« on: May 12, 2010, 02:16:13 PM »
According to Above the Law, the summer opportunities advertised on South Carolina's Symplicity page include manual labor. Judge for yourself.
Messages - mnewboldc
I hear from a lot of students who are headed to T3 or T4 schools that they "don't want" biglaw, etc., and that they'd be satisfied with something more modest. That seems like a reasonable goal, especially to the 0L's trying to make sense of a very muddled employment picture.
I have a friend at a T4 school who says that, of his 3L class of 170 students, about 5 have jobs.
According to another post only 1/3 of the recent graduates at UMinnesota (T25) have responded to an employment survey.
There are plenty of 3L's up here who are still looking for work.
So the problem with schools in the T3 or T4 (and, in this economy, down deep into the T1) isn't that the education they provide is demonstrably different from that up here, or that they don't provide an opportunity to perform high-paying legal work. The problem is that there is very little legal work out available at all right now, and whatever is out there is going to be taken by us, not by people at Tuoro and other schools of that ilk.
Good luck with your networking.
« on: May 12, 2010, 12:45:41 PM »
2008 OCI wasn't a bloodbath. 2009 OCI was a bloodbath. You got 20 interviews and six callbacks from top 25% at a low-ranked T2? Good lord. There are people on law review up here who got nothing from OCI in 2009.
For a T2 student with a 2.9 GPA in TODAY'S economy: there will be nothing out there for you. Nothing. Oh yes, there will be one or two students who manage to find something, and who will impart to you their tales of success by heroically trolling these boards. Remember there are 40,000 other law students who would tell you differently.
If it's anything like last year, and if UIUIC places in Chicago the same way Fordham or Hastings places in SF/NY, then median at UIUIC isn't going to get anything from OCI unless you can really turn on the charm.
Start hitting the firms as soon as August rolls around. Stay away from the high end of NALP, because frankly it will already be flooded with resumes from the T14. Midlaw firms in flyover country think they can get T25 Law Review ITE. With 125 Columbia 2L's carpet-bombing the country (I've heard that the number of Columbia 2L's who got at least one offer from OCI dropped from 97% in 2008 to 67% in 2009), they're probably right.
If you know any lawyers, now would be a great time to start reaching out to them. By next September it will be far too late.
It would make all the sense in the world. No one knew how bad 2009 OCI was going to be beceause firms were trying to put up a prestige front and pretend that everything was business as usual (witness the Latham/Cadwalader plunge in the vault rankings once they implemented draconian measures). Now that the shine has come off, firms have little or no incentive to increase their numbers.
One of the effects of this recession was to shift the balance of power from firms to in-house counsel, and by most indicators, power will remain in their hands for the foreseeable future. The onus is now on firms to slash their fees, and one of the ways they have done that is to eliminate the number of high-priced bodies (read: young associates) that they throw at routine work. Instead, this work will be outsourced more and more to low-paid contract attorneys overseas.
With less work available, hiring of new associates will slow even further than it already has. The summer programs are enormous loss-leaders for firms anyway, and there's no reason to throw out a loss-leader when so many law students are already desparate for work. Given all of this, I would say that OCI for the classes of 2012 and beyond is looking very, very bad.
« on: April 25, 2010, 08:45:41 PM »
Depends on where you go to school I guess. If the employers who come to your school know that only the best students get RA gigs, then that's one thing. But I don't think that's the case at most schools.
Up here, there are definitely two types of RA's. There are the types who book the class and are asked by their professors to do research. Those folks typically acquire their positions early (like after Fall grades come out) and just don't want to deal with the stress of trying to find a summer gig.
But then there are the students who don't do so well, simply fail to find jobs during the Spring, and then get bailed out by career services at the 11th hour. I think when a firm sees a mediocre GPA and an RA gig as summer experience, they assume this is the case.
This second class of RA got thoroughly destroyed at my 2009 OCI. Probably the only people who had it worse off were the people with no prior legal experience who spent their 1L summers at public interest gigs. For reasons I absolutely do not understand, private employers seemed less interested in discussing public interest work, even when was clear that the work involved a good amount of legal research and writing. I split my summer between public interest and a federal judge. Every one of my 30 screening interviewers asked about the work I'd done for the judge. About four asked me about the public interest gig.
« on: April 25, 2010, 06:14:41 PM »
And when I say "work," I mean "legal work." And it doesn't matter if it's paid or unpaid. This economy is brutal, and unless you've got an ace up your sleeve you have to do whatever you can to distinguish yourself from your peers.
« on: April 25, 2010, 06:13:15 PM »
Depends on your class rank. Many employers (unfairly, I think) tend to view RA positions as reserved for underachieving students who need to do "something" over the summer. So unless you've got a standout GPA, you probably should.
3L OCI was always a golden unicorn. ITE, it will be next to nonexistent.
Basically the firms did what everyone feared: i.e., their solution to massively overbooking/deferring prior class years was to basically cut our year out altogether.
If you don't have a summer job which carries the possibility of an offer at the end, you are probably looking at a year or more of post-graduate unemployment.
Summer 2011 will be a bloodbath, equally as bad (if not worse) than it was this year.
But you will have one advantage that my class did not have: you know how bad it's going to be and can take defensive measures earlier than we did.