UChi Students & Alumni Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
saraea
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby saraea » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:51 pm

Hey, "Naclam" - I got your PM but I can't reply to it because you aren't set up to accept PMs. If you send me your email address I will just reply directly to that. Didn't want you to think I was ignoring you!

JDeezy
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby JDeezy » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:48 pm

if goals are chicago transactional big law, and would take any chi firm over any othe firm:

At what grade range will you be comfortable that you'll get SOMETHING in Chicago. Solid ties.

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bearsfan23
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby bearsfan23 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:10 pm

JDeezy wrote:if goals are chicago transactional big law, and would take any chi firm over any othe firm:

At what grade range will you be comfortable that you'll get SOMETHING in Chicago. Solid ties.


Based on my OCI experience this past summer, I'm not sure you should feel comfortable getting Chicago BigLaw, no matter what your grades are. Obviously if you have LR-level grades, you are pretty much a lock, but there are just so many other variables with Chicago hiring, esp since the Chicago legal market is comparatively small/highly comptetive.

You can definitely get Chicago BigLaw even from the bottom of the class, and you can definitely strike out on Chicago even if you are well above median. The better your grades are, the better you should feel (mainly b/c the Chicago firms with the largest classes: Sidley, Kirkland, Mayer, etc) are also pretty grade selective. Then again, you can get CBs/offers from smaller firms with much lesser grades, but they also hire far fewer people.

I'm not sure if that helps, but I guess in general (as plenty of other people have said in this thread and in our OCI threads), its certainly fine to focus on Chicago, but unless you have LR grades, I wouldn't feel comfortable ONLY bidding/applying to Chicago firms.

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Crowing
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Crowing » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:40 pm

JDeezy wrote:if goals are chicago transactional big law, and would take any chi firm over any othe firm:

At what grade range will you be comfortable that you'll get SOMETHING in Chicago. Solid ties.


The problem is that you are really looking only at maybe 5 firms that make a significant amount of offers. I would say if you have strong ties, are a good interviewer (not self-perceived; been told by professionals), and have 179+ or so, you can feel pretty confident you'll land something.

But I would also bid NY anyway.

Feel free to PM me if you want more details, as I can offer plenty of more personal information in this regard if you're interested.

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:42 pm

JDeezy wrote:if goals are chicago transactional big law, and would take any chi firm over any othe firm:

At what grade range will you be comfortable that you'll get SOMETHING in Chicago. Solid ties.

I wouldn't feel super confident until ~179ish there just aren't that many firm spots in the Chicago market and if you have an off day at one or several of the like 6 firms with large summer classes it becomes much more of a crapshoot.

Statistically it works out for most everyone who is hellbent on Chicago regardless of where their GPA falls, but it is often a stressful ride getting there and you may only be choosing between 1 or 2 firms.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:06 pm

I think 178-179 still leaves you with a pretty ok chance. Kirkland has a 178 cutoff, and I imagine that firms like Sidley, Mayer, Skadden, Latham have similar grade standards even if they don't have any strict cutoff. Barack Ferrazzano is probably a lot more grade selective, now that I think of it.

The difficult thing, as others have said, is distinguishing yourself once you're in the door, as grades are definitely not the only thing Chicago firms can be choosy about. Simply because you're above a grade cutoff doesn't mean you're guaranteed a callback. So if you're around this level it's really helpful to have good work experience, personality, interview skills, and/or a solid "why transactional?" answer. A lot of UChicago's Kirkland and Sidley classes are gonna be made up of LR folks, so the lower your grades, the more imperative it is that you bid NYC as a backup, practice interviewing, and do the right research/networking during the summer prior to OCI. But I guess that advice applies to almost everyone.

If you're at or below median, then I would probably try to focus on firms like Pircher, Chapman, Schiff, Baker, Foley, Katten(?), etc. The problem with these firms is that their class sizes are ridiculously small and they aren't as likely to do transactional work. That's why it's so risky bidding solely Chicago. The transactional opportunities for people around median are just so much better in NYC.

People can PM me if they want, too.

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skers
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby skers » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:24 pm

Everyone should just keep in mind to bid NY.

gchatbrah
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby gchatbrah » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:51 pm

No one should feel 100% "safe" only bidding Chicago. Sliding scale of safety from median on up to LR-level grades. 178 Kirkland cutoff is a soft cutoff, not hard.

Bid NY to be safe. Seriously. It's easy to do so, and you'll have plenty of extra slots anyway. There's really nothing to be gained by only bidding Chicago anyway -- you can (and should) massage the truth when firms ask you where else you're looking.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby beepboopbeep » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:07 pm

I didn't bid Chicago at all, but a couple of semi-relevant tidbits:

- Other than NY, it is actually fairly hard to fill a bidlist with one region. There are not that many Chicago firms with decent-sized classes. There are not that many SF/Bay firms period. I think most of the 2Ls/3Ls here probably know at least one person who gambled on a non-NYC market and lost. This should really scare you if you are planning on not bidding NYC.

- It is really easy to be truth-flexible about which markets you're bidding, and I would highly advise doing so. It's possible to go on CBs in 4+ markets none of which you have ties to. I wouldn't really recommend targeting that many without snowflake grades, but the point is firms have no idea where all else you are looking except to the degree that you tell them (unless you're interviewing with multiple offices of the same firm).

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:12 pm

I think the 2L's were way more risk-adverse than they needed to be. Definitely bid NY, but keep in mind other markets. For example, L.A. is strangely underbid, considering it's not that difficult to get. I think OCS probably has no/little experience with that market and tells people to stay away.

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skers
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby skers » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:50 am

WheninLaw wrote:I think the 2L's were way more risk-adverse than they needed to be. Definitely bid NY, but keep in mind other markets. For example, L.A. is strangely underbid, considering it's not that difficult to get. I think OCS probably has no/little experience with that market and tells people to stay away.


On the other hand, then you have to live in LA.

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:29 am

Great tacos at least

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LawBron James
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby LawBron James » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:10 pm

WheninLaw wrote:I think the 2L's were way more risk-adverse than they needed to be. Definitely bid NY, but keep in mind other markets. For example, L.A. is strangely underbid, considering it's not that difficult to get. I think OCS probably has no/little experience with that market and tells people to stay away.

Is L.A. tie sensitive at all?

Snuffles1
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Snuffles1 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:20 pm

LawBron James wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:I think the 2L's were way more risk-adverse than they needed to be. Definitely bid NY, but keep in mind other markets. For example, L.A. is strangely underbid, considering it's not that difficult to get. I think OCS probably has no/little experience with that market and tells people to stay away.

Is L.A. tie sensitive at all?



It is, but not as much as it's made out to be. I bid LA (and Chicago) with non-snowflake grades + a spouse from SoCal who hasn't lived there in 10+ years and that was enough. In almost every LA interview I said how we wanted to move back near-ish family, flashed a smile and added "plus, you know…. snow."

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LawBron James
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby LawBron James » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:44 pm

Snuffles1 wrote:
LawBron James wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:I think the 2L's were way more risk-adverse than they needed to be. Definitely bid NY, but keep in mind other markets. For example, L.A. is strangely underbid, considering it's not that difficult to get. I think OCS probably has no/little experience with that market and tells people to stay away.

Is L.A. tie sensitive at all?



It is, but not as much as it's made out to be. I bid LA (and Chicago) with non-snowflake grades + a spouse from SoCal who hasn't lived there in 10+ years and that was enough. In almost every LA interview I said how we wanted to move back near-ish family, flashed a smile and added "plus, you know…. snow."

Fair enough. I'm just wondering as somebody with absolutely no ties other than having been there a few times. The warm weather thing would probably be my best bet, though, haha.

Snuffles1
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Snuffles1 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:52 pm

LawBron James wrote:
Snuffles1 wrote:
LawBron James wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:I think the 2L's were way more risk-adverse than they needed to be. Definitely bid NY, but keep in mind other markets. For example, L.A. is strangely underbid, considering it's not that difficult to get. I think OCS probably has no/little experience with that market and tells people to stay away.

Is L.A. tie sensitive at all?



It is, but not as much as it's made out to be. I bid LA (and Chicago) with non-snowflake grades + a spouse from SoCal who hasn't lived there in 10+ years and that was enough. In almost every LA interview I said how we wanted to move back near-ish family, flashed a smile and added "plus, you know…. snow."

Fair enough. I'm just wondering as somebody with absolutely no ties other than having been there a few times. The warm weather thing would probably be my best bet, though, haha.


It'll be harder, no doubt, but I wouldn't necessarily avoid bidding LA because of that (I'd just be sure to bid somewhere safer/with better ties too). Take a few minutes to look up the type of industries LA firms generally deal with then make up a story about how you really want to do that kind of work + you fell in love with the place over a few visits. FWIW I get the impression that there's no real corporate work (although I'm more than willing to be corrected on this) so you might have a harder time if you're not leaning lit. Feel free to PM if you want to talk in more detail.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:52 pm

I don't know if I would LA as a primary market with only hopes and dreams as your best tie-unless maybe special snowflake grades. I had ties to almost all of Southern California except for LA and they were fairly skeptical. But I only interviewed with a few firms there so other people might have more knowledge.

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skers
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby skers » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:00 pm

It makes sense Mal would have some pushback in LA since he's decidedly unchill.

It will be a little hard to tell what LA is going to be like for next year's OCI since we've historically sent a large proportion of CA-bound people to Irell.

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:12 pm

skers wrote:It makes sense Mal would have some pushback in LA since he's decidedly unchill.

It will be a little hard to tell what LA is going to be like for next year's OCI since we've historically sent a large proportion of CA-bound people to Irell.


I think the "LA Ties" thing is a bit of a misnomer - if they like you, they probably won't ask or will be happy with any answer, and vice-versa. I get the sense that firms like OMM aren't super concerned with grades.

Agree about Irell.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby beepboopbeep » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:44 pm

LawBron James wrote:
Snuffles1 wrote:
LawBron James wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:I think the 2L's were way more risk-adverse than they needed to be. Definitely bid NY, but keep in mind other markets. For example, L.A. is strangely underbid, considering it's not that difficult to get. I think OCS probably has no/little experience with that market and tells people to stay away.

Is L.A. tie sensitive at all?



It is, but not as much as it's made out to be. I bid LA (and Chicago) with non-snowflake grades + a spouse from SoCal who hasn't lived there in 10+ years and that was enough. In almost every LA interview I said how we wanted to move back near-ish family, flashed a smile and added "plus, you know…. snow."

Fair enough. I'm just wondering as somebody with absolutely no ties other than having been there a few times. The warm weather thing would probably be my best bet, though, haha.


That's me, and I'll be heading to LA next summer. Callbacks were my first time even going west of Nebraska, much less all the way out to CA. Feel free to pm.

Pretty much agreed with Wheninlaw, and that went for SF/Bay firms too (though they were more innately skeptical, and wanted specific interest in VC/startup/tech/etc). THAT is a market that I would not bid heavily without copious amounts of backup plans, however.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:57 pm

Wheninlaw and beeboop are not average law students.

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skers
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby skers » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:00 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:
LawBron James wrote:
Snuffles1 wrote:
LawBron James wrote:Is L.A. tie sensitive at all?



It is, but not as much as it's made out to be. I bid LA (and Chicago) with non-snowflake grades + a spouse from SoCal who hasn't lived there in 10+ years and that was enough. In almost every LA interview I said how we wanted to move back near-ish family, flashed a smile and added "plus, you know…. snow."

Fair enough. I'm just wondering as somebody with absolutely no ties other than having been there a few times. The warm weather thing would probably be my best bet, though, haha.


That's me, and I'll be heading to LA next summer. Callbacks were my first time even going west of Nebraska, much less all the way out to CA. Feel free to pm.

Pretty much agreed with Wheninlaw, and that went for SF/Bay firms too (though they were more innately skeptical, and wanted specific interest in VC/startup/tech/etc). THAT is a market that I would not bid heavily without copious amounts of backup plans, however.


Aren't you K&E/LR? Obviously that makes a difference. Though my understanding is SF/SV is less tie sensitive w/ good tech/VC rationale.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby beepboopbeep » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:27 pm

skers wrote:
beepboopbeep wrote:
LawBron James wrote:Fair enough. I'm just wondering as somebody with absolutely no ties other than having been there a few times. The warm weather thing would probably be my best bet, though, haha.


That's me, and I'll be heading to LA next summer. Callbacks were my first time even going west of Nebraska, much less all the way out to CA. Feel free to pm.

Pretty much agreed with Wheninlaw, and that went for SF/Bay firms too (though they were more innately skeptical, and wanted specific interest in VC/startup/tech/etc). THAT is a market that I would not bid heavily without copious amounts of backup plans, however.


Aren't you K&E/LR? Obviously that makes a difference. Though my understanding is SF/SV is less tie sensitive w/ good tech/VC rationale.


Yea. I don't want to give the wrong impression. I just remember heading into OCI and thinking there was little chance CA would work out given lack of ties, and it did. The picture that I always remember getting was that it was ties uber alles for everything non-NY/DC. Anecdata and all that, and take with as many grains of salt as needed.

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middlebear
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby middlebear » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:49 pm

Can I ask what the support/environment is like for people who want to go into the federal government--are the career services people decently helpful? Do people that want to do BigFed rather than BigLaw find that difficult?

Mal Reynolds
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:18 pm

Ridiculously high grades are a substitute for weak ties. This should surprise no one.




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