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

Statistic

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2006, 09:40:54 AM »
OCSWebsite: To begin your research, be sure to visit the OCS website at

www.law.harvard.edu/ocs. The website provides links to a variety of useful online resources as well as descriptions of hard copy resources available at the OCS office. Available online through the OCS website are the HLS On-line Employer Directory, HLS Student Summer Job Evaluations and various Vault Report guides for firms and cities. Available on the web are the National Association for Law Placement Directory, Lawmatch.com, Lexis, Westlaw and Infirmation.com. These resources, as well as others available in the OCS office, provide detailed information so that you are planning your career based on considered information, and not simply the perceived prestige of your potential employer.

Employer Websites: Admit-tedly you would find it a challenge to look at the website of every potentially interesting employer before you make bid decisions, so you may need to be selective at this stage. However, you should never enter an interview without first looking at the employer's site and the firm's listing either in the HLS Online Employer Directory or the NALP Directory. If time is limited, look for certain basic information so you will not appear obviously unprepared. Suggested areas: employer size, practice areas, location of branch offices, any information about summer programs (if that is what you are interested in) and whatever they showcase on the main page. If time permits, a Lexis-Nexis search would also highlight if a firm has recently been in the news.

The Callback

Callback interviews, the second round of interviews, when an employer invites you to the office to meet and interview with a number of other attorneys, offer a unique opportunity to assess firm culture and get at least a sampling of personalities with whom you may work. But to take advantage of this opportunity you need to be prepared. Perhaps the major student complaint about callbacks is that they seem undifferentiated - one firm seems like the next. The problem is usually that students take the wrong approach; they ask questions and listen for the replies. Because answers are likely to be shaped by an understanding of what students want and expect to hear, replies can sound remarkably similar. A better approach is to trust your instincts. Look beyond the words to get a sense of the place. How do people interact with each other? What are the offices like? How does the employer's work setting feel to you? Formal? Quiet? Intense? Collegial? What adjectives would you use to describe the people? Equipped with a good sense of the firm, you need to determine whether this is a good fit. Ask yourself some crucial questions. What type of people do you enjoy working with? What environment is most comfortable for you and/or what environment promotes your success and productivity? Bearing these questions, and others, in mind during the callback process, you will likely make a more informed employment decision.

Create a "Plan B"

In light of the current market, after you have identified your ideal employers in your ideal market, you should also follow the old adage to "assume the best but prepare for the worst." If your first choice options do not work out, what do you want to do? Again this is a personal decision that demands that you prioritize your desires. Which is most important: a firm's prestige, the city, the practice area or something else? Where will you compromise? You may prefer a national firm located in a less sought-after city or you may be determined to settle in a given area even if you must compromise on the employer.

Finally, Take a Moment to Think Outside the OCI Box

Are there places you should be looking outside the OCI process? Many law firms and other employers that may interest you will not participate in OCI. Many smaller firms do not have the resources to make the trip to Cambridge. Other mid-sized or more geographically remote employers feel they cannot compete for your attention, so they allocate their resources elsewhere. If you need help locating these employers look for the OCS programs on "Finding a Job Outside OCI" offered in the fall or make an appointment to see an advisor. Rest assured these employers would love to receive a resume and cover letter from you. Please seek them out.

The First Step on a Long Road

You are at the beginning of your legal career, and it is unlikely that you or anyone else can predict exactly where your professional journey will lead. Gone are the days when your first job upon graduation was one you would keep for many years, perhaps even retire from. Think of the OCI selection process as the beginning of your journey and navigate thoughtfully. Your career path is unique and individually paved by you, not by the Vault reports, American Lawyer or a consensus of your classmates or relatives.

Through the job search process, you will learn to take charge of your career. Take advantage of the abundant career advising resources at HLS, from counselors to panelists, publications to websites. One of the most distinct advantages of attending Harvard Law School is the unsurpassed quality, potential, character and sheer number of your classmates. Over time, they will become your most effective network.

Soon, campus life will return to normal, the suits will disappear and OCI will be behind you. In the meantime, remember that at no other time in your career will you go about finding a job in quite the same way. So, relax, be yourself, learn a lot and enjoy!

Slow Blues

Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2006, 10:00:56 AM »
HTFH

lol

Thanks for these though. It's good to see what kinds of responsibilities are contained in each sector.

Geezy, do you have a description for tax law? Just wondering.

Statistic

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #52 on: June 12, 2006, 10:45:25 AM »
HTFH

lol

Thanks for these though. It's good to see what kinds of responsibilities are contained in each sector.

Geezy, do you have a description for tax law? Just wondering.

yes I do. admit that I'm funnier than you and I'll post it.

Slow Blues

Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2006, 10:51:29 AM »
HTFH

lol

Thanks for these though. It's good to see what kinds of responsibilities are contained in each sector.

Geezy, do you have a description for tax law? Just wondering.

yes I do. admit that I'm funnier than you and I'll post it.

NP

Statistic

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2006, 10:56:28 AM »
do it #%@!

Statistic

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #55 on: June 12, 2006, 11:02:47 AM »
Tax
􀂃 In big firms, this work divides up into federal and state/local tax. State/local tax
attorneys tend to work more on litigation issues (mostly people seeking refunds or
appealing an assessment). Federal tax attorneys divide up into tax controversy
(audit and litigation support) and transactional.
􀂃 The federal transactional practice varies by firm and can include cross-border
transactions, M&A support, REITs, mutual fund work, etc.
􀂃 These attorneys do not handle tax returns for companies and individuals. Those
are usually done by accounting firms.
􀂃 This is a very complex, regulation and rule-driven practice. There are many stateby-
state differences and the federal law changes all the time. There is a heavy
burden to keep with current developments (daily).

􀂃 Day-to-day work for tax controversy or state tax practice is similar to litigation.
For federal transactional, there is a lot of research (more than in most practices),
drafting of memoranda, and reviewing documents from other departments.
􀂃 There is not much client contact as a tax associate at a big firm.
􀂃 Tax attorneys tend to be very highly educated: an LL.M. is strongly recommended
for someone who wants to seriously pursue this practice.
􀂃 Itís a service practice and it can be difficult to make partner because the
departments tend to be smaller.
􀂃 This practice can be extremely deadline intensive. Business lawyers tend to
consult tax lawyers at the last moment.
􀂃 People who like this practice like the intellectual challenge and like being the
expert in an arcane area. It can have an elite feeling to it. It is perfect for introverts
who enjoy intellectual challenge and like problem-solving.
􀂃 People who leave the practice do so because it can be exhausting mentally,
because they donít like the statutory work, or because they feel like theyíre not
really building anything (deals tend to be business-driven, not tax-driven).

Slow Blues

Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #56 on: June 12, 2006, 11:05:44 AM »
COPYPASTEPWN#D

Thanks though.

Statistic

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2006, 11:07:16 AM »
i didnt feel like changing the format. it's just for you... not anyone special

One Step Ahead

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #58 on: June 12, 2006, 10:24:23 PM »
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.

Several of these agencies have honors programs which take a small group of 3Ls.  if you are interested in this you should look at the various employment pages for the agencies.  also look into the SLIP program  http://www.usdoj.gov/oarm/arm/sp/sp.htm

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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #59 on: June 13, 2006, 05:19:50 AM »
Supposedly, SLIP doesn't increase your chances with Honors (unless you have no other gov't experience).  Probably doesn't hurt either.