How to secure 1L SA

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DocHawkeye
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby DocHawkeye » Wed May 18, 2011 12:59 pm

duckmoney wrote:
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?


Any advice on whom to contact? Individual attorneys (even if they don't practice in areas that interest you)? Office managers? I'd like to get a jump on this and actually do have some questions I'd like answered.

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Moxie
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Moxie » Wed May 18, 2011 1:07 pm

Individual attorneys (you can look them up on the firm's website, or talk to career services and see if they have any alums who are willing to "talk" to you about your legal plans. Partners are preferable to associates since they're going to have more influence within the firm. If you're talking about non-legal administrative staff, I wouldn't really bother with them since I doubt they have any involvement in the recruiting process.

I did this around November, but by the time I got replies/met with people it was early December. I got an offer at a few firms where I had talked and met with an alum from my LS, and I'm pretty sure those connections helped get my resume considered beyond the hundreds of others they must get from 1Ls.

bdubs
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby bdubs » Wed May 18, 2011 1:21 pm

How flexible are firms with the length of a 1L SA? Do they want 1Ls to participate in their 2L program, or is a 1L SA a more informal arrangement?

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ktg808
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby ktg808 » Wed May 18, 2011 2:00 pm

spacepenguin wrote:
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?


According to viewtopic.php?f=5&t=155213&p=4408990#p4408990, there's a little leniency with the Dec 1st deadline.

splitmuch
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby splitmuch » Wed May 18, 2011 5:56 pm

Tag

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Moxie
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Moxie » Wed May 18, 2011 9:47 pm

bdubs wrote:How flexible are firms with the length of a 1L SA? Do they want 1Ls to participate in their 2L program, or is a 1L SA a more informal arrangement?


During my 1L SA search, most firms wanted me to be available during the ten-twelve week period that they ran their 2L SA program. However, I was fortunate enough that my firm told me I could stay up to 14 weeks and not have to come back for 2L to be considered for a full-time offer. (Often times, students have to come back for 4 weeks during their 2L summer, and this split jeopardizes their chances at both firms they're SAing at)

Anonymous User
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2011 10:20 pm

I notice everyone seems to suggest we should have all of our info ready to be sent out on 12/1- why is that? Also, how exactly does that work if I don't have my grades yet?

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ebo
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby ebo » Wed May 18, 2011 10:35 pm

When do 1L offers go out typically? I would assume several weeks after first semester grades have been posted, right? Do UGPA/LSAT factor into the hiring process?

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almightypush
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby almightypush » Wed May 18, 2011 10:53 pm

pattonthicke wrote:great advice in this thread so far!

Kretzy
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Kretzy » Wed May 18, 2011 11:21 pm

ebo wrote:When do 1L offers go out typically? I would assume several weeks after first semester grades have been posted, right? Do UGPA/LSAT factor into the hiring process?

Some happen in December, but I think most (2/3 or so) came after Jan. 15. After I had my first offer, I didn't accept any more callbacks, because they seriously cut into class and studying (and are exhausting, if you fly out at night, do your CB the next day, and fly immediately back...it takes a toll physically and mentally). I got the offer I ultimately accepted in early March, which seemed a little later than average, but wasn't an outlier. Like I said above, the process runs a bit later than others.

No one asked for my LSAT at all. Most places did ask for an undergrad transcript, though, but I don't know how much it played into the selection process. Being able to point that I went to undergrad in the area where I was applying, though, went a long way in showing ties; I think that was FAR more important (though, if your grades were bad in UG, I think it could be a detriment).

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ebo
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby ebo » Wed May 18, 2011 11:29 pm

Kretzy wrote:
ebo wrote:When do 1L offers go out typically? I would assume several weeks after first semester grades have been posted, right? Do UGPA/LSAT factor into the hiring process?

Some happen in December, but I think most (2/3 or so) came after Jan. 15. After I had my first offer, I didn't accept any more callbacks, because they seriously cut into class and studying (and are exhausting, if you fly out at night, do your CB the next day, and fly immediately back...it takes a toll physically and mentally). I got the offer I ultimately accepted in early March, which seemed a little later than average, but wasn't an outlier. Like I said above, the process runs a bit later than others.

No one asked for my LSAT at all. Most places did ask for an undergrad transcript, though, but I don't know how much it played into the selection process. Being able to point that I went to undergrad in the area where I was applying, though, went a long way in showing ties; I think that was FAR more important (though, if your grades were bad in UG, I think it could be a detriment).

So what's the most important criteria for hiring 1L SA positions? I'm just trying to figure out what firms base these decisions on if they're making offers before 1L fall grades come out.

Kretzy
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Kretzy » Wed May 18, 2011 11:40 pm

ebo wrote:So what's the most important criteria for hiring 1L SA positions? I'm just trying to figure out what firms base these decisions on if they're making offers before 1L fall grades come out.


That's tough, and really depends on the firm. I think it's different for diversity fellowships, major markets and minor markets. Below is a very rough sketch of what SEEMED important in interviews, but I'll never really know since I didn't see the other side.

For Diversity fellowships: (1) Type of diversity they're seeking, (2) Fit and Personality, (3) School, (4) Grades, (5) Ties to the area (if in minor market)

For Major Firms: (1) Grades, (2) School, (3) Fit/Personality, (4) Diversity, (5) Undergrad prestige, (6) Pre-law work experience

For Minor Markets: (1) Ties, (2) Fit/Personality, (3) Grades, (4) School, (5) Desire to be in the area post-grad, (6) Diversity, (7) Pre-law work experience

If a firm is hiring before fall grades, they care about ties and your school almost exclusively, I think.

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robotclubmember
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby robotclubmember » Mon May 23, 2011 9:31 am

to people who interviewed for 1L SA gigs, how many of your interviews were phone interviews, and how many were you expected to be on site for? If you did on site interviews, what was the timeframe for those generally? Thanks!

Frankie55
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Frankie55 » Tue May 24, 2011 6:51 pm

I notice a lot of 1L SA positions ask for references, sometimes indicating that at least one reference should be able to "comment meaningfully" on your law school work. But grades don't come in until well after you are allowed to submit applications. (And I was also under the impression that grading is blind.) So is it normal/appropriate to ask a professor to be a reference based solely on their experience with you in class/in office hours? People on TLS often advise not to wait for grades to come in to apply. Can those without significant WE list undergrad professors to round out their lists?

Also, is it generally understood professional etiquette to not accept a 1L SA in a city/firm in which you wouldn't return to practice permanently, since they might call you back for 2L?

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Moxie
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Moxie » Tue May 24, 2011 8:12 pm

robotclubmember wrote:to people who interviewed for 1L SA gigs, how many of your interviews were phone interviews, and how many were you expected to be on site for? If you did on site interviews, what was the timeframe for those generally? Thanks!


I went to NYC to interview for most of my 1L SAs, although for two of them I received an offer after a phone interview. I did the interviews over winter break, roughly 3-6 weeks after Dec. 1st.

Frankie55 wrote:I notice a lot of 1L SA positions ask for references, sometimes indicating that at least one reference should be able to "comment meaningfully" on your law school work. But grades don't come in until well after you are allowed to submit applications. (And I was also under the impression that grading is blind.) So is it normal/appropriate to ask a professor to be a reference based solely on their experience with you in class/in office hours? People on TLS often advise not to wait for grades to come in to apply. Can those without significant WE list undergrad professors to round out their lists?


Work experience is obviously helpful to have additional references, but yes, I asked a professor I knew through class and office hours even before I knew my grades. Always check with the professor beforehand, and try and build relationships throughout the fall semester.

Frankie55 wrote:Also, is it generally understood professional etiquette to not accept a 1L SA in a city/firm in which you wouldn't return to practice permanently, since they might call you back for 2L?


Most 1L SAs do not go back to the same firm for 2L, so I'm not really sure what you mean by the 2nd part of your question. If you're lucky enough to get a 1L SA, regardless of city, it would usually be a good idea to take it (of course, there are instances where it wouldn't be prudent, but I'm speaking generally)

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Cupidity
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Cupidity » Tue May 24, 2011 8:17 pm

There is too much optimism in this thread. In my section of 90 students, 4 1L's landed SA's and 3 were URM.

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stratocophic
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby stratocophic » Tue May 24, 2011 8:28 pm

Cupidity wrote:There is too much optimism in this thread. In my section of 90 students, 4 1L's landed SA's and 3 were URM.
People feel the same way about 1L SA's as they do about being in the top 10%. It's probably the fault of each new crop of 1Ls, since you only really hear about the ones who get the SA spot (similar to people with good grades in the 1L grades thread).

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Moxie
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Moxie » Tue May 24, 2011 8:30 pm

Cupidity wrote:There is too much optimism in this thread. In my section of 90 students, 4 1L's landed SA's and 3 were URM.


+1. Although to be fair the situation was quite a bit different 5 years ago, and many people have the (unrealistic) expectation that Biglaw is soon going to be making it rain like '05 and '06.

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Cupidity
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Cupidity » Tue May 24, 2011 8:34 pm

stratocophic wrote:
Cupidity wrote:There is too much optimism in this thread. In my section of 90 students, 4 1L's landed SA's and 3 were URM.
People feel the same way about 1L SA's as they do about being in the top 10%. It's probably the fault of each new crop of 1Ls, since you only really hear about the ones who get the SA spot (similar to people with good grades in the 1L grades thread).


It's worse here though, the odds of getting top 10% are much higher than odds of getting a 1LSA. That 1 non URM is probably related to a named partner or something.

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stratocophic
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby stratocophic » Tue May 24, 2011 8:38 pm

Cupidity wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
Cupidity wrote:There is too much optimism in this thread. In my section of 90 students, 4 1L's landed SA's and 3 were URM.
People feel the same way about 1L SA's as they do about being in the top 10%. It's probably the fault of each new crop of 1Ls, since you only really hear about the ones who get the SA spot (similar to people with good grades in the 1L grades thread).


It's worse here though, the odds of getting top 10% are much higher than odds of getting a 1LSA. That 1 non URM is probably related to a named partner or something.
Very true. Lot easier to keep quiet about getting good grades anyway, since they're basically worthless unless you get the employment (while getting a job w/o good grades is a home run).

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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 24, 2011 8:57 pm

even unpaid SA is hard to get? blah and i thought it was a very important means to an end as an associate at a good law firm after law school; if only a few people get the SA gig, what do others do?

(sorry, still years before law school so i haven't really researched much on it but from browsing here, i thought SA was one of the necessary things)

Kretzy
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Kretzy » Tue May 24, 2011 10:28 pm

robotclubmember wrote:to people who interviewed for 1L SA gigs, how many of your interviews were phone interviews, and how many were you expected to be on site for? If you did on site interviews, what was the timeframe for those generally? Thanks!


Some firms will skip the phone interview and move straight to the callback if they really like you, but most of them are the standard 30 minute phone interview, followed by a callback, followed by some waiting, followed by either an offer or rejection. I know of very few firms that made offers without an on-site interview (though I do know of at least one that did), and it seems that firm is pretty anomalous.

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Cupidity
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Cupidity » Tue May 24, 2011 10:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:even unpaid SA is hard to get? blah and i thought it was a very important means to an end as an associate at a good law firm after law school; if only a few people get the SA gig, what do others do?

(sorry, still years before law school so i haven't really researched much on it but from browsing here, i thought SA was one of the necessary things)


There is no such thing as an unpaid SA gig. Either you have a paid SA gig or you have an internship in shitlaw. Big firms do not take unpaid interns. It is important to land a 2L SA.

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holeinone600
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby holeinone600 » Tue May 24, 2011 10:43 pm

would it be best to address letters to alumni from my law school at each firm, or the individual in charge of hiring, or both?

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: How to secure 1L SA

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Tue May 24, 2011 10:56 pm

I would echo Kretzy's advice on preparing for the interview (don't walk in cold), knowing what's going on (I'm a girl and I spent 98% of one interview talking about Tony Dungy), and demonstrating ties to the area.

One of my interviews out of the city I got merely because I wrote in my cover letter about how my family lived in the region and its where I wanted to be long term.




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