Columbia EIP 2015

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does CLS have a resource for the kind of important knowledge we should have for individual firms we interview with? It seems like there is so much data, that I don't know what to do with all the info for each firm and how to really individualize it. Especially if I'm doing corp NYC. What did some of the upperclassmen here do?


Honestly its a crapshoot just read talk to current students who summered at firms you're interested in and read chambers and do your best

With narrow exceptions they're all kinda the same

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does CLS have a resource for the kind of important knowledge we should have for individual firms we interview with? It seems like there is so much data, that I don't know what to do with all the info for each firm and how to really individualize it. Especially if I'm doing corp NYC. What did some of the upperclassmen here do?

Read through these firm profiles:

http://www.chambers-associate.com/law-f ... -firm-list

Vault also has some solid info on firms. Scroll through firm websites as most of them have an area for career info and you can learn about some of the buzzwords they like to throw out there. As JBB said, these firms aren't that different, and that's especially true when you're comparing one NYC corporate shop to another. That said here are a few differences to look for:

1) Is staffing centralized or free market? Centralized means one partner in each group will look at what everyone is doing and divvy up the work to make sure everyone is getting roughly the same amount. Free market means you go find your own work, although in practice this really means you develop relationships with certain partners/senior associates who then come to you rather than turning the work over to any centralized system. As with most things there is a spectrum between totally centralized staffing and completely free market; find out where the firms you are interviewing with fit on that spectrum.

2) How are the practice groups broken up? Some firms have a funds group within corporate, others have it as a completely separate entity where there is little to no crossover. Same with employee benefits and tax. Some firms do all of their high yield underwriting work through the finance/banking practice, others do it under capital markets. Read through the sources listed above to see how the firms like to structure their groups. Knowing this going in can definitely help you look more interested.

3) If there is one, what is the rotation system like? A lot of NYC corporate firms will rotate you through different practice groups early in your career. But not all of them. Some will have you make a decision at the end of your summer and that's where you'll be as long as you're at that firm. Whereas Cravath just won't stop rotating you. S&C keeps you generalist early on, and there are some others with a similar philosophy. Depending on how well you know what you want to do, being able to keep your options open can be a nice thing. But as always the first priority is to get a job; to get there you don't want to be asking a firm that doesn't rotate what kind of rotation system it has. So get that straightened out beforehand so you can ask good questions about the associate experience under their firms system.

4) Related to the above, how does summer assigning work? Another thing you can find on firms websites is how they give work to their summers. Many firms just let you pick whatever you want, but plenty will have you locked in to 2-3 groups during the summer. Some claim to let you pick whatever you want but in practice you end up working for 1-2 groups the whole time anyway. Again, based on how well you know what you want both systems can be good, but you want to go in ready to ask associates how they felt about their firms specific setup.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:50 pm

You can get access to the Vault "premium content" through the school. They have some good info under the "Vault's Verdict" tab.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:02 am

has anyone here talked to someone who enjoys their firm job and feels reasonably happy with their life? just wondering if thats a thing or if literally everyone is miserable.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:52 am

I'm very happy at my job. It's one of the reasons I post in this thread - I had a mentor who helped me avoid some of the easy pitfalls, and when I see people making the same mistakes that I would've made if not for him, I want to pay it forward.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:has anyone here talked to someone who enjoys their firm job and feels reasonably happy with their life? just wondering if thats a thing or if literally everyone is miserable.


I have actually talked to very few people to are "miserable" in there firm job. In fact, most really enjoy it. Do they dislike the hours sometimes? Yes. Are they often confused as to what the next/proper steps are for their careers? Yes. Is this a stressful career that often asks too much of you for relatively little reward? Absolutely (it's a service industry after all). That said though, very few are just like "nah, fuck this shit I'm only here for the money."

Most have told me that they think the training is excellent, the work is (generally) interesting, and the opportunities people leave for are not necessarily better on either work-life balance or work quality grounds. I've gotten to work at different 3 biglaw firms over the past 4 years (paralegal, 1LSA, 2LSA) and this has been a constant among them.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:has anyone here talked to someone who enjoys their firm job and feels reasonably happy with their life? just wondering if thats a thing or if literally everyone is miserable.


I have actually talked to very few people to are "miserable" in there firm job. In fact, most really enjoy it. Do they dislike the hours sometimes? Yes. Are they often confused as to what the next/proper steps are for their careers? Yes. Is this a stressful career that often asks too much of you for relatively little reward? Absolutely (it's a service industry after all). That said though, very few are just like "nah, fuck this shit I'm only here for the money."

Most have told me that they think the training is excellent, the work is (generally) interesting, and the opportunities people leave for are not necessarily better on either work-life balance or work quality grounds. I've gotten to work at different 3 biglaw firms over the past 4 years (paralegal, 1LSA, 2LSA) and this has been a constant among them.


None of these experiences are working as an actual associate; I know the OP above asked about conversations and that's what was described here so it's totally fair, but this is not representative. Your peers have't started working at firms full time, and everyone in a position senior to you at those firms had at least an unstated policy, if not a hard line rule, to exaggerate their happiness and shelter their professional regret and dissatisfaction, not to mention emotional distress. I'm sure you're right that many associates aren't just in it for the money, but this post reads like a summer perspective and it hardly paints the whole picture. Attrition is real and there's a lot of burnout and misery even at the most elite firms in new york with the shiniest exit options.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
None of these experiences are working as an actual associate; I know the OP above asked about conversations and that's what was described here so it's totally fair, but this is not representative. Your peers haven't started working at firms full time, and everyone in a position senior to you at those firms had at least an unstated policy, if not a hard line rule, to exaggerate their happiness and shelter their professional regret and dissatisfaction, not to mention emotional distress. I'm sure you're right that many associates aren't just in it for the money, but this post reads like a summer perspective and it hardly paints the whole picture. Attrition is real and there's a lot of burnout and misery even at the most elite firms in new york with the shiniest exit options.


I mean, you may be correct for NY. I perhaps should have clarified that I'm in a different city (think LA, Dallas, Chicago). I'm sure some of what I've been told is a bit glossier than the truth, but I've tried to be my own research. The stories we get anonymously second hand from one another are certainly valuable because people are more frank in individual situations with people they trust. However, in my experience the questions themselves are often asked negatively and thus receive mostly negative information. There is a lot to dislike about working in biglaw, but it's a much more even mix than people suggest.

You can't really do this as an applicant, but one you get inside a firm, do your research. Come back to the office at 9:30pm or on a weekend and see who is there (yes people work from home too, but that is substantially different from working at work) ; when someone comes back from vacation, ask them how often they had to take a call or respond to emails; take note of when people talk about meeting friends/family for stuff or doing things with their kids. Perhaps most importantly, don't end the conversation at "X many people from my class left in the last 3 years." Ask what for. If most people are leaving later, they probably enjoyed working there, but reached their plateau in the firm. If most people are leaving in their 2nd year, you probably do have a pretty miserable burn-out office. Those are very general things, not accurate in all cases, but you have to start thinking of firm attrition in that sense. There is good attrition and bad attrition.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby ForgotMyPassword » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm very happy at my job. It's one of the reasons I post in this thread - I had a mentor who helped me avoid some of the easy pitfalls, and when I see people making the same mistakes that I would've made if not for him, I want to pay it forward.

Could you descrive some of these easy pitfalls to avoid? As my 1L summer wasn't at a firm I only really have TLS and the few contacts I've made with attorneys at firm events to discuss life in biglaw.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:46 pm

Sure. Note that this is from the perspective from NY corporate:

(1) Don't chase quality of life. All firms work their associates equally hard (or rather, would work their associates equally hard if they had the work flow to do so), and generally speaking, being given more work is better because it means you're building skills you can parlay into better jobs down the road, and you should be working your ass off when you're young for more money / freedom when you're older.

(2) There are a very limited number of firms that open the most doors in corporate. Wachtell, Cravath, S&C, Cleary, DPW, STB. Excluding Wachtell, those firms are fundamentally similar in terms of opportunity to be trained and the doors they open. But they have different cultures and training styles, and you need to figure out for yourself where you're the best fit. If you want to do corporate and you get an offer at only one of these firms, then that's where you should work.

(3) Don't chase practice areas. You don't know if you want to do XYZ law because, except for very rare exceptions, you don't know what XYZ law is, or what it's like to practice it, or whether it will be a growing / profitable practice in 9 -11 years, when you (hopefully) are trying to make partner or counsel. The best firms will develop strong practices in whatever proves to be profitable.

(4) Ordinal firm rankings are meaningless; but tiers are meaningful. In my mentor's view, there were about 3 tiers of firms in NY - the top corporate firms listed above, the next tier down of Weil/Gibson/K&E type places, and then everywhere else, and everywhere else was more or less fungible.

(5) At firms, money buys happiness. The bigger the pie to split among partners, the less political infighting there is and the better the work environment is for associates. When in doubt, go to the firm that's making more money.

(6) Your salary isn't the most important compensation you get from your first job. You are investing in a 30 year professional career, either at firms, in house, etc. The question you need to be asking yourself when you pick your job (and throughout your early career) isn't what maximizes my compensation/happiness in year 1 or year 2, but in year 10, 20, 30. Put differently, you're not picking your first job when you go through OCI, you're really picking your second or third job.

(7) Mouth shut, eyes and ears open. Self explanatory. Shut up, head down, do good work, get good grades, good things will happen. None of this stuff is that complicated.

(8) Everyone will have at least one big screwup / setback. A lot of people, particularly where we are, have never failed before, and running into failure for the first time blows them up. If you don't get a job, work on a Plan B - a clerkship, a LLM, whatever, just keep scheming and working to get back on your feet. If you don't get the job you want, set yourself up to upgrade next year. Never get thrown off - just keep on plugging. You never know if the guy who aced OCI is actually not that good at being an associate, and maybe you don't interview well but you'll actually be good at the job. So keep your head up, always.

It goes without saying that this was my mentor's advice, and it worked for him and may not be for everyone - particularly if you're not trying to be an NY corporate lawyer. And it is advice worth as much as it costs. Everyone has their own best way to skin the cat.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby ForgotMyPassword » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:25 pm

Thanks anon, the above post is exactly what I was looking for. While I expected it the QoL advice is still unfortunate, but useful, as is the discussion of chasing bands instead of ordinal rankings and the long view.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:06 pm

Schedule is up and 20/30 yield. Couldn't care less about most ones that I did not get, but was surprised to not get Debevoise at #4....

-Fat Man Jungle
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:12 pm

So I got ROCKED. Only 15 of 30, and roughly 10 of those are super grade selective. And I'm a transfer.

Yelp.

Am I done?

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:13 pm

18/30.

Didn't get Debevoise, Cleary, DPW, or Latham =/.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:16 pm

14/30 yield. Absolutely stunned. FFB 2014 in (). I got the firms in bold.

Really surprised at Kirk, Weil, Ropes, Wilkie, Cahill, Latham, Cravath, STB, and Winston.
If FFB went up for these so much, I wonder what firms FFBs went down.


1. Kirkland & Ellis (2)
2. Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom (4)
3. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (4)
4. Debevoise & Plimpton (6)
5. Hogan Lovells (6),

6. Weil Gotshal & Manges (8)
7. Milbank Tweed Hadley & Mcloy (11)
8. Morrison & Foerster (12)
9. Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison (14)

10. Ropes & Gray (14)
11. Willkie Farr & Gallagher (14)
12. Schulte Roth & Zabel (15)
13. Cahill Gordon & Reindel (16)
14. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (17)
15. Davis Polk & Wardwell (19)
16. Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer (19)
17. Covington & Burling (20)

18. Latham & Watkins (20)
19. Goodwin Procter (21)
20. O’Melveny & Meyers (22)
21. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (22)
22. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman (23)
23. Cravath Swaine & Moore (26)
24. Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman (26)
25. Dechert (26)
26. Stroock & Stroock & Lavan (26)
27. Seward & Kissel (27)
28. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (30)
29. Winston & Strawn (*)
30. Hunton & Williams (*)
-Captain Fire

Edit 3: Just put the whole list on because babyrage. :evil:
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:16 pm

Only 10, completely screwed, and I'm a transfer. None of them are grade selective, but jesus, am I done?

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:20 pm

15/30, lots of reaches but I got all of the reaches I wanted to apply to.

Mostly afraid that, with my middling grades (a tad above median), getting interviews with Boies, W&C, Proskauer, Debevoise is going to put me in some hot water.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Only 10, completely screwed, and I'm a transfer. None of them are grade selective, but jesus, am I done?


You're not screwed. If you only have 10 after Add/Drop, then I might be more worried. Add/Drop is more productive than you'd think (not that you should relax entirely, but honestly, you aren't screwed).

And to the median guy, Boies isn't going to pan out. I'm hoping W&C refers to White & Case rather than Williams & Connolly. Proskauer's more than achievable with your grades, and Debevoise you have a chance.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:14/30 yield. Absolutely stunned. FFB 2014 in (). Missed Kirkland at 1 (2), Weil at 6 (8), Ropes at 10 (14), Wilkie at 11 (14), Cahill at 13 (16), Latham at 18 (20), Goodwin at 19 (21), O'melveny at 20 (22), Orrick at 21 (22), Pillsbury at 22 (23), Cravath at 23 (26), Dechert at 25 (25), Stroock at 26 (26), Seward at 27 (27), STB at 28 (30), Winston & Strawn at 29 (*).

Really surprised at Kirk, Weil, Ropes, Wilkie, Cahill, Latham, Cravath, STB, and Winston.
If FFB went up for these so much, I wonder what firms FFBs went down.

-Captain Fire

Edit: added FFBs.
Edit 2: I got Deb at 4 fwiw, so that was the FFB for Deb. Guess I was lucky on that one.


I got Ropes at 9, Willkie at 10, Cahill at 12, and Cravath at 21, so it seems that you were just off.

I also missed Weil at 6 and Goodwin at 18, O'Melveny at 19, Orrick at 20, and Winston at 29.

-Fat Man Jungle

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:39 pm

I can't imagine there is a high possibility of adding screeners from any of the large class NYC firms I missed tomorrow?
I don't get why you would ever drop an interview unless you had it on there by mistake.

-Captain Fire

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:41 pm

this is why we were telling everyone to drop more firms from the top of their bid lists cause keeping proskauer and sidley ect meant risking a lot of firms down the line.

but not to worry. you can pick up interviews in several ways: in the formal add drop period, at the hospitality suites, or by emailing firms you didn't get (which, if you care about being in the room with those firms at oci, you should do now) and asking them if you can meet earlier in the morning or later in the evening. Many firms leave squeeze room for additional candidates.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can't imagine there is a high possibility of adding screeners from any of the large class NYC firms I missed tomorrow?
I don't get why you would ever drop an interview unless you had it on there by mistake.

-Captain Fire


A couple reasons. Some people actually do get 25+ interviews out of lottery, and really don't need/want them. I don't think you need more than 20 interviews, unless you're bidding more than two markets or you're in a sensitive region grades-wise. Sometimes your interview times suck. If you have firm A at 9:20-9:40, B at 9:45-10:05, and C at 10:10-10:30, and you really care about A and C but not so much about B, drop B because it will just freak you the fuck out for no reason. Also there's a group of people that interview in July via contacts or mass mail with those large NY firms, and once they have one or two offers, they only need to interview with firms they'd conceivably prefer to their current option.

At least last year, there were a good number of firms to pick up in add/drop, especially non-NYC.

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:46 pm

When/how will we be able to see which firms have open slots? Is it honestly just a mad race to grab them at noon?

-E

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:54 pm

For firms we didn't get, who should we be emailing to ask if we can get an extra interview with them? Recruiting contact/hiring partner?

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Re: Columbia EIP 2015

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For firms we didn't get, who should we be emailing to ask if we can get an extra interview with them? Recruiting contact/hiring partner?


the recruiting personnel, not the hiring partner. lol.

E.g. Donna Harris, https://www.nalpdirectory.com/employer_ ... hCondJSON={%22SearchEmployerName%22%3A%22Cleary%20Gottlieb%22}




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