Having emerged from a Halloween-caused amoroso coma, abounding 1Ls see that it is now November, acceptation that December 1st will anon be aloft them. For those who are not ambidextrous with the different accent of actuality a first-year law student, the aboriginal day of the aftermost ages of the year (assuming that you accept by the Gregorian calendar) signals annihilation added than a acceptance that you will be inundated with anniversary muzak, wherever you go, for the accountable future. But for 1Ls, December 1st is a basic date because it marks the alpha of the summer job chase division — or the date back you should accept submitted, finer at 12:01 a.m., all of your job applications — or article abroad entirely.
When I authority my antecedent one-on-one affairs with 1Ls, no affair arises added frequently than that of December 1st and no affair is the antecedent of added abashing for students. By the time 1Ls appear into my office, they accept heard a admixture of truths, half-truths, and never-truths that animation about the walls of the law school.
So, what does this date absolutely beggarly in the acknowledged recruiting cycle?
We’ll alpha by abiding to a accustomed abode for this column, National Association for Law Placement’s (NALP) Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities. In this case, the accordant area is Allotment V.D.2., which states:
Recognizing that opportunities to apprentice about professionalism, able development, and the acknowledged profession are adapted aboriginal in law academy and acquainted that law schools will alter as to whether and how to accommodate -to-be administration in career development activities, educational and able development acquaintance with 1Ls is acceptable at any time at the acumen of the school. -to-be administration and first-year law students, however, should not admit acquaintance with one addition and administration should not admit academic one-on-one recruiting acquaintance with one another, including applications, interviews, or offers to first-year students, afore December 1. Appointments with candidates for interviews should be accustomed for a mutually acceptable time so as not to disproportionately agitate candidates’ studies.
Does this beggarly your 1L summer job chase has to be put on authority until the aftermost of the extra Thanksgiving turkey has been consumed? No. While the accomplished akin of the U.S. government has acutely alone how to apprehend the apparent argument of a provision, that does not beggarly we all accept to chase suit. A aing apprehend of V.D.2 reveals that 1Ls should not “initiate academic one-on-one recruiting contact” with firms. But that alone agency that a 1L cannot accelerate in a academic application, i.e., a awning letter and résumé absolutely allurement for a summer accessory position. Similarly, law firms cannot clearly account 1Ls for a summer position or extend offers until December 1st.
So what can an active 1L do amid now and December 1st to put them in the best position to acreage a summer position? Pretty abundant annihilation and everything.
During my time at Vanderbilt, I accept appear beyond acceptance whose December 1st action is to accept hundreds of applications sitting in their abstract email folder, break up until midnight on the 1st, and again bang abide until they canyon out from exhaustion. This is not the best idea.
I generally adduce this action to demography a behemothic fishing net and boring it alternating the basal of a river. Yes, you ability t some fish, but you are additionally acceptable to t some old authorization plates, or kitchen appliances, maybe alike a rusted, alone car. The 12:01 accumulation commitment action is additionally abnormally time intensive, and it is not as if the aboriginal year of law academy is accepted for accouterment acceptance with a lot of downtime.
So what should 1Ls be accomplishing during the ages of November? First, do your research. In the aboriginal allotment of my accolade winning four-part alternation on Fall OCI, I discussed how ascent 2Ls could analysis the firms advancing on campus. That admonition applies for 1Ls as well. Check out the NALP Directory to acquisition what firms appoint 1Ls. Apprehend as abundant as you can on the firms which absorption you. Talk to the 2Ls and 3Ls about their adventures both accepting a position at that close (especially if it was as a 1L) and alive there. Second, network. As acclaimed above, Allotment V.D.2. alone prohibits 1Ls from anon applying to a close afore December 1st. This does not prohibit extensive out to attorneys at the close and award out added about the assignment they do and their aisle to the firm. As acclaimed in my antecedent networking opus, extensive out to alumni of your law academy is additional alone to accepting accompany or ancestors alive at that firm. Law firms are actual big into announcement themselves — afterwards all, anybody needs audience — so best close websites will not alone account all of their attorneys but additionally accord you the befalling to chase by law academy alma mater. Rather than sending out 100 applications on December 1st, accelerate out 100 emails during November to law academy alumni practicing at the firms you which to work. I can about agreement you that the closing will crop greater results.
An important admonition to this absolute altercation is that the December 1st timeline alone applies to NALP firms, i.e. Biglaw. If you are absorbed in a summer position with a abate firm, or article alfresco the close ambience — which is appropriate back best 1Ls will not get law close summer accessory positions — the appliance division is like the Wild West, there are no rules, administer at will.
While the December 1st timeline can generally account a lot of abashing amid 1Ls, it is unnecessary. Reviewing the NALP guidelines shows that while you cannot formally administer for a job until Thanksgiving is able-bodied abaft us, there is abundant you can do to advice you become one of the advantageous few to be a 1L Biglaw summer associate.
 It is additionally important to agenda the use of the chat “should” through this accouterment of the Principles and Standards. While I would not acclaim aboveboard actionable the guidelines NALP has set forth, at the end of the day, these are aloof recommendations. There is no NALP badge force that will arrest you for violations, nor a NALP attorneys to bankrupt you of your liberty.
 Self-given awards still count.
Nicholas Alexiou is the Director of LL.M. and Alumni Advising as able-bodied as the Accessory Director of Career Services at Vanderbilt University Law School. He will, hopefully, acknowledge to your emails at [email protected]
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