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Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:00 pm
by Anonymous User
Does the common rule of grades and school mattering most when applying for 2L summer positions change at all for the DC law firms that focus on lobbying? Specifically with offices like Patton Boggs, Akin Gump, Holland Knight, and K&L Gates?

I am median at a T2, but had Capitol Hill experience on committees/with members that lobbying shops would take an interest in. Will that get my foot in the door with those DC law firms or is it still mainly about grades and school?

I am thinking of calling in favors from some Chiefs of Staff to forward resume to lobbyist/partners, but don't want to use that if the chance is near zero.

Thoughts?

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:05 pm
by MyNameIsFlynn!
Probably better off saving your favors - chances are near zero. Those firms are all competitive and there are dozens of well-connected people from T14s ahead of you.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:52 pm
by Anonymous User
OP here. Thanks for the response.

I wasn't putting too much weight on the favor aspect, since yes, everyone is connected (I just didn't want to uselessly use them). I was mainly curious whether the Hill experience would outweigh T2 school enough. I see some anecdotes of associates from T1/T2 schools in those firms, but am trying to figure out f it's 1) random luck 2) great grades 3) senator's son/daughter 4) past hill experience.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:31 pm
by lavarman84
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the response.

I wasn't putting too much weight on the favor aspect, since yes, everyone is connected (I just didn't want to uselessly use them). I was mainly curious whether the Hill experience would outweigh T2 school enough. I see some anecdotes of associates from T1/T2 schools in those firms, but am trying to figure out f it's 1) random luck 2) great grades 3) senator's son/daughter 4) past hill experience.


Probably the bold in addition to hill experience, mainly.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:59 am
by pancakes3
hill experience won't help get BL screeners. you should try to get those connections to get you a job as a lobbyist.

The people from non-T14s you see in DC BL are some combination of:
1) Hired pre-2008
2) Top grades, which you can tell from their bio: clerkships, latin honors, LR
3) Laterals from bigfed in a niche regulatory field (FCC/SEC/FERC/FINRA)
4) IP

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:16 am
by jimmythecatdied6
Median from T2 has no shot at DC.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:23 pm
by Anonymous User
pancakes3 wrote:hill experience won't help get BL screeners. you should try to get those connections to get you a job as a lobbyist.

The people from non-T14s you see in DC BL are some combination of:
1) Hired pre-2008
2) Top grades, which you can tell from their bio: clerkships, latin honors, LR
3) Laterals from bigfed in a niche regulatory field (FCC/SEC/FERC/FINRA)
4) IP


This is on point. But what was the scenario pre-2008 for hiring?

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:16 pm
by gaddockteeg
Raise your grades and aim for 3L hiring. Can you pull yourself to top 1/3 or top 1/4 over the course of 2L/3L?

Then after 3L first semester or during Fall 3L, call in those favors to get people to look at your resume. Nobody will see that you were median at some point, only that you are top 1/4 with connections and WE.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:45 pm
by wwwcol
gaddockteeg wrote:Raise your grades and aim for 3L hiring. Can you pull yourself to top 1/3 or top 1/4 over the course of 2L/3L?

Then after 3L first semester or during Fall 3L, call in those favors to get people to look at your resume. Nobody will see that you were median at some point, only that you are top 1/4 with connections and WE.


Two thoughts: 1) Top 1/4 at a T2 is still nowhere near competitive for the firms OP mentioned, and 2) 3L OCI is not worth your time unless you have an offer from a 2L SA.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:41 pm
by gaddockteeg
wwwcol wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:Raise your grades and aim for 3L hiring. Can you pull yourself to top 1/3 or top 1/4 over the course of 2L/3L?

Then after 3L first semester or during Fall 3L, call in those favors to get people to look at your resume. Nobody will see that you were median at some point, only that you are top 1/4 with connections and WE.


Two thoughts: 1) Top 1/4 at a T2 is still nowhere near competitive for the firms OP mentioned, and 2) 3L OCI is not worth your time unless you have an offer from a 2L SA.


I won't argue about top 1/4 at T2 because I'm unaware but 3L OCI isn't what I'm referring to, more like 3L mass mail or calling connex to give you interviews.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:44 pm
by pancakes3
Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:hill experience won't help get BL screeners. you should try to get those connections to get you a job as a lobbyist.

The people from non-T14s you see in DC BL are some combination of:
1) Hired pre-2008
2) Top grades, which you can tell from their bio: clerkships, latin honors, LR
3) Laterals from bigfed in a niche regulatory field (FCC/SEC/FERC/FINRA)
4) IP


This is on point. But what was the scenario pre-2008 for hiring?


Before the recession, it was a more generous legal market and includes an extended hiring period (ALL hiring before 2008 vs only in the last 7 years in a recovering recession) so it inflates the perception of non-T14 hiring than is actually the case - if you're going off solely a website's bios.

This is especially true for DC-area TTT's like AU and Catholic where you might see as many partners from AU/Catholic as there are from any number of T14's (or even more partners) and think - hey, I'll have a shot since I attend AU/Catholic. That may have been true in the 80's but not in 2016.

Tangentially, and anecdotally, I recently learned that there was a massive uptick in law school enrollment and hiring in the 5ish years following Watergate back in '74. So hiring does ebb and flow and sometimes for unforeseeable and freak reasons.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:37 am
by Anonymous User
OP here.

Thanks everyone. Good advice.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:57 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm an associate at one of the firms you listed and have done work in the lobbying group of my firm, although i'm in general corporate.

my two cents: apply anyway and lean on your connections. It will be an uphill battle but those groups are so much about who you know. If you have prior experience on the hill, reach out and grab coffee/lunch with your connections and try to get them to go to bat for you.

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:05 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:I'm an associate at one of the firms you listed and have done work in the lobbying group of my firm, although i'm in general corporate.

my two cents: apply anyway and lean on your connections. It will be an uphill battle but those groups are so much about who you know. If you have prior experience on the hill, reach out and grab coffee/lunch with your connections and try to get them to go to bat for you.


OP here-- any chance you could post off anon so I can message you?

Re: Niche Question on the DC Market

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:38 pm
by Anonymous User
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