Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LIVEBLOG TODAY @ 4.30: How to Get an Offer

Career Services explains how to get an offer this summer - and we'll be there, categorizing the dos and do not dos of the whole process. I hope they mentions the UVA gal who got drunk and went for a dip in the east river and still got an offer. You have to be aggressive and you HAVE to stand out. Be THAT person.

4.32: Haven't started yet, but what an audience! I would guess that there is well over a hundre people here - we're in the back, pitter-pattering away . . .

And we're off - Lawson is at the plate, and is going to introduce us to the panelists . . . she notes that there are even a few first years. It's a three person panel, a guy from DC Akin Gump, woman from McGuire Woods, and a guy from Houston Vinson & Elkins . . . they're going to be talking about any "changes" this year . . .

4.35: Akin Gump DC went from 35 Summers to 12, says their HP. Other HPs haven't really acknowledged major effects to the economy re: the summer program

4.40: How many assignments should you take? Any billable hours requirements for summers? A: "The more assignments you take the more chances you will have to mess something up."

"In past programs the offer was yours to lose; well, this year you want to do as good a job as you can, and use your best judgment." (A)

"No substitute for quality work." (M)

And no, there's no billable hours requirement for summers....NEXT!

4:47: Still talking about your work product . . . "Firms want you to succeed as much as you want to succeed," says V&E HP.

4:49: Ask questions, but not too much. Try to aggregate questions - - - shockingly partners get annoyed when you ask them too many questions.

4:51: "Are there questions students should and shouldn't ask? And what's the best way to approach the partner that the student is working with (email, phone, etc. . . )"?

Well, ask the person which format they like for the memo, etc. Important to ask at the initial meeting little things like if someone wants copies of the authorities attached, in a separate three-ring binder, or not at all. Ask the Partner how they want follow up questions. And you can always ask an associate who works with that partner for tips and tricks.

4.59: "As soon you're done with the assignment and have submitted it, you should set up a time to get feedback. People at the firm will want to give you constructive criticism and improve" (A)

"And don't freak out if you get some negative feedback, we all make mistakes - no one is perfect . . . try to learn from the evaluation." (A)

"Attorneys are constantly in a position to provide feedback to summer associates." (M) "If you get a less than stellar comments, it's important to learn from them."

5:07: "Is it it a good idea to make strategic prefrences for a practice area?" i.e. busier v. non-busier practice area?

"The idea that you can divine what will be a hot practice group 8 years from now when you come up for partnership is pretty silly."(V)

"Pick something that you will enjoy working on" (M)

"This summer is different -it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that we are in the most challenging environment for law firm in decades."

"I think it's great that you want ot be a transactional attorney . . . it might be that the firm is not able to hire any transactional lawyers next year." Though he added that transactional practices could "heat up" in the future. (A)

5:16: Pro Bono Projects?

"In our view they are as important for summers as the other projects . . . and the same goes for associates and partners at the firm." (M)

" My sense is there might be more pro bono work out there this year then previous years, but at the end of the day you need to treat just like any other kind of work." "It will be judged just same at it would be for a [non pro bono] work." (A)

5:20: Participation in Social Events? Obviously they will be scaling back . . .

"If you have a conflict, just tell them that you can't attend. No one expect you to give up your outside life . . ." That said, "you ought to try to participate in the events so you can see what lawyers [at the firm] are doing when they're not working, and you get pretty good food, and alcohol, I would add." (V)

"I wouldn't put the term mandatory on our events, but we really want the SA's to see nonoffice opportunities to interact with our attorneys as important." (M) "If someone is consistently not making an effort to attend social functions, we notice it . . . we put a high priority on these opportunities to get to know each other."

"Don't blow off too many." "And at these events, well, don't get drunk at everyone. Use your judgment because people will be watching." (A)

5:27 What should you do to guarantee an offer? Or guarantee that you don't get an offer?

Relax, pay attention to detail. "This is going to be a good summer, don't follow the heard, just be good to yourself. Make your WP has good as it can be, no typos, bluebook accruately, and BE POSITIVE."

FACT: "You could do everything right this summer and, at some firms, you won't get an offer, and you won't be able to control it." (A) "Don't be bitter about this," as you have had a whole summer of networking with lawyers.

And if you get no offered, "you shouldn't look at is necessarily a unifornimly negative situation", use the firm to help you find something else. (V)

"I'm sure you guys are checking a blog or two, don't believe everything you read . . . but DO check what's going on with the firm, so you can hit the ground running on day 1 with knowledge of what is going on." (A)

5:35: Student questions - lets hope we get some good ones!

What role do 2L grades play?

"They play a role . . . not more important is your work product . . . but yes it's a factor." (A)

"True, it's a factor." (V)


Anonymous said...

She got an offer at a later firm. She got no-offered at Clearly, which is where she was when she jumped in the Hudson.

Anonymous said...

i thought she did get an offer at the river-firm, or at least that is what atl implied.

Anonymous said...

I thought cold offer first firm, later offered a job at another top firm.