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IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:57 pm
by shaq896
I'm going to be a IL at Duke Law this fall, and I know it's a little early but I was wondering if anyone had any advice for how to obtain a Biglaw summer position? I understand getting one of these is next to impossible, and Duke is a good school but it's not a T6 or anything but any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have a small scholarship that covers around 30% of tuition, and my UGPA was good not great (3.76) but what can I do over the course of the school year to make myself more attractive to these firms (besides grades)? I would like to eventually go into M&A law, but am open to anything at this point. Thanks!

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:01 pm
by r6_philly
shaq896 wrote:I'm going to be a IL at Duke Law this fall, and I know it's a little early but I was wondering if anyone had any advice for how to obtain a Biglaw summer position? I understand getting one of these is next to impossible, and Duke is a good school but it's not a T6 or anything but any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have a small scholarship that covers around 30% of tuition, and my UGPA was good not great (3.76) but what can I do over the course of the school year to make myself more attractive to these firms (besides grades)? I would like to eventually go into M&A law, but am open to anything at this point. Thanks!


Search the forum, this is covered a lot.

M&A I assume you want to work in NY. Diversity programs, relevant, good WE are usually the only way in.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:12 pm
by inthebeginning
What? plenty of people get big law jobs coming out of duke? What do you mean ONLY way in?

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:12 pm
by r6_philly
inthebeginning wrote:What? plenty of people get big law jobs coming out of duke? What do you mean ONLY way in?


He said 1L biglaw summer.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:14 pm
by inthebeginning
r6_philly wrote:
inthebeginning wrote:What? plenty of people get big law jobs coming out of duke? What do you mean ONLY way in?


He said 1L biglaw summer.


Ah, got it. Why the desire for 1L summer? $$?

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:15 pm
by IAFG
It's easier to get a COA clerkship. GTFO.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:16 pm
by r6_philly
inthebeginning wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
inthebeginning wrote:What? plenty of people get big law jobs coming out of duke? What do you mean ONLY way in?


He said 1L biglaw summer.


Ah, got it. Why the desire for 1L summer? $$?


$$ and perhaps you don't have to stress for OCI. And you learn quite a bit about the practice too - it helps reaffirm a desire to work somewhere on something or give you a second change to try another place/practice for 2L. There really is no downside.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:17 pm
by r6_philly
IAFG wrote:It's easier to get a COA clerkship. GTFO.


Haha, Fed. Cir. here I come.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:18 pm
by Ruxin1
r6_philly wrote:
IAFG wrote:It's easier to get a COA clerkship. GTFO.


Haha, Fed. Cir. here I come.


I think she meant getting a COA clerkship is easier than IL Biglaw 1L SA

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:19 pm
by r6_philly
Ruxin1 wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
IAFG wrote:It's easier to get a COA clerkship. GTFO.


Haha, Fed. Cir. here I come.


I think she meant getting a COA clerkship is easier than IL Biglaw 1L SA


Yes, so I have one, hence it should be easier to get the other.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:20 pm
by IAFG
r6_philly wrote:
IAFG wrote:It's easier to get a COA clerkship. GTFO.


Haha, Fed. Cir. here I come.

:P just because one thing is easier than another doesn't mean they're measuring the same credentials.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:26 pm
by r6_philly
IAFG wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
IAFG wrote:It's easier to get a COA clerkship. GTFO.


Haha, Fed. Cir. here I come.

:P just because one thing is easier than another doesn't mean they're measuring the same credentials.


Should be for the Fed. Cir. I am going to hold you to this :P

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:29 pm
by IAFG
r6_philly wrote:
IAFG wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
IAFG wrote:It's easier to get a COA clerkship. GTFO.


Haha, Fed. Cir. here I come.

:P just because one thing is easier than another doesn't mean they're measuring the same credentials.


Should be for the Fed. Cir. I am going to hold you to this :P

Uh huh. Except there are a bunch of better-credentialed people in line in front of you, and fed cir ain't impressed by ties.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:31 pm
by r6_philly
IAFG wrote:Uh huh. Except there are a bunch of better-credentialed people in line in front of you, and fed cir ain't impressed by ties.


No, but they will be impressed by me. :mrgreen:

And I don't really have ties BTW.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:47 pm
by inthebeginning
r6_philly wrote:
inthebeginning wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
inthebeginning wrote:What? plenty of people get big law jobs coming out of duke? What do you mean ONLY way in?


He said 1L biglaw summer.


Ah, got it. Why the desire for 1L summer? $$?


$$ and perhaps you don't have to stress for OCI. And you learn quite a bit about the practice too - it helps reaffirm a desire to work somewhere on something or give you a second change to try another place/practice for 2L. There really is no downside.


What about the downside of not clerking for a judge or doing something else? I'm interested in this because I've worked in a corporation for 3 years and figured I should work in a non-corp related legal role first summer to see something different.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:54 pm
by r6_philly
inthebeginning wrote:What about the downside of not clerking for a judge or doing something else? I'm interested in this because I've worked in a corporation for 3 years and figured I should work in a non-corp related legal role first summer to see something different.


Intern != clerking. You will be applying to clerk after law school during 2L summer, and I don't think an internship really adds too much for clerking. Also, you can apply to be an extern during the school year if you really want to work with a judge.

You learn things about working as an associate when you SA. You will not learn that working anywhere else. Many places will give you great summer experience, so I am not saying it's the end all, but it does bridge the gap of learning between law school and working as a lawyer in a firm. I now can schedule the next two years to learn things I think will be useful for my future practice, which is probably not going to happen if I interned for a judge without working at a firm.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:24 pm
by dixiecupdrinking
I think if you're on the fence about pursuing biglaw versus public interest or something, then spending your 1L summer in another potential area of your interest is a good idea... it's your best chance to assess that kind of work up close. But for your average T14 person who is pretty sure they're going to want to work for a firm, then I don't see any reason not to take a 1L SA job if you can.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:30 pm
by fish52
r6_philly wrote:
inthebeginning wrote:What about the downside of not clerking for a judge or doing something else? I'm interested in this because I've worked in a corporation for 3 years and figured I should work in a non-corp related legal role first summer to see something different.


Intern != clerking. You will be applying to clerk after law school during 2L summer, and I don't think an internship really adds too much for clerking. Also, you can apply to be an extern during the school year if you really want to work with a judge.

You learn things about working as an associate when you SA. You will not learn that working anywhere else. Many places will give you great summer experience, so I am not saying it's the end all, but it does bridge the gap of learning between law school and working as a lawyer in a firm. I now can schedule the next two years to learn things I think will be useful for my future practice, which is probably not going to happen if I interned for a judge without working at a firm.

True, if you are a certain that you want to do BigLaw after graduation.

But I think there is also something to be said about spending your last summer as a human being doing something that actually benefits humanity.

Jk jk... kind of. But I certainly wouldn't discount the great learning experiences one can have through doing non-firm work for 1L summer. A lot of 1L SAs are not actually doing substantive work; they're assigned token projects and wined/dined so that they are fooled into believing their experience at the firm is representative of what it's like to be a real associate. I think the consensus is that it isn't.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:40 pm
by inthebeginning
I definately want big law. What i am unclear on is not whether i can have a diverse experience doing something else 1L summer, but if it actually helps getting the biglaw job you want 2L summer. If you manage to get a 1L summer at a top firm that you definately want to work for, then that's one thing. But let's say I can work as a 1L summer at a midsize firm or a firm at the bottom if the amlaw 100. When i am in 2L summer interviews, i wonder how this would impact chances with perceived better firms. Whether fair or not people can often be categorized by previous employment, at least in finance, consulting. Does the same hold true for law?

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:43 pm
by r6_philly
fish52 wrote:True, if you are a certain that you want to do BigLaw after graduation.

But I think there is also something to be said about spending your last summer as a human being doing something that actually benefits humanity.

Jk jk... kind of. But I certainly wouldn't discount the great learning experiences one can have through doing non-firm work for 1L summer. A lot of 1L SAs are not actually doing substantive work; they're assigned token projects and wined/dined so that they are fooled into believing their experience at the firm is representative of what it's like to be a real associate. I think the consensus is that it isn't.


I did a lot of that before law school. If you are really interested in being a humanitarian, the best time to do that is before law school. Or even during law school. I put in almost 100 hours of pro bono during 1L year, and I am doing more right now while I am serving as a SA. I don't understand why you think they are mutually exclusive. I can absolutely work/go to school and do something good for society (if you think that working at a firm somehow doesn't really benefit justice).

As for the SA work. It depends on the firm. But I am getting substantive work. My research and written work gets on brief/motions that get filed, and I have not had one "made up" assignment. My firm's summer program is ranked very high on Vault though, I am sure other people may experience different things. My experience is not like a real associate only because I have no pressure to bill. But if you double my work load, I would be just like an associate.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:20 pm
by Samara
Do firms typically hire 1L SAs with the goal of bringing them back for 2L summer? Or are they unrelated?

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:39 am
by bdubs
Samara wrote:Do firms typically hire 1L SAs with the goal of bringing them back for 2L summer? Or are they unrelated?


Usually not, but a few do. Most firms give 1Ls an offer to come back for a few weeks at the end of 2L summer, after they have finished another firm's summer program. A few firms in texas/south seem to do split summers where you do a program 1L summer (some of them are short) and then come back for a split during the second half of 2L summer that is longer than the usual 3 week victory lap. I have heard of one or two firms that require you to spend all or most of both summers with them to get a full time offer, but it's generally the exception.

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:45 am
by Ludo!
Am I the only on who clicked on this thinking it was going to be about biglaw in Illinois

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:51 am
by Kring345
Ludovico Technique wrote:Am I the only on who clicked on this thinking it was going to be about biglaw in Illinois

Re: IL Biglaw Summer Prospects/Advice

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:55 am
by ajaxconstructions
Samara wrote:Do firms typically hire 1L SAs with the goal of bringing them back for 2L summer? Or are they unrelated?


Most 1L SA hires are for diversity purposes. But many firms do offer their 1L SAs.