Big law from UVA - no journal or moot?

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spglasses
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Big law from UVA - no journal or moot?

Post by spglasses » Sun May 24, 2020 10:23 pm

Rising 2L here slightly above median. I didn’t join a journal, and I’m not on moot. I do have a summer PI job, a part time summer RA, and some pro bono stuff as work experience + extracurriculars. I’m also probably gonna join a clinic next semester.

How badly did I screw up my chances at landing big law?

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UVA2B
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Re: Big law from UVA - no journal or moot?

Post by UVA2B » Sun May 24, 2020 10:30 pm

You didn't screw up your Biglaw chances unless the Biglaw bubble horribly bursts like has never been seen before.

If you specifically want DC litigation or something similarly competitive from UVA, you may be slightly hurting your chances without a journal, moot, or whatever, but even then it's more about explaining why you wouldn't do those things if you wanted to be a litigator rather than an automatic disqualifier. If you want the creme de la creme of Biglaw at highly grade sensitive firms, you are likely out, but you should know that already. But even at the depths of the Big Recession, right around 50% of UVA grads were getting Biglaw, and from what I remember, that didn't include Art. III clerkships in that number.

You have more work to do to make Biglaw happen, but you're still very much on that track.

spglasses
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Re: Big law from UVA - no journal or moot?

Post by spglasses » Sun May 24, 2020 10:33 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:30 pm
You didn't screw up your Biglaw chances unless the Biglaw bubble horribly bursts like has never been seen before.

If you specifically want DC litigation or something similarly competitive from UVA, you may be slightly hurting your chances without a journal, moot, or whatever, but even then it's more about explaining why you wouldn't do those things if you wanted to be a litigator rather than an automatic disqualifier. If you want the creme de la creme of Biglaw at highly grade sensitive firms, you are likely out, but you should know that already. But even at the depths of the Big Recession, right around 50% of UVA grads were getting Biglaw, and from what I remember, that didn't include Art. III clerkships in that number.

You have more work to do to make Biglaw happen, but you're still very much on that track.
Thanks for the quick response. Since UVA is in your username, you are aware that apparently most students are on some journal, right?

What do you mean by more work to do? Am I now at a disadvantage such that I should find more ECs in addition to the ones I am already committed to?

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Re: Big law from UVA - no journal or moot?

Post by UVA2B » Sun May 24, 2020 10:43 pm

Yes, I'm fully aware most students are on journals. I was on one, and only know a few who decided not to do one at UVA. It's a "red flag" in that some employers might wonder why you're not on one, but that's on you to be able to explain. If you decided not to do one because you didn't want to do write-on, or you didn't want the drudgery of a journal, that wouldn't look great. But if you decided to not do a journal because there were other things you were more interested in doing in law school (obviously not moot, but a particular journal, Lile, or whatever else academic ECs), it's on you to explain that was why. It'll still rub a few people badly because they understand how minimally a journal can impact your life time-wise if you join a secondary journal, but those interviewers are looking for easy ways to differentiate you from another similar student, which will be the exception more than the norm.

When I say you have more work to do, I mean that you'll need to build your bid strategy smartly for your grades, your interests, and your markets you want to target. You don't need to explicitly find superficial ECs to attach to your resume, but you'll want to work with KDon and staff to refine your resume based on your summer work, RA stuff, etc. and you'll want to practice interviewing where you're forced to answer why you're not on a journal among other things. If you refine all of that, you're still in a really good spot for getting Biglaw generically from UVA.

E: listed a journal on my parenthetical cause it was stream of consciousness, disregard that part

spglasses
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Re: Big law from UVA - no journal or moot?

Post by spglasses » Sun May 24, 2020 10:55 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:43 pm
Yes, I'm fully aware most students are on journals. I was on one, and only know a few who decided not to do one at UVA. It's a "red flag" in that some employers might wonder why you're not on one, but that's on you to be able to explain. If you decided not to do one because you didn't want to do write-on, or you didn't want the drudgery of a journal, that wouldn't look great. But if you decided to not do a journal because there were other things you were more interested in doing in law school (obviously not moot, but a particular journal, Lile, or whatever else academic ECs), it's on you to explain that was why. It'll still rub a few people badly because they understand how minimally a journal can impact your life time-wise if you join a secondary journal, but those interviewers are looking for easy ways to differentiate you from another similar student, which will be the exception more than the norm.

When I say you have more work to do, I mean that you'll need to build your bid strategy smartly for your grades, your interests, and your markets you want to target. You don't need to explicitly find superficial ECs to attach to your resume, but you'll want to work with KDon and staff to refine your resume based on your summer work, RA stuff, etc. and you'll want to practice interviewing where you're forced to answer why you're not on a journal among other things. If you refine all of that, you're still in a really good spot for getting Biglaw generically from UVA.

E: listed a journal on my parenthetical cause it was stream of consciousness, disregard that part

Got it. Thanks. Tbh, I just didn’t want to do write on because of some personal stuff happening this semester. If we hadn’t gone PF my grades would have been terrible. I just lost all motivation and focus for around a month. Obviously I can’t explain away not being on journal like this though.

I was thinking that adding on ECs that I’m kinda interested in (like another international law RA) and a tenants rights clinic, in addition to continuing with pro bono, could help me retro manufacture an explanation of not being on journal.

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Re: Big law from UVA - no journal or moot?

Post by UVA2B » Sun May 24, 2020 11:06 pm

As long as your resume isn't devoid of arguably substantive ECs, you should be able to speak to those things for long enough to mitigate the lack of journal. No one outside of hardcore litigation firms would even consider why you're not on mock trial. Journals are de facto automatic at UVA (much like they are at most/all the top law schools), so there will be an interviewer or two who sees that, or rather doesn't see that, and treats that as a bigger deal than it is.

If you're interested in doing international law work with Versteeg or another international law prof, absolutely do that, and enjoy it. Absorb it so you can speak to what you gained from doing that work and research. If you're interested in landlord/tenant and the tenants right clinic, do it, and carry what you learned from it into your interviews. Those are all good things, and they will help you explain away why you aren't on Tax Review or another secondary journal.

spglasses
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Re: Big law from UVA - no journal or moot?

Post by spglasses » Sun May 24, 2020 11:20 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:06 pm
As long as your resume isn't devoid of arguably substantive ECs, you should be able to speak to those things for long enough to mitigate the lack of journal. No one outside of hardcore litigation firms would even consider why you're not on mock trial. Journals are de facto automatic at UVA (much like they are at most/all the top law schools), so there will be an interviewer or two who sees that, or rather doesn't see that, and treats that as a bigger deal than it is.

If you're interested in doing international law work with Versteeg or another international law prof, absolutely do that, and enjoy it. Absorb it so you can speak to what you gained from doing that work and research. If you're interested in landlord/tenant and the tenants right clinic, do it, and carry what you learned from it into your interviews. Those are all good things, and they will help you explain away why you aren't on Tax Review or another secondary journal.
I’m really looking forward to working more with the prof and hopefully into the semester. I’ll do my best with that and the clinic. Thanks. I should also get back in touch with career services.

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