Look, here's what I think:I'm super competitive on paper (T14/resume/grades/writing sample), personality-wise, and in life in general.Now, naively, I thought this meant I could interview at any firm in the v100 and be competitive and get offers, because merit should get you results, right? Wrong. In fact, annoyingly, I have had top firms give me offers, while firms in more desirable areas for my tastes, though lower in the v100, have expressed no interest.I boil this down to three main factors:1) Cronyism - other applicants in the running have inside connections/recommendations that you do NOT2) Conspiratorial Recruiting - firm recruiters make deals/trades like professional sports teams (i.e. - "I'll give Johnny an offer and reject Jimmy if you reject Johnny and give an offer to Jimmy" - thereby taking your ability to "choose" your career right out of your hands)3) Pedigree - background checks result in certain types of pedigrees that some firms find desirable, while other firms find your background undesirable - therefore, only firms with desirable opinions of your pedigree (i.e. - family socio-economic status, how many other lawyers in your family, how much debt are you in for school, where you went to school, etc.) - further, this plays a role in how well hiring partners think you'll "fit in" with the other associates at the firm - also, if you have lawyers in your family, odds are you'll be able to converse more fluidly about what lawyers do from day to day -while if you're a pioneer lawyer in your family, you probably have no clue what lawyers do in big firms from day to day, even though you are smarter than everyone in your class.I am almost 100% sure these factors are what decide who gets offers and who does not that I would bet half my student loans on it - Annoying as it is to be discriminated against b/c you don't know anyone in the profession, have firms decide your future for you, and be judged based on your background - YOU CAN'T STOP ITI just hope that the posters realize that they are smart people who will undoubtedly make fantastic lawyers - it's just that hiring attorneys employ some ridiculous tactics in choosing future associates.
Any idea on whether firms (that are still hiring) have changed hiring standards or expectations over the course of the season (i.e., from before the week of Lehman/Merrill/AIG to after)? More specifically, any credible danger of an old offer to a somewhat marginal candidate being rescinded because firms can now be even pickier?