Questions about 1L SA stuff

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MarkinKansasCity
Posts: 10970
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:18 am

Questions about 1L SA stuff

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:04 pm

I left it at "stuff" because I have questions about a few different areas here.

1. Informational Interviews - I've managed to get a handful of partners at firms I'm interested in working at to agree to meet with me. When I show up, what's the best way to try and turn that opportunity into a job? Everything I've read suggests it's a song and dance where you want a job, they know you want a job, but you both pretend like you just showed up to absorb their wisdom and experience. What's the best way to play this game?

2. Contacting attorneys that other attorneys told you to talk to - What's the consensus here? I think I have the generic "Such and such said I should talk to you e-mail" down, but how should I follow up? I have a cover letter and a resume ready - do I send these with the follow up e-mail? And if so, then under what pretense, since I'm trying to pretend that I just want to talk to them for their general advice?

3. 1L Mass Mailing - I realize it would have been better to send this shit out on December 1st, but I decided it would be wiser to put everything I had into finals, especially since the odds of getting a job without grades are extraordinarily low. Are you supposed to just e-mail the recruiter your cover letter and resume with the body of the e-mail saying some variation of "I need a job?" How does this work?

Anything else would be helpful. There's a ton of good information and advice on 2L OCI/hiring, but there's not much on 1L that I can find. Any thoughts would be appreciate. Thanks in advance.

crouton62
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:31 pm

Re: Questions about 1L SA stuff

Postby crouton62 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:45 pm

1. You're on the right track here. Ask for general advice on the job application process, their thoughts on classes to take, activities to get involved in etc., how they ended up at their firm and/or practice area, questions about their firm and its summer program, etc. But just like in a real interview, the important part is having a good conversation and getting the lawyer to like you. If they want to talk about the upcoming NFL playoffs for a bit, do that; don't force anything. Go into the meeting with a long-view; you want to start a relationship that can be fruitful and beneficial to you in the long term. Going in there with this single-minded goal of getting the guy to give a 1L SA is short-sighted. Bring a copy of your resume, transcript etc. They know how the game is played and I'm sure they'll offer to pass along your materials. Either give it to them there or offer to send it along in an email if they'd prefer.

2. Pretty much see above. "hey, joe jones told me I should reach out because I'm interested in X law, you do x, we are both Yale Law guys, etc. " Don't take it personally if they don't get back to you for a fews days--I've had these go unanswered for as long as couple months. Ask for a meeting and/or phone conversation and repeat process from question 1. My general rule of thumb is to not ask if I can send my resume; I wait for them to offer, but reasonable minds can disagree on this point. Again, they should know you're not really reaching out to hear their insights on transactional v. litigation. They know job stuff is lurking the background. But again, the key is to have a normal, chill conversation. People like helping people they like. And most people are gonna like the kid with whom they had a great talk, not the kid who sent his resume on the second email before they've ever met or spoke to him. If they don't offer to pass along your resume, no big deal. It's still establishing a relationship and getting your name out in the community.

3. I think your instincts to wait until after finals were right. To me, it seems that outside Texas, most firms don't have any use for your applications until you have some grades. But there's nothing to lose from applying now and following up once you have grades. As for actually applying, follow the procedures on the website. If they say email your stuff to Jane Doe, do that. If the have one of those on-line job portal deals, use that. Follow up a couple of weeks later in either event to reiterate interest and ask if there's anymore information you can provide.

As a global matter, 1L SAs are hard to come by but bully for you if you can get one. I think one of the biggest benefits of the 1L SA process are the informational interviews/chatting with lawyers at target firms now so that this next summer and fall, when you're looking for a 2L SA, you have the relationships in place with folks who may be in a position to help. It's a lot easier to reconnect with someone and ask for job help than it is to reach out fresh in July a month before OCI when the lawyer knows damn well why you want to "meet for coffee."

Best of Luck!

ipguy
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:17 am

Re: Questions about 1L SA stuff

Postby ipguy » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:34 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:I left it at "stuff" because I have questions about a few different areas here.

1. Informational Interviews - I've managed to get a handful of partners at firms I'm interested in working at to agree to meet with me. When I show up, what's the best way to try and turn that opportunity into a job? Everything I've read suggests it's a song and dance where you want a job, they know you want a job, but you both pretend like you just showed up to absorb their wisdom and experience. What's the best way to play this game?


They know why you are calling them. The only game you should be playing is demonstrating how fucking balls awesome you are constantly. If/when they pick up on that, they'll move the ball, If they don't notice, or see that you're a shitbrick, it isn't going to matter how coy you are when you ask them to pass on your shit. If you are at a firm of any merit, these people get these requests and grant these meetings all the time. There is a fucking process.

Build a relationship. Let that turn in to jobs. Trying to fast track a 1L SA just ain't going to happen. Stay in touch, meet, be interesting, be intelligent, and after 12 months you'll have someone that MIGHT wander down to the recruiter during the 2L recruitment season.

That said, talk to absolutely everyone. You can't win if you don't play.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:18 am

Re: Questions about 1L SA stuff

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:57 am

Crouton: Thanks for your post. It's reassuring that I'm not totally off on this stuff, although I still feel like I'm fumbling around. I'm guessing everyone else is too though, so there's that. I also have the advantage of having already met some of these guys as a 0L during the admissions process, and a few earlier than that through work. I had an excuse to talk to them then. It feels different now.

ipguy: I haven't asked anyone to pass on anything. It seemed like bad form, which is why I asked about it. My instinct was that it would be awkward to push a resume on someone who didn't want it, so I didn't. I know that a process exists, I'm just not really sure what it is, which is why I asked in the first place. That being said, thanks for answering. Sometimes I feel like I'm running full speed into the dark. 1L is confusing as a motherfucker all the way around.

crouton62
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:31 pm

Re: Questions about 1L SA stuff

Postby crouton62 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:33 am

Mark-sounds like you're definitely on the right track. That you recognize there is some inherent awkwardness and uncertainty about how to best reach out to people you hope will help you get a job shows you are are a self-aware, social person. That's a good thing. I really do think of it like a game. Play your role and be a bright-eyed 1L, eager to learn about the law and how to make a career in it. Ask your sincere questions. If you're meeting with people who aren't total wankers, they'll reward you for playing your part well by offering to help you job-wise if they can. Don't let your internal feeling of unseemliness and shallowness about wanting to meet with people for a self-serving goal take away from your ability to have good conversations with these folks. They know why you're really there. Just try to keep that on the back burner of conversation until the appropriate time and it'll be all good. And yeah man. Most every 1L is feeling as you do if they are even thinking about job stuff at all.




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