Law School Discussion

Top of the class and rejected by every employer?


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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2009, 09:31:00 AM »
What kind of effort did you put into the 1L job search? I don't mean to be a male private part, but if the extent of your research as to where your school ranks nationally was reading an article in the local paper...I mean come on man. These things are going to take effort, even when you are talking about just trying to get in with one the better local firms as a 1L.

My experience...

My school (TTT in SEC) brought only 5 firms in for Spring OCI, which is pretty much solely for 1L hiring. Three of them are considered BigLaw for the state/region and two were among the top 3-4 firms in the local area of my school. The bigger firms were looking to take 2 1Ls from here and the others were just going to take one. That is 8 people that are getting a job from OCI!!

I sent out around 150 cover letter/resume packets in December and early January to firms in this and surrounding states. Even the firms I knew were coming here for OCI, just so they knew I was grinding it.

I also networked my ass off with every atty I know back in my hometown of Dallas and have traveled on my own dime to interview with a couple firms there and just take job prospect-less meetings with any others who would meet with me.

This is what it takes to give yourself a chance from a lower ranked (but well thought of in the state/region) school. The vast majority of my classmates did not come close to doing any of this either and are now freaking out. I just don't understand people who don't do the research and put in the effort to make things happen for them.

I'm only Top 30% at my school (1 yr of real world but non-legal work exp.) but I just got an offer at one of the two local firms that did OCI. I'm pretty sure I got it because I interviewed with them at their office for an hour the week before they came here for OCI after they responded to my mailed resume. Then they came for OCI and met with 25 kids for 20 minutes at a time. Since we have a grade req. to interview for OCI (which I narrowly qualify for) they met with lots of people with better grades than me. The difference? They did not take the initiative that I did and they only had 20 minutes to state their case.

I may get other offers or interview offers since this was the first OCI firm to make their decision, but I probably won't. I guess the point is, it took all that effort, hundreds of dollars on resume paper, envelopes and labels to just get one measly offer from one of the better local firms.I plan to raise my GPA a bit this Spring, bust my ass with this firm all summer to get as much experience as possible and hopefully be looking good for the 30-40 bigger regional firms that we bring in for Fall OCI.

My advice (and again, I'm just a 1L with a local paying 1L gig this summer so I'm not trying act like I know all)...

Just work as hard as you can to network, work in any legal capacity and keep your grades up until you get that 2L summer gig in your pocket. Then you can breathe a little and be proud of your hard work. But for people in yours and my situations...nothing is going to be handed to us even with top grades.

Wow, thanks, Stole Your Nose, for telling me that. I wasn't sure that I had the 1L position in a firm correct, and what you've said explains even more to me, then.

I don't think, and I didn't intend to come across as such, that because my grades were good, the "offers should be rolling in." Rather, I had at least assumed that my good grades would be sufficient to pique the interest of local firms, at least enough for an interview. Coming out of Louisiana, I know I have an at-least uphill battle in leaving the state, but I've thus far only applied to local firms.

I certainly don't intend to argue the ranking of my school relative to the nation's other Law schools. I read in a paper last semester that we had been ranked "in the top tier," so I took that at its word. If either of our sources were wrong, it really doesn't matter to me right now, when I'm only looking locally.

At this point, though, I guess I'm just tired of beating my head against the wall worrying about it. And perhaps that's a large purpose of 1L Spring OCIs; to teach you to handle failure when it seemed very likely you'd succeed. There are a few firms left this semester. If it doesn't work out, I'll do something else.