Path to lit boutique for recent grad

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Path to lit boutique for recent grad

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:12 pm

Hi, I'm a recent T6 grad, above median, heading to biglaw and then coa clerkship after one year. How can I maximize my chances of working at a lit boutique (or even a place like QE) if I'm not at the top of my class? Will another clerkship help or hurt? Are my grades too much to overcome? Boutiques seem better for gaining substantive/interesting lit experience earlier on. I don't really care about the prestige/name of biglaw firms, I just want to actually litigate. I'm not picky on geography, any of NYC, CA, TX, Chicago will do :D

Anonymous User
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Re: Path to lit boutique for recent grad

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:12 pm
Hi, I'm a recent T6 grad, above median, heading to biglaw and then coa clerkship after one year. How can I maximize my chances of working at a lit boutique (or even a place like QE) if I'm not at the top of my class? Will another clerkship help or hurt? Are my grades too much to overcome? Boutiques seem better for gaining substantive/interesting lit experience earlier on. I don't really care about the prestige/name of biglaw firms, I just want to actually litigate. I'm not picky on geography, any of NYC, CA, TX, Chicago will do :D
Current CA2 clerk who has interviewed with lit boutiques. My guess is that if your grades were good enough for COA, they will be good enough for at least some boutiques. I would draw up a list of boutiques that interest you and alumni from your law school working at those boutiques. Then, at the transition point between your biglaw year and the start of your clerkship, email those alumni explaining that you're an incoming COA clerk with prior biglaw experience and would appreciate a quick phone call to discuss their experience litigating at a boutique. When it comes time to submit applications (roughly December, but depends on the city), you reach out to the lawyers whom you had calls with and let them know you are submitting an application to their firm. If they liked talking to you, they will probably flag your resume.

Anonymous User
Posts: 357514
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Path to lit boutique for recent grad

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:34 pm

If you are geographically flexible, consider a recruiter for locations where you do not have an existing network and may not be able to build one of the next year. I know TLS tends to frown on juniors using recruiters, but I fell ass backwards into a boutique from a district clerkship by using a recuriter.

Also, word of warning (because I had a fairly similar mindset.) Many boutiques are very specialized compared to biglaw and that has a more immediate and bigger impact than you might expect. I'm relatively happy with my decision, but often wonder what doors will still be open to me outside a very specific practice area if I don't try to hop back into biglaw or the govt in a year or two.

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