You need to network.
Yes, you can apply online and get through, but your odds are significantly higher if you network before.
Based on some data analytics I ran for Stern, candidates who had 0 contacts at the firm had only a 20% chance of being invited to interview. With 3-4 contacts the odds jumped to 50% and with 10+ contacts the odds jumped to 80%.
Now, keep in mind that these rates are even higher than you'll get for a random online LinkedIn application!
So, in sum, network instead of cold applying.
Feel free to message me for the data I crunched (and article I wrote) regarding this topic.