Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I don't understand why so many of you couldn't or didn't get firm jobs as summer associates with a promise of returning to the firm later. I mean, it seems like most of you had the grades to do it. What were you thinking at the time? Did you all just strike out randomly? Are you all terrible interviewers?
That's not the most helpful comment to offer people looking for jobs. FWIW, though, I think clerkship hiring is idiosyncratic enough, and dependent enough on things like personal recs and connections, that it is possible to get a clerkship coming out of a school that doesn't offer great biglaw opportunities and without having done a SA/got a permanent offer. The firm job I got my 2L summer was with a local firm (in a city with vey little biglaw) that doesn't hire out of its summer program. (They want you to clerk and then get back to them, and they can then see if they need anyone.) That was fine for me because I didn't want to be locked in to a firm, but it was also the only offer I got (class of 2011 OCI wasn't pretty, especially at my lower T1 in a small market.) I then went on to get a clerkship. I wasn't interested in firm jobs so I didn't apply for any out of the clerkship, and so I can't say what my track record would have been, but I certainly didn't have one waiting for me. And if you're not coming out of an elite school in a major market, it may not be that simple to find something. (It's always easier to get a new job when you actually have one.)
Also, the later clerkship hiring takes place, the more time you have to improve your grades from where they were at OCI. I went up about 8% from OCI to clerkship hiring time, and it was probably a fairly key 8%. This will probably be less of a thing now that the plan has dissolved.