So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

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So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:24 pm

I wanted to start a thread to see how students who aren't in the top 30%, 40% or 50% of their class are doing regarding their job situation (with hopes of replies other than "killself").

I know personally I'm just about the 50% of my class going into my 3L year, and feel lost as to the best way to go about applying to firms. Things like the Vault rankings aren't going to be much of a help and OCI bidding is probably not worth my time. I have some other friends around the same % and most seem to be trying for state clerkships.

Are small firms in tiny markets the only hope for the lower half of the class? I know TLS has an abnormally amount of high ranked students on here, but I figure there have got to be at least a handful of non-top ranked students worried about their job situations and seeking advice.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:45 pm

I was bottom 50%, but managed to get a gig at a big firm in the spring (not through OCI). It can happen, but only if you have the qualifications to address a specific need at the firm. Unfortunately, I don't think you can explain away bad grades. You can only offer work experience / specific training that overcome the grade issues.

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vanwinkle
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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I wanted to start a thread to see how students who aren't in the top 30%, 40% or 50% of their class are doing regarding their job situation (with hopes of replies other than "killself").

Just FYI, replies should always be other than "killself": viewtopic.php?f=23&t=132905

(This is a clarification/reminder, NOT an invitation to debate the policy here. Anyone who derails this thread by responding does so at their own risk. Carry on.)

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was bottom 50%, but managed to get a gig at a big firm in the spring (not through OCI). It can happen, but only if you have the qualifications to address a specific need at the firm. Unfortunately, I don't think you can explain away bad grades. You can only offer work experience / specific training that overcome the grade issues.


That's kind of what I'm afraid of. Straight out of college to law school, and summer work at mostly personal injury type firms don't lead to much specialization that can fill a specific need.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby micwrecka45 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was bottom 50%, but managed to get a gig at a big firm in the spring (not through OCI). It can happen, but only if you have the qualifications to address a specific need at the firm. Unfortunately, I don't think you can explain away bad grades. You can only offer work experience / specific training that overcome the grade issues.


Were you at HYSCCN?

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:51 pm

micwrecka45 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was bottom 50%, but managed to get a gig at a big firm in the spring (not through OCI). It can happen, but only if you have the qualifications to address a specific need at the firm. Unfortunately, I don't think you can explain away bad grades. You can only offer work experience / specific training that overcome the grade issues.


Were you at HYSCCN?


Nope, outside of T14. I was just lucky in that I had just what the firm needed, and was able to get my resume in front of a partner.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Aston2412 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
micwrecka45 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was bottom 50%, but managed to get a gig at a big firm in the spring (not through OCI). It can happen, but only if you have the qualifications to address a specific need at the firm. Unfortunately, I don't think you can explain away bad grades. You can only offer work experience / specific training that overcome the grade issues.


Were you at HYSCCN?


Nope, outside of T14. I was just lucky in that I had just what the firm needed, and was able to get my resume in front of a partner.


Can you speak to "what you had" that "the firm needed?"

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ObLaDiObLaDa
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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby ObLaDiObLaDa » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:16 am

I know a lot more people must be struggling with this same issue.

I'm debating applying to state clerkships in my area, mid to small sized firms, and a few government agencies or fellowships that I have connections with (not holding my breath on that one). Is August and September too early for mass mailings to small firms in smaller markets?

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby bogart » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:52 am

ObLaDiObLaDa wrote:I know a lot more people must be struggling with this same issue.

I'm debating applying to state clerkships in my area, mid to small sized firms, and a few government agencies or fellowships that I have connections with (not holding my breath on that one). Is August and September too early for mass mailings to small firms in smaller markets?


I asked my career services and they said that for mid-small firms it is difficult to provide a time line. they told me to send apps in the fall and throughout the year. Basically, they told me that for smaller firms you just have to hit it at the right time when they have an opening.

I would also like to hear if anyone else has any experience with this (ie small firms, small cities).

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby barry » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:00 pm

bogart wrote:
ObLaDiObLaDa wrote:I know a lot more people must be struggling with this same issue.

I'm debating applying to state clerkships in my area, mid to small sized firms, and a few government agencies or fellowships that I have connections with (not holding my breath on that one). Is August and September too early for mass mailings to small firms in smaller markets?


I asked my career services and they said that for mid-small firms it is difficult to provide a time line. they told me to send apps in the fall and throughout the year. Basically, they told me that for smaller firms you just have to hit it at the right time when they have an opening.

I would also like to hear if anyone else has any experience with this (ie small firms, small cities).


I would be interested in this, i applied to some small firms but havent heard a peep, whereas i have gotten some correspondence from bigger firms

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:01 pm

I'm outside the top 30%. I guess we'll find out.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:08 pm

Aston2412 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
micwrecka45 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was bottom 50%, but managed to get a gig at a big firm in the spring (not through OCI). It can happen, but only if you have the qualifications to address a specific need at the firm. Unfortunately, I don't think you can explain away bad grades. You can only offer work experience / specific training that overcome the grade issues.


Were you at HYSCCN?


Nope, outside of T14. I was just lucky in that I had just what the firm needed, and was able to get my resume in front of a partner.


Can you speak to "what you had" that "the firm needed?"


Sorry, just saw this. I had the type of educational background, work experience and professional interests that the firm was looking for. This particular office of the firm does not even interview at my school, so I was very fortunate to get my resume in front of a partner who could make a hiring decision. Moral of the story: network, network, network.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:36 pm

This question is pretty broad. What school range does OP attend? Someone outside the top 30% at at T14 is going to have a much easier time than someone outside the top 30% at a T100.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Eco » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:45 pm

So is the general consensus here that you need to be in the Top 30% at your school, esp. if not a T-20, to even bother participating in OCI? Just asking out of curiousity.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:52 pm

Eco wrote:So is the general consensus here that you need to be in the Top 30% at your school, esp. if not a T-20, to even bother participating in OCI? Just asking out of curiousity.


Why would you ever choose to skip OCI?

If you've got shit grades at a top school, you can still hold out hope for a Hail Mary from a firm like Seward & Kissel, etc. Might as well give it a go with a less than 10% chance of landing something instead of guaranteeing yourself a 0% chance by skipping the event altogether.

If you've got low grades at a non-elite school, your OCI is almost certainly either entirely preselect or a lottery/preselect hybrid. If a firm decides to grant an interview in a preselect system IT IS ALWAYS WORTH A TRY. They've already weeded out the people who would be a waste of time and determined that you're at least worth a look.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Eco » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:55 pm

So what is so different about Seward & Kissel? Why would they potentially pick someone out of the top 30%?

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:58 pm

Eco wrote:So what is so different about Seward & Kissel? Why would they potentially pick someone out of the top 30%?


Historically they slummed it up and took students with crap grades at T14s. Most of that data comes from pre-ITE and is probably less relevant now.

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ndirish2010
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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:58 pm

Where did this 30% number come from?

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ObLaDiObLaDa
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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby ObLaDiObLaDa » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:04 pm

Eco wrote:So is the general consensus here that you need to be in the Top 30% at your school, esp. if not a T-20, to even bother participating in OCI? Just asking out of curiousity.


I don't think that's necessarily true. It's definitely worthwhile to try, and at least at my school, our OCI includes some midsized firms that probably wouldn't immedietely toss a median ranked student.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby gradesmatter » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:19 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:Where did this 30% number come from?


That's what i'd like to know. Top 20% people at tier 1s are striking out.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby vb007 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:20 pm

Eco wrote:So is the general consensus here that you need to be in the Top 30% at your school, esp. if not a T-20, to even bother participating in OCI? Just asking out of curiousity.


I think this is probably true. I would still put in some bids and interview with the firms that preselect me though. I would not bother with interviews from the lottery or open sign ups though.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:23 pm

gradesmatter wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:Where did this 30% number come from?


That's what i'd like to know. Top 20% people at tier 1s are striking out.


I'm damn close to the top 10% at a T25 and I'm scared.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:30 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:Where did this 30% number come from?


As OP, I chose 30% because practically all jobs that have preferences prefer top 10%, 20%, 25% or top 1/3rd. I didn't mean to imply that anyone higher than top 30% won't struggle as well...I just meant that for those of us on the lower end of the spectrum, our job hunt will be different than those who can rely on OCI.

I recognize that everyone except the lucky few who succeed at OCI will be mass mailing, networking, etc. as well. I just wanted to get the opinions of others like myself who will be applying at smaller firms and also do not have the traditional paths of 2L summer offers and OCI as avenues like you might.

For the poster who asked, I'm at a T80.

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby de5igual » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:33 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:
gradesmatter wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:Where did this 30% number come from?


That's what i'd like to know. Top 20% people at tier 1s are striking out.


I'm damn close to the top 10% at a T25 and I'm scared.


but at that point, if someone strikes out, it's usually not because of grades

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Re: So you're not in the top 30% of your class...

Postby truthypants » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:43 pm

f0bolous wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:
gradesmatter wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:Where did this 30% number come from?


That's what i'd like to know. Top 20% people at tier 1s are striking out.


I'm damn close to the top 10% at a T25 and I'm scared.


but at that point, if someone strikes out, it's usually not because of grades


true--it's usually because of your school. These big firms really only want people that went to ivies




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