Northern California Midsize Firms?

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Anonymous User
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Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:18 am

I'm a 2L at T-14 (East Coast), wanting to go back to the Bay Area after law school.

I failed all my interviews with big laws at OCI, mainly because of my mediocre GPA. I'm thinking about shooting for mid-size firms by mass mailing starting tomorrow.

Is this a good idea? Where can I even get the list of mid-size NorCal firms? NALP seems to have only big size firms..

Any tips will be appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:56 pm

Midsize firms are generally as competitive, if not more so, than biglaw firms. That being said, the criteria can be different (e.g. local ties). It will probably be hard for you to succeed with these firms being so far away from you. With midsize/regional firms, the local schools (e.g. Berkeley, Hastings, and Stanford) tend to dominate.

I know of a few smaller firms in NorCal:
Hanson Bridgett
Farella Braun
Howard Rice
Althuser(?) Berzon
Keker Van Nest
Durie Tangrie(?)

It probably doesn't hurt you to mass mail, but honestly the chances of getting anything are pretty low. I would suggest looking for alumni from your school and calling/emailing to see if you can get a foot in the door. Or, if you have any personal contacts, that would be good as well.

If you had a tech background, you might claim IP work, which is currently booming everywhere (including NorCal).

Best of luck.

johndhi
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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby johndhi » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L at T-14 (East Coast), wanting to go back to the Bay Area after law school.

I failed all my interviews with big laws at OCI, mainly because of my mediocre GPA. I'm thinking about shooting for mid-size firms by mass mailing starting tomorrow.

Is this a good idea? Where can I even get the list of mid-size NorCal firms? NALP seems to have only big size firms..

Any tips will be appreciated. Thanks!


I kind of agree with the other guy, but don't buy into the idea that mid-sized firms tend to be more selective, or that you're screwed by being on the East Coast. Sure, Keker and Farella are both selective about who they hire, but I have the feeling you weren't referring to the ultra-prestigious or litigation boutiques of the Bay Area, but rather smaller, specialized mid-size firms with which yo'ull have a greater chance, e.g. construction or employment firms in the East Bay. They exist; talk to career services to get a list. Talk to lawyers in the area that you know. Can also take a look at smaller offices of some slightly larger firms, like Seyfarth Shaw.

One place I know you can find a list that includes a lot of mid-size or smaller firms is Harvard Law's career services guide to Plaintiffs and Public Interest law firms. Some of those firms barely squeeze into either category and actually do a lot of what you might be interested in. Big list of California firms in that document.

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Chichaca
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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Chichaca » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:18 pm

Here's a link to the list I think the last poster was referring to:
--LinkRemoved--
(List of firms is at the end of the document)

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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:33 pm

OP here. Thanks for the advice and the list of firms. Not sure about mass mailing now, after considering what you've said. Hopefully some of those firms accept applications during next Spring.

I'm not IP, although I wish I were. Bay Area does seem much more friendly towards IP folks. sigh.

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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:39 pm

Althuser(?) Berzon
Keker Van Nest


These are two insanely competitive firms.

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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:14 pm

I recommend trying to work any connections that you might have, especially if you're from the area. It's probably the best bet.

Second to that, try to figure out what firms in Northern California specialize in and indicate a specific interest in that practice. For example, if you're aiming for Silicon Valley, you could try to position yourself as interested in emerging companies, venture capital, etc. Or perhaps, if you're aiming for San Francisco, you could position yourself as a securities litigator (as a fair amount of finance related work goes on in SF).

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:24 pm

OP, just out of curiosity: what kind of lawyer did you plan on becoming when you decided to go to law school? Why did you decide to go to law school on the East Coast when you knew you wanted to go back to the West Coast?

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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:02 am

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:OP, just out of curiosity: what kind of lawyer did you plan on becoming when you decided to go to law school? Why did you decide to go to law school on the East Coast when you knew you wanted to go back to the West Coast?


I went to the East Coast because of my school's ranking.. I am interested in corporate practices(M&A, private equities), but also thinking about going into tax.

When I decided to move to the East Coast, I did not realize it would be this difficult to get a job in the home ground. :( :(

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Northern California Midsize Firms?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:OP, just out of curiosity: what kind of lawyer did you plan on becoming when you decided to go to law school? Why did you decide to go to law school on the East Coast when you knew you wanted to go back to the West Coast?


I went to the East Coast because of my school's ranking.. I am interested in corporate practices(M&A, private equities), but also thinking about going into tax.

When I decided to move to the East Coast, I did not realize it would be this difficult to get a job in the home ground. :( :(


You really gotta target every firm you can find with cover letters highlighting your work experience or any other factors that would make you a great corporate lawyer. Forget about the West Coast, if you don't find a job SOMEWHERE you'll never end up practicing corporate law at all.




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