If firm hiring goes way down, who will still be competitive for jobs?

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istan

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If firm hiring goes way down, who will still be competitive for jobs?

Post by istan » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:06 am

I don't know how likely this is to happen, but it seems at least remotely possible and I'd like to start thinking about what my alternative plan would be.

Considering a dire situation where the Covid recession gets worse and firms cut hiring significantly, which types of candidates would have the best chances?

For example, would school ranking or grades matter more? Obviously, the best position would be to be at the top of the class at a top school, but that’s pretty few people. After them, would firms be more likely to say “we’ll only look at people from top schools,” or “we’ll only look at people with top grades”? Would someone at or below median at a T14 be better off, or someone in the top 10% at a T40?

What else would matter most? Personal connections to lawyers at the firm? Clerkship experience? Is there anything we can do to prepare for staying competitive in this scenario?

Is there any guidance from what happened after 2008?

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Re: If firm hiring goes way down, who will still be competitive for jobs?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:42 pm

Some combination of top grades and/or top schools. Some firms like to hire almost exclusively from the T-14, others prefer to grab the top few people from regional schools along with T-14 hiring. Firms are slowly bouncing back and at least for now, it doesn't seem like we'll see a repeat of post-2008 hiring trends. But if you're a 1L or a 2L with OCI in January, do everything you can to maximize your GPA.

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Re: If firm hiring goes way down, who will still be competitive for jobs?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:15 pm

I'd also say try and get practical experience if possible, which is tough these days, but many firms don't want to deal with heavy onboarding training in these unusual times if they can avoid it.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: If firm hiring goes way down, who will still be competitive for jobs?

Post by objctnyrhnr » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am

I’m pretty surprised that more market paying firms don’t abandon the SA thing all together and just offer large bonuses for laterals, post-clerkship hires etc. this had been the quinn model for quite some time.

It seems a significant expense and an unnecessary risk (on account of economic uncertainty) to hire the vast majority of associates over two years before they’re really going to begin.

This probably doesn’t answer the question but it made me think of it.

jackshunger

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Re: If firm hiring goes way down, who will still be competitive for jobs?

Post by jackshunger » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:38 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am
I’m pretty surprised that more market paying firms don’t abandon the SA thing all together and just offer large bonuses for laterals, post-clerkship hires etc. this had been the quinn model for quite some time.

It seems a significant expense and an unnecessary risk (on account of economic uncertainty) to hire the vast majority of associates over two years before they’re really going to begin.

This probably doesn’t answer the question but it made me think of it.
My understanding is that Quinn stopped doing it because they weren't attracting the candidate quality they thought they would, people stuck with their original firms where they had made connections and had a good summer.

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Re: If firm hiring goes way down, who will still be competitive for jobs?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:22 am

Anon as to not out myself.

At my old v60, they have almost completely moved away from oci and summer associates. A few years ago when I was a summer, the firm’s whole summer class size was like a 1/4th of what it historically was and they did oci completely through pre-oci. The firm did not attend a single oci, and hasn’t in 4-5 years.

This was all before covid and the market turning sour. My friends on the recruiting committee said they are looking at maybe 5 summers next year total, across the whole firm. Again, this is a v60. So not a v5, but certainly a huge firm with significant revenues.

Anon115523

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Re: If firm hiring goes way down, who will still be competitive for jobs?

Post by Anon115523 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:33 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:02 am
I’m pretty surprised that more market paying firms don’t abandon the SA thing all together and just offer large bonuses for laterals, post-clerkship hires etc. this had been the quinn model for quite some time.

It seems a significant expense and an unnecessary risk (on account of economic uncertainty) to hire the vast majority of associates over two years before they’re really going to begin.

This probably doesn’t answer the question but it made me think of it.
Yea and the Quinn model failed, that's why they abandoned it like 3 years ago. SA programs have been and continue to be the best way to attract and retain top talent--worth the expense and risk to firms that have no doubt spent a lot of time and money thinking about it.

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