Practice Areas for SA question....

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Practice Areas for SA question....

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:27 pm

So when I interviewed for my SA, I told everyone I really wanted to do X, which they have a solid amount of attorneys doing. However, this was not very be frank, I said practice X because I thought It would give me the best shot at receiving an offer.

my question: Recruiting allows us to pick 2 areas, which we rotate. They ask us before the SA begins, so I assume fairly soon. Is it a red flag if I say "I'd prefer to work in practice A and practice B" even though I marketed myself as a practice X person? Will they even notice/remember?

To play it safe, I've thought about doing X for half the summer, just for security reasons and to give myself the best chance at landing a post SA offer.

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Re: Practice Areas for SA question....

Postby Georgiana » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:14 am

Did you interview primarily with people from group x? Is it a firm that gives practice group offers?

Chances are they will notice since need is often talked about in recruiting decisions, the answers to the questions above will help figure out if you're putting yourself at risk. All that said, you can certainly change groups at various times. I went from a niche litigation practice to a niche transactional practice as a summer, and then transitioned to a more broad transactional practice at another firm. The most re-assuring response I received from recruiting partner during my summer was that it was in the firm's interest to have associates in a practice area they enjoyed, since they'd be more engaged and willing to work (i.e. bill) more.


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Re: Practice Areas for SA question....

Postby RaceJudicata » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:52 am

I'd definitely go with saying you want to do X and B. That said, once the SA starts it's going to be highly firm dependent on flexibility b/w practice groups.

Anecdata: i expressed significant interest in practice group Y during oci. Arrived at firm and they had no recollection of that. I was free to get work from whoever.

Another firm I interviewed for hires you for specific groups and all of the call back interviewers are from that group.

Lastly, there are factors outside your control. If market for practice group X tanks, your interests will mean shit.

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Re: Practice Areas for SA question....

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:31 pm

Thanks for replies. I do not think I was recruited for the specific area of X. I interviewed with people in all different areas. So I guess I'm just unsure whether I was accepted because they need bodies in X or just because they liked me generally.

I'll most likely play it safe and do X for half the summer, but I'm pretty sure I won't like it, seeing as how I did it during 1L summer and hated it (though in a big firm setting the work may be drastically different even though its the same practice area, compared to a small company that I was working for...maybe?).


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Re: Practice Areas for SA question....

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:41 pm

I did the same thing once or twice during OCI. I agree it is probably safest to say X and B, like the above poster said. That said, I think that that many firms will not remember and/or care about your pre-SA expressed interests. I think a lot of incoming SAs are in similar positions and have similar anxieties but after you see the recruiting process as an attorney, you'll realize how much SAs are often just interchangeable bodies. However, I have also seen/heard of recruiting groups zeroing on certain SAs for certain practice groups. That's generally the case when they have difficulty recruiting for certain areas and someone happens to express and interest in that area.

My guess is if X is one of their biggest groups, they wouldn't have an issue with you rolling out of it. It is also extremely plausible to say your preferences have changed, so I wouldn't sweat it too much. In some instances, a firm's bread and butter practice can become over-hired for and over-subscribed by SAs and they welcome people expressing interest in other groups.

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