3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273373
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:04 pm

Quick background:

I attend a school in the 40s near a major and booming market. (As booming as it gets, anyway.) Struck out at 2L OCI with top 15% grades. I had top 2% grades after first semester and took a huge drop between first and second semesters. Peers with lower than top 15% grades were snagging Big Law jobs left and right, I think my huge drop had a big impact on the failure. I don't think I'm a bad interviewer, and I have been told the opposite by recruiters at firms who rejected me after call backs, but who knows.

This summer I ended up splitting between two firms (not common in the market, but not uncommon either). First half was at a mid-size firm that is, quite honestly, a shit hole. It has a pretty poor reputation among the BL firms. They pay their first years $90k and work them BL hours (2200 minimum). The work is incredibly boring and I couldn't stand most of the people there. I've got an offer.

The second half I worked for a small plaintiff's firm. The firm has only one "rain maker" who is basically never in the office. The associates do the grunt work and get paid $70k + 15% of the fee of any case they try or settle. They make roughly $100k, but it fluctuates up and down. I like this firm, however I'm worried about not having a good mentor. The rain maker is the shit, but he's never there. The associates aren't all that bright and generally give me zero feedback. The motions and petitions I draft are literally filed minutes after one of them gives it a cursory reading. The potential to learn the practice and eventually start my own plaintiff's firm is appealing. There certainly is the possibility of making ridiculous money and having a decent (albeit professionally secluded) lifestyle. I have an offer here as well.

Luckily, my grades have rebounded. 2L was a good year, and I'm sitting right outside the top 5%, on exec. LR board, moot court, published, etc.


The Goal: Get a Big Law job. It's obviously preferred to start at a BL job right after graduation, however I realize the chances of that are small. What's the general advice on making the most of those small chances? I'm doing 3LOLCI. Is a mass-mail in order / worth it?

Alternatively, I want to take a path that will lead to the opportunity of BL in the future (the sooner the better, but all options are on the table). Should I focus on specialization in a field that will put me up against BL counterparts regularly, such as bankruptcy or employment law? My ideal practice area would be defense side products liability and tort actions, but I'm willing to forgo my preference for dat $$. To pursue one of these practice areas I would have to go searching for another mid law job.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

treeey86
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:26 pm

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby treeey86 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:45 pm

2nd year attorney here.


Market is shit. Take a long look at both those offers and consider what you want with your career. Decide which offer is more likely to get you there and accept. These offers are for at-will employment.

If you get a big law offer down the line you can always jump ship. I know classmates that started off in small and mid size firms and within the first 1-3 years managed to jump ship into biglaw.

Yes it is true it is hard to break into biglaw if you miss out during the law school hiring, but big law does have a small but growing need for young attorneys who have some applicable experience. Both those firms will get you experience. Just because you accept one of these offers does not close off big law to you and your career.

good luck with the decision. but absolutely don't reject the offers for a gamble on big law right out of school that has a high chance of not panning out.

Alternatively, you could apply for clerkships and ask the firms to hold open your offer until the end of the clerkships. While clerking try again at big law and if you get it you also get a nice bonus.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273373
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:53 pm

treeey86 wrote: I know classmates that started off in small and mid size firms and within the first 1-3 years managed to jump ship into biglaw.


What kind of practice areas were your classmates working in prior to their move to BL? How well respected were the firms they came from?

treeey86 wrote:Alternatively, you could apply for clerkships and ask the firms to hold open your offer until the end of the clerkships. While clerking try again at big law and if you get it you also get a nice bonus.


I've applied to fed clerkships. I've had three interviews. Two rejections and one I'm still waiting to hear back on.


Thanks.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby NYstate » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:59 pm

Have you mass mailed at all? Or lookedfor other jobs?

I don't see either of these getting you into biglaw.

I would not work for the first firm. You sound like you will hate every minute of it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273373
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:04 pm

NYstate wrote:Have you mass mailed at all? Or lookedfor other jobs?

I don't see either of these getting you into biglaw.

I would not work for the first firm. You sound like you will hate every minute of it.



I haven't mass mailed. I have been working my network and sending targeted apps. So far no bites, but I'm early into the process. After 2L OCI I had 2 BL interviews because of recommendations from moot court coaches and judges. I'm hoping to use the same contacts to lobby on my behalf for the 3L search.

Agreed on the first half firm.

Do you think plaintiff's work basically black balls you from Big Law?

User avatar
beach_terror
Posts: 7249
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby beach_terror » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:20 pm

What type of plaintiffs work is it, PI?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273373
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:24 pm

beach_terror wrote:What type of plaintiffs work is it, PI?


Roughly 40% PI based only upon general negligence theories, think catastrophic 18-wheeler cases. 30% PI based primarily upon product liability (a lot of the defense firms on these cases are big law). 30% mass tort property damage and PI cases (also, most of the defense firms are big law).

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:25 pm

treeey86 wrote:Market is shit. Take a long look at both those offers and consider what you want with your career. Decide which offer is more likely to get you there and accept.

Recent grad here

A thousand times this

User avatar
Stanford4Me
Posts: 6048
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:23 am

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:20 pm

rad lulz wrote:
treeey86 wrote:Market is shit. Take a long look at both those offers and consider what you want with your career. Decide which offer is more likely to get you there and accept.

Recent grad here

A thousand times this

+1

Also, I was confused by what you said about your interviewing skills. You say you don't think their bad but have been told the opposite by recruiters? If that's the case then you should re-evaluate your interview skills. If I misread, or if there a typo somewhere in there, then just ignore this.

hiima3L
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:26 pm

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby hiima3L » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:46 pm

rad lulz wrote:
treeey86 wrote:Market is shit. Take a long look at both those offers and consider what you want with your career. Decide which offer is more likely to get you there and accept.

Recent grad here

A thousand times this


Co-signed,

Class of 2012 grad with dozens of friends still trying to find a job and/or working shitty dead-end jobs.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273373
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3L Job Search: What Will Get Me Big Law or Lead to It?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:46 am

hiima3L wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
treeey86 wrote:Market is shit. Take a long look at both those offers and consider what you want with your career. Decide which offer is more likely to get you there and accept.

Recent grad here

A thousand times this


Co-signed,

Class of 2012 grad with dozens of friends still trying to find a job and/or working shitty dead-end jobs.


I understand that I am lucky to have an offer at all. I've decided to turn down the offer at the midsize firm and wait until the last reasonable time to accept at the small plaintiff firm. In the meantime, I'm going to target smaller and midsize firms looking for something that I think I would enjoy and would lead to some quality mentorship. That's the biggest thing for me at this point, actually. I want to get good at this whole lawyer thing, and I think that's more likely if I work somewhere where I get good feedback on my work.

I'll also target big firms, but I'm not relying on it to pan out.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.