3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

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3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:05 am

I have a 3.27 at Michigan after 1L.

I have 3 years W/E. History of promotion in all prior positions.

2nd semester GPA was 3.33. 1st semester GPA was 3.2.

I interview slightly better than average.

Where should I be focusing in the DC market?

ETA: Also - I have decent connections in the DC legal market. I probably know somebody who knows somebody in most major firms.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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thelaststraw05
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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby thelaststraw05 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:06 am

I've heard they are going to be posting an updated GPA spreadsheet later today. So keep an eye out for that.

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IAFG
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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby IAFG » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:22 am

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.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:33 am

IAFG 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.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:47 pm

Bump?

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Law Sauce
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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Law Sauce » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:59 pm

Since it seems you'll be in DC this summer, why dont you mail all the firms that you can and try to get interviewers pre-OCI. If your there already, firms may see you since it would be free for them. This may be less successful in DC then other markets, however.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:04 pm

3.27 is a very low GPA for DC firms. There are a few firms (Crowell & Moring, Dickstein Shapiro, Venable e.g.) that will hire people with relatively low GPAs--like 3.3-3.4. But 3.27 is a little low even for those firms. These firms also do not have large summer classes and, like most DC firms, they are very particular about "fit."

I went through Michigan OCI in 2009--so obviously that colors my advice slightly--but DC has always been a difficult market because of its desirability and the small class sizes. I know people who graduated magna from Michigan who struck out in DC. I imagine that things are marginally better now, but I would urge you to consider other markets (NY especially) or look at smaller firms in the area.

You really have to consider the competition you're facing. Many of the top students from the top 10 schools plus the very top students at lower ranked schools will be interviewing for DC firms. Many of these students also have good work experience and DC connections. Unless you have spectacular connections or some kind of unique work experience or academic background (like IP), I think it will be a tough road in DC. But OCI is not the only game in town and there are many other opportunities in DC. Good luck.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby IAFG » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:17 pm

There aren't a lot of SA spots, but you should probably look at NOVA too. And obviously massmail all the non-Vault firms in NALP. But don't shoot yourself in the foot being "DC or bust." After an SA in NY (or Chicago or wherever) you can try again for DC. After a summer with no SA, that's going to be neary impossible. Losing money on a house sucks. Not being near your SO does too. Not having a job sucks worse.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby DCDuck » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:23 pm

Try to focus on firms for which you can sell yourself for a specific practice group. Particularly helpful if you can use your previous work experience to show why you would be a good fit for that particular practice group. Your grades are not stellar, as has been mentioned here, so you will need to have really strong everything else in your application so that you can get to the interview stage and wow them in person with your charm and brilliance. Also consider applying to every firm at which you have a partner connection. That can't hurt. Apply widely. Good luck!

Also might be able to get more specific firm names if you provide what kind of practice area you are most seriously considering.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:45 pm

OP here.

Generally I want to be doing litigation.

It might make me more marketable that this summer I am doing ERISA litigation work under a member of the ERISA Advisory Council. So I could focus my bidding on ERISA litigation work in particular. I'm not at a firm this summer, I'm at a large non-profit doing high impact litigation.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby DCDuck » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:07 pm

I would use your summer position to get the names of firms (and maybe partners) in DC who do ERISA work. Make contacts at your place this summer and use their contacts and ideas to compile a list. Firms that do ERISA work will be a good place to start for you. Send your applications early this summer, but after you can talk intelligently about what you did/learned (sometime in July, probably). If you get the name of a partner in the firm from someone you know, copy them on your application when you send to HR, or send them a copy and note that you heard from so-and-so that Partner X was the main man for ERISA, maybe ask him for coffee or a short informational meeting about his/her ERISA practice.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
IAFG 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.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby XM3045 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:52 pm

OP, send me a PM. I know of a few firms that you may be interested in.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:03 pm

OP, I was in a similar boat from my MVP last year - strong DC ties, good prior W/E, and a sub-median GPA. A few things resulted in getting multiple V100 offers (no, this is not a flame, even though it goes against board conventional wisdom):

1. I wrote onto law review. Obviously you don't know yet if you made the cut, but if you did, it would be a serious boost that (in my experience) gives some fairly selective DC firms a reason to look past your grades.

2. I had a specific focus on a DC-centric regulatory area, and applied exclusively to firms (large and small, at OCI and by mail) with that specialty. If your prior W/E was in a regulated sector (telecoms, pharma, pipelines, etc), or if you enjoy ERISA stuff, ride that HARD during the interview process. Seriously. How many rising 2Ls will DC interviewers meet who are "interested in appellate litigation"? On the other hand, how many interviewees will be able to express a serious, focused interest in a niche practice area like ERISA? If you were an interviewer, who would stand out more in your mind regardless of grades?

3. I applied to boutiques as well as biglaw. If you have one or two specialized practice areas (i.e. not general litigation) you want to pitch as a strength to firms, scour the Chambers rankings and apply to every small and midsize DC boutique in that practice area as well. DC has multiple mid-sized firms that are extremely good at one or two practice areas - they won't pay 160k to start, but from NALP entries it seems like most of them pay more than 100k. [Obviously, these firms are not going to go to Michigan for OCI, so network/mass-mail like mad this summer].

It's not a great situation to be in, and you won't feel remotely comfortable until you get an initial offer. But it absolutely can be done if you focus on a specialty, bid wisely, and do targeted mailings for firms with a particular practice area. [And writing onto LR doesn't hurt.]

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:05 pm

thelaststraw05 wrote:I've heard they are going to be posting an updated GPA spreadsheet later today. So keep an eye out for that.


Has the spreadsheet been posted? Link?

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:31 pm

Also look at Baltimore / Annapolis / Central Maryland Firms. I've talked to some Greenbelt and Annapolis lawyers who said they were hiring summer associates and told me to email in mid-June to possibly set up an interview. You can use this site to search MD firms: http://www.resumelaunchpad.com

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:16 pm

OP here.

Out of curiosity, What boost does the crowd think that Journal of Law Reform give to my chances? JLR is the second-best Journal at Michigan. No information is out yet about Law Review, but JLR invites are going out.

Small boost? Medium boost? No boost?

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby buckilaw » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Out of curiosity, What boost does the crowd think that Journal of Law Reform give to my chances? JLR is the second-best Journal at Michigan. No information is out yet about Law Review, but JLR invites are going out.

Small boost? Medium boost? No boost?


I think the conventional wisdom is that any secondary journal is equivalent to all other secondary journals. But, fwiw when I've looked at the bios of Biglaw attorneys I do see JLR more often than any other journal, so notwithstanding a bigger prestige bump they may like that you did the same journal they did.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:33 pm

buckilaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Out of curiosity, What boost does the crowd think that Journal of Law Reform give to my chances? JLR is the second-best Journal at Michigan. No information is out yet about Law Review, but JLR invites are going out.

Small boost? Medium boost? No boost?


I think the conventional wisdom is that any secondary journal is equivalent to all other secondary journals. But, fwiw when I've looked at the bios of Biglaw attorneys I do see JLR more often than any other journal, so notwithstanding a bigger prestige bump they may like that you did the same journal they did.


So that would be: A small boost, but the same small boost as anywhere else.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Out of curiosity, What boost does the crowd think that Journal of Law Reform give to my chances? JLR is the second-best Journal at Michigan. No information is out yet about Law Review, but JLR invites are going out.

Small boost? Medium boost? No boost?


Did you get on JLR or are you speculating? When did invites start going out?

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Out of curiosity, What boost does the crowd think that Journal of Law Reform give to my chances? JLR is the second-best Journal at Michigan. No information is out yet about Law Review, but JLR invites are going out.

Small boost? Medium boost? No boost?


Did you get on JLR or are you speculating? When did invites start going out?


I did receive a call regarding JLR this afternoon.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Out of curiosity, What boost does the crowd think that Journal of Law Reform give to my chances? JLR is the second-best Journal at Michigan. No information is out yet about Law Review, but JLR invites are going out.

Small boost? Medium boost? No boost?


Did you get on JLR or are you speculating? When did invites start going out?


I did receive a call regarding JLR this afternoon.


super secret journal call regarding journal

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:01 pm

For the record, employers the whole "JLR is the second best journal" thing is a total joke. No one cares about the difference between JLR, MJIL, MTTLR, etc. They only know that it wasn't MLR...

I say this as someone who was ed board of secondary journals at UM. It's a nice thing to have just to be able to say you did it but don't expect any special treatment.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For the record, employers the whole "JLR is the second best journal" thing is a total joke. No one cares about the difference between JLR, MJIL, MTTLR, etc. They only know that it wasn't MLR...

I say this as someone who was ed board of secondary journals at UM. It's a nice thing to have just to be able to say you did it but don't expect any special treatment.


Thanks. This is exactly what I wanted to know.

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Re: 3.27 at Michigan, Bidding DC, Where do I have a chance?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:22 pm

don't know if this helps anyone but I was around that GPA and while i did get an offer (different market), not being on any journal definitely felt like a disadvantage. So FWIW, some journal is better than no journal.




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