1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

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1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:06 am

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping to get some advice/thoughts on what I should do.

So, I managed to get a 1L SA last year with a large law firm. I go to a T20. My GPA after fall was a 3.5~. For my spring semester, even though I studied just as hard, my GPA took a slight dip to a 3.4.

I did not make law review.

At the end of my 1L SA, I was not given a return offer.

I did manage to get a few OCI screening interviews. And, I've been told I interview well. And, my career counselor is convinced that I'll be able to secure a mid-size SA job.

I guess you could say I'm in an odd emotional stream right now. I went into OCI thinking that I could at least get 1-2 callbacks. But that is not reality.

My mass-mailing has yet to turn up any results.

I am getting pretty anxious, and I cannot seem to focus on school. Hell, I haven't even gone out with friends. All I'm doing now is mass mailing mid-size firms, and hoping a mid-size firm decides to take a chance on me.

I guess you can say I naively thought that my SA experience would at least make me competitive with some of my classmates who had better GPAs. God, I feel stupid.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:18 pm

OP: That sucks...sorry to hear it. You're not out of options though!

(1) NETWORK. Are you on a secondary journal? Ask if you can rep the journal at events. Give out the journal's business card and then use those connections. Alternatively, try to make inroads with friends of friends...just like they told us do Week 1 of 1L. Even though it sucks to network, if you're set on firm life, you NEED to start.

(2) Have someone in Career Services look at your mass mailing stuff. Maybe you're not targeting firms properly or maybe you're not playing up your 1L summer enough. You have a good GPA, you should get something from your mass mailing. Also, try secondary markets. OCI is not the only way to get a job and while the big firms are glamorous, boutique firms will definitely look at your credentials!

(3) Consider doing an externship for the Fall (probably too late)/Spring as a path to future employment. It's only the beginning of 2L. If you make connections with a firm or business now or next semester you have a shot at a landing a future position there. And if they don't want you, they definitely have some connections to other places that might consider you.

Good luck!! Chin up. Have a beer or something.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:26 pm

OP, i'm in a similar situation. I haven't officially struck out yet but am hanging by a thread. I had a 1L SA in a major market. I wasn't no offered, but rather the firm offered 1L SA's on the condition that the 1L SA's would not return (immediately) and instead go to a different firm for 2L summer and at least a year after. Anyways I too thought this experience would at least look good in interviews. No such luck.

Good luck to you.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:52 pm

OP here.

Thank you for you words and kindness so far everyone.

A fear that literally cuts deep into my mind is that firms are avoiding me because I am toxic. I fear that firms are thinking, "Oh, this 2L didn't get a return offer, not worth hiring."

When in reality my no-offer resulted from 1-2 projects (somewhat harsh) that did not go smoothly. I did well on all other projects, and everyone said I was a charm to work with.

I am just hoping and praying that a one mid-size firm is willing to see my potential, and take a chance on me.

My 1L firm trained me very well, and I got very valuable experience. I guess I'm naive in thinking that formal training and formal writing experience would somehow compensate for lower grades/non-law review.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:22 pm

OP: Seems like you need to re-write your cover letter. HYPE your experience at a firm. You're more valuable than clueless 2Ls who have never worked in a firm environment. Who cares if you didn't hit it off with your first employer?? Show a new firm your potential and why you'll do better there. You need to see things more positively! You have a lot to offer a firm in your second summer and you should be getting callbacks. Non-law review and whatever isn't the end of the world. Show them your value and you'll get more interest.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:26 pm

Can you reach out to the partners who gave you good reviews and ask them to suggest places to apply this late in the cycle? That might trigger them to make a call for you.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:32 pm

OP here.

Thank you for your kind words.

For my cover letter the basic structure goes:

Para. 1 -Introduction.

Para. 2 - Stressing relentless work ethic.

Para. 3 - How I worked on substantive legal projects, received formal training, how my firm experience distinguishes me from other 2Ls, and how I understand attorney's expectations.

Para. 4 - Thanking them for their consideration.

My career counselor said she like the structure, and said it was very clear and concise.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thank you for your kind words.

For my cover letter the basic structure goes:

Para. 1 -Introduction.

Para. 2 - Stressing relentless work ethic.

Para. 3 - How I worked on substantive legal projects, received formal training, how my firm experience distinguishes me from other 2Ls, and how I understand attorney's expectations.

Para. 4 - Thanking them for their consideration.

My career counselor said she like the structure, and said it was very clear and concise.


I'm also a 2L struggling to get an offer here, but does your cover letter just state things or does it actually show them? I hate this distinction, but it really does seem to make a huge difference. For instance, if you just say "I have a relentless work ethic," people will say, oh, that's nice. If you can give an example (preferably from your 1L SA to emphasize that and its relevance), something about having to hunt down a particularly difficult answer or something (using discretion to not get too specific but also not so vague that it sounds fake), that might improve the letter. I found it much more difficult to write the showing letter, but it was worth it (though, again, no offer (yet?)).

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 am

I was under the impression that as long as 1L SA's don't trip over themselves, and come into work with their shoes tied 50% of the time, they would get a return offer.

But, from this thread, and from what I've been hearing from my own classmates, a 1L getting no-offered is not as rare as it was initially portrayed.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby badaboom61 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:29 am

1L No-offers are brutal. I knew a guy who got a 1L no-offer due to grades, firms wouldn't touch 2L, and he spent his 2L summer doing government. He ended up finding a job with a mid-size firm. Happy ending, but not very encouraging.

Keep trying, but keep your mind about open this summer, and realize that is not the end of the world if you don't find an SA position with a law firm. Not particularly rosy, mind you, but not the end of the world. Also strongly consider applying to clerkships.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:56 am

badaboom61 wrote:1L No-offers are brutal. I knew a guy who got a 1L no-offer due to grades, firms wouldn't touch 2L, and he spent his 2L summer doing government. He ended up finding a job with a mid-size firm. Happy ending, but not very encouraging.

This is taking it a little far, since getting no-offered for grades likely means he didn't have the grades for BigLaw out of OCI anyway. You can't really say that the 1L SA no-offer was the problem. Plenty of people get no-offered after their 1L summer and still get BigLaw offers out of OCI.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:01 am

I don't get why a firm doesn't take a chance on the 1L, after she has an additional year of law school, and bring them back and see what she can do as a 2L, which is the big summer.

I mean, you bring in a 1L, pay them $20,000+. and show them the door just because they are not rockstars out of the gate?

That just sounds like a wasted investment.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:35 am

The 1L SA my friend did, at the largest firm in my market, told him upfront there would be no return offer. Is there even posted statistics on 1L offer rates? No reason your new perspective employers should have any reason to suspect you are damaged goods. You were a 1L had shit for experience so you weren't able to completely show off your worth.

Good luck man.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:50 pm

This may sound naive, but wouldn't a 2L with SA experience be moved to the top of the list?

I mean, they went through a whole summer, got a lot of training, and got formal writing experience.

So, they didn't get a return offer, so what? How is that automatically indicative of their performance as a 2L?

This is all assuming that the 2L wasn't screwed over because some hiring partner didn't like their face.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Scotusnerd » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This may sound naive, but wouldn't a 2L with SA experience be moved to the top of the list?

I mean, they went through a whole summer, got a lot of training, and got formal writing experience.

So, they didn't get a return offer, so what? How is that automatically indicative of their performance as a 2L?

This is all assuming that the 2L wasn't screwed over because some hiring partner didn't like their face.


If there is one thing I have learned about biglaw, it is that there is zero correlation between logic, practicality and law clerk selection.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This may sound naive, but wouldn't a 2L with SA experience be moved to the top of the list?

I mean, they went through a whole summer, got a lot of training, and got formal writing experience.

So, they didn't get a return offer, so what? How is that automatically indicative of their performance as a 2L?

This is all assuming that the 2L wasn't screwed over because some hiring partner didn't like their face.


If there is one thing I have learned about biglaw, it is that there is zero correlation between logic, practicality and law clerk selection.


I mean, to analogize it to sports, biglaw firms hire SAs like an NFL team drafts.

Some draft picks, here SAs, produce and exceed expectations immediately. Some draft picks flash a ton of potential, but need some more time to develop.

For example, when Demaryius Thomas first entered the league, he was nowhere near what he is today, but he showed a ton of potential. Sure, he had some bad games, and shaky performances.

But Denver did not give up on him.

So too here with 1L SAs. Those that show a ton of potential, and are great fits with the firm, it just makes more sense to give them another summer before no-offering them.

Like one of the other posters mentioned, a firm puts $20,000 to $30,000 into a 1L summer associate.

It just baffles me that they would do so and give up on the 1L so quickly.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:52 pm

Firms, rightly or wrongly, look at people who get no offered as damaged goods. So most firms would rather take someone without a 1L SA than someone who got one and got no offered. Though if a firm categorically does not give offers to 1Ls to return then that is a different situation.

I'm not saying that makes sense or that it's fair, it's just the way it is.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby NYstate » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:00 pm

You can't compare legal hiring to pro sports. There are hundreds of people qualified to be an SA . Very few pro caliber athletes.
Last edited by NYstate on Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:01 pm

On a notable tangent, Justice Sotomayor was no-offered by Paul Weiss because they did not think her work was "adequate" and failed to meet the firm's expectations.

Obviously, she went on to become a renowned prosecutor, then a federal judge, and now sits on the Supreme Court.

So one firm's opinion may not be necessarily indicative of the rest of a legal career.

But, it is notable that she did not immediately enter private practice after law school. She joined the district attorney's office.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby splitsplat » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:26 pm

someone read 'my beloved world' haha

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:15 pm

So getting no-offered as a 1L basically dooms your search for a 2L SA position?

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So getting no-offered as a 1L basically dooms your search for a 2L SA position?

Tiago Splitter wrote:Plenty of people get no-offered after their 1L summer and still get BigLaw offers out of OCI.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:21 pm

^

OP here.

A quick follow up. How did those 1Ls go about explaining the no-offer? Especially if the firm does not categorically deny 1L return offers.

I'm worried about the fact that I didn't ace a few projects will draw some concern from the new firm.

On a side note, I think I was in an unfair situation. I outperformed some of the 2Ls in my practice group (per the assigning attorneys) and yet they get full-time offers, and I get dinged. How does that make sense?

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:^

OP here.

A quick follow up. How did those 1Ls go about explaining the no-offer? Especially if the firm does not categorically deny 1L return offers.

I'm worried about the fact that I didn't ace a few projects will draw some concern from the new firm.

On a side note, I think I was in an unfair situation. I outperformed some of the 2Ls in my practice group (per the assigning attorneys) and yet they get full-time offers, and I get dinged. How does that make sense?


I wonder if the fact that firms do not have to report how many offers they make to 1Ls plays a factor.

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Re: 1L SA- No Offer, No Luck with OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:33 pm

I'm the poster who has a 1L SA that was known from the start not to turn into an offer. I'm worried that firms just assume that I was no-offered. I try to bring it up as much as possible, "they don't hire their 1L SAs and tell us to go elsewhere" but at this point I'm thinking maybe firms just think thats an excuse or a cover for a cold offer. Who would have thought that having a 1L SA would come to bite me in the ass.




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