Advice/Input - Lost 2L

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Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:45 pm

TL;DR version at end. 2L at T20 - struck out at OCI and targeted mailings - close to 200. Grades put me in top quarter, and I'm on law review. My grades will probably be going down a little bit this semester (spent so much time doing job stuff and never got fully caught up). This might not even matter as some claim that grades don't matter after striking out - I can believe this, but not entirely sure what is true.

What are other similarly situated people doing? Career Services gives obligatory network answer, and I took a week off to to go desired city (Chicago) just to meet people. These people gave me names of others to talk to - mid and small shops - and I plan on meeting people for a couple weeks over break. That being said, I don't expect (nor believe it's even possible to get) a job to come out of just meeting people for coffee or a drink. Most of the people I meet are really nice, tell me they aren't sure what I should do, but I'm doing the right thing to start.

I will most likely also be looking for any full-time job over break as well. 1.5 more years of debt for job prospects that come through networking in city I don't go to school in seems bleak. I only have a 10k/year scholarship and my debt will be large (yes, I ignored TLS mantra of not going to law school outside T-14 unless for free and am regretting it). My undergrad background is a double major of econ/finance with a 3.8 GPA from a school no one has ever heard of - every screener asked where the school was. I had a year off between UG and law school where I couldn't find a real job, let alone get interviews, so I am worried that if I drop out without finding a real job first, then I'm fucked even more. Do I leave law school on my resume when applying to these jobs?

I came to law school with hopes of doing transactional work, but from what I have seen, it's big law or boutiques for that. I did moot court this fall and didn't enjoy it at all. I'm not sure if it's because I didn't care/lack of interest in the prompt or what. I was a RA for a tax professor my 1L summer and actually enjoy tax, math, crunching numbers, etc. I've looked into Big 4, but you can't apply through the website, and business school people tell me that ship has also sailed. I would prefer Big 4 or in-house over small firm lit, but not sure how to go this route or if it's even possible. Other people seem to suggest adding joint degree, i.e. MAcc or MBA, but that's more debt, time, and opportunity costs.

As it currently stands, I'm only waiting on one outstanding first round interview for the legal/compliance department of an investment firm and results from JAG app/interview. Is it worth staying in school? The 3L thread and 3L's at my school seem to indicate otherwise.

tl;dr:
2L at top 20 school, top quarter grades and LR. Struck out OCI and mailing. Target market/home market = Chicago. Ties to other cities, but interviews in these cities seem to indicate that my ties weren't enough. No work experience, finance degree, ~80k debt currently, 75-80k more if I stay in school. Drop out? If I can find a job in the month over winter break, I probably will. If not, which is highly likely, no idea what to do. Thanks.

Also, don't really need the shouldn't have gone to school or you knew this was coming. Rolled the dice and lost, point is what to do now. TIA

Anonymous User
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:58 pm

Perhaps you look outside your market now? Have you done that? And try lateralling to Chicago at some point. I understand the debt but you arent as fucked as people not on LR and without decent grades. As far as the joint degrees and potential Big4 jobs...does your school have a joint degree? Not to be an ass but what opportunity costs are you speaking of when you say you don't want to do more schooling?

Black-Blue
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Black-Blue » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:01 pm

a double major of econ/finance with a 3.8 GPA from a school no one has ever heard of - every screener asked where the school was.

Do you put the location of a school on your resume?

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Perhaps you look outside your market now? Have you done that? And try lateralling to Chicago at some point. I understand the debt but you arent as fucked as people not on LR and without decent grades. As far as the joint degrees and potential Big4 jobs...does your school have a joint degree? Not to be an ass but what opportunity costs are you speaking of when you say you don't want to do more schooling?


App'ed to every NLJ250/NALP firm & others that I could find that had SA program in Chi, Boston, NY, DC, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, St.L, Philly, Dallas, Houston. Tried to cover bases in any city I had relatives living or I have lived. Picked Chicago as main market to focus on for networking. Only one that is economically feasible besides St. Louis - wustttl.

Opportunity costs = postive, presumably, cash flow vs. negative cash flow, and experience. Joint degrees exist for both at my school.

Black-Blue wrote:Do you put the location of a school on your resume?

I do, and the kicker is that the name of the school is the same name of the location! There's only one person on martindale/google with my UG/JD combo to put it in perspective

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:50 pm

I think you'd be more screwed if you dropped out. Although you have a nice double major combo with good GPA in undergrad, you didn't have any work experience after. Maybe you could look into MACC/MBA/Econ grad programs as you mentioned, but I doubt you'd get into a highly ranked program (and thus be in even more of a quandary than you are now attending an already pretty highly ranked law school) once you explain on your applications to these programs that you already dropped out of grad school once and you have no relevant work experience. If you drop out of law school 1.5 years into it, you basically have 2.5 years of nothingness to your name. At some point, you're going to need to address why you dropped out of law school to companies. If I was hiring candidates for a (non-legal or legal) job, and I had two candidates... one who finished grad school but decided not to go into that field, and the other who dropped out of that program entirely, I would much rather hire the person who at least finished what he started. If you finish law school, you could at least talk about all the great, broadly-applicable skills you learned while there.

75% of your class at WUSTL isn't going into biglaw after graduation, and at least on paper you are better positioned than most of that chunk of people. Most lawyers, you know, don't practice in biglaw and many incur more debt than you have. Finally, transactional is such a broad field. If you want to do M&A work with large companies, then yeah biglaw or boutiques is where you want to go. But small businesses have needs, and there are tons of small shops that do exclusively business law. Many end up paying very well after you work for a few years just because of the quantity of small jobs (filing charters, establishing LLCs, drafting contracts, tax returns, other really exciting stuff). Just because you didn't make biglaw immediately after graduation does not mean your legal career is over at age 25. Chin up, do well on finals, and stick with it!!

headandshoulderos
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby headandshoulderos » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think you'd be more screwed if you dropped out. Although you have a nice double major combo with good GPA in undergrad, you didn't have any work experience after. Maybe you could look into MACC/MBA/Econ grad programs as you mentioned, but I doubt you'd get into a highly ranked program (and thus be in even more of a quandary than you are now attending an already pretty highly ranked law school) once you explain on your applications to these programs that you already dropped out of grad school once and you have no relevant work experience. If you drop out of law school 1.5 years into it, you basically have 2.5 years of nothingness to your name. At some point, you're going to need to address why you dropped out of law school to companies. If I was hiring candidates for a (non-legal or legal) job, and I had two candidates... one who finished grad school but decided not to go into that field, and the other who dropped out of that program entirely, I would much rather hire the person who at least finished what he started. If you finish law school, you could at least talk about all the great, broadly-applicable skills you learned while there.

75% of your class at WUSTL isn't going into biglaw after graduation, and at least on paper you are better positioned than most of that chunk of people. Most lawyers, you know, don't practice in biglaw and many incur more debt than you have. Finally, transactional is such a broad field. If you want to do M&A work with large companies, then yeah biglaw or boutiques is where you want to go. But small businesses have needs, and there are tons of small shops that do exclusively business law. Many end up paying very well after you work for a few years just because of the quantity of small jobs (filing charters, establishing LLCs, drafting contracts, tax returns, other really exciting stuff). Just because you didn't make biglaw immediately after graduation does not mean your legal career is over at age 25. Chin up, do well on finals, and stick with it!!


I think I'd hire the person who dropped out when they realized they weren't going to be a lawyer. Having known several people who dropped out and now have fantastic careers (consulting, tech, startups), when you tell people you dropped out of law school the reaction is usually: "Good for you, lawyers suck."

Flanker1067
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Flanker1067 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:11 pm

OP, I'm in roughly the same boat except at T14 but with worse grades. I figure, if I land a full-time job then I'm out of here, but if not, I'm staying because I would rather be doing something (especially because we are more or less financially ruined anyway) than sitting at home or working for $10 an hour. Good luck!

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joemoviebuff
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby joemoviebuff » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:15 pm

Flanker1067 wrote:OP, I'm in roughly the same boat except at T14 but with worse grades. I figure, if I land a full-time job then I'm out of here, but if not, I'm staying because I would rather be doing something (especially because we are more or less financially ruined anyway) than sitting at home or working for $10 an hour. Good luck!


Are you applying/interviewing for jobs? What was your undergrad major?

MrAnon
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby MrAnon » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:23 pm

Learn all you can about state and local court litigation, immigration law, traffic and DUI law. Plenty of T20 grads do not get biglaw, and they still have to put food on the table. When you are out in the real world you won't care about biglaw anymore, you'll just need to make money and shitlaw is the path, albeit not to very much of it.

Flanker1067
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Flanker1067 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:36 pm

joemoviebuff wrote:
Flanker1067 wrote:OP, I'm in roughly the same boat except at T14 but with worse grades. I figure, if I land a full-time job then I'm out of here, but if not, I'm staying because I would rather be doing something (especially because we are more or less financially ruined anyway) than sitting at home or working for $10 an hour. Good luck!


Are you applying/interviewing for jobs? What was your undergrad major?


I was applying up until about two or three weeks ago, I have an atrocious finals schedule beginning monday. I haven't interviewed because I haven't gotten any (outside of 15 or so at OCI). UG major was finance, for whatever that is worth.

Anonymous User
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:00 am

If you cannot obtain a job with a firm, find something you will be able to talk about next year during 3L OCI that shows motivation and ability to take on a challenge. I was in your same boat, had an undesirable 2L summer job, but ended up finding big law as 3L. I would look for a gov job or small firm, put pay aside, and look to gain experience and obtain references.

Striking out sucks, its degrading, but it will pass. If its any comfort, I found 3L interviewing to be easier due to having your face punch in during 2L OCI.

Also, I completely disagree about grades. I found that maintaining grades was key if you want to even interview in 3L OCI since most of the big firms give some sort of grade cutoff. Also, it removes that discussion from the table during an interview and allows them to focus on you.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:13 am

OP here. Grades are definitely going to drop, just hopefully not that much. I spent so much time flying to cities for screeners and networking that I have no clue what's going on in half my classes.

Considering I probably have better odds of falling out my apartment window and living than getting a 3L biglaw job, I'm not sure what to do. Stay in school, find a non-paying job this summer with no hopes of permanent employment. Spend 3L hating life, applying to every shit law job I can find, then personally paying for the bar and wasting 3 more months of my life equates to two years where I could actually be making money. Can't even focus for my final tomorrow, fuck.

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johansantana21
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby johansantana21 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:25 am

I feel really bad for you. You sound like you knew what you were doing and did everything in your power to do well...and still struck out.

I have a feeling I'm going to be in a similar boat next year. Let me know what you decide on doing.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:41 am

johansantana21 wrote:I feel really bad for you. You sound like you knew what you were doing and did everything in your power to do well...and still struck out.

I have a feeling I'm going to be in a similar boat next year. Let me know what you decide on doing.


Eh, don't feel bad. There are plenty of people in my seat, moreso than in the passenger seat for the rest of law school. I know people harp it all the time here, but to network you need to be able to be in that city. If I decide to stay, going to take classes w/o an attendance policy so I can live on a friend's couch and hit the pavement until I have something. To basically quote a big law partner in Chicago: it kindof sucks to be at wustl if you want chicago - by the time you get up here over break, depaul/loyola/kent kids have been putting in a semester of face time at small to midsize firms.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:04 am

Public interest. The hiring has only just now gotten into real earnest and at the end of the day, you need some legal experience during your 2L year. Make the rounds.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:Considering I probably have better odds of falling out my apartment window and living than getting a 3L biglaw job, I'm not sure what to do.

Not really a fair comparison... your apartment isn't that high up. If you landed on your legs, you'd probably break them and a few others bones, but still live. I think you have a much higher probability of falling off your porch though, if anything.

But really, don't drop out unless you stumble into some awesome full-time gig over winter break. If your grades plummet and you have no options in sight after 2L year, maybe think about pulling the plug (as much as it would kill me to see you go). But I am still confident you will get something if you keep doing all the right things. I mean fuck... if you can't get a decent job with your creds and all the networking you've done, then our school really does suck.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Voodoo94 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:58 am

My Advice: If you have considered JAG as an option, why not apply to Army OCS?

3 years as an Army officer will certainly fix any resume gaps/problems that may result from leaving law school. You will finish your service with demonstrated leadership/manangement experience as well as the knowledge gained as an officer in your functional branch (e.g. Corps of Engineers, Quartermaster, Armor, Transportation).

After serving, you will have the great, new GI Bill to pursue the graduate degree of your choice. Believe me, a few years experience can give you a great deal of focus on what you want to do.

http://www.armyocs.com

Army OCS is getting a lot more selective with each passing month. It was virtually a 100% selection rate between 2004 and 2009 for qualified civilian applicants. Now, it is well below a 50% selection rate, but far higher than the single digit selection rates for the Navy or USAF.

Good Luck. At this point, staying at an expensive law school with bleak employment prospects is simply throwing good money after bad.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:14 pm

OP again, thanks for the feedback. After I finish finals, I am going to spam any finance/accounting job and law internships I can find and spend 1-2 weeks doing coffee/drink networking until school is supposed to start back up. Hopefully by then, I'll be able to reassess.

Going to career services this week to hear what they have to say. Supposedly only 30% of the 3L's who graduated in 2011 had something lined up for after graduation. So if I can't find a position this summer that leads to permanent employment, I don't see any benefit of staying in. I just wish I knew how fucked I actually am. TLS wisdom says to drop out if you strike out. Shit law and doc review are the only options, and that has an awful lifestyle, a shitty salary cap, and no transfer options. Sigh.....

amyamy
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby amyamy » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:19 pm

if you are really in top 20% or clearly in top 30% (honors cut off) - all is not lost yet.
It's untrue that your only options will be shitlaw.

most top 1/3 people at my T25 have been able to land non-shitlaw type of job several months out. the process will cause a great deal of stress, though.

have faith. You are on LR!

Master Tofu
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Master Tofu » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP again, thanks for the feedback. After I finish finals, I am going to spam any finance/accounting job and law internships I can find and spend 1-2 weeks doing coffee/drink networking until school is supposed to start back up. Hopefully by then, I'll be able to reassess.

Going to career services this week to hear what they have to say. Supposedly only 30% of the 3L's who graduated in 2011 had something lined up for after graduation. So if I can't find a position this summer that leads to permanent employment, I don't see any benefit of staying in. I just wish I knew how fucked I actually am. TLS wisdom says to drop out if you strike out. Shit law and doc review are the only options, and that has an awful lifestyle, a shitty salary cap, and no transfer options. Sigh.....



I think you need to relax. A lot of people don't get jobs through their law school interviews. Especially in this market, a lot of people land jobs months after they graduate. You need to take a longer view of your career; it starts in law school and it doesn't end there if you don't get a job. Just keep working at it; you just need one job and sometimes that means you just need to impress one person.

Also, word of advice, you got to partition a little better. There's always something to worry about. Now, it's about finding a job, and then when you have a job, you worry about keeping it. Control what you can and everything else will work themselves out. Good luck.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby zomginternets » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:37 am

*awaits the buttonpusher troll*

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:30 pm

To OP:

I am also at WUSTL but a 3L top 20% secondary journal. OCI is all but non existent for 3Ls. THe only people that seemed to get interviews were the people that were in the top 10%.
I dont think anything outside the top 10% - top 25% matters. The only thing you can do is hope and network. You need to hustle and network with lawyers this summer and HOPE a spot opens up. I think only like a total of 5 firms looked for 3Ls at wustl.

Lastly, stop trying for chicago. That market is absolutely brutal. Start networking for your home market.

amyamy
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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby amyamy » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:56 pm

and it is so untrue that grades do not matter after you struck out.
you are at T20. a lot of employers from higher-ranked schools do not generally look down on you but if you graduate in the bottom of your class they may. My experience has told me that if you swing magna or simply cum laude, it is almost a signal to them that you are at least intelligent enough - and better than most of your peers - regardless of how arbitrary grades can be.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To OP:

I am also at WUSTL but a 3L top 20% secondary journal. OCI is all but non existent for 3Ls. THe only people that seemed to get interviews were the people that were in the top 10%.
I dont think anything outside the top 10% - top 25% matters. The only thing you can do is hope and network. You need to hustle and network with lawyers this summer and HOPE a spot opens up. I think only like a total of 5 firms looked for 3Ls at wustl.

Lastly, stop trying for chicago. That market is absolutely brutal. Start networking for your home market.


Thanks, that's my plan. The only reason that I'm trying for Chicago is that it is my home market. The only thing that isn't Chicago,IL or a neighboring suburb on my resume is WUSTL. I would have no problem staying in St. L, so I guess I'll try to find a small part-time position show more interest in the Lou and diversifying my resume a bit.

And to poster right above, thanks for actual perspective of someone in a similar position. Although I'm going to drop in rank, I can definitely get top 1/3 or 30% for that cum laude.

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Re: Advice/Input - Lost 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:15 pm

amyamy wrote:and it is so untrue that grades do not matter after you struck out.
you are at T20. a lot of employers from higher-ranked schools do not generally look down on you but if you graduate in the bottom of your class they may. My experience has told me that if you swing magna or simply cum laude, it is almost a signal to them that you are at least intelligent enough - and better than most of your peers - regardless of how arbitrary grades can be.



lol well ya.. magna is top 10% at wustl. The problem is that the amoutn of 3L recruiting people do is so small that all they can soley look at top 10% students.




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