Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

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Unemployed
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Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Unemployed » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:44 pm

Today, I had dinner with four 2L's from Columbia and NYU. They were a content bunch - they all got summer offers from fairly prestigious law firms (the best was a V5, the worst was a V50) through OCI/EIP. I don't know if they were just being modest, but they all claimed to be in the mushy middle. Three of them cut it really close (they only had 2 or 3 callbacks, and only one offer).

They generally agreed that at least for NYU/Columbia students with median-ish grades and serviceable interview skills, the following factors played a crucial role:

- Fluency in a foreign language (for firms with European or Asian branches): This was pretty much outcome determinative for one of them.
- Paralegal experience: Apparently this actually made a big difference. Not necessarily because it made them better lawyers, but because they have been through hell and high water, and knew exactly what they were getting into - informed attorneys are less likely to get disillusioned or burned out.
- Banking experience: For their "expertise" in transactional/securities stuff.
- Undergrad: This shouldn't surprise anyone but firms apparently like prestige, all else being equal. Top UG-T6 made some difference, or so they claim.
- 1L summer jobs involving serious litigation experience: US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, etc. were firm favorites.

Can other 2L's corroborate? I'm not sure if these guys are just making up explanations for their good fortunes/interviewing skills. Keep in mind this is all for people with "mushy middle" grades. Apparently OCI was a breeze for the top 1/3, and an impossibility for the bottom 1/3, notwithstanding these additional considerations.

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chicoalto0649
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby chicoalto0649 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:47 pm

.
Last edited by chicoalto0649 on Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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chicoalto0649
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby chicoalto0649 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:48 pm

chicoalto0649 wrote:If I'm not mistaken - I think URM status could play a minor role in hiring decisions at certain firms. I heard it might also play a role in Law School admissions decisions.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Unemployed » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:48 pm

They were all white. URM certainly matters, though.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:48 pm

I was told by a hiring partner at my V10 firm that work experience makes a HUGE difference, especially if it is in a field that has equally demanding work schedules as biglaw. I guess that equals the paralegal shout out.

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CE2JD
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

I know several people at my school who are going into IP who scored great jobs at IP boutiques with grades below median.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby jchoggan » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:25 pm

I had a buddy at GULC who landed 4 V25 callbacks and at least 1 V15 offer with median grades... selling point was 'good personality' and a summer job 'helping out' with a high-profile court case. Experience matters, I guess, considering only about a third of the 2Ls got SA offers so far.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby iwantT14 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:I was told by a hiring partner at my V10 firm that work experience makes a HUGE difference, especially if it is in a field that has equally demanding work schedules as biglaw. I guess that equals the paralegal shout out.


would 2 years at a big4 accounting firm + a CPA put u over the edge?

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RVP11
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby RVP11 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:35 pm

I would say the economy has actually made firms get choosier more on the fit/personality side than on the academic qualifications side. But yes, that's based on anecdotal evidence and what I know of one small secondary market.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby BradyToMoss » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:07 pm

iwantT14 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was told by a hiring partner at my V10 firm that work experience makes a HUGE difference, especially if it is in a field that has equally demanding work schedules as biglaw. I guess that equals the paralegal shout out.


would 2 years at a big4 accounting firm + a CPA put u over the edge?


This would be pretty beneficial, especially coming from a t6.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby superserial » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:19 pm

tag.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby awesomepossum » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:21 pm

- Fluency in a foreign language (for firms with European or Asian branches): This was pretty much outcome determinative for one of them.

*doubt it matters unless you're looking to go to those branches.

- Paralegal experience: Apparently this actually made a big difference. Not necessarily because it made them better lawyers, but because they have been through hell and high water, and knew exactly what they were getting into - informed attorneys are less likely to get disillusioned or burned out.

*doubt it matters.

- Banking experience: For their "expertise" in transactional/securities stuff.

*no idea.

- Undergrad: This shouldn't surprise anyone but firms apparently like prestige, all else being equal. Top UG-T6 made some difference, or so they claim.

*doubt it matters.

- 1L summer jobs involving serious litigation experience: US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, etc. were firm favorites.

*this could be. Having a good story to tell from 1L summer seems pretty important.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby iwantT14 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:48 pm

BradyToMoss wrote:
iwantT14 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was told by a hiring partner at my V10 firm that work experience makes a HUGE difference, especially if it is in a field that has equally demanding work schedules as biglaw. I guess that equals the paralegal shout out.


would 2 years at a big4 accounting firm + a CPA put u over the edge?


This would be pretty beneficial, especially coming from a t6.


how beneficial would it be coming from a t30?

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Tanicius » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:52 pm

- 1L summer jobs involving serious litigation experience: US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, etc. were firm favorites.


Wtf. I find it real hard to believe that a 1L internship anywhere can possibly involve "serious litigation experience," but I guess if it works to get a job, it works to get a job.

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atlantalaw
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby atlantalaw » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:05 pm

i didn't see connections listed here. i am sure they help.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:11 pm

I worked for several years for a major corporate client of a firm I am interviewing with. I was told this was a plus.

Renzo
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Renzo » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:15 pm

Tanicius wrote:
- 1L summer jobs involving serious litigation experience: US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, etc. were firm favorites.


Wtf. I find it real hard to believe that a 1L internship anywhere can possibly involve "serious litigation experience," but I guess if it works to get a job, it works to get a job.

Um... You don't think there's serious litigation going on at the US Att'ys office?

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby ZXCVBNM » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:23 pm

Renzo wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
- 1L summer jobs involving serious litigation experience: US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, etc. were firm favorites.


Wtf. I find it real hard to believe that a 1L internship anywhere can possibly involve "serious litigation experience," but I guess if it works to get a job, it works to get a job.

Um... You don't think there's serious litigation going on at the US Att'ys office?

i believe he is pointing out that 1L summer's won't have any real role in the serious litigation at the DA's office

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Merrill
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Merrill » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:31 pm

You don't think the fact that these 2Ls attended T6 schools had anything to do with hiring? I'm confused by the thread's title.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Renzo » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:31 pm

ZXCVBNM wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
- 1L summer jobs involving serious litigation experience: US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, etc. were firm favorites.


Wtf. I find it real hard to believe that a 1L internship anywhere can possibly involve "serious litigation experience," but I guess if it works to get a job, it works to get a job.

Um... You don't think there's serious litigation going on at the US Att'ys office?

i believe he is pointing out that 1L summer's won't have any real role in the serious litigation at the DA's office

Yeah, you're probably right. But that's still dumb. Of course you aren't going to be responsible for anything as an intern, and everyone knows that. But the difference in experience between a DA's office or AUSA's office would be far different than, say, working as an RA or at a policy organization.

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Tanicius
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Tanicius » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:32 pm

Renzo wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
- 1L summer jobs involving serious litigation experience: US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, etc. were firm favorites.


Wtf. I find it real hard to believe that a 1L internship anywhere can possibly involve "serious litigation experience," but I guess if it works to get a job, it works to get a job.

Um... You don't think there's serious litigation going on at the US Att'ys office?


Not as an intern there's not.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Lawl Shcool » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:33 pm

I spoke with a first year biglaw associate who came from a t30 with only top 25% grades last weekend who had an MBA + scratch golfer combo. So ITE I would definitely say fit and personality play as big of role as grades. The same number of kids each year have the grades and with less jobs available firms are going to be less willing to take a risk on someone who might not fit in. Also from a client development standpoint being a good golfer can be a big plus.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Renzo » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:35 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
- 1L summer jobs involving serious litigation experience: US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, etc. were firm favorites.


Wtf. I find it real hard to believe that a 1L internship anywhere can possibly involve "serious litigation experience," but I guess if it works to get a job, it works to get a job.

Um... You don't think there's serious litigation going on at the US Att'ys office?


Not as an intern there's not.

I'll bet an intern at an AUSA's office has more litigation experience than your average 4th year associate in a transactional practice area.

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Tanicius
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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby Tanicius » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:38 pm

ZXCVBNM wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
Wtf. I find it real hard to believe that a 1L internship anywhere can possibly involve "serious litigation experience," but I guess if it works to get a job, it works to get a job.

Um... You don't think there's serious litigation going on at the US Att'ys office?

i believe he is pointing out that 1L summer's won't have any real role in the serious litigation at the DA's office

Yeah, you're probably right. But that's still dumb. Of course you aren't going to be responsible for anything as an intern, and everyone knows that. But the difference in experience between a DA's office or AUSA's office would be far different than, say, working as an RA or at a policy organization.


That really depends on the kind of work an office allows you to do. If all you did is organize case files...

I'll bet an intern at an AUSA's office has more litigation experience than your average 4th year associate in a transactional practice area.


What kind of experience would that be? Watching discoveries? Watching trials? Being in an office while the actual attorneys discuss cases? I mean, sure, that can perhaps give you a leg up on people if you end up doing litigation because you won't necessarily be as lost as the next guy, but that kind of "experience" doesn't even take an internship. You can go down to your local courthouse and volunteer right now and end up doing the exact same stuff.
Last edited by Tanicius on Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring: Factors other than school and grades.

Postby BradyToMoss » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:39 pm

JPU wrote:I spoke with a first year biglaw associate who came from a t30 with only top 25% grades last weekend who had an MBA + scratch golfer combo. So ITE I would definitely say fit and personality play as big of role as grades. The same number of kids each year have the grades and with less jobs available firms are going to be less willing to take a risk on someone who might not fit in. Also from a client development standpoint being a good golfer can be a big plus.


I knew I should have spent more time on the links the last few summers.




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