Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

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TigerBeer
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Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby TigerBeer » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:50 pm

Not much to add besides the subject line. Will a Top 250 firm care that my spring 1L electives are in some public interest field rather than something that "sounds business-y" like Corporations or Finance like most people I know seem to be aiming for? Oh and is it a bad idea to take minimum units?

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patrickd139
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:56 pm

Obligatory LOL at 1L firm hiring. Even from T14s, it's tough.

Since most law schools have predetermined 1L schedules both semesters, I can't imagine why it would matter. Disclaimer: I am not a biglawl summer associate hiring partner.

Useful advice: contact the recruiting coordinator (not the hiring partner) of a few firms and ask around.

TigerBeer
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby TigerBeer » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:58 pm

No, what I was asking if firms who are hiring for 2L SA positions when I do OCI care about what electives I took my 1L spring year. I've asked around a bit and have gotten conflicting advice, although I haven't actually talked to anyone that does hiring yet.

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patrickd139
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:01 am

TigerBeer wrote:No, what I was asking if firms who are hiring for 2L SA positions when I do OCI care about what electives I took my 1L spring year. I've asked around a bit and have gotten conflicting advice, although I haven't actually talked to anyone that does hiring yet.

More, probably unsolicited, advice (based on the assumption that you're a 1L): concentrate on getting the highest GPA you possibly can. Right now, this probably means not worrying about stuff like this in November when you should be studying/outlining/praying/whatever you do to get ready for 1st semester finals.

If this is a zOMGIREGISTERTOMORROWANDDON'TKNOWWHATTOTAKEHALP! post, then ask around and find out which courses have the easiest curve. Register for those. ??? Profit.

theantiscalia
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby theantiscalia » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:05 am

I think they care, yes. But only to the extent that you're taking classes that are simply bizarre.

There'll only be about ten classes on your transcript... they'll look at each one. They won't care if you took a class in criminal procedure or not-for-profits as opposed to bankruptcy for M&E... they will care, however, if you took something like Chinese Law or a Bush v. Gore seminar without a damn fine reason.

Plus, you can always say you thought it'd help you with your PI work during 1L summer (since you probably won't have a firm job). That shows that in setting your class schedule, your responsive to employer's needs... which I think is a positive. (I don't know if they'll read that much into it though.)

And I doubt they'll notice on the minimal units. If you think it'll help you get a good GPA, that's what they'll care about more.

TigerBeer
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby TigerBeer » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:10 am

It's the latter, registration ends tomorrow at midnight. People at my school can probably figure out what school I'm at by now.

What if some of the classes with a tougher curve are the ones that everyone who wants big law seems to be trying to take? I'm thinking it would be smart to avoid those classes and pick a class with an easier curve that sounds interesting to me, even if it's something like Family Law or a seminar on Islamic Law. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't making a mistake.

TigerBeer
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby TigerBeer » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:12 am

theantiscalia wrote:I think they care, yes. But only to the extent that you're taking classes that are simply bizarre.

There'll only be about ten classes on your transcript... they'll look at each one. They won't care if you took a class in criminal procedure or not-for-profits as opposed to bankruptcy for M&E... they will care, however, if you took something like Chinese Law or a Bush v. Gore seminar without a damn fine reason.

Plus, you can always say you thought it'd help you with your PI work during 1L summer (since you probably won't have a firm job). That shows that in setting your class schedule, your responsive to employer's needs... which I think is a positive. (I don't know if they'll read that much into it though.)

And I doubt they'll notice on the minimal units. If you think it'll help you get a good GPA, that's what they'll care about more.


Alright, so I guess Family Law is ok but Islamic Law is out. haha. Thanks for the input. I like the suggestion of how to spin it during interviews.

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vamedic03
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:38 am

theantiscalia wrote:I think they care, yes. But only to the extent that you're taking classes that are simply bizarre.

There'll only be about ten classes on your transcript... they'll look at each one. They won't care if you took a class in criminal procedure or not-for-profits as opposed to bankruptcy for M&E... they will care, however, if you took something like Chinese Law or a Bush v. Gore seminar without a damn fine reason.

Plus, you can always say you thought it'd help you with your PI work during 1L summer (since you probably won't have a firm job). That shows that in setting your class schedule, your responsive to employer's needs... which I think is a positive. (I don't know if they'll read that much into it though.)

And I doubt they'll notice on the minimal units. If you think it'll help you get a good GPA, that's what they'll care about more.


Um, I'll call bullshit on this. Depending how many electives you get - take a core class and a for fun class. Having been through OCI, employers don't look that much at class selection. The more important thing is to get an A.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:57 am

I'm interviewing candidates now for internships at my firm. I look at everything... writing sample, past work experience, law school quality, undergrad quality, cover letter, grades, appearance (i.e. professional dress, neatness, etc), speaking ability, course selection, etc. No single factor is determinative in my book (other than basic likability/social skills -- if you don't have those, it just won't work out). Rather, all factors are weighed together so that I can get a full picture of the person I am interviewing...

Every interviewer looks at different things. When I look, I don't look to see particular courses in areas relating to my firm's practice groups. I look to see that the student is taking hard (or at least not bullshit), classes. That's just me though.

Anonymous User
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:43 am

It's 1L elective. Nobody cares. The benefit of taking a class like IP or something "practical" is probably outweighed by the fact that the people in that class are the ones super serious about that area and you'll get a lower GPA.

Anonymous User
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:10 am

They care. The question is whether you will let that single-handedly dictate your law school experience.

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tome
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby tome » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:06 pm

I took a class called Large Law Firms in my 1L spring. I did get questions about it at OCI, but more out of curiosity. It has a reputation of being a soft class here, but when I explained what it was about interviewers were generally pretty positive about it and a couple mentioned they wished there was a class like it when they were at law school. I don't think they really care what you take.

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Cavalier
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby Cavalier » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:45 pm

If you have two electives, like at UVA, I'd recommend you take at least one serious class. If your two electives are courses like "Feminist Interpretations of Palsgraf" you might draw unnecessary attention.

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People's Eyebrow
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby People's Eyebrow » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:42 pm

That's interesting that you can take electives as a 1L.

That being said, just take a class that actually pertains to a field of law and not some liberal arts class that is being passed off as a law class

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RVP11
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:48 am

vamedic03 wrote:Having been through OCI, employers don't look that much at class selection. The more important thing is to get an A.


Quoted for truth. Wasn't asked by a single interviewer about my class selections. I bet few interviewers even look at the transcript beyond to confirm you indeed have the GPA listed on your resume.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Do firm employers care what electives you take 1L spring?

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:26 pm

RVP11 wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:Having been through OCI, employers don't look that much at class selection. The more important thing is to get an A.


Quoted for truth. Wasn't asked by a single interviewer about my class selections. I bet few interviewers even look at the transcript beyond to confirm you indeed have the GPA listed on your resume.

I've spoken with some partners who specifically mention that they look for 'rigor' in your course load. Another attorney I spoke to mentioned that it doesn't matter what you take so long as it isn't "... and the Law."




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