Will networking help a jobless 3L get a job?

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Will networking help a jobless 3L get a job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:50 am

Let me start by saying -- being an unemployed 3L at a T13 law school is a terrible, terrible experience.

I've been spending a significant amount of time on networking -- grab coffee, phone conversations, attend events, etc. On the bright side, I got to know a lot of interesting people. But still, I have nothing lined up yet.

Also, very few (if at all) biglaws and midlaws are actively hiring first-year asociates, at least according to their webpage. If you look up at their "career" section, the majority of the firms only hire "summer associates" and "lateral attorneys." Regrettably, 3Ls fit into neither category. I highly doubt that my externship during 2L and 3L years would count towards "1-2 years of experience."

If the firms aren't hiring first-year associates at all, how would networking help? Even if you can get someone to pass on your resume or even vouch for you, unless the firms have actual hiring needs, you won't get hired anyway.

I wonder if any unemployed or no-offered 3Ls here have ever successfully secured a post-graduate employment at biglaws and midlaws through networking. I'd appreciate any anecdotal experience!

Anonymous User
Posts: 330348
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Will networking help a jobless 3L get a job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:09 pm

As one data point that might give you some hope, I was in the same boat as you. I had median grades at MVPD and struck out during the 2L recruiting cycle. I graduated without a job, passed the bar, and spent months networking (mostly cold emailing alumni from my law school at firms in my market, lunch/coffee meetings, etc.). I finally secured an offer in February (9 months after graduation) with a midsized firm I had never heard of before (~250 attorneys). After 2 years there, the stars aligned and I was able to lateral to a v50 firm, which seemed like a pipe dream when I graduated.

So yes, it is possible. The key is to leverage human connections to get your foot in the door somewhere that will give you relevant experience towards your long term goals. If your goal is big law, my other suggestion is to focus on one of the more specialized practice areas (L&E, bankruptcy, real estate, etc.) in which trading up firms is more common. General lit/corporate associates are a dime a dozen, so firms are less likely to take a risk on an unknown quantity.

Most importantly, realize that this process (and your career generally) is a marathon, not a sprint. Any given email/lunch/application is 99% likely to yield nothing, but don't let that stop you -- it only takes one.

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