3L trading up

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Anonymous User
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3L trading up

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:17 am

go to MVP, accepted an offer at V40 firm. what are the chances i can trade up at 3L OCI next summer? should i mass mail? what firms generally take 3Ls?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: 3L trading up

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:25 am

Odds are not good. Very few 3L jobs out there. Wouldn't expect much.

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Re: 3L trading up

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:35 am

I am a 3L who managed to "trade up" this year to V5, so I will give you some tips.

I was at a V50 this past summer and received an offer. I wanted to see what my other options were but did not want to trade up just to trade up. Thus, I was only interested in firms that I would prefer over mine, which did not include every firm ranked above it. You need to be able to have a reason to tell firms next year about why you want to make the switch and PREFTIGE LOL is not enough. My reason was that the practice group I wanted was all right at my V50 but a premier department at the V5. You need to do some serious thinking about why you want to change.

A couple other things that are necessary but not sufficient: you must get an offer from your V40; I am sure from time to time someone is no offered and then manages to snag an offer from a better firm, but I would not count on this. Second, raise your grades and try to add stuff to your resume to boost it (eg, get your note published; get an impressive position on the board of your journal; win some kind of award for your writing - there are a lot of these sponsored through the ABA on a plethora of topics).

It is impossible to tell you now what firms will be hiring in a year. Usually it varies from year to year. Cravath seems to often hire 3Ls for whatever reason. All you can do is sign up for 3L OCI and bid on the firms you want there and also check symplicity to see if any positions or resume drops are posted for firms you are interested in. You can, and should, mass mail but know that 99% of firms that don't come to OCI or post on Symplicity are not looking for someone, but they will always accept resumes in case there is someone they find stellar or their class shrinks for some reason and they need to add some 3Ls. The problem with the latter situation is that it is likely to occur later in the year (like, say, March), way beyond the time you would've accepted the offer from your summer firm.

The main risk in this is that you will probably alienate your summer firm to some extent, and it is pretty likely that you will end up going back there bc 3L hiring is much harder than 2L hiring. I went through a lot of anxiety about how my summer firm would treat me when I went back there if I accepted their offer on October 1 whereas the rest of my class accepted, like, on-the-spot or two days after we got the offers in early August.

One last thing to add about my situation is that I have some things on my resume that really stand out that probably had a big effect on the hiring decision. I can't name them all because it would out me but as one example, I was HYPS undergrad and graduated with a lot of academic honors, etc. Good luck!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 3L trading up

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:32 pm

thanks! that was incredibly helpful!!

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Re: 3L trading up

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:42 pm

What about trade-up possibilities after 3L, if you have clerked for one or more federal judges? I imagine that's more likely but it'd be nice to hear about real experiences.

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Re: 3L trading up

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What about trade-up possibilities after 3L, if you have clerked for one or more federal judges? I imagine that's more likely but it'd be nice to hear about real experiences.


I'm the anon who posted abt my trading up experience a few posts earlier.

I don't have personal experience with using a clerkship to "trade up," but you are right that this is a more likely way to "trade up" although the safest thing to do is definitely to both apply for clerkships and do 3L OCI to cover all your bases. One important thing to keep in mind about clerkships is that you need to get on the ball early: you should already be thinking about who to ask for recommendations, what to use as a writing sample, and what to write about for your note. You should also be gunning to get an e-board position on your journal (EIC if possible, especially if it is a secondary journal rather than LR) and to get your note published. A surprising number of people don't put much time into their note, giving you an edge if you do. Look into getting supervised research and writing credit for your note so that you aren't overloading yourself trying to write an excellent note and taking a full load (although this is possible if you do a lot of work over winter break).

If you don't have relationships with professors, start developing them ASAP. Make an appt with the clerkship person and ask around among 3Ls with clerkships to find out which professors are well connected, enroll in their classes in the spring, and make acing those classes a priority. IMO, you should try to participate in class to some extent in addition to just doing well on the exam, so that you make more of an impression than just getting an A. You can also go to office hours to accomplish this if you don't like participating in class. Also, you can try to get one of these professors to be your not advisor, so that s/he is very familiar with your research and writing. Oh, and you probably know this, but you must take fed cts.

The clerkship person at your school will give you a better timeline than I can, but you want to ask for LORs plenty in advance (like months). I realized when it was too late that I was interested in applying for clerkships, and it was too late to get recs (well, maybe I could have gotten them, not sure, but it would have been really rushed).

One thing I don't know is if you get an offer from your summer firm and apply to clerk, does the summer firm expect you to tell them yes/no by the usual November 1 as to whether you are coming back after the clerkship? Or is the offer open the whole time and you can apply to other firms during the clerkship, and, if those fall through, you can accept at your summer firm?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TTRansfer
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Re: 3L trading up

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Cravath seems to often hire 3Ls for whatever reason.


Frankly, it seems like a smart move. Much like some schools take a lot of transfer students, it allows you to let someone else get them ready and then you can pick and choose the best of those that want to trade up. I'm surprised more top-tier firms don't do this and selectively skim through 3Ls that got offers. It would make a lot of sense. Sure, it's shooting in the dark, but if someone is getting an offer out there it does likely mean that they are not a complete fuck-up and will do fine as a young associate.

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Re: 3L trading up

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:10 pm

TTRansfer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cravath seems to often hire 3Ls for whatever reason.


Frankly, it seems like a smart move. Much like some schools take a lot of transfer students, it allows you to let someone else get them ready and then you can pick and choose the best of those that want to trade up. I'm surprised more top-tier firms don't do this and selectively skim through 3Ls that got offers. It would make a lot of sense. Sure, it's shooting in the dark, but if someone is getting an offer out there it does likely mean that they are not a complete fuck-up and will do fine as a young associate.

I think more of them would if the economy were doing better but I suspect firms with big summer classes already have some buyer's remorse.

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TTRansfer
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Re: 3L trading up

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:13 pm

IAFG wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cravath seems to often hire 3Ls for whatever reason.


Frankly, it seems like a smart move. Much like some schools take a lot of transfer students, it allows you to let someone else get them ready and then you can pick and choose the best of those that want to trade up. I'm surprised more top-tier firms don't do this and selectively skim through 3Ls that got offers. It would make a lot of sense. Sure, it's shooting in the dark, but if someone is getting an offer out there it does likely mean that they are not a complete fuck-up and will do fine as a young associate.

I think more of them would if the economy were doing better but I suspect firms with big summer classes already have some buyer's remorse.


Heh, I don't doubt it. I would think it would be even more prudent for these firms to go that 3L route ITE, though. It may mean smaller class sizes, but you'd see similar numbers of associates hired in the long run, anyway, since the lower firms would have to go through 3LOLCI, too.

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Re: 3L trading up

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:16 pm

Would you mind providing more concrete tips as how you managed to get an offer from the V5 other than expressing an interest in the particular practice area?

I've tried the same strategy w no success, and essentially in the same boat - V50 firm, offer, HYP ugrad.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L trading up

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would you mind providing more concrete tips as how you managed to get an offer from the V5 other than expressing an interest in the particular practice area?

I've tried the same strategy w no success, and essentially in the same boat - V50 firm, offer, HYP ugrad.


It is hard to advise you without knowing more - school range/1L grades/2L grades? what strategies have you been using? have you already interviewed with your target firms or are you having trouble getting interviews? Have you mass mailed the firms you are interested in (multiple V5s in NYC are hiring...)? For full disclosure, I only interviewed with one firm, the V5 who gave me an offer, which interviewed on-campus. I did mass mail a limited number of other firms but did not hear back even after bumping them. I suspect, as I mentioned earlier, that some spots at these firms might open up, but it will be long after I have accepted an offer.

The practice area thing was important to my success because interviewers need a good story as to why you want to leave your summer firm. Mine was "Summer Firm's premier department is X, so I tried a mix of X and Y over the summer, and I really preferred Y because [insert reason here]. I really want to come to a firm with a premier Y department, and V5 fits that bill. [insert further knowledge of V5's premier Y department]." Most interviewers along the way responded positively to this story, either saying 'that's why I came to V5' or giving me examples of why V5 work would be more interesting than what I would have done at my summer firm.

Assuming you are using a story like that, did your resume and transcript improve from last year to this year? I had a mediocre first year of law school grades-wise but did much better second year and gained some other accolades.

Another thing that helped me was that on the CB, I really clicked with one of the partners. I don't know whether, absent that, I would not have gotten an offer, but it can't hurt.

The problem with all this is that I know I am not telling you things you can really do going forward (like you can't change your transcript or make a partner on a CB like you if you don't have a CB). Did you go for clerkships?

Lastly, I think HYPS graduates who then go to T14s are especially prone to worry about the ranking of their firm bc they've been going to school for 5+ years with people who are obsessed with rankings and who are compulsive overachievers. You start to believe after awhile that your self worth and outcome in life is dependent upon rankings, which we all know it is not. If you end up at the V50, concentrate as hard as you can on becoming the best associate you can. The Vault rankings correlate loosely with exit options, but it is not the end-all be-all. If you make yourself into a very competent associate, you will be desirable and may be ahead of many V5 associates when it comes to jobs down-the-line. I am not saying not to try to "trade up" if that's what you really want, but just that the firm you start out at is not going to determine your career.




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