3L OCI without having been a summer associate anywhere?

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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:19 am

3L OCI without having been a summer associate anywhere?

Postby NotThisAugust » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:36 am

I'm at a third-tier school in nowhere-in-particular. Yes, yes, I know. The up side is that I have not paid a single dime in tuition and I've got a lot going for me. I'm in the top 5 in my class, law review editorial board, moot court. (One of the national competitions, no big wins to report, although we did pretty well for where we came from.) These things should be pretty brilliant.

The down side: First year, I still did well enough to grade on to law review, but barely. I had medical issues that are now resolved. I got an unpaid internship for the summer, but nothing paid. I continued on with that same place through this spring, then got a paid job with a local court, where I still am. Fall resume collection last year was a total bust for me, although I'm not the only one. So, I have work experience, but I am not A Summer Associate. I then worked my rear end off, killed last year and jumped a long way up the rankings, making me probably the only person in the school to like our curve. (For now.)

This year, we have a number of large-for-the-area firms coming and looking for 3Ls, which sounds good. A couple of them are places that I sent resumes last year and heard nothing from, but neither did anyone else that I know. One is a BigLaw firm where I got an interview but no callback, last year. So, two questions:

1. If I've already sent them stuff, should I bother sending my resume again this year? My grades are better, I have more work experience now, but am I still going to be ruled out on the basis of last year? Especially for the one where I already interviewed and didn't make the cut?

2. In general, what should I say at the interview to maximize my chances without basically admitting I wiped out last year and took what I could get? I mean, it's true, but there has to be a better way to spin it, right?

Career services has been not very helpful through all this, so help me, random internet strangers, you're my only hope! I don't really have my heart set on the big(-ish) salaries, but I can't say it wouldn't be nice. My priority is staying in the area, though, so there aren't a lot of options.

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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: 3L OCI without having been a summer associate anywhere?

Postby keg411 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:24 am

Apply and see what happens. The odds are probably against you, but you never know. Your target should probably be midsized firms in your area that don't have SA programs and that hire from your school.

Also, did you apply for clerkships? In your case, you're probably more competitive for state appellate courts than A3 courts, but that's still a way to parlay something into a decent, if not very top, firm job. I'd imagine with top 5 people grades, you have a pretty good shot.

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Re: 3L OCI without having been a summer associate anywhere?

Postby lolwat » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:48 am

Re-apply, definitely! If they're "coming and looking for 3Ls" they know what they're looking for. You've got more than enough going for you, especially if I'm guessing the "nowhere in particular" is at least somewhat of a regional place, since you're planning on staying in that area. The point about clerkships is pretty good, too. Again, regional place might get you a pretty decent clerkship, even some A3 judges hire from "local" schools that aren't very highly ranked at all.

I can't help too much with how to spin the fact that you didn't do a 2L SA--I didn't either, and I haven't managed to spin that into anything positive (some people will specifically ask why you didn't work at a firm, and I'm basically just like "well, it was 2009, a lot of firms reduced or cancelled their summer program, and we had a lot less firms come to any of our interview programs"). Maybe just hope that doesn't come up. Maybe someone else here has good advice, in which case I'm very interested in hearing it too. :)

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Re: 3L OCI without having been a summer associate anywhere?

Postby target » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:56 am

I want to add that apply to magistrate judges as well. They focus more on local talents than A3 judges.

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