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Author Topic: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?  (Read 7880 times)

jacques

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Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« on: February 07, 2009, 01:02:58 AM »
I was at the top of the class the first semester, so I thought it likely that some of the firms to which I applied would at least request an interview, but thus far, every one has rejected my bid. Of course, I know it's not -me- they're rejecting, but I must be missing something about this process.

I'm enrolled in a law school which requires that 1Ls take a summer semester the first year. The local firms know this, and so it necessarily limits even further the firms willing to "split their summers" with the 1L pups. Before we had received our grades, we were informed that a 1L getting a summer job is fairly uncommon, and realistically, those at the top are usually the ones who get any work.

Our school's Career Services uses Symplicity to manage firms interested in interviewing 1Ls. Using Symplicity on the appropriate dates, I went through and sent my resume to each firm that is interviewing 1Ls this semester. Thus far, only one has not rejected my bid-because they haven't made their selections yet. I'm quite sure that they will also reject my bid; even the firm with the relatively "loose" standards of top 25% rejected me.

To be sure, I don't know anything about the process. With the Symplicity application, there's no space to send a cover letter or a transcript (unless the transcript is specifically requested), so I had assumed that all the firms were looking for was a pile of resumes to "skim the top" as we had been told.

Clearly, I've got something wrong about the process or what I should have done (At least for Symplicity, it's too late; all the 1L-seeking firms have spoken). Can anyone enlighten me? I'm clueless about this. Thanks!

nealric

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2009, 01:42:31 AM »
It's probably not you. They may post a certain grade percentage, but it's likely that they are looking for something specific in an applicant besides just grades. The economy is bad, and spring OCI is a fairly uncommon way to get a job anyways.
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vap

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2009, 01:59:24 AM »
Has your career services office reviewed your resume?

If you're not getting the interview, then there is either a problem with your resume, or the firms are simply not hiring.

Expand your options.  Unpaid internships.

vap

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 02:06:05 AM »
It's probably not you. They may post a certain grade percentage, but it's likely that they are looking for something specific in an applicant besides just grades. The economy is bad, and spring OCI is a fairly uncommon way to get a job anyways.

Don't you think OP should at least be getting interviews with top grades?  I thought the firms basically interview all the top candidates during spring OCI.  But I did not do spring OCI, so I really don't know.

lyre

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2009, 03:24:32 AM »
When you say "top of the class," were you literally #1 or do you just mean you were top 10% or something?  If you were just near the top, say #10 in your class, it's possible the employers are only interviewing like 5 people and chose 5 people ranked higher than you.  You never know.  Agree with PPs though about having Career Services review your resume, maybe you have a typo on there or something that's just off.  Do you have your GPA and class rank on there?  Seems pretty obvious but...

jacy85

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 08:18:46 AM »
First, welcome to our sh*t economy.  Hope you have a pleasant stay.  When firms are shedding attorneys they've already hired, pushing out well-regarded, talented senior associates because suddenly "there's no future for them" at the firm (aka we're not making any more partners because that might decrease our profits per partner), hiring won't be at the top of the list.  Furthermore, firms will carry on with summer associate programs in order to maintain the fiction that we're still operating business as usual.  The first ones cut out of the SA program are the 1Ls; why should they pay 1Ls the normal salary for 8 or 10 weeks when you're just going to come back again next year as a 2L SA and drain more cash from the firm?  So 1Ls are in trouble.

The second issue in this market is that 1Ls who *are* finding firm jobs I think are generally the ones with the grades AND pedigree to match.  You mentioned a summer start program, so I'm guessing you're not at a T14 and probably(?) not at a T1.  So unless yours is the best school in the state, you may be in trouble this summer for paid firm work even sitting at the top of the class.

The economy is out of our control, but your plan for looking for a job is within your control.  STOP RELYING on the minimal efforts of your school to provide you a job (like Simplicity, OCI, etc.)  Start networking.  Start writing bad ass cover letters that show you are 1) a good writer, 2) an awesome candidate, and 3) that you did your research and love this firm.  Start networking (I can't say this enough).




vap

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 10:01:17 AM »
You mentioned a summer start program, so I'm guessing you're not at a T14 and probably(?) not at a T1.

If I read OP correctly, his/her school requires students to take a class in the summer after the first year.  Definitely no school I've ever heard of.  Would be interested to know which school.



SASS

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 10:45:44 AM »
You mentioned a summer start program, so I'm guessing you're not at a T14 and probably(?) not at a T1.

If I read OP correctly, his/her school requires students to take a class in the summer after the first year.  Definitely no school I've ever heard of.  Would be interested to know which school.




I know one school that makes 1L's do that: Cooley. 

BikePilot

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 10:58:44 AM »
1L firm jobs are hard to get in good economic times (at least in major markets, secondary markets are often not hard) and I expect much harder now. I'd look into an internship with a judge, RA for a professor, work for a local DA, DOJ, that sort of thing then hit up big law for 2L summer.
HLS 2010

vap

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Re: Top of the class and rejected by every employer?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2009, 11:25:49 AM »
You mentioned a summer start program, so I'm guessing you're not at a T14 and probably(?) not at a T1.

If I read OP correctly, his/her school requires students to take a class in the summer after the first year.  Definitely no school I've ever heard of.  Would be interested to know which school.

I know one school that makes 1L's do that: Cooley. 

I don't see it. http://www.cooley.edu/academics/schedulingoptions.htm.