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Author Topic: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?  (Read 7703 times)

thorc954

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2007, 08:01:39 PM »

This is a pure flame.  You would have received some callback even if you applied to only the top 28 firms and did terrible at all of your initial interviews.  The reason, initial interviews simply does not matter very much.  I forgot about my interview with a firm (V15) and still received a callback from them. 
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The initial interview does matter even though a lot is decided before then.  I have friends (top 15%, law review, top 25 school) that got barely any call backs, yet I got some at the firms they interviewed at without their impressive resumes.  Some of it is decided before hand, but a lot of it is not.

wafflesyumyum

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2007, 09:16:38 PM »
i will weigh in here.  28 oci's.  9 rejections, 0 callbacks.

top 10 school.  just a HAIR below the mean gpa.  no journal.  strong public service-oriented resume.  actually, working in the public sector is what i want to do, but thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to work at a firm this summer so as not to foreclose any possibilities for myself.

my friends all have callbacks and it is quite demoralizing.  no flamers (that's what they're called, right?) please; i just want to know if anybody else is in a similar situation.  should i just give up on the idea of working for a big firm over the summer?

This is a pure flame.  You would have received some callback even if you applied to only the top 28 firms and did terrible at all of your initial interviews.  The reason, initial interviews simply does not matter very much.  I forgot about my interview with a firm (V15) and still received a callback from them. 

i'm probably not going to be able to convince you that this isn't flame, but think about it like this:  i only applied to new york and dc firms.  these are the two markets that most people at my school applied to. this means i'm competing with people who are on journals, have better grades than me, have a clue or two about what goes on in a big firm, *and*  go to a top 10 school.

anyway, i really appreciate that most people who replied gave me intelligent and respectful feedback. i know my questions to the firms probably weren't intelligent-- like i say, i have no idea of what people do in a big firm, and i was adamantly opposed to the idea of working for one until this past summer, when i saw first hand how quickly public interest lawyers burn out.  i honestly had a difficult time distinguishing one firm from another.

it's occurred to me that the problem is my interviewing skills. my interviews didn't feel particularly awkward, but my personality is introverted and a little quirky, and it's possible that this came out. 

thanks again everybody.  i might try applying to smaller firms in smaller markets, or i might just give up and do public interest all the way.  who knows.

eli250

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2007, 10:10:46 PM »
Minnesota, 3.5, secondary journal--30 interviews--3 callbacks so far (strangely none from Minnesota)

Somewhat similar situation here.  31 interviews, 5 callbacks, only one was from the local market.  The other 4 were from all over the country even though more than 20 of the screening interviews were from the local market.

thorc954

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2007, 11:32:56 PM »
Your post amused me a little bit, so I had to comment.  Keep in mind that they had three dollar pitchers at the bar tonight, and I have had a stressful week. 

"i honestly had a difficult time distinguishing one firm from another."- This amused me because there is no difference.  They all have the best clients and if you ask anyone why they work there, it is because they love the people.  However, Skadden is a terrible place to work with regards to the hours and Greenberg Traurig has some mean attorneys.  Other then that, you were right on with the fact that they are virtually indistinguishable.

"it's occurred to me that the problem is my interviewing skills. my interviews didn't feel particularly awkward, but my personality is introverted and a little quirky, and it's possible that this came out."  From my interactions with people at T14 schools, very few are not introverted and quirky with the exception of those that had there parents by their way in, and who the hell wants to even talk to them? 

"i might try applying to smaller firms in smaller markets, or i might just give up and do public interest all the way.  who knows."  If its something you really want to do, my advice would be to apply to a smaller market this year (ive heard vegas is a great place from a classmate who didnt get any callbacks) then try to clerk after graduating and shoot again for a big market.

My bests advice would be to not take it personally, you are the person that you are and there is no reason to want to work at a firm that doesn't want you to work there.  If they do not think you will fit in, then maybe you wouldn't.  With the hours they have, there is no reason to want to work that much with people you arent going to get along with. 


Good luck though.  If you do a direct write thing, which is a great option, and you get more interviews, I have some standard questions I would not mind sharing. 

K-Bomb

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2007, 11:38:28 PM »
This is why it pays to have some humility as to the kinds of firms with which you interview.  I'm aiming solidly at regional mid to big law.  I have no desires to go for Vault firms exclusively, and I will schedule as many interviews with the midlaw firms as possible.

I'm only a 1L, so I have little experience in this, but it seems to me that those not getting call backs are ones who are trying really hard to get prestigious gigs instead of simply good ones.

ANBUDOM

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2007, 05:52:18 AM »
I was told that some interviewers HATE hearing interviewees asking generic questions such as "so why did YOU choose this firm?" or "what is the firm culture like?".

After a screening interview I had with a biglaw NY firm, the interviewer actually said, "Thank God you didn't ask me the lame, 'Why did YOU choose so and so LLP?' because after the 50th time I heard it, I don't even want to answer it anymore."  Try to ask very targeted specific questions about the firm and appear interested.  If the interviewer meets with 20 students from your school and 15 of them ask the same generic questions, only 5 will distinguish themselves. 

I realize that it may be difficult distinguishing one firm from another but I would strongly recommend that in addition to firm's website and NALP, you may also wanna check the firm's bio on vault.com and their strengths in specific practice groups on chambersandpartners.com (is that the right link?).  Chambers and partners gives you a better idea of what specific practice areas a firm excels at and what practice areas don't have as much recognition. 

All NY/DC biglaw firms are generally great at everything but certain firms are better at certain things than others.  If you can say something like "Oh I know X LLP is great at Y and that is what I want to do" then the interviewer may like you a lot more. If the firm is much more balanced, you can say that since you're unsure of what you wanna do, the firm is great for you b/c it's awesome at everything and you get to sample awesome stuff. 

Also, look specifically at what the summer program entails and ask questions about it.  For example, I noticed that most NY firms have 2 types of summer programs: 1) you get to observe real transactions or attend real depositions but you don't get as much hands-on experience; or 2) the firm makes up some sort of hypothetical transaction and the summer associates have to pretend like they're important and battle it out. 

If the firm is in the former category, tell them how it's great that the firm gives SA's real, substantive work rather than silly hypothetical crap (in a nicer way of course).  If the firm is in the latter category, tell them how it's great that SA's get to directly participate in a simulated transaction while other firms just have their SA's sit back and watch.  Everytime I brought that up, the interviewer loved talking about how their summer program was superior to others and how their summer associates were very satisfied with the program.  No joke their eyes light up and they love talking about it (unless you get someone that never participated in the summer program or an interviewer that doesn't give a flying rats ass about summer associates... i had a few of those...)

Good luck to you and I hope things work out!
testing testing 1 2 3

SJ228

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2007, 09:30:29 PM »
I just got my first callback! Its from a great firm and very encouraging. Hopefully more to come!

thorc954

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2007, 02:35:30 AM »
I had like my fifth callback today, and I am sick of making up questions to ask, so they all got the generic questions.

I feel like there isnt much to ask except "why did you come here? are you staying? what do you like about ____? what dont you like____? what is a typical day like?"

There is not much you can ask without sounding obnoxious and like you are trying to sound really smart or without making you sound stupid for not doing your research.


Congrats SJ228 :) All you need is one callback and one offer.  Ill keep my fingers crossed for you :)

johns259

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2007, 05:17:10 PM »
Would you ever ask about the firm's softball team?

thorc954

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Re: The Waiting Game - Callbacks and Rejections?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2007, 05:41:38 PM »
I have asked about the softball teams before... only because I feel like a good softball team is essential to my enjoyment of the summer program.