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2L job search / Re: Questions at callback
« on: August 27, 2009, 06:58:40 PM »
I like the question, "In your experience with past summer associates,  what made a particular summer associate excel?"  I used this type of question repeatedly during call back interviews and got good and consistent answers out of the partners/associates that were interviewing me.  I actually used some of the answers they gave me to formulate talking points that I wanted to bring up about myself in the subsequent interviews.  For example, I noticed after a time or two of asking this question that the answer given by the partner was that they liked a summer associate that was willing to take an assignment and run with it until its ultimate conclusion.  They want an associate that is eager to take an assignment, ask the appropriate questions up front to understand the assignment, check back in only if necessary, and is determined to do a really good job.  This may seem like an obvious answer to most people, but it is surprising how easy it is in an interview not to discuss how you handle and will handle your work. During subsequent interviews during call backs, I started to talk about my firm experience I had that summer, as well as previous work experience outside the legal field, and how it had taught me how to handle assignments appropriately.  I would mix in a story or two about experiences I had where I didn't exactly handle the assignment as well as I would have liked in hindsight and how I had received feedback and learned from my mistakes.  Then when I inevitably asked the question of what the partner/associate liked in a summer associate, they would almost always acknowledge that I had already told them exactly what they were looking for in a summer associate. So basically, they would on some level be saying that I was what they were looking for in a summer associate. I know this may sound a little corny, but damnit it works and if you do it in a subtle and somewhat self-deprecating way, you will score big points with almost all of your interviewers. 

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As a 2L, I have had contact with the Career Services people and I must admit that they aren't particularly helpful.  Here is the deal, if you go in with specific questions or objectives, they may be able to help.  However, if you go in as a 1L or as a 2L and ask them to help you find a job (which many would say is their job), you will likely be pretty disappointed.  You are going to hear bad things about them when you get here, but keep an open mind.  If you have a strategy, they might be able to help you out. Basically, they are like most everything in law school, not as bad as some people say, but definitely not that great either.  

Also, the new Dean has tried to overhaul the Career Services Department and hopefully they will be improving in quality and stature in the near future.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« on: March 03, 2009, 12:08:41 PM »
Don't go to Hamline. The other posters here are right, you will likely have more opportunities coming out of St. Thomas.  However, I would also mention that getting any job in the Minneapolis legal market right now is really tough. I know that if you start up law school this fall, you won't be graduating until the Spring of 2012, but you will still be fighting for summer jobs over the next few years and if the economy is not improving by then (which it very well may not be), it is going to be extremely difficult out there, especially at the lower ranked schools.

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1L job search / Re: Summer job opportunities for T2 with average grades?
« on: January 26, 2009, 11:38:55 AM »
My only advice is to be as proactive as possible. It sounds like you are already preparing yourself for the big employment push this semester, but 1L jobs are not always easy to land. I know from my own personal experience that the only reason I landed a job my first summer was because I networked as much as a could. Basically, I just started contacting lawyers in the city that I attend law school that had graduated from my undergrad college and tried to set up times to meet for lunch or coffee to talk about their experiences in law school and ask for any advice. Not a single attorney turned me down!! They all were more than happy to help me out after I assured them during the course of the conversation that I wasn't a tool. Ultimately, I just tried to finagle some sort of help in landing a job. It took a while, but eventually one of them knew another attorney that worked for a firm that I knew was hiring for the summer. I had lunch with that attorney under the same guise of trying to "get advice" and basically got an interview out of the deal. Anyway, my point is that 1L jobs are not always easy to procure, especially if you are (1) not at the top of your class after first semester 1L year (which I was not) and (2) don't go to one of the top ranked law schools in the country (which I don't). 

Good Luck and if you put forth the effort, you will get a job and it will probably be something that you are pretty excited about.

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Transferring / Re: Top 25 to top 14
« on: October 03, 2008, 11:44:08 AM »
Thanks for the responses. I appreciate the insights.

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Transferring / Top 25 to top 14
« on: October 02, 2008, 03:38:38 PM »
Just to satisfy my curiosity, I was wondering if anyone knew or had an idea if a person who finished in the top 25% (barely) at a top 25 school after their first year would have any chance of being able to transfer into a top 14 school, such as Duke, Virgina, Michigan, Georgetown, Cornell, etc.??

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General Board / Re: When should I take the LSAT?
« on: September 18, 2008, 05:37:51 PM »
Definitely take the LSAT whenever you think you can do your best. Everyone is basically right that the legal market is tough and there is a ton of competition out there. However, if you have your heart set on law school, then just do everything that you can to make yourself as marketable as possible. It all starts with the LSAT. Get into the best school that you can (of course also consider scholarships), once there, start networking, doing your best to get into the top quartile, etc... It is all part of the process.

I barely made it into a top 25 school and squeaked into the top quartile after my first year. I was able to finagle my way into a good 1L summer job because I was not afraid to start contacting people I did not know about possible opportunities. I am sure I am not telling you anything you donít already know, but be prepared to hustle for what you want. Even making the top 10-20% at a school out of the T14 doesnít guarantee you anything. 

Good luck and don't forget that taking a couple years off can be really beneficial not only for making a good decision about attending law school in the first place, but also for maturing in the eyes of future legal employers. Having some real work experience to talk about in interviews is huge. 

8
Thanks for all the feedback. I appreciate the insights and what I am reading is about what I expected. I am adding a few things to my resume, such as a research assistant, a good summer job where I am doing a lot of writing and will be on a moot court team next year as well. However, I definitely understand the draw to LR and the importance that employers and clerkship opportunities put on it. I agree that just being able to interview well is not good enough to land you a job and it shouldn't be, however, being on law review should not either, but then again what do I know? and more importantly, what I think is right, really doesn't matter.


 

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« on: July 07, 2008, 05:10:08 PM »
I agree. Retake the test. Take one of those expensive prep courses (I know that sucks) and study hard and retake the test in December or if you feel comfortable, in the fall. I have a really good friend that was in a very similar situation to yours. He had great GPA and got a 150 on his LSAT. He still applied with those numbers to about 20 schools and did not accepted to any (some of the schools were in the top 10, I know he was out of his mind, but some of them were in the 2nd and 3rd tier) Anyway, he took two years off and worked, decided to study really hard again and retake the LSAT. He improved, but only marginally, to a 154. However, he did end up getting accepted to a top 35 law school. Maybe it was the work experience, but even a marginally better LSAT score helps!

Good Luck 

10
I just found out that I am in the 1st quartile (although just barely) at the University of Minnesota after my first year and was wondering how stupid it was to not petition for law review. I really did not even want to be on the journal and really did not want to go through the process, but am now thinking that I may have really hampered my chances for future employment. I will be going through OCI in the fall, how big of a mistake did I make(assuming I would have made law review, which is a rather large assumption)?

Any advice on how I can make myself more competitive or if you just want to call me an idiot, that is ok too.

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