Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

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Should t14 schools allow employers to pre-screen next year

Yes
30
53%
No
10
18%
I'm not sure, but leaning towards yes
12
21%
I'm not sure, but leaning towards no
5
9%
 
Total votes: 57

FrankReynolds
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Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby FrankReynolds » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:02 pm

Pre-screening is a process that would allow employers access to your resume and transcripts instead of a blind signup for interviews. If top schools allow pre screening next year, less students would attend interviews where they had no chance at a job.

Many students and employers I have talked to seem to agree that the method used during early interview week that disallows pre-screening at top schools is not ideal for students OR firms in this economy.

Because this is one thing that schools actually have the power to change, I would like to know what others think of this idea.

Please comment regardless of how you vote, as it may change my proposal to Career Services for next year.

[disclaimer: I have an offer, so I am not doing this out of anger towards the economy/school/etc, but I want to hear both from people with offers and without!]

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Dead Ringer
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby Dead Ringer » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:23 pm

Please forgive my ignorance on this matter, but if they pre-screen would it in most schools result in fewer interviews? I think a great idea would be to have an elongated pre-screening process so if an interview is not granted the student has a chance to put in a bid for another firm.

Rounds of prescreening and re-bidding wouldn't need to continue indefinitely (I think even two rounds would be fine), I just think you would want to avoid a potential disaster like having a student get next to no interviews should firms really tighten up their standards in a given year.

FrankReynolds
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby FrankReynolds » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:31 pm

students would probably have less interviews, but my assumption is that most of the lost interviews would be longshots or noshots....students could have more time to prep for interviews that had a reasonable chance of, and more spots open to "safety" firms(safety firms probably don;t even exist anymore, but since everyone seems to overshoot...)

I just think you would want to avoid a potential disaster like having a student get next to no interviews should firms really tighten up their standards in a given year.

This is definitely what schools will be afraid of, but this year there are many students at T14 with ZERO callbacks. If there are a bunch of students who get nothing at all from EIW, perhaps something should be changed.

I do like your idea about multiple rounds of bidding tho...Even just having 2 rounds might be a great idea, especially if the first round was set up so no one got more than 5 interviews, guaranteeing many spots for a second round process.

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thesealocust
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:02 pm

The way I've read it is as follows:

Pre-screening: Benefits top students. If every employer has 40 slots, there's a strong chance that they'll (more or less) take the top 40 students. Hurts bottom students w/ no chance.

Lottery: Benefits students near the middle of the pack, can hurt the top of the class who would otherwise be getting more interviews. Still hurts bottom students w/ no chance.

UVA is interesting because it actually just did a little switch - last year we were (please forgive me if I'm wrong) 2/3 pre-selected and 1/3 lottery selected. This year it was 50-50. (ie a firm conducting 40 interviews picked 20 pre-selects then took 20 lottery picks). As a 1L and wholly ignorant to how it's A) working now or B) worked in the past, I can't be sure what effect it has had - but it's at least a nice little laboratory for your hypothesis.

Anonymous User
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:03 pm

What's the point? If you aren't qualified they are going to employ you anyway.

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thesealocust
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the point? If you aren't qualified they are going to employ you anyway.


Think of it this way:

Average Top Law School has 300 law students (which comically almost none of them do, they tend to cluster closer to 400 or 200... but I digress...). That means 30 are in the top 10%, 75 are in the top 25%, and 150 are in the top half.

Approx. 1 bazillion law firms show up, but being human are conducting no more than, say, 60 (total wild 1L guess) interviews.

If it's pre-selected, you can see how the same 30 people are - barring major snafus - going to get every interview to which they apply. There is some degree of egalitarian justification to that policy, no doubt.

The problem is that each person can only accept 1 offer, so granting 30 interviews to the best candidates could be counter-productive for the goals of the class as the whole.

Under a rational lottery, the result isn't as counter-productive as you might first think. First, there should be data availible so that people aren't wasting time on real hail-marys. Second, the interviews are typically a lottery that is BASED on rank preference order of interviews. Which means that if a student below median at Average Top Law School really wants to interview with Cravath, he'll have to give up a top interview slot at a firm that would be more likely to hire him/her. Especially ITE, the focus will likely shift to survival - ie getting a job at all, not trying to wow an interviewer into a grade-ignoring stupor. Thus if the student population is 1) informed and 2) rationally self interested, the lottery system can work to more evenly distribute interviews amongst the class because people WON'T be walking like lambs into the slaughter places where they won't be getting callbacks.

The real determining factor in what system makes sense, I believe, are the numbers. # of students VS. # of interviewing firms VS. #avg. number of interviews granted by each firm VS. some rudimentary analysis of what order of magnitude # of interviews from firm X will turn into CBs/offers. That 4th factor is A) hard to figure out and B) clutch - because a firm that interviews 60 with hopes to hire 1-2 is markedly different than a firm that interviews 30 with a hope to hire 5-6.

/ignorant 1L procrastinating from reading civ pro

silveri
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby silveri » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:26 pm

No pre-screening. Anything that would make the first two semesters of law school an even larger determinant of the arc of one's legal career is plain stupid.

Besides, any top student who wants an interview can obtain one outside of the OCI process by sending a resume and a cover letter and going in to the office. Many have also had success by requesting an additional interview on when the employer is already on campus.

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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:29 pm

From what I've seen this year, a lack of pre-screening is just a complete waste of time for employers and students alike. If an employer isn't even going to consider you because of your grades, then you shouldn't have to waste your time waving your arms around and pretending that the interview matters.

silveri
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby silveri » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:From what I've seen this year, a lack of pre-screening is just a complete waste of time for employers and students alike. If an employer isn't even going to consider you because of your grades, then you shouldn't have to waste your time waving your arms around and pretending that the interview matters.


This is a non-problem if firms provide accurate grade cut-offs and hiring criteria and students take the time to actually read it.

I have a hard time feeling sorry for anybody who chooses to waste bids on firms with posted hiring criteria they do not meet.

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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:41 pm

silveri wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From what I've seen this year, a lack of pre-screening is just a complete waste of time for employers and students alike. If an employer isn't even going to consider you because of your grades, then you shouldn't have to waste your time waving your arms around and pretending that the interview matters.


This is a non-problem if firms provide accurate grade cut-offs and hiring criteria and students take the time to actually read it.

I have a hard time feeling sorry for anybody who chooses to waste bids on firms with posted hiring criteria they do not meet.

This is where we fail. From what I could tell, only two firms actually stated their grade cut-offs in my OCI.

silveri
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby silveri » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
silveri wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From what I've seen this year, a lack of pre-screening is just a complete waste of time for employers and students alike. If an employer isn't even going to consider you because of your grades, then you shouldn't have to waste your time waving your arms around and pretending that the interview matters.


This is a non-problem if firms provide accurate grade cut-offs and hiring criteria and students take the time to actually read it.

I have a hard time feeling sorry for anybody who chooses to waste bids on firms with posted hiring criteria they do not meet.

This is where we fail. From what I could tell, only two firms actually stated their grade cut-offs in my OCI.


Then the suggestion I would make for improvements to OCI is for firms to require firms to transparently state their hiring guidelines. That is how it was done at my school and it seemed to work fine.

FrankReynolds
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby FrankReynolds » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:51 pm

This is a non-problem if firms provide accurate grade cut-offs and hiring criteria and students take the time to actually read it.
I have a hard time feeling sorry for anybody who chooses to waste bids on firms with posted hiring criteria they do not meet.


This is pretty much never going to happen, mostly because of the diversity issue. Even firms with cuttofs that are generally known to students will dip for URMs. Unfortunately I think the touchy aspect of that issue will cause firms to never post GPA cutoffs.

Also, many people are bringing up the fact that top students will get all the interviews. I think schools can prevent that by 2 rounds of bidding and a maximum number of interviews obtained through bidding/screening. Sure, a firm could always still contact you outside of EIW if they wanted, but the signaling affect of a firm not bagging a student they wanted because they student bid low for them would probably stop that from happening. And I am not sure if it would be worse than top students hoarding callbacks at their supersafety firms.

Anonymous User
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:05 pm

silveri wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
silveri wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From what I've seen this year, a lack of pre-screening is just a complete waste of time for employers and students alike. If an employer isn't even going to consider you because of your grades, then you shouldn't have to waste your time waving your arms around and pretending that the interview matters.


This is a non-problem if firms provide accurate grade cut-offs and hiring criteria and students take the time to actually read it.

I have a hard time feeling sorry for anybody who chooses to waste bids on firms with posted hiring criteria they do not meet.

This is where we fail. From what I could tell, only two firms actually stated their grade cut-offs in my OCI.


Then the suggestion I would make for improvements to OCI is for firms to require firms to transparently state their hiring guidelines. That is how it was done at my school and it seemed to work fine.


Even if firms don't do this, there is plenty of historical information (if not from your school, you can usually find it for peer schools if you ask around) as well as stuff on the internet. As much as xoxo is maligned, there is a lot of great info on there about lottery bidding strategy. There was even what turned out to be sort of accurate advice about how to adjust for ITE (adjust downward plus bid widely).

I really don't think you guys realize how much preselection stratifies the class. I actually transferred out of a T30 in part to take advantage of the lottery system. I was not in the top 10% or on law review, so that would have automatically shut me out of even a screening interview with any decent firms from my old school. Seriously, people, even shitty insurance defense firms fill up their schedules with top 10% and LR people with preselection, leaving everyone else with very little. In the end, I got callbacks with firms that wouldn't have EVER preselected me from my old school (V20). I don't think that this is really attributable to the transfer, either, since it seems this year that transferring is a liability more than an asset.

And really, this is where lottery systems benefits people: Interviewing with places where you might be borderline gives you a chance to minimize what firms would see as negatives when they only have a resume to go on, and emphasize strengths.

As a final note, it's untrue that students won't "waste their time" with preselection, because the assumption that preselection indicates a firm's interest is wrong. Schools usually require a firm to interview a certain number of kids to participate in OCI, so they have to pick that many resumes even if they only have interest in two people. You don't really have any better chance at a callback, and really, your chances may be worse because of the 10 LR kids they picked (as opposed to maybe having the best grades out of 20 people who bid in a lottery system even if you're not at the top of your class).

FrankReynolds
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby FrankReynolds » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:29 pm

I actually transferred out of a T30 in part to take advantage of the lottery system. I was not in the top 10% or on law review, so that would have automatically shut me out of even a screening interview with any decent firms


FWIW, I asked about T14 schools in particular, but I admit I don't know much about how this plays out at lower T14s either--maybe its similar to T30?

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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:35 pm

FrankReynolds wrote:
I actually transferred out of a T30 in part to take advantage of the lottery system. I was not in the top 10% or on law review, so that would have automatically shut me out of even a screening interview with any decent firms


FWIW, I asked about T14 schools in particular, but I admit I don't know much about how this plays out at lower T14s either--maybe its similar to T30?


Why would you think, especially ITE, that it would play out any differently at any T14 save maybe HYS (although reports from H at least make it look like they'd have the same problem)? Just lower the grade cutoff a bit, maybe allow simply for journal participation rather than flagship LR, and you have the same phenomenon. That seems to be pretty much what happened at UVA this year. And as bad as Mich and Penn's OCI were, UVA's looked like a total massacre comparatively (granted, that might have to do with their focus on the DC market).

The point is, the T30 had relatively good placement before ITE, and pre-screening ended up hurting the students more than helping them this year.

FrankReynolds
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby FrankReynolds » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:07 pm

Why would you think, especially ITE, that it would play out any differently at any T14 save maybe HY


Because I attend a school in CCN, and most students that I spoke to agreed that they would have preferred pre-screening ITE.

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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:52 pm

FrankReynolds wrote:
Why would you think, especially ITE, that it would play out any differently at any T14 save maybe HY


Because I attend a school in CCN, and most students that I spoke to agreed that they would have preferred pre-screening ITE.


Uh, that didn't answer the question at all. Just because you guys would prefer pre-screening doesn't mean that all of those things I said above would have been different for CCN and you all would be immune to the drawbacks of prescreening just because you're T6 instead of T14 or whatever the fuck. Grass is always greener I guess :roll:

The point is that pre-screening will magnify the effect of grade/journal cutoffs at any school where they matter for getting Biglaw (leaving aside the fact that grades mattered pre-ITE to an extent; this year it seems like there's a sharper drop). From what I know about how CCN's OCI turned out, grades and journal mattered there this year. I only pointed out the comparison of MVP results because they're peer schools and usually have similar OCI outcomes for their students.

FrankReynolds
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby FrankReynolds » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:07 am

Of course there are still drawbacks. But at CCN, I do not know anyone on law review with no offer, but I know plenty of people on law review who interviewed at a ton of safety firms, and accepted callbacks. Of course everything is hypothetical, but I just think there has to be some method better than what we have now.

---why---
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby ---why--- » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:59 am

I feel very strongly about this. Not only will it help top students, it will help everyone. Yes, firms stating hiring criteria would be better, but that isn't happening.

The people in the middle of the pack this year at t-14s wasted TONS of interviews with firms that they had no shot at. I'm not talking about t-10 firms either. The people in the middle of the class are the ones that need to make their interviews count. They need to research those 5-10 (or 2-3) firms (rather than 30) and nail the interview. Who cares if top kids get more interviews? I would rather have two interviews with firms I know I have a shot at than 30 with 28 where I dont meet their criteria. Interviewing isn't exactly a ball of fun....And for those who don't have the grades to get any callbacks - who cares? I would rather save my time and effort being told that ahead of time rather than wasting two weeks of my life.

Plus, this whole idea that "if I just get the interview and am really impressive I will get a callback." No. Not happening. No chance. If you don't have the grades, you are wasting everyone's time.

Literally, the only reason NOT to have pre-screening is so that the schools can put up an illusion that people have chances at certain jobs. I literally see no drawbacks...

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Dead Ringer
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby Dead Ringer » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:42 am

Again before speaking I would like to state that I am not totally familiar with the merits of both systems. That said, I think pre-screening at a t-6 would be a great idea if it has some safeguards. The re-bidding thing I proposed (second post) would have another attractive feature in that after the first round of bidding you would be able to tailor further bids around GPA cut-offs that would be made visible by the first round. Now you have to kind of guess what the cut-offs are for firms from looking at a previous years hiring data (I know they make this available at my school, not sure about everywhere). Still, ITE last years data might not be very helpful (it sure wasn't this year I bet) so the ability to react immediately to changes would be really great.

I may be dreaming here but it sure would seem like a great system for both students and employers and it would reduce costs for the firms.

raveler
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Re: Poll for no pre-screening at T14's ITE

Postby raveler » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:00 am

FrankReynolds wrote:Of course there are still drawbacks. But at CCN, I do not know anyone on law review with no offer, but I know plenty of people on law review who interviewed at a ton of safety firms, and accepted callbacks. Of course everything is hypothetical, but I just think there has to be some method better than what we have now.


How the hell do you think prescreening will prevent people from interviewing with safety firms? That's the whole point: people still bid on safety firms in droves, but under a lottery system you at least have a shot at getting a screening interview at an appropriate firm, and the number of top applicants will be more limited. With prescreening you get a schedule full of employer-chosen LR types everywhere, particularly ITE when firms believe they can get them.

And again, people: Being prescreened DOES NOT MEAN A FIRM IS INTERESTED IN YOU. It doesn't improve callback ratios (hello, UVA); it just means that the firm had to fill up their schedule with a certain number of people, from which they'll choose the same (low) number of callbacks. Your screening interview pool is in fact more competitive under this system because of all the top applicants the firm has put on their schedule.

Look, people, the problem isn't the lottery, the problem is the economy plus your credentials. Prescreening isn't going to make firms any more interested in a median kid without journal -- a lot of firms seem to be operating under a plan of "Let's see if we can pick up a 4.0/LR, but otherwise we don't really need anyone." The only thing that will happen is that you'll have fewer interviews, which is really shooting yourself in the foot because like I said, those interviews are not more worthwhile. The only way to prevent this phenomenon really is to tell the top kids that they can't bid on "safeties" -but that's totally unworkable.




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