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

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

Postby Lwoods » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:56 pm

a male human wrote:If I emailed a partner at a firm to be a volunteer (used the word "clerk" at a small firm where I interned as a rising 2L) this past weekend and haven't heard back, how long should I wait until I follow up? Should I call rather than email at that follow-up? I had a problem with being too pushy not too long ago, and I want to make sure I don't fuck it up this time. If I can't even get a volunteer position at a firm that knows me, I'm truly going to be sad.


Remember weekends and evenings don't count in terms of timing; measure in business days. If there's not a deadline or anything, I'd wait a week. Particularly with the holiday, people might be out of town this week.

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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 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:19 pm

kalvano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The whole I am willing to relocate anywhere hasn't helped me. I have no SO or established connections anywhere, but still get challenged if apply outside the coasts, even in places like Austin. Maybe I just come off as too much of a East/West Coast jew for these places.


Austin is ridiculously hard to break into. I wouldn't consider that a fallback market or anything.


This. First of all, a LOT of people strive for Austin so thats nowhere close to the "middle of nowhere" mentality we were discussing. Second of all, thats not the type of market I'd be concentrating on if I had no ties and didn't physically live there.

If I emailed a partner at a firm to be a volunteer (used the word "clerk" at a small firm where I interned as a rising 2L) this past weekend and haven't heard back, how long should I wait until I follow up? Should I call rather than email at that follow-up? I had a problem with being too pushy not too long ago, and I want to make sure I don't fuck it up this time. If I can't even get a volunteer position at a firm that knows me, I'm truly going to be sad.


Most law firms will absolutely not take volunteers because it is at best a gray area in terms of legality. You're better off volunteering at a DA/PD/Nonprofit.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:15 pm

Damn... my T-14's simplicity is really... really... dead. Even last year there were more resume collects...

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

Postby JenDarby » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:18 pm

I just got 8k in loan disbursement I didn't mean to take. I was going to return it, but maybe I should keep it just in case? The debt fearing person in me is against that idea, but if I had money to float me in CA after graduation to search for a job it might be worth the interest? What's 16k more at this point (8k/semester that I was going to return)?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:21 pm

JenDarby wrote:I just got 8k in loan disbursement I didn't mean to take. I was going to return it, but maybe I should keep it just in case? The debt fearing person in me is against that idea, but if I had money to float me in CA after graduation to search for a job it might be worth the interest? What's 16k more at this point (8k/semester that I was going to return)?


I decided to max out my loans this year. I do not have a good support network (read my parents are poor), so I figured if I end up getting a jerb, I will just take the extra money I borrow it and use it to pay the loan principal.

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

Postby JenDarby » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
JenDarby wrote:I just got 8k in loan disbursement I didn't mean to take. I was going to return it, but maybe I should keep it just in case? The debt fearing person in me is against that idea, but if I had money to float me in CA after graduation to search for a job it might be worth the interest? What's 16k more at this point (8k/semester that I was going to return)?


I decided to max out my loans this year. I do not have a good support network (read my parents are poor), so I figured if I end up getting a jerb, I will just take the extra money I borrow it and use it to pay the loan principal.

That 16k isn't ever quite max for the year (I think you can get around 13k/semester for COL). I suppose I should just keep it because that extra loan stress will be less than the stress of homelessness. My parents also don't have money, and they live in the middle of nowhere in a state I truly don't want to practice in.

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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 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:38 pm

Absolutely take the disbursement, invest it, and have some cushion money in case of unemployment. If you're planning on IBRing anyway its better to be safe than sorry.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:47 pm

Job posting looking for a "lawyer comfortable in his or her faith for a christian law firm." Apparently, the law firm doesn't even do stuff like defend churches or anything. They just do normal criminal defense, immigration, etc but all of their attorneys pray together once a week.

They are interviewing a friend and he is so conflicted, because it seems terrible and like a bad career move but at the same time, ITE...

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

Postby kalvano » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:33 pm

That seems like a great breeding ground for a lawsuit.

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

Postby sirpartner99 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:05 pm

I shall reply with advice to two of the kiddies here with "offers," if that's what you want to call these gigs lol:

Had another interview today. Small firm, plaintiff side, but in my desired specialty area. I asked him about hours, and he said 50 billable per week. I was a bit stunned, and I think I could have misheard him, because I actually said "how many hours per week would I be putting in?" Maybe he just misspoke and meant 50 hours total. Even Biglaw only requires you to put in 40 billables/week. 50 billables probably translates into at least 70 hours/week.

I also get the impression that this job will pay around 40K. It's in a very affordable city, but 40K for more billable hours than biglaw is horrendously shitty. He did talk about giving me a cut of any business I bring in, but said the caseload right away may not give me much time for that. At least I'll probably pay close to zero taxes since at least 25% of my income will be going to student loan interest alone. 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.

But these are the kind of jobs people should be prepared to look for graduating at median, writing on to a journal, and getting published, from a school ranked not too far below the T14 (and probably including the bottom half of the T14 as well), with really good prior work experience.

Hopefully, 0Ls are taking note. I hope that other job calls me back...


First, plaintiff's firms don't have "billable" hours. They work on contingency retainers: 1/3 of verdict or settlement, eat what you kill. His reference to "billable hours" is just a ploy to sound like he's running a "real" law firm, and probably to get you accustomed to long hours like your pals in Biglaw (albeit for 1/4 the pay). Kudos for at least warning the 0 L's that even getting an INTERVIEW at a boiler room like this is a huge accomplishment in this over-saturated, worthless, has-been sewer of an industry.

I'll also betcha anything this ambulance chaser prefaced the interview by saying "I don't handle garbage cases" or something to that effect. You'll learn the sad truth your first week there when Laneesha slips at the local Wal-Mart on snot, boogers, laundry detergent, semen, or some other "substance" on the floor and has a cervical sprain, and your boss races out the door with retainer in hand to sign her up before she leaves the walk-in clinic (where his ads/brochures are likely all over the waiting room and half the staff getting bribes from him to "refer" cases, wink wink).

Then he'll get back before the ink dries and have you cutting/pasting the complaint together, prolly call the process server that same night (or if he's really cheap he'll make you drive there and serve the manager yourself). LOL. A few months later when the security cam footage is produced in discovery and you see her trip over her own feet (after making sure no one was looking) you'll maybe settle that turd with wal-marts TPA in Bentonville for like 2500 bucks "nuisance value." Rinse, lather, and repeat, young barrister!

Next up, Mister 341 Hearing:

Hi. I'm the guy who talked about getting the 35k/yr offer from a solo bankruptcy guy. The negatives were the low pay, would have to drive alot, work 50-70 hr per week, and requiring a 2-year commitment. I just received a call from his secretary and he is officially offering me the job on Sunday. I spoke with one of my professors about it, and she thinks that it's a great opportunity to get experience. I spoke with my gf (and her business-savvy parents) and they think I should hold out for something better when bar results come out. I don't know what to do. Thoughts?


My advice to you would be this: do not do this if you cannot do this without signing an agreement re: the two-year commitment.

I have experience with older attorneys who seem similar to this one. From my perspective, the two-year commitment is a huge red flag. If he wants to retain his associates the right way, this should be done through kind treatment, bonuses, good benefits, etc. If he needs you to sign something to stick around - watch out.

Plus, two years is just long enough to get pigeonholed.

If he took a look at you, spoke with you, liked you and your resume enough to make an offer and even enough to want to force you to stick around for two years - someone else will too.

Unfortunately, ITE, someone will sign on with him because, yes, $35k is better than nothing. So if you have no other choice but to make this money and make it ASAP, and you can't hang on for another job six months down the road, then you do need to do what is economically best for you. Even if he ends up being an overbearing asshole or there are other negatives to the job that you didn't foresee, you should weigh that against not being able to make rent or eat.

And, really, if your gut says this job will be fine, except for the low pay/long hours combination, and this guy seems nice and like he will actually teach you things (disclaimer: attorneys that operate as or similar to solos do NOT have time to appropriately train, so you may have to teach yourself how to practice law if he's too busy for you) or be a decent mentor, or if you think you'll get some great experience - by all means. At the end of the two years, perhaps you could even go to clerk for a bankruptcy judge.

But if your gut says this is fishy, this guy could end up being a jerk, he could throw you under the bus or push ridiculous expectations onto you + you can hold out without a paycheck for a bit longer - skip it.

Just my two cents :D


Listen, I'm actually trying to be helpful here. All you're going to do is burn thru gas, tires, and timing belts running to 341 hearings. I strongly suggest you sit in on a couple of these ASAP. Each takes all of 3 minutes, you merely sit there whilst the trustee asked the broke deadbeat "client" "have you closed any bank accounts in the last 6 months, have you made any lump sum payments, did you receive gifts, etc." It is not in any way practicing law. Sounds like a Chapter 7 mill, where probably paralegals just churn out consumer petitions all day long, and your sole job is to cover them when they come up for 341 hearing. You could probably make more $$$ covering them for mymotioncalendar.com, which is a per diem website that emails me like 20,000 times a month asking me to cover them for 75 flat. They take forever to pay you and the few I did cover for them when I was slow I ended up having to file suit to get paid, but hey, if you cover like 10 a week it's more than the mill is offering, plus no chance of any office time.

As for going from covering 341 hearings to "clerking for a BK judge, all I have to say is ROTFL! And as for going on your own, the Ch 7 consumer BK market is saturated beyond belief- the big mills who spend 25 K a month on Google Adwords hog most all the business, and many are down to like 799 flat fee (out of which also comes the 300 filing fee), so its a low-dollar, high volume, super-shitlaw practice area that's already winding down since most brokedicks have already filed or fled the country.

Rather than "hold out for something better," everyone's best bet who missed Biglaw is to give up now, treat LS as a sunk cost, and simply move on.

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

Postby FeelTheHeat » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:19 pm

This guy just won't quit with the incorrect "sunk cost" references, huh?

And he STILL had to mention he is a partner in his handle.

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

Postby kalvano » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:20 pm

Business is obviously going well.

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

Postby lukertin » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:22 pm

who was he?

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

Postby Gorki » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:45 pm

lukertin wrote:who was he?

I think he is "legit" insofar as he is a practicing attorney, just super fucking jaded. My guess is he prob entered the Vale 8 years ago and has not seen the light since = /.

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

Postby Void » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:22 pm

He writes like one of those old school douches on JD Underground.

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

Postby MG95 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:37 pm

.
Last edited by MG95 on Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby ilovesf » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:57 pm

Biglaw firm recently posted this on our career website:

We are looking to hire a few 3L’s to join the Palo Alto office in corporate, technology transactions and securities/commercial litigation.

Students can apply by sending an email to xxx with their resume and unofficial transcript. It is also helpful for students to note the practice area they are most interested in.


The posting also says though that they're looking for law clerks. I'm thinking of applying even though my resume is totally PI now and I'm not qualified at all (no SA), but I don't really get what the position even is. Is this just some gig for during the year? The law clerk name and the brevity of the post is confusing me.

Edit: never mind, that was stupid. It's for the semester I guess, I just haven't heard of that. How often do these kind of things ever translate into job offers? I guess rarely because they already filled up through SAs, right?

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

Postby NYstate » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:11 pm

Lwoods wrote:
a male human wrote:If I emailed a partner at a firm to be a volunteer (used the word "clerk" at a small firm where I interned as a rising 2L) this past weekend and haven't heard back, how long should I wait until I follow up? Should I call rather than email at that follow-up? I had a problem with being too pushy not too long ago, and I want to make sure I don't fuck it up this time. If I can't even get a volunteer position at a firm that knows me, I'm truly going to be sad.


Remember weekends and evenings don't count in terms of timing; measure in business days. If there's not a deadline or anything, I'd wait a week. Particularly with the holiday, people might be out of town this week.


Most firms won't take volunteers. But maybe they will hire a clerk. You should wait at least a week.

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

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:06 pm

ilovesf wrote:Biglaw firm recently posted this on our career website:

We are looking to hire a few 3L’s to join the Palo Alto office in corporate, technology transactions and securities/commercial litigation.

Students can apply by sending an email to xxx with their resume and unofficial transcript. It is also helpful for students to note the practice area they are most interested in.


The posting also says though that they're looking for law clerks. I'm thinking of applying even though my resume is totally PI now and I'm not qualified at all (no SA), but I don't really get what the position even is. Is this just some gig for during the year? The law clerk name and the brevity of the post is confusing me.

Edit: never mind, that was stupid. It's for the semester I guess, I just haven't heard of that. How often do these kind of things ever translate into job offers? I guess rarely because they already filled up through SAs, right?

Some biglaw firms do take semester law clerks. Sometimes these are former/future SAs, sometimes not. My suspicion is that they very rarely translate into an offer to work as an associate, though I've heard of stranger things (I know someone who went contract attorney at biglaw --> associate at the same firm).

I don't think you have anything to lose by applying unless you have the opportunity to intern somewhere that has a higher chance of leading to a full time position (e.g. DA/PD).

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

Postby rad lulz » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:35 pm

bk1 wrote:
ilovesf wrote:Biglaw firm recently posted this on our career website:

We are looking to hire a few 3L’s to join the Palo Alto office in corporate, technology transactions and securities/commercial litigation.

Students can apply by sending an email to xxx with their resume and unofficial transcript. It is also helpful for students to note the practice area they are most interested in.


The posting also says though that they're looking for law clerks. I'm thinking of applying even though my resume is totally PI now and I'm not qualified at all (no SA), but I don't really get what the position even is. Is this just some gig for during the year? The law clerk name and the brevity of the post is confusing me.

Edit: never mind, that was stupid. It's for the semester I guess, I just haven't heard of that. How often do these kind of things ever translate into job offers? I guess rarely because they already filled up through SAs, right?

Some biglaw firms do take semester law clerks. Sometimes these are former/future SAs, sometimes not. My suspicion is that they very rarely translate into an offer to work as an associate, though I've heard of stranger things (I know someone who went contract attorney at biglaw --> associate at the same firm).

I don't think you have anything to lose by applying unless you have the opportunity to intern somewhere that has a higher chance of leading to a full time position (e.g. DA/PD).

Agree

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

Postby 20160810 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:08 am

sirpartner99 wrote:I shall reply with advice to two of the kiddies here with "offers," if that's what you want to call these gigs lol:

Had another interview today. Small firm, plaintiff side, but in my desired specialty area. I asked him about hours, and he said 50 billable per week. I was a bit stunned, and I think I could have misheard him, because I actually said "how many hours per week would I be putting in?" Maybe he just misspoke and meant 50 hours total. Even Biglaw only requires you to put in 40 billables/week. 50 billables probably translates into at least 70 hours/week.

I also get the impression that this job will pay around 40K. It's in a very affordable city, but 40K for more billable hours than biglaw is horrendously shitty. He did talk about giving me a cut of any business I bring in, but said the caseload right away may not give me much time for that. At least I'll probably pay close to zero taxes since at least 25% of my income will be going to student loan interest alone. 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.

But these are the kind of jobs people should be prepared to look for graduating at median, writing on to a journal, and getting published, from a school ranked not too far below the T14 (and probably including the bottom half of the T14 as well), with really good prior work experience.

Hopefully, 0Ls are taking note. I hope that other job calls me back...


First, plaintiff's firms don't have "billable" hours. They work on contingency retainers: 1/3 of verdict or settlement, eat what you kill. His reference to "billable hours" is just a ploy to sound like he's running a "real" law firm, and probably to get you accustomed to long hours like your pals in Biglaw (albeit for 1/4 the pay). Kudos for at least warning the 0 L's that even getting an INTERVIEW at a boiler room like this is a huge accomplishment in this over-saturated, worthless, has-been sewer of an industry.

I'll also betcha anything this ambulance chaser prefaced the interview by saying "I don't handle garbage cases" or something to that effect. You'll learn the sad truth your first week there when Laneesha slips at the local Wal-Mart on snot, boogers, laundry detergent, semen, or some other "substance" on the floor and has a cervical sprain, and your boss races out the door with retainer in hand to sign her up before she leaves the walk-in clinic (where his ads/brochures are likely all over the waiting room and half the staff getting bribes from him to "refer" cases, wink wink).

Then he'll get back before the ink dries and have you cutting/pasting the complaint together, prolly call the process server that same night (or if he's really cheap he'll make you drive there and serve the manager yourself). LOL. A few months later when the security cam footage is produced in discovery and you see her trip over her own feet (after making sure no one was looking) you'll maybe settle that turd with wal-marts TPA in Bentonville for like 2500 bucks "nuisance value." Rinse, lather, and repeat, young barrister!

Next up, Mister 341 Hearing:

Hi. I'm the guy who talked about getting the 35k/yr offer from a solo bankruptcy guy. The negatives were the low pay, would have to drive alot, work 50-70 hr per week, and requiring a 2-year commitment. I just received a call from his secretary and he is officially offering me the job on Sunday. I spoke with one of my professors about it, and she thinks that it's a great opportunity to get experience. I spoke with my gf (and her business-savvy parents) and they think I should hold out for something better when bar results come out. I don't know what to do. Thoughts?


My advice to you would be this: do not do this if you cannot do this without signing an agreement re: the two-year commitment.

I have experience with older attorneys who seem similar to this one. From my perspective, the two-year commitment is a huge red flag. If he wants to retain his associates the right way, this should be done through kind treatment, bonuses, good benefits, etc. If he needs you to sign something to stick around - watch out.

Plus, two years is just long enough to get pigeonholed.

If he took a look at you, spoke with you, liked you and your resume enough to make an offer and even enough to want to force you to stick around for two years - someone else will too.

Unfortunately, ITE, someone will sign on with him because, yes, $35k is better than nothing. So if you have no other choice but to make this money and make it ASAP, and you can't hang on for another job six months down the road, then you do need to do what is economically best for you. Even if he ends up being an overbearing asshole or there are other negatives to the job that you didn't foresee, you should weigh that against not being able to make rent or eat.

And, really, if your gut says this job will be fine, except for the low pay/long hours combination, and this guy seems nice and like he will actually teach you things (disclaimer: attorneys that operate as or similar to solos do NOT have time to appropriately train, so you may have to teach yourself how to practice law if he's too busy for you) or be a decent mentor, or if you think you'll get some great experience - by all means. At the end of the two years, perhaps you could even go to clerk for a bankruptcy judge.

But if your gut says this is fishy, this guy could end up being a jerk, he could throw you under the bus or push ridiculous expectations onto you + you can hold out without a paycheck for a bit longer - skip it.

Just my two cents :D


Listen, I'm actually trying to be helpful here. All you're going to do is burn thru gas, tires, and timing belts running to 341 hearings. I strongly suggest you sit in on a couple of these ASAP. Each takes all of 3 minutes, you merely sit there whilst the trustee asked the broke deadbeat "client" "have you closed any bank accounts in the last 6 months, have you made any lump sum payments, did you receive gifts, etc." It is not in any way practicing law. Sounds like a Chapter 7 mill, where probably paralegals just churn out consumer petitions all day long, and your sole job is to cover them when they come up for 341 hearing. You could probably make more $$$ covering them for mymotioncalendar.com, which is a per diem website that emails me like 20,000 times a month asking me to cover them for 75 flat. They take forever to pay you and the few I did cover for them when I was slow I ended up having to file suit to get paid, but hey, if you cover like 10 a week it's more than the mill is offering, plus no chance of any office time.

As for going from covering 341 hearings to "clerking for a BK judge, all I have to say is ROTFL! And as for going on your own, the Ch 7 consumer BK market is saturated beyond belief- the big mills who spend 25 K a month on Google Adwords hog most all the business, and many are down to like 799 flat fee (out of which also comes the 300 filing fee), so its a low-dollar, high volume, super-shitlaw practice area that's already winding down since most brokedicks have already filed or fled the country.

Rather than "hold out for something better," everyone's best bet who missed Biglaw is to give up now, treat LS as a sunk cost, and simply move on.

User has been banned for alting.

There's a lot to hate about this trolling, but for some reason putting the word "client" in scare quotes w/r/t a chapter 7 debtor is what really got me.

TooOld4This
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Re: The Vale of Tears (3L Job Hunting) (No advice for 0/1/2Ls)

Postby TooOld4This » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:33 am

a male human wrote:If I emailed a partner at a firm to be a volunteer (used the word "clerk" at a small firm where I interned as a rising 2L) this past weekend and haven't heard back, how long should I wait until I follow up? Should I call rather than email at that follow-up? I had a problem with being too pushy not too long ago, and I want to make sure I don't fuck it up this time. If I can't even get a volunteer position at a firm that knows me, I'm truly going to be sad.


Good that you recognize that your instincts are a little off now due to stress!

Unless otherwise told, I would never follow up until at least 5 business days have passed. So if you mailed this past weekend, I'd wait until at least Thursday of next week. (You should not expect that he looked at until Tuesday, making yesterday day one. Today is Rosh Hashanah, so I might not count today.)

Phone calls are intrusive. I would only use them if you have a relationship with the person you are calling, or are calling about a core job function (i.e. HR/Recruiting person). Even then, think twice.

There is a whole list of reasons that it is generally a bad idea to take on "volunteers." You probably have a better chance at getting a low-paid clerk position.

As harsh as it sounds, you have to remember hiring takes place at the employer's timetable. There is nothing, short of informing a potential employer you have another offer, that will quicken the pace. "Following up" generally will do nothing to help your application. Well spaced, polite inquiries can help your anxiety and are generally well tolerated, but aren't likely to advance your application. It is rare that an employer "forgets" about an applicant they are interested in.

Good luck.

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

Postby ninereal » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:07 pm

Alright, let me get some Vale input on something.

I was fortunate enough to attend a T14 that gives us stipend money to keep you afloat while you volunteer with a DA or nonprofit or whatever, yada yada, you know the drill (I realize this is coming from a privileged position, and that a lot of people here are not lucky enough to have this opportunity). This is especially good for me since I'm coming from [East Coast school] back to [West Coast hometown], and I need something to get my foot in the door.

So, career goals: I want to do public service trial work, either with the AG or the local DA. Both of them do their hiring after bar results are out, which in my state is the end of next week. The DA brings in most of its full-time entry-level positions through its 2L summer class, but does hire for contract positions that often lead to full-time offers. I'm not totally clear on what the timeline looks like, if there's a burst of hiring after bar results are out, or if it's more spaced out through the year as needs present themselves. The AG does hire entry-level people full-time, but they have a slightly different system: after bar results come out, they do an initial screening interview to determine if you get placed in the hiring pool, then the individual divisions can hire from that pool as spots open up (although they also make efforts to hire internally from other divisions - not sure how they decide whether they're going to hire from the pool or try to get a transfer).

Basically, what I'm trying to figure out is how to use the stipend offer to have the best chance of getting a long-term position. My plan right now is to go through the interviews for full-time positions, see if I get anything, and then if I don't, say to one or both of the offices "hey I'll totally work for free while I prove myself." The problem is that, even if I make it through the screening interviews for the AG (which I think I have a better shot at since I worked there last summer), I have no idea when positions will open up in the individual divisions. So, I'm wondering if it's a reasonable play to offer to volunteer with one of the offices right off the bat. That kills my shot at getting hired quickly, because they're not going to pay someone they can get for free, but it also gets my foot in the door, lets me get some experience, and demonstrates my commitment to that type of work.

Other considerations: I think I'd be better right off the bat at the sort of work the AG does (my trial skills are okay, but they could use some polish), meaning better shot at getting hired full-time. The DA, on the other, lines up more with the type of work I eventually want to do (complex fraud prosecutions). I can live at home while I'm living off the stipend - obviously I'd prefer not to, but I can if necessary.

Any thoughts?

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

Postby mr. wednesday » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:39 pm

I think you can split the difference and offer to volunteer for one while applying full time at the other. I'd volunteer with the DA and after bar results come out, apply to the AG. You say you're more qualified for it and more likely to be hired, and the DA would be good to get some more experience--that's exactly the kind of situation that volunteering lends itself well to. Plus you still could be hired by the DA if there is an opening. They know your stipend doesn't last forever, and if they sometimes do contract -> full time, I doubt it'll be much different going stipend -> full time.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:54 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
a male human wrote:If I emailed a partner at a firm to be a volunteer (used the word "clerk" at a small firm where I interned as a rising 2L) this past weekend and haven't heard back, how long should I wait until I follow up? Should I call rather than email at that follow-up? I had a problem with being too pushy not too long ago, and I want to make sure I don't fuck it up this time. If I can't even get a volunteer position at a firm that knows me, I'm truly going to be sad.


Good that you recognize that your instincts are a little off now due to stress!

Unless otherwise told, I would never follow up until at least 5 business days have passed. So if you mailed this past weekend, I'd wait until at least Thursday of next week. (You should not expect that he looked at until Tuesday, making yesterday day one. Today is Rosh Hashanah, so I might not count today.)

Phone calls are intrusive. I would only use them if you have a relationship with the person you are calling, or are calling about a core job function (i.e. HR/Recruiting person). Even then, think twice.

There is a whole list of reasons that it is generally a bad idea to take on "volunteers." You probably have a better chance at getting a low-paid clerk position.

As harsh as it sounds, you have to remember hiring takes place at the employer's timetable. There is nothing, short of informing a potential employer you have another offer, that will quicken the pace. "Following up" generally will do nothing to help your application. Well spaced, polite inquiries can help your anxiety and are generally well tolerated, but aren't likely to advance your application. It is rare that an employer "forgets" about an applicant they are interested in.

Good luck.


I disagree. Partners are busy. If you email them and they ignore you, a simple message or calling them up might be helpful. It shows that you follow up and you have the courage to speak to them.

I got a law clerking gig at a V100 firm doing this. But, that is how I roll.




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