When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

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When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:28 pm

I'm a summer at a firm in a major market that's consistently mentioned as one of the best in town (think like DPW in NY or Wilmer in DC) and would like to try and "trade up" to another firm that is better at the practice that interests me (think like WLRK, SG, W&C). When should I apply? I don't want to risk getting no offered at my firm if they find out. FWIW, I made it to the callback stage at OGI/OCI with said "better" firm but didn't get the offer ultimately.

Also, I have a trial-level fed. clerkship lined up for a year after graduation and may have a very well-known appellate one for the following year; should I list those on the resume or leave them off? The firm clearly values clerkships but it may be weird to apply for an entry-level position with a heads up that I'll be gone likely for two years after only working one (though I'd like to come back to biglaw if possible, at least to get the clerkship bonus, or in the case of WLRK the end of year bonus).

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Re: When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:58 pm

A law school career advisor said they believe firms won't be ready for 3L hiring until after 2L OCI. So if that's true, it sounds like no one will know anything until early 2021.

I'm in a similar situation to OP and don't know how to approach this.

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Re: When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:58 pm
A law school career advisor said they believe firms won't be ready for 3L hiring until after 2L OCI. So if that's true, it sounds like no one will know anything until early 2021.

I'm in a similar situation to OP and don't know how to approach this.
Also in a similar situation. Except my 2L firm hasn't handled the COVID/market situation well at all. I feel the need to do 3L OCI even if it means reneging but I know that's a bad look.

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Re: When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:50 am

OP here. Does anyone at least know if it’d be risky to send an application out now? Would news of this possibly make it’s way back to my firm?

Priority #1 is getting a return offer, especially since my firm seems to be doing relatively well managing COVID.


Please don’t quote this paragraph! One of my most junior interviewers at my callback clerked for the judge I will be clerking for down the road; would it be weird to reach out and ask about associate hiring? Not to have them put in a good word but more so to figure out when/if to apply.

justanotherlurker

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Re: When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by justanotherlurker » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:53 am

One clarifying question: when you say you have a clerkship "lined up for a year after graduation," do you mean that you have a gap year between graduation and the clerkship, or you're clerking after graduation for a year?

If the former, don't apply now. Apply during the clerkship.

If the latter, I'd give this serious thought. Firms do not love associates leaving for clerkships after 1 year. You're usually there for less than 12 months, and useful for even less than that. You are going to be more marketable as a clerk applicant anyway, especially if you get the COA clerkship. I'd strongly consider just reapplying then.

To your last question: Clerk networks are strong. Definitely reach out to former clerks of your future judge for information, just don't overplay your hand and ask for too much help.

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Re: When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:04 am

justanotherlurker wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:53 am
One clarifying question: when you say you have a clerkship "lined up for a year after graduation," do you mean that you have a gap year between graduation and the clerkship, or you're clerking after graduation for a year?

If the former, don't apply now. Apply during the clerkship.

If the latter, I'd give this serious thought. Firms do not love associates leaving for clerkships after 1 year. You're usually there for less than 12 months, and useful for even less than that. You are going to be more marketable as a clerk applicant anyway, especially if you get the COA clerkship. I'd strongly consider just reapplying then.

To your last question: Clerk networks are strong. Definitely reach out to former clerks of your future judge for information, just don't overplay your hand and ask for too much help.
I will be clerking for a district court judge beginning one year after graduating; meaning, I need to work at a firm for a year in between graduation and the clerkship. The reason I was interested in applying for the firm in the gap year is that they don’t usually take laterals but have been known to hire people that didn’t summer there (although usually coming off clerkships right after law school). I think I got confused with the advice re: former and latter situations; I think you may have mixd them up??

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Re: When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by enibs » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:00 pm

Go back to your summer firm for the interim year and apply to your “trade-up” firm from your clerkship. There will be little or no 3L recruiting this year.

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Re: When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by justanotherlurker » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:04 am
justanotherlurker wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:53 am
One clarifying question: when you say you have a clerkship "lined up for a year after graduation," do you mean that you have a gap year between graduation and the clerkship, or you're clerking after graduation for a year?

If the former, don't apply now. Apply during the clerkship.

If the latter, I'd give this serious thought. Firms do not love associates leaving for clerkships after 1 year. You're usually there for less than 12 months, and useful for even less than that. You are going to be more marketable as a clerk applicant anyway, especially if you get the COA clerkship. I'd strongly consider just reapplying then.

To your last question: Clerk networks are strong. Definitely reach out to former clerks of your future judge for information, just don't overplay your hand and ask for too much help.
I will be clerking for a district court judge beginning one year after graduating; meaning, I need to work at a firm for a year in between graduation and the clerkship. The reason I was interested in applying for the firm in the gap year is that they don’t usually take laterals but have been known to hire people that didn’t summer there (although usually coming off clerkships right after law school). I think I got confused with the advice re: former and latter situations; I think you may have mixd them up??
Yes, sorry, I got myself backwards, but my advice is the same: If you have a gap year before clerking for two years, the time to pivot firms is after the clerkships.

At most firms, even in the best of circumstances, 3L hiring is low. As Enibs said, I wouldn't count on any 3L hiring this year. Second, coming in for 10 months only is somewhat disruptive and not ideal, especially if you're going to a new firm where you don't have any established relationships. And even for firms that don't take laterals, you'll apply through the clerk pipeline, and you will be a stronger applicant coming out of the clerkships than you are now asking for 10 months of work in a weak market before having to leave.

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Re: When to apply for 3L OCI spots?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:05 pm

Is it bad form to email an alum/partner who did my 2019 screener but did not ultimately give me a callback, to ask about potential 2020 3L oci opportunities?

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