I'm reviving an old thread, apparently, but wanted to write in to say chin up, good things can happen. From my reading of blogs and forums and talking to friends, I realize that I'm extremely fortunate, but wanted to maybe give some hope to the disillusioned.
3L in IP at a low T2 with a good IP program. Top 25%, law review associate (didn't care enough to apply for editor). In the bloodbath of 2008 OCIs (for summer 09), sent 20 resumes, 6 first round interviews, 2 BigLaw callbacks, 2 BigLaw offers. Took one of the summer positions at a V50 firm who ended up offer-lettering every CA summer (~95% offer rate nationwide), no deferral (starting Fall 2010) making a NY salary. No, I didn't know the hiring partner or have famous relatives.
It can happen. Don't count on it, but they're out there.