Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

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Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:25 pm

Originally, I wasn't planning on doing the BigLaw summer race. But, I've decided to get in. I'm obviously a bit behind. I'm trying to figure out what chances I have. I have solid ties to San Francisco (my wife is from there, family is still there; know two attorneys in the area, though not BigLaw). I'll also be applying to the closest major city to my school.

I am at a 20-30. Top 5%, Law Review, Moot Court, Teaching Assistant. What should I be targeting? I assume Munger is out of the mix, but am I stretching too much by thinking Gibson Dunn or Sidley Austin is possible?

Not a flame; I'm very happy with how things have ended up. I've tried looking around to see what advice is out there for people in my spot and I haven't been able to find much outside of people posting bidlists.

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Re: Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:28 pm

Similar situation here. It would help to know the school (as you are anon), or at least the region. The closer you are to your target market, the better off you'll be.

Do the firms you're talking about come on campus? (I can't imagine MTO does...) If you're just talking about resume blasting, you may as well do them all. Same as if you're talking preselect. If it's lottery, you have a more interesting question.

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Re: Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:38 pm

I'll say that I'm at W&M or W&L and that it's pre-select. There are some big firms that make it to OCI, but they're mainly Richmond-based firms. I'll be applying to every Vault 100 I could see myself working at that makes its way through OCI.

Anyone have any ideas on whether direct mailing will work out for someone in my situation?

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Re: Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:42 pm

Top 5% at a T-30 here. The majority of firms coming to OCI are regional or local. I'm mass mailing most of the V100 with targeted cover letters, but I have no idea how effective that strategy will be. Hopefully someone can share their insight with us.

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Re: Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:45 pm

You should obviously apply to everyone that comes on campus.

Beyond that, you can mass mail, but you're better off reaching out to alumni (LS or UG, although LS is preferable) who work in your target market. If you are there for the summer, meet them for coffee, etc. If not, ask to talk to them over the phone or strike up an email conversation.

Not to sound douchey, but I have found that alumni are much more willing to talk to people who are objectively qualified for biglaw jobs (i.e. have great grades) than people who are seeking them out because they have no other course of action.

I'm going to assume there's not a big WL/WM presence in CA (I don't go to either so I don't know), but this is likely your best shot. Resume spam to all other firms you're interested in where you can't find alums.

Are you considering transferring? If you want to work in SF, you could do a lot better than WL/WM with your grades. Davis, UCLA, USC, Boalt, Stanford?

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Re: Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:07 pm

You gotta follow up like crazy on any mailers you do.

I'm also top 5% at a peer school and looking at 2 markets outside the region where there aren't a lot of alumni. I am visiting both markets at my own cost a few days before OCI season kicks off for firms and trying to land interviews while I'm in town. So far, it's been very, very tough.

With more than 150 mailers sent out on July 1, followed by follow up phone calls every 4 days thereafter, I've secured 2 interviews. And I'm very good on the phone.

So basically, expect rejection, don't get too discouraged by it, and know that if you are likeable and persistent then you have a small chance at getting them to meet with you. Nobody, however, is going to be wowed by your resume enough to bow at your feet and offer you a callback if you don't follow up. Not from any school ranked 20+ at least.

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Re: Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:55 pm

How have you been following up by phone? I've tried contacting the recruiting coordinator at various offices, but I'm just getting hit with voicemail. Are you contacting HR departments or what?

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Re: Figuring Out Options for 5% at 20-30

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How have you been following up by phone? I've tried contacting the recruiting coordinator at various offices, but I'm just getting hit with voicemail. Are you contacting HR departments or what?


Leaving a voicemail isn't totally pointless, but it's pretty low-yield. I usually call the direct line or whatever is listed on Nalp first. If that gets me stuck in voicemail, I call the main line and ask for the recruiting department (usually I'll make sure with the receptionist that so and so is, in fact, in town that day- if they're out I'll ask who else can help me). A lot of the time there is more than one person in the department who can look at your file, prioritize it, and at least get it in front of a hiring partner that week (if they like you).

They get so many calls that they really don't think you're a pest with repeat calls as long as you're charming and don't go overboard.




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