2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

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2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:04 am

I'm a 2L at a T-40 with median grades after 1L year. I landed a SA at a regional firm in the fall, starting salary for new associates around 110k.

I killed it this past semester and moved up to the top 20%. I'm wondering what I should do now with the GPA bump, since it makes me eligible for a lot of the firms that filtered me out in the fall.

Do people look for a new SA firm for 2L summer after significant grade increases? Or do they wait until 3L year to apply to firms a second time around? Or is the idea of upgrading even futile, given the fact that 3L OCI is kind of a joke?

Any thoughts and anecdotes would be much appreciated.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:09 am

3L year. 2L hiring for firms that are bigger than your current one is done. Kill it 2nd semester and try during the Fall.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

de5igual
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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby de5igual » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:3L year. 2L hiring for firms that are bigger then your current one is done. Kill it 2nd semester and try during the Fall.


This. Though, even then, your chances at 3LOCI are still near nonexistent. Your best bet if you can crack top 10% or 5% is to shoot for an AIII Clerkship and find something after that.

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ndirish2010
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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:21 am

You should feel lucky that you got a market-paying SA with median grades from a T1.

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thelawyler
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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby thelawyler » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:30 am

ndirish2010 wrote:You should feel lucky that you got a market-paying SA with median grades from a T1.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:42 am

OP here, thanks for the responses. I do feel lucky, but I also feel that it was not a fluke. I had several offers because I interview well, went to a strong undergraduate institution, and had interesting work experience. I'd really like to leverage all these other factors now that I have decent grades.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for the responses. I do feel lucky, but I also feel that it was not a fluke. I had several offers because I interview well, went to a strong undergraduate institution, and had interesting work experience. I'd really like to leverage all these other factors now that I have decent grades.


You're probably right that it wasn't a fluke you got MidLaw. But you should probably accept that it also wasn't a fluke you didn't get BigLaw.

Employers will be unsurprised that you got better grades in 2L year when you could sign up for Law of Basket Weaving and avoid the gunners taking Fed Courts and Tax.

You can definitely try and trade up at 3LOCI, but they're still going to look at your 1L grades. 3LOCI is more like "Oh damn I picked the wrong firm/city/practice area, let me try again" than "I wasn't qualified before but what about now?"

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soccerfreak
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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby soccerfreak » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:39 am

Your 110k in a secondary market will go farther than 160k in New York. And you'll probably have a life. There a reason you are wanting to move before your summer has even started?

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:00 am

Sorry to highjack, but I am in a similar situation, although at a T-10 went from around top 35% to just outside top 20%. (And took hard classes, i.e. Tax). Do you guys think 3L OCI is worth is? Or mass mailing? When do 3Ls get hired? In the fall or more in the spring? Assuming I will get an offer from my SA firm, but might want to jump to a bigger firm in same city or different city.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:26 am

KidStuddi wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for the responses. I do feel lucky, but I also feel that it was not a fluke. I had several offers because I interview well, went to a strong undergraduate institution, and had interesting work experience. I'd really like to leverage all these other factors now that I have decent grades.


You're probably right that it wasn't a fluke you got MidLaw. But you should probably accept that it also wasn't a fluke you didn't get BigLaw.

Employers will be unsurprised that you got better grades in 2L year when you could sign up for Law of Basket Weaving and avoid the gunners taking Fed Courts and Tax.

You can definitely try and trade up at 3LOCI, but they're still going to look at your 1L grades. 3LOCI is more like "Oh damn I picked the wrong firm/city/practice area, let me try again" than "I wasn't qualified before but what about now?"


This is not necessarily true. I traded up from my 2L SA after a significant grade increase. I ended up getting an offer at a firm that I would not have had a chance with after 1L year. That being said, I went from roughly top 15-20% to top 5-10%.

As for how to go about doing it, I would wait to get an offer from your 2L SA (if you have one). Then participate in any 3l OCI your school has, and contact other firms directly sometime in early september of 3L.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby itwasalladream » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:07 pm

I moved from regional midlaw to top biglaw at the beginning of 3L. I wouldn't rely on 3L OCI but instead reach out to firm contacts, your friends that work at big law firms, and career services to see if there are any specific practice groups that have openings. Send cover letters specifying that practice group. From my experience, no employer will call you out for not being good enough 1L year. They have GPA cutoffs and you either make the cut off or you don't. Once you get past the initial GPA and resume review, they will focus on whether or not you are a good fit for their needs. You can definitely make the move. Just be prepared to explain why you want to change and never be negative about your previous experience.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby thesealocust » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:42 pm

soccerfreak wrote:Your 110k in a secondary market will go farther than 160k in New York.


lol no. You pay a little more tax in NY, get a bigger bonus vs. almost any regional firm with sub-market salary, probably pay more in rent (but realistically probably just have less space) but also don't make car-related payments.

As a city NYC is more expensive, but it's sure as shit not 50,000 pre-tax dollars more expensive.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:17 pm

OP here, thanks for the responses.

Sounds like I should try again at the beginning of 3L. I really like the firm that I'm working for this summer, but I've had a change of circumstances (my significant other picked a market far away) so I am trying to change locations.

Additionally, are there certain classes that employers consider to be more difficult than others? I took tax last semester and didn't think it was particularly difficult (and probably a lot easier than some of the 1L core classes) so I'm a bit surprised that two of you have mentioned it specifically as being a "hard" class. The last thing I want is for employers to perceive my GPA boost to be from "underwater basket weaving" as someone put it.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby soccerfreak » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:23 am

thesealocust wrote:
soccerfreak wrote:Your 110k in a secondary market will go farther than 160k in New York.


lol no. You pay a little more tax in NY, get a bigger bonus vs. almost any regional firm with sub-market salary, probably pay more in rent (but realistically probably just have less space) but also don't make car-related payments.

As a city NYC is more expensive, but it's sure as shit not 50,000 pre-tax dollars more expensive.

What is that last 50k taxed at? 40%? That's 20k gone. An extra 2k/month in rent is another 24k. Rough estimate, but that's 44k right there. Never mind the tons of extra hours you're working.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:28 am

soccerfreak wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
soccerfreak wrote:Your 110k in a secondary market will go farther than 160k in New York.


lol no. You pay a little more tax in NY, get a bigger bonus vs. almost any regional firm with sub-market salary, probably pay more in rent (but realistically probably just have less space) but also don't make car-related payments.

As a city NYC is more expensive, but it's sure as shit not 50,000 pre-tax dollars more expensive.

What is that last 50k taxed at? 40%? That's 20k gone. An extra 2k/month in rent is another 24k. Rough estimate, but that's 44k right there. Never mind the tons of extra hours you're working.


An extra 2K in rent? In what fantasy land do you live in? I know a lot of biglaw associates in NY who pay less than 2K per month, so please tell me about the secondary market where rent is less than zero dollars.

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soccerfreak
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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby soccerfreak » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:38 am

thesealocust wrote:
soccerfreak wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
soccerfreak wrote:Your 110k in a secondary market will go farther than 160k in New York.


lol no. You pay a little more tax in NY, get a bigger bonus vs. almost any regional firm with sub-market salary, probably pay more in rent (but realistically probably just have less space) but also don't make car-related payments.

As a city NYC is more expensive, but it's sure as shit not 50,000 pre-tax dollars more expensive.

What is that last 50k taxed at? 40%? That's 20k gone. An extra 2k/month in rent is another 24k. Rough estimate, but that's 44k right there. Never mind the tons of extra hours you're working.


An extra 2K in rent? In what fantasy land do you live in? I know a lot of biglaw associates in NY who pay less than 2K per month, so please tell me about the secondary market where rent is less than zero dollars.

Haha I'm really not sure what necessitated the harsh tones here, but it's cool.

I don't live in any kind of fantasy land. Sure it's possible to pay less than 2k, but it's also perfectly normal to pay 3k/month. And in my secondary market, paying 1k/month for a 1 bedroom...well, I'm not sure it's possible. 700 gets you something really nice, never mind if you have roommates.

Not saying it's impossible to live frugally, just doing a quick and dirty estimate.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby NinerFan » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:31 am

thesealocust wrote:
soccerfreak wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
soccerfreak wrote:Your 110k in a secondary market will go farther than 160k in New York.


lol no. You pay a little more tax in NY, get a bigger bonus vs. almost any regional firm with sub-market salary, probably pay more in rent (but realistically probably just have less space) but also don't make car-related payments.

As a city NYC is more expensive, but it's sure as shit not 50,000 pre-tax dollars more expensive.

What is that last 50k taxed at? 40%? That's 20k gone. An extra 2k/month in rent is another 24k. Rough estimate, but that's 44k right there. Never mind the tons of extra hours you're working.


An extra 2K in rent? In what fantasy land do you live in? I know a lot of biglaw associates in NY who pay less than 2K per month, so please tell me about the secondary market where rent is less than zero dollars.


The rent numbers might be off, but when you take everything into consideration, NYC is significantly more expensive. I spent a summer at a regional firm, and then a summer in NYC. There was a significant pay difference, but a significant difference in COL from everything from rent to food to entertainment to transportation. Cheaper to drive to my firm than to pay metro/waste time in a subway believe it or not.

OP didn't specify what kind of region they were in so we don't know if this is the midwest or what, but unless OP's current SA firm doesn't give the vast majority of their summers offers or unless they want to do something/live somewhere totally different, just stick with the firm and then try in 3L, imo.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:54 am

The subway costs roughly $1.58 per day if you stay late enough to get a car home (what's that? midwest firms don't pay for a car ride home if you work late?) and $3.15 per day when you don't. So maximum is about $70 per month in commuting costs.

How much do you pay for car insurance again?

CHECKMATE, ATHEISTS.

NYC is more expensive than other cities (breaking news, more at 11) but if you're talking about a base salary difference of 50K then look at other benefits, bonuses, and salary progression you wind up with a lot more money to spend. Maybe you spend it on bottle service and $4,000 / month rent, maybe you spend it frugally and on $1,000 / month rent. Maybe you like driving, maybe your family all lives in Peoria, maybe you want to live in NYC, maybe you hate cities.

There are clearly a lot of factors in play, but it makes me want to bang my head against the wall any time people start trying to argue that $160,000 / year in NYC is the same as $10 / year and foodstamps in San Francisco.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby NinerFan » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:08 am

thesealocust wrote:The subway costs roughly $1.58 per day if you stay late enough to get a car home (what's that? midwest firms don't pay for a car ride home if you work late?) and $3.15 per day when you don't. So maximum is about $70 per month in commuting costs.

How much do you pay for car insurance again?

CHECKMATE, ATHEISTS.

NYC is more expensive than other cities (breaking news, more at 11) but if you're talking about a base salary difference of 50K then look at other benefits, bonuses, and salary progression you wind up with a lot more money to spend. Maybe you spend it on bottle service and $4,000 / month rent, maybe you spend it frugally and on $1,000 / month rent. Maybe you like driving, maybe your family all lives in Peoria, maybe you want to live in NYC, maybe you hate cities.

There are clearly a lot of factors in play, but it makes me want to bang my head against the wall any time people start trying to argue that $160,000 / year in NYC is the same as $10 / year and foodstamps in San Francisco.


Well, if you're spending that much, you'd get an unlimited pass. But that's just a small point.

And we're discussing 110k at some "regional firm" versus 160k in NY. I don't think it's as clear cut as you're making it. You've probably seen the "buying power" crap that comes out every year, and it's not a coincidence that NY and CA cities rank consistently at or near the bottom. Hell, 80 or 90k in my hometown (which is roughly close to market) would be > 160k in NYC.

Edit: I should note that if you don't mind living in a cramped, shitty apt with few amenities, then hey, NYC 160k baby.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:13 pm

NinerFan wrote:. Hell, 80 or 90k in my hometown (which is roughly close to market) would be > 160k in NYC.


By all means, show me that math. I would love to see it.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:28 pm

I know nothing about the methodology, but FWIW, CNNMoney's cost of living calculator reports that a 160K salary in Manhattan is equivalent to $81K in Minneapolis, $72K in Atlanta, $84K in Chicago, $73K in Kansas City, $68K in Cincinnati, and $70K in Dallas. (If you plug in Brooklyn, the numbers shift to $97K, $85K, $100K, $87K, $82K, and $84K; plug in Queens, and you get $114K, $101K, $119K, $103, $97K, and $100K.)

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby tfer2222 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:59 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I know nothing about the methodology, but FWIW, CNNMoney's cost of living calculator reports that a 160K salary in Manhattan is equivalent to $81K in Minneapolis, $72K in Atlanta, $84K in Chicago, $73K in Kansas City, $68K in Cincinnati, and $70K in Dallas. (If you plug in Brooklyn, the numbers shift to $97K, $85K, $100K, $87K, $82K, and $84K; plug in Queens, and you get $114K, $101K, $119K, $103, $97K, and $100K.)


Personally, being a single 20-something, I'd rather make less, work more, and get to live in NYC than make more, work less, and have to live somewhere like KC or Cincinnati. And, to reiterate the obvious, going from NYC to a smaller market is generally easier than going from smaller market to NYC.

Everyone's got different priorities though.

I think this thread might have gotten de-railed. There are a lot of threads on this age-old NYC v. cheaper markets debate.

either way I side with sealocust

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:02 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I know nothing about the methodology, but FWIW, CNNMoney's cost of living calculator reports that a 160K salary in Manhattan is equivalent to $81K in Minneapolis, $72K in Atlanta, $84K in Chicago, $73K in Kansas City, $68K in Cincinnati, and $70K in Dallas. (If you plug in Brooklyn, the numbers shift to $97K, $85K, $100K, $87K, $82K, and $84K; plug in Queens, and you get $114K, $101K, $119K, $103, $97K, and $100K.)


That's because cost of living calculators are based on the average cost of all things, not what you pay for the things you want or need. You, as an individual, get a pay check in either place, then make choices about how to spend it. They give you a sense for a lot of things, most importantly average rents, but they absolutely do not do what they claim in terms of giving you "equivalent" salaries. They also don't handicap for benefits and bonuses, obviously.

There are people who live and work in New York City with yearly wages under $40,000 per year. I assume a cost of living calculator would tell you those people could just give up their life of material possessions and live in a barter economy anywhere else in the country?

Edit: Looking at the calculator it's very clear what the problem is. The "cost of living" is way less than your salary, even if it's higher in NYC than Peoria. But the calculators just apply the same rates to your entire salary, so it becomes wildly inaccurate for anybody earning a comfortable living. It also doesn't account for things like the fact that ain't nobody in NYC own or have expenses related to a car. Transportation costs cheaper in Chapel Hill than NYC? lololololol.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby somewhatwayward » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:35 pm

NinerFan wrote:Cheaper to drive to my firm than to pay metro/waste time in a subway believe it or not.


How could gas + car insurance (+possible car payment) possibly equal less than, at most, the $104 it costs for an unlimited metrocard, which can be purchased with pretax dollars if your firm participates in WageWorks? If you're staying late and taking the firm's cars home or you don't take the subway much on the weekends, it can be less than $104 pretax. Plus there is the benefit of walking and polluting the earth less.

thesealocust wrote:Looking at the calculator it's very clear what the problem is. The "cost of living" is way less than your salary, even if it's higher in NYC than Peoria. But the calculators just apply the same rates to your entire salary, so it becomes wildly inaccurate for anybody earning a comfortable living. It also doesn't account for things like the fact that ain't nobody in NYC own or have expenses related to a car. Transportation costs cheaper in Chapel Hill than NYC? lololololol.


Also, this.

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Re: 2L with SA but also big grade improvement, try for new job?

Postby shock259 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:43 pm

ITT: people who have never lived in NYC hatin' on it.

I just did a paycheckcity calculator for Denver (secondary market, low COL, pays $110k). The takehome pay on $110k came out to $73,406. You'll need a car to survive in Denver, so add ~$400 per month for car payments (~$25k car), $100 per month for insurance, $133 per month in gas (average American spends $1,600 annually on gas). Housing is much cheaper, ~$1k in rent per month for a nice place. Most items are cheaper.

Compare with NYC: conventional wisdom is that the average takehome is ~$96k. No car needed (saves $633 per month per above). Subtract NYC transportation costs of ~$100/month (unlimited subway pass, couple of cabs). You're saving $6,396 a year by not having a car. Housing is more expensive, but there are plenty of ways of minimizing the cost (roommates, not living in a luxury place, not living in Manhattan). $1.5k gets you a nice, small place with a roommate or two. Most items are more expensive.

Now, there's just no way that the higher cost of housing + more cost of living makes up for the ~$30k gap here (subtracting take home pays and including the transportation costs - $96k - $67k).

Obviously this is all rough math. NYC is fucking expensive, but it's very livable. And the studies that show how ridic expensive NYC is are misleading.




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