Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

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Anonymous User
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Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:33 pm

So here is my situation, I am a transfer to a T6 school and I have as yet been unable to obtain employment for the summer. Usual story, OCI strike out fallowed by fruitless mass mailings. I have some interviews with professors coming up about RA positions for the summer, the exact thing I did last year. Needless to say, I am trying to get in the strongest position I can for 3L oci. I know it is generally a joke, but it is my only hope for avoiding the poor house at this point. Do you guys think I should continue to try to get a firm job (obviously small firms at this point) or just take the I think will be the bird-in-the-hand RA job?

My stats are are top 5% at my old school (a first tier school) and top 1/3 to top quarter at my new school (which I think will rise this semester as my GPA was only bad last year because of one bad grade and I do no think that will happen again).

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jonas
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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby jonas » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:14 pm

I'd continue to try for the firm job if I were you.

Also, what about interning for a district or circuit judge? Or fed/state government? Nonprofits?

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Nogameisfair
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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Nogameisfair » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So here is my situation, I am a transfer to a T6 school and I have as yet been unable to obtain employment for the summer. Usual story, OCI strike out fallowed by fruitless mass mailings. I have some interviews with professors coming up about RA positions for the summer, the exact thing I did last year. Needless to say, I am trying to get in the strongest position I can for 3L oci. I know it is generally a joke, but it is my only hope for avoiding the poor house at this point. Do you guys think I should continue to try to get a firm job (obviously small firms at this point) or just take the I think will be the bird-in-the-hand RA job?

My stats are are top 5% at my old school (a first tier school) and top 1/3 to top quarter at my new school (which I think will rise this semester as my GPA was only bad last year because of one bad grade and I do no think that will happen again).


Your best bet if you do want Biglaw is to build relationships with professors and try to get a federal clerkship. In that case, the RA job might be a good idea if you're working for a connected professor.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:35 pm

I agree clerking is my best bet, but I am pretty sure I do not have numbers for COA, and district is no guarantee.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:12 pm

Depending on how mercenary you are, you could take the RA job and keep looking for firm spots. It's not like your professor will have trouble replacing you. inb4 social contract.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby underdawg » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:32 pm

not sure, but maybe PI/gov't/small firm (if possible) will be a better bet. at least with those, you can pretend you wanted those over biglaw and then changed your mind. not so with RA. just sayin

also because 3L oci is such a long shot, at least it's possible that PI/govt will lead to a job after graduation. still not too likely, but better than being an RA once again.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby UCLAtransfer » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:23 pm

Trying to figure out what will give you the best shot at 3L OCI or clerkships is the wrong way to look at this situation, IMO.

I hate to be a downer here, but the chances of landing something during 3L OCI or getting a clerkship in your situation are so slim that it isn't worth orienting your job search with these avenues in mind. Unless 3L OCI and federal clerkship hiring miraculously turn 180 degrees between now and next fall, it just isn't going to happen.

You need to be focusing on firms of any size that will either (1) give you the potential for getting a permanent offer at the end of the summer (such as mid-sized firms or some smaller firms); or (2) get you some actual legal experience on your resume and get you out there meeting practicing attorneys to work on networking to find something post-graduate (i.e., a small firm that may not necessarily be able to hire you full-time for after graduation, but can serve as a solid reference and maybe put you in contact with someone who can hire you).

Unless you think that being an RA for the prof is going to net you some great connections with people who can actually give you or help you get a full-time gig, it's probably better to keep looking.

Again, this is purely my take on this situation, and there could absolutely be other factors that I'm not considering here or that are unique to your situation, but as a general matter, this seems to be the best route to take.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:01 pm

UCLAtransfer wrote:Trying to figure out what will give you the best shot at 3L OCI or clerkships is the wrong way to look at this situation, IMO.

I hate to be a downer here, but the chances of landing something during 3L OCI or getting a clerkship in your situation are so slim that it isn't worth orienting your job search with these avenues in mind. Unless 3L OCI and federal clerkship hiring miraculously turn 180 degrees between now and next fall, it just isn't going to happen.

You need to be focusing on firms of any size that will either (1) give you the potential for getting a permanent offer at the end of the summer (such as mid-sized firms or some smaller firms); or (2) get you some actual legal experience on your resume and get you out there meeting practicing attorneys to work on networking to find something post-graduate (i.e., a small firm that may not necessarily be able to hire you full-time for after graduation, but can serve as a solid reference and maybe put you in contact with someone who can hire you).

Unless you think that being an RA for the prof is going to net you some great connections with people who can actually give you or help you get a full-time gig, it's probably better to keep looking.

Again, this is purely my take on this situation, and there could absolutely be other factors that I'm not considering here or that are unique to your situation, but as a general matter, this seems to be the best route to take.


I certainly agree that I have a have very little chance of obtaining anything via the clerkship or 3L oci route, the problem is that if I "keep looking" I run the very real risk of doing nothing this summer. I am sure everyone would agree that would look a good deal worse to any prospective employer then working as an RA. So we are in agreement that a small firm would be better, much better, than an RA position, for both networking and other reasons. I am just not sure how likely it is at this stage in the game that I can obtain something better.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:02 pm

I'd also talk to your professor. They're hiring someone to do research for the summer, not looking for a long-term commitment. As a result, they aren't trying to find the perfect person, and a 1L will likely do just as well. Further, plenty of 1Ls will be willing to do this part-time while working over the summer.

This is all to say that if you tell the professor your situation, I think (s)he'll understand and let you keep looking while holding your position if you can't find something. Professor's are dumb; they know you don't want to be an RA for 2L summer. Be up front, and I bet you can work something out.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:23 pm

I'd also agree to talk with your professor. Let them know that you'd be happy to do work for them in addition to a possible summer job - that you're really interested in whatever topic they teach/research, and want as much exposure as possible. Say how you RA'd last summer and it was such a good learning experience, you want to do it again.

And then keep looking for a midsize or small firm. Have you tried Martindale? If you plug in your city and practice area, you will get information on small and midsize firms. Then go to the firm's webpage, get their recruiting contact or office administrator's information, and send them a resume. It can't hurt.

And try for 3L OCIP. Honestly, I don't think 3L OCIP is as fruitless as everyone else says it is. Also, try to send out resumes before OCIP. The key usually is to start sending out applications and resumes EARLY. Beat the OCIP rush. Put your name on some firms' radars. Broaden your search. Email everyone up and down the entire Vault 100. Did you confine yourself to the firms that came to OCIP last time and only them? Did you stay within your geographic region and not go elsewhere? I'd email every firm, including the lower 50-100, who would probably be delighted to have a T6 grad at their firm. Don't limit yourself to the firms that only come to you in the fall - those are usually the creme de la creme, and can afford to be pickier with their applicant pool. I know it's a long shot, but it's a shot nonetheless.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Younger Abstention » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:29 pm

I don't see why OP's odds of getting a district ct. clerkshp are that low... I think that's a reasonable goal at this point if grades go up a bit. These things are rare but you don't need to be god, it's not like he's hoping for SCOTUS. I also know a few people at CCN who had luck obtaining a biglaw firm job 3L year -- not through OCI, but instead through mass mailing again.

That being said, I'd try to do fucking anything else besides RAing. Yeah, it might help you get a rec for a clerkship, but that's all it would do, and I'd hate to put all my eggs in that basket.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:23 am

What if you already had significant (paid) WE 1L year?

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:40 pm

this makes me feel HORRIBLE about my prospects of landing a job out of OCI at a T2.....sigh...

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:this makes me feel HORRIBLE about my prospects of landing a job out of OCI at a T2.....sigh...



Something like 25 percent of students get their first job through OCI nation wide...you should have already been feeling pretty horrible unfortunately.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:37 am

Younger Abstention wrote:I don't see why OP's odds of getting a district ct. clerkshp are that low... I think that's a reasonable goal at this point if grades go up a bit. These things are rare but you don't need to be god, it's not like he's hoping for SCOTUS.


LOL. Obviously, you did not go through the fed clerkship hiring process the past year. Even the shittiest of location art III district courts get over 300 applications for 1 clerkship opening on OSCAR. Top 1/3-1/4 + no journal just ain't going to hack it ITE, sorry to say. There's a guy who posts on here, totransferornot, who said that people on the executive board of law review at his school (university of chicago), who applied broadly, completely struck out in the clerkship application process. It's fucking brutal out there in the fed clerkship hiring realm.

On a similar note, 3L OCI is grim. At my t10, if I recall correctly, there were something like 8 law firms (nationwide) that were openly interviewing 3Ls last year (and they still only had a limited number of interview spots for 3Ls). The average number of interviews was between 0-1 for 3Ls. There are firms that were hiring 3Ls, but they were all v10ish firms. Those firms you have a shot at if you are something like top 5% at your t6, but top 1/3-1/4 really isn't good enough for these kinds of firms. Also, not working at a large law firm your 2L summer is a huge red mark on your resume to these firms (based on conversations I had with a few v10 partners last year).

It's getting really late into the season. The end of the semester is only weeks away. My recommendation would be to try and volunteer for a PI organization if you still can. If you can't even get that, then try to work for a clinic at your school or something like that this summer. The latter typically isn't very competitive and you should be able to get at least that. I think substantive work experience in a clinic this summer will still be better than RA’ing

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:57 pm

i know legal aid is fine for 1L summer, but what about 2L? career suicide?

FiveSermon
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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby FiveSermon » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:59 pm

Top 30% at a T6 can't find meaningful employment for 2L wtfwtfwtf.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i know legal aid is fine for 1L summer, but what about 2L? career suicide?


It's better than doing nothing at all your 2L summer (or RAing)...

FiveSermon wrote:Top 30% at a T6 can't find meaningful employment for 2L wtfwtfwtf.


He was also a transfer student, and therefore, was evaluated at OCI based on his prior school... He'd probably be in a lot better position if he had been top 30% at a T6 going into 2L OCI. Outside of OCI, things are rough out there. It's not like small firms are churning out a ton of business where they can just absorb all the students who are no longer getting jobs from large law firms. A lot of smaller firms don't even want the NYU Law student for many reasons, such as the fact that a lot of these attorneys went to TTTs themselves, their clients (e.g. personal injury plaintiffs) don't know the difference between NYU and NYLS anyways, and, of course, there is the fear that the NYU law student will jump ship soon as the economy turns around (no one believes X NYU law student went to NYU to go work for some 4 attorney personal injury law firm. And that 4 attorney personal injury law firm would much rather have someone there who actually wants to be there, as oppose to someone who wants to be there because he couldn't find anything else and wants to leave ASAP).

Younger Abstention
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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Younger Abstention » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:I don't see why OP's odds of getting a district ct. clerkshp are that low... I think that's a reasonable goal at this point if grades go up a bit. These things are rare but you don't need to be god, it's not like he's hoping for SCOTUS.


LOL. Obviously, you did not go through the fed clerkship hiring process the past year. Even the shittiest of location art III district courts get over 300 applications for 1 clerkship opening on OSCAR. Top 1/3-1/4 + no journal just ain't going to hack it ITE, sorry to say. There's a guy who posts on here, totransferornot, who said that people on the executive board of law review at his school (university of chicago), who applied broadly, completely struck out in the clerkship application process. It's fucking brutal out there in the fed clerkship hiring realm.

On a similar note, 3L OCI is grim. At my t10, if I recall correctly, there were something like 8 law firms (nationwide) that were openly interviewing 3Ls last year (and they still only had a limited number of interview spots for 3Ls). The average number of interviews was between 0-1 for 3Ls. There are firms that were hiring 3Ls, but they were all v10ish firms. Those firms you have a shot at if you are something like top 5% at your t6, but top 1/3-1/4 really isn't good enough for these kinds of firms. Also, not working at a large law firm your 2L summer is a huge red mark on your resume to these firms (based on conversations I had with a few v10 partners last year).

It's getting really late into the season. The end of the semester is only weeks away. My recommendation would be to try and volunteer for a PI organization if you still can. If you can't even get that, then try to work for a clinic at your school or something like that this summer. The latter typically isn't very competitive and you should be able to get at least that. I think substantive work experience in a clinic this summer will still be better than RA’ing


You don't really need top 5% to work at a V10 from a T6. Top third often does it. I'm at a top 10 and I know people who got V10's with top 33%. I also know people with good but not great grades (top quarter at a top 10) who got a district court clerkship last year. I know it's competitive, but I feel people like TTON and GT. L. Rev. (or whatever) like to puff themselves up by making getting clerkships sound even harder than it actually is.

Unfortunately for OP, he/she is probably an awful interviewer and all around socially awkward person if he struck out as a T6 transfer student -- so both the firm and the clerkship will likely be foreclosed regardless whether you or I are right about statistics.

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Re: Career Suicide?: RAing for 2L summer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:31 am

Younger Abstention wrote: You don't really need top 5% to work at a V10 from a T6. Top third often does it. I'm at a top 10 and I know people who got V10's with top 33%.


Depends on whether you are talking about getting a v10 through a 2L SA or through 3L OCI (or otherwise as a 3L)... If you know people who got v10s as a 3L this year, who did not work at a 2L SA, with merely top 1/3, that's both surprising and impressive. I haven't heard of any success stories like that. (There weren't that many firms recruiting 3Ls, and the ones that were seemed to be V10s that did not need that many 3Ls.) FWIW, 2L OCI and 3L OCI/large firm job hunt are a whole other ballgame (with the 3L OCI/large firm job hunt being much, much more competitive).




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