How to land a 1L SA

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How to land a 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:41 pm

Anyone have a definitive guide on this? I tried searching but couldn't find one other than talk of mysterious "connections" or "mass mailing".

As I understand, basically what you're supposed to do is blast your resume at hundreds of firms around December of your 1L year, and if they show interest by emailing back, you update with grades as soon as possible.

Does this sound about right? If so, how does one go about it? Attach a cover letter + resume to the email? What kinds of firms hire 1L SAs? When are interviews for these positions?

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bankruptedcasino
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bankruptedcasino » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:45 pm

I am skeptical this "blasting your resume" approach will be in any way successful unless you're going to a school in the T14.

My school had OCI for 1Ls in the Spring that placed for summer jobs at the end of the semester. To qualify, as with anything in law school, grades needed to be high. Some of them will even extend your summer employment to PT clerking during the year. That's what happened to me, and I've been working at the same firm ever since (taking a break in the summer to do BigLaw SA's tho).

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:50 pm

bankruptedcasino wrote:I am skeptical this "blasting your resume" approach will be in any way successful unless you're going to a school in the T14.

My school had OCI for 1Ls in the Spring that placed for summer jobs at the end of the semester. To qualify, as with anything in law school, grades needed to be high. Some of them will even extend your summer employment to PT clerking during the year. That's what happened to me, and I've been working at the same firm ever since (taking a break in the summer to do BigLaw SA's tho).


OP here,

That program sounds very school specific. Can I ask what school (or what range) it was? To clarify, I'm going to a T6 so really looking for specific advice on that.

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bankruptedcasino
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bankruptedcasino » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:51 pm

T50

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angrybird
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby angrybird » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:54 pm

most schools have 1L OCI in the spring, typically with few employers. getting an SA is possible, but quite difficult without very high first semester grades. there are also usually minority job fairs around that time if you qualify for that.

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bk1
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:59 pm

There is no set timetable, but the thing is to act early with your massmail. Grades aren't always a big deal (though with some firms they can be). If you're LGBT/minority/female your odds go up since you can apply to diversity 1L SA's (not sure how much being female helps but I'm pretty sure females can apply at least).

But the reality is you should just accept you're probably not going to get a 1L SA.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:29 pm

T14+BSEE got it for me.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:35 pm

There are a few ways to do this.

1) Be URM
2) Go to T14
3) Have a decent resume and grades

Alternative

1) Have great WE
2) Get good grades @ T14
3) Apply early and widely

Alternative two

1) Have undergrad degree in desirable IP field w/ good grades in science courses
2) Do reasonably well in law school
3) Apply to patent prosecution firms

Alternative three

1) Be well connected to someone who can get you a 1L SA
Last edited by bdubs on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:37 pm

bdubs wrote:1) Be URM
2) Go to T14
3) Have a decent resume and grades


I'm fairly sure even only a minority of these land 1L SA's.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby lobolawyer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:39 pm

Wreck first semester 1L.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:40 pm

bk1 wrote:
bdubs wrote:1) Be URM
2) Go to T14
3) Have a decent resume and grades


I'm fairly sure even only a minority of these land 1L SA's.


Sure, but it doesn't hurt to try at least.

Is the consensus that outside a 1L SA, any job is ok as long as it's legal related? (Working for a judge, working at some PI gig, etc?)

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:40 pm

bk1 wrote:
bdubs wrote:1) Be URM
2) Go to T14
3) Have a decent resume and grades


I'm fairly sure even only a minority of these land 1L SA's.


It drastically increases your odds relative to a non-URM student. The number of diversity programs for 1Ls outnumbers regular 1L SA spots by at least 2 to 1 (if job postings are any indication).
Last edited by bdubs on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:40 pm

lobolawyer wrote:Wreck first semester 1L.


My impression was that the 1L SA search usually starts before first semester grades came out (December). Is this not the case? Should I not mass mail before I have first semester grades?

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bk1
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sure, but it doesn't hurt to try at least.

Is the consensus that outside a 1L SA, any job is ok as long as it's legal related? (Working for a judge, working at some PI gig, etc?)


Of course it doesn't hurt to try, but it's not something to count on and most things in the application process are outside your control (your school is what it is, your resume is set in stone at that point, your grades are what they are, and whether you can apply to diversity SA's is out of your control). The other thing is that markets vary. Chicago doesn't have many 1L SA's, neither does NorCal. NYC firms don't have many but due to the sheer number of firms NYC ends up with a handful. I'm told that TX and Southern markets are much more amenable to 1L SA's. So all that really is in your control is applying broadly (to every firm in every market you have ties) and applying early (Dec 1). But if you don't put in time early you're gonna be stuck in the middle of studying finals when Dec 1 rolls around and I'd call you a fool if you put off studying to spent significant time on job apps.

Yes any legal job is fine for your 1L summer.

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bk1
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:47 pm

bdubs wrote:It drastically increases your odds relative to a non-URM student. The number of diversity programs for 1Ls outnumbers regular 1L SA spots by at least 2 to 1 (if job postings are any indication).


No disagreement though non-URM odds start out minuscule to begin with. A lot of those diversity 1L SA's are also in secondary markets (I'm not sure how much they care about ties for diversity 1L SA's).

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Doritos
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby Doritos » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:48 pm

Chances are you won't get one. Depends a lot on connections, where you are from, etc. Grades and being brown are not necessary nor sufficient. Also, are you actually in law school yet? If you are a 0L just shootin' the shit in the legal employment forum there are lots of better things you can do with your time like anything else. It's pointless to speculate. Worry about this in October/November.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby LawIdiot86 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
bk1 wrote:
bdubs wrote:1) Be URM
2) Go to T14
3) Have a decent resume and grades


I'm fairly sure even only a minority of these land 1L SA's.


Sure, but it doesn't hurt to try at least.

Is the consensus that outside a 1L SA, any job is ok as long as it's legal related? (Working for a judge, working at some PI gig, etc?)


Yes, it does hurt to try. Either you'll end up distracted with the firms apps during finals and do poorly or you'll end up diluting your efforts to get a judge/PI corp or you'll waste your break and miss out on de-stressing and firm receptions for 2L OCI.

You're going to a T6, so as long as you follow the normal path, your golden ticket is punched. Work hard, get on Barristers' Council, do Journal Write-on, skipp student clubs, and get an easy job with a federal judge/USAO/SEC/WhatevFed in your target city or a city other then NYC.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:55 pm

bdubs wrote:There are a few ways to do this.

1) Be URM
2) Go to T14
3) Have a decent resume and grades

Alternative

1) Have great WE
2) Get good grades @ T14
3) Apply early and widely

Alternative two

1) Have undergrad degree in desirable IP field w/ good grades in science courses
2) Do reasonably well in law school
3) Apply to patent prosecution firms

Alternative three

1) Be well connected to someone who can get you a 1L SA


Alternative four
1) Go to T14, have Texas ties, and hustle.
Or
2) Go to UT, have good grades, and interview well.

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PrincetonLaw
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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby PrincetonLaw » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:28 pm

bdubs wrote:There are a few ways to do this.

1) Be URM
2) Go to T14
3) Have a decent resume and grades

Alternative

1) Have great WE
2) Get good grades @ T14
3) Apply early and widely

Alternative two

1) Have undergrad degree in desirable IP field w/ good grades in science courses
2) Do reasonably well in law school
3) Apply to patent prosecution firms

Alternative three

1) Be well connected to someone who can get you a 1L SA


I dont get how being a URM helps? Like literally... Do they just go based on the name on your resume or what. Aren't a lot of 1L gigs obtained through mass mailing (or connections-in which case URM wouldn't matter) so it's not like you're checking a box like on LSAC.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby lobolawyer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lobolawyer wrote:Wreck first semester 1L.


My impression was that the 1L SA search usually starts before first semester grades came out (December). Is this not the case? Should I not mass mail before I have first semester grades?


Def. start early. But from anecdotal experience most of the hiring I've seen occurs after most 1L grades are out.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby chasgoose » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:35 pm

PrincetonLaw wrote:
bdubs wrote:There are a few ways to do this.

1) Be URM
2) Go to T14
3) Have a decent resume and grades

Alternative

1) Have great WE
2) Get good grades @ T14
3) Apply early and widely

Alternative two

1) Have undergrad degree in desirable IP field w/ good grades in science courses
2) Do reasonably well in law school
3) Apply to patent prosecution firms

Alternative three

1) Be well connected to someone who can get you a 1L SA


I dont get how being a URM helps? Like literally... Do they just go based on the name on your resume or what. Aren't a lot of 1L gigs obtained through mass mailing (or connections-in which case URM wouldn't matter) so it's not like you're checking a box like on LSAC.


Most 1L SA spots that are given for diversity reasons are offered through formal diversity application processes where you have to write some sort of diversity essay for consideration.

For mass mailing applications Most schools have affinity groups for the various kinds of URM, just say you are a member on your resume even if you don't do anything. It's a surefire way that they will know. Firms know that aside from board positions (which are taken by 2L's and 3L's) most people don't do much in these organizations.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby NinerFan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:41 pm

Aren't the 1L firm job numbers at t-14's in the 20% range? It's not THAT uncommon, but my bet is that many of those 1L firm jobs are not for traditional big law. A good number probably result from kids who apply to middle-sized and smaller law firms in their hometowns or states.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:48 pm

NinerFan wrote:Aren't the 1L firm job numbers at t-14's in the 20% range? It's not THAT uncommon, but my bet is that many of those 1L firm jobs are not for traditional big law. A good number probably result from kids who apply to middle-sized and smaller law firms in their hometowns or states.


It was 18% for Northwestern according to our career services page. I don't think it's that unusual for someone to get a 1L firm job. One in five is pretty good considering that only 60% or so got 2L firm jobs. Of that 20%, I am guessing that probably >50% are diversity or IP positions. I only know a handful of people who got 1L positions without a special hook.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby NinerFan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:58 pm

bdubs wrote:
NinerFan wrote:Aren't the 1L firm job numbers at t-14's in the 20% range? It's not THAT uncommon, but my bet is that many of those 1L firm jobs are not for traditional big law. A good number probably result from kids who apply to middle-sized and smaller law firms in their hometowns or states.


It was 18% for Northwestern according to our career services page. I don't think it's that unusual for someone to get a 1L firm job. One in five is pretty good considering that only 60% or so got 2L firm jobs. Of that 20%, I am guessing that probably >50% are diversity or IP positions. I only know a handful of people who got 1L positions without a special hook.


Some of the people I know with 1L firm jobs got it (probably) via diversity, but others have no diversity at all. Most of the people who got them targeted Texas, Midwest, or Southern markets. They were generally from there, though, so I guess that's your hook, but they weren't superstars with grades or URM's or anything.

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Re: How to land a 1L SA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lobolawyer wrote:Wreck first semester 1L.


My impression was that the 1L SA search usually starts before first semester grades came out (December). Is this not the case? Should I not mass mail before I have first semester grades?


Mass mail your hometown firms (where you will be over winter break) on Dec 1. It costs them about $50 for them to buy you lunch and a lot of times if you come from a good school at least some of them will give you an interview. Obviously this doesn't work as well if you're from NYC then if you're from Birmingham.

You probably won't get grades until sometime after the new year, but you should have all of your apps out (the ones not in your home town) by Jan 1 if not earlier. Most firms will either tell you "Thanks give us grades when you get them" or "Not hiring" at that point. If at all possible try to target your cover letters, people can and do tell when you send out some form bullshit and when you're fighting over 2-3 spots you need to pull out all the stops. Grades were extremely important for me, but some people got hired at other firms before they came out. I think in major markets with big firms they're gonna be more important than your hometown firm that's just happy to have a grad from X law school.

At the very least even if you don't come out with a SA a lot of people come out with a number of callbacks for 2L OCI already in the bag.




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