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 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:10 pm

Just interviewed with a solo. We didn't really seem to click :(

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

Postby whatsyourdeal » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just interviewed with a solo. We didn't really seem to click :(


what makes you say that? keep your head up; you won't know until the position is filled.

when i interviewed for my current position, i thought the same. my boss is just blunt and a little socially awkward (re: social/racial comments that he randomly blabs), so he made some statements that i took as... somewhat racially offensive. anyway, after the interview, i left thinking i bombed the interview as well (i had no litigation experience + the comments). the next day, i get an email to come back.

so stay positive, don't be too hard on yourself

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:36 pm

Jerbless 3L here, I am at a stage where I am not even sure what to do. Mass mail biglaw? Seems like a waste. Mass mail small-law? Seems like an even bigger waste? Simplicity is dead. All quiet from the government front... I want to be proactive, but not even certain how to proceed...

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

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Jerbless 3L here, I am at a stage where I am not even sure what to do. Mass mail biglaw? Seems like a waste. Mass mail small-law? Seems like an even bigger waste? Simplicity is dead. All quiet from the government front... I want to be proactive, but not even certain how to proceed...

Per what others have said, networking is probably your best bet. I'd also try reaching out to small/medium firms to see if you can work for them during this school year in hopes that they might hire you on after law school.

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

Postby JCougar » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:05 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Jerbless 3L here, I am at a stage where I am not even sure what to do. Mass mail biglaw? Seems like a waste. Mass mail small-law? Seems like an even bigger waste? Simplicity is dead. All quiet from the government front... I want to be proactive, but not even certain how to proceed...

Per what others have said, networking is probably your best bet. I'd also try reaching out to small/medium firms to see if you can work for them during this school year in hopes that they might hire you on after law school.


I think networking is mostly a waste of time--it's something CSO's tell students just to get them out of their hair. 98% of lawyers you network with won't have job openings ITE, and the ones that do will likely be out of your league or won't be willing to give it to you simply because you came to a networking event.

But the bolded part is the absolute best advice. Biglaw and small law hiring are two completely different animals. With Biglaw, grades are practically the only thing that matters, because Biglaw thrives on raw and empty prestige, but in small law and all other areas of practice contained within the lower mode of the bimodal salary curve, basically all of law school, including grades, are treated like the joke that they are. Law school doesn't teach you anything, and law grades don't measure anything. The only thing that matters to these firms is hands on experience. They absolutely do not have the budget to sit around and babysit you and double check your work. You have to be able to file and manage cases the moment you step in the door.

If you strike out at biglaw through OCI, unless you have otherwise exceptional Biglaw credentials, you should immediately forget about grades and start actually working for a small firm gaining real experience.

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

Postby whatsyourdeal » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:23 pm

JCougar wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Jerbless 3L here, I am at a stage where I am not even sure what to do. Mass mail biglaw? Seems like a waste. Mass mail small-law? Seems like an even bigger waste? Simplicity is dead. All quiet from the government front... I want to be proactive, but not even certain how to proceed...

Per what others have said, networking is probably your best bet. I'd also try reaching out to small/medium firms to see if you can work for them during this school year in hopes that they might hire you on after law school.


I think networking is mostly a waste of time--it's something CSO's tell students just to get them out of their hair. 98% of lawyers you network with won't have job openings ITE, and the ones that do will likely be out of your league or won't be willing to give it to you simply because you came to a networking event.

But the bolded part is the absolute best advice. Biglaw and small law hiring are two completely different animals. With Biglaw, grades are practically the only thing that matters, because Biglaw thrives on raw and empty prestige, but in small law and all other areas of practice contained within the lower mode of the bimodal salary curve, basically all of law school, including grades, are treated like the joke that they are. Law school doesn't teach you anything, and law grades don't measure anything. The only thing that matters to these firms is hands on experience. They absolutely do not have the budget to sit around and babysit you and double check your work. You have to be able to file and manage cases the moment you step in the door.

If you strike out at biglaw through OCI, unless you have otherwise exceptional Biglaw credentials, you should immediately forget about grades and start actually working for a small firm gaining real experience.


I agree with the above poster's emphasis on mid-small law firms for jobs, and the differences in approach as well. In your 3L year, now that you know where you stand, try to rack up as much experience as possible. If you can, get experience in the area of litigation (discovery, motion writing, depositions etc.), which would put you at an advantage over many post-bars looking for work.

However, network as well. Will networking get you a job immediately? Most likely not (90-99%). However, most people I know who got jobs from networking did so long after the initial contact: they left a good impression, kept in touch, and when an opportunity came up, they were usually considered. So, for the long term, networking is useful; don't abandon it altogether. But definitely focus more on the small-midsize firms.

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

Postby JenDarby » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:24 pm

I hate networking, but I actually don't think it's pointless. Just recently it got me an interview with a firm that (as you stated isn't hiring). BUT, the head of HR sent my résumé to partners within my area of interest and they generally gave me some great advice. Also I met the heads of the group there that I'm interested in, so if I end up with a clerkship or something I could always reach out to them later. I also snagged a dinner with 6 partners from various firms by reaching out to a guy I had spoken with during 2L who's firm was no longer hiring. Maybe nothing comes of all that, but I got some delicious meals and drinks and met nice people.

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

Postby ninereal » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:14 pm

I think networking is mostly shitty for getting jobs directly - like the above posters are saying, most people you talk to just aren't going to have any jobs. Two upshots, though: first, it only takes one person who's hiring and you click with, so if you go on a hundred coffee meetings and only one pays off, it's still worth it. Second, I think it's probably valuable in the future - I've met with a lot of alums from my law school who I wouldn't have met with otherwise, and even if it doesn't pay off now, professional contacts can be valuable down the road for a wide variety of reasons.

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

Postby spleenworship » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:05 pm

1. I think networking is super useful and had gotten me several jobs... Though obvs not post grad employment. Still, it doesn't hurt I think.

2. PD people, of you are kicking yourself for not applying to EJW this year, don't fret. It's a fecking bloodbath again.

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

Postby JCougar » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:40 pm

Yeah...networking is "mostly a waste of time" is probably a little too trite. I mean, you probably should be doing it anyway. But it's not a very high-yield strategy. It's probably better than mass mailing though.

And yeah, it is fun. You get dinner and drinks paid for by partners, etc. Although I have gone to dinners with partners who made me pay for my own meal (douchebags).

I do think it's a more long-term strategy, but for every 50 or so people you meet networking, there's only 1 or 2 people that will actually be receptive to staying in touch with you, and those 1 or 2 may not have a job open up for a year or so.

As far as priorities go, if you are past the OCI stage and don't have a job, it goes like this:

1. Real, actual law firm internship during school (lasting more than a semester, and it helps if you get student certified, even if its at a very small "shitlaw" outfit...in fact, "shitlaw" often gives you much better experience because they can't afford to pay you to do menial work that most "interns" at more prestigious jobs get),






2. Law Journal/Moot Court/Mock Trial experience (can vary in importance depending on what kind of job you want)






3. Networking

4. Grades

5. Mass Mailing

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

Postby Gorki » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:13 pm

The big thing about networking is its never an end to itself, and the smaller the setting the better. If you meet an attorney through a professor or current employer, and talk a bit, you will probably have their attention. If its at a cocktail hour nobody really cares.

In regards to having awkward interviews with small firms and solos, keep in mind that how you phrase the cover letter IS CRITICAL. I had an interview where in my letter I said "discussing the possibilities of working for you in some capacity in the future" and that was so damn vague the interview was basically informative, about his practice, and him. It was cool and all, but right after I knew that we had a material misunderstanding as to why I showed up.

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

Postby stressed2010 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:51 pm

Networking definitely can work but as everyone has said it takes some time and seemingly endless sips of java while pretending to actually care about [insert partners name here] career trajectory. As a ray of hope a good pal of mine just got a biglaw job through emailing a partner and the firm just happened to be looking for a first year associate. He went from the vale to gainfully employed in about a weeks time! Here's hoping he's not the exception

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

Postby gwuorbust » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:26 pm

stressed2010 wrote:Networking definitely can work but as everyone has said it takes some time and seemingly endless sips of java while pretending to actually care about [insert partners name here] career trajectory. As a ray of hope a good pal of mine just got a biglaw job through emailing a partner and the firm just happened to be looking for a first year associate. He went from the vale to gainfully employed in about a weeks time! Here's hoping he's not the exception


Your friend had good luck. Hope everyone else still in the vale gets lucky too!

That said, true networking is not just sipping on coffee with a biglaw partner once. That won't lead to much of anything. Realistically, you will be forgotten. What needs to happen is that you need to form bonds with people. Real, human connections. That means you know the person not because of what they can do for you but because you like to know them as a person.

Once you have a real bond with a person, unless they are a shitty person, they will usually try to help you out if they can.It is fairly easy to be friendly to people and it doesn't take that much time. As JCougar said, you should be doing "networking" anyways.

But merely collecting a coffee mug full of business cards won't get you anywhere.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:51 pm

Got an interview with the Kentucky Dept of Public Advocacy (public defenders). I'm from elsewhere. Is there anything good to be said about the state of KY? Has anyone lived there before? I'm trying to get excited about the possibility of moving to a state where I will be an ethnic, religious, and (considering their senators) political minority. I know they have whisky there. Anything else to recommend it?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got an interview with the Kentucky Dept of Public Advocacy (public defenders). I'm from elsewhere. Is there anything good to be said about the state of KY? Has anyone lived there before? I'm trying to get excited about the possibility of moving to a state where I will be an ethnic, religious, and (considering their senators) political minority. I know they have whisky there. Anything else to recommend it?


I live here and you're not as much of a minority as you think, particularly in NKY/Lexington/Louisville. Lexington DPA hires a lot of out-of-state candidates.

And it's bourbon--keep that straight. :wink: The other two things are horses and basketball. I absolutely love this state, but obviously no place is for everyone, so if they make you an offer visit your potential post.

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

Postby kalvano » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:54 pm

A lot of Kentucky is extremely pretty.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Got an interview with the Kentucky Dept of Public Advocacy (public defenders). I'm from elsewhere. Is there anything good to be said about the state of KY? Has anyone lived there before? I'm trying to get excited about the possibility of moving to a state where I will be an ethnic, religious, and (considering their senators) political minority. I know they have whisky there. Anything else to recommend it?


I live here and you're not as much of a minority as you think, particularly in NKY/Lexington/Louisville. Lexington DPA hires a lot of out-of-state candidates.

And it's bourbon--keep that straight. :wink: The other two things are horses and basketball. I absolutely love this state, but obviously no place is for everyone, so if they make you an offer visit your potential post.



What's COL like?

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

Postby deadpanic » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got an interview with the Kentucky Dept of Public Advocacy (public defenders). I'm from elsewhere. Is there anything good to be said about the state of KY? Has anyone lived there before? I'm trying to get excited about the possibility of moving to a state where I will be an ethnic, religious, and (considering their senators) political minority. I know they have whisky there. Anything else to recommend it?


Eastern Kentucky is beautiful - hard to beat the Appalachians. Western Kentucky seems to have a lot of nice lakes.

I've been to both Lexington & Louisville and you will enjoy them. They are both big enough that you won't feel like an outcast and have plenty to do.

ETA: When I visited Louisville, it seemed to have a lot of transplants. I didn't feel like it was truly a Southern city. If you take a job in Louisville, you better get yourself a Hot Brown from the Brown Hotel downtown. You'll thank me later.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:11 pm

COL is REALLY low, and that's part of why I'm here.

Louisville does have a ton of transplants. NKY is a little more insular (more like southern Ohio) but lots of good people and close proximity to Cincy is a plus.

I haven't spent extended time in EKY or extreme western KY, but I have friends from both places. Appalachian EKY can be beautiful but honestly also very depressing. Some of the poorest counties in the US are in southeastern KY. Coal is HUGE; marijuana is a huge cash crop. It's not hard to cross regions of the state pretty quickly--a lot of the counties are so small if you sneeze you'll miss them driving past. (That's the effect of 120 counties...) The "triangle" (Lex-Lou-Cincy) is really easy to get around and the drives are very short.

I can tell you if you end up in Lex or NKY, you're going to see A LOT of heroin. The feds shut down the pill mills that ran up supply on I-75 and all the oxy users have pretty quickly switched to Big H. Meth is still an issue in certain corners of the state but I haven't heard much about it living in Lexington or NKY.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:23 pm

This is makin me feel better. Thanks.

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

Postby Pretzel_Logic » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:29 pm

I don't know why I was posting anonymous, that was all me. lulz.

Seriously though if they make you an offer, holler and I'll let you know what I know about the proposed post.

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

Postby chrisbru » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:12 am

Networking actually is very helpful. I've been talking with some lawyers from my home town, and they've all gone to bat with me for at least one firm. Some still say they aren't hiring, but I managed to get an interview with a firm that doesn't state that they are hiring, and one that came for OCIs and I didn't get in on that.

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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 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:23 am

Meeting and getting to know people is really helpful, though it's not the solution OCS makes it out to be.

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

Postby whatsyourdeal » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

hoping to get some advice from fellow valers:

had a callback last friday, said i would hear back from the firm by this week.

haven't heard from them this whole week. should i call today to get status? or wait till next week?

this wait is killing me :(

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

Postby iceman219 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:58 pm

whatsyourdeal wrote:hoping to get some advice from fellow valers:

had a callback last friday, said i would hear back from the firm by this week.

haven't heard from them this whole week. should i call today to get status? or wait till next week?

this wait is killing me :(


Personally, if I hadn't heard anything by 5pm tonight (HR types love to wait til the end of the work week), I'd work up an email to send to em first thing Monday morning. Make sure it arrives early Monday AM so it's the first thing at the top of their inbox (if you use Gmail, you can install the Boomerang extension for Chrome and schedule the email whenever you want)

But basically I'd touch base, re-express your enthusiasm with the firm, and tell them "please feel free to contact me should you need any additional information in evaluating my candidacy" (or something like that).




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