Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

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Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:15 am

I'm a rising 2L about to go through OCI. I go to a t13 school, better than median grades but not law review good. I have a couple of years of work experience, but nothing that pops off a resume. I'm in some student groups and have some positions with the groups, but once again, not president of anything nor am I in a particularly noteworthy group.

I spoke with someone at a reception once, and he told me it was important to find your "tribe," a group that will vouch for you when it comes to getting your resume off the pile come OCI time. So I have been networking with attorneys in the practice areas I'm interested in to make the practice area my tribe, but I don't know how effective this is.

What can I do over the next couple of weeks to find people who will vouch for me?

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:35 am

Groups of people “vouching”, “tribes”, what in the hell are you talking about? I recommend simply preparing for the process and crushing it—Joel Embiid style, trust the process and be prepared. That person you talked to sounds like a junior associate who got caught up in their role at the reception.

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:I spoke with someone at a reception once, and he told me it was important to find your "tribe," a group that will vouch for you when it comes to getting your resume off the pile come OCI time. So I have been networking with attorneys in the practice areas I'm interested in to make the practice area my tribe, but I don't know how effective this is.

What can I do over the next couple of weeks to find people who will vouch for me?


It's a really weird way to put it, and sounds like you bumped into a muddle-mouthed marketer, but the core concept is correct. The #1 way to stick out from the pile is by having a personal relationship or connection with the employer. This is why I'm not a huge fan of the mass mailing method. Unfortunately for you, this isn't a 2 week process.

This isn't like collecting Pokemon cards (as an aside, I saw that they still carry Pokemon cards in Target... I thought they went away when I was a kid), it's about developing sincere relationships with people. Best ways of doing this? Attend networking events. Get involved in extracurriculars that host attorneys on campus. Take classes with adjuncts. Volunteer for high visibility work (assisting with an event at school where prominent attorneys/judges wiil be speaking). Ask your career services office to put you in touch with alumni working in the area of law you're interested in. Heck, even cold email attorneys who work in a field of interest and ask them if you could buy them a cup of coffee and pick their brain about their job and how they got there.

If you treat networking as one of your classes for the semester, putting in the hours and effort required of a law school class, you'll reap the rewards.

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:48 am

yeah that's...not how OCI works at the T14s I'm familiar with. you bid, and get assigned interviews based on your bids. it's not about who-knows-who. for pre-OCI/mass-mailing, picking up extra bids at the suite, sure contacts can be helpful, but an alumni connection is more than enough to get someone to chat with you for a few min.

you go to a T13 and have above-median grades. a "personal relationship with the firm" is neither necessary nor sufficient to receive an offer at the vast majority of the places you are interviewing at during 2L OCI. it doesn't *hurt*, but I wouldn't freak out about it.

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:you go to a T13 and have above-median grades. a "personal relationship with the firm" is neither necessary nor sufficient to receive an offer at the vast majority of the places you are interviewing at during 2L OCI.


Yeah, I should've read the OP a little bit more closely. OCI is a mechanical thing. Building relationships is not super helpful for OCI.

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:02 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:you go to a T13 and have above-median grades. a "personal relationship with the firm" is neither necessary nor sufficient to receive an offer at the vast majority of the places you are interviewing at during 2L OCI.


Yeah, I should've read the OP a little bit more closely. OCI is a mechanical thing. Building relationships is not super helpful for OCI.



I'm not sure how true/absolute this is. I have 3 pre-oci callbacks and two firms have told me that if I am not on their OCI schedule it's a mistake and to let them know because they'll add me...all of that happened because of personal connections.

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:you go to a T13 and have above-median grades. a "personal relationship with the firm" is neither necessary nor sufficient to receive an offer at the vast majority of the places you are interviewing at during 2L OCI.


Yeah, I should've read the OP a little bit more closely. OCI is a mechanical thing. Building relationships is not super helpful for OCI.



I'm not sure how true/absolute this is. I have 3 pre-oci callbacks and two firms have told me that if I am not on their OCI schedule it's a mistake and to let them know because they'll add me...all of that happened because of personal connections.

sounds like you're not at a straight lottery school like OP, so different situation than is being discussed here.

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:15 pm

Building relationships generally isn't helpful for OCI unless you're a fringe candidate. And even then, you would need to have built those relationships already - lawyers at big firms are getting hit up left and right this time of year by candidates looking to "build relationships" ahead of OCI. If you've waited this long, relationship-building won't work because (a) relationships need to build themselves organically; and (b) it's super obvious that, if you're reaching out to an associate/partner at a big firm right now, you want something. As a data point, I generally ignore law students that ask to grab coffee/lunch this time of year unless I know them already - I'm not going to bat for someone I don't know super well, so taking those meetings with randos is a waste of both my time and the candidate's time.

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:you go to a T13 and have above-median grades. a "personal relationship with the firm" is neither necessary nor sufficient to receive an offer at the vast majority of the places you are interviewing at during 2L OCI.


Yeah, I should've read the OP a little bit more closely. OCI is a mechanical thing. Building relationships is not super helpful for OCI.



I'm not sure how true/absolute this is. I have 3 pre-oci callbacks and two firms have told me that if I am not on their OCI schedule it's a mistake and to let them know because they'll add me...all of that happened because of personal connections.

sounds like you're not at a straight lottery school like OP, so different situation than is being discussed here.


Sorry I didn’t phrase it correctly. They were referring to the lottery process. They’ll add me if I’m not “matched there organically” (one of the recruiter’s exact words).

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:56 pm

SFSpartan wrote:Building relationships generally isn't helpful for OCI unless you're a fringe candidate. And even then, you would need to have built those relationships already - lawyers at big firms are getting hit up left and right this time of year by candidates looking to "build relationships" ahead of OCI. If you've waited this long, relationship-building won't work because (a) relationships need to build themselves organically; and (b) it's super obvious that, if you're reaching out to an associate/partner at a big firm right now, you want something. As a data point, I generally ignore law students that ask to grab coffee/lunch this time of year unless I know them already - I'm not going to bat for someone I don't know super well, so taking those meetings with randos is a waste of both my time and the candidate's time.

I don't want it to come across that I haven't been networking. In fact, I have quite extensively since January of this year. During the semester I tried to meet at least one attorney a week, and since the summer has started I've been talking on the phone with 1-2 attorneys a day. But a lot of these coffees and phone calls have not led to further organic relationships with a few exceptions (was able to go directly to callback at one firm because of a good phone call I had with an associate).

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:Building relationships generally isn't helpful for OCI unless you're a fringe candidate. And even then, you would need to have built those relationships already - lawyers at big firms are getting hit up left and right this time of year by candidates looking to "build relationships" ahead of OCI. If you've waited this long, relationship-building won't work because (a) relationships need to build themselves organically; and (b) it's super obvious that, if you're reaching out to an associate/partner at a big firm right now, you want something. As a data point, I generally ignore law students that ask to grab coffee/lunch this time of year unless I know them already - I'm not going to bat for someone I don't know super well, so taking those meetings with randos is a waste of both my time and the candidate's time.

I don't want it to come across that I haven't been networking. In fact, I have quite extensively since January of this year. During the semester I tried to meet at least one attorney a week, and since the summer has started I've been talking on the phone with 1-2 attorneys a day. But a lot of these coffees and phone calls have not led to further organic relationships with a few exceptions (was able to go directly to callback at one firm because of a good phone call I had with an associate).


My bad - the original post made it seem like you were looking to get started networking now (good on you for starting in January - most people don't do that). To the extent these relationships have developed organically, I'd hit those people up if you haven't already done so. I'd also hit up people you felt good about your meetings with, even if there hasn't been a lot of contact. That said, I wouldn't expect any miracles to come from this approach (though as an above-median T13 student, you should still be able to snag a biglaw gig).

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby mimmsi » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:57 pm

I frankly do not trust the advice of anyone who uses the phrase "your/my tribe" that way... I think my 12 year old niece uses it to refer to her girl friends? Or maybe that's squad goals? Who knows.. I might just be old.

The only people that could have honestly vouched for me in law school were the professors I had a particular connection with and who mentored me/or I worked for outside of class, or the attorneys I worked for as a summer. I don't think there was enough time and depth of interaction to build a relationship where attorneys would vouch for me just through law student networking. As an attorney, I've met with law students for coffee and lunch but the best impression I have of any of them is "so and so seems nice and normal and excited about the area." I can't imagine forming any kind of impression that would cause me to stake any personal or professional reputation or expend any social capital to actually vouch for them. Maybe if my firm was hiring some time later, and they applied, I'd remember and mention that they had been interested way before the job was posted.. but that's pretty much it.

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Re: Finding Your "Tribe"/Getting People to Vouch For You

Postby Dw686 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:38 am

I think it is meaningful to get your resume forwarded by somebody at the firm. The use of "tribe" or whatever, it was just his was of saying that. You still need to fit the profile of who the firm wants, but getting your resume forwarded from someone in the firm is great.



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