Am I screwed

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SecReg
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Am I screwed

Postby SecReg » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:50 pm

I am a 4L (evening) student from Hofstra. I have a 3.05, about top 62%, and am on a law journal. My 1L absolutely kicked my ass. After my 1L year I had a 2.56 GPA. In large part because I had no idea how to actually write a law school exam (my fault I know) combined with the fact that many people in my class don't actually work and literally study all day for 3 classes. However, after finally taking LRW in my 1L summer year everything clicked. I was able to write on to a journal. And people who have seen my work have said I have strong writing and researching skills. I have been working in northern NJ for these last 4 years. Yes the commute from Northern NJ to LI sucks. I work as a file clerk for a large NJ Firm (rather not say the name). Clearly, this doesn't lend me any legal experience. I am planning on using as many connections as possible here, but the managing partner (upon hearing my class rank) already informed me he'd be looking out for smaller firms for me. I have interned with a tax court judge and criminal court judge. I am interested in civil ligitation, but because of my employer I have not been able to get an internship. Technically I am also a URM. Any ideas of places that might be willing to look past the grades (would love to say around NJ)? I am in a scary position as I am about 200k in debt and job prospects are looking grim. I'd rather not work in the public sector but beggers can't be choosers :(.
Last edited by SecReg on Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wholigan
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Re: Am I screwed

Postby Wholigan » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:59 pm

I don't think anyone is going to be able to provide you with names of firms because if any firms are going to hire someone in your situation, it would probably firms with 1-5 lawyers who don't have any name recognition outside the town they are located in. You need to start yesterday talking to every lawyer you have any kind of relationship with at the firm you work at to see how many might be able to put you in touch with small firms.

Also, IBT shitstorm/calls of flame.

boaltrising3l
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:20 pm

Re: Am I screwed

Postby boaltrising3l » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:06 pm

Your best option is to find something that will qualify as public service under IBR something like High school teacher, or even working as a janitor or secretary at a government agency. You can erase this debt in ten rather than 25 years.

SecReg
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Re: Am I screwed

Postby SecReg » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:10 pm

Wholigan wrote:I don't think anyone is going to be able to provide you with names of firms because if any firms are going to hire someone in your situation, it would probably firms with 1-5 lawyers who don't have any name recognition outside the town they are located in. You need to start yesterday talking to every lawyer you have any kind of relationship with at the firm you work at to see how many might be able to put you in touch with small firms.

Also, IBT shitstorm/calls of flame.


Thanks for your input. Yea I figured my best bet at landing anything will be through the people I have interacted with the last couple of years. I don't need to have a huge high paying salary, I just want to be able to live a moderately decent life. Worst part is that I actually really enjoy law :(.

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Wholigan
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Re: Am I screwed

Postby Wholigan » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:03 am

SecReg wrote:Technically I am also a URM.

Are you bilingual by any chance? Because if so, you should try to leverage this as a selling point to land a job where that would be valuable.

SecReg
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Re: Am I screwed

Postby SecReg » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:22 am

Wholigan wrote:
SecReg wrote:Technically I am also a URM.

Are you bilingual by any chance? Because if so, you should try to leverage this as a selling point to land a job where that would be valuable.


Thanks for following up! I would say I am somewhere between conversational and bilingual in Spanish. If i keep up the same grades I have been getting the last two years I should end up graduating with a 3.2-3.3, with a 3.2 more likely.

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Wholigan
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Re: Am I screwed

Postby Wholigan » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:35 am

If I were you, I'd blanket small firms in North Jersey, concentrating on ones which are likely to have some Spanish speaking clients. I don't know if they post these on Hofstra's symplicity, but at a lot of other schools, small firms post jobs where they want to hire law students during the school year. If you can get one, I'd leave your current job and work at another firm during the school year. Hell, since you're a night student, I'd even take 2 jobs at 20 hours a week each if you can get it and there aren't conflicts which would prevent working both. While chances are slim it will lead to full-time employment, you never know if they like you enough and have room for another attorney. Secondly, I think it will be beneficial to have some substantive firm experience, like working on interrogatories, motions, etc. It sounds like where you're at, you aren't getting very much actual law experience, although it's good you were able to fit the judicial internships in.

SecReg
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Re: Am I screwed

Postby SecReg » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:43 am

Wholigan wrote:If I were you, I'd blanket small firms in North Jersey, concentrating on ones which are likely to have some Spanish speaking clients. I don't know if they post these on Hofstra's symplicity, but at a lot of other schools, small firms post jobs where they want to hire law students during the school year. If you can get one, I'd leave your current job and work at another firm during the school year. Hell, since you're a night student, I'd even take 2 jobs at 20 hours a week each if you can get it and there aren't conflicts which would prevent working both. While chances are slim it will lead to full-time employment, you never know if they like you enough and have room for another attorney. Secondly, I think it will be beneficial to have some substantive firm experience, like working on interrogatories, motions, etc. It sounds like where you're at, you aren't getting very much actual law experience, although it's good you were able to fit the judicial internships in.


You think I'd be able to find a place willing to take me one, knowing I'd stop working by next May? By small firm do you mean 1-5? I thought those firms really didn't hire more associates because of how small they are.

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Wholigan
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Re: Am I screwed

Postby Wholigan » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:50 am

.
Last edited by Wholigan on Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

seatown12
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Re: Am I screwed

Postby seatown12 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:01 pm

fwiw, depending on what the phrase means to you, I doubt you'll have to worry about taking a job in the public sector. The plan to keep working as a file clerk was a terrible mistake, especially considering you are in 200k debt anyway. You are in a tough spot guy but I'd guess your best bet is to try to land a clerkship with one of the judges you interned for or a judge they can refer you to.

SecReg
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Re: Am I screwed

Postby SecReg » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:11 pm

seatown12 wrote:fwiw, depending on what the phrase means to you, I doubt you'll have to worry about taking a job in the public sector. The plan to keep working as a file clerk was a terrible mistake, especially considering you are in 200k debt anyway. You are in a tough spot guy but I'd guess your best bet is to try to land a clerkship with one of the judges you interned for or a judge they can refer you to.


Yea it was one of many mistakes I have made, unfortunately I couldn't find another job that was so willing to work with such a hectic schedule I had and I am on my own. By saying you doubt that I'll "have to worry about taking a job in the public sector" do you mean I wouldn't even be able to get one? But yea I am whoring out my resume pretty intensely, for NJ and PA clerkships and for smaller firms through out NJ, NY and PA. I don't really know how competitive Connecticut is in relation to the above three (since those are my top choices) and I have somewhat limited resources. Thanks for all the input guys.

Anonymous User
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Re: Am I screwed

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:17 pm

Surely he means that you don't stand a chance at getting any kind of public sector job. If the economy were in okay shape, I would recommend looking into municipal positions, etc., as you might find a town in NJ or Long Island willing to take you, but very few government agencies are hiring, especially at the low level, due to budget constraints. The few government positions that are open have become possibly more competitive than the private sector.

Your best chance is probably finding a young small-time solo practitioner who also went to Hofstra and is looking for a fellow grad to work with. (You'll only find this through networking, of course, not random searches.) Alternatively, you could try opening your own shop. Otherwise... below median at Hofstra, you're probably looking at doing work you could have done without a JD for at least a few years.




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