1L summer mass mailings - who, when, how, and what?

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shock259
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

1L summer mass mailings - who, when, how, and what?

Postby shock259 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:57 am

I haven't had any luck with the search function. Feel free to link any threads that may have this information. I'm in need of a good resource!

1) I'm starting at a T40 or so school in a secondary market. It's the highest ranked school in the region, but it is a popular destination city and pulls in a decent number of T14s. Regardless, I want to have my 1L summer stuff ready to go before classes start in the fall. Because I'm in a secondary market with only 1 "big" law firm, I'm not expecting a paid gig. I was thinking working at a court during my 1L summer may be the best option. I was planning to blanket all of the trial and appellate courts in my state. I could also blanket some nonprofits and small law firms and see if anything sticks. Does this sound reasonable for the "who" part? Also, how many is too many?

2) I remember reading that November was the first time 1L's are allowed to mass mail, per the ABA. Is it customary to mass mail before I even get 1L grades? If I smash first semester, should I send a follow up and say that I did so?

3) Can someone give some insight into the mechanics of sending out this many letters? I imagine the best way is to create a huge Excel chart to organize all of the information, including things like name of organization, contact name if any, address, etc. That info can be used to print off all of the envelopes and also create the headings for the letters themselves.

4) Finally, it's about customizing the letters to different firms so they don't sound too general/vague. However, as a 1L with a small amount of law experience prior to law school, can I really do this during my first semester of 1L without sounding totally fake? I don't know what area/field I want to practice in. I've read Harvard's sample letters and I get the impression that I will probably have to pull from my resume very generally.

I'm guessing all of my letters to the courts will sound the same.

Thanks for any help! I'm assuming my career services office will be mostly useless, so I'm putting my faith in TLS. ;)

OnceUponAMemo
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:25 pm

Re: 1L summer mass mailings - who, when, how, and what?

Postby OnceUponAMemo » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:20 am

1. Talk a deep breath.

2. Calm down about the paid position, you wont get one without some huge factors pulling in your direction. Going to a good school is not one of these factors.

3. None of the places you list are going to pay. Small firms generally take unpaid interns, non-profits organizations and judicial interns are exclusively unpaid.

4. Take another deep breath, you are freaking out right now and school hasn't started. Instead of worrying about having your stuff ready (which is basically just a cover letter and resume for 1L job search), do some of the 1L prep that people recommend. Don't go overboard there either, but looking over GTM, PLS, or listening to LEEWS can be helpful.

5. ABA has nothing to do with regulating your job search. The time constraint you are referring to is a NALP regulation. You are not allowed to talk to your career services office about summer employment until November 1st. You are not allowed to apply to jobs for the summer until December 1st. The very earliest deadlines for submission materials this past year in NYC were at places like Manhattan DA or USAO for SDNY where the deadline might be December 15th. If you are interested in a paid position, look on NALP and search TLS to see which firms accept 1L clerks. Most of these firms recommend you apply on December 1st, but the mindset should be, "If I get one great, if not, whatevs."

6. Your motivation is commendable but the target is misplaced. If you want to prep now for jobs, I would recommend just getting three good cover letter written. One for nonprofits, one for the private sector and one for the judiciary. I would take it to your CPC or OCS when able to make sure it is proper for a legal employer to review as many people with limited work experience are used to a humanities oriented writing style that would be inappropriate for a legal employer. This is what I did to prep and it made applying for a couple jobs very easy pre-finals. If you do this type of preparation you should have your pick of summer options early on and not have to sweat it out over Spring semester.

7. Just a general PSA, keep your ears out for stipend and grant opportunities. There are more than people realize available and if you don't apply, you won't get them. Keep it simple.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: 1L summer mass mailings - who, when, how, and what?

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:24 am

1. Good plan. The most important thing for your 1l summer is getting something legal. There is no such thing as too many. Keep sending resumes to every employer you can find. And don't restrict yourself to just one market. It may be preferable to be in a certain place, but going to BFE for a legal job is better than staying in your home market with nothing.

2. November is the first time you can start talking to Career Services. December 1 is the first date you are allowed to contact employers. Have everything ready to send out before this though since Dec 1 is right in the middle of finals time. I was kind of slow on this so I only got a few resumes out in early December and I did the bulk of my mailing over winter break. If you want any shot at 1l SA, submit early.

Yes you mail before you get grades. Sounds stupid but that's how it's done. Some people get jobs based on UG record and/or WE. When you do get your grades update everybody you sent a resume to who hasn't already rejected you.

3. For firms just send emails. I have heard that some judges prefer snail mail? I only applied to firms so I don't know about other employers. But the vast majority of firms, big and small, ask for emails.

4. Cover letters all sound stupid and fake in my opinion. Research the firm as much as possible to put something specific about them in the CL. Highlight stuff from your resume. You won't have any legal experience but you can bullshit about what you've learned so far and what skills you've built up.

Search for sample CLs online. Mine was basically just a mashup of sample letters from Berkeley and Harvard and it seemed to work OK for 1l summer.

shock259
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: 1L summer mass mailings - who, when, how, and what?

Postby shock259 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:40 am

Very helpful posts - thank you.

Can anyone else chime in on email vs snail mail? I worked at a law firm for a year and I know how good attorneys are at not reading/responding to emails, so email scares me a little bit :P

OnceUponAMemo
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:25 pm

Re: 1L summer mass mailings - who, when, how, and what?

Postby OnceUponAMemo » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:00 am

Most firms will say email, could do both to increase chances at a response. Judges should definitely be hard-copy. Non-profits vary, wouldn't be bad to call a marketing/recruitment individual at places you are interested in and ask what they prefer.

Good luck.

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Kilpatrick
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:06 am

Re: 1L summer mass mailings - who, when, how, and what?

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:04 am

For firms, email is definitely the way to go unless they specifically ask for hard copy. In my experience only a few small firms did this.

With bigger firms you aren't submitting your resume to busy attorneys. You're emailing recruiting contacts whose job it is to respond to emails.




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