Northwestern OCI 2015

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Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:45 pm

Thread for strategies/bid lists/job hunt talk.

Although I improved a lot second semester, I have a 3.23 cumulative GPA. I'm not sure exactly where this puts me at OCI — I'm having a hard time finding any past data on GPA cutoffs/hiring, though I think OCS will eventually send some out. I want to bid as conservatively as possible since I know I'm on the edge of completely striking out. Any tips from others who were in a similar situation?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:52 pm

Glad you started this! I am also looking for advice for someone who improved a lot second semester. Went from 3.1 to 3.4 cumulative. I assume employers will see me more as a 3.4 overall than a 3.7 second semester. Is that the case? What locations should I bid? I would prefer anywhere but NYC. Thanks for any and all advice!

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Micdiddy » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thread for strategies/bid lists/job hunt talk.

Although I improved a lot second semester, I have a 3.23 cumulative GPA. I'm not sure exactly where this puts me at OCI — I'm having a hard time finding any past data on GPA cutoffs/hiring, though I think OCS will eventually send some out. I want to bid as conservatively as possible since I know I'm on the edge of completely striking out. Any tips from others who were in a similar situation?


You will be below all the median GPA ranges and you have a very real risk of striking out. Up your networking game significantly and sign up for all fairs and off-campus recruiting. Target New York almost exclusively at OCI, as well as mass-mailing every firm not coming to OCI.
When you go to a firm network event make contacts, and use them. Ask them for coffee and tell them about your GPA and ask if they think there are other things their firm recruiting cares about that you should emphasize. Be really really not-awkward.
Um, talk to career services about small and mid-size firms in the city (might pay below market and no offer at the end of summer, but better than nothing).
One thing to try: develop a genuine interest in some specific law (energy, bankruptcy, whatever) and have a good reason why. Target firms/areas that do that law armed with your compelling story.
That's all I can think of right now. Good luck!

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Thrive » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:21 pm

Micdiddy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thread for strategies/bid lists/job hunt talk.

Although I improved a lot second semester, I have a 3.23 cumulative GPA. I'm not sure exactly where this puts me at OCI — I'm having a hard time finding any past data on GPA cutoffs/hiring, though I think OCS will eventually send some out. I want to bid as conservatively as possible since I know I'm on the edge of completely striking out. Any tips from others who were in a similar situation?


You will be below all the median GPA ranges and you have a very real risk of striking out. Up your networking game significantly and sign up for all fairs and off-campus recruiting. Target New York almost exclusively at OCI, as well as mass-mailing every firm not coming to OCI.
When you go to a firm network event make contacts, and use them. Ask them for coffee and tell them about your GPA and ask if they think there are other things their firm recruiting cares about that you should emphasize. Be really really not-awkward.
Um, talk to career services about small and mid-size firms in the city (might pay below market and no offer at the end of summer, but better than nothing).
One thing to try: develop a genuine interest in some specific law (energy, bankruptcy, whatever) and have a good reason why. Target firms/areas that do that law armed with your compelling story.
That's all I can think of right now. Good luck!


Really? That drastic for a t-14 at a respectable gpa range with the way the economy supposedly is? I don't know but I would think the OP's prospects are better than that. Right?

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Cobretti » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:35 pm

Thrive wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thread for strategies/bid lists/job hunt talk.

Although I improved a lot second semester, I have a 3.23 cumulative GPA. I'm not sure exactly where this puts me at OCI — I'm having a hard time finding any past data on GPA cutoffs/hiring, though I think OCS will eventually send some out. I want to bid as conservatively as possible since I know I'm on the edge of completely striking out. Any tips from others who were in a similar situation?


You will be below all the median GPA ranges and you have a very real risk of striking out. Up your networking game significantly and sign up for all fairs and off-campus recruiting. Target New York almost exclusively at OCI, as well as mass-mailing every firm not coming to OCI.
When you go to a firm network event make contacts, and use them. Ask them for coffee and tell them about your GPA and ask if they think there are other things their firm recruiting cares about that you should emphasize. Be really really not-awkward.
Um, talk to career services about small and mid-size firms in the city (might pay below market and no offer at the end of summer, but better than nothing).
One thing to try: develop a genuine interest in some specific law (energy, bankruptcy, whatever) and have a good reason why. Target firms/areas that do that law armed with your compelling story.
That's all I can think of right now. Good luck!


Really? That drastic for a t-14 at a respectable gpa range with the way the economy supposedly is? I don't know but I would think the OP's prospects are better than that. Right?

He's below median, Micdiddy is absolutely right for that GPA. Its not that you can't get biglaw with that GPA, but its definitely at risk of striking out so you need to have backup plans.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Micdiddy » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:38 pm

Thrive wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thread for strategies/bid lists/job hunt talk.

Although I improved a lot second semester, I have a 3.23 cumulative GPA. I'm not sure exactly where this puts me at OCI — I'm having a hard time finding any past data on GPA cutoffs/hiring, though I think OCS will eventually send some out. I want to bid as conservatively as possible since I know I'm on the edge of completely striking out. Any tips from others who were in a similar situation?


You will be below all the median GPA ranges and you have a very real risk of striking out. Up your networking game significantly and sign up for all fairs and off-campus recruiting. Target New York almost exclusively at OCI, as well as mass-mailing every firm not coming to OCI.
When you go to a firm network event make contacts, and use them. Ask them for coffee and tell them about your GPA and ask if they think there are other things their firm recruiting cares about that you should emphasize. Be really really not-awkward.
Um, talk to career services about small and mid-size firms in the city (might pay below market and no offer at the end of summer, but better than nothing).
One thing to try: develop a genuine interest in some specific law (energy, bankruptcy, whatever) and have a good reason why. Target firms/areas that do that law armed with your compelling story.
That's all I can think of right now. Good luck!


Really? That drastic for a t-14 at a respectable gpa range with the way the economy supposedly is? I don't know but I would think the OP's prospects are better than that. Right?


Why take chances? ~3.35 is median at end of 1L (3.33 after first semester, probably raises a bit after all the uncurved classes). Where word that put 3.23? Bottom 1/3 or 1/4? I forget Northwestern placement into big law and not gonna look it up now, but it's not that good (sure some of that is opt out, but not much).
Also, again, why take chances. People strike out with 3.6+. Honestly, the above advice is what I would tell almost anyone to do, but for OP it is borderline mandatory. Feeling at all safe because you're at a t14 is like the worst thing you can do.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:48 pm

I know that some firms have cutoffs, does that include even the top firms? For example, would a 3.89 get cutoff from certain elite firms with a 3.9 cutoff? Thanks!

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Cobretti » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know that some firms have cutoffs, does that include even the top firms? For example, would a 3.89 get cutoff from certain elite firms with a 3.9 cutoff? Thanks!

every firm has cutoffs, and no firm has a cutoff as high as 3.9

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:58 am

EDIT: Pls don't quote--will probably edit later.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby cookiejar1 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.23 cumulative GPA.

Practice interviewing. Research your firms. If you're below a firm's median CB GPA you're going to have to give firms a reason to invite you back over others who have better grades. You only have 20 minutes with each person at OCI and you'd be shocked at how much your interviewing skills will come into play here. Demonstrate that you know your shit while at the same time coming across as humble and eager to learn. A below median GPA does not doom you to failure but you need to be proactive.

Anonymous User wrote:I know that some firms have cutoffs, does that include even the top firms? For example, would a 3.89 get cutoff from certain elite firms with a 3.9 cutoff? Thanks!

Some competitive firms will have high cut-offs and expectations from students. However, I don't think any firm has a HARD cut off. The MTO's/W&C's/Keker's-and-her-variants of the world will demand top grades. The difference between a 3.89 and a 3.9 is negligible, at best. Also note that GPA CB data is skewed upwards. Your friends at OCI with top grades will clean up CBs and inflate the numbers for everyone. Above average interviewers with a 3.89 can easily convert over 50% of their screeners into CBs . . . inflating the median CB GPA tremendously (i.e., Jones Day will CB 20 people and only 2 (all below median CB GPA) will accept the JD offer).

Anonymous User wrote:Ok, I know this is likely going to sound neurotic* but is a (somewhat) big drop in the second semester a huge red flag if the overall GPA is still pretty good (think > 3.9 & < 3.7, for a total of 3.8 )?


Nobody will care about this. Your cum gpa is 3.8. That's high enough to get into the door for almost every firm that won't expect you to have a 9th circuit clerkship lined up before the 2016 Summer. Relax and stop thinking about minutiae that only you have the time to think about. A drop from 3.9 to 3.7 isn't that drastic. If you want to graduate coif/magna you better get your shit together though.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:14 am

cookiejar1 wrote:Nobody will care about this. Your cum gpa is 3.8. That's high enough to get into the door for almost every firm that won't expect you to have a 9th circuit clerkship lined up before the 2016 Summer. Relax and stop thinking about minutiae that only you have the time to think about. A drop from 3.9 to 3.7 isn't that drastic. If you want to graduate coif/magna you better get your shit together though.

Thank you!! It's probably the combination of not being able to see callback GPA medians/cutoffs and not being able to compare my fall & spring class ranks that was making me super anxious.
I couldn't care less about coif/magna. I just want a job (preferably at a firm that's not a total sweatshop).

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:18 am

This:

Glad you started this! I am also looking for advice for someone who improved a lot second semester. Went from 3.1 to 3.4 cumulative. I assume employers will see me more as a 3.4 overall than a 3.7 second semester. Is that the case? What locations should I bid? I would prefer anywhere but NYC. Thanks for any and all advice!

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby feralinfant » Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:43 am

A few general things off the top of my head.

1) For everyone who's asking, it's your cumulative GPA that counts. If there is a crazy downward swing (I'm talking like 4.0 => 3.0) you would probably want an explanation but anything other than that and I think it's highly unlikely you get asked about it. You should bid your cumulative gpa.

2) Every city if your favorite city. Scratch that, every city is the only city you are biding in. Lie through your teeth about this. The one exception is New York firms probably dont care as much if you tell them you are bidding another market as a back up, but there's no reason to even do that. I would tell Chicago firms that you have a policy of not talking to anyone with a the slightest hint of New York's garbage ridden streets on them. I say this as someone who took the approach of being honest-ish in an effort to seem more genuine and when asked said I was bidding NYC as a backup at the behest of OCS. I felt I struggled to convert till I adopted a policy of outright lies. Very anecdotal but take it fwiw.

3) This applies to everyone but especially people who want to punch above their gpa weight. Cash in any connections you made at networking events and get coffees. If you don't have those, cold e-mail people you can make up a connection to, frame it as advice etc and wanting to know about their firm/practice. Pay attention to how they talk about their firm/practice. Repeat these words in you interview and when you get "why this firm" you can be like well associate X was nice enough to get coffee and tell me about Y and it seems like a great fit for my interests. This is not a magic bullet but it can help you stand out. This can still work even if there weren't fireworks at your coffee and it was a little awkward so DO it. If you're lucky that person will end up as a screener and it may be one of your least awkward 20 minute meat auction interviews. If you haven't realized it yet, firms each have their own internal vocabulary for how they talk about themselves. Learning this can signal you are one of them before you are. (Obvious examples: KE-Free Market, QE-Litigate I want to litigate, TRIAL, fuck suits; Skadden-we're fucking skadden. who the fuck are you?; JoneDay: ONE FIRM WE LOVE SUITs professionalism; Cravath-you're not pronouncing it right. stop moving your jaw you sorry excuse for a protestant).

4) As always it should be emphasized... Bid NY. Bid NY. Bid NY.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby cookiejar1 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:I just want a job (preferably at a firm that's not a total sweatshop).

You will be interviewing with great firms with the grades that you have. Depending on whether you're interested in litigation or not, you'll probably end up interviewing with some great boutiques as well. Every firm you interview with (except for the NYC firms who just stopped fighting this battle) will sugar coat things and explain to you how they are, for reasons X, Y, and Z, not a sweatshop.

This is a false flag operation. Beware! Past a certain GPA, firms are suiting you as much as you are suiting them.

Anonymous User wrote:Glad you started this! I am also looking for advice for someone who improved a lot second semester. Went from 3.1 to 3.4 cumulative. I assume employers will see me more as a 3.4 overall than a 3.7 second semester. Is that the case? What locations should I bid? I would prefer anywhere but NYC. Thanks for any and all advice!


3.4. You're slightly above median. The upward trend is good but it doesn't magically turn your 3.4 into a discounted 3.5. Congrats on the 3.7 semester, however! That's a great achievement and demonstrates your ability to adapt and adjust to difficult learning environments. Hopefully now you've unlocked the secret to doing well on a law school exam. Build that GPA up, up and up.

Anonymous User wrote: . . . I would prefer anywhere but NYC. . .


Why do you hate NYC so much? It's not impossible to land a job in Chicago, LA, SF, name-your-secondary market with a 3.4 GPA but it's difficult. I'm not a risk adverse person at all but when it comes to OCI and our industry's insane bi-modal salary distribution . . . let me tell you: life will be tremendously easier if you pick up a big law job through OCI. So cover your bases. In the event that you do strike out in your favorite market, what's your best alternative? Is it a market-paying job in NYC? Or is it unemployment?

The idea is to receive offers. Interview in NYC because you have the highest chance of receiving an offer in the NYC market. You are not bound to accept your NYC offer. The worst possible outcome for you, however, is to exit OCI with no offer. So go to NYC, collect an offer, and then go back to what really matters for you. It helps that NYC moves FAST.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:44 am

Bidding NY and in general bidding firms with large class sizes and low median CB GPAs is the way to go if you are not a stellar candidate. With that said, if you have strong/obvious-from-your-resume Chicago ties and really want Chicago, don't be discouraged from bidding Chicago if you want transactional work. I mean, don't reach too much with your bids, but you can still throw some of the less selective Chicago firms in there. Some of the mid-sized/less prestigious Chicago firms/offices (ie. Drinker Biddle, Vedder Price, Bryan Cave, Chapman Cutler, etc. - although they all have pretty small class sizes) have lower CB GPA medians than most the NY firms anyway and will probably care the most about ties. Katten, Baker, and K&L are a few of the large Chicago firms that are also probably worth bidding. I had a sub 3.3 GPA last year and ended up with 5 CBS in Chicago (3 from OCI, 2 from outside OCI), 2 of them from Vault firms.

I echo what people have said about reaching out to connections or just cold emailing alumnui at firms. Tell them you are looking to learn more about their firm, practice area, and advice on OCI. Be prepared though, and you might want to start with firms that you don't care about/as much about and work your way up to your top choices so you can be more polished for later conversations. This can help you answer "why x firm," and it also gives you practice speaking with attorneys and telling your story, etc.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:30 pm

Does anyone remember which firms interview at OCI for 3Ls?

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:01 pm

Similar to an above poster I went from a 3.1 second semester to around 3.35 because of a 3.6 second semester. For personal reasons I would very much prefer to stay in Chicago (I went to undergrad here as well so I think my resume highlights a demonstrated interest here) but I know it's a tough market to crack. Is targeting just chicago a suicide mission with my grades?

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby lhanvt13 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:06 pm

Checking in to lurk.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Fitz51 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Similar to an above poster I went from a 3.1 second semester to around 3.35 because of a 3.6 second semester. For personal reasons I would very much prefer to stay in Chicago (I went to undergrad here as well so I think my resume highlights a demonstrated interest here) but I know it's a tough market to crack. Is targeting just chicago a suicide mission with my grades?


In a word: No.

It's anecdotal, but I know someone with around those grades who had multiple Chicago offers. Granted, I know people with higher than those grades who barely even got a sniff of Chicago. Practice your interviewing and networking now. Email a bunch of people at Chicago firms to get coffee over the next few weeks.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Fitz51 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
cookiejar1 wrote:Nobody will care about this. Your cum gpa is 3.8. That's high enough to get into the door for almost every firm that won't expect you to have a 9th circuit clerkship lined up before the 2016 Summer. Relax and stop thinking about minutiae that only you have the time to think about. A drop from 3.9 to 3.7 isn't that drastic. If you want to graduate coif/magna you better get your shit together though.

Thank you!! It's probably the combination of not being able to see callback GPA medians/cutoffs and not being able to compare my fall & spring class ranks that was making me super anxious.
I couldn't care less about coif/magna. I just want a job (preferably at a firm that's not a total sweatshop).


You grades and level of stress at this point scream NYC V5, which are all complete and total sweatshops. If you are serious about not wanting to be in that environment, start internalizing that now because it's going to be really hard for you to turn down that S&C or Skadden callback/offer when OCI rolls around.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Similar to an above poster I went from a 3.1 second semester to around 3.35 because of a 3.6 second semester. For personal reasons I would very much prefer to stay in Chicago (I went to undergrad here as well so I think my resume highlights a demonstrated interest here) but I know it's a tough market to crack. Is targeting just chicago a suicide mission with my grades?


I'm the anon from above that got 5 CBs in Chicago (and multiple offers, although I wasn't great at converting CBs) with a sub 3.3. Full disclosure, I had a better than average resume outside of GPA.

You will only have a shot at a limited number of Chicago firms. Make sure to bid those firms high enough so you get them, but you should still try to land interviews with some of the less selective NY firms either through OCI or otherwise. One way to do this is to bid them really low on your list where you know you won't get them (they can see if you bid them, but they can't tell how high) and then after bid results come out, email the HR person about how you're so disappointed you didn't get a spot and ask if there is any way to be added to the schedule. I got an interview with a big NY firm by doing this.

Last year I ultimately had 8 Chicago firms in my top ten bids, but I still managed to get interviews with some large, less selective NY firms like Cadwalader, Schulte, Cahill, and Fried Frank. That should be your goal. Unless you want to do litigation, in which case I have no idea, targeting Chicago might be a suicide mission.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Micdiddy » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:21 pm

Also, you basically need to be pure transactional interested to crack Chi with those numbers (Or even way better numbers). I think I know 4 or 5 people doing lit in Chicago From our year and iirc they all have stellar grades. Our year was really rough for lit, and I don't see why it'll be any different this year.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby star fox » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:35 pm

Tag.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Fitz51 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:37 pm

Micdiddy wrote:Also, you basically need to be pure transactional interested to crack Chi with those numbers (Or even way better numbers). I think I know 4 or 5 people doing lit in Chicago From our year and iirc they all have stellar grades. Our year was really rough for lit, and I don't see why it'll be any different this year.


Not quite that dire. Can name about 3-4 that have eh grades and interviewed with a lit preference and got gigs in Chicago. That's not to say it's not gonna be tough though.

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Re: Northwestern OCI 2015

Postby Micdiddy » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:14 pm

Fitz51 wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:Also, you basically need to be pure transactional interested to crack Chi with those numbers (Or even way better numbers). I think I know 4 or 5 people doing lit in Chicago From our year and iirc they all have stellar grades. Our year was really rough for lit, and I don't see why it'll be any different this year.


Not quite that dire. Can name about 3-4 that have eh grades and interviewed with a lit preference and got gigs in Chicago. That's not to say it's not gonna be tough though.


Yeah I believe it. I certainly haven't spoken to everyone. I was sure there were more whom I didn't know, but the message is the same. Transactional is easier than lit.




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