Ludovico Technique wrote:
chitown2626 wrote:Again, thanks for the help. Can you provide any insight into a doing secondary journal v. doing moot court? Does one or the other look better on your resume? Is there any prestige difference between the 2 secondary journals (elder v. technology)?
From anecdotal experience I think grades were the most important thing, but law review was a boost if you were on the margins. Secondary journals and moot court were probably equal in that you needed to have one or the other (I think a majority of employers require one or the other) but neither was much of a boost. People with good grades on secondaries still got jobs, and at least a couple people with good grades got biglaw with only moot court on their resume.
I think if you miss LR but get a secondary journal you should take it though. It's a lot less work at our school and most of my friends on secondaries didn't hate their lives like law review people did. No prestige difference between the two. The elder law advisor is one of the best professors at the school and is very well respected in the field so even though Elder law sounds really obscure there's nothing wrong with being on it. I wouldn't turn down a secondary journal for moot court. If there is any prestige difference it would be in favor of journals since anyone can do moot court at our school (winning moot court might be more prestigious than being on a secondary though), but any difference in prestige didn't make any difference in hiring that I can tell. I know my friend with awesome grades who did moot court but not journal didn't get questioned on it in interviews or anything.
I would say the benefits of a secondary journal outweigh the burden of the workload, but if you don't get a journal it's not the end of the world.
Sorry for the delay: I'm traveling a bit right now and don't have access to the internet as readily as I normally do.
I agree with Ludo. Grades were the most important thing, but journal involvement is definitely helpful. I missed grading on to law review by one half letter grade and then was passed over by the secondary journals. There are a FEW firms that REQUIRE journal membership (An important aside: A lot of firms say that they require journal membership but, in practice, don't actually. Apply to EVERY FIRM coming to OCI, regardless of what they say their requirements are). Anyway, the few firms that actually require journal membership didn't interview me even though I was in the top 7 percent after 1L year. Moot court doesn't make up for that, but if you're not on a journal you really need to do moot court or employers will worry that you're just lazy.
That being said, I'm extremely happy, in hindsight, that I didn't get on a journal: I still got an offer from my top-choice firm for this summer and I didn't have to deal with the ridiculousness of being on a journal. Of course, I know I got lucky: Journal provides a noticeable boost so it should be a goal--but it's not the end of the world if you miss that boat.
uiucillini23 wrote:did any of you guys interview in different cities? suggestions for ppl like dreams-digital who want to work outside of Illinois?
I did. I interviewed in a number of different cities and ended up in my first-choice market, which is a large non-Illinois city. Without knowing the types of markets you're talking about, it's hard to give advice. Ludo touched on the main points earlier when talking about NY and CA markets: You have to be in the area to interview. Tell firms you'll be in town for a week and are interested in meeting with them. Spend the money to make it happen; it's definitely worth it. People we know who did that got jobs. Those who just wrote and hoped the firm would be interested enough to fly them out for an interview got nothing (Naturally, there are exceptions on both sides, but it's been my experience that this is a generally true statement).
If you're interviewing in a place like NYC, ties are not as important. If you're interviewing in a smaller market (Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis, Indianapolis, etc.) ties become extremely important. Make sure you have good, convincing reasons to be in the market and make sure that you know the market really well. I fielded questions in my interviews about specific neighborhoods in the market I was targeting in what was, I'm sure, an attempt to gauge how serious I was about moving there.
It's always good to skim the NYT, Wall Street Journal and etc. for basic corporate news, but if you're targeting smaller markets, you should also check out the local Business Journal. You'll probably need a subscription, but it's worth it to get a feel for the market and for the firms you're interviewing with. The business journals will obviously have a significant amount of news related to firm clients, but they also have legal/law firm sections covering the legal sector: these sections can be pure gold for interviews.
I did little things that might not be a big deal, too: If part of the reason that I was targeting a specific market was because I have family/friends in the area, I'd turn down the firm offered hotel (Oh, how painful it is to turn down such luxury...) and tell the recruiter "thank you, but I'm going to stay with my family." This may not have made a wit of difference, but I think it helped to reinforce that I wasn't just making up ties by inventing cousins and friends...
If you have specific markets you're targeting and want me to answer questions about them, just let me know. I'll probably either have interviewed there (particularly Midwestern markets) or in a similar-sized market/legal community.
It's important to again note that Illinois is not a national school. We place people outside of our home market, sure, but it takes a great deal of time, money and effort on the part of the student to make those connections. I think it was infinitely harder for me to land the job that I ended up taking than other opportunities that I had in our home market. We have really dedicated graduates who will help Illinois students get jobs, but most of those people are in Chicago. If your target market doesn't have Illinois grads (mine didn't!) be prepared to convince them why you're serious about sticking around and won't try to jump to Chicago in 3 years.
Sorry if this is too stream-of-consciousness: It's late, I'm traveling, and I'm exhausted! If you want me to clear anything up or elaborate on any point, just let me know and I'll be happy to do so.