Anonymous User wrote:First off, thanks for doing this. It's nice to hear something that isn't coming from an employment office or other slanted source.
Second, I was wondering about the prospects of a candidate that doesn't work as a summer associate after 2L. For reference, I'm at MVP, grades are about at the median, maybe a tick below or above. Nothing great as far as WE goes. I am working in a US Attorney's office this summer and really enjoy it. I plan to apply to some jobs at DOJ and another USAO for next summer in addition to doing OCI and mass mailing.
The NALP pages I have looked at, however, seem to suggest that it is rare for a firm to hire an entry-level candidate who hadn't been a summer associate. Does working as something other than a summer associate really hamstring a candidate's chances of getting a firm job after graduation? Moreover, how much of an uphill battle is it to get a job at a firm other than one at which you have been a summer associate?
Not sure whether this is flame, but it's a HUGE uphill battle. 3L hiring is nearly non-existent these days and there's usually a compelling reason (for example, a candidate who summered at Cravath and received an offer needs to move to LA for personal reasons - that person has a good shot). There are rare exceptions (I guess I'd suggest that 3Ls looking for positions pitch their interest in bank finance - it's incredibly hot right now), but in general you will have a very tough shot.
You should generally assume that you spend your 2L summer doing what you want to do after graduation. There are exceptions (clerking, etc.) and I have no idea if doing 2L summer at a firm precludes trying to get hired at DOJ/USAO after graduation (no idea how that process works), if that's what you really want to do. But if you want to work at a firm immediately after graduation, work at a firm 2L year.