How many CBs/offers do you have?

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How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:59 pm

Got asked this. What is the point of employers asking this question? Does it hurt if I say zero?

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rpupkin

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got asked this. What is the point of employers asking this question? Does it hurt if I say zero?

Law firms are often interested in where else you're interviewing. But I agree it's weird to ask about the number of callbacks you have.

No, it doesn't hurt if you say zero. It could even help.

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:13 pm

So far, the only firm to ask me this has been Deb - and they didn't only ask for the number, they actually requested (and wrote down...) the names of each of the other firms I'm doing CBs at. It's not a question I think is especially fair but what can we do as applicants? Can't imagine it'd go over well if you just refused to answer. Of course saying "zero" won't help you but I certainly wouldn't recommend lying. Maybe massage it by saying (if true) that while this is currently your only CB, several firms expressed a strong interest in you during OCI and are currently in the process of deciding on CBs.

It's also possible that part of the motivation in asking is less to judge you and more to help them identify their peer firms in preftige/selectivity.

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:18 pm

rpupkin wrote:No, it doesn't hurt if you say zero. It could even help.


How so? Unless it's a small secondary market and they're the only game in town meaning no other CBs = commitment to working in that market. Can't imagine it'd help a candidate in, say, DC to have no other CBs. Even assuming the no other CBs was a result of the candidate only applying to a few firms (as opposed to flaming out at OCI screeners), this might imply arrogance/recklessness in not applying to a "safer" number of firms.

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby lilboat » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:21 pm

Got asked this too. A bit off-putting but I think the interviewer was just genuinely curious.

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:28 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Got asked this. What is the point of employers asking this question? Does it hurt if I say zero?

Law firms are often interested in where else you're interviewing. But I agree it's weird to ask about the number of callbacks you have.

No, it doesn't hurt if you say zero. It could even help.


I understand that it helps as I'll accept their offer if they extend one. But wouldn't it hurt if the firm finds out I have only 1 CB with them? Maybe they think "there is something wrong with this guy that every other firm knows but we don't know about."

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:No, it doesn't hurt if you say zero. It could even help.


How so? Unless it's a small secondary market and they're the only game in town meaning no other CBs = commitment to working in that market. Can't imagine it'd help a candidate in, say, DC to have no other CBs. Even assuming the no other CBs was a result of the candidate only applying to a few firms (as opposed to flaming out at OCI screeners), this might imply arrogance/recklessness in not applying to a "safer" number of firms.

Why would a given firm care about the safeness of your overall bidding strategy? The firm isn't your career services office.

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:49 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:No, it doesn't hurt if you say zero. It could even help.


How so? Unless it's a small secondary market and they're the only game in town meaning no other CBs = commitment to working in that market. Can't imagine it'd help a candidate in, say, DC to have no other CBs. Even assuming the no other CBs was a result of the candidate only applying to a few firms (as opposed to flaming out at OCI screeners), this might imply arrogance/recklessness in not applying to a "safer" number of firms.

Why would a given firm care about the safeness of your overall bidding strategy? The firm isn't your career services office.


1) IMO the most likely default assumption is that the candidate had an average bidding strategy. Thus, lack of CBs = flaming out in screening interviews = possibly something wrong with the candidate.

2) The alternate inference is the candidate had a poor bidding strategy. Thus, lack of CBs = bad strategy on candidate's part = either the candidate was dumb or the candidate was reckless (or both). Ofc the firm doesn't care about safeness of bidding strategy per se but it seems likely that anything that might suggest recklessness or lack of smarts would not help the candidate's case.

In my experience several screeners actually inquired about my bidding strategy. They agreed with my rationale once I explained it, but I'm sure it wouldn't have helped my case if hypothetically I told them I only bid on 5 firms total.

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:No, it doesn't hurt if you say zero. It could even help.


How so? Unless it's a small secondary market and they're the only game in town meaning no other CBs = commitment to working in that market. Can't imagine it'd help a candidate in, say, DC to have no other CBs. Even assuming the no other CBs was a result of the candidate only applying to a few firms (as opposed to flaming out at OCI screeners), this might imply arrogance/recklessness in not applying to a "safer" number of firms.

Why would a given firm care about the safeness of your overall bidding strategy? The firm isn't your career services office.


1) IMO the most likely default assumption is that the candidate had an average bidding strategy. Thus, lack of CBs = flaming out in screening interviews = possibly something wrong with the candidate.

2) The alternate inference is the candidate had a poor bidding strategy. Thus, lack of CBs = bad strategy on candidate's part = either the candidate was dumb or the candidate was reckless (or both). Ofc the firm doesn't care about safeness of bidding strategy per se but it seems likely that anything that might suggest recklessness or lack of smarts would not help the candidate's case.

In my experience several screeners actually inquired about my bidding strategy. They agreed with my rationale once I explained it, but I'm sure it wouldn't have helped my case if hypothetically I told them I only bid on 5 firms total.


1) Unlike law students, firm lawyers don't obsess over bidding strategies and generally don't make strong assumptions about what a proper bidding strategy is for a given candidate. There is no notion of an "average bidding strategy."

2) Again, you're projecting your current (understandable) obsessions onto the minds of lawyers working at firms. I often ask where else a candidate is interviewing: some are interviewing at lots of other firms, while others are interviewing at just a couple places. It has never occurred to me to use the answer to make an inference about a candidate's recklessness or lack of intelligence.

As for the screeners who have asked you about your bidding strategy, screeners ask about all kinds of things. Screening candidates is pretty boring and grueling. Not every question is designed to catch a weakness or something; we're often just making conversation.

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Re: How many CBs/offers do you have?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:28 am

rpupkin wrote:1) Unlike law students, firm lawyers don't obsess over bidding strategies and generally don't make strong assumptions about what a proper bidding strategy is for a given candidate. There is no notion of an "average bidding strategy."

2) Again, you're projecting your current (understandable) obsessions onto the minds of lawyers working at firms. I often ask where else a candidate is interviewing: some are interviewing at lots of other firms, while others are interviewing at just a couple places. It has never occurred to me to use the answer to make an inference about a candidate's recklessness or lack of intelligence.

As for the screeners who have asked you about your bidding strategy, screeners ask about all kinds of things. Screening candidates is pretty boring and grueling. Not every question is designed to catch a weakness or something; we're often just making conversation.


Not saying you are wrong - I agree many (even most) firm lawyers, especially the more senior ones, have less than no clue and couldn't care less about the intricacies of the modern bidding process. And certainly have met lawyers who asked about this in a making-conversation kind of way, like oh, how's your day going? How many hotel rooms have you been in so far?

But I met several who did appear to care and were serious when they asked, not about bidding "strategy" per se, but how many screeners I was doing. This was usually nestled in a suite of questions about what drew me to their firm and what kinds of things I was looking for in a firm. And when I told them my number (just over a dozen), there were some raised eyebrows, along with comments that most of my classmates were doing well over 20 screeners and anything under 18 seemed "low". (They were right about most of my classmates doing over 20.) The raised eyebrows went down after I explained the (relatively unique) reasons behind my approach.



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