Law School Discussion

Poll

I think I am interested in

Litigation/Arbitration
8 (17.8%)
Corporate
13 (28.9%)
Real Estate
3 (6.7%)
Tax
1 (2.2%)
Government/Policy Work
7 (15.6%)
Nonprofit Management
0 (0%)
Some combination of the above/below--please describe
3 (6.7%)
Media/Entertainment
2 (4.4%)
Immigration
2 (4.4%)
Labor/Employment
1 (2.2%)
Intellectual Property
5 (11.1%)

Total Members Voted: 35

2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread

One Step Ahead

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2006, 06:37:47 PM »
I actually think its the opposite.  SF is ridiculously hard to crack from the East Coast.  DC is only difficult if you want appellate lit or are very selective about the "caliber" of firm you'd want.

OK, well if you're willing to take anything, no market is difficult.  I think the relative dearth of people from Harvard wanting to go to SF (vs. NYC and DC) will make breaking into the market easier.  Firms in SF want a few people from Harvard.  Being black adds to the appeal.  Black Harvard grads are a dime a dozen in DC...not so in SF.

SF is a lot smaller market and rather incestuous.  they want Harvard people, but they want the ones that have some ties to the area.  California is not hurting for qualified attorneys so they can be very selective.  I don't think rbg will have trouble getting an offer, but it won't be as easy as DC

If you say so.  Let's just see how this plays out.  Our usual wager? ;)

He'd have to pick two relatively equal firms to try to get interviews with. 

Statistic

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2006, 06:42:00 PM »
wtf? Like I'm some test dummy picking firms at your whim. Go to hell, coons.

One Step Ahead

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2006, 06:46:59 PM »
you are hostile.  :-\ you should try it.

A.

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2006, 06:49:07 PM »
wtf? Like I'm some test dummy picking firms at your whim. Go to hell, coons.

OSA and I will work this out off-board and get back to you :).

Statistic

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2006, 07:02:14 PM »
you n-word are 'lunchin'.

faith2005

Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2006, 09:43:09 PM »
wow, you guys have me worried about getting a job in dc now. i was thinking--dc, b-more, nyc and ohio. i don't know if chicago would be a "safety" but i'm thinking of applying there too. we'll see.

practice groups--immigration, communications/media, corporate (intl' trade maybe?), litigation and maybe real estate depending on whether i like my real estate rotation at my job this summer.

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2006, 10:38:45 PM »
wow, you guys have me worried about getting a job in dc now. i was thinking--dc, b-more, nyc and ohio. i don't know if chicago would be a "safety" but i'm thinking of applying there too. we'll see.

practice groups--immigration, communications/media, corporate (intl' trade maybe?), litigation and maybe real estate depending on whether i like my real estate rotation at my job this summer.

don't listen to Alci, his sense of reality is a bit warped.  there are a handful of firms that are more competitive, everything else is business as usual (it is like evaluating the New York market based on how difficult it is to get a job at Wachtell and Cravath).

A.

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2006, 05:12:52 AM »
Lol.  Well, any rating of "difficulty" depends on which sector of the market you are evaluating.  And everyone has a different conception of what a market is like "generally."  So I guess the lesson of the day is be specific.  If you want to do real estate in DC, two of the best firms are Pillsbury Winthrop and Holland & Knight.  People at the top 10 should have little-to-no difficulty getting a job at either.  But if we're talking about general lit or regulatory work, then getting a job at the top firms in those areas becomes more difficult (but by no means impossible).

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2006, 09:15:38 AM »
How is it trying to start at certain government agencies straight out of school. Some places that appeal to me are: STATE, SEC, Dept of Commerce/Trade Representative, DOJ, CIA (I know attorneys work there). The say minimum 2 years work experience i just wanted to know if it is possible to work there coming out of school and if so how difficult is it.

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2006, 09:40:27 AM »
Surviving and Thriving in OCI
By: Mark Weber

As sure a sign of fall in New England as the brilliant foliage is Harvard Law students spotted in suits, hurrying toward the local hotels, clutching printouts of employer websites and glancing desperately at their watches. The sense of excitement is palpable. Hundreds of students and hundreds of employers meet for a common purpose - to make a match. Employers are looking to tap Harvard's rich talent pool and students are seeking an opportunity to take the next step toward a legal career by entering the world of practice.

This decades-old tradition is the fall On-Campus Interview Program, the most visible of the Office of Career Services' numerous job search programs. The purpose of this article is to de-mystify the OCI process and help students prepare for the intense, exciting and stressful weeks ahead.

Sorting Fact From Fiction

With more than 700 employers participating in OCI, Harvard Law School hosts the largest legal recruitment program in the country. Despite the economic slowdown, the demand for Harvard students remains strong. With such a large, intense and complex process at work, there are sure to be rumors and misinformation circulating. Let's address some of the common fears and misperceptions that we hear from students:

In this market finding a job will be impossible. While this will still be a challenging market compared to a year such as 1999, there is also ample reason for optimism. An August headline from the Legal Times announced, "Law Firms Increase Hiring"- noting that some firms in some areas were feeling the effects of recovery and responding by hiring. This is consistent with what we have been hearing from employers throughout the country. The economic upturn seems to finally be underway; it's not yet clear how this will affect OCI, but the worst seems to be over. Students should approach the hiring season with confidence. Even in the heart of the recession, the 2002 OCI program was very successful. Students may need to compromise on firm, region or specialty, but a well thought-out effort should yield a great job.

Firms won't even look at students who don't have certain grades. There is no pre-screening in the bidding process. OCS guidelines require that all HLS students should have an opportunity to interview with the employers of their choice during OCI. Employers will not see your grades until they receive your transcript at the interview (remember to bring a transcript!), so you have an opportunity to overcome less-than-stellar grades by impressing them in person. Most employers consider grades as only one factor among many in the hiring process and, since they are well aware of the rigorous selection process for the HLS class, they take intelligence as a given and look for other factors such as drive, commitment and effective interpersonal skills. This is not to say that grades don't matter. The most sought-after employers in the most selective markets have an abundant choice of highly qualified students. Keep this in mind when you choose employers for interviews. If you are concerned about your grades, come in and talk to an OCS advisor who can suggest strategies, such as paying attention to firms interviewing in the third week or looking at branch offices, considering firms that may not be as well known in practice areas that you may be particularly interested in and even contacting firms that do not participate in Fall OCI that can maximize your opportunities.

You don't get to interview with the employers you want. OCS uses a lottery system to assign interviews to students after the process of selecting employers or "bidding" for interview spots occurs. There is no pre-screening. A scheduling algorithm in the bidding program attempts to maximize students' top choices, taking care not to conflict with academic class schedules, which are exported directly from the registrar's office to the Career Services system. A breakdown of past statistics shows that overall students typically get approximately 75 percent of the interviews they request. In addition, resumes for all the students who bid on an employer are forwarded to the employer. A student who does not get an interview is placed on a waiting list and may get a spot after the period for modifying schedules. In addition, you can contact an employer directly to try to arrange alternatives.

The best way to ensure success is to interview like crazy. OCI bidding is limited to a maximum of 35 bids. Remember this is not a suggestion of how many firms to bid on but a maximum. A more thoughtful targeted approach is likely to be more successful than frantic interviewing and is certain to be less stressful. As a reference point, 2Ls on average interviewed with 18 to 22 employers, 3Ls with nine to ten employers. (Many employers do not interview 3Ls.) Rather than signing up to fill every available waking hour, be realistic. Taking into account the market and your law school record, sign up for an appropriate range and number of firms.

There is no way to know what my odds are. Unfortunately, the OCI process can only provide opportunity, not certainty. The Office of Career Services maintains recruitment statistics that record the number of students who bid on each employer, the number of interviews, the number of callbacks extended, and the number of offers. This is available on the OCS website (under "Researching Employers," look for "Statistics from OCI"). Unfortunately, the statistics can't provide information about many important factors that influence firms' decisions, such as how a student interviews, or his or her academic performance, previous experience and general levels of achievement. The statistics can give you a general sense of how many seek, how many are called and how many are chosen.

With a more accurate understanding of OCI you are ready to take the next step: preparing for the bidding process.

Getting Ready for OCI

There is more than one way to tackle the OCI process. A surprisingly popular method goes something like this: A student looks up and sees the OCI calendar above his desk and remembers that he had better get his OCI bids in since the deadline is a couple of days away. On the night before bidding closes, he sits down at his computer. Based on a general sense that he would like to be in a city and on comments from his classmates that the best jobs are in D.C. and New York, he opens the site, searches by city and then looks over the list of D.C. and New York firms to pick names he recognizes. Since he only recognizes two or three names in each city, he surfs over to the AmLaw 100 to get the names of other "top" firms. Satisfied that he has selected the best firms, he submits his bid.

This is not the method Career Services recommends.

That said, it might well work out for this student. He may stumble on a great firm, well suited to him, in a city that he enjoys. But, if he does, it will be purely by chance. Of course, there is always an element of chance and uncertainty in the job search process, but your goal should be to reduce the element of surprise and shift the odds in your favor. Here is what we suggest you do to help yourself succeed.

Do a Basic Self-Assessment

First take some time to think about what you truly want. The OCI process is a whirlwind experience, even for the most organized students. Resist the forces that cause you to lose sight of what makes you happy and focus instead on where you think you are most likely to succeed personally and professionally. Sorting through these kinds of complex and personal issues is a highly individual process. Use the methods that work for you. Some suggestions:

Try to recall what you liked and disliked about previous employment. Sit down and get the list on paper. Try to capture the underlying qualities that were important. For example, if you enjoyed editing your school paper, was it because the deadline pressure was invigorating, or because you like the detail work of copyediting, or because the people were great?

Engage in active discussion with friends, family and professors. Listening to the experience of others, as well as trying to clarify and articulate your own thoughts to others, can be enormously helpful.

Talk with the career services professionals here at the Law School. All of the OCS Career Counselors have J.D. degrees and have worked in a variety of practice areas and geographic locations. Take advantage of their experience and expertise.

Attend panels, programs and receptions offered in conjunction with OCI and engage visiting attorneys and panelists in discussion. You can also use the alumni resource network available in OCS and the various mentoring files maintained by the Office of Public Interest Advising.

If you still find yourself uncertain, the Office of Student Life Counseling offers professional counseling to assist you with self-assessment.

Research and Select Employers

Although the legal marketplace has slowed, OCS has seen only a small reduction in the number of employers participating in OCI. You will still be faced with a daunting task as you try to sort through hundreds of employers. A number of strategies and resources exist that can assist you in learning more about employers.