How does one attain a 1L SA?

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How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:46 pm

Is that something that is heavily reliant on extremely good grades?

Even so, wouldn't that mean you don't really have time to actually secure one until after Spring semester? I know it is rare, but how do people get these?

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beach_terror
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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby beach_terror » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:50 pm

Yes, heavily grade based unless you're a URM.

This shouldn't be anonymous either.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:51 pm

could also depend on your school and the market you're targeting plus your past work experience (and i mean all these factors independent of grades)

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thesealocust
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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:07 pm

There are several 'kinds' of 1L summer positions. The three most common, by far, are: (1) diversity programs, (2) smaller market firms looking to get people from top schools before they're lured away to big city firms during formal OCI programs 2L year, and (3) people with personal and/or professional connections to the firm.

Every year some people parlay stellar grades into firms at which they had no connections, in major markets, without being diverse - but it's particularly rare. To that end, grades really aren't all that important to the process. I know as many people with medianish grades who got 1L SAs as I know people who were top of the class who got them.

As for how you get them, you send a letter asking for one. Just like Santa, only instead of coal you'll probably get a rejection form letter.

turbotong
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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby turbotong » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:08 pm

anyone have any idea what % of the 1L's get SA's for your school? Please share both your school and 1L SA % guess.

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ndirish2010
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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:11 pm

Become a URM or get sick grades at at T6.

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thesealocust
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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:20 pm

turbotong wrote:anyone have any idea what % of the 1L's get SA's for your school? Please share both your school and 1L SA % guess.


A very small percentage. Even at the best schools it's likely to be 10-20% or so. I'd estimate my year at my school is was ~10-15%.

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bceagles182
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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby bceagles182 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is that something that is heavily reliant on extremely good grades?

I know it is rare, but how do people get these?



1. Go to a T6 and be top 10%
2. Have a father on the hiring committee
3. Be a URM
4. Get on your knees

hth

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DoubleChecks
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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:27 pm

it's certainly tough, but not top 10% at T6 tough imo. depends on a lot of factors, like the ones i listed. off the top of my head, i know of 4 people (including myself) with 1L SAs in TX, NYC, and DC markets -- all before grades came out. one had great WE and an IP background, but the others did not, imo, have anything particularly noteworthy. i mean i guess i have ties to TX market so that is one thing...

if you're at a top school, i definitely recommend getting all your stuff sent out EARLY (think Dec. 1-2 early) and hoping for the best/knocking it out during interviews.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby bceagles182 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:31 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:it's certainly tough, but not top 10% at T6 tough imo. depends on a lot of factors, like the ones i listed. off the top of my head, i know of 4 people (including myself) with 1L SAs in TX, NYC, and DC markets -- all before grades came out. one had great WE and an IP background, but the others did not, imo, have anything particularly noteworthy. i mean i guess i have ties to TX market so that is one thing...

if you're at a top school, i definitely recommend getting all your stuff sent out EARLY (think Dec. 1-2 early) and hoping for the best/knocking it out during interviews.


How did you have time in December to be sending out resumes for a 1L summer job that probably will never amount to anything?

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby beachbum » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:34 pm

thesealocust wrote:There are several 'kinds' of 1L summer positions. The three most common, by far, are: (1) diversity programs, (2) smaller market firms looking to get people from top schools before they're lured away to big city firms during formal OCI programs 2L year, and (3) people with personal and/or professional connections to the firm.


Would love to hear more on (2), if anyone has anecdotes/advice/words of encouragement/pity. I have strong (life-long) ties to a decent secondary market, a top school, and very little else in the way of qualifications (white, no WE, no great connections).

Edit: And FWIW, I'll have my stuff ready to go on Dec. 1. Already have some of it done (resume, city-specific cover letter).

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:41 pm

Alabama and Texas firms go out of their way to recruit 1Ls with ties, but I've heard of it happening from some really, really small legal markets. Still relatively big cities/towns, but off the beaten path. Pull up the NALP director and martindale hubbel, seek out the medium and large firms in your home town, and send them letters asking for a position. Not much more to it than that.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:45 pm

thesealocust wrote:
turbotong wrote:anyone have any idea what % of the 1L's get SA's for your school? Please share both your school and 1L SA % guess.


A very small percentage. Even at the best schools it's likely to be 10-20% or so. I'd estimate my year at my school is was ~10-15%.



Amongst the people i know at UVa this year I'd say its closer to 33-40%. It could just be that the people I know were more succesful, but I dunno.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:52 pm

http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/career/1Lstats.htm

I'd guess is that 19% includes some jobs at law firms that aren't what people traditional think of as "1L SAs" as well.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby lawgod » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:54 pm

thesealocust wrote:http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/career/1Lstats.htm

I'd guess is that 19% includes some jobs at law firms that aren't what people traditional think of as "1L SAs" as well.


My school says about 20%. Half at BigLaw, and half at Uncle Bill's suburban PI firm.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:02 am

bceagles182 wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:it's certainly tough, but not top 10% at T6 tough imo. depends on a lot of factors, like the ones i listed. off the top of my head, i know of 4 people (including myself) with 1L SAs in TX, NYC, and DC markets -- all before grades came out. one had great WE and an IP background, but the others did not, imo, have anything particularly noteworthy. i mean i guess i have ties to TX market so that is one thing...

if you're at a top school, i definitely recommend getting all your stuff sent out EARLY (think Dec. 1-2 early) and hoping for the best/knocking it out during interviews.


How did you have time in December to be sending out resumes for a 1L summer job that probably will never amount to anything?


lol i really should be studying more than i do...that and i wouldnt say it would probably never amount to anything, considering i got a 1L SA? haha

i mean there isnt much a person can do outside of whats been mentioned in this thread, but i think a T6 or T3 school, if you have some one thing going for you, you're at least in the running for a 1L SA.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:03 am

I had a summer SA as a 1L. (And I'm only addressing biglaw SA not mid-size SA)

1) I'm glad this is anonymous or I wouldn't post on it, so let's think things through before we decide to be snide to the OP about posting anonymously. Same thing goes for "father on the hiring committee". That actually prevents you from being hired.

2) The "Be a URM or get top 10%" rhetoric is pretty presumptuous and entitled. Newsflash: The two aren't mutually exclusive, and to get a diversity SA at one of the big national firms, you have to be pretty stellar AND show a commitment to diversity. Also, a commitment to diversity has nothing to do with being black. You can be committed to diversity through experience, age, sexuality, gender, etc. etc. or just supportive. Eminem could probably write an effective diversity essay. The main thing is actually grades, and then after that it's about not being a pompous d-bag, and the callback is usually pretty good at outing you because it's hard to fake it for 12 hours.

Actual way to get it: Go to a great school/one the firm recruits from, do well, write well, apply, and interview well. Then the biggest thing is having the stones to wait it out, while everyone else takes the first offer they get from public interest places and government jobs. Big firms get back to you late, and there were a couple months where I was seriously regretting not throwing my hat in for the prestigious but unpaid externships. For every one person who got a 1L SA at my school, 5 ended up shelving books at the library. It's a gamble.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby clearfire » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:Actual way to get it: Go to a great school/one the firm recruits from, do well, write well, apply, and interview well. Then the biggest thing is having the stones to wait it out, while everyone else takes the first offer they get from public interest places and government jobs. Big firms get back to you late, and there were a couple months where I was seriously regretting not throwing my hat in for the prestigious but unpaid externships. For every one person who got a 1L SA at my school, 5 ended up shelving books at the library. It's a gamble.



How long does it generally take to hear back about 1L SA positions? Do you usually have to pass up other employment while waiting?

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby buckilaw » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:04 am

beachbum wrote:
thesealocust wrote:There are several 'kinds' of 1L summer positions. The three most common, by far, are: (1) diversity programs, (2) smaller market firms looking to get people from top schools before they're lured away to big city firms during formal OCI programs 2L year, and (3) people with personal and/or professional connections to the firm.


Would love to hear more on (2), if anyone has anecdotes/advice/words of encouragement/pity. I have strong (life-long) ties to a decent secondary market, a top school, and very little else in the way of qualifications (white, no WE, no great connections).

Edit: And FWIW, I'll have my stuff ready to go on Dec. 1. Already have some of it done (resume, city-specific cover letter).


I'd also like to hear more on (2).

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:14 am

i was a definite (2). White, T14, high grades, and secondary market ties. Applied 12/1 and I got a few callbacks but no offers. Yes you will be kept waiting forever. However, the rejections ultimately help you with the 2L job search. Make sure to stay in contact with your interviewers and not burn bridges. It seemed like most SAs go to IP, URM, or HYS people that are from that secondary market. The HYS often got offers before grades came out. It's rough out there but some (2)s get lucky.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:52 pm

buckilaw wrote:
beachbum wrote:
thesealocust wrote:There are several 'kinds' of 1L summer positions. The three most common, by far, are: (1) diversity programs, (2) smaller market firms looking to get people from top schools before they're lured away to big city firms during formal OCI programs 2L year, and (3) people with personal and/or professional connections to the firm.


Would love to hear more on (2), if anyone has anecdotes/advice/words of encouragement/pity. I have strong (life-long) ties to a decent secondary market, a top school, and very little else in the way of qualifications (white, no WE, no great connections).

Edit: And FWIW, I'll have my stuff ready to go on Dec. 1. Already have some of it done (resume, city-specific cover letter).


I'd also like to hear more on (2).


I am a (2). I am a 1L SA at a NLJ 250 firm in the midwest/south. I'm white, went straight from UG to a T14, and had ties to numerous smaller markets in the midwest/south. I wrote targeted cover letters for every firm the summer before 1L started and emailed them at 7:00am on December 1st (it is very important that you get your resume and cover letters ready to go during the summer or early during the semester. You will not have time as December begins to approach and you will miss out on interview opportunities over winter break if you don't have them out at the beginning of December). I sent cover letters/resumes to 200 firms in the smaller markets I had ties to and in NYC. It is essential that you are (1) actually going to be in the city that you have ties to over winter break and (2) include the dates when you will be in the area and available for an interview in your cover letter. I had three "callback" interviews at firms I had applied to in smaller markets over winter break. I do not believe I would have gotten those interviews had I not already been in the area and I got my 1L SA from one of those interviews.

Obtaining a 1L SA is a very risky game. The firms that I interviewed with over winter break waited until grades came out to make offers; I had to pass on 3 offers for unpaid internships while I was waiting for my grades. I sent grades to all of the firms that I applied to and hadn't gotten a negative response from on the day that grades were available; I also maintained contact with the recruiters at firms I had interviewed with or who emailed me requesting grades and let them know when grades were expected to be released. I accepted the SA position at the first firm that I heard back from; I later received an offer from another firm that I had interviewed with and had opportunities to interview at more prestigious firms in NYC (my first semester 1L grades were very good).

If you do get interviews, or if you attend a holiday reception hosted at a firm in your local market over winter break, you need to make sure that you have (1) checked to see if any current students at your school have summered with that firm and (2) if there are students who have summered at that firm, make sure you talk to them. One of the most important parts of the interview will be convincing the firm that you are serious about wanting to return to the market and return to that firm; if there are students at your school who are from that area/have worked at that firm and you didn't talk to them before interviewing, the firm won't think you are serious about working there. Also, the recruiter will probably send you a list of the attorneys you will interview with; if they have not sent you that information email them the day before to ask for the list. Look up those attorneys, find out where they are from, where they went to school, things they are involved in. This is good advice for any interview; however, it is even more important when trying to convince attorneys that you want to be in the region. If you went to the same UG as the attorney you are interviewing with then you can discuss that; if you have ever done any activities that they do discuss those, especially if they are specific to the region; a lot of attorneys serve on boards of non-profits, so if the attorney you interview with is on the board of the opera in the city you are interviewing in, and you have been to an opera performance in that city, it will make the interviewer feel like you really know the city and are interested in the area (it will also just be a good conversation starter).

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby clearfire » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:you need to make sure that you have (1) checked to see if any current students at your school have summered with that firm and (2) if there are students who have summered at that firm, make sure you talk to them.



How do you find this information?

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby buckilaw » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Obtaining a 1L SA is a very risky game.


I will have my Civ Pro and Torts grades in the early fall. To what degree might this mitigate my risk?

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:33 am

buckilaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Obtaining a 1L SA is a very risky game.


I will have my Civ Pro and Torts grades in the early fall. To what degree might this mitigate my risk?


Based on my personal experiences and anecdotal evidence from friends, grades seemed to play a large role for people who got 1L SA spots at large firms in NYC. Having ties to the region and being able to convince the firm that you actually want to return to the region is much more important for 1L SA spots in smaller markets. I don't think that having two grades early is really going to mitigate the risk very much. Large NY firms and many regional firms are going to wait until they have your fall semester grades before they give an offer (although I know of at least one 1L who got an SA in a market he had ties to before any grades were released). While you are waiting for those fall grades to be released your friends are going to be accepting offers to intern for judges/work for PI organizations/be research assistants/etc. I don't even think I can accurately describe the level of stress I felt while I was waiting to get grades/find out if I was going to get an offer from a firm; there was an overwhelming sense of "oh my god, I have no idea what my grades were like, the odds of getting a 1L SA position are very slim regardless of my grades, and by the time I find out that I didn't get one all the judicial internships are going to be gone, I'm not even going to be able to get a legal position for the summer." I seriously considered accepting an unpaid position that I was offered a week before grades came out just because I wanted to know what I was doing for the summer and not have to worry about it anymore. If you do well in the first two classes, having those grades might mitigate your personal stress levels; however, I don't think it is going to mitigate the risk that is associated with finding a 1L SA. They are extremely rare, very competitive, and even perfect grades won't guarantee that you get one; when you pass up perfectly respectable unpaid positions while waiting to find out about the SA you are running a risk because there is no guarantee that you will get one, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to find another unpaid position later.


clearfire wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:you need to make sure that you have (1) checked to see if any current students at your school have summered with that firm and (2) if there are students who have summered at that firm, make sure you talk to them.



How do you find this information?


Start with career services, they are usually useless...but they sometimes have lists of where people worked the year before. If they don't have the information, see if your school has a directory; if you can see a list of all of the 2Ls and where their hometowns are contact the ones from your region and see if they know anyone who returned to the area to work at firms. Most of the people in the class above you will know where their classmates worked, so ask 2Ls if they know anyone who worked in the cities that you are interested in last year. 2Ls will be more than happy to help you, and they often know where their classmates were. I also noticed that a few firms in smaller markets had lists on their websites of who the SAs were the previous year.

Basically you should do anything that you can to find out that information before an interview (you obviously don't have to do it for every firm you apply to). I learned this lesson the hard way. A 2L from my school had summered with the first firm I interviewed with the year before; the first thing that the first attorney asked me was "oh, you go to school X, do you know A?" I had no idea who the person was and I think the attorney was probably thinking something along the lines of "there aren't very many people from this region at your school, and you haven't even met them, how serious can you be about wanting to return here?" It was also a missed opportunity to demonstrate that I was serious about the firm and had gone out of my way to find out as much as possible. For every interview/holiday reception I attended after that I called career services to see if they know of anyone who had been at the firm the year before (for either a 1L or 2L SA) and asked all of my older friends. My school also has a directory and I sent emails to people from the cities I was interviewing in to ask if they had summered in the city or knew anyone who had. I was able to find out that someone from my school had summered with the next firm I interviewed with/the firm I am now working with and I emailed him and chatted with him on the phone prior to my interview.

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Re: How does one attain a 1L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:30 am

I have a 1L SA at a V10 firm this summer. Non-URM, no tech background, no ties to the area.

The only significant reason I got this job was that I had perfect first semester grades at a T14. I also am a personable character with many years of work experience, but the truth is that it was just the grades. Or more accurately -- without the grades, I wouldn't have even been in the running.




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