I don't have any great tips or anything; it really just should have been a much more smooth process for me.
And Bears, I'm sure you did nothing wrong.
It was a little harder for me, because I am targeting non-vault firms with a summer program, and I wanted to focus on non-NALP firms (although I did include non-Vault firms that were on NALP). I hadn't heard of "Chambers" and just used Martindale.
NALP is frequently wrong on the recruiting coordinator name/e-mail, so you have to go to the individual firm's website for every firm. For smaller firms, I made an effort to try and find the practice area that was likely to need the most help, and I crafted my resume/cover letters a little differently with the mail merge script.
And, printing everything out was a 25 hour affair, somehow. That part sucked.
Holy poo! I need to start printing!
Also, how did you know whether a small firm was even hiring? It seems like most small firms don't have summer programs.