2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

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2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:16 pm

2L
T30 law school
bottom 25 percent..around 2.7 gpa
no motivation to do anything after 1L year...and considering I also struck out at OCI...I feel like I'll never find a job
I would be happy coming out making 50-60k in the norcal region. I also wouldn't mind working unpaid a year(no more) out of law school...
Aiming at SF/Sacramento/Oakland/San Jose markets
Ideal goal is small firm-medium firm doing torts/employment/some property real estate..etc...maybe DA's office as well
No debt coming out

How screwed am I? I hear at T30 law schools it is top 15 percent-20 percent of students and the non top 20 percent students..in other words...there is no huge difference between me and a top 40 percent student? We are all screwed...I know many top 30 percent students with no offers at all and in the same boat as me.

What kind of jobs/markets should I target? I hear I should aim at Fresno/Redding...other random locations like Texas or Alabama?

sebastian0622
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby sebastian0622 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:50 pm

I guess you should be targeting everything, dawg. If it's full-time and it requires a J.D., then you should be giving it strong consideration. Assistant County Attorney in Bumfuck, Nevada? Sign me up! The one potential advantage you can gain right now is if you network into jobs like that with a legitimate willingness to do them. A lot of your peers will be stuck waiting until months after they graduate, all the while holding out for a job they have little chance of getting, before they realize they need to look for ANYTHING. You can beat them to the punch by realizing that now and just getting your name, resume, personality, etc. out there to as many people and organizations that are hiring as possible.

It is my belief that ANYONE at a top-30 school (well, hopefully you're not bottom 10%, but maybe even so)...ANYONE at a T-30 can get a job if they hustle. It might not be your first choice or even your eighth choice, but you just need to find someone who likes you and has the power to hire you. You can be pickier 3-4 years down the line if you establish a reputation for yourself and get some good experience.

c3pO4
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:54 pm

I don't think norcal is going to happen unless you have a friend or family member willing to hire you. I know top 10% hastings, santa clara, and even people from boalt who can't get work in the bay. sorry.

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:31 am

A few major questions:
(1) Do you want to do plaintiff or defense work in NorCal?
There is a fairly large plaintiffs bar here, throughout SF, Oakland, and San Jose. I'm not sure about Sacto, but it's likely much smaller there. The Bay provides a lot of small (5-20 person) shop opportunities, if you're are willing to hustle. Ties will help. I'd focus on Oakland civil rights shops, if you have experience in an area of law they practice ("torts" is too expansive to be a limiting option).

(2) Are you alright with government work?
There's not a lot of work in Sacto, but there is a decent amount of county work in CA right now. A lot of counties (Sonoma, Santa Clara, etc.) are hiring entry-level attorneys. Your grades, honestly, are terrible, but if you have someone willing to go to bat for you, you might find one of these local government groups will take a chance on you. The farther you get from the Bay Area, the better your chances will be. Maybe that means Fresno/Bako/etc., but I don't know anything about those markets. My generic advice would be to mass mail small firms in those places.

(3) Do you have ties?
If you're from out here, places will give you more a benefit of the doubt. It won't overcome your grades, but it could at least get you an interview. Depending on the T30 (esp. if it's somewhere with lay prestige, like ND or Emory), you might be able to snag several interviews out here, if you have ties, because you come from a school they like.

Good luck. Bottom of a T30 isn't out of the game nowadays, but you should be in scrambling mode. Any, absolutely any, place that you have ties you should bomb with resumes and calls. Find alums. Finding a lost relative in Milwaukee around now couldn't hurt (and might even be worth the cost of an Ancestry.com membership!).

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:07 am

T30? Which school and are you from NoCal? I think it's almost impossible to answer your question without those facts.

AP-375
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby AP-375 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:35 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:I guess you should be targeting everything, dawg. If it's full-time and it requires a J.D., then you should be giving it strong consideration. Assistant County Attorney in Bumfuck, Nevada? Sign me up! The one potential advantage you can gain right now is if you network into jobs like that with a legitimate willingness to do them. A lot of your peers will be stuck waiting until months after they graduate, all the while holding out for a job they have little chance of getting, before they realize they need to look for ANYTHING. You can beat them to the punch by realizing that now and just getting your name, resume, personality, etc. out there to as many people and organizations that are hiring as possible.

It is my belief that ANYONE at a top-30 school (well, hopefully you're not bottom 10%, but maybe even so)...ANYONE at a T-30 can get a job if they hustle. It might not be your first choice or even your eighth choice, but you just need to find someone who likes you and has the power to hire you. You can be pickier 3-4 years down the line if you establish a reputation for yourself and get some good experience.


+1. This is great advice. "Hustle" advice might be cliché, but I'm a big believer. (Although I know that it's really tough to do if you have a sense of despair.)

MrAnon
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby MrAnon » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:40 pm

I would look for a support/paralegal position at a firm that hires plenty from your school. Be adamant that you are looking for a day job while you attend school. Throw everything you've got into it. Forget schoolwork, you are already toast there, and your job search for an attorney position will be a long hard slog. Get your foot in the door somewhere now and maybe they will pick you up later. If not, you will have a place to work and make money while you study for the bar.

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:38 am

you really think he's already "toast" regarding school work?
I know someone from BU and the likes who managed to swing cum laude by the time he graduated despite his shitty first year grades. The job hunting process (and school work) had been stressful enough but he finally managed to land a sweet position and had plenty of interviews with nice boutique firms.

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:T30? Which school and are you from NoCal? I think it's almost impossible to answer your question without those facts.


Guessing it's Davis. The only T30 (besides the T14s, Boalt/Stanford) in NorCal

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:21 am

BUMP, b/c my situation is similar to OP's.

Just completed 1L. Similarly ranked school, low debt b/c of merit aid/family, similarly crappy grades. Aiming for PI, which thankfully is less grades-obsessed (barring DOJ-caliber gigs).

Really depressed, but tryna pick myself up and enter the jerbs hustle again.

MoonDreamer
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:06 am

When you say T30...what you really mean is a school ranked between 25 and 30 right? Not all hope is lost, especially with the no debt situation. I graduated tier 3, bottom, and eventually found a good firm job doing defense work. Just takes a while.

Don't settle for a crummy job unless you have to. One thing I did was work for free post-grad at stellar places (fed judiciary, attorney general, large city counsel's office). That way, you're getting valuable experience and don't lower your pedigree. Good firms would rather hire someone who has been working for free for a year in these capacities rather than some mill/crummy plaintiff's firm they have no respect for. Finally, DO NOT take on paralegal/support staff positions unless you must. THese types of jobs similarly leave you tainted.

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guano
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby guano » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:25 am

MoonDreamer wrote:When you say T30...what you really mean is a school ranked between 25 and 30 right? Not all hope is lost, especially with the no debt situation. I graduated tier 3, bottom, and eventually found a good firm job doing defense work. Just takes a while.

Don't settle for a crummy job unless you have to. One thing I did was work for free post-grad at stellar places (fed judiciary, attorney general, large city counsel's office). That way, you're getting valuable experience and don't lower your pedigree. Good firms would rather hire someone who has been working for free for a year in these capacities rather than some mill/crummy plaintiff's firm they have no respect for. Finally, DO NOT take on paralegal/support staff positions unless you must. THese types of jobs similarly leave you tainted.
must be nice to not have to pay rent, bills, or groceries

MoonDreamer
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:32 am

guano wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:When you say T30...what you really mean is a school ranked between 25 and 30 right? Not all hope is lost, especially with the no debt situation. I graduated tier 3, bottom, and eventually found a good firm job doing defense work. Just takes a while.

Don't settle for a crummy job unless you have to. One thing I did was work for free post-grad at stellar places (fed judiciary, attorney general, large city counsel's office). That way, you're getting valuable experience and don't lower your pedigree. Good firms would rather hire someone who has been working for free for a year in these capacities rather than some mill/crummy plaintiff's firm they have no respect for. Finally, DO NOT take on paralegal/support staff positions unless you must. THese types of jobs similarly leave you tainted.
must be nice to not have to pay rent, bills, or groceries


It's good strategy for someone who has the means to do it.

NYstate
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby NYstate » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:47 am

sebastian0622 wrote:I guess you should be targeting everything, dawg. If it's full-time and it requires a J.D., then you should be giving it strong consideration. Assistant County Attorney in Bumfuck, Nevada? Sign me up! The one potential advantage you can gain right now is if you network into jobs like that with a legitimate willingness to do them. A lot of your peers will be stuck waiting until months after they graduate, all the while holding out for a job they have little chance of getting, before they realize they need to look for ANYTHING. You can beat them to the punch by realizing that now and just getting your name, resume, personality, etc. out there to as many people and organizations that are hiring as possible.

It is my belief that ANYONE at a top-30 school (well, hopefully you're not bottom 10%, but maybe even so)...ANYONE at a T-30 can get a job if they hustle. It might not be your first choice or even your eighth choice, but you just need to find someone who likes you and has the power to hire you. You can be pickier 3-4 years down the line if you establish a reputation for yourself and get some good experience.


Is this belief based on experience? I'm asking only because I have no direct knowledge of OPs chances at getting a job making 50,000 to 60,000. I think the standard advice is to do clinics to get practical experience and maybe work part time for a firm.

Standard advice is to avoid places where you have no ties or connections- everyplace is loaded with lawyers, other than maybe working for a judge or local government.

I have no clue what your odds are at getting a job. You need to work at getting experience and getting yourself connections if you can.

NYstate
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby NYstate » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:49 am

MrAnon wrote:I would look for a support/paralegal position at a firm that hires plenty from your school. Be adamant that you are looking for a day job while you attend school. Throw everything you've got into it. Forget schoolwork, you are already toast there, and your job search for an attorney position will be a long hard slog. Get your foot in the door somewhere now and maybe they will pick you up later. If not, you will have a place to work and make money while you study for the bar.


This is terrible advice.

MoonDreamer
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:11 am

NYstate wrote:
sebastian0622 wrote:I guess you should be targeting everything, dawg. If it's full-time and it requires a J.D., then you should be giving it strong consideration. Assistant County Attorney in Bumfuck, Nevada? Sign me up! The one potential advantage you can gain right now is if you network into jobs like that with a legitimate willingness to do them. A lot of your peers will be stuck waiting until months after they graduate, all the while holding out for a job they have little chance of getting, before they realize they need to look for ANYTHING. You can beat them to the punch by realizing that now and just getting your name, resume, personality, etc. out there to as many people and organizations that are hiring as possible.

It is my belief that ANYONE at a top-30 school (well, hopefully you're not bottom 10%, but maybe even so)...ANYONE at a T-30 can get a job if they hustle. It might not be your first choice or even your eighth choice, but you just need to find someone who likes you and has the power to hire you. You can be pickier 3-4 years down the line if you establish a reputation for yourself and get some good experience.


Is this belief based on experience? I'm asking only because I have no direct knowledge of OPs chances at getting a job making 50,000 to 60,000. I think the standard advice is to do clinics to get practical experience and maybe work part time for a firm.

Standard advice is to avoid places where you have no ties or connections- everyplace is loaded with lawyers, other than maybe working for a judge or local government.

I have no clue what your odds are at getting a job. You need to work at getting experience and getting yourself connections if you can.


When you "pro bono clerk" for a federal judge, you come in contact with all sorts of firms. Also, the judge might have some pull in getting you in. Yes, this is based on experience.

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:10 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:
guano wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:When you say T30...what you really mean is a school ranked between 25 and 30 right? Not all hope is lost, especially with the no debt situation. I graduated tier 3, bottom, and eventually found a good firm job doing defense work. Just takes a while.

Don't settle for a crummy job unless you have to. One thing I did was work for free post-grad at stellar places (fed judiciary, attorney general, large city counsel's office). That way, you're getting valuable experience and don't lower your pedigree. Good firms would rather hire someone who has been working for free for a year in these capacities rather than some mill/crummy plaintiff's firm they have no respect for. Finally, DO NOT take on paralegal/support staff positions unless you must. THese types of jobs similarly leave you tainted.
must be nice to not have to pay rent, bills, or groceries


It's good strategy for someone who has the means to do it.


^Ditto.

If worst come to worst and I'm not jerbed by graduation, I'd move back in with my folks and do pro bono work at a legal aid or DA's office or something like that after I pass the bar and job hunt/network in the mean time. I know a 2012 grad of my school who used a similar approach. She was unemployed at graduation and took on a volunteer clerkship at a family/probate court until she got a paid, FT long-term, JD-required position at a small family law boutique firm.

MoonDreamer
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
guano wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:When you say T30...what you really mean is a school ranked between 25 and 30 right? Not all hope is lost, especially with the no debt situation. I graduated tier 3, bottom, and eventually found a good firm job doing defense work. Just takes a while.

Don't settle for a crummy job unless you have to. One thing I did was work for free post-grad at stellar places (fed judiciary, attorney general, large city counsel's office). That way, you're getting valuable experience and don't lower your pedigree. Good firms would rather hire someone who has been working for free for a year in these capacities rather than some mill/crummy plaintiff's firm they have no respect for. Finally, DO NOT take on paralegal/support staff positions unless you must. THese types of jobs similarly leave you tainted.
must be nice to not have to pay rent, bills, or groceries


It's good strategy for someone who has the means to do it.


^Ditto.

If worst come to worst and I'm not jerbed by graduation, I'd move back in with my folks and do pro bono work at a legal aid or DA's office or something like that after I pass the bar and job hunt/network in the mean time. I know a 2012 grad of my school who used a similar approach. She was unemployed at graduation and took on a volunteer clerkship at a family/probate court until she got a paid, FT long-term, JD-required position at a small family law boutique firm.



PM me if you want more advice re this or have any questions.

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:11 pm

NYstate wrote:
MrAnon wrote:I would look for a support/paralegal position at a firm that hires plenty from your school. Be adamant that you are looking for a day job while you attend school. Throw everything you've got into it. Forget schoolwork, you are already toast there, and your job search for an attorney position will be a long hard slog. Get your foot in the door somewhere now and maybe they will pick you up later. If not, you will have a place to work and make money while you study for the bar.


This is terrible advice.


doing doc review or working as a paralegal for a firm=scarlet letter?

MoonDreamer
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby MoonDreamer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NYstate wrote:
MrAnon wrote:I would look for a support/paralegal position at a firm that hires plenty from your school. Be adamant that you are looking for a day job while you attend school. Throw everything you've got into it. Forget schoolwork, you are already toast there, and your job search for an attorney position will be a long hard slog. Get your foot in the door somewhere now and maybe they will pick you up later. If not, you will have a place to work and make money while you study for the bar.


This is terrible advice.


doing doc review or working as a paralegal for a firm=scarlet letter?


yes to latter, no to former. (not as much anyway--doc review for skadden might be so terrible). Try for "career associate" positions

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:01 am

^Wow, that sucks for folks who have no choice but to take such positions... :|

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:28 pm

OP again. Why is doc review seen as ok but working as a paralegal a scarlet letter? the former position doesn't usually offer benefits, right?

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP again. Why is doc review seen as ok but working as a paralegal a scarlet letter? the former position doesn't usually offer benefits, right?

I'm going to presume it's because doc review actually requires a JD and working as a paralegal doesn't. There seems to be a sense that doc review can put you in holding pattern till you get a "real" legal job, whereas working as a paralegal means you've given up. Also paralegal is "support" staff in a way that doc review isn't (even though a good paralegal job is way better than doc review, and a good paralegal is worth way more than a doc review monkey).

I mean, in terms of quality of life, if you're stuck doing one or the other, I'd way rather be a paralegal than do doc review. But quality of life doesn't especially correlate to "best job for your career." (Not that either of these are good paths to a "real" law job - doc review is just slightly less bad.)

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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:51 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP again. Why is doc review seen as ok but working as a paralegal a scarlet letter? the former position doesn't usually offer benefits, right?

I'm going to presume it's because doc review actually requires a JD and working as a paralegal doesn't. There seems to be a sense that doc review can put you in holding pattern till you get a "real" legal job, whereas working as a paralegal means you've given up. Also paralegal is "support" staff in a way that doc review isn't (even though a good paralegal job is way better than doc review, and a good paralegal is worth way more than a doc review monkey).

I mean, in terms of quality of life, if you're stuck doing one or the other, I'd way rather be a paralegal than do doc review. But quality of life doesn't especially correlate to "best job for your career." (Not that either of these are good paths to a "real" law job - doc review is just slightly less bad.)


Ahh gotcha. Didn't know doc review gigs always required a J.D. My supervisor at the legal aid society I'm interning at this summer was stuck in the doc review circuit for a few months before obtaining her current position, and said that the work was so cut n' dry and mindnumbingly dull that a high school kid could do it.

Speaking of which, I'm strongly interested in a career in indigent legal aid, and it's nice to see (from the above example) that such employers don't view doc review work as a "scarlet letter".

MoonDreamer
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Re: 2L T30 no offers..bad grades..no motivation..no debt

Postby MoonDreamer » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP again. Why is doc review seen as ok but working as a paralegal a scarlet letter? the former position doesn't usually offer benefits, right?

I'm going to presume it's because doc review actually requires a JD and working as a paralegal doesn't. There seems to be a sense that doc review can put you in holding pattern till you get a "real" legal job, whereas working as a paralegal means you've given up. Also paralegal is "support" staff in a way that doc review isn't (even though a good paralegal job is way better than doc review, and a good paralegal is worth way more than a doc review monkey).

I mean, in terms of quality of life, if you're stuck doing one or the other, I'd way rather be a paralegal than do doc review. But quality of life doesn't especially correlate to "best job for your career." (Not that either of these are good paths to a "real" law job - doc review is just slightly less bad.)


Ahh gotcha. Didn't know doc review gigs always required a J.D. My supervisor at the legal aid society I'm interning at this summer was stuck in the doc review circuit for a few months before obtaining her current position, and said that the work was so cut n' dry and mindnumbingly dull that a high school kid could do it.

Speaking of which, I'm strongly interested in a career in indigent legal aid, and it's nice to see (from the above example) that such employers don't view doc review work as a "scarlet letter".


indigent legal aid will likely not consider either to be a scarlet letter. Usually its bigger firms or firms with standardized assessments, etc. that judge prospective attorney applicants for doing doc review and/or paralegal work. It's just a stereotype. Some defense firms, for example, won't hire attorneys with plaintiff's experience or attorneys from what they consider to be "lesser" firms. It's a long the lines of firms having a prestige mindset in selecting their attorneys.




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