UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

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NYstate
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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby NYstate » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:02 pm

The problem is that the interviewee may not know where they are going to get offers (and may actually change their mind after they interview) so they have to do their best to show their interest in every firm. I think that you are taking this way too personally, though I can see if you think it makes you look bad if people you push for turn you down for NYC. I get that it might suck to be you for a bit but not nearly as much as it hurts the interviewee. The reality is that not getting an SA offer can be the end of a career before it starts, interviewees have to try to convert every callback into an offer, and that may include pushing Chicago when they are in the tough Chicago market and pushing NYC when they are here. It is just common sense and self-preservation.

I sincerely doubt that a firm would turn down a lateral they want to hire because that lateral went to NYC first turning down an offer from that firm. Maybe some firms would do that, but this is the first I've heard of a firm being that vindictive and not hiring someone if the candidate has the credential and experience they want. Perhaps your firm would punish someone for not taking the offer. I don't think that is a good enough reason to not push for Chicago when you are in Chicago. I'm not saying that a person should guarantee they will accept an offer if they get it, but if Chicago firms want to know why you want Chicago, you better be able to convince them.

I mean, honestly, would you give someone an offer if they told you that they prefer NYC to Chicago? That wouldn't make sense for your firm.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:24 pm

NYstate wrote:The problem is that the interviewee may not know where they are going to get offers (and may actually change their mind after they interview) so they have to do their best to show their interest in every firm. I think that you are taking this way too personally, though I can see if you think it makes you look bad if people you push for turn you down for NYC. I get that it might suck to be you for a bit but not nearly as much as it hurts the interviewee. The reality is that not getting an SA offer can be the end of a career before it starts, interviewees have to try to convert every callback into an offer, and that may include pushing Chicago when they are in the tough Chicago market and pushing NYC when they are here. It is just common sense and self-preservation.

I sincerely doubt that a firm would turn down a lateral they want to hire because that lateral went to NYC first turning down an offer from that firm. Maybe some firms would do that, but this is the first I've heard of a firm being that vindictive and not hiring someone if the candidate has the credential and experience they want. Perhaps your firm would punish someone for not taking the offer. I don't think that is a good enough reason to not push for Chicago when you are in Chicago. I'm not saying that a person should guarantee they will accept an offer if they get it, but if Chicago firms want to know why you want Chicago, you better be able to convince them.

I mean, honestly, would you give someone an offer if they told you that they prefer NYC to Chicago? That wouldn't make sense for your firm.


This has become a bigger deal than I intended it, so let me just say that I hear you. Really. Do what you feel you have to do to get a job. But the problem is not that it sucks for me or looks bad at the firm for "my" interviewees to lie to us about their geographic interests. The firm doesn't care what school our summers come from or whether I'm "successful" as a recruiter. Only I do, because I like UChicago. And it doesn't hurt me on a personal level, I'm just saying I think it's rude and lacks integrity. (And it does hurt your classmates marginally. By the time you get back to us to reject your offer, we're done with callbacks and offers. We're not extending any more offers to UChi students.)

I think you're reading too much into what I said about keeping track of people who lie to us. It's not vindictive, it's just using the information we have on file about you. I mean, suppose someone lied about their grades or prior work experience, and we found that out even though they went to another firm for the summer. If, several years down the road, they had developed the "credential and experience" that we were looking for in a lateral, I think we would probably pass on them. Note that the lie is the problem, not the fact that you turned us down.

To answer your last question, we have offered many people who say they aren't sure where they want to end up and are considering both NYC and Chicago. But no, we would not offer someone who says they strongly prefer NYC and that Chicago is only a backup. So maybe that's my main lesson here. If you're ambivalent between two places, saying so won't hurt you. You can even add whatever you want about how Chicago is a really great city and that's what you're leaning toward. But just don't cross the line into promising that you're only "really" interested in one city when it's not true. That could hurt you and your classmates in the long run.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I think something all 1Ls and future students should try to internalize is that "median" encompasses arguably 176-179 depending on the firm.



I think 176 is a bit on the low-end. A 177.5 can snag you 3/4 (at least) of the v15, and I don't think the same can be said about a 176. I think there's something about being "above median" that is more attractive to employers.

Also wanted to reiterate that being above the cutoff just gives you a chance to sell yourself to an interviewer. If there's a pool of average interviewers and you don't stand out from it, grades become more important.


Finally, a 175 in property isn't as excusable as it once was with the hammer out of commission :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Original anon:

I largely agree with you I think, especially insofar as a firm facing someone with hypothetical straight 176s is almost certainly going to see someone with split 177-178s as being unequivocally better. I think it goes to my 2nd point though which is that our transcript is pretty convoluted and i'm guessing several 176.Xs probably have transcripts that are like 173, 176, 178, 180 or whatever and if I'm a firm that doesn't look that much worse than a 175, 176, 179, 179, especially at a glance which is when the decision to CB or not is made.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions

Postby AnotherYearOlder » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My first piece of advice is to go to firm receptions, but don't join the herd of gunners surrounding the hiring partner. S/he won't care or remember you. Find an attorney that you click with and make a connection and get a business card (partners probably have more pull, but associates are usually easier to connect with and they usually give the most authentic answers). An easy way to do this is to come up with a practice area you're interested in and find someone who works in that area. Ask questions about it and show genuine interest. If there's no one at the firm in that area, feel free to mention the interest (attorneys will often say "let me put you in touch with X who's in that area").

Email them within the next few days and say something along the lines of "It was great meeting you and talking about XYZ. I really enjoyed the reception and wanted to thank you for the time you spent speaking with me. I'm quite swamped with schoolwork right now, but I was hoping you'd be willing to get lunch or coffee some time this summer. I'd love to ask some more pointed questions about [practice area, firm, etc.]. Keep a document where you store these names and set up coffee/lunch with the attorneys over the summer. Lots of attorneys get coffee in the morning and are willing to do so before work. It's worth mentioning that you can cold-email alum and they are often willing to go to meetings like this.

At the meeting, talk about culture and (if you're comfortable with it) ask the questions that you can't ask at OCI (lifestyle, partnership prospects, etc). Don't ask them in abrasive ways like "do you think you have a shot at becoming partner?," but say things like "what are your career goals?" Other stock questions:
-"How often do you spend time with colleagues outside work"
-What's your favorite thing about [practice area]?
-What do you think makes your firm unique? (You'll usually get some bullshit answer about culture, but pay attention to how they describe it)
-Could you walk me through your typical day? (Most will say something like "my days are never typical" and then go on to explain what his agenda for the day is/was)

Ask follow up questions, be personable, establish a connection. Ask questions you're genuinely interested in. If you're interested in work/life balance, ask about it. If you're interested in early experience, ask about it.

At OCI, this gives you 1) information about the firm that most people don't have (if you say something that isn't on a firm's website in response to the "why our firm" question, you're streets ahead), 2) a name to drop, 3) presence at the firm's reception, 4) a believable story about firm culture (most interviewees will mention "culture" in response to the "why our firm" question, but most can't actually describe it or give evidence that they would fit in), and 5) if you really like a firm, you can email your contact before your interview and ask for last minute advice (I did this with a few and most offered to put in a good word for me with the hiring committee).

Eventually you'll start to notice when attorneys are feeding you BS answers or when they are being genuine about something. You'll start to see the differences and similarities between firm cultures/practices and you can start figuring out which ones you could see yourself at. Most people at OCI just bid every firm they have heard of, and half of the interviews don't work out for "fit" reasons. By eliminating firms that you don't like, you're also eliminating firms that wouldn't hire you because you wouldn't fit in.

It's kind of fun to see an interviewer's face light up when you answer the "why our firm" answer with something that genuinely distinguishes the firm from it's competition.

The strangest question I was asked during a callback was, "how did you decide which firms to bid during OCI?" Answering with this process is an excellent way to show that you're someone who does their homework.


This is an outstanding suggestion. Tactics like this will work in almost any market.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:22 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:How long after a callback interview for a 1L SA at a biglaw firm does it usually take the firm to let you know the results (whether an offer or a rejection)? Also, how do they usually go about contacting you (email/phone/letter/etc.)?



By phone sometime in Feb-March for my midwest secondary market

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How long after a callback interview for a 1L SA at a biglaw firm does it usually take the firm to let you know the results (whether an offer or a rejection)? Also, how do they usually go about contacting you (email/phone/letter/etc.)?


This is almost entirely market/firm dependent. A few 1L SAs had offers before Winter classes began last year, but the majority are February or later, especially major market diversity positions. If you did a callback in your home market over break though, I would guess that a timeline similar to OCI CBs applies (~2 weeks max for offers), unless they led you to believe otherwise.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How long after a callback interview for a 1L SA at a biglaw firm does it usually take the firm to let you know the results (whether an offer or a rejection)? Also, how do they usually go about contacting you (email/phone/letter/etc.)?


In my southeast secondary market, it was six days, and by telephone.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:40 pm

So is Chambers TCR when finding info about a firm's focus/strengths (other than talking to alumni)? Any other resources that are good to use?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So is Chambers TCR when finding info about a firm's focus/strengths (other than talking to alumni)? Any other resources that are good to use?


Look at the latest big deals / cases the firm has been a part of. Have a general understanding about how movements in the economy might impact different groups (e.g. what are the trends, and whats expected to happen over the next year or so, that will affect cap markets or restructuring, for example). Look at how many attorneys are included in each practice group at the firm.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So is Chambers TCR when finding info about a firm's focus/strengths (other than talking to alumni)? Any other resources that are good to use?


Chambers is the best and easiest place to begin research. It will give you a general sense of different practices areas and which firms are strong in them. From there, look up profiles of partners on the firm's site and see what type of deals they do.

You can also follow NYT's Dealbook, WSJ's law blog, and read AM Law Daily, which you can access on the front page of symplicity once you log in. If you walk into an interview and can say something like "I was really impressed by the firm's work on X deal for Y reasons," you're gonna do great. This applies a bit more to corporate than to litigation, but remember, 90% of litigators are doing work related to finance/markets/transactions in some capacity, so understanding deal structures and market conditions is relevant for most people in biglaw.

None of this is strictly necessary for getting a job -- plenty of my friends at great firms didn't do this stuff -- but if you're otherwise average on paper (ie median grades, white male, etc.) this will really set you apart in an interview.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How long after a callback interview for a 1L SA at a biglaw firm does it usually take the firm to let you know the results (whether an offer or a rejection)? Also, how do they usually go about contacting you (email/phone/letter/etc.)?


By phone sometime in Feb-March for my midwest secondary market


This mirrors my results, rejections come by snail mail or emailed PDF by the way. If you gave a home address on your resume/cover letter, it will go there so remember to ask your parents. I remember a conversation with my dad in February where I was like "I haven't heard from firms Y and Z at all which is odd" to which he said "Oh I think you have a letter from them from January, want me to open them" :|


Chambers is a great resource and probably the best you can do for practice areas but it is still imperfect. It does do a good job of telling you who has a sizable practice in an area of interest, but if you are trying to rank firms strengths, just remember that you don't start work for nearly 3 full years and lateral hiring combined with different companies doing the biggest deals might mean the bands will look somewhat different by the time you start work.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Some firms basically require journals (WLRK)


I don't think that WLRK cares about journals. The majority of people getting WLRK are of course on Law Review, but that's definitely more related to correlation rather than causation. In fact, I think that WLRK is one of the firms that cares least about somebody being on a journal.

Source: I'm a former UChicago student who was on Law Review and have a number of friends who are either working at Wachtell or have worked there in the past.


First, idk why Wachtell is getting so much love in this thread. 1Ls please aim for firms based on more than their Vault rankings and consider what you are in for when you sign up for these jobs.

Second, Law Review is, I strongly suspect, near-mandatory at Wachtell. If you go to that firm you are signing up to work every waking 3,000+ hours/year of your life in those poorly-lit halls. You think they're going to hire somebody to do that who wasn't also willing or able to hack the far-less severe (though still extant) soul-sucking drudgery of cite checking? Doubt it.

Source: did a callback at Wachtell (no offer though, thank God).

Anonymous User wrote:Email them within the next few days and say something along the lines of "It was great meeting you and talking about XYZ. I really enjoyed the reception and wanted to thank you for the time you spent speaking with me. I'm quite swamped with schoolwork right now, but I was hoping you'd be willing to get lunch or coffee some time this summer. I'd love to ask some more pointed questions about [practice area, firm, etc.]. Keep a document where you store these names and set up coffee/lunch with the attorneys over the summer. Lots of attorneys get coffee in the morning and are willing to do so before work. It's worth mentioning that you can cold-email alum and they are often willing to go to meetings like this.


I think this is really good advice. One of the most challenging parts of OCI is distinguishing between a bunch of firms that look very similar externally ("hello, I'm from X firm in a giant skyscraper that like all of our competitors has lots of attorneys in every practice area under the sun. What draws you to our particular firm?"). Networking in this manner both helps you perceive (or at least have some basis for thinking you perceive) small differences in firms that you can talk about at OCI, and it lets you say to OCI interviewers "Well I had coffee with so-and-so and they seemed really enthused about XYZ etc."), which tells them at you have at least done some homework. Especially if you spend your 1L summer in the city you want to be in for 2L summer, take the time you have to meet with alumni there.

That said I don't think you should tell them that you are busy with schoolwork and so can't meet right away. They are probably busier than you and may lol at that. Rather I would just say that you would like to meet over the summer as OCI approaches--they've been through OCI before and will understand that meeting over summer is probably best for you.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:56 pm

Hi all,

1L reading through this thread: tons of great advice. Thank you all for contributing. I hadn't heard of chambers and sounds like great advice to do some serious research there.

Two questions:

1) These firm receptions. Do they happen throughout the rest of the year? I know there were a number of them in orientation but a lot of them seemed diversity-oriented and I didn't go. Is it too late?

2) I turned down an offer to paralegal at a Chicago firm shortly after graduating undergrad (after a crazy five-hour-long interview) to take a less-demanding job where I could focus on figuring out my life/whether I wanted to go to law school/studying for the LSAT/etc. Now that I'm actually in LS I'm regretting not having those experiences/connections, obviously, but do y'all think it'll hurt me for bidding that firm at OCI? Will they have a file on that and remember it? Obviously I'm going to prepare an answer for why I turned it down either way, but I'm wondering if it should affect my bidding. Obviously this is super-premature, but, well, this is an OCI thread in January, after all.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

1L reading through this thread: tons of great advice. Thank you all for contributing. I hadn't heard of chambers and sounds like great advice to do some serious research there.

Two questions:

1) These firm receptions. Do they happen throughout the rest of the year? I know there were a number of them in orientation but a lot of them seemed diversity-oriented and I didn't go. Is it too late?

2) I turned down an offer to paralegal at a Chicago firm shortly after graduating undergrad (after a crazy five-hour-long interview) to take a less-demanding job where I could focus on figuring out my life/whether I wanted to go to law school/studying for the LSAT/etc. Now that I'm actually in LS I'm regretting not having those experiences/connections, obviously, but do y'all think it'll hurt me for bidding that firm at OCI? Will they have a file on that and remember it? Obviously I'm going to prepare an answer for why I turned it down either way, but I'm wondering if it should affect my bidding. Obviously this is super-premature, but, well, this is an OCI thread in January, after all.


2L here.

1. Those are different than the receptions that will be later in the year, so no, it is not too late. Most of the later ones will be with NU students. I went to all of them (wanted the free food/drinks) and had a great time. It is a good networking opportunity if you make it one, but there's no pressure to do so. Just enjoy yourself. Anecdote: I bid a firm low at OCI and predictably did not get it (one of the most popular NY firms). During OCI, that firm called me and asked me to interview. My guess is they had the list of people that went to the reception and asked the attorney's who they liked, or whatever. Not sure if this experience is typical, but ther eyou go.

2. No, they do not care.

On an unrelated note, I disagree with those that say LR is simply a bump. During OCI, LR on the resume felt like a colossal earthquake in my favor. LR + normal person makes OCI a near enjoyable experience. I bid two of the hardest markets and received CBs at every firm sans a couple of them. I'm not a K&E scholar. Motivation for working your ass off 1L year - it makes OCI that much easier. But I cannot overstate the importance of being a normal person that these people would want to work with.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:On an unrelated note, I disagree with those that say LR is simply a bump. During OCI, LR on the resume felt like a colossal earthquake in my favor. LR + normal person makes OCI a near enjoyable experience. I bid two of the hardest markets and received CBs at every firm sans a couple of them. I'm not a K&E scholar. Motivation for working your ass off 1L year - it makes OCI that much easier. But I cannot overstate the importance of being a normal person that these people would want to work with.



While I agree with this, I would point out a few caveats. In my opinion, this was more true for grade-on people than write-on people, and if you were just below the grade-on cut-off without the credential, there was effectively no boost.

I think it's important to note those points given the large amount of luck involved in making LR (i.e., no combination of work nor intelligence is sufficient).

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:11 pm

A second opinion:

1. Not too late, go to all the receptions you can though. I don't know anyone who actually made anything of the connections they made at the receptions (the poster above me maybe?) but I was asked by two firms if I went to their reception. If a firm doesn't have a reception but comes to Firmwise, (which is basically a tabling event for firms) then you should DEFINITELY go to their table. It was not uncommon for attorneys who showed up to Firmwise to be the ones who either screened you or took part in your callback, and since they are alums and only speak with like 30-50 kids that day, they remember basically everyone who stops by. I was asked by an associate on a CB lunch why I didn't talk to him at it actually, that was a fun moment.

2. Agree they don't care. Paralegal experience is a pretty easy thing for attorneys to talk about, but so is any number of other things. This particular firm almost certainly won't know who you are. They probably get 1000 paralegal apps a year and they aren't that organized to keep track of which ones got offers and turned them down unless you did so in a memorable way.


To the anon two above me - It's not that i disagree with you, but isn't it likely a correlation causation thing? Like most people on LR graded on and high grades have an easier time at OCI. To the extent that people don't grade on, I bet the write-ons skew to pretty solid grades anyway since the skills to write on and do well on exams are not wholly unrelated. What we really need to see is a sample of median + LR people who outperformed their median + no LR peers, but I suspect that's a very limited group.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:26 pm

1L here - thank you for all the posts so far; this topic is really informative.

I was wondering if anybody had any general advice about balancing odds for landing a biglaw job in Chicago vs. a secondary market with ties. Basically I'm pretty undecided between my secondary market and Chicago as to where I'd want to work post-graduation. Truthfully I have little interest in NYC but I suppose it would be foolish to not bid there in this market.

For 1L summer, assuming that I'm not desperate for the paycheck from a 1L SA right now, what kind of impact would taking a 1L SA in a secondary market vs. working in some PI or government capacity in Chicago have on 2L OCI assuming very strong ties to the secondary and very weak ones to Chicago? If firms aren't going to send out 1L offers until February/March, I'm pretty concerned about waiting too long and missing the boat on other opportunities. Would being an SA in a secondary market make Chicago firms more skeptical during OCI? Would spending 1L summer at an organization in Chicago help my chances at all for Chicago firms?

I realize since we literally don't have any grades yet getting more specific is pretty difficult, but I'm trying to get a better idea of how to proceed since the whole process is going to rush up through the next few months.

Thanks again for all the contributions.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1L here - thank you for all the posts so far; this topic is really informative.

I was wondering if anybody had any general advice about balancing odds for landing a biglaw job in Chicago vs. a secondary market with ties. Basically I'm pretty undecided between my secondary market and Chicago as to where I'd want to work post-graduation. Truthfully I have little interest in NYC but I suppose it would be foolish to not bid there in this market.

For 1L summer, assuming that I'm not desperate for the paycheck from a 1L SA right now, what kind of impact would taking a 1L SA in a secondary market vs. working in some PI or government capacity in Chicago have on 2L OCI assuming very strong ties to the secondary and very weak ones to Chicago? If firms aren't going to send out 1L offers until February/March, I'm pretty concerned about waiting too long and missing the boat on other opportunities. Would being an SA in a secondary market make Chicago firms more skeptical during OCI? Would spending 1L summer at an organization in Chicago help my chances at all for Chicago firms?

I realize since we literally don't have any grades yet getting more specific is pretty difficult, but I'm trying to get a better idea of how to proceed since the whole process is going to rush up through the next few months.

Thanks again for all the contributions.


In a literal tie I imagine firms would defer to the person who spent their 1L summer in Chicago, but that is never going to happen. Interview skills, intangibles, and grades are going to make the difference. I can think of several people who took secondary SAs and got Chicago or other market offers and none who struck out, so I would take the paycheck. That being said, if you don't really care that much about the money, there is something to be said for taking whatever comes first and being able to go through Winter/maybe Spring without the job search hanging over your head. My summer wasn't settled until April and in hindsight I would have accepted something earlier.

Looking forward to OCI, you won't have to worry too much about balancing your odds because you will probably be mass mailing the majority of your secondary and bidding all of Chicago so they aren't mutually exclusive. You shouldn't worry yet, but when OCI comes closer be sure to ask here or elsewhere for tips on successfully mass mailing your secondary because it isn't as easy as firms lining up to hire you, though we still do very well in all secondaries.

Also it is a good idea to sprinkle NYC firms into your bid list since you can get some of them down into the teens and twenties where Chicago firms have all filled, but always keep in mind what narrative you are going to give to Chicago firms about how NYC sucks because like was talked about earlier in this thread, the instant you disclose "Oh I'm interviewing at a few New York firms" they are going to be instantly skeptical.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:16 pm

What kind of grades do you need for a good shot at SF/SV?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1L here - thank you for all the posts so far; this topic is really informative.

I was wondering if anybody had any general advice about balancing odds for landing a biglaw job in Chicago vs. a secondary market with ties. Basically I'm pretty undecided between my secondary market and Chicago as to where I'd want to work post-graduation. Truthfully I have little interest in NYC but I suppose it would be foolish to not bid there in this market.

For 1L summer, assuming that I'm not desperate for the paycheck from a 1L SA right now, what kind of impact would taking a 1L SA in a secondary market vs. working in some PI or government capacity in Chicago have on 2L OCI assuming very strong ties to the secondary and very weak ones to Chicago? If firms aren't going to send out 1L offers until February/March, I'm pretty concerned about waiting too long and missing the boat on other opportunities. Would being an SA in a secondary market make Chicago firms more skeptical during OCI? Would spending 1L summer at an organization in Chicago help my chances at all for Chicago firms?

I realize since we literally don't have any grades yet getting more specific is pretty difficult, but I'm trying to get a better idea of how to proceed since the whole process is going to rush up through the next few months.

Thanks again for all the contributions.


If your ultimate goal is to be employed by a law firm then a 1L SA trumps anything else, especially if it's the type of SA that will lead to a full-time offer (almost all secondary market SAs are). Ties to Chicago should not be an issue if you have an offer in your back pocket; Bid solely Chicago during OCI, and let all the Chicago firms know you did so. End of conversation.

In the event it is a diversity SA or a firm that doesn't offer or bring 1Ls back, you might have a case for staying in Chicago, but I still think the SA is the clear choice. Chicago firms generally understand how small market SAs work, and don't blame you one bit for taking paycheck over location.

Anonymous User
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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A second opinion:
To the anon two above me - It's not that i disagree with you, but isn't it likely a correlation causation thing? Like most people on LR graded on and high grades have an easier time at OCI. To the extent that people don't grade on, I bet the write-ons skew to pretty solid grades anyway since the skills to write on and do well on exams are not wholly unrelated. What we really need to see is a sample of median + LR people who outperformed their median + no LR peers, but I suspect that's a very limited group.


You could definitely be right - and I'm assuming the sample size of median grades + LR is very small (nobody on LR is going to want to admit they wrote on). I think because our grades are so complicated (incoherent), a signal like LR gives you a huge boost. It's likely that the interviewer (unless you have median or below grades) assumes top 10% grades. I had five or six interviews where they saw LR on the resume and told me they would be calling me back, then we shot the shit for 20 minutes about whatever. Who knows, though.

Anonymous User
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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What kind of grades do you need for a good shot at SF/SV?


I bid SF/SV. SF is tough, simply because it is a small legal market and they want to see ties to the area (I was asked more about my geographic connections in SF interviews than anywhere else, by far). Hardly anyone is working there this summer, but in general, the people that got CBs/offers in SF had 179+ grades.

SV is easier. If you are IP, a sparkling personality is likely enough unless you have awful grades. I know corporate people that got SV firms (Davis Polk, Jones Day, etc) with median grades (though they have wonderful personalities).

Happy to talk via PM if you want more specific advice.

hollermahler
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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby hollermahler » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What kind of grades do you need for a good shot at SF/SV?


I bid SF/SV. SF is tough, simply because it is a small legal market and they want to see ties to the area (I was asked more about my geographic connections in SF interviews than anywhere else, by far). Hardly anyone is working there this summer, but in general, the people that got CBs/offers in SF had 179+ grades.

SV is easier. If you are IP, a sparkling personality is likely enough unless you have awful grades. I know corporate people that got SV firms (Davis Polk, Jones Day, etc) with median grades (though they have wonderful personalities).

Happy to talk via PM if you want more specific advice.


Thanks I really appreciate it! Please PM.

Anonymous User
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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:41 pm

I was on Law Review a few years ago. A couple LR people I knew clearly wrote onto Law Review (i.e. their grades clearly were not in grade-on territory). They were generally well-liked, normal people, but OCI did not go that well for them. Sure, they got jobs, but certainly nothing great by any means. Law Review is probably most useful for people during OCI who didn't grade on, but had grades high enough where interviewers think they may have graded on. Other than that situation, I don't think it's that much of a boost. I also have fairly close ties to the Law Review classes above and below me in years. From what I've seen, their experiences back up this theory.

That being said, it's kind of difficult to actually back this up with non-anecdotal data. I only know of a couple people with Law Review grades who didn't do Law Review. One person did OCI a year or two ago and ended up with offers from a number of the very top DC firms. The other guy did OCI a while ago, killed it, ended up clerking for the Supreme Court, and went to go work for Bartlit Beck (although he was obviously a bit of a special snowflake).




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