2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

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2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:52 pm

I'm a 2L at a top 20 school that's the top school for its region and I am deciding whether or not to accept an offer from a small firm (less than 20 attorneys) that focuses mainly on commercial litigation (mostly plaintiff side, but a little of both) and insurance defense (gross). It's located in a moderately large city that is on my list of place to move after law school but not at the top.

I am hoping to reinterview with some large firms as a 3L that have asked me to stay in contact with them after they were unable to give me an offer for this summer due to low 1L second semester grades but who have remained some what interested due to work experience and a massive gpa boost after first semester this year.

My question is this: could working for a not prestigious, smaller firm (who does some insurance defense and plaintiff work) actually hurt my chances with a bigger firm later on? I mean, could my resume somehow become "tainted" by the smaller firm? They don't do personal injury suits or chase ambulances or anything like that but its not the tops.

I have a few other possibilities for the summer so its likely that this job would be in conjunction with a more prestigious second half of summer position.

Thanks for the advice

TL;DR: Could working for no-name/not prestigious firm 2L summer hurt your resume when applying for large firms as a 3L?

target
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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby target » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:00 pm

what is your alternative?

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:07 pm

OP Here - Well the federal judge I interned for last summer has said I am welcome to come back for aother summer (unpaid but a very very slight chance of clerkship offer). I also have possible a position in the in-house legal department of a fortune 500 and un-paid clerkship at a much more prestigious small firm in another, bigger city. Other than that, I'm still chasing down leads, mass mailing my resume and hitting up my contacts.

Like I said though, those aren't for sure offers and I can split my summer so I will need two jobs.

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thesealocust
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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:12 pm

There are - and I'm quoting this from actual stats, not making shit up - approximately 98.4% fewer 3L big firm job openings than there were 2L big firm job openings. And a lot of them are for people switching from one firm to another, not people who missed the boat entirely the first time around.

To paraphrase the west wing:

You are like Butch and Sundance peering over the edge of a cliff to the boulder-filled rapids 300 feet below, thinking you better not jump 'cause there's a chance you might drown. You didn't get a 2L big firm job, and now you're worried taking one at a smaller firm will hurt your odds later? It's the fall that's gonna kill ya.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:22 pm

OP Here

Well let me add a little additional info. I actually worked as an SA at a big firm my 1L summer but was told my 1L grades had fallen below their cut off (due to the previously mentioned second semester drop). I have stayed in touch with some of the attorneys there and all have encouraged me to keep asking and try again as a 3L. I had a huge jump in grades first semester this year which they did take notice of. Don't know if I'm living on pipe dreams right now but I feel like if I had no shot at the big firm they'd politely but firmly tell me to shut the door on my way out.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:23 pm

Also, that didn't really answer the question... I realize big law jobs are very hard to come by as a 3L, but my question was whether or not 2L summer jobs could actually hurt rather than help your resume in terms of big law.

sparty99
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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby sparty99 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:58 am

Stop being a prestige whore. Who cares? If the small firm is going to pay you and give you actual legal work then you should do that. You didn't get big law. You had your chance and they didn't invite you back.

You should think about what you can do this summer to impress your current firm so they will be inclined to provide you an offer.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:26 pm

sparty99 wrote:Stop being a prestige whore. Who cares? If the small firm is going to pay you and give you actual legal work then you should do that. You didn't get big law. You had your chance and they didn't invite you back.

You should think about what you can do this summer to impress your current firm so they will be inclined to provide you an offer.


Still not an answer to my question. But advice noted.

target
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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby target » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:40 pm

Is the small firm in the same market as the big firms?

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Stop being a prestige whore. Who cares? If the small firm is going to pay you and give you actual legal work then you should do that. You didn't get big law. You had your chance and they didn't invite you back.

You should think about what you can do this summer to impress your current firm so they will be inclined to provide you an offer.


Still not an answer to my question. But advice noted.

Your question is not really what you should be thinking about

Take the small firm job and hope that they hire you

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:17 pm

If this large firm is really interested in you already, then I doubt a half-summer job at a small law firm will hurt.

That said, it sounds like an atypical practice for a large firm to have already rejected you once and then get interested again because you had a semester of good grades. I think they are probably just being polite. There's a good chance you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you pass up your best opportunity now for some marginal improvement in your odds at big firms later. Those odds will remain not good. Bird in the hand, etc.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby sparty99 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:27 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Stop being a prestige whore. Who cares? If the small firm is going to pay you and give you actual legal work then you should do that. You didn't get big law. You had your chance and they didn't invite you back.

You should think about what you can do this summer to impress your current firm so they will be inclined to provide you an offer.


Still not an answer to my question. But advice noted.

Your question is not really what you should be thinking about

Take the small firm job and hope that they hire you


+ 10,000

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:52 pm

OP Here - gracias for the lectures everyone. That said, I probably will end up taking the small firm offer and, like I said, I have a few other promising leads for the other half of summer. Bird in the hand blah blah.

Regardless, I am still curious if anyone has any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, of firms being turned off by someone due to previous employment? I am probably going to be taking the small firm offer but I don't feel entirely pressured to take the first thing that comes along. I have no loans to pay off and have a little bit of cushion, I live in a state with multiple major markets and with my recent grade improvement, I have a good shot at a halfway decent judicial clerkship post graduation. So while I will likely take the job, I would like a little more info into what I may be getting myself into. "A bird in the hand isn't necessarily worth more if that bird is actually a turd and the 2 birds in the bush are just waiting for you to come along and blast 'em" - Shakespeare?

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:54 pm

target wrote:Is the small firm in the same market as the big firms?


No the small firm is another city in the same state. The small firm is actually in the city I grew up in so that could add to the difficulty when later trying to convince firms that I do not want to return home. Although my target markets are larger and I have work experience in one...

09042014
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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:05 pm

Its not really that the small firm will hurt you, but that a better job could have helped you (slightly, because what everyone else is telling you is true).

Judicial internships aren't good for 2L summer, the small firm is better.

F500 is probably about tied, if they give offers you may want to split the summer with the F500.

I doubt a "prestigious small firm" would do an unpaid internship. Seems like a pretty TTT thing to do. I wouldn't do this, I doubt they'd give you an offer, and I doubt that they are as preftigious as you claim.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:09 pm

They actually are very well regarded but generally only make permanent hires from judicial clerkships and don't have a summe program per se but someone has offered to do me a "favor" and let me help them with some private legal publications on the side (that part's paid BTW)...so the unpaid position would be more a "foot in the door" for when I return after (hopefully) landing a judicial clerkship. They are also located in another major market in my state where I would be interested in working but have less connections than other places. So the line on my resume could prove useful. And like I said, money isn't an immediate concern. I'm trying to think long term here.

09042014
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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They actually are very well regarded but generally only make permanent hires from judicial clerkships...so the unpaid position would be more a "foot in the door" for when I return after (hopefully) landing a judicial clerkship. And like I said, money isn't an immediate concern. I'm trying to think long term here.

As far as TTT - nope sorry. Top 20 school. But thanks.


TTT was referring to the firm, not your school.

I definitely wouldn't do that firm just to hold the door open, especially if you get a good clerkship more doors will open.

I agree that short money shouldn't be the concern, but finding a firm that might give you a fulltime offer should be. And by your own words, this firm won't.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:23 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:They actually are very well regarded but generally only make permanent hires from judicial clerkships...so the unpaid position would be more a "foot in the door" for when I return after (hopefully) landing a judicial clerkship. And like I said, money isn't an immediate concern. I'm trying to think long term here.

As far as TTT - nope sorry. Top 20 school. But thanks.


TTT was referring to the firm, not your school.

I definitely wouldn't do that firm just to hold the door open, especially if you get a good clerkship more doors will open.

I agree that short money shouldn't be the concern, but finding a firm that might give you a fulltime offer should be. And by your own words, this firm won't.



Sorry I realized too late what you meant by TTT, edited my response accordingly.

So you think the paid position at the lower tier firm is a better bet EVEN THOUGH its located in a market that is not my top choice but the unpaid firm is in a top choice market? Also, no one would know the position is unpaid (who would take a such a job one might ask? ha-ha-ha). So the resume line may be more useful when fishing for other offers. And I actually am fairly confident of landing at least a decent judicial clerkship (pretty good grades, minus the one semester and stellar grades semester after that + personal ins with some good judges and some other miscellanea working in my favor).

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:30 pm

,
Last edited by rad lulz on Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:38 pm

rad lulz wrote:Excuse me if I am skeptical of a guy who from what I assume is UT who suddenly, after 3 semesters, has the grades and connections to get a federal clerkship when he didn't have the grades and connections for a 2L SA after 2 semesters


My grade troubles stem from only my second semester of 1L. My first semester 1L grades were a little better than OK (hence the big firm 1L SA) and my first semester grades from this year (2L) were near perfect. I'll also have another semester of (hopefully equally good) grades on top of my current GPA when I send off my clerkship apps. I remain (cautiously) optimistic, a feeling confirmed by the clerkship advisors at my school. As far as connections go, I've stupidly been trying to "make my own way" up until this point... Regardless, I'm just trying to lay out all my options for better advice.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:40 pm

rad lulz wrote:Excuse me if I am skeptical of a guy who from what I assume is UT who suddenly, after 3 semesters, has the grades and connections to get a federal clerkship when he didn't have the grades and connections for a 2L SA after 2 semesters


I don't buy it either.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:46 pm

Right, because while I sit here trying to get some honest feedback I'd really want to be inflating my own ego at the same time...who would do that? Oh right, I'm in law school.

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Sheffield » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:19 pm

thesealocust wrote:There are - and I'm quoting this from actual stats, not making shit up - approximately 98.4% fewer 3L big firm job openings than there were 2L big firm job openings.

Those stats are puzzling. If the top 100 BL firms each average hiring 20 2L SAs, that would total 2,000. It would mean that there are only 32 3L SAs — that averages out to 0 3Ls at 68 BL firms. Does that not seem way too low?

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:22 pm

Sheffield wrote:
thesealocust wrote:There are - and I'm quoting this from actual stats, not making shit up - approximately 98.4% fewer 3L big firm job openings than there were 2L big firm job openings.

Those stats are puzzling. If the top 100 BL firms average hiring 20 2L SAs, that would total 2,000. It would mean that there are only 32 3L SAs — that averages out to 0 3Ls at 68 BL firms. Does that not seem way too low?


I agree. While my evidence is mostly anecdotal I feel like I know way too many 3Ls who got offers solely based off 3L interviews for that to be true...

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Re: 2L Summer Firm - Can it Hurt Your Resume?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:23 pm

Sheffield wrote:
thesealocust wrote:There are - and I'm quoting this from actual stats, not making shit up - approximately 98.4% fewer 3L big firm job openings than there were 2L big firm job openings.

Those stats are puzzling. If the top 100 BL firms each average hiring 20 2L SAs, that would total 2,000. It would mean that there are only 32 3L SAs — that averages out to 0 3Ls at 68 BL firms. Does that not seem way too low?


There are roughly 5,000 big law 2L SAs / entry level big law positions per year, and last year there were 80 total biglaw offers made to 3Ls.




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