Law School Discussion

2L (Top 20 school) looking for a job with a law firm with offices in China

This is my first post (so be easy on me).
I am a rising 2L (Top 20 school).
My GPA is a B, no more no less (the median is B/B+).
I am not on a journal.
I speak Chinese, but not fluent.
I have legal and non-legal China related experience.
I am trying to get a Summer Associate position with an international law firm that has offices in China.
Aside from the big names (i.e. Skadden, Latham)
Most of these kinds of firms don't participate in my school's OCI.

(I am willing to work in NYC, DC or China as long as I can do China related work.)

Does anyone have any advice on strategies to land a job with one of these firms? (Aside from mass mailings, because I plan to do that already.)

I can provide more general information about myself but I would like to maintain my anonymity.


  • *****
  • 10967
  • Did ya do it? Then why are ya sorry?
    • View Profile
I don't have advice on specific firms, but I would advise you to consider West Coast markets (LA, SF, etc) because a lot of firms do a lot of Asia work out of there (for obvious reasons).

I looked into it, no all china related stuff is based out of westcoast offices, a lot in NYC too.
I am not looking at west coast only because I have absolutely no connections to the region.

Does anyone have some actual advice?
Worry is that because I am not on a journal and my grades are only average at best, OCI is not gonig to be very helpful for me. Does anyone have any advice other than mass mailing?


  • *****
  • 6642
    • View Profile
Brutal honesty?

You're not fluent, so with your grades, I'd say you may as well not have any language skills at all.

And unless there are smaller/midsized firms that do the type of work you want to do, I'd start broadening your search now.  My guess is that the market on business deals with China will be pretty much dominated by the big named firms.  You should definitely apply, and try to highlight what language skills you do have and your interests, etc.  But you're certainly fighting an uphill battle.

I'd start figuring out what else you might like to do.

On a side note, Abovethelaw has been having pieces on american lawyers in China; maybe you could read through some of those posts and get some ideas on how those people got where they're at (at best, I've skimmed one or two posts, so I really don't know what type of information is in them aside from the title).

Edit:  Oh, and mass mailing isn't going to do anything for you (assuming by "mass mailing" you mean just printing out a crap load of resumes and mailmerging a ton of cover letters and mailing).  You really need each and every cover letter to be 100% targeted to each and every big/selective firm you apply to.  Mail mergers that are impersonal tend to work best when your grades and rank sell yourself just fine by themselves.  You need to go the extra mile and sell yourself DESPITE your grades and rank for some of these firms that have extremely high grade/rank standards.

What advice has Career Services offered you?

Have you thought about trying to work as in-house counsel to an American company in China?

I haven't thought about in-house at an American company I will look into that.

I look at the abovethelaw article series, it was more about life working for a firm in Asian, not much about how to get a job.

Thanks to the people that gave useful advice. I will work hard on my cover letters.

Unfortunately my school's career services was no help (no surprise).

Do anyone else have anything useful to add?