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whatamidoing
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question

Postby whatamidoing » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:36 pm

answered.
Last edited by whatamidoing on Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:39 pm

What is a 3.1 at your school

What rank

lolwat
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby lolwat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:40 pm

1. Use the hell out of your school's "exceptionally strong alumni network."

2. Raise your grades the next two years.

Your employment prospects with biglaw is probably next to zero, but networking will more than likely land you something that isn't shitlaw after graduation. I don't know about salary, but you'll likely be able to live okay at least.

rad lulz
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:45 pm

whatamidoing wrote:What are my chances of getting a job at a smaller law firm (which I would honestly prefer).


Depends on a lot more than your grades so no one can really tell you

whatamidoing wrote:What are the trends in hiring for non big law, and when does that process usually take place?


"As needed," whenever that may be. Some small firms will hire a clerk or two that work during the year and give them offers, or if they can't, put them in touch with people who might be able to. Some will hire 3L year. Some will hire after bar passage. There isn't really much of a "hiring season."

whatamidoing wrote:To that end, what are some helpful tips in securing those types of jobs?


Networking is probably the most important thing. These positions may be unadvertised, and people like to hire known quantities
Clerk for a small firm
Obtain relevant small firm experience
edit: take some classes relevant to small firm work (example - given the choice b/w torts II and complex lit, take torts II)
Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:50 pm

rad lulz posted very helpful advice/perspective, but the honest assessment is that outcomes for people in your situation are not good.

I have a massive amount of student loans so I'm really trying to maximize my starting salary. I would love to pursue something in the public interest sector, but obviously that is not a possibility considering my student loans.


Wrong attitude. Your odds of getting a meaningfully higher salary in the private sector are abysmal, and the debt forgiveness programs make PI work very attractive. Of course those jobs are also very hard to come by given the over supply of lawyers, but you're in no position to chase salary.

rad lulz
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:53 pm

thesealocust wrote:rad lulz posted very helpful advice/perspective, but the honest assessment is that outcomes for people in your situation are not good.

What I'm really looking for here is anecdotal evidence. I'm sort of getting discouraged, now that I have received my 1L grades. I have a massive amount of student loans so I'm really trying to maximize my starting salary. I would love to pursue something in the public interest sector, but obviously that is not a possibility considering my student loans.


Wrong attitude. Your odds of getting a meaningfully higher salary in the private sector are abysmal, and the debt forgiveness programs make PI work very attractive. Of course those jobs are also very hard to come by given the over supply of lawyers, but you're in no position to chase salary.

This is all good advice

The attitude should be "I need to get a job"

Not "how can I maximize salary"

Many people in your position won't get jobs, period.

whatamidoing
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby whatamidoing » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:03 pm

Thanks
Last edited by whatamidoing on Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Matteliszt
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby Matteliszt » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:23 pm

What kind of work are you doing now? Did you enjoy any of your courses 1L? From the tenor of your post it seems like you don't necessarily have a career trajectory, or particularly know what you want to do, with the exception of litigation. What Rad is saying is pretty on point, but I think its important to recognize that if you choose to, you can still be a lawyer. if you're looking at this as purely economic investment however, you may want look elsewhere.

Anonymous User
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:24 pm

I have a 3.1 GPA at a t-14 school and I got a big law job. Don't give up. Apply! Apply! Apply! Sending an application is free. Why don't you send as many as possible and see what happens? Don't count yourself out of anything yet.

lolwat
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby lolwat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:21 pm

I have a 3.1 GPA at a t-14 school and I got a big law job. Don't give up. Apply! Apply! Apply! Sending an application is free. Why don't you send as many as possible and see what happens? Don't count yourself out of anything yet.


T14 (you) is not the same thing as T30 (him). Massive difference.

To reply generally, I am obviously displeased that "people in my position" have abysmal job prospects. I am by no means arguing with this assessment, it just seems pessimistic maybe?


It's reality. If you want to view that as pessimistic, sure.

So if I am reading these responses correctly, essentially my best options are to either 1) drop out and cut my losses or 2) pursue something in the public interest sector? Having said that, am I at a disadvantage in doing option 2 because I did not land a public interest job this summer?


No, you need to network your ass off and get people to like you enough to go to bat for you when their firm (or another firm they know) has an opening, regardless of what your GPA is. Most people are minimally competent at doing something, as long as you don't graduate last in your class at Cooley, if you can get people to like you, you can get something. And pursuing something in the public interest sector under the theory that it's a backup plan because you don't have the grades for biglaw will get you absolutely nowhere.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a 3.1 GPA at a t-14 school and I got a big law job. Don't give up. Apply! Apply! Apply! Sending an application is free. Why don't you send as many as possible and see what happens? Don't count yourself out of anything yet.

lol, at most T-14s, a 3.1 isn't out of the running for many V50-100s

timbs4339
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:33 pm

Start working. Now. Email small firms and ask if they need PT help. If you took classes with adjuncts who are practicing, ask them. Apply to $15/hr gigs on your school's job site. Ask OCS.

Whatever jobs grades mattered for are gone now. The people above have the right idea- you need to get your name out there and start building a resume if you are going to get hired at a smaller firm.

Also, I would not be so quick to knock PI work for the reasons above. It may turn out to be a better investment if you can get PSLF.

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IAFG
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby IAFG » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:37 pm

whatamidoing wrote:To reply generally, I am obviously displeased that "people in my position" have abysmal job prospects. I am by no means arguing with this assessment, it just seems pessimistic maybe?

This is terrifying

You need to be a lot hungier

itbdvorm
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby itbdvorm » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:30 pm

IAFG wrote:
whatamidoing wrote:To reply generally, I am obviously displeased that "people in my position" have abysmal job prospects. I am by no means arguing with this assessment, it just seems pessimistic maybe?

This is terrifying

You need to be a lot hungier


yes

you can get a job

but you need to hustle. your 1L summer job is to get a 2L summer job. HUSTLE. calls/emails to everyone

Anonymous User
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:55 am

I had a fairly low GPA 1L as well at around 3.2 (I just didnt try I've realized). I ended 2L with a 3.7 average for the year. I had a paid firm job 1L summer and I have a paid job 2L summer. I'm not at a t-14. If you don't want to do biglaw, you need to figure out what you DO want to do and gun hard for it in both your class selection, applications, and networking. You might be at to crush it 2L year and bring that GPA up to so eying ranked (which may not help the job hunt massively, but it will probably make you feel better).

I also recommend that you consider not putting your GPA on your résumé. All my biglaw friends that were below median that ended up with 2L biglaw offers were either patent, or they left their GPA off. Your GPA isn't impressing anyone, so of you leave it off there's a chance they will like your résumé and you enough for you to overcome that.

anonymous2012
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby anonymous2012 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:28 am

Focus on grades for local clerkship applications (including article 1 courts) if you're interested in litigation.

What type of area do you want to practice in? If you're willing to work in a smaller market, our outside a major city, there may be some very attractive "shitlaw" opportunities.

The reality of your dropout decision is (1) whether you want to be a lawyer long term and (2) what kind of life can you make for yourself given your debt load and comparing career prospects before and after additional expenses of two year plus bar prep.

My advice, from a top 20 student who was abover median below top 1/3 after 1L, is to figure out te best way you test, take a lot of those classes, and specialize in a field of law. It will open up opportunities. They may not be glamorous or ideal, but that's probably your best bet, assuming you can make up some ground on your grades since a lot of people don't try after 1L

sirpartner82
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby sirpartner82 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:57 am

I work pretty hard, and I genuinely like learning about the law, if that matters at all. I see myself as a litigator for sure. Additionally, I am not shy, I think I interview pretty well, and am not afraid to network or put myself out there. I am also a very realistic person and simply want to learn more about my situation.


OP, this is a no-brainer: DROP OUT NOW. As in "immediately." Understand that a sort of "lottery" drawing has already been held, and you're holding a losing ticket. In terms of not only "starting" salary but rather long-term prospects, you are screwed. The world already has plenty of trip n' slip "litigators" and DWI "defense" bozos offering to look over your breathalyzer report for a flat fee of $99 and "payment plans available." Just crack open your local Yellow Pages and turn to the attorney listings if you want an idea of the saturation level/desperation.

If you indeed are a "realistic" person, take this advice to heart and follow your gut: leave the law NOW. All continuing will do is toss more good money after bad. As a small firm partner, I can tell you the resumes that fly in unsolicited thru the fax machine would make your teeth drop: law review, appellate clerkships, journal, etc- all these kiddies with no jobs and no prospects, plus tons of non-dischargeable debt. Take what you imagine as the worst-case scenario and multiply it by a thousand if you want an idea of how awful the non-Biglaw "career" path is nowadays.

Have you considered the skilled trades at all? A guy the other day in his late 20s was at the office repairing the boiler (good time to get it serviced in the summer). For two hours of work where he barely got dirty, the bill for labor alone was $240. Forget "free consultations," in the skilled trades these guys start getting paid the minute they twist the key in their van's ignition. With 3/4 of the country running on financial fumes, there will be plenty of work trying to patch together older things and other service related-work.
You can take classes on plumbing, electrical, boiler repair etc at your local community college for probably $90 or so a credit, and try to find an apprenticeship (amazingly, to get a plumbing/boiler/electrical or other trade license, you have to- GASP!- actually shadow someone who does the work and knows what they're doing, often for 4 or more years! This is called "hands-on" learning, which every other industry on Earth embraces save the law.

Good luck to you!

Anonymous User
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:36 am

don't listen to the negative sentiment.

you can always apply to biglaw. raise your grades. network like crazy. then try to latch on at a biglaw firm in your 2L summer. my buddy, who's at a t100 (not even t30!), did just that: he missed the biglaw boat in 1L summer, boosted his grades, networked, and got on his 2l summer to biglaw. they kept him on, but he left for MoFo and then to a big firm in LA. so yup, its not impossible, and definitely unlikely, but it can be done.

if you know you don't want to pursue biglaw, there are two approaches you can consider: find a niche and start developing experience in it, or start building up your resume.

if you find a niche, like administrative law, health law, or some other particularized area of law, it sets you apart since the supply for those areas is limited. so if you can start getting experience in, say, the health law field, by interning or clerking for in-house at a medical foundation, then follow that up with another health law experience in 3L or during the school year, your resume starts looking attractive in that particular field upon graduation. at the least, you've built up a network within that niche, and have a foot in a door that many do not.

you could also opt to build up your resume. many law students graduate with either limited experience PRACTICING law, or no experience at all. with that in mind, you could clerk/intern/extern at a diverse array of employers in order to learn many facets of the law. for example, clerk in-house at a company, and you might receive corporate transactional experience; intern for the DA and you can get litigation experience; and intern for a small firm, so you can see the business side of how a non-biglaw firm is run. someone with all of these experiences would, at least on the surface, appear to an employer to be capable of hitting the ground running: said person is, at the least, familiar with how to write memos and correspondences, court appearances, and case management.

from my understanding, biglaw effectively teaches you how to practice law, which is why they like recruiting from their summers since they know their summer associates are capable of being given instruction over the next few years. smaller firms, on the other hand, don't have that luxury, and don't want to waste time and money on training someone who's doomed from the start. from what im told, these firms hire: someone who gets along, requires the least amount of training, presents the least amount of risk, and presents the greatest likelihood of production.

to answer your question bluntly: stay on the grind and hustle.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
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Re: I would appreciate an honest assessment of my situation

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:don't listen to the negative sentiment.

you can always apply to biglaw. raise your grades. network like crazy. then try to latch on at a biglaw firm in your 2L summer. my buddy, who's at a t100 (not even t30!), did just that: he missed the biglaw boat in 1L summer, boosted his grades, networked, and got on his 2l summer to biglaw. they kept him on, but he left for MoFo and then to a big firm in LA. so yup, its not impossible, and definitely unlikely, but it can be done.

if you know you don't want to pursue biglaw, there are two approaches you can consider: find a niche and start developing experience in it, or start building up your resume.

if you find a niche, like administrative law, health law, or some other particularized area of law, it sets you apart since the supply for those areas is limited. so if you can start getting experience in, say, the health law field, by interning or clerking for in-house at a medical foundation, then follow that up with another health law experience in 3L or during the school year, your resume starts looking attractive in that particular field upon graduation. at the least, you've built up a network within that niche, and have a foot in a door that many do not.

you could also opt to build up your resume. many law students graduate with either limited experience PRACTICING law, or no experience at all. with that in mind, you could clerk/intern/extern at a diverse array of employers in order to learn many facets of the law. for example, clerk in-house at a company, and you might receive corporate transactional experience; intern for the DA and you can get litigation experience; and intern for a small firm, so you can see the business side of how a non-biglaw firm is run. someone with all of these experiences would, at least on the surface, appear to an employer to be capable of hitting the ground running: said person is, at the least, familiar with how to write memos and correspondences, court appearances, and case management.

from my understanding, biglaw effectively teaches you how to practice law, which is why they like recruiting from their summers since they know their summer associates are capable of being given instruction over the next few years. smaller firms, on the other hand, don't have that luxury, and don't want to waste time and money on training someone who's doomed from the start. from what im told, these firms hire: someone who gets along, requires the least amount of training, presents the least amount of risk, and presents the greatest likelihood of production.

to answer your question bluntly: stay on the grind and hustle.

If you're gonna poast shitty advice don't do it anon




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