To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

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die Zauberflote
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To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby die Zauberflote » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:49 pm

As a 0L, did you do any sort of preparation, such as putting together cover letters, to give you an edge? Aside from top grades, is there anything you can do before or during your 1L year to give yourself a better shot at landing a paying 1L gig?

Anonymous User
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:08 pm

Nope. As has been discussed often, connections, geography, diversity, and such often play a bigger role than grades. Killer (and I mean damn near perfect) grades can get you a look from some firms, but it's really not a meritocracy - or even a facimile of one - the way 2L recruiting can be.

Writing cover letters and researching now will more ensure you don't say "fuck it" in December and/or save you some sanity during the app process, not give you a tangible edge.

I did most research and application writing November of my 1L year and blanketed the earth with resumes Dec 1 of my 1L year. I got dings from every firm I applied to but 1, despite (a) strong connections and (b) perfect 1L grades. I wound up getting a nice paying gig with a firm I had a strong familial connection too, and rejected from a dozen firms I had a strong familial connection too. It's a tough market, and not one you can really set yourself up for without rewinding the clock 20+ years.

I also know people with median grades who got gigs at corporate law type firms in smaller cities and secondary markets they were born and raised in - coming from a top school was crucial though.

die Zauberflote
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby die Zauberflote » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:25 pm

Thanks so much for responing....very helpful.

Anonymous User wrote:Nope. As has been discussed often, connections, geography, diversity, and such often play a bigger role than grades. Killer (and I mean damn near perfect) grades can get you a look from some firms, but it's really not a meritocracy - or even a facimile of one - the way 2L recruiting can be.

Writing cover letters and researching now will more ensure you don't say "fuck it" in December and/or save you some sanity during the app process, not give you a tangible edge.

I did most research and application writing November of my 1L year and blanketed the earth with resumes Dec 1 of my 1L year. I got dings from every firm I applied to but 1, despite (a) strong connections and (b) perfect 1L grades. I wound up getting a nice paying gig with a firm I had a strong familial connection too, and rejected from a dozen firms I had a strong familial connection too. It's a tough market, and not one you can really set yourself up for without rewinding the clock 20+ years.


Coming from the University of Michigan, would it be a complete waste of time to apply to V100s out of my home market that I had no connections with?

Anonymous User wrote:I also know people with median grades who got gigs at corporate law type firms in smaller cities and secondary markets they were born and raised in - coming from a top school was crucial though.


This is probably a very basic question that reveals a dearth of basic knowledge, but by "corporate law type firms" do you mean corporations with in-house legal counsel? I live in a secondary market, how do I start my list, where do I begin my research?

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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:34 pm

From Michigan you'll have a shot. Letters and emails are cheap, so don't limit yourself too much.

I said corporate type firms to imply a relatively large firm representing local corporations in litigation and commercial transactions. Probably not big law, but also not a firm doing divorces and DUI defense, you know? Look around on Vault for the very biggest, the NLJ 250 and NALP director for large, and chambers & partners / martindale hubbel for a more complete picture of the landscape.

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Moxie
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Moxie » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:34 pm

die Zauberflote wrote:As a 0L, did you do any sort of preparation, such as putting together cover letters, to give you an edge? Aside from top grades, is there anything you can do before or during your 1L year to give yourself a better shot at landing a paying 1L gig?


Yea, updating my resume the summer before and going over it with career services in September/October. One less thing to worry about on Dec. 1st.

X_Soda
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby X_Soda » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:40 pm

Given that a hometown market (especially in a smaller-sized town) is more likely to give you a paying gig than, say, NYC, let me propose a hypothetical. I get a paying firm gig in my small market (think 250,000 people) thousands of miles from NYC for my 1L summer and take it. Come 2L OCI, given that NYC work is my goal, will I be at a disadvantage for securing a firm job? Will employers raise their eyebrows, questioning my desire to work in NYC?

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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:43 pm

X_Soda wrote:Given that a hometown market (especially in a smaller-sized town) is more likely to give you a paying gig than, say, NYC, let me propose a hypothetical. I get a paying firm gig in my small market (think 250,000 people) thousands of miles from NYC for my 1L summer and take it. Come 2L OCI, given that NYC work is my goal, will I be at a disadvantage for securing a firm job? Will employers raise their eyebrows, questioning my desire to work in NYC?


No. This is exactly why those 1L programs exist: Everybody (the small firms, the big firms, you) know the NYC firms are tempting - salaries, clients, fancy summer programs, prestige, etc. So firms in smaller markets often try to snag home town heroes from strong schools 1L summer to present an alternative to the group-think of major market firms.

Come 2L recruiting, it'll be good to have firm experience on your resume and nobody will bat an eyelash that you, like thousands of other students, want to practice law in NYC.

(Same anon from the posts above continuing the dialogue, I realize this post is not especially sensitive)

bdubs
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby bdubs » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:48 pm

Moxie wrote:Yea, updating my resume the summer before and going over it with career services in September/October. One less thing to worry about on Dec. 1st.

How did you go over your resume in September/October? I was told by career services that they literally could not talk about ANYTHING with 1Ls prior to November 1. They wouldn't even let me get access to resume and cover letter templates.

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beachbum
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby beachbum » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:54 pm

For resume/cover letter help, check out your school's career services website. Often times they'll have some pretty helpful guides posted.

(I've been using Duke's career manual: http://www.law.duke.edu/career/pdf/2011careermanual.pdf)

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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:58 pm

Also, remember that paying job =/= law firm job. I'm working in-house for the summer, and while it's nowhere near as much $$$ as a market firm job, I'll still come out with a decent chunk of change after housing, transportation, etc.

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jawsthegreat
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby jawsthegreat » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:00 am

die Zauberflote wrote:As a 0L, did you do any sort of preparation, such as putting together cover letters, to give you an edge? Aside from top grades, is there anything you can do before or during your 1L year to give yourself a better shot at landing a paying 1L gig?


Nope. Got my SA from my home market during 1L OCI.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
X_Soda wrote:Given that a hometown market (especially in a smaller-sized town) is more likely to give you a paying gig than, say, NYC, let me propose a hypothetical. I get a paying firm gig in my small market (think 250,000 people) thousands of miles from NYC for my 1L summer and take it. Come 2L OCI, given that NYC work is my goal, will I be at a disadvantage for securing a firm job? Will employers raise their eyebrows, questioning my desire to work in NYC?


No. This is exactly why those 1L programs exist: Everybody (the small firms, the big firms, you) know the NYC firms are tempting - salaries, clients, fancy summer programs, prestige, etc. So firms in smaller markets often try to snag home town heroes from strong schools 1L summer to present an alternative to the group-think of major market firms.

Come 2L recruiting, it'll be good to have firm experience on your resume and nobody will bat an eyelash that you, like thousands of other students, want to practice law in NYC.

(Same anon from the posts above continuing the dialogue, I realize this post is not especially sensitive)


+1

i dont think anyone in NYC will bother to question your desire to work in NYC lol

die Zauberflote
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby die Zauberflote » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:Also, remember that paying job =/= law firm job. I'm working in-house for the summer, and while it's nowhere near as much $$$ as a market firm job, I'll still come out with a decent chunk of change after housing, transportation, etc.


How do you begin researching in-house jobs?

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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:30 am

die Zauberflote wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Also, remember that paying job =/= law firm job. I'm working in-house for the summer, and while it's nowhere near as much $$$ as a market firm job, I'll still come out with a decent chunk of change after housing, transportation, etc.


How do you begin researching in-house jobs?


My school has an in-house directory, but that wasn't particularly helpful (since I was targeting a specific industry). I'd recommend checking your alumni database - that's how I landed my job.

I think that working in-house is a seriously untapped route for a lot of students. If you can make a good case for why you're interested in a particular company/industry, the attorneys working there will probably be receptive to a student who wants to be where they are someday - beyond my current job, I made a lot of helpful contacts in the search process as well.

Downside is that you'll more or less be flying solo, and that some companies don't post their internship programs until late. I landed my job at the end of February, and other companies in my industry didn't even post their summer opportunities until mid-March.

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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Kretzy » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:23 am

die Zauberflote wrote:As a 0L, did you do any sort of preparation, such as putting together cover letters, to give you an edge? Aside from top grades, is there anything you can do before or during your 1L year to give yourself a better shot at landing a paying 1L gig?


I worked a good amount on cover letters during the last two weeks of November, and sent letters to about 40 firms in my home market, a market a parent lived in, and the city I was born. These, combined, turned into 1 phone interview, which did not turn into a callback. I focused over winter break on diversity programs (though I'm not URM), and got lots more CBs from those, along with 2-3 interviews with firms that advertised on our in-school career network.

A lot of people at my school got firm jobs this summer, almost 1/4 if I had to guess, but very few of us got offers in cities that (1) weren't the Bay Area or (2) we didn't have ties. Even for diversity scholarships, I didn't get a second look in a city like Seattle, despite being from out west. A few friends went 0-for-whatever on CBs, despite having very solid grades, great UG records, and softs.

The other thing is to decide whether you actually want to do a firm job during 1L summer. It's a great chance to work for a non-profit or gov't agency, which I kind of regret not getting to do having worked at a firm this summer.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:15 am

Kretzy wrote:
die Zauberflote wrote:As a 0L, did you do any sort of preparation, such as putting together cover letters, to give you an edge? Aside from top grades, is there anything you can do before or during your 1L year to give yourself a better shot at landing a paying 1L gig?


I worked a good amount on cover letters during the last two weeks of November, and sent letters to about 40 firms in my home market, a market a parent lived in, and the city I was born. These, combined, turned into 1 phone interview, which did not turn into a callback. I focused over winter break on diversity programs (though I'm not URM), and got lots more CBs from those, along with 2-3 interviews with firms that advertised on our in-school career network.

A lot of people at my school got firm jobs this summer, almost 1/4 if I had to guess, but very few of us got offers in cities that (1) weren't the Bay Area or (2) we didn't have ties. Even for diversity scholarships, I didn't get a second look in a city like Seattle, despite being from out west. A few friends went 0-for-whatever on CBs, despite having very solid grades, great UG records, and softs.

The other thing is to decide whether you actually want to do a firm job during 1L summer. It's a great chance to work for a non-profit or gov't agency, which I kind of regret not getting to do having worked at a firm this summer.


I do think that the market you're targeting, along with your grades (can substitute this with a high ranking school) may determine 1L firm jobs. For example, the TX market is booming (relatively speaking), and they're still into hiring 1Ls. I had no trouble getting an amazing firm job (granted I've spent my whole life in TX), and at the top firms, I'd say a good chunk were 1Ls.

That would not be the case in NYC or DC, though I did have friends get into those markets as 1Ls.

Cubyfan21
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Cubyfan21 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:26 am

Is there a rule regarding contacting companies for in-house 1L jobs. Do we have to wait until December?

Anonymous User
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:48 am

die Zauberflote wrote:As a 0L, did you do any sort of preparation, such as putting together cover letters, to give you an edge? Aside from top grades, is there anything you can do before or during your 1L year to give yourself a better shot at landing a paying 1L gig?


I disagree about connections being the only way to get 1L SA's. I think they can be great sometimes, but in my experience (first sem was a 4.0+ from a T10), grades were really key. I did a lot of the networking stuff with UG/LS alums and family friends at firms.. but it didn't yield anything of value. I got 4 callback interviews from my 1L OCI and coldcall applications of my resume, transcript, and cover letter (1 V5, 3 secondary market firms not in my hometown with no ties/connections aside from school location). This led to 2 offers at the time plus another contacting me recently to arrange a callback now for next summer.
I agree that writing your cover letters and formatting your resumes now is a great idea, because the job search really detracted from my time spent on school at the beginning of second semester - it was tough to do both at once.
If you don't feel comfortable enough formatting these documents without guidance from career services, at least get started on writing them from the examples on your career service's page and researching firms that actually hire 1L's (use NALP and check websites), figuring out mail merge or addressing envelopes because it's stuff like that which takes the longest. Even if it doesn't work out for 1L (there are simply not that many spaces for 1L's in these programs), like I mentioned, forming those connections and making a good impression can be a great way to get your foot in the door for the next summer.

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Veyron
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Veyron » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:50 am

die Zauberflote wrote:As a 0L, did you do any sort of preparation, such as putting together cover letters, to give you an edge? Aside from top grades, is there anything you can do before or during your 1L year to give yourself a better shot at landing a paying 1L gig?


I made it a point to meet people at the organization as a 0L.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:56 pm

I walked into the interview assuming I have no chance in hell anyway because of the volume of applicants and treated it as a practice interview. 3 days later I had an offer. The point is that you need to relax. You dont need to sell yourself very much since they saw everything on your resume and transcript and wouldnt have scheduled an interview with you to begin with if they didnt like it. Make the interview as conversational as possible.

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Moxie
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Moxie » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:09 pm

Veyron wrote:I made it a point to meet people at the organization as a 0L.


This is definitely a good idea if you have a certain organization in mind for a 1L internship.

bdubs wrote:
Moxie wrote:Yea, updating my resume the summer before and going over it with career services in September/October. One less thing to worry about on Dec. 1st.


How did you go over your resume in September/October? I was told by career services that they literally could not talk about ANYTHING with 1Ls prior to November 1. They wouldn't even let me get access to resume and cover letter templates.


That sucks. OCS here was willing to help me fix my resume, but of course I didn't go in there saying "Help me fix this so I can have be ready for when December 1st rolls around". I just blandly stated that I know it's helpful to have an up to date resume and would appreciate their advice and help on improving it.

Finally, this:

Kretzy wrote:The other thing is to decide whether you actually want to do a firm job during 1L summer. It's a great chance to work for a non-profit or gov't agency, which I kind of regret not getting to do having worked at a firm this summer.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby lawyerwannabe » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:28 pm

For 1L summer:
1) Be a RA for a professor and do LSAT tutoring also to make some money
2) Work for a firm (fairly prestigious) in a small market to which you have ties

What are the pros and cons of each? My goal going into 1L currently is (1) but this thread has me thinking about if it would be better to attempt to get (2).

Anonymous User
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:54 pm

While my classmates were scrambling to get out Dec. 1st apps one week before exams, I studied and told myself I'd worry about jobs later.

I did *zero* job search prep until January. Then I got my grades; they were good, so I applied to 20-30 firms in my market. Received three offers and am spending my 1L summer at a major market V20.

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beachbum
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby beachbum » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:While my classmates were scrambling to get out Dec. 1st apps one week before exams, I studied and told myself I'd worry about jobs later.

I did *zero* job search prep until January. Then I got my grades; they were good, so I applied to 20-30 firms in my market. Received three offers and am spending my 1L summer at a major market V20.


Can you give us more info? School range? Grades (approx)? Anything that helped put you over the edge (WE, connections, etc)? Thanks.

Anonymous User
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Re: To those of you who have or had paying, 1L gigs...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:03 pm

I am getting paid for my 1L job.

Network and/or get truly fantastic grades.

Apply early.

I am T14 w/ good grades.




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