Friday, September 12, 2008

new NALP rules, etc.

Anonymous (I seem to have a lot of friends here named Anonymous) asked whether HP thinks that the new NALP 45 day rule will have an effect on how quickly firms will notify people of offers after callbacks.  (For those who are not familiar with this new rule, candidates have 45 days from the date of an offer to act on that offer -- this is for summer associate positions).  My experience is that it is making us act more quickly in giving offers so that we can get a clock started and have an ability to move on to other candidates if a candidate declines an offer.  

Anonymous also asked if firms generally try to wait until all candidates from a particular school go through callbacks before making decisions as to which candidates to hire.  This varies.  We do like to see all the candidates from a school so we can compare and contrast. We prefer to have a mix of law schools in our summer programs.  However, even if we have not seen all candidates from a particular school, if we have a candidate who we perceive to be in demand and who we know we want, we will go ahead and issue and offer ASAP.  My theory is that hot candidates are more inclined to go to firms that show they are very interested.  One year, we had a candidate who we really wanted (good grades, solid undergraduate institution, great outside activities, diverse candidate).  We issued the offer about a day after the candidate came in for a callback.  The candidate accepted shortly thereafter.  Candidate now works for firm.  

One other point.  This year's market is cooler than in past years.  What that means is that I don't feel we need to act on all candidates so quickly.  It gives us the opportunity to keep people in "hold" longer than we normally would do so.  Thus, if you haven't heard back after a callback, and it has been some time, check in with the recruiting coordinator to express your continued interest.  You are probably still on hold and this will help us know that you haven't accepted another offer.  

16 comments:

Brighton said...

Hi HP,
This is somewhat unrelated to hiring, but it's something that struck me as I go through the callback process. I have a number of friends who are recent graduates. Some of them theoretically went into law for the right reasons--interest in the subject matter, getting a kick out of cite checking, and certainly not for the cash--and they found firms they truly loved, with associates and partners who seemed genuinely happy. I've been using them as a model for how I pattern my own job search and planning for the immediate future.

Problem is, working at the firms of their dreams (some 'prestigious', some way outside of the Vault rankings but with fascinating work) and already doing substantive work, they are all uniformly miserable a couple weeks after their start dates. I don't mean "this is a tough first week" miserable, but "I need to get out of firm life as soon as humanly possible" miserable. And as I said, these are some of the smartest/hardest workers I know.

Still, the people they work with seem happy. Can you provide any insight into the "satisfaction curve"? Is this something that everyone goes through, or is it a signal that the practice of law in a firm is not the right environment for you? How does one become that "happy lawyer" while working big-firm hours as a lowly associate? I know they exist, I've met a few--I'm just not sure how to get there.

brighton said...

P.S. Great blog, it's been immensely useful.

Chauncey said...

HP, thanks for running this blog, it's grat info. I do have a question in this vein. We are finishing up OCI week and I have been fortunate to receive a number of callbacks at firms I'm interested in. Two questions:

1) Some of my callbacks are going to be approximately 3 weeks after OCI, can this be harmful to my chances in anyway

2) I have a couple of firms I still need to call and schedule interviews, but there a few others that I'm waiting to here from that I have a bit more interest in and I want to give them scheduling priority if possible.

Am I over thinking all of this? I guess that's a third question.

chauncey said...

Sorry, "great" information

Anonymous said...

This blog's been great the past week. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is helpful. Can you also please answer the question a previous commenter had regarding the effect of declining offers or canceling call-backs on future lateral movement. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

So... are you moving more quickly on offers (NALP rule changes) or slowly (economy)? I'm confused.

Hiring Partner said...

This HP is moving more slowly on offers because haven't found perfect fits. Have found some solid candidates. But, for this HP, since these people aren't being snapped up as easily in the past, I'm holding. For other HPs, the NALP rules are getting them to issue offers faster to get clock ticking.

Anonymous said...

thanks, HP. i appreciate you answering my question.

if you could address what the most important factors to consider when deciding between a few offers are, that would be great. i'm not sure how much weight i should put in what other people say about certain firms, because i'll often find conflicting advice.

ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'll second the poster above me. It might be presumptuous but I am hoping to get multiple offers. I know what one wants in a firm is paramount, but there must be some general things to examine or ask about.

One thing that is important to me (and I'm sure others) is planning an exit strategy. Do the large name firms provide for more options even though one might be given less responsibility? Or do firms of say 150 or so that are smaller branches possibly avoid better exit opportunities because the junior associates will be given more responsibility because the firms are not as highly leveraged.

Realistically most of us are not going to stay at a firm all the way through to partner. Do we go for name or responsibility?

Anonymous said...

**typo in my post above: avoid = provide

Anonymous said...

I have heard that HPs go into screening interviews already pretty much knowing who is going to get a call back...is this true? Or do all screening interviewers truly have a shot?

Anonymous said...

Oops...posted too early. If everyone does pretty much have a shot during the screening interview, what makes them a candidate that you stand up and notice? Showing a serious interest towards parntership, the firm, etc. or more personality? I'm trying to determine whether the screening interview should be focused on learning more about the firm to show interest or about making the HP like me (less serious conversation)

Anonymous said...

How long after a callback should I "check in"? I was told I would hear in 1-2 weeks by HR but partner said it would take more time.


Also I was told that i would be notified about a callback 1 week ago by another firm. HR said the partner I interviewed w/ liked me but the department they want me for has not reached a decision. Should I check in again? Give up?

How long after screening interviews are you giving callback notifications?

Anonymous said...

Has the recent collapse/consolidation in the financial markets caused you to alter your hiring, especially for those expressing a strong interest in corporate work?