Looking for insightful

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tooswolle
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Looking for insightful

Postby tooswolle » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:51 pm

Not sure exactly where to put this question so if it's in the wrong place don't get crazy. Anyways I was thinking recently if it would be a strategic decision to work as a member of the support staff for a big law firm in one of their offices. After a while of working there attending a law school they recruit highly from and then after your 1L applying to said firm for an SA using your prior contact with the office/ firm as a boost in the hiring. Anyways looking to peoples insight on this, thanks.

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MattThiessen
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Re: Looking for insightful

Postby MattThiessen » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:04 pm

I can't speak for "BigLaw" per se, but I am currently doing this in a mid-size firm (40-60 attorneys) and am going to be starting school in the fall. I have basically already been offered a paid 1L SA with the firm and if I want to come back after graduation it should be super easy as I have made great contacts with multiple partners in the firm. I can think of at least two of the attorneys that I work for who did the same thing.

I think this will depend on a firm-by-firm basis. I don't think it would ever really hurt you, unless you are just a bad employee or something. Whether this will work or not will depend largely on what kind of an impression you leave and what kind of connections you make.

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txadv11
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Re: Looking for insightful

Postby txadv11 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:18 pm

edit, misread.

BeachandRun23
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Re: Looking for insightful

Postby BeachandRun23 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:22 pm

tooswolle wrote:Not sure exactly where to put this question so if it's in the wrong place don't get crazy. Anyways I was thinking recently if it would be a strategic decision to work as a member of the support staff for a big law firm in one of their offices. After a while of working there attending a law school they recruit highly from and then after your 1L applying to said firm for an SA using your prior contact with the office/ firm as a boost in the hiring. Anyways looking to peoples insight on this, thanks.



Does it work like that for biglaw? I got the impression that is much harder to network your way into biglaw if you don't already have the grades. For midlaw though it is probably a fairly successful approach.

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tooswolle
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Re: Looking for insightful

Postby tooswolle » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:33 pm

Thanks for your insight. Anecdotally I have experience of this too albeit at a small law firm where I became really good friends with the managing partner (I.e taking me to lunch, etc.) it seems in short if you're a good/ hard worker and polite/nice you'd be able to win people over. Anyways I'd like to hear more insight if anyone else has any.

JD2014
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Re: Looking for insightful

Postby JD2014 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:57 am

I've worked as a paralegal in Biglaw, and in my experience, they look favorably on prior employees coming back for SA and full-time work. It's not sufficient in itself; you'll still need the grades and class rank to qualify for a job, but it can be a big boost when they know you fit in with the firm's culture, assuming you do, and that you don't mind the work environment. (A lot of Biglaw associates quit as soon as they've paid their loans down to a reasonable amount due to take a job that isn't terrible.)

I also think schools like it for admissions purposes because they're betting they can give you a scholarship, then when you get a Biglaw job, they can claim it was because of their excellent career services, and line up 20 suckers to pay $45,000 per year for the same opportunity you had, without adding that your work experience and connections went a long way toward landing your job.

Though take this for what it's worth: working in Biglaw sucks. Without going into a rant, it's a clusterfuck, and if seeing how the sausage gets made doesn't make you jaded, you're not paying attention. Also, if you take a paralegal job at Biglaw and decide not to go to law school, making a career change will not be easy.




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