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Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:30 pm
by Anonymous User
So interviews are over and I ended up with two callbacks and (most likely) only one offer. The firm has the type of work I am interested in and is fairly "prestigious" and well known (I've been told by various people at my school that the fact I got an offer from them in the first place is kinda a miracle), but I am worried it is a bad fit culturally speaking. It is an east coast firm full of ex ivy-league athletes and frat dudes. I too was a college athlete so I know how to "blend in" to that type of culture, but I got so sick of it in college and I just don't know how well I could handle being put back into that situation. Also, the firm isn't in the market I am primarily interested in. I don't know if I should accept because it is most likely going to be my only offer or if I should try and find something different. I'm probably bottom 30% at a T14, so I am not sure what my options would look like if I don't accept, especially given that the firm has the exact work I am interested in.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:50 pm
by Anonymous User
Not OP, but piggybacking off of this: I am what some shallow, judgmental folks would call bro-y, because of where I went to school, what I look like, and the things I am genuinely interested in. I only have one offer and it is at a firm that does the kind of work I want to do. Also, with my grades, I am lucky to have gotten the offer. However, even though I've met 5 people from the firm for about 30 minutes each, I just know that it is full of people that I am better than and with whom I would not fit (since I am more interesting than them). Any advice would be appreciated.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:52 pm
by shock259
If your alternatives are not getting a job offer anywhere else, then yes, you should accept. Accepting doesn't mean you stop looking, but it does provide a needed backstop. It won't be a fun conversation if you have to later reneg because you found something that more closely aligns with your goals. But it seems unwise to handicap yourself unnecessarily.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:54 pm
by thebasedgod
Anonymous User wrote:Also, with my grades, I am lucky to have gotten the offer.


Anonymous User wrote:I just know that it is full of people that I am better than and with whom I would not fit (since I am more interesting than them).

Lol

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:15 pm
by nixy
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but piggybacking off of this: I am what some shallow, judgmental folks would call bro-y, because of where I went to school, what I look like, and the things I am genuinely interested in. I only have one offer and it is at a firm that does the kind of work I want to do. Also, with my grades, I am lucky to have gotten the offer. However, even though I've met 5 people from the firm for about 30 minutes each, I just know that it is full of people that I am better than and with whom I would not fit (since I am more interesting than them). Any advice would be appreciated.

I get that you think you’re satirizing the OP, but it is is a reasonable question (just substitute “nerdy” or “pretentious” for whatever qualities you object to in the OP), and you’re just being a defensive prick.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:39 pm
by Anonymous User
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but piggybacking off of this: I am what some shallow, judgmental folks would call bro-y, because of where I went to school, what I look like, and the things I am genuinely interested in. I only have one offer and it is at a firm that does the kind of work I want to do. Also, with my grades, I am lucky to have gotten the offer. However, even though I've met 5 people from the firm for about 30 minutes each, I just know that it is full of people that I am better than and with whom I would not fit (since I am more interesting than them). Any advice would be appreciated.

I get that you think you’re satirizing the OP, but it is is a reasonable question (just substitute “nerdy” or “pretentious” for whatever qualities you object to in the OP), and you’re just being a defensive prick.


You misunderstand me. If I was able to discern from the website and from questionable anecdotes that the firm was full of nerdy or pretentious people, I would feel the same way. When it comes to generalizing about 100s of individuals I have never met, I am equal opportunity. And in case this wasn't clear, I can see where they went to school RIGHT ON THE WEBSITE. What more do you need?

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:56 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but piggybacking off of this: I am what some shallow, judgmental folks would call bro-y, because of where I went to school, what I look like, and the things I am genuinely interested in. I only have one offer and it is at a firm that does the kind of work I want to do. Also, with my grades, I am lucky to have gotten the offer. However, even though I've met 5 people from the firm for about 30 minutes each, I just know that it is full of people that I am better than and with whom I would not fit (since I am more interesting than them). Any advice would be appreciated.

I get that you think you’re satirizing the OP, but it is is a reasonable question (just substitute “nerdy” or “pretentious” for whatever qualities you object to in the OP), and you’re just being a defensive prick.


You misunderstand me. If I was able to discern from the website and from questionable anecdotes that the firm was full of nerdy or pretentious people, I would feel the same way. When it comes to generalizing about 100s of individuals I have never met, I am equal opportunity. And in case this wasn't clear, I can see where they went to school RIGHT ON THE WEBSITE. What more do you need?


I'm so confused by what's going on here or what the point is.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:07 pm
by nixy
Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but piggybacking off of this: I am what some shallow, judgmental folks would call bro-y, because of where I went to school, what I look like, and the things I am genuinely interested in. I only have one offer and it is at a firm that does the kind of work I want to do. Also, with my grades, I am lucky to have gotten the offer. However, even though I've met 5 people from the firm for about 30 minutes each, I just know that it is full of people that I am better than and with whom I would not fit (since I am more interesting than them). Any advice would be appreciated.

I get that you think you’re satirizing the OP, but it is is a reasonable question (just substitute “nerdy” or “pretentious” for whatever qualities you object to in the OP), and you’re just being a defensive prick.


You misunderstand me. If I was able to discern from the website and from questionable anecdotes that the firm was full of nerdy or pretentious people, I would feel the same way. When it comes to generalizing about 100s of individuals I have never met, I am equal opportunity. And in case this wasn't clear, I can see where they went to school RIGHT ON THE WEBSITE. What more do you need?

Give it a rest. The OP didn’t suggest they were in any way superior to anyone at the firm and didn’t boast about their school. You are being ridiculously defensive and derailing conversation on a perfectly legit question, which is, should you take a job at a firm where you don’t feel like you’ll fit in? (Part of the answer may be pointing out that it’s hard actually to judge fit a year ahead of time based on the brief time of an interview, which is true, but there’s no need to be a condescending dick about it. I also tend to think that while you can’t know that a good impression is accurate, if you get a bad impression that’s a good reason to stay away.)

And for an actual answer, OP, unless you have any other options, take the job and then keep applying and renege if need be. If you end up working there, the 3L market will be much better coming from a biglaw job than from other options.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:13 pm
by QContinuum
There's a real chance OP is a troll, but there's also a chance, IMO, that the question is legit. I'll assume OP's legit for purposes of this post.

Anonymous User wrote:The firm has the type of work I am interested in and is fairly "prestigious" and well known (I've been told by various people at my school that the fact I got an offer from them in the first place is kinda a miracle), but I am worried it is a bad fit culturally speaking. It is an east coast firm full of ex ivy-league athletes and frat dudes. I too was a college athlete so I know how to "blend in" to that type of culture, but I got so sick of it in college and I just don't know how well I could handle being put back into that situation.


I think the worry about "fit" is legitimate - firm culture does vary significantly, and working at a place where the culture is a mismatch for your personality can be miserable. That said, if you want to work in BigLaw and this is your only 2L SA offer, you should bite the bullet and accept the offer. As a general rule, the BigLaw boat comes once and done; without a 2L BigLaw SA, it'd be very challenging to get back in the game.

Further, there's a real chance that working at the firm won't be as bad as you fear/predict. Even though firm culture is real and important, there's still a range of personality types at any given firm. Even at the "frattiest" firms, there'll still be nerdy, introverted types. (And vice versa for the more "buttoned-up" firms.) So you may very well be able to "find your group" and thrive at the firm without becoming College Bro 2.0.

And worst case scenario, even if the summer is truly the stuff of your nightmares, then at least you'll be able to tackle 3L OCI with a permanent offer in hand. 3L OCI with a permanent offer in hand is challenging; 3L OCI without a permanent offer in hand is effectively impossible.

Anonymous User wrote:Also, the firm isn't in the market I am primarily interested in.


Again, accept the offer and try your luck at 3L OCI. If that doesn't pan out, you should be able to lateral to your desired market after a little while (at least a year, preferably two).

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:20 pm
by glitched
The firm not being in your target would probably be the biggest issue for me. As far as prestige, without practice area and firm, we won't be able to advise at all. For blending in or avoiding people, you can choose to hang out with whoever you want. I don't see that as being an issue. Bros will be bros, but you can avoid them.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:56 pm
by Anonymous User
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but piggybacking off of this: I am what some shallow, judgmental folks would call bro-y, because of where I went to school, what I look like, and the things I am genuinely interested in. I only have one offer and it is at a firm that does the kind of work I want to do. Also, with my grades, I am lucky to have gotten the offer. However, even though I've met 5 people from the firm for about 30 minutes each, I just know that it is full of people that I am better than and with whom I would not fit (since I am more interesting than them). Any advice would be appreciated.

I get that you think you’re satirizing the OP, but it is is a reasonable question (just substitute “nerdy” or “pretentious” for whatever qualities you object to in the OP), and you’re just being a defensive prick.


You misunderstand me. If I was able to discern from the website and from questionable anecdotes that the firm was full of nerdy or pretentious people, I would feel the same way. When it comes to generalizing about 100s of individuals I have never met, I am equal opportunity. And in case this wasn't clear, I can see where they went to school RIGHT ON THE WEBSITE. What more do you need?

Give it a rest. The OP didn’t suggest they were in any way superior to anyone at the firm and didn’t boast about their school. You are being ridiculously defensive and derailing conversation on a perfectly legit question, which is, should you take a job at a firm where you don’t feel like you’ll fit in? (Part of the answer may be pointing out that it’s hard actually to judge fit a year ahead of time based on the brief time of an interview, which is true, but there’s no need to be a condescending dick about it. I also tend to think that while you can’t know that a good impression is accurate, if you get a bad impression that’s a good reason to stay away.)

And for an actual answer, OP, unless you have any other options, take the job and then keep applying and renege if need be. If you end up working there, the 3L market will be much better coming from a biglaw job than from other options.


Troll here. Relax, I'm just joshing with OP because 1) OP hasn't mentioned debt or other financial issues and therefore very well might have a trust fund, since they are apparently able to turn down their only biglaw offer, and 2) because, as was pointed out, this firm not being in OP's target region is a solid reason to question accepting the offer, so I'm not sure why the bro thing is taking center stage. I agree that cultures differ among firms and that culture matters. But it is a tie breaker. If you want biglaw and have one offer and turn it down for cultural reasons, you should expect some shit.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:23 pm
by nixy
I mean, I would expect the OP to get some shit about feeling superior to people if they had in fact actually expressed feeling superior to anyone, sure.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:59 pm
by Anonymous User
There is no alternative: be jobless going in to 2L, or have a 180-190k job lined up. Those are your options.

Take the job, you can do 3L OCI later, or try to lateral after a year or so.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:21 pm
by Wild Card
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but piggybacking off of this: I am what some shallow, judgmental folks would call bro-y, because of where I went to school, what I look like, and the things I am genuinely interested in. I only have one offer and it is at a firm that does the kind of work I want to do. Also, with my grades, I am lucky to have gotten the offer. However, even though I've met 5 people from the firm for about 30 minutes each, I just know that it is full of people that I am better than and with whom I would not fit (since I am more interesting than them). Any advice would be appreciated.

I get that you think you’re satirizing the OP, but it is is a reasonable question (just substitute “nerdy” or “pretentious” for whatever qualities you object to in the OP), and you’re just being a defensive prick.


You misunderstand me. If I was able to discern from the website and from questionable anecdotes that the firm was full of nerdy or pretentious people, I would feel the same way. When it comes to generalizing about 100s of individuals I have never met, I am equal opportunity. And in case this wasn't clear, I can see where they went to school RIGHT ON THE WEBSITE. What more do you need?


I'm so confused by what's going on here or what the point is.


OP is bragging about landing Skadden, a shitty firm, despite ranking at the bottom of his class at GULC.

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:56 am
by Anonymous User
I'm very confused by this post. you finished OCI with only one job offer. presumably you want a job. what's the alternative?

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:14 am
by Anonymous User
How much should fit matter though? Like if I’m interested in doing transactional work would fit be a legitimate reason to pick Skadden over CSM? I think the answer is probably yes. What about Latham over CSM?

Re: Accept a 2L SA even if culture fit is not there?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:56 am
by ughbugchugplug
Anecdotally, I was in a similar spot when I started big law. I got one offer that was probably a reach for me, and I worried it wouldn’t be a culture fit (I tend to get along with nerdy/socially awkward types, firm appeared to be more like people who play in softball beer leagues). I thought the people would be cool and friendly but that I wouldn’t necessarily mesh with them.

I was wrong! The people I interviewed with were not the only type of people there. I became very close friends with fellow SAs and was happy to return as an associate. And I ended up really enjoying working with the beer league guys too. It’s hard to predict what you’ll like or dislike in a workplace ex ante. And you also might be a different person in two years than you are now. Since you only have one offer, I’d say go for it.