Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

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Anonymous User
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Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:04 am

Summary:

It appears I've reached the proverbial end of the road and the boat that is a position that offers career mobility has already departed the dock. This situation has destroyed my mental health and ability to function without anxiety and constant fear. Seriously, I feel like an absolute wreck right now over this and am quite lost.

Summary of my situation:

(1) I'm in the top 10% at a school ranked about # 50, on a respected secondary journal, and published in that secondary journal. I transferred to my # 50 school (region where I want to practice but have never lived since last year) from a # 65 school (region where I grew up but never, ever, want to live and practice in). My current school specializes in the field of law that I am most interested in.

(2) I have two fairly prestigious government internships (one for a federal agency; one for a state agency). Very strong references from the internships.

(3) I will have clinical experience(s) this Spring.

(4) Undergrad degree in English from a generic state school; first-gen college grad; not a URM; no legal connections; horrible at networking and schmoozing; no connections outside my home state (but I never, ever, want to practice in that state or part of the country); $110,000 in debt. I'd like to practice in the Northwest ideally.

(5) Most desired employment: (i) government positions in civil litigation (torts, env. law, civil rights, etc.); (ii) clerkships that will extend my eligibility for government positions; (iii) big law firms that provide career mobility. Less desired employment: (iv) DA/PD positions; (v) mid-sized law firms; (vi) small law firms; (vii) public interest law; (viii) non-legal positions; (ix) contract attorney positions.

I want a "most desired employment" position and dread the "less desired employment positions." I am aware of the fact that if I take a "less desired employment position" I will likely be precluded from all other forms of desired employment.

(6) Three OCI big firm call backs but no offers (good feedback though). Two Article III interviews but no offers (again good feedback). Two government honors callbacks but no offers (again, great feedback). For each position, I was told that I "almost made the selection and was a very strong candidate, but [insert hard economic times boilerplate]."

Options at this point:

(I) I realize that big firms, government, fellowships, and judges are done hiring. However, can I still find a magistrate judge somewhere or has that boat passed too? Similarly, state supreme/appellate judges in the state where my school is located (and shitty home state) typically hire in the 2nd year, but it is not impossible (in theory) to apply this Spring. Do I have a realistic chance at getting a magistrate or state supreme/appellate clerkship at this point?

(II) Should I consider doing an LLM to toll eligibility for government positions? It would be in env. law (probably - terrible at tax and no background) and cost about $60,000 total (making total student loan 110k + 60k = 170K).

(III) ...I accept the fact that no matter how hard I tried, incredible references, and a solid resume, that the boat that is big law/gvt/cleckships has passed, and I'm essentially confined to a legal position that does not offer career mobility at this point. Furthermore, I'm new to the region where my school sits, have virtually NO connections in the area, and absolutely suck at (and dread) networking. Finding a "shitlaw" position will prove difficult, regardless.

(III) Do you have any advice for my situation? Again, I've read this forum like a hawk for weeks and know most of the major pointers.

I kindly ask that you do not troll for lulz and will ignore such comments; my mental health is shitty enough as it is, =/.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby BeenDidThat » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:21 am

You've got to look to the long term. Absent the Angel Gabriel visiting you today and handing you a biglaw or biggov job, you're probably precluded from working in a prestigious fed gov position or in big law.

But here's the thing: if you're really interested in being a lawyer, you just need to get experience. This is going to require networking, so you have to get over that phobia. Don't look at networking as being extra schmoozy; look at it as learning about the various avenues to get where you want to be. People take all sorts of different paths to get where they are, and the more stories you hear from people, the better the chance that you'll hear something that both interests you and is possible.

If you want to do litigation, you need to be open to any kind of job doing it. Whether it's state AG's offices, small firms doing construction litigation or insurance defense, whatever. If you can't get employment straight out of school, it isn't absurd to think about hanging a shingle. Frightening as hell? Yes. But if you can meet attorneys in small firms doing things like basic civil rights litigation (where gov't entities might be happy to settle to make the problem go away), you can ask them to hand you cases they don't have the time for or appear at hearings that conflict with their schedule. The only way to get over fear is to face it, and beat it into the ground. You'd be scraping by, but c'est la vie.

While you've probably already spoken with your CSO, you should also see if they have any kind of mentor directory. Just get out there and talk to people. You don't need to mention that you're looking for a job; they'll probably get that already. Most lawyers will pass your name around on their own accord if they like you, feel bad for you, or hear from buddies about how their small firm needs a 20 hr/week lawyer. Also, if you have good rapport with folks from your prior internships, go talk to them.

At this point, you need to be open to damn near any and everything. I wouldn't get into contract review if you want to litigation of some type, but other than that, you just need to get more and more experience writing pleadings, arguing simple hearings in court, etc. If you can scrape by for a couple years while getting experience, I would be very surprised if you don't end up getting picked up by a small firm or a government agency if they ever get funding back to pre-recession levels.

Your position isn't enviable, but isn't untenable, either. If you really want to be a lawyer, you can do it. It will probably involve some time in the trenches making very little money and being scared to death about never being able to pay your loans back. But we don't have debtors' prisons here, and, assuming your loans aren't under-the-table ones from your local mafioso, you won't be getting shot for inability to pay. Eventually, if you are able to get a decent reputation as a hard-working person who cares about clients (and I think it is possible, if you really want to do it), you may be able to build a practice, pay your loans off, and get well into the black.

Lastly, don't think that just because you might have to work for ten or fifteen years doing work that isn't your ideal work, you won't ever be able to get into more enviable positions. Experienced attorneys are valuable commodities, no matter where they started, especially in smaller cities and towns.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:27 am

BeenDidThat wrote:You've got to look to the long term. Absent the Angel Gabriel visiting you today and handing you a biglaw or biggov job, you're probably precluded from working in a prestigious fed gov position or in big law.

But here's the thing: if you're really interested in being a lawyer, you just need to get experience. This is going to require networking, so you have to get over that phobia. Don't look at networking as being extra schmoozy; look at it as learning about the various avenues to get where you want to be. People take all sorts of different paths to get where they are, and the more stories you hear from people, the better the chance that you'll hear something that both interests you and is possible.

If you want to do litigation, you need to be open to any kind of job doing it. Whether it's state AG's offices, small firms doing construction litigation or insurance defense, whatever. If you can't get employment straight out of school, it isn't absurd to think about hanging a shingle. Frightening as hell? Yes. But if you can meet attorneys in small firms doing things like basic civil rights litigation (where gov't entities might be happy to settle to make the problem go away), you can ask them to hand you cases they don't have the time for or appear at hearings that conflict with their schedule. The only way to get over fear is to face it, and beat it into the ground. You'd be scraping by, but c'est la vie.

While you've probably already spoken with your CSO, you should also see if they have any kind of mentor directory. Just get out there and talk to people. You don't need to mention that you're looking for a job; they'll probably get that already. Most lawyers will pass your name around on their own accord if they like you, feel bad for you, or hear from buddies about how their small firm needs a 20 hr/week lawyer. Also, if you have good rapport with folks from your prior internships, go talk to them.

At this point, you need to be open to damn near any and everything. I wouldn't get into contract review if you want to litigation of some type, but other than that, you just need to get more and more experience writing pleadings, arguing simple hearings in court, etc. If you can scrape by for a couple years while getting experience, I would be very surprised if you don't end up getting picked up by a small firm or a government agency if they ever get funding back to pre-recession levels.

Your position isn't enviable, but isn't untenable, either. If you really want to be a lawyer, you can do it. It will probably involve some time in the trenches making very little money and being scared to death about never being able to pay your loans back. But we don't have debtors' prisons here, and, assuming your loans aren't under-the-table ones from your local mafioso, you won't be getting shot for inability to pay. Eventually, if you are able to get a decent reputation as a hard-working person who cares about clients (and I think it is possible, if you really want to do it), you may be able to build a practice, pay your loans off, and get well into the black.

Lastly, don't think that just because you might have to work for ten or fifteen years doing work that isn't your ideal work, you won't ever be able to get into more enviable positions. Experienced attorneys are valuable commodities, no matter where they started, especially in smaller cities and towns.


Thank you for typing this response.

This was the most probable type of response that I was expecting and represents the realistic view of the future that falls under (III) above... It's really hard to accept the fact that I will not ever have a realistic opportunity to work in the fed. gvt or more prestigious state gvt. positions. At this point, do you think that there is no point in shooting for the clerkship or LLM options? Both seem like a very long short.

...Plus, again, I'm -horrible- at networking and schmoozing. I'm good enough at oral advocacy and arguing motions in court, but when it comes to networking discussions and information interviews... ugh... Painfully awkward and difficult (I am working on this).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

c3pO4
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:28 am

Stop dreaming and go back home and get a job in your home market.

Anonymous User
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:31 am

c3pO4 wrote:Stop dreaming and go back home and get a job in your home market.


...Never. I won't go into personal history, but just understand, my home market is widely considered one of the -worst- urban environments in the U.S. More bad memories from that place than anything combined (victim of multiple crimes; horrible education; etc). Any reasonable person would hate that place with a fury and escape at first chance. It's the feature of most "let's get out of the hood" movies.

c3pO4
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:Stop dreaming and go back home and get a job in your home market.


...Never. I won't go into personal history, but just understand, my home market is widely considered one of the -worst- urban environments in the U.S. More bad memories from that place than anything combined (victim of multiple crimes; horrible education; etc). Any reasonable person would hate that place with a fury and escape at first chance. It's the feature of most "let's get out of the hood" movies.


LA? Detroit? Every major metro is a pretty decent legal market. You've hit dead ends at every turn and the one thing you keep repeating in your OP is how XYZ but I won't go back to my home market. Well, that is your best shot at a job. You wanted advice, that's the most reasonable thing to do. Nobody is saying you have to live in the hood or wherever.

Anonymous User
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:39 am

c3pO4 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:Stop dreaming and go back home and get a job in your home market.


...Never. I won't go into personal history, but just understand, my home market is widely considered one of the -worst- urban environments in the U.S. More bad memories from that place than anything combined (victim of multiple crimes; horrible education; etc). Any reasonable person would hate that place with a fury and escape at first chance. It's the feature of most "let's get out of the hood" movies.


LA? Detroit? Every major metro is a pretty decent legal market. You've hit dead ends at every turn and the one thing you keep repeating in your OP is how XYZ but I won't go back to my home market. Well, that is your best shot at a job. You wanted advice, that's the most reasonable thing to do. Nobody is saying you have to live in the hood or wherever.


It's among those cities. But I can assure you, any reasonable person would want to get the living hell out of such a place - it truly is a miserable seething shithole.

I understand the logic behind your advice and thank you for your opinion, but it is simply not an option for a number of valid personal reasons.

Anonymous User
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:42 am

Networking sucks. There is no way around it. The best advice, however, is to just throw yourself into networking situations. I hated networking when I first got to law school but I forced myself to suck it up and go to local bar events, etc. It was awkward at first but eventually you'll meet a few lawyers who are regulars at these types of things. Then it gets easier because people are familiar with you and you may even begin to enjoy going to these things. Networking is uncomfortable BUT it is a very necessary evil.

Further, I have met several lawyers who worked for small firms, doing work that they hated, straight out of school. Now, after 2-4 years of experience, they have "moved up" to bigger firms and are doing work that they enjoy. Small firm work will not preclude you from getting a job that you'll eventually love unless you have that attitude. I'm confident that the same theory would apply for big gov as it did here for big law (more or less). Get a job, kick ass in that job, network and you'll be fine. Good luck!

BeenDidThat
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby BeenDidThat » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:You've got to look to the long term. Absent the Angel Gabriel visiting you today and handing you a biglaw or biggov job, you're probably precluded from working in a prestigious fed gov position or in big law.

But here's the thing: if you're really interested in being a lawyer, you just need to get experience. This is going to require networking, so you have to get over that phobia. Don't look at networking as being extra schmoozy; look at it as learning about the various avenues to get where you want to be. People take all sorts of different paths to get where they are, and the more stories you hear from people, the better the chance that you'll hear something that both interests you and is possible.

If you want to do litigation, you need to be open to any kind of job doing it. Whether it's state AG's offices, small firms doing construction litigation or insurance defense, whatever. If you can't get employment straight out of school, it isn't absurd to think about hanging a shingle. Frightening as hell? Yes. But if you can meet attorneys in small firms doing things like basic civil rights litigation (where gov't entities might be happy to settle to make the problem go away), you can ask them to hand you cases they don't have the time for or appear at hearings that conflict with their schedule. The only way to get over fear is to face it, and beat it into the ground. You'd be scraping by, but c'est la vie.

While you've probably already spoken with your CSO, you should also see if they have any kind of mentor directory. Just get out there and talk to people. You don't need to mention that you're looking for a job; they'll probably get that already. Most lawyers will pass your name around on their own accord if they like you, feel bad for you, or hear from buddies about how their small firm needs a 20 hr/week lawyer. Also, if you have good rapport with folks from your prior internships, go talk to them.

At this point, you need to be open to damn near any and everything. I wouldn't get into contract review if you want to litigation of some type, but other than that, you just need to get more and more experience writing pleadings, arguing simple hearings in court, etc. If you can scrape by for a couple years while getting experience, I would be very surprised if you don't end up getting picked up by a small firm or a government agency if they ever get funding back to pre-recession levels.

Your position isn't enviable, but isn't untenable, either. If you really want to be a lawyer, you can do it. It will probably involve some time in the trenches making very little money and being scared to death about never being able to pay your loans back. But we don't have debtors' prisons here, and, assuming your loans aren't under-the-table ones from your local mafioso, you won't be getting shot for inability to pay. Eventually, if you are able to get a decent reputation as a hard-working person who cares about clients (and I think it is possible, if you really want to do it), you may be able to build a practice, pay your loans off, and get well into the black.

Lastly, don't think that just because you might have to work for ten or fifteen years doing work that isn't your ideal work, you won't ever be able to get into more enviable positions. Experienced attorneys are valuable commodities, no matter where they started, especially in smaller cities and towns.


Thank you for typing this response.

This was the most probable type of response that I was expecting and represents the realistic view of the future that falls under (III) above... It's really hard to accept the fact that I will not ever have a realistic opportunity to work in the fed. gvt or more prestigious state gvt. positions. At this point, do you think that there is no point in shooting for the clerkship or LLM options? Both seem like a very long short.

...Plus, again, I'm -horrible- at networking and schmoozing. I'm good enough at oral advocacy and arguing motions in court, but when it comes to networking discussions and information interviews... ugh... Painfully awkward and difficult (I am working on this).


You still have a chance for prestigious state gov, just probably not straight out of school. I think clerking is still a great idea, if you can get a good state CoA or state supreme court. The value of the state CoA clerkship depends a lot on the state and the court, so I can't really speak to it without more information. I wouldn't get an LLM, as you'll probably just end up sinking more money for very marginal return.

Re: networking difficulties: if you have any law school buddies who are a little less shy (but not the kind of conversation hog who would keep you out of it completely), try and go to local bar and other similar events with that person. They might better be able to break the ice, and once you get someone comfortable with talking to your dynamic duo, you may also feel more comfortable

c3pO4
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:Stop dreaming and go back home and get a job in your home market.


...Never. I won't go into personal history, but just understand, my home market is widely considered one of the -worst- urban environments in the U.S. More bad memories from that place than anything combined (victim of multiple crimes; horrible education; etc). Any reasonable person would hate that place with a fury and escape at first chance. It's the feature of most "let's get out of the hood" movies.


LA? Detroit? Every major metro is a pretty decent legal market. You've hit dead ends at every turn and the one thing you keep repeating in your OP is how XYZ but I won't go back to my home market. Well, that is your best shot at a job. You wanted advice, that's the most reasonable thing to do. Nobody is saying you have to live in the hood or wherever.


It's among those cities. But I can assure you, any reasonable person would want to get the living hell out of such a place - it truly is a miserable seething shithole.

I understand the logic behind your advice and thank you for your opinion, but it is simply not an option for a number of valid personal reasons.


Well, what city is it? It's not like it would out you. There is no city in America that is entirely a seething shithole. No matter what it is I'm sure there are nice areas where you could live on a lawyer's salary. This is probably why you don't have a job, because you refuse to look in the place you are most likely to get one.

seatown12
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby seatown12 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:08 am

Your requirements of biglaw/biggov in the Northwest are ridiculously limiting. You need to get realistic about your prospects, stop being so picky, and find something that will pay the bills.

If you ultimately want to do civil rights or environmental litigation for the government I don't agree that DA/PD or public interest would be a dead end.

I'm guessing your home market is LA, and agree with others that your best prospects are there.

I feel like your ego is standing in your way. Your situation wasn't as great as you thought it was a year ago, and it's not as bad as you think it is now. There are jobs out there for you and it seems like you know what you need to do to get them, so do it.

buttonpusher
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:29 am

OP, understand that your shot at a legal "career" is now finished. You've missed the boat for OCI, nearly all Federal jobs are in permanent hiring freeze which will likely NEVER be lifted, since attorney oversupply is so massive they have people competing to work for FREE at places like the D.O.J.:

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/05/would-yo ... -for-free/

Ditto for other Federal agencies.

You mention state & local prosecutor jobs, or PD office. Forget that too: states are slashing the budgets for these programs/offices, and laying off attorneys with several years experience. Getting a PD or DA job is like hoping to win the Powerball: possible, but highly unlikely. Likewise, most state government agencies are on hiring freeze, or simply taking licensed attorneys on as unpaid "interns" since supply/demand metrics are so out of whack in this industry.

Don't waste a dime on a LLM (which BTW stands for "Lawyers Losing Money.") Even people with tax LLMs from NYU and G-Town are doing shitty temp gigs in doc review. Don't for a minute think that an LLM program, even from a top school, will clean off the 'stain' of your mediocre JD. It won't.

You have a choice to make: either re-train for a new field (perhaps a blue collar trade/vocational school of some kind, since your TTT JD isn't going to open any door in white collar America or business mgmt), or try to scrounge a gig in shitlaw. Be prepared, however, to accept a salary so low it will make your teeth drop. Small firm partners and solos know full well how terrible the "market" is, and have no problem dishing out lowball offers of say 25 to 35 K a year. For that salary, you'll likely be doing mindless monkey work like boilerplate Ch 7 petitions, residential closings, or DWI/personal injury work. The firms who practice these gutter areas of law are mostly "boiler rooms" that need a cheap law license to run around and cover their court appearances, cut/paste stock pleadings together, etc. The chances of "banking" shitlaw experience into anything worthwhile is pretty much nil. With your debt load being a solo is a pipedream, you'll never compete with the local "mills" who advertise heavily and have $8 an hour paralegals cranking out the wheelbarrow loads of toilet paper required in shitlaw.

You could also try doc review temping, but outside NYC the rates are as low as $17 to $20 an hour, and after a few months of that work not even shitlaw will touch you, as you've been branded a "click monkey" and that is now your 'niche,' like it or not.

Sorry it didn't work out for you, but at this point I'd consider law school a "sunk cost" and simply move on. Every day you waste working towards the "lawyer" mirage is a day you could be re-tooling for a new career. Demand for lawyers in your position is essentially zero, and getting worse and worse all the time.

Given your debt, leaving the USA altogether might also be an option. Hell, IBR is default in itself, being an admission that the return on your law school "investment" is so incredibly dismal that the US Taxpayers have to step in and pick up the slack for your mistake. Why not just stick them with the whole tab right now and try to re-tool elsewhere? Do you speak any foreign languages? Might not be a bad time to learn one.

Even taking the bar exam at this point is likely a waste of time. You'll just be throwing good $$$ after bad with BarBri's ripoff classes, the exam fees, bar dues, etc. If possible, you may want to just consider bailing now before your final semester and at least save that $$$ which at this point is just being pissed down a rathole. Bottom line is that you needed Biglaw to pay your loan boat, didn't get it, will never get it, and have nothing to look forward to in this industry but being exploited as a low-paid drone for cut n' paste boiler rooms or doc review temp agencies. Throw in the towel ASAP and don't look back. This industry has nothing going for it, and gets worse and worse every year going fwd. Your experience should serve as a cautionary tale to the starry-eyed O L's one here who figure 'hey if I miss Biglaw everything will just somehow work out."

No. It won't.

HTH.

Anonymous User
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:41 am

seatown12 wrote:Your requirements of biglaw/biggov in the Northwest are ridiculously limiting. You need to get realistic about your prospects, stop being so picky, and find something that will pay the bills.

If you ultimately want to do civil rights or environmental litigation for the government I don't agree that DA/PD or public interest would be a dead end.

I'm guessing your home market is LA, and agree with others that your best prospects are there.

I feel like your ego is standing in your way. Your situation wasn't as great as you thought it was a year ago, and it's not as bad as you think it is now. There are jobs out there for you and it seems like you know what you need to do to get them, so do it.


Home market is not in the same part of the country as current law school (south/east coast). Again, I won't go into personal reasons, but please understand that I do have legitimate reasons for never wanting to return to my home market. I've thought about the idea extensively, and even transferred to get out of the home market. Going back is simply not an option.

Furthermore, ego is not standing in the way. Basically, I stand at a bridge where I can select one of two paths:

(I) try to find a magistrate or judge that will take me as a clerk for a year or two, and thus toll my eligibility for government honors programs (state and fed) [or pursue an LLM for another 60K to accomplish the same thing]. The problem with this path is that I do not know if such opportunities are still possible (clerkships) or sensible (LLM).

(II) enter the realm of speculative employment opportunities and limited career advancement paths. True, it may be possible to obtain state gvt. employment on this path, but it is a -very- bumpy and uncertain road. Furthermore, good grades and law school activities will mean virtually nothing, rendering hardass work to this point largely moot (i.e. - person finishing in median or below will be doing same positions and have the same career prospects).

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:47 am

buttonpusher wrote:OP, understand that your shot at a legal "career" is now finished. You've missed the boat for OCI, nearly all Federal jobs are in permanent hiring freeze which will likely NEVER be lifted, since attorney oversupply is so massive they have people competing to work for FREE at places like the D.O.J.:

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/05/would-yo ... -for-free/

Ditto for other Federal agencies.

You mention state & local prosecutor jobs, or PD office. Forget that too: states are slashing the budgets for these programs/offices, and laying off attorneys with several years experience. Getting a PD or DA job is like hoping to win the Powerball: possible, but highly unlikely. Likewise, most state government agencies are on hiring freeze, or simply taking licensed attorneys on as unpaid "interns" since supply/demand metrics are so out of whack in this industry.

Don't waste a dime on a LLM (which BTW stands for "Lawyers Losing Money.") Even people with tax LLMs from NYU and G-Town are doing shitty temp gigs in doc review. Don't for a minute think that an LLM program, even from a top school, will clean off the 'stain' of your mediocre JD. It won't.

You have a choice to make: either re-train for a new field (perhaps a blue collar trade/vocational school of some kind, since your TTT JD isn't going to open any door in white collar America or business mgmt), or try to scrounge a gig in shitlaw. Be prepared, however, to accept a salary so low it will make your teeth drop. Small firm partners and solos know full well how terrible the "market" is, and have no problem dishing out lowball offers of say 25 to 35 K a year. For that salary, you'll likely be doing mindless monkey work like boilerplate Ch 7 petitions, residential closings, or DWI/personal injury work. The firms who practice these gutter areas of law are mostly "boiler rooms" that need a cheap law license to run around and cover their court appearances, cut/paste stock pleadings together, etc. The chances of "banking" shitlaw experience into anything worthwhile is pretty much nil. With your debt load being a solo is a pipedream, you'll never compete with the local "mills" who advertise heavily and have $8 an hour paralegals cranking out the wheelbarrow loads of toilet paper required in shitlaw.

You could also try doc review temping, but outside NYC the rates are as low as $17 to $20 an hour, and after a few months of that work not even shitlaw will touch you, as you've been branded a "click monkey" and that is now your 'niche,' like it or not.

Sorry it didn't work out for you, but at this point I'd consider law school a "sunk cost" and simply move on. Every day you waste working towards the "lawyer" mirage is a day you could be re-tooling for a new career. Demand for lawyers in your position is essentially zero, and getting worse and worse all the time.

Given your debt, leaving the USA altogether might also be an option. Hell, IBR is default in itself, being an admission that the return on your law school "investment" is so incredibly dismal that the US Taxpayers have to step in and pick up the slack for your mistake. Why not just stick them with the whole tab right now and try to re-tool elsewhere? Do you speak any foreign languages? Might not be a bad time to learn one.

Even taking the bar exam at this point is likely a waste of time. You'll just be throwing good $$$ after bad with BarBri's ripoff classes, the exam fees, bar dues, etc. If possible, you may want to just consider bailing now before your final semester and at least save that $$$ which at this point is just being pissed down a rathole. Bottom line is that you needed Biglaw to pay your loan boat, didn't get it, will never get it, and have nothing to look forward to in this industry but being exploited as a low-paid drone for cut n' paste boiler rooms or doc review temp agencies. Throw in the towel ASAP and don't look back. This industry has nothing going for it, and gets worse and worse every year going fwd. Your experience should serve as a cautionary tale to the starry-eyed O L's one here who figure 'hey if I miss Biglaw everything will just somehow work out."

No. It won't.

HTH.


Ah, yes. The other type of response I anticipated.

You see, I'm not sure if this sort of response (which is what I also think in my own mind 99% of the time) is excessively pessimistic or completely honest.

If you're trolling or being excessively pessimisstic, please let me know.

This is the type of perception that I personally have as well.

Is Buttonpushover correct, or does he paint too bleak a landscape?

Thanks guys... Don't have anyone to talk about these things with really.

buttonpusher
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:55 am

Furthermore, ego is not standing in the way. Basically, I stand at a bridge where I can select one of two paths:

(I) try to find a magistrate or judge that will take me as a clerk for a year or two, and thus toll my eligibility for government honors programs (state and fed) [or pursue an LLM for another 60K to accomplish the same thing]. The problem with this path is that I do not know if such opportunities are still possible (clerkships) or sensible (LLM).

(II) enter the realm of speculative employment opportunities and limited career advancement paths. True, it may be possible to obtain state gvt. employment on this path, but it is a -very- bumpy and uncertain road. Furthermore, good grades and law school activities will mean virtually nothing, rendering hardass work to this point largely moot (i.e. - person finishing in median or below will be doing same positions and have the same career prospects).


OP, you aren't getting a clerkship with a magistrate judge. That ship has sailed. And the LLM is an almost comical waste of more student loan money, and a "red flag" on your resume that you are desperate to delay the inevitable shitlaw job search.

The term "speculative" employment opportunities is correct, if by "speculative" you mean it is also "speculative" that you'll win tonite's Powerball drawing. Outside the Top 14 schools, unemployment and failure is the norm, not the exception. And again, the "stave government agency" stuff is a red herring, since nearly all states have .gov hiring freezes and simply take on licensed attorneys as unpaid slave labor by dangling the "build experience" carrot out there. I think it's shameful, because what kind of firm is going to be so desperate that they'll hire a person so pathetic that they were willing to take on a full-time job as a licensed professional with 7 years of education for FREE? What kind of salary do you think said firms would offer such a person? Hell, a nickle an hour would be a huge "raise" from what they're used to.

EDIT: I'm not trolling. I have been licensed as an attorney for 7 years, and am telling you the God's honest truth. I myself left this farce of an industry long ago, and truly would no wish my experience in the gutters of law on my worst enemy. I now teach at a public school and have excellent pay/benefits, 401 K, and earn substantially more than my friends who stayed in shitlaw, with 1/2 the hours and stress. I am getting a Masters in Ed. and after so doing can earn 100 K+ as an admin. Understand that in shitlaw, w/out a book of your own business you top out at 60-65 K and that's it. Also being a lawyer is a stressful, boring, miserable job populated by miserable people. It's a career of yesterday, and the only reason it ever paid jack was supply/demand metrics were decent. Now they are beyond abysmal and getting worse all the time.
Last edited by buttonpusher on Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:59 am

Buttonpusher is likely a troll and/or a failed lawyer...

LawIdiot86
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Buttonpusher is likely a troll and/or a failed lawyer...

To that end, if you've already invested 2.5 years in law school, it would be foolish not to graduate and pass the bar. That's like spending $99,000 on a new corvette and then skimping on the $1,000 custom-fit cover that will protect the car. Maybe buying the car or going to law school were poor choices, but you're already too committed to back out.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:08 pm

OP: let me guess, you transferred from somewhere in the midwest to the LA market? Im guessing you go to Loyola. My second guess would be DC and that you go to American.

I'm actually surprised you got 2 Art 3 interviews. My friend who is top 5% at a t50 school received 0 interviews and he applied everywhere. Furthermore, I go to a t25 and i have a friend in the top 10% that didn't receive any art 3 interviews. Try applying to state positions or magistrate fed positions.

I am in a similar situation at a T25. Top 20% no offers. You just have to network and HOPE like obama that you get lucky and catch a break.
There isn't anything doubting your abilities. You have proven that you are smart and can handle "biglaw" work. The problem lies with law firm hiring. They disporportionally hire towards the t14 schools. Most big firms would rather take a median kid from Mich over a top 10% kid from OSU. Now that 99% of the biglaw/midlaw boats are gone, you just have to network and hope....

With that said, sad fact is that if you miss the biglaw/midlaw boat you will likely be making 20k-40k IF you can even get one of those "shitlaw" positions. I don't think buttonpusher is lying at all. I am in the same position you are in. I still have 1 more callback to do. If this "midlaw" position fails for me, I am ultimately going to switch fields. There is little career mobility in shitlaw or doc review.

An LLM in anything but tax is a waste of money. You should consider another field like engineering, nursing....

I agree with the poster above that buttonpusher is likely a failed attorney... however the fact is that in the field of law MOST law students end up as failed lawyers.

I partially agree with buttonpusher. However, I feel that since you already invested 100k, what is another 5k? You are pot committed at this point. Might as well get a bar license. Who knows, you might get lucky? The plan should be that if you don't get a position still graduate and take the bar. Then you might as well take out loans and pursue another career. You already have 100k in loans. With IBR you might as well max them out. It is not likely that you can pay off the loans anyways in 20 years. IBR maxes out each month's loan payments at 10%.

zomginternets
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby zomginternets » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Buttonpusher is likely a troll and/or a failed lawyer...


Seriously. Don't pay any attention to what he says.

Plenty of lawyers from schools worse than yours and grades worse than yours make major bank. This forum only cares for the guaranteed OCI -> biglaw -> F500 in-house counsel career, and if you hang out on this forum enough, it's really easy to believe that your legal career is over if you didn't score @ OCI. 75% of people do not get jobs from OCI at my school, and plenty of them are successful lawyers right now, and you don't feel like you hear of them because none of them post on TLS.

BTW, your anxiousness to find a job is likely an impediment to your networking ability. You will schmooze badly if you are constantly thinking how you can quickly convert a first-time conversation with a lawyer into a job offer. I know it's difficult to try to block out the thought of needing a job when networking (if you haven't got an offer), but things will probably smoother if you are able to.

pferaso
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby pferaso » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:39 pm

Finish your JD, you´re almost done and who knows how the economy may be a couple of years from now. Think in how many opportunities may come in the long term. If you drop out now, you´ll be losing a huge investment while deniying any opportunity to obtain a benefit from it. That doesn´t mean that you shouldn´t consider other fields besides law, just do both things concurrently, be open to any opportunity and stay positive.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:44 pm

zomginternets wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Buttonpusher is likely a troll and/or a failed lawyer...


Seriously. Don't pay any attention to what he says.

Plenty of lawyers from schools worse than yours and grades worse than yours make major bank. This forum only cares for the guaranteed OCI -> biglaw -> F500 in-house counsel career, and if you hang out on this forum enough, it's really easy to believe that your legal career is over if you didn't score @ OCI. 75% of people do not get jobs from OCI at my school, and plenty of them are successful lawyers right now, and you don't feel like you hear of them because none of them post on TLS.

BTW, your anxiousness to find a job is likely an impediment to your networking ability. You will schmooze badly if you are constantly thinking how you can quickly convert a first-time conversation with a lawyer into a job offer. I know it's difficult to try to block out the thought of needing a job when networking (if you haven't got an offer), but things will probably smoother if you are able to.



I disagree. I think buttonpusher makes some valid points that must be considered. You claim that 75% of people don't get jobs from OCI, well i agree with that. The OP is not depending on OCI he/she is going out there and getting interviews. T25s rarely have 3L opportunities. I doubt the Op's school would have 3L opportunities. You have to look at the quality of the jobs that they get. You claim they get jobs, but what kind of jobs are they getting? Also, how many people don't have jobs at your school? people that dont have jobs aren't going to go around saying they don't have jobs so you might just be hanging around the vocal minority.

You can't compare the past ie 2007 and now. The legal field has changed a lot over the past 5 years. I think the truth of the matter lies somewhere inbetween buttonpusher and the poster above's comments.

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Compaq1984
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Compaq1984 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:48 pm

zomginternets wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Buttonpusher is likely a troll and/or a failed lawyer...


Seriously. Don't pay any attention to what he says.

Plenty of lawyers from schools worse than yours and grades worse than yours make major bank. This forum only cares for the guaranteed OCI -> biglaw -> F500 in-house counsel career, and if you hang out on this forum enough, it's really easy to believe that your legal career is over if you didn't score @ OCI. 75% of people do not get jobs from OCI at my school, and plenty of them are successful lawyers right now, and you don't feel like you hear of them because none of them post on TLS.

BTW, your anxiousness to find a job is likely an impediment to your networking ability. You will schmooze badly if you are constantly thinking how you can quickly convert a first-time conversation with a lawyer into a job offer. I know it's difficult to try to block out the thought of needing a job when networking (if you haven't got an offer), but things will probably smoother if you are able to.


THIS...

Get involved with your local bar and just meet people. It will not happen on the first handshake but eventually you will meet someone who can, at the very least, refer you to somewhere and that is a hell of a lot better than just blindly sending resumes out. Do your best to cleanse yourself of the smell of desperation and just meet people who will be your professional colleagues someday.

c3pO4
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:50 pm

it seems like half of these threads start out with OP saying - "I'm totally screwed BUT here are conditions that would be prohibitive to even someone with good grades from a T14 school in my position (insistence on only applying to markets without ties) please advise."

literally every other argument is pointless ITT. Unless your personal reason is that there is a warrant out for your arrest in the home market and you wouldn't pass C&F or would just go to jail, then you are wasting everybody's time. No reason could possibly exist worth gambling your future like OP claims. That's why these threads are so frustrating - bc OP is often irrational and refuses to look at all possible options. The worst thing you can do if you are unemployed and desperately needing a job is to constrain your options.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:Stop dreaming and go back home and get a job in your home market.


...Never. I won't go into personal history, but just understand, my home market is widely considered one of the -worst- urban environments in the U.S. More bad memories from that place than anything combined (victim of multiple crimes; horrible education; etc). Any reasonable person would hate that place with a fury and escape at first chance. It's the feature of most "let's get out of the hood" movies.


LA? Detroit? Every major metro is a pretty decent legal market. You've hit dead ends at every turn and the one thing you keep repeating in your OP is how XYZ but I won't go back to my home market. Well, that is your best shot at a job. You wanted advice, that's the most reasonable thing to do. Nobody is saying you have to live in the hood or wherever.


It's among those cities. But I can assure you, any reasonable person would want to get the living hell out of such a place - it truly is a miserable seething shithole.

I understand the logic behind your advice and thank you for your opinion, but it is simply not an option for a number of valid personal reasons.


I'm from Memphis. Same feeling here. I refuse to go back there EVAR. In fact, the entire state of Tennessee can stay far away from me.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:21 pm

OP here

Thanks for the feedback everyone... it's hard to know the extent and accuracy of the advice in here.

I want to be optomistic, but post like button's are quite accurate as well.

As far as the home market issue, look... Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born in a good place and have the ability to move around easily. When I say that my home market is a living breathing hell hole, I really do mean it. I'm sure that you would agree if placed in the same situation and area: it's in a similar boat as Memphis, St. Louis, and other horrendous southern southern urban areas.




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