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Messages - Felsen

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31
Current Law Students / Re: Cover letter willing to volunteer
« on: February 13, 2007, 02:23:39 PM »
Each cover letter should be tailored to the group you are applying to.  So when you put in an application for Non-Profit Organization #1, you talk about how you want to volunteer for them.  When you apply to Law Firm # 17, you talk about how you'd like to work for them.  Just say whatever is appropriate to the place you are applying.

If you're really asking how you tell a non-profit you want them to pay you, but you'd work for free if you don't find a paying job, I don't think they'd like that letter.

32
Current Law Students / Re: Re-thinking summer plans... help...
« on: February 03, 2007, 08:44:39 PM »
From what I hear, the only real advantage you have as a 1L at a firm, is that if that firm likes you, you'll come out of the summer with a job offer for your second summer.  Outside of that, I don't think it will help or matter much in the 2L Summer job search, and I'd say definitely not in the post-graduate job search.

Now, coming out of the 1L summer with an offer from a firm for a 2L summer can be advantageous.  It means you don't have to stress out as much.  You can place that firm as your low mark, and only interview with firms you think are better for you.  Or, you could decide you love the firm and won't do any other interviewing second semester.  It'll help your GPA to have attended all your classes that semester, unlike your schoolmates who'll miss various classes through November going on interviews.

33
Job Search / Re: How long to wait?
« on: January 26, 2007, 10:08:26 PM »
I've heard back from somewhere around half the firms I applied to.  I mailed them out on December 1st.  Half of those responses were straight no answers, and the other half all wanted grades first before deciding.  I'm still waiting on one last grade myself, but most of them hinted they'd be making decisions the first week of February or so.

34
Job Search / Re: Which File format to use?
« on: January 26, 2007, 10:05:48 PM »
I've visited a few law firm sites and they request it in PDF version.

"Come on, guys!  Maybe you need a refresher course!  Hey, it's all ball bearings nowadays!"

If you aren't using LaTex, http://www.latex-project.org/, you're not going to get the job! 

I mean it.  All the firms are doing it!  Get with the times, here!

You're right.  From the site:  "We provide a newsletter (as a PDF file) about each release of LaTeX created since 1994."
Even they use PDFs.

35
Current Law Students / Re: BigLaw Bonuses
« on: January 25, 2007, 01:53:40 PM »
From what I've read, hitting the minimum billable hours is often used as the threshold level for getting the bonus.  The minimum billable hours target is not always 2000, but it is a nice round number to work with.

A firm might say that bonuses are paid only to those who hit the billable hour number.  So if you hit 1999 billable hours you get $0.  If you hit 2000 billable hours you get some $.  How much money will vary by firm policy.  They may just give a straight bonus value.  They may give a bonus that is a percentage of salary.  They may have a minimum hours amount and a target amount, and you get more money if you hit the target (possibly even more if you exceed the target).  They may also just decide the minimum hours is a qualification and meet behind closed doors to decide on additional factors (quality and quantity of work done in those hours, client contacts, how successful your cases have been, etc.).

I don't think there is an absolute standard out there on the bonus.  I know that in other industries the bonus systems vary greatly from company to company and even change every few years within the same company.  So you'll have to ask the individual firm you're interested in.

36
Job Search / Re: SO...judicial internship or firm job?
« on: January 23, 2007, 11:07:51 PM »
If I didn't have to worry about money and had an offer from each, I'd take a firm job over the summer.  In the long term, you are more likely to have a career at a firm than as a judicial clerk.  Take the summers to get to know the personality and operation of a firm or two, so you can make a better evaluation of the firms after you graduate.  If you want to spend some time with a judge, do a judicial clerkship your first year after graduation.  At that point, you'll have the experience of working with a judge.  You'll have many possible contacts in all sorts of firms.  You'll also have some experience working in a firm, so you can better choose between your offers.

37
Job Search / Re: Which File format to use?
« on: January 22, 2007, 07:47:30 PM »
I'll second the PDF format vote.  Everyone should have it by now.  I've visited a few law firm sites and they request it in PDF version.  LSAC converted files to PDF before sending them to law schools.  It is just considered a de facto standard.  My last job stopped shipping Adobe on installation CDs about 3 years ago, because we decided almost everyone would have it already.

38
I'd say a phone call as well.  It makes sure that the correct person gets the information and gives some sort of response.  You don't get on the phone and expect them to give you their answer in that call.  You only expect them to tell you that they will speed up their evaluation of you and possibly give you a firm committment of when they will have made their decision.

The problem I have with phone call is that not only do you put them on the spot, they can turn and put you on the spot if the give you an offer. 

What's wrong with email?  Is it really inappropriate?

An e-mail isn't inappropriate.  It just isn't as quick.  If they don't write back for a few days, you are left wondering if they got it and are working on it, are just ignoring it, or if it got caught by a spam filter.

Sure it is possible that they put you on the spot during a phone call.  I find it unlikely.  Any reputable place knows you need more than one minute to make a decision.

Doing it with a phone call just tells them that it is an important issue.  E-mail communications are less intrusive, but it also tends to say that you can wait a day or two before hearing their thoughts on the issue.

39
Job Search / Re: Any Offers yet?
« on: January 14, 2007, 09:48:54 AM »
Just make sure you treat different offices of a firm individually with this kind of a plan.  Most of the firms do not have a coordinated hiring plan.  They may talk a bit back and forth, but each office can typically set their own schedule and planning numbers.  The only thing they probably do to coordinate is to give opinions back and forth if they've met or talked with someone.

40
I'd say a phone call as well.  It makes sure that the correct person gets the information and gives some sort of response.  You don't get on the phone and expect them to give you their answer in that call.  You only expect them to tell you that they will speed up their evaluation of you and possibly give you a firm committment of when they will have made their decision.

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