The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
So, question: did/do any of you work a part time non-legal job while job hunting? What recommendations do you have? This is complicated by the fact that my parents don't want me to be seen if I did have such a job. They don't want me to be seen by their friends and have the friends make snide remarks about me to them. But this would end up eliminating a lot of potential options, like major fast food or retail. Night shift work is mostly overnight restocking, which I wouldn't mind in theory, but I don't think I can carry over 40 pounds, and I don't think anyone looking at me would believe I could, either.


You won't be "seen" by the public in the vast majority of temp office jobs. Agreed with what someone else said about signing up at Robert Half for temp legal jobs, but also tell them you're open to any jobs. Apply to other temp agencies too.

You want to keep a very open mind when the temp agencies ask you what you're looking for. If you're looking for non-legal work, you may have a small advantage with your JD but it's almost negligible if you have no work experience.

You'll be competing with many people who hold Bachelor degrees or Masters degrees that are also seeking work. You'll basically just be valued as a fresh college grad, because at a lot of non-legal companies, that's kind of what you are.

But you really don't want to stay unemployed for over a year, otherwise a lot of contract recruiters may think there's something wrong. Instead of being worried about being "seen", you've got to start worrying about the large gap on your resume.

If I'm considering part time non-legal jobs, should I just try to do legal jobs I haven't wanted to apply to? I'm talking about personal injury/insurance defense/civil litigation, which there seem to be a lot of openings for, but I haven't applied to because 1) I want to do corporate work and I'm not sure how much having a bunch of litigation on my resume would help and 2) this seems silly when I don't even have a job, but I'm worried about exit options - I interned briefly at a personal injury firm while in law school and while it was a very positive experience and I learned a lot, interviewers when I was looking for a position next actually laughed at me when I talked about it.


Yes, you should. And a firm that "laughs" at you, doesn't sound like a firm you'd fit into anyways, so that shouldn't effect you. Also, the gap on your resume is much worse.

Whereas a personal injury firm may not look great to some law firms, a long period of unemployment looks awful to basically every law firm, company, and recruiter. You need to put some type of work on your resume because the longer you wait, you're not only hurting your chances at legal work, but also for other work possibilities if it comes to that.

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:07 pm

Interviewed with a mid-size firm on 3/1. I thought the interview went pretty well, and the partners I met with seemed interested in my qualities. They told me that they will take the next week or so to have a meeting, and hopefully have a decision soon thereafter.

I sent a thank you email to all three that I interviewed with that night, and one replied back thanking me for coming in, and again, they will take the next week to meet and have a decision afterwards.

It is 3/13 today, and I have not heard anything since. Becoming neurotic, I just checked their careers section today, and noticed they just put up a position for new associate attorney for hiring, the one I interviewed for.

What do I do? Is it over?

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:45 pm

^ Sounds like they just want to look at some other candidates. Doesn't mean it's over.

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:11 pm

I'm not sure if this has been asked before but I wanted to get input on taking positions such as legal assistant, analyst, and paralegal. Also, if people know of any cases where people have taken positions like these and grown into attorney roles. As well as how to overcome feelings of inferiority because you are not using your JD but being surrounded by attorneys.

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:37 am

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not sure if this has been asked before but I wanted to get input on taking positions such as legal assistant, analyst, and paralegal. Also, if people know of any cases where people have taken positions like these and grown into attorney roles. As well as how to overcome feelings of inferiority because you are not using your JD but being surrounded by attorneys.


Conventional wisdom by TLS lifers is that this is a bad idea. But generally, if a TLS lifer tells you it's a bad idea, that's how you know it's a great idea (generally people with great ideas or recognize opportunity don't post 5000 times on forums about law school).

I've seen people who started out as paralegals at great companies then became in-house attorneys (one at a big name tech company). You can find examples if you know how to properly scour LinkedIn. I'd guess they did a great job as a paralegal and were well liked by coworkers/management.

I predict JDs filling paralegal positions as going to be a more common thing in the upcoming years. Way too many JDs graduating and there's going to be a decent amount that are willing to take those jobs 1 year after graduating when they're still jobless and reality hits.

Also, the last part of your post - if that's your attitude, then forget it because you're not going to be well liked by your coworkers/management.

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed with a mid-size firm on 3/1. I thought the interview went pretty well, and the partners I met with seemed interested in my qualities. They told me that they will take the next week or so to have a meeting, and hopefully have a decision soon thereafter.

I sent a thank you email to all three that I interviewed with that night, and one replied back thanking me for coming in, and again, they will take the next week to meet and have a decision afterwards.

It is 3/13 today, and I have not heard anything since. Becoming neurotic, I just checked their careers section today, and noticed they just put up a position for new associate attorney for hiring, the one I interviewed for.

What do I do? Is it over?



Should I send an email asking what's going on, if decision has been made? Or give it until next week? On pins and needles here, goddamn.

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby omar1 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:48 pm

Don't send an email. Worst case- they will respond right away and tell you they hired someone else; best case- they will say they're still deciding, which won't help you either. Don't give up but also don't hold your hopes up too high at this point. (all this coming from experience in EXACTLY the same situations).

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:06 pm

omar1 wrote:Don't send an email. Worst case- they will respond right away and tell you they hired someone else; best case- they will say they're still deciding, which won't help you either. Don't give up but also don't hold your hopes up too high at this point. (all this coming from experience in EXACTLY the same situations).


Thanks, man. So you waited it out? Did they hire you or not, and when did they finally contact you with the decision?

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby omar1 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
omar1 wrote:Don't send an email. Worst case- they will respond right away and tell you they hired someone else; best case- they will say they're still deciding, which won't help you either. Don't give up but also don't hold your hopes up too high at this point. (all this coming from experience in EXACTLY the same situations).


Thanks, man. So you waited it out? Did they hire you or not, and when did they finally contact you with the decision?


I waited for about a month (they told me "100% I would hear back within a week) and I received a rejection via email maybe within two hours after I followed up. In another one, they never got back to me (it's been 2 years now :lol: )

Good luck!!!

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:12 pm

I'm kind of in a similar situation. I had final rounds of interviews last week and I know as a fact that I am one of only a handful of final candidates they are considering. The partner spearheading the hiring process said that they are looking to hire quickly, and may even get back to me as soon as the end of last week. It is now a week since I had my interview, which I know is fairly quick for normal standards, but I'm still getting pretty nervous about the result. I am wondering if I should follow up with them (perhaps in the context of a continued interest/thank you email?) to ask if they've made a decision? Another reason why I'm curious to know is that my roommate and I are moving soon, and I need to let him know whether he should find another roommate or not because taking the job means that I will have to move out a little further from where I'm living. Given this somewhat personal circumstance/deadline, would it be a bad idea to check-in?

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm kind of in a similar situation. I had final rounds of interviews last week and I know as a fact that I am one of only a handful of final candidates they are considering. The partner spearheading the hiring process said that they are looking to hire quickly, and may even get back to me as soon as the end of last week. It is now a week since I had my interview, which I know is fairly quick for normal standards, but I'm still getting pretty nervous about the result. I am wondering if I should follow up with them (perhaps in the context of a continued interest/thank you email?) to ask if they've made a decision? Another reason why I'm curious to know is that my roommate and I are moving soon, and I need to let him know whether he should find another roommate or not because taking the job means that I will have to move out a little further from where I'm living. Given this somewhat personal circumstance/deadline, would it be a bad idea to check-in?


This was what I was considering as well. I was thinking of sending an email, saying how I am still very interested in the position and would love to work for them. What is the status of my decision?

The pro would be they would be flattered that I am still very highly interested with them. The con I guess is coming off as needy and desperate.

I feel like worst case scenario would be rejection, the best case is they are still considering. Either way, we would have peace of mind?

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm kind of in a similar situation. I had final rounds of interviews last week and I know as a fact that I am one of only a handful of final candidates they are considering. The partner spearheading the hiring process said that they are looking to hire quickly, and may even get back to me as soon as the end of last week. It is now a week since I had my interview, which I know is fairly quick for normal standards, but I'm still getting pretty nervous about the result. I am wondering if I should follow up with them (perhaps in the context of a continued interest/thank you email?) to ask if they've made a decision? Another reason why I'm curious to know is that my roommate and I are moving soon, and I need to let him know whether he should find another roommate or not because taking the job means that I will have to move out a little further from where I'm living. Given this somewhat personal circumstance/deadline, would it be a bad idea to check-in?


You know, the more I think about crap like this, the more I get pissed off. It's like people lack the common decency and manners to show to people. We took the time, effort, and money to come to you and basically bared our soul for your crappy job. The least you can do is show little manner and keep us up to date, or not make promises you are not going to keep.
For those who lived abroad and applied for any jobs in other countries, is this the treatment you received? Or is this just an American thing?

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm kind of in a similar situation. I had final rounds of interviews last week and I know as a fact that I am one of only a handful of final candidates they are considering. The partner spearheading the hiring process said that they are looking to hire quickly, and may even get back to me as soon as the end of last week. It is now a week since I had my interview, which I know is fairly quick for normal standards, but I'm still getting pretty nervous about the result. I am wondering if I should follow up with them (perhaps in the context of a continued interest/thank you email?) to ask if they've made a decision? Another reason why I'm curious to know is that my roommate and I are moving soon, and I need to let him know whether he should find another roommate or not because taking the job means that I will have to move out a little further from where I'm living. Given this somewhat personal circumstance/deadline, would it be a bad idea to check-in?


You know, the more I think about crap like this, the more I get pissed off. It's like people lack the common decency and manners to show to people. We took the time, effort, and money to come to you and basically bared our soul for your crappy job. The least you can do is show little manner and keep us up to date, or not make promises you are not going to keep.
For those who lived abroad and applied for any jobs in other countries, is this the treatment you received? Or is this just an American thing?


Top American companies are typically pretty good about this. Not talking about as in law firms, but actual top companies (Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Zappos etc.). If you interview and you didn't pass whatever stage, you'll usually know a couple hours after by automated email rejected. There's a large tech company I know of that ends the interview midway through if you haven't passed a stage. So experienced people already know they didn't get the job immediately. No time wasted on either side.

In other countries, policy usually stays the same with top US companies. I've lived in other countries and use to prefer top American companies because they tend to be really efficient. If they do a bad job of this, then programmers will complain and they have to fix the process in order to continue attracting top talent. http://shivankaul.com/blog/2016/12/07/c ... ience.html

If I were the poster above with the roommate, I'd just email the firm and be honest with the situation. I'd tell them I have a roommate and rent situation to deal with so I would like to know if I was still in consideration. If they don't reply in a timely manner, then that's not really a place you want to work anyways (shows they have messed up values). If you're not then they should just Email you that they're going in a different direction. If you've already been rejected, then it won't make a difference. If they're still considering you, if you're polite about it, it shouldn't be a problem.

Anonymous User
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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:57 pm

Another anon here who is in a similar position. Interviewed roughly 3 weeks ago. I even sent a continued interest email last week, and still silence. I'm positive it's a ding, but the lack of respect for not letting me know is infuriating.

JoblessAndHopeless

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby JoblessAndHopeless » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:33 pm

Long time lurker here.

Been in the Vale for 2 months now, with nothing on the horizon or light at the end of the tunnel. The anxiety and depression is incredible.

Anonymous User
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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed with a mid-size firm on 3/1. I thought the interview went pretty well, and the partners I met with seemed interested in my qualities. They told me that they will take the next week or so to have a meeting, and hopefully have a decision soon thereafter.

I sent a thank you email to all three that I interviewed with that night, and one replied back thanking me for coming in, and again, they will take the next week to meet and have a decision afterwards.

It is 3/13 today, and I have not heard anything since. Becoming neurotic, I just checked their careers section today, and noticed they just put up a position for new associate attorney for hiring, the one I interviewed for.

What do I do? Is it over?



Should I send an email asking what's going on, if decision has been made? Or give it until next week? On pins and needles here, goddamn.


Still debating whether to send an inquiry email. My father says don't do it, because it just seems desperate and I would be putting them on a pedestal. Called them a SOB, haha. He said I most likely didn't get the job.
I just want closure, so I'm really torn.

Anonymous User
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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed with a mid-size firm on 3/1. I thought the interview went pretty well, and the partners I met with seemed interested in my qualities. They told me that they will take the next week or so to have a meeting, and hopefully have a decision soon thereafter.

I sent a thank you email to all three that I interviewed with that night, and one replied back thanking me for coming in, and again, they will take the next week to meet and have a decision afterwards.

It is 3/13 today, and I have not heard anything since. Becoming neurotic, I just checked their careers section today, and noticed they just put up a position for new associate attorney for hiring, the one I interviewed for.

What do I do? Is it over?



Should I send an email asking what's going on, if decision has been made? Or give it until next week? On pins and needles here, goddamn.


Still debating whether to send an inquiry email. My father says don't do it, because it just seems desperate and I would be putting them on a pedestal. Called them a SOB, haha. He said I most likely didn't get the job.
I just want closure, so I'm really torn.

For what it's worth, I'm the OP with the roommate, and I'm gonna wait until the two week mark to reach out to them. Since it's been more than that for you, I don't see any huge harm in it. If you get a response, good, if not, I think it would be safe to assume you didn't get it and you could be put out of your misery in some regard :/

Anonymous User
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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed with a mid-size firm on 3/1. I thought the interview went pretty well, and the partners I met with seemed interested in my qualities. They told me that they will take the next week or so to have a meeting, and hopefully have a decision soon thereafter.

I sent a thank you email to all three that I interviewed with that night, and one replied back thanking me for coming in, and again, they will take the next week to meet and have a decision afterwards.

It is 3/13 today, and I have not heard anything since. Becoming neurotic, I just checked their careers section today, and noticed they just put up a position for new associate attorney for hiring, the one I interviewed for.

What do I do? Is it over?



Should I send an email asking what's going on, if decision has been made? Or give it until next week? On pins and needles here, goddamn.


Still debating whether to send an inquiry email. My father says don't do it, because it just seems desperate and I would be putting them on a pedestal. Called them a SOB, haha. He said I most likely didn't get the job.
I just want closure, so I'm really torn.

For what it's worth, I'm the OP with the roommate, and I'm gonna wait until the two week mark to reach out to them. Since it's been more than that for you, I don't see any huge harm in it. If you get a response, good, if not, I think it would be safe to assume you didn't get it and you could be put out of your misery in some regard :/


I just sent an inquiry email 2 hours ago, because I can't take this wait any longer. I'm pretty sure I'm dinged, but at least I will have closure. Hope they respond, dicks.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324649
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed with a mid-size firm on 3/1. I thought the interview went pretty well, and the partners I met with seemed interested in my qualities. They told me that they will take the next week or so to have a meeting, and hopefully have a decision soon thereafter.

I sent a thank you email to all three that I interviewed with that night, and one replied back thanking me for coming in, and again, they will take the next week to meet and have a decision afterwards.

It is 3/13 today, and I have not heard anything since. Becoming neurotic, I just checked their careers section today, and noticed they just put up a position for new associate attorney for hiring, the one I interviewed for.

What do I do? Is it over?



Should I send an email asking what's going on, if decision has been made? Or give it until next week? On pins and needles here, goddamn.


Still debating whether to send an inquiry email. My father says don't do it, because it just seems desperate and I would be putting them on a pedestal. Called them a SOB, haha. He said I most likely didn't get the job.
I just want closure, so I'm really torn.

For what it's worth, I'm the OP with the roommate, and I'm gonna wait until the two week mark to reach out to them. Since it's been more than that for you, I don't see any huge harm in it. If you get a response, good, if not, I think it would be safe to assume you didn't get it and you could be put out of your misery in some regard :/


I just sent an inquiry email 2 hours ago, because I can't take this wait any longer. I'm pretty sure I'm dinged, but at least I will have closure. Hope they respond, dicks.

Good luck! Fingers crossed for both of us :(

Anonymous User
Posts: 324649
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewed with a mid-size firm on 3/1. I thought the interview went pretty well, and the partners I met with seemed interested in my qualities. They told me that they will take the next week or so to have a meeting, and hopefully have a decision soon thereafter.

I sent a thank you email to all three that I interviewed with that night, and one replied back thanking me for coming in, and again, they will take the next week to meet and have a decision afterwards.

It is 3/13 today, and I have not heard anything since. Becoming neurotic, I just checked their careers section today, and noticed they just put up a position for new associate attorney for hiring, the one I interviewed for.

What do I do? Is it over?



Should I send an email asking what's going on, if decision has been made? Or give it until next week? On pins and needles here, goddamn.


Still debating whether to send an inquiry email. My father says don't do it, because it just seems desperate and I would be putting them on a pedestal. Called them a SOB, haha. He said I most likely didn't get the job.
I just want closure, so I'm really torn.

For what it's worth, I'm the OP with the roommate, and I'm gonna wait until the two week mark to reach out to them. Since it's been more than that for you, I don't see any huge harm in it. If you get a response, good, if not, I think it would be safe to assume you didn't get it and you could be put out of your misery in some regard :/


I just sent an inquiry email 2 hours ago, because I can't take this wait any longer. I'm pretty sure I'm dinged, but at least I will have closure. Hope they respond, dicks.

Good luck! Fingers crossed for both of us :(



Just received an email from them, I've been dinged.

Saying this really hurts would be a massive understatement. I have nothing on the horizon, no more interviews, nothing in the pipeline. All my other applications have gone down a dark hole and disappeared.

I'm in a near full panic mode now. My money's almost run out, soon I won't be able to pay my apartment rent or pay my bills. I'm truly lost and don't know what to do at this point.

ladybug1989

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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby ladybug1989 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just received an email from them, I've been dinged.

Saying this really hurts would be a massive understatement. I have nothing on the horizon, no more interviews, nothing in the pipeline. All my other applications have gone down a dark hole and disappeared.

I'm in a near full panic mode now. My money's almost run out, soon I won't be able to pay my apartment rent or pay my bills. I'm truly lost and don't know what to do at this point.


Hey keep your head up and stay strong. This isn't the end of the world. I'm not sure about your status, but some schools will pay you after graduation while looking for a job, so long as you're doing some pro bono work. Reach out to your careers services office and ask if there is such a program at your school.

andythefir

Silver
Posts: 578
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby andythefir » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:[



Just received an email from them, I've been dinged.

Saying this really hurts would be a massive understatement. I have nothing on the horizon, no more interviews, nothing in the pipeline. All my other applications have gone down a dark hole and disappeared.

I'm in a near full panic mode now. My money's almost run out, soon I won't be able to pay my apartment rent or pay my bills. I'm truly lost and don't know what to do at this point.[/quote]

Apply to rural DA and PD jobs. I know of 4 offices that are hiring right now, and those are just the ones in my jurisdiction.

Anonymous User
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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:03 pm

andythefir wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:[



Just received an email from them, I've been dinged.

Saying this really hurts would be a massive understatement. I have nothing on the horizon, no more interviews, nothing in the pipeline. All my other applications have gone down a dark hole and disappeared.

I'm in a near full panic mode now. My money's almost run out, soon I won't be able to pay my apartment rent or pay my bills. I'm truly lost and don't know what to do at this point.


Apply to rural DA and PD jobs. I know of 4 offices that are hiring right now, and those are just the ones in my jurisdiction.[/quote]

I'm waiting for a yay or ding from NM PD. This would be for an pre-bar position. Still waiting on a final decision of a tx firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not sure if this has been asked before but I wanted to get input on taking positions such as legal assistant, analyst, and paralegal. Also, if people know of any cases where people have taken positions like these and grown into attorney roles. As well as how to overcome feelings of inferiority because you are not using your JD but being surrounded by attorneys.


I'll answer this question, if only because I know how it feels when you have to make a hard decision and the conventional advice is that taking a lower role in the legal field is stepping away from legal practice. But if you think about it, compared to taking a job outside of the legal arena, legal assistants are at least in a position of better networking opportunity to get back into practice.

I talked a little bit about this to a previous poster. This is exactly what I did to land an associate gig with a law firm where I was assistant to the founding partner. Overall, through RH I worked as a legal assistant on three occasions, and also worked in the educational department putting together CLE programs for the local bar association on another. I was able to always impress, had great recommendations from everyone I worked for (which meant that RH placed me in very advantageous positions for being a temp--at least $20 to $25 an hour, which is good for non-attorney positions), and my resume also reflected working at firms (instead of bullshit jobs with no relation to legal). In many cases, the bullet points on my resume from those positions also reflect the fact that I was given substantial legal work, or pulled off ridiculous things (like walking into a public interest firm during an audit by the state bar association and pulling everything together for the president of the non-profit literally overnight). Coming from a position where it was nearly impossible to get back into the legal industry after taking a break, this approach had a number of advantages:

(1) CONFIDENCE: Instead of losing hope and confidence in a nearly pointless effort to re-enter as a lawyer or something that was J.D. Advantaged enough to save face (this after going through a divorce that limited me to two-weeks to study for the bar, failing the bar, which meant that I lost my legal position right after law school and walked away from law for a few years to deal with my personal life) I was able to build confidence by working. The attorneys, far from being assholes, recognized that I understood much more than most legal assistants. Because of this, I was able to get things done at a faster pace and with less explanation about the legal processes that I needed to address. I could correct things that legal assistants would not have been able to spot, for example, with zero heads up from the attorney I was assisting. Going through law school at least gave me the advantage of learning quickly in sink or swim situations. And the work was so much easier (no more anxiety, or even thinking, about work after 5 or 6pm when you would leave the office, which is a nice change for someone who had a boatload of personal problems and was figuring out how to juggle full-custody with everything else).

(2) NETWORKING: It allowed me to network like a mother fo. Especially when I was developing continued legal education programs with 16 different legal sections for the local bar. Many of these section leaders, in fact, continue to be good friends. In each position, as I stated above, the attorneys I worked with were far from assholes. Instead, they were grateful that someone in my position had enough understanding to where I could complete projects at a high level with little to no explanation of the tasks I was assigned. Attorneys are very busy, obviously, and so they are grateful for someone who doesn't require a shit ton of explanation for each new task that pops up. And in the legal industry, gratefulness = friend... and friends help friends.

(3) SUPPORT AND ADVICE: It allowed me to talk to attorneys in confidence about my situation. You can only get to this point if you get to know attorneys in the first place, hence legal assistant roles being a good thing. These people liked me and wanted to help. This led to asking what it would take to land a position at a firm like theirs, for example. By this point I had exceeded expectations, and lets face it, many firms are only concerned that you have passed the bar and are a go getter... which was the advice I received from the partner who was pulling for me and obviously had leverage with the founding partner, who I worked for. (And let's be clear, the founding partner was a stereotypical shit boomer who reacted to everything as though he was losing his mind, didn't know how to email, use electronics, and threw tantrums like a child. Even though I knew he appreciated the fact that I put up with his bullshit and how I was constantly saving his ass, it was an unspoken appreciation and he wasn't the one to talk to about getting into the firm... but the jr. partner, who saw value in the fact that I was constantly saving the founding partner from massive fuck-ups, was the guy to talk to). So I passed the bar. The partners liked me, and all the attorneys in the office liked me. The assistants, paralegals, office manager, and secretary, all liked me too because it was kind of like I was one of them. They were also impressed that I was able to handle the founding partner, who I never thought was as bad as they made him out to be. That will be the last firm I will ever have to temp for since the staff had leverage with the founding partner, they all liked me, and the founder was willing to take a chance on me because he knew that, at the very least, I was willing to hustle and that my legal writing was onpoint.

Also, I never came off as too good to pull myself up by my bootstraps through a lower position, which reflected well with everyone at all the firms and legal associations I worked for as a temp. Long story short, if everyone in the office considers you as someone who they enjoy working with, as someone who makes the work less taxing, and someone who is willing to work for it... everyone in the office will be behind you and will try to help you out if they can. I made so many friends who have great connections to the local legal community. I still get together with many of the people from all my past positions. Overall, if you kill it even when you accept a position below your ability and skill set, I think that shows people you have integrity. Killing it is just what you do regardless of the situation or the incentives. This makes friends. Friends help friends succeed. Friends who have the ability to get you back into practice will do that for you... and to bring this full-circle... you can meet those type of friends through a legal assistant position.

(To add a little more insight, the founding partner at the firm that hired me had no idea that I had a legal education until I took a chance on the first editing assignment I was given. After that he obviously had questions about how the hell I was able to write, or re-write, full sections of his arguments. Part of my job was to transcribe and screen his work for typos, and edit. Realizing that I couldn't understand what he wrote about 60 percent of the time [he wrote everything on paper in illegible hand writing, or so poorly that it was embarrassing, but you knew the legal concept he was after] I simply wrote these sections myself. This was against the advice of other legal assistants in the office, who said that doing that would really piss the partner off. It paid off because I was getting things done [where the legal assistant to this partner prior to me couldn't and apparently was crying when she quit] and it showed that somehow I could do quality legal work. This changed my role. Instead of filing all day long, and other bullshit, I ghost wrote everything that this partner signed his name to--legal arguments, settlement terms, emails... letters to his wife!.. you name it. And it made him look really good. His work prior me showing up was shit. It was shitty when he initially wrote it, and legal secretaries prior to me did not have a clue about how to fix it. Hence, the founding partner was more than happy to hire me, especially since everyone else in the office was behind the decision too.)



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