nbj08 wrote:To be fair, career services gave some people bad advice. Dean DeRosa and most of the rest of the career services staff have been out of the game for a while, so they don't always give the best advice. I know that they gave me some advice that was totally wrong and I was lucky that it didn't end up screwing me over. Just because some people don't have jobs doesn't mean they're retarded, some people just got bad advice and had shitty luck on top of it. AJF is a total shit show and it's almost impossible to know how it will turn out until you're done with callbacks.
If you're at liberty to do so, could you please elaborate?
Career services is good for some things: they set you up with mock interviews, check your resume, and review bid lists, etc. The staff also seems to care about Cornell students and responds relatively quickly to emails and messages.
However, in my experience, you need to be proactive and reach out to career services for them to really be useful. For example, I had to reach out to them twice before they scheduled me a with a mock interview (that I had tried to schedule months in advance). If I hadn't reached out to them, they woundn't have gotten back to me at all. I also sent them my resume for review multiple times and it didn't really look like they actually went over it until the second or third time I sent it (the first time they sent it back to me it actually had a glaring typo in it that they didn't catch). I also had a friend who sent in a resume and Dean DeRosa literally sent an email back saying "Looks good" when, in reality, the resume needed work and had multiple typos. Moral of the story: Use career services, but don't rely on them. Instead, consult career services and rely on your own good judgment.
The friends I have who got screwed at AJF told me that career services gave them bad advice while reviewing their bid lists. My friends were within the GPA ranges for the firms that they bid on, but on the lower end of the spectrum and career services OK'd their bid lists. On the one hand, that was bad judgment on my friends' part. However, on the other hand, according to them, they bid poorly because career services told them their bid list was fine. This is just one example of where your own good judgment should come in. To do well at AJF, apart from talking to career services, I would suggest doing the following: talk to as many 2L/3Ls as you can, reach out to 2Ls, 3Ls, and alums who work at firms you are interested in working at, and consult TLS (seriously). This thread is particularly helpful: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=163550
The bad advice that I got from career services was to bid on 4 or 5 firms that had practice areas that I already had WE in. I was within all of the firms' GPA ranges, but I got to my interviews and the recruiters did not care AT ALL about my WE. There were other firms that were safer bets that I didn't bid on because of career services' advice. So, if you're not IP, it may not be wise to bid on firms based on WE. If you want more details, feel free to PM me.
Edit: Another horrible piece of advice I got from Dean DeRosa was to not mass mail before AJF. He literally told me that I shouldn't mass mail because it would be a complete waste of time (and I don't have amazing stats). I mass mailed anyway and I'm glad I did because I had a plan b in case AJF didn't work out and also gained some new contacts in my secondary market. I know of other people who followed his advice and had to start mass mailing post-AJF after they struck out. Some are still jobless.