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 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:Dear Microsoft:

I know you said that you'd get back to us by Tuesday at the latest, but I guess that you wanted to build up the suspense. Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to send out ding emails at 10:30pm on a Friday night - it has been a great way to start the weekend.

Love,

Anonymous Applicant

P.S. I hope Windows 8 dies in a fire.


OP here.

I know that you guys don't have a 1L job search thread and this is a convenient place to express your frustrations, but let's try to keep this to questions about the job hunt.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Dear Microsoft:

I know you said that you'd get back to us by Tuesday at the latest, but I guess that you wanted to build up the suspense. Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to send out ding emails at 10:30pm on a Friday night - it has been a great way to start the weekend.

Love,

Anonymous Applicant

P.S. I hope Windows 8 dies in a fire.


OP here.

I know that you guys don't have a 1L job search thread and this is a convenient place to express your frustrations, but let's try to keep this to questions about the job hunt.

If it were just taking out frustrations I wouldn't have written it. I wanted to share info that Microsoft has released decisions (which the posters above were talking about), but decided to do it in a snide way because of Microsoft's impeccable timing.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Dear Microsoft:

I know you said that you'd get back to us by Tuesday at the latest, but I guess that you wanted to build up the suspense. Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to send out ding emails at 10:30pm on a Friday night - it has been a great way to start the weekend.

Love,

Anonymous Applicant

P.S. I hope Windows 8 dies in a fire.


OP here.

I know that you guys don't have a 1L job search thread and this is a convenient place to express your frustrations, but let's try to keep this to questions about the job hunt.

If it were just taking out frustrations I wouldn't have written it. I wanted to share info that Microsoft has released decisions (which the posters above were talking about), but decided to do it in a snide way because of Microsoft's impeccable timing.

OP again,

I get that. I just don't want this to turn into something like an OCI thread where people post callbacks, acceptances, dings, etc. If you'd like one, you can create your own thread. One of my goals with this one is to make it digestible and informative for future 1Ls, and this distracts from that and adds unnecessary clutter.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Dear Microsoft:

I know you said that you'd get back to us by Tuesday at the latest, but I guess that you wanted to build up the suspense. Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to send out ding emails at 10:30pm on a Friday night - it has been a great way to start the weekend.

Love,

Anonymous Applicant

P.S. I hope Windows 8 dies in a fire.


OP here.

I know that you guys don't have a 1L job search thread and this is a convenient place to express your frustrations, but let's try to keep this to questions about the job hunt.

If it were just taking out frustrations I wouldn't have written it. I wanted to share info that Microsoft has released decisions (which the posters above were talking about), but decided to do it in a snide way because of Microsoft's impeccable timing.

OP again,

I get that. I just don't want this to turn into something like an OCI thread where people post callbacks, acceptances, dings, etc. If you'd like one, you can create your own thread. One of my goals with this one is to make it digestible and informative for future 1Ls, and this distracts from that and adds unnecessary clutter.


How do firms at OCI look at interviewees that worked at a corporation during their 1L summer? I'm curious about positives and negatives despite the general mantra being "just do something law related your 1L summer." I know this thread has discussed working at a firm during 1L but how about corporations? I apologize if this was discussed before and I missed it. As always, I appreciate the help!

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
How do firms at OCI look at interviewees that worked at a corporation during their 1L summer? I'm curious about positives and negatives despite the general mantra being "just do something law related your 1L summer." I know this thread has discussed working at a firm during 1L but how about corporations? I apologize if this was discussed before and I missed it. As always, I appreciate the help!



First of all, I think that almost everything looks the same to a legal employer (with a few outliers in both directions)--I think what's important is if you can spin it into a workable story that gets across your strengths, the skills learned at that experience, and your personality. I think in-house positions are incredibly easy to spin--ex: I worked for Microsoft, and I was exposed to tons of different areas of law (possibly mention your favorite/what you want to do), I learned how clients like to see work product (straight to the point--as opposed to a law school exam), and then tell a story about the job relating to a skill. Make the lawyer think to himself, wow it sounds like he had a great experience, I could put him in front of a client, and I don't have to teach him/her how to write a memo for a client.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Becca2148 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:how would you evaluate an offer from a midsize firm for a 1L SA position? any downside to taking it, esp re: 2L OCI, say?


Just for clarification, do you currently have any other offers?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
How do firms at OCI look at interviewees that worked at a corporation during their 1L summer? I'm curious about positives and negatives despite the general mantra being "just do something law related your 1L summer." I know this thread has discussed working at a firm during 1L but how about corporations? I apologize if this was discussed before and I missed it. As always, I appreciate the help!



First of all, I think that almost everything looks the same to a legal employer (with a few outliers in both directions)--I think what's important is if you can spin it into a workable story that gets across your strengths, the skills learned at that experience, and your personality. I think in-house positions are incredibly easy to spin--ex: I worked for Microsoft, and I was exposed to tons of different areas of law (possibly mention your favorite/what you want to do), I learned how clients like to see work product (straight to the point--as opposed to a law school exam), and then tell a story about the job relating to a skill. Make the lawyer think to himself, wow it sounds like he had a great experience, I could put him in front of a client, and I don't have to teach him/her how to write a memo for a client.


What would be negative outliers? RA, legal aid, small firm?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
How do firms at OCI look at interviewees that worked at a corporation during their 1L summer? I'm curious about positives and negatives despite the general mantra being "just do something law related your 1L summer." I know this thread has discussed working at a firm during 1L but how about corporations? I apologize if this was discussed before and I missed it. As always, I appreciate the help!



First of all, I think that almost everything looks the same to a legal employer (with a few outliers in both directions)--I think what's important is if you can spin it into a workable story that gets across your strengths, the skills learned at that experience, and your personality. I think in-house positions are incredibly easy to spin--ex: I worked for Microsoft, and I was exposed to tons of different areas of law (possibly mention your favorite/what you want to do), I learned how clients like to see work product (straight to the point--as opposed to a law school exam), and then tell a story about the job relating to a skill. Make the lawyer think to himself, wow it sounds like he had a great experience, I could put him in front of a client, and I don't have to teach him/her how to write a memo for a client.


What would be negative outliers? RA, legal aid, small firm?


Negative outliers are things that make it harder for you to spin a biglaw story at OCI. If you have a masters in human rights, spent 2 years working at USAID before law school, and then spent your first summer at the UN instead of, say, a corporate focused clinic, it's going to be harder to convince a firm that you actually want to be in private practice. It can be done, but it's harder.

That being said, I don't think working at the UN -- or any other job in particular -- is a negative outlier on its own. It's all about the story you tell. I had a 1L SA but I don't think that the line item on my resume was an inherent boost at 2L OCI. Rather, the experience at a firm gave me relevant experiences to talk about in interviews and demonstrated that I was committed to a career in biglaw. There are lots of ways to do that.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby soj » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:01 pm

Becca2148 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:how would you evaluate an offer from a midsize firm for a 1L SA position? any downside to taking it, esp re: 2L OCI, say?


Just for clarification, do you currently have any other offers?

You're a 0L. This forum is for law students. Go to Ask a Law Student if you want to ask questions.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:53 am

Can anyone shed some light on the International Human Rights summer internships for 1L's? Are these good experiences? Some better than others?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone shed some light on the International Human Rights summer internships for 1L's? Are these good experiences? Some better than others?

Everyone I talked to who worked abroad (I can think of 6 at least) all loved their jobs and I think considered it an asset come OCI.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:11 pm

Anybody have any light to shed on the background check for a summer USAO position? I might have smoked pot a few times in college (probably like 5 times, never habitually) and tried something harder once but haven't touched anything in the past 3 years. Should I be concerned about failing clearance?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby caryatis » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:43 pm

Is it a background check or is it a clearance? Those are different things. If it's a background check it takes 5 minutes and just looks at whether you have been convicted of crimes or have a warrant out.

If it's a clearance it will take forever. With regard to drugs, they will go back a certain number of years (probably seven, but don't take my word for it). Google SF-86 to get an idea. Err on the side of disclosure. Lots of people fail to get clearances because they lied about something relatively minor like marijuana use which wouldn't have been a big deal had they disclosed. And remember, even if you don't get a clearance this summer, you want to keep your options open for the future.

Edit: Just to be clear, I have no experience with USAO in particular, but I've seen lots of this stuff with DoD.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anybody have any light to shed on the background check for a summer USAO position? I might have smoked pot a few times in college (probably like 5 times, never habitually) and tried something harder once but haven't touched anything in the past 3 years. Should I be concerned about failing clearance?


They dont drug test u for clearance, so unless u have been busted that got on ur record, ur fine.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:06 am

If you're not sure whether you want to do lit or transactional - is that something you have to settle on before OCI? Will firms let you try out assignments for both during a 2L SA? Is it possible to land an SA at good corporate/M&A firms without a business background - and once there, will you be taken seriously?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you're not sure whether you want to do lit or transactional - is that something you have to settle on before OCI? Will firms let you try out assignments for both during a 2L SA? Is it possible to land an SA at good corporate/M&A firms without a business background - and once there, will you be taken seriously?



It's often a question in interviews. You don't have to settle, but lots of people say it's easier to have at least a preference (show you've done some work toward figuring out the answer--like "I'd like to try out both, but at the moment I'm leaning transactional because XYZ). In before the special snowflakes who didn't do that chime in and tell me i'm wrong, but this is probably the safest route to go--firms somoetimes hire based on need in practice area, and even if they don't it's good to show you're mature enough to think about what kind of work you want to be doing.

In addition, you don't want to say you want a practice area that the firm barely has or doesn't have at all. Don't say you want bankruptcy to a firm that barely has a practice, don't say you want to do transactional work at Quinn, etc.

Yes, they'll hire you. Refer to an earlier post in this thread (I think it was this thread) that talks about learning as much as you can about the practice area so you can speak knowledgeably about it.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you're not sure whether you want to do lit or transactional - is that something you have to settle on before OCI? Will firms let you try out assignments for both during a 2L SA? Is it possible to land an SA at good corporate/M&A firms without a business background - and once there, will you be taken seriously?


UChi alum and biglaw associate here. The more you know about your own interests and what you want to do, the better off you will be. But, if you don't know and want to use a SA program to learn what you want to do, you can still land a good SA. Look for firms that stress the fact that summers and associates aren't hired into a "group" and have the ability to try different practices.

You don't necessarily have to settle on lit or transactional before OCI, but in my view you do not want to be completely evenhanded, either. In other words it's not good to say, "I have no idea what I want to do, so I want to try everything," but it's okay to say something like, "my interest is primarily litigation, although I haven't ruled anything out, and one of the things that interests me about XYZ's summer program is the opportunity to get at least some exposure to practice groups outside of litigation." (Assuming that's true of the firm's summer program -- most firms have very flexible summer programs and don't hire you into a specific group, but some do.)

My advice not to be completely evenhanded should also apply to choices between firms and cities. It would seem woefully unfocused if, for example, a candidate said "I'm deciding between litigation at Susman in Houston and M&A at Wachtell in New York." Most interviewers' attitude would be that those are such different things that the candidate really doesn't know what they're doing.

Also, no business background is not fatal for getting a corporate/M&A SA gig. Might make it more difficult, but it isn't fatal. And once you have the job and start working no one will care, as long as you have by then at least taken some of the introductory corporate classes and have a rudimentary understanding of the lingo. (Don't be the SA from a few years ago who was "sooooo interested" in corporate work but had to ask me what I meant when I described a company as "highly leveraged.")

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby 2014 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:01 pm

Above advice is obviously good but I will also add that firm research is crucial for that question. Not only because you want to avoid the massive trap of trying to sell a firm on a practice group that doesn't exist there, but also because some firms have different well publicized ways that they sell their programs exposure to work.

For example SullCrom touts their unassigned system where everyone is just a yolo generalist for a while so going to them and belaboring your efforts to narrow down your practice area is probably time not well spent. Cravath does few rotations and hires into Corp or Lit so if you try and tell them about your ambivalence and your desire to use them to figure out your preferences they will probably be irritated. McDermott in Chicago not only hires into practice groups but does callbacks based on them so you need to know what you want to do or pretend to before that screener.

Those are just a few examples, there are others, the key is to do a minimal amount of research and avoid either looking stupid or wasting valuable interview time that can be spent on more successful approaches.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:04 pm

2014 wrote:Above advice is obviously good but I will also add that firm research is crucial for that question. Not only because you want to avoid the massive trap of trying to sell a firm on a practice group that doesn't exist there, but also because some firms have different well publicized ways that they sell their programs exposure to work.

For example SullCrom touts their unassigned system where everyone is just a yolo generalist for a while so going to them and belaboring your efforts to narrow down your practice area is probably time not well spent. Cravath does few rotations and hires into Corp or Lit so if you try and tell them about your ambivalence and your desire to use them to figure out your preferences they will probably be irritated. McDermott in Chicago not only hires into practice groups but does callbacks based on them so you need to know what you want to do or pretend to before that screener.

Those are just a few examples, there are others, the key is to do a minimal amount of research and avoid either looking stupid or wasting valuable interview time that can be spent on more successful approaches.



I think Kirkland hires into practice groups as well, but there was one (182+LR) student that was hired into both.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:36 pm

Anon from above - thanks for the great advice, all! I've been doing some research this afternoon and it looks like most firms have info on whether they're hiring into practice groups or rotating their summers. A couple follow-ups:

-Is it harder to get corporate without a business background in firms that hire directly into practice groups/are more specialized for transactional work (WLRK, etc) than for firms that rotate or are more lit-focused overall?

-Re: not being unfocused/evenhanded: is it acceptable/recommended to pitch lit to firms like Boies or Quinn or transactional to WLRK, and then turn around and pitch generalist to SullCrom et al, or does word get around?

-Finally, and this is maybe a bigger can of worms: are alums currently working in firms happy with their choices, or would they have done things differently? Any horror stories or great experiences to share from a particular firm?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:18 pm

Kirkland definitely allow rotation over the summer as you basically pick what you work one, though I know some people think it's easier to get hired if you pitch certain areas. Most firms allow/expect rotation over the summer.

Anonymous User wrote:Anon from above - thanks for the great advice, all! I've been doing some research this afternoon and it looks like most firms have info on whether they're hiring into practice groups or rotating their summers. A couple follow-ups:

-Is it harder to get corporate without a business background in firms that hire directly into practice groups/are more specialized for transactional work (WLRK, etc) than for firms that rotate or are more lit-focused overall?

-Re: not being unfocused/evenhanded: is it acceptable/recommended to pitch lit to firms like Boies or Quinn or transactional to WLRK, and then turn around and pitch generalist to SullCrom et al, or does word get around?

-Finally, and this is maybe a bigger can of worms: are alums currently working in firms happy with their choices, or would they have done things differently? Any horror stories or great experiences to share from a particular firm?


I think it's a bad strategy to chase prestige and cachet. You're really going to want to know if you want to be a litigator if you go somewhere like Quinn since it'd be pretty shitty to find out you hate it when that's all you get to do. If you're really on the fence, go with somewhere that allows you to rotate so you don't end up (more) miserable. I think it's a bad strategy since you never know who talks to who after screeners. And on hallowed 'don't be dicks to classmates' grounds, if you don't want to be a litigator or deal lawyer, leave the slot open for someone who does.

There's always a give and take in OCI. I don't think your narrative is going to matter as much if you come into the interview with a 182 average. For some interviewers just saying litigation blows and I want to do deals is basically sufficient. There is also a sentiment out there that people go corporate because they think it's less competitive, so be ready for pushback especially if you're a K-JD with a humanities degree saying you want to work in cap markets or something like that. It's always going to be a plus to connect the dots for the interviewer and get out in front of possible questions with a good narrative from something like experiences over 1L summer.

I'd recommend reading something like God's at War or Liar's Poker to get conversant in some of the lingo to show your interest if you choose to go in that direction.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby 2014 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anon from above - thanks for the great advice, all! I've been doing some research this afternoon and it looks like most firms have info on whether they're hiring into practice groups or rotating their summers. A couple follow-ups:

-Is it harder to get corporate without a business background in firms that hire directly into practice groups/are more specialized for transactional work (WLRK, etc) than for firms that rotate or are more lit-focused overall?

-Re: not being unfocused/evenhanded: is it acceptable/recommended to pitch lit to firms like Boies or Quinn or transactional to WLRK, and then turn around and pitch generalist to SullCrom et al, or does word get around?

-Finally, and this is maybe a bigger can of worms: are alums currently working in firms happy with their choices, or would they have done things differently? Any horror stories or great experiences to share from a particular firm?

1. Yes but only because those firms tend to attract applicants that do have work experience and they likely have better resumes and interview experience than you on average. It's a correlation causation thing though, the firms will hire you if you have good grades and interview well even if your resume is otherwise empty. It's just a struggle to interview well when that is the case.

2. I'm very confident this doesn't matter. Interviewers constantly ran behind schedule, checked their phones on breaks, sat there in their rooms silently, etc. It was a rarity to see them interacting and I seriously doubt that to the extent they did that they talked about applicants. Even if they DID talk about applicants, it would probably be like "oh i enjoyed my conversation with bob" rather than "bob hard sold me on capital markets work, what did he say to you?"

The complete risk averse move is to be consistent across the board. I did stuff like you are describing and didn't regret it.

3. N/a

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:44 pm

2014 wrote:t's just a struggle to interview well when that is the case.


(If I may) To expand on this, I think he means that it's harder to explain why you want to do M&A deals if you can't explain what excites you about M&A.

One good way to get around this is to talk with attorneys and learn the other reasons for picking a practice group (i.e. M&A is known for being team-oriented, bankruptcy is often known for working with a lot of different practice groups throughout a case, etc).

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:48 pm

Any thoughts on the QE reception?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any thoughts on the QE reception?


GO.

Great food, and it's the only reception where they serve johnny walker black.




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