Law School Discussion

Interviewing as a 3L

Interviewing as a 3L
« on: February 09, 2007, 06:08:14 PM »
I am currently a 2L at a CA law school and have landed a great job for my 2L summer with a mid-sized firm.  Of course, I was hoping for a big firm job (read: more money to pay back high student loans quicker) and am planning to interview again as a 3L... How can I increase my chances (besides the obvious of getting better grades-- I'm working on that!)?? 

Any ideas are welcome!!! Thanks.


  • *****
  • 6642
    • View Profile
Re: Interviewing as a 3L
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2007, 05:48:31 AM »
You absolutely HAVE to get an offer for the Firm you're summering at.  If you don't, you'll become a sort of pariah.  It will be the very first questions firms ask you.  If you can't say, "Yes, I received an offer," they'll wonder what you did/why the firm didn't like you enough to make an offer.

Otherwise, just make sure you can get a good reference, and that you get a good writing sample out of the summer.  The only other thing I can think of for you to do is to go network.  Go to bar events over the summer, meet people that work for the big firms.  It may not definitely land you a bigfirm job (some firms just don't have them to offer if all their SAs accept their offers), but knowing a bunch of people in the practice area you're interested in certainly can't hurt.

Re: Interviewing as a 3L
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 11:19:56 AM »
Thanks for the advice. The mid-sized firm I am summering at is up in Seattle, however, so the networking there probably won't help me as much, right?

As a follow up, I know competition for bigfirm jobs is intense and I don't have a great pedigree/Harvard Law or UCLA law... any suggestions for overcoming this?  I know I can do the work, I just need to get my foot in the door.

Re: Interviewing as a 3L
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 05:55:09 PM »
I went big firm to big firm, rather than mid-sized to big firm but the best way to bounce upwards seems to have been answered well in the above post.  An offer, grades and a writing sample are key.  I'm not so sure if anyone will ever call references however and the most pertinent references would be those at your summer firm who may not be to keen on providing one. 

To add one other thing though, make sure you come out with something specific in mind.  For example, if you know you want to do corporate transactional work, explain it in OCI and explain why.  For litigation, have a precise type of litigation in mind.  This way you will look especially attractive to the firm who ideally has a practice group or specialty relating to your specific interest.

Oh, and as a final note, I guess make sure that since you are in Seattle this summer you can convince the OCI people next fall that you want to be ___ but I suppose that goes for all interviews so nothing new there.  There just may be flags up due to where you worked this summer.

Re: Interviewing as a 3L
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2007, 05:08:55 PM »
I only know one person who ever did this, going from Cravath 2L to Wachtell as a full-time associate. I think if you don't like your 2L firm and you do decently well your second year it's worth a shot!

Re: Interviewing as a 3L
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2007, 12:27:30 PM »
i have the same question. i attend a lower 2nd tier law school in CA. i am working at a small law firm, but would like to work for a big law firm for a while. i am in the top 5% of my class and on the editorial board of the law review.  how can i market myself better?

Re: Interviewing as a 3L
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2007, 08:19:50 AM »
It'll be a real stretch coming from a T-2 and having worked for a small firm the previous summer.  But it is possible.  the best thing to do would be to target every single firm that comes to your school for OCI, and those who don't, by mail or by OCI application if applicable.

Stress your grades and class rank within the first couple sentences of your cover letter.  You're obviously qualified, it's just a matter of getting them to notice.
Then state precisely why you are interested in their firm (tailoring a sentence or two for each application). 

If you're in the Bay Area for example, I would send letters to each of the 50 or so possibilities.  To give you perspective, I was top 5% from a T-1 last Fall, having worked at a large law firm the previous summer (bottom half of the Vault 100). I applied through OCI and got almost every interview for those firms interviewing 3L's I applied for. You'll likely be in a similar boat. As for letters, I mailed out about 20 and got two call-backs from those.  OCI's the best bet but letter-writing, stressing your rank, is important as well.