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Messages - Felsen

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Current Law Students / Re: Job Fair--A good thing to try?
« on: August 28, 2007, 12:45:22 PM »
Job Fairs will attract different students than OCIs.  For example, I go to UT.  The top 10% (maybe more) of the class should have very little problem getting some top job they want through OCI.  Those people have little reason to do job fairs unless it is targetting some specific practice or a specific location so they might not otherwise meet those employers (in our case, UT people might want to see a bunch of Chicago or New York firms, and think not enough come to OCI).  Generally, though, you'll probably not be competing against the very top students at a job fair.

Job Fairs will also have people from different schools.  So if you are at the only top 50 school within 4 hours, but there are 4 schools in the 100's nearby, you will probably have better success rates at the job fair compared to OCI.

Job Search / Re: Should I apply to all the OCI firms?
« on: August 21, 2007, 10:37:20 AM »
This depends very much on your OCI process.  Talk with your career services people.

At my school, I'm limited to 60 applications.  I'm then limited to 25 actual interviews.  I think there were 400 or more places to apply with.  I'm using up all 60 applications, and hoping to fill all 25 interviews.  The way the system is set up, I may be required to refuse interviews with some firms.  For this reason, the school has the interviewers select primary candidates equal to the number of interview slots, then secondary candidates who get to sign up in the remaining slots on a first-come, first-served basis.

If your OCI is truly open-ended, remember you are getting yourself a job, not your classmates.  Don't bother interviewing with places you can eliminate based on city, practice area, salary, etc.

The firms themselves will also do some sorting of candidates.  A firm which has never been able to hire from the top 25% at your school will not fill up all their slots with top 10% folks.  They might pick a token few, but will then fill the rest with students who have lower grades but are more likely to accept.

Whatever you do, clarify what your Career Service office requires and recommends.  You don't want them pulling all your interviews because you did something against their rules.

Job Search / Re: Is facial hair really a taboo for OCI?
« on: August 21, 2007, 10:21:42 AM »

Some people will score you lower in interviews due to the facial hair.  They may think your particular style looks ugly, scruffy, etc.  It may also just be a sub-conscious idea that peoplw with facial hair are hiding something and less honest.

Very few people (if any at all) will score you lower for having a clean-shaven face.  So play the odds.

Since you describe it as a small amount, it probably won't take long to grow back once interviews are done.  You might be able to keep it over the summer job, as people won't be judging you based purely on a 30 minute slice of time.

Job Search / Re: callbacks- how many are enough?
« on: August 21, 2007, 10:00:15 AM »
Are you doing your full summer at one firm, or splitting?

For 2Ls, I expect the firms to average giving offers to 1/3 to 1/2 of the people they bring in for callbacks.  With 6 callbacks, that is a possible 2-3 offers.  They'll probably be weighted towards the "lesser" firm, meaning those who are not as elite in their interviewing process.

If you're doing the full summer at one firm, then 2-3 offers is a decent number to choose between.  As long as you don't bomb the callbacks and end up with 0-1 offers, that's fine.  If you can manage it, try for 8.  It gives you a bit more buffer.  It also lets you have more points of comparison in making your decision.

If you're doing half summers at two firms, then 2-3 offers means you don't really have much of a choice.  I'd try to manage 8 interviews as a minimum, and cap out at 12.

This ignores the problems of doing more interviews, though.  You'll have to miss more classes.  That's my gut opinion.  Listen to your own gut more, of course.  Just remember that this is your prime interviewing time.  Interviewing next semester or next year will be more difficult, as people will start out wondering what is wrong with you that you don't have a job lined up already.

U of Texas - Austin / Re: Class of 2010?
« on: August 06, 2007, 05:42:39 PM »
Schiess is good for LR&W.  I've not had him, but have spent some time with him otherwise.  I also know several people who had him and say he is a great professor.

I have had Bridges and Petrie for R&W classes.  I think they are both good at what they do, though their teaching styles are vastly different.  Bridges' classes were more serious events, while Petrie likes to weave in a bit of humor and pop culture references (mainly consisting of the TV shows he is currently watching).

U of Texas - Austin / Re: Class of 2010?
« on: August 04, 2007, 10:29:44 AM »
I would have thought if you had an EID it would have worked.  I do seem to remember that I didn't have access to certain portions of the school's website till school actually started.  It seems kind of stupid, IMHO, for them to be barring folks from seeing sample cover letters and resumes.

If you can make it in to the school, they should have print-outs of those sample resumes and cover letters in a rack in the career services office.

U of Texas - Austin / Re: Class of 2010?
« on: August 02, 2007, 09:51:08 PM »

There is a link to a spot on the Career Services page.  It has some sample resumes and cover letters.  If you have already moved into the area, career services also has a small library that includes books on how to write resumes and cover letters (generically).  The books are the basic ones that should be present in any decent public library, though.

Sometime around Novemeber, you can also schedule a meeting with one of the career advisors.  They can't meet with you before then due to NALP guidelines.  They will look over your resume and cover letters and give you additional advice, as well as suggestions on how to find places to send your resume.  I'd suggest getting them as good as possible before then, though.  Have a few good people you know look over them for typos, aesthetics, etc.

BTW, I only sent out around 75 letters to 40 different firms (multiple offices of some firms, and I'm not counting duplicates sent to both the hiring partners and recruiting coordinators).  When I talked with the career person, she said that was rather low for a 1L and getting a job.  She recommended more on the order of 200 different places.

Looking back, I'd also suggest doing a lot.  Out of mine, I only got two callbacks.  The summer job I did get was through the Spring OCI, not my mailings.

I think another problem of mine was that I mostly limited myself to Texas.  Texas has a boatload of law schools, with 75%+ of each one trying to stay in Texas.  Look outside Texas for the first summer.  New York, DC, Chicago, Atlanta, etc. or anywhere else that doesn't have as many in-state law schools.  You'll make enough that you can afford a summer in a big city if you get it.  It is a summer.  Spend it having fun, and you can go somewhere in Texas (or wherever else you really want to be) your second summer.

U of Texas - Austin / Re: Class of 2010?
« on: July 28, 2007, 08:28:12 PM »
I can't really think of anything specific that you won't just pick up.  One thing that you'll pick up on is practice exams.

Teachers can post practice tests from prior years with the school's test bank.  Most of these are available on-line, and others are available in bound books in the library.  I believe they tell you this during library orientation.  Only additional advice is to remember that if you pick the 99-00 school year or earlier (I think that's the right year), the Fall test will cover only half the semester and the Spring test will cover the other half.  So if you start doing practice tests early (say October) pick Fall semester of an old exam, and you should know most of the exam.  The only exception is Con Law I.  This is because back before 2000, you had all of your first year classes the entire year long.  They switched them to be just a semester long.

You can rent a locker in the law school.  There are either keyed lockers or combination lockers (you provide combo lock).  I prefer keyed, as I always have my keys with me.  Keyed ones are supposedly slightly bigger as well.

I actually tend to study by my locker.  I got one in the basement, so it only gets traffic between classes.

When I've been in the library, the 4th floor is really quiet, and not too frequented.  5th floor has the open computers and the printers, so it gets more traffic and is thus noisier.  I've not gone up to the 6th too often.

In case you don't know, you cannot do Moot Court or Mock Trial your first year.  You can witness and bailiff to help others out, but you cannot compete.  In the second semester there will be a 1L moot court competition.  It is open to all 1Ls, thought it really helps if you take the elective class that prepares you for it (Brief Writing & Oral Advocacy).  This past year there was also a 1L Mock Trial.  It was strictly limited to only 1Ls who were taking a specific trial preparation class (had about 20 slots).

That's some basics that you might not have picked up on yet.

U of Texas - Austin / Re: Class of 2010?
« on: July 25, 2007, 02:40:39 AM »
The book discussion is optional.  I didn't do it.  I heard only from a couple people who did it, neither of whom particularly liked it.  It isn't enough time to get to know the professors, and you won't even be able to take classes from most of them for another year.

I got a summer associate job in Houston for the first 6 weeks of the summer, but nothing this second half.  So I've been pursuing my hobbies and taking trips to visit a few family members.  I figure getting a job for part of the summer qualifies as having done something for when I start OCIs this Fall.

U of Texas - Austin / Re: Class of 2010?
« on: July 16, 2007, 12:13:49 PM »
I really enjoyed my first year.  It was fairly close to what I was expecting.  I didn't end up doing as much extra-curricular or campus related stuff as I was expecting.  The rec. centers are a bit too long of a walk for me to head there much.  When I'm on campus, I'm at the law center, so I don't really know much of anything going on elsewhere on campus.

Right now over the summer, I'm less excited.  I've gotten a taste of working again, and am starting to look a little too far ahead to what's going to happen when I graduate.  That will probably change once I get back to classes.  This year I'll finally be allowed to start participating in the moot court and mock trial events, and that should start getting me fired up again too.

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