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Author Topic: Question on job offers  (Read 16103 times)

dischord

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2009, 12:10:57 PM »
Well, you know, desperation will make people put up with pretty much anything, but that doesn't mean that it's the right way to treat someone.

And even when I was really desperate for something, in cases where I knew the outrageous number of callbacks they were doing to fill a class of like, 10, it really lent an air of futility to the whole thing.  I mean, of course I was lucky to have a number of callbacks, and others were far less fortunate.  But IMO it's NOT true that I could have landed a first round offer at any of these places, short of some kind of miracle.  Offers at a lot of places where I'm on hold seem to be strictly tracking credentials from what I can tell (which, granted, is limited since I don't know that many people as a transfer, but I'm inferring from law review membership and other callbacks).  I was definitely on the lower end of the pool in most cases, and in retrospect I think I got most of my callbacks due to a combo of interviewing (so I don't think that's the problem), work experience, and connections.  My results at the callback stage have definitely reflected this in good results from the firms where my credentials were probably towards the middle or even upper end of the pack.

So personally, I felt as if one or two of my callbacks were a waste of time, and I heard a couple of horror stories from friends about callbacks where it was totally evident that the firm had no intention of giving them an offer from the get-go.  I'm not saying that I'd necessarily like to trade this for like, one callback where I'd had a 90% shot at an offer.  But, you know, if I'm going to spend a couple of evenings memorizing facts from the firm's website, a few hours on a train, and pay to get my suit dry cleaned, then I'd really like to feel as if I'm being taken at least half as seriously as a candidate as I'm taking them as a potential employer.  

And as for communications, I strongly disagree.  I mean, yeah, some people respond to emails slowly (but 2 weeks?!) and there isn't really any DUTY for firms to do much of anything.  But wtf, why would a firm TELL recruiters to keep quiet?  I guess there are plenty of plausible PR reasons but I don't think I'd want to work somewhere that takes that approach in their dealings with employees (of course, based on where you're going, we probably have differing opinions on that haha).  I think that it's incredibly inconsiderate to keep people in the dark after they've asked for an update.  I mean, 45 day countdown aside, the amount of time it takes to apply to other things and keep going on interviews is ridiculous.  Obviously if you're on some kind of waitlist you still need to be doing this, but you know, if I've been told that I'm on three waitlists as opposed to assuming three rejections, this might change what other options I'm prioritizing in the meantime, as would "We should be able to give you an answer by X date" versus "We can't estimate the timeline."

Finally -- and I realize this is sort of quibbling but it drives me nuts -- even if a firm does communicate, I really hate being told "Well, our hiring committee is still meeting, you're still under consideration, we're just really backed up, etc."  Shut the @#!* up, just TELL ME IN PLAIN ENGLISH you're waiting for other candidates to accept or decline.  I mean, I hate this corporate doublespeak, it's not like I don't know that the other kid who had a callback the same day as mine got an offer three days later.  

Anyway, of course none of this matters if your offer in hand is from Stroock and Wachtell is the one dicking you around, but that's totally unrealistic.  Maybe if you have strong preferences to be in a certain market versus another it wouldn't matter either, although I'm seriously thinking about just sticking with a secondary market at this point because of how I've been treated in NY.  I think that I'm pretty typical, though, in that most of the more prestigious (on paper) firms for whom I'm waiting are not in so much better shape than the one I've got that I'd "have" to take them.  So the fact that the firm I have not only WANTS me to be there, but has also been reasonably prompt and responsive, may lead me to pick them over a firm that most others would choose based on prestige, etc., alone.  And when or if I ever apply as a lateral, I'm certainly going to remember a lot of this behavior.

God, now I'm angry.  This whole process has just made me want to just do public interest and tell firms in general to go @#!* themselves.
  
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TheDudeMan

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2009, 05:18:57 PM »
I guess I just have a different perspective.  I have a career already and I wouldn't leave it for a firm that treats its future associates with such utter disregard.

Fortunately, I received an offer and don't have to worry about such things.  Nonetheless, it is still disheartening that the legal field has slumped so low overall.

dashrashi

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2009, 11:04:13 AM »
[snip]
This whole process has just made me want to just do public interest and tell firms in general to go @#!* themselves.
  

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,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2009, 11:44:28 AM »
I dunno.  I'm kinda sympathetic to the firm's perspective.  Think about it if you're a partner at one of these firms.  Your business is WAY down in the past year.  You're under constant pressure to bill and rainmake, and then some entitled kids without any legal skills (and little going for them besides a good LSAT score and a year of LS grades) expect immediate answers.  This is after you've laid off people who already had four or five years of experience, and are languishing in the streets. 

You even said that you did very little.  You memorized some facts on the firm's website.  You shot the breeze with their associates.  You ate crab-cakes at their callback dinner.  There are very few substantial things in this process that make you stand out, sadly.  That becomes none more apparent than with these waits.  You invested little in them (not the general them, but specific firms); they invest little in you.

"Life is hard, the world is cruel" -- Hebrew proverb

I'd also like to throw in a plug for secondary market firms.  Recruiters were much nicer and more prompt at firms that interview, say, 30 people per year for 10 spots, as opposed to mega-sweatshop firms that interview 200 of the best and brightest for 10 spots.  I had nothing but good experiences with places in my secondary markets.

dischord

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2009, 12:15:17 PM »
I'm not saying I want or even need immediate answers.  I mean, hell, it didn't bother me when a public interest place took over a month to even give me a CALLBACK.  But that's because they were upfront about their timetable, which is a typical one for public interest.  The problem with this in the case of firms is that they've drastically changed their behavior, but many of them are refusing to acknowledge what they're doing.  I mean, it is not difficult to tell your recruiting dept. to either send out a preemptive blast group email to "waitlist" candidates, to respond to inquiries about status, and to be HONEST about where you are in the process.  Like, if you say "Oh you should be hearing from us in 1-2 weeks," then actually do it!  Or call back with a reason you can't give an answer!  Or just don't tell me that in the first place, just say you don't know!   

And cry me a f-ing river for partners.  They're still taking home salaries of which they should be ashamed, even if they are lower than in the past.  Many of them also got their firms into these dire straits through their own greedy, short-term profit-oriented decision making.  And that's assuming the firm is even actually HAVING trouble, rather than taking measures to keep PPP high.

Furthermore, I don't think it's "entitled" to expect that I not be treated rudely, ignored, bullshitted or straight up lied to. 

And as for my relative lack of accomplishments, that's precisely what infuriates me about this.  All of these firms that can't be bothered to send a simple email to their candidates on hold have been wining, dining, and flooding their offer candidates with communications.  Of course they have some prerogative to woo them.  But the point is that these places are clearly capable of treating students with courtesy, when it is in their interest.  But, you know, not being on Law Review doesn't make me unworthy of decent treatment.

[snip]
This whole process has just made me want to just do public interest and tell firms in general to go @#!* themselves.
  

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This is seriously a whole other problem for me . . .
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,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2009, 12:43:44 PM »
I dunno.  I'm just hoping to get to the point where I can manipulate and exploit others, rather than vice-versa.   ;)

dischord

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2009, 12:51:59 PM »
You are part of the problem, not the solution.
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,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2009, 01:48:28 PM »
You are part of the problem, not the solution.

It's a profession-wide problem.  One person isn't going to change it -- and certainly not someone with my credentials.  If I were a SCOTUS clerk turned BigLaw partner, it would be a different story.

Many of these partners have golden handcuffs.  I am somewhat sympathetic to their problems with mansions in the Hamptons and third wives.

nealric

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2009, 06:17:57 PM »
Quote
I'd also like to throw in a plug for secondary market firms.  Recruiters were much nicer and more prompt at firms that interview, say, 30 people per year for 10 spots, as opposed to mega-sweatshop firms that interview 200 of the best and brightest for 10 spots.  I had nothing but good experiences with places in my secondary markets.
 

I actually had several really awful, awkward secondary market interviews and great primary market interviews. I think a lot of it was that as soon as it became clear I wasn't a good ol boy, the interviewers lost interest. Then again, I didn't interview at the mega-sweatshop (skadden et.al.) firms in primary markets either.
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dischord

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Re: Question on job offers
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2009, 07:42:20 PM »
Again, I think that there's some conflation of issues here.  It's not so much "God they're taking so long it suuuucks how dare they" that's a legit complaint in my eyes.  That's very different from expecting professionalism and considerateness.

And why WOULDN'T how a firm treats or communicates with you during this process be a factor (not necessarily determinative) in your decision?  I'd think this would be more the case for someone who wants to be in Biglaw for the long haul, even.  If you are planning on leaving after a year you may as well go with, for example, Skadden just to have the name on your resume or pay down your loans as much as possible, even if the experience is miserable.  But if you are planning on staying somewhere for longer, and maybe even hoping to make partner, don't you think you'd want to go somewhere where you won't be treated horribly?  Obviously on some level we are all fungible here, but some behavior really seems to indicate that a firm just absolutely doesn't give a @#!* about their associates.  If a firm will mistreat you in the recruiting process, when at least in theory they should at least be TRYING to make a reasonably good impression on people, what do you think they'll be like when they actually are your employer?  How much consideration are they going to have for their associates overall?  IMO that matters more than ever in an uncertain economy and legal market, when a firm's attitudes towards its associates might be the difference between layoffs and less extreme measures to deal with the downturn.  I do not want to end up somewhere that will throw its associates under the bus no matter how much better it will be for my future career prospects, if for no other reason than that I may not ever get the chance to take advantage of those benefits if *&^% hits the fan at the wrong time in my career.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I certainly am not arguing that someone should take a V100 over a V5, or a place that only does private equity when you want to be a litigator, just because that firm is nicer to you now.  And certainly I am sensitive to the fact that those of us who don't have offers are not in a position to be picky, and those who have offers from anywhere should be ridiculously thankful regardless.  But (not to be hyperbolic . . .) I think that in the long run, collective acceptance of exploitative practices will really do all of us a disservice, especially if that attitude continues into our class's first few years of practice in acceptance of even worse working conditions than existed during the boom times. 

You are part of the problem, not the solution.

It's a profession-wide problem.  One person isn't going to change it -- and certainly not someone with my credentials.  If I were a SCOTUS clerk turned BigLaw partner, it would be a different story.

Many of these partners have golden handcuffs.  I am somewhat sympathetic to their problems with mansions in the Hamptons and third wives.

I . . . don't know where to even start with this one.  This is truly beyond the pale.

I must say, there is a lot of false conciousness in this thread.
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