bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

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bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:41 am

So this isn't a drop out thread...I ended up with a pretty low gpa and I have no idea how it happened. I scored lower in each class than I expected and I am currently in the bottom quarter(around 21st percentile)...I will have little to no debt coming out...depending on my savings.

I think career services really skews statistics...and I am looking for a more accurate picture. I am just really curious what kind of jobs/salary I might be looking at at this point...considering I really want to do private practice.(although I understand it is too early to tell)...I just want a general idea. Anyone have any links or anecdotal evidence? I personally would be fine with 60k-70k coming out and would be fine with any firm job in Sac/SF or anywhere close by.

I am pretty much out for OCI, right? In this case, my 2L and 3L grades will matter for jobs after I graduate?

Should I just go up to career services and ask for a detailed list of their employment stats and what ranks go to what jobs?

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:48 am

From bottom quarter you're going to have a hell of a time of pulling your grades up to even median. From median, based on the posts by hastings/davis students on this forum, you're going to have a hell of a time getting any type of paying legal work, let alone firm work.

For a clearer picture from those who are actually on the ground, I'd advise you to search the forum for the threads where hastings/davis students talk about what the job hunt has been like in the past year. There are a few of them out there.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Drake014 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:57 am

If you will have little to no debt, you're actually not in too bad of shape. Work on your grades but also start looking for internships/externships and the like. If you can start working right now, even if for free, your attractiveness to future employers will be much better.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Veyron » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:05 am

Really, if you went in with the right mentality (i.e. you went to davis knowing that almost no one gets biglaw and planning/networking/minimizing debt) accordingly you are actually in a much better place than a T-14er taking a gamble with the same rank. Essentially, no job is foreclosed to you that wouldn't otherwise be just by virtue of you being at Davis ITE. . . IN CALIFORNIA. Keep networking with the solos, midsized firms, take an externship at a firm if you can get one, alternatively, go balls to the wall continuing to get PI stuff on your resume if thats your thing.

Take a HARD look into working in rural areas of the state or nearby states, your grades are unlikely to matter for this sort of thing and the demand for legal services still outstrips supply in many of these areas.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:06 am

Thanks a lot. What do you mean I am in pretty good shape? I am very fortunate to have no debt coming out, but I'd also be pretty disappointed to start making anything below 50-60k in private practice.

I guess I think I got really unlucky with my grades and I feel I don't deserve bottom quarter...I'd be much happier if I was between median and bottom quarter. I guess I feel my effort doesn't correspond to my rank...I got lower than what I expected in each of my classes. I will have to see what I did wrong on my exams.

Will any kind of legal work help me? How about working for a pretty well-off solo practioner or for a local government agency?

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks a lot. What do you mean I am in pretty good shape? I am very fortunate to have no debt coming out, but I'd also be pretty disappointed to start making anything below 60k in private practice.

Will any kind of legal work help me? How about working for a pretty well-off solo practitioner or for a local government agency?


"What do you mean I am in pretty good shape?" --> "I am very fortunate to have no debt coming out"

This opens up a world of options. Even if you don't start at the sallary you want, a lack of debt will make it so much easier to get there. You can take a job that pays a bit less if need be but with better upward potential. Besides, far less opportunity cost for staying.

"Will any kind of legal work help me?"

No.

"How about working for a pretty well-off solo practitioner"

Depends on if you forsee him looking to expand his practice in the future or if you think that if you did a great job for him he would talk you up to his network. The general idea is this - absent some great previous WE, your resume is not going to get you hired. You need to develop a reputation that will. Work for the people that can help you do that. I always point out that my most successful friend from undergrad graduated with both the shittiest grades and the best network of people who he had demonstrated his ability for of anyone I knew.

"Local government agency"

Lol, the State of California won't be hiring entry level lawyers for a long time buddy. Besides, the government cares about grades.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:14 am

I am still a 1L, so I am looking for unpaid work for the summer. I have interviews at a local government agency and a solo practionerer(who has done very well), so I was wondering what might help me become a better lawyer/look good on my resume.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Veyron » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am still a 1L, so I am looking for unpaid work for the summer. I have interviews at a local government agency and a solo practionerer(who has done very well), so I was wondering what might help me become a better lawyer/look good on my resume.


Again, forget the resume. The solo has connections. State gov is a dead end in your situation unless it directly meshes with significant pre-LS W/E. Just fucking blow the guy away this summer. Work 12 hours a day, accept assignments due Monday on Sunday with no notice. Do everything you possibly can to make his life easy. Get the coffee, proof his briefs, double-check his contracts, have him be like "I don't even know how I lived without this kid."

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:20 am

Veyron wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am still a 1L, so I am looking for unpaid work for the summer. I have interviews at a local government agency and a solo practionerer(who has done very well), so I was wondering what might help me become a better lawyer/look good on my resume.


Again, forget the resume. The solo has connections.


Gah you are right. Can connections outweigh grades? I mean sure he can recommend me to someone in the future for a paying job...but I'm sure there has to be a lot of trust in that...especially if they happen to see my grades/resume. :(

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Veyron » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am still a 1L, so I am looking for unpaid work for the summer. I have interviews at a local government agency and a solo practionerer(who has done very well), so I was wondering what might help me become a better lawyer/look good on my resume.


Again, forget the resume. The solo has connections.


Gah you are right. Can connections outweigh grades? I mean sure he can recommend me to someone in the future for a paying job...but I'm sure there has to be a lot of trust in that...especially if they happen to see my grades/resume. :(


You won't get a job if you have to show your resume to someone. Lucky for you, most people hire people based on what they know about them without asking for a resume. Every job I've ever gotten my resume was only looked at after I was hired.

Basically, it ideally goes like this:

*Solo finds you indispensable*
*Solo talks about his great summer extern*
*Small firm partner friend of solo says, "wow, I'm looking for a part time clerk."
*Solo puts you in touch*
*You work for small firm during school, doing the same amazing job you did for solo. . . ideally by this point you have ID a very specific area of expertise (not just lit for e.g. but much more specific Extreme DUI defense. You become known as the guy who knows everything about X sub-field of the firms business, attorneys go to you for advice.*
*Firm extends you offer or recommends you to another firm looking to fill a FT position*
Last edited by Veyron on Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:25 am

"Again, forget the resume. The solo has connections. State gov is a dead end in your situation unless it directly meshes with significant pre-LS W/E. Just fucking blow the guy away this summer. Work 12 hours a day, accept assignments due Monday on Sunday with no notice. Do everything you possibly can to make his life easy. Get the coffee, proof his briefs, double-check his contracts, have him be like "I don't even know how I lived without this kid."

AHHH...thanks a lot...best advice I've received on TLS in a long time.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Veyron » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:"Again, forget the resume. The solo has connections. State gov is a dead end in your situation unless it directly meshes with significant pre-LS W/E. Just fucking blow the guy away this summer. Work 12 hours a day, accept assignments due Monday on Sunday with no notice. Do everything you possibly can to make his life easy. Get the coffee, proof his briefs, double-check his contracts, have him be like "I don't even know how I lived without this kid."

AHHH...thanks a lot...best advice I've received on TLS in a long time.


No problem.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Kretzy » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:44 am

I'd try to join your local Inn of Court and use that as a means to network with practitioners/gov't officials/judges. I did, and was assigned a "Judge Mentor" who is a practicing CA State Judge and has given me a ton of great advice on my 1L job search and has introduced me to a ton of folks around the Bay Area. Lots of the younger folks in our Inn, which is fairly large, are associates at midsize to biglaw firms, and there are older partners in small/midsize firms as well. Several of my friends got job offers through the Inn without giving grades.

Can't hurt to try to get involved in it. I know Matthies spoke really highly of joining the local Inn when he was posting here more regularly, and I think it was great advice.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby yo! » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:45 am

.
Last edited by yo! on Thu May 10, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:"Again, forget the resume. The solo has connections. State gov is a dead end in your situation unless it directly meshes with significant pre-LS W/E. Just fucking blow the guy away this summer. Work 12 hours a day, accept assignments due Monday on Sunday with no notice. Do everything you possibly can to make his life easy. Get the coffee, proof his briefs, double-check his contracts, have him be like "I don't even know how I lived without this kid."

AHHH...thanks a lot...best advice I've received on TLS in a long time.


I'm in my forties and when I started out, this advice was a given for all young people, not just those with some black marks on their resume. We didn't have this sense of entitlement that kids have today. I think you can look at this as a blessing. It will teach you to humbly bust your ass. And over the long run, you will be much better off.

Having said that my further advice would be not to settle. You seem to be accepting less after one semester of bad grades. Would you have made those statements the first day of class about how much salary was okay with you, etc.? Go get the OCI interviews. Even if you don't succeed you will be preparing yourself to make you case before the guy that will ultimately hire you.

Just reading the thread, I sense you have what it takes, although you are just a bit undirected. So the next step is to get better advice. Get some mentors. Ask for help. When people help you they become invested. And when you are grateful for their help, they stay vested. Get lawyers to help you, and they will later advocate for you.

If you have a problem, hang a lantern on it. I would go to my professors and argue my grades. Let them know that you are worried about your future and that you will do anything to succeed. Even if they don't improve your grades (they might), they may end up helping you get a job this summer.

Good luck. Commit to biglaw today. That is the big leagues for young lawyers. Say, I am going to find a way to offset this poor start. Even if it doesn't workout for biglaw, you will be better able to achieve something else.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would go to my professors and argue my grades. Let them know that you are worried about your future and that you will do anything to succeed. Even if they don't improve your grades (they might), they may end up helping you get a job this summer.




Do not do this. Review your exams, then go to your professors and ask them to help you understand what you did wrong on your exams and how you can improve in the future. Do not "argue" with them about your grades. They will not change your grades based on any substantive argument; they'll in fact be rather insulted.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Veyron » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:"Again, forget the resume. The solo has connections. State gov is a dead end in your situation unless it directly meshes with significant pre-LS W/E. Just fucking blow the guy away this summer. Work 12 hours a day, accept assignments due Monday on Sunday with no notice. Do everything you possibly can to make his life easy. Get the coffee, proof his briefs, double-check his contracts, have him be like "I don't even know how I lived without this kid."

AHHH...thanks a lot...best advice I've received on TLS in a long time.


I'm in my forties and when I started out, this advice was a given for all young people, not just those with some black marks on their resume. We didn't have this sense of entitlement that kids have today. I think you can look at this as a blessing. It will teach you to humbly bust your ass. And over the long run, you will be much better off.

Having said that my further advice would be not to settle. You seem to be accepting less after one semester of bad grades. Would you have made those statements the first day of class about how much salary was okay with you, etc.? Go get the OCI interviews. Even if you don't succeed you will be preparing yourself to make you case before the guy that will ultimately hire you.

Just reading the thread, I sense you have what it takes, although you are just a bit undirected. So the next step is to get better advice. Get some mentors. Ask for help. When people help you they become invested. And when you are grateful for their help, they stay vested. Get lawyers to help you, and they will later advocate for you.

If you have a problem, hang a lantern on it. I would go to my professors and argue my grades. Let them know that you are worried about your future and that you will do anything to succeed. Even if they don't improve your grades (they might), they may end up helping you get a job this summer.

Good luck. Commit to biglaw today. That is the big leagues for young lawyers. Say, I am going to find a way to offset this poor start. Even if it doesn't workout for biglaw, you will be better able to achieve something else.


*Is 40*

*Grew up when contributions to labor force desperately needed, made enough money to support self*

*Ironically, is also so out of touch with current entry level hiring that he believes the someone below median at Davis can still get biglaw if they try real hard*

*Complains about "Kids these days"*

*Will have no compunction about gulping up social security check from "kids these days" when the time comes*

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:37 pm

Veyron wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:"Again, forget the resume. The solo has connections. State gov is a dead end in your situation unless it directly meshes with significant pre-LS W/E. Just fucking blow the guy away this summer. Work 12 hours a day, accept assignments due Monday on Sunday with no notice. Do everything you possibly can to make his life easy. Get the coffee, proof his briefs, double-check his contracts, have him be like "I don't even know how I lived without this kid."

AHHH...thanks a lot...best advice I've received on TLS in a long time.


I'm in my forties and when I started out, this advice was a given for all young people, not just those with some black marks on their resume. We didn't have this sense of entitlement that kids have today. I think you can look at this as a blessing. It will teach you to humbly bust your ass. And over the long run, you will be much better off.

Having said that my further advice would be not to settle. You seem to be accepting less after one semester of bad grades. Would you have made those statements the first day of class about how much salary was okay with you, etc.? Go get the OCI interviews. Even if you don't succeed you will be preparing yourself to make you case before the guy that will ultimately hire you.

Just reading the thread, I sense you have what it takes, although you are just a bit undirected. So the next step is to get better advice. Get some mentors. Ask for help. When people help you they become invested. And when you are grateful for their help, they stay vested. Get lawyers to help you, and they will later advocate for you.

If you have a problem, hang a lantern on it. I would go to my professors and argue my grades. Let them know that you are worried about your future and that you will do anything to succeed. Even if they don't improve your grades (they might), they may end up helping you get a job this summer.

Good luck. Commit to biglaw today. That is the big leagues for young lawyers. Say, I am going to find a way to offset this poor start. Even if it doesn't workout for biglaw, you will be better able to achieve something else.


*Is 40*

*Grew up when contributions to labor force desperately needed, made enough money to support self*

*Ironically, is also so out of touch with current entry level hiring that he believes the someone below median at Davis can still get biglaw if they try real hard*

*Complains about "Kids these days"*

*Will have no compunction about gulping up social security check from "kids these days" when the time comes*


TBF, I do know of at least one below median person in the Davis/Hastings c/o 2010 that got biglaw. He was on law review though. Grades aren't factored into the law review write-on here. He is by faaaaaaaaar the exception to the rule.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby random5483 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:40 pm

Graduating below median from Davis/Hastings with no debt is not ideal, but far from a bad situation. Try to raise your grades to around median and you will have good job prospects outside of big law. Your big law chances for 2L OCI are close to zero even if you ace the spring semester.

Takeaway (assuming you are ok with foregoing big law):

No debt from Davis/Hastings and below median = Decent situation
No debt from Davis/Hastings and median = Good situation
Graduating with significant debt from Davis/Hastings and below median = horrible situation

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:45 pm

random5483 wrote:Graduating below median from Davis/Hastings with no debt is not ideal, but far from a bad situation. Try to raise your grades to around median and you will have good job prospects outside of big law. Your big law chances for 2L OCI are close to zero even if you ace the spring semester.

Takeaway (assuming you are ok with foregoing big law):

No debt from Davis/Hastings and below median = Decent situation
No debt from Davis/Hastings and median = Good situation
Graduating with significant debt from Davis/Hastings and below median = horrible situation



People keep talking about big law, but if you read the Hastings/Davis threads, students who have lived it say that firm work period is going to be hard to come by at median.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:04 am

I guess I wanna put myself in a position where I can have the highest potential upward mobility(financially)... I will pretty much have no debt coming out and should be fine for a few years out...I guess I really wouldn't mind a 50-60k firm job...but I really do want to try and make six figures hopefully 5-6 years out of law school...those are just my personal financial goals. So whatever 1L/2L/entry level jobs can give me the highest upward mobility potential..i'm all for it..even if it does mean starting out with a somewhat low income.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Just reading the thread, I sense you have what it takes...


He goes to UC Davis/Hastings. He bombed his first semester and feels "unlucky." His only apparent career goal is to "earn six figures." Yeah, no, just reading this thread, I'm not so sure he even knows what he wants, let alone has what it takes.

Step 1, OP, figure out why the fuck you went to law school. If it's just to earn six figures, maybe it's time to bail out, because you're not on track for that.

Step 2, once you figure out what exactly you want to spend 8-12 hours a day doing for the rest of your life, talk to people who are actually in that position, not TLS. Preferably alums from your law school. This thread is blowing fairy dust up your ass and giving you terrible advice. Handshaking and happy thoughts aren't going to change your alma mater or your class ranking. A solo practitioner is way more likely to use you like a kleenex and forget about you after the summer than to become your rich uncle. Pro tip: solo practitioners can be fine, but can also be maladroit weirdos who couldn't hack it in the normal legal world.

Step 3, reassess whether you can get from your current situation to where you want to be. Adjust your goals accordingly.

Edit: Also why the magic thinking in these threads about people who bombed suddenly getting straight As? Given that there might be a few outliers, generally that doesn't happen or anything like it.

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby thexfactor » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:23 am

Aqualibrium wrote:
random5483 wrote:Graduating below median from Davis/Hastings with no debt is not ideal, but far from a bad situation. Try to raise your grades to around median and you will have good job prospects outside of big law. Your big law chances for 2L OCI are close to zero even if you ace the spring semester.

Takeaway (assuming you are ok with foregoing big law):

No debt from Davis/Hastings and below median = Decent situation
No debt from Davis/Hastings and median = Good situation

Graduating with significant debt from Davis/Hastings and below median = horrible situation



People keep talking about big law, but if you read the Hastings/Davis threads, students who have lived it say that firm work period is going to be hard to come by at median.


Im not sure....

OP: I know at this point, you are probably kicking yourself for not attending UCLA or UCB.(since you will have no debt and likely to have gotten a full scholarship to each school) To be brutally honest with you, I would only stay if you are ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE you want to be a lawyer. You will not be making 100k+ in the short term. You will be in the fight for your life. Unlike the go-go years of 06-07 where you can work doc review for 20-30 bucks an hour. That option is unavailable. There are many T14s doing doc review.

The only thing you can hope for is that you get lucky with a really small law firm. Like Obama, the only thing you have is HOPE. Hope you get a mentor who will teach you the ropes. Don't count on it. Like the poster said above. Most solo lawyers are also scraping by and trying to survive like a deer in the winter time.

The most you can "realistically" expect pull up your grades to is to median to top 1/3 ish. That is only possible if you learn how to take law school exams. You might think that you gained a lot of experience from your 1st semester. The problem is that EVERYONE gained extra experience. Even if you make it to median, it will still be almost impossible to gain a meaningful job in law. ITE even Michigan grads below top 1/3 are struggling. Furthermore, the economy has made clerkships just as difficult as getting a biglaw job.

The problem with law is that the game is won or lost in the first year of LS. Basically your career depends on how you do in the first year of law school. Recruiting for middle size and biglaw firms are all done your 2L year. Rarely do firms hire 3Ls to permanent positions. If they do hire 3Ls, most of them summered at a different firm or at a prestigious government position. Like most schools in the lower T1 (wustl,emory,uiuc), Hastings does not have enough "prestige" to help you get a job just from the name itself.

Lastly, I can tell you to "network" like crazy. However, in this economy, MOST people are networking. It would be very difficult to stand out. You can show an employer that you REALLY want the job. ITE networking is almost necessary and is not sufficient by itself anymore.

If you quit now, you might be able to find a business related job. A JD is not going to help you with that. It will make you overqualified.

Or you can study accounting. A masters of accounting is actually useful. The accounting industry is actually somewhat in demand. Not like the old days when anyone with a pulse could get a good position, but way better than most other corporate jobs.

The problem I see a lot of people doing is attending a lower T1 vs a school like Vanderbilt just because of the debt issue. The problem is if you attend a T1, you will likely still not have a career as a lawyer even with no debt. At least going to a school like Vandy or UCLA will give you a 30-40% chance at getting a biglaw job and thus having a career to pay off the loans. Furthermore, the new GOV loan plan limits payments to a small percentage of your income and to a max of 25 years or 10 years if you work for a non profit. It is much easier getting non profit work from a highly respected school than a normal t1/t2. Like it or not, lawyers are generally prestige lovers.

Furthermore, if you don't make it, most schools have really generous LRAP programs that can help you.

At the T1 or T2 school, you might not have loans, but you also don't have a career. In a sense, the downside would be the same as attending Vandy or UCLA on sticker. However, the upside is severely limited.

At the end of thinking long and hard about whether you really want to do law or not. If you decide to stick with it you should:

1. Somehow someway get yourself to median. Study with a friend, buy outlines from outline depot, go to every teachers' office hours, buy E+E manuals, buy hornbooks.... Just do it! Also, go and review your old exams. Law + facts= analysis.

2. find a way your resume can stand out. Try to highlight a way that you stand out above everyone else. Do some extra currics that are valuable yet other people don't have. ( i know it is easy to say but hard to do) Negotiation competition? Moot court?

3. Cold Email/call for 1 hr a day. Email and call small lawyers asking for "career advice" Then after you build a relationship, ask if they need help.

4. Don't give up and keep your morale high. As Donald Trump puts it " Nothing personal, it s just business" Think of non-responses or "no" part of the networking game. They aren't purposely trying to be rude. Most lawyers are really busy and they might not have time to reply to you.

If you ever feel like giving up, just think that the next email/call might be the one that will land you a job. You don't need 100 offers... You can only work at 1 place.

I am sorry for writing such a harsh post.
Good luck on whatever decision you choose!

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:29 am

Is the economy really that bad? So if I end up between median and bottom quarter...is it really going to be hard finding a small firm job(50-60k income)...?

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Re: bottom quarter at davis/hastings...what kind of jobs? advice

Postby General Tso » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:42 am

I don't know that top 25% is any better

want to start a small firm with me? I am doing resume collects on HCO.




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