Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

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vsg211
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:54 pm

Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

Postby vsg211 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:45 pm

I'm a rising 2L at a law school in in NYC. For anonymity, I won't name my law school but it's T30 and I'm in the top 10% (possibly top 5% but the highest ranking they'll give us is 10%). Lately, I've been strongly considering the possibility of moving and working to San Fransisco after law school. Someone suggested that for my 2L summer I split- spend half the summer working in the firm's NYC office and the other half in SF. I realize that to do this I need to land an internship with a firm that has offices in both cities which does limit me to biglaw. After first semester last year I ruled out biglaw as a career choice but I'd be willing to try it out for a summer to see if I like living in SF enough to move there after law school. Another problem is that my school is very regional and most firms that come to use are from the Northeast, and specifically, NYC. I was wondering if anyone had any experience or advice about splitting or could point me to the direction where I can find more info about this. I have an appointment with a career counselor next week but this site has been hands down the best resource for me thus far and I'd like to see if anyone had any input. I've been playing around with the Vault website a bit but it hasn't gotten me very far- I've been finding firms with offices only in NYC or only in SF but not both. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

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thesealocust
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Re: Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:51 pm

(1) There is no reason why it has to be one employer. Plenty of people split summers between two different employers, but policies vary widely on this. Combinations include: 2 firms in different geographic locations, firm + government, firm + PI, etc. Some firms will let you do this internally between different offices, but there aren't that many with large enough outposts in both places for it to really make sense.

(2) With great grades like those, the regional nature of your poorly disguised school will be less relevant than it otherwise would be. Just send letters, you'll likely get some interest.

(3) Keep in mind personal costs to splitting. You'll get worse assignments due to short tenure (by the time you know where the bathrooms are you'll be almost out the door) and less of a chance to build connections + bond. Being the "new guy" is stressful, and moving is stressful. I split with two employers in one city last summer and while I'd do it over again in a heart beat for the opportunities I got, I underestimated how taxing switching employers mid-summer would be. Cuidado.

071816
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Re: Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

Postby 071816 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:09 pm

You go to Fordham. Just say it. It's not a big deal.

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Moxie
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Re: Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

Postby Moxie » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:16 pm

chimp wrote:You go to Fordham. Just say it. It's not a big deal.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:25 pm

Fordham is a regional school. To work in San Francisco, you need to get interviews on your own---but you'll be competing with law students from the top law schools in the country. If you are still a part-time student at Fordham, you might be able to transfer. UC-Berkeley requires a top 5% class standing, however.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:00 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Fordham is a regional school. To work in San Francisco, you need to get interviews on your own---but you'll be competing with law students from the top law schools in the country.

This. Not only that, but SF is much more ties-conscious than probably any other primary market. If you've never lived in the Bay Area, go to a regional school on the other side of the country, and are telling interviewers that you're only willing to do half of your summer in San Francisco, I do not forecast rosy things for your goals of trying SF biglaw. This isn't mean to be harsh, but you're exactly the type of candidate that most of these SF firms are looking to avoid wasting their time and money on. I would either think of a new strategy or focus my energies on NYC with the goal of moving out west a few years into practice.

As for finding firms with both NYC and SF offices, http://www.nalpdirectory.com is your friend.

vsg211
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:54 pm

Re: Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

Postby vsg211 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:34 pm

So, yes I do go to Fordham.

CanadianWolf wrote:This. Not only that, but SF is much more ties-conscious than probably any other primary market. If you've never lived in the Bay Area, go to a regional school on the other side of the country, and are telling interviewers that you're only willing to do half of your summer in San Francisco, I do not forecast rosy things for your goals of trying SF biglaw. This isn't mean to be harsh, but you're exactly the type of candidate that most of these SF firms are looking to avoid wasting their time and money on. I would either think of a new strategy or focus my energies on NYC with the goal of moving out west a few years into practice.


I wasn't set on splitting, I was just told that's a good strategy to do. I'd be willing to do an entire summer there or whatever it takes, but I just don't see myself targeting ONLY SF firms since I'm not positive it's where I want to be. I guess I just need to decide if I definitely want to be in SF before OCI so I can start networking and finding firms on my own. Thanks for the link.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Splitting Summer- NYC and SF

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:16 pm

vsg211 wrote:So, yes I do go to Fordham.

FlightoftheEarls wrote:This. Not only that, but SF is much more ties-conscious than probably any other primary market. If you've never lived in the Bay Area, go to a regional school on the other side of the country, and are telling interviewers that you're only willing to do half of your summer in San Francisco, I do not forecast rosy things for your goals of trying SF biglaw. This isn't mean to be harsh, but you're exactly the type of candidate that most of these SF firms are looking to avoid wasting their time and money on. I would either think of a new strategy or focus my energies on NYC with the goal of moving out west a few years into practice.


I wasn't set on splitting, I was just told that's a good strategy to do. I'd be willing to do an entire summer there or whatever it takes, but I just don't see myself targeting ONLY SF firms since I'm not positive it's where I want to be. I guess I just need to decide if I definitely want to be in SF before OCI so I can start networking and finding firms on my own. Thanks for the link.

It's alright, you don't have to only target SF firms. Splitting markets between SF and NY is fine - there'll be enough NY firms you'll interview with that you can easily convince interviewers that you're only targeting NYC. But the general rule of thumb is that splitting your summer at different offices ITE (especially if at two different firms, but even within the same firm) makes you the first person to be no-offered. I just generally think it'll be tough to convince a firm in SF that you really should be considered if you don't at least interview to go there full time.

If you'd spent this entire 1L summer in SF and were aiming for a full summer at a SF firm, I think you'd still probably be fighting one hell of an uphill battle. There are plenty of people born and raised in SF at better schools that will be in line for the relatively small number of firm jobs, and the firms' familiarity with Hastings/Davis probably means that any student in the top 15-20% at that school will be ahead of an "unknown" top 5% at a comparable school across the country with no demonstrated interest in the city. Sorry to throw unpleasant news at you, but I think it's good to temper your expectations before you make your bid list. You'll be more than fine in NYC, so I would spend the majority of my firepower there if I were in your shoes. I'm not saying SF is impossible, but other markets look much more promising.




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