3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

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Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Sun May 09, 2010 9:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm guessing you are doing consulting. Whats the recruiting like for consulting firms? What type of background do you need other than solid law school credentials (I assume these are inconsequential to some extent)


ok. yes. I am going to consulting.

VERY VERY difficult to get hired for anyone,let alone law students. The firm I went to hires 1% (ONE PERCENT) of everyone it invites to the first round interviews. Those odds are bad. Frankly, I thought the whole thing was a long shot right up until the third round when I finally had a 50-50 chance of an offer.

The interviews are 3-4 hours long. You do 3 rounds of them. Each interview involves multiple case studies (basically, analyzing a business and trying to solve a business problem... it also involves lots of math) and resume questions.

I prepped VERY hard for those interviews and could probably write another prep guide...

In a nutshell: (1) Buy Case In Point. Read it. Learn the lingo/concepts. Note that the book wants you to memorize 14 frameworks each of which has 20 or more factors to memorize. Recognize that this is impossible. So...

(2) Check out: http://www.caseinterview.com/ That site was a god send. Victor Chen is a Stanford Business Alum and a former McKinsey consultant. He teaches FOUR frameworks to memorize. You can do that. Do it.

(3) TONS of problems. TONS.


ALSO, you need to get very good at math. You will solving moderately tricky math work problems on the fly, in front of the interviewer under timed conditions. If the kids who did "Mathletes" in high school had their version of Top Gun, this would be it.

CREDENTIALS: (1) They are looking for people from the very top law schools. The y don't care very much about greades.
(2) While they don't require a specific background it is VERY helpful to have work experiences in which you had some responsibility. It makes your resume question answers MUCH stronger.

Ideally, you had actual management responsibility where you efffected changein an organization. That is huge since that is what consultants are doing: going int o strange places, analyzing how to improve them and then coming up with a solution.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Sun May 09, 2010 9:40 pm

soundgardener wrote:I completely understand if you don't want to say, but what route did you end up choosing? From the info you've given it sounds like a pretty sweet gig. Also, did you pursue the DOJ, and if so what was your experience in that endeavor?

EDIT: Also, what does it take as a law student to get hired by a consulting firm?


LOL! DOJ. Yeah, I need to add that to my list. I went through their application process but they rejected me. THAT would have been a SWEET deal. Ah well.

I am not the person to ask about getting hired by the DOJ. I am happy to tell you all about my rejection email if you like...

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lostmyname
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby lostmyname » Sun May 09, 2010 9:43 pm

Re: PMF post -- awesome advice, thanks so much!!!

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Sun May 09, 2010 9:50 pm

Lonagan wrote:Do you have any advice for how to engage professors and / or career services? I am entering law school in the fall and would like to start building this kind of groundwork from day 1 in order to put myself int he best possible position should it become necessary to scramble. Do you just go into career services / professor's offices and say "advice please" or what?


YES! EXACTLY! You will be surprised how much professors want to help. In fact, they seem to be much more likely to get personally invested with you than career services. I had three professors give me a HUGE amount of help. Collectively, their efforts helped secure three job leads two of which were leading to offers or became offers (ADA and, potentially, DOD if I had continued on the PMF route) and one of which might have become an offer (small law firm).

It helps if you have taken classes with them. I have never been good about developing relationships with professors and did not start doing so until last fall when doom was approaching. They helped me nevertheless. More than that: they became champions of my cause.

If I were to do it all over again as a 1L?

1) TAKE A LAW SCHOOL EXAM PREP CLASS!!!! Yeah, wrong thread. Bullshit. The kids that take those classes have a huge advantage. BE THAT KID. Walking into 1L year having already practiced and prepared for law school exam formats is HUGE. Do this to ensure better grades and then don't end up at the sort of law firm that defers people (as in, go to a V10 to be safe).

2) Seek out professors in an area of law you are interested in and figure out when their office hours are. Even if you don't have a class with them, drop by. Be sure you have thought about WHY you want to pursue that area of law. Know something about it so the professor does not think you are retarded. Ask the professor about the classes you might think about taking... about their career... etc... GET THEM TO BE YOUR MENTOR.

3) MANTAIN the mentor-mentee relationship. Check in on them. Some (many?) professors will probably enjoy this as most students probably only drop by when (a) they are about to get horse fucked on the final and need help with the material or (b) are a desparate 3L (like me) who wants to line up a job somehow.

As for career services, they are not going to be able/willing to do anything special for you. So dont worry about them until 2L year.
Last edited by Voyager on Sun May 09, 2010 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Sun May 09, 2010 9:56 pm

lostmyname wrote:Re: PMF post -- awesome advice, thanks so much!!!


Happy to help. Just prep the exam and you will do well. There is a reason so many lawyers become finalists... LSAT logic is good prep for the PMF exam.

Just make sure you NAIL the grammar. That part of the test is actually kind of tricky if you don't memorize the strunk and white grammar rules.

And, of course, make sure you remaster LSAT logic. PMF provides a prep guide of their own. Do all of the probems over and over and over again. Understand how they work.
Last edited by Voyager on Sun May 09, 2010 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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soundgardener
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby soundgardener » Sun May 09, 2010 9:57 pm

You mentioned exit options from consulting. I'm just curious what these are, and if they involve the practice of law? More broadly do you see yourself utilizing your law degree in the future, and do you think you will be able jump back into law after being in consulting?

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 09, 2010 10:02 pm

Voyager wrote:
1) TAKE A LAW SCHOOL EXAM PREP CLASS!!!! Yeah, wrong thread. Bullshit. The kids that take those classes have a huge advantage. BE THAT KID. Walking into 1L year having already practiced and prepared for law school exam formats is HUGE. Do this to ensure better grades and then don't end up at the sort of law firm that defers people (as in, go to a V10 to be safe).



Which do you recommend? Is it too late for incoming 0Ls? Are there online prep classes for those who can't be around somewhere Kaplan/whoever has a program?

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Sun May 09, 2010 10:03 pm

soundgardener wrote:You mentioned exit options from consulting. I'm just curious what these are, and if they involve the practice of law? More broadly do you see yourself utilizing your law degree in the future, and do you think you will be able jump back into law after being in consulting?


No. None of them do. You are a business consultant. You are not a lawyer. You have the same job as the MBA kids. Consulting at a top firm opens all kinds of doors in the business world.

This site summarizes various options: http://managementconsulted.com/2009/02/26/management-consulting-exit-opportunities/

You have the opportunity to make great money while doing very interesting work.

That said, if your goal is to practice law (and why shouldn't it be? you just sat through 3 years of contradictory SCOTUS decisions after all) then consulting is not the answer.


I will never use my law degree. I hope to get back into business management/finance.
Last edited by Voyager on Sun May 09, 2010 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby joemoviebuff » Sun May 09, 2010 10:05 pm

could you expound some more on the process for JAG?

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Sun May 09, 2010 10:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Voyager wrote:
1) TAKE A LAW SCHOOL EXAM PREP CLASS!!!! Yeah, wrong thread. Bullshit. The kids that take those classes have a huge advantage. BE THAT KID. Walking into 1L year having already practiced and prepared for law school exam formats is HUGE. Do this to ensure better grades and then don't end up at the sort of law firm that defers people (as in, go to a V10 to be safe).



Which do you recommend? Is it too late for incoming 0Ls? Are there online prep classes for those who can't be around somewhere Kaplan/whoever has a program?


Shit man. I wish I could make a recommendation but I neglected to take one. You have tons of time to take one. In fact, you can even take one during the fall semester. They really dont require too much of your time. A a couple of evenings for a few weeks (I think? Shit... maybe less?)

I wish I could help you more. Maybe try teh google? Ah, check this out for starters: http://www.leews.com/

It took me all of 1L year to figure out how to excel on law school exams. My grades were slightly below median first year. I think these classes would have helped me do better sooner.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Sun May 09, 2010 10:16 pm

joemoviebuff wrote:could you expound some more on the process for JAG?


Well, first understand that I am a former Marine officer and so for me getting in was automatic. I did not have to interview. I was just put in touch with the guy that handles Marine JAG recruiting in my area. The Marine Corps is a bit different: ALL Marines are infantryman FIRST including the lawyers. That means you have to pass Officer Candidate School (which, unlike the other services is more of a mental and physical test than it is a school) and then complete The Basic School. So having someone who has already done all of that is huge for them.

Otherwise, from what I understand, the services first want someone who expresses an interest. That seems to get you past the first round at CLS, anyway.

The Marine Corps and the Navy seemed to be the most selective. The Navy in that they look for good grades/schools and the Marines in that you have to be in excellent shape and have the ability to LEAD. Frankly, though, there was no way I was going to join any other service other than the Marines, so my info is a bit spotty.

I do know that the other service's OCSs are a bit of a ridiculous joke... so don't worry about that. Just show up and treat like summer camp... which it is.


You then end up going to JAG school where you get intensive trial training and instruction on the UCMJ and military law in general.

The Navy and Marines will NOT guarantee you a duty station... which means you should expect to get sent some where perfectly wretched.

The Air Force, however, DOES. I know one guy at a large law firm that looked into going into Air Force JAG. the AF promised him a positon in New Jersey at an air base.

If I had not already served and if I did not dislike looking like a Grey Hound bus driver, I would absolutely have considered the Air Force.

NYU2011
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby NYU2011 » Mon May 10, 2010 9:11 am

Could you talk about how you found firms to apply to in 3L and what came of that process? Any size firm. I was sort of under the impression that many of the smaller and mid-size firms that don't have summer programs won't really even look at resumes until you've passed the bar.

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solotee
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby solotee » Mon May 10, 2010 10:24 am

NYU2011 wrote:Could you talk about how you found firms to apply to in 3L and what came of that process? Any size firm. I was sort of under the impression that many of the smaller and mid-size firms that don't have summer programs won't really even look at resumes until you've passed the bar.


Yes, I'm also very interested to hear about your experiences with smaller/ mid sized firms. When do they begin looking at applicants?

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 11:09 am

NYU2011 wrote:Could you talk about how you found firms to apply to in 3L and what came of that process? Any size firm. I was sort of under the impression that many of the smaller and mid-size firms that don't have summer programs won't really even look at resumes until you've passed the bar.


I used personal contacts to get "informational interviews" with partners. I went to professors and explained my situation and asked for advice/help. Some put me in touch with their friends in the private sector.

At the informational interview I went through the same presentation. Here is my situation, here are my career goals ("oh, they match up with working at a firm like this? Huh, interesting...") etc... AGAIN, make sure you have FULLY researched the firm and the relevant practice area(s) so you can tailor your presentation. Yes, you have to do that with EVERY option you want to pursue to have any real shot. This meant that I spent a ton of time preparing/researching interviews this year as I looked at lots of options none of which were related to each other.

In one case the partner I was speaking to proposed that I work there for my deferral year at a cut rate salary ($50k). Obviously, I found that to be very appealing as I would have learned a ton and received a salary before going back to biglaw.

Resume bombs are unlikely to work. Another friend of mine used personal contacts to get an actual job interview with Paul Hastings (!!!!) spring of 3L year! Unfortunately it did not pan out... still, I thought that was impressive. I mean, Paul Hastings is not a particularly great firm (they royally fucked their summer class this past summer), but getting an interview at ANY V100 firm is very difficult to do as a 3L in this economy.


In short, use professors, friends, whomever to get in front of partners at law firms. THAT is the best way to get any job.... get referred to the hiring person directly through a mutual friend.


Note that the small firm never made me a formal offer... they just floated the idea and told me that they would need to see what their work load and revenue was like come May. This was a back-up plan to my back-up plan. Waiting until May to know if you have a job for the next year is not advisable... but you DO want as many torpedos in the water as possible and who knows... everything else might have fallen through and this firm might have worked out?
Last edited by Voyager on Mon May 10, 2010 11:16 am, edited 3 times in total.

NerdmoD
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby NerdmoD » Mon May 10, 2010 11:30 am

If you don't mind me asking, where are you in terms of rankings in your class? Did you see a big boost for those who found themselves in the top of the class when it came to finding a job, or was there little correlation? How important do you think grades ultimately are in the job search process?

Love this thread...very helpful. Thanks!

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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 10, 2010 11:51 am

Any thoughts about applying in multiple cities and/or abroad? Did you apply in one city only, or did you target the entire country (or world)? Also, how did you manage to do all of this while also studying (and presumably not hoping for your grades not to drop, since you were still out of work)?

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 12:01 pm

NerdmoD wrote:If you don't mind me asking, where are you in terms of rankings in your class? Did you see a big boost for those who found themselves in the top of the class when it came to finding a job, or was there little correlation? How important do you think grades ultimately are in the job search process?

Love this thread...very helpful. Thanks!


Happy to help. By end of 2L year I was exactly at Columbia's median... which is not very impressive. 1L year I was a bit below median... which is even less impressive.

The top kids at Columbia are going to V10 firms and are set. That seems to involve being top 1/3 or so... which is quite doable. They also are competitive for federal clerkships. If you can get into the top 10% at Columbia, you have a shot at the very top firms and at appellate level clerkships... which are awesome. So yes, grades are huge.

In fact, grades in law school are IT in the job search, sorry to say. Frankly, my big law summer offer at a V30 was probably due more to my leet interviewing skills, my USAO experience, and my rather unique background the previous summer than my grades.

And here is the worst part: your law school grades will follow you post graduation and will have a significant impact on follow on jobs... at least until you make partner and have your own book of business. Legal recruiters and new firms will want to see your law school transcripts.

How can you ensure you get good grades? Well, first understand that everyone is smart and everyone is going to work hard. So the idiots on here who just say they will work harder than everyone else are, well, idiots.


The one trick I wish i had pursued as a 1L is taking a law school exam prep class. That can give you a huge leg up your first year when your grades matter the MOST (as they dictate your 2L summer options). Maybe I would havbe done a bit better that first year? Who knows?

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 12:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any thoughts about applying in multiple cities and/or abroad? Did you apply in one city only, or did you target the entire country (or world)? Also, how did you manage to do all of this while also studying (and presumably not hoping for your grades not to drop, since you were still out of work)?


Ah! Good point! 3Ls who are deferred or who have no jobs need to be looking EVERYWHERE. Being geo open is huge.

Due to personal life restrictions I could really only consider 2 cities: NY and DC. I did look at both locations. PMF, for example.

How did I do it all while also studying? Well, I was a fucking stress monster, that's how. It sucked. A ton. However, I ALWAYS prioritized the job search effort over studying. My grades, at this point, are what they are for the most part. I am not going to screw up a class and I know how to prepare for these law school exams (finally). I actually had my best grades this year and am on track to make honors for 3L year (the lowest one... Stone) which puts me in the top 1/3.

Here's the thing though: making Stone (getting top 1/3) your 3L year is EASY and means not very much in the grand scheme of things. The time to make honors is 1L year. No one gives a shit that you managed to start getting some As by year 3. While I did it through taking substantive classes, I have several friends that just took 7 units of clinics in the Fall... that means getting 7 units of A (4.0) virtually automatically... which means you are automatically in honors land ouside of a screw up.

So yeah... good grades 3L year is easier to do and MUCH less important than NAILING interviews. I would rather have a job and no honors than no job and the abilty to say "yeah, 1L year I was bottom half, but boy did I rock those seminars I took in year 3!"
Last edited by Voyager on Mon May 10, 2010 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Voyager
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On Stress...

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 12:20 pm

One more point that bears discussion:

Anyone in this position will be stressed the fuck out and scared. if you aren't, you either don't understand math (huge loans+no income = PROBLEMS) or are a trust fund kid.

Some of my peers froze up due to the overwhelming reality of their situation. They handled the stress by pretending everything was fine: "I go to Columbia... it will all work out... I will just wait until after winter break... I've earned a break." That allowed them to psychologically handle feelings of failure, fear and impending doom.

However, when they finally realized in late January that their fairy god mother was on vacation, many of the above listed options were GONE. Consulting? That application was due early fall. DOJ? Same. DA offices? Same. PMF? Same.

They ended up fidning themselves royally screwed.

One lesson I have learned in life concerning lots of stress/fear is: if you have a plan to focus on, the fear/stress is manageable because you feel like you are DOING something about whatever threat you are facing. I learned this lesson early on during Marine training and it has been a useful tool that I have carried with me throughout my life.


My point is that if you immediately confront the situation and start attacking it with as many approaches as possible, you feel empowered. You feel like you've got a shot at being ok. At one point I had five different interview processes occuring simultaneously.

Not only did I feel better about my long term prospects but I felt more confident during the interview/application process. When the DOJ decided to reject me, I felt just fine about it as I had a bunch more torpedos streaking towards the target. SOMETHING was going to hit.

Also, by focusing on research and preparation (especially for assessments like with the PMF or consulting) you STOP focusing on your failure/impending doom which is much more healthy.

t14underground
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby t14underground » Mon May 10, 2010 12:56 pm

Wow, this thread is really informative. Thanks for posting all of this!

nycparalegal
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby nycparalegal » Mon May 10, 2010 1:05 pm

Voyager you talk about doing prep for exams before law school like LEEWS, but do you think reading Getting to Maybe is enough?

mhernton
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby mhernton » Mon May 10, 2010 2:19 pm

...

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 2:34 pm

nycparalegal wrote:Voyager you talk about doing prep for exams before law school like LEEWS, but do you think reading Getting to Maybe is enough?


No, I don't. The reason is that you need to actually practice taking the tests.

On the other hand, I have not taken any of those classes, so it might be helpful if someone who has could pop into the thread to comment. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of people that just show up to law school and do very well without having taken such a course.

It just seems to me that it takes most law students at least 1 semester to figure out law school exams and that such a course would be a huge help.

In any case, in the grand scheme of things it is a small amount of moeny and very little time (a few hundred dollars and a few evenings v. $200k of debt for schol+ 3 years.)

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wakefield
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby wakefield » Mon May 10, 2010 3:22 pm

Voyager wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:Voyager you talk about doing prep for exams before law school like LEEWS, but do you think reading Getting to Maybe is enough?


No, I don't. The reason is that you need to actually practice taking the tests.

On the other hand, I have not taken any of those classes, so it might be helpful if someone who has could pop into the thread to comment. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of people that just show up to law school and do very well without having taken such a course.

It just seems to me that it takes most law students at least 1 semester to figure out law school exams and that such a course would be a huge help.

In any case, in the grand scheme of things it is a small amount of moeny and very little time (a few hundred dollars and a few evenings v. $200k of debt for schol+ 3 years.)


Is practicing taking the tests enough if you take old exams during the semester? What do you think potential students would gain by taking a course, instead of practicing on exams from previous years?

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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby webbylu87 » Mon May 10, 2010 4:02 pm

Do you have any suggestions or lessons learned that you can do year-by-year to put you in the best position to find a job by graduation?




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