3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

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soundgardener
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby soundgardener » Mon May 10, 2010 4:31 pm

Do you think that you got dinged by the DOJ mainly due to your grades? You sound like a pretty impressive dude who would have been a good candidate.

TheOpossum
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby TheOpossum » Mon May 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Voyager wrote:
TheOpossum wrote:I'm not yet in law school, but will be attending Davis, and I am very interested in being an ADA (though the current hire freeze has me shitting bricks). I was wondering if you could share some tips about what I should focus on early in LS and maybe if you got the feel for it, how competitive are these positions.


Sure. See above for a ton more on this.

Right now you should be looking for a way to work in a DA's office during the school year. If they know you, you will advance much more easily in the interviews.

Go to you public interest center and ask about which offices hire students. Which ones have Davis alumni? Could you speak with them? Etc...

Ideally you would find a place that actually let you prosecute cases (like Queens), but I imagine those are rare.

You should also consider a summer internship your 1L summer with a DA office. Again, much easier to get a permanent offer later.

The positions are difficult to get. California is in a financial poop storm (as you know) so I have no idea when or if they will be hiring again. I also know that some California offices require some years of experience before they will talk to you. SF DOES hire (I think) right out of school.


OH! Classes! 2L you need to take EVIDENCE in the fall. Seriously. Frm there, I would look at criminal procedure and then any other crim courses you like. However, you shoudl ALSO consider other areas of the law! You never know where life will take you (or where you will take life) and you may decide you actuallly want to practice cow law (heh... just kidding... little Davis joke there... I grew up in the bay area)...



Cow Law you say? A bovine barrister it is.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 6:17 pm

wakefield wrote:
Voyager wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:Voyager you talk about doing prep for exams before law school like LEEWS, but do you think reading Getting to Maybe is enough?


No, I don't. The reason is that you need to actually practice taking the tests.

On the other hand, I have not taken any of those classes, so it might be helpful if someone who has could pop into the thread to comment. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of people that just show up to law school and do very well without having taken such a course.

It just seems to me that it takes most law students at least 1 semester to figure out law school exams and that such a course would be a huge help.

In any case, in the grand scheme of things it is a small amount of moeny and very little time (a few hundred dollars and a few evenings v. $200k of debt for schol+ 3 years.)


Is practicing taking the tests enough if you take old exams during the semester? What do you think potential students would gain by taking a course, instead of practicing on exams from previous years?


Well... sure. Many people do that and end up just fine. I don't mean to scare people.

All I am saying is that an exam prep class would be a huge help for some... certainly it would have helped me...


What do you gain? Tutored practice... which you don't get from doing practice exams on your own.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 6:17 pm

soundgardener wrote:Do you think that you got dinged by the DOJ mainly due to your grades? You sound like a pretty impressive dude who would have been a good candidate.


Yeah. I think my grades did me in. Just couldn't figure it out year one.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 6:24 pm

webbylu87 wrote:Do you have any suggestions or lessons learned that you can do year-by-year to put you in the best position to find a job by graduation?


Well... aside from everything written so far?

One thing I mentioned above to one poster is seeking out professor mentors and maintaining that relationship throughout law school. See above. One good way to do that is taking seminars 1st semester 2L year.

Clinics are a good idea. The earlier in law school the better.

Journals seem to be close to worthless unless you are on law review. Sorry, but it is true. Moot court might be a bit more helpful if you are trying to get into litigation or become an ADA.

Top grades trumps all.

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Lermontov
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Lermontov » Mon May 10, 2010 6:25 pm

Thanks. Some time from now, but perhaps I'll come back to this in a few years.

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wakefield
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby wakefield » Mon May 10, 2010 6:26 pm

Voyager wrote:
wakefield wrote:
Voyager wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:Voyager you talk about doing prep for exams before law school like LEEWS, but do you think reading Getting to Maybe is enough?


No, I don't. The reason is that you need to actually practice taking the tests.

On the other hand, I have not taken any of those classes, so it might be helpful if someone who has could pop into the thread to comment. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of people that just show up to law school and do very well without having taken such a course.

It just seems to me that it takes most law students at least 1 semester to figure out law school exams and that such a course would be a huge help.

In any case, in the grand scheme of things it is a small amount of moeny and very little time (a few hundred dollars and a few evenings v. $200k of debt for schol+ 3 years.)


Is practicing taking the tests enough if you take old exams during the semester? What do you think potential students would gain by taking a course, instead of practicing on exams from previous years?


Well... sure. Many people do that and end up just fine. I don't mean to scare people.

All I am saying is that an exam prep class would be a huge help for some... certainly it would have helped me...


What do you gain? Tutored practice... which you don't get from doing practice exams on your own.


Thanks! Just general 0L panic here...really appreciate your helpful responses.

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arhmcpo
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby arhmcpo » Mon May 10, 2010 6:34 pm

Awesome thread! I'll try to keep your advice in mine as I wait for my 1L grades and go into Fall OCI.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 6:37 pm

Thanks! Just general 0L panic here...really appreciate your helpful responses


Happy to help. Please don't panic. I don't mean to scare everyone into taking those courses or imply they are necessary. I have many friends that rocked 1st year without taking those classes. All I was saying was that I think such a class would have helped me. I know another student who bombed the 1st semester BADLY of 1L year and then took something like Leews and got mostly As in semester 2. For some people those classes really help.

mollie
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby mollie » Mon May 10, 2010 9:43 pm

Thanks for the thread Voyager. Do you recommend students without a job lined up do an LLM? Do you know many 3Ls applying to LLM programs to hopefully get a job?

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wakefield
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby wakefield » Mon May 10, 2010 10:31 pm

Voyager wrote:
Thanks! Just general 0L panic here...really appreciate your helpful responses


Happy to help. Please don't panic. I don't mean to scare everyone into taking those courses or imply they are necessary. I have many friends that rocked 1st year without taking those classes. All I was saying was that I think such a class would have helped me. I know another student who bombed the 1st semester BADLY of 1L year and then took something like Leews and got mostly As in semester 2. For some people those classes really help.


That makes sense. I found a used copy of LEEWS for pretty cheap online, and I ordered GTM to read over the summer. I don't think it'll make a difference for exams, unless I re-visit them during the semester, but it will certainly help keep me calm in the meantime.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Mon May 10, 2010 10:45 pm

mollie wrote:Thanks for the thread Voyager. Do you recommend students without a job lined up do an LLM? Do you know many 3Ls applying to LLM programs to hopefully get a job?


Actually, I just spoke with a classmate today who got no offered and is going for a tax LLM. Seems like a reasonable plan to me. Of course, much depends on how the economy improves.

But I have not personally explored LLM programs or the job prospects so you probably want to wask someone else about it.

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electricfeel
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby electricfeel » Tue May 11, 2010 10:22 am

Wow thanks a lot. Threads like these make TLS worthwhile.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 11, 2010 10:43 am

1) I have a little experience with tax LLMs. It is very, very dangerous to go into one because you can't find a job elsewhere. Hiring out of even the best programs isn't like OCI - meaning you can't half-ass it (or an interest in it) and wake away secure. Plus the market is just different. A lot of people go to the programs after they already have work, or even do them part time while in work. It's not seen as a barrier to entry, so there isn't an enormous amount of entry level hiring.

2) With respect to the OP, the advice and insights here are valuable. But keep in mind that whatever the grades, somebody with a military background from a T6 law school is going to get a lot more returned phone calls than 99% of the law students who are going to have to conduct a job search. This thread is sort of like "fall back options for the fabulously well positioned" - which is fine - but I want to point out that people should be cautious about thinking that this job search even approaches typical for the average student shut out of big law.

bmontminy
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby bmontminy » Tue May 11, 2010 11:11 am

Props to Voyager for what has become an awesome thread. Thanks!

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Andreeai
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Andreeai » Tue May 11, 2010 11:58 am

.

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Tue May 11, 2010 12:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1) I have a little experience with tax LLMs. It is very, very dangerous to go into one because you can't find a job elsewhere. Hiring out of even the best programs isn't like OCI - meaning you can't half-ass it (or an interest in it) and wake away secure. Plus the market is just different. A lot of people go to the programs after they already have work, or even do them part time while in work. It's not seen as a barrier to entry, so there isn't an enormous amount of entry level hiring.

2) With respect to the OP, the advice and insights here are valuable. But keep in mind that whatever the grades, somebody with a military background from a T6 law school is going to get a lot more returned phone calls than 99% of the law students who are going to have to conduct a job search. This thread is sort of like "fall back options for the fabulously well positioned" - which is fine - but I want to point out that people should be cautious about thinking that this job search even approaches typical for the average student shut out of big law.



1) Good info. Thanks.

2) Yes, it is true that I had a bunch of factors going for me. I also agree that everyone's position is different and that I am not laying out a sure fire solution.

That said, many of the jobs I applied for are realistic options for most law students. The PMF, for example, does not really care about where you went to school. I concede that my test taking skills and military background DID play a huge role in becoming a finalist, but the point is that it is a viable option for many students. Becoming a DA also does not require a T6 degree. In fact, T6 degrees are a bit of an anomoly in those offices. Further, a couple of the options I developed came about through speaking with professors... something anyone can do. And, of course, JAG is a great option as well. and you definitely do NOT need to be priro military to do it (in fct, I bet prior service JAG officers are actually quite rare).

The only opportunity discussed which required my unique background and credentials was consulting.


Additionally, my main themes in this thread- being aggressive early, leveraging personal andprofessional contacts, exploring ALL options, intensive preparation for any job you pursue expanding geo preference, etc...- are important for any job hunting 3L to keep in mind. Based on watching my peers, I can say that most law students do NOT follow any of that advice. They wait until January to do anything and don't think in broad terms.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 11, 2010 10:04 pm

Thanks for the helpful posts. Do you think there will be any success for 3Ls at OCI this year? I'm a transfer to M/V/P/N who wrote onto the flagship law review and will likely have a GPA that would put me around the top 10-15% of the class. Are these stats just not impressive enough to make an employer want to hire me as a 3L? (I have no prior work experience.)

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Tue May 11, 2010 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the helpful posts. Do you think there will be any success for 3Ls at OCI this year? I'm a transfer to M/V/P/N who wrote onto the flagship law review and will likely have a GPA that would put me around the top 10-15% of the class. Are these stats just not impressive enough to make an employer want to hire me as a 3L? (I have no prior work experience.)


I think 3L OCI will likely be very rough this year... but hey, who knows? Also, 3Ls have no choice but to give it a shot anyway. Sounds like you have good grades. Why were you unable to secure a summer gig last summer?

I did have a couple of friends get interviews out of 3L OCI last fall. I did not bother with it as I assumed it was a waste of time. Also, I wasn't sure how I was going to talk about my deferral offer during the interview.

Anyway, if you have nothing, 3L OCI is a must... I just think you need to recognize that it is a longshot and that you need to begin acting on alternative plans.

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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 12, 2010 1:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the helpful posts. Do you think there will be any success for 3Ls at OCI this year? I'm a transfer to M/V/P/N who wrote onto the flagship law review and will likely have a GPA that would put me around the top 10-15% of the class. Are these stats just not impressive enough to make an employer want to hire me as a 3L? (I have no prior work experience.)


The only stat that matters is "did you get a full time job offer from your 2L summer." 3L hiring is almost exclusively sort of a round of pre-lateraling. You should obviously try, but it's not a matter of credentials that makes hiring difficult as a 3L, it's a matter of the fact that they don't do it. It's not impossible this year will be different, but it is unlikely.

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ConMan345
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby ConMan345 » Wed May 12, 2010 2:04 am

Just for context, only 3% of firms hired 3Ls last year according to that NALP survey. (http://www.nalp.org/uploads/PerspectivesonFallRec09.pdf)

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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 12, 2010 1:43 pm

I'm the 3L transfer to M/V/P/N. Transfers last year struggled mightily at OCI, many haven't secured a job at all and most of those that did (including me) didn't get BigLaw. Transfers are always the top of the class at their tier 2 or 3 schools, and usually big firms will hire them, but not ITE. And since we didn't have grades at our top 10 school, they had to view us as as a student from our tier 2 or 3.

t14underground
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby t14underground » Wed May 12, 2010 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm the 3L transfer to M/V/P/N. Transfers last year struggled mightily at OCI, many haven't secured a job at all and most of those that did (including me) didn't get BigLaw. Transfers are always the top of the class at their tier 2 or 3 schools, and usually big firms will hire them, but not ITE. And since we didn't have grades at our top 10 school, they had to view us as as a student from our tier 2 or 3.


Yup. Pretty shitty too because even last year transfers to the t14 did extremely well. I think about this reflecting back and the shitty thing is that graduating 1-2 years earlier would have made the difference of being able to repay my student loans in 2 years and having financial security in life, versus the 25-30 years to repay them and struggling a lot more in life that is very likely going to be the reality now :(

Voyager
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby Voyager » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:56 pm

Yay. I get Christmas vacation! Why? Because I am not in biglaw.

Anyway... thought I would check in during the blizzard to see if I can help anyone.

No longer a 3L, obviously.

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SteelReserve
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Re: 3L Taking Questions on Finding a Job (

Postby SteelReserve » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:09 pm

Awesome post, Voyager.

That said I would be interested in hearing from a non-T14 3L looking for a job, though I'm not sure if any read this forum. I am 3L but I have a non-federal clerkship so I doubt I can offer insight to the TLS crowd. So I'm kindly calling forth any 3L job seekers who don't go to elite law schools to discuss the search!!!




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