I know that many of you are anxious. On the subject of 1Ls, let me say that BigLaw jobs will be few and far between. You guys and gals know that. They always have been, and this year will be a heck of a lot worse. So, what to do? If there's an area of law you are interested in, i.e. a specialty, I would recommend you try to find a paid (or unfortunately unpaid) internship at a governmental (state or federal) agency that handles these matters, at a corporation, or a smaller firm. HP's friend who is an HP at another firm hired a gal for 2L summer from a decent (but not top tier) law school with pretty good, but not top of the class grades. Why did this gal get the offer? Well, a particular practice area has indicated they need a junior associate. This gal spent her 1L summer at a governmental agency that oversees the industry served by practice group. The gal also had prior work experience in the industry. This gave her the edge over others who may have had better credentials but less "connection" to the specialty area. Playing this out another way, let's say you may be interested in employment law. There are tons of state anti-discrimination agencies out there where you could get experience helping to investigate matters under various civil rights laws.
And, btw, we do often check references -- even if you don't provide them to us. Oftentimes, either HP or someone in the firm will know people at the places you worked. We may very well call up a contact there and get their assessment of you. These are buyer's times again and we are buyers, so we can be extra cautious and careful about who we hire. HP's friend had a gal who worked in-house last summer at a place where HP's friend knew a senior in-house counsel. HP's friend called up the counsel and asked about the summer associate's work, demeanor, etc. This goes in the advice category to do a good, solid job no matter where you are because -- HP ALREADY SAID THIS: YOU NEVER KNOW WHO KNOWS WHO -- it is your reputation and career -- guard it -- work hard, be honest, treat people (supervisors, colleagues, opposing counsel, and staff) with respect. What you do in one job or situation may come back to bite or help you.
I know you are wanting more advice and I will try to get back on track on being a more frequent blogger.
A belated Happy Thanksgiving!