Thursday, September 4, 2008

turning call backs into offers

Anonymous and Matt asked about callback/offer ratios, i.e., number of callbacks given per summer associate position..and number of offers for each position.  This really depends on the firm, the usual "yield," size of program, etc, etc.  

If you have terrific grades, stats, and seem to interview well by getting a lot of callbacks, assuming you have callbacks at firms you think you like, I wouldn't accept every call back out there. It is ok to be somewhat selective.  Think of this like college applications, though, you will want to have reach firms, firms you stand a good chance of getting in, and safety firms where you think you should get an offer. Now of course, there's no telling what happens.  Sometimes one interviewer just won't click with you and will ding you hard, even when you thought you'd breeze through an offer.  If your grades are so so, take the callbacks -- all of them -- unless you have absolutely no interest in the firm/city.  You need to cover your a**

How do we figure out how many callbacks to give?  It really depends.  If you are from a local school, it is usual easier to get a callback because we don't factor in travel expenses. And, we probably have a good connection to the school from previous hires.  For me, it depends on how we are doing offer-wise; if we have several offers outstanding, I will be tighter on approving callbacks.  In terms of offers given for each position, this depends on each firm's usual yield and number of slots in the office.  For some firms, you might give 3-4 offers per position or more if not such a "hot" firm (we analyze historical data).  In smaller programs where  you are only authorized for a few summer associates total in an office, we have to be really careful about oversubscription, so for say 4 slots, we might give 6-7 offers depending on how we sense interest. 


e. said...

But how does this work then, Hiring Partner?

Suppose Firm A (large, successful) has estimated that it needs to make about 70 offers to fill its summer class; Firm B (small office) plans to extend about 7 offers.

Without further information, I would guess that Firm B would invite fewer people for callbacks than Firm A to begin with, because interviewing even 70 people for 7 offers is a lot of wasted time, especially for a small office.

But is it entirely proportional? Will Firm A typically extend ten times as many callback invitations as Firm B? Or, from a student's perspective: once the student gets invited for a callback, are the chances of getting an offer equal at the two firms?

a. said...

Hiring Partner, what if our grades aren't so great but WE did get invited back to a call back at Big Firm? Should we prepared to talk about grades, or do they like our previous work/academic experience and are willing to overlook a couple low grades? Also, could you give some tips on "selling" low grades?

I echo a previous commenter..can you discuss thank you notes? Do you prefer handwritten or email, and sent to individual or group?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hey HP.. totally unrelated question - but do you know of any slowdown in the hiring of temp attorneys - for doc review or what not?

I'm a temp who does this stuff and projects seem to be few and far between at the moment. Could be just one of those things, or not. So I thought I'd check with you. Have you seen any of the following -
A) Firms putting associates on doc review projects because there's no other work for them
B) Clients becoming more cost conscious and doing their doc review in-house
C) Reviews going faster due to software improvements
D) Outsourcing of doc review work
E) Cost conscious clients foregoing doc review and doing a mass dump instead (with little or no review)

Thanks for any info