How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

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Anonymous User
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How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:30 am

I feel really sad writing this... but I've been trying to find "real" legal work for a long time now, and have turned to applying for document review positions, and am not getting any responses there. My resume isn't that bad (graduated top 1/3 from a T30, with exec position on LR), so I am not sure if I am not going about getting contract/temp work the right way? Should I be calling to follow up after sending in my resume, or just waiting until they get in touch with me?

Does anyone have any experience getting doc review work, and how can I get an interview with a doc review company? I need cash to start paying off my nearly $150K in loans in about two months here, and to pay rent, and to eat... :(

I don't know how things ended up this way. I didn't realize until spring of 2L that the legal market was as unhealthy as it was. I have only gotten one interview this entire last year. I'm tired of sitting at home; I just want to be doing something legal, so I don't feel like such a waste of space, even if it involves running doc review software 40 hours a week. At least I'm touching a case that way, and making some money.

Any advice on how to obtain such work would really be appreciated. I'm at wit's end, and don't know what to do from here.

Gorki
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby Gorki » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:45 am

Have you ever consulted your OCS? It seems crazy you have only gotten 1 screener this entire year. With your LR position and grades you should be emailing state district court judges right NOW. In my state, these judges do not even do formal hiring process until post-bar exam... But move quickly, many judges already have mentally narrowed down their picks to a dozen or so candidates that mailed them awhile ago.

You could try the Robert Half type websites, they usually have doc review stuff. But you might need to get another job on top of that 40 hrs/week (which tbh is not that when when most associates work 60-70) to make payments on that $150k while affording food, rent, etc.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:02 pm

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somewhatwayward
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby somewhatwayward » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:36 pm

+1 on applying for clerkships, focus mostly on state but maybe send some to less competitive district clerkships...the district court clerkships do require letters of rec and a writing sample that you'd need to get on ASAP...I think state ones require this also but sometimes you can apply and then send the letters of rec later....e-board of LR will help with clerkships

Also, does your school have school-funded fellowships so that you could work at the gov agencies or non-profits that ajax is referring to and still get paid some money?

I don't think you should start doing doc review yet. A lot of people do not have their jobs lined up until several months after they pass the bar. Doc review isn't going to enable you to pay off your loans anyway.

You say you have only had one interview - how many apps did you send? What market(s)?

slider
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby slider » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:43 pm

The jdunderground.com forum seems to have a lot of info on doc review gigs. I'd post my question about the process there. There are a lot of companies that do it. PartnerJD, Lexolution, HireCounsel, Update Legal, Hudson... and a few others. Good luck.

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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:02 pm

OP, what city are you in? I know in NY many firms hire from a temp agency rather than looking at individuals. I used to do projects for Legal Options, and worked at some V100 firms. I'm sure there are other agencies, and many probably advertise on Craigslist. I think they'll send resumes to a firm that needs a group of temps, and the firm will pick the ones it wants.

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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:26 pm

I am in Texas, living with a roommate in Dallas rather than with family (I was, unfortunately, too optimistic in believing I would find work when I agreed to our living arrangement), and am tied to this lease until August 2013. I really did not want to burden my parents after graduation; in retrospect, I should have just lived at home, I know. I did government agency work both summers, one was then in a hiring freeze, the other, too competitive, and maybe also not hiring very many new people because of budgetary constraints - either way, I did not make the cut when applying for the entry-level program. Since summer 2011, I have sent maybe 200-250 applications, beginning with big and medium-sized firms, and most recently, small firms - all over Texas (family here), and some (though far less) in D.C. Nothing had panned out... and I applied to take the bar here, thinking something certainly would. Nothing did. I took the bar. Nothing still has - and TX results come out November 2 (!). I've applied for local DA's offices, as well as the Texas State Securities Board (currently looking for an entry-level attorney). Radio silence still!

But, I am not trying to dump a sob story on everyone here - when it comes to having attended law school, caveat emptor, right? I know I am in the exact same boat as many other grads. Even still, I can't help but feel this sense of stupidity and panic right now. Ah, well. What I am meaning to say is - I really, really, really appreciate the advice I have seen here, so thank you!

I'm not familiar with applying for clerkships - would I just get in touch with, for instance, Texas state district court judges' offices and see if they are still considering applications for clerks to start after bar passage - and then send an application? I do have a writing sample, a section of a brief I wrote while in law school, that would just need touching up, if need be!

I can also volunteer, though likely only part-time - I would probably need to waitress or bartend in the meantime on the side; is that acceptable practice?

And of course - there is still document review, which I will continue to look into. I think companies like Hudson are here in Dallas too...

Three years of law school, and here, I sound so ill-prepared for the real world, haha.

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sunynp
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby sunynp » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:41 pm

Personally I don't buy the caveat emptor idea with going to law school. For years schools put out extremely misleading employment numbers. The people who tried to show that these numbers were lies were vilified and treated as if they were just big losers because they couldn't get jobs. Now the tide is turning as people realize that even grads from top schools are really struggling to find work.

I think that the schools have a lot to answer for here with the misery their grads are now facing.

The true statistics are only just now starting to get out. I expect that it will take another 3 or 5 years, maybe it has to hit all the people who are just starting school and even the current LSAT studiers, for people to know the reality of legal hiring. I have been paying attention for about a year now and I was shocked that there were only about 2,850 biglaw jobs nationally in 2011. It probably picked up for 2012 but it is nowhere close to the good years before the crash.

Long story short, I wouldn't blame yourself. Many people fell for the law school "scam" that even top schools have been running for decades. Maybe you should be angry and not be down on yourself. Everything you had been told would lead you to believe that you would have a job by now. There isn't anything wrong with you, there just aren't enough jobs.

I am not great with job hunting advice, but there is a lot of clerkship information here on the site. I hope you passed the bar and that you find something soon.

Good luck.. Please keep posting as to how it is going for you.

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Rocío
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby Rocío » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can also volunteer, though likely only part-time - I would probably need to waitress or bartend in the meantime on the side; is that acceptable practice?


If your school funds part-time PI/government employment, then yes, volunteer (preferably somewhere you would want to work at, so that if a position opens up you can get it), and bartend or wait tables at a decent place for money. In the meantime, keep applying. Volunteering at a PI/government organization will help you to avoid a resume gap, and just leave off the non-legal job on your resume. Some legal temp agencies will also allow you to make your own hours - i.e., you just have to work 40 hours a week (between hours of 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.), so you could also try to get that and volunteer at a PI/government organization. Doc review isn't going to do anything for your resume, so try not to get sucked into just doing that. Good luck.

Jhuen_the_bird
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby Jhuen_the_bird » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:11 pm

For doc review, it really helps to have an "in" with the agency ... just knowing someone who works there that the people in charge like can make a HUGE difference. I did a few weeks of doc review for an agency (before getting a staff attorney position with a firm) and a chick who worked there recommended me to the bosses ... therefore, my resume was plucked and I was instantly hired. I've known other (just as qualified) ppl who applied after I left there who haven't even gotten an interview :/

thegrayman
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby thegrayman » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:38 pm

What is your undergrad degree in? Any chance you could swing something in that field?

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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:09 am

Also make sure you join your local bar association and go to any and every event they have. I've been to a couple as a law student and I've talked to several people who were in between jobs or working on a contract basis, I would bet some of them would be willing to help you figure out the local market.

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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:49 pm

OP Update - Got an interview with a small firm in Dallas. They said that "if the work is there," then I will have a job! It's far from an offer, but it feels really, really good to know that someone out there saw my resume, thought it was decent enough to want to speak with me, and liked me enough to tell me that I could work for them if they have enough work. I'm just going to hope and hope that this firm somehow has enough work. Expecting a final decision from them in the next week or two!

In the meantime, I did join the local bar association, and recently spoke with someone who was at a doc review agency here about a year ago, so I may have a way to get my resume looked at there now.

Thanks everyone for the advice!

Myself
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Postby Myself » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:03 am

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EvilClinton
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby EvilClinton » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP Update - Got an interview with a small firm in Dallas. They said that "if the work is there," then I will have a job! It's far from an offer, but it feels really, really good to know that someone out there saw my resume, thought it was decent enough to want to speak with me, and liked me enough to tell me that I could work for them if they have enough work. I'm just going to hope and hope that this firm somehow has enough work. Expecting a final decision from them in the next week or two!

In the meantime, I did join the local bar association, and recently spoke with someone who was at a doc review agency here about a year ago, so I may have a way to get my resume looked at there now.

Thanks everyone for the advice!

That is awesome. Congrats!

ajr
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Re: How to get temp work? (Feeling despondent, need to eat...)

Postby ajr » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP Update - Got an interview with a small firm in Dallas. They said that "if the work is there," then I will have a job! It's far from an offer, but it feels really, really good to know that someone out there saw my resume, thought it was decent enough to want to speak with me, and liked me enough to tell me that I could work for them if they have enough work. I'm just going to hope and hope that this firm somehow has enough work. Expecting a final decision from them in the next week or two!

In the meantime, I did join the local bar association, and recently spoke with someone who was at a doc review agency here about a year ago, so I may have a way to get my resume looked at there now.

Thanks everyone for the advice!


Congratulations, and good luck. Contrary to what anyone might think or say, I can tell you that in any field, after any degree, there is very often a dull and gloomy period when you wish you had never done what you did. That period will eventually go away, and in the long run it would have been worth it. Don't worry. Good luck.




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