Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions -- OCI and BID LIST HELP

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SmokeytheBear
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Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions -- OCI and BID LIST HELP

Post by SmokeytheBear » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:53 am

Picking up where we left off at our old haunt.

I'm an upper-mid level transactional associate and a super duper fancy firm in LA. Previously worked at a different firm in LA.

Happy to answer any and all questions about the LA market (firm cultures, living stuff, bidding stuff, bar recommendations, etc).
Last edited by SmokeytheBear on Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

lolwat
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by lolwat » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:34 pm

I'm here now too. Not strictly in LA, but around SoCal area. Won't know anywhere as much as Smokey but occasionally get to contribute.

BroilersNotStewers
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by BroilersNotStewers » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:27 pm

Any callback/interview advice that is unique to firms in LA or am I mostly just supposed to be likeable and competent?

James Baxter
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by James Baxter » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:47 pm

BroilersNotStewers wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:27 pm
Any callback/interview advice that is unique to firms in LA or am I mostly just supposed to be likeable and competent?
Cooley does behavioral questions (though that’s not LA specific). I think most firms/attorneys want to make sure you’re not a weirdo or awful to be around. The vetting process doesn’t work too well, because there are a good amount of awful weirdos.

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beep
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by beep » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:07 pm

Checking in

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by SmokeytheBear » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:25 pm

BroilersNotStewers wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:27 pm
Any callback/interview advice that is unique to firms in LA or am I mostly just supposed to be likeable and competent?
A lot of firms will do behavioral questions. For example, if you have callbacks with four different people, each person will be assigned a general style of questions to ask you. Whether they stick to them, meh?

But otherwise, yeah, nothing specific to LA. If you, say, went to Penn undergrad and UVA for law school, you're going to get "why LA" questions.

lolwat
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by lolwat » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:50 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:25 pm
BroilersNotStewers wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:27 pm
Any callback/interview advice that is unique to firms in LA or am I mostly just supposed to be likeable and competent?
A lot of firms will do behavioral questions. For example, if you have callbacks with four different people, each person will be assigned a general style of questions to ask you. Whether they stick to them, meh?

But otherwise, yeah, nothing specific to LA. If you, say, went to Penn undergrad and UVA for law school, you're going to get "why LA" questions.
I've only done a few interviews (and only a couple at big firms), but the firms I've interviewed at all seemed to mostly focus on "why LA/SoCal," "why X practice area," and likability/fit. It's helpful to prepare for behavioral questions because they're pretty common too. And you'll occasionally get an outlier who asks some really strange questions but you can't really prep for those anyway.

Excellent117
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by Excellent117 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:08 am

Mid-level corporate biglaw associate in LA checking in.

One pitfall to avoid for the "why LA" question, especially for anyone lateraling from NY, is making any reference (however indirect) to not "grinding" as hard as you would at a NY firm. It's true that the culture is generally more relaxed, but LA lawyers deeply resent the sentiment that they don't work as hard as their NY peers. You may think this isn't a misstep you'd make, but I've interviewed multiple candidates who've essentially conveyed that reason in one form or another.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by SmokeytheBear » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:53 am

Excellent117 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:08 am
Mid-level corporate biglaw associate in LA checking in.

One pitfall to avoid for the "why LA" question, especially for anyone lateraling from NY, is making any reference (however indirect) to not "grinding" as hard as you would at a NY firm. It's true that the culture is generally more relaxed, but LA lawyers deeply resent the sentiment that they don't work as hard as their NY peers. You may think this isn't a misstep you'd make, but I've interviewed multiple candidates who've essentially conveyed that reason in one form or another.
We definitely had a guy in my old group who lateraled from a different from in NY thinking that things would be chiller.

He was fired after four months.

Gitaroo_Dude
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by Gitaroo_Dude » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:27 am

Hey all,

Interviewing for a 1L SA with Kirkland in two weeks. Will be going into it with the goal of working in the general litigation practice group. Anything you guys can speak to regarding firm culture there, particularly in that practice group?

Yeezus
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by Yeezus » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:05 pm

How hard is it to get Kirkland and Skadden corporate from CCN with median grades? How about H/S?

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urmlaw18
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by urmlaw18 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:23 pm

Where do lawyers tend to live in LA?

Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Glendale?

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by SmokeytheBear » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:24 pm

urmlaw18 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:23 pm
Where do lawyers tend to live in LA?

Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Glendale?
I am sure there are lawyers in every neighborhood of LA.

Do you mean lawyers who work in big law?

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bk1
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by bk1 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:35 pm

Excellent117 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:08 am
Mid-level corporate biglaw associate in LA checking in.

One pitfall to avoid for the "why LA" question, especially for anyone lateraling from NY, is making any reference (however indirect) to not "grinding" as hard as you would at a NY firm. It's true that the culture is generally more relaxed, but LA lawyers deeply resent the sentiment that they don't work as hard as their NY peers. You may think this isn't a misstep you'd make, but I've interviewed multiple candidates who've essentially conveyed that reason in one form or another.
This is good advice for any region (imo). Whether or not a firm does work fewer hours, I don't think it makes sense to advertise that as a reason for wanting to join them as it comes off poorly (even if you're only trying to convey that you want to bill 2000 rather than 2500).

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by SmokeytheBear » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:36 pm

Yeezus wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:05 pm
How hard is it to get Kirkland and Skadden corporate from CCN with median grades? How about H/S?
Skadden easier than Kirkland.

James Baxter
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by James Baxter » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:05 pm

What’s the tech scene like? Do you think there’s value to jumping to a bigger outfit like Cooley or a very small outfit like Gunderson as a junior who does corporate work? Trying to bounce in house sooner rather than later, but not really sure tech in house = chilling

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by SmokeytheBear » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:22 pm

James Baxter wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:05 pm
What’s the tech scene like? Do you think there’s value to jumping to a bigger outfit like Cooley or a very small outfit like Gunderson as a junior who does corporate work? Trying to bounce in house sooner rather than later, but not really sure tech in house = chilling
Tech in house can be chill or non-chill, depending on what stage of funding you hop in at, how big the operation is, how many attorneys, and what you're doing (i.e. are they hiring you for M&A purposes to buy up smaller guys, are you just reviewing contracts, are you doing IP licensing stuff, etc).

At my stage, I would prefer to be a place like Gunderson, as I know that I like doing eg/vc stuff and don't really care about having a full service firm or having the atmosphere of a big law law firm and office (the Gunderson office in LA is still fewer than 10 attorneys I believe). From what I understand, Cooley does as well at placing people in house as does any other tech trans, eg/vc firm. Again, the issue with Gunderson here is that the office is just so small.

So, as with everything, it depends on what you want right now. But if you know you want to do eg/vc work and dont care about having a big law culture, I think Gunderson is the place to go.

I should state for full clarity that on TLS I was involved in several discussions about this with other people and the merits of Gunderson over Cooley/Fenwick/WSGR etc. There were reasonable differences in opinion of which firm was better to be at.

James Baxter
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by James Baxter » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:30 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:22 pm
James Baxter wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:05 pm
What’s the tech scene like? Do you think there’s value to jumping to a bigger outfit like Cooley or a very small outfit like Gunderson as a junior who does corporate work? Trying to bounce in house sooner rather than later, but not really sure tech in house = chilling
Tech in house can be chill or non-chill, depending on what stage of funding you hop in at, how big the operation is, how many attorneys, and what you're doing (i.e. are they hiring you for M&A purposes to buy up smaller guys, are you just reviewing contracts, are you doing IP licensing stuff, etc).

At my stage, I would prefer to be a place like Gunderson, as I know that I like doing eg/vc stuff and don't really care about having a full service firm or having the atmosphere of a big law law firm and office (the Gunderson office in LA is still fewer than 10 attorneys I believe). From what I understand, Cooley does as well at placing people in house as does any other tech trans, eg/vc firm. Again, the issue with Gunderson here is that the office is just so small.

So, as with everything, it depends on what you want right now. But if you know you want to do eg/vc work and dont care about having a big law culture, I think Gunderson is the place to go.

I should state for full clarity that on TLS I was involved in several discussions about this with other people and the merits of Gunderson over Cooley/Fenwick/WSGR etc. There were reasonable differences in opinion of which firm was better to be at.
Thanks! I know they both hire sporadically here so I’ve been keeping an eye out. I enjoy the EC/VC work I’ve done, but had some concerns about the robustness of the LA market and also whether I want to put in the work/hours I’m sure they do.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by SmokeytheBear » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:31 pm

James Baxter wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:30 pm
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:22 pm
James Baxter wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:05 pm
What’s the tech scene like? Do you think there’s value to jumping to a bigger outfit like Cooley or a very small outfit like Gunderson as a junior who does corporate work? Trying to bounce in house sooner rather than later, but not really sure tech in house = chilling
Tech in house can be chill or non-chill, depending on what stage of funding you hop in at, how big the operation is, how many attorneys, and what you're doing (i.e. are they hiring you for M&A purposes to buy up smaller guys, are you just reviewing contracts, are you doing IP licensing stuff, etc).

At my stage, I would prefer to be a place like Gunderson, as I know that I like doing eg/vc stuff and don't really care about having a full service firm or having the atmosphere of a big law law firm and office (the Gunderson office in LA is still fewer than 10 attorneys I believe). From what I understand, Cooley does as well at placing people in house as does any other tech trans, eg/vc firm. Again, the issue with Gunderson here is that the office is just so small.

So, as with everything, it depends on what you want right now. But if you know you want to do eg/vc work and dont care about having a big law culture, I think Gunderson is the place to go.

I should state for full clarity that on TLS I was involved in several discussions about this with other people and the merits of Gunderson over Cooley/Fenwick/WSGR etc. There were reasonable differences in opinion of which firm was better to be at.
Thanks! I know they both hire sporadically here so I’ve been keeping an eye out. I enjoy the EC/VC work I’ve done, but had some concerns about the robustness of the LA market and also whether I want to put in the work/hours I’m sure they do.
The market is robust in LA for sure. It's not a perfect sign, but a good handful of firms have opened offices in Venice/Santa Monica to service the clients there. And I know that Gunderson has hired two juniors in the last year.

BroilersNotStewers
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by BroilersNotStewers » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:58 pm

Is it true that many LA firms will start interviewing in the summer before OCI? I was told to try and lock down an offer before OCI but I'm not sure how I'd schedule interviews around a summer job.

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beep
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by beep » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:01 pm

I don't know what everyone else's is doing, but mine is not doing that.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by SmokeytheBear » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:13 pm

BroilersNotStewers wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:58 pm
Is it true that many LA firms will start interviewing in the summer before OCI? I was told to try and lock down an offer before OCI but I'm not sure how I'd schedule interviews around a summer job.
A handful of the top firms will do interviews and extend offers to the top students from certain schools.

Your summer job during 1L should be very understanding of needing to schedule an interview.

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bk1
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by bk1 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:20 pm

BroilersNotStewers wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:58 pm
Is it true that many LA firms will start interviewing in the summer before OCI? I was told to try and lock down an offer before OCI but I'm not sure how I'd schedule interviews around a summer job.
Getting a job that can become a full-time associate position is more important than your 1L job.

A number of firms (not just in LA) interview before OCI. Any interview you can get outside of OCI is a good thing since it lessens your need to rely on OCI as a source of potential jobs.

BearCat
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by BearCat » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:19 pm

Why do LA firms like to ask "why LA"? It's a tier 1 city with lower CoL than NYC or SF and better weather. What more would you need.

No different from "Why SF" or "Why NYC." I can understand "Why Chicago" because midwestern insecurity is in the water here, even though they have the lowest CoL of all major cities.

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beep
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Re: Los Angeles Market Associate Taking Questions

Post by beep » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:12 pm

Sorry misunderstood re: summer interviewing. Thought OP meant like what Quinn used to do. Just accepting applications and maybe bringing in people they really like happens almost everywhere, though there are some who will only hire out of OCI still.

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