OCI- Post mortem results?

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just a girl
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby just a girl » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:29 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:2L OCI this year dashed a lot of expectations that people had coming in to law school. The Class of 2012 was put on notice everywhere but HYS, the Class of 2011 was on notice about the risks associated with schools lower on the totem poll..


Shouldn't this be the opposite? To say that only people from HYS don't need to be worried is an overstatement to say the least. I would say that people in the class of 2012 are in a better position than in 2011, as the economy is in recovery and our OCI isn't until next August.

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RVP11
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby RVP11 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:39 pm

The 2012s are in a much better place than the 2011s, but I'd hesitate to say it's because "the economy is in recovery". It's more likely any improvement in hiring next summer will be due to the fact that firms won't be dealing with the same level of deferral backlog (if any), and things probably couldn't get any worse than this year.

I'm trying to remain optimistic (and I think I'm justified in that since I'm hoping to go from T14 -> mid-size market where I have strong ties) but my optimism is not being fed by any news about the economy. It's still pretty scary out there.

mr.undroppable
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby mr.undroppable » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:56 pm

just a girl wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:2L OCI this year dashed a lot of expectations that people had coming in to law school. The Class of 2012 was put on notice everywhere but HYS, the Class of 2011 was on notice about the risks associated with schools lower on the totem poll..


Shouldn't this be the opposite? To say that only people from HYS don't need to be worried is an overstatement to say the least. I would say that people in the class of 2012 are in a better position than in 2011, as the economy is in recovery and our OCI isn't until next August.


That is because you don't know what you are talking about. The economy might just be gearing up for a W shaped recovery with the worst yet to come, we have no idea. The dollar is incredibly weak and unemployment is still sky high. Either way, law firms don't get paid as they do work, they collect their bills a good length of time later and it would not be surprising at all to see firms who barely made it into 2009 close up shop when the banks refuse to extend their credit lines into 2010 if business hasn't picked up considerably.

I am not saying it is definitely going to get worse, but there is no guarantee things are going to be better for 2012 than they were for 2011. Next August is ten months away, that is not a lot of time. You should be prepared for the worst.

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rayiner
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby rayiner » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:07 pm

mr.undroppable wrote:
just a girl wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:2L OCI this year dashed a lot of expectations that people had coming in to law school. The Class of 2012 was put on notice everywhere but HYS, the Class of 2011 was on notice about the risks associated with schools lower on the totem poll..


Shouldn't this be the opposite? To say that only people from HYS don't need to be worried is an overstatement to say the least. I would say that people in the class of 2012 are in a better position than in 2011, as the economy is in recovery and our OCI isn't until next August.


That is because you don't know what you are talking about. The economy might just be gearing up for a W shaped recovery with the worst yet to come, we have no idea. The dollar is incredibly weak and unemployment is still sky high. Either way, law firms don't get paid as they do work, they collect their bills a good length of time later and it would not be surprising at all to see firms who barely made it into 2009 close up shop when the banks refuse to extend their credit lines into 2010 if business hasn't picked up considerably.

I am not saying it is definitely going to get worse, but there is no guarantee things are going to be better for 2012 than they were for 2011. Next August is ten months away, that is not a lot of time. You should be prepared for the worst.


If the economy isn't any worse than it is now, hiring will definitely be better. Class of 2011 didn't just have to deal with a bad economy, they had to deal with:

1) Firms that had way too many bodies.
2) Firms that had people in the pipeline for 2011 via deferrals.

Re 1: Firms shed a lot of capacity in 2008/2009. Yes, those unemployed folks are now effectively competing C/O 2012 for jobs, but 10 months is a long time to be without a job, and in any case the dynamics of competing for limited spots with people already in a firm is very different from the dynamics of competing with people who are trying to get back into the firms.

Re 2: Firms did defer a few people to 2012, but the numbers are nothing compared to the number of people who were deferred to 2011.

mr.undroppable
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby mr.undroppable » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:27 pm

rayiner wrote:If the economy isn't any worse than it is now, hiring will definitely be better. Class of 2011 didn't just have to deal with a bad economy, they had to deal with:

1) Firms that had way too many bodies.
2) Firms that had people in the pipeline for 2011 via deferrals.


I don't doubt for a second that hiring 'could' be better, it's just very far from a sure thing. Last year everyone was saying how 2011 had it better than 2010 and look what happened. All of us would benefit from a better economy, I just think the class of 2012 should be cautious in making their plans.

You are making two huge assumptions.

1) Yes, firms had too many people but that had nothing to do with the class of 2011 who are still two years away from starting work and would not be competing with mid-levels (the current junior associates who were fired) for work assignments anyway. The firms had too many people to be profitable this year. So they slashed and burned. But guess what, if profits don't turn around this year rain making partners will leave. They have no reason to stay since the business will follow them and they essentially carry the firm on their shoulders. Once partners leave for firms that were profitable this year, you're going to see non-profitable firms shutting down. It already started a little bit last year, but this is nothing new. Look at previous examples like Brobeck from the dot.com bubble. Once partner's profits go down, the big swinging dicks will leave and the firm will collapse in an instant. This is why PPP is such a huge deal and why Latham will screw first years over in an effort to keep PPP high. Firing people last year was to correct profits in the short term. So your first assumption has nothing to do with why hiring was down for the class of 2011.

2) Deferrals causing a pile-up is certainly something 2011 had to fight with. But, as we have seen with Kaye Scholer already, not every firm is going to honor those deferrals (because they simply don't have enough work for first years, which means first years are net losses to the firm, which means profits go down, partners leave, firm implodes, see above). So assuming firms are going to honor deferrals, but things stay the same, then how are they going to deal with the class of 2012? After all, Cravath is looking at around 160 first years starting in 2011, do you really think they are going to need even 45~60 more for the year 2012 unless the economy turns for the better in short order? Or is it more likely 2011 will also get deferred to avoid lay offs of first years and the awful publicity that comes with it? Any number of elite firms who are probably going to honor the deferrals will have this problem and the only way to solve it is to keep hiring down for the next several years to make up for overhiring from the classes of 2009/2010. Non-elite firms will simply not honor the deferrals rendering your point moot because those deferrals were not the reason 2011 suffered, the firms were just not profitable in this economy to begin with and if this economy doesn't get better they will not become profitable in time to help 2012.

If the economy gets better, 2012 will be golden. If things stay the same then the jury is out on how next year's OCI will be other than the obvious advantage that 2012 will be able to better pick which firms to target based off 2011's results.

adamlippes
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:37 pm

If the economy gets better, 2012 will be golden. If things stay the same then the jury is out on how next year's OCI will be other than the obvious advantage that 2012 will be able to better pick which firms to target based off 2011's results.


Excellent, excellent post.

And I really don't think the economy is recovering.

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rayiner
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby rayiner » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:53 pm

Your first point doesn't make any sense. If rainmakers move from one firm to another and bring their work along with them, then the number of associates needed doesn't change, it just moves around. Smaller firms collapse while other firms get bigger. As for the necessity of firing people last year, you don't even need to bring PPP into it --- firms had a 10% drop in demand and needed to cut capacity. You don't see why that directly impacts their need to hire people from C/O 2011?

Your second point doesn't make much sense either, particularly:

After all, Cravath is looking at around 160 first years starting in 2011, do you really think they are going to need even 45~60 more for the year 2012 unless the economy turns for the better in short order? Or is it more likely 2011 will also get deferred to avoid lay offs of first years and the awful publicity that comes with it?


It makes no sense for firms to hire a bunch of SAs from C/O 2011 then defer them. Why spend that money on recruiting, salaries, etc? I mean I suppose it could happen if firms were too optimistic for 2009 OCI --- hiring people in hopes of a quick economic turnaround by 2011, but after over-hiring in 2008, why on earth would firms act optimistically?

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying 2010 OCI will be great. There might be little to no economic growth, and growth is one of the things that fuels hiring. However, little to no growth is a lot better than a 10% decline, which is what C/O 2011 faced. Also, the omnipresent threat of a W-shaped recovery always exists...

adamlippes
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:13 pm

If rainmakers move from one firm to another and bring their work along with them, then the number of associates needed doesn't change, it just moves arou


Who says they're moving to another firm, or even a firm with the same hiring needs?

The big question is not whether "there are too many leftover bodies." It's a corollary to an even bigger question: Will there be work for the class of 2012?

With work being just enough to allow some of the class of 09 to work, some of the class of 10, and some of the class of 11 to work, and barely enough at that, how will firms have work for the class of 2012?

There are numerous ways. One is... well, they don't have to hire. Another is, well... they can continue to do lay-offs. Neither of these outcomes really translate into 2010 hiring being better than 2009.

mr.undroppable
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby mr.undroppable » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:22 pm

rayiner wrote:As for the necessity of firing people last year, you don't even need to bring PPP into it --- firms had a 10% drop in demand and needed to cut capacity. You don't see why that directly impacts their need to hire people from C/O 2011?


No I don't. While the cutting was going on this year, the very last thing the firms were concerned about was hiring from the class of 2011. You are underestimating how important each year's PPP are to the big players. Cutting mid levels in 2008/2009 has nothing to do with hiring first years for 2011. Even if they were all at the same firm working together in two years they would be doing different jobs anyway. They were cutting people to get PPP up this year. If hiring is down for 2011 it means they do not forecast having enough work for more than X number of associates to be profitable in 2011. Why would 'X' change for 2012 if the economy stays the same over the next ten months? You are going to counter with the deferrals argument:

rayiner wrote:It makes no sense for firms to hire a bunch of SAs from C/O 2011 then defer them. Why spend that money on recruiting, salaries, etc? I mean I suppose it could happen if firms were too optimistic for 2009 OCI --- hiring people in hopes of a quick economic turnaround by 2011, but after over-hiring in 2008, why on earth would firms act optimistically?


It makes no sense for firms to hire a bunch of SAs from C/O 2010 then defer them. Why spend that money on recruiting, salaries, etc? I mean, I suppose it could happen if firms were too optimistic for 2008 OCI --- hiring people in hopes of a quick economic turnaround by 2010, but after over-hiring in 2007, why on earth would firms act optimistically? (see what I did there? Don't forget, the writing was on the wall loooong before the class of 2010 OCI. If these people were fantastic forecasters they wouldn't be stuck in their law firms, other than a few who actually love biglaw work, they would have jumped ship long ago for more money/same hours in banking)

The premise of your argument was that if the economy stays the same over the next ten months that C/O 2012 will have it better than 2011. I am merely proposing that that may not necessarily be true and that current 1Ls should have back-up plans to big-law in case things don't work out.

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Wahoo1L
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Wahoo1L » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:25 pm

mr.undroppable wrote:I don't doubt for a second that hiring 'could' be better, it's just very far from a sure thing. Last year everyone was saying how 2011 had it better than 2010 and look what happened. All of us would benefit from a better economy, I just think the class of 2012 should be cautious in making their plans.


Who said that? It seemed to me that the consensus was that the c/o 2010 had a much easier time getting a summer associate position but these students were more at risk of being no-offered, and that the c/o 2011 would have a harder time getting a summer associate position but that those who received a summer associate position were less likely to be no-offered than the c/o 2010. All of these things seem to be true given that (1) the c/o 2010 had more summers than c/o 2011 will have, (2) there were quite a few no-offers this past year, and (3) 2009 OCI was a particularly bad.

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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Oblomov » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:31 pm

mr.undroppable wrote:It makes no sense for firms to hire a bunch of SAs from C/O 2010 then defer them. . .

The premise of your argument was that if the economy stays the same over the next ten months that C/O 2012 will have it better than 2011. I am merely proposing that that may not necessarily be true and that current 1Ls should have back-up plans to big-law in case things don't work out.


Funny then that this is exactly what a lot of firms did. Just because something doesn't make sense on a balance sheet doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense from an overall business perspective. And it is exactly because of the c/o 2009 and 2010 deferrals that 2012 stands in a much better position than 2011, even without significant improvements in the market. By 2012, much of the backlog of incoming associates will have been cleared away. To misquote the words of the anti-AA trolls "Dez (2010) takin our jobz!"

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nealric
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby nealric » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:58 pm

To misquote the words of the anti-AA trolls "Dez (2010) takin our jobz!"


Yeah, I'm pretty sure I would be jobless if I were c/o 2011.

Sorry bout that.

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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:01 pm

More than likely, yes, 2012 is going to do better than 2011. Being in a better position than the C/O 2011 doesn't mean jack squat. The point is that the C/O 2012 is not going to be in anywhere near as good a position as the C/O 2004-08 (notwithstanding the layoffs associates in those classes have been hit with.) The Biglaw hiring model isn't going to get back to where it was in those years, even if the economy recovers in full tomorrow, for quite a long time (if ever). Those years are what allowed the idea of a T14 degree as a golden ticket for nearly everyone enrolled, even at full tuition.

That is what the C/O 2012 was on notice about.

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rayiner
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:15 am

mr.undroppable wrote:If hiring is down for 2011 it means they do not forecast having enough work for more than X number of associates to be profitable in 2011. Why would 'X' change for 2012 if the economy stays the same over the next ten months?


I don't think that sentence is completely correct. First, firm forecasts are heavily predicated on recent economic behavior. Those forecasts are going to be more conservative after a year that saw a 10% drop in demand than after a flat year. Second, C/O 2011 will need to be paid in 2010 for their SAs, and the cost of recruiting has to be paid immediately. Firms are coming off precarious cash-flow positions in 2009 that will ease somewhat (or at least become more certain) in 2010.

It makes no sense for firms to hire a bunch of SAs from C/O 2010 then defer them. Why spend that money on recruiting, salaries, etc? I mean, I suppose it could happen if firms were too optimistic for 2008 OCI --- hiring people in hopes of a quick economic turnaround by 2010, but after over-hiring in 2007, why on earth would firms act optimistically? (see what I did there? Don't forget, the writing was on the wall loooong before the class of 2010 OCI.


Yep, all that "writing on the wall" that caused all those fancy IB folks to predict the stock market crash...

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=%5ED ... t3:symbol=^dji;range=5y;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

Do you really need to ask why firms over-hired in 2008 OCI, and are you seriously contending that anybody contemplated that they had over-hired in 2007?

The point is that the C/O 2012 is not going to be in anywhere near as good a position as the C/O 2004-08 (notwithstanding the layoffs associates in those classes have been hit with.)


Don't disagree with the general point, but minor niggle. C/O 2004 had it very rough --- they did OCI right after the second second market drop in the last recession. NLJ250 growth was way down that year, and the associate count actually shrank.

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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby FrankReynolds » Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:25 pm

The 2012s are in a much better place than the 2011s, but I'd hesitate to say it's because "the economy is in recovery".


Pure speculation, idiocy, and ignorance. No one knows how 2012s will do--not hiring partners, not HR, and certainly not you. Ever since the downturn pretty much every top law firm has been scrambling to figure out what to do, and will continue to do so. Just because there are good signs of recovery (lots of IPOs and M&A activity pending), doesn't mean there won't be a pseudo-bubble that crashes before next fall. The economic recovery just may never last long enough to cause firms to increase hiring.

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rayiner
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:28 pm

FrankReynolds wrote:
The 2012s are in a much better place than the 2011s, but I'd hesitate to say it's because "the economy is in recovery".


Just because there are good signs of recovery (lots of IPOs and M&A activity pending), doesn't mean there won't be a pseudo-bubble that crashes before next fall. The economic recovery just may never last long enough to cause firms to increase hiring.


Yep. I think the prospect of a W-shaped recovery is the bigger concern for 2012.

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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:44 pm

FrankReynolds wrote:
The 2012s are in a much better place than the 2011s, but I'd hesitate to say it's because "the economy is in recovery".


Pure speculation, idiocy, and ignorance. No one knows how 2012s will do--not hiring partners, not HR, and certainly not you. Ever since the downturn pretty much every top law firm has been scrambling to figure out what to do, and will continue to do so. Just because there are good signs of recovery (lots of IPOs and M&A activity pending), doesn't mean there won't be a pseudo-bubble that crashes before next fall. The economic recovery just may never last long enough to cause firms to increase hiring.


Correct.

There's no point in speculating until at least May of next year.

Best a 1L can do:
1) Realize the situation is completely out of their hands. Best way to ensure success at 2010 OCI: Get the best grades you can.
2) Once grades are in hand, use stats from this year to bid/interview intelligently for 2010 OCI.
3) Get to know as many recruiting/hiring people as you can. Attend those networking events.
4) Understand how firms work.
5) If you suck at being social, learn to socialize.

FrankReynolds
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby FrankReynolds » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:16 pm

4) Understand how firms work.
5) If you suck at being social, learn to socialize.


This is key. While you don't want to be asking the interviewer about their culture during OCI, you do want to get a feel for it by speaking to firms before OCI, or in their HR suites during OCI. Sure sometimes you will get an interviewer that is an oddball, but you can't really control that. Just try to get a feeling for what type of candidates each firm wants, and bid/research selectively. If you came straight from undergrad, this will be hard, and you will need even better grades.

And you don't really need to be social as in an extrovert. You can be an introvert yet still interview well and have enthusiasm.

adamlippes
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:22 pm

And you don't really need to be social as in an extrovert. You can be an introvert yet still interview well and have enthusiasm.


Yeah, I mean don't be socially awkward during the interview and don't be a douchebag.

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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby keg411 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 4:16 pm

rayiner wrote:
FrankReynolds wrote:
The 2012s are in a much better place than the 2011s, but I'd hesitate to say it's because "the economy is in recovery".


Just because there are good signs of recovery (lots of IPOs and M&A activity pending), doesn't mean there won't be a pseudo-bubble that crashes before next fall. The economic recovery just may never last long enough to cause firms to increase hiring.


Yep. I think the prospect of a W-shaped recovery is the bigger concern for 2012.


What the c/o of 2012 needs to watch is the firm movement. Part of the reason for the backlog was that because of the economy, 3rd/4th year attorneys with no chance of making partner who typically left the firms weren't leaving. The work dwindled and firms had to both cut their staffs and 2L hiring (leading to the the deferrals, the no-offers, and eventually this past year's OCI). If lateraling picks up again, then the c/o 2012 will be in much better shape. If it doesn't, some of the same issues may continue.

FWIW, my dad is an attorney and said he was noticing movement again among lawyers that hadn't been laid off and that was a good sign. Who knows if it will continue, but at the very least, there should be some optimism that it's at least starting again.

adamlippes
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Sat Oct 31, 2009 4:23 pm

rd/4th year attorneys with no chance of making partner who typically left the firms weren't leaving. The work dwindled and firms had to both cut their staffs and 2L hiring (leading to the the deferrals, the no-offers, and eventually this past year's OCI). If lateraling picks up again, then the c/o 2012 will be in much better shape. If it doesn't, some of the same issues may continue.


The layoffs have gone beyond mere forced attrition.

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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby M51 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:52 am

adamlippes wrote:
rd/4th year attorneys with no chance of making partner who typically left the firms weren't leaving. The work dwindled and firms had to both cut their staffs and 2L hiring (leading to the the deferrals, the no-offers, and eventually this past year's OCI). If lateraling picks up again, then the c/o 2012 will be in much better shape. If it doesn't, some of the same issues may continue.


The layoffs have gone beyond mere forced attrition.


This is only true at a minority of firms. If you start counting, the % of V100 who have done layoffs in #s that exceed typical attrition rates is very small, certainly not industry-wide.
I've also noticed that in your examples from earlier you used two extreme outliers to make your point, Latham and Cravath. While these giants do affect legal hiring by themselves, their #s, %s, and policy do not reflect the overall industry's, and will not have a huge effect on hiring trends/needs next year.

Unless the economy actually gets sig worse, next year's OCI will be less brutal just because the deferral factor will be removed for a % of firms. If you conceed that things won't get worse (aka: complete shift in hiring system), then it is only logical to conclude that with the removal of one major factor dampening hiring needs last OCI, things will be better next year... regardless of whether there is a sig economic recovery.

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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Miracle » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:02 am

helfer snooterbagon wrote:I don't think you are going to get very accurate results here. First, no-one really has a good idea as to how their school faired. They can ask their friends but that is it. Second, I think people will be far more likely to post their good stories on here rather than bad ones. There will be some who talk about not getting an offer, callback etc., but mostly we will hear from those who did.


Clearly this is not accurate statement because all of the people we heard from so far have nothing but negative news to share.

Anonymous User
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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:lower T14. I don't know specific numbers, but anecdotally:

I was slightly below top 1/3 and on secondary journal; got no callbacks from OCI, got 2 callbacks from mailing campaign, got rejected by both. I contacted a small firm I worked for before, and might be able to work there again this summer for $12/hour.

I know at least 4 people on law review who got NO callbacks. There may be more.

I talked to the guy who won our in-house moot court competition, is in the top 10%, is on law review, and is widely ridiculed for being the biggest gunner in the school. He said he got 5 callbacks, but 4 rejected him and one hasn't gotten back to him yet.

I know just a couple of people who have jobs lined up, or are still selecting from multiple offers--they're definitely in the minority, and at least one of them has been a little bitchy about it socially, sticking it in classmates faces and the like.


$12 hour? What exactly were you doing? What position were you holding?

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Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:34 am

M51 wrote:
adamlippes wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At my HYS, the one thing that really stuck out in my mind this OCI was that people who had previous private-sector work experience had a major boost in callback rates & offer rates over those who a) came straight through from UG or b) had demonstrated significant interest in public interest. Even a year or two in ibanking/consulting was something lots of recruiting lawyers latched onto during interviews.


At get the same impression from my school.

If you don't have meaningful work experience, you better have unbelievable grades or be an URM because otherwise you're SOL ITE.


Went straight from undergrad, had so-so grades, am not a URM (and am not on a journal), and I'll be at a V10 this summer...


Yeah, I'm sure work exp is a good soft, but there're plenty of people with stories like that that I know it's not workexp/grades/URM. The "they like you" factor, or "fit", plays a much bigger role than people give it credit for.


Of course it plays a big role. I'm amazed by how many people think just because they have T14 Law Degree that they will be offered a job with V1-5 Law Firm.

You might have that T14 Law Degree but by the end of the day it will still come down to personality characteristics. If the person giving interview doesn't feel your personality is best fit for their company good luck, because at the end of the day they will be spending their life with you, and why would they hire someone they don't like. Would they pass on someone that they see themselves with hanging out after work from UCLA, on someone from Columbia who they know they will not sit down with to have lunch just because that person comes from Columbia. Give me a break! Both of the individuals can be trained and produce the same result.




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