Columbia students taking questions

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smaug
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby smaug » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:06 am

He also projects too hard from his own experiences, but it's not worth arguing over the 20% he gets wrong.

You might be fungible to biglaw firms, and variance within biglaw firms is probably greater than the variance between firms for the most part, but your experiences won't be fungible, and some bets are better than others, depending on what you want.

Some folks will just get unlucky and strike out. Far more won't realize something about the firm they ended up at until it's way too late to change course. Others will luck into unexpectedly good situations.

I think it's kinda dangerous to view a biglaw job as fungible. It seems like a way to ensure unhappiness. Maybe you can kill two birds with one stone and do practice interviews and also network and talk to people about what they do so you have some idea before you just summer at the firm who took you out to the nicest meal.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:47 am

TheoO wrote:Mono is straight brutal.


You know what's really brutal? 95% of these kids could go to state school for $10k/year, get a 3.8 in an easy major with relatively little effort and still have plenty of time to do fun college things, score halfway decent on the LSAT and snag a full ride to Cornell, coast to median, get a job at Clifford Chance, do nothing 2L/3L, then put in their 2000 hours for four years with only moderate stress and a net worth of $300k before they leave.

Instead, they kill themselves in HS to go to Tufts or Northwestern or whatever for $50k/year, lock themselves in a library for four years to get decent grades, come here or NYU, or UChi, or HLS paying full freight, bust their ass for top 15% and finally score that SWEET JOB! at Cravath, continue busting their ass 2L/3L because they're hopelessly automated at this point, and tear their hair out over 2400 hours a year until they flame out or their net worth gets back to zero, whichever comes first.

I'm not always convinced I'm right, but I know for sure these people are wrong.

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DCfilterDC
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby DCfilterDC » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:56 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
TheoO wrote:Mono is straight brutal.


You know what's really brutal? 95% of these kids could go to state school for $10k/year, get a 3.8 in an easy major with relatively little effort and still have plenty of time to do fun college things, score halfway decent on the LSAT and snag a full ride to Cornell, coast to median, get a job at Clifford Chance, do nothing 2L/3L, then put in their 2000 hours for four years with only moderate stress and a net worth of $300k before they leave.

Instead, they kill themselves in HS to go to Tufts or Northwestern or whatever for $50k/year, lock themselves in a library for four years to get decent grades, come here or NYU, or UChi, or HLS paying full freight, bust their ass for top 15% and finally score that SWEET JOB! at Cravath, continue busting their ass 2L/3L because they're hopelessly automated at this point, and tear their hair out over 2400 hours a year until they flame out or their net worth gets back to zero, whichever comes first.

I'm not always convinced I'm right, but I know for sure these people are wrong.


I don't think your take here is wrong, but it's totally moot considering this board doesn't include high schoolers. Most the people in this thread are current CLS students anyway.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:09 pm

smaug wrote:He also projects too hard from his own experiences, but it's not worth arguing over the 20% he gets wrong.

You might be fungible to biglaw firms, and variance within biglaw firms is probably greater than the variance between firms for the most part, but your experiences won't be fungible, and some bets are better than others, depending on what you want.

Some folks will just get unlucky and strike out. Far more won't realize something about the firm they ended up at until it's way too late to change course. Others will luck into unexpectedly good situations.

I think it's kinda dangerous to view a biglaw job as fungible. It seems like a way to ensure unhappiness. Maybe you can kill two birds with one stone and do practice interviews and also network and talk to people about what they do so you have some idea before you just summer at the firm who took you out to the nicest meal.


Ehhhhh. I don't try to hide the fact (a) that 1Ls will probably do better than I did grade-wise (b) they'll probably hate this school less than I did/do, and (c) their personal lives will probably be better than mine. I'm pretty encouraging of people checking out my post history from 1L year, where I almost shot myself in the face about twenty separate times, if they happen to want any of that perspective.

I've never heard of any firm being universally X or Y, so I tend to believe it's more situation-dependent (and that's consistent with everything I've been told). But hey, I always encourage people to do as much homework as they possible can to figure out how to get into good situations. Some firms are definitely (slightly) better bets than others. And if students did that, I wouldn't be so pessimistic about their futures. But mostly they just blindly look at Vault, which correlates fairly well with hours expectations, and wind up making the same money as the Dechert dude who isn't regularly working past 9:00 and on Sundays.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby smaug » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:15 pm

I don't really buy the CW on hours because now that I've been working and talking to friends who have been working at other firms, I think it's hard to draw a correlation between much of anything and hours. I also think people underestimate variance in what folks do: I know people grinding out 60 hour weeks of doc review at "nice" firms and people working less (and dodging the shittier work) at sweatshops.

Agreed that variance within the firm is massive so it's just as much how you control things once you get there, but that also means you should look at the odds: how likely is it that you get destroyed, and is there anything you can do to make your life better if that happens.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:17 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:I don't think your take here is wrong, but it's totally moot considering this board doesn't include high schoolers. Most the people in this thread are current CLS students anyway.


Which makes the point uniquely relevant. People who have already made the same sort of mistake once, twice, three times (and who aren't too blinded by confirmation bias to admit it) should be in the best position to figure out how to avoid making that mistake--namely, putting in unnecessary effort for no actual marginal benefit--again.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:29 pm

smaug wrote:I don't really buy the CW on hours because now that I've been working and talking to friends who have been working at other firms, I think it's hard to draw a correlation between much of anything and hours. I also think people underestimate variance in what folks do: I know people grinding out 60 hour weeks of doc review at "nice" firms and people working less (and dodging the shittier work) at sweatshops.

Agreed that variance within the firm is massive so it's just as much how you control things once you get there, but that also means you should look at the odds: how likely is it that you get destroyed, and is there anything you can do to make your life better if that happens.


I'm confused by the juxtaposition of these two points. If the CW on hours is wrong (and I believe that's highly likely, at least to some extent), doesn't that make it, at a minimum, very difficult to accurately "look at the odds?" It seems like you're suggesting that, prior to realizing your ability to maneuver to better situations within the firm, picking one is something of a crapshoot, which I mostly agree with, based on everything I've been told.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the high billable averages at the V10 are due to self-selection to some degree ("beware of the firms with no minimum for bonuses, because you won't need one"). My favorite story is still the Cravath associate who avoided everything possible and managed 1700 hours for like three years before they kicked him out.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby smaug » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:45 pm

I agree there's a lot of self selection. I think, based on my limited experience you can pull a stunt like that at a firm like Cravath. You couldn't at Cadwalader.

I also think there *are* real hours differences. You just need to figure out who is lying to you (everyone) and make an educated guess. I just bristle at your post because the places I've heard the most consistently negative things about are not the super elite firms. It's the middling firms that quietly suck hard.

ETA: except Skadden. I'll always make fun of Skadden.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:46 pm

Well yeah, some of the middling firms are the ones I've heard the worst about too. But then again, if there are ten "elite" firms and 100 middling ones, the worst stories probably would come from middling firms even if, on average, a given "elite" firm is worse than a given middling firm.

That's why my EIP advice is: You don't really know anything, and everyone is lying, and Vault is dumb, so pick the people you think you'd least want to bludgeon to death after three consecutive 250-hour months, keeping in mind that recruiting has done a lot of work to make sure you never see the ones who are truly insufferable.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby smaug » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:50 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Well yeah, some of the middling firms are the ones I've heard the worst about too. But then again, if there are ten "elite" firms and 100 middling ones, the worst stories probably would come from middling firms even if, on average, a given "elite" firm is worse than a given middling firm.

That's why my EIP advice is: You don't really know anything, and everyone is lying, and Vault is dumb, so pick the people you think you'd least want to bludgeon to death after three consecutive 250-hour months, keeping in mind that recruiting has done a lot of work to make sure you never see the ones who are truly insufferable.

bolded is still spurious/projecting dude

that's my entire point

and also the "people you want to work with" thing can be flame too: you're not going to be doing tons of working with. More likely you're working for someone.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:41 pm

That's why I said "if." No way to know if it's true because I haven't worked at 100 firms. Can only go on anecdotal evidence (plus a couple outdated surveys) to suggest associates at "elite" firms are working more hours than associates at "non-elite" firms.

Definitely agree that not viscerally hating the midlevels/senior associates/partners is way more important than not viscerally hating the juniors.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Nebby » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:50 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Almost all non-aspies who bid well will get essentially the same thing, unless (a) you have the grades for WLRK or BSF, (b) you want to work in another market, (c) you want to clerk (hint: you don't and it's a dumb idea), or (d) you're committed to doing one of the other hodgepodge things (if you have to ask, you aren't).

This is the most succinctly true thing I've read

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby White Dwarf » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:53 pm

This is probably a dumb question, but I'm just going to ask it: if you're planning on doing PI, can you go through OCI, get an offer from a firm, and then sit on it and see what happens with your PI job search? Or is that not allowed/realistic?

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby smaug » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:54 pm

White Dwarf wrote:This is probably a dumb question, but I'm just going to ask it: if you're planning on doing PI, can you go through OCI, get an offer from a firm, and then sit on it and see what happens with your PI job search? Or is that not allowed/realistic?

Not super realistic. Some folks split summers between biglaw and PI, but if you want PI you're probably best not doing EIP/OCI at all.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby White Dwarf » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:04 pm

Dang.

All this OCI/EIP talk is giving me such anxiety. Now I understand why so many people who come into 1L focused on PI end up at firms.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby LetsGoMets » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:09 pm

smaug wrote:
White Dwarf wrote:This is probably a dumb question, but I'm just going to ask it: if you're planning on doing PI, can you go through OCI, get an offer from a firm, and then sit on it and see what happens with your PI job search? Or is that not allowed/realistic?

Not super realistic. Some folks split summers between biglaw and PI, but if you want PI you're probably best not doing EIP/OCI at all.


That is the way to do a split summer though, right? Do EIP, hopefully get an offer, then apply for PI jobs in September/October telling them you're hoping to split, and then if you get an offer go back to your firm and propose the split to them?

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby smaug » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:12 pm

LetsGoMets wrote:
smaug wrote:
White Dwarf wrote:This is probably a dumb question, but I'm just going to ask it: if you're planning on doing PI, can you go through OCI, get an offer from a firm, and then sit on it and see what happens with your PI job search? Or is that not allowed/realistic?

Not super realistic. Some folks split summers between biglaw and PI, but if you want PI you're probably best not doing EIP/OCI at all.


That is the way to do a split summer though, right? Do EIP, hopefully get an offer, then apply for PI jobs in September/October telling them you're hoping to split, and then if you get an offer go back to your firm and propose the split to them?

or you're a monster (in a good way) so you're doing a half summer at susman and you leave the other half open or something

i think some people do full-ish firm summers and do PI after as well

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby LetsGoMets » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:39 pm

Right, because you don't have to come back until Labor Day, so you could in theory do two full months at a firm and then six weeks in PI, makes sense.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:03 pm

White Dwarf wrote:Dang.

All this OCI/EIP talk is giving me such anxiety. Now I understand why so many people who come into 1L focused on PI end up at firms.


That's not why most people who come in with PI dreams wind up at firms for years.

Good for the 7% or something of this school who never tries for Biglaw. God knows somebody needs to make the world a better place, because the other 93% of us moving commas for rent-seeking billionaires are definitely making it worse.

Some untold higher percentage comes in thinking they're gonna save the world, because they're, I don't know, conscience liberals or something. It doesn't really matter what, because two-thirds of you decided to come to law school during your junior/senior year of college, so the level of self-awareness is not high anyway.

Give them a few years of watching talking to their non-school friends (UMC, just like most of them), listening to the stories of their lives, keeping up on Facebook and Instagram, and just wait for the jealousy to creep in. Where's my vacation in the Keys? Where's my ticket to the big game? Everything is doubly worse when they move to NYC. They get surrounded by everything. The trendy bars! The weekends in the Hamptons! That store on Fifth with the shoes they've just gotto have! You know, when they have time. Weekends, probably.

Now, they're totally--totally!--committed to PI (well, probably, they've only thought about it for about ten minutes), but they only get one chance at this Biglaw thing. But they're totally gonna do this PI, as soon as their loans are paid off. And when things go bad at the firm, they start thinking about the East Village loft they dream of, and all these restaurants that they'd like to try, and how they could probably have most of that (but you know, nothing extravagant, they're not crazy) if they paid back, let's say, $3k a month, and finally they get the things they DESERVE! after all their hard work, and it goes on and on, the cycle of pain and anesthetic consumption, until, hey, look at that, you're 30, and hey, look at that, didn't you have that time when you were 22 where you wanted to help Salvadorian domestic violence victims get asylum or something?

Wash, rinse, repeat.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby TheoO » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:39 pm

Corporate lawyers probably have a better effect on the world than like 90% of PI position, IMHO.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:45 pm

TheoO wrote:Corporate lawyers probably have a better effect on the world than like 90% of PI position, IMHO.


Lol. Come on.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:30 pm

smaug wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Well yeah, some of the middling firms are the ones I've heard the worst about too. But then again, if there are ten "elite" firms and 100 middling ones, the worst stories probably would come from middling firms even if, on average, a given "elite" firm is worse than a given middling firm.

That's why my EIP advice is: You don't really know anything, and everyone is lying, and Vault is dumb, so pick the people you think you'd least want to bludgeon to death after three consecutive 250-hour months, keeping in mind that recruiting has done a lot of work to make sure you never see the ones who are truly insufferable.

bolded is still spurious/projecting dude

that's my entire point

and also the "people you want to work with" thing can be flame too: you're not going to be doing tons of working with. More likely you're working for someone.

I agree with smaug here. I also agree with mono that there is self-selection regarding hours and it happens within firms. It wouldn't surprise me if the kinds of people who are strivers til they die end up at the top firms, and then predictably say the top firms work you the most.

Also regarding not hating who you work with: many if not most of the associates you'll meet during OCI/callbacks/offer dinners will be gone by the time you start.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby TheoO » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:35 pm

Also regarding not hating who you work with: many if not most of the associates you'll meet during OCI/callbacks/offer dinners will be gone by the time you start.


That's pretty depressing on it's own.

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smaug
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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby smaug » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:38 pm

TheoO wrote:
Also regarding not hating who you work with: many if not most of the associates you'll meet during OCI/callbacks/offer dinners will be gone by the time you start.


That's pretty depressing on it's own.

This is why I think I'd try to choose based on partners instead of associates. The partner will determine what your life is like, often.

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Re: Columbia students taking questions

Postby LetsGoMets » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:01 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
White Dwarf wrote:Dang.

All this OCI/EIP talk is giving me such anxiety. Now I understand why so many people who come into 1L focused on PI end up at firms.


That's not why most people who come in with PI dreams wind up at firms for years.

Good for the 7% or something of this school who never tries for Biglaw. God knows somebody needs to make the world a better place, because the other 93% of us moving commas for rent-seeking billionaires are definitely making it worse.

Some untold higher percentage comes in thinking they're gonna save the world, because they're, I don't know, conscience liberals or something. It doesn't really matter what, because two-thirds of you decided to come to law school during your junior/senior year of college, so the level of self-awareness is not high anyway.

Give them a few years of watching talking to their non-school friends (UMC, just like most of them), listening to the stories of their lives, keeping up on Facebook and Instagram, and just wait for the jealousy to creep in. Where's my vacation in the Keys? Where's my ticket to the big game? Everything is doubly worse when they move to NYC. They get surrounded by everything. The trendy bars! The weekends in the Hamptons! That store on Fifth with the shoes they've just gotto have! You know, when they have time. Weekends, probably.

Now, they're totally--totally!--committed to PI (well, probably, they've only thought about it for about ten minutes), but they only get one chance at this Biglaw thing. But they're totally gonna do this PI, as soon as their loans are paid off. And when things go bad at the firm, they start thinking about the East Village loft they dream of, and all these restaurants that they'd like to try, and how they could probably have most of that (but you know, nothing extravagant, they're not crazy) if they paid back, let's say, $3k a month, and finally they get the things they DESERVE! after all their hard work, and it goes on and on, the cycle of pain and anesthetic consumption, until, hey, look at that, you're 30, and hey, look at that, didn't you have that time when you were 22 where you wanted to help Salvadorian domestic violence victims get asylum or something?

Wash, rinse, repeat.


I feel like these posts should be written on the back wall of JG instead of the Constitution




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