Financial Advice Appreciated!

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proudgunner

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Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:27 pm

Hello all! I hope this is in the right forum! I just got accepted to UPenn as a transfer from a T80 that places well in its city. I am deciding whether to stay or stransfer.

Current school: 3.75, top 10%, CALI, Law Review

The city is a smaller one with a pretty good cost of living. (Ohio school). The firms pay $120,000 around here, and the firms that I could get at Penn pay $190,000. However, I am extremely nervous that I am cutting off my nose to spite my face. Is the $70,000 worth it when considering cost of living? How easy of a decision should this be? Thanks!

hdr

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by hdr » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:41 pm

Do you want to be a lawyer in your current city in 5-10 years? If so it could make sense to stay. If you're unsure what you want to do and are open to working in NYC/DC big law, the federal government, etc., I would transfer to keep more doors open.

proudgunner

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:51 pm

hdr wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:41 pm
Do you want to be a lawyer in your current city in 5-10 years? If so it could make sense to stay. If you're unsure what you want to do and are open to working in NYC/DC big law, the federal government, etc., I would transfer to keep more doors open.
So there are a couple national firms in the capital like Jones Day that I would love to work at, and it's my goal. It pays $170k, so it's perfect. But they would unlikely take someone evenr ranked 5% in my school. However, I have no objections to working in NYC, and no objections coming back to making $120,000. I think what helps me is thinking:

My school best case scenario: $120,000 salary, less debt
My school worst case scenario: I dont even want to think about it!

Penn best case scenario: $190,000, more debt
Penn worst case scenario: $120,000, more debt

RaceJudicata

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by RaceJudicata » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:55 pm

What will debt be at current school vs Penn? That is the most important question. Job market too shaky this year to bank on any job, let alone the big law job from Penn or mid law job from current school.

Penn certainly gives you more options / chances at a good job, but think about how you will service debt if you strike out. On the other hand, if already going to end up with a lot of debt at current school (and can’t negotiate a better scholarship), then may make sense to jump to penn.

proudgunner

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:05 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:55 pm
What will debt be at current school vs Penn? That is the most important question. Job market too shaky this year to bank on any job, let alone the big law job from Penn or mid law job from current school.

Penn certainly gives you more options / chances at a good job, but think about how you will service debt if you strike out. On the other hand, if already going to end up with a lot of debt at current school (and can’t negotiate a better scholarship), then may make sense to jump to penn.
Penn Likely Debt: $200,000
Stay Put Debt: $105,000

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LBJ's Hair

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by LBJ's Hair » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:20 pm

proudgunner wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:05 pm
RaceJudicata wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:55 pm
What will debt be at current school vs Penn? That is the most important question. Job market too shaky this year to bank on any job, let alone the big law job from Penn or mid law job from current school.

Penn certainly gives you more options / chances at a good job, but think about how you will service debt if you strike out. On the other hand, if already going to end up with a lot of debt at current school (and can’t negotiate a better scholarship), then may make sense to jump to penn.
Penn Likely Debt: $200,000
Stay Put Debt: $105,000
I wouldn't advise you to stay at your current school if you were going for free. Given the difference between current place and Penn is only $100K, seems like a no-brainer

2013

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by 2013 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:03 pm

Penn. it seems like you’re fine working in Cleveland (you mentioned Jones Day), so it doesn’t seem like you’re 100% tied to the region. Also, if you can’t even land Jones Day in the top 5% of your school, there’s no point staying and risking completely striking out from big/midlaw due to this economy.

nls336

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by nls336 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:23 am

I pulled off a transfer to T14 and had to take out much more debt than I would've otherwise. I totally feel your concerns & understand where you're coming from. One thing I can say having gone through the OCI process at that T14 and talking to people from big law (including Jones Day) there is that (to the extent this has changed in the pandemic I can't be sure, so take with a grain of salt) the prestige of your school is really one of the most important factors OCI interviewers are looking at across the board. I was actually shocked by that, not because I didn't expect it, but because I didn't expect the depth to which it was true. (not to harsh anyone's mellow who isn't at a T14, prestige really isn't everything in the world, but it was very important at OCI.) Also, I will say comparatively between the school I went to and the school I transferred to, a lot of the highest ranked students that I was friends with at the T30-40 I transferred from still had a lot of trouble finding work (and it was a good economy at that time). At the T14 the jobs were almost abundant for my market/region. It is really a lot easier, or it was, to find work from the T14 than the T30 just because of the school on my letterhead and the relationships that school has/had with the legal market it serves. Part of that I'm sure was just location, location, location, but even to the extent that's relevant for you, it's an important factor to consider.

Only you can decide, though, if that's worth the debt based on where you hope to find yourself! nobody can answer that for you! Hope you're well & good luck!

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nealric

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by nealric » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:54 am

I wouldn't even think twice about transferring.

When times are tough, firms pull back to recruiting only at top schools. If you look at biglaw recruiting numbers during the great recession, HYCCN suffered the smallest drop. Strong regional schools that used to send 10-15% of the class to biglaw were sending almost nobody. Next recruiting season will likely be rough, and you'll need all the help you can get. Plus, Penn will allow you to expand your job search nationally. Even if your goal is to end up back in Ohio, you'll be in good shape to transfer back after a stint at national biglaw, especially with a Penn JD.

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proudgunner

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:54 am

nealric wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:54 am
I wouldn't even think twice about transferring.

When times are tough, firms pull back to recruiting only at top schools. If you look at biglaw recruiting numbers during the great recession, HYCCN suffered the smallest drop. Strong regional schools that used to send 10-15% of the class to biglaw were sending almost nobody. Next recruiting season will likely be rough, and you'll need all the help you can get. Plus, Penn will allow you to expand your job search nationally. Even if your goal is to end up back in Ohio, you'll be in good shape to transfer back after a stint at national biglaw, especially with a Penn JD.
Thanks for the advice! If I can ask, and I know it’s almost moot to ask (but please humor me, how bad do you think it will actually be?

proudgunner

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:55 am

nls336 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:23 am
I pulled off a transfer to T14 and had to take out much more debt than I would've otherwise. I totally feel your concerns & understand where you're coming from. One thing I can say having gone through the OCI process at that T14 and talking to people from big law (including Jones Day) there is that (to the extent this has changed in the pandemic I can't be sure, so take with a grain of salt) the prestige of your school is really one of the most important factors OCI interviewers are looking at across the board. I was actually shocked by that, not because I didn't expect it, but because I didn't expect the depth to which it was true. (not to harsh anyone's mellow who isn't at a T14, prestige really isn't everything in the world, but it was very important at OCI.) Also, I will say comparatively between the school I went to and the school I transferred to, a lot of the highest ranked students that I was friends with at the T30-40 I transferred from still had a lot of trouble finding work (and it was a good economy at that time). At the T14 the jobs were almost abundant for my market/region. It is really a lot easier, or it was, to find work from the T14 than the T30 just because of the school on my letterhead and the relationships that school has/had with the legal market it serves. Part of that I'm sure was just location, location, location, but even to the extent that's relevant for you, it's an important factor to consider.

Only you can decide, though, if that's worth the debt based on where you hope to find yourself! nobody can answer that for you! Hope you're well & good luck!
Thanks for the advice! I’d be interested in hearing more about your experience especially with OCIs (you can PM). I think I *know* it is the right decision; it’s just hard to get the motivation.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:59 am

I've commented on your prior posts, and I'm mostly commenting to congratulate you, but also to join the chorus and recommend transferring. I think unless you *know* you want to spend your whole legal career in Cincinnati, you should take this opportunity to get a degree with national reach and do OCI at a school with excellent placement in major markets.

proudgunner

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:22 am

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:59 am
I've commented on your prior posts, and I'm mostly commenting to congratulate you, but also to join the chorus and recommend transferring. I think unless you *know* you want to spend your whole legal career in Cincinnati, you should take this opportunity to get a degree with national reach and do OCI at a school with excellent placement in major markets.
Thanks so much! Been a ride haha. And yeah you’re right! Honestly, the plan is to come back to Cincinnati or Columbus at some point, but with just being at the 10% cutoff, big law certainly isn’t guaranteed. I think what really attracts me to Penn even if I come back to Ohio is that I’m just essentially paying for security in knowing I can get those jobs. Does that make sense? I feel like it’s a pretty good trade off, especially now. I could not imagine the sickness in my stomach of having $105k to pay in debt and striking out at UC, ending up only making $80 or $90 when knowing I could’ve gone to Penn.

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nealric

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by nealric » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:02 pm

proudgunner wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:54 am
nealric wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:54 am
I wouldn't even think twice about transferring.

When times are tough, firms pull back to recruiting only at top schools. If you look at biglaw recruiting numbers during the great recession, HYCCN suffered the smallest drop. Strong regional schools that used to send 10-15% of the class to biglaw were sending almost nobody. Next recruiting season will likely be rough, and you'll need all the help you can get. Plus, Penn will allow you to expand your job search nationally. Even if your goal is to end up back in Ohio, you'll be in good shape to transfer back after a stint at national biglaw, especially with a Penn JD.
Thanks for the advice! If I can ask, and I know it’s almost moot to ask (but please humor me, how bad do you think it will actually be?
I'm not sure I'm any better than consulting your magic 8 ball or doing a tarot card reading. So much depends on what happens in the economy with the pandemic, which is the bailiwick of epidemiologists and economists- not lawyers. The good news is that schools are pushing recruiting season to the Spring, which gives a somewhat better chance of a recovery in legal demand before recruiting gets underway. But I suspect that firms will be really cautious- similar to what they did with the class of 2011.

Anecdote time: When I started law school at Georgetown in 2007, the attitude from 2Ls was "don't worry about 1L grades, everyone gets a big firm job at OCI if they want one." People with straight Bs were getting V20 offers. My year sort of squeaked in through the closing door given that financial crisis didn't really kick off until after OCI, so many people got offers (including me) before things went crazy- offers stopped cold once Lehman Brothers collapsed. Class of 2011 had the hardest time. You really needed to be top 1/3 to have a decent shot at biglaw from Georgetown that year. Penn will have much stronger recruiting than Georgetown did/does, but there's still an impact. My old v100 firm used to mostly fill its summer with lower T-14 grads with median-ish grades and top 10% T2 types. The summers who were hired from the class of 2011 were mostly HYSCCN (we actually got Y and S people, which previously wouldn't have even bid us for OCI). You'll likely see a similar retrenchment to top school recruiting this time around. Firms aren't going to bother with local schools if they can fill their classes with recruits they previously couldn't touch.

Silver lining is that if you successfully run the gauntlet, you will be in super high demand as a mid-level. By 2013-14, firms were really hurting for mid-levels, as they didn't hire juniors in the 2010-11 timeframe and had laid a lot of the class of 2008-9 off.

proudgunner

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:09 pm

nealric wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:02 pm
proudgunner wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:54 am
nealric wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:54 am
I wouldn't even think twice about transferring.

When times are tough, firms pull back to recruiting only at top schools. If you look at biglaw recruiting numbers during the great recession, HYCCN suffered the smallest drop. Strong regional schools that used to send 10-15% of the class to biglaw were sending almost nobody. Next recruiting season will likely be rough, and you'll need all the help you can get. Plus, Penn will allow you to expand your job search nationally. Even if your goal is to end up back in Ohio, you'll be in good shape to transfer back after a stint at national biglaw, especially with a Penn JD.
Thanks for the advice! If I can ask, and I know it’s almost moot to ask (but please humor me, how bad do you think it will actually be?
I'm not sure I'm any better than consulting your magic 8 ball or doing a tarot card reading. So much depends on what happens in the economy with the pandemic, which is the bailiwick of epidemiologists and economists- not lawyers. The good news is that schools are pushing recruiting season to the Spring, which gives a somewhat better chance of a recovery in legal demand before recruiting gets underway. But I suspect that firms will be really cautious- similar to what they did with the class of 2011.

Anecdote time: When I started law school at Georgetown in 2007, the attitude from 2Ls was "don't worry about 1L grades, everyone gets a big firm job at OCI if they want one." People with straight Bs were getting V20 offers. My year sort of squeaked in through the closing door given that financial crisis didn't really kick off until after OCI, so many people got offers (including me) before things went crazy- offers stopped cold once Lehman Brothers collapsed. Class of 2011 had the hardest time. You really needed to be top 1/3 to have a decent shot at biglaw from Georgetown that year. Penn will have much stronger recruiting than Georgetown did/does, but there's still an impact. My old v100 firm used to mostly fill its summer with lower T-14 grads with median-ish grades and top 10% T2 types. The summers who were hired from the class of 2011 were mostly HYSCCN (we actually got Y and S people, which previously wouldn't have even bid us for OCI). You'll likely see a similar retrenchment to top school recruiting this time around. Firms aren't going to bother with local schools if they can fill their classes with recruits they previously couldn't touch.

Silver lining is that if you successfully run the gauntlet, you will be in super high demand as a mid-level. By 2013-14, firms were really hurting for mid-levels, as they didn't hire juniors in the 2010-11 timeframe and had laid a lot of the class of 2008-9 off.
Thanks for the insight. I am the only one in my family to go to grad school, let alone law school, so I feel really alone in this journey with such a big decision to make. When I go to Penn, is there any advice you can give me to increase my chances of getting a SA? (OCIs in January but probably won't have fall grades by then. Also, I will likely be online.)

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:17 pm

Once your transfer is complete, start networking immediately with associates/partners in practice areas and cities you are targeting that went to your school (Penn). It's even possible that you get callbacks and offers prior to OCI if people like you enough. Also, practice interviewing and have your stories down straight so you sound as professional as possible. Penn should have full lists of interview questions normally asked at OCI (they aren't hard - law firm interviews are the easiest interviews I've ever had from a question standpoint).

Point is to be as likable as possible and have a few connections that really like you at firms you are targeting so they can fast track you through the process.

proudgunner

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:17 pm
Once your transfer is complete, start networking immediately with associates/partners in practice areas and cities you are targeting that went to your school (Penn). It's even possible that you get callbacks and offers prior to OCI if people like you enough. Also, practice interviewing and have your stories down straight so you sound as professional as possible. Penn should have full lists of interview questions normally asked at OCI (they aren't hard - law firm interviews are the easiest interviews I've ever had from a question standpoint).

Point is to be as likable as possible and have a few connections that really like you at firms you are targeting so they can fast track you through the process.
Thanks so much! Any tips for picking out who to network with? Problem is I have no experience with Philly, NYC, or DC, so I don't even knwo where to begin.

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:59 pm

proudgunner wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:22 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:17 pm
Once your transfer is complete, start networking immediately with associates/partners in practice areas and cities you are targeting that went to your school (Penn). It's even possible that you get callbacks and offers prior to OCI if people like you enough. Also, practice interviewing and have your stories down straight so you sound as professional as possible. Penn should have full lists of interview questions normally asked at OCI (they aren't hard - law firm interviews are the easiest interviews I've ever had from a question standpoint).

Point is to be as likable as possible and have a few connections that really like you at firms you are targeting so they can fast track you through the process.
Thanks so much! Any tips for picking out who to network with? Problem is I have no experience with Philly, NYC, or DC, so I don't even knwo where to begin.
Firm websites will usually have all their attorneys' law schools listed and you can see who went to Penn, what their practice area is, and how senior they are. When I was in law school, I went with a hierarchy of Partner in group I want > Partner in group I don't want > Associate in group I want > Associate in group I don't want. If you generally have no idea what you want to do then it doesn't matter as much, but I found targeting partners to be much higher rate of success in terms of getting callbacks.

However, you need to be someone that has the personality for this. Partners don't have a lot of time to waste talking to law students, but generally enjoy meeting students from their old school. If you are going to spend time with them and just be "meh" then that would probably be worse than not networking at all. Make sure you seem excited (but not crazy), curious, and ready to hear them out about their stories and career paths. Also, don't push them to help you. In my experience the ones that like you will volunteer to help you out by forwarding your resume through.

Edit: Just to add - once your transfer is complete, you really should target every firm, in every market that you are interested in working. If its Philly, you can do in-person meetings/coffee. If NY/DC, maybe plan a week to spend there and schedule in-person meetings with as many people as you can and then do the rest over the phone. I had great phone conversations that helped me and great in person conversations that helped me. I HIGHLY recommend doing this, not many law students do this kind of networking and the economy is truly screwed, so this will give you an edge for finding positions.

proudgunner

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by proudgunner » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:59 pm
proudgunner wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:22 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:17 pm
Once your transfer is complete, start networking immediately with associates/partners in practice areas and cities you are targeting that went to your school (Penn). It's even possible that you get callbacks and offers prior to OCI if people like you enough. Also, practice interviewing and have your stories down straight so you sound as professional as possible. Penn should have full lists of interview questions normally asked at OCI (they aren't hard - law firm interviews are the easiest interviews I've ever had from a question standpoint).

Point is to be as likable as possible and have a few connections that really like you at firms you are targeting so they can fast track you through the process.
Thanks so much! Any tips for picking out who to network with? Problem is I have no experience with Philly, NYC, or DC, so I don't even knwo where to begin.
Firm websites will usually have all their attorneys' law schools listed and you can see who went to Penn, what their practice area is, and how senior they are. When I was in law school, I went with a hierarchy of Partner in group I want > Partner in group I don't want > Associate in group I want > Associate in group I don't want. If you generally have no idea what you want to do then it doesn't matter as much, but I found targeting partners to be much higher rate of success in terms of getting callbacks.

However, you need to be someone that has the personality for this. Partners don't have a lot of time to waste talking to law students, but generally enjoy meeting students from their old school. If you are going to spend time with them and just be "meh" then that would probably be worse than not networking at all. Make sure you seem excited (but not crazy), curious, and ready to hear them out about their stories and career paths. Also, don't push them to help you. In my experience the ones that like you will volunteer to help you out by forwarding your resume through.

Edit: Just to add - once your transfer is complete, you really should target every firm, in every market that you are interested in working. If its Philly, you can do in-person meetings/coffee. If NY/DC, maybe plan a week to spend there and schedule in-person meetings with as many people as you can and then do the rest over the phone. I had great phone conversations that helped me and great in person conversations that helped me. I HIGHLY recommend doing this, not many law students do this kind of networking and the economy is truly screwed, so this will give you an edge for finding positions.
Thanks for your thoughtful advice. I am definitely gonna do this! I am already nervous about paying $100k+, but I am certainly not going to half ass it when I go. $100k is a big investment and requires quite a big return.

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:17 pm

proudgunner wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:08 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:59 pm
proudgunner wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:22 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:17 pm
Once your transfer is complete, start networking immediately with associates/partners in practice areas and cities you are targeting that went to your school (Penn). It's even possible that you get callbacks and offers prior to OCI if people like you enough. Also, practice interviewing and have your stories down straight so you sound as professional as possible. Penn should have full lists of interview questions normally asked at OCI (they aren't hard - law firm interviews are the easiest interviews I've ever had from a question standpoint).

Point is to be as likable as possible and have a few connections that really like you at firms you are targeting so they can fast track you through the process.
Thanks so much! Any tips for picking out who to network with? Problem is I have no experience with Philly, NYC, or DC, so I don't even knwo where to begin.
Firm websites will usually have all their attorneys' law schools listed and you can see who went to Penn, what their practice area is, and how senior they are. When I was in law school, I went with a hierarchy of Partner in group I want > Partner in group I don't want > Associate in group I want > Associate in group I don't want. If you generally have no idea what you want to do then it doesn't matter as much, but I found targeting partners to be much higher rate of success in terms of getting callbacks.

However, you need to be someone that has the personality for this. Partners don't have a lot of time to waste talking to law students, but generally enjoy meeting students from their old school. If you are going to spend time with them and just be "meh" then that would probably be worse than not networking at all. Make sure you seem excited (but not crazy), curious, and ready to hear them out about their stories and career paths. Also, don't push them to help you. In my experience the ones that like you will volunteer to help you out by forwarding your resume through.

Edit: Just to add - once your transfer is complete, you really should target every firm, in every market that you are interested in working. If its Philly, you can do in-person meetings/coffee. If NY/DC, maybe plan a week to spend there and schedule in-person meetings with as many people as you can and then do the rest over the phone. I had great phone conversations that helped me and great in person conversations that helped me. I HIGHLY recommend doing this, not many law students do this kind of networking and the economy is truly screwed, so this will give you an edge for finding positions.
Thanks for your thoughtful advice. I am definitely gonna do this! I am already nervous about paying $100k+, but I am certainly not going to half ass it when I go. $100k is a big investment and requires quite a big return.
No problem - its been an easy economy the last few years and I think law students are generally not business savvy, so for the few people that do this well it can be huge, especially now that we're in a full blown recession. Also, like you said, you don't have a family that has gone professional school, so being humble and saying you really want to learn about different areas of the law is a way to get partners to be impressed with your initiative and the fact that you aren't some rich kid that is just trying to schmooze. It's also a numbers game, a lot of people may never get back to you so don't get discouraged, just keep hitting people up and hitting the pavement.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Financial Advice Appreciated!

Post by RaceJudicata » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:59 pm
proudgunner wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:22 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:17 pm
Once your transfer is complete, start networking immediately with associates/partners in practice areas and cities you are targeting that went to your school (Penn). It's even possible that you get callbacks and offers prior to OCI if people like you enough. Also, practice interviewing and have your stories down straight so you sound as professional as possible. Penn should have full lists of interview questions normally asked at OCI (they aren't hard - law firm interviews are the easiest interviews I've ever had from a question standpoint).

Point is to be as likable as possible and have a few connections that really like you at firms you are targeting so they can fast track you through the process.
Thanks so much! Any tips for picking out who to network with? Problem is I have no experience with Philly, NYC, or DC, so I don't even knwo where to begin.
Firm websites will usually have all their attorneys' law schools listed and you can see who went to Penn, what their practice area is, and how senior they are. When I was in law school, I went with a hierarchy of Partner in group I want > Partner in group I don't want > Associate in group I want > Associate in group I don't want. If you generally have no idea what you want to do then it doesn't matter as much, but I found targeting partners to be much higher rate of success in terms of getting callbacks.

However, you need to be someone that has the personality for this. Partners don't have a lot of time to waste talking to law students, but generally enjoy meeting students from their old school. If you are going to spend time with them and just be "meh" then that would probably be worse than not networking at all. Make sure you seem excited (but not crazy), curious, and ready to hear them out about their stories and career paths. Also, don't push them to help you. In my experience the ones that like you will volunteer to help you out by forwarding your resume through.

Edit: Just to add - once your transfer is complete, you really should target every firm, in every market that you are interested in working. If its Philly, you can do in-person meetings/coffee. If NY/DC, maybe plan a week to spend there and schedule in-person meetings with as many people as you can and then do the rest over the phone. I had great phone conversations that helped me and great in person conversations that helped me. I HIGHLY recommend doing this, not many law students do this kind of networking and the economy is truly screwed, so this will give you an edge for finding positions.
Agree with all of this. But don’t ask to have coffee with people... won’t be a thing for a while. Phone call will do the trick. Also, even if it doesn’t lead to anything, this type of networking is good interview practice.

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