Law School Discussion

Law Students => Job Search => Topic started by: BongJovi on November 21, 2007, 05:38:58 PM

Title: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: BongJovi on November 21, 2007, 05:38:58 PM
You have the rest of your life to work in a miserable law firm environment doing menial work which only serves to help the top 2% of society accumulate massive amounts of wealth. This is your summer to do something fun with your life. Do what it is that brought you to law school in the first place. Log onto LSAC and print out your personal statement: If you wrote about how your passion for Mergers & Aquisitions drove you to law school, then fine, go do it. If you wrote about wanting to protect the rights of the vulnerable or fight for equal justice under law, send off some applications to public defenders, DAs, judges, or non-profits.

BIGLAW will always be there. This is your chance to do something fulfilling. Maybe, if you're lucky like I was, you'll discover something that you enjoy doing and care about deeply. And in a profession saturated with miserable, unhappy drones, if you find something you love doing you should run with it and never look back.

Hope this helps,

Just another 2L...
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 21, 2007, 08:11:01 PM
i have to agree 100% with bongjovi.

im a 1L at a top 50 non t14...and i just got told last week by a judge on the intermediate court of apps in my state that i have a job with him this summer.  (unpaid but still amazing for the resume..especially if i want to work in this state)

i did it just by calling a bunch of judges in my state (the general jurisdiction court judges in my county and the one next door..and also some intermediate app court judges with offices nearby) and asking if they had opaning for summer and also making sure to mention i was a 1L.  some weren't there..some said no..some said go ahead and submit a resume..and this guy (who happened to be an appellate judge) said..come on in for an interview...then i got the job.

so you never know ;)


 
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: JobInquiry on November 21, 2007, 09:13:52 PM
Yes, but: if you want a non-firm job after graduation, it sure helps to get some of the debt out of the way during the two summers, if you can. No?
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 21, 2007, 09:23:57 PM
Yes, but: if you want a non-firm job after graduation, it sure helps to get some of the debt out of the way during the two summers, if you can. No?

thats a good point...i think the OP was directed to people who want to do biglaw when they graduate...and trying to get them to see there are other things in life

if you already know that you either don't want to do biglaw..or want to do it for as little as possible..then your right (since SA's are treated like humans..and not like the animals real biglaw employees are treated as)

you go to Columbia (i think..according to your post history)..which is the most expensive law school there  is..and also in a very expensive area..so you may be on the high end of loans
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: thorc954 on November 21, 2007, 10:10:02 PM
the guy that applied already as a 1L, I would keep that on the DL.  Most, if not all schools, dont allow you to search till dec 1st, so you are mad early.

If you are considering big law, your one L summer is the best summer to try and get a job in a law firm.  First, it opens up sick opportunities if you are fortunate enough to get it.  Second, the pay is amazing and the opportunities and experiences are just as great, and third, if you hate it this summer, you will know now and be able to use your second and third years to try clinics, externships, and part time work at other places to figure out what you really want to do. 
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 21, 2007, 11:12:14 PM
the guy that applied already as a 1L, I would keep that on the DL.  Most, if not all schools, dont allow you to search till dec 1st, so you are mad early.

If you are considering big law, your one L summer is the best summer to try and get a job in a law firm.  First, it opens up sick opportunities if you are fortunate enough to get it.  Second, the pay is amazing and the opportunities and experiences are just as great, and third, if you hate it this summer, you will know now and be able to use your second and third years to try clinics, externships, and part time work at other places to figure out what you really want to do. 

if your referring to me..our law school encouraged us to start a few weeks ago...we had an official talk about looking for jobs a couple weeks ago and were told for judicial clerkships to start as early as possible...ive heard of nov 1 as a date that career services will start talking to you..but never ave i heard of a rule that tells people they are not to start looking for jobs for the summer on their own before a certain date.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 21, 2007, 11:34:38 PM
sorry i just realized you may be talking about some rule for 1ls to apply for SA's at biglaw....i dont knwo anythign about this...never applied..no intrest in ever appling (mommy and daddy pay for lawschool)

but at least at my school there is no rule for not applying to other jobs before any specified date
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: focht on November 22, 2007, 02:36:38 AM
NALP rules say that Nov. 1 is the date your school's OCS can start talking to you about jobs, and NALP employers, like most law firms, aren't supposed to recruit you or take your recruiting materials until Dec. 1 for 1Ls. But there are non-NALP employers who are just off the reservation.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: thorc954 on November 22, 2007, 06:31:58 AM
NALP rules say that Nov. 1 is the date your school's OCS can start talking to you about jobs, and NALP employers, like most law firms, aren't supposed to recruit you or take your recruiting materials until Dec. 1 for 1Ls. But there are non-NALP employers who are just off the reservation.

thats stupid.  my one L year my school made it seem like we couldnt apply to any place at all before dec 1.  :(  I definitely would have gotten applications out earlier if I had known.  damn them, lol.  congrats gershonw on already getting something though. Before you accept, if you havent already, I would just make sure you will be getting decent writing experience there.  I got offered a cleckship last summer that barely involved any writing of substance and had to turn it down.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 22, 2007, 09:21:15 AM
NALP rules say that Nov. 1 is the date your school's OCS can start talking to you about jobs, and NALP employers, like most law firms, aren't supposed to recruit you or take your recruiting materials until Dec. 1 for 1Ls. But there are non-NALP employers who are just off the reservation.

thats stupid.  my one L year my school made it seem like we couldnt apply to any place at all before dec 1.  :(  I definitely would have gotten applications out earlier if I had known.  d**mn them, lol.  congrats gershonw on already getting something though. Before you accept, if you havent already, I would just make sure you will be getting decent writing experience there.  I got offered a cleckship last summer that barely involved any writing of substance and had to turn it down.


thanks...no he wants me to draft his opinions and such...wow cool.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: thorc954 on November 22, 2007, 10:36:46 AM
hahaha, awesome :) by the end of the summer, you will be able to lexis yourself all the time... it doesnt get much better then that.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 22, 2007, 01:27:35 PM
hahaha, awesome :) by the end of the summer, you will be able to lexis yourself all the time... it doesnt get much better then that.


lexis included the names of clerks that DRAFTED the opinion??...

two questions:
1. really?
2. why?  last time i checked.the judge was the one with the authority...its bad enough that clerks influence their thinking at all...putting their names on opinions is just silly
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: thorc954 on November 22, 2007, 02:02:15 PM
1. no
2. yea, its weird that that clerks have any influence, but it would be impossible for the judge to do it all on their own if you think of the amount of cases coming through the courts.

What I meant was that you would be able to lexis briefs that you wrote.  you wouldnt have your name on it, but its a cool feeling when stuff you wrote is in a legal database.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 22, 2007, 02:22:33 PM
1. no
2. yea, its weird that that clerks have any influence, but it would be impossible for the judge to do it all on their own if you think of the amount of cases coming through the courts.

What I meant was that you would be able to lexis briefs that you wrote.  you wouldnt have your name on it, but its a cool feeling when stuff you wrote is in a legal database.

oh ok got it
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: JobInquiry on November 22, 2007, 04:35:50 PM
Every court gets a lot of routine questions.  A judge will take the more challenging cases and work on them him/herself, and farm out the simpler cases to clerks. I don't think any opinion goes out without being read by a judge to check that it's OK.  If it's a routine question, there's really no big disadvantage to having clerks do the work and then check if s/he has done it correctly.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 22, 2007, 04:57:43 PM
Every court gets a lot of routine questions.  A judge will take the more challenging cases and work on them him/herself, and farm out the simpler cases to clerks. I don't think any opinion goes out without being read by a judge to check that it's OK.  If it's a routine question, there's really no big disadvantage to having clerks do the work and then check if s/he has done it correctly.

i guess drafting isnt the real problem i guess...(because the judges basically tell you what to write..after they hold conference)

but would be concerned that clerks get to influence the thoughts of the judge before the case (particularly at trial level where theres one judge and no conference)


in fed district court this has to be a huge problem...you have federal jurisdiction being expanded more and more in civil cases and with more and more regulation..plus the fact that the # of fed crimes were increase by a huge percentage in the last 20 years..but the number of judge hasnt increased with it....

the judges want higher pay..but the real problem is their caseload

Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: JobInquiry on November 22, 2007, 05:49:54 PM
But the judge has much more experience than the clerk. The clerk may present the judge with a wrong view, or a one-sided view of the situation, but the judge will see through that.

A former supreme-court clerk who gave a talk at my school got a question about this. His answer (paraphrased): "At the beginning I thought I had a lot of influence, because the Justice always seemed to agree with what I said. But I found soon enough that in reality I had no influence at all. If the Justice had a different opinion, I could say what I wanted, but I wasn't going to change his mind."
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on November 22, 2007, 06:00:22 PM
But the judge has much more experience than the clerk. The clerk may present the judge with a wrong view, or a one-sided view of the situation, but the judge will see through that.

A former supreme-court clerk who gave a talk at my school got a question about this. His answer (paraphrased): "At the beginning I thought I had a lot of influence, because the Justice always seemed to agree with what I said. But I found soon enough that in reality I had no influence at all. If the Justice had a different opinion, I could say what I wanted, but I wasn't going to change his mind."

good to hear..at least on that court..

of course the SCOTUS has the luxury of only taking cases it wants to hear...
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: flyaway on December 14, 2007, 06:55:31 PM
One of my profs was a SCOTUS clerk, and I don't think she felt that way.  Or maybe that was generally the case, but I know there was at least one situation in which she was able to change the justice's mind about which way to vote.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: GA-fan on December 17, 2007, 07:33:09 AM
As a former 1L SA, I'd like to respectfully disagree with the OP. If you know you want to work in a firm, why not try to work in a firm as a 1L? The jobs are hard to get, but if you get one, there are some big perks: 1) you get to find out earlier than your classmates if a firm is really for you. Yeah, you get a lot of fluff work as a SA, but it will be clear after three months whether you fit in at a firm and would want to work there. That way, if it's not for you, you have 2L oci to focus elsewhere (gov't honors programs, etc). For me, I decided that even though I love working at a firm, I just couldn't stand the city I thought I wanted to work and wanted to change cities for 2L. Second, even though you're working for a "big bad corporation," most SA's do a lot of pro bono work and volunteering, so you will get to feel like you're doing your part to make the world a better place. 3) It will put your resume a cut above your classmates if you work at a reputable firm 1L and decide to reinterview for 2L (assuming of course that you got an offer and didn't burn bridges with your 1L firm).

So that's my sell. Plus, the money is nice- it helped pay for my summer vacation  :D
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: gershonw on December 17, 2007, 08:47:01 AM
As a former 1L SA, I'd like to respectfully disagree with the OP. If you know you want to work in a firm, why not try to work in a firm as a 1L? The jobs are hard to get, but if you get one, there are some big perks: 1) you get to find out earlier than your classmates if a firm is really for you. Yeah, you get a lot of fluff work as a SA, but it will be clear after three months whether you fit in at a firm and would want to work there. That way, if it's not for you, you have 2L oci to focus elsewhere (gov't honors programs, etc). For me, I decided that even though I love working at a firm, I just couldn't stand the city I thought I wanted to work and wanted to change cities for 2L. Second, even though you're working for a "big bad corporation," most SA's do a lot of pro bono work and volunteering, so you will get to feel like you're doing your part to make the world a better place. 3) It will put your resume a cut above your classmates if you work at a reputable firm 1L and decide to reinterview for 2L (assuming of course that you got an offer and didn't burn bridges with your 1L firm).

2 and 3 are goods points.

as to your first point:

im not sure the SA experince is a good proxy for the real life of a junior BIGLW guy.  i hear they get treated with more respect and work decent hours etc..all not true for a real associate.  but i know nothing about this type of work so ill go back to meditation before my torts final now.

Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: GA-fan on December 17, 2007, 11:11:03 AM
Hours are one thing- no SA will give you an approximation of associate hours. It will, however, tell you if you can get along with groups, interact well with your peers and superiors, and whether you can handle firm happy hours. Much of what makes a person successful in a firm is "fitting in"- if you can't get along with attorneys at a firm, it won't matter whether they like the quality of your work. no one would want to work with you. Likewise, if can't stand chumming around with the associates for lunch or playing office politics, best to get out while you can.
Title: Re: An Important Message for 1Ls Scrambling for Firm Jobs:
Post by: BongJovi on December 27, 2007, 09:26:56 AM
As a former 1L SA, I'd like to respectfully disagree with the OP. If you know you want to work in a firm, why not try to work in a firm as a 1L? The jobs are hard to get, but if you get one, there are some big perks: 1) you get to find out earlier than your classmates if a firm is really for you. Yeah, you get a lot of fluff work as a SA, but it will be clear after three months whether you fit in at a firm and would want to work there. That way, if it's not for you, you have 2L oci to focus elsewhere (gov't honors programs, etc). For me, I decided that even though I love working at a firm, I just couldn't stand the city I thought I wanted to work and wanted to change cities for 2L. Second, even though you're working for a "big bad corporation," most SA's do a lot of pro bono work and volunteering, so you will get to feel like you're doing your part to make the world a better place. 3) It will put your resume a cut above your classmates if you work at a reputable firm 1L and decide to reinterview for 2L (assuming of course that you got an offer and didn't burn bridges with your 1L firm).

So that's my sell. Plus, the money is nice- it helped pay for my summer vacation  :D

If you know you want to be a firm guy, might as well go all out. As to 1) there's no way, either 1L SA or 2L SA you're going to have a clue about what firm life is like. It's all bait and switch. Everyone knows this. Even if you hate the firm 1L summer you're probably going to go back or go to a different firm 2L summer to get that job offer to fall back on. 2) Hilarious. Pro Bono work is a great way for firm lawyers to shed some guilt. That's about all it's good for IMHO. 3) I really doubt that being a 1L SA at Kelley Drye looks better on a resume than DOJ, USAO or a SDNY judicial internship. If so, you might want to email all the Harvard/Yale 1Ls on Law Review who work in those places and tell them they're making a huge mistake.

Basically if you're the kinda person who wants to brag to friends about the cutting edge documnet review you're staffed on, by all means go to a firm 1L summer. If not, take your free summer pass and cash it in on something your heart is really in. I feel the money thing. I'll probably end up working in BIGLAW a few years anyways. But getting that experience 1L summer gives you an idea of where you want to go after your firm serves its purpose, and if you play your cards right the attorneys you worked with there will be happy to help you come back.