reasonable_man wrote: I bet a good number of the 15,000 or more law students that go jobless each year (probably more each year), "love" the law and would love to practice, but cannot find anyone to hire them.
agreed RM, I just think he has a better shot 'loving' what he is doing than all the law school students who went in for terrible reasons (parents, prestige, visions of $$$, no other job) with no idea of what being a lawyer is like...still going to be an uphill battle for the OP perhaps, but liking what your doing can only help...
The way I see it is this.... There are two main routes into the profession. The first is the T14, good grades, etc. route which, in theory, should lead to a biglaw job. That is, by far, the best way in.
Then there is the back-door. That requires intense working of all back channels possible, working insane hours during LS and summers (not only on earning good grades, but amassing as much useable experience possible and becoming an asset to a firm that will be in a position to hire you after the fact. The major problem is that having used this method (i'm sure I'm setting myself up for some type of anal sex reference here - but whatever - keep your minds out of the gutters), to gain access to the profession and having done it from a lower ranked school I know a few things:
1) Most people (not all), but most are quite willing to talk the talk but are not reallllly willing to put in the kind of work and dedication needed to make this method work;
2) Luck absolutely plays a role in it and I'm the first to admit it;
3) You have to be a machine, a law learning, writing, get things done before you are asked, anticipate the needs of your bosses and willing to do it all on no sleep machine;
4) Its a completely uncharted path where things like career services and on campus recruiting are a myth that will get you nowhere; and
5) A certain degree of innate likabilitiy/charisma is required (I know, I know - I'm a dick on TLS - but in real life, I'm actually a pretty damn nice person) - This will not carry the day, but its needed to make things happen.
I'm not saying all of this is impossible when you're older... I'm saying that the type of firms that are looking for the ultimate hustler are looking for people in the range of 25 to 30, who remind them of younger versions of themselves, that they believe have the dedication and fire to bust their ass for low pay at first and reap the rewards later... It might not be active discrimination, but when you don't fit the model they have in mind for the position, it becomes harder to get that done...