2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

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Anonymous User
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2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:03 pm

I'm a 2L at a T10 school, bottom third of class. Came out of OCI without any callbacks. Am a good [read: normal] interviewee, good WE/some softs, but no journal/moot court. If the economy does improve by the time I'm looking for a job next year, will my 2L/3L grades matter in hiring, or is the lack of 2L firm job/journal going to be a killer? In other words, can I turn this around based on my performance over the next two years?

270910
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Re: 2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

Postby 270910 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:36 pm

The gates at huge law firms are all but completely shut. Grades matter for other jobs, but getting good grades won't make 3L OCI or mass mailing huge firms likely to pan out.

Outside of large firm (and some ged govt / clerkship / academic hiring) grades always mattered less than relevant experience, ties, connections, enthusiasm, targeting, etc. Not irrelevant, but still less important.

yellowjacket2012
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Re: 2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:46 pm

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Last edited by yellowjacket2012 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mrxismyhro
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Re: 2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

Postby mrxismyhro » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:12 am

yellowjacket2012 wrote:Sure - you won't get big law NOW - but so many people get in later!


I'm not an expert, but my impression is that this statement is completely wrong. How does someone miss out on biglaw via the ordinary recruiting process, and then later come in?

The only people I've met in biglaw who didn't start there started at other jobs that require incredibly high credentials -- the World Bank, the U.S. Patent Office, etc. In other words, people who could have gone to biglaw from the beginning if they wanted to.

frost
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Re: 2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

Postby frost » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:20 am

mrxismyhro wrote:
yellowjacket2012 wrote:Sure - you won't get big law NOW - but so many people get in later!


I'm not an expert, but my impression is that this statement is completely wrong. How does someone miss out on biglaw via the ordinary recruiting process, and then later come in?


possible if you're a great federal attorney or ADA in a big city, but you would go into biglaw much later in life

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Cavalier
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Re: 2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

Postby Cavalier » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:24 am

I don't think there's much you can do. If someone strikes out at OCI, the best chance that person has at big law is to get a federal clerkship and then apply to firms, but with bottom third grades, a federal clerkship is basically out of the question. Get your grades as high as you can to make the job search easier, but don't plan on getting big law out of law school. It's hard but not impossible to get big law later on in your career, so if you've always dreamed of billing 2500 hours in a single year, don't lose hope!

LurkerNoMore
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Re: 2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

Postby LurkerNoMore » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:31 am

You'll probably need more than grades, so here's what I would do:

1. Keep working angles for getting a firm job this summer if you are interested in one: targeted letters to firms in smaller markets, talk to profs who might have connections, etc.

2. Look for interesting non-firm jobs and aggressively go after them. If you did something interesting your 2L summer and wind up with stellar grades after 2L year, you'll be in a better position for 3L OCI (assuming there is one).

3. RA/TA for professors this year and otherwise make an effort to get to know some. If you turn your grades around and have some professors who will speak on your behalf, you might be able to get a clerkship, which will give you another swing at biglaw.

4. Get involved in the legal community and start networking with actual lawyers.

If the economy doesn't double dip, there is a decent chance that 3L hiring will bounce back next year. Some firms this year really underhired and are starting to scramble, but many firms are still cautiously hiring -- meaning that they may find themselves understaffed and looking to build their ranks outside the traditional 2L hiring cycle. You need to prepare as if that will be the case.

Good luck!

Jessep
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Re: 2L & 3L grades vs 2L summer job

Postby Jessep » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:38 am

2L & 3L grades can matter. Of course, personal recommendations/connections matter a lot, but stellar grades to back it up can help too. You can also get a second chance at big law by working at a small/medium firm in a practice area that translates to big law. For example, there are some smaller firms that do corporate work, health care law, IP, complex litigation, tax, etc. Sometimes they are breakaways from large firms. Provided you get substantive experience at these firms, you could lateral later on to a big firm. I've met several people who have gone this route.

Large firms are not going to say "well this guy doesn't come from a big firm so we don't want him", they will examine whether your experience is relevant to their practice. Oftentimes smaller/medium size law doesn't intersect with larger law firm practice, and THAT is why it is difficult to transition into big law.

Another target could be working in-house. These jobs are difficult to come by, but I also know several people who have gone in-house straight from law school. It happens. Work hard, get out there and meet people. Good things can happen. It will be a more difficult road than someone who landed a summer associate, but not necessarily less rewarding.




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