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

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

Postby ninereal » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:58 am

JCougar wrote:]I've already decided I'm not doing IBR, no matter what I get. I'm just going to live like a college student until I get my debt to a manageable level. There's no way I want the albatross of my loans hanging around my neck for 30 years.


IBR is 20 years, not 30

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

Postby lifesucks » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:27 am

Keep waking up in the middle of the night with brain racing. Can't even fathom what people who are laid off with 4 kids feel.

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

Postby FamilyLawEsq » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:48 am

Cougar:

Small law and mid law are NOT, in most cases, any different with respect to billable hours than big law. Attorneys work long hours because they have to get the work done. It is easier to bill more hours as a litigator than a transaction attorney. One can bill 1.0 for a complaint that
may take you 15 minutes to complete because it was a form used in a similiar case. You can bill 1.0 for a set of standard interrogatories that you had your secretary prepare. My spouse's firm of 20 lawyers expects associates to bill, at a minimum, 160 hours per month.

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

Postby rad lulz » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:02 am

FamilyLawEsq wrote:Cougar:

Small law and mid law are NOT, in most cases, any different with respect to billable hours than big law. Attorneys work long hours because they have to get the work done. It is easier to bill more hours as a litigator than a transaction attorney. One can bill 1.0 for a complaint that
may take you 15 minutes to complete because it was a form used in a similiar case. You can bill 1.0 for a set of standard interrogatories that you had your secretary prepare. My spouse's firm of 20 lawyers expects associates to bill, at a minimum, 160 hours per month.

At my litigation firm I'd probably get a serious reprimand by billing like that

That would be a .25 and then maybe a .1 to pull up the form

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

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:34 am

okinawa wrote:It's also tough to define what "being a lawyer" is because it's not just one job. I hate going to court and actually don't enjoy adversarial situations very much at all. But I really like chatting with a client who I've talked to before, listening to his concerns, and then answering a few questions about them. For me, that's mostly what being a lawyer entails--being a concerned person who will listen to your problems and sympathize with you, offer some advice, and try and prevent future issues. Like a professional friend who also could probably get you fired if you are doing inappropriate things because I'm also your bosses' boss' professional friend too. I can't think of many jobs I would like better, to be honest.


I am the exact 180 of this sentence. I don't really care about BSing with clients for 2 hours. I want to go to court dammit. 7 years of mock trial going to waste over here right now!

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

Postby Gorki » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:18 pm

FamilyLawEsq wrote:Cougar:

Small law and mid law are NOT, in most cases, any different with respect to billable hours than big law. Attorneys work long hours because they have to get the work done. It is easier to bill more hours as a litigator than a transaction attorney. One can bill 1.0 for a complaint that
may take you 15 minutes to complete because it was a form used in a similiar case. You can bill 1.0 for a set of standard interrogatories that you had your secretary prepare. My spouse's firm of 20 lawyers expects associates to bill, at a minimum, 160 hours per month.


See I can see this to a point, but if your solo or something and happen upon an odd case its usually the total opposite... there are no forms for the type of actions u need to plead to ensure you survive a dismiss, you have to do most of it from scratch using practice guides, and the middle class/small biz client is not OK paying for the 10-15 hours minimum it took to make it a winning pleading.

In the case I was working on this summer the client would haggle down the amount paid at any given time... It really has opened my eyes as to why I would never solo fresh out of lawl skoo. You need to know when to say enough is enough and walk away, even if it means you cease getting experience... Otherwise clients will keep burning you...

But, if you just do form practice, then yeah this is possible.

TL;DR: There is no easy way to make $$$$$$$$$$ running your own biz cause if there was, we would all be doing it already.

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

Postby JCougar » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:02 pm

FamilyLawEsq wrote: My spouse's firm of 20 lawyers expects associates to bill, at a minimum, 160 hours per month.


160 hours a month is 40 hours a week (even a bit less). This is basically what Biglaw does. I kind of expected all firms to want you to bill this. 40 billables a week = 2000 billables/year, minus 2 weeks of vacation. And we all know that Biglaw associates billing 2000 hours a year are working at least 60 hours a week.

So if a small firm asks you for 50 billables per week, that is 2,500 billables per year. That means you're working at least 70 hours a week. At $40K/year, you're getting paid $16/hour per billable hour, or $11.43/hour worked.

And that's not factoring in not getting time and a half for overtime.

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

Postby J. R. Capablanca » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:09 pm

In light of what many of you are going through, would you still recommend law school to an aspiring 0L or a 1L who is just starting?

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

Postby JCougar » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:10 pm

I just calculated it when overtime is factored in. Working 70 hours a week for 50 weeks at a $40K salary is equivalent to $9.41/hour if you were to get overtime for all hours over 40.

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bk1
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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby bk1 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:10 pm

J. R. Capablanca wrote:In light of what many of you are going through, would you still recommend law school to an aspiring 0L or a 1L who is just starting?

Enjoy your time off for failure to read the thread title and heed previous warnings.

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

Postby Gorki » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:35 pm

J. R. Capablanca wrote:In light of what many of you are going through, would you still recommend law school to an aspiring 0L or a 1L who is just starting?


Fuck no. I could be making more if I became a retail shift manager after UG w/my shitlib arts degree. I had worked at the same retail store from Junior year of HS through graduation of college; left for law.

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

Postby gwuorbust » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:42 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I realize this is your decision, but I would strongly suggest you sign up for IBR. There's nothing stopping you from making larger payments on IBR - you just don't have to. The thing is that if you don't sign up at the start of your repayment, at least as I understand it you can't join later, and there may be a time when you really want/need to lower those payments.


Maybe everyone already knows this, but it may be necessary to specify that the payment should be directed to principle. Many times when a borrower make an extra payment on a loan, the payment is saved as a prepayment for future monthly payments and is not used to reduce the principle unless the borrower directly instructs the servicer to do so.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:53 pm

gwuorbust wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I realize this is your decision, but I would strongly suggest you sign up for IBR. There's nothing stopping you from making larger payments on IBR - you just don't have to. The thing is that if you don't sign up at the start of your repayment, at least as I understand it you can't join later, and there may be a time when you really want/need to lower those payments.


Maybe everyone already knows this, but it may be necessary to specify that the payment should be directed to principle. Many times when a borrower make an extra payment on a loan, the payment is saved as a prepayment for future monthly payments and is not used to reduce the principle unless the borrower directly instructs the servicer to do so.


If you can overpay on IBR, no one, and I do mean no one, should avoid it. Even if you make 160k get IBR. You lose nothing if you can overpay.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:10 pm

Let me backpedal a little: I haven't seen anything that suggests you can't overpay on IBR, and I don't see why you wouldn't be able to. But you all might want to confirm that before making plans based on me saying that, because I haven't had enough money since graduation to overpay, and I can't find anything on the federal student loan website that addresses it specifically. (That said, if you actually have a higher income, your required payment would be higher.) My loan servicer gives me the option to set a higher payment amount than my IBR payment amount when I'm paying online, but that's as much as I know for certain.

Also, you have to have a "partial financial hardship" to sign up for IBR, which means "the monthly amount you would be required to pay on your IBR eligible loans under a Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period (based on the greater of the amount you owed on those loans when they initially entered repayment or the amount you owe when you request IBR) is higher than the monthly amount you would be required to repay under IBR." (That amount is calculated based only on your income/family size, not on the amount of your debt - that is, it's 15 percent of the difference between your Adjusted Gross Income and 150 percent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guideline amount for your family size and state.) If you're making $160K, you probably don't qualify for partial financial hardship.

BUT - and this is where I think what I said before is wrong - nothing on the website suggests you can't sign up for IBR once you incur a "partial financial hardship," either, so I'm retracting the idea that you have to sign up as soon as you start paying back loans. This is what the financial aid person at my LS said, but even IBR was pretty new then, and it's possible he/I misunderstood.

tl;dr - talk to your loan servicer about your own eligibility. I think everyone should make sure they have IBR available as an option if things go badly, but I may have misunderstood some of the ways it works.

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

Postby Void » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:21 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BUT - and this is where I think what I said before is wrong - nothing on the website suggests you can't sign up for IBR once you incur a "partial financial hardship," either, so I'm retracting the idea that you have to sign up as soon as you start paying back loans. This is what the financial aid person at my LS said, but even IBR was pretty new then, and it's possible he/I misunderstood.


Yup- Not only does the website not mention any rule that you can't change repayment plans- it actually specifically says that you can change your repayment plan at any time.

"Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can change repayment plans at any time."
http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans

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

Postby Pokemon » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:02 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Let me backpedal a little: I haven't seen anything that suggests you can't overpay on IBR, and I don't see why you wouldn't be able to. But you all might want to confirm that before making plans based on me saying that, because I haven't had enough money since graduation to overpay, and I can't find anything on the federal student loan website that addresses it specifically. (That said, if you actually have a higher income, your required payment would be higher.) My loan servicer gives me the option to set a higher payment amount than my IBR payment amount when I'm paying online, but that's as much as I know for certain.

Also, you have to have a "partial financial hardship" to sign up for IBR, which means "the monthly amount you would be required to pay on your IBR eligible loans under a Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period (based on the greater of the amount you owed on those loans when they initially entered repayment or the amount you owe when you request IBR) is higher than the monthly amount you would be required to repay under IBR." (That amount is calculated based only on your income/family size, not on the amount of your debt - that is, it's 15 percent of the difference between your Adjusted Gross Income and 150 percent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guideline amount for your family size and state.) If you're making $160K, you probably don't qualify for partial financial hardship.

BUT - and this is where I think what I said before is wrong - nothing on the website suggests you can't sign up for IBR once you incur a "partial financial hardship," either, so I'm retracting the idea that you have to sign up as soon as you start paying back loans. This is what the financial aid person at my LS said, but even IBR was pretty new then, and it's possible he/I misunderstood.

tl;dr - talk to your loan servicer about your own eligibility. I think everyone should make sure they have IBR available as an option if things go badly, but I may have misunderstood some of the ways it works.


I was accidental anon and posted that people should always opt into IBR if they are allowed to overpay. I think that if you have over 200k in debt, then almost certainly you qualify for IBR. However, after the first or second year, you might no longer be able to since your debt load will be going down while your wages are going up (this is particularly so if you decide to overpay).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:24 pm

"Bilingual" requirements really make me rage, especially for jobs that only pay $40-60k. I went to law school, took the bar, I have to speak Spanish too?

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:30 pm

Pokemon wrote:I was accidental anon and posted that people should always opt into IBR if they are allowed to overpay. I think that if you have over 200k in debt, then almost certainly you qualify for IBR. However, after the first or second year, you might no longer be able to since your debt load will be going down while your wages are going up (this is particularly so if you decide to overpay).

That may well be true - I can't really math, so didn't figure it out. :D

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:37 pm

So, I am really struggling with my writing samples. My work memos from the summer were 5-6 pages... and I was told by attorneys that those are too short/less than ideal. Longer ones involve work product from other attorneys or sensitive client info. and those are not ok to use.

My other option is to use a memo from my first year of law school. It is a super-cheesy hypothetical that I am almost embarrassed to send. On the other hand, it probably does not have a single error.

My final option is to pick something from my journal, which also seems less than ideal because I have to do a ton of work on it and do not have time for another set of eyes to take a look at it.
Anyone in the same predicament? Lawyers are supposed to write a lot... but I find that most of the writing I do I cannot use. Also, what are they looking for in a writing sample?
Do they just want to make sure that you have no grammar errors/bluebooking errors, or are they judging you on whether you are an idiot. For example, my memo from the first year is fine in terms of grammar/bluebooking, but it was such an incredibly stupid assignment in terms of substantive law.

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

Postby adonai » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So, I am really struggling with my writing samples. My work memos from the summer were 5-6 pages... and I was told by attorneys that those are too short/less than ideal. Longer ones involve work product from other attorneys or sensitive client info. and those are not ok to use.

My other option is to use a memo from my first year of law school. It is a super-cheesy hypothetical that I am almost embarrassed to send. On the other hand, it probably does not have a single error.

My final option is to pick something from my journal, which also seems less than ideal because I have to do a ton of work on it and do not have time for another set of eyes to take a look at it.
Anyone in the same predicament? Lawyers are supposed to write a lot... but I find that most of the writing I do I cannot use. Also, what are they looking for in a writing sample?
Do they just want to make sure that you have no grammar errors/bluebooking errors, or are they judging you on whether you are an idiot. For example, my memo from the first year is fine in terms of grammar/bluebooking, but it was such an incredibly stupid assignment in terms of substantive law.

I was always under the impression that shorter was always better, with 10 pages being the maximum. As long as it is substantive, I would see no reason for 5-6 pages being too short.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:49 pm

adonai wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So, I am really struggling with my writing samples. My work memos from the summer were 5-6 pages... and I was told by attorneys that those are too short/less than ideal. Longer ones involve work product from other attorneys or sensitive client info. and those are not ok to use.

My other option is to use a memo from my first year of law school. It is a super-cheesy hypothetical that I am almost embarrassed to send. On the other hand, it probably does not have a single error.

My final option is to pick something from my journal, which also seems less than ideal because I have to do a ton of work on it and do not have time for another set of eyes to take a look at it.
Anyone in the same predicament? Lawyers are supposed to write a lot... but I find that most of the writing I do I cannot use. Also, what are they looking for in a writing sample?
Do they just want to make sure that you have no grammar errors/bluebooking errors, or are they judging you on whether you are an idiot. For example, my memo from the first year is fine in terms of grammar/bluebooking, but it was such an incredibly stupid assignment in terms of substantive law.

I was always under the impression that shorter was always better, with 10 pages being the maximum. As long as it is substantive, I would see no reason for 5-6 pages being too short.


Do not think this info. is appropriate at least from the attorneys I talked to.

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

Postby Gorki » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:11 pm

Depends on the individual. One of my employers told me he would not bother w/an application that had a writing sample over 5 pages, another guy at a diff job said he only read the first two pages regardless of what you sent.

Obv if you are sending in to clerk for a judge, then a lot is good so long as its fucking good writing. If its a small shop, they probably will not like the prospect of setting more than 15 minutes of their billable day away to read your submission.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:16 pm

Gorki wrote:Depends on the individual. One of my employers told me he would not bother w/an application that had a writing sample over 5 pages, another guy at a diff job said he only read the first two pages regardless of what you sent.

Obv if you are sending in to clerk for a judge, then a lot is good so long as its fucking good writing. If its a small shop, they probably will not like the prospect of setting more than 15 minutes of their billable day away to read your submission.


I am primarily thinking about gov. positions.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:19 pm

I also think that a 5-6 pp writing sample is totally appropriate, at least for length. If the attorneys in question were commenting on some other element that made those particular memos inappropriate, I can't speak to that. I mean, I understand why you might want to rely on what attorneys have told you rather than anonymous message board folk, but I have always understood that shorter is better in basically every legal context, so I'm very surprised that the attorneys should say differently. I don't have any reason to think government employers would see this any differently.

I would not use a journal submission as a writing sample for a practice job because I think they're just too academic and don't show what you can do in actual practice.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:30 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I also think that a 5-6 pp writing sample is totally appropriate, at least for length. If the attorneys in question were commenting on some other element that made those particular memos inappropriate, I can't speak to that. I mean, I understand why you might want to rely on what attorneys have told you rather than anonymous message board folk, but I have always understood that shorter is better in basically every legal context, so I'm very surprised that the attorneys should say differently. I don't have any reason to think government employers would see this any differently.

I would not use a journal submission as a writing sample for a practice job because I think they're just too academic and don't show what you can do in actual practice.


Damn it. I appreciate all of your opinions, they make sense, I was under the same impression, and that is why I am slightly in a conundrum over this.




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