Corporate Transactional Opportunities in Philly

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Corporate Transactional Opportunities in Philly

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:15 am

Hey all,

I thought I'd reach out to see what y'all think about this. I really want to do corporate transactional work of the BigLaw variety. Unfortunately, I fucking suck at Law school exams. So here's my situation...

Went to an ivy for undergrad. Worked as an aide to a Senator during undergrad summers. Overall, did alright (3.2gpa). Took the lsats and got a 172. Worked for 1 year as a paralegal at a BigLaw firm in NYC. Moved back to Philly for law school (worse than Penn, better than Drexel). Ended up being just absolutely terrible at law school exams. I ended 1L year with a 2.5gpa and no law review. However, I have a pretty good grasp of the materials and had 3 professor tell me not to worry because "I'd be one of the top 5 most successful lawyers in my year". Despite the bad grades, a few key professors went to bat for me and helped me get an internship with a 3d Cir. judge for 1L summer. The judge loved me and ended up using a lot of my language/reasoning in a precedential opinion.

Came back for 2L year and did almost the exact same thing. Ended up rocking a moot court-like competition for transactional law but still got mostly Bs and Cs (but got A's in Corporations and Secured Transactions). Again, professors went to bat for me and helped me land an internship with the Philly Fed, where I am now. I am also pretty good at the social part of law school and life in general. Of the 12 or so interviews I've gone on since college, I've only not been offered a job on 2 occasions. So, I have ended up with 2 decent-to-awesome internships despite my horrible grades.

So, do I have a realistic chance of making BigLaw? I know at this point most places already have their class set for after graduation. When I think about this, I vacillate between thinking I'll land somewhere in BigLaw and thinking that I'll be living in a box by the Delaware. So, can you all help me constrain my thinking? Would greatly appreciate any and all thoughts and constructive recommendations. Thanks!

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Re: Corporate Transactional Opportunities in Philly

Postby RPK34 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:14 am

Your shot at big law is basically zero percent. Sub-3.0 GPA with no journal, non-T-14 puts you in a position where the legal recruiter that gets your resume essentially moves it straight to the trash can. Your only shot would be to try to leverage some of those professor connections into clerking for Article III or SSC and maybe that might lead to something. But you should be working the clerkship process anyways at this point.

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Re: Corporate Transactional Opportunities in Philly

Postby Wholigan » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:34 am

3L Philly biglaw hiring is virtually nonexistent. If you mean your chances of working in biglaw right after you graduate, you would probably have almost no chance even if you had top grades from Penn. So forget about it. If you are bad at exams and good at everything else, maybe if you get a government job through your connections/experience and become really good at some transactional practice area, you could lateral in a few years. Even that is probably remote, but it's all I can think of.

I don't know about clerking as the other poster suggested. First of all, transactional departments aren't going to care as much that you did a clerkship than litigation would. Also, I'm pretty sure that your grades will be as much or more of a problem there than for biglaw, regardless of recommendations.

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Re: Corporate Transactional Opportunities in Philly

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:51 am

Only hops is probably to get some people you know to make some calls

Your chances approach 0

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Re: Corporate Transactional Opportunities in Philly

Postby NYstate » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:13 am

Do you have any personal connections that will get you in the door?

Otherwise, you have no chance at even being considered by biglaw. You didn't have a chance after 1L grades came out. I wouldn't rely on anything professors say regarding employment and success. It seems to me that they mislead you.

Maybe you will find a job somewhere. Finding a solid job that pays is far different from unpaid internships. You need to be doing as much as you can to make connections. You seem good at creating and exploiting connections. But remember you have no firm experience. Maybe you can find a part time job for 3L?

I agree that government might be the best way to go.

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Re: Corporate Transactional Opportunities in Philly

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:06 am

I would just reiterate what the previous posters have said. Philly biglaw is tough to get because the firms in philly have small class sizes. I think the average SAs for biglaw in philly is around 10, maybe less. I went to a similar school and kids who were top 10% +LR were all fighting for these spots. There were a few outliers who were able to get biglaw, but not many. Even kids with connections were not able to get biglaw if they didnt have good grades. So dont let the professors fool you with the "dont worry youll get biglaw" attitude, because its not true and it will hurt your job search.

As for 3L hiring, I talked to the head recruiter at my firm about hiring/economy in general and they said 3L hiring is pretty much just seeing if there are SAs at other firms or from other markets who are looking to switch firms. Firms will usually just supplement their needs with clerks if they cant get students. From what Ive seen from classmates and friends at biglaw firms I know this is pretty much how all of the philly firms work.

That being said, you have professors who are willing to go to bat for you and that is a big plus in philly because it is a smaller market and everybody knows each other and stays in touch. Also, if you have a good relationship with your previous judge then I would try and get in touch with them regarding any opportunities they know of in the area. If you are interested in corporate work then also look at DE. There are a bunch of smaller firms there that dont follow the traditional hiring schedule and do a lot of corporate work.

I hate to be overly pessimistic but its better to come to grips with this now rather than focusing only on biglaw. You should go to the professors who helped you get the internships and see if they know of opportunities for full-time employment and are willing to help out. If they are able to get you a biglaw interview then of course go for it. But you need to be realistic and start looking for any job that is available. A lot of my friends were able to get good jobs at smaller firms and in-house positions by doing this. Theres also some good info in TLS threads regarding networking and how to search for a job as a 3L, which you should do as well.

Sorry for the longwinded response. Its late so my grammar/typos are probably all over the place, but if you have any other questions about the philly/DE market and hiring I can try and help out.

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Re: Corporate Transactional Opportunities in Philly

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:09 am

Thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate it. I had pretty much come to that realization after 1st semester 1L year. Just wanted to see if the two internships would change that reality.

I do have some Philly connections, but not too many. For the most part, my connections are at places like Khler Harrison. They do exactly the type of work I want to do but have less than 50 attorneys. I do, however, have a bunch of Wilmington connections which I have started to tap. I'm thinking that may be where I focus my efforts. I would be completely fine working anywhere. Gov't jobs aren't bad at all. My boss just told me that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency hires new graduates and has a starting salary at $107k. Not too shabby.

Again, thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate it.

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