Law School Discussion

1L Job Search

MindTheGap76

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Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2006, 06:55:42 PM »
i dont really want to work for a firm, but more with ngos, non profits, gov orgs. should i spend part of my summer building up a list of possible opportunities that id like to apply for? i know i want to end up dc/ny/sf, but i really only have ties to sf. will this hurt?

I don't really know that much about applying for non-profit stuff (I'm a greedy corporate whore). However, the Dec. 1 thing ONLY applies to law firms. Therefore, not only can you spend your summer building up a list of opportunities, you can also get in touch with them right now (or, perhaps more realistically, in August or September once school starts) and figure out what the best strategy is for summer employment.

Little D

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Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2006, 07:00:00 PM »
the whole thing really is pretty crazy.  I applied to dozens of firms with no luck and I applied to this program with the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers for a judicial clerkship and I ended up getting a clerkship with a criminal court judge which I completely didnt expect because my grades werent stellar

Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2006, 07:01:03 PM »
stephkay,

You should definitely use the summer to research where you want to apply. You might even want to draft some cover letters now so you wouldn't have to do right before finals, as Dec. 1 usually falls right before finals.

I'd also strongly recommend reading Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams. It has a lot of great job hunting strategies for law students.

MTG: I thought the Dec. 1 guideline applies to all legal employers... are non-profits not employers if they're not paying you for the summer?

MindTheGap76

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Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2006, 07:09:53 PM »
stephkay,

You should definitely use the summer to research where you want to apply. You might even want to draft some cover letters now so you wouldn't have to do right before finals, as Dec. 1 usually falls right before finals.

I'd also strongly recommend reading Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams. It has a lot of great job hunting strategies for law students.

MTG: I thought the Dec. 1 guideline applies to all legal employers... are non-profits not employers if they're not paying you for the summer?

The December 1 thing is an NALP rule; as I understand it, they don't apply to most non-profits. They also definitely do not apply to judges.

Talk to career services at your school about it to be sure. As I said, I'm a corporate whore, so I could be wrong on the application to non-profits. I'm positive it doesn't apply to judges, though.

sara

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Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2006, 07:10:08 PM »
How difficult is it to split a summer between employers?

SanchoPanzo

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Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2006, 07:10:23 PM »
i dont really want to work for a firm, but more with ngos, non profits, gov orgs. should i spend part of my summer building up a list of possible opportunities that id like to apply for? i know i want to end up dc/ny/sf, but i really only have ties to sf. will this hurt?

Peruse this http://www.law.georgetown.edu/opics/fellowships/timeline.html
It's for Gtown but may be helpful.

MindTheGap76

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Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2006, 07:13:25 PM »
How difficult is it to split a summer between employers?

Quite. The only market that really embraces it is Texas, where it is almost expected that you split. Other places you need to ask, and it doesn't seem that many let you do it. I know one girl working in CA whose firm let her split between their LA offices and their SD ones. I know a guy who accepted an offer from an LA firm and then got another one from an NYC firm; when he asked to split, both told him no, but the NYC firm gave him an offer for 2L summer on the spot.

I've heard some firms are more flexible about splitting with non-profits. Basically, unless you're going to Texas, it's worth asking about (once you've gotten an offer, not during the interview), but I wouldn't expect them to say yes.

Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2006, 03:43:47 PM »
The Dec. 1 thing only applies to NALP employers (which includes most large firms and some gov't and non-profit groups) and/or each law school's own career services or 1L restrictions.  See more details here:

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/students/index.php/topic,2361.msg20867.html#msg20867


Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2006, 09:32:01 PM »
Great thread.  Thanks everyone.

Towlie

Re: 1L Job Search
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2006, 11:38:37 PM »
This is all great advice and info - thanks so much you guys!


As a first-hand example of this, my friend and I have virtually identical resumes: same major (Electrical Engineering), same undergrad (Texas), similar work experience, similar GPAs (we even graduated from the same high school). He goes to Texas, I go to Chicago. As described in my previous post, I had absolutely no problem getting a Houston firm job. He mailed out to every single Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and a few Florida firms and didn't get a single thing. After first semester, he was in the top 5% of his class, so he did 1L OCI and STILL got rejected from the firms in Houston that gave me an offer with no grades. Fortunately, he managed to get an offer from a firm in Dallas. I chalk this complete divergence despite very similar backgrounds up to the fact that Texas firms don't need to worry about getting UTLaw students.


I want to take this opportunity to reiterate something. Mind the Gapís friendís experience, especially for 1L summers is the NORM, not the minority. Its also gets worse the lower down you go in tiers. I go to Denver, 45 mins north is CU, a top 50 school. Denver is about the only large legal market around, so we get students from the surrounding states looking for stuff here as well. Also Denver is a popular town due to all the outside activities, a lot of people who go to schools far way want to end up here. Thus the competation is FIERCE, even more so for 1L summers when your not much good to most places.

Thus, Iím going to say it again, even though 99.9% of you will ignore what I am about to say. Mass mailings and OCI are the absolute WORST ways to find jobs. Outside the top 14 schools, your doing yourself a disfavor going this route. The best way to find high quality, good jobs with no competation is to network. But almost NO law students do it.
   
Networking is NOT joining clubs at your school. Networking is getting out where the working lawyers are. The state bar meetings in your town (which you can join AND attend). Going to CLE classes (many are free for students) in your area or interest, joining an Inn of the court. You will meet and become acquainted with working lawyers. Eventually, if done right and with tact, you can get great jobs no one else even knows about, or that where created just for you.

My personal antidote. I started networking about a year ago. Three friends from my school eventually joined me. Four of us, totally, out of like 800 people at the school had almost all of these function completely to ourselves. I did not mail a single resume, and I skipped fall OCI. As of today I have given out a total of five resumes, ALL five turned into offers.

Why? Because I was not just a piece of paper and a school name to some stranger. These people asked ME for my resume, and only then did I give it to them. These people knew me as a person, and wanted to either work with me, or help me find something. Who you know beats where you go.

I ended up not taking any of them this summer. The one I was most interested in really required I have evidence and trail practice before hand. So I am taking those this summer, and will work there next summer. They are holding the position for me for a year, they would never do his for a mass mailed resume from some stranger, Yale student or not. (Plus Iím PT so I have 2 more summers anyway).

Be the less than 1% at your school that networks, and you will never have a problem finding a job. All four of us that did so got great job offers, including two clerking for judges and one at a HUGE firm. All got them from networking nothing else. I can not say the same for my classmates who went the mass mail/OCI route.

PS I got copies of my UG transcripts so I would have them on hand, but no one ever asked me for them. Still better to get now than wait on your school to send if you need them. 



If you go to a T14, do mass mailings and OCI suffice in the job search? Also, if you are going to a school that's far away from where you want to practice, is it even possible to network?