Thursday, March 08, 2012

Quinn Emanuel switches up OCI

Quinn Emanuel is doing OCI a little differently this year. Via Above the Law, here's John Quinn's capitalization-light e-mail:
instead of all the twenty minute interviews, many of them with students who aren’t a match for us or us for them, we’re going to come to the law schools in the spring, invite all the first year students and have a fun, freewheeling “get to know you” party with enough of our lawyers present so students can meet (and even talk for more than twenty minutes) to a real cross-section from all the offices (and not have to wear suits). then we’ll follow up with direct submission of resumes. we think it will give more students a chance to get to know us over a longer period of time, and even collect offers in their back pockets before they enter the OCI pressure cooker. of course we’ll extend the time those offers stay open so they can compare us to the other firms they meet at OCI; we’re confident that we’ll compare very well. we’re going to do a trial run this year at six schools, with parties on the following days, and look forward to meeting every first year who might be interested in any of our offices.

Yale: March 27 at 6:30 pm
Harvard: March 28 at 6:30 pm
Chicago & Northwestern: April 5 at 6:30 pm
Berkeley: April 10 at 6:30 pm
Stanford: April 11 at 6:30 pm
There is definitely something mildly insane about how OCI currently functions. Summer associates are expensive, not just in terms of salary but also opportunity cost. Not the sort of jobs you want doled out based on a series of 20 minute interviews.

But I'm not sure that replacing the interviews with a cocktail party / networking event is the way to go. For starters, parties aren't a great way of identifying the things that really matter to a firm -- e.g. your legal research and writing, your tolerance of long hours, your ability to meet deadlines, and so forth. For that matter, I'm not sure networking events are even a good way of identifying people you'd get along with. Hell is a swarm of 1Ls trying to impress upon you their deep, deep love of IP litigation. That and the awkward small talk.

Another way of interpreting this is that short of puking on a partner, what you do at the "get to know you" party has absolutely zero bearing on your chance of a callback. That is, Quinn's throwing out the screening stage altogether and working solely off transcripts and resumes. Which leads us to how good a predictor grades are of firm success ... but that's another post altogether.

Also, people forget this every year, but Quinn does litigation. And only litigation. So if you hate WOA, don't go to the Quinn party because you want a job. Go because there's free food.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my advice to all law students:

Don't work at Quinn. I am a 7th year associate at another large firm. Of all the firms I have litigated against, it stand out as being the nastiest, most frequently borderline unethical, unreasonably aggressive firms of all. Quinn associates are absolutely miserable, except for the insane (or blessed, depending on your perspective) ones who actually fit into that environment.

For most people, working at a big law firm is a terrible way to spend life. But many of us have to do it for a time due to school loans and family commitments. But you can do much, much better than Quinn. Say, for example, working anywhere else.

3/08/2012 3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the event being thrown by Quinn as irrelevant. Sure, this is clearly an attempt to move to just a glorified resume collect taking place away from OCI. But, nevertheless, impressions made during the even will matter, don't kid yourself.

It leads to the absurd result that Quinn will be hiring associates in 2014 based, in part, on events transpiring at a "party" in 2012.

3/08/2012 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quinn also completely ignores you in interview (partner leaves room), if you have below an H average sometimes. Behind the T-shirts and flip flops is a bunch of truly miserable prestige hawks. This is probably just a way to communicate they don't want people with bad grades, they don't even want to spend time with such lowly beings.

Disagree with original post, you shouldn't be interviewing at Quinn if you love Litigation, you should actually look for non-sweatshop options.

3/08/2012 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed with the above posters. Quinn only looks at top 25%. So basically, if you have done very well your first semester, and want to work in a high-hours, high-pressure, high-salary environment, go to the 'party' meet one or two partners, and don't make a fool of yourself. The only thing they will identify at these events are people NOT to interview.

3/08/2012 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Third year associate writing to agree 100% with 3:37.

3/08/2012 10:45 AM  
Blogger Toney said...

Ah, I wondered how they would break the summer barrier for OCIP. They kept moving OCIP earlier and earlier, until it took place in the gap entirely between summer positions and school starting, so I thought to myself "surely they can't move it earlier - it'd interfere with summer jobs and whatnot".

In addition, obviously they couldn't do it during finals, so they had to have the meet 'n great before finals. Before you know it, OCIP will be taking place over Christmas break.

3/08/2012 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all this bashing of a firm will negatively affect our 1Ls' chances of getting a job there. In this economy, they should be happy to get anything. QE already has a bad reputation, so we can let the 1Ls figure it out for themselves. i didn't think boalt was a place where people sh*ttalked employers.

3/08/2012 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my interview with Quinn (in '07), I walked into the hotel room in which the partner and associate were both wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. I was wearing a suit with a bow tie. They looked at my resume, saw I was in the Federalist Society, asked if I had any questions, I said, "no," and left. Saved myself 19 minutes of discomfort.

3/08/2012 4:11 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Ha. There is nothing anonymous about anonymous at 4:11.

3/08/2012 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, all you aspiring 1L litigators: stay way from Quinn! Instead, focus on applying to the warm, happy, big law firms where everyone bills 1,500 hours a year and each day ends with a calming hug from an understanding Partner.

3/08/2012 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:19 sorry about your job at quinn. It doesn't need to be 1500 hours to make a difference... The difference between qe and other firms is considerably less stress which means you'll have more energy for free time.

if less people work there as a result of this post that will a be a great service to the boalt community as people with quinn grades can work at a million better firms or gov opportunities. if we don't call out the most notorious offenders of work life balance quin and other firms will continue operating in what I hear is incredibly sweatshoppy environment.

3/08/2012 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a callback at Quinn's SF office. I thought some of the people were pretty cool by BigLaw standards and very open about the cons of the firm. Then over the summer I got to see one of their guys in action at a deposition and his purple skinny jeans made me realize it was not the firm for me.

I encourage 1Ls to go if only to practice how to talk to a lawyer in a social setting. Come OCI if you get dinner invites and act like a goober, guess what you aren't getting a callback no matter how good your grades are.

3/08/2012 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I think firm bashing is lame, unless you've actually worked at that firm, and even then, you should keep in mind that your experience may be entirely different than someone else's in a different office, or even within the same office working for a different partner. And second, I think QE has become more relaxed about grades and are looking to other indicators like work experience to balance out - and again, that also might vary by office. Anyway, I'm no expert on QE or the OCI process, but I agree with 3:33, this post was meant to spark discussion about whether or not it's a good idea to start the recruiting process this early, not about whether QE is or is not a good place to work. And as for hosting these parties, I really don't see how this is much different than what other firms do already - there are plenty of meet and greets and special events for 1Ls at the end of the semester that either take place at Boalt or at firms, which CDO encourages students to attend to network - QE is just making this part of the official OCI recruiting process by accepting resumes as part of it - and the ATL post said nothing about having students submit transcripts early, either, just resumes, so they will be getting to know students earlier based on factors other than grades, which could actually work in a student's favor.

3/08/2012 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:11 here... oops, so, I guess I didn't fully understand that QE is actually replacing this with the regular OCI process, I thought this was in addition to the screening interviews and call backs - i'm still a little unclear but it looks like after rereading the ATL post and A.Fong's post here that this is in lieu of the screening interviews? I definitely see the pros/cons to this - but I don't think you can fault them for trying out a new system - I think OCI needs some overhauling, although, admittedly, hosting an informal party and resume drop before spring semester 1L is over is perhaps not the answer. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out for QE and students.

3/08/2012 11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:37am here.

"Firm bashing is lame, unless you've actually worked at the firm"? Look, you're entering a profession here where your work and quality of life is affected not only by your OWN employer, but by the a$$hole moves of your adversary. Reputation matters, and you don't need to work at a place to understand the venom it is for the rest of the profession. When you are practicing and have to stay up until 4am because of bull$hit by Quinn lawyers, you won't be so shy about bashing Quinn just because you don't work there.

Finally, @ 3:33, if trashing Quinn here means that fewer from the Boalt community will get jobs there (which is a ridiculous proposition), well, that is a good thing.

3/09/2012 2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:33 here. don't really see why it's a ridiculous proposition to think it would affect QE's hiring choices. Like it or not, there are peer schools with students just as qualified as we are. Also, having top students place at grade-conscious firms has trickle down benefits to those of us lower in the pecking order. For example, you might not have gotten the offer at your firm if 3 or 4 of your classmates with better grades hadn't accepted QE and withdrawn from everywhere else.

3/12/2012 2:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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3/12/2012 3:43 PM  

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