Aiming for 1L SA w/o connections from a non t-14

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Aiming for 1L SA w/o connections from a non t-14

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:13 am

Alright so I am really hoping to land a firm job paying at or near market for the summer.

I am wondering what credentials of people who have landed jobs in previous (and current) years are, and also the differences in various markets. If anyone is willing to share, it might be useful info.

My Stats:
School: UCLA/USC
Target Market: In-State
GPA: 4.0
UG Major: Engineering
Connections: Not many

Starting to send out apps, I'll follow up as rejections roll in.

Edit: At this point, I still encourage any tips/tricks, but I also am using this thread to share what my experience has been like, and general impressions for this job market.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Cupidity
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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Cupidity » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:17 am

The 4.0 is certainly impressive, however, seeing as it is already mid january, the answer to your question will depend on what "in-state" is. California is severely competitive, Texas much less so. If you are in-state at UT, congrats on the $$$ this summer bro.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:35 am

Well, I'm in CA, so that is a bit discouraging. I have a backup lined up so I don't have all my eggs in one basket, but I will keep giving it a shot.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:15 pm

Well, I've been mixing up the apps a little bit between both large and small firms. I do have friends that are attorneys but not real high up, and I have received conflicting advice, both make sense.

Biglaw friend says apply to big firms because they may have found out now that they don't have quite enough associates for the summer, and they might be willing to go with a well qualified 1L to fill that spot.

Small/Mid law friend says apply to small firms because they are at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting stronger applicants since they are competing with big firms that can afford to go to OCI and hire all the top students. This is their chance to get you in the door before anyone else.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:16 pm

what is best way to find good mid/small sized firms?

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:what is best way to find good mid/small sized firms?


Martindale is great for that

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:33 pm

I was a non-URM top 1-2% applicant from a T6 with relevant work experience. I applied to 10 or so vault-ranked firms with no connection, got interviews at 4, but no offers. I did manage to get an offer from another vault-ranked firm, but that was purely based on connections (I think I would have gotten the job with far worse grades). I was looking exclusively at NYC firms/offices.

For 1L summer gigs, the south and Texas appear to be a gold mine, relatively speaking.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:15 am

OP - since you have an engineering degree, are you looking into getting into patent law?

I landed a firm position last year a small patent boutique. I had slightly below median grades at a T2 school, no connections, but did have prior patent work experience and have passed the patent bar. I did not apply to that firm until mid-to-late January and did not end up interviewing with them until mid-March.

For patent or other IP work, I found these firm lists to be a good starting point:

http://www.lclark.edu/law/student_group ... m_list.php

http://www.averyindex.com/top_patent_firms.php

I personally think I may have spent too much time applying to some of the bigger firms listed, since I was not able to get any interviews. However given your grades and school, you may have better luck.

For mid/small firms Martindale is a good start. You can sort by practice area and number of attorneys. However, the patent boutique (<10 attorneys) I worked at last summer does not show up in Martindale if searching by geography and firm size. I would also perform a keyword searches in Google and other search engines to come up with more hits. For example: (patent or "intellectual property") + (firm or boutique) + (city / town / state)

Also, if you are an URM or if others reading are URM, there are a decent number of minority/diversity summer clerkships with local bar associations that place 1Ls with local firms. Again use a keyword search and apply to both cities you have ties to or would be interested in relocating to (since some of them are trying to attract minorities to the area). For example: http://www.sfbar.org/diversity/minority_clerkship.aspx

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:18 pm

OP here replying to above.

Yes, patents are relevant to my interests. That first list you posted identifies a lot of firms that were not on my original list, so I have some more research to do.

How many applications did people who succeeded send out?

Also, in the experience of the people here, if firms are not interested do they tend to just e-mail you, or kind of ignore it all together? A lot of the e-mail replies basically say, if we are interested we'll contact you, which to me means if they are not, you may never hear anything.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here replying to above.

Yes, patents are relevant to my interests. That first list you posted identifies a lot of firms that were not on my original list, so I have some more research to do.

How many applications did people who succeeded send out?

Also, in the experience of the people here, if firms are not interested do they tend to just e-mail you, or kind of ignore it all together? A lot of the e-mail replies basically say, if we are interested we'll contact you, which to me means if they are not, you may never hear anything.


I ended up applying to about 60-70 firms altogether for my 1L summer. For my own experience, most of the larger firms sent a letter or an email indicating that they had already filled their summer class or that my qualification did not match their hiring needs. Most of my letters arrived within 2-3 weeks of applying.

The smaller firms were more hit or miss. Most I never heard back from and the others often sent a one or two line email back within a couple days.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:44 pm

OP again:

So far a handful of rejections have rolled in via e-mail. They vary from pretty polite and with a friendly tone to just a curt "we're full. good luck" style e-mail.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:39 pm

Latest Update:

I've been doing more networking lately, and although I haven't landed anything for 1L summer yet, I am definitely positioning myself to have good options for 2L year.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Latest Update:

I've been doing more networking lately, and although I haven't landed anything for 1L summer yet, I am definitely positioning myself to have good options for 2L year.


Yeah same. All rejections, but a few offers to at least come in for lunch at the firm and meet some attorneys there. That sounds like a great way to make some connections there, get some contacts, and have some good things to speak of come OCI time later this year.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:16 am

Well, I've got some interviews coming up, I'm not generally a nervous person, but I know that I'm probably competing for one spot so that is a bit of pressure.

So far I've basically found that if the firm isn't explicitly advertising a 1L position open, then attempts to make contact are going to end up only mattering for 2L positions.

I have been trying to get experience that emulates interviewing, contacting alumni, and on campus networking type events to try and get fluid in answering the typical law interview questions, I think it has been worthwhile.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:47 pm

I have got a couple callbacks and a couple screeners coming up. To those who read this and maybe did IP, did you bother sending 1L resume/cover letters to firms that were below a certain size without knowing for sure they are looking for 1Ls? It seems like a waste of time. I have stopped new apps outside of checking symplicity, I'm assuming since it is February it is too late to initial cold contacts at this point, am I right?

I got my first postal mail rejection letter the other day too, it was very official. I definitely pay attention to what firms say when they reject me, if they can't be polite in a rejection, how are they going to treat you when you work there?

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:44 am

Even in a tough SoCal legal market, it seems there are still a handful of 1L positions out there. Even if I don't get a job out of these interviews (which I really hope I do), it is great to have some practice at call back interviews.

Getting some pretty decent free meals as well, which I can't complain about. I don't if this is just me, but I seem to be getting a lot more signs of interest in 1Ls from firm/offices that aren't located in downtown LA.

I've heard good indications about offer rates and class sizes moving forward, but it seems they are really heading in that direction very cautiously.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:Alright so I am really hoping to land a firm job paying at or near market for the summer.

I am wondering what credentials of people who have landed jobs in previous (and current) years are, and also the differences in various markets. If anyone is willing to share, it might be useful info.

My Stats:
School: UT/UCLA/USC
Target Market: In-State
GPA: 4.0
UG Major: Engineering
Connections: Not many

Starting to send out apps, I'll follow up as rejections roll in.


I think you'll get offers with those numbers as a 1L. At my school (ranked significantly lower than yours) there are a handful of 1L firm slots available, though admittedly the one I know the pay scale for is only paying $20/hr. I'm pretty sure that the few slots available will go to the (probably very few) 4.0s here.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby MrKappus » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:School: UT/UCLA/USC


Since when is this a tier? This is some horrific USC trolling.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:38 pm

Lawquacious wrote:I think you'll get offers with those numbers as a 1L. At my school (ranked significantly lower than yours) there are a handful of 1L firm slots available, though admittedly the one I know the pay scale for is only paying $20/hr. I'm pretty sure that the few slots available will go to the (probably very few) 4.0s here.


I hope you're right, and thanks for the encouragement, if I don't get a job, the process has still been worthwhile, but I really would like a job.

MrKappus wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:School: UT/UCLA/USC


Since when is this a tier? This is some horrific USC trolling.


I'll slightly edit it in a way that probably still won't make you happy :)

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby MrKappus » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:03 pm

I'm happy!

Re: you question though, what else can people tell you? It's literally impossible for the stats of 1L's that get firm gigs (and these mythical beings do exist, I'm told) to be any better than yours, so you should just do some NALP searching and apply to as many firms as you possibly can. If you can't get a 1L firm job w/ a 4.0 from a T18 (20? I can't remember what USC is), then all these T14.or./.self people on TLS will have been vindicated. If I were a bettor though, I'd say something good will happen for you this summer.

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Re: Landing the elusive 1L firm Job w/o connections

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:37 am

Nevermind, used search function

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Re: Aiming for 1L SA w/o connections from a non t-14

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:36 am

I think at this point searching for firm jobs is starting to feel counterproductive to studying, and I definitely don't want it to spend any more time on it.

I had two CBs waiting to hear back, not seeking anything else in terms of firms.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: Aiming for 1L SA w/o connections from a non t-14

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:52 am

Always nice to see a fellow Trojan anonymous non t-14er kicking some butt on the curve. Are the CBs from spring OCI?

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Re: Aiming for 1L SA w/o connections from a non t-14

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:10 am

Arelikefoxes wrote:Always nice to see a fellow Trojan anonymous non t-14er kicking some butt on the curve. Are the CBs from spring OCI?


I'll just say that they were definitely solicited 1L searches, my cold e-mailings got me a few meetings to talk about 2L, and one spring OCI screening interview had the same result.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: Aiming for 1L SA w/o connections from a non t-14

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'll just say that they were definitely solicited 1L searches, my cold e-mailings got me a few meetings to talk about 2L, and one spring OCI screening interview had the same result.


Right on -- well, I'm rooting for you...it'd be nice to pump up our 1L biglaw class representation a bit.

MrKappus wrote:If you can't get a 1L firm job w/ a 4.0 from a T18 (20? I can't remember what USC is), then all these T14.or./.self people on TLS will have been vindicated.


There are some of us non-t14ers in 1L biglaw...




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