... I also know a partner at Mayer Brown but I don't think he would do a ton to get me an internship because our families aren't that close.
With large offices of large firms, the summer associate hiring is a pretty regimented process. That is, unless you are close friends with the managing partner or hiring partner, having a connection alone won't get someone a SA position. Knowing someone can certainly help get your resume get looked at.
It might go something like this:
You have a friend who is an associate at Sidley. He chats with you about Sidley, etc. He calls up the person handling summer associate recruiting (often a seniior associate...or an HR person), and tells him that he has knows of this law student who he thinks might be a good fit for Sidley. Then, that friend emails a copy of the resume, etc., to the internal recruiting person. Really, after that, there isn't much someone inside a big firm can do unless they have some serious pull. They can certainly help you navigate the interview process at the firm (if you get selected for an interview of course).
As for Mayer Brown in particular, I summered there during my 2nd summer and went there full-time after I graduated from IU. They didn't interview on campus when I was there, so i had to send in my resume/coverletter on my own. There was someone in the year after me (so class of 2003) that is at Mayer Brown now (lateraled into the Chicago office...and now is in the NYC office). Also, you might be surprised about BU undergrads. Some of these offices have 500+ attorneys, so you have a pretty wide ranging UG breakdown.
daylightsavings wrote:I understand the benefit of networking, but what would you suggest to develop relationships at some of these firms I don't know anyone at. Obviously I could use martindale and find some IUB grads at firms in Chicago and contact them. Just not sure if that's appropriate or would be welcomed by the alumni. I went to Boston University for UG so that doesn't really help me in the Chicago area.
I certainly think contacting alumni is certainly fair game. But, I wouldn't start until after you actually started school. One other way to look up alumni, is facebook
If you find a couple people in a given alumni class on facebook, you can often piece together much of that class by simply looking at their friends. One firm to definitely look into is the Chicago office of Jones Day. They have pretty deep connections with IU (when I was at IU, the office hiring attorney was an IU law grad.. which resulted in a majority of their summer associates being IU grads).
daylightsavings wrote:Also to clarify, when you say good grades I understand obviously that top 10% is universally accepted as top notch, but would top 25% also be able to land some of those positions? Granted a lot of legwork put in to get noticed and such.
At the elite 5 or whatever Chicago firms typically you are talking about top 10%. In a better economy, it opened up after that to maybe top 20-25%, but these are different economic times. Keep in mind that this is getting the "1st" job. Lateraling standards usually (but not always) open up quite a bit.