Desperate 2Ls Treat BigLaw Job Search Like a Full-Time Job

By Andrew Lu on October 10, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you are a 2L right now, you are likely sweating out what to do for summer employment.

But if you want to get one of the coveted internships at Big Law, you may have to campaign like never before, reports The Wall Street Journal. That's because the days of resting on the laurels of your 3.70 GPA are long over.

Instead, many Big Law firms may not even be coming to your campus. And the ones that do may only have one or two slots open for hundreds of candidates.

In the olden days, job search for a 2L was pretty straightforward. Get good grades during your first year, attend on campus interviews, get a summer internship, and turn that internship into a full-time associate position. While this path is still roughly the same, good grades alone will no longer cut it to get the internship interview.

As the economy turned this past decade, law firms began to "right-size" by cutting down the associate ranks and making fewer internships available, reports the Journal. At the same time, law schools compounded the problem by increasing class sizes and dumping the market with thousands of newly minted attorney.

So with the increased competition, a 2L beginning his or her job search should look to incorporate some additional strategies notwithstanding an excellent GPA:

  1. Network. You shouldn't feel shy about using your networks, whether it be family, friends, neighbors, etc. Networking is a part of life, and if you don't utilize your networks, someone else will.

  2. Don't Wait for OCI. As mentioned above, fewer firms are coming to on-campus interviews. Consider visiting job fairs, going to other campus OCIs, and paying your own way to the firm you want to work at.

  3. Target the Right Firms. Instead of sending out canned cover letters to hundreds of firms, you may want to write personalized cover letters to a select number of firms. With a targeted search, you better your chances of getting an interview.

Job search for a 2L is becoming more difficult. You will have to think outside the box to get the job you want -- unless you're related to the hiring partner.

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