2L Florida Big Law Help!

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2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:29 pm

So I am top 5% at a good Florida law school (top 50) and my goal is Florida big law. I am beginning to mass mail firms in Florida, but is there any downside to mailing firms that will be doing OCI at my school in 8 weeks. Also, should I start mailing NY and DC as a backup? If I cant land Florida Biglaw then NY or DC is my next choice. Any help is appreciated!!

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:36 pm

FYI, if you think DC is a backup, you are sorely mistaken. It has less summers than LA does. You have a shot at FL biglaw, but you need to be mass mailing and hustling hard right now, along with mailing NY. Get those two out of the way first, then try DC.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:44 pm

Original Anon. So any downside to malling firms that will be doing OCI? Also, is hustling just emailing random alumni and asking to get coffee?

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:36 am

there is no such thing as florida big law except for 10-15 people a year.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:44 am

You’ll be fine. Top 5% at UF/FSU should get you Fl. Big/Mid Law, unless you sound as neurotic in person as you do here. Relax. Don’t double apply. Just do OCI and reach out to any firms that don’t attend. Also, if you’re interested in lit, consider reaching out boutique firms too.

Edit: NY and DC would be a stretch; sure, they recruit non-T14 law students, but it’s usually those in the *top 5* of their class. Try Atlanta. You’ll have better odds there.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:44 am

Everything I see here always says not to mass mail firms that are coming to your OCI. You likely have pre-select, not a lottery, but if a firm is coming to your school they’ll want to interview the top 5%.

I think saying N.Y. only hires the top *5* is a little much and think top 5% at your school would have a decent shot at NY - probably even more so than Atlanta unless you have ties there. Atlanta is small and ties conscious, NY is not. DC will be tougher since they’re small and very grades conscious, but it’s not like mass mailing there costs you anything.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sparkytrainer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Everything I see here always says not to mass mail firms that are coming to your OCI. You likely have pre-select, not a lottery, but if a firm is coming to your school they’ll want to interview the top 5%.

I think saying N.Y. only hires the top *5* is a little much and think top 5% at your school would have a decent shot at NY - probably even more so than Atlanta unless you have ties there. Atlanta is small and ties conscious, NY is not. DC will be tougher since they’re small and very grades conscious, but it’s not like mass mailing there costs you anything.


This advice is wrong. Mass mail EVERY firm, whether they come to OCI or not.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:16 am

If they reject you for mass mailing haven't you screwed yourself for OCI?

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sparkytrainer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:If they reject you for mass mailing haven't you screwed yourself for OCI?


Firms tend not to reject anyone before OCI. They may ghost you, but its VERY rare for a firm to reject before OCI. But the opposite is true- firms will be filling up classes before OCI. Especially in smaller markets like FL where there are like 20 biglaw summers across the state TOTAL.

Edit: For instance, when I was doing all this a few years ago, I had multiple FL biglaw callbacks in early July. Both those firms filled their tiny classes up before OCI.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:02 am

Even in FL I’ve been noticing a lot of firms taking more t14 than in years past, so apply to every city (Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Naples, FTL, WPB). You’re competing against UF/FSU/Miami students. Miami is ranked lower but a lot of the Miami firms have huge Miami alumni bases and that’s where like 90% of the SA positions are.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:07 pm

sflyr2016 wrote:You’ll be fine. Top 5% at UF/FSU should get you Fl. Big/Mid Law, unless you sound as neurotic in person as you do here. Relax. Don’t double apply. Just do OCI and reach out to any firms that don’t attend. Also, if you’re interested in lit, consider reaching out boutique firms too.


I wouldn’t be so confident. I went to UF and my friend graduated in the top of my class. He interviewed with several big law firms in Miami barely sinched a position. He was specifically told during his interview that they rarely consider grads from Florida schools. One even said that it was the first time in years that they accepted a UF grad for an interview. Ironically, if you want to do big law in Florida...study outside of Florida. But OP, if you sre top 5% in UF/FSU, you are in the best possible situation unless you transferred to a T-14. Just don’t go in expecting a big law offer.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sflyr2016 wrote:You’ll be fine. Top 5% at UF/FSU should get you Fl. Big/Mid Law, unless you sound as neurotic in person as you do here. Relax. Don’t double apply. Just do OCI and reach out to any firms that don’t attend. Also, if you’re interested in lit, consider reaching out boutique firms too.


I wouldn’t be so confident. I went to UF and my friend graduated in the top of my class. He interviewed with several big law firms in Miami barely sinched a position. He was specifically told during his interview that they rarely consider grads from Florida schools. One even said that it was the first time in years that they even accepted a UF grad for an interview.


I agree. I went to a southern t13- ie Duke/UVA. Myself and 7-8 others who were all above median and grew up in the south Florida area went and did a local oci in south Florida for Miami, ft lauderdale and West palm biglaw. All of us grew up in the area and half went to Florida undergrads. All above median. 1 got an offer out of the 8 of us. We got some midlaw offers, but still mixed.

There are only a tiny portion of biglaw jobs available and you have top t13 students also going after these gigs. I would not count on FloriFL biglaw at all even at top 5% at Miami.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Cicero76 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:24 pm

You’re not guaranteed but you have a very good shot. Apply to all the cities and practice interviewing. I don’t think think there’s a downside to mass mailing oci firms but I could be wrong. I mass mailed everywhere.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:21 pm

Like the ^ t13 poster said, only 1/8 ppl got a Fl. Big Law job. I guarantee you those spots went to top local talent. You’re that. So, again, unless you sound as insecure and neurotic as you do here, you’ll have plenty of options.

I’d be more concerned about managing your debt, if you have any. Try bluffing a transfer to get money. You’ll likely have a job lined up after LS, but graduating with a lot of debt while interest rates are going up would suck. Bigly. And trust me, your lust for “big law” will go away quickly. But your debt won’t.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:31 pm

sflyr2016 wrote:Like the ^ t13 poster said, only 1/8 ppl got a Fl. Big Law job. I guarantee you those spots went to top local talent. You’re that. So, again, unless you sound as insecure and neurotic as you do here, you’ll have plenty of options.

I’d be more concerned about managing your debt, if you have any. Try bluffing a transfer to get money. You’ll likely have a job lined up after LS, but graduating with a lot of debt while interest rates are going up would suck. Bigly. And trust me, your lust for “big law” will go away quickly. But your debt won’t.


t13 poster from above. I agree with managing the debt part, but I do want to clarify about your statement that those handful of spots went to local talent. I know for certain that is incorrect. Remember, the amount of actual biglaw firms in the south florida area with summer classes is less than 10, with less than 15 total summer associates. I know for certain a handful of those spots went to Yale kids, with a few more Harvard kids in total. I believe out of the 13/14 summers in total, something like 9-10 went to t13 schools. If I remember correctly, there was a single UF kid, a kid from Emory, and I cant remember the last one. But this was a few summers ago and those summer classes are now smaller than they were when I was going through recruiting. Off the top of my head in my recruiting year there was 1 summer associateship for biglaw in West palm, 2-3 in Ft Lauderdale, and around 10 in total in Miami (split between Greenberg, Jones Day, McDermott, and whatever firm I am now forgetting).

Now, that said, there are good midlaw options in Miami and Ft Lauderdale that aren't biglaw and dont pay market but aren't bad gigs in themselves. I remember Gunderson is one and they have offices all throughout Florida. Paid less than market and obviously not biglaw per say, but has a strong FL presence. I imagine OP would have a much better shot at those midlaw firms, but banking on pure biglaw is a mistake.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:43 pm

I work at a large Florida firm that doesn’t have an official summer class. I believe we have occasionally taken HYS students from the area as summers and that’s about it. We hire 3Ls occasionally, but I think our firm knows how many “top 5%” UF/FSU/Miami students are looking for jobs 3L year that they would just rather not pay summers unless they’re from HYS.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:03 pm

There’s a misunderstanding here. As I posted above, I’m talking about Florida Big/Mid Law. Not just the three V20 firms that happen to have a Miami satellite. I’m including all the the firms in, for example, Vault’s regional ranking for Miami. Those firms pay 160 or more and have summer classes ranging from 3-8 people. Every summer. That’s significantly more than 10-15 spots. More like 40 to 50 in Miami alone. And that would exclude below-Miami-market-paying firms, like Shutts and Gunster. And those are good options too.

Trust me, as someone who went through the OCI process at a Fl school and worked at and was involved in recruiting at one of those market-paying firms, I promise those spots mainly go to top-ranked students at Fl schools. And while HYS grads get the nod over everyone else, there aren’t enough of them coming down here to fill the open spots. So next in line are candidates like OP and Fl-raised t14ers who want to come back.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:20 pm

sflyr2016 wrote:There’s a misunderstanding here. As I posted above, I’m talking about Florida Big/Mid Law. Not just the three V20 firms that happen to have a Miami satellite. I’m including all the the firms in, for example, Vault’s regional ranking for Miami. Those firms pay 160 or more and have summer classes ranging from 3-8 people. Every summer. That’s significantly more than 10-15 spots. More like 40 to 50 in Miami alone. And that would exclude below-Miami-market-paying firms, like Shutts and Gunster. And those are good options too.

Trust me, as someone who went through the OCI process at a Fl school and worked at and was involved in recruiting at one of those market-paying firms, I promise those spots mainly go to top-ranked students at Fl schools. And while HYS grads get the nod over everyone else, there aren’t enough of them coming down here to fill the open spots. So next in line are candidates like OP and Fl-raised t14ers who want to come back.


To clarify my point, I am considering "biglaw" to mean the Vault 100 firms that pay market. There is no question there are a bunch of strong "midlaw" shops in Miami and South Fl that pay a lot. But they are not "biglaw" by this definition used by the legal market.

In my previous statements, I was trying to be clear there is a tiny number of "biglaw" summer gigs in South Fl. These Vault 100 firms in my direct experience hire almost exclusively t13 kids, usually HYS, that have ties to the area. I cannot speak to "midlaw", other than almost everyone out of my group from Duke/UVA who interviewed with those relevant "midlaw" firms got offers. I was speaking to the V100 firms more exclusively.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:47 pm

There you go. Point clarified. But keep in that Fl is a weird market; in many respects, you’re better off going to HK—a mid-tier V100-ranked firm—than, say, Weil Miami. Likewise, Akerman or Bilzin are better platforms here than ML, KL, Foley, or other Vault-ranked firms. Same is true in Orlando and Tampa, where firms like Lowndes and Hill Ward are better options than, say, GT.

So when OP is considering firms, he shouldn’t go strictly by how high a firm’s Vault ranking is. This isn’t NY or DC. Those rankings mean less regionally. He should consider how strong the firm’s presence is in the city he wants to practice in.

Now, if your plan is to stack up a more money short term (i say short term because tho satellite offices pay more early on, they hardly ever make associates partners; and a partner at HK has more earning potential than a glorified associate or counsel does at nameless Miami V20) and you want the option to leave Fl at some point, then I’d be gunning for those V100s. And perhaps OP would have a harder time at those than he/she would coming from a t14. But even so, every year Hogan, Weil, WC, and JD Miami take at least one UM/UF/FSU student. And most years, Fl.-based students make up the bulk of their summer classes. So my point still stands.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:56 pm

sflyr2016 wrote:There you go. Point clarified. But keep in that Fl is a weird market; in many respects, you’re better off going to HK—a mid-tier V100-ranked firm—than, say, Weil Miami. Likewise, Akerman or Bilzin are better platforms here than ML, KL, Foley, or other Vault-ranked firms. Same is true in Orlando and Tampa, where firms like Lowndes and Hill Ward are better options than, say, GT.

So when OP is considering firms, he shouldn’t go strictly by how high a firm’s Vault ranking is. This isn’t NY or DC. Those rankings mean less regionally. He should consider how strong the firm’s presence is in the city he wants to practice in.

Now, if your plan is to stack up a more money short term (i say short term because tho satellite offices pay more early on, they hardly ever make associates partners; and a partner at HK has more earning potential than a glorified associate or counsel does at nameless Miami V20) and you want the option to leave Fl at some point, then I’d be gunning for those V100s. And perhaps OP would have a harder time at those than he/she would coming from a t14. But even so, every year Hogan, Weil, WC, and JD Miami take at least one UM/UF/FSU student. And most years, Fl.-based students make up the bulk of their summer classes. So my point still stands.


I agree with this. People chasing 180k+ may be SOL when it comes to options. But HK, Akerman, and Bilzin are arguably better options than MWE, JD, and MLB if your goal is to practice in Miami long-term.

Being at a satellite office sucks sometimes and I think it is more prevalent in Miami than in other larger markets because the work sometimes dries up for longer periods of time (compared to like Philly/Boston). My friend works at a satellite of a V50 in Miami and had ~1500 hours last year (and apparently that was a busier year than the previous year).

Edit: Realized Akerman doesn’t take a summer class so it’s irrelevant.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:52 pm

To OP:

Went to law school at FSU/UF. Did well... Had no chance at DC/NY market. This is with family friends in DC trying to help me out.

Have family friend (associate) at Covingon in DC. Have another family friend (associate) at Sidley in DC. They lobbied intensely on my behalf. Nothing happened. If you strike out at Florida, please do not expect to use DC and NY as backups. Your resume (sans connection/family friend (hiring partner) who will vouch for you and who has (LEGITIMATE pull ie hiring partner) will be thrown into the trash even if you are top 3 UF/FSU.

DC/NYU has the entire t14 filling everything out. In Florida, FSU/UF are respected. Go to DC/NYU and we are seen as football schools and nothing more.

At UF/FSU, if you strike out Florida Big Law (as small as it is), please do not expect to use DC/NY as back-ups. This will only lead to disappointment. I know. I experienced it.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sflyr2016 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Not sure why you’re pleading so much for OP to lower his expectations. Sounds a bit excessive. I warned OP about DC/NYC. That said, at least at UF, every year top 5% do get interviews with and some later land at top firms in NY and DC. Convington included. It’s just harder than OP made it seem; OP has a shot tho.

As for you, all you mentioned was that you “did well.” But if you weren’t top-5%, then we’re not comparing apples to apples.

Bottom line for OP is he/she will probably get a high-paying job in Fl. And he/she will likely score interviews in other markets, too. The rest will come down to how well OP presents.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby longlivewho » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:19 pm

sflyr2016 wrote:Not sure why you’re pleading so much for OP to lower his expectations. Sounds a bit excessive. I warned OP about DC/NYC. That said, at least at UF, every year top 5% do get interviews with and some later land at top firms in NY and DC. Convington included. It’s just harder than OP made it seem; OP has a shot tho.

As for you, all you mentioned was that you “did well.” But if you weren’t top-5%, then we’re not comparing apples to apples.

Bottom line for OP is he/she will probably get a high-paying job in Fl. And he/she will likely score interviews in other markets, too. The rest will come down to how well OP presents.


Previous poster here.

OP is top 5%. Off the top of my head, FSU usually has 200 1Ls UF usually has 250 1Ls. Top 5% at FSU is 10/200. Top 10% at UF is 25.

I'd be willing to estimate he's not top 1% at either UF or FSU or he/she would have posted top 1%.

I was 6th overall in my class at UF/FSU. These people in the DC don't care. End of the day I still went to FSU/UF. You have to understand that the Florida legal market is BAD.

The PD/SAO pay is terrible (40k) starting and the agencies are all up in North Florida where no-one wants to live. Every year there are new graduates and who knows how many hiring partners at these top law firms have kids that go to Barry/Nova/Coastal/Stetson and will just hire them anyway.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:08 pm

longlivewho wrote:
sflyr2016 wrote:Not sure why you’re pleading so much for OP to lower his expectations. Sounds a bit excessive. I warned OP about DC/NYC. That said, at least at UF, every year top 5% do get interviews with and some later land at top firms in NY and DC. Convington included. It’s just harder than OP made it seem; OP has a shot tho.

As for you, all you mentioned was that you “did well.” But if you weren’t top-5%, then we’re not comparing apples to apples.

Bottom line for OP is he/she will probably get a high-paying job in Fl. And he/she will likely score interviews in other markets, too. The rest will come down to how well OP presents.


Previous poster here.

OP is top 5%. Off the top of my head, FSU usually has 200 1Ls UF usually has 250 1Ls. Top 5% at FSU is 10/200. Top 10% at UF is 25.

I'd be willing to estimate he's not top 1% at either UF or FSU or he/she would have posted top 1%.

I was 6th overall in my class at UF/FSU. These people in the DC don't care. End of the day I still went to FSU/UF. You have to understand that the Florida legal market is BAD.

The PD/SAO pay is terrible (40k) starting and the agencies are all up in North Florida where no-one wants to live. Every year there are new graduates and who knows how many hiring partners at these top law firms have kids that go to Barry/Nova/Coastal/Stetson and will just hire them anyway.


To be fair, many of the associates from the bad law schools graduated valedictorian and still couldn’t get a satellite of a major firm.

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Re: 2L Florida Big Law Help!

Postby sflyr2016 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:36 pm

It seems a lot depends on whether OP is at UF or FSU. According to the LST report, about 5% of last year’s UFL class ended up in DC/NY, which I guarantee you were mostly kids in the top 5%. And overall, 18.5% of students were hired by large firms. So if OP’s at UF, then, like i said, it’ll be tough but he/she has a fairly decent shot. https://www.lstreports.com/schools/flor ... /location/

On the other hand, no reported FSU student landed in NY and only 2% landed in DC. Worse still, only 5.6% landed a big-firm job—given OP’s rank, however, he/she would presumably be one of those handful of FSU students that had a shot.

To be honsest, I’m surprised there’s that big a difference between UF and FSU’s job placement. But, for whatever reason, there is. And my guess is you went to FSU, which would explain why you had such a hard time with those large firms.

All that said, I like OPs odds either way.



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