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Messages - vercingetorix

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42
3L job search / Re: new suit NECESSARY for callback interview?
« on: October 23, 2008, 08:02:02 PM »
this whole post captures why non-trads have an advantage during the interview process.

43
2L job search / Re: 13 Callbacks, 0 Offers
« on: October 22, 2008, 05:28:24 PM »
If he didn't interview well, he wouldn't have had 10-13 callbacks, assuming he only did OCI. 

That's not true at all.  You get OCI interviews because of grades, you generally get through OCI to call backs because of grades again.  They see you for 20 minutes.  It's easy to keep the subject off of you for 20 minutes. 

At a call back, your douchebaggery is much more likely to surface.

a little harsh perhaps, but as they say, the sting in any rebuke is the truth.  the OP probably has problems connecting with the target audience in a more "real world" setting than the 20 minute interview revealed.  first off, congrats are in order for the 13 initials, especially in this economy. this is a sign that on paper you are in good shape.  the obvious problem was in closing the deal.  a very candid assessment of your ability to carry on conversations that put your interviewers at ease, or, even better, make them forget that they are interviewing you (most of my callbacks were all day affairs that included lunch and dinner) should help.  also, look at what we consider shallow attributes.  are you overweight? how did you dress? do you have severe acne? do you look like an idiot when you eat? (i'm quite serious).  all of these things play a pretty large role.  remember people get 80% of their information visually.  do you have annoying mannerisms? do you spend large swaths of conversations talking about yourself without breaking it up and asking others about their families/hobbies/homes/whatever? remember a large part of this is proving that you are potty trained and that you won't embarrass the firm in front of clients.
do you have work experience? as a non-trad i found this made it much easier to connect with my interviewers.  for the most part i was the same age as, or older than the people with whom i spoke.  a couple of different firms stated explicitly that this was a big advantage. it goes without saying that this can go too far. clearly if you are 50 this will be a handicap.  but all other things being equal, if you are a little older (late 20's, early 30's) and you have a solid professional background, this is a big advantage.  an example.  i am 34, top 30% of my class at a T1 school (not even top 25), no journals and i got 9 out of 12 offers. i would not have gotten this kind of attention without 1. my work experience and 2. my ability (developed over years of interacting in professional settings) to find something i have in common with people and use it to my advantage in conversations without sounding cheesy.

44
Law Firms / Godfrey and Kahn or Michael Best and Friedrich?
« on: October 11, 2008, 09:33:27 AM »
thoughts?

45
General Off-Topic Board / Re: black racism?
« on: October 06, 2008, 10:39:15 PM »
really? you think the answers are this simple? seems intellectually dishonest not to think this one through entirely.  in other words, OF COURSE BLACK RACISM EXTSTS.  the fact that white liberals won't talk about it makes me laugh.  reverend wright, who will be in the news a lot more shortly is just one example of virulent African American racism in the US.  it is a really simple, unthinking response to state that the reason 95% of the black vote is going for Obama because they somehow agree with his political views.  most American voters cannot find Egypt on a map, much less articulate why they support a particular candidate in any intelligible way. most African Americans are voting for Obama precisely because he is black. here is a nice taste of what i am describing.  oh and these are middle school kids.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSvBCBnulLs

can you imagine if a bunch of white kids marched out in fatigues and endorsed their undying devotion to McCain? really? do you people view anything critically? i want to assume the best but i think that most of your critical thinking takes a holiday whenever minorities are involved.

46
General Off-Topic Board / black racism?
« on: October 06, 2008, 09:27:19 PM »
1. it is estimated as much as 6% of the white democratic electorate will not vote for Obama because he is black.
2. it is estimated that over 95% of African Americans will vote for Obama.


47
Law Firms / Re: Non-traditional students hired by biglaw firms?
« on: October 04, 2008, 06:20:26 PM »
i sense a touch of sarcasm here archival.  google "university of wisconsin mom gets SCOTUS clerkship".  being a parent when partners making hiring decisions are parents can absolutely translate into a huge advantage.  at the very least you have a significant point in common.

Are you seriously arguing that partners in large law firms generally view it as an advantage when a woman has young children?  That people making hiring decisions would generally be impressed by a woman who mentioned her young children in an interview?  I'm not talking about corner cases like your Wisconsin grad, but generalities.
look dude, the point at which you are driving is true in theory, completely sexist (as business in general is) but true.  this means that it doesn't really exist in practice.  no business, and i mean not a one, wants women having kids.  there was an interesting and provocative discussion a couple of years ago within the AMA about how disastrous training female physicians was, and particularly in the highly specialized fields.  The reason was clear.  Just as they gain proficiency at their skillset, they drop out for years at a time to have kids.  What this means is that a. they never fully "catch up" to their male counterparts who keep working (or female counterparts who decide not to have children) and that b. the remaining physicians have to pick up their patients.  This is a huge drag on resources (medicine is heavily subsidized) and a drag on morale.  The obvious conclusion however is that you simply cannot choose to hire or fire people based on whether or not they have kids, want kids, may have kid, etc.  Law is no different.  So what happens is that people just accept that it blows for business but you might as well accept that the inevitable will happen.  Mind you I am looking at this purely from the point of view of highest return on an investment.  Clearly society benefits greatly from mothers having children. It is something all employers know that they have to deal with.  Not mentioning the fact that you want or have kids if you are a young woman as if a hiring partner won't somehow assume that you might decide to do that some day or that in fact you might already have kids is asinine.

48
Law Firms / Re: Non-traditional students hired by biglaw firms?
« on: October 04, 2008, 03:43:45 PM »
  You are often dealing with similar things (spouse, young kids, purchasing a home, etc.)

 :D

Yeah bringing that up as a thirty-something woman would go over great.


i sense a touch of sarcasm here archival.  google "university of wisconsin mom gets SCOTUS clerkship".  being a parent when partners making hiring decisions are parents can absolutely translate into a huge advantage.  at the very least you have a significant point in common.

49
Law Firms / Re: Non-traditional students hired by biglaw firms?
« on: October 04, 2008, 03:40:13 PM »
You are often dealing with similar things (spouse, young kids, purchasing a home, etc.) and you have more experience to draw from than "once in my frat..." or "in class one time...".  This is not to say that there aren't insanely bright and talented younger people who do well in these situations, I just found that even the best of them came off as immature. 

For the record, I'm under 30, married, own my own home, was never in a sorority, and never once talked about class in interviews unless I was asked what class was my favorite or something along those lines.

I'm not disagreeing that age can be a benefit OR a hurdle, depending on where you're at and what else you have going on for you, but to make a relatively broad statement that all young people talk about is frats and class is pretty insulting to someone under 30.  And even where you acknowledged that there are bright and talented younger people, you immediately asserted that they're all still immature.  These types of judgments and assumptions hurt everyone, because they go both ways. (and I do see that you tried to "soften" your stance later on, but I don't think you were quite successful enough to undo the insulting nature of what's quoted above).

Bottom line, a person's age can be a benefit or a burden.  Younger people may face the immature stigma in some places and jobs, and older can be assumed to not want to start at the bottom of the associate pack.  But it's all about how you spin it.  Several people I summered with and will be 1st year associates with me at a BigLaw firm were older and came from another career or with several degrees under their belt.  They spun their experience and their age as positives on their resume and their interview, and it obviously worked for them.  Also, several older students at my school got great jobs in both big firms and government.
you are right, I was making a very broad statement.  in my experience, it is an accurate observation.  there are unquestionably immature older students.  but when you match a mature, older student (noting my age range exceptions) to a mature younger student, the older student wins every time.  they related better to those interviewing them because they have done more (not due to superior aptitude or ability but by virtue of having been on earth longer).  in other words, everything else being equal (to reiterate, within the age range described above), the older student gets the job every time.

50
Law Firms / Re: Non-traditional students hired by biglaw firms?
« on: October 04, 2008, 01:08:54 PM »
I go to UW Wisconsin.  I am in my mid-30's.  Top 1/3 of my class.  No journals or other law school related activities. I got callbacks and offers from every significant firm in Madison and Milwaukee.  The reason grades are so significant your first year is to get your foot in the door. At the initial interview they simply want to make sure you are potty trained and that you can form complete sentences. When you move onto callbacks where you spend an entire day interacting with partners at work, over lunch, cocktail hour and dinner, your experience interacting with adults in social settings is a huge advantage.  It helps when many of the senior associates and young partners at a firm are about your age.  You are often dealing with similar things (spouse, young kids, purchasing a home, etc.) and you have more experience to draw from than "once in my frat..." or "in class one time...".  This is not to say that there aren't insanely bright and talented younger people who do well in these situations, I just found that even the best of them came off as immature.  I thought my age was an advantage.  Obviously this argument has limits. I think if you are in your mid 40's or early 50's this is a tougher sell.  But if you are anywhere in you late 20's or early to mid 30's I think you relate to people making the hiring decisions better. Again, and I know I'm going to get a ration of sh!t for this, but this isn't a reflection on the overall quality of the younger students.  Unless you are a potted fern, you pick up tricks, techniques, etc when interacting with others in social and professional settings as you get older.  At 23 I wouldn't have a chance against me at 33 in an interview, there is just not way.  I made mistakes back then I would never make today. Things I would have done or said that would have seemed fine then, now appear awkward.  Anyway, you get the point.  i can talk with you offline if you want.  i have other thoughts about mentioning quality of life issues and part-time work.  I did it every time.  They seemed relieved that I admitted I wanted a life in addition to work.  Remember a lot of these people are also judging if they'd want to have you over for dinner with their families on a semi-regular basis. anywho, that's all i have for now.

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