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Messages - rohan

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1L job search / Can PT'ers apply to 1L jobs for their first summer?
« on: July 25, 2008, 02:54:01 PM »
I know that students in the PT program at my school are typically 1 yr behind for OCI SA positions for 2L - and I assume that this is everywhere. Does anyone know if the same applies to Summer 1L or will I be "ineligible" (if there is such a thing for 1L jobs) to apply for Summer 1L jobs because I am PT?



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1L job search / Re: Prepared for internship 1L
« on: July 24, 2008, 08:27:34 PM »
Thanks, Prodigy. I do actually have experience responding to due diligence inquiries (for M&A, and VC funding), and negotiating contracts and drafting not-complex agreements  :) for employment related issues, etc.. but of course there were always attorneys involved after me. So it sounds like my general domain knowledge will be a benefit (mostly for me, I guess, in that I know the other side of these situations), but I'm actually quite glad to hear that the work will be somewhat different. In fact, this is why I wanted to go to LS in the first place. I like the legal side of this stuff rather than the day-to-day operational/legal stuff you deal with on the employer/business side.

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1L job search / Re: interview tips?
« on: July 24, 2008, 08:04:05 PM »
Another tip that I wanted to share (ya'll can tell me to sit down at some point).. be able to provide specific examples and be able to speak about these examples at length. This is very similar to the suggestion of using action oriented phrases for when you craft your resume. For example, rather than just saying "I am a hard worker, I'm a diligent proof reader, etc.." be able to support these statements with concrete examples. Give an example of you putting in tough work and seeing a project, rather multiple projects through, give a detailed answer on how you proof read. When you are practicing your interview answers (and you should practice, just don't give canned responses "... and people love me!" ) carry on a conversation with yourself about this particular example. A good time to do this is while your driving - and yes at first you might feel goofy. But what it will do for you in the long run is help you to speak comfortably about this example without your nervousness getting in the way of providing a great answer or additional fodder for a tangent that the interviewer starts on this subject. Think about the type of question you might be asked and start answering it in a conversation format -- like you're speaking with the parents of your BF (assuming a casual but respectful tone and you want to impress them a little without being arrogant). Get the basics of your response in a format that you can remember, say three elements,  but also, let your mind wander about some of the wider implications of your answer. You're bound to get some additional elements in your mind that you can discuss if the interviewer starts a long rambling tangent/conversation about your answer.

ok, my baby is pulling on power cords, gotta go!

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1L job search / Re: Prepared for internship 1L
« on: July 24, 2008, 06:20:53 PM »
If you're doing corporate work as a SA, you are in no way prepared.



Would you expand on this? I'm starting 1L in a few weeks and my interest is corporate law. I'm wondering whether or not my background (non-trad with extensive business management experience) adds to the preparation that is otherwise missing for the more traditional student?

thanks!

Law school is highly slanted toward litigation training. Your background may help some, but I doubt you did much in terms of due diligence or drafting complex agreements?

But, regardless, you've got no need to worry -- law firms understand and recognize that schools do very little to teach the skills necessary to be a good corporate/transactional lawyer. You will pick up those skills at your summer jobs and will continue to develop them once you start full time. I've only done 2 weeks of corporate work this summer out of 12 total, but I learned a hell of a lot about what corporate lawyers do during those 2 weeks.

I've responded to numerous due diligence inquiries when acquiring other companies or attempting to obtain funding from VC's for start-ups, changed articles of incorporation and negotiated contracts, as well as some ERISA stuff  -- tho I have not drafted these agreements (well, I've drafted some employment related agreements) nor been responsible for filing them. My understanding is that this experience is nice for me to have and I should certainly highlight it on my resume that I understand these processes- well, there's no way to avoid it! but for me to keep in mind that the actual work the attorney does is a bit different -- and I probably shouldn't be that guy (gal, actually) who constantly refers to what she did in her previous career just because it's related to what she's doing now.   ;) Meaning, it sounds like I'll do well with the general domain knowledge involved, but of course there's much more to it than that ... which is why I'm going to LS in the first place.  :)

Ok, I've effectively sorted out my head *thinking* aloud here. Thanks for your response!

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1L job search / Re: interview tips?
« on: July 24, 2008, 01:56:26 PM »
One thing I want to make really clear, tho.. is that you need to follow the pattern of the interviewer. It's disappointing and annoying, but there are A LOT of really bad  and really strange interviewers out there. You'll find them in every field, they are not a particular beast of the legal field. What this means is that If you get an interviewer that only wants to drill you on your experience, then by all means .... sell your heart out on your skills and experience. Usually, in this scenario, the interviewer isn't really interested in the details (but give them). What he/she is trying to do is intimidate you or gauge your confidence and ability to assert yourself with people in positions of power over you. You want to play along with whatever style they have going. If you (still) have Anna Ivey's book for getting into LS, she has some brief sections on admissions interviews that I would say are very applicable to interviews in general. Check it out from the library if you've sold or ditched your copy.

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1L job search / Re: interview tips? Revealed!
« on: July 24, 2008, 01:42:43 PM »

Assuming both babysitters have equal training and experience, whom would you hire? ;)



Just how are you supposed to know that the second one has any training or experience?


So, speaking as someone that has recruited, hired and fired more share of attorneys, legal assistants and PLs than I ever cared to.. I get the experience from the resume and from interviewing their references over the phone. Assuming that everyone has the same experience on paper, I am (and have) going to hire the candidate that LISTENS instead of using the interview to pitch canned responses that have been so rehearsed that the candidate is incapable of expanding beyond their self-congratulatory statements without falling apart. These are those lovely soft skills that everyone tells you are important but you're not sure why or what they really are.

I want candidates to be able to sell themselves with confidence and clarity of thought and speech that demonstrates maturity. Too often, I see younger applicants presenting rehearsed answers but unable to expand them because the applicant seems to have spent so much time crafting responses to the generic questions that he/she is unable to really keep a conversation going with these canned answers. For example, in response to, "Why do you want to work in this particular field?" I often hear, "Well, I am a people person and I like to help people." My typical response to this question,  "What do you mean by 'people person'?" is usually greeted with a bumbling and inelegant answer ... "uuummm... I like to help people?"

 What I think applicants don't realize is that a recruiter or interviewer is not looking for a "right" answer. They are trying to get a feel for you as a person and a good interviewer will carry on a conversation with you to get a feel for your maturity. The canned, "right" answer is phony and transparent. When you let the interviewer talk you are giving them a chance to set the tone for the interview and see how well you pay attention, can carry along the conversation and handle the unexpected.

It's expected that you're a good student with the proper training and experience for a SA position  -- I have your grades, transcripts, and ranking. I don't need much more than this to determine for an entry level law job whether or not you can actually do the work. But I do need to know whether or not you are a PITA, how you handle yourself with people, how you maintain composure in an uncomfortable setting (and a good way to do this is to listen and absorb, rather than keep interrupting to sell me on your canned answers).

In my experience, more people get fired because of their attitude and let me explain what I mean. When you have zero people skills or a bad attitude, it affects your work and what you're willing to do, the types of hours your willing to put in. The results are poor performance reviews and warnings, etc. Eventually, you get fired for poor performance, but more often than not, (and again, in my experience) the poor performance emerged from a bad attitude that the employee never turned around. When I'm interviewing, I'm looking for signs that you can go with the flow and not turn sour just as we've finished investing the resources to train you. Believe it or not, I can figure that out by how well you listen to me go on and on while you are dying to sell me canned "right" answers. It's not just your verbal answers that are important, but your body cues, too.

I think the babysitting example is a perfect analogy. In the exact scenario presented above, I have hired the second sitter because --- she listened to what I was looking for and asked questions based on my needs.

So, if you asked me to give a quick tip,  ;D I'd say that I agree with the tip to "be yourself" to an extent --- be your professional self: confident, willing to listen, pleasant, ready to be instructed in what you need to know (which you show by listening) and able to demonstrate that you can ask good questions as the conversation takes its various turns.

GL!

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1L job search / Re: Prepared for internship 1L
« on: July 24, 2008, 01:10:45 PM »
If you're doing corporate work as a SA, you are in no way prepared.



Would you expand on this? I'm starting 1L in a few weeks and my interest is corporate law. I'm wondering whether or not my background (non-trad with extensive business management experience) adds to the preparation that is otherwise missing for the more traditional student?

thanks!

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General Board / Re: moms and dads in law school
« on: July 18, 2008, 01:02:12 AM »
I'm an entering IL with a 1 year old. Altho I am going PT/evenings (at least for the first year. I might transfer to the FT day program next year) and not working, I am the primary care provider for our son. My DH travels about 40% of the time and his schedule is what adds a bit of stress to our situation. I have childcare set-up for 3 days per week and plan to use this time to study and go to the gym. Babysitters are pretty popular in our city, so I have a network of sitters that I can use for evenings when my DH is out of town. He otherwise works from a home office, so he is home early enough for me to leave at 5ish. I think it's important to have a good schedule knocked out and keep on top of things as they come. Like a pp mentioned, you have to be prepared for the unexpected (sick kid, etc) and not have it derail everything you've been working towards. If you're married, then I think it's also a good idea to be explicit with your spouse about the division of labor, who is going to the grocery, cooking, etc. I'm rehiring our housekeeper and my DH is a good cook who knows his way around the grocery  ;) so I'm in good shape! But... He's been busy completing an Exec. MBA program and hasn't had to do much in the way of house chores for a few years. I'm sure there will be an adjustment period.

As to whether or not my family obligations put me to a disadvantage, I'd have to say that I do not think so. I feel that I might be at an advantage for staying focused compared with younger classmates without family obligations. If I mess it up, it affects not just me but my DH and our son. I am hugely motivated to do well because at my age (35) this IS my do over and I can fully appreciate the ramifications of screwing up. Surely, there are plenty of 20-somethings without families that also understand this. However, in my situation, I am fortunate to have already had a pretty successful career during my 20s and early 30s. But I can honestly say that during those years I did not have the same kind of obligations that I do now. I could make all kinds of decisions with wild abandon and if they were bad, well.. it affected no one but me.

The other advantage that I feel that I have is with networking. Literally, just on my corner there are 4 attorneys. 3 are alums of my law school. If we count the entire block (both sides) there are probably 10 attys total. My entire neighborhood is like this and the moms.. we network. For everything. And so do our spouses.  ;D

Anyway, these are just some of my initial thoughts and the things that I keep reminding myself of as I prepare to be "The old lady with the kid" in my section! While it's good to be prepared, there's only so much you can anticipate, KWIM? Kind of like waiting for the baby to be born. You make all of these decisions about what you're going to do/how you'll parent and a lot of it is great -- and it gets you through the first few months. But after awhile you find your groove and it's probably a little different than what you anticipated and planned.

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Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Outlining Software
« on: July 14, 2008, 12:22:05 AM »
thanks for the feedback/tips... i confused OneNote with Omni. I'll check out the other sites mentioned, too.

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Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Outlining Software
« on: July 10, 2008, 11:16:00 PM »
Cool, thanks for the recommendation! I've heard of One Note -- they also have a pretty sweet diagramming SW, too. I'll check out the trial download. 

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