I agree with Lucky. Bottom line is, as a 1L, you contribute even less than you will as a 2L. These firms don't hire 1Ls because of the work they'll produce but because the firm is trying to sell the firm to the student. That student would have to be some kind of legal ninja for a firm to want to waste $20k+ just to convince him/her to take a good look at that firm. By the time you apply for your 1L job, there are very few indicators as to just how ninja you are. No grades have been released, no one's on journal, nada (with maybe 1st semester being the exception, but not much to go on). So it's all your school and your resume. If you are a former biochemist daughter of the ambassador to Thailand who went to Harvard, you may get that 1L job. If you just got out of undergrad and went to WUSTL (for example) then your chances are beyond slim. The obvious exception is the buddy network - if your dad is golfing buddies with an influential partner at a good firm, squeeze that guy for a 1L job. Otherwise, plan on working at a non-profit. The 2L job is "easier" to get. You still contribute nothing but you'd better get that job b/c that's likely who will offer you a permanent job. By then grades will be out and firms will try to attract you to them, assuming you do well.