Chances at 3L OCI with smaller, non-NALP Firms

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Chances at 3L OCI with smaller, non-NALP Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:28 pm

Hi all, I was hoping for some advice regarding my employment search and whether I should just call it quits now and settle with my 2L SA position. I struck out big time at Fall 2012 OCI, coming from a non-coastal Tier I school (20-50), top 10%, Law Review (no position), good undergrad, extensive judicial internship experience, lots of volunteer/extra curriculars etc. Wanted to stay in Mid-West or even South, but after all callbacks resulted in no offers, I settled for a mid-range firm on the coast/large city where I am from.

While I enjoy the firm, and am getting good work experience, I am not a fan of the location at all, and would prefer to try my hand at 3L OCI in the region where my school is located, where it enjoys a fairly good reputation among employers. I know that its been widely reported that NALP firms only had around 80 3L entry-level hires from Fall OCI last year, many of the firms in the region I am interested aren't NALP participants, and are known to hire relatively more entry-levels than most other coastal cities. Problem is, if my clerkship apps don't pan out, I'm stuck with deciding between remaining a city that I really cannot tolerate solely for the job security (good market rate salary, well-respected firm etc) or gambling by obviously delaying my acceptance of their offer to search for other jobs in a region/city that I actually hope to live and practice in. While I haven't yet received an offer, I'm under the impression that the current firm is looking to expand their presence in the city ASAP and they've dropped lots of hints about me returning after I graduate etc, so I'm hoping that my chances at getting a permanent offer are favorable.

Just wondering if anyone's got thoughts on pros and cons here, and how to go about it? Ideally, I'd get a district court clerkship in the desirable region, but then is there any feasible way in which I could try to get my current firm to hold my offer open, while using the clerkship/presence in the area to shop around for other jobs, and ultimately turn down my current firm's (potential) permanent offer? And, in the more likely event that I don't get a clerkship, what are my "excuses" for delaying my acceptance, then? I'm also apprehensive about turning down an offer, considering the firm seems so intent on me staying. Would that burn lots of bridges? Even if I were to get a job in my ideal location and never look back, I still don't like to burn bridges, or screw people over.

If anyone's got any insight or advice I'd sincerely appreciate it! Thanks!

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Re: Chances at 3L OCI with smaller, non-NALP Firms

Postby ZyzzBrah » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:21 pm

If i were you, I'd stay. Chances of securing something through 3L oci are so small that they almost don't exist. You have a job at what appears to be a decent firm, im guessing its somewhere in the midatlantic i.e. nj, baltimore (and I can understand why you wouldn't want to be there). Honestly you probably have a better chance lateraling.

in any event, good luck dude

rad lulz
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Re: Chances at 3L OCI with smaller, non-NALP Firms

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:39 pm

Ask someone you trust at the firm about policies on clerkships and offers. You don't wan't people to think you're tryin to flee (though you are)

If you get the offer, ask them how long it is open for

Use the intervening time to look for other jobs

If you don't get one, then take the offer you have. Bird in hand.

Anonymous User
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Re: Chances at 3L OCI with smaller, non-NALP Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:18 pm

OP here

Thanks guys, appreciate the advice. I guess I should clarify a bit; the unlive-ability of the city I'm in now doesn't quite rise (or fall) to level of Baltimore, and in fact, it is a very popular, trendy, and difficult market to break into without having grown up here. That being said, I'm opting for a city that many would consider to be an even less attractive option than Baltimore, and whose market is particularly difficult to break into via lateraling - part of what's making this so pressing.

I'm just hoping that my 2L OCI left me jobless in my desired location because the firms weren't entirely convinced of my intention to stay in the area, and now that I've got a summer's worth of experience in a relatively coveted market, I'll be in a better position to prove that I want to be there - my thoughts are if I'm searching for a permanent position, that should more or less dispense with the "we're scared to pay him because he won't stay" mentality - maybe someone can speak to that.

My reasons for leaving my current city are personal, but fundamental, and I'm at the point where I might be willing to face unemployment rather than "sticking it out." Only other problem is, though, that given the lack of proximity my current location has to my desired city, the latter's firms haven't likely heard of any of the big firms here, let alone a mid-sized, though locally well-respected firm, so I guess I was wondering how much of a detriment that would be to me.

Basically, for the first time in my life am considering following my instincts rather than my logic, and although I know I'm lucky to have a stable job in a hot market, I'm on the verge of tanking it to search for less-prestigious, lower-paying, jobs that I'm well to slightly over-qualified for in a city that most people couldn't place on a map. In hindsight, looks more like I was just fishing for anonymous cyber-support, but I appreciate the honesty! While my decision to throw logical reasoning out the window in making possibly the most career-determinate decision of my life might suggest it's time to take up acting or bar-tending instead, I think I'll just see what happens with 3L OCI. If it works out, great, if not, well, at least I'll be able to procure lots of sympathy drinks with the story of how I single-handedly threw away my future by acting like a spoiled Veruca Salt/Elle Woods hybrid. Whatever, cautionary tale for the kids.

Thanks again!

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