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2L Summer (2019) Recruit PFOs/ITCs

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1 hour ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Yeah. I always found it funny that I was supposed to kiss up to them as where I want my career to be long term, but it was very taboo to ask about partner track. Firms are funny man.

I definitely did it wrong then; most of the questions I asked the partners/senior partners were about the career path of Associates in their firm to Partnership and the resources/guidance they received. They all seemed to like those questions though, so YMMV.

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11 minutes ago, CTerror said:

I definitely did it wrong then; most of the questions I asked the partners/senior partners were about the career path of Associates in their firm to Partnership and the resources/guidance they received. They all seemed to like those questions though, so YMMV.

same here, when it became clear that a firm wanted me i definitely felt completely fine asking questions about associate training and career development leading to partnership - and i got offers from the firms where such a conversation was had.

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There's some stats here re: U of T from last year

http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/UV-February-2018-Recruitment-Special.pdf

Grades were most important at getting more OCIS. After in-firms, they were less determinative. Of 121 students participating, 58% of those who were in the bottom quarter (doesn't say how many people) got an average of 2 offers (more than the middle of the class.) 89% of students in the top 15% got offers (so the other 11% didn't? I am not 100% clear on their methodology) 

54% of the class was hired through OCIs.

Grade distribution:

https://handbook.law.utoronto.ca/guidelines-and-procedures/grading-and-honoursdistinction-standing

15% are supposed to get HH and 30% get H in any given class, so in each class, 45% or so are getting HH or H. Even if every single one of them does Toronto OCIS, which seems unlikely, if we're going down to 54%, not all the students hired can have all or mostly HHs and Hs. So there have to be a bunch of Ps in there, which I think can be defined as "mediocre" taking the meaning of medium, average, ordinary etc. 

Re: systemic issues - I'd love to see more on this, but 38% of the class have a parental household income of 150K or more. 58% make 100K or more. Only 9% make less than 50K and 29% less than 100K. (12% didn't answer.) I wonder how many of that 54% come from the 100K or more. 

 

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4 hours ago, providence said:

Bay hires a lot of people... by definition they can’t all be “top candidates.” 

Just a quick question... Do people class all downtown Toronto business firms at 'Bay Street' firms? Or firms literally on or around Bay Street? 

Would Aird & Berlis, Gardiner Roberts, & Goodmans, for example, all be 'Bay Street Firms' despite that they are a lot smaller than some of the other Toronto/Canadian firms (i.e. Fasken with like 700+ lawyers worldwide)? 

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13 minutes ago, DeluxeVegan said:

Just a quick question... Do people class all downtown Toronto business firms at 'Bay Street' firms? Or firms literally on or around Bay Street? 

Would Aird & Berlis, Gardiner Roberts, & Goodmans, for example, all be 'Bay Street Firms' despite that they are a lot smaller than some of the other Toronto/Canadian firms (i.e. Fasken with like 700+ lawyers worldwide)? 

Yes. 

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2 hours ago, CTerror said:

I definitely did it wrong then; most of the questions I asked the partners/senior partners were about the career path of Associates in their firm to Partnership and the resources/guidance they received. They all seemed to like those questions though, so YMMV.

Going to second this by saying I had extended conversations with senior partners regarding career path to partnership and how partnership decisions are made (one firm even outlined the test they use and how the firm helps its associates determine where they stand with regards to the test at various point of their career). All the partners I spoke too seemed to like those questions as well and appreciated the interest in the long-term outlook. Question regarding compensation felt a bit taboo, but associates and mid-level associates were very helpful with that. I think it all depends how these topics, including diversity, are framed. 

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3 hours ago, Ohmeohmy said:

Going to second this by saying I had extended conversations with senior partners regarding career path to partnership and how partnership decisions are made (one firm even outlined the test they use and how the firm helps its associates determine where they stand with regards to the test at various point of their career). All the partners I spoke too seemed to like those questions as well and appreciated the interest in the long-term outlook. Question regarding compensation felt a bit taboo, but associates and mid-level associates were very helpful with that. I think it all depends how these topics, including diversity, are framed. 

I wish I did this now. I also felt like it was a "don't really go there" area.

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1 hour ago, hottawa said:

I wish I did this now. I also felt like it was a "don't really go there" area.

That's actually why I shared my experience - I was told a lot of things to avoid doing during this recruit and I found a lot of them to not be true. I think firms want students to make the best choice - it's in their interest as well - so they want students to ask as many questions as possible to help them make that inform decision. 

 

I also think part of is depends on how much a firm likes a candidate - the more interest there is, the more leeway and tolerant firms are. 

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27 minutes ago, Ohmeohmy said:

That's actually why I shared my experience - I was told a lot of things to avoid doing during this recruit and I found a lot of them to not be true. I think firms want students to make the best choice - it's in their interest as well - so they want students to ask as many questions as possible to help them make that inform decision. 

 

I also think part of is depends on how much a firm likes a candidate - the more interest there is, the more leeway and tolerant firms are. 

Yes I would echo that last point too, I feel like when it’s clear the firm wants you that’s when these “taboo” topics became perfectly fine and understood as necessary for the student. I told numerous lawyers that I don’t care about cultural fit it’s about the insight you can share about the firm and it’s policies on x y z topic... but no way I could do that without having their love first lol 

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2 minutes ago, Ghalm said:

Yes I would echo that last point too, I feel like when it’s clear the firm wants you that’s when these “taboo” topics became perfectly fine and understood as necessary for the student. I told numerous lawyers that I don’t care about cultural fit it’s about the insight you can share about the firm and it’s policies on x y z topic... but no way I could do that without having their love first lol 

I can second this as well, absolutely true. I felt the pressure on me is completely off and I was able to ask questions I really care about.

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5 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Maybe it was just NY then that was taboo. Ah well, over now.

Yeah, because nobody makes partner in NY and then they'd have to admit you're just a warm body to them.

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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. 

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6 hours ago, Nayaab02 said:

 

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. 

 

I don't know if BLG just really didn't like me, but they did none of the leading on that I was told they would do. The recruiter emailed me the second day, thanked me for coming in that morning (I did not, in fact, come in that morning) and then informed me my time would best be spent elsewhere. Maybe they've finally changed their ways?

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My friend absolutely got pushed to say the magic words and after not doing so because he had already done so to another firm, was cut that night (Tuesday night). So No, haven't changed their ways.

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23 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

My friend absolutely got pushed to say the magic words and after not doing so because he had already done so to another firm, was cut that night (Tuesday night). So No, haven't changed their ways.

This was my experience a few years ago lol .. My experience was actually very similar to that of the person's in Ultra Vires so I dont think their rep is completely unwarranted. At the end of the day it's not a perfect process and everyone's experience with firms will vary. I happen to think my firm is the bee's knees and loved interacting with them throughout OCIs but i've spoken to handful of students who hated them. It really is subjective

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9 hours ago, Otter248 said:

I don't know if BLG just really didn't like me, but they did none of the leading on that I was told they would do. The recruiter emailed me the second day, thanked me for coming in that morning (I did not, in fact, come in that morning) and then informed me my time would best be spent elsewhere. Maybe they've finally changed their ways?

I am glad to hear this, i love it when a firm is straightforward, unlike one firm i dealt with that ghosted me and did not update me on how i was cut from their list.

6 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

My friend absolutely got pushed to say the magic words and after not doing so because he had already done so to another firm, was cut that night (Tuesday night). So No, haven't changed their ways.

Not my experience at all... in fact I thought BLG really went to great lengths to be straightforward with me. Of course, this is may have been because they liked me (I received an offer which I had to regrettably decline). I never said the magic words even though they gave me implicit opportunities to do so if it was true, and on each opportunity I was transparent with them about where my mind was at and it did not hurt my chances. 

I thought they accommodated my schedule, were upfront about whether certain things entailed an expected attendance (e.g. their top candidates lunch), were prompt with their communications with me, and put me in front of some amazing lawyers throughout the process! 

So, I am with Nayaab on this one... I was pleasantly surprised that BLG was different than their rumoured reputation!

Edited by Ghalm
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50 minutes ago, Ghalm said:

I am glad to hear this, i love it when a firm is straightforward, unlike one firm i dealt with that ghosted me and did not update me on how i was cut from their list.

Not my experience at all... in fact I thought BLG really went to great lengths to be straightforward with me. Of course, this is may have been because they liked me (I received an offer which I had to regrettably decline). I never said the magic words even though they gave me implicit opportunities to do so if it was true, and on each opportunity I was transparent with them about where my mind was at and it did not hurt my chances. 

I thought they accommodated my schedule, were upfront about whether certain things entailed an expected attendance (e.g. their top candidates lunch), were prompt with their communications with me, and put me in front of some amazing lawyers throughout the process! 

So, I am with Nayaab on this one... I was pleasantly surprised that BLG was different than their rumoured reputation!

That’s good to know, I turned down their interview for that exact reason. Happy to know they have turned their ship around.

Edited by Oddduck
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Finally had some time to sit down after a crazy week and collect my thoughts. For perspective, I go to Osgoode, am a K-JD (but have worked part-time jobs while in school consistently, and picked up full time jobs every summer since I started my undergrad, so my resume is pretty extensive), am a woman/visible minority/first generation lawyer/child of immigrants/lower-middle class. I had 11 OCIs, 8 calls on call day, did 5 in-firms (2 large full service bay st, 1 mid-sized, 1 boutique, 1 public sector), and got three offers. I accepted my first choice. 

1. Going into the process I was actually fairly discouraged about my chances. I had a high B+ average coming out of 1L, but this forum has the tendency to focus on how certain people (read: upper middle class, white, male, outgoing) really shine in this process. It led to a lot of anxiety and I had very little hopes for coming out with a job. Coming out of it now, I definitely see how lots of things can work against an introverted/racialized/lower income applicant, etc but I do think that some firms are better at accounting for those things than others. Most of the firms I interviewed with ignored my Interests section completely and focused in on law school/my work experience exclusively. There were a lot of behavioural questions (biggest weakness/strength, example of a time you showed leadership, example of when you were faced with a conflict or overwhelmed). This probably benefitted me a lot. 

2. Going into the Tuesday and Wednesday, I really made a point of questioning the diversity initiatives firms had in place (goals related to women partners, retaining women associates, hiring more diverse applicants, etc). Some firms had great answers and were receptive to these questions, some not so much. I had a firm ask me why diversity was important to me as a follow-up. I focused a lot on community involvement (I asked how much pro bono work the firm does, what causes it supports, how early students can get involved in pro bono). Some firms had more substantive answers than others. So I guess my first advice is really figure out what's important to you as a future employee, and use the firm's answers to create your own rankings. Mine changed throughout the week. Don't feel like you have to disclose where firms stand. I said first choice to one firm, but I did not feel pressured at all to say it. 

3. Schedule some time for breaks, meet up with your friends who are also interviewing (check up on each other), meals, keep in touch with your non-law friends/family for perspective, etc. I find socializing incredibly exhausting and found that I couldn't go non-stop. By leaving myself hour long breaks at some points in the day, I was able to refresh. I would reach out to my non-law friends every night to debrief the events of the day. 

4. One of my offers came from a firm who I interviewed with for the first time on Tuesday morning. Even if you schedule them on Tuesday, go in and give it your all. You may be surprised by the outcome. 

5. Go in, be confident in your own abilities and experience. You got through OCIs, so there is obviously some level of interest. Each interaction is an opportunity to remind them why they want you. 

6. Also, just for women who are worried, I wore pant suits all three days. I wore flats. My hair is naturally wavy/curly/frizzy, I tamed it a little but left it mostly to its devices. I wore minimal make up, as I can't apply it to save my life. 

7. Also, nothing is as big of a deal as it seems. I dropped my fork at my dinner on Monday. Embarrassing, but an offer came regardless, and I will be working there next summer. 

If anyone has any questions about my experiences, feel free to PM me. Also, a huge thank you to this forum and thread, without whom I would have struggled considerably more. 

 

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19 minutes ago, hdosanjh said:

Finally had some time to sit down after a crazy week and collect my thoughts. For perspective, I go to Osgoode, am a K-JD (but have worked part-time jobs while in school consistently, and picked up full time jobs every summer since I started my undergrad, so my resume is pretty extensive), am a woman/visible minority/first generation lawyer/child of immigrants/lower-middle class. I had 11 OCIs, 8 calls on call day, did 5 in-firms (2 large full service bay st, 1 mid-sized, 1 boutique, 1 public sector), and got three offers. I accepted my first choice. 

1. Going into the process I was actually fairly discouraged about my chances. I had a high B+ average coming out of 1L, but this forum has the tendency to focus on how certain people (read: upper middle class, white, male, outgoing) really shine in this process. It led to a lot of anxiety and I had very little hopes for coming out with a job. Coming out of it now, I definitely see how lots of things can work against an introverted/racialized/lower income applicant, etc but I do think that some firms are better at accounting for those things than others. Most of the firms I interviewed with ignored my Interests section completely and focused in on law school/my work experience exclusively. There were a lot of behavioural questions (biggest weakness/strength, example of a time you showed leadership, example of when you were faced with a conflict or overwhelmed). This probably benefitted me a lot. 

2. Going into the Tuesday and Wednesday, I really made a point of questioning the diversity initiatives firms had in place (goals related to women partners, retaining women associates, hiring more diverse applicants, etc). Some firms had great answers and were receptive to these questions, some not so much. I had a firm ask me why diversity was important to me as a follow-up. I focused a lot on community involvement (I asked how much pro bono work the firm does, what causes it supports, how early students can get involved in pro bono). Some firms had more substantive answers than others. So I guess my first advice is really figure out what's important to you as a future employee, and use the firm's answers to create your own rankings. Mine changed throughout the week. Don't feel like you have to disclose where firms stand. I said first choice to one firm, but I did not feel pressured at all to say it. 

3. Schedule some time for breaks, meet up with your friends who are also interviewing (check up on each other), meals, keep in touch with your non-law friends/family for perspective, etc. I find socializing incredibly exhausting and found that I couldn't go non-stop. By leaving myself hour long breaks at some points in the day, I was able to refresh. I would reach out to my non-law friends every night to debrief the events of the day. 

4. One of my offers came from a firm who I interviewed with for the first time on Tuesday morning. Even if you schedule them on Tuesday, go in and give it your all. You may be surprised by the outcome. 

5. Go in, be confident in your own abilities and experience. You got through OCIs, so there is obviously some level of interest. Each interaction is an opportunity to remind them why they want you. 

6. Also, just for women who are worried, I wore pant suits all three days. I wore flats. My hair is naturally wavy/curly/frizzy, I tamed it a little but left it mostly to its devices. I wore minimal make up, as I can't apply it to save my life. 

7. Also, nothing is as big of a deal as it seems. I dropped my fork at my dinner on Monday. Embarrassing, but an offer came regardless, and I will be working there next summer. 

If anyone has any questions about my experiences, feel free to PM me. Also, a huge thank you to this forum and thread, without whom I would have struggled considerably more. 

 

Congratulations! Thank you for your perspective. I too, as a poc male, was particularly impressed by firms that conducted their interviews, or meals, with an awareness that light chit-chat about various social/cultural phenomena (sports, music, travel etc.) may potentially serve as a barrier to those from social groups that do not generally have access to the capital to engage in said activities (travel, for example), or whose cultures otherwise do not allow for much exposure to said activities (certain sports, for example)! 

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