Harvard students are, on the whole, comparatively unprepared for EIP. Not because the resources aren't there
atl, can you elaborate on these points? What makes them unprepared? What resources should they be looking at?
They should be looking at resources at all, to start with. Like the OCS website, which gives you a lot of good bare bones information. I was pretty mystified at people who didn't even bother to do that. The OCS website is actually really helpful--they link to a lot of other useful sources, and we actually have free access to a lot of subscription-only resources through OCS. Additionally, when summer comes, you'll be able to set up appointments with actual recruiters in those markets that can walk you through some inside scoop on firms. I wouldn't rely on any one resource alone (including anything I say!) Get a mix, the truth probably lies somewhere in the mix.
Most people just do NYC. In which case, you do a nice hodgepodge of more prestigious and less prestigious firms and it's actually really difficult to screw up. Where people tend to go wrong is when they venture out into other markets without realizing that there are unique aspects to each of them that will make you more or less competitive, and that you have to be careful while doing that.
D.C.: You need some or all of the following to get into this market at all: good grades, law review, experience in D.C., competitive resume.
If you're a K-JD with below median grades, no law review, and no ties to D.C. who doesn't have anything super impressive on your resume, definitely don't bother bidding for any of the top D.C. firms, and you possibly shouldn't bother bidding on D.C. at all. Unless you're really strong across the board (and you'll know if you are if you are, if you have to ask, you probably aren't), adding a backup market like NYC would be very prudent.
NorCal: Demand far exceeds supply here, but they don't differentitate the same way D.C. does. While ties are fairly important, intangibles like having a good interview can still push you through, which makes your performance here hard to predict and something of a dice roll. Add a backup market,
Boston: Outside of Wilmerhale, Ropes, Bingham, and Goodwin, if you don't have ties to Boston other than going to HLS, this will be a struggle. Since you don't want to interview with just 4 firms, naturally you should bid on another market as well.
LA: I actually don't know much about LA other than that it's difficult as well and that you'll want a backup market as well. Ask people who interviewed there for more information.
Seattle: Ties or GTFO. Possibly GTFO anyway.
Chicago: I don't know anybody who isn't from the Midwest who *wants* to bid here, so I'm not sure if ties are important, or if it's just self-selecting. Maybe both?
Texas: Just search for "doublechecks".
Atlanta: I have only ever met one person going there. I have no idea.