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Author Topic: New and Improved BC Question Thread  (Read 4577 times)

nukelaw

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2007, 07:11:40 AM »
Any advice on what to try and do for your 1L summer in the Boston area?  I'm assuming that unless you're in the top 10% or so, and maybe even then, that it's very difficult to get a firm job.  What do people tend to do and are there ideal positions, paid or unpaid, that you'd recommend?

I'll take this one.

The obvious answer is to try and do something law-related. That may seem like common sense, but it seems like every year there is at least one person who would rather take a $10/hour gig in their hometown rather than get unpaid legal experience in the city they want to work. This makes it difficult to keep an interviewer's attention for 20 minutes during OCI, especially if you're coming right out of undergrad. It may also create problems in a small market like Boston if you don't use the summer to solidify your ties to the area.

Personally, I'm against the idea of summering at a law firm as a 1L. Financially, you'll make out well, and it may even remove the stress of 2L fall recruiting, but this is probably the same kind of work you'll be doing for at least the first five years when you get out. 1L summer is a time to explore, make connections, and figure out what you want to do when you pay off your loans.

I think the hierarchy in prestige/selectivity goes something like this for 1L summer jobs:

1) Biglaw Summer Associate/In-House Internship at Fortune 500
2) Intern for Federal Judge
3) US Attorney or DOJ Intern
4) Other Federal Government/State Government/Judicial Internships
5) Medium or Small Law Firm
5) Research Assistant for Professor

All of these can be great experiences, and there are a lot of potpourri types out there that people don't think about (i.e. - general counsel for professional sports teams). The important thing is to try and make connections and get a writing sample that you can use for fall recruiting.

At BC, I'm pretty sure the number of 1L Biglaw summers is less than 10%. Typically 1L Biglaw summers fall into one of a few categories: a) HYS; b) T-14 in desired region of expansion (i.e.-marketing); c) personal connections; d) minority/diversity programs; e) stellar first semester grades; f) networking; g) IP/technical backgrounds; h) dumb luck. If you don't fall into one of these categories, odds are against you getting a 1L Biglaw summer gig.

nukelaw

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2007, 07:48:44 AM »
Perhaps you can explain why my biggest concern about attending BC is unwarranted.

Assuming I don't receive any scholarships, BC is going to cost me about $104k in tuition.  Additionally, I'd have to live in one of the most expensive cities in the US, and I think I can expect to pay an additional $55k over law school.  So, I'm looking at $159k in debt, and then need to be somewhere between the top 1/3 and top 1/2 to land a job that will pay it off--and if not, I'm really in trouble.

Comparatively, I think I'll get into Emory with a $20k/y scholarship, and Atlanta is cheap.  So, the resulting debt will be more like $90k with similar job placement.

I like Boston/NYC a lot more than Atlanta, and it seems like BC is a really cool school.  But, am I missing something in calculating the monetary costs?  I have the same issue with Fordham.

Maybe I'll just luck out and land a scholarship

Just some thoughts on your post:

1) Don't assume you will either get or not get scholarship money from any school.

2) If you get scholarship money from one school in a similar selectivity range as one that does not give you as much, you can negotiate (see my older posts).

3) Law school is a financial gamble outside of the T-14. One takes a calculated risk. I knew that I would probably need top 1/2 grades at BC to get a Biglaw job, but with a 1/2 scholarship and numbers in the top quarter of my incoming class, it was an acceptable risk for me. Everyone has a different comfort level with the amount of risk they're willing to take for the chance at a high reward. For example, a state school that dominates a rural market would be a good bargain if you want to stay local, but not if you want to make $160K in a coastal city.

4) I think a good way to measure your ability to pay back your loans is to compare it to your initial salary. If your annual salary is more than the size of your debt, it was a good investment and you'll be able to pay them back. At $160k, you could pay off the debt you assume.

5) If you bomb, you do have the option to drop out. While we don't talk about this often enough, if you really do bomb your grades and feel like you won't be able to secure a job that can pay off $160k in loans, you can cut your losses. Though $50k in loans is nothing to sneeze at, if you use the logic in #4 above, this is still a salary that most people can obtain within a few years of a decent undergrad.

6) Schools in the 20-30 range are inherrently regional, no matter how much they try and make it seem otherwise. If you really have no preference between Atlanta, NYC, or Boston, your argument is fine. In reality, the distance from family and friends, cost of living, culture, social life, weather, etc. can make a huge difference in whether or not one city will meet your needs. If you're unsure of where you want to be PERMANENTLY after graduation from law school, you need to either get into a T-14 or land a job at a Biglaw firm with multiple offices so you can transfer later. Note that this latter option assumes that you'll be able to waive into the Bar of the state you move into, or will sit for the Bar exam in that state while studying during the limited (if any) sparetime Biglaw affords you.

nukelaw

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2008, 12:38:57 PM »
Taking Q's for a few while at the 'brary.

waiting to be converted

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2008, 01:02:27 PM »
Thanks for all the answers.  I'm curious if any BC students have knowledge of how easy/difficult it would be to try and break into the Portland, ME legal market as a BC grad.  I'm assuming there's not much in the way of BigLaw there, but wondering what opportunities might be available.

nukelaw

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2008, 01:09:36 PM »
I actually had a couple of ME natives in my section. The impression I received during fall recruiting from one of them was that the market was indeed a small one. Even with good grades and a journal, firms were skeptical about why someone would give up the $160k Biglaw experience in Boston. Since the firms were smaller, there were also less summer associate opportunities, if any at all. The decision process seemed to take longer as a result, since firms didn't want to waste an offer on a fence sitter. I've had friends also have this experience in markets as large as Miami.

I had a similar experience when I looked into the Providence, RI market. Only two firms there are large enough to support summer associate programs, while a third recently ended their summer program after having too many alums leave for Boston. Keep in mind that a firm needs to project its business two years in advance to guarantee its summers a permanent offer in the fall of their third year. The smallest firms I interviewed with that met this threshold were between 40 and 60 attorneys. Below that, business is too unpredictable and hiring needs flesh themselves out in the 3L recruiting market or shortly after bar passage.

Ilovecheese

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2008, 01:34:29 AM »
Above, you were talking about possibilities for a 1L summer.  You stated that big law as a 1L is tough to get, what other options does BC offer and make their 1L competitive in?

nukelaw

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2008, 08:52:23 AM »
Above, you were talking about possibilities for a 1L summer.  You stated that big law as a 1L is tough to get, what other options does BC offer and make their 1L competitive in?

I'm not sure I understand your question. My earlier post mentioned a list of 1L opportunities aside from summer associate positions.

Ilovecheese

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2008, 08:31:05 PM »
Above, you were talking about possibilities for a 1L summer.  You stated that big law as a 1L is tough to get, what other options does BC offer and make their 1L competitive in?

I'm not sure I understand your question. My earlier post mentioned a list of 1L opportunities aside from summer associate positions.

I'm asking whether BC helps its students get summer positioned besides big law that you mentioned.  Schools invite companies for OCI, but is there there something similar for clerkships or PI jobs? Can one get them through carreer services, or do they require much leg work?

eutychus52

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2008, 08:58:43 PM »
Are there many students, or any that you know of, who commute to BC from the suburbs, or even as far as Worcester?

UpwardSlope

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Re: New and Improved BC Question Thread
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2008, 12:23:20 AM »
Quote
I'm asking whether BC helps its students get summer positioned besides big law that you mentioned.  Schools invite companies for OCI, but is there there something similar for clerkships or PI jobs? Can one get them through carreer services, or do they require much leg work?

Career Services certainly promotes options besides Biglaw. BC participates in a public interest consortium with Suffolk/BU that interview both at BC and at the other respective schools for summer opportunities. That's how a lot of people have found postitions with places like AG's office, US Atty's office, and other public interest organizations. Certainly places like the US Attorneys office hire LOTS of summer interns nationwide, and you'd definitely be in good shape with them if you submitted your application on your own.
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