Guide - 2L Summer Job Hunt Timeline

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bk1
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Guide - 2L Summer Job Hunt Timeline

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:10 am

This is a timeline for applying for 2L SAs (the focus of this guide). There are 4 main ways to get a 2L SA: OCI, mass mailing, job fairs, and networking.

Overview

OCI - A good overview of OCI can be found here. Remember, OCI IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO GET A 2L SA. I cannot underscore that enough. You should not rely on OCI and should be doing everything you can outside of it, including mass mailing and job fairs, to get a 2L SA. It's depressing every time I see an "I struck out of OCI, should I mass mail now?" thread because that person shot themselves in the foot by initially relying completely on OCI. Don't be that person. Mass mail early and mass mail often. Hustle your ass off outside of OCI until you have a 2L SA (or the 2L SA you want) in hand.

Mass Mail - A good guide to mass mailing can be found here. This consists of sending unsolicited email applications to biglaw firms. You can find contact info on NALP or on firm websites. Email the recruiting person, not the hiring partner. EVERYONE SHOULD MASS MAIL. I mean everyone. I don't care if you're top 10% and on law review at a T14, you should still mass mail. OCI is not a certainty, even for the best credentialed of us, and if you are on the ropes you are going to wish you had mass mailed. Due to the rolling nature of 2L SA hiring, you can't make up for not mass mailing earlier by mass mailing later. The later you apply the fewer spots are open. Because of that you have to mass mail early to a ton of firms. You should send out mass mail applications to every biglaw firm in every market that you would consider working in (exception: firms you already have screening interviews with through OCI or job fairs).

Job Fairs - An incomplete list of job fairs can be found here. The 3 types of job fairs are IP, diversity, and regional. You should do any of them that you possibly can for any area that you would be willing to work in. IP fairs don't per se require patent bar eligibility, but many of the employers at them do require or at least heavily prefer it (e.g. Loyola PLIP, SFIPLA). Diversity fairs are also open to everyone and tend to have a very inclusive view of diversity (ethnic/racial minorities, female, LGBT) and are nominally open to straight white males (e.g. BADCF, CCBA Minority Job Fair). I'm not sure how employers would respond to a non-diverse candidate so I would tread carefully if you aren't one of the aforementioned groups. But if you are, definitely attend. Finally there are regular regional job fairs (e.g. OTIP). These are not necessarily open to everyone (often school-specific), but if you can attend you should. However school-specific regional job fairs are few and far between.

Networking - Basically this involves networking with attorneys early during 1L (or even before law school) and keeping in touch with those contacts up until you start applying for jobs. Ideally at that point you will be able to get interviews and/or jobs through those people. This is an area that I know little about so I will just forward you to Matthies' advice on the topic: part 1 and part 2.



1L - Fall Semester

If you're a first semester 1L you should be focused on having fun and getting good grades. I don't need to tell you why grades are important. Bookmark and come back later. There is one minor caveat - networking.

Networking: If you really want to gun hard you can attend events with alums that your school puts on and try to network, but there aren't that many (there are more in the spring). If you do try to network, remember that the point is to try and build a connection. Focus on asking them about themselves and keeping in touch. Parlaying the connection into a job comes much further down the road.

1L Job Hunt: The end of the semester also brings about the start of the 1L summer job hunt. I'm not going to discuss that here, but suffice it to say you should get a legal job (though outside of a 1L SA it's not particularly important whether it's RAing, externing for a judge, or something else). This is the first chance to polish your resume and cover letters. Have people you trust and/or your CSO take a look at these so that they are in the best shape possible.


1L - Spring Semester

Just like first semester, your priority should be getting good grades. That being said, unlike first semester (outside of the last month), you will start to have to deal with job stuff. The first thing is to get a 1L summer job, but this semester is also the start of your 2L summer job hunt. While this won't work for everyone, I suggest going to networking events and building connections that you can hopefully call on later in the year. I know plenty of people who were able to get screening interviews through connections.

Job Fairs: Now is the time to start thinking about job fairs. They all require you to register for them and some of the registration deadlines are in the spring. Make sure you know when the registration deadlines are for all the ones you are attending.

Prep Work: If you did not do it for your 1L summer job hunt, you should practice interviewing with your CSO. Even if you think you're God's gift to interviewing, you should practice just to make sure. You can put this off till later in the summer, but I am mentioning it here because not everyone will be in their law school's area during the summer. If you will be somewhere else for your 1L summer job I suggest getting some practice interviews in before you leave.


1L - Summer

Most of your time during the summer will be spent doing your 1L summer job, but remember that your end goal is full time employment after law school. This means that your number one priority should be your 2L summer job hunt even though most of your time will be at your 1L summer job.

Prep Work: The beginning/middle of the summer is the time to start researching firms. Here is a list of resources for researching firms. Figure out info about firms that you want to aim for and start looking at the list of employers coming to your OCI and the job fairs you are attending. You should be looking at things like selectivity, class size, how high you have to bid to get them, their practice areas, etc. Your goal is to maximize the number of screening interviews you get. The more you do the more likely you are to land a 2L SA. Keep in mind that there is no "safe" number. Plenty of people have struck out on dozens of screening interviews. Also make sure to keep your resume updated with any new information (e.g. what you worked on during the summer, journal membership, etc). You also want to order an official transcript at some point. Most job fairs and firms won't care, but you will likely need an official one for some firms so it's better to get it early since they often take a while.

Networking: The middle of the summer is also the time to lean on your contacts. Try to set up informational meetings with attorneys in the area of your 1L summer job that you can hopefully parlay into screening interviews. If you developed contacts from networking, let them know you are starting to look for 2L summer jobs and see if you can get your foot in the door that way.

Job Fairs: These have wildly varying timelines so make sure you keep on top of them. Register for any that have registration deadlines during the summer. After registration you will have to formulate your bidlist. For most job fairs it doesn't matter all that much as they are mostly preselect but consult with your CSO, upper classmen, and/or TLS if you need help formulating bidlists. Finally you may be attending some of these job fairs as early as July. If you need to miss work to attend them, do it. If you need to buy plane tickets and hotel nights to attend them, do it. If there are any hospitality suites at the job fair, make use of them to try and get additional screeners/callbacks.

Mass Mailing: Use all the information you gathered from your research to start putting together a mass mailing packet. If you're sending out hundreds of applications (and you probably should be), you don't necessarily need to make each one unique (other than the firm name and location of course). I would try to tailor as many as you can, but with this many cover letters you can't do it all. Try to do as many as you can and focus on your top choices. People have varying suggestions on when to send out your mass mail. My suggestion is late July. Earlier than that and recruiting departments are likely still focusing on their SA program. Later than that and you miss the opportunity to get in before OCIs start and give yourself the opportunity to possibly do screeners before you go back to school. This is important if your 1L summer job is in a different area than your law school. Stress in your mass mails to firms where your 1L summer job is that you will be in the area until X date and can come in for an interview if they want.

OCI: There isn't much work but you do have to work on your bidlist. Consult your CSO, upperclassmen, and/or TLS for help creating it.


2L - Fall OCI

OCI: See the OCI overview mentioned above. I will add that during OCI do your best to make use of hospitality suites. You can snag additional screening interviews and callbacks from these.


2L - Fall Semester

Responses: If you hear positively from mass mail or screeners, schedule ASAP. From mass mail you may get the offer for a callback or they might do a screening interview first. Either way, make sure to do it as soon as you can. If it means missing class, miss class because this is more important.

Mass Mail: If you do not have an offer yet (or an offer you want), you should keep mass mailing. I'm not going to say consider working in other places because from the start you should have mass mailed every conceivable area that you would even consider working in. After a month or so start following up with your earlier mass mails. Be persistent but don't be annoying.

Remember that your job search is your number one priority. Doubling down on grades if things aren't going well is the wrong idea. You can still get good grades and pour a ton of time into job hunting. You need to keep plugging away until you have something.

Finally, there are a couple other resources if all else fails. The pickings are slim but if you have exhausted all other opportunities keep an eye out on your school's symplicity because things will often show up and talk to your CSO in case any opportunities have popped up that they can direct your way.


Conclusion

Hopefully you end up with at least one offer at this point. See the OCI guide and some of the links below for tips on choosing between firms.


Resources (some mentioned above):
Guide - Mechanics of OCI, Callbacks, etc
Guide - Mass Mailing
Guide - Mass Mailings & Finding Non-NLJ Firms (Resume Launchpad)
Guide - Networking/Hustling for a Job
Guide - Networking Part 1 (Matthies)
Guide - Networking Part 2 (Matthies)
Incomplete List of Legal Job Fairs
External Resources for OCI Research
Q&A - V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer
Q&A - 3rd Year Biglaw Litigator
Advice - Getting a BigLaw SA Post-OCI (keg411)
Advice - Picking a Law Firm (TTT-LS)
Stats - Fall 2012 2L OCI Results
Stats - Fall 2011 2L OCI Results

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bk1
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:10 am

TTT-LS's Advice on Picking Law Firms (June 2010)

TTT-LS wrote:
rayiner wrote:V100 for top-1/3 at a T10 is far too optimistic?


I should clarify what I said, since I misread chuck's second post (I was reading on a mobile device at the time, while waiting for a search on PACER to run). I actually agree with a lot of what chuck said in there, at least as a general matter.

To start, I'm going to assume that OP is somewhere around top 35%, give or take, and that s/he is an average interviewer with no special credentials (whether URM status, resume-based, etc.). I could be wrong about any of those things, and obviously all of them will have a material impact on how well OP does at OCI.

From there, I think it is reasonable for OP to use the V20-V100 range as a loose guide. But that's where the inquiry starts, not where it ends. To stop there is a huge (and typical) mistake of less informed law students. One that leads to a lot of unhappiness among law students and young lawyers, too. Some people can't get out of law school application gear when they go about law firm applications, and there are oceans of difference between the two processes.

While the generally accepted rule for law schools is that you go to the best school you get into, using the most widely-used rankings as a guide to which schools are better than others, this is emphatically NOT the way to go about picking a firm for several reasons. First, as you'll find if you read around sufficiently, the entire V10 or V25 or V50 or whatever would be completely re-shuffled if you look at a particular practice area. For instance, if you want lit, going to WLRK is probably not the best option. They're an amazing M&A/corporate shop, but they're not terribly well known outside of that sphere as far as I know. Likewise, if you want corporate, going to Williams & Connolly is a really bad move, even though it is highly ranked, since they really don't do much of corporate work. As a result, OP should consider what s/he wants to do practice-wise and order firms that (1) have the practice(s) OP wants in some reasonable size, and (2) are well respected in those practice area(s).

Second, culture matters. It may seem like firms are all the same and that there are no differences between PPP, who's done layoffs, logos, main practice areas, and that stuff. I know that feeling, having started from scratch preparing for OCI myself last year. But if you read carefully enough and talk to the right people, you can and will see differences that are pretty substantial as far as how these firms feel on the inside. When you're working at a firm 50, 60, 70 hours a week, the culture there matters a lot. A firm that's in the V10 is of no use to you if the culture doesn't fit (e.g. a shy person who doesn't like conflict probably shouldn't work at Kirkland). Other firms are known for having terrible internal morale, either judge because the place is poorly managed, if waves upon waves of layoffs are crashing upon the staff and associate ranks, or because partners insist on ridiculous face time requirements. Finding out about culture is hard, but the rewards for doing so are large enough that you really ought to try.

Third, the range of financial stability among law firms is not coterminous with the Vault rankings. See, e.g., Latham & Watkins, a highly-ranked firm that has fired a particularly large number of first year associates. Finding out which firms are doing well and which are likely to (1) hire a decent sized 2010 summer class; (2) offer a large % of those summers; (3) not defer you until 2050; (4) pay what you expect; and (5) treat you with respect in the event that you are deferred is an important task for rising 2Ls. While a higher ranked vault firm might be better than a lower ranked vault firm on (1) - (5) all other things being equal, the truth is that there are many exceptions, and you'll do well to find them and plan accordingly. This matters even more since OP is looking in NYC, a market hit arguably harder than any other by this financial downturn, and in which bonuses and other forms of non-salary compensation matter most to cover the higher COL (e.g. some firms have announced a probable $0 bonus for 2009 -- that might matter to OP).

I've gotta run, but I'll try to expand on this a little more later on.


Source: http://www.top-law-schools.com/archives ... =3&t=75027

rad lulz
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby rad lulz » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:06 am

RIP Matthies

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Renne Walker
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby Renne Walker » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:11 am

A thought about 1L SA. I know this seems unachievable, but it is not impossible. Try as hard as feasibly possible to secure a 1L SA firm interview and then do everything in your power to close the deal. Do not treat this as just interviewing experience. If you succeed you will sidestep the burden of 2L OCI, mass mailings, job fairs, callbacks, screeners, dings, etc. One successful meeting is equivalent to hitting a grand slam on your first at bat. . . it is that good.

If you are fortunate enough to get a 1L SA interview ― the timing of this interview will fall right around the time your first grades are released. Meaning that you may not know your grades at the time of the interview. Thus, you need to charm a mix of partners and associates and convince them that you will be a superstar for their firm. You will have to be a bit knowledgeable about the firm, but that is not key, the important part is sell yourself (pretend you are Hillary or Bill Clinton, people who can talk anyone into anything. . .including why a 1L investment is especially advantageous). They will assume you are smart and they realize you do not know squat about law (they feel the same way about 2Ls).

Once you’re in, grades become secondary, just do a great job and you are golden. If this opportunity does not present itself, keep reading BK and Rayiner.

hermanblume
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby hermanblume » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:20 am

This is great! Would this be the same timeline for 3Ls who either struck out of OCI or are trying to "upgrade" from their 2L SA?

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bk1
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:31 am

hermanblume wrote:This is great! Would this be the same timeline for 3Ls who either struck out of OCI or are trying to "upgrade" from their 2L SA?


I don't know for sure but I suspect yes.

Also: I'm taking any suggestions for things I might have missed/overlooked.

aces
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby aces » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:57 am

This may be asking too much, but a detailed guide on bidding for OCI (particularly the strategic elements vis-a-vis balancing anticipated interest in a firm by other students with their number of interview slots) would be something which would have helped me a lot last year. I bid poorly and lost out on a number of firms I was interested in. Of course, only a few schools have a pure lottery system, but there are always a flood of "help me with my bidding!!!" type threads and having a master strategy guide may be useful, especially in identifying the firms that are regularly in high demand and must be bid early.

rad lulz
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby rad lulz » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:04 am

bk1 wrote:
hermanblume wrote:This is great! Would this be the same timeline for 3Ls who either struck out of OCI or are trying to "upgrade" from their 2L SA?


I don't know for sure but I suspect yes.

Also: I'm taking any suggestions for things I might have missed/overlooked.

The difference is there are jobs at 2L OCI.

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hume85
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby hume85 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:30 pm

Tagged. Thank you for the highly useful thread.

rad lulz
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby rad lulz » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:34 pm

hume85 wrote:Tagged. Thank you for the highly useful thread.

lol @ tagging a sticky

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hume85
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Re: Timeline - 2L Summer Job Hunt

Postby hume85 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:46 pm

rad lulz wrote:
hume85 wrote:Tagged. Thank you for the highly useful thread.

lol @ tagging a sticky


OOPS!




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