Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

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Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:43 pm

So, I'm a 1L at a T6 working in Biglaw this summer (V50), and I don't like it. At all. I've been given top-notch work, and can tell it's not for me. I really like doing legal work, but don't like the types of work I'm doing.

I have solid grades (inside top 25%), and am starting to think about recruiting this coming year. I don't want to bid on large firms, but have been thinking about doing OCI for private-public interest firms, DOJ SLIP, non-profits, international work, etc.

Any strategies to maximize my shot at top gov't, public interest or civil rights/class action type firms? I know this is broad, but I had convinced myself that firm work was for me, and, well, I'm at least now strongly doubting that.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:56 am

What is it you don't like about the work?

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gilagarta
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby gilagarta » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:02 am

From what I've been told, you are marketable for top public interest positions. For SLIP in particular, the most important thing you can do now is start working on your resume and cover letters already, because they really do matter, perhaps even more than grades. The DOJ wants to see that you have a commitment to public interest, which, without knowing anything about your past, may be hard for you to do. So start thinking of anything you've done in HS, undergrad, or law school that you can spin into a public interest experience.

Also, contact your public interest advising office/person and ask them for DOJ contacts you can start networking with now. When you talk to those people, tell them specifically about your situation and ask them for advice for how you can make your application more attractive. This will help you target the divisions you apply to with information that interests them specifically, and may even lead to name recognition for you when your application comes across their desk in the fall.

Good luck! P.S. Please don't steal my offer, thanks! :)

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TTH
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby TTH » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:06 am

Gideon Strumpet wrote:What is it you don't like about the work?


This. Pretty much everything you're going to do as a new lawyer, at least in the very beginning, is going to be the same no matter what type of employer you're at.

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romothesavior
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:22 am

TTH wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:What is it you don't like about the work?


This. Pretty much everything you're going to do as a new lawyer, at least in the very beginning, is going to be the same no matter what type of employer you're at.

Eh, I don't think so. You really think the first 6 months or year for an attorney in government, public interest, or a small firm is going to look anything like a first year biglaw associate's work?

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TTH
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby TTH » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:26 am

romothesavior wrote:
TTH wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:What is it you don't like about the work?


This. Pretty much everything you're going to do as a new lawyer, at least in the very beginning, is going to be the same no matter what type of employer you're at.

Eh, I don't think so. You really think the first 6 months or year for an attorney in government, public interest, or a small firm is going to look anything like a first year biglaw associate's work?


Well, I suppose I'm speaking at a very broad level. A first-year attorney is going to be researching law, reviewing facts/discovery, and writing legal documents. The subject matter might be more interesting, and maybe the work product might be more substantive at a different employer, but the tasks are largely gonna be the same, no?

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:09 pm

TTH wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
TTH wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:What is it you don't like about the work?


This. Pretty much everything you're going to do as a new lawyer, at least in the very beginning, is going to be the same no matter what type of employer you're at.

Eh, I don't think so. You really think the first 6 months or year for an attorney in government, public interest, or a small firm is going to look anything like a first year biglaw associate's work?


Well, I suppose I'm speaking at a very broad level. A first-year attorney is going to be researching law, reviewing facts/discovery, and writing legal documents. The subject matter might be more interesting, and maybe the work product might be more substantive at a different employer, but the tasks are largely gonna be the same, no?

The tasks are likely the same to some degree, but there are distinct advantages to not being in a biglaw firm. A first-year attorney at a place like a local DA or public defender, or even a smaller firm or certain government agencies, may actually get to see the inside of a courtroom, take depositions, meet with clients, and write legal docs that are actually important to someone somewhere. From everything I've ever heard about biglaw firms (like a V50), that usually is not the case your first few years. A first-year associate at K&E or S&C probably has a very, very different day than a first-year prosecutor or a freshly minted J.D. working at a non-profit.

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:12 pm

TTH wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:What is it you don't like about the work?


This. Pretty much everything you're going to do as a new lawyer, at least in the very beginning, is going to be the same no matter what type of employer you're at.


OP here. It's not the type of work. I really like legal research, I like writing, etc. The problem is that I'm not interested in any of the issues I've been working on, and I've worked in every major practice group in the office. None of this stuff gets me excited, it's not what I came to LS to work on, and I can't really imagine making a career out of it. The one thing that's good is really liking the other people in the office, and the money is good.

Gila: Thanks for the advice! I spent a long time before law school doing various non-profit work, so hopefully they'll believe me when I say I want to stick with non-profit/gov't. Really appreciate the advice, and I promise not to take any of your offers!

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TTH wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:What is it you don't like about the work?


This. Pretty much everything you're going to do as a new lawyer, at least in the very beginning, is going to be the same no matter what type of employer you're at.


OP here. It's not the type of work. I really like legal research, I like writing, etc. The problem is that I'm not interested in any of the issues I've been working on, and I've worked in every major practice group in the office. None of this stuff gets me excited, it's not what I came to LS to work on, and I can't really imagine making a career out of it. The one thing that's good is really liking the other people in the office, and the money is good.

Gila: Thanks for the advice! I spent a long time before law school doing various non-profit work, so hopefully they'll believe me when I say I want to stick with non-profit/gov't. Really appreciate the advice, and I promise not to take any of your offers!


Then what type of work does interest you? What issues?

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TTH
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby TTH » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TTH wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:What is it you don't like about the work?


This. Pretty much everything you're going to do as a new lawyer, at least in the very beginning, is going to be the same no matter what type of employer you're at.


OP here. It's not the type of work. I really like legal research, I like writing, etc. The problem is that I'm not interested in any of the issues I've been working on, and I've worked in every major practice group in the office. None of this stuff gets me excited, it's not what I came to LS to work on, and I can't really imagine making a career out of it. The one thing that's good is really liking the other people in the office, and the money is good.

Gila: Thanks for the advice! I spent a long time before law school doing various non-profit work, so hopefully they'll believe me when I say I want to stick with non-profit/gov't. Really appreciate the advice, and I promise not to take any of your offers!


It doesn't seem like you were ever interested or a good fit for firm work in the first place. What led you to it this summer? Money?

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:05 pm

TTH wrote:It doesn't seem like you were ever interested or a good fit for firm work in the first place. What led you to it this summer? Money?


Money was part of it. Wanted to try something new; a new place, new kind of work, etc. I also didn't get a job with any of the nonprofits I really wanted, which mostly didn't hire 1Ls.

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gilagarta
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby gilagarta » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Gila: Thanks for the advice! I spent a long time before law school doing various non-profit work, so hopefully they'll believe me when I say I want to stick with non-profit/gov't. Really appreciate the advice, and I promise not to take any of your offers!


you should be in great shape, then! My adviser stressed that prior work experience (especially with a public interest focus) was VERY important and a big factor. I think especially since you can say you tried out the "dark side" (firms) and are even more committed to PI work as a result, you've got a pretty convincing application.

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:30 am

romothesavior wrote:
A first-year attorney at a place like a local DA or public defender, or even a smaller firm or certain government agencies, may actually get to see the inside of a courtroom, take depositions, meet with clients, and write legal docs that are actually important to someone somewhere.

Um, no.

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby Kronk » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:53 am

blsingindisguise wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
A first-year attorney at a place like a local DA or public defender, or even a smaller firm or certain government agencies, may actually get to see the inside of a courtroom, take depositions, meet with clients, and write legal docs that are actually important to someone somewhere.

Um, no.


Except yes. Public defenders get to argue in courtrooms for clients during the 2L summer and get to meet clients and be in court at the counsel table as 1L summers. My first two weeks as a 1L intern, I wrote two appeals, one forty five pages and one fifteen, so those are certainly legal docs that were important to people, and I've written about five or six motions as well.

Can't really speak to depositions. But you certainly get a bit of responsibility in a government job right off the bat.

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:14 am

blsingindisguise wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
A first-year attorney at a place like a local DA or public defender, or even a smaller firm or certain government agencies, may actually get to see the inside of a courtroom, take depositions, meet with clients, and write legal docs that are actually important to someone somewhere.

Um, no.


Yes, you absolutely will. As a DA/public defender/direct legal services attorney, you will start appearing in court immediately and will probably get some trial experience within your first year. At the DOJ/other government agencies, you won't be doing trials immediately, but you will start doing investigations and appearing in court within your first year.

cornellbeez
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby cornellbeez » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:56 pm

What practice areas are you working in? Are you not interested in transactional work at all?

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby PKSebben » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:58 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
A first-year attorney at a place like a local DA or public defender, or even a smaller firm or certain government agencies, may actually get to see the inside of a courtroom, take depositions, meet with clients, and write legal docs that are actually important to someone somewhere.

Um, no.


you're crazy -- I know a billion 1st year PDs / DAs in mid-sized cities that were immediately chucked onto trials.

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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby PKSebben » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
A first-year attorney at a place like a local DA or public defender, or even a smaller firm or certain government agencies, may actually get to see the inside of a courtroom, take depositions, meet with clients, and write legal docs that are actually important to someone somewhere.

Um, no.


Yes, you absolutely will. As a DA/public defender/direct legal services attorney, you will start appearing in court immediately and will probably get some trial experience within your first year. At the DOJ/other government agencies, you won't be doing trials immediately, but you will start doing investigations and appearing in court within your first year.


jesus thank you for being the voice of raisin in this thread.

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romothesavior
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Re: Working at a firm and hate it (1L), fall job search?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:52 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
A first-year attorney at a place like a local DA or public defender, or even a smaller firm or certain government agencies, may actually get to see the inside of a courtroom, take depositions, meet with clients, and write legal docs that are actually important to someone somewhere.

Um, no.

QFyou'reanidiot




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