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Messages - pat sajack

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2L job search / Re: Bidding - Which markets are easier to break?
« on: June 23, 2008, 04:29:12 AM »
The answer is that Chicago will be the easiest to break into.  Ties don't matter as much for DC, but your grades will.  It tends to be a tough market for anyone hovering around the median because all the geeky law students want to work there.  I'd be cautious about just bidding in LA because things may be pulled way back this year because of the economy -- you might want to bid on two cities.  But honestly, you need to think things through a little more because Chicago, DC and LA are entirely different places, and you need to sort out some priority in your head for them.

You might want to think about a few of the firms in NY with better reputations for good quality of life (Hughes Hubbard, etc.) too.

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2L job search / Re: Experience with These Firms?
« on: June 23, 2008, 04:18:34 AM »
well doesn't this depend a lot on your class ranking too?

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2L job search / Re: below-curve hls 2L re: oci prospects
« on: June 23, 2008, 04:14:40 AM »
well, the OP is sought after, even if her grades are below the median.  There really isn't reason to worry, unless she does something silly like only applies to firms in San Diego (for example).  There are a ton of firms that come to Harvard and will take whomever they can get, eg Cadwalader, Strook.  But it's also really important to make sure that resume/writing sample are well edited and the interview presentation is polished.  We have an amazing career office, and if the OP asks, they will make sure everything is in order.  Although I was optimistic, it would be a mistake to only apply to elite firms or only to apply to hard markets (DC, SF, SD, etc.).  Someone said that it's not worth it for the OP to bid on some of the V20.  That is simply bad advice.  People regularly get jobs in the V20 with below-median grades at HLS.  I know people with B/B- averages who didn't have trouble getting a job in NY last time around (albeit not at the V20).  Obviously, it's possible to blow OCI, but if the OP is reasonably prepared, there's no reason to worry esp. in New York.   It remains a true whether the economy is in recession or not that there is far more demand for HLS students than there is supply.

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2L job search / Re: below-curve hls 2L re: oci prospects
« on: June 21, 2008, 10:55:59 AM »
You have a very decent shot at a lot of firms, and you should bid on certain firms in the top 20.  Last cycle was insane so that people even with 5.3's were getting offers from Cravath--that's just hovering over the median.  This cycle is bound to be worst  There are a lot of variables, and for example, if you have a particularly useful foreign language, such as Japanese, a firm may be much more willing to overlook your grades.  However, while it might not make sense to bid on Cravath, Wachtell, S&C or DPW, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to bid on many of the remaining firms.  Particularly Skadden and Weil are fairly well known for dipping below the median for summer associates from HLS.  You could almost certainly get an offer from Shearman if you really wanted it, but for lots of reasons, very few Harvard kids ever go there.  Besides the firms mentioned, you have a reasonable chance and the NY office of any firm-- heck, you might as well try for maybe Cleary and STB, who knows?  It will depend a lot on you.  Use up all your bids and do so wisely, meaning have a big spread, knowing that results can vary a lot for people in your range.

I have assumed that you are looking for the NY market, but especially if you are thinking SF or DC, your grades could become a major issue.  However, even then, not all would be lost.  My point, however, is that if you dream of working in a big time M&A practice in NY, you almost certainly can do so.  Think a lot about what you're looking for because you may not want to work at a crazy big-time NY firm.  There are a lot of good firms around that are a little less intense that rarely get the benefit of hiring a harvard student.

There is no reason to worry, even with the economy.  As long as you are reasonably social and good at interviewing, you will be fine.  I have several good friends with similar grades who scored offers with some of the firms I have mentioned (esp Weil and Skadden).

Here are a few more suggestions:

Do the practice OCI interview with OCS.  Because there could be such a wide number of differences with your results, it'd be good to know that you are doing the interviews well to maximize call backs.

If you really really like a firm, let them know.  Go to the reception and tell them.  This can make a difference.

Even with grades slightly below the median, you are still among the most sought-after job candidates in the nation.  You should act like it.

But there are no guarantees, so make sure to have a plan.  Your OCS advisor will help.

Anyway, have a good summer and take it easy. 


Rainyday- I'm just another 1L too (were you in Section 6, btw?) so I guess my thoughts need to be taken with a grain of salt, but here they are:

Yes, your grades are likely below the median at HLS.  Ten years ago the median was between a B and a B+, and I'm guessing that has gone up to around a B+ just based on my observations.  Still, a 3.1 is by no means terrible.  There are people who get C's here, and they still get jobs.  That being said, with the economy as it is, you may have a tougher time than some getting a BIGLAW summer job, but you WILL get one, especially if you want to be in NYC.  While the top firms are more picky, the consensus is many of the middle to lower Vault 100 won't even look at grades, or just give them a passing glance, especially if you interview well and they like you.  Of course, OCS may be lying to us, but they likely aren't, and I've never heard of someone not getting BIGLAW who wanted it.  Have you looked at the spreadsheets of who's going to these firms from HLS (they're on the OCS website)?  Many, many very good firms do not even get one 2L for their summer program.  These firms want people from Harvard, if only to make the other summers at the firm think "oh, this firm must be good, people from Harvard come here!"  We get a lot of bids for OCI, and as long as you bid strategically (ie. not putting down the top 20 firms) you should be just fine.

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