Looking for Advice

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Looking for Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:50 pm

I graduated with a 3.55/honors/top 10% from a TTT in CA. I eventually want to return to WA.

I externed for a state judge my 1L summer and worked for an in house ID firm 25 hours a week from 2L spring - graduation. I have a "get your license and you are hired" offer from the ID firm from but nothing in writing.

I have substantial mock trial experience (I have done 5 trials total and I have right chaired 3 real trials at my old job) and I earned a specialization certificate in litigation in law school. I was also a member of the secondary journal (waste of time IMO).

I only have 25k in debt (I had a full ride and was paid well at the ID firm). So money is not really an issue, although I want to bring in some respectable money in a few years.

ID sucks but I know I can put my time in, get my experience, pay off that 25k and the go off to some boutique firm.

I am also very interested in working internationally. I love to travel and have lived abroad several times but I have absolutely no idea how to get a job abroad except via biglaw (which is obviously out of the question).

Am I being greedy by wanting more than ID? Or do I have a shot at getting a different job either in WA or abroad. There is also the possibility of working for the Seattle office of the insurance company but that means after I take CA next month, I start preparing for WA in feb.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Looking for Advice

Postby anon168 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I graduated with a 3.55/honors/top 10% from a TTT in CA. I eventually want to return to WA.

I externed for a state judge my 1L summer and worked for an in house ID firm 25 hours a week from 2L spring - graduation. I have a "get your license and you are hired" offer from the ID firm from but nothing in writing.

I have substantial mock trial experience (I have done 5 trials total and I have right chaired 3 real trials at my old job) and I earned a specialization certificate in litigation in law school. I was also a member of the secondary journal (waste of time IMO).

I only have 25k in debt (I had a full ride and was paid well at the ID firm). So money is not really an issue, although I want to bring in some respectable money in a few years.

ID sucks but I know I can put my time in, get my experience, pay off that 25k and the go off to some boutique firm.

I am also very interested in working internationally. I love to travel and have lived abroad several times but I have absolutely no idea how to get a job abroad except via biglaw (which is obviously out of the question).

Am I being greedy by wanting more than ID? Or do I have a shot at getting a different job either in WA or abroad. There is also the possibility of working for the Seattle office of the insurance company but that means after I take CA next month, I start preparing for WA in feb.


I take it you are sitting for the bar in CA in a few weeks?

If so, right now I'd worry about taking the bar. Once that's done then send out some feelers to Seattle or WA firms you're interested in and see what the response is. From everything I know about the Pacific NW the market is rather parochial, which might not be that significant of an issue for you given that it appears you have WA ties, but your LS may hold you back as well as the fact you just took the CA bar (I presume there's no reciprocity, right?).

I think given the situation you are in I would do the following.

1. Take and pass the CA bar.
2. Accept the ID firm offer.
3. If it's still an option, take up the offer to transfer to WA. Then take and pass the WA bar.
4. Once you are barred in WA start sending out more feelers, maybe even get a HH involved.

This way you 1) are employed 2) get to take the WA bar while employed and hopefully getting paid and 3) get to work in Seattle even if you can't find anything else other than ID work.

As to international, do you speak foreign languages? Not working in a biglaw type firm will limit your international options, especially if you do litigation. Sorry, but not much more I can add here.

And what the hell is "right chair"? Is that better or worse than "left chair"? I always preferred the comfortable chair at trial.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273107
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Looking for Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:38 pm

Its OP. Thanks. I am studying for CA right now and of course that is my immediate focus. Unfortunately, there is no reciprocity between CA and WA.

If I want to avoid taking WA, I have to waive into DC, pay DC bar dues for 5 years then waive into WA.

"Right Chair/Second Chair" = that I sat next to the litigation attorney and helped her during trial. I assisted in vior dire, drafted trial briefs, drafted MILs, prepped exhibits, sorted through the depos for impeachment, etc. Nothing spectacular but it was fun and good experience.

Are there opportunities to climb the legal "social classes?" I (optimistically) hope that I can get some great civil lit experience and then lateral out or hang my own single. ID seems like a place where you must get in and get out or otherwise you lose your soul.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Looking for Advice

Postby anon168 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Its OP. Thanks. I am studying for CA right now and of course that is my immediate focus. Unfortunately, there is no reciprocity between CA and WA.

If I want to avoid taking WA, I have to waive into DC, pay DC bar dues for 5 years then waive into WA.

"Right Chair/Second Chair" = that I sat next to the litigation attorney and helped her during trial. I assisted in vior dire, drafted trial briefs, drafted MILs, prepped exhibits, sorted through the depos for impeachment, etc. Nothing spectacular but it was fun and good experience.

Are there opportunities to climb the legal "social classes?" I (optimistically) hope that I can get some great civil lit experience and then lateral out or hang my own single. ID seems like a place where you must get in and get out or otherwise you lose your soul.


Don't do the waive in thing via DC. That just dumb. If you want to practice in WA then just suck it up and take the WA bar.

If your ultimate goal is to hang your own shingles and given your background, I would look into doing panel work (what's called the CJA panel in CA) doing federal defense work for criminals that can't afford their own attorneys. You're court appointed and I think your hourly rates are something like 150 if not more. It's a good way to get court experience if not trial experience. It's also a great way to gain skills and street cred to hanging your own shingles.

I don't know how receptive your firm will be to you doing this so it might mean leaving after paying off your debt and then applying for the panel.

Just a thought.




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