Impact of 1L SA recruiting on 2L search

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LHS17
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Impact of 1L SA recruiting on 2L search

Postby LHS17 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:14 pm

Suppose you have strong ties to one of the markets known for having more 1L SA opportunities than most. While you likely do not want to practice in that market, some firms are very strong in a desired practice area. My questions are as follows:

(1) Assuming you do well during your 1L SA, would it be conceivable for a firm to entertain bringing you back in a different office (easier than switching locations between 2L SA and full time)?

(2) If you are fortunate enough to get more than one 1L SA offer in the market where you have strong ties, does having to turn down an offer impact your ability to apply to a more ideal office (where you also have ties, but 1L SA market is virtually non-existent) within that same firm for 2L summer?

I realize 1L SAs can be idiosyncratic and that one would be fortunate to get anything, but would appreciate any views to help me think through the above. The market I'm hoping to practice in is rather small, and I don't want to burn bridges through the 1L process.

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UVA2B
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Re: Impact of 1L SA recruiting on 2L search

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:40 pm

This question is likely too generic to give much advice, but there's probably a few relevant things to consider here.

Assuming you get a 1L SA in this hypothetical Biglaw firm, and assuming they offer you to return for a 2L SA, it would be conceivable to tell the firm you'd be interested in getting some experience in the other market and see what they say. Some firms will be open to it, whether that means transferring your offer to return to the new office if the new office is willing to take you, or maybe splitting your 2L summer between the two offices. This would be a good way to get your foot in the door in the new office, but you have to be prepared that the offer could theoretically be only for your 1L SA office as well. No two firms will handle this the same, especially if you're talking about two smaller markets like you're suggesting.

If you manage to get multiple 1L SA offers, turning down an offer will not impact your ability to get a job with them again for 2L summer. In fact, you're probably at a bit of an advantage because they clearly wanted you before, so it stands to reason they could want you again. Law firms won't hold grudges against you unless you massively fumble turning down their offer.

All that said, focus first on 1L before you think ahead to navigating the waters of your 1L SA. Even if you're at HYS, it's not necessarily a guarantee, especially in smaller markets where hiring will be more ties+fit conscious. Cart and horse and all of that.

LHS17
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:29 am

Re: Impact of 1L SA recruiting on 2L search

Postby LHS17 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:56 pm

UVA2B wrote:This question is likely too generic to give much advice, but there's probably a few relevant things to consider here.

Assuming you get a 1L SA in this hypothetical Biglaw firm, and assuming they offer you to return for a 2L SA, it would be conceivable to tell the firm you'd be interested in getting some experience in the other market and see what they say. Some firms will be open to it, whether that means transferring your offer to return to the new office if the new office is willing to take you, or maybe splitting your 2L summer between the two offices. This would be a good way to get your foot in the door in the new office, but you have to be prepared that the offer could theoretically be only for your 1L SA office as well. No two firms will handle this the same, especially if you're talking about two smaller markets like you're suggesting.

If you manage to get multiple 1L SA offers, turning down an offer will not impact your ability to get a job with them again for 2L summer. In fact, you're probably at a bit of an advantage because they clearly wanted you before, so it stands to reason they could want you again. Law firms won't hold grudges against you unless you massively fumble turning down their offer.

All that said, focus first on 1L before you think ahead to navigating the waters of your 1L SA. Even if you're at HYS, it's not necessarily a guarantee, especially in smaller markets where hiring will be more ties+fit conscious. Cart and horse and all of that.


Thanks. As to your last paragraph, my goal is to know exactly who I'm mailing on December 1 (with a few targeted cover letters), so that I can focus fully on exams.

What makes question generic short of knowing my school and the two markets in question?

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UVA2B
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Re: Impact of 1L SA recruiting on 2L search

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:11 pm

LHS17 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:This question is likely too generic to give much advice, but there's probably a few relevant things to consider here.

Assuming you get a 1L SA in this hypothetical Biglaw firm, and assuming they offer you to return for a 2L SA, it would be conceivable to tell the firm you'd be interested in getting some experience in the other market and see what they say. Some firms will be open to it, whether that means transferring your offer to return to the new office if the new office is willing to take you, or maybe splitting your 2L summer between the two offices. This would be a good way to get your foot in the door in the new office, but you have to be prepared that the offer could theoretically be only for your 1L SA office as well. No two firms will handle this the same, especially if you're talking about two smaller markets like you're suggesting.

If you manage to get multiple 1L SA offers, turning down an offer will not impact your ability to get a job with them again for 2L summer. In fact, you're probably at a bit of an advantage because they clearly wanted you before, so it stands to reason they could want you again. Law firms won't hold grudges against you unless you massively fumble turning down their offer.

All that said, focus first on 1L before you think ahead to navigating the waters of your 1L SA. Even if you're at HYS, it's not necessarily a guarantee, especially in smaller markets where hiring will be more ties+fit conscious. Cart and horse and all of that.


Thanks. As to your last paragraph, my goal is to know exactly who I'm mailing on December 1 (with a few targeted cover letters), so that I can focus fully on exams.

What makes question generic short of knowing my school and the two markets in question?


It's not just the markets and your school, it can come down to the specific firm as well. Jones Day has offices all over the place, to include small regional market satellite offices, but as an entire firm they may have very different policies for trying out different offices than a place like Bradley Arent Boult Cummings, which also has offices in a bunch of places including major markets, but is a bit more confined to a region of the country for most of its practice, as an example.

It's tough to give targeted advice when everything you're considering is meant to be generic to small, secondary markets generally, because small, secondary markets generally also don't have the biggest firms in the country and tend to have more firms with a more regional focus, which can mean pretty stark contrasts in firm culture and governance. So I guess what I'm really saying is firm cultures can really affect how your approach should be tailored to those markets you're considering.

The last thing I said should matter most though: this is a cart and horse problem. You're implicitly assuming you'll have at least one 1L SA, with a real possibility of having to navigate multiple offers. You shouldn't be approaching December 1st planning in July. You can start figuring out the offices of firms you're interested in now by perusing NALP, etc. if you really want so you know what firms are available to you in a given market, but it's way too soon to be thinking about putting cover letters together or planning how to accept 1L SA offers. It's simultaneously presumptuous and a waste of your summer prior to law school.

LHS17
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:29 am

Re: Impact of 1L SA recruiting on 2L search

Postby LHS17 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:34 pm

UVA2B wrote:
LHS17 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:This question is likely too generic to give much advice, but there's probably a few relevant things to consider here.

Assuming you get a 1L SA in this hypothetical Biglaw firm, and assuming they offer you to return for a 2L SA, it would be conceivable to tell the firm you'd be interested in getting some experience in the other market and see what they say. Some firms will be open to it, whether that means transferring your offer to return to the new office if the new office is willing to take you, or maybe splitting your 2L summer between the two offices. This would be a good way to get your foot in the door in the new office, but you have to be prepared that the offer could theoretically be only for your 1L SA office as well. No two firms will handle this the same, especially if you're talking about two smaller markets like you're suggesting.

If you manage to get multiple 1L SA offers, turning down an offer will not impact your ability to get a job with them again for 2L summer. In fact, you're probably at a bit of an advantage because they clearly wanted you before, so it stands to reason they could want you again. Law firms won't hold grudges against you unless you massively fumble turning down their offer.

All that said, focus first on 1L before you think ahead to navigating the waters of your 1L SA. Even if you're at HYS, it's not necessarily a guarantee, especially in smaller markets where hiring will be more ties+fit conscious. Cart and horse and all of that.


Thanks. As to your last paragraph, my goal is to know exactly who I'm mailing on December 1 (with a few targeted cover letters), so that I can focus fully on exams.

What makes question generic short of knowing my school and the two markets in question?


It's not just the markets and your school, it can come down to the specific firm as well. Jones Day has offices all over the place, to include small regional market satellite offices, but as an entire firm they may have very different policies for trying out different offices than a place like Bradley Arent Boult Cummings, which also has offices in a bunch of places including major markets, but is a bit more confined to a region of the country for most of its practice, as an example.

It's tough to give targeted advice when everything you're considering is meant to be generic to small, secondary markets generally, because small, secondary markets generally also don't have the biggest firms in the country and tend to have more firms with a more regional focus, which can mean pretty stark contrasts in firm culture and governance. So I guess what I'm really saying is firm cultures can really affect how your approach should be tailored to those markets you're considering.

The last thing I said should matter most though: this is a cart and horse problem. You're implicitly assuming you'll have at least one 1L SA, with a real possibility of having to navigate multiple offers. You shouldn't be approaching December 1st planning in July. You can start figuring out the offices of firms you're interested in now by perusing NALP, etc. if you really want so you know what firms are available to you in a given market, but it's way too soon to be thinking about putting cover letters together or planning how to accept 1L SA offers. It's simultaneously presumptuous and a waste of your summer prior to law school.


There is no "cart and horse problem" when I said upfront that 1L SAs can be idiosyncratic and one should consider themselves fortunate to get anything.

I don't want to waste my time applying to a 1L SA firm if anything about that will limit my already limited options in my 2L SA market (it sounds like it won't, but calling this exercise presumptuous isn't constructive).

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UVA2B
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Re: Impact of 1L SA recruiting on 2L search

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:38 pm

LHS17 wrote:There is no "cart and horse problem" when I said upfront that 1L SAs can be idiosyncratic and one should consider themselves fortunate to get anything.

I don't want to waste my time applying to a 1L SA firm if anything about that will limit my already limited options in my 2L SA market (it sounds like it won't, but calling this exercise presumptuous isn't constructive).


Ok, I'll try to reconstruct so as not to diminish what you were originally trying to say. It's never a waste of time to apply to a 1L SA if you want to be in that market, even if it's just for a 1L SA. As you allude, getting even a single 1L SA is a great spot to be in. But you won't ever be hamstrung by a 1L SA if you want something else for a 2L SA. Plenty of 1L SAs decide not to return to their same firm/market every year. You're not committed to accepting a 2L SA simply because you did a 1L SA. You'll have time after the 1L summer to interview and evaluate any offers you have on the table before you have to accept a 2L SA offer from your 1L firm (or any other firm where you have offers).




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