Any Advice on DC?

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Anonymous User
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Any Advice on DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:36 pm

I want to end up practicing in DC after I graduate. I go to a T2 with a great alumni network in DC. Everyone on here talks about the difficulties associated with landing a job in DC. Why is that? Are we just talking Biglaw jobs and govt work? Any advice on how to get a job not related to either? I'm assuming the smaller firms don't take entry level attorneys but what is my best bet in this area. Thanks in advance!

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D-ROCCA
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby D-ROCCA » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:45 pm

Other than big law and government, there are a shit ton of non-profits/NGOs/interest groups in DC, but those are still pretty much just as competitive. DC is probably the hardest market to get into, except for maybe secondary markets without a strong legal presence (I'm looking at you Seattle).

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Blindmelon
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby Blindmelon » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I want to end up practicing in DC after I graduate. I go to a T2 with a great alumni network in DC. Everyone on here talks about the difficulties associated with landing a job in DC. Why is that? Are we just talking Biglaw jobs and govt work? Any advice on how to get a job not related to either? I'm assuming the smaller firms don't take entry level attorneys but what is my best bet in this area. Thanks in advance!


Let me guess, American? I can't think of another T2 that feeds into DC although it isn't its home market. DC biglaw is really hard to come by - small firms are tough always because they don't have the time/money to train people.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:00 pm

Yeah, DC is tough. This is mostly due to the limited number of positions in relation to the high number of applicants; I'd venture to say that there isn't a t100 in the country that doesn't have 20 or 30 students who are interested in doing some sort of work in DC.

I think the only real advice anyone can give you is to get really great grades, really research and tailor your cover letters and resumes to each specific employer, and apply everywhere. I would also suggest that you look at Richmond, Alexandria, Arlington, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc... I think they are probably difficult to get into as well, but they're in the general area, and allow you to cast a wider net.

Your post makes it sound like you aren't in one of the DC t2's so it'll be an even tougher battle. If you read through some of the threads here you'll see how difficult it's been for people at all caliber of schools to have success in DC.

Black-Blue
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby Black-Blue » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I want to end up practicing in DC after I graduate. I go to a T2 with a great alumni network in DC. Everyone on here talks about the difficulties associated with landing a job in DC. Why is that? Are we just talking Biglaw jobs and govt work? Any advice on how to get a job not related to either? I'm assuming the smaller firms don't take entry level attorneys but what is my best bet in this area. Thanks in advance!


Let me guess, American? I can't think of another T2 that feeds into DC although it isn't its home market. DC biglaw is really hard to come by - small firms are tough always because they don't have the time/money to train people.

American is T1. Catholic is T2.

My suggestion is to work while you're in school so you can get the foot in the door in the DC market.

If the school isn't actually in DC, then you're very likely screwed.

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Drake014
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby Drake014 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:15 pm

Black-Blue wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I want to end up practicing in DC after I graduate. I go to a T2 with a great alumni network in DC. Everyone on here talks about the difficulties associated with landing a job in DC. Why is that? Are we just talking Biglaw jobs and govt work? Any advice on how to get a job not related to either? I'm assuming the smaller firms don't take entry level attorneys but what is my best bet in this area. Thanks in advance!


Let me guess, American? I can't think of another T2 that feeds into DC although it isn't its home market. DC biglaw is really hard to come by - small firms are tough always because they don't have the time/money to train people.

American is T1. Catholic is T2.

My suggestion is to work while you're in school so you can get the foot in the door in the DC market.

If the school isn't actually in DC, then you're very likely screwed.


I agree. You need to try to work in the DC law market while in school, even if its some sort of intern somewhere. If you can do that, its very possible. If people know you and your work and like you, you're one up on people who may go to better schools but are unknown.

Anonymous User
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:24 pm

DC's tough because their class sizes are tiny (think 1000s of apps for 2 SA positions). Really, the only advice is be at the very top of your class (top 5% or higher). Even then, you have your work cut out for you (in DC, you're going up against t-14 kids and will lose, even with the grades).

mollie
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby mollie » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:28 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:Yeah, DC is tough. This is mostly due to the limited number of positions in relation to the high number of applicants; I'd venture to say that there isn't a t100 in the country that doesn't have 20 or 30 students who are interested in doing some sort of work in DC.

I think the only real advice anyone can give you is to get really great grades, really research and tailor your cover letters and resumes to each specific employer, and apply everywhere. I would also suggest that you look at Richmond, Alexandria, Arlington, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc... I think they are probably difficult to get into as well, but they're in the general area, and allow you to cast a wider net.

Your post makes it sound like you aren't in one of the DC t2's so it'll be an even tougher battle. If you read through some of the threads here you'll see how difficult it's been for people at all caliber of schools to have success in DC.


There's very few jobs in these markets. The bulk of the SA positions are in NY--I would target NY and then aim to lateral to DC later (there's just too few positions available in the DC area to have a realistic chance of landing a job).

Aqualibrium
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:10 pm

mollie wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Yeah, DC is tough. This is mostly due to the limited number of positions in relation to the high number of applicants; I'd venture to say that there isn't a t100 in the country that doesn't have 20 or 30 students who are interested in doing some sort of work in DC.

I think the only real advice anyone can give you is to get really great grades, really research and tailor your cover letters and resumes to each specific employer, and apply everywhere. I would also suggest that you look at Richmond, Alexandria, Arlington, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc... I think they are probably difficult to get into as well, but they're in the general area, and allow you to cast a wider net.

Your post makes it sound like you aren't in one of the DC t2's so it'll be an even tougher battle. If you read through some of the threads here you'll see how difficult it's been for people at all caliber of schools to have success in DC.


There's very few jobs in these markets. The bulk of the SA positions are in NY--I would target NY and then aim to lateral to DC later (there's just too few positions available in the DC area to have a realistic chance of landing a job).



You don't just decide not to apply because the market is tough though. If OP wants DC and the surrounding area, it's in his/her best interest to apply to as many positions in DC and the surrounding area, regardless of the difficulty.

Of course, NY isn't a bad idea either. Don't take any options off the table.

Anonymous User
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Re: Any Advice on DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:36 pm

I think that DC may be the easiest market for patent prosecution. I've never been to DC and most of my interview offers have been in DC. I go to a non-t14 school 3000 miles away from there.




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