Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

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Bumi
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Bumi » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:44 am

bjsesq wrote:
bk1 wrote:
bjsesq wrote:I didn't network, but I started mailing the third week of June. It helped. Also: I don't give a shit what your grades are, mail. MAIL ALL THE THINGS.


That early? That's like a week away.


And by June, I meant July. Durp. Sorry about that.


Okay phew. My question/challenge stands, though, just without the panic.

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bjsesq
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bjsesq » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:17 am

Bumi wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
bk1 wrote:
bjsesq wrote:I didn't network, but I started mailing the third week of June. It helped. Also: I don't give a shit what your grades are, mail. MAIL ALL THE THINGS.


That early? That's like a week away.


And by June, I meant July. Durp. Sorry about that.


Okay phew. My question/challenge stands, though, just without the panic.


End of July- mass mailing. I focused my mailings on secondary markets that

a) I was connected to; or
b) I could give a solid reason for applying.

This ended up being roughly 75 firms or so. Maybe a quarter of those, and that is being generous, led to phone interviews. Of those, 3 ended up being promising for actual job offers. Your mileage may vary, of course, but plan accordingly.

August- continued mass mailing and conducted firm research. Called NU alums and people I was connected to, however distant that connection was, who had either worked at the firms or was still working there.


Keep in mind, I was still working and taking a summer course that was in conjunction with my summer job. There isn't a ton of work, but you stay busy. I have some spreadsheets somewhere that I can try to find to help you guys out. It contains some firm info and I forget what else.

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D-hops
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby D-hops » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:01 am

rayiner wrote:
Flips88 wrote:So obviously this data helps us figure out which firms are more selective about higher GPAs, but is there any other way that we should be using this data to inform our bidding?


Two things:

1) Remember that firms that have lower callback medians are going to be more popular at bid-time, so they need to be bid higher to get interviews.

2) The minimums as well as the medians are useful. Firms that have a tighter spread between minimum and median are generally more grades-focused than those that have a wider spread. E.g. both DPW and S&C have medians ~3.8, but DPW has a much larger spread indicating that it is more willing to dip down for people who stand out in other ways. Remember also that half the people who get callbacks have GPA's lower than the median. In the Sidley/K&E CSM/S&C/DPW groupings of firms, the same 3.8+ folks are going to get CB's, but a substantial number of 3.65+ folks are also going to get callbacks and offers, and in general for any given firm the callback median is going to be substantially higher than the median GPA of people who actually accept offers at the firm.

3) Don't fret if you're below median. It seems scary when you see only one or two firms with medians below 3.35, but realize that a completely grade-insensitive firm will have a median callback GPA equal to the median class GPA.


The other thing to do with this data is to recognize that firms with higher call-back medians (and lows) tend to be less popular (at least the ones outside of Chicago).

When making a bid list you need to think about two things: can I actually get a callback with the firm and where do I have to bid them to get in front of them. Too many people overlook the second and end up dropping off a resume at OCI, but not all firms take well to a resume drop or trying to schedule over an attorney's lunch/breaks.

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Icculus
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Icculus » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:05 pm

splitmuch wrote:
Icculus wrote:
Crumpets, from what I've seen, you'll lose, but I would be happy to see this contest in action. In order to save money I have recently discovered a bar in Lincoln Park that has 50 cent rolling rock cans and $3.00 wells every Thursday. While Rolling Rock sucks, and I'm not a huge fan of well drinks, you can't beat the price.


Wisefools? Opened a tab once, we decided to go some place else after about 25 minutes. found out there was a 10 dollar minimum. Chugged a lot of rolling rock in a short amount of time.


Yup. I always go with cash now. If I recall correctly, Wisefools has been good to you. Definitely can't beat the prices. Though when DePaul is in session they tend to run out of the Rolling Rock relatively early.

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Icculus
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Icculus » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:10 pm

Bumi wrote:
bk1 wrote:
bjsesq wrote:I didn't network, but I started mailing the third week of June. It helped. Also: I don't give a shit what your grades are, mail. MAIL ALL THE THINGS.


That early? That's like a week away.


I would love it if a 3L or recent grad could maybe give us a week-by-week schedule of what the hell we should be doing between now and September, assuming our job search needs to go beyond just using all 40 bids and being charming at OCI.

I don't even think I know what "mailing" means. Stuff envelopes with resume, transcript, and cover letter? Email the recruiting contact at the firm?


I have this same question. Is this like applying for an externship when everything had to be done via snail mail, or should we be sending everything electronically? I'm assuming Cover Letter, Transcript, Resume should be enough?

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bjsesq
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bjsesq » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:14 pm

Icculus wrote:
Bumi wrote:
bk1 wrote:
bjsesq wrote:I didn't network, but I started mailing the third week of June. It helped. Also: I don't give a shit what your grades are, mail. MAIL ALL THE THINGS.


That early? That's like a week away.


I would love it if a 3L or recent grad could maybe give us a week-by-week schedule of what the hell we should be doing between now and September, assuming our job search needs to go beyond just using all 40 bids and being charming at OCI.

I don't even think I know what "mailing" means. Stuff envelopes with resume, transcript, and cover letter? Email the recruiting contact at the firm?


I have this same question. Is this like applying for an externship when everything had to be done via snail mail, or should we be sending everything electronically? I'm assuming Cover Letter, Transcript, Resume should be enough?


Electornically is best. It is quick, easy, and a breeze to distribute to those who matter. And yes, all that is sufficient. Personalize the cover letter, by the way. It helps.

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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bdubs » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:16 pm

Is there any way to find out how popular a firm has been for OCI bidding in past years?

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D-hops
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby D-hops » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:20 pm

bdubs wrote:Is there any way to find out how popular a firm has been for OCI bidding in past years?


Ask 3Ls. It also helps to get a feel for your classmates preferences. Our class had quite a few West Coast people and not as many focusing on NYC which allowed some NYC firms to go pretty low in the bid process but I think a lot of LA firms were oversubscribed.

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby rayiner » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:22 pm

Spend 1L summer researching NALP firms (nalpdirectory.com) in any market in which you can concoct a connection. Do not be picky, and think outside the box (e.g. NJ and CT if you're from NY). Troll firm websites to identify the firm's angle/practice areas. Use the NALP data to record recruiter contact information (the recruiter, not the hiring partner). Record all this in a spreadsheet. Come August/September, write targeted e-mails to each firm. Basically two short paragraphs: #1 why you're awesome, #2 why you're a great fit for exactly what the firm does. Attach your resume, transcript, and a writing sample.

- Do not mail firms you get OCI interviews with.
- Do not just mail a few firms you'd love to work at. Mail every firm in the market you can make a case for.
- Do make sure you go through the online application form if the firm has one.
- Do try to set up interviews through career fairs (there are a number of them, registration deadlines start in May).
- Do try to reach out to contacts.
- Do personalize each application as much as possible.

Basically if you have <= 3.4, you need to treat getting a job like it's your only job. You've got a decent chance getting something through OCI anyway, but you might also strike out and be debt-fucked for life. Mailing 100+ applications in addition to OCI doesn't guarantee you won't get debt-fucked for life, but at least you can say you did everything you could.

splitmuch
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Re: Northwestern Students Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby splitmuch » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:26 pm

Icculus wrote:
splitmuch wrote:
Icculus wrote:
Crumpets, from what I've seen, you'll lose, but I would be happy to see this contest in action. In order to save money I have recently discovered a bar in Lincoln Park that has 50 cent rolling rock cans and $3.00 wells every Thursday. While Rolling Rock sucks, and I'm not a huge fan of well drinks, you can't beat the price.


Wisefools? Opened a tab once, we decided to go some place else after about 25 minutes. found out there was a 10 dollar minimum. Chugged a lot of rolling rock in a short amount of time.


Yup. I always go with cash now. If I recall correctly, Wisefools has been good to you. Definitely can't beat the prices. Though when DePaul is in session they tend to run out of the Rolling Rock relatively early.


Haha yeah it has. Thursdays there are tougher because the 50 cent rolling rocks tends to attract a dude-heavy crowd.

For an OCI question:
Are the low GPAs generally applicable or are they usually outliers for someone with a special characteristic (either had a great interview, specific UG degree, URM status (if that matters at OCI, etc)?

Bumi
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Bumi » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:29 pm

rayiner wrote:any market in which you can concoct a connection.


Tell me if I have this straight.

For OCI, I want to pick my very top 2 or 3 markets, and only bid those. But then outside of OCI, I should mass mail absolutely anywhere in the country where I can make a convincing argument that I want to live. Is that right?

Related question: is it awkward to apply to multiple offices of the same firm, or to be indifferent between a few of the offices for the firms that list a bunch of offices for one bid slot for OCI? When am I supposed to swear undying loyalty to a single city for life, and when can I be a normal person and honestly say "I love City A, but I'd also be super happy in City B if that's where the work is?"

Another related question: Can we all generally assume that "be a normal person" is probably the right answer to any recruiting-season dilemma I will face over the next several months?

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby rayiner » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:48 pm

Bumi wrote:
rayiner wrote:any market in which you can concoct a connection.


Tell me if I have this straight.

For OCI, I want to pick my very top 2 or 3 markets, and only bid those. But then outside of OCI, I should mass mail absolutely anywhere in the country where I can make a convincing argument that I want to live. Is that right?

Related question: is it awkward to apply to multiple offices of the same firm, or to be indifferent between a few of the offices for the firms that list a bunch of offices for one bid slot for OCI? When am I supposed to swear undying loyalty to a single city for life, and when can I be a normal person and honestly say "I love City A, but I'd also be super happy in City B if that's where the work is?"

Another related question: Can we all generally assume that "be a normal person" is probably the right answer to any recruiting-season dilemma I will face over the next several months?


For OCI, you want to pick your primary market and maybe a secondary. You should only be bidding on three markets if they're unpopular ones and you can blanket them top-to-bottom (e.g. LA, SF, PNW). Do not apply to a few firms in Chicago, a few in NYC, and a few in DC. That's a sure fire way to not cover all your bases in terms of reaches/targets/safeties.

But when you mail, apply to absolutely every market you can manufacture ties to.

It is not awkward to apply to multiple offices when mailing, but being indifferent as to market at an OCI interview is a surefire way to get dinged. Ask D.F.

Also, generally it's advisable to be normal. However, if you don't exude charisma and energy in your normal state ala D-Hopps, consider punching up the enthusiasm and intensity bit for OCI (without bordering on weirdly intense, of course).

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby crumpetsandtea » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:01 pm

These past few pages = examples of why NU students are fucking awesome. So much good advice!

I'm an 0L so this isn't exactly applicable to me yet, but since we're on the topic, I had a question: I have ties to 2 relatively large markets outside Chi/NY (SF/LA), and I'm interested in both CA and Chi markets. Assuming I have around median grades, would a good OCI strategy be to bid NY/Chi and then mass-mail SF/LA since I have ties there? Or would it be better to drop either NY or Chi and bid on some California firms? I wouldn't be particularly interested in working in NY, but I heard if you're median its a good call to bid there since there are so many firms in NY, and I'd rather have a 2L SA in NY than a shitty job in Chi/SF/LA.

Like I said, 0L so it's not like I have grades and isn't hugely important for me yet...just curious since we're discussing OCI.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Blumpbeef » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:04 pm

For OCI, you want to pick your primary market and maybe a secondary. You should only be bidding on three markets if they're unpopular ones and you can blanket them top-to-bottom (e.g. LA, SF, PNW). Do not apply to a few firms in Chicago, a few in NYC, and a few in DC. That's a sure fire way to not cover all your bases in terms of reaches/targets/safeties.


How would you recommend approaching SF, DC and Chicago?

(and ya, 0L)

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Sauer Grapes » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:13 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:These past few pages = examples of why NU students are fucking awesome. So much good advice!

I'm an 0L so this isn't exactly applicable to me yet, but since we're on the topic, I had a question: I have ties to 2 relatively large markets outside Chi/NY (SF/LA), and I'm interested in both CA and Chi markets. Assuming I have around median grades, would a good OCI strategy be to bid NY/Chi and then mass-mail SF/LA since I have ties there? Or would it be better to drop either NY or Chi and bid on some California firms? I wouldn't be particularly interested in working in NY, but I heard if you're median its a good call to bid there since there are so many firms in NY, and I'd rather have a 2L SA in NY than a shitty job in Chi/SF/LA.

Like I said, 0L so it's not like I have grades and isn't hugely important for me yet...just curious since we're discussing OCI.

I'd suggest Picking Chicago or NY, and then also SF and LA.

What constitutes a crappy job in Chi/SF/LA to you?

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby rayiner » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:16 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:These past few pages = examples of why NU students are fucking awesome. So much good advice!

I'm an 0L so this isn't exactly applicable to me yet, but since we're on the topic, I had a question: I have ties to 2 relatively large markets outside Chi/NY (SF/LA), and I'm interested in both CA and Chi markets. Assuming I have around median grades, would a good OCI strategy be to bid NY/Chi and then mass-mail SF/LA since I have ties there? Or would it be better to drop either NY or Chi and bid on some California firms? I wouldn't be particularly interested in working in NY, but I heard if you're median its a good call to bid there since there are so many firms in NY, and I'd rather have a 2L SA in NY than a shitty job in Chi/SF/LA.


YMMV, but in my opinion the Chicago market seems to be in recovery mode. I would not try to dissuade people from bidding Chicago from median as I might have for C/O 2012. So given your interest, I'd bid comprehensively in Chicago, then bid on a range of SF/LA firms with my lower bids. No need to bid on NYC. I don't know how popular CA is at OCI, so you might have to put some popular firms higher on your bid list. That said, I'd avoid compromising your Chicago position, especially if you'd be happy in Chicago. You can cover your bases in CA with mass mailing and any California career fairs.

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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby rayiner » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:19 pm

Blumpbeef wrote:
For OCI, you want to pick your primary market and maybe a secondary. You should only be bidding on three markets if they're unpopular ones and you can blanket them top-to-bottom (e.g. LA, SF, PNW). Do not apply to a few firms in Chicago, a few in NYC, and a few in DC. That's a sure fire way to not cover all your bases in terms of reaches/targets/safeties.


How would you recommend approaching SF, DC and Chicago?

(and ya, 0L)


DC is very not popular at NU, so you can easily cover Chicago with your high-ranked bids and pick up a bunch of DC firms with bids in the 15+ range. Try to pick up SF through a career fair or mass-mailing.

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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby attractive_NUisance » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:31 pm

0Ls should not be thinking about bidding strategy or markets at all at this point. Just relax and have a fun last summer before things get real in late August so you will have the stamina to work hard all of 1L year. Think about bidding and markets 1L summer. After OCI hopefully you get a good offer and can just coast through 2L and 3L years...

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby crumpetsandtea » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:36 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for the advice, SG and Rayiner!!!! Its really a relief to hear that I won't have to waste bids on a city I'm not particularly interested in working in. Depending on how my first year in Chicago goes and what my grades are like, I think I'll end up bidding the way that ray outlined above. As of now, I can see myself pretty happily staying in Chicago (but then again, I've never experienced a Chicago winter yet :lol: )

SG - I guess a "shitty job" is one that won't lead to a FT offer or one that will make it difficult for me to pay back my loans after graduation. Unless I end up doing PI (which seems increasingly unlikely), biglaw seems to be the best way to ensure that I can pay off my loans in a timely fashion.

Attractive_NUisance - trust me, I am living it up this summer before LS swallows my soul :lol: (I'm in the airport about to fly to Europe as we speak). I was just curious because of the shift in discussion ITT! :D

bdubs
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bdubs » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:43 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:SG - I guess a "shitty job" is one that won't lead to a FT offer or one that will make it difficult for me to pay back my loans after graduation. Unless I end up doing PI (which seems increasingly unlikely), biglaw seems to be the best way to ensure that I can pay off my loans in a timely fashion.


FYI - I don't think that any of the employers doing OCI fit your definition of "shitty." The only ones I can think of that might not have the possibility to lead to FT offers are the 3 government employers (but I kind of doubt that they are going to the trouble of doing OCI for a spot like that). The rest of them all seem to offer compensation that is adequate to pay off your loans, particularly given that the firms with lower compensation tend to be in smaller, low COL cities.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Blumpbeef » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:54 pm

attractive_NUisance wrote:0Ls should not be thinking about bidding strategy or markets at all at this point. Just relax and have a fun last summer before things get real in late August so you will have the stamina to work hard all of 1L year. Think about bidding and markets 1L summer. After OCI hopefully you get a good offer and can just coast through 2L and 3L years...


I want to have a good grasp of what to expect, so I can decide for sure whether I want to be a 0L or a -1L.

rayiner, thanks. Does your advice still hold up if SF is my number one choice? You're basically suggesting to sit out SF OCI completely, right?

Also, for DC I would be more interested in doing government/pi stuff rather than a firm job. Does that make a difference? I'm not particularly confident about being able to get something like that at graduation though.

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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Flips88 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:55 pm

bdubs wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:SG - I guess a "shitty job" is one that won't lead to a FT offer or one that will make it difficult for me to pay back my loans after graduation. Unless I end up doing PI (which seems increasingly unlikely), biglaw seems to be the best way to ensure that I can pay off my loans in a timely fashion.


FYI - I don't think that any of the employers doing OCI fit your definition of "shitty." The only ones I can think of that might not have the possibility to lead to FT offers are the 3 government employers (but I kind of doubt that they are going to the trouble of doing OCI for a spot like that). The rest of them all seem to offer compensation that is adequate to pay off your loans, particularly given that the firms with lower compensation tend to be in smaller, low COL cities.

There are some Chi firms on there that pay $130k or $135k. Might be tough to pay off sticker loans on that, sadly.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby crumpetsandtea » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:57 pm

I was being hyperbolic and referencing getting shut out of OCI due to dumb bidding. I'd be happy with any job from OCI, I'm sure!

Blumpbeef, if you want gov't/pi, you can't do it through OCI. OCI is firms only. Gov't and PI jobs are separate and follow a later timeline, AFAIK.

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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Blumpbeef » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:00 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:Blumpbeef, if you want gov't/pi, you can't do it through OCI. OCI is firms only. Gov't and PI jobs are separate and follow a later timeline, AFAIK.


I know. It only just occurred to me right now that I don't like DC enough to want to do private sector work there :lol:

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Re: Northwestern 3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby bdubs » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:06 pm

Flips88 wrote:There are some Chi firms on there that pay $130k or $135k. Might be tough to pay off sticker loans on that, sadly.


You're joking, right?




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