and who didn't seem open to learning. They said that anyone who showed intellectual curiosity, had a positive attitude, and got along well with others was going to get an offer, even if the work itself contained some mistakes (which of course is inevitable for a beginner).


I'm sure they said this. I'm also sure that this is not the complete truth. Law firm hiring isn't kindergarten. If a partner doesn't like someone, for example, they can block the hire. That doesn't mean the SA had a bad attitude or whatever.

The firm isn't going to tell you this. They aren't going to tell you that mistakes can get you no offered, because they don't want a bunch of even more paranoid SAs to cope with. They also want no offered people to look bad so they don't look like fools for not hiring them.

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Ludo!
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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Ludo! » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:48 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
NYstate wrote:He wants to believe that all his success is based in his great talent and dedication. He is offended by the idea that people who have the same or greater talent and dedication might lose jobs. He has to believe it is their fault, not the economy, the firm or the partners.

He reminds me of all those stockbrokers who thought they were geniuses before the crash and interpreted their ability to make money in a rising market as proof of their ability. Then the crash hit and they had to understand that they weren't as good as they thought. He thinks that because he got a job that everyone who didn't must be inferior. I can see him either being stealthed or having work place issues because no one can stand working with him. He doesn't get the social part of work at all. He better be the smartest person in his class, which seems unlikely. I give him at most 2-3 years at a firm, maybe less if we hit another downturn.

What can I say, I dislike this guy. I think his attitude will come across at work and this will bite him in the ass.

And now I expect him to post about how he is charming IRL.


This is such a terrible strawman that I'm having a hard time respecting your opinions going forward.

KidStuddi is not saying that luck didn't play a part in his own success. You wish he was saying that because you want someone to hate, but that does not mean he is actually claiming that.

Your posts make it sound like law firms, unlike every single other for-profit business in the world, make personnel decisions based upon dice-rolls. Simply put: they do not. When someone is no-offered or fired, there was a reason for it.

When the reason is "economics," they're going to start by looking at things like hours - if you're billing 1900 a year and the other guy in your class billed 2100, guess who's going to go. At some firms this will mean the difference between 2200 and 2250. This is not to say that the guy billing 2200 wasn't working hard - a 2200 hour year can be brutal for months on end, but it also isn't to say that he was let go based on a dice-roll: there was a real, rational, definable reason why he was let go. This is all KidStuddi is saying.

You brought up the decimation of the Weil litigation group in Boston. Yes, that is a great example of a termination beyond anyone's control - the whole group was let go, and so individual success did not matter. But that is also NOT the vast majority of no-offers, which is the topic of this thread. For every Winston & Strawn there are dozens of offices that no-offered 1 guy because he missed 3 deadlines in a 10-week time period. Pointing to Weil or Winston and claiming that this should shift the default view of what a "no offer" means is hollow argument because Weil and Winston do not define the market. The anon who posted up-thread about the 3 no offers he had seen "over the years" is far more typical - bad personality, missed deadlines, refusal to take work from other practice groups.

Some people definitely get terminated through no fault of their own - but you have not demonstrated that this is where the majority of no-offers come from. Unless and until you can demonstrate that, there is no reason to shift from a point of view that a no-offer is earned more often than it is not.

This is also not to say that someone who was no-offered is objectively lazy, stupid, or arrogant. It's just to say that they were comparatively worse than those in their class. If the firm hired 6 summers but only has room for 5 associates, they're not going to roll dice, they're going to ask who missed a deadline, who couldn't hold a conversation with others, and who turned down work when they weren't busy. Missing 1 deadline in a field of work that you have never done before doesn't make you lazy, but if the other 5 summers didn't miss any, you cannot say you worked as hard as them. You may have still worked hard, no one is saying you didn't. But that doesn't mean the firm is deciding your fate on a dice roll either.


You sound like a 0l

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:56 pm

NYstate wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:During my SA, I asked what someone has to do in order to get no-offered. The attorneys I worked with said that the only people they gave negative reviews to were those with the wrong attitudes, who didn't get along with others, and who didn't seem open to learning. They said that anyone who showed intellectual curiosity, had a positive attitude, and got along well with others was going to get an offer, even if the work itself contained some mistakes (which of course is inevitable for a beginner).


I'm sure they said this. I'm also sure that this is not the complete truth. Law firm hiring isn't kindergarten. If a partner doesn't like someone, for example, they can block the hire. That doesn't mean the SA had a bad attitude or whatever.

The firm isn't going to tell you this. They aren't going to tell you that mistakes can get you no offered, because they don't want a bunch of even more paranoid SAs to cope with. They also want no offered people to look bad so they don't look like fools for not hiring them.


In the office I worked at, they had 100% offer rates for the previous 4 or 5 years (this was not the case firmwide, but just for my particular office). Never heard anything about cold offers coming from my office or anything like that, so the stats lend credence to what I was told. And again, I wasn't speaking with the hiring partners or anything. I was really just chatting with attorneys I was working with about the reviews they give. Of course, a negative review doesn't equate to a no-offer, and perhaps there are also people who get good reviews who don't get offers from time to time. But they told me that they don't give poor reviews for any reasons other than the above in almost all cases.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NYstate wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:During my SA, I asked what someone has to do in order to get no-offered. The attorneys I worked with said that the only people they gave negative reviews to were those with the wrong attitudes, who didn't get along with others, and who didn't seem open to learning. They said that anyone who showed intellectual curiosity, had a positive attitude, and got along well with others was going to get an offer, even if the work itself contained some mistakes (which of course is inevitable for a beginner).


I'm sure they said this. I'm also sure that this is not the complete truth. Law firm hiring isn't kindergarten. If a partner doesn't like someone, for example, they can block the hire. That doesn't mean the SA had a bad attitude or whatever.

The firm isn't going to tell you this. They aren't going to tell you that mistakes can get you no offered, because they don't want a bunch of even more paranoid SAs to cope with. They also want no offered people to look bad so they don't look like fools for not hiring them.


In the office I worked at, they had 100% offer rates for the previous 4 or 5 years (this was not the case firmwide, but just for my particular office). Never heard anything about cold offers coming from my office or anything like that, so the stats lend credence to what I was told. And again, I wasn't speaking with the hiring partners or anything. I was really just chatting with attorneys I was working with about the reviews they give. Of course, a negative review doesn't equate to a no-offer, and perhaps there are also people who get good reviews who don't get offers from time to time. But they told me that they don't give poor reviews for any reasons other than the above in almost all cases.

I don't doubt this is true in some cases, but let me provide a counter anecdote:

When I was an SA, I was consistently told stuff like "the offer is yours for the taking as long as you make an effort," etc. Similar stuff to the above. After I got no offered, I asked one of the associates who had been there a few years about that. He told me that while the firm tells that to the summers every year, it's never actually been true.

Edit: the firm also told us they had room for all of us. The atty told me he didn't know about my year specifically, but again, he said the firm tells that to the summer class every year and it's never been true.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:26 pm

NYstate wrote:Wtf? You guys are so solidly drinking firm kool aid that you don't see it as inherently wrong they no offered a number of people after telling everyone that there were spots for everyone?


*Sigh*

I actually told bjesq. that he had every right to be upset because he was treated unfairly. I'm forced to conclude that you're not reading what other posters are actually writing.

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bjsesq
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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby bjsesq » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:29 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
NYstate wrote:Wtf? You guys are so solidly drinking firm kool aid that you don't see it as inherently wrong they no offered a number of people after telling everyone that there were spots for everyone?


*Sigh*

I actually told bjesq. that he had every right to be upset because he was treated unfairly. I'm forced to conclude that you're not reading what other posters are actually writing.


I don't disagree with many of the points, but my emotions just won't let me discuss this reasonably. Bastard.

NYstate
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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby NYstate » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:33 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
NYstate wrote:Wtf? You guys are so solidly drinking firm kool aid that you don't see it as inherently wrong they no offered a number of people after telling everyone that there were spots for everyone?


*Sigh*

I actually told bjesq. that he had every right to be upset because he was treated unfairly. I'm forced to conclude that you're not reading what other posters are actually writing.


You mean right before you demanded he prove that everyone else was treated unfairly?
That was very classy. So yes I read it, just wasn't impressed.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:11 pm

NYstate wrote:So yes I read it, just wasn't impressed.


Fortunately I'm not interested in impressing you, and I suspect no one else here is either.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:42 pm

Even though when I was no-offered the firm said it was due to "work product" issues, to this day, I wonder if it was in combination with 2 partners who did not like my work.

I did super well on 90% of my projects, and received rave reviews.

Yet, two projects--according to the two partners--went poorly.

One of those partners was a high level/senior rainmaker type. And the other was a super popular partner in that practice group.

I guess for me despite the fact that 90% of projects went very well, two partners not liking my work was enough to get me canned.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby enibs » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:52 pm

I thought that OP's question was how do firms view no-offers. Not how do SAs who were no-offered view no-offers. And not did SAs who were no-offered deserve it.

The sad truth, whether you like it or not, is that firms view SAs who are no offered - at least 2L SAs who are no offered - as damaged goods. They assume that if you didn't get an offer, either your work was no good or you did something terrible over the summer.

And given the dearth of 3L hiring to begin with, you need a strategy to deal with it. Getting a judicial clerkship and then interviewing as a clerk is one way of rehabilitating yourself. If that's not an option, it is helpful if there's someone, or more than one someone, at your SA firm who really liked you and your work and can serve as a reference. (If you have allies at your SA firm, you may be able to persuade them to give you a cold offer rather than a flat out no-offer. I know NALP hates cold offers, but it sure beats a no-offer.) It can also help to go to a new geographic market, preferable one to which you have credible ties, so you can make the pitch that you just decided that [new geographic market] is where you really want to be. The odds of avoiding the question of whether you got an offer at your SA firm are improved under these circumstances.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:12 pm

enibs wrote:I thought that OP's question was how do firms view no-offers. Not how do SAs who were no-offered view no-offers. And not did SAs who were no-offered deserve it.

The sad truth, whether you like it or not, is that firms view SAs who are no offered - at least 2L SAs who are no offered - as damaged goods. They assume that if you didn't get an offer, either your work was no good or you did something terrible over the summer.

And given the dearth of 3L hiring to begin with, you need a strategy to deal with it. Getting a judicial clerkship and then interviewing as a clerk is one way of rehabilitating yourself. If that's not an option, it is helpful if there's someone, or more than one someone, at your SA firm who really liked you and your work and can serve as a reference. (If you have allies at your SA firm, you may be able to persuade them to give you a cold offer rather than a flat out no-offer. I know NALP hates cold offers, but it sure beats a no-offer.) It can also help to go to a new geographic market, preferable one to which you have credible ties, so you can make the pitch that you just decided that [new geographic market] is where you really want to be. The odds of avoiding the question of whether you got an offer at your SA firm are improved under these circumstances.


Yeah, OP here.

Apparently in my market, it's not that uncommon for 1Ls to get no-offered, or categorically told that they would not receive return offers.

I actually did not know that going into my 1L SA. I just assumed 1Ls get return offers as long as they aren't completely stupid, and not super awkward.

So I rode high going into my 1L SA. I won't lie, I somewhat took my 1L SA for granted, even though I worked hard at it. I know now that I didn't appreciate the golden opportunity as much as I should have. And now I am paying for it.

But, such is life. If I cannot get a 2L SA gig this summer, I will give it my all to get a solid clerkship. Distance myself a bit from my 1L SA no-offer, so for future employment, I can hopefully focus more on my clerkship experience.

This thread, even though it did go on a tangent, was helpful. I know it'll be a hard road to bounce back from the 1L SA no offer, but I won't give up. I understand that my position isn't as bad as a 2L SA no-offer.

I wish all those who have SAs, or are continuing to find SAs the best of luck. Hopefully, all of you rock your firm's socks off, and get full time offers, and can spend your 3L year just chilling.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby dkb17xzx » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I worked my 1L summer at a foreign office of a relatively small international law firm, with a small presence in the US. The foreign office doesn't offer any of its 1L SAs - it assumes they're all going back to the US and will get jobs there.

I was worried that during OCI and CBs people would ask me whether I got an offer, but no one did - out of almost 30 screeners and 10 or so CBs. Some people asked whether I wanted to return to the foreign market, and I explained why I didn't.

As one of the anon's said above, just focus on explaining why you would rather work for the firm you're interviewing with. My guess is that it's also important not to sound defensive or upset when asked about your 1L summer. If they don't ask whether you were offered, they might instead guess based on your emotional response.



would you mind PM'ing the firm name, please?

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby anon168 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:50 pm

If you were no-offered as a 2L we viewed you like Hester Prynne. It was really hard for a candidate to overcome that stigma, fair or not. There were and are usually too many other equally qualified candidates for us to take a chance on a no-offered 2L.

It's different for 1Ls.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:51 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:54 am

anon168 wrote:If you were no-offered as a 2L we viewed you like Hester Prynne. It was really hard for a candidate to overcome that stigma, fair or not. There were and are usually too many other equally qualified candidates for us to take a chance on a no-offered 2L.

It's different for 1Ls.


In your opinion, how are no-offered 1Ls viewed?

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby anon168 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:If you were no-offered as a 2L we viewed you like Hester Prynne. It was really hard for a candidate to overcome that stigma, fair or not. There were and are usually too many other equally qualified candidates for us to take a chance on a no-offered 2L.

It's different for 1Ls.


In your opinion, how are no-offered 1Ls viewed?


Depends.

Were you asked to come back as a 2L?

Some firms never offer 1Ls, but ask that they come back and at least split as a 2L summer.

Some firms never offer post-1L, but will make a decision the following year (regardless of whether you summer again as a 2L) simply because they don't know their hiring needs 2 years out.

So it just depends.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:57 am

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:If you were no-offered as a 2L we viewed you like Hester Prynne. It was really hard for a candidate to overcome that stigma, fair or not. There were and are usually too many other equally qualified candidates for us to take a chance on a no-offered 2L.

It's different for 1Ls.


In your opinion, how are no-offered 1Ls viewed?


Depends.

Were you asked to come back as a 2L?

Some firms never offer 1Ls, but ask that they come back and at least split as a 2L summer.

Some firms never offer post-1L, but will make a decision the following year (regardless of whether you summer again as a 2L) simply because they don't know their hiring needs 2 years out.

So it just depends.


I was not asked to come back. They cited ambiguous work product related issues.

2 projects out of 11 were subpar. They were for high level partners. So I was pretty much screwed.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:53 pm

To be more specific, I was not given a "return offer for a 2L summer associate position."

I was not no-offered for a full time position with the firm.

From what I understand from this thread, and talking to people, getting no-offered as a 1L--when the no offer was a no offer to return as a 2L SA--is not nearly as bad as a 2L who was not given a full time offer.

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Re: Any attorneys with insight on firm's view on no-offers?

Postby Mroberts3 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I’m a practicing attorney at a biglaw firm and a summer I was very close with was no-offered. That summer rushed through 2-3 projects for high-level partners that worked in a practice group the summer had no interest in, but did good work with the group s/he wanted to be in. Unfortunately, the 2-3 high level partners really thought the work was a disaster and lobbied hard to get her/him no offered. His biggest supporters were lower level partners in the group he wanted to be in, but all the higher level partners in that group were super busy on a trial/deal/closing/etc. for the entire summer, so they had no input. The high level partners won.

In the end, in what I think is a move of rationalization, everyone but a handful of people that really liked the summer now act like s/he did terrible work and deserved the no-offer. In sum, the firm tries not to think of it, and when they need to, they rationalize. No one wants to go to work every day for an evil employer, so they ignore the things that point that way.


To me, this is the best evaluation of the situation. The truth has to lie somewhere between "all no offered people are stupid" and "all no offers are because firms are evil." It also walks the line between "arbitrary" and "totally deserved."

Take me, for example. I was 1 of 6 no offered. We were all told that the spots were ours to lose, and everyone acted like we would all be joining. I felt blindsided by it because I was told there was no problem during my midterm, but was given a negative overall final review that made the no-offer less surprising. The most concrete feedback I remember was that it was a combination of work product/attitude. The example I remember was that multiple people said I didn't take enough notes when getting an assignment (herp derp, because I was actively listening not jotting down everything like a 1L in their first class). This was taken as a lack of interest or something similar, so any mistakes I did made were viewed through the lens of "this guy doesn't really want to be here." To be fair, I didn't want to be there after the first week, but I think my work was objectively not no-offerable (based on reviews by "second readers" at the firm).

I also recall one assignment where I was sent to literally just find a good quote for a brief after the partner couldn't find one better than what was in the draft. After a few hours of looking, it was obvious I wouldn't find it (just based on how the relevant cases were written). I gave it a few days, but basically reported back that there was nothing worth using. Whether this affected my offer I don't know, but in retrospect it seems like the kind of thing that can. If a partner on the hiring committee gets all butthurt by being told (correctly) that what they want doesn't exist, then what are you gonna do?

Ok, now compare this to the stories I was told about how bad one had to be to receive a no offer. One was the girl who only did 1 assignment over 10 weeks because she kept making up computer problems as a reason for delay. The other was the guy who slept in his office every afternoon during the summer.

Now it's possible that these stories are true, but it is also possible that the quoted is TCR in that it is all hearsay/exaggerated. I bet that the girl really completed 5 assignments when everyone else did 10. I bet the kid napped 5 times, but somehow got caught 3 of them. Were they no-offer material? Probably, but the stories make it sound worse.

Either way, the stories are problematic because if they are true, then it goes to show they are misleading because you can get offered for a whole lot less. If they are false, they are problematic because it goes to show that no offered stories get blown out of proportion as part of a rationalization process.

So at the end of the day, my no offer wasn't arbitrary. There were real reasons why it happened. Were those reasons objectively strong enough to no offer me (especially in light of the stories used as examples)? I highly doubt it. I think this is the crux of the disagreement here. If your experience is like mine, you kind of assume the reasons for no offers are exaggerated or are bad luck (like getting the hardest assignment from the douchiest partner who also happens to be on the hiring committee). If you didn't, its easier to assume that a few mistakes aren't enough to get no offered. After all, you made mistakes and are still standing, so the no offered kid must have royally fucked up.

The point about the comparison to corporations is also credited. In real life it is often that 5 people are all reviewed by 1 manager. 10 weeks is long enough to know who is better. But when 5 summers do 10 assignments from 30 different people, it is a different story. A major part of being a good employee is knowing what your boss wants (do they want you to check in three times a week or just leave them alone unless you have a necessary question?). When you have 5 bosses in 10 weeks and your competition has 5 different bosses, are you really comparing apples to apples unless it is like a missed deadline?




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