Advice for rising 3L

(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: 273146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Advice for rising 3L

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:50 pm

I'm a rising 3L at a top 30 school on the east coast and my grades aren't all that impressive (top 2/3rds) and no journal. I have a lot of work experience in law school (including work for a few professors) but no firm work. I'm wondering if anyone might have advice as to what kind of firms I might realistically have a shot with. I'm 100% aware of the fact that I'm not going to be working for a Vault 100 firm or anything along those lines, but I'm hoping for some realistic advice.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Advice for rising 3L

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:52 pm

Top 2/3? Small firms in geographic regions you have contacts or ties breh

Anonymous User
Posts: 273146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Advice for rising 3L

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:22 pm

rad lulz wrote:Top 2/3? Small firms in geographic regions you have contacts or ties breh


Does small firm necessarily mean small pay? Do any "small" firms pay 80-90?

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Advice for rising 3L

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Top 2/3? Small firms in geographic regions you have contacts or ties breh


Does small firm necessarily mean small pay? Do any "small" firms pay 80-90?

Depends on the firm and market. It's hard to generalize.

2012JayDee
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 10:49 pm

Re: Advice for rising 3L

Postby 2012JayDee » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:55 pm

You should look to intern for these firms during the semester. Depending on the firm they may actually be willing to pay you. We constantly had Simplicty posts for small firms looking for a PT clerk. This is the best way to get law firm experience, contacts, network, actual work experience, and everything else you don't already have. Alternatively, you should look to intern for a judge. If you don't already have employment lined up you should be shooting for some type of clerkship. A clerkship can launch you into a career you otherwise wouldn't have qualified for (i.e. large/mid-sized firm).

I don't know if you're opposed to any particular type of work, but if you are open make sure you cover all of your bases. A lot of gov't positions involve a long interview process that begin early in the 3rd year or even the summer prior if you were a clerk. If you're willing to work at a small firm you could probably find something of interest at a gov't agency and the pay is probably going to be pretty similar.

The bottom line is you've got to start flipping over every stone if you still don't have work right now. It's not uncommon for 3rd years to not have work going into the school year and get something before spring or even as late as April/May nearer to graduation (and of course after you pass the bar is a different story). But you've got to start thinking outside the box a little bit. Firm jobs are fine but they're limited, whether it's a big,medium, or small firm. Too many people focus too much on trying to get a job at a law firm and they forgo possible employment at other legitimate places. Worries about being pigeon-holed or something similar is a slightly irrelevant worry when you're talking about your 1st job out of law school. Especially in this environment. Employers know that the pickings are slim. You'll be frowned upon a lot less if 2 years into your first job you want to leave and practice a more interesting area of law if you gained valuable legal experience from that first job, than if you didn't work at all. It's the whole beggars can't be choosers adage. Your main goal is to get a job that you can put on your resume and take away some legal skills. Work on making partner or being Senior VP in-house next.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273146
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Advice for rising 3L

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:29 pm

2012JayDee wrote:You should look to intern for these firms during the semester. Depending on the firm they may actually be willing to pay you. We constantly had Simplicty posts for small firms looking for a PT clerk. This is the best way to get law firm experience, contacts, network, actual work experience, and everything else you don't already have. Alternatively, you should look to intern for a judge. If you don't already have employment lined up you should be shooting for some type of clerkship. A clerkship can launch you into a career you otherwise wouldn't have qualified for (i.e. large/mid-sized firm).

I don't know if you're opposed to any particular type of work, but if you are open make sure you cover all of your bases. A lot of gov't positions involve a long interview process that begin early in the 3rd year or even the summer prior if you were a clerk. If you're willing to work at a small firm you could probably find something of interest at a gov't agency and the pay is probably going to be pretty similar.

The bottom line is you've got to start flipping over every stone if you still don't have work right now. It's not uncommon for 3rd years to not have work going into the school year and get something before spring or even as late as April/May nearer to graduation (and of course after you pass the bar is a different story). But you've got to start thinking outside the box a little bit. Firm jobs are fine but they're limited, whether it's a big,medium, or small firm. Too many people focus too much on trying to get a job at a law firm and they forgo possible employment at other legitimate places. Worries about being pigeon-holed or something similar is a slightly irrelevant worry when you're talking about your 1st job out of law school. Especially in this environment. Employers know that the pickings are slim. You'll be frowned upon a lot less if 2 years into your first job you want to leave and practice a more interesting area of law if you gained valuable legal experience from that first job, than if you didn't work at all. It's the whole beggars can't be choosers adage. Your main goal is to get a job that you can put on your resume and take away some legal skills. Work on making partner or being Senior VP in-house next.


I'm 100% on board with the government agency idea, and I've been looking for positions, but here's what I've come across: Federal positions seem to be few and far between, and I get the impression that my qualifications won't help with any kind of fellowship program that agencies have to offer. On the other hand, state agency hiring seems to be in a freeze in any state that I have ties to. For both federal and state jobs I've been looking directly at agency websites and also at federal/state HR boards (US Jobs, etc.) Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, and maybe I'm just looking too early, but am I missing something?

Point taken on the clerkships, too. I've been getting everything in order for those for a while.

Thanks for the advice, and all input is very much appreciated.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.