My recent graduate husband

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

My recent graduate husband

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:09 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm posting because my husband continues to have difficulty securing post-law school employment. He isn't really a "forum" kind of person, so I'm posting for my own curiosity to see if there's anything he's missing, or just generally looking for advice. He graduated from a lower T14 school with an average GPA (~3.59 I think). His GPA was lower earlier on and he had trouble finding a SA position, and ended up at a small firm in our city. A lot of the associates there really liked him and he worked through much of his 3L year (struck out at 3L OCI), but then they couldn't justify the hours to hire someone so he quit to focus on the job search. He has a few people from the firm who have offered to give recommendations when needed, which he has taken advantage of.

He has done a ton of work trying to find a job, but I feel like he must be missing something...he always thinks the screeners and callbacks go "decently" or "pretty well" but it has yet to result in anything. Obviously his chances of finding any biglaw work are almost 0 at this point, but he does have 3 places (contacted him from some mass mailings, or something posted on the school's career site) that he is in the process of talkingto/waiting to hear from, out of market but places we would definitely move. He feels like networking or emailing alums or things like that feels desperate or grabby and the couple times I've been able to convince him to try to go a little above and beyond just going through the motions it hasn't worked out so he's convinced it's a waste of time. I don't think he's BOMBING the interviews, but I think he likely comes across as a little nervous and reserved.

Anyway, he's still mass mailing tons of smaller firms, but at this point to stand out at these 3 great opportunities that no doubt have plenty of competition, I'm wondering what he SHOULD be doing (even if he doesn't think it's the right way to go about it). He is pretty down and has been since the fall and has a very negative attitude about the whole process...which I understand - he worked hard, he's exhausted of the constant disappointment, and is tired of getting his hopes up. I am trying to be helpful and positive and he's frustrated because he thinks I'm being blindly optimistic. I think that despite the fact that he is smart, a hard worker, and would do well in the biglaw world in his desired practice areas...his negative attitude is preventing him from striving to go beyond the regular "show up, try to make a good impression" stuff, and I guess I just feel like with his credentials there must be something he's missing or could be doing to help him get a leg up.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:38 pm

He feels like networking or emailing alums or things like that feels desperate or grabby and the couple times I've been able to convince him to try to go a little above and beyond just going through the motions it hasn't worked out so he's convinced it's a waste of time.


Alums love to help people, if they can. The key is not not start the conversation with "can I have a job?" The key is to use alums to meet people who might have job openings. You need to contact a broad variety of alumni in his practice area of choice (it's better if you can come up with a credible argument as to why you want to work in a particular area) and ask them for advice on job searching. If they know of an opening, they'll tell you, and even if they don't they can feel good about giving you the lay of the land in a particular practice area and maybe pointing you to people who might be able to help. When formulating the initial contact, ask yourself "can he help me even if he doesn't know of a job opening?" Formulate your initial e-mail so that "no" isn't the only possible response the alum can give if he doesn't have a job opening.

More generally, you have to get in the right mindset. People react in two ways to unemployment. There are the people who withdraw, get dejected, and start to feel like nothing they do will get them a job. Then there are people who turn into Jack Bauer, pushing ahead with a sense of urgency and singular focus on the end-goal of getting a job. It's the latter that get jobs. Partially, it's because they do a lot more job searching in the same amount of time. When something goes down, Jack Bauer doesn't wait around to respond. He's not even off the phone before he's rushing towards the target in a stolen SUV. I have friends who will see a great job opening, and be like "oh, I'll apply to that." And get around to doing so weeks later. That's not what Jack Bauer would do! Jack Bauer has an application in within minutes of an opening being posted, and is calling to follow up the next day. He's immediately calling alumni to see if any of them know someone at the firm that posted the opening to see if they can help. The other part of why these folks get jobs is that employers like to see intensity, they like to see purpose, they like someone who has an air of urgency (as distinguished from desperation). Being unemployed, it's hard to feel like Jack Bauer. That's okay. It's something you can fake. And you need to, because nobody wants to hire someone who seems depressed about being unemployed.

You should encourage your husband to come to TLS. We can give him good advice about job searching in a way that you necessarily cannot.

attractive_NUisance
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby attractive_NUisance » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:45 pm

Well this has to be Northwestern because of the high GPA that is considered "average" and the city location. As a NU grad I definitely feel for you guys. I know that the class of 2011 was pretty much the worst in terms of timing so chances are that if he was in class of 2012 or 2013 he would have found a job (although if he was class of 2009 he could have found one and then been stealth laid off or no offerred).

It is pretty rough out there still at big firms once you are outside of the "summer associate" hiring path. However, I think the best things to do are to be as aggressive as possible. My advice:

1) Reach out to alums of the school to set up informational interviews. Get contact info from the school's database and reach out to get coffee with them. Just ask for advice and also what they like or don't like about their job. No need to be pushy but let the alum know they are looking and to think of them. Maybe out of 10 alums he contacts 2 will make themselves available for coffee. This really isn't that big an imposition and most people with firm jobs realize that with a few strokes of bad luck they could have easily been in the same position. Many people are happy to help and feel good doing so. Reach out to professors he had ask them if he can stop by to get some advice. Some of them will say yes (all of them should say yes but let's be honest: some law profs are jerks). Many of them know people (judges, partners) and can make calls.

2) In person networking. Not that comfortable for some people but it really does get results. Attend law-related events at the school, ABA, or other events in a practice area he is interested in. Drop off business cards, make friends and follow up with people.

3) Continue to reach out to firms in smaller markets or smaller firms in your market. Apply to government jobs. Apply to clerkships. As a T14 grad with that GPA he should have no problem whatsoever getting a clerkship. Get some kind of legal job and then impress people there and make connections to move on to another more desireable firm job as a steppingstone. If he can't get a fed clerkship get a good state clerkship and then reapply to fed clerkships.

4) Mock interviews. Everyone has room to improve the way they interview and practicing makes you better. Set up a mock interview with someone at the law school career services. Set up multiple mock interviews with alumni. Set up multiple mock interviews with friends who work at law firms. This may not be fun but it will help and he should do it. There may be some easily-correctable thing he is saying or doing in interviews that has been hurting him.

Try to be supportive and encourage him to keep a positive attitude and keep putting himself out there. The market is getting better and better for people at T14 schools. Tell him to stay positive and keep pushing it has been a year. It is hard having a gap on your resume so he should make sure he is doing something right now (even if just volunteering) to stay active while continuing to push and apply to firms.

Wish you both the best of luck. Everyone goes through periods like this and I'm sure you'll both get through it ok.

NotMyRealName09
Posts: 1394
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:53 pm

Consider broadening his approach as well. Consider mass mailing secondary markets. I just know that, for example, I work in Detroit, and a T14 graduate application sent unsolicited might still get a good looking over seeing as we generally see applicants from MSU, Wayne, UofD, and the occassional UofM grad who couldn't hack it in NYC.

It's all stupid and pointless except for that one that gets the job. Good luck.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:02 pm

Could be Penn too. Their scale is barely lower than ours.

Also, not to put too sharp a point on it, but a "decent" or "pretty good" interview will never get anyone a job. If they call back four people for an interview, those people have all met the paper criteria. At that point 3.6 at a T14 doesn't help you anymore. The person that will get hired out of those four is the guy with the shining personality.

User avatar
dood
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:59 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby dood » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm wondering what he SHOULD be doing (even if he doesn't think it's the right way to go about it). He is pretty down and has been since the fall and has a very negative attitude about the whole process...which I understand - he worked hard, he's exhausted of the constant disappointment, and is tired of getting his hopes up. I am trying to be helpful and positive and he's frustrated because he thinks I'm being blindly optimistic. I think that despite the fact that he is smart, a hard worker, and would do well in the biglaw world in his desired practice areas...his negative attitude is preventing him from striving to go beyond the regular "show up, try to make a good impression" stuff, and I guess I just feel like with his credentials there must be something he's missing or could be doing to help him get a leg up.


You're pretty much spot on with everything you mentioned. There really isn't anything else he can do besides work hard and most importantly - stay positive - which is extremely difficult for all the reasons you mentioned above. But there is something he could try to help him stay positive. So I fell into a pretty deep depression 1L spring semester due to lack of job, and big part of how I got out of my downward spiral was going to see a shrink for the first time in my life. If your husband is willing to try, a shrink might help him to stay positive. I want to give you an detailed explanation, but I actually have to go catch a flight.

Also, I know exactly how you feel - it really sucks to see someone you love struggling, especially when you're unable to help them. I'm actually in your position right now. Would it be weird if I asked you to talk over the phone? Send me a PM if you want - no big deal, but I have to run to airport. Best of luck!

User avatar
barestin
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 10:29 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby barestin » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:11 pm

.

lawyerwannabe
Posts: 945
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby lawyerwannabe » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:He graduated from a lower T14 school with an average GPA (~3.59 I think). His GPA was lower earlier on and he had trouble finding a SA position


What was his 1L GPA? I know that GPA restrictions by class are greatly relaxed after 1L.

And while he may have missed the BigLaw boat with a lesser showing 1L, I find it hard to believe that he cannot find some firm work with that graduating GPA at a T14.

I bet if he follows the preceding advice in this thread he will find something sooner rather than later. Good luck!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:29 pm

attractive_NUisance wrote:3) Continue to reach out to firms in smaller markets or smaller firms in your market. Apply to government jobs. Apply to clerkships. As a T14 grad with that GPA he should have no problem whatsoever getting a clerkship. Get some kind of legal job and then impress people there and make connections to move on to another more desireable firm job as a steppingstone. If he can't get a fed clerkship get a good state clerkship and then reapply to fed clerkships.


If OP's husband is at median at a T14 (which is what OP suggested) getting a clerkship is not an easy proposition. Indeed, it is unlikely that OP's husband will be able to get an AIII clerkship. That said, OP should certainly apply to flyover district courts and federal magistrates. The best target, clerkship-wise, would be state trial courts or maybe state intermediate appellate courts. These can be good stepping stones into small firms and state prosecution positions. Also, OP's husband should consider volunteer positions at local prosecutor's offices - he could get trial experience this way and could get himself to the top of the list when the office decides to hire.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:49 pm

Thank you very much everyone for the advice. I don't know how much this matters, in my quick scans of this site people seem to be secretive about firms and schools, but yes he is an NU grad so that was a good guess :)

Just out of curiosity, as someone above mentioned - to me it also has sounded like with a good degree and his GPA he should be able to find SOMETHING, despite the tough job market. From anyone's experience would you think it's likely his interviewing skills? He's done a number of mock interviews through school and has always come away with positive feedback, and I've tried some with him too, but obviously I don't have a ton of background in order to judge how he does. I don't want to be like a law-school-wife version of a stage mom, but I just don't really know how to help him and am thinking if it's an interview skill thing that maybe there are professionals who could help with that, rather than just me or someone through the career office helping him practice.

As for what else he's doing, he has mass mailed so. many. firms. Tons of secondary markets across the country (as in, we literally sat and ranked states we would live and he has worked his way through the vast majority of NALP firms in those states, and then for states we're more serious about he has mass mailed smaller - not SMALL, just smaller - firms as well. The only place I think he has literally been mass mailing the really small firms has been locally). But not 100% sure all the details on this. Also I don't know if it helps but he doesn't want litigation, he wants transactional and is ideally hoping for corporate or real estate? And on the offchance he can't find anything or at least wants to do something to prevent the gap issue...would there be any fields that would be recommended to try to look into with a JD? I had seen some people at some point asking about consulting....I don't know if that's up his alley, but again just trying to stay positive, I'm hoping to maybe help him look at other avenues that wouldn't be a stretch for him to apply to? I don't know if that's even worth thinking about at this point, but....

I think my biggest issue at the moment is when I try to push him to do a little extra, he freaks out and gets defensive and takes it as a personal affront. Which I get, and it's hard because, while I'm not in the legal field or even anything that's as difficult of a market, I have had really great success in my career and have never had an interview without getting a job offer. So I don't really have the experience dealing with the rejection and I'm sure it's annoying to hear from me to keep being positive when I've never been in his shoes. Anyway, that's neither here nor there, I'm mostly hoping to take away some useful advice about what areas he might try to focus on improving (ie, networking, interviewing skills, or something I haven't even thought of) and so far this thread has definitely helped me in that area, so thanks so much again! Any continued advice would be appreciated very much, you guys have been super nice and helpful so far (and particularly like the Jack Bauer analogy :)
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby MrAnon » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:56 pm

Just as far as interviewing goes I have heard people say in interviews that they are looking for spark or spunk. If he is quiet and reserved its not happening. He may have been successful at his other job by being laid back and friendly but he may need to pep it up a bit more. The partners are looking to hire advocates who can be feisty when necessary. Dont be afraid to come at them kind of hard in an interview. What's the worst that can happen?

You didn't mention anything about this but its my own two cents from interview experiences.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:02 pm

MrAnon, yes I think he is likely coming across more reserved. He's just a little more of a laid-back personality? I'm not even sure myself what they would be looking for, so while my instinct is to tell him he should be more "feisty" or something, I'm not sure how to give him advice on how to do that. But I think you are probably right. I'll at least mention trying to get in more pep.

Sorry, I'm a girl and pretty verbose in person, so thanks anyone who is still sticking with this and reading everything I'm writing! But so...one of the firms he just applied to. On paper he should be an absolute shoo-in for a screener. His interest area, UG major, and his 1L summer law school research job should all make him a great candidate. In his opinion, he doesn't want to contact the recruiter yet since they're still accepting applications or something. The firm is lower-tier biglaw in a secondary market and just appears to have a small handful of alums. I feel like he shouldn't just be sitting around waiting to hear from them. I don't want this to be an I'm right, you're wrong scenario, but in this situation would other people be trying to make contacts at the firm at this point? I have seen the previous recommendations that when contacting alums you shouldn't make it out like you're trying to get a job. Is this an appropriate situation in which to contact an alum, and if so what should he say? If not, is there a better approach or a better time in the process (ie before a callback?) to contact alums?

Sorry for all the specific questions, but thanks to everyone again for any ideas or help!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anli
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:09 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby anli » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:10 pm

I have little to add by way of advice, but I must remark that you are, by words and deeds, the very model of a supportive spouse. Your husband is lucky to have you.

A few quick thoughts. Transactional is more difficult to get than litigation, simply because transaction work tends to go to larger firms. Most government work is litigation, and the private-sector analogue--in-house corporate work--is generally staffed by experienced attorneys. You might try for the few openings by networking like crazy.

Consulting may be feasible, though keep in mind that most consulting firms prefer to hire on-campus during the fall. Still, NU has a fantastic b-school and career services may have the pull to get you some initial interviews. Consulting firms also care more about pre-law school experience, which may be a plus or minus depending on your circumstances.

If your husband wants to remain in law, I concur that the smoothest path would be a clerkship. For transactional work, a clerkship in Delaware would be ideal, though any state supreme or federal clerkship should position him well for a firm job somewhere. If you carefully monitor new confirmations--state and federal--you may be able to get a clerkship before the Plan crushes in. Talk to NU's clerkship/career services, as well as friendly professors. They should be able to provide you with leads.

attractive_NUisance
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby attractive_NUisance » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:14 pm

Interview skills are a really big deal. It sounds like you are a better interviewer than most people are if you get offers every time you interview. Many people are not naturally great interviewers so they need practice and help to get better. Based on his numbers and school he should have something by now. I know many people with worse class rank at much worse schools who found legal jobs. He might be too narrowly focused on transactional work since the vast majority of that work is done by the biggest 250 firms and not the small ones. At least he isn't narrowly focused on one practice group within transactional work that would probably be too much. There is nothing wrong with re-applying to the firms he has already applied to and then following up with a phone call to recruiting or to an alum at the firm.

Real Estate isn't hiring much in general but there are smaller firms and even solo offices that do it. Has he considered Bankruptcy? It is sort of like transactional law in some of the issues and he would be very competitive for bankruptcy court clerkships.

One other thing to try is in-house legal work for a company. It is sort of transactional focused although they typically hire 3rd-8th year associates from law firms. Tons of alums are at those companies. Reach out to talk to them ask for advice etc there might be internship opportunities.

Consulting is something that a small percentage of JDs from northwestern do each year. There is something called the Northwestern Advanced Degree Consulting Alliance for non-MBA grad students that puts on various events: http://www.nuadconsulting.org/

There are plenty of consulting firms in Chicago and some of the skills do translate from law school (issue spotting, hard work, teamwork). Generally there is more of a focus on your presentation skills in consulting. The interviews are also much more difficult than law interviews so he would have to do special preparation for that. It is more objective (analytical skills going through a case) than subjective personality fit interviews you see in law.

Another option is to get another degree: Tax LLM from a top school wouldn't hurt if he has interest in tax although it is more debt. Recently Northwestern offered graduates without a job the opportunity of getting a Tax LLM at Northwestern for 50% the tuition. If he made a case to the administration there is a possibility that they would give him that deal (although 50% of the tuition is still a lot of money). An MBA wouldn't hurt either, if he did really well on the GMAT he might be able to get a good scholarship. Certainly better than nothing and would make him more competitive for various non-law jobs.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:On paper he should be an absolute shoo-in for a screener. His interest area, UG major, and his 1L summer law school research job should all make him a great candidate. In his opinion, he doesn't want to contact the recruiter yet since they're still accepting applications or something. The firm is lower-tier biglaw in a secondary market and just appears to have a small handful of alums. I feel like he shouldn't just be sitting around waiting to hear from them. I don't want this to be an I'm right, you're wrong scenario, but in this situation would other people be trying to make contacts at the firm at this point?


When I was applying, and I had something like an alumni connection at a firm, I called up the alumni to ask about the firm and see if he would forward my resume to the recruiter. You have to be a bit delicate about it, but don't hide the fact that you want him to do you a solid.

You: Alumnus, I'm super interested in your firm, I've got a really great background for it, do you think we could chat on the phone about your practice?
Alumnus: Sure!
You: [Chit chat that makes him like you].
You: Thanks for the information. As I said, I'm extremely interested in the firm, I think I'm a good fit. I've got an application in for an open position, do you think you could forward the recruiter my resume?
Alumnus: Sure! Good luck!

Remember, the firm is going to get dozens of resumes from people who are within the hiring range. The challenge is to just get looked at and stand out from the pile. A quick e-mail from someone inside the firm is going to get the recruiter to at least look at the application, and if it's within the range of what they're looking for it's highly likely to turn into a screener.
Last edited by rayiner on Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:21 pm

attractive_NUisance wrote:Interview skills are a really big deal. It sounds like you are a better interviewer than most people are if you get offers every time you interview. Many people are not naturally great interviewers so they need practice and help to get better. Based on his numbers and school he should have something by now. I know many people with worse class rank at much worse schools who found legal jobs. He might be too narrowly focused on transactional work since the vast majority of that work is done by the biggest 250 firms and not the small ones. At least he isn't narrowly focused on one practice group within transactional work that would probably be too much. There is nothing wrong with re-applying to the firms he has already applied to and then following up with a phone call to recruiting or to an alum at the firm.

Real Estate isn't hiring much in general but there are smaller firms and even solo offices that do it. Has he considered Bankruptcy? It is sort of like transactional law in some of the issues and he would be very competitive for bankruptcy court clerkships.

One other thing to try is in-house legal work for a company. It is sort of transactional focused although they typically hire 3rd-8th year associates from law firms. Tons of alums are at those companies. Reach out to talk to them ask for advice etc there might be internship opportunities.

Consulting is something that a small percentage of JDs from northwestern do each year. There is something called the Northwestern Advanced Degree Consulting Alliance for non-MBA grad students that puts on various events: http://www.nuadconsulting.org/

There are plenty of consulting firms in Chicago and some of the skills do translate from law school (issue spotting, hard work, teamwork). Generally there is more of a focus on your presentation skills in consulting. The interviews are also much more difficult than law interviews so he would have to do special preparation for that. It is more objective (analytical skills going through a case) than subjective personality fit interviews you see in law.

Another option is to get another degree: Tax LLM from a top school wouldn't hurt if he has interest in tax although it is more debt. Recently Northwestern offered graduates without a job the opportunity of getting a Tax LLM at Northwestern for 50% the tuition. If he made a case to the administration there is a possibility that they would give him that deal (although 50% of the tuition is still a lot of money). An MBA wouldn't hurt either, if he did really well on the GMAT he might be able to get a good scholarship. Certainly better than nothing and would make him more competitive for various non-law jobs.


Thank you, this was so helpful. Some of it I am not sure about and would have to pass on to him, but it seems like great advice. We actually have a number of friends who went to Kellogg (and my husband occasionally feels like maybe he should have just done that instead) but he went to law school later in life and with a kid on the way I think even though he wouldn't mind going to school for another 2 years, it would be a hard sell at this particular time. However, with a number of MBA friends, most of who were in the consulting game for at least a period of time, it might be an option since they could help him prep for interviews and they might have contacts. I'll have him check into all the things you mentioned. Thank you SO much!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:24 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:On paper he should be an absolute shoo-in for a screener. His interest area, UG major, and his 1L summer law school research job should all make him a great candidate. In his opinion, he doesn't want to contact the recruiter yet since they're still accepting applications or something. The firm is lower-tier biglaw in a secondary market and just appears to have a small handful of alums. I feel like he shouldn't just be sitting around waiting to hear from them. I don't want this to be an I'm right, you're wrong scenario, but in this situation would other people be trying to make contacts at the firm at this point?


When I was applying, and I had something like an alumni connection at a firm, I called up the alumni to ask about the firm and see if he would forward my resume to the recruiter. You have to be a bit delicate about it, but don't hide the fact that you want him to do you a solid.

You: Alumnus, I'm super interested in your firm, I've got a really great background for it, do you think we could chat on the phone about your practice?
Alumnus: Sure!
You: [Chit chat that makes him like you].
You: Thanks for the information. As I said, I'm extremely interested in the firm, I think I'm a good fit. I've got an application in for an open position, do you think you could forward the recruiter my resume?
Alumnus: Sure! Good luck!

If you're in-range and have a good resume, this is highly likely to turn into a screening interview.


Thank you! Just out of curiosity, is it important to do this with someone in the practice group? Like this is for a specific position in a practice group, but at a cursory glance I didn't see any alums in the same practice group I think my husband said it was in. Would you just pick something close? Or if it's not in the same group does it become a stretch to even contact someone?

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby rayiner » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you! Just out of curiosity, is it important to do this with someone in the practice group? Like this is for a specific position in a practice group, but at a cursory glance I didn't see any alums in the same practice group I think my husband said it was in. Would you just pick something close? Or if it's not in the same group does it become a stretch to even contact someone?


Try to find someone in the same department that the practice group is in (e.g. transactional versus litigation). But it really doesn't matter who does it. If you call an alumni and he likes you enough to forward your resume internally (this is not a high bar), the recruiter is almost guaranteed to at least look at the application (which is half the battle in this economy!). If the rest of the application passes muster, the recruiter is highly likely to get in touch.

Think of it from the recruiter's point of view: you've got someone who has the initiative to get in touch, who has been at least minimally personality-screened by someone inside the firm, and who has expressed a strong interest in the firm by getting in touch. Meanwhile you've got a bunch of resumes in the pile that are completely faceless. Who are you going to call?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:33 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thank you! Just out of curiosity, is it important to do this with someone in the practice group? Like this is for a specific position in a practice group, but at a cursory glance I didn't see any alums in the same practice group I think my husband said it was in. Would you just pick something close? Or if it's not in the same group does it become a stretch to even contact someone?


Try to find someone in the same department that the practice group is in (e.g. transactional versus litigation). But it really doesn't matter who does it. If you call an alumni and he likes you enough to forward your resume internally (this is not a high bar), the recruiter is almost guaranteed to at least look at the application (which is half the battle in this economy!). If the rest of the application passes muster, the recruiter is highly likely to get in touch.

Think of it this way: you've got someone who has the initiative to get in touch, who has been at least minimally personality-screened by someone inside the firm, and who has expressed a strong interest in the firm by getting in touch. Meanwhile you've got a bunch of resumes in the pile that are completely faceless. Who are you going to call?


Ugh, this is EXACTLY my opinion (but of course since I'm not a lawyer then I'm just making stuff up when I try to argue this, haha), I'm not sure why he has issues with it. I think he doesn't like the idea of bothering someone unsolicited or making them feel like he's using them or something. I have no idea. Thank you for validating that, I'm going to try to work on getting him to feel more comfortable with this. Maybe I'll bring him home a cupcake for his crappy day to butter him up, get him on a sugar high or something. :)

attractive_NUisance
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby attractive_NUisance » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:42 pm

Getting a law job is very similar to getting any other kind of job. It is 90% being assertive, persistent and likeable and 10% grades and school. (Compared to 99% and 1%, respectively, for most other jobs). He is probably too proud to ask for help or maybe feels a little emasculated not being the primary breadwinner in the family. Whatevs... dude needs a job and has been looking a long time, he needs to put his pride aside and do everything it takes to get a job. Its nice of you to help out. Good luck!

User avatar
manofjustice
Posts: 1323
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby manofjustice » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:43 pm

It's pretty important to get a starting legal position as soon as possible because since the recession, legal employers have not accommodated people with a gap in their immediate post-graduate resume. And despite the problematic entry-level hiring market, I haven't heard any suggestion that since the layoffs of 2008, career-progression remains depressed; traditionally, in the law, career-progression post-starting-position is (relatively) robust.

To be honest, has your husband passed the bar? If so, (and I am totally serious about this...I actually see this every time I happen by a criminal Court)... Just have your husband show up at the city criminal Court, get a Court schedule, walk the halls around the courtrooms hearing new cases, and find a defendant. When the defendant's case is called, have your husband walk with the defendant to the bar ask the Judge to represent the defendant. The defendant will probably be indigent, but there is almost certainly a mechanism to compensate a lawyer of an indigent client a (very) small amount (I think it may be a few hundred dollars). Your husband may also find a client able to pay; in that case, he can have the defendant sign a retainer agreement in the courtroom for a market rate (probably $1,000 for a misdemeanor).

I would wager that your husband could find a client every 1.5 days this way, some days finding multiple clients. Eventually, provided he doesn't vex them by failing to understand how they intend to conduct business, Judges will ask him to show up to their Court when they call new cases so he can represent new clients. If your husband is sharp (and nice to the Court's crier--I would bring him coffee) he'll figure out how things work quick enough.

Criminal court is like a cattle call. It is common for a Judge to ask quite importunately any lawyer in the room to represent one of the many defendants who show up to his Court without a lawyer. Why? Because without a lawyer, a defendant's case must be continued, and a continuance means the Judge has more work to do (he gets the same number of new cases, but has more work to do the more he continues those cases instead of disposing of them.) And the Public Defenders Association won't provide the Judge an attorney quick enough (because it barely has enough to serve the indigent defendants who do seek their services prior to their Court date, far fewer than the number of indigent defendants who show up.)

And no, your husband would not be the only lawyer in criminal court doing just this.

It is horrible that it would come to that, of course, but it a) is a legal job, b) might be kind of fun, if he can catch a defendant who can give him an interesting motion, a police officer to cross-examine, a trial, or the like, c) makes Judges happy, who can get your husband a job, d) is relevant experience, e) shows your husband is Jack Bauer and f) may impress partners or senior associates also in court (who can also get your husband a job). If your husband can show some tangible success as a criminal defense attorney, he can cast himself as a moderately experienced attorney and compete in the lateral market--at least its lower-end that seems to be competing successfully with law students. Right now, there really is no private firm market for attorneys who graduated and have no legal experience, so this may be his only way.

There might be little downside: if your husband embarrasses himself, he may never see anyone in criminal court again, if he eventually gets a job in another field. (And I should hope your husband doesn't ultimately intend to practice criminal law in city court having graduated from a T14.)

attractive_NUisance
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby attractive_NUisance » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:52 pm

manofjustice wrote:I would wager that your husband could find a client every 1.5 days this way, some days finding multiple clients. Eventually, provided he doesn't vex them by failing to understand how they intend to conduct business, Judges will ask him to show up to their Court when they call new cases so he can represent new clients. If your husband is sharp (and nice to the Court's crier--I would bring him coffee) he'll figure out how things work quick enough.

Criminal court is like a cattle call. It is common for a Judge to ask quite importunately any lawyer in the room to represent one of the many defendants who show up to his Court without a lawyer. Why? Because without a lawyer, a defendant's case must be continued, and a continuance means the Judge has more work to do (he gets the same number of new cases, but has more work to do the more he continues those cases instead of disposing of them.) And the Public Defenders Association won't provide the Judge an attorney quick enough (because it barely has enough to serve the indigent defendants who do seek their services prior to their Court date, far fewer than the number of indigent defendants who show up.)


This is a possible thing to do. But with your husband's grades and school, frankly, he can do a lot better than this (at least work for a smaller criminal defense firm for example or a legal aid group). There is some risk he would commit malpractice if he has no background at all in doing this stuff. Yes its not that likely but still some risk. I feel like this is what to do if you are a grad of a lesser-ranked school with bad grades interested in litigation. As a grad of a top school with decent grades and interest in transactional or even potentially consulting work this would not help him achieve his goals in my opinion. Doing a clerkship would be more prestigious, would pay more and he would learn more than just taking on random drug possession or assault cases.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby sunynp » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:53 pm

What did your husband do the summer of his 2L year? This could be hurting him. I know you said a small firm but how small? What work was he doing?

What happened with OCI exactly?

How long has he been out of work - I thought he was class of 2012 but someone mentioned 2011.
Last edited by sunynp on Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273433
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:54 pm

attractive_NUisance wrote:Getting a law job is very similar to getting any other kind of job. It is 90% being assertive, persistent and likeable and 10% grades and school. (Compared to 99% and 1%, respectively, for most other jobs). He is probably too proud to ask for help or maybe feels a little emasculated not being the primary breadwinner in the family. Whatevs... dude needs a job and has been looking a long time, he needs to put his pride aside and do everything it takes to get a job. Its nice of you to help out. Good luck!


Thank you :) There is likely some of this....not the emasculated thing - he's mentioned many times over the years he really wouldn't mind being a stay-at-home dad...I have nixed that idea as we didn't pay $200k for him to be a babysitter! But I think he is likely lacking a lot of confidence and feeling ashamed since he wasn't expecting it to be this hard. Agree it's time to buck up! Thanks again for all the advice.

attractive_NUisance
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: My recent graduate husband

Postby attractive_NUisance » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:56 pm

Just got an email he might not have received. He could apply to this:

CLINICAL FELLOW POSITION AVAILABLE

Northwestern University School of Law

Bluhm Legal Clinic

Children and Family Justice Center



Northwestern University School of Law invites applications for a clinical fellow position beginning in mid-August 2012 in the Bluhm Legal Clinic’sChildren and Family Justice Center. The Fellow will represent youth in juvenile prison at their parole revocation hearings and participate in post dispositional policy reform and advocacy. Applicants should send letters of interest and resumes to Julie Biehl, Director, Children and Family Justice Center (j-biehl@law.northwestern.edu). The deadline for applications is July 16, 2012 and it is anticipated that the fellowship will begin in mid-August 2012 and end December 31, 2013. Salary and benefits will be competitive.





The Bluhm Legal Clinic currently includes clinical faculty teaching in its Children and Family Justice Center, The Center on Wrongful Convictions, The Center on International Human Rights, the Entrepreneurship Law Center, Roderick MacArthur Justice Center, the Environmental Law Clinic and other clinical programs that include appellate advocacy, criminal defense, civil litigation (predatory lending cases, civil suits arising from wrongful convictions, an landlord tenant cases), externship, negotiations and trial advocacy.



Northwestern University School of Law is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages nominations of and applications from women and minority candidates.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.