Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

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Anonymous User
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Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:48 pm

1L at a T50ish school in a major legal market. Now I know what you're thinking already. T50ish = no chance at OCI anyway, but let's try to be a hopeful just for the sake of information. Don't know exactly what my class rank is, but estimating by last year's I should be safely in the Top 5% (3.9x gpa). For whatever reason (probably my own fail at proofreading cover letters), I'm not getting any bites. No responses, no interviews, nothing. Maybe it's too early to start panicking, but I'm a 1L, it's what I do. I'm already planning to study abroad for the first half of the summer, but I haven't given up hopes of finding something to fill the second half.

Here's my question: would doing study abroad with no internship for the second half kill my chances at OCI next year?

Thanks in advance

FiveSermon
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby FiveSermon » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:49 pm

Drop out now

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:18 pm

Note to FiveSermon: Abusing the Anon feature is not TCR. This is your warning.

concurrent fork
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby concurrent fork » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:14 pm

No need to panic since it's only feb. But yes, you want to get some kind of substantive legal experience on your resume. Every OCI interviewer will ask about your summer, and just talking about the classes you took (even abroad) is not going to cut it.

Talk to your profs, talk to PI organizations on campus, keep sending out resumes. You are in a major market - there must be somewhere you can find to volunteer.

missinglink
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby missinglink » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:06 pm

I find it surprising you haven't gotten any bites with those stats.

Have you taken all your materials to have career services look it over? There might be something really glaring there you're not seeing. In any case, as others have said, it's still Feb, so panic time it is not.

If I read you right, you said you had errors in your CL? That's a huge hit in my estimation, notwithstanding your stellar GPA.

jaxon05
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby jaxon05 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:46 pm

concurrent fork wrote:No need to panic since it's only feb. But yes, you want to get some kind of substantive legal experience on your resume. Every OCI interviewer will ask about your summer, and just talking about the classes you took (even abroad) is not going to cut it.


This isn't necessarily the case. I know it's anecdotal, but I know several people at my school who landed OCI positions after taking classes for a summer or being a Research Assistant for a prof (a couple of them did both, which is what I would recommend if you went this route.

dougroberts
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby dougroberts » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:52 pm

You are fine. I am at a bottom Tier 1 school, and did not get anything 1L summer (not even an RA position).
Reason: I was about 50% rank after 1L Fall Semester, after which all 1L summer hiring happens.
By end of 1L year, moved to top 10%.

Had screening interviews at all but 1 or 2 firms that I bid on during 2L OCI. Had 3 callbacks, and a quick offer from my top firm choice, and canceled everything else (I had about 5 firms left to hear back from after screening interviews).

So its possible. Hang in there, and keep the GPA up.

Geist13
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby Geist13 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:22 pm

Two questions. 1) When did you apply to places? 2) What sort of places have you been applying to? If you've only been applying to firms, well, that's just part of the game. 1Ls are unlikely to land firms, regardless of grades. If you just started applying in the last few weeks, you may have missed the boat on some positions.

Honestly though, it's been my experience that 1L employers don't really care too much about grades. I had three interviews (one with a judge, one with USAO, one with a state AG). I also have a below median GPA (due to one pretty bad grade). None of them ever asked for my grades. I got offers from 2/3 interviews. Based on my interviews, it appears 1L hiring is more based on matching personalities than about trying to figure out how great of an intern/lawyer you'll be.

With that GPA you likely have a professor or two who would agree to take you on as an RA for the summer. If you want to just get your summer settled, I'd go that route. I don't think it's time to freak out yet. I think most people in my section are still looking for jobs.

EDIT: oh this is HUGE. Make sure that in your cover letters you are have a couple sentences expressing your connection to the market. This was a huge deal in all three of my interviews.

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A'nold
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby A'nold » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:49 pm

missinglink wrote:I find it surprising you haven't gotten any bites with those stats.

Have you taken all your materials to have career services look it over? There might be something really glaring there you're not seeing. In any case, as others have said, it's still Feb, so panic time it is not.

If I read you right, you said you had errors in your CL? That's a huge hit in my estimation, notwithstanding your stellar GPA.

So, please tell me the reason my top 5% grades at a t1 has not gotten me anything as well. kthxbai.

Anonymous User
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:39 pm

OP Here

Thanks for your words encouragement.

I started applying to places around the end of December and have been sending out a few each week since then. I've mostly just applied to firms and government offices, with a one or two public interest groups thrown in. I am pretty sure the cover letters have been a huge problem. I have found some with little errors and some with big errors. Lesson: don't try to write/send them out during class.

But as an update: in my desperate mood I started re-emailing a few places and got a phone interview with one of the places I applied to.

Going to try to be extra careful with cover letters and not too quick to hit send in the future, but what's done is done.

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OGR3
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby OGR3 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP Here

Thanks for your words encouragement.

I started applying to places around the end of December and have been sending out a few each week since then. I've mostly just applied to firms and government offices, with a one or two public interest groups thrown in. I am pretty sure the cover letters have been a huge problem. I have found some with little errors and some with big errors. Lesson: don't try to write/send them out during class.

But as an update: in my desperate mood I started re-emailing a few places and got a phone interview with one of the places I applied to.

Going to try to be extra careful with cover letters and not too quick to hit send in the future, but what's done is done.


It's always a good idea to follow up with a phone call. I have an interview with my top choice next week, but only because I called the office to check on the status of my application. They hadn't received it and the office administrator had me email my materials directly to her. If I hadn't called, I would have completely lost out and would have had no idea why.

concurrent fork
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Re: Not finding a 1L internship = OCI killer?

Postby concurrent fork » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:15 pm

jaxon05 wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:No need to panic since it's only feb. But yes, you want to get some kind of substantive legal experience on your resume. Every OCI interviewer will ask about your summer, and just talking about the classes you took (even abroad) is not going to cut it.


This isn't necessarily the case. I know it's anecdotal, but I know several people at my school who landed OCI positions after taking classes for a summer or being a Research Assistant for a prof (a couple of them did both, which is what I would recommend if you went this route.

Of course - it's not impossible. But summer work experience puts you in a much, much stronger position. You need every advantage you can get if gunning for biglaw from a school in the 50s.




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