Practice Groups and OCI

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Practice Groups and OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:09 pm

Median at T14 who is (more than likely) going to end up striking out. Question about how I can present myself better in future interviews. At this point I am pretty set on a transactional practice, but for various reasons my resume makes it look like I should be interested in lit (no business experience, 1 year paralegal WE at a top lit shop in my market, 6 weeks of lit at a small firm this summer). Problem is I have found out that I really don't enjoy litigation. I would much rather have a practice where BOTH SIDES are working together (in the big picture) rather than fighting. I also grew up with both my parents being corporate litigators, so I feel like I have a decent "insiders" view of the practice. In fact, this past Monday I went on a callback where, even though I specified transactional work in my screener and said as much in my cover letter, I ONLY met with litigation partners and associates. The firm told me they thought there was a miscommunication and there was "no way" I was not interested in litigation. Besides being median (even at a t14...) I am wondering if this image that I really should be doing litigation work is hurting me. FWIW I am taking Corporations and Securities Regulations this semester to try and get a transactional background and have something else to point to in interviews separate from "I've spoken with a lot of attorneys and also don't like like litigation." Thoughts?

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Yea All Right

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Re: Practice Groups and OCI

Postby Yea All Right » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:24 pm

IMO if you really want a biglaw job, you shouldn’t pidgeon-hole yourself at this point in the cycle. Say that you’re interested in doing either, or even say litigation if it fits the situation better. Get the job first, worry about practice group later. It’s a lot easier to transition between groups in biglaw later if you have biglaw experience during 2L summer on your resume.

QContinuum

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Re: Practice Groups and OCI

Postby QContinuum » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:27 pm

Not sure I agree with the advice to pretend to want lit. One, not all firms let you try both lit and corp during the summer (and even at firms that formally allow it, I'd be wary of trying to do all/mostly corp after professing a passion for lit while interviewing). So OP could very well be locking themselves into lit by faking a lit passion during interviews. Two, lit tends to be harder to get anyway, because law school is litigation-oriented and so most candidates tend to want lit. Look at the firms doing 3L hiring right now into specific practice areas - they're all (or almost all) corporate practice areas.

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Re: Practice Groups and OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:04 am

OP Here. Ended up getting an offer from the firm I mentioned that pigeonholed me into litigation. They made it clear that the offer is for the litigation group and that there would be little to no opportunities to try out other practice groups. Going to spend the next 28 days trying to find something else, but if I do end up taking it, how hard is it to transfer practice groups after 2L? I will go into it with an open mind because I am sure the big-law lit experience will be different than either the paralegal experience or my experience this summer at a firm of 5 attorneys.

QContinuum

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Re: Practice Groups and OCI

Postby QContinuum » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP Here. Ended up getting an offer from the firm I mentioned that pigeonholed me into litigation. They made it clear that the offer is for the litigation group and that there would be little to no opportunities to try out other practice groups. Going to spend the next 28 days trying to find something else, but if I do end up taking it, how hard is it to transfer practice groups after 2L? I will go into it with an open mind because I am sure the big-law lit experience will be different than either the paralegal experience or my experience this summer at a firm of 5 attorneys.


Congrats!! I think your plan sounds reasonable. Try to smoke out something else, if nothing pops up take the offer and see how you like it.

By how hard is it to transfer practice groups, do you mean at this firm or in 3L hiring? At this firm would seem to be difficult, given how they've made clear to you they want you in lit (and aren't going to even let you try corporate). In 3L hiring, entirely possible (to the extent the limited/challenging 3L market permits). As I noted earlier ITT, most firms that do 3L hiring tend to hire into corporate practice groups, as that's where they tend to need additional bodies post-summer. But ideally do your best to get at least a tiny amount of corporate exposure during the summer - will help you build a positive narrative for "why transactional" rather than merely a negative "NOT litigation" argument.

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Re: Practice Groups and OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:03 pm

I think you obviously use your 28 days, but taking this summer gig and then trying to switch firms into a corporate role during 3L OCI is a good plan. “I tried lit and I really want to do corporate” is a fine narrative; just make sure to frame as positively WANTING corporate rather than a negative of NOT WANTING lit.

Juice your grades a bit (which you can control 2L and 3L year with class selection and effort) and cross finger economy holds up for 12 months. Worst case, you have a job and a salary and you look for clerkships a year or so on and then flip to corporate post clerkship. The generic national biglaw firms will hire a top third / quarter T14 with an AIII clerkship into corporate, though you’ll likely need to come in as a second year. That’s not that big a deal, IMO.

hangingtree

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Re: Practice Groups and OCI

Postby hangingtree » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think you obviously use your 28 days, but taking this summer gig and then trying to switch firms into a corporate role during 3L OCI is a good plan. “I tried lit and I really want to do corporate” is a fine narrative; just make sure to frame as positively WANTING corporate rather than a negative of NOT WANTING lit.

Juice your grades a bit (which you can control 2L and 3L year with class selection and effort) and cross finger economy holds up for 12 months. Worst case, you have a job and a salary and you look for clerkships a year or so on and then flip to corporate post clerkship. The generic national biglaw firms will hire a top third / quarter T14 with an AIII clerkship into corporate, though you’ll likely need to come in as a second year. That’s not that big a deal, IMO.


This. All great advice.

Congrats OP.



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