Now with the process over and getting some time to reflect a bit, I wanted to share a couple of thoughts for future law students gearing up for the process.
Full disclosure - I had 9 OCIs, 5 in-firms and 3 offers. Only said first choice to my first choice that I ended up accepting an offer with. Kept showing my interests to all three firms throughout Tuesday and Wednesday. I would have been happy at either of the three places, but when given a choice made the selection based on where I would likely get the best opportunities to grow.
First, I think BLG should not be getting as bad of a rep as it does (re Ultra Vires articles). They never pressured me to say first choice and I feel like they are doing some great work on the D&I front (as a person of colour, I personally see D&I more in terms of having an inclusive mindset then making sure there are a certain number of people of colour in the firm). I know of classmates that felt like they were pressured to say first choice, but I personally read that as perhaps them not conveying their interest enough and the firm not knowing where to place the candidate in terms of interest in the firm. No, BLG was not my first choice.
Second, I feel like these has been said in some of the threads on this forum, but just to reiterate, whether or not you get an offer, don't take it personally. The firms are making business decisions that do take into consideration academics and personality to an extent, but are largely just based on the needs of their firms (which are businesses at the end of the day). So if you got an offer, don't let it get to your head and if you didn't, again, don't let it get to your head. The process does seem to favour extroverts over introverts (funny enough, a member of the student committee at BLG expressed awareness of that...) and is by no means perfect. I am also aware that its easier for me to say this given my position, but I still felt this before the process ended. It is definitely not purely based on grades or your personality - more of a mix I would say.
Third, imho confidence is key in getting an offer in this process. Without going into too many details, I stand out pretty starkly amongst your average law student today and especially next to the average Bay St. lawyer. However, I went into the process not making any compromises that would make me uncomfortable. I didn't wear heels. I wanted to wear a suit and I did. I ate my meals without thinking too much about knives, spoons and fork placements. I honestly feel that was the reason why I was able to get three offers. The tables shifted pretty quick and all the people I met on the other side largely did not look like me. That doesn't mean it was all smooth sailing. I did feel judged by one of the top gun partners at the only firm that dropped me in the process, but again wouldn't want to work at a place where being me was not welcome.
So the whole 'be you' advice is the way to go imo. Confidence comes across and makes you stand out in this process. The reality is that the process is stressful, which inevitably causes a lot of nerves. The key is to not let the nerves show and hopefully be able to keep them at bay - at least when you are in the interviews. This is by no means easy and some great candidates fall through the cracks because of it imho.
Last thing I would want to note is that if you are in a position to make a decision at the end don't let how nice firms are treating you play a huge factor in what you decide. If they want you, they will obviously butter you up. In my case, all three were laying it on thick. In making that decision, I would advise focusing on the work and growth opportunities, which is what I did and was advised to do.
Grateful for how the process ended for myself, but as someone who did a lot of research/prep before the process, I feel like these were some key things I would have wanted to know going in.