Feeling like a failure

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Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:05 am

Anyone with me? I can't help but think this wasn't how it was supposed to turn out...

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:10 am

Describe situation man

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:13 am

T14, just outside of top 1/3. Have only one firm left from OCI, with which I had CB two weeks ago. Heard the hiring committee was meeting on Wednesday, still haven't gotten a call, feeling depressed.

Strike out here I come...

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:15 am

Email small or mid law or non-vault big firms in smaller markets.

Your self worth shouldn't be tied to vault rankings.

There are jobs out there. You just have to look.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:17 am

Was in your situation last year. Struck out at OCI. From Sept-February I targeted every firm in my desired market, and worked my butt off in school and worked hard on my interviewing skills with career services. In March I got a summer offer from a labor & employment law firm. This August and early September I reached out to a ton of big firms in NYC (I also did 3L OCI, but it wasn't as fruitful), now I am deciding between two v50s.

Just keep pushing forward--you will get what you want if you work hard enough.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:T14, just outside of top 1/3. Have only one firm left from OCI, with which I had CB two weeks ago. Heard the hiring committee was meeting on Wednesday, still haven't gotten a call, feeling depressed.

Strike out here I come...

DCNG? How many CBs? Did you mass/target mail Amlaw 200 type firms? You can't get depressed man - you have to keep the mentality that you'll get something. Start looking at clerkships and other options.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14, just outside of top 1/3. Have only one firm left from OCI, with which I had CB two weeks ago. Heard the hiring committee was meeting on Wednesday, still haven't gotten a call, feeling depressed.

Strike out here I come...

DCNG? How many CBs? Did you mass/target mail Amlaw 200 type firms? You can't get depressed man - you have to keep the mentality that you'll get something. Start looking at clerkships and other options.


Yes. 1 CB out of 13 interviews. I have started the mass mailing, probably should have done more. It's just hard to think that I can actually get something when there's clearly something wrong with me...

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14, just outside of top 1/3. Have only one firm left from OCI, with which I had CB two weeks ago. Heard the hiring committee was meeting on Wednesday, still haven't gotten a call, feeling depressed.

Strike out here I come...

DCNG? How many CBs? Did you mass/target mail Amlaw 200 type firms? You can't get depressed man - you have to keep the mentality that you'll get something. Start looking at clerkships and other options.


Yes. 1 CB out of 13 interviews. I have started the mass mailing, probably should have done more. It's just hard to think that I can actually get something when there's clearly something wrong with me...

Why do you say that - shitty interviewer?

Also, was it CG?

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animalcrkrs
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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby animalcrkrs » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:26 am

Have you spoken with the career center or friends who did really well during CBs regarding your interviewing skills? Just outside of top third with very good interviewing skills and decent background should have gotten you more than one CB in my opinion...

Also, people...way to overuse the anon feature on this thread. A+.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14, just outside of top 1/3. Have only one firm left from OCI, with which I had CB two weeks ago. Heard the hiring committee was meeting on Wednesday, still haven't gotten a call, feeling depressed.

Strike out here I come...

DCNG? How many CBs? Did you mass/target mail Amlaw 200 type firms? You can't get depressed man - you have to keep the mentality that you'll get something. Start looking at clerkships and other options.


Yes. 1 CB out of 13 interviews. I have started the mass mailing, probably should have done more. It's just hard to think that I can actually get something when there's clearly something wrong with me...

Why do you say that - shitty interviewer?

Also, was it CG?


No that's the problem. I'm a good interviewer. Everyone I've done practice interviews with has said so, and it seemed like my callback went really really well. I just don't understand.

And as for school, I'd prefer not to specify beyond the general group.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:29 am

No that's the problem. I'm a good interviewer. Everyone I've done practice interviews with has said so, and it seemed like my callback went really really well. I just don't understand.

And as for school, I'd prefer not to specify beyond the general group.


To be fair, OCS doesn't know a damn thing.

At least here, OCS thinks the best interviewers are ones who never say "um" and have rehearsed every answer for every possible question, and ask the routine questions every other student asks.

I personally think there is something to being yourself and less plastic.

In my best interviews, we spent the entire time talking about football.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:32 am

This is an attempt to be helpful that is all. I am not saying at all this necessarily applies to you.

“Realize That Law Firms Never Want to Hire "Losers"
The firm will decide whether or not it wants to hire you based on almost exclusively on how well you do during your interviews. However, legal hiring organizations, especially law firms, never want to hire "losers." Your job during any law interview is to convince the legal hiring organization that you are not a "loser."
You can categorize interviewees in many ways. The following list of three basic types of candidates tends to match the three main types of lawyers. Those interviewing you will try to figure out which lawyer profile fits you. Law firms characterize lawyers as "Losers, Cruisers and Grinders." Cruisers and grinders will get hired, while losers will be quickly forgotten.

The Loser Candidate
First, a law firm wants to make sure you're not a loser. Law firms believe that a loser is a candidate who acts inappropriately during the interview or doesn't appear to be truly interested in the job. Losers are also those who will be difficult to manage if hired and indicate to their interviewers that they have had significant problems with their supervisors in their current or past positions. Law firms also believe losers are those who do not have a strong interest in practicing law or are arrogant.
Firms are always reluctant to hire interviewees who indicate that they do not like to work hard. You may also appear to be a loser to a firm if you fail to look directly at each of your interviewers during different points of the interview. All of the traits just described tend to fit losers; these attorneys rarely ever get hired. They generally make very poor lawyers and fail to thrive in a law firm environment.

The Cruiser Candidate
Cruisers represent about 30 to 40 percent of the people interviewed by law firms. A cruiser is the type of candidate who tends to do his work in a fairly competent manner. However, he never demonstrates a high level of enthusiasm for the practice of law. Furthermore, he never does anything to indicate that he is a truly outstanding lawyer who would like to make partner. At least he does not demonstrate a "fierce" drive to become a partner. Cruisers comprise the majority of people working in large law firms. They have truly exceptional backgrounds, good skills for developing clients and are capable of doing good work. They may even make partner one day. However, though cruisers do get hired, they are generally not the most desirable candidates.

The Grinder Candidate
Grinders, on the other hand, are sought out. A grinder is a person who demonstrates a single-minded obsession with being the best performer possible. They tend to bill the most hours, they try very hard to fit in well with everyone socially and they do very excellent work. While grinders desperately want to become partners, they manage to demonstrate their ambitious nature in appropriate ways. They also actively seek out clients. Oddly enough, some grinders fail to attract many new clients because they are so obsessed with the practice of law. In addition, these types of candidates may sometimes demonstrate certain weaknesses. However, they are usually able to be "malleable," which helps them overcome their weaknesses. These types of candidates typically get the most offers.

Though there are some exceptions to the categorizations listed above, you can be sure that losers never get hired and grinders land all of the most desirable positions. “

You can read the full article at http://www.infirmation.com/articles/one ... le_id=2466

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:41 am

More likely the "grinder" group tends to be comprised of aspies whose singleminded obsession for the law stems from, a) not having a life outside work, and b) being driven by the need to make tons of money. Aka gunners.

There are FAR more, and far more nuanced, groups than this simpleminded article would suggest. HTH

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
No that's the problem. I'm a good interviewer. Everyone I've done practice interviews with has said so, and it seemed like my callback went really really well. I just don't understand.

And as for school, I'd prefer not to specify beyond the general group.


To be fair, OCS doesn't know a damn thing.

At least here, OCS thinks the best interviewers are ones who never say "um" and have rehearsed every answer for every possible question, and ask the routine questions every other student asks.

I personally think there is something to being yourself and less plastic.

In my best interviews, we spent the entire time talking about football.


+10

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
No that's the problem. I'm a good interviewer. Everyone I've done practice interviews with has said so, and it seemed like my callback went really really well. I just don't understand.

And as for school, I'd prefer not to specify beyond the general group.


To be fair, OCS doesn't know a damn thing.

At least here, OCS thinks the best interviewers are ones who never say "um" and have rehearsed every answer for every possible question, and ask the routine questions every other student asks.

I personally think there is something to being yourself and less plastic.

In my best interviews, we spent the entire time talking about football.


Yeah, I had interviews like that. Didn't seem to go anywhere.

My callback interviewers seemed to really like me. All of the interviews went over... I left an hour later than I was supposed to.

What do I have to show for it? Diddly squat. Apparently you can have decent grades at a good school, be personable and friendly, and nobody gives a flying f.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
No that's the problem. I'm a good interviewer. Everyone I've done practice interviews with has said so, and it seemed like my callback went really really well. I just don't understand.

And as for school, I'd prefer not to specify beyond the general group.


To be fair, OCS doesn't know a damn thing.

At least here, OCS thinks the best interviewers are ones who never say "um" and have rehearsed every answer for every possible question, and ask the routine questions every other student asks.

I personally think there is something to being yourself and less plastic.

In my best interviews, we spent the entire time talking about football.


Yeah, I had interviews like that. Didn't seem to go anywhere.

My callback interviewers seemed to really like me. All of the interviews went over... I left an hour later than I was supposed to.

What do I have to show for it? Diddly squat. Apparently you can have decent grades at a good school, be personable and friendly, and nobody gives a flying f there is no magic formula and the major thing to realize is that none of us are entitled to anything despite our school, grades, interviewing skills. Being yourself helps, and it's certainly the best "interview technique" to "practice," but even that is no guarantee that things will go as we want. The fact of the matter is legal hiring is tougher than its ever been before, and I realize now that I can't just rely on OCI and wait for things to take care of themselves like I may have been able to in the past.



Fixed.

Seriously though, OP shouldn't feel like a failure. Stay focused, and start targeting some firms in other markets that you might like to be in. Someone with those credentials should find something. I think the pitfall of the whole "law school model" is that we are set up to believe that the only way to truly be succesful is great grades -->journal-->big law job. This is especially true at the more prestiguous schools where there is an added level of pressure to work at only the most prestigous jobs. That is just setting yourself up for failure imo because ITE not only are those jobs hard to come by, they are also just as likely to leave you an unhappy, burned out, used up mid-level associate as they always were.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:07 pm

First of all, you shouldn't feel like a failure if you didn't get a job out of OCI. If you're at a T7-14, then about half the class will be in your situation.

Second, while I think the losers/cruisers/grinders analogy is a bit simplistic, it's close enough to be enlightening. You have to cut through all of the bullshit law firms push. With a few exceptions, law firms aren't interested in your career development or your qualities as a person. What they're interested in is incorporating you into their leverage formula: the pyramid scheme that allows them to multiply their earnings by working a large number of associates to as close to the limit as they can manage.

This is not an empty insight. Understanding this allows you to get an idea of what law firms are looking for. The above is why cruisers and grinders get hired, although ITE I'd argue it's mostly grinders unless the cruiser in question is on law review or goes to YHS. Grinders will slave away for years with the 5% chance of partnership dangling in front of him. Of course that's the type of person law firms want to hire!

Third, you should try to evaluate where things went wrong instead of concluding that there is something wrong with yourself. There are a lot of possibilities, but there is one common thread: nobody who isn't an auto-hire law review at T14 kid is "safe" ITE. Top firms can fill their class with these people and less selective firms are hiring so few they can afford to pick through the rest of the pile to find the ones that both have good grades and really fit the mold of person they are looking for. What kind of person fits that mold? Nice and personable isn't enough without stellar grades to offset. It might work if you just have a great connection with an interviewer, but focused, driven, and a bit aggressive will work on nearly everyone.

It's really basic math. A firm might have 40 interview slots, and intend to call back say 10-15 people. The 5-7 law review kids in the mix will get auto callbacks, and the remaining 30-35 will compete for another 5-7 slots and be judged on grades, personality, etc. The *baseline* for these people is pleasant and personable. When only 1 in 5 are going to get the callback, that's not going to be enough. This advice would be more useful in August, but so you know going forward to more screening interviews. Unless you're on law review, your grades won't carry you anywhere. You literally need to be trying to make each interviewer go back to the hiring committee and say "we need to hire this guy!" Because when 1 in 5 people in your range get callbacks, that's exactly the sort of response you need to get one.

Fourth, I'd look hard at your choice of market. Unless you're on law review, New York should certainly be in your list. I'm not joking when I say the top firms in other markets can afford to fill their class with YHS and LR at T14 type kids. And the other firms aren't hiring *anybody*. The only firms that hired more than 10 people in Chicago last year are: Kirkland, Jenner, Mayer, Winston, Sidley, and Schiff. Mayer interviewed at 13 law schools and hired 11 fucking people. Yet it seems like all of law review at my T14 (NU) is gunning for those firms. The same thing is true for DC. There are maybe a dozen firms in DC that hired more than 10 people last year. The ones hiring a decent number of folks: Covington, Hogan, GDC, etc, are similarly only looking at YHS and LR at T14 type people. And those folks are absolutely gunning for these firms. Lots of kids with excellent grades at UVA would love to get a DC offer, even at a non-top firm. The same is true for San Francisco, etc.

Again this advice would be more useful in August, but you still have a mail campaign to go and it's something you should know. Plus, if you targeted anywhere but NYC, you shouldn't feel bad --- probably more people than not with your grades targeting those cities won't have much success out of OCI.

I wish I had figured out a lot of these things earlier but I figured them out during OCI. To 1L's reading this thread, go study. After that, for the love of god treat your OCI like you're doing it during an economic cataclysm. Because you are.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First of all, you shouldn't feel like a failure if you didn't get a job out of OCI. If you're at a T7-14, then about half the class will be in your situation.

Second, while I think the losers/cruisers/grinders analogy is a bit simplistic, it's close enough to be enlightening. You have to cut through all of the bullshit law firms push. With a few exceptions, law firms aren't interested in your career development or your qualities as a person. What they're interested in is incorporating you into their leverage formula: the pyramid scheme that allows them to multiply their earnings by working a large number of associates to as close to the limit as they can manage.

This is not an empty insight. Understanding this allows you to get an idea of what law firms are looking for. The above is why cruisers and grinders get hired, although ITE I'd argue it's mostly grinders unless the cruiser in question is on law review or goes to YHS. Grinders will slave away for years with the 5% chance of partnership dangling in front of him. Of course that's the type of person law firms want to hire!

Third, you should try to evaluate where things went wrong instead of concluding that there is something wrong with yourself. There are a lot of possibilities, but there is one common thread: nobody who isn't an auto-hire law review at T14 kid is "safe" ITE. Top firms can fill their class with these people and less selective firms are hiring so few they can afford to pick through the rest of the pile to find the ones that both have good grades and really fit the mold of person they are looking for. What kind of person fits that mold? Nice and personable isn't enough without stellar grades to offset. It might work if you just have a great connection with an interviewer, but focused, driven, and a bit aggressive will work on nearly everyone.

It's really basic math. A firm might have 40 interview slots, and intend to call back say 10-15 people. The 5-7 law review kids in the mix will get auto callbacks, and the remaining 30-35 will compete for another 5-7 slots and be judged on grades, personality, etc. The *baseline* for these people is pleasant and personable. When only 1 in 5 are going to get the callback, that's not going to be enough. This advice would be more useful in August, but so you know going forward to more screening interviews. Unless you're on law review, your grades won't carry you anywhere. You literally need to be trying to make each interviewer go back to the hiring committee and say "we need to hire this guy!" Because when 1 in 5 people in your range get callbacks, that's exactly the sort of response you need to get one.

Fourth, I'd look hard at your choice of market. Unless you're on law review, New York should certainly be in your list. I'm not joking when I say the top firms in other markets can afford to fill their class with YHS and LR at T14 type kids. And the other firms aren't hiring *anybody*. The only firms that hired more than 10 people in Chicago last year are: Kirkland, Jenner, Mayer, Winston, Sidley, and Schiff. Mayer interviewed at 13 law schools and hired 11 fucking people. Yet it seems like all of law review at my T14 (NU) is gunning for those firms. The same thing is true for DC. There are maybe a dozen firms in DC that hired more than 10 people last year. The ones hiring a decent number of folks: Covington, Hogan, GDC, etc, are similarly only looking at YHS and LR at T14 type people. And those folks are absolutely gunning for these firms. Lots of kids with excellent grades at UVA would love to get a DC offer, even at a non-top firm. The same is true for San Francisco, etc.

Again this advice would be more useful in August, but you still have a mail campaign to go and it's something you should know. Plus, if you targeted anywhere but NYC, you shouldn't feel bad --- probably more people than not with your grades targeting those cities won't have much success out of OCI.

I wish I had figured out a lot of these things earlier but I figured them out during OCI. To 1L's reading this thread, go study. After that, for the love of god treat your OCI like you're doing it during an economic cataclysm. Because you are.


This is the OP. I don't know who you are, but thank you.

My main concern with the smaller and mid-size firms I've been contacting / will be contacting is that I have no idea what they pay. And I'm afraid that it won't be close to what I need to be able to handle the debt I will find myself in.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:19 pm

It's LOL how people think that being on law review at a top school is an auto-hire. I've even got 2+ years of work experience and enough non-Chicago offers to know I'm not slobbering on myself. It's not all roses, especially in Chicago. I also feel like a failure.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby animalcrkrs » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's really basic math. A firm might have 40 interview slots, and intend to call back say 10-15 people. The 5-7 law review kids in the mix will get auto callbacks, and the remaining 30-35 will compete for another 5-7 slots and be judged on grades, personality, etc. The *baseline* for these people is pleasant and personable.


As a side point, I sort of disagree with this statement at NU. I know people on law review that didn't do all that well, so I think the auto-callback thing is an overstatement b/c there were non-LR's who did really well anyway. I think at NU law review doesn't tip the scales as much as it does at other schools. Sure, LR is correlated with high grades and both look good on your resume, but at NU some people have such sick experience pre-law school and professional development/poise already under their belt and if I was an employer I'd look just as hard at that as I would LR/no LR, especially if I thought it was applicable/translatable to the legal profession in some way.

Otherwise I agree with this post, OP you just have to keep a positive attitude and go balls to the wall with mass mailers, connections and other tactics. Maybe pick up that tome Guerrilla Tactics book? Something in that 3000 pages MUST be of some use lol.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:28 pm

I completely agree with you, striking out on OCI is depressing. Granted I'm not T14, but I am T1 with pretty impressive credentials and I've had no shortage of screeners and callbacks with no offer to date.

Its really worse not getting anything from OCI when you've had so many chances, it makes you feel like you have some kind of mark on your forehead saying "DON'T HIRE ME" or something. People ranked lower in my class ask me all the time where I got an offer from, and telling them I have nothing is one of the most humiliating feelings I've ever experienced.

At least I have three callbacks outstanding and one to go. The three outstanding, however, were 3 weeks ago, and Monday and Tuesday of last week, so I'm starting to lose hope. A lot of pressure on my shoulders going into next Tuesday.

If you are a 0L considering law school- don't do it unless you can make it into the top half of the T14. Even if you are top x%, law review, etc... there are no guarantees.....

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:33 pm

Good point re: LR at NU. Both because there are a ton of bankers, consultants, lobbyists, etc, running around here and because the 50/50 grades/writing competition score makes the grade range for law review pretty wide.

I think at most other T14s, though, personable, engaging + LR is an auto-callback at most firms.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:41 pm

Worry about salary later. Hit up everyone, and ask about terms after you get an offer. Hit up every big law firm in NYC/DC/Chi, then hit up every smaller firm you can find on NALP and Martindale.

If you're worried about debt and not married to the idea of big law, then apply for federal government internships. Apply widely --- don't just look for "wanted" ads. Think about doing an externship in DC in the fall or spring. Government jobs really care about your showing interest, so if you do get a government gig for the summer I'd take that over a small firm gig.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:46 pm

I interviewed for firms last year, and from what I saw, the effect of LR depended largely on your grades. If you had the grades to grade-on, you did extremely well. If you got on LR because of your writing abilities, you either struck out or had offers from firms not nearly as good as those who graded on. That was just what I observed.

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Re: Feeling like a failure

Postby Whateverdude » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you are a 0L considering law school- don't do it unless you can make it into the top half of the T14. Even if you are top x%, law review, etc... there are no guarantees.....


Gawd, I get tired of this doomsday crap. What about the guy who chooses to go to a school ranked 50-70, does pretty well, doesn't even attempt to write-on to law review because he just isn't interested in it/has better things to do and makes no apologies for it, and ends up with multiple offers from a mix of large- and mid-sized firms in one of the biggest legal markets in the U.S. (Me, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one)?

There are never guarantees. The problem is that people assume that there are. OP, you aren't a loser just because you didn't land a dream job your first time out. You should not waste your time pitying yourself and/or lamenting the fact that you went to law school. It's kind of ridiculous. Find out what hurt you (not enough Work/Life Experience, etc.), re-assess, and get after it again. It may be that you might have to (Gasp!) pay your dues in a non-V100 firm. So what? As my mom used to say: There are children in China who don't have enough food to eat.

So...What should you do? Keep Calm, Carry On. But whatever you do, for godsakes, stop boo-hoo'ing. It is a complete waste of time.




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