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41
General Board / Re: How Many Call-Backs Have You Received?
« on: August 22, 2009, 01:35:18 PM »
FWIW, I'm a transfer student at a T15 school.

This reminds me of when I was on an admissions tour at Williams College. They boasted that their golf course (!) was consistently ranked within the top four college golf courses in the country. I raised my hand and asked if that meant they were ranked fourth, because no one ever says "top four" (even for golf courses). I was dinged.

I can see your point.  But, I've gotten so used to seeing "T15" that I don't ever think it means any of the schools below the "15" range.  When I see T15, I just assume the person is referring to UT, UCLA, or Vandy (regardless of where those schools are ranked in a given year).

42
General Board / Re: How Many Call-Backs Have You Received?
« on: August 22, 2009, 11:42:25 AM »
18 interviews, 0 callbacks.  Thanks for rubbing it in.

Sorry, buddy.  Not trying to rub anything in.  I wanted to see if everyone was was hurting.  I've heard from people that in the past at my school, people with over 15 interviews would get 6-8 call-backs (including transfers).

One of my call-backs is only taking ONE student.  So i'm not holding out much hope for that.

I hope I don't have to work for free again this summer.

43
General Board / How Many Call-Backs Have You Received?
« on: August 22, 2009, 12:34:36 AM »
Hello all:

I'm curious as to how this cycle is being affected by the economy and want to see if everyone's call-back number has decreased.

I guess I'll go first.  17 OCI, and received only 2 callbacks (granted, I haven't heard from all my firms yet, but it's been over a week so I'm not holding out too much hope).

FWIW, I'm a transfer student at a T15 school.

Now, your turn...

44
Hey guys,

what are some of the more holistic schools that actually look at more than GPA and LSAT. My GPA is low...haven't written the LSAT yet, but am looking to get some opinions of what my options are. I prefer the west coast but don't really care.

Thanks


The answer to this question is that there are probably *none*.  Every school who cares about their ranking (and let's be honest, these are the only schools you should probably be considering), will care about GPA/LSAT because they will want to make sure their averages don't drop.

With that being said, there are some schools like Northwestern that tend to like those with work experience (but this doesn't mean that you need to meet their GPA/LSAT expectations).

Law school admission is almost always a numbers driven process.  And those schools who accept students far below their medians are accepting EXCEPTIONAL students.  These aren't students with three years of "good" work experience.  Rather, these students cured cancer (or something to that effect).

45
General Board / Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« on: July 09, 2009, 10:23:16 PM »
Hey, Sands...

You spoke earlier about how at year 4 a biglaw associate is at his most marketable and can move to prestigious government work, etc.

I was wondering a few things.  Firstly, do big firms hire those who went straight into the Federal government and worked there for a number of years?  (For example, somebody who graduates and goes to DOJ through the honors program or something.)

Secondly, do you think those exit options make working four years at a big firm "worth" it? 

46
General Board / Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
« on: July 06, 2009, 04:38:34 PM »
I've got plenty of questions, but we'll start with some of these:

You spoke about gaining experience by doing pro bono, is this something that is just unique to your firm?  Or, since you know others at big firms, does this happen at other firms?

Knowing what you know now, is there somewhere else you would've chosen to work at for your first job?

Do you know what life is like for those first year associates doing transactional work?  

47
Transferring / Re: Who Else Is Transferring To UCLA?
« on: July 06, 2009, 04:23:40 PM »
Oh sweet, where are you coming from?  You can PM and maybe we can exchange email addys?

48
General Board / Re: ~100% Sure I Want to Do Lit -- Which Firms?
« on: July 06, 2009, 03:26:41 PM »
My grades are fine, but probably preclude W&C and Cravath-type firms, so please don't suggest them.  Right now, I'm looking at these places:

Quinn Emmanuel (they sound great, and I heard they're a bit of a sweatshop, which is all the better ITE)
Boies Schiller
Kirkland (probably NYC more than Chicago)
Gibson Dunn
Crowell and Moring (I heard good things from others)

Any other suggestions?

If I'm really interested in a firm like Quinn, would they mind if I interviewed in multiple offices?

(speaking for NY offices only):

Gibson Dunn if you want to work day and night around the clock.

Crowell Moring if you don't want to work day and night around the clock but get the same pay. (excluding bonuses of course)

Kirkland, more towards Gibson Dunn environment but not quite as bad (debatable though).

Haven't worked with people or know any people at Boise or Quinn so I can't speak to those two.





Hey, Sands.  Just a quick question (probably a little off topic, sorry):  I understand that people work around the clock at these big firms, but is the work really that tedious?  Is it really that boring?  If you're in litigation, does it really come down to just doing document review round the clock?

I don't mind working hard; I just want to also do some interesting work.  I understand I'm going to be pulling time doing things that aren't quite so "sexy."  But, when it's all said and done, I want to get good experience and do some interesting work while learning what it really takes to be a lawyer.

Can you speak to that a little bit?


If it's ok with Officious I'll respond to that in this thread.

NY is a different beast than most other markets for reasons I can expand on later, but just wanted to throw that out up front as a threshold matter.

That being said, in a NYC BigLaw firm as a junior associate,  you can expect to work long hours on conducting and/or running doc reviews just because that is typically the name of the game for NY practice.  When I say long hours, I mean that you can expect to bill 180 to 200 hours/month on doc review related work for months at a time. (I had a few months that ran 200+ which starts to enter zombie territory)

You asked if the work is tedious and boring.  Short answer: yes.  Doing doc review at BigLaw typically entails running a doc review of anywhere from 1 or 2 to up to 100 or more document reviewers, aka Contract Attorneys.  For example, I was on one where there were 2 partners, 2 sr. associates, one other fellow junior associate and myself.  We had a team of about 40 Contract Attorneys reviewing documents from 9am to 8pm Monday thru Saturday. This lasted for about 6 or 7 months.

Part of your duties as a jr assoc involves quality control of the contract attorneys which means being present to answer questions and check their work after documents are reviewed.  This is the tedious part.  Contract attorneys will review the documents for relevance to a number of different criteria and also for privileged communications between the other side and their attorneys.  All of this information is done through various doc review program software. Each firm has their own favorite type.  After the documents are reviewed at the first level, then you, as the junior associate, will have to do Q.C. to check if a document that is, for example, tagged as privileged actually is privileged.

Like I said, tedious.

That's the initial phase of the litigation however.  As documents are reviewed and discovery begins to give us more clues to the puzzle, then you actually get into the "sexy" work of drafting motions, legal research, etc.  But it all starts with the doc review and discovery.  Before you do doc review/discovery you really don't know what is out there that can help your case or theories that you may have.  What starts off as a breach of contract claim between two large corporations, for example, can quickly turn into a trademark infringement claim involving multiple third parties who are now dragged into the litigation through impleader.

Getting back to the "sexy" work, the drafting of motions in NY is usually done by the sr. associates and signed off by the Partners.  Sometimes the sr. assoc's kick down the work to those of us jr. assoc's so then you can get your feet wet in actual motion practice in either federal or state court (usually federal). I can expand on that aspect as well but I'm trying to stay on point to your question as much as possible and still give a meaningful answer.

Lastly, you mentioned getting good experience and doing meaningful work as a lawyer.  Well I have good news and bad news.  Bad news, I can tell you right now, although it is the norm in Biglaw, there is NOTHING meaningful about doc review.  And what I mean by that is, there is NO substantive development as an attorney whatsoever from running a doc review.  During doc reviews, you'll have many-a-night where you'll be sitting up at midnight long after the office has cleared out wondering to yourself why you needed to go through 3 years of law school and a bar exam just to do something that you could literally train your kid brother to do in 15 minutes.

That's the bad news.

Good news is there is a way to get good experience and do meaningful work as a junior associate in Biglaw and its name is Pro Bono.  As a 1st year associate, I appeared in both federal and state court, representing clients on a variety of issues from death penalty cases to criminal defense work to civil litigations.  I have visited clients in federal prison (an interesting experience), state and county jails and other detention centers.  I have helped single mothers living in battered women's shelters get some much needed benefits from the City of New York. - All of this has been from pro bono work.

So I know that was lengthy but hopefully that sheds some light on what you guys are getting into.  Let me know if you guys have any other questions.

That was a great response.  Thanks!  The only downside is that now I have many, many more questions (as I'm sure most of the other posters reading this).  However, I don't want to steal from this thread.  Perhaps, when you're free you can start a thread where we can just throw questions at you.  It's nice to get some inside perspective on what a lot of us aspiring for.

49
General Board / Re: ~100% Sure I Want to Do Lit -- Which Firms?
« on: July 06, 2009, 01:51:22 PM »
My grades are fine, but probably preclude W&C and Cravath-type firms, so please don't suggest them.  Right now, I'm looking at these places:

Quinn Emmanuel (they sound great, and I heard they're a bit of a sweatshop, which is all the better ITE)
Boies Schiller
Kirkland (probably NYC more than Chicago)
Gibson Dunn
Crowell and Moring (I heard good things from others)

Any other suggestions?

If I'm really interested in a firm like Quinn, would they mind if I interviewed in multiple offices?

(speaking for NY offices only):

Gibson Dunn if you want to work day and night around the clock.

Crowell Moring if you don't want to work day and night around the clock but get the same pay. (excluding bonuses of course)

Kirkland, more towards Gibson Dunn environment but not quite as bad (debatable though).

Haven't worked with people or know any people at Boise or Quinn so I can't speak to those two.





Hey, Sands.  Just a quick question (probably a little off topic, sorry):  I understand that people work around the clock at these big firms, but is the work really that tedious?  Is it really that boring?  If you're in litigation, does it really come down to just doing document review round the clock?

I don't mind working hard; I just want to also do some interesting work.  I understand I'm going to be pulling time doing things that aren't quite so "sexy."  But, when it's all said and done, I want to get good experience and do some interesting work while learning what it really takes to be a lawyer.

Can you speak to that a little bit?

50
LSAT is good for 5 years.  And I doubt that there is a penalty.  There had better not be.  I might be doing the same.

Just as a word of caution, I think LSAC says that the LSAT score is good for five years.  However, some schools will specifically list stricter requirements (such as an LSAT score within the last three years).  I vaguely remember this from when I applied.

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