knowing your professors...

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

knowing your professors...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:39 pm

honestly, seriously - how much does this help?


I have a job but feel sorry for some of my classmates.
One was on LR and published a note. nice person and middling grades (perhaps slightly above average but since she did not swing honors it probably does not matter). She has not been able to find a full time permanent job since may and is now employed by the school.

Another has no legal experience at all, except serving as RA for the same professor both summers. below average grades. The professor happened to know the two partners at a really small firm. he made calls for her and she's now employed.

Is this just a matter of luck?

edit: T25 that places really well in NE

User avatar
NoleinNY
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:58 pm

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby NoleinNY » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:honestly, seriously - how much does this help?


I have a job but feel sorry for some of my classmates.
One was on LR and published a note. nice person and middling grades (perhaps slightly above average but since she did not swing honors it probably does not matter). She has not been able to find a full time permanent job since may and is now employed by the school.

Another has no legal experience at all, except serving as RA for the same professor both summers. below average grades. The professor happened to know the two partners at a really small firm. he made calls for her and she's now employed.

Is this just a matter of luck?

edit: T25 that places really well in NE


BU?

Outside the top of the class, networking and knowing people accounts for a hell of a lot. I met 6 people at a random local bar association event that got their current firm jobs from a professor of mine. That really sucks for your LR friend and I hope she can find something.

But to answer your question, it can help a lot (depending on the professor).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:22 am

my LR friend is not "aspie' just decent personality and very low-key. She went to a top ugrad too.

sometimes it's difficult to tell which professor has the pulling power, though. I know someone from last year (2010) who RA'ed for a top and high-profile corporate law professor and apparently made a very good impression. He has not got anything either and has pretty much given up on being a lawyer - he's now looking for law-related jobs.

User avatar
NoleinNY
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:58 pm

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby NoleinNY » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:my LR friend is not "aspie' just decent personality and very low-key. She went to a top ugrad too.

sometimes it's difficult to tell which professor has the pulling power, though. I know someone from last year (2010) who RA'ed for a top and high-profile corporate law professor and apparently made a very good impression. He has not got anything either and has pretty much given up on being a lawyer - he's now looking for law-related jobs.


I didn't call your friend aspie, if that is what you are implying.

I know it's tough to tell, but sometimes when you meet lawyers you can get a sense. For example, mention professor Y to a plaintiff's attorney in Los Angeles and they'll rave about him. Mention professor Q to a real estate attorney and they worked with them. A big clue to pulling power is what the professor does when they are not teaching. Are they big in academia or are they actively involved in the legal community.

One professor at my school is an emeritus counsel at high profile midlaw firm and got several RA's jobs. One is an expert witness in his field and has pull. The professor I mentioned in my first post hosts a city wide award ceremony recognizing some of the best attorney's in LA and is also active in his field. It's a crap shoot.

Also, it's not just about pull for a job. Sometimes a friendly introduction or even asking the professor about events related to a field can help your search.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:29 am

NoleinNY wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:my LR friend is not "aspie' just decent personality and very low-key. She went to a top ugrad too.

sometimes it's difficult to tell which professor has the pulling power, though. I know someone from last year (2010) who RA'ed for a top and high-profile corporate law professor and apparently made a very good impression. He has not got anything either and has pretty much given up on being a lawyer - he's now looking for law-related jobs.


I didn't call your friend aspie, if that is what you are implying.

I know it's tough to tell, but sometimes when you meet lawyers you can get a sense. For example, mention professor Y to a plaintiff's attorney in Los Angeles and they'll rave about him. Mention professor Q to a real estate attorney and they worked with them. A big clue to pulling power is what the professor does when they are not teaching. Are they big in academia or are they actively involved in the legal community.

One professor at my school is an emeritus counsel at high profile midlaw firm and got several RA's jobs. One is an expert witness in his field and has pull. The professor I mentioned in my first post hosts a city wide award ceremony recognizing some of the best attorney's in LA and is also active in his field. It's a crap shoot.

Also, it's not just about pull for a job. Sometimes a friendly introduction or even asking the professor about events related to a field can help your search.


no i didn't imply that. but some people would presume that she has problems.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby MrKappus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:41 am

This thread is unbelievably stupid. And with that observation, I have added as much as...this thread did.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:42 am

I'll put it like this. I know one of my professors very well -- we shoot the breeze about sports and politics as well as any law-school related business. Come clerkship application time, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have received at least two of my fed. COA interviews (including one with the judge I will be working for) had he not gone to bat for me. This is at a T1 and the prof is well-regarded, but doesn't have the level of presence in the legal field as Chemerinsky, etc.

Networking doesn't come easy to many law students, but why close yourself off to a bridge when you don't know what lies ahead? I keep all of my connections, even my pre-LS ones, active -- you never know when you might need to call in a favor.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:20 pm

This varies a ton. I have a friend who is passionate about a field, has interned in it and is the research assistant for one of the top academics in the field. So far, this academic has been unable to help this student, who has high grades, in anyway. On the other hand, I got to know a professor who has very bad teacher rating pretty well and when I applied for a random internship and some random clerkships, she happened to know the random internship place well and called for me and was very passionate about getting me a clerkship. I would have never guess she liked me that much or had those kind of connections, but it paid off. My advice would be to get to know your professors simply because you're paying them $150/hr to learn and they are a captive audience to you in office hours. Don't force it and don't go in with a hand out, but see what they've learned in their 30+ years and maybe you hit it off and they help you out.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:34 pm

I'd add that this is especially true if you take a class taught by an adjunct professor who actually practices law full time. I have two stories relevant to this:

- I took a Trial Advocacy class taught by one of the judges on the highest court in my state. He wrote my classmate a recomendation for the State's Attorney's office, and the guy got a call for an interview a few days later. Would he have gotten the interview without the rec? Maybe. But that kind of quick turnaround seems to indicate to me that it had an effect.

- I took a class taught by a partner in the top Biglaw firm in my state. My summer firm asked to talk to one of my professors from a litigation-oriented course, and he agreed to help me out. Apparently he gave me a rave review, and several of the attorneys at my firm had worked with or against him on cases before and credited his take very highly.


My advice is that if you don't get anything at 2L OCI, taking classes taught by adjuncts is the way to go. They'll have a lot more relevant advice on how to market yourself and a lot more contacts in the legal community than your typical professor. Let's face it, increasingly the average professor followed the HYS -> Clerkship -> 2 years at a prestigious firm -> Academia route. While there are exceptions, and even many of these relatively practice-inexperienced professors do cultivate contacts in the legal community, my experience has been that adjuncts will have better advice and more pull. At the very least you've made a contact with a respected member of the local legal community who clearly, just by the fact that they're moonlighting as an adjunct, loves to help younger attorneys and give advice.

User avatar
snowpeach06
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:32 am

Re: knowing your professors...

Postby snowpeach06 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:20 pm

Knowing professors certainly can't hurt, especially in the school's market. Chances are the teacher also taught half the lawyers in town, and if a lawyer knows/respects that professor their word might mean a lot. I got my position because my professor recommended me.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.