Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

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FutureTaxLawyer?

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Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby FutureTaxLawyer? » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:34 am

Hi everyone, I am a former finance guy thinking of making a transition to law

GPA: LSDAS gpa is above 3.8 -- HYPS econ major
LSAT: 170... self studied and could probably improve on this
Work experience: One year in finance at a top firm -- total comp was over $130k
Recent experience: Have taken a one year gap because I was burnt out from the grind

My problems are the following: 1) I'm pretty eccentric and not good at politics and 2) I get tired easily and have trouble functioning without sleep. Granted, a lot of law school hopefuls probably have those same issues but don't realize it. But I've actually worked at a 80+ hour per week job before, so I know for sure that I struggle in that kind of environment.

My questions:

1a) Do you think I should apply to law school next cycle?
1b) Does law school have any exit opps with decent hours and job security?
2) How hard is it to get hired by a federal agency? Do they recruit on campus?
3) Is there a way to recruit specifically for tax law? Or would I need to join a large firm and then network into their tax group?

RedPurpleBlue

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Re: Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:53 am

FutureTaxLawyer? wrote:My questions:

1a) Do you think I should apply to law school next cycle?
1b) Does law school have any exit opps with decent hours and job security?
2) How hard is it to get hired by a federal agency? Do they recruit on campus?
3) Is there a way to recruit specifically for tax law? Or would I need to join a large firm and then network into their tax group?


1a) Why do you want to practice law? Are you interested in legal work or the salary that accompanies big law employment? If you're interested in the former and have a compelling reason beyond "I don't know what else to do," then sure why not apply?
2a) This depends on who you ask. If you want to go into public interest/government work, then law school definitely has some great exit options with decent pay and hours. However, the pay isn't going to be anywhere close to what you could be getting as an analyst at a big consulting firm. However, the most popular law school exit option for those who attend elite schools is big law, and big law does not have decent hours; it has terrible hours. If you're fine with working in big law for a few years (let's say 3) to pay off your debt (assuming you aggressively attack it or get a good scholarship), then you can transition into a Fortune 500 legal department, which normally have much better work/life balances at lower than big law pay, or a small- or mid-sized firm that will require less billable hours (and thus less time at the office). It's up to you to decide if any of these sound like good exit options from law school.
2) Getting hired by a federal agency is incredibly difficult. It's much more difficult than landing big law, and that's already very difficult outside of the top 14 out of 200 law schools. From what I understand, there are hundreds of applicants for each open position (those odds aren't good no matter who you are). Generally, you need to be near the top of your class, have some experience in big law, be a former federal clerk, or have previously worked at one of the federal agencies during your 1L/2L summers. Of course someone needs to get these jobs, so it's definitely possible. You just need to work very hard to get one and a lot of people who work very hard to get one still wind up empty handed.
3) You'd want to join a large firm and network into their tax group or you would want to get an LLM (if necessary) and go work at a big 4 accounting firm. I think the rumors are that they now pay their associates $140k/yr. (big law is $180k/yr. in major markets now), and they work near big law hours, so I'm not sure either of those outcomes would fit your "decent hours" requirement.

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bearsfan23

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Re: Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby bearsfan23 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:37 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:
FutureTaxLawyer? wrote:My questions:

1a) Do you think I should apply to law school next cycle?
1b) Does law school have any exit opps with decent hours and job security?
2) How hard is it to get hired by a federal agency? Do they recruit on campus?
3) Is there a way to recruit specifically for tax law? Or would I need to join a large firm and then network into their tax group?


1a) Why do you want to practice law? Are you interested in legal work or the salary that accompanies big law employment? If you're interested in the former and have a compelling reason beyond "I don't know what else to do," then sure why not apply?
2a) This depends on who you ask. If you want to go into public interest/government work, then law school definitely has some great exit options with decent pay and hours. However, the pay isn't going to be anywhere close to what you could be getting as an analyst at a big consulting firm. However, the most popular law school exit option for those who attend elite schools is big law, and big law does not have decent hours; it has terrible hours. If you're fine with working in big law for a few years (let's say 3) to pay off your debt (assuming you aggressively attack it or get a good scholarship), then you can transition into a Fortune 500 legal department, which normally have much better work/life balances at lower than big law pay, or a small- or mid-sized firm that will require less billable hours (and thus less time at the office). It's up to you to decide if any of these sound like good exit options from law school.
2) Getting hired by a federal agency is incredibly difficult. It's much more difficult than landing big law, and that's already very difficult outside of the top 14 out of 200 law schools. From what I understand, there are hundreds of applicants for each open position (those odds aren't good no matter who you are). Generally, you need to be near the top of your class, have some experience in big law, be a former federal clerk, or have previously worked at one of the federal agencies during your 1L/2L summers. Of course someone needs to get these jobs, so it's definitely possible. You just need to work very hard to get one and a lot of people who work very hard to get one still wind up empty handed.
3) You'd want to join a large firm and network into their tax group or you would want to get an LLM (if necessary) and go work at a big 4 accounting firm. I think the rumors are that they now pay their associates $140k/yr. (big law is $180k/yr. in major markets now), and they work near big law hours, so I'm not sure either of those outcomes would fit your "decent hours" requirement.


I'm sorry but the bolded is just wrong. It's generally more difficult to get a BigFed job than a BigLaw job, but it's nowhere nearly as daunting as what you are describing. Assuming OP ends up at a T14 and focuses on that as his goal, he has a pretty good chance of success. You definitely do not need to be either 1. experienced in BigLaw or 2. a former clerk to get hired. FedGov honors programs in particular hire candidates direct from law school with no other legal experience.

RedPurpleBlue

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Re: Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:49 am

bearsfan23 wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:
FutureTaxLawyer? wrote:My questions:

1a) Do you think I should apply to law school next cycle?
1b) Does law school have any exit opps with decent hours and job security?
2) How hard is it to get hired by a federal agency? Do they recruit on campus?
3) Is there a way to recruit specifically for tax law? Or would I need to join a large firm and then network into their tax group?


1a) Why do you want to practice law? Are you interested in legal work or the salary that accompanies big law employment? If you're interested in the former and have a compelling reason beyond "I don't know what else to do," then sure why not apply?
2a) This depends on who you ask. If you want to go into public interest/government work, then law school definitely has some great exit options with decent pay and hours. However, the pay isn't going to be anywhere close to what you could be getting as an analyst at a big consulting firm. However, the most popular law school exit option for those who attend elite schools is big law, and big law does not have decent hours; it has terrible hours. If you're fine with working in big law for a few years (let's say 3) to pay off your debt (assuming you aggressively attack it or get a good scholarship), then you can transition into a Fortune 500 legal department, which normally have much better work/life balances at lower than big law pay, or a small- or mid-sized firm that will require less billable hours (and thus less time at the office). It's up to you to decide if any of these sound like good exit options from law school.
2) Getting hired by a federal agency is incredibly difficult. It's much more difficult than landing big law, and that's already very difficult outside of the top 14 out of 200 law schools. From what I understand, there are hundreds of applicants for each open position (those odds aren't good no matter who you are). Generally, you need to be near the top of your class, have some experience in big law, be a former federal clerk, or have previously worked at one of the federal agencies during your 1L/2L summers. Of course someone needs to get these jobs, so it's definitely possible. You just need to work very hard to get one and a lot of people who work very hard to get one still wind up empty handed.
3) You'd want to join a large firm and network into their tax group or you would want to get an LLM (if necessary) and go work at a big 4 accounting firm. I think the rumors are that they now pay their associates $140k/yr. (big law is $180k/yr. in major markets now), and they work near big law hours, so I'm not sure either of those outcomes would fit your "decent hours" requirement.


I'm sorry but the bolded is just wrong. It's generally more difficult to get a BigFed job than a BigLaw job, but it's nowhere nearly as daunting as what you are describing. Assuming OP ends up at a T14 and focuses on that as his goal, he has a pretty good chance of success. You definitely do not need to be either 1. experienced in BigLaw or 2. a former clerk to get hired. FedGov honors programs in particular hire candidates direct from law school with no other legal experience.


I'm sorry, but you're just wrong.

I very clearly laid out that you need to be either

(1) near the top of your class (Fed Honors)
(2) have experience in relevant big law (Lateral in through relevant XP, e.g. tax group to IRS)
(3) formerly a federal clerk (Fed Honors)
(4) previously worked at said federal agency during 1L/2L (Hired based off summer performance)

Good luck meeting someone at one of the main federal agencies (e.g. DOJ, SEC, IRS) who hasn't done one of these things. I wasn't saying you need to do all of these things, but you need to likely have done one of these things.

If it was easy as you make it out to be, then federal agencies wouldn't have the abysmal offer rates that they have.

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bearsfan23

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Re: Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby bearsfan23 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:02 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:
bearsfan23 wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:
FutureTaxLawyer? wrote:My questions:

1a) Do you think I should apply to law school next cycle?
1b) Does law school have any exit opps with decent hours and job security?
2) How hard is it to get hired by a federal agency? Do they recruit on campus?
3) Is there a way to recruit specifically for tax law? Or would I need to join a large firm and then network into their tax group?


1a) Why do you want to practice law? Are you interested in legal work or the salary that accompanies big law employment? If you're interested in the former and have a compelling reason beyond "I don't know what else to do," then sure why not apply?
2a) This depends on who you ask. If you want to go into public interest/government work, then law school definitely has some great exit options with decent pay and hours. However, the pay isn't going to be anywhere close to what you could be getting as an analyst at a big consulting firm. However, the most popular law school exit option for those who attend elite schools is big law, and big law does not have decent hours; it has terrible hours. If you're fine with working in big law for a few years (let's say 3) to pay off your debt (assuming you aggressively attack it or get a good scholarship), then you can transition into a Fortune 500 legal department, which normally have much better work/life balances at lower than big law pay, or a small- or mid-sized firm that will require less billable hours (and thus less time at the office). It's up to you to decide if any of these sound like good exit options from law school.
2) Getting hired by a federal agency is incredibly difficult. It's much more difficult than landing big law, and that's already very difficult outside of the top 14 out of 200 law schools. From what I understand, there are hundreds of applicants for each open position (those odds aren't good no matter who you are). Generally, you need to be near the top of your class, have some experience in big law, be a former federal clerk, or have previously worked at one of the federal agencies during your 1L/2L summers. Of course someone needs to get these jobs, so it's definitely possible. You just need to work very hard to get one and a lot of people who work very hard to get one still wind up empty handed.
3) You'd want to join a large firm and network into their tax group or you would want to get an LLM (if necessary) and go work at a big 4 accounting firm. I think the rumors are that they now pay their associates $140k/yr. (big law is $180k/yr. in major markets now), and they work near big law hours, so I'm not sure either of those outcomes would fit your "decent hours" requirement.


I'm sorry but the bolded is just wrong. It's generally more difficult to get a BigFed job than a BigLaw job, but it's nowhere nearly as daunting as what you are describing. Assuming OP ends up at a T14 and focuses on that as his goal, he has a pretty good chance of success. You definitely do not need to be either 1. experienced in BigLaw or 2. a former clerk to get hired. FedGov honors programs in particular hire candidates direct from law school with no other legal experience.


I'm sorry, but you're just wrong.

I very clearly laid out that you need to be either

(1) near the top of your class (Fed Honors)
(2) have experience in relevant big law (Lateral in through relevant XP, e.g. tax group to IRS)
(3) formerly a federal clerk (Fed Honors)
(4) previously worked at said federal agency during 1L/2L (Hired based off summer performance)

Good luck meeting someone at one of the main federal agencies (e.g. DOJ, SEC, IRS) who hasn't done one of these things. I wasn't saying you need to do all of these things, but you need to likely have done one of these things.

If it was easy as you make it out to be, then federal agencies wouldn't have the abysmal offer rates that they have.


I know of multiple people from my LS class who got Fed Honors with median grades, straight out of LS.

Aren't you a 0L anyways?

Stop giving legal employment advice

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BlendedUnicorn

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Re: Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:14 am

Lol @ Fed hiring being a thing in a week or so anyway.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:19 am

Fed honors programs often want to see dedication/relevant experience, so it's more complicated than just grades (also, aren't you [bearsfan] at Chicago so no one knows what your grades mean anyway?). But it's also undeniable that there are far fewer honors positions than there are biglaw positions (for ex. DOL usually hires 10-12 people out of usually ~1000 applications). So while they're not impossible, it's not something you can count on the way someone at a top law school should be able to count on getting biglaw. (The Feds also often seem to favor high grades over pedigree and hire from a wide range of schools.) And assuming you're looking at a litigating position, most hires these days do have a federal clerkship. So again, while that doesn't mean you *have* to have one, it definitely helps. I think it's fair to say that a lot of people who work hard to get one of these positions won't get one.

Lateraling is different, of course, because that's going to be based on your post-grad experience. But it's still pretty competitive in that you're frequently looking at 100s of applicants.

(Aaaaaaaand also what HU said.)

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TLSModBot

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Re: Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby TLSModBot » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:59 am

HuntedUnicorn wrote:Lol @ Fed hiring being a thing in a week or so anyway.

Nah OP just join FedSoc at your school and I'm sure there'll be a place for you

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Eccentric Person Who Gets Tired Easily

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:54 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:(1) near the top of your class (Fed Honors)


Yeah, this isn't a hard and fast rule IME. Obviously, it helps a lot, but I've seen people get Fed Honors with median grades. Often on the basis of having done work relevant to the agency's mission before law school.



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