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Messages - taterstol

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Summer Jobs
« on: May 12, 2005, 03:38:13 PM »
I'm working at a firm in DC. I didn't expect to be in DC--I actually targeted firms at home and where I went to college. Had a few interviews, but none of them bit. In late february the firm I'm at sent an email to a few schools' career services offices saying they wanted to hire a couple 1Ls, so I jumped on it and got lucky.

The DC firm is the only firm where I felt like I was actually competing against people from my own school (I go to georgetown), because I actually know several other people who had interviews at this firm too.

Oh, as a side note, I sent like 40 resumes to law firms just in DC and didn't get a single interview. The only interview in DC I got was this one firm, and again, it wasn't one I targeted. It was actually on my list for 2L, but they had a policy of not hiring 1Ls so I didn't even bother. They just changed the policy this year. I think it just goes to show that getting these jobs can be much more luck and much less a function of how much work you put into it.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Summer Jobs
« on: May 12, 2005, 03:16:40 PM »
Ooh prepare to be pleasantly surprised. As a 1L during your summer you're qualified to do nearly anything that a young attorney is capable of doing--under the supervision of a licensed attorney of course. (no calling your grandma and telling her how to get out of her contract for the condo).

A "law clerk" at a law firm is a "summer associate." The two titles refer to the same job. It is not like being a secretary, paralegal, or research assistant. Law students don't work as paralegals for law firms--and you shouldn't. There's much more substantive legal experience available outside the firm even if you can't get it within.

Law clerk (or summer associate) programs are the firm's main recruiting tool. Firms project their hiring needs years in advance, and they recruit 2Ls during the fall to come work for them during their 2L summer. This is really a trial run, with the vast majority of those summer associates receiving full time offers to return following graduation. Firms hire new attorneys almost exclusively through this method.

Sometimes firms will hire a few 1Ls too. Same rules apply though--they generally only hire 1Ls that they would be willing to hire full time but for the fact that they haven't actually graduated yet. Firms in smaller markets sometimes make extensive use of 1L hiring (as much as half or more of their summer class will be 1Ls). Big firms in the main markets almost never do, but sometimes you get lucky.

In DC, NY, LA, etc., the market rate for summer associates is $2400/wk. For comparison, it's $1500/wk in St. Louis and most other places in the midwest.

I know it sounds crazy, but it's the way lawfirms work.

I would have sent them in on time. Don't be like me!

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Summer Jobs
« on: May 12, 2005, 02:53:42 PM »
Most firms pay 1L summer associates the same rate they pay 2Ls. Not all, but most. Salaries vary depending on region, with DC, NY, LA, etc. paying the most. Generally you're paid weekly the same rate that a 1st year associate is. You can get specifics about salary information from

Getting a gig at a law firm your 1L summer is very hard. It's definitely worth trying, though, because the application process is much earlier than any other employer (December, vs. February/March for most everything else), so you're not shooting yourself in the foot by talking to law firms.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Grading Curve
« on: May 12, 2005, 02:47:25 PM »
Curves matter for two reasons (maybe more)

1. The harsher the curve, the easier it is to flunk out of a school. You'll notice that those top schools that have zero academic attrition also have B+/A- curves and you only need a 2.0 to graduate. If after the first year this is a big issue for you, then law school probably isn't the best path for you anyway.
2. Employers still want to know your GPA, even though class rank is what they should be looking at. Top 1/3 at UGA is like a 3.0 I believe. Very commendable performance--yet still not such a stellar GPA. Compare with American University, where top 1/3 is like a 3.5. Comparable performance to the UGA kid (even a similarly qualified student body), but much better GPA.

Overall I think it's a little bit unfair, and just a little bit stupid, that so many lower T1-and-beyond schools use such harsh curves. It only hurts their students when they're competing against more prestigious schools that hand out A's like candy.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« on: May 12, 2005, 12:29:49 PM »

I guess what I'm trying to say is that biglaw isn't the only way to make a fortune.
It is the easiest way for uncreative persons who have never worked a full-time job, and hence lack a valid comprehension of what it means to toil for a living, to make a few bucks.

Have a look at the bios of the attorneys at any biglaw firm--you'll see many, many attorneys with substantial previous work experience.

I worked at a factory the summer between college and law school--averaging between 50 and 60 hours a week. I can tell you with absolute certainty that sitting at a desk for 60 hours a week doesn't compare. Sixty hours at the firm doesn't make every muscle in your body hurt.

Nobody is criticizing the people who choose not to work at a law firm. I don't understand your need to criticize those who do.

Law School Admissions / Re: Question regarding my transcript
« on: May 12, 2005, 11:48:38 AM »
Don't be sad! I got a 169 and got into T14 with a GPA similar to what yours is when you add in the old grades. I would actually call the old school though and ask to speak with THE registrar or THE dean (or whatever official is in a high enough position to make things happen). Anyone else is going to give you the party line. You don't want them to pass you in those classes, but it may be possible to get them to retroactively withdraw you from them. You would still report those W's to LSAC, but they won't be calculated into a GPA. You really want to get a face to face meeting with someone and explain how that was a very long time ago--it was one semester where you clearly had some personal issues going on, and since then you've moved on to another institution and done extremely well. Bring your new transcript. You're never going to be asking these guys for a degree, you just want their help to minimize the present effects of a mistake you made a long time ago.

And if you have a 3.27 with all those F's, it means that you've done really well at your new place. An addendum can pretty easily explain the situation to law schools, and I think they'd actually be very receptive to it. It's a lot more believable than explaining away the random semester your sophomore year where you just smoked too much pot to handle differential equations (or whatever).

EDIT: that wasn't meant to be an admission of any kind. Just a hypo.

Law School Admissions / Re: Need a straight answer
« on: May 12, 2005, 11:16:51 AM »
It's also the type of things that conversations with the Dean are for. I promise you that they do this out of a matter of policy, not because it's hardwired into whatever program they use to format transcripts--it can be changed. It's only a matter of convincing them. May not be easy, but it will be a LOT easier than trying to convince LSAC (basically impossible).

Seriously, I'd start making a lot of noise about this. If this was a clerical error that wasn't your fault, you shouldn't be penalized for it.

Although, this may be more a matter of principle since (I think) you said you got an A- anyway. But still. Damn the Man.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Full ride at WUSTL vs. NW
« on: May 12, 2005, 06:19:56 AM »
While your grades/school will be important for most public interest work, what will be just as (if not more) important is your demonstrated commitment to public service throughout your law school years, and also any additional experience you can bring to the organization. NW would give you an initial leg up, and if you can't make yourself stand out at wash u somehow then you might be hurt. But I'd focus on the school that gives you the best opportunity to focus your public sector interests and gain experience.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Calling All Gay Guys!!
« on: May 11, 2005, 07:54:20 PM »
oh my dear lord.

only someone with a really small penis would start a thread like this...and look who it is, mr. small penis himself, tbone.


anyone know how the gay-effect pans out at boston college? it's a jesuit school. should i be scared? should i run to the nearest target and buy mace?

Haha. It's boston. If anything, you should be scared of how gay the city is. :)
I'm sure BC is fine.  8)

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