Biglaw lawyer taking questions

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fjsms
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby fjsms » Fri May 06, 2011 4:10 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
glitched wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
glitched wrote:Hello. Just wanted to start by saying thanks because this is great.

I think questions about work experience were asked before, but I wanted to ask how bad it looks if during my year off, I worked somewhere for about 5 months after graduation, quit, and then had a big time gap until law school started? Well I quit my job about a month and a half ago for personal reasons and I can't find a job and it looks like I might have to be unemployed until August.


I don't think it's a big deal, just be prepared to answer what you were doing.


what if i was just doing things that I have always wanted to do with my free time? like staying at home, going to the beach, going to the book store to read, sitting at a coffee shop, etc? basically taking leisure very seriously.

i just feel i will never have a time like this again... and i want to just enjoy it.


You can do that, but don't say that. I understand you wanting to do that, but honestly, if you came in and said that you just sat around to me in an interview, I'd rank you lower than someone who did something with their time.


Two words: volunteer work. Surely you can find something to do for several hours a week that would be enjoyable, not a chore, and give you something to talk about.

fjsms
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby fjsms » Fri May 06, 2011 4:12 pm

Also - reiterate the thanks for taking the time to give this advice. Great thread.

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Fri May 06, 2011 4:20 pm

rocon7383 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
rocon7383 wrote:Thanks again for all of this information..

I have a question regarding students who specialize in certain fields of study at school and how this may help/not help their chances at big law. So if a non-T14 student from a low tier 1 school specialized in, interned/externed and worked in a clinic all geared toward IP, at a top 5 IP program, would they have a substantial leg up at an IP firm? (I'm using this specific field as an example but I suppose my question applies for all specialties).

As you may have guessed, I'm an 0L. I am trying to understand how important these rankings matter for certain programs. Thanks


Regarding your chances at biglaw, it will not help you if took copyright or an IP clinic unless you have bad-ass grades and a science background. Also, nobody cares about relative strength of programs, either. I don't see any Franklin Pierce grads in my IP department, but a whole lot of T10's. For a T1 school, you're going to need badass grades to assure biglaw.


Thanks for the response. So grades are of course the key, but if you were to already have these grades in your pocket, then would the specialization come into play? I guess your point in bold just seems odd to me. If they don't matter, what's the point?

PS- Before people inevitably rip into me for assuming getting good grades is easy, i know, i know, they're not. I'm just trying to get some perspective here.


Because those rankings are things law schools game as to recruit dudes to their school. There is no evidence (outside of say LLM rankings) that a speciality in a law school is an employment boost whatsoever. Law firms generally believe that most first-year associates are worthless and nothing in law school is relevant. I don't agree, but I think that's the conventional wisdom with the cotton heads that make hiring decisions. They use grades / law school as a weeding out process to get "talent." You could have written 100 briefs better than anyone at the firm as a 1L law clerk and biglaw wouldn't care if your grades / law school suck. Sad but true.

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rocon7383
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby rocon7383 » Fri May 06, 2011 4:41 pm

PKSebben wrote:
rocon7383 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
rocon7383 wrote:Thanks again for all of this information..

I have a question regarding students who specialize in certain fields of study at school and how this may help/not help their chances at big law. So if a non-T14 student from a low tier 1 school specialized in, interned/externed and worked in a clinic all geared toward IP, at a top 5 IP program, would they have a substantial leg up at an IP firm? (I'm using this specific field as an example but I suppose my question applies for all specialties).

As you may have guessed, I'm an 0L. I am trying to understand how important these rankings matter for certain programs. Thanks


Regarding your chances at biglaw, it will not help you if took copyright or an IP clinic unless you have bad-ass grades and a science background. Also, nobody cares about relative strength of programs, either. I don't see any Franklin Pierce grads in my IP department, but a whole lot of T10's. For a T1 school, you're going to need badass grades to assure biglaw.


Thanks for the response. So grades are of course the key, but if you were to already have these grades in your pocket, then would the specialization come into play? I guess your point in bold just seems odd to me. If they don't matter, what's the point?

PS- Before people inevitably rip into me for assuming getting good grades is easy, i know, i know, they're not. I'm just trying to get some perspective here.


Because those rankings are things law schools game as to recruit dudes to their school. There is no evidence (outside of say LLM rankings) that a speciality in a law school is an employment boost whatsoever. Law firms generally believe that most first-year associates are worthless and nothing in law school is relevant. I don't agree, but I think that's the conventional wisdom with the cotton heads that make hiring decisions. They use grades / law school as a weeding out process to get "talent." You could have written 100 briefs better than anyone at the firm as a 1L law clerk and biglaw wouldn't care if your grades / law school suck. Sad but true.


Interesting. Thanks for the info.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Fri May 06, 2011 7:50 pm

rocon7383 wrote:Thanks again for all of this information..

I have a question regarding students who specialize in certain fields of study at school and how this may help/not help their chances at big law. So if a non-T14 student from a low tier 1 school specialized in, interned/externed and worked in a clinic all geared toward IP, at a top 5 IP program, would they have a substantial leg up at an IP firm? (I'm using this specific field as an example but I suppose my question applies for all specialties).

As you may have guessed, I'm an 0L. I am trying to understand how important these rankings matter for certain programs. Thanks


I basically give little to no weight to speciality programs. The random school X certification in tax or whatever doesn't really play into OCI decisions, as far as I've seen. As for IP, it might be a marginal benefit, but not much of one. From what I understand, in IP, your technical background is more important than some specialization. I've had discussions with some IP attorneys at my firm, it doesn't matter that some school has a great IP program if we don't do OCI there. Apparently there are some lower ranked schools that rank well in IP rankings, but that really doesn't matter.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Fri May 06, 2011 7:53 pm

rocon7383 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
rocon7383 wrote:Thanks again for all of this information..

I have a question regarding students who specialize in certain fields of study at school and how this may help/not help their chances at big law. So if a non-T14 student from a low tier 1 school specialized in, interned/externed and worked in a clinic all geared toward IP, at a top 5 IP program, would they have a substantial leg up at an IP firm? (I'm using this specific field as an example but I suppose my question applies for all specialties).

As you may have guessed, I'm an 0L. I am trying to understand how important these rankings matter for certain programs. Thanks


Regarding your chances at biglaw, it will not help you if took copyright or an IP clinic unless you have bad-ass grades and a science background. Also, nobody cares about relative strength of programs, either. I don't see any Franklin Pierce grads in my IP department, but a whole lot of T10's. For a T1 school, you're going to need badass grades to assure biglaw.


Thanks for the response. So grades are of course the key, but if you were to already have these grades in your pocket, then would the specialization come into play? I guess your point in bold just seems odd to me. If they don't matter, what's the point?

PS- Before people inevitably rip into me for assuming getting good grades is easy, i know, i know, they're not. I'm just trying to get some perspective here.


PK's experience is what I've seen, the IP department at my firm doesn't have any Franklin Pierce grads (which I'm assuming has a really high IP ranking) but also has a lot of T15 grads. What's the point? Beats me, but I don't think my firm gives any weight to it.

If you have the grades, no I still don't think the certification matters. Again, what's the point? Beats me. I don't think there is one.

roranoa
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby roranoa » Sat May 07, 2011 2:14 am

How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 07, 2011 10:00 am

roranoa wrote:How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?


It's fine. I think every lawyer I've ever talked to suggests taking time between UG and LS. Even if you took the time and went sailing, it would be viewed as a positive. Frame it as "I wanted a little time before law school because I know that the hard word never stops after that point..."

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swc65
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby swc65 » Sat May 07, 2011 10:02 am

roranoa wrote:How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?



I would never make up a story, people can often pick up on that pretty quickly.

I have a few gaps on my resume, whenever I have been asked about them, I just tell the truth. I spent most of the time traveling.

roranoa
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby roranoa » Sat May 07, 2011 11:34 am

swc65 wrote:
roranoa wrote:How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?



I would never make up a story, people can often pick up on that pretty quickly.

I have a few gaps on my resume, whenever I have been asked about them, I just tell the truth. I spent most of the time traveling.


Oh, what I meant by "make up a story" was...should I do unpaid internships or volunteer work and then talk about how that experience really meant something to me and that I always wanted to have a chance to do this and that. Is this bad as well? Bringing up fake motives for something written on my resume? (don't we all do that for our personal statements and cover letters?....I mean to an extent)

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 07, 2011 11:48 am

roranoa wrote:
swc65 wrote:
roranoa wrote:How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?



I would never make up a story, people can often pick up on that pretty quickly.

I have a few gaps on my resume, whenever I have been asked about them, I just tell the truth. I spent most of the time traveling.


Oh, what I meant by "make up a story" was...should I do unpaid internships or volunteer work and then talk about how that experience really meant something to me and that I always wanted to have a chance to do this and that. Is this bad as well? Bringing up fake motives for something written on my resume? (don't we all do that for our personal statements and cover letters?....I mean to an extent)


seriously, bro -- do what you want between undergrad and law school. It won't hurt you during employment time and in fact shows that you're a mature reasonable dude that understands the rigors of biglaw once you graduate. A little time off for sowing your oats or whatever is a good thing -- take it from me -- I went straight through. UG -> LS -> Bar study -> got the call to come into the firm the DAY AFTER THE BAR -> two weeks later I was in the rat race.

roranoa
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby roranoa » Sat May 07, 2011 12:28 pm

PKSebben wrote:
roranoa wrote:
swc65 wrote:
roranoa wrote:How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?



I would never make up a story, people can often pick up on that pretty quickly.

I have a few gaps on my resume, whenever I have been asked about them, I just tell the truth. I spent most of the time traveling.


Oh, what I meant by "make up a story" was...should I do unpaid internships or volunteer work and then talk about how that experience really meant something to me and that I always wanted to have a chance to do this and that. Is this bad as well? Bringing up fake motives for something written on my resume? (don't we all do that for our personal statements and cover letters?....I mean to an extent)


seriously, bro -- do what you want between undergrad and law school. It won't hurt you during employment time and in fact shows that you're a mature reasonable dude that understands the rigors of biglaw once you graduate. A little time off for sowing your oats or whatever is a good thing -- take it from me -- I went straight through. UG -> LS -> Bar study -> got the call to come into the firm the DAY AFTER THE BAR -> two weeks later I was in the rat race.

Thanks for the reply!
But honestly, I don't see how not doing anything very substantive (that's how I view traveling) can be seen as a process to mature oneself.

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Renne Walker
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Renne Walker » Sat May 07, 2011 2:34 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:Since this looks like the new place for something like this, I'll re-post here. 3rd year litigator, working on a Saturday morning, taking questions. Any firm life specific questions can be posted in this thread and I'll check in every now and then.

This question is obviously premature, but since I am curious. . . I will be a 1L (at a T-6 school) this fall. I was advised that after law school I should consider going to Wharton. My reluctance is the added debt, but then I was advised that there are firms willing to pay for new associates to attend Wharton. If true―how does this work? Would I have to do firm work while attending? If there is anything you can add, it is appreciated. Thanks.

PS/Edit: I have also applied for a SEO intermship. Does your firm participate in the SEO program? If so, do you have any observations on this? Thx.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 07, 2011 3:58 pm

roranoa wrote:How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?


I don't think it would look bad, but I'd have something to say about a gap longer than 6 months. Studying for something would be fine, but I disagree with PK, given two candidates with equal grades, what you were doing pre LS could come into play.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 07, 2011 4:01 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:Since this looks like the new place for something like this, I'll re-post here. 3rd year litigator, working on a Saturday morning, taking questions. Any firm life specific questions can be posted in this thread and I'll check in every now and then.

This question is obviously premature, but since I am curious. . . I will be a 1L (at a T-6 school) this fall. I was advised that after law school I should consider going to Wharton. My reluctance is the added debt, but then I was advised that there are firms willing to pay for new associates to attend Wharton. If true―how does this work? Would I have to do firm work while attending? If there is anything you can add, it is appreciated. Thanks.

PS/Edit: I have also applied for a SEO intermship. Does your firm participate in the SEO program? If so, do you have any observations on this? Thx.


Interesting, I don't know what firms offers that option, but if there are, then it sounds like there's little risk. Sorry, I don't have any information about this program, but I would imagine you'd have to at least summer at the firm. Sorry, I also don't have any info about the SEO program, I know of that one, but I don't know if my firm participates.

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Ikki
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Ikki » Sat May 07, 2011 11:40 pm

japes wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:
japes wrote:Would longish hair on a guy be a negative in an interview? Assume it's around shoulder-length and well-groomed, and cutting it could have a negative impact on confidence in the interview.


Samson, esq.?


I've had it that way since probably middle school and am very uncomfortable with the idea of cutting it short for a variety of personal reasons. I'm wondering if I can get by with cutting my hair for interviews or if I should just get used to it being short.


I had it halfway down my back and cut it right before ASW. Just cut it bro.

roranoa
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby roranoa » Sun May 08, 2011 12:47 am

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
roranoa wrote:How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?


I don't think it would look bad, but I'd have something to say about a gap longer than 6 months. Studying for something would be fine, but I disagree with PK, given two candidates with equal grades, what you were doing pre LS could come into play.


Thanks again for the reply.

Then how would one with a 6 month or longer gap fare against someone who went straight to LS from UG? (assuming school rank and grades are equal)

darkflag
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby darkflag » Tue May 10, 2011 2:50 am

First want to thank you for all your postings. They are really very helpful.

I am a T7 student freshly transferred from its own llm program (I am a non-native English speaker and not an URM). I got 4.0 GPA in the llm (but no 1L courses, just corporation and other minor upper-level courses and seminars), and am now doing summer internship (called legal intern, which does the same thing as SAs sent from US) in a foreign office of W&C (through local recuitment, not the U.S. SA program). I have 2 yrs left in JD program and will participate in the 2L OCI this fall. Could you please estimate my chances getting a SA in biglaw(compared to regular JDs)? Also, would it be helpful if I get to know the partners here and put their name on reference list?

Thank you so much!

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Tue May 10, 2011 11:08 pm

roranoa wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
roranoa wrote:How bad would it look (in your opinion) to have a 1 yr or 6 month gap before UG and LS in one's resume when applying for 1L and 2L summer positions?

Would it be fine to say that I was studying full time for a CPA or a CFA?

Or should I apply for volunteer work or an unpaid internship and make up a story?


I don't think it would look bad, but I'd have something to say about a gap longer than 6 months. Studying for something would be fine, but I disagree with PK, given two candidates with equal grades, what you were doing pre LS could come into play.


Thanks again for the reply.

Then how would one with a 6 month or longer gap fare against someone who went straight to LS from UG? (assuming school rank and grades are equal)


Is the gap doing absolutely nothing? If so, then I'd probably hold that against the person unless they gave some reason for it, if it was just because you wanted to hang out, well I'd probably go with the person who went straight through, but how would that be possible? Most schools end at approximately the same time and most law schools start at approximately the same time.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Tue May 10, 2011 11:11 pm

darkflag wrote:First want to thank you for all your postings. They are really very helpful.

I am a T7 student freshly transferred from its own llm program (I am a non-native English speaker and not an URM). I got 4.0 GPA in the llm (but no 1L courses, just corporation and other minor upper-level courses and seminars), and am now doing summer internship (called legal intern, which does the same thing as SAs sent from US) in a foreign office of W&C (through local recuitment, not the U.S. SA program). I have 2 yrs left in JD program and will participate in the 2L OCI this fall. Could you please estimate my chances getting a SA in biglaw(compared to regular JDs)? Also, would it be helpful if I get to know the partners here and put their name on reference list?

Thank you so much!


Compared to regular JDs? I'd imagine you'd be competitive with regular JDs and if your LLM GPA transfers with you then you'll have a really good GPA going in. I don't think many people have reference lists, usually if a partner is recommended someone within the firm, they contact the recruiting department directly. I don't think another firm is going to be too impressed if you just hand over a reference list with some W&C partners on it.

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glitched
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby glitched » Tue May 10, 2011 11:19 pm

if you want to do tax law, do you need any previous experience or degrees, such as a degree in accounting/business or an LLM in tax?

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Kimchi_smile
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Kimchi_smile » Wed May 11, 2011 7:53 am

Thank you for taking your time to answer all the questions. This is awesome!

I'm 0L so my questions may appear stupid, but I sincerely would like to know more about:

Does having no business-related experience hurt during OCI for an M&A Big Law associateship?

Can you describe a typical M&A Big Law associate's day-to-day work?

What makes a successful M&A Big Law associate?

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mjitbswyd
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby mjitbswyd » Wed May 11, 2011 11:02 pm

Thank you for your thread, it's amazing.

Could you plz tell me, do you do a lot pro bono? If yes, are they criminal work? Are they part of your billable hours? Can transactional lawyer do litigation pro bono work?

Thank you!

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Wed May 11, 2011 11:08 pm

mjitbswyd wrote:Thank you for your thread, it's amazing.

Could you plz tell me, do you do a lot pro bono? If yes, are they criminal work? Are they part of your billable hours? Can transactional lawyer do litigation pro bono work?

Thank you!


Most lawyers do not do a "lot" of probono. My firm counts up to 100 hours towards billable credit, but frankly I think this is dubious. Our top pro bono billable d00ds came in with ~50 hours. Do not choose firms based on pro bono initiatives. They all have them; they're all pretty fungible; you're better off doing billable work if you can. At my firm, transactional lawyers can do litigation pro bono, but they are discouraged. Litigation pro bono is a good way to get litigation associates some actual meaningful work, and they don't want transactional basically being a tourist.

fumagalli
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby fumagalli » Thu May 12, 2011 5:50 am

I know you haven't specified the ranking of your firm, so this question would be based on the assumption that there are higher ranking firms than yours.

But even if you're at the no.1 firm in the country (Wacthell?), I'm sure there were a few firms that didn't give you an offer when you were going through OCI and callback interviews. (Also an assumption)

So, what do you think (in your case) made the difference on whether you got an offer or not? I'm sure that grades might have played a part, but from what I've heard grades and school ranking matter only up to a certain point (OCI?) and that during callback interviews it's just about.....well, I don't know.

What do you think made the difference to your acceptances and rejections?(if you had any rejections that is) Are there some things that you might have done differently? I mean not just during the interview but experiences during lawschool that might have helped you during your interveiw.

Thanks in advance!




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