Anonymous User wrote:
You should bid at firms where you have an in because those aren't DC quality grades. Seriously consider bidding NY and leaning on career fairs/mailings/lower bids to get you in front of more DC firms. Better men than you have struck out by inadvisably relying on DC.
I would consider NY or a home market, but DC is my home market. Also I own a home in the DC suburbs in Maryland that I can't really sell and my longtime partner lives in that home and has a solid job in DC. So the only advice that isn't helpful is "bid NY."
I am confident that you're right that better people than me have struck out. I'm just curious if there are any firms in DC that are known for a) being more flexible on grades, b) caring more about previous work experience, or where there might be another factor that gets my foot in the door.
I was top 15% at a T14, grew up in DC, and worked for the federal government my 1L summer. I didn't apply to the tippiest-top DC firms, and still only went 2/4 on screeners and 1/2 on callbacks. My offer was at a firm that specialized in a practice area that I had a technical background in. Ended up at a NYC V5 instead. DC is insanely competitive, even the smaller firms and branch offices.
If you have to be near DC, I'd recommend bidding NYC and using mass-mails and career fairs to target Philly, Baltimore, DC, NOVA, etc. Your chances aren't going to be much worse in DC via these paths, and you'd much rather be a 3L with an NYC SA looking for a job in DC than a 3L with no SA who struck out because he bet the farm on DC.