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 Jul 16, 2014 3:27 pm

So I got better grades than I expected, but didn't do the write-on. Should I bother trying to go for clerkships?

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

Postby orbotop » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I got better grades than I expected, but didn't do the write-on. Should I bother trying to go for clerkships?


I hope that a valid assumption embedded in this question is that you indeed want a clerkship. Do you? If so, you presumably would have done the write on. But if you didn't want one a month ago, I don't understand why good grades would change your mind. Let's say you do want one. Not being on a journal, especially if you could have done LR, will hurt you. Can't avoid it. In fact, having LR grades but no LR might really be problematic in interviews. But it's not going to foreclose the opportunity to clerk. Try to get on via topic access, or do something else useful with your spare time to build your resume. Lots of good grades applying for clerkships. Focus on what you can do to distinguish yourself. After you decide whether you want one.

(edited to actually answer the question)
Last edited by orbotop on Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby orbotop » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I hate myself for asking this question, trust me, but is pointing out that your highest grade is in contracts a good talking point for wanting to do transactional? I don't have many other talking points otherwise.


I can think of a way to tactfully point this out, e.g. "I was just so much more engaged in Contracts, which probably is reflected in my grade relative to X." But that's kind of nonsensical because Contracts in 1L is case law. It's parties who have a dispute about a purported agreement. And they are litigating! So I never quite get why people think Contracts connects so strongly with transactional work you do as an attorney...

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby 2014 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:10 pm

Do not use contracts to sell corporate that will end poorly. The most persuasive answers for why corp usually revolve around the different work atmosphere and timelines for corporate work. Bonus points if you can tie that desire to some former job or activity you did.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby iliketurtles123 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:25 pm

2014 wrote:Do not use contracts to sell corporate that will end poorly. The most persuasive answers for why corp usually revolve around the different work atmosphere and timelines for corporate work. Bonus points if you can tie that desire to some former job or activity you did.


Can you expand on this? (What do you mean about work atmosphere and time lines?)

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby 2014 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:05 pm

Corporate work is stereotyped as more collaborative and most corporate attorneys believe that to be the case. There are more calls, more communications up and down the pyramid chain at the firm, and probably more structure over all. Since corporate deals are usually on a 2-6 month timeline instead of lit cases on a 1+ year timeline, the corporate work tends to turnover faster and have much more segmented/structured components that happen in that timeline. So as opposed to "Go research and draft this section of a brief and let's touch base next week" (lit) it's "Go find three precedents and draft this section of a contract and let's touch base tomorrow" (corp). The latter makes a lot of difference in the work environment.

It's obviously very practice group/partner/firm dependent, but corporate attorneys across the board in my experience think they've bought into the more active and collaborative end of the spectrum.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby WheninLaw » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I got better grades than I expected, but didn't do the write-on. Should I bother trying to go for clerkships?


It depends on what you mean by "better grades than expected." If you ended up near median, then it's going to be tough. If you ended ~180, then yes, you can certainly get one. Be smart about where you target. It's hard to give you specific advice since I don't know your grades, but assuming 179ish and no LR, you're out for CoA and competitive DC's (CA, NY, etc). But if you have ties somewhere, or are willing to work in less-desirable locations, then you absolutely have a shot.

Assuming you truly want one, start building that bridge. Develop relationships with faculty for recommendations, speak to Hutch (or Masur now?), etc. Be prepared for a long process that might not go anywhere for a while.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:54 pm

WheninLaw... are you really saying the difference between 179 and 180 is that stark (no shot at COA w/o LR vs. chance at COA even w/o LR)? Or do you have in mind something like 178.8 vs. 180.8, which really is that stark.



WheninLaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So I got better grades than I expected, but didn't do the write-on. Should I bother trying to go for clerkships?


It depends on what you mean by "better grades than expected." If you ended up near median, then it's going to be tough. If you ended ~180, then yes, you can certainly get one. Be smart about where you target. It's hard to give you specific advice since I don't know your grades, but assuming 179ish and no LR, you're out for CoA and competitive DC's (CA, NY, etc). But if you have ties somewhere, or are willing to work in less-desirable locations, then you absolutely have a shot.

Assuming you truly want one, start building that bridge. Develop relationships with faculty for recommendations, speak to Hutch (or Masur now?), etc. Be prepared for a long process that might not go anywhere for a while.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby gchatbrah » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:05 pm

2014 wrote:Corporate work is stereotyped as more collaborative and most corporate attorneys believe that to be the case. There are more calls, more communications up and down the pyramid chain at the firm, and probably more structure over all. Since corporate deals are usually on a 2-6 month timeline instead of lit cases on a 1+ year timeline, the corporate work tends to turnover faster and have much more segmented/structured components that happen in that timeline. So as opposed to "Go research and draft this section of a brief and let's touch base next week" (lit) it's "Go find three precedents and draft this section of a contract and let's touch base tomorrow" (corp). The latter makes a lot of difference in the work environment.

It's obviously very practice group/partner/firm dependent, but corporate attorneys across the board in my experience think they've bought into the more active and collaborative end of the spectrum.


this + connect with a previous job + "getting to know a whole new industry each time is awesome" = my OCI pitch. rinse, repeat, profit.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:WheninLaw... are you really saying the difference between 179 and 180 is that stark (no shot at COA w/o LR vs. chance at COA even w/o LR)? Or do you have in mind something like 178.8 vs. 180.8, which really is that stark.



WheninLaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So I got better grades than I expected, but didn't do the write-on. Should I bother trying to go for clerkships?


It depends on what you mean by "better grades than expected." If you ended up near median, then it's going to be tough. If you ended ~180, then yes, you can certainly get one. Be smart about where you target. It's hard to give you specific advice since I don't know your grades, but assuming 179ish and no LR, you're out for CoA and competitive DC's (CA, NY, etc). But if you have ties somewhere, or are willing to work in less-desirable locations, then you absolutely have a shot.

Assuming you truly want one, start building that bridge. Develop relationships with faculty for recommendations, speak to Hutch (or Masur now?), etc. Be prepared for a long process that might not go anywhere for a while.


Not WheninLaw but an alum. Both in clerkship hiring and now in law firm hiring, those of us who know Chicago grades have a psychological reaction to "180." Even if we don't calculate the average (although I personally do for Chicago candidates), seeing more 180s on the transcript just means something different than seeing 178s and 179s. Don't worry too much about this. The point is -- if you want to clerk (but I think everyone should really think about whether it's worth it, I sort of wish I hadn't), it's possible with a 178-79 and no LR, but not easy. If you have a 180, it's easier. But either way you're going to be fighting a little against a "why no journal?" issue, when most judges expect that you should do journal.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby WheninLaw » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:WheninLaw... are you really saying the difference between 179 and 180 is that stark (no shot at COA w/o LR vs. chance at COA even w/o LR)? Or do you have in mind something like 178.8 vs. 180.8, which really is that stark.


No, that's not what I meant. I was referencing the likelihood of a clerkship without LR - that the higher the grades, the less a lack of LR might matter.

But as the poster above pointed out, there is sort of a visceral reaction to 180's (cliff problem?). You'll have the most success with judges that have employed or currently employ Chicago clerks. It will be those clerks that look at your application for sorting purposes. A smattering of 180s will be seen as very favorable.

My ultimate advice is if you want to clerk, do it. There's no harm in trying, and people don't realize how large of a share of the people that want to clerk actually end up doing so. The school is pretty helpful (sometimes).

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:WheninLaw... are you really saying the difference between 179 and 180 is that stark (no shot at COA w/o LR vs. chance at COA even w/o LR)? Or do you have in mind something like 178.8 vs. 180.8, which really is that stark.



WheninLaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So I got better grades than I expected, but didn't do the write-on. Should I bother trying to go for clerkships?


It depends on what you mean by "better grades than expected." If you ended up near median, then it's going to be tough. If you ended ~180, then yes, you can certainly get one. Be smart about where you target. It's hard to give you specific advice since I don't know your grades, but assuming 179ish and no LR, you're out for CoA and competitive DC's (CA, NY, etc). But if you have ties somewhere, or are willing to work in less-desirable locations, then you absolutely have a shot.

Assuming you truly want one, start building that bridge. Develop relationships with faculty for recommendations, speak to Hutch (or Masur now?), etc. Be prepared for a long process that might not go anywhere for a while.


Not WheninLaw but an alum. Both in clerkship hiring and now in law firm hiring, those of us who know Chicago grades have a psychological reaction to "180." Even if we don't calculate the average (although I personally do for Chicago candidates), seeing more 180s on the transcript just means something different than seeing 178s and 179s. Don't worry too much about this. The point is -- if you want to clerk (but I think everyone should really think about whether it's worth it, I sort of wish I hadn't), it's possible with a 178-79 and no LR, but not easy. If you have a 180, it's easier. But either way you're going to be fighting a little against a "why no journal?" issue, when most judges expect that you should do journal.


There are also judges out there who have specific grade floors. They'll only hire people with no more than x number B grades or Ps on their transcript. For better or worse, those judges are likely to view grades in the 170s in the same way they view Bs/Ps, meaning you could be out of luck with a really solid GPA but a bunch of high 170s grades.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:51 am

Does anyone know what counts as URM for firms? Is it just Native American/Black/Latino or does it also include Asians/Middle Easterners/Indians?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby 2014 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know what counts as URM for firms? Is it just Native American/Black/Latino or does it also include Asians/Middle Easterners/Indians?

There is far from a technical definition for firms. When reporting or marketing diversity they will almost certainly include all non-white ethnic groups as well as women and LGBT so arguably all of those are worth some sort of "boost". It's not the same as LS though where being able to check a very specific box is worth X LSAT points or Y GPA. It's a lot more squishy.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby 2014 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:26 am

PSA since I haven't seen it covered recently.

Open signups are very much a thing and you can pick up a ton of firms via that process. Obviously don't count on it if you are specifically targeting a certain firm(s) but you can count on being able to add 3-5 extra screeners throughout OCI. More spots open up in Week 2 than in Week 1, and more slots obviously open up for 63+ slot firms (though 21 and 42 slot firms have several open up too).

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby skers » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:I hate myself for asking this question, trust me, but is pointing out that your highest grade is in contracts a good talking point for wanting to do transactional? I don't have many other talking points otherwise.


Like 2014 said, don't do this. I don't even know if I would say, for example, "I loved property, so I want to do real estate." PM me dude.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Pulsar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:01 am

If you want to work in X practice area, then ask an attorney who practices in that area why they like it. Or ask a 3L friend who is summering in a group that does X. They might have thoughts on the day-to-day working environment that could be useful reasons (assuming you like their descriptions) for why you want to do X work rather than Y work.

Ex: "I love dealing with lots of people and being on the phone all day and keeping lots of balls in the air and organized at the same time" --this noncorporate person's impression of corporate.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:34 am

Does anyone know a lot about white collar work? I have a CB soon and I am interested in white collar work and would like to intelligently express my interest.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby WheninLaw » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know a lot about white collar work? I have a CB soon and I am interested in white collar work and would like to intelligently express my interest.


Yes. Feel free to PM.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Emma. » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:WheninLaw... are you really saying the difference between 179 and 180 is that stark (no shot at COA w/o LR vs. chance at COA even w/o LR)? Or do you have in mind something like 178.8 vs. 180.8, which really is that stark.



WheninLaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So I got better grades than I expected, but didn't do the write-on. Should I bother trying to go for clerkships?


It depends on what you mean by "better grades than expected." If you ended up near median, then it's going to be tough. If you ended ~180, then yes, you can certainly get one. Be smart about where you target. It's hard to give you specific advice since I don't know your grades, but assuming 179ish and no LR, you're out for CoA and competitive DC's (CA, NY, etc). But if you have ties somewhere, or are willing to work in less-desirable locations, then you absolutely have a shot.

Assuming you truly want one, start building that bridge. Develop relationships with faculty for recommendations, speak to Hutch (or Masur now?), etc. Be prepared for a long process that might not go anywhere for a while.


Not WheninLaw but an alum. Both in clerkship hiring and now in law firm hiring, those of us who know Chicago grades have a psychological reaction to "180." Even if we don't calculate the average (although I personally do for Chicago candidates), seeing more 180s on the transcript just means something different than seeing 178s and 179s. Don't worry too much about this. The point is -- if you want to clerk (but I think everyone should really think about whether it's worth it, I sort of wish I hadn't), it's possible with a 178-79 and no LR, but not easy. If you have a 180, it's easier. But either way you're going to be fighting a little against a "why no journal?" issue, when most judges expect that you should do journal.


Curious about the bolded. Can you elaborate?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:52 am

Do government jobs usually look for journals too? What grades do you think you would need to make applying worth it?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby 2014 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do government jobs usually look for journals too? What grades do you think you would need to make applying worth it?

No clue unfortunately. Pretty much everyone here answering questions (3Ls, 2014 grads, recent grads) only has knowledge from post-2008 hiring freeze government. Getting those jobs has been to this point very unpredictable.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Not WheninLaw but an alum. Both in clerkship hiring and now in law firm hiring, those of us who know Chicago grades have a psychological reaction to "180." Even if we don't calculate the average (although I personally do for Chicago candidates), seeing more 180s on the transcript just means something different than seeing 178s and 179s. Don't worry too much about this. The point is -- if you want to clerk (but I think everyone should really think about whether it's worth it, I sort of wish I hadn't), it's possible with a 178-79 and no LR, but not easy. If you have a 180, it's easier. But either way you're going to be fighting a little against a "why no journal?" issue, when most judges expect that you should do journal.


Curious about the bolded. Can you elaborate?


Sure. Sorry for anon, but hope it's understandable. Don't want other things I have posted or might post to out me/the judge.

I clerked for a D. Ct. judge because I thought that I "should" clerk. Everyone else who was a good student seemed to be doing it. So I applied, interviewed, got the job (thanks Hutch!). And it was fine. I got to see the inner workings of a chambers, got to spend time with a judge, hone research and writing skills, and got to work on important decisions (important, at least, to the litigants in front of us). My judge wasn't bad, not a tyrant, but not a best friend either.

That said, I'm not all that sure what I got out of it. I really like being an advocate, and like working for clients. I felt sort of "sidelined" as a clerk. Now I know I was just one year out of law school, it's not like I would have been arguing motions and stuff, but I was eager to get my career -- my career of being on the other side of the bench -- started. It would be worth it if the clerk experience had given me some insight or knowledge that would help me in my career, but I just don't think it did. "Waste" is too strong a word, but I think I would have been better served if I had just gone ahead and gotten started at my firm. I also would have made $100k more for that year. Over the course of a lifetime that's not a lot, but why sacrifice $100k if you don't think you're going to get much out of it?

And maybe if my judge had been amazing and awesome, with an incredible mentoring experience, it would have been different. He was a good judge, and very very smart. But his clerks were not his "friends," and things in chambers could be a little stiff. (Lots of memos between judge and individual clerks.) And a judge's chambers are small. For a year or two, you only work with 5 other people -- the judge, other clerk(s), secretaries/aides. Painful if you don't have a great relationship with them.

FWIW, most people who clerked don't feel this way, or at least claim not to. (But good luck getting anyone to openly say anything remotely bad about their judge. You have to do a lot of reading between the lines to find out whether a judge was bad to work for.) But I just don't see anyone at my firm saying to me, "oh, because you clerked, you can handle this rather than Joey down the hall." In fact, at least for the first year, there was a lot of stuff I didn't know how to do. Mostly very mechanical, like how to manage a document production or how to draft discovery responses, but still.

Moral of the story - think hard about whether you want to clerk. And do a lot of research to find out whether you would really like the judge. Don't just do it because you think you're "supposed" to.

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:08 pm

RE: questions during interviews, if you are interviewing for a smaller office at a large firm, would it be offensive/a bad idea to ask if a lot of work originates in that office, or what are the benefits of working in a smaller office?

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Re: UChicago OCI Alums Answering Questions About the Job Hunt

Postby Neal Patrick Harris » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:RE: questions during interviews, if you are interviewing for a smaller office at a large firm, would it be offensive/a bad idea to ask if a lot of work originates in that office, or what are the benefits of working in a smaller office?


I would avoid it.

I would, however, have thought about it and been able to articulately discuss the benefits of a smaller office before I walked into the interview room.

Questions at OCI (at least screeners) are more about selling yourself--you should be asking things that show you have already done your research and you want to know more about what you found. To learn the questions you actually want to know the answer to, email alum at the firms.




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