Bidding only health law firms?

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notactuallyposting

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Bidding only health law firms?

Post by notactuallyposting » Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:51 pm

Hello, looking for advice about bidding.

I am a student at Boalt, estimated debt at repayment ~30k (scholarships). Long term I am PI/gov focused in health policy, and really the only reason I am in law school is for specific health related matters. That being said, some mentors have told me it may make sense to get some training in health law through a big firm first if possible. Checked online and there are a few health law firms in the area (relatively small), and a bunch of big firms with health law practice groups. Is it possible to just bid and interview with only those firms? For practice groups is it possible to be interested in / bid only the health section? If I don't get one of those firms, with my debt load so low I can pursue PI avenues in the region, but am not sure if participating in OCI would be made public and hurt me in PI? Also, for my plan to work, would I need to have like tippy top grades?

Also- any general tips/experience out there on approaching only a niche area in OCI?

Thanks

Nat Sherman

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Re: Bidding only health law firms?

Post by Nat Sherman » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:07 pm

Grades should be your most important priority right now. No matter what, just focus on grades. OCI is a long ways off and will be almost dependent on grades.

As to actually going through OCI, you get double digit bids, and I can't image there being more health care law firms than the amount of bids you have. Why would you waste your only opportunity where firms have to interview you. It wouldn't even matter if you were top of the class and wanted general transnational work, you should always pretend like you're bottom of the class and hustle.

bdubs

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Re: Bidding only health law firms?

Post by bdubs » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:52 pm

There is tremendous variation in how firms approach hiring, but I have never heard of someone's participation in OCI actually having any negative effect on them. You should go and interview with firms that have practices that you might be interested in and see how they handle staffing.

A word of warning, if you go in to an interview with someone from a firm and tell them that you only want to do "health" related law, they will probably decline to hire you. I would tone down your singular focus when it comes to interviews and leave those kinds of questions for after you get offers.

thisismyname

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Re: Bidding only health law firms?

Post by thisismyname » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:55 pm

Don't ever limit yourself in law school. Employment is already limited. Pick out the handful of firms you absolutely want when the list comes out. Focus on those. For you, that would be the health law firms. Polish those applications as best as you can. Then, when you have those application polished up, take your generic cover letter, edit it a little to fit the firm, and bid on everything else. DON'T EVER pass up an opportunity to get your face in front of an employer. I don't care if you are number 1 in your class. You only stop looking when you already have a job in hand. And even then, you don't really stop looking. As a 1L, if you don't get the internship of your dream, just get experience. If you strike out at OCI (which is entirely possible) start mass mailing. For your 1L summer, all you really need is experience. I worked PI my 1L summer, striking out during OCI, even being top 25% when applying. Having that experience, and bringing my grades up a little got me 5x more interviews during 2L OCI and choices instead of fall backs. Just because you don't get your targeted internship your first summer does not mean you can't get it your second. And the second summer is what really matters.

whatsyourdeal

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Re: Bidding only health law firms?

Post by whatsyourdeal » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:04 pm

thisismyname wrote:Don't ever limit yourself in law school. Employment is already limited. Pick out the handful of firms you absolutely want when the list comes out. Focus on those. For you, that would be the health law firms. Polish those applications as best as you can. Then, when you have those application polished up, take your generic cover letter, edit it a little to fit the firm, and bid on everything else. DON'T EVER pass up an opportunity to get your face in front of an employer. I don't care if you are number 1 in your class. You only stop looking when you already have a job in hand. And even then, you don't really stop looking. As a 1L, if you don't get the internship of your dream, just get experience. If you strike out at OCI (which is entirely possible) start mass mailing. For your 1L summer, all you really need is experience. I worked PI my 1L summer, striking out during OCI, even being top 25% when applying. Having that experience, and bringing my grades up a little got me 5x more interviews during 2L OCI and choices instead of fall backs. Just because you don't get your targeted internship your first summer does not mean you can't get it your second. And the second summer is what really matters.
This is great advice. I am currently in my 2nd year inhouse at a large health provider, have had healthcare experience before, during and after law school, and have worked in the regulatory and corporate fields of health law. Yes, the most helpful thing you can do right now to position yourself for a career in health law is by gaining experience in healthcare law... however, you also NEED to learn to be an attorney. This means that you need to learn litigation/transaction/compliance, you need to learn how to speak to clients/executives, etc. You can learn all of these skills at non-healthcare firms.

Don't limit yourself by making it healthcare or bust. You still need to learn to be a lawyer first.

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