I transfered, did really well, but I think I am late to the job market?

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Jordanrex30

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I transfered, did really well, but I think I am late to the job market?

Postby Jordanrex30 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:59 am

I spent my 1L year at a T2 school in the middle of the country. After my first year, I had a 3.9 and was ranked 4th in the class so I decided to transfer back home to the west to a T1 to a top 30. I applied to a bunch of 2L summer jobs, OCIs, etc. with my old ranking/GPA at the new school and was excited that the prestige of the new school would land me a SA position that wasn't possible before transferring. I got a lot of interviews, but it seemed like every time the employer would act disinterested after learning I was a transfer student and I didn't have that ranking/GPA at the new school.

Long story short, 2L grades came back and I am ranked in the top 10% and my GPA only dropped to a 3.8. I have sent emails/resumes to a ton of firms, but now most of the replies are generally, "wow, great GPA and we would love to have you, but our spots are full."

What is my best option to maximize my career options? I can always go back to clerk for a smaller firm where I worked as a 1L (and this job is available whenever I want it - One of the partners is a family friend). However, most of the kids at my school with similar GPA/ranking are going Big Law and I don't want to sell myself short. Should I push for a judicial clerkship in a bigger west coast market for after graduation to help get a better job or should I keep applying for the bigger firms hoping a spot is will open up? Do lots of jobs open up for 3Ls in the fall next year?

Thanks for any help!

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Re: I transfered, did really well, but I think I am late to the job market?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:14 pm

Jordanrex30 wrote:I spent my 1L year at a T2 school in the middle of the country. After my first year, I had a 3.9 and was ranked 4th in the class so I decided to transfer back home to the west to a T1 to a top 30. I applied to a bunch of 2L summer jobs, OCIs, etc. with my old ranking/GPA at the new school and was excited that the prestige of the new school would land me a SA position that wasn't possible before transferring. I got a lot of interviews, but it seemed like every time the employer would act disinterested after learning I was a transfer student and I didn't have that ranking/GPA at the new school.

Long story short, 2L grades came back and I am ranked in the top 10% and my GPA only dropped to a 3.8. I have sent emails/resumes to a ton of firms, but now most of the replies are generally, "wow, great GPA and we would love to have you, but our spots are full."

What is my best option to maximize my career options? I can always go back to clerk for a smaller firm where I worked as a 1L (and this job is available whenever I want it - One of the partners is a family friend). However, most of the kids at my school with similar GPA/ranking are going Big Law and I don't want to sell myself short. Should I push for a judicial clerkship in a bigger west coast market for after graduation to help get a better job or should I keep applying for the bigger firms hoping a spot is will open up? Do lots of jobs open up for 3Ls in the fall next year?

Thanks for any help!


Same thing happened to me. I transferred from a T2 in the South to a T10, struck out at OCIs (~30 interviews, 4 callbacks, 0 offers), and by the time I got my fall 2L grades back biglaw was done hiring. So I spent the summer at a U.S. Attorney's Office and landed a district court clerkship in the same district by the end of it. If you're serious about big law, you should look into clerking. Historically, it's been a fairly reliable way to get in after missing the SA boat.

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Re: I transfered, did really well, but I think I am late to the job market?

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:14 pm

All of the above. First and foremost you should be talking to your school's career services. Second, you should be trying to position yourself for 3L OCI. Third, you should be starting to think about clerkships.

You're probably out of luck when it comes to 2L biglaw SA spots but that doesn't mean you still can't land biglaw- it does mean youre going to have to hustle. I would probably take the small firm job this summer so you can tell the story that you want to move up next year, but see if your career counselors can pull any strings for you first.

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Re: I transfered, did really well, but I think I am late to the job market?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:17 pm

Jordanrex30 wrote:I spent my 1L year at a T2 school in the middle of the country. After my first year, I had a 3.9 and was ranked 4th in the class so I decided to transfer back home to the west to a T1 to a top 30. I applied to a bunch of 2L summer jobs, OCIs, etc. with my old ranking/GPA at the new school and was excited that the prestige of the new school would land me a SA position that wasn't possible before transferring. I got a lot of interviews, but it seemed like every time the employer would act disinterested after learning I was a transfer student and I didn't have that ranking/GPA at the new school.

Long story short, 2L grades came back and I am ranked in the top 10% and my GPA only dropped to a 3.8. I have sent emails/resumes to a ton of firms, but now most of the replies are generally, "wow, great GPA and we would love to have you, but our spots are full."

What is my best option to maximize my career options? I can always go back to clerk for a smaller firm where I worked as a 1L (and this job is available whenever I want it - One of the partners is a family friend). However, most of the kids at my school with similar GPA/ranking are going Big Law and I don't want to sell myself short. Should I push for a judicial clerkship in a bigger west coast market for after graduation to help get a better job or should I keep applying for the bigger firms hoping a spot is will open up? Do lots of jobs open up for 3Ls in the fall next year?

Thanks for any help!


I transferred with great grades and also had a rough time getting a job. I'm about two years out and have had some big law interviews. From the feedback I've received, my hands-on experience at small firms is considered to be a great asset to future firms. I just had an interview that went really well, so I'm hoping that comes through.

My advice would be to take what you can get--experience is better than no experience. Obviously try for a clerkship/3L OCI as the above poster indicated, but you need to restructure your focus towards getting a job, period.

Granted, this isn't the easiest track, and going from small law to big law is definitely hard, but I would urge you to think long term. So if clerkship/3L OCI falls through, ...

Try to land a job at a firm that specializes in a practice area you want to practice in.
Join bar associations and other types of professional groups.
Get hands on, knee-deep experience.
Annoy partners to go to depositions, mediations, hearings, etc.
Be proactive by looking at case dockets, seeing motion deadlines, and offer to draft said motions.
If you get a small assignment as a case, use that as your foot in the door for the rest of the case. "Here's your research, I also saw there's X deadline, did you want me to assist with that?"

All this adds up to a ton of great experience that most big law associates don't have. Being constantly proactive is a good trait that will follow you.

Things will eventually open up, but you need to play the long game.



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