Ultra Vires


Ten Things to Say Instead of “First Choice”

Pros: listicles are easy to write / Cons: the pressure to write ten entries is overwhelming

So you’ve finished an in-firm and things are feeling good. You’re on your way out when your host asks you, “so…is there anything you want to tell us?” You know that they are looking for those magic words: “first-choice.” You just aren’t ready to commit. How do you get out of this situation?

Don’t worry, here are ten options you can use in a pinch to save yourself:

  1. Dramatically declare your love for your host.
    • Pros: you might get a dinner date.
    • Cons: you will probably not get an offer. You might get a restraining order, however.
  2. Dramatically declare your love for the firm.
    • Pros: you might get an offer.
    • Cons: you will probably not get a dinner date.
  3. Ask them if they have heard the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise.
    • Pros: you get a chance to tell the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise.
    • Cons: you will probably not get an offer and you will definitely not get a dinner date.
  4. Give them your ‘tell me about yourself’ speech.
    • Pros: you probably know it off by heart at this point.
    • Cons: your host also knows it off by heart at this point.
  5. Tell them that their firm has made an excellent impression but there were a lot of highly qualified firms this year. As a result, you have the firm ranked fourth-highest on your list.
    • Pros: oh how the turntables.
    • Cons: like Kevin’s bowl of chili, you’ll probably get dropped.
  6. Groan, clutch your stomach, and complain that the food at another firm’s dinner last night was not up to par since it was not served at the Shangri-La.
    • Pros: you show the firm that you have good taste in food.
    • Cons: you might have to fake going to the bathroom.
  7. Fake a panic attack.
    • Pros: you’ll get out of answering the question.
    • Cons: given the stress of in-firm week, this might well become a real panic attack.
  8. Tell them you have a job in New York already and you’re just here for the free food.
    • Pros: you look like a total (bad)ass.
    • Cons: Tom Collins will call you out in UV.
  9. Tell them how choosing a favourite firm reminds you of choosing your favourite course using the new (yet unquestionably terrible) system that is Cognomos and launch into a TEDx talk about its failings.
    • Pros: you can get the angst off your chest and if they have used Cognomos they will join in.
    • Cons: unless they have used Cognomos, they will think you are crazy.
  10. Tell them they are in fact your first choice.
    • Pros: if you mean it and they mean it, this probably works out well for you.
    • Cons: if they are not actually your first choice, we wish you well in your LSO trial.

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