UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:07 pm

Any of the alum's on hear have insight on the process for the third round at teh Cook County State Attorney's Office? Thanks...

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:13 pm

And if we killed it? I was under the impression that firm jobs are basically out for non-minority/non-secondary market/non-IP, but would two >180 change that? I realize it's just one quarter, but wondering if any new doors are open for the summer.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:And if we killed it? I was under the impression that firm jobs are basically out for non-minority/non-secondary market/non-IP, but would two >180 change that? I realize it's just one quarter, but wondering if any new doors are open for the summer.

I would mass mail Chicago firms and definitely bid on one of the firms for Winter OCI. I imagine you will have some sort of chance, though far from a good one still.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:And if we killed it? I was under the impression that firm jobs are basically out for non-minority/non-secondary market/non-IP, but would two >180 change that? I realize it's just one quarter, but wondering if any new doors are open for the summer.


Better chance, but still slight. I had 2 180+ and didn't get a single interview.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:35 pm

My grades are low; a dismal kind of low. If we have grades in the low 170's and I mean low, how will it affect our job outlook? Thanks for any words of wisdom; I'm pretty down about things.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My grades are low; a dismal kind of low. If we have grades in the low 170's and I mean low, how will it affect our job outlook? Thanks for any words of wisdom; I'm pretty down about things.

:cry:

Similar boat - what about grades that average out to be a couple of points below median?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:58 pm

You still have time to change. One outlier grade (even two) don't rule you out from top firms. All of us that had Helmholz know the feel.

Work your ass off and get them up.


FWIW, I know someone with a 173 avg with a firm job paying 160k.

ETA: the same sentiment goes to those with amazing grades. Keep it up. I know tons of people who thought they had it in the bag, slacked off winter quarter, and then lost hope of grading onto law review.

These two grades equal ONE grade in a two-quarter class. They only have a slight impact on overall GPA. Keep eating the pie.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My grades are low; a dismal kind of low. If we have grades in the low 170's and I mean low, how will it affect our job outlook? Thanks for any words of wisdom; I'm pretty down about things.


Not a death-sentence by any means, but cause for concern. That you have two bad grades means there is some disconnect between your studying and exam performance. My advice would be to schedule meetings with your professors to go over your exam and try to see what went wrong.

Remember that these grades make up **only** like 10-12% of your total 1L average. See them as an opportunity to improve instead of anything else.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:21 pm

What's the protocol for sending grades to 1L employers? If they haven't asked for grades specifically but have received my app and haven't dinged me, should I send my grades now or call/e-mail to ask if they are still interested first?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the protocol for sending grades to 1L employers? If they haven't asked for grades specifically but have received my app and haven't dinged me, should I send my grades now or call/e-mail to ask if they are still interested first?


A lot of employers won't ask for them directly and just expect you to forward them. Just send a quick email reaffirming your interest with grades attached.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the protocol for sending grades to 1L employers? If they haven't asked for grades specifically but have received my app and haven't dinged me, should I send my grades now or call/e-mail to ask if they are still interested first?

It's a good excuse to get in touch with them without being annoying. Anything to refresh your file.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:48 pm

This:

Anonymous User wrote:

These two grades equal ONE grade in a two-quarter class. They only have a slight impact on overall GPA. Keep eating the pie.



And this:

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
My grades are low; a dismal kind of low. If we have grades in the low 170's and I mean low, how will it affect our job outlook? Thanks for any words of wisdom; I'm pretty down about things.


Not a death-sentence by any means, but cause for concern. That you have two bad grades means there is some disconnect between your studying and exam performance. My advice would be to schedule meetings with your professors to go over your exam and try to see what went wrong.


Remember that these grades make up **only** like 10-12% of your total 1L average. See them as an opportunity to improve instead of anything else.



I was just at median after 1st quarter, and I ended up doing very well 1L year. I also know people who were 179+ first quarter and ended up right around median at the end of the year. Keep perspective guys. Spring quarter will overwhelmingly make or break your grades for 1L year.

As to the job outlook concern: don't get too wrapped up in grades. Obviously, if you can identify a problem in your exam taking, try to fix it. If you can't, it is not a death knell to your chances. I suggest you look up the callback report on Chalk (Chalk -> Office of Career Services -> Organization Materials -> Fall 2013 On-Campus Interviewing -> Fall Callback Report). Take a look at all of the firms with callback minimums at/below median. I can confirm after going through the experience that those numbers are not outliers (at least to the extent that they were somewhat indicative of GPA cutoffs this year). Hopefully that assuages some of your concerns.

Anecdotally, I know people at "V3" firms (if that is what you care about) with median or below. I also know people with sub-178s who had 10+ CBs (if you are instead focused on just getting any "biglaw" job whatsoever).

In sum:
Is it going to be an uphill battle if you go into OCI with a sub 177.5 or so GPA? Likely, yes. Are you locked out of prestigious firms? No (sans maybe Wachtell/Williams and Connolly/MTO). Do your current grades have a significant impact on your final GPA? It depends whether you consider ~12% "significant." I would say no.

Chin up, you'll be okay.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:11 pm

I would also add that in my opinion, unless you're one of those people who does consistently well in every single class, elements and civ pro I were not really typical of other 1L classes grade-wise.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would also add that in my opinion, unless you're one of those people who does consistently well in every single class, elements and civ pro I were not really typical of other 1L classes grade-wise.


I hope this is true. I'm sitting a few points below median.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby AspiringAcademic » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My grades are low; a dismal kind of low. If we have grades in the low 170's and I mean low, how will it affect our job outlook? Thanks for any words of wisdom; I'm pretty down about things.


Not a death-sentence by any means, but cause for concern. That you have two bad grades means there is some disconnect between your studying and exam performance. My advice would be to schedule meetings with your professors to go over your exam and try to see what went wrong.

Remember that these grades make up **only** like 10-12% of your total 1L average. See them as an opportunity to improve instead of anything else.

Fourthing the above. Fall quarter is 6 credits, winter is 12, and spring is 18 (and LRW is 4, but f- that shit). Learn from your mistakes and successes, but don't make too big a deal out of the fall. Also, elements and civ pro I are probably the outliers in terms of exam format and content.

If you're worried about how you did, think about talking to the academic counselors and any upperclassmen friends you might have in addition to whatever else you do. I think most of us are long past caring about a particular 1L's grades.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:31 am

My GPA went up 2 full points from fall to the end of the year, don't lose hope.

Also try hard in LRW now that it is graded - it's more in your control than other classes.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My GPA went up 2 full points from fall to the end of the year, don't lose hope.

Also try hard in LRW now that it is graded - it's more in your control than other classes.


^I'd like to qualify this advice. You need to try hard and do alright in LRW. But (at least in my year) people massively over-committed in terms of how much time they spent on winter and spring quarter LRW projects relative to how much time they spent studying for finals. The latter are far more important to your overall GPA. I intentionally spent one of the weekends on outlining that everybody else spent LRW-ing, and I think it worked out very well in the end even though LRW did predictably lag my other grades a bit. Work hard in LRW but remember that it is weighted only slightly in the scheme of things.

If you want to get better exam grades, however, you probably need to change a lot of things up. First you need to figure out how to take an exam, and second you need to get comfortable with the finer points of ambiguity in the law. (Note: just rolling with a couple 178s or something does not mean you know how to take an exam).

Trying to be calm, well-organized, and methodical in the way past-high scorers have been is one way I think to raise your scores above what they might otherwise be without necessarily knowing the law all that much better. Professors will admit that the line between a 176 and a 177 or a 177 and a 178 is very blurred, especially when they are grading 90 exams. The exam that is easy to read and in the style they want will probably be able to take advantage of that blurring. In order to know what methods of organization a given professor likes, however, you really have to look at past model answers and get a sense of 1) how long they were and 2) how they moved through the question. Professors will differ on this point. Strahilevitz, for example, will not want to see the same kind of answers Fennell will. Really trying to break that down can help you.

As for knowing the law better, well, that's hard to give much advice on. But I'd say 1) get comfortable with ambiguity and 2) pay attention to how the small things fit with the big things. It's a lie to say that everyone in your class will equally know the law, and that only exam talent matters. Most of your classmates will recognize that there is some issue involving an easement on a property exam, for example, but only some will really develop that issue properly, probably because only some will really know what they are talking about and will notice all the small facts that could play into the question. I'm not sure what to say on this except that an attitude less of wide-eyed mystification and more of acceptance/resignation was helpful to me. I'd guess that there is a difference in grades between the student who just really, really, really thinks Twombly is ambiguous and can't get beyond that versus the student who accepts ambiguity, notes which ways it could go and what little things might move it more or less in those ways, and moves on with their studying.

Anyway good luck. You are all talented people with a lot going for you and you can make it work out. Try to be happy and make time for friends; 1L is a long haul.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:01 pm

Thanks again for this helpful thread. Three questions:

1) When reaching out to current students who work at firms you are interviewing at, do people usually just email or meet up for coffee?

2) Who are the most helpful OCS people when it comes to sitting down and doing mock interviews?

3) Any thoughts on the Corporate Lab clinic for a 1L summer position?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:11 pm

How badly will employers view a 173 ("C+") versus a 174 ("B-")? The latter seems infinitely better simply because it doesn't have the stigma of a "C" attached to it, but is the difference really that prominent to them? Also, in terms of percentile, is a 173 bottom 10% or so?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:How badly will employers view a 173 ("C+") versus a 174 ("B-")? The latter seems infinitely better simply because it doesn't have the stigma of a "C" attached to it, but is the difference really that prominent to them? Also, in terms of percentile, is a 173 bottom 10% or so?



I had quite a few callbacks at v20 firms with a 173 (in a 2-quarter class). In terms of percentile, 173 is very low for a GPA average, but some professors have lots of very high and lots of very low grades, so for a single class it will vary.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks again for this helpful thread. Three questions:

1) When reaching out to current students who work at firms you are interviewing at, do people usually just email or meet up for coffee?

2) Who are the most helpful OCS people when it comes to sitting down and doing mock interviews?

3) Any thoughts on the Corporate Lab clinic for a 1L summer position?


1) I've done both. I prefer meeting because it's much easier to stick your neck out for someone when you've actually met them.

2) Leslie Hauser

3) I'm in the lab now, and I imagine working for them during the summer would be very cool. If you're interested you should email the people that worked there to get more details on how it compares to real lab.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:32 am

I agree it's better to meet up with upperclassmen. Unfortunately when you all are going to want advice is over the summer from 2Ls at firms and both you and they will be scattered so it's tough. Reaching out now is a little proactive but not the worst idea.

173 for a given class is probably bottom 5% but don't fret. It's better now on one of the first two since you can learn. You really should go sit down with the academic counselors and the teacher who gave you the grade and figure out what went wrong though. If you got in here you are very bright and you can improve so keep the faith. I don't think employers will view a 173 as being much worse than a 174 either.

Leslie Hauser is probably the most useful but know that she has a very specific way she wants people to interview (working in selling points) and that works better or worse for some people. I thought Lois was helpful too. Dean Willard, Susan, Lisa, and Paul (though he's super nice) were less helpful in my opinion.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:39 pm

1Ls. Good lesson to learn:

Try your best not to email people with jobs right before you interview for it. (aka, 1L OCI right now). Do it earlier.

For those interested in clinics: ask people now.

For those who plan to talk to attys at firms (like the advice given on the first page of the thread), do so early summer--or (if you want grades to predict what firms you have a shot at) immediately after grades come out. Don't do it the week before OCI.

It's pretty transparent and I think it's harder to make a connection when the atty/2L you're talking to is suspicious as to your motives.

EDIT: That being said, it can't hurt you---so if you have the time and you didn't have a chance to talk to them earlier, go for it.. You just might be wasting your time if no connection is established.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Try your best not to email people with jobs right before you interview for it. (aka, 1L OCI right now). Do it earlier.

EDIT: That being said, it can't hurt you---so if you have the time and you didn't have a chance to talk to them earlier, go for it.. You just might be wasting your time if no connection is established.


Somewhat covered in the edit but I wanted to state that I certainly don't operate this way and neither do the majority of 2Ls I know with 1L SA experience. We all played this game for much of the past year, and understand that your priority when getting in touch with us is to learn about a place you want to hire you. Obviously you can learn more by building a relationship and will get more detailed answers from someone you know well, but if you have an interview with my firm in 45 minutes I'm happy to give you a quick run down of talking points. In no way would I be offended by someone "using" me for this type of info.

In general, never be afraid to ask other U Chicago students for advice/info. You will almost never get "you should have asked me yesterday" as a response.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Try your best not to email people with jobs right before you interview for it. (aka, 1L OCI right now). Do it earlier.

EDIT: That being said, it can't hurt you---so if you have the time and you didn't have a chance to talk to them earlier, go for it.. You just might be wasting your time if no connection is established.


Somewhat covered in the edit but I wanted to state that I certainly don't operate this way and neither do the majority of 2Ls I know with 1L SA experience. We all played this game for much of the past year, and understand that your priority when getting in touch with us is to learn about a place you want to hire you. Obviously you can learn more by building a relationship and will get more detailed answers from someone you know well, but if you have an interview with my firm in 45 minutes I'm happy to give you a quick run down of talking points. In no way would I be offended by someone "using" me for this type of info.

In general, never be afraid to ask other U Chicago students for advice/info. You will almost never get "you should have asked me yesterday" as a response.


I completely agree. I'm just saying, if possible--the sooner the better.

I've been getting multiple emails asking "did you like your experience" and then immediately followed up with "can I use you in my cover letter," and it's a bit off-putting. I've also been told by mentors at firms that they prefer meeting earlier in the summer because when you ask to meet right before OCI it looks less like "I want to learn about your experience" and more like "I want a name to drop."

If you forgot, didn't have the time, etc. asking right before an interview is fine; but a prudent 1L asks when there isn't this suspicion. And that's what I'm trying to encourage.


Also--the run down of talking points often works better when there's already a connection established. But I agree that's a great way to make sure you're ready for the interview.




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