Big Law December Graduation - Start Date

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

Big Law December Graduation - Start Date

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:26 pm

Hey guys,

I've been looking around for this answer and was hoping someone else could tell me about their experience of graduating in December in the past. If you have a BigLaw offer to start in Fall 2021, but you are graduating December 2020- did you ask to start working earlier instead of waiting for the Fall? Also, if you did ask to start earlier, when did you start? Right after the February bar?

I would appreciate any info you guys can provide. I have to take the regular bar, and also the patent bar. So have to make a few decisions and wanted to run through the numbers of how much money I would need to wait for the Fall or if I should try to ask to start earlier.

Thanks for any feedback!

QContinuum

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Re: Big Law December Graduation - Start Date

Post by QContinuum » Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:21 pm

I don't think you're going to get a lot of responses because this is pretty unusual.

But I also don't think it doesn't hurt to just go ahead and ask. So long as you're professional and courteous about it, I can't imagine a firm holding it against you for asking to start early. At worst, they say no.

That said, maybe wait a bit before asking. With the coronavirus pandemic raging now, and most firms at wits' end what to do with their incoming summers, and their incoming first-years this fall, I really don't think now's the best time to put this request forward.

Babum

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Re: Big Law December Graduation - Start Date

Post by Babum » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:28 pm

I know at least one person who did this for his big law job. I don't think that he got any push back from the firm as far as starting early. That being said, I would guess they would want you to take the bar earlier as well.

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

Re: Big Law December Graduation - Start Date

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:04 pm

Unfortunately, not many firms are accommodating this due to COVID. I know of two firms that have said no, but in ordinary circumstances they both would have said yes. Two of my roommates were looking into this at v25 firms in DC.

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

Re: Big Law December Graduation - Start Date

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:58 am

Graduated December, took February bar, started end of March. My firm (V5-V15 range, secondary market) let me choose my start date. If I started prior to March 1, I would have been the class above me, but I wanted a bar trip (plus I wanted to be ahead of my class, not behind), so I am considered part of the class that started six months after me.

Talk to your recruiter first and see what they think about it, then talk to your group head. At my firm they left it up to my practice group leader, but your recruiter should be able to tell you who has the decisionmaking power there. If they're slow, wait to ask until things pick up - more likely to say yes if they're maxed out on staffing.

Honestly it was great and I would do it again in a heartbeat - I only had the "first year" spotlight on me for six months, I've gotten advanced work more quickly because people really look at me as a year above what I'm classified as, I'm more experienced than my billing rate so partners love to staff me vs. my classmates. Only downside is you're stuck at first year pay for an extra 6-7 months, but the tradeoff was worth it IMO.

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