Bottom Third of CLS

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Anonymous User
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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:47 pm

Bump.
Anonymous User wrote:Would love to know your approach for bumping up your grades! Well done.
Anonymous User wrote:NYU c/o 2012.

First semester: B, B, B
Second semester: B+, B+, B+

EIW in summer 2010 --> 8 CBs (V15 +)


Took offer at firm in the V20s.

I had 2 years of good work experience and I got an offer from every callback (so not bad at interviewing).

Still, to get the CB, for many of the most selective firms, it's 90% grades. My grades were weak, I guess. (I still think I was median, but whatever, I don't actually know the numbers for NYU).

Either way, you know what you have to do now. But, don't feel hopeless at all. Even if you stay roughly the same, you will likely have some decent options.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:34 am

One of my friends had the exact same grades as that, both first and second semester. He wound up choosing between MoFo, Cooley, Akin Gump, V&E, and I think Wilkie Farr. You're going to be just fine if you can interview well.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:01 pm

Good to know! Maybe Im not as retarded as I thought :)

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:One of my friends had the exact same grades as that, both first and second semester. He wound up choosing between MoFo, Cooley, Akin Gump, V&E, and I think Wilkie Farr. You're going to be just fine if you can interview well.


Since when did MoFo take people in that grade range?

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby somewhatwayward » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:One of my friends had the exact same grades as that, both first and second semester. He wound up choosing between MoFo, Cooley, Akin Gump, V&E, and I think Wilkie Farr. You're going to be just fine if you can interview well.


Since when did MoFo take people in that grade range?


I don't know why you wanted to bump a thread from two months ago to ask this, but just off the top of my head I can think of two CLSers who were below median my year (c/o 2013 so EIP in August 2011) who got offers from MoFo.....and I don't know that many of my friend's grades, so they definitely don't have a hard cutoff. They may generally aim for higher, though.

I don't know if OP is coming back, but I was just reflecting with my friends about what we wished we had known about EIP, and one of my friends said he really wished that he knew that grades are not as important a factor as we think they are. Certain firms will definitely only hire people above certain grade cutoffs (Wachtell, Cravath, SullCrom, Covington, Williams & Connolly spring to mind) but all of the other firms are at least flexible. Both Davis Polk and Skadden hire lots of non-Stone people, for example. Davis Polk pays to reserve like 10 hotel rooms so that they can interview more than half of the people who do EIP. Weil & Kirkland are both more interested, or at least equally interested, in other qualities as opposed to grades. I don't know how this changes when your grades are noticeably below median (I also don't know whether B, B, B, B, B, B+, B+ is taken to be very different from B, B, B, B, B+, B+, B+). The person commenting on grades being a lesser factor had about median grades and got offers from Skadden, Davis, Simpson, Cleary, Debevoise, etc. He is obviously a very good interviewer because that is a very good take.

With B/B/B+ you still need to be studying your ass off as having better grades can only help (and like I said I don't know how below median grades change the calculus so I don't want to be too optimistic). You will also want to polish your interviewing skills. Don't just do the practice interview offered by CLS. Perhaps reach out to the connections you have (the ones you know well) and ask them to do practice interviews with you and to be brutally honest (don't start this 'til the summer). I am not a good interviewer, so I actually practiced saying answers to questions I knew would come up out loud several times. Doing that also helped me realize where I could tie in more of 'why this firm' into my answers. Also, during the summer, start compiling research on the firms that will eventually be weaved into your answer for why you want to work at the firm.

Oh, and one thing about bidding even though you shouldn't be thinking about this now: everyone bids on the lower-ranked firms with large summer classes, so it is a waste of bid spots to put most of those into the bottom ten or so spots on your list. Rather I would fill those with the less grade-conscious V20s (some of these may be placed higher in your list also as reaches or bc they have big summer classes). Even if you end up with another semester similar to the one this year, you may as well interview with Davis Polk at your 27th bid rather than put Proskauer at 27 and get no interview at all. Good luck!

ETA: make sure you go and meet with your professors from last semester about what to do differently on exams (even if you haven't done it and are asking them now)...ideally have them go over it with you line-by-line; you mentioned finishing your outlines early last semester, but how many practice exams did you do, ideally ones where you wrote actual answers? Law exams are weird and practice definitely helps. But the truth at CLS is you can do all of these things and still end up in the grade range you are in, not to discourage you. Like NYU, Penn, UVA, etc etc, the class at CLS is very smart and very motivated, and the curve requires most of the class (70%?...that was what it was when I was a 1L anyway) to get Bs and B+s. I think the amount of studying you are doing plus practice exams will save you from any B-s unless you panic on an exam or something, but it won't necessarily get you into the A-range.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Bump.
Anonymous User wrote:Would love to know your approach for bumping up your grades! Well done.
Anonymous User wrote:NYU c/o 2012.

First semester: B, B, B
Second semester: B+, B+, B+

EIW in summer 2010 --> 8 CBs (V15 +)


Took offer at firm in the V20s.

I had 2 years of good work experience and I got an offer from every callback (so not bad at interviewing).

Still, to get the CB, for many of the most selective firms, it's 90% grades. My grades were weak, I guess. (I still think I was median, but whatever, I don't actually know the numbers for NYU).

Either way, you know what you have to do now. But, don't feel hopeless at all. Even if you stay roughly the same, you will likely have some decent options.



I'm the anon NYU '12. Sadly, I don't have a great explanation as to how I got my grades up. I was a little shocked with my first semester (I guess many people are) but looking back on it, I didn't do enough work AT ALL first semester. I don't want to get yelled at, so I won't reveal just how lazy I was, but let's just say that I wasn't taking advantage of all the practice tests and other resources (E&Es etc.). I guess I was just clueless. It's pretty pathetic, so I try not to think about it. Second semester, I did a bit more (though not tons) but I did realize one of my exam taking flaws (not writing like a maniac, which was idiotic bc I intentionally did not write EVERYTHING I could in my first semester exams) but yea, I think part of it was just "luck" too. I am sure there is not a huge difference between a B and a B+ exam, even though I know every bit helps with getting a job.

I know 1L grades are really, really stressful. No matter where you end up on the curve, my experience is that grading gets easier after 1L (if you even care after that) and just try not to let your rather silly exam grades dictate your sense of worth. Be smart in your bidding strategy, of course, but I really do notice that people with more As on their transcript seem to think they are better in ways that really matter (like will certainly be a better lawyer or have a more successful career). Those things just aren't necessarily true at all. Keep your heads up, my "B" student friends. Most of my law school grades were Bs, and it turns out, I am still having a pretty bright future!! You can too, I promise, but have confidence.


EDIT: Yes, I may just be speaking to "B" student at a certain group of schools. I realize grades matter even more at lower ranked schools and I don't mean to come off as insensitive to that.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2016 3:14 pm

I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed May 18, 2016 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?


I had straight Bs first semester. Did better second semester, but not significantly. Spent all the time freaking out over EIP. Seriously, you can check my post history to get a sense of how much anxiety I had.

Did extensive interview prep, bid smartly, and most importantly did a fuckload of interviews. Wound up choosing between three offers.

Follow the EIP/prep guides that I and other people have written, and you will, in all likelihood, be fine.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby kingpin101 » Wed May 18, 2016 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?

Just curious: Did you get that B in your elective course or not?

If you manage to get straight B's (which I still doubt), you need to target large unselective NYC firms + any secondary markets with strong ties. WE helps but probably won't make up for bad grades.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2016 3:45 pm

kingpin101 wrote:Just curious: Did you get that B in your elective course or not?

If you manage to get straight B's (which I still doubt), you need to target large unselective NYC firms + any secondary markets with strong ties. WE helps but probably won't make up for bad grades.



thanks, mono

@kingpin -- yeah, I took a black letter law class as an elective. that was my first B this semester.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2016 3:47 pm

kingpin101 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?

Just curious: Did you get that B in your elective course or not?

If you manage to get straight B's (which I still doubt), you need to target large unselective NYC firms + any secondary markets with strong ties. WE helps but probably won't make up for bad grades.


Wrong. Good work experience definitely makes up for bad grades at good schools, like CLS. It doesn't help 1L neuroticism when this myth is perpetuated.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby kingpin101 » Wed May 18, 2016 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
kingpin101 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?

Just curious: Did you get that B in your elective course or not?

If you manage to get straight B's (which I still doubt), you need to target large unselective NYC firms + any secondary markets with strong ties. WE helps but probably won't make up for bad grades.


Wrong. Good work experience definitely makes up for bad grades at good schools, like CLS. It doesn't help 1L neuroticism when this myth is perpetuated.

Not sure if your definition of "make up for" is the same as mine (notice how I said it helps): having WE is not the same as having a PHD EE degree or having a dad who's a partner.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2016 4:02 pm

kingpin101 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
kingpin101 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?

Just curious: Did you get that B in your elective course or not?

If you manage to get straight B's (which I still doubt), you need to target large unselective NYC firms + any secondary markets with strong ties. WE helps but probably won't make up for bad grades.


Wrong. Good work experience definitely makes up for bad grades at good schools, like CLS. It doesn't help 1L neuroticism when this myth is perpetuated.

Not sure if your definition of "make up for" is the same as mine (notice how I said it helps): having WE is not the same as having a PHD EE degree or having a dad who's a partner.


True. I had decent (not outstanding, but objectively pretty good) work experience from a peer school. I was probably a little better than bottom third, and I ended up with multiple offers and over 10 call backs. A friend of mine here was at the bottom of his class, and he still got numerous offers, some from highly coveted firms, likely because of his work experience. So I think work experience does make up for bad grades.. OP would just need to play his/her cards right. On the other hand, if you mean that work experience can substitute perfectly for grades, then yeah I agree with you-- it won't help you get WLRK or Munger, for example.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby dabigchina » Wed May 18, 2016 4:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?

FWIW, if the B was in Fed Tax I wouldn't base your expectations for the rest of your grades on that. There were a bunch of gunner 1Ls in that class and I think it fucked up the curve.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2016 4:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?


First of all, you will be fine and probably have a great career ahead of you.

Second of all, you will be fine and probably have a great career ahead of you.

Now for serious advice: I was in your shoes, bottom third at T14. Here's what I did. I basically mastered the OCI/EIW system. I knew exactly which firms were coming, I knew exactly which ones were out of my league. I spent a ton of hours reading about firms on TLS, seeing which ones took below median candidates. For example, you probably have a shot at Skadden if you are above the bottom quarter and are an amazing interviewer. Sure its unrealistic, but what I'm trying to show you is that there's a lot of firms littered throughout the V50 that will take a chance on you (and if you're a total prestige whore, I'm trying to keep you from getting depressed). Know when they're showing up. Know when to drop resumes. Know when to mass-mail them. Be nice/professional in person but aggressive with your mass-mailing campaign. Read every single TLS guide on the subject and take detailed-as-fuck notes.

Here are your four safest bets (although you can probably do better):
V50 NYC Offices with large transactional practices (Sidley, W&C, JD, Schulte, Cahill, Mayer Brown, Proskauer, Milbank, Fried Frank, Willkie, Greenberg - every single one of these firms takes many below median CCNers per year)
Magic Circle Firms (London Offices* AND NYC Offices)
5 BIGGEST Firms in your home region
NYC satellite offices of random V100's (shouldn't be too hard to get a gig in the NYC office of Haynes & Boone, for example)

*I knew someone from CCN with grades in the bottom quarter who got a tan, told interviewers he was "international", and got offers from the London offices of the Magic Circle firms. I'm partly kidding - he actually did a lot of research on them - but they really do not give a shit about grades if you convince them you want to move to london for the rest of his life.

Like I said, if you're a total prestige whore you can take some risks. Try: Skadden, Weil, Gibson Dunn, PW, Goodwin (MAYBE Simpson, Latham, Kirkland). They will all roll the dice on a great interviewer. I did 37 interviews at my OCI/EIW (43 including screeners gotten through mass-mailing), got half of them just by e-mailing the recruiter and asking if they have an extra slot for *one* more interview. Sure, by the end of the week I never wanted to hear the phrase "personal strengths" ever again, but fuck it I got a job
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed May 18, 2016 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby DCfilterDC » Wed May 18, 2016 4:58 pm

Why 1Ls take BLL as their elective is beyond me.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby First Offense » Wed May 18, 2016 5:02 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:Why 1Ls take BLL as their elective is beyond me.

Eh - I think it's a good call. You're going to try more than the 2Ls and 3Ls in the class, and if you did well in rules classes it can be good.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby dabigchina » Wed May 18, 2016 5:15 pm

First Offense wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:Why 1Ls take BLL as their elective is beyond me.

Eh - I think it's a good call. You're going to try more than the 2Ls and 3Ls in the class, and if you did well in rules classes it can be good.

This. It wasn't bad at all, but I'm just speculating that the curve was not as good as what it was made out to be.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby DCfilterDC » Wed May 18, 2016 5:51 pm

dabigchina wrote:
First Offense wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:Why 1Ls take BLL as their elective is beyond me.

Eh - I think it's a good call. You're going to try more than the 2Ls and 3Ls in the class, and if you did well in rules classes it can be good.

This. It wasn't bad at all, but I'm just speculating that the curve was not as good as what it was made out to be.


I'll rephrase. If you did fine first semester, then go ahead and take whatever you're interested in second semester. But if you got trip Bs in the fall, then why would you take corporations as an elective and have to do a quarter more work than the kids who take Law & classes who handed in their final paper the day classes ended and are studying for one less exam than you.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2016 8:22 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
First Offense wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:Why 1Ls take BLL as their elective is beyond me.

Eh - I think it's a good call. You're going to try more than the 2Ls and 3Ls in the class, and if you did well in rules classes it can be good.

This. It wasn't bad at all, but I'm just speculating that the curve was not as good as what it was made out to be.


I'll rephrase. If you did fine first semester, then go ahead and take whatever you're interested in second semester. But if you got trip Bs in the fall, then why would you take corporations as an elective and have to do a quarter more work than the kids who take Law & classes who handed in their final paper the day classes ended and are studying for one less exam than you.


No one does that. At almost every law school anywhere you sign up for spring classes before you even sit for first semester exams.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 18, 2016 8:23 pm

.

lawman84
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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby lawman84 » Thu May 19, 2016 6:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?


I don't think it's the studying that's the problem. It's probably related to how you write the exams. A lot of people word vomit on the exams (gotta organize and structure your answer well) or get tunnel vision.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 19, 2016 10:52 pm

lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just completed 1L last week. I also just got a grade back from a class that I thought I did the best in ....yet I ended up with a B :(. I got straight Bs first semester and now I know I'm certain to get straight Bs this semester. I worked so hard both semesters and spent time taking a lot more practice tests and preparing for the exam as opposed to preparing for class 2nd second semester. I am so worried for EIP. Do any recent CLS (or T14) students have experience with EIP and straight Bs? How much can prior work experience at a firm and good interview skills make up for lackluster grades?


I don't think it's the studying that's the problem. It's probably related to how you write the exams. A lot of people word vomit on the exams (gotta organize and structure your answer well) or get tunnel vision.


I think this is a good answer.. I think when people get Bs it's not because they dont know the law (some get Bs because of this) but the majority, I think, dont spot a particular issue. Thus, it may not be how hard you study, but rather if you can see all the issues

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 19, 2016 11:12 pm

I'd drop out if I were bottom third, even at CLS. Market just hasn't rebounded enough, and you'll probably strike out. Alternatively, you could stick it out and see what happens. You never know.

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Re: Bottom Third of CLS

Postby TheoO » Thu May 19, 2016 11:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'd drop out if I were bottom third, even at CLS. Market just hasn't rebounded enough, and you'll probably strike out. Alternatively, you could stick it out and see what happens. You never know.


This is dumb.

It will come down to how well you bid and interview. I was near your place and didn't get great bids. I struggled, but I got a firm, however unsatisfying the brand name of the firm is. A lot of my struggling was the result of (1) missing the add/drop, (2) not emailing firms I didn't get from my bid list, and (3) not mass mailing. Do all of those and you might end up with a more satisfying "brand" (alternatively, pick up your 2L grades and use the less flavorful firm summer to switch).

The only shitty thing is how random bidding has become because of first fails being available. This made the process somewhat unpredictable last year.

But at the end of the day, you will need to be much more proactive than your peers. You need to practice interviewing a lot, with friends, do practice runs, master your resume and edit it to as close to perfection as possible. Then mail mail mail. You're far from fucked, you just can't be lazy and can't be choosey. It may suck to see friends get callbacks to great fIrms and cool different cities, but you will need to be conservative to be safe.

Whatever you do: pay no attention to OCS bullshit.

Lastly, advice for interviewing: master the character questions that are aweful but can be tricky. Look them up on Google and prepare good answers (not rehearsed) for them. Have anecdones and stories to back them up.
Last edited by TheoO on Fri May 20, 2016 11:54 am, edited 2 times in total.




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