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   Period Between July and Novemeber
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hamea77
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Period Between July and Novemeber
« on: Jul 31st, 2006, 1:25pm »
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I just came across this message board and have found this to be very helpful.  Thanks to all who take the time and provide such valuable insight to people such as myself who are just entering the field.
 
I have a 3 part question but before I ask it, Id like to give you a brief background on my qualifications.
 
I have an undergraduate degree in ME from Cornell, have been working in software development for 6 years and just graduated from a 3rd tier law school in Boston that has a GREAT IP Program which is highly reputed with the local firms.  Since, I was attending law school in the evening it took me 4 years to finish law school. During the second year exams, I was assigned to a client project in South Dakota, which in turn, is reflected in my transcripts as straight C's for that year.  However, I made Deans List for all other years, won an award for a paper I wrote for my Advanced Copyright class and was part of a Patent Moot Court team.  I also passed the Patent Bar in October while I was in law school and working full-time.
 
I applied to several top firms for Summer Associate positions and made it to 2nd round interviews for every firm.  However, I did not get hired because of my second year grades.  I know that the grades were the sole reason behind the rejection letters because I was getting 2nd round interviews based on my resume and interview skills reviewing my transcripts.
 
My current employer knows that since I have graduated from law school and taken the bar, I'll be leaving soon.  But I dont have anything lined up yet and my bar results dont come out till November.  So with that background, here are my questions:
 
1) Do I have any chance of getting a job with a big law firm for patent prosecution/litigation considering my poor 2nd year grades?  
 
2)  Is it worth applying to firms between now and November when you dont know whether you have passed the bar or not?
 
3)  I dont want to waste too much time at my current job doing non-legal work after law school.  If law firms are not an option, what is the next best alternative?
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Isaac
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Re: Period Between July and Novemeber
« Reply #1 on: Jul 31st, 2006, 1:56pm »
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on Jul 31st, 2006, 1:25pm, hamea77 wrote:
1) Do I have any chance of getting a job with a big law firm for patent prosecution/litigation considering my poor 2nd year grades?

 
I'm not sure I understand the grading system.  You have exams which cover an entire second year?  In any event, given that you've made the deans list 3 of 4 years, your 2nd year grades are obviously not telling the whole story.    When you look for real jobs, the focus won't be just on a few grades.
 
Quote:
2) Is it worth applying to firms between now and November when you dont know whether you have passed the bar or not?

 
Yes.  Apply for jobs regardless of whether or not you have bar results.
 
Quote:
3) I dont want to waste too much time at my current job doing non-legal work after law school. If law firms are not an option, what is the next best alternative?

 
Your initial question was about big law firms.  If they don't work out, then look at boutiques and other smaller law firms.    Maybe you can hook up with a solo.  Perhaps an experienced practioner who cannot handle software applications but is willing to review your mess.
 
IMO, starting a solo practice is *NOT* an option for someone who does not have at least several years of day to day prosecution experience.
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Isaac
wallflower
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Re: Period Between July and Novemeber
« Reply #2 on: Jul 31st, 2006, 2:22pm »
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Do large firms hire graduated law students for summer associate positions?  I haven't heard of that before.
 
It's not clear to me from your post when you gave the firms your transcript.  I would suggest being up front with a firm about your grades.  Don't wait until a post-second interview surprise -- that would indicate, at least to me, that you're trying to hide something.  Explain to them that the 2nd year was an anomaly and stress the stellar credentials from your first, third, and fourth years.
 
In any case, I second the suggestion to try the boutique firms.
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Isaac
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Re: Period Between July and Novemeber
« Reply #3 on: Jul 31st, 2006, 2:44pm »
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on Jul 31st, 2006, 2:22pm, wallflower wrote:
Do large firms hire graduated law students for summer associate positions? I haven't heard of that before.

 
I haven't either.  What did you take as asking about or descibing such a thing.
 
Quote:

It's not clear to me from your post when you gave the firms your transcript. I would suggest being up front with a firm about your grades. Don't wait until a post-second interview surprise -- that would indicate, at least to me, that you're trying to hide something.

 
I think what happens is that you apply for a summer associates position during the fall, and then the firms want to see your 1st semester grades when they come out.
 
It might be a good idea to give out the transcript information up front, but firms are not going to conclude that you are hiding something because generally they ask for your transcript at the time they want to look at it.  Some ask for it at the same time as your resume, while others ask for it only after you've made the first interview cut.    It might also depend on what academic information you have on your resume.  If your resume says you were the valedictorian at NYU, then a firm might not ask for your transcript until after they've made an offer.
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Isaac
wallflower
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Posts: 96
Re: Period Between July and Novemeber
« Reply #4 on: Jul 31st, 2006, 3:10pm »
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on Jul 31st, 2006, 2:44pm, Isaac wrote:

I haven't either.  What did you take as asking about or descibing such a thing.

 
The OP stated, "I applied to several top firms for Summer Associate positions and made it to 2nd round interviews for every firm."  In the previous paragraph he stated, "I...just graduated from a 3rd tier law school in Boston."  I continued the timeline from graduation to applying for summer associate positions.  Now that I read it again, it makes more sense that the OP is talking about what he did during law school with regards to the summer associate position.
 
In my experience, when people have a good reason for having bad grades one semester or one year, they usually like to bring it up during the interview as a way of "defending" themselves.  If they don't bring it up and send me a transcript after the interview, I get the impression that there is something hide.
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