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2L Summer (2019) Recruit PFOs/ITCs

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A friend is wondering if Miller Thomson conducted interviews today or if the reception was a form of interview that needed to be attended. He didn’t hear from from the firm after the first interview yesterday, so he assumed that they weren’t interested in him, didn’t attend the reception, and now is questioning his decision. 

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Re: saying "first choice" to firms - to be clear, I completely agree that if you tell a firm they're you're first choice, and then that changes, you should not say anything to the first firm. We all know how this process works, and things change over the few days of recruitment.

That said, I also don't think you should just tell every firm they're your first choice if it isn't true. Be honest. Those "first choice" words are a tool that can really help you, or lose effectiveness the more you say it. Your interviewers aren't new at this - they'll know if you're just bullshitting or you really mean it. Being upfront, to the best of your ability (with some massaging as needed, of course), will serve you well.

For example, here are a couple of things I've encountered over the last few years of student recruitment:

- We interviewed someone we really liked, and we asked the student if we were their first choice and if not, the reason / the type of other places they were still seriously considering and why (without asking for specific names of places). The student was very upfront with us - told us they really liked us but there was one other place they were weighing against us, and told us why. We took the opportunity to discuss that a bit, hear about the person's priorities, give additional information about our firm to show how we could fit with those priorities, sell the student on our firm. We ultimately made an offer to that student.

- We interviewed someone we really liked, and who clearly really liked us. They told us we were their first choice, on more than one occasion. We made them an offer, and they rejected. After calls wound down, I got an email from the student saying they really enjoyed coming in, could have seen themselves working at the firm and would have loved to work with us, but assessed their priorities through the process and ultimately felt that another firm was best suited for their career goals and priorities. It was a really thoughtful message, and totally understandable. Zero reputational damage arising out of it.

All that to say - there are ways of approaching things "honourably" that don't require you to sacrifice self-interest. Just be a nice human and you'll be fine.

Edited by barelylegal
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6 hours ago, Greenwich28 said:

A friend is wondering if Miller Thomson conducted interviews today or if the reception was a form of interview that needed to be attended. He didn’t hear from from the firm after the first interview yesterday, so he assumed that they weren’t interested in him, didn’t attend the reception, and now is questioning his decision. 

There were second interviews Tuesday and third Wednesday. Third interview invitations were sent before the reception.

I'm obviously not going to say anything is certain, but if your friend was not asked to return a second time it was probably more beneficial that he used his time elsewhere on Tuesday night. He shouldn't feel like he made a mistake.

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Choosing which firm to say top choice to???

Stuck between 2 - one has my heart, the other has my head.

Global brand vs more national brand.

Inflexible summer program (i.e. I'd be in "business law"), vs flexible summer program (I'm interested to know what a litigation practice looks like, corporate, employment, etc. but thinking about things more I'm not sure I want to be a litigator; I have no idea what I really want to do or what each practice area entails)

Great people, vs. gut feeling about the great people.

Edited by BBAtoJD
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29 minutes ago, BBAtoJD said:

Choosing which firm to say top choice to???

Stuck between 2 - one has my heart, the other has my head.

Global brand vs more national brand.

Inflexible summer program (i.e. I'd be in "business law"), vs flexible summer program (I'm interested to know what a litigation practice looks like, corporate, employment, etc. but thinking about things more I'm not sure I want to be a litigator; I have no idea what I really want to do or what each practice area entails)

Great people, vs. gut feeling about the great people.

It sounds like you're choosing between two objectively great options, so congratulations

I think at a certain level, the firms are more or less interchangable as far as the quality of work and people you would be doing it with. At that point, you need to decide where and who you would be happiest with. 

.

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8 hours ago, Sectional7 said:

Nothing of substance to add. Just wanted to say that THIS PROCESS IS FUCKED!

Oh ya... since when is a 4 hour dinner acceptable? I've had two dinners and both were 4 hours long. Almost at the finish line though.

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9 hours ago, Sectional7 said:

Nothing of substance to add. Just wanted to say that THIS PROCESS IS FUCKED!

Everyone says this every year and while I’m inclined to agree to some extent, I haven’t yet heard a reasonable alternative process that can (at least somewhat) fairly allocate the limited Bay Street jobs to interested candidates. 

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1 hour ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Oh ya... since when is a 4 hour dinner acceptable? I've had two dinners and both were 4 hours long. Almost at the finish line though.

I actually enjoyed my long dinners, so to each their own I guess. 

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10 minutes ago, Ryn said:

Everyone says this every year and while I’m inclined to agree to some extent, I haven’t yet heard a reasonable alternative process that can (at least somewhat) fairly allocate the limited Bay Street jobs to interested candidates. 

The New York process is 100 percent more humane, fair, and better for both students and firms. 

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3 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

The New York process is 100 percent more humane, fair, and better for both students and firms. 

Yeah, but there are not enough jobs available to Canadians for everyone to abandon the process here, and not everyone wants to live and practice in New York. 

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18 minutes ago, providence said:

Yeah, but there are not enough jobs available to Canadians for everyone to abandon the process here, and not everyone wants to live and practice in New York. 

I think they meant that Bay Street could adopt NY's process.. have things spread out over a period of time rather than cramming all interviews in over a week, that kind of thing

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2 hours ago, BBAtoJD said:

Choosing which firm to say top choice to???

Stuck between 2 - one has my heart, the other has my head.

Global brand vs more national brand.

Inflexible summer program (i.e. I'd be in "business law"), vs flexible summer program (I'm interested to know what a litigation practice looks like, corporate, employment, etc. but thinking about things more I'm not sure I want to be a litigator; I have no idea what I really want to do or what each practice area entails)

Great people, vs. gut feeling about the great people.

It's simple - Go with the firm that made you feel that happiest when you were in their company. At the end of the day, most of these firms do similar work, over similar hours, for similar pay... and national firm vs international firm? That's likely not going to matter to your career. But you know what will matter? Whether you enjoy the people you work with. You're going to be spending very long days with these people and if you have to give up a chunk of your life for a period of time, you should do so in an environment that makes you (moderately) happy.

Also, I wouldn't write off a program for being inflexible-  I think most firms have you try litigation even if you are primarily focused in "business law" (at least during your articling year). But the opportunity to get exposure to different practice areas is an important consideration 

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53 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

The New York process is 100 percent more humane, fair, and better for both students and firms. 

How does the New York process work now? My understanding was that Toronto switched to the New York process some decades ago. 

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55 minutes ago, Ryn said:

How does the New York process work now? My understanding was that Toronto switched to the New York process some decades ago. 

OCIs are the same (at least for Canadian schools). But you then can schedule your in firm interview over a month and a half or something. If you have multiple you book them on different days but can book them close to each other if you want (some firms appreciate it because it means they split your travel/hotel costs with the other firms). Critically, if you get offers you have 28 days to mull them over. 

 

All this first choice nonsense is eliminated.

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58 minutes ago, Ryn said:

How does the New York process work now? My understanding was that Toronto switched to the New York process some decades ago. 

I think Bay Street copied what New York was doing to grab Toronto students, not necessarily the process they actually use in New York... according to that JD Precedent article, anyway. 

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Indeed. Bay Street copied New York in so far as Bay moved up the recruit to early in the first semester of 2L. But the Americans have since moved their recruitment earlier, so to that extent we are back at square one. 

There are problems with the American recruit. (Namely, it moves further back every year because there is no rule about when a firm can start hiring and no one wants to be late to the party. Just this year, U of T moved the NY OCIs to earlier in August because firms were supposedly complaining that it was coming too late in their recruiting cycle.) But the process as a whole is undoubtedly more humane for the students participating.

The rationale for this one-week frenzy is, as far as I can tell, that it reduces costs for the firms participating, reduces risk that classes are 'oversubscribed,' and minimizes disruption of the academic semester. All of these justifications seem rather hollow to me, from the student's perspective, but there we go. 

Anyway, you're all almost done. Best of luck today. 

Edited by onepost
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2 minutes ago, onepost said:

that it reduces costs for the firms participating

Honestly, I'm sure firms lose their favourite students not just to other firms being more alluring, but to the confusing and absurd nature of the week, first choice, etc. So there is a cost beyond just the literal financial outlay for the firms - the cost of losing their top candidates. 

 

It seems very unseemly and amateurish of Canadian firms if I have to be honest. 

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I feel like if the process lasted months, people would complain about uncertainty more than they already are. And allowing students to sit on offers for such a long time is problematic for all but the largest firms. 

I am sympathetic to the problems with the recruit, but I’m not so certain that a drawn-out process is the answer. And informalizing it (via firms “opting out” of OCIs entirely, as has been discussed by some) will just mean that all of the firms will once again chaotically hire people at the same time but with fewer controls out of the organized process, assuming the law society lets this happen in the first place. 

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^^Exactly. Some people are going to complain regardless of what process is used. Dragging it out , and with fewer controls, will present its own problems.

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