Saturday, November 03, 2007

"What I Wish I Knew as a 1L"

In case you are a 1L and missed Boalt's very informative Career Development Office summer job panel yesterday, a fellow student has compiled the following notes from the "what I wish I knew as a 1L panel discussion." As the following list shows, this mandatory four-hour event was a highly effective use of a sunny Friday afternoon.


1. Do not eat too many sweets
2. Wear nylons (or don't)
3. When arriving for interview, be nice to the "staff"
4. Learn to control sweat glands
6. Do not throw noodles on wall
7. Send out 300 applications on Dec. 1st
8. Don't send out 300 applications—that's crazy!
9. Lawyers are happy
10. Lawyers are suicidal/drunk
11. Hawaii is desirable
12. "That was my truth"
13. The world is one girl's oyster (she is a 3L at Boalt)
14. Trial by fire: a good thing
15. Sitting on your butt: a good thing
16. You want to "shine"
17. Assert, Assert
18. In general, it is important not to fall on your fucking face
19. Cambodia = great danger = fun
20. Exclude Bikram yoga & flute playing from your CV
21. Anything of probative value is on CDO website
22. Eating every dessert at firm lunches costs 6 pounds per summer
23. With the possible exception of yourself, everyone knows how little you know
24. The CDO isn't worried about us getting jobs
25. Stay in your regional comfort zone
26. "Blow the top off the box" of your comfort zone
27. Follow your inner voice
28. Follow our advice
29. And try not to sleep during LRW

Additions to the list are encouraged.

(Also, thank you to the 2 and 3L's who took time from their sunny Friday to speak. It takes some bravery to sit on a stage knowing you will be asked to say deep things in front of a room full of anxious 1L's who can see your ankles -- just like it take some bravery to chuckle at those things that may have come off as....quirky. Please don't be offended. We are grateful for your time, I promise.)

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Blogger McWho said...

WTF is with you guys getting food after? CDO NEVER GIVES OUT FOOD.

11/03/2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

29. The security guard at Sullivan and Cromwell makes *all* hiring decisions. Be forewarned.

30. Some dude got to sit at the counsel's table because he was tired of bluebooking.

31. Drop torts, drop crim, drop civ pro -- concentrate all firepower on LRW for indefinite future.

11/03/2007 11:41 AM  
Blogger McWho said...

I was talking about burritos...but pretzels? we didn't even have those...

but we wont have to pay 40k in our 3L year, either. pow.

11/03/2007 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about some commentary on this ?? I would have thought thered be something by now...

11/03/2007 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope I'm not giving away the store, but here are some other things that CDO tells you as a 2L for OCIP, so you'll have them in advance:

30. Do not actually be drunk/high during an interview.
31. Do not attempt to grope the interviewer.
32. If you're a crazy racist, hold it in. Do not make racial slurs to the interviewers.
33. Actually lying is frowned upon; glossing heavily is strongly recommended.
34. Just drop all of your classes, since this is the only thing you're going to have time for if you follow our advice.
35. This is the most important decision you'll ever make in your whole life.
36. This doesn't matter and it's not that big of a deal.

As for me, I like a four-step method:
a. Ignore the CDO. Seriously.
b. Ignore most other students.
c. Find 2Ls or 3Ls who did what you want to do, and are similar to you in at least some respects (resume, grades, etc.), buy them a cup of coffee, and pick their brains.

11/03/2007 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does CDO keep a database of what 1Ls do each year? I remember they collected that information from me and that I agreed it could be released to students. 1Ls should definitely ask about this, because the 1L job hunt requires innovative strategies and (sometimes) connections.

11/03/2007 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1Ls who send out 300 letters on Dec. 1 get a job. 1Ls who wait until April to start looking for a job get jobs. Chillax, dudes and dudettes. Do what comes naturally to you.

11/03/2007 8:49 PM  
Blogger Mike M said...

8:49--I think the 1L who mass mails in December is looking for a different kind of job than the 1L who waits until April.

That being said, mass mailing is most likely worse than a waste of time, if it distracts from schoolwork.

11/04/2007 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Mike - If you're aiming for the large firm job, it seems (from the experiences of friends) that December 1 is actually key. For judges, it also helps, though it's not essential (I got an interview after mailing in late January).

But for public interest or smaller firms, January/February is just fine.

11/04/2007 11:39 AM  
Blogger McWho said...

If you REALLY want a firm job or judicial externship, I would recommend Dec. 1. It doesn't detract from your schoolwork that much provided you get started early enough, and then just mail it all out that first day.

I didn't send out 300 --- I sent out about 35 packets to judges. It got me a job, and I know others that had the same result. I also didn't have to worry about it over break...which made the hellish 4 days running up to dec. 1 totally worth it.

11/04/2007 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit 12:56. That's great news. There needs to be a post made about that. I can't wait to hear the administration's response.

11/04/2007 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another exception to the 12/1-isn't that important adviceis for government jobs and a few high-profile public interest jobs like the ACLU. You don't have to apply on Dec. 1, but they tend to have deadlines in late December/early January.

Also, as for Anonymous 11:41's #31 - it's true that LRW is probably the most useful class you'll have, and you should try to come out of it with a decent foundation for a writing sample. That said, for *some* jobs, grades are a pretty big factor (see also the OCIP threads).

I think the question of how much effort it's worth putting into grades is highly variable on what kind of career paths you want to aim for, and something 1Ls probably want to start thinking about in the next month or so (and reevaluating in January after the grades come out).

11/04/2007 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:54 - don't hold your breath.

11/04/2007 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second to 2:54:

Don't get too excited. This case applies to the class of 2003 and possibly 2004, not any of us. Also, I read in the Chronicle that UC will appeal to the Cal. Supreme Court. I am not an expert on government immunity, despite taking fed courts (shocking!), but it seems to me that there is a fair chance that this will not result in any payments.

11/05/2007 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, don't get excited about that fee thing at all. Unless you are a 3L, you will be paying the tab for the fees owed to the graduated students.

11/05/2007 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the most important thing to know as a 1L:

Sleep with as many people in your mod/supermod as possible. Honestly, it makes the next couple years very easy.

11/06/2007 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that the voice of experience, or the voice of an active imagination?

Either way it's the voice of a creep.

11/06/2007 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:28 obviously hasn't been in law school for very long.

11/06/2007 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going along with 6:28's post... most important thing to learn as a 1L: get a fucking sense of humor.

11/07/2007 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heart 3:02 pm.
What is with people not being able to take a damn joke (or understand very obvious sarcasm)?

11/07/2007 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooooh... I heart you too. If you were in my mod, I would have slept with you!

11/07/2007 4:15 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

Maybe you did.

11/07/2007 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well THIS is fascinating stuff.

i miss armen.

11/07/2007 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody see Armen in California Lawyer magazine?

11/08/2007 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Advice to 1Ls? Don't believe anything, including this post. I like making informed and rational decisions, law firm recruiting was the most opaque process I've ever gone through. Classmates, firms, CDO, profs, all seem to have their own agenda of misinformation. Sometimes well-intentioned, other times less so. There's so much received wisdom and personal opinions disguised as fact floating out there, impossible for me to sort out what was true and what not. Just read the Vault guides to see what I mean - they're just a series of contradictory assertions about a firm. What you need to get hired, which firm's a sweatshop and which is decent, how much grades matter... we all would love definitive answers and cling to any quasi-authorative information, but in the end law firm hiring was a total black box to me.
I'm not bitter at all, it somehow worked out great - I'm going to a firm I'm very pleased with. Some might tell you everything will be alright, you'll get what you want. Though reassuring, there's no guarantee this is true. As a Boalt student the probabilities are on your side, be grateful and don't forget that.

11/08/2007 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly. Don't believe the hype!

11/09/2007 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe the hype.

11/09/2007 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true that there's no authoritative One True Source of information in the hiring process, but I don't think it's a total black box either. While any printed material is pretty useless, and anything written by the firm is totally useless, I wouldn't count them out entirely. It's useful to see what the firm chooses to brag about, and what practice areas they focus on.

More useful, though, is the scuttlebutt from students who summered at the places you might want to go, and the word on the street from practicing lawyers in the same market/field. I found both of those types of sources to be pretty useful, and largely accurate.

11/09/2007 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is getting old.

So many bloggers, yet hardly any posts.

C'mon, Bekki, entertain us more!

Otherwise, Armen should find some new bloggers to take over.

11/09/2007 5:20 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

There, happy? I actually wanted to mock all the 1L advice through the clever use of movie quotes, but decided to give it up after only coming up with 2 examples.

"Donny, you're way out of your element. You're like a child who wanders into the theater in the middle of the movie..."

"Act as if. Act as if you have a 10 inch c***."

Oooh just thought of a third one. "[They're often] gonna need you to come in on Saturday. And Sunday. It's not a half-day sort of thing."

11/09/2007 5:45 PM  

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