Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

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Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:12 pm

I participated in the school's EIP, got 1 callback that didn't go anywhere. Here's the summary of my situation:

- My grades dropped big-time last semester. I had a 3.44 from Fall '10 that dropped to a 3.19 after the Spring.
- I'm extremely confident that I can bring my grades well above a 3.5 (I'm aiming for Kent this year which is ~3.8+). I took an August class and earned an A, I've earned an A on every (2) "take home" law exam and that's all I'm planning to schedule for. The August professor also offered (and I took) an RA position with him on the basis of my exam. The other take home I've taken was used as a model answer.
- I made a half-hearted effort at mailing and job searching post-EIP. I barely reaped any interviews from that effort and those interviews didn't go anywhere. This combined with the EIP disappointment has really knocked the wind out of my job-search sails.

So now I'm in this awkward position. Part of me feels like my transcript significantly undervalues my ability - yet obviously I need a job this summer. The plan, for better or worse, was always to "work in biglaw" - yet I have little idea how feasible that plan is anymore and I have little passion for other careers in the short term that would essentially make me a debt slave for the next decade. I really have no idea what I should be doing right now in terms of jobs that would position me for the best job possible after graduation.

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IAFG
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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby IAFG » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:18 pm

weird flame

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby azntwice » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:36 pm

try to get a small-law position for this summer and get an offer from them (hopefully). talk to career services about this -- it is possible; that's what I did last summer. then shoot for 3L EIP.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:52 pm

azntwice wrote:try to get a small-law position for this summer and get an offer from them (hopefully). talk to career services about this -- it is possible; that's what I did last summer. then shoot for 3L EIP.


I won't lie, it's going to be difficult. The small law advice is key. You need to have something you can call a "summer associate" position on your resume because a lot of firms will only call back 3Ls with other firm jobs. Example, I had a friend who worked as an unpaid SA for a non-Vault firm and ended up getting a job at a V20. Go on Symplicity, to the Evaluations tab and just pull up a list of employers the c/o 2011 and c/o 2012 worked at. Go through and find all the firms that didn't come to EIP and start spamming and calling them. These places may pay, they may not, the point is you're doing private sector work.

If that fails, try to go for a prestigious paid fed gov position. FDIC, OCC, SEC, etc. Something corporate related. If not that, in-house at a bank or other financial services company like a hedge fund. Keep in touch with the OCS dean and she'll let you know of any 2L SA positions that crop up during the year.

Obviously Kent or high Stone is important. You absolutely cannot fail to get Stone. Anecdotally, I heard of some c/o 2011 3Ls who had high Stone or Kent who got really good offers but who did not do very impressive 2L summer internships. However, for class of 2012, firm hiring seemed much more biased towards those people who had Vault ranked 2L SA's but were simply looking to trade-up.

Feel free to ask any questions. I'm an unemployed CLS 3L still looking.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:47 pm

IAFG wrote:weird flame


I wish.


Thanks for the serious responses so far. I'm taking the small-law advice to heart. The biggest problem is finding firms. I will definitely try the Symplicity method. Career Services has been nice so far and they are aware of my situation, I've been notified of several openings but so far everything I've seen has fallen into a black hole - no interviews or even acknowledgement.

I have no idea what to look for in small law firms either. Is it just going to be a spamming game at this point?

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:07 pm

Are many of your classmates in a similiar situation at CLS ? What is your class rank ?

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Pato_09 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:33 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Are many of your classmates in a similiar situation at CLS ? What is your class rank ?


It is probably around median, since he had a 3.4ish GPA first semester, and 3.2ish GPA second semester. Assuming the median is around 3.35.

I think that the downward grade trend hurt him in the OCI process though.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby kwais » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:42 pm

Pato_09 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Are many of your classmates in a similiar situation at CLS ? What is your class rank ?


It is probably around median, since he had a 3.4ish GPA first semester, and 3.2ish GPA second semester. Assuming the median is around 3.35.

I think that the downward grade trend hurt him in the OCI process though.


I read this differently, as in he probably had a 2.95ish second semester. Who is right?

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Pato_09 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:43 pm

I misread it. That makes more sense then. It was a bigger drop than I thought.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:43 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Are many of your classmates in a similiar situation at CLS ? What is your class rank ?


Wish I could say for sure. Im definitely in a minority - my roommate was in a similar spot but he picked up a firm job in Delaware shortly after striking out at EIP.

As of EIP I ranked just below median, probably 40-45% if I had to guess. Career services insisted my grades were good enough for the firms I targeted, but they always seem optimistic on that note.

I think it was a combination of mediocre grades + straight through undergrad with serious work experience + bland resume + bland interview answers at EIP. I don't think I was able to distinguish myself from the dozens of people that interviewed with the firms. Career services thought my answers weren't showing enough "passion" for the firm's work.

I've just been feeling aimless since last Spring, which translated into zero effort into prep'ing for exams. I figured I could coast through like I did in the Fall - but I learned the hard way that 3hr issue spotters require memorization more than critical thinking. I just can't motivate myself to read hundreds of pages in topics I'm not interested in that have no application toward my desired career.

@Pato

Median here is almost certainly in the 3.2's, I can't remember where but there's some solid math out there proving it. 3.41 is the cutoff for "Stone Award" for 1L's, which is roughly the top 30%.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Pato_09 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:43 pm

Ok - Nevermind.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:46 pm

kwais wrote:
I read this differently, as in he probably had a 2.95ish second semester. Who is right?


You are. Had an awful second semester.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby keg411 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
IAFG wrote:weird flame


I wish.


Thanks for the serious responses so far. I'm taking the small-law advice to heart. The biggest problem is finding firms. I will definitely try the Symplicity method. Career Services has been nice so far and they are aware of my situation, I've been notified of several openings but so far everything I've seen has fallen into a black hole - no interviews or even acknowledgement.

I have no idea what to look for in small law firms either. Is it just going to be a spamming game at this point?


If you didn't do this: mention that you were told to contact the firm by x in career services in your e-mail with a resume/transcript/etc. Trust me, it helps.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:07 pm

keg411 wrote:
If you didn't do this: mention that you were told to contact the firm by x in career services in your e-mail with a resume/transcript/etc. Trust me, it helps.


So far is that every opportunity brought to my attention by career services required that I forward my stuff only TO career services. It would basically say something like "Firms X, Y, and Z are currently looking to fill summer positions for their 2L class. If you are interested please email ABC@careerservices with an unofficial transcript, resume, and what firms you are interested in applying to".

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby keg411 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
keg411 wrote:
If you didn't do this: mention that you were told to contact the firm by x in career services in your e-mail with a resume/transcript/etc. Trust me, it helps.


So far is that every opportunity brought to my attention by career services required that I forward my stuff only TO career services. It would basically say something like "Firms X, Y, and Z are currently looking to fill summer positions for their 2L class. If you are interested please email ABC@careerservices with an unofficial transcript, resume, and what firms you are interested in applying to".


Gotcha. At my school, the email(s) I got were more "X is look for a couple people to fill their class. Send a resume and transcript to ABC@BigLaw".

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:08 pm

Columbia 2L also still looking. The ones sent by OCS were for big law places, so not representative of what has been mentioned here. Don't know what to say since in same boat. Waiting to hear from a couple of CBs from those emails sent by career services, but now have nothing even though have been active on Simplicity since day 1.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby sunynp » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:32 pm

Aimless is a bigger problem than offerless. Are you depressed? Could that be why your grades fell? You need to deal with your apathy right away and sort out what is going on with that. You need to talk to career services and your professors if you gave any contact with practicing attorneys - or the professor you did your ra for has contacts - and ask for very specific advise on what to do. Don't give up - you've just hit a bump in the road. You can get past this.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:31 pm

sunynp wrote:Aimless is a bigger problem than offerless. Are you depressed? Could that be why your grades fell? You need to deal with your apathy right away and sort out what is going on with that. You need to talk to career services and your professors if you gave any contact with practicing attorneys - or the professor you did your ra for has contacts - and ask for very specific advise on what to do. Don't give up - you've just hit a bump in the road. You can get past this.


They are pretty useless, which makes it more depressing. Asked adjunct profs for advice (litigation partners), and it boiled down to find a job elsewhere. No shit. This was made worse when he mentioned NY AG as an example, which just canceled interviews at CLS. Unless get a job at a more corporate like position (i.e., SEC), you are screwed. Know plenty of people who struck out at 3L EIP w/ summers at DoJ, JAG, small firms, plaintiffs firms, etc. Welcome to the leper colony.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:12 pm

you should use martindale to find small firms, not just symplicity. i think it might be a little early to apply, but the worst that will happen is they'll tell you to apply later. do you have a home market? if so, apply to small firms there.

also, i realize the EIP ship has sailed, but what market(s) did you bid on?

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:51 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:you should use martindale to find small firms, not just symplicity. i think it might be a little early to apply, but the worst that will happen is they'll tell you to apply later. do you have a home market? if so, apply to small firms there.


My T6 also maintains a list of small firms that have hired our grads for SA positions in the past few years. I have to imagine that you could get something similar from Columbia OCS.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:55 pm

sunynp wrote:Aimless is a bigger problem than offerless. Are you depressed? Could that be why your grades fell? You need to deal with your apathy right away and sort out what is going on with that. You need to talk to career services and your professors if you gave any contact with practicing attorneys - or the professor you did your ra for has contacts - and ask for very specific advise on what to do. Don't give up - you've just hit a bump in the road. You can get past this.


I wouldn't say I'm quite at "depressed" yet, but I'm probably close. I think part of it is being sick of "school stuff" where 90% of my obligations have absolutely no real world meaning or purpose. I have no idea how to shake this kind of apathy. While I wasn't really that affected by striking out at EIP, I realize how much happier I'd be now if I had landed an offer. I would kill for that feeling of finally founding a career, a purpose, a line of work that I'm satisfied with to call my own.

Now I'm haunted by the fact that even if I end up with a less competitive job, couldn't I have gotten that for half the price by just excelling at my state school?

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:12 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:you should use martindale to find small firms, not just symplicity. i think it might be a little early to apply, but the worst that will happen is they'll tell you to apply later. do you have a home market? if so, apply to small firms there.

also, i realize the EIP ship has sailed, but what market(s) did you bid on?


I bid almost completely on the NYC market, but threw in a few "home" market firms as well.

I could've bid heavier on those "home" firms but part of my was conflicted about it since I would want to get out of that market and back to NYC as soon as possible. I knew that even if I got a big law job in my home market, I would essentially be trying to rip them off at the first possible opportunity. That doesn't jive well with my code of ethics, especially since I'd have to lie my ass through the entire process too (Oh yea, I would LOOOOOVE to work in X City *cough*).

Would I really want to remember my job search process as "finding the one home-state firm willing to take a chance on me, and then screwing them over with the one risk that I had to extensively lie about?"

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:you should use martindale to find small firms, not just symplicity. i think it might be a little early to apply, but the worst that will happen is they'll tell you to apply later. do you have a home market? if so, apply to small firms there.

also, i realize the EIP ship has sailed, but what market(s) did you bid on?


I bid almost completely on the NYC market, but threw in a few "home" market firms as well.

I could've bid heavier on those "home" firms but part of my was conflicted about it since I would want to get out of that market and back to NYC as soon as possible. I knew that even if I got a big law job in my home market, I would essentially be trying to rip them off at the first possible opportunity. That doesn't jive well with my code of ethics, especially since I'd have to lie my ass through the entire process too (Oh yea, I would LOOOOOVE to work in X City *cough*).

Would I really want to remember my job search process as "finding the one home-state firm willing to take a chance on me, and then screwing them over with the one risk that I had to extensively lie about?"


Outed as flame or insane. You chose striking out instead? Placating your conscience by willingly foregoing a biglaw job?

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:29 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:you should use martindale to find small firms, not just symplicity. i think it might be a little early to apply, but the worst that will happen is they'll tell you to apply later. do you have a home market? if so, apply to small firms there.

also, i realize the EIP ship has sailed, but what market(s) did you bid on?


I bid almost completely on the NYC market, but threw in a few "home" market firms as well.

I could've bid heavier on those "home" firms but part of my was conflicted about it since I would want to get out of that market and back to NYC as soon as possible. I knew that even if I got a big law job in my home market, I would essentially be trying to rip them off at the first possible opportunity. That doesn't jive well with my code of ethics, especially since I'd have to lie my ass through the entire process too (Oh yea, I would LOOOOOVE to work in X City *cough*).

Would I really want to remember my job search process as "finding the one home-state firm willing to take a chance on me, and then screwing them over with the one risk that I had to extensively lie about?"


Outed as flame or insane. You chose striking out instead? Placating your conscience by willingly foregoing a biglaw job?

Chill. Things are obviously clearer in retrospect.

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Re: Columbia 2L: Aimless and Offerless - what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:54 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
Outed as flame or insane. You chose striking out instead? Placating your conscience by willingly foregoing a biglaw job?


It's obviously a little more complex than that. I also had to consider:

1) The reality that my home market might not be any easier to bust in to than NYC
2) Even if I got out ASAP, I didn't really want to go back and live there for any period of time - I'm also engaged and she has few appropriate career opportunities in the state
3) I came to Columbia to get a job in NYC, and during EIP season I still had the feeling that I would be "giving up" if I focused on my home market. I felt like working in the home market would've meant attending Columbia was a dramatic waste of money, since I could've positioned myself better for far less at the state school.

And then there's the "conscience" part. I'm actually pretty sensitive toward it. I want to follow life by the golden rule and generally help people who help me. Taking a firm who invests hundreds of thousands of dollars into my training and career development and giving them the finger at the first possible opportunity is not something I would be comfortable living with. I would also have to lie extensively during interviews and callbacks - and ultimately I would punish anyone who made the mistake of believing and trusting me. So yes, I have/had a problem with lying/ripping off people. Even if they are a big law firm.




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