Sunday, July 05, 2009

7月4日隨即的事情:Happy Fourth of July (But Sadly that Means Summer is More Than 1/2 Over)

Checking back in here, I hope everyone had a good fourth of July. Hopefull there was grilling and fireworks involved, and if not that at least a chance to try to start a "USA, USA, USA" chant. But it's good to note that even in [the large urban cosmopolitan island metroplex we reside in that will remain forever nameless] people can put aside their petty disagreements and agree that America rocks. Wooooo.

* What is with this course enrollment thing? So we got a *pdf in the mail; that's great, but it's much more difficult to use than the online listings on lawweb that they had last year. Anyone know where we can go to read the descriptions? ("Current Courses" does not seem to be working, at least not for us.)

* If there's no such thing as bad publicity . . . FACT: UVA has been on AboveTheLaw more than any other law school recently. Sometimes for cool things about our students and events (and libel show) Other times for not so cool things (all depending on your views I guess). But in the end, isn't this just more evidence that we are America's coolest law school? Probably.

(NB: Our method of calculating this was rather informal, and a lot depends, among other things, on how one defines "recently" and "on" . . .)

* Deadline to get your "bids" in for OGI is July 9th. So get them in. What about strategy? Well, Hiring Partner Advice Blog (a great resource for . . . getting a job) has borrowed from us before, so we're going to borrow from them:
Hence, my answer to "how do you rank is?"..... are you crazy? I would rank the firms by "where the hell might I get a job?" This is not a law student/associate market. Did you miss that? I'm sorry, but those days are over. Hopefully, the firms going on campus in fact have slots to fill and hopefully they are being very careful with their numbers. I know hiring partners and recruiting staff who have already called law schools (yes, even top 25 law schools) and indicated they are not coming on campus this fall. So, if you've got firms coming on campus, I presume they have some slots to fill. And, at the end of the day, if you wind up with multiple offers, then great for you. At that point (when you have offers), I would start the "ranking" process -- where do I feel comfortable, what is the firm's reputation in the area (for possible movement later, for instance), what do legal and other news say about the firm? This is when we would consider lay offs. For me, if it is a choice between a lay-off firm and one that hasn't done layoffs, I think I would lean toward the non-layoff firms, but you need to do some homework - how are the departments staffed, do they seem overstaffed? How did the associates seem, did morale seem good? Perhaps you can talk to someone who spent the summer there this past summer. Do your homework. But that is when you have an offer.
At this point, before you have an offer, go fishing. Throw that net out far and wide. The days of the law firm world as your oyster are over. Ranking will be for after the offer. Take the interviews you get and go in with a positive attitude to all - even if maybe it's not your first choice -- it may be your only choice. Sorry to be harsh, but that is the way of the law firm market today.
Hard advice, indeed, but better safe than sorry . . . Of course that much isn't news to any law student. In terms of your bids, you should make them intelligently and focus on firms that you have a realistic shot at . . . arbitrarily, I wouldn't waste more than one or two of your top-ranks at firms that would be considered "reaches" for you, as in this economy their criteria is likely to be even stiffer.

We would say this, also, for whatever our advice is worth (probably not much) - for any interviews you do get, see what you can do to talk to a current 3L or graduated student about the firm. I.e. get a sense of what the summer was like, what kind of work the firm focuses on, the "culture" of the firm, etc. Of course, this won't help you get a lottery (or prescreened, for that matter) interview, but it should give you some things to talk / ask questions about in the interview itself.

* For some real advice, Cadwalader has an entire section of their newly designed website dedicated to helping students at OCI, including advice on resumes, screening interviews, and callbacks.

* These UVA law students like helping people.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The law school needs to get their act together with regard to the website. Woefully out of date links on the career and public interest websites. No current course listings, etc. etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

10 bucks says the current courses aren't up by midnight, July 9th.

Double or nothing that LawReg doesn't open on time and we get at least 2 emails from Cary Bennett explaining that's the case.

Anonymous said...

Calm down guys. It's HARD to compile a list of courses and post them on a website. Do you have ANY idea how freakin difficult that is?? I'd like to see YOU do it.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see one of us do it too. It would actually get done.