How to secure 1L SA

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Anonymous User
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How to secure 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 17, 2011 11:55 am

I feel like I am way behind the curve on exactly how the interview process and job hunt works.

How does one go about securing a SA position in their 1L year? All through OCI? Send resumes to random firms? I read somewhere you should start sending letters of interest to firms on December 1st? Can someone expound or link me?

I will be attending UAlabama and will be looking for 1L SA jobs in Birmingham, Dallas, and Atlanta.

Thanks

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pleasetryagain
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby pleasetryagain » Tue May 17, 2011 12:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I feel like I am way behind the curve on exactly how the interview process and job hunt works.

How does one go about securing a SA position in their 1L year? All through OCI? Send resumes to random firms? I read somewhere you should start sending letters of interest to firms on December 1st? Can someone expound or link me?

I will be attending UAlabama and will be looking for 1L SA jobs in Birmingham, Dallas, and Atlanta.

Thanks


Study hard. Dont coun't on OCI. Mass mail resumes. Cross fingers and hope someone reaches out through the silence.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 17, 2011 3:03 pm

OP.

Do I just pick random firms everywhere and start submitting resumes?

hurldes
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby hurldes » Tue May 17, 2011 3:05 pm

I'm also very interested in this. Any 1Ls out there who have SA positions?? Please share your stories...

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beachbum
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby beachbum » Tue May 17, 2011 3:09 pm

hurldes wrote:I'm also very interested in this. Any 1Ls out there who have SA positions?? Please share your stories...


+1. Strong ties to a secondary market (STL), will be attending Duke. Would love to get an SA position at one of the larger firms in the city, but not quite sure where to begin/which strategies are most effective.

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thickfreakness
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby thickfreakness » Tue May 17, 2011 5:08 pm

If you're going to UA, you will have ample opportunity to try and snag a 1L SA in Birmingham. Just focus on your grades, attend firm social events that you're invited to by career services, and try to learn as much about the firms as possible. 1L OCI is a big way they fill positions, but it never hurts to start the relationship earlier (December 1st...).

Kretzy
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Kretzy » Wed May 18, 2011 3:13 am

So, I was pretty sure I wanted a firm job for 1L summer, and applied WIDELY. Probably 80 firms. I got 8 phone interviews, 7 CBs (took 6), and 5 offers (3 offers in home market, 1 in school's market, 1 in a random secondary market). 3 were from diversity programs, almost no one ever talked about grades.

My advice:

1) Have cover letters ready for ANY market in which you have ties before Dec. 1. I got a phone interview in a city in part because my grandparents live there...just be explicit about your ties and why you want to be there. Mail EVERY firm in cities you have ties; most take email, but there are a good chunk of secondary market firms that require snail mail. Know which ones they are, and have envelopes ready for 12/1.

1a) Do you have any ties to Texas? Find some, esp. if you are at a T10 school. A friend got a 1L SA offer on Dec. 2 this year; find a way to make it seem like Texas is your jam and you never hope to work elsewhere.

2) Apply to any and all diversity scholarships that apply to you. I'm not a URM (though I am GLBT), and about 90% of diversity scholarships apply to non-URMs. It might be a long shot, but it's WELL worth the day over winter break that you write a diversity statement and edit it for 20 different applications. At least you'll have tried.

3) Remember that your mass-mail likelihood of getting an interview is less than 10% (and often, far less than that). Be ready for lots of rejections.

4) Put some money aside for flights. If you have frequent flier miles, cash them out. Lots of firms don't want to pay for you to come interview. IF YOU ARE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR WINTER BREAK, call up the firms to which you've applied and ask if they'd like you to come in (in the same vein, bring a suit home for break, just in case). I got a callback this way just by calling up and asking, though I also got several "no thanks" responses.

5) Practice a ton. You might just get one CB for your 100 mass mails. Make it worthwhile. My first three CBs I did in the same week; I had no offers in hand, and every interview was my best shot to make my impression. I didn't waste it.

5a) Every morning before your interviews; check the scores for the sports teams in the city in which you're interviewing. Know what's happening with the respective franchises. I had more than one interview that was 75%+ sports chat (I'm a dude, though, so this might be less important for women). If you're from the area, know what's going on politically. One of my CB interviews was only the question "How would you fix our state's budget crisis;" the partner wanted to know I was still engaged in the area, despite leaving for school.

6) Tell jokes. Be fun. Especially for 1L jobs, these people want to know you won't suck to work with. Do whatever you can to make them think you're a fun, outgoing, interesting person (even if you aren't). Talk about sports, or theatre, or books, or music, or something that isn't your 1L law classes. Don't be lame. The interview I spent the most time talking about the law was the only CB from which I didn't get an offer.

Feel free to PM/ask questions. The 1L job search sucks in part because it starts so much later than the public sector/judge/gov't search. I turned down two non-firm offers to keep trying for a firm gig, and I didn't have an offer until early February. There's a decent amount of risk involved in pushing for a firm, so be aware of that.

HowdyYall
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby HowdyYall » Wed May 18, 2011 4:35 am

wow thanks kretzy! good to know

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Dany
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Dany » Wed May 18, 2011 5:25 am

Thanks for the detailed advice, Kretzy!

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Wed May 18, 2011 5:42 am

Thanks for the advice, kretzy!

OP, if you want a more Step 1, Step 2 overview, read Law School Confidential. It has clear instructions on all this.

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spacepenguin
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby spacepenguin » Wed May 18, 2011 10:18 am

Kretzy wrote:
1a) Do you have any ties to Texas? Find some, esp. if you are at a T10 school. A friend got a 1L SA offer on Dec. 2 this year; find a way to make it seem like Texas is your jam and you never hope to work elsewhere.



And he applied on Dec 1st? That can't be right.

Anyways, thanks for the info Kretzy; this information is invaluable. If you don't mind me asking, how did you ago about writing a cover letter without significant experience or knowledge of the law being a 1L? Did career services help you at all?

Anonymous User
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 10:50 am

OP here. Wow thank you very much Kretzy.

My parents live in Dallas, I have some other family in the Atlanta area and my fiancee is originally from Alabama. I feel like I have ties to all three of these ares. Should these be enough?

Also I was born in India, perhaps this will qualify for diversity?

Thanks

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solotee
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby solotee » Wed May 18, 2011 10:52 am

If you're interviewing in a secondary market, emphasize strong ties to the area.

Firms are aware that 2L OCI is coming up, and they try to hedge their bets on who will remain with the firm after the summer. At my call back, I told them I don't have any desire to go to DC or NY (and I don't). Got an offer for my dream firm on the spot.

The other call back was at a market I didn't have any ties to. No offer.

Some other good advice that I read on this forum was to tailor your cover letters to the firm. I didn't do this, and I feel like it cost me some interviews.

GL.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 11:04 am

OP.

One thing I didn't see mentioned. So do you just pick any and all firms, and e-mail them your letter/resume?

And I will also get LS Confidential. Thanks for that tip.

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pattonthicke
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby pattonthicke » Wed May 18, 2011 11:04 am

great advice in this thread so far!

duckmoney
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby duckmoney » Wed May 18, 2011 11:18 am

Is the current NALP directory of legal employers current with the firms that we would be applying to come December? If not, when do they update it?

Also, how exactly do we go about locating and applying to firms that aren't listed in NALP? Or is this even worth it?

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solotee
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby solotee » Wed May 18, 2011 11:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP.

One thing I didn't see mentioned. So do you just pick any and all firms, and e-mail them your letter/resume?

And I will also get LS Confidential. Thanks for that tip.


Definitely pick all the firms on NALP in the market you want to work in. I also emailed mid-sized firms that were not on NALP.

Make sure your resume is error free, and have it checked by at least 3-4 people or counselors. Mistakes in my resume were found even after a 3rd review of the resume by different career service staff.

Then write a generic cover letter, and tailor it to the firm you're sending your materials to. Make sure the cover letter is immaculate.

Send both documents in pdf format.

In the body of the email, include a short statement of your purpose.

Example:

Dear Ms. Doe,

I am a first year student at ______ School of Law,
and I write to ask about opportunities as a Summer Associate with Moore &
Van Allen PLLC in Dallas, Texas for the summer of 2011.
Attached is my cover letter and resume. Thank you.

Best regards,
Eager Law Student

If you have time, create an excel sheet to keep track of who responds and who doesn't. When your grades come in, look at the excel spreadsheet to see who hasn't responded yet, or who is awaiting your grades. Update those firms with your grades (if they're good) and continued interest.

Just keep in mind throughout all of this that it's all a shot in the dark. I know many more qualified students than me that did not get paid SA positions.

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solotee
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby solotee » Wed May 18, 2011 11:33 am

duckmoney wrote:Is the current NALP directory of legal employers current with the firms that we would be applying to come December? If not, when do they update it?

Also, how exactly do we go about locating and applying to firms that aren't listed in NALP? Or is this even worth it?


Some states have a legal journal with all of the firms in the state listed on there.

For example, NC has http://nclawyersweekly.com/

I'm sure other states have something comparable. If not, there's always google. And yes, it's worth applying to firms not listed on NALP.

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sundance95
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby sundance95 » Wed May 18, 2011 11:36 am

pattonthicke wrote:great advice in this thread so far!

Absolutely. Thanks to all posters who have gone through this process and are sharing.

duckmoney
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby duckmoney » Wed May 18, 2011 11:46 am

So can we email firms our cover letters / resumes, or is it better to dole out the $ and snail mail everything?

Anonymous User
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 11:55 am

The diversity statement, do you just include that with your resume/cover letter or...?

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solotee
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby solotee » Wed May 18, 2011 12:01 pm

duckmoney wrote:So can we email firms our cover letters / resumes, or is it better to dole out the $ and snail mail everything?


Email is fine. Just make sure that they're in a readable format (pdf). Also don't forget to attach the documents.

Anonymous User wrote:The diversity statement, do you just include that with your resume/cover letter or...?


I'm not sure, I did not include a diversity statement.

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Moxie
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Moxie » Wed May 18, 2011 12:07 pm

Get contact information for alumni from your UG or LS that work in the firms you want to. Then email or call those alums for "advice", and ideally you'll get the chance to talk to them about your job search. If all works according to plan, it gives you a contact of reference when you submit your application to the firm, and hopefully gets your resume to the top of the pile.

And follow the advice in Kretzy's post :D

duckmoney
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby duckmoney » Wed May 18, 2011 12:16 pm

Thanks everyone for the helpful advice!

duckmoney
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby duckmoney » Wed May 18, 2011 12:19 pm

Moxie wrote:Get contact information for alumni from your UG or LS that work in the firms you want to. Then email or call those alums for "advice", and ideally you'll get the chance to talk to them about your job search. If all works according to plan, it gives you a contact of reference when you submit your application to the firm, and hopefully gets your resume to the top of the pile.

And follow the advice in Kretzy's post :D


Can you do this prior to Dec. 1st?




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