3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

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3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:53 pm

Hi y'all, don't think I've seen a thread on this yet. What do people think 3L hiring is going to look like this cycle? With 2L OCI moved to February for most schools, firm timelines will be all screwed up. Not to mention with all the layoffs and paycuts, hiring will be weird.

Personally, I'm an OCI-strikeout at a t14 whose grades have since improved and landed a pretty nice in-house gig at an F100 company that ***should*** come with an offer at the end of it. I'm still thinking of trying my hand at firms to see what's out there, but hoo boy I have no idea what to expect.

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Re: 3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:49 pm

1. Should 3L job seekers send out feelers *now* or in August/September, presumably after summer classes get finalized?

2. Is it worth it to reach out to firms known to have laid people off? Will they be hiring entry-level people?

Birdman1330

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Re: 3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by Birdman1330 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:10 am

Things will be quite tight, but you may as well shoot your shot. It heavily depends on practice area alignment and substantial improvement in grades.

Not having worked in biglaw this last summer will hurt you though.

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Re: 3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:04 am

Birdman1330 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:10 am
Things will be quite tight, but you may as well shoot your shot. It heavily depends on practice area alignment and substantial improvement in grades.

Not having worked in biglaw this last summer will hurt you though.
Balanced against someone who has worked in Big Law and is more likely to return to their previous firm vs. someone with in-house experience that would be more likely to accept an offer, Big Law wins out? Probably depends on how it's spun at the very least.

I don't want to reveal too much, but my company is a large player in a heavily regulated financial market, but my projects have been more general contracting/corporate focused; I think this could play well in a Big Law interview.

Also, my grades went up by about .1 from 2L OCI to now, but of course that's without last semester's grades. Every semester my GPA has been higher than the last. My first semester 2L grades were about .25 above where my grades were at OCI, and about .4 above my first semester 1L grades. I'd say that's a pretty big increase, even though in the aggregate it's ended up only taking me from a little below median at OCI to a little above it now.

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Re: 3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:40 pm

In the same boat. Spent the last two summers in the lit group of a V50 and I have an offer in hand, but I am looking to "trade up" to a boutique.

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Re: 3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by namefromplace » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:59 pm

As far as timing for "sending out feelers," I would suggest emailing alumni from your law school in practice areas that interest you now to set up a call to talk about their firm and practice, then from that trying to get a sense of whether they're looking to hire and what their timeline would be. I don't think this is something you can be too early on, because you're developing a relationship as opposed to just sending an application. The closer you get to when applications are sent, the more it seems like you're just using the person to put forward your application as opposed to creating a relationship.

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Re: 3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by BrainsyK » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:04 am
Balanced against someone who has worked in Big Law and is more likely to return to their previous firm vs. someone with in-house experience that would be more likely to accept an offer, Big Law wins out? Probably depends on how it's spun at the very least.

I don't want to reveal too much, but my company is a large player in a heavily regulated financial market, but my projects have been more general contracting/corporate focused; I think this could play well in a Big Law interview.

Also, my grades went up by about .1 from 2L OCI to now, but of course that's without last semester's grades. Every semester my GPA has been higher than the last. My first semester 2L grades were about .25 above where my grades were at OCI, and about .4 above my first semester 1L grades. I'd say that's a pretty big increase, even though in the aggregate it's ended up only taking me from a little below median at OCI to a little above it now.
OP, you're looking at this wrong. 3L OCI is to fill specialist slots. Sometimes, it's done to hire more people because a firm has under-hired, but lol at that during COVID. Also, this latter kind of generalist hiring is usually between elite firms and usually candidates who had a significant bump in GPA.

1. You need to express interest in a practice that firms are hiring for. Usually this is some kind of finance or ECB role. Other areas do become hot, but they're kind of on a merry-go-round depending on the year. Pre-COVID, cyber security, funds, and some regulated industries practices were good. They probably still are. COVID means L&E and restructuring will be hot.

2. You need to have experience in that area. You don't need a lot--just one experience that you can expound on for like 1 minute and then enough knowledge to carry a 3-5 minute follow up conversation.

3. You need a biglaw offer. Sorry, this isn't an experience issue. This is a rubber stamp issue. It's someone saying "this person had the grades and experience to get hired previously, has worked in the biglaw environment, and we think that they are at least minimally competent to continue to do so." Nothing else will be quite similar to this. This isn't strictly necessary, but my guess is given how many fewer slots there will be due to COVID, this will matter a lot more than usual, and even in good times, this mattered a lot.

4. You need to at least somewhat interesting. Honestly, based on how long firms' ads remain on Symplicity, I don't think a lot of them even filter this deeply. They're literally looking for anyone who can and are willing to do the job who isn't manifestly insane.

5. Grades can help. Usually, this means that if you had at least median-ish grades that they haven't dropped off a cliff, and if you didn't, you do now. Bumps don't help all that much since again, firms don't usually scrutinize this deeply and are looking for someone who can and will do the job.

If you just go out there, pitching some generalist financial industry corporate experience, you're not likely to get any bites. You're not likely to get any bites anyway in this economy, but that would be an especially bad approach is my point. Unfortunately, a lot of the strong FIG groups also tend to be at highly-ranked firms like S&C, Cleary, and DPW, and plenty of people would want to work at the FIG groups in those firms. CWT is a notable exception, but that's one of maybe two or three that I can even think of. It's just not an area that's likely to get a lot of hits. Think about what you've done over the summer, find out what firms want through either Symplicity or friends, and try to connect the two. That's your best chance at getting biglaw at this point.

I don't mean to shit on your experiences. Biglaw summers may very well have had less substantive experience, but if you want biglaw, you really need to think about things in a way that appeals to what firms want--not what you think that you can offer or want. That's the rub of not competing in a 2L OCI environment, where students usually have some liberty to be choosy, and honestly, even then, a lot of them don't.

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Re: 3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:38 pm

In general, how do you find out that a firm needs to fill a specific role?

For example, I wouldn't want to reach out and say I'm interested in "X regulatory" group and find out they're only hiring "X funds," so they ignore my email.

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Re: 3L OCI/Firm Hiring 2020-21

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:26 am

As someone that managed to get a V10 position this past Fall as a 3L, I want to add few things to what was said (just graduated from lower T-14 with close to a 0.2 during the 2L year). I should say right now and will repeat this that all I experienced was pre-COVID, and I cannot authoritatively speak to what will go on right now, which is admittedly a situation that will be much tougher.

1. This was obviously pre-COVID, but I don't think a specialist position is necessary. I managed to get into a generalist position, so as another person I know, and there were several positions I saw that they were looking for corporate attorneys. I would note that few firms do ECB work- it is a niche practice area- and having specialist experience will limit you to the very few number of firms that are looking for that position. If you have done mostly L&E, then you might be looked over for Real Estate/Corporate or Restructuring positions. Still, if you had done some corporate work/ classes and taken 1-2 courses in Restructuring, then you might be more widely marketable.

2. That being said, I saw almost no position on litigation, so transactional is much more doable. In this, the COVID's impact on transactional would be very detrimental to the possibility of any openings. All being equal, I have noticed that it is easier to get a job as a transactional attorney than a litigation one.

3. It is much easier to find a 3L position as a BigLaw summer than in any other position. That is conventional wisdom, and I have witnessed situations where people got into other BigLaw firms without even a callback interview (in that one case, the person had an offer to summer at that firm before). If you did not have that, then the next best thing is to have a MidLaw experience (which I did) since, in those cases, you at least have the practical experience of firm life. I split my summer, so I also had an in-house position on my resume. But it was more useful as a device to tell firms how I liked law firm life better, and in my case, conversely being in a short-staffed relatively smaller company (less than a billion-dollar in revenue) helped me to get more substantive experience in the in-house position.

4. Networking matters a lot for 3L positions too. Talk to friends that summer in the firm. I ended up getting the offer from a firm that I had a friend that pushed for me and directed me to speak to people that can help, and at least one other person that I talked subsequently also pushed for me later on. These were not people with any power at the firm, but when you have multiple people recommending you, then it reinforces your interest at the firm, and that can help in the margins.

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