This is my first time posting in this thread, but I've been lurking for months. I'm a T30 grad (top 10%, LR management) with a federal COA clerkship in a flyover state where I never planned to stay. My judge doesn't really have connections outside of the state. I had a 2L SA, but I got no-offered. My goal was to get a federal government job, but I expanded my search after I struck out with the honors programs.
I sent applications to over 60 firms in the state where I'm licensed (which includes one major market and a couple smaller ones) in February. I got no interviews with this approach. I started networking with alums of my law school who practice in the practice area I'm interested in. Within a few weeks of doing this, I got an interview at my dream firm with the help of one of these alums, and the firm made me an offer.
I'm telling this story for those of you who are like me. I hate networking with a burning passion and avoided it like the plague all through law school and through most of my clerkship. For those of you who are struggling to get a firm job, stop just mass mailing and start networking. I found this thread incredibly helpful as someone new to networking: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 3&t=226544
. Your clerkship may not get some recruiting person to take your resume out of a pile, but it probably will get an alum to answer your email requesting an informational interview. I also felt like my clerkship made people feel safe about offering to pass my resume along to their contacts.
I also finally managed to get a few non-honors federal government interviews toward the end. If you're getting discouraged by silence on USAJOBS, just keep applying. It took me over two months to get any response.
Good luck to all of you!
EDIT: I thought of another networking tip that I wanted to add. I found it was helpful to ask career services at my law school for the names of a couple alums in my practice area of choice who would be good contacts. The people on OCS's radar were particularly receptive to helping me out, which made the conversation much easier. Talking to them was a good way to get my feet wet with networking.