Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

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Anonymous User
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Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:52 am

First semester, top 10 school, 2.7 GPA, will hopefully improve to a 3.0+ after year 1, any chance at ANY biglaw firms (vault or nlj 250)? Strong ties to one of the major markets. I know this will result in a ridiculous amount of responses saying kill yourself, you've got no shot at biglaw, why are you still in law school, why haven't you dropped out, that's fine, do whatever makes you feel happy, but for those who still feel there could be A shot, any strategies, any advice on what to do would be helpful, i.e. the smartest way to bid with OCI, best markets, best way to get past a screening interview and getting a callback, recommendations for ANY major market firms that dip the lowest into top 10 school GPAs. Thank you, and this is not a flame, just a student in serious need of advice.

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kalvano
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:58 am

Can you write on to Law Review? That would help a lot.

jitsrenzo
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby jitsrenzo » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:03 am

You seem like a good dude in a tough spot. Basically, don't rely on OCI. Go pound the pavement ALL SUMMER and network to lay the foundation for scoring an SA. Specifically, talk to alumni of your undergrad and law school. Law firms are amazing in that they let you search all of their attorneys by school, so go and do that and talk to as many people as you can (preferably partners). And don't just look at V50 or V100 firms - try to get mid-sized firms if you can as well. I know of a few in a major market that pay something like 130K. I know mid-law is supposed to be mythical, but there are at least some out there, so try to get those. Basically, networking is your best bet, not OCI.

the good news is, you can ABSOLUTELY get an SA if you put in the work this summer. Good luck

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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:38 am

I'm at a biglaw firm right now that is in the Am Law 100 but is not listed in the Vault 100. It's in a secondary market but pays 145K starting. Before I started my SA program, I got used to the blank faces of people asking me where I was working for the summer because while there are more well-known firms around this one, it pays the highest in the market (20K more than some of its Vault counterparts) and has for quite a few years.

Moral of the story: I agree with the post above me. Do not limit yourself to firms listed by Vault. Check out EVERY firm in your chosen city on NALP, see what the hiring has been like for the past few years, what the starting salary is, etc. Make your decision that way rather than relying solely on Vault.

Best of luck!

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thesealocust
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby thesealocust » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:39 am

With a 2.7 GPA, I think it's actually going to be impossible to get hired at a large law firm over the summer. If you mean you might have a 3.0 after this semester, it will still be close to impossible.

At pretty much any top 10 school, a 3.0 is at or near the bottom 10 or 15% of the class. That's the group that was likely to struggle to get big firm jobs in the booming economy.

There just isn't a group of firms that routinely (or even occasionally) dip THAT deeply into the class at top 10 schools when hiring for the summer.
Last edited by thesealocust on Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Moxie
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Moxie » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:48 am

What rank does the 2.7 put you at?

Anonymous User wrote:Moral of the story: I agree with the post above me. Do not limit yourself to firms listed by Vault. Check out EVERY firm in your chosen city on NALP, see what the hiring has been like for the past few years, what the starting salary is, etc. Make your decision that way rather than relying solely on Vault.


The bolded is the credited response. OCI isn't going to be too good with that low of a GPA, but check out every possible avenue as soon as possible and maybe someone will bite. You're definitely not dead in the water regarding a firm job, but it's going to take a lot of work.

If you can someone get on LR, that would be a big boost, although I don't know how likely that is.

Edit - did you talk to your professors about why you did so poorly after 1st semester? If so, maybe you will improve this semester since you had input to compare it to.

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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:20 pm

Same position as OP but I'm not limiting myself to biglaw. Working at a US Attorneys Office in a secondary market this summer (summer after 1L) that I actually want to work at in the future. Looking for any entry level legal job that can give me a legitimate chance at working in the same USAO one day.

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kalvano
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Same position as OP but I'm not limiting myself to biglaw. Working at a US Attorneys Office in a secondary market this summer (summer after 1L) that I actually want to work at in the future. Looking for any entry level legal job that can give me a legitimate chance at working in the same USAO one day.



Prosecutor's office is your best bet. Are you getting paid for the USAO gig in 2L summer? Because you aren't getting a job with them straight out of school.

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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:09 pm

kalvano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Same position as OP but I'm not limiting myself to biglaw. Working at a US Attorneys Office in a secondary market this summer (summer after 1L) that I actually want to work at in the future. Looking for any entry level legal job that can give me a legitimate chance at working in the same USAO one day.



Prosecutor's office is your best bet. Are you getting paid for the USAO gig in 2L summer? Because you aren't getting a job with them straight out of school.

I know, that's why I said any entry level legal job that i can use to work there one day in the future. It's my 1L summer job. I'm a rising 2l; I haven't started 2L yet.

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kalvano
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Same position as OP but I'm not limiting myself to biglaw. Working at a US Attorneys Office in a secondary market this summer (summer after 1L) that I actually want to work at in the future. Looking for any entry level legal job that can give me a legitimate chance at working in the same USAO one day.



Prosecutor's office is your best bet. Are you getting paid for the USAO gig in 2L summer? Because you aren't getting a job with them straight out of school.

I know, that's why I said any entry level legal job that i can use to work there one day in the future. It's my 1L summer job. I'm a rising 2l; I haven't started 2L yet.



Ah, OK. My mistake, I thought you meant 2L summer job.

They take from a wide range of people, but all the USAO's I've spoken with have all said that real courtroom experience is crucial. Hence, they take a lot from prosecutor's offices.

plum
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby plum » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:Moral of the story: I agree with the post above me. Do not limit yourself to firms listed by Vault. Check out EVERY firm in your chosen city on NALP, see what the hiring has been like for the past few years, what the starting salary is, etc. Make your decision that way rather than relying solely on Vault.

is the hiring data on NALP? or can you only get it from your school

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20160810
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby 20160810 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:58 am

Apply to every single firm you possibly can. EVERY. Then just hope for the best. You can pretty much write off the NLJ250 if I had to guess, but if you're a superstar interviewer, you really never know and your only option is to try so you may as well.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:21 pm

Same position as OP. However, I improved my GPA to 3.0, which probably doesn't make a difference. I'm at Mich. Waiting to hear back from journals (I have no idea what my chances are). I have strong ties in three secondary markets. Not sure how my interviewing skills are, but I landed a decent 1L job pretty easily. Maybe I was lucky. 1) is OCI a complete waste of time? 2) I'm currently working in one of the markets that I have ties to, should I be contacting potential employers right now? What sort of things should I be talking to them about? Is it too forward/rude to ask to meet with them?

If you are feeling extra generous and would like to give me some specific advice, I have no problem outing myself and PMing you with more specific information.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:20 pm

OP here, thank you all for the advice. I don't think my odds are high for writing onto law review since I struggled in legal writing. So essentially, if my GPA somehow becomes a 3.0 flat, even at a T10 school, essentially the entire NLJ 250 are out? And all vault? And most big firms in general? As weird as it sounds, in addition to the fear of unemployment, this might sound like something really stupid, but I'm also fearing the stigma of receiving not one callback at OCI, because that's the kind of thing your friends and probably to a certain extent your class eventually will know. Is there any way to get past a screening interview with that GPA or do firms just scoff, give you the twenty minutes of their time and throw your resume/transcript out as you walk out the door?

In addition, does anyone have advice on how to set up informational interviews with partners and/or associates without sounding too forward/pushy and without making it seem as if you're simply meeting them to get them to eventually like you enough to maybe hire you, even with the lousy GPA? Any networking tips at all would be greatly appreciated, as well as tips on strategy for OCI/pre-OCI (yes, I understand my OCI chances are lousy but at least I can look back with no regrets, knowing that if I don't do OCI, I have a 100% shot of getting nothing from OCI, and by doing it, sure probably a 99.99% shot of getting nothing but maybe I also could have one lucky moment lol). Additionally, while I know firms care mostly about your overall GPA for the 1L year, do they not give any weight to improvement/upward trend? I.e., a 2.7, terrible GPA, if it somehow improved to a 3.0 or 3.1, implying a 3.3-3.6 range GPA for second semester, would they not be able to see that first semester may have been an aberration and that I may not be as terrible at law school as my first term indicates?

Do firms just see your GPA or do they get to see all your grades for all your classes via a transcript? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just in a bit of a scary place right now with these grades, not knowing if I improved or not (grades aren't out), TLS and the general disdain for those with low 1L GPAs/general views that lousy GPA = killself/drop out/biglaw/midlaw = 0% chance. Thank you all!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Renzo
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:03 pm

OP: I know you have woes, and I understand you're freaked out. But, if you would use some paragraphs when you write, it would probably help you get better advice here, as people might read your posts. It will also likely help your grade and legal writing situations as well.

jitsrenzo
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby jitsrenzo » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:34 am

feel free to PM me. I can definitely give some advice on at least getting information interviews.

logan
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby logan » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:Same position as OP. However, I improved my GPA to 3.0, which probably doesn't make a difference. I'm at Mich. Waiting to hear back from journals (I have no idea what my chances are). I have strong ties in three secondary markets. Not sure how my interviewing skills are, but I landed a decent 1L job pretty easily. Maybe I was lucky. 1) is OCI a complete waste of time? 2) I'm currently working in one of the markets that I have ties to, should I be contacting potential employers right now? What sort of things should I be talking to them about? Is it too forward/rude to ask to meet with them?

If you are feeling extra generous and would like to give me some specific advice, I have no problem outing myself and PMing you with more specific information.


Send me a PM if you're still looking for some advice

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thank you all for the advice. I don't think my odds are high for writing onto law review since I struggled in legal writing. So essentially, if my GPA somehow becomes a 3.0 flat, even at a T10 school, essentially the entire NLJ 250 are out? And all vault? And most big firms in general? As weird as it sounds, in addition to the fear of unemployment, this might sound like something really stupid, but I'm also fearing the stigma of receiving not one callback at OCI, because that's the kind of thing your friends and probably to a certain extent your class eventually will know. Is there any way to get past a screening interview with that GPA or do firms just scoff, give you the twenty minutes of their time and throw your resume/transcript out as you walk out the door?

If you get a job from OCI, it'll probably be because of your interviewing technique. If I were you I would ask your career services to do a mock interview with you (and soon) so you can start to figure out what you're dealing with. There are definitely people with very low GPAs who gets jobs at OCI because the interviewer, and later the callback interviewers, think they're charming as hell.

Regarding the stigma thing - people will only know about how many callbacks you have if you put that info out there. There were people during my OCI who just remained mum on the entire subject - no one knows if they just didn't want to talk about it, if it was because they were having bad luck, or if it was because they were having great luck and didn't want to brag. Most of them I still don't know what they're up to this summer. One of them I found out recently is working at a V10. So if you don't want to deal with the stigma, just be mysterious.

Anomaly
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby Anomaly » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:09 am

.
Last edited by Anomaly on Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

PhinsFan
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Re: Big Law, please no evil responses, seriously

Postby PhinsFan » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:44 am

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