Law School Discussion

IL Summer Job Search

IL Summer Job Search
« on: November 21, 2004, 06:33:54 PM »
Over winter break I plan to work on my resume, but it seems to me that it wouldn't do much good to send any out until after 1st semester grades come out.  Unfortunatley at my school we don't get grades until the beginning of February.  Do any second or third year students have any advice for getting a 1L summer job? 


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Re: IL Summer Job Search
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2004, 09:54:50 PM »
I found this interesting post in a blog I like to read when I need a reality check regarding firm life:

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
The 1L resumes started today. It's like this every year. I know most schools used to have guidelines that say 1Ls can't send anything out until December 1, and I think they still do, but every year the process gets more and more competitive and we start getting them earlier and earlier. It's very hard for a 1L to get a job here. We nominally recruit at our top schools, but mostly to get our name in their minds for when they're 2Ls. We'll interview a few students, and have perhaps one or two 1Ls in the summer class, if we're blown away by anyone. It's all a game. The difference between taking one 1L and taking zero is that if we take one, people think they have a chance, and put us on their list, and pay attention to us. If we take zero, no one knows we exist when we come back the next fall for the 2Ls. But the worst part are the phone calls from 1Ls who've never looked for a job before, and they call every two weeks to follow up on their resume, like I remember whether I've read it or not. If I remember someone's name from having already called once, the second time they call without any reason, I throw away the resume. No exceptions. It's more to make myself feel better than anything else. If I haven't called you and you have to call me, it means as a 1L you're not getting the job. So it doesn't matter if I throw the resume away or not. Every fall I also get calls from students at some schools "updating their firm contact information," which, as far as I've been able to tell, involves the creation of mail merge spreadsheets that let students apply to hundreds of firms without nearly enough trouble. I assume they are better at mail merge than I am. I wondered how they found students to call the firms. And then one of them told me that what they do is dangle the promise of access. "You'll be on the phone with the recruiting coordinators, and sometimes even the hiring partners. So if they're hiring anyone, if you make a good impression, they'll remember your name and you'll have a foot in the door." This is baloney. They think this helps them. It doesn't. If anything, it makes you look weak in my eyes. You thought you needed to telemarket in order to have a chance? You must be useless. Sometimes we give them mercy interviews if we think it'll hurt our reputation on campus if we don't. That means we invite them down here, but we know they won't be getting an offer. They don't know. It makes those interviews a bit more fun than most.

# posted by Anonymous @ 8:08 PM 17 comments

I think that it would probably be best to go ahead and send out your resumes ASAP.  Most firms will not even look at 1L applicants, so grades won't come into play unless you get called in for an interview, which probably won't take place until after your grages come out.  You can bring a copy of them to your interview.  I think those firms who do deal with 1L applicants know that some of us do not get grades until late Jan or early Feb, so they are probably willing to accommodate us. 

If I were you, I would shoot for small firms in areas where the law schools are less prestigious than the one you attend.  That's what I intend to do.  I realize that at age 22, with no work experience and only 4 months of law school under my belt I am not exactly a competitive applicant to BIGLAW, however, there are places where the Boalt name will trump, all other things being equal and I plan to take advantage of that.

Your first year assingment really doesn't matter in terms of your ability to get a job during 2L, so don't assume any firm is "below" you.  Get your foot in the door where you can and be greatful if you are given a chance, because very few 1L's get it.


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Re: IL Summer Job Search
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2004, 07:40:15 AM »
haha - i love how you had to get the Boalt name in there.

Re: IL Summer Job Search
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2004, 03:47:31 PM »
I wouldn't worry too much about sending in resumes until after New Year's.  When you do, you really need to focus on small firms and not worry so much about big firms.  Most large firms aren't even considering 1L's anymore unless you are at HYS, have stellar work exeprience, or a big partner is a family friend.

One overlooked area is state and city agencies.  These are usually very receptive to 1L applicants because few 2Ls are interested.  The jobs are usually unpaid (but not always, also some can get federal work/study) and the work isn't always that interesting.  But you'll get some experience and the hours are easy. If nothing else you'll have a conversation topic for 2L interviews.

Whatever you do, don't let the 1L summer job hunt detract from your school work. And don't worry if you don't find anything.  Firms don't care if you didn't do anything legal related, they care more about grades.  A 1L job won't overcome bad grades and lack of a 1L job will not detract from good grades.  Plenty of people in my class spent summers at the beach, waitresssing, or travelling, and they all got biglaw jobs.   

Re: IL Summer Job Search
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2004, 03:35:10 PM »
I am thinking of doing a judicial externship for the summer quarter, which runs from mid May to mid July.  I would have to take out another student loan for tuition and living expenses, but I'd get school credit and hopefully it'll help me with a 2L summer job.  I'm not sure what I'll do the rest of the summer after it ends.  An attorney I know suggested maybe trying to do temp. legal jobs since I have 3 years of paralegal experience and am certified.  I looked at some of the temp. websites though and most say they want experience in litigation, which I don't have.  I wonder if completion of a year of law school would be enough for them to overlook the lack of litigation paralegal experience.  Any thoughts Bored 3L?

Re: IL Summer Job Search
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2004, 07:42:42 PM »
An externship would be a great experience. Although you're the only one who can weigh the financial consequences of assuming more debt in order to do it.  Judges are excellent references, and if you ever decide to clerk having bench connections can never hurt.  As for your post-July downtime, I don't really know anything about the paralegal temp market so I have no idea how temp agencices will handle your experience.  Given that you appear to have several years of paralegal experience I say you should apply.  Firms are always looking for temps amd just becuase there is a litigation requirement now doesn't mean there won't be an opening in your area of expertise this summer.  Good luck with whatever you decide.