if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

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hubtubrub
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if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby hubtubrub » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:10 pm

How did you do it? Was it the strength of your undergrad transcript? Or was it your grades?
Last edited by hubtubrub on Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gdane
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer?

Postby gdane » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:15 pm

being at a t14 is most definitely not a prerequisite. I wish people would stop saying that.

What you need are good grades and a good personality. Call in favors from people in high positions. Good luck.

hubtubrub
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer?

Postby hubtubrub » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:16 pm

gdane5 wrote:being at a t14 is most definitely not a prerequisite. I wish people would stop saying that.

What you need are good grades and a good personality. Call in favors from people in high positions. Good luck.


sorry deleted it...

mbv
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby mbv » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:36 pm

I'm a 0L so I can't speak personally, but I've been asking this question at ASW's so I'll share some of the responses I've received:

"Most of the paid firm jobs that you can get during 1L summer are doing patent stuff. You need a science/engineering background to do this, and likely some patent work experience to land this kind of gig."
source: One of the UC career services directors, echoed on the TLS boards and by a few students. I've never spoken to anyone personally who has a gig like this.

"I had an interview with X entertainment law firm. I mentioned it to my school assigned mentor (who is amazing). She just happened to know someone who worked there, called them up, and gave me a huge recommendation. I walked into the interview, it lasted like 10 minutes, and I had a PAYING 1L summer job."
source: UC student, 1L. Also note that she already had the interview BEFORE the mentor called on her behalf.

"My mentor hired me to work at her solo firm during my 1L. I'm in the middle of my class."
source: UC student, 1L. This student had no formal interview. The job was just handed to them.

"I had a judicial clerkship all set up for summer. Then, I was selling tickets to our public interest auction. I approached an alum and asked him to buy a ticket. He liked my sales pitch so much, he offered me a paying gig at his firm that summer. I told him I was already working for a judge. He told me that we'd talk to career services about doing a split summer, and we made it happen."
source: UC student, 1L. This student had no formal interview, the job was just handed to them.

I'd love to hear from others, what they did?

Anonymous User
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:12 pm

So, my personal job search was very long but also very successful. Here's the gist of it:

I started mid-November and made contacts I had prior to going to law school with some attorneys. They were all willing to provide a bit of advice, and some requested I apply come December 1st, but it didn't really net much.

On December 1st I spammed every firm to which I had a personal contact and also sent off packets to judges who worked in areas that I had ties.

Over break, I landed an internship with one of the judges I wanted to work for in early January. There was no direct connection between the judge and I, but I had a strong undergrad resume and went to a lower T14 which probably helped me land it before grades came out.

In the Spring semester, I pestered any firm that came to campus or posted a job listing, as well as some I had heard took students before. I also continued discussing my prospects with some firms I had connections at.

I got my grades, and they were stellar. Eventually I got a callback with a market paying firm I really wanted to work for, went on the callback, got the job, and arranged a split with my judge.

In the end, I had almost 0 success even getting an interview despite a strong pre-law school resume and stellar first semester grades at a T14. Of maybe a dozen firms I had strong personal connections to only one interviewed me, but it turned into an offer.

In the end, it all came down to luck. I amassed a mountain of rejections and spent the better part of 5 months straight constantly sending out applications, making contacts, filing rejection letters, and doing interviews. And if it weren't for connections, the firm job all but certainly wouldn't have materialized.

From others I know, basically the only paying 1L firm jobs came from extreme connections. Connections to a small market, connections to a firm, etc. Grades can help at that point, and maybe at some firms or in some markets grades alone can get you the job, but it wasn't my experience. I also know some who got firm jobs without top of the class grades... so don't count yourself out if you don't have a perfect GPA, but don't think you've locked it up if you do.

The best possible place to be in for landing a 1L firm job would be: Strong pre-law resume, strong connections to a specific firm in a smaller market, while attending a top school that you do well at first semester. Absent even one of those factors and it'll be a major crap shoot.

Also keep in mind there are firms and there are firms. I know some people who got $10/hour gigs at small firms... which is a good legal experience, but just because you hear 'firm' doesn't mean '$3,000 per week as a 1L'.

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RVP11
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:15 pm

Everyone I know at my T10 who has a 1L firm job had at least one of the below:

URM (for those who got them in NYC/DC, this was virtually required)

Great resume (some combination of good UG and good WE, generally)

Connections to Texas or the South (markets with firms that tend to hire 1Ls)

Top UG and going to a firm near that top UG (like Stanford UG and summering in SF, for example)


Top grades were neither sufficient nor necessary. I know someone around median with a 1L firm job and people with top 10% grades who got nothing.

Anonymous User
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:31 pm

Top 20-30 school 1L here. Got a summer associate position in IP (patent).

My experience was that summer associate interviews hardly existed outside of IP. I managed to do a few callbacks with grades 60%ile and stellar undergrad grades and previous experience. I had no connections or "back door" means of getting a job, but I know one other person in IP who got a job that way.

The people I talked to (hiring partners) while going through the whole process would go on an on about people's undergrad grades and how the entire applicant pool looked based on undergrad grades (this is patent law, remember). I can imagine 1L grades matter more after your entire first year, but I got the impression that they won't matter nearly as much once you're in an interview. I don't know much about the process outside of IP.

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chadwick218
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:43 pm

I am a 1L at NU (top 20-25%). I received a firm job with a NLJ250 in a regional market by sending over my resume and cover letter in December and following up with grades in January.

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Kohinoor
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:46 pm

((Apply before grades come out) OR (be top of your class)) AND (have connections).

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OperaSoprano
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:55 pm

I know several people who did it, including a couple of TLSers. I made no attempt myself, but the successful candidates had, as Kohinoor suggests, either fabulous connections (and HYS), out of this world grades (both in UG and at a top law school), or scientific backgrounds + years of relevant WE (T30 school, grades not a factor AFAIK).

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chadwick218
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:08 pm

chadwick218 wrote:I am a 1L at NU (top 20-25%). I received a firm job with a NLJ250 in a regional market by sending over my resume and cover letter in December and following up with grades in January.


FWIW, 3 of the 10 members on the hiring committee were NU Law alumni who had graduated 10-20 years ago. I think that they really wanted to see some more representation as they are the only NU grads in the entire firm. They way that I see it, I wasn't bad enough to be cut (as opposed to the other way around).

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annapavlova
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby annapavlova » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:58 pm

At my school:

1) Diversity
2) Diversity
3) Diversity

(and a few IPers)

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chadwick218
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:07 pm

annapavlova wrote:At my school:

1) Diversity
2) Diversity
3) Diversity

(and a few IPers)


LOL, this is very much on point. A couple of friends that I have were able to land 1L summer gigs with firms that have "summer diversity" programs last a couple of weeks.

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Kohinoor
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:34 am

annapavlova wrote:At my school:

1) Diversity
2) Diversity
3) Diversity

(and a few IPers)

You must not be looking very carefully if you don't have 1 as connections.

Anonymous User
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:40 am

(In random order)

1. Good grades
2. Know someone in the office
3. Female or URM
4. Experience in a specific field
5. Not a douche bag (probably the most important one)

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chadwick218
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby chadwick218 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:46 am

For me, the factors seemed to be as follows:

1) Smaller regional market w/ history of hiring 1L's + the fact that few people from T14's are seemingly drawn to this market
2) Strong ties to this market
3) T14 that a # of folks on the hiring committee attended (coupled with personal letters / emails to each of these people)
3) 5+ years of professional WE
4) Good grades
Last edited by chadwick218 on Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Action Jackson
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby Action Jackson » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:58 am

Connections. I had my job lined up before I got to school. Other people I know that got paying 1L gigs had stellar WE before school (you can argue that my connections are a direct result of my stellar WE before school).

That said, I don't think a lot of people are getting paid for this summer.

Anonymous User
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:57 am

In my case it was the following things in descending order of importance (interview & offer were before grades):

1) Strong connection to smaller market (though not to firm) + T14 school.
.
.
.
.
.
.
2) Lots of Work Experience (the couple years before LS were in the smaller market)
.
.
3) T20 UG, Master's, good interview, community involvement

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annapavlova
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby annapavlova » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:(In random order)

1. Good grades
2. Know someone in the office
3. Female or URM
4. Experience in a specific field
5. Not a douche bag (probably the most important one)


Psh. Hardly.

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annapavlova
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Re: if you got a firm job for 1L summer how did you do it?

Postby annapavlova » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:30 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
annapavlova wrote:At my school:

1) Diversity
2) Diversity
3) Diversity

(and a few IPers)

You must not be looking very carefully if you don't have 1 as connections.


Heh?




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