Top 1% at T40-60 School - DOJ Honors, Biglaw Questions

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Top 1% at T40-60 School - DOJ Honors, Biglaw Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:04 pm

Rising 2L. I finished first semester with a 3.96 GPA. Although class ranks have not officially been released, typically only one or two people have a 3.9+ at my school. If I'm not in the top 1% I'm clearly near there. I could very well be #1 in my class. Law Review is grade-on with limited write-on spots and so obviously I have made that.

The only other thing that would stick out on my resume is that I have a fellowship with a prof and have a couple legal publications on my resume (co-authored with the prof). Otherwise I'm just a typical undergrad to law school student.

I take most stuff on TLS with a grain of salt, but I'm curious about what people have to say about two things.

First, how should I handle not knowing whether I want to do Biglaw or something with the Federal Government like DOJ Honors (as just an example). Obviously grades make me competitive for anything (subject to my school's rank of course) aside from IP (no sci background). Really the big stickler for me on this is that I think I'd prefer something like DOJ Honors over Biglaw, but if I didn't get DOJ Honors (or similar fed job) then I'd prefer Biglaw. The problem of course is that I have to make the Biglaw decision before in fall OCI and DOJ Honors is a toss up to get. So basically the thinking is DOJ is best case option but not guaranteed at all, but Biglaw is a pretty good number 2, and I could probably get a job somewhere if I wanted to. Is this just a choice that I'm going to have to make? If others have had to make this choice, I'm curious to what their thinking was.

Second, how should I handle OCI bidding. I generally think our CSO is incompetent and I don't want to end up bidding on lots of employers and have lots of interviews. (I know this sounds pompous and if I need to be humbled let me know). At my school we aren't allowed to cancel an OCI interview unless we accept an offer for the summer. Basically, what's a good number of firms to bid on to ensure I have a sufficient amount of interview opportunities but I can't keep stuff straight. Obviously coming from a less-regarded law school means that the OCI numbers are limited compared to the T14; however we still have quite a few employers particularly for someone who is at the top of class.

Why I didn't transfer: Given the prestige focus of TLS, I'll quickly address why I am not throwing a transfer app at Columbia, Harvard or the like as I'm sure I'll get asked

First I have a near full tuition scholarship at my current school, which has a very strong chance of being upped to a full tuition for transfer risks. I highly value being debt-free (which I'm able to do given parental support for living expenses). However, if I transferred schools I'd have to take out loans.

Second, I don't really care much for prestige, meaning I don't care what V## firm I work for or that I have X government job, I pretty much just want to do some challenging litigation/prosecution work and for me that means either DOJ or Biglaw litigation. I have a good shot at both at my current school meaning that a transfer's plus value, for what I want in a career, is severely mitigated. Although I do think that teaching or a fed CoA clerkship would be cool, I would think that such opportunities alone are not enough to transfer given the odds of that from a transfer student are quite low.

Third, I have pretty good connections with profs here and I like the area. Plus the fellowship with this professor could potentially offer some very interesting career paths as they are a big name prof in a field that I'm really interested int.

For those that are interested in my study strategy or whatnot, feel free to PM me.

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Re: Top 1% at T40-60 School - DOJ Honors, Biglaw Questions

Postby OldManHunger » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:03 pm

Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Top 1% at T40-60 School - DOJ Honors, Biglaw Questions

Postby 2011Cycle » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:09 pm

Op, I am interested in your study strategy, but your posting anonymously makes it impossible to respond to request of those interested to PM you for more information.

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Re: Top 1% at T40-60 School - DOJ Honors, Biglaw Questions

Postby Corwin » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:12 pm

I'm not qualified to give advice in this area, but just wanted to congratulate you on being a boss in law school so far.

Do you have any professors that have connections that would make a call for you?

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Re: Top 1% at T40-60 School - DOJ Honors, Biglaw Questions

Postby realworldescapee » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:18 pm

Last edited by realworldescapee on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Top 1% at T40-60 School - DOJ Honors, Biglaw Questions

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:31 pm

Good news OP:
NALP principles and Standards wrote:C. Summer Employment Provisions for Second and Third Year Students

. . .

2. Candidates may request that an employer extend the deadline to accept the employer’s offer until as late as April 1 if the candidate is actively pursuing positions with public interest or government organizations. Candidates may hold open only one offer in such circumstances. Employers are encouraged to grant such requests. ... dstandards

In short, you apply to both, and after picking your favorite biglaw offer you request it be held open until the DoJ honors process plays out. Afterward you can big the firm, the federales, or negotiate a split (quite common). I've never heard of a big law firm balking at this provision of the NALP guidelines.

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