Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

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Jynx1980
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:23 pm

Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Jynx1980 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:29 pm

Hello, everyone. I am a 3L who has recently graduated from Cumberland Law School. At the present
time, I am currently trying to find a job as a legal assistant and or a paralegal at a law firm or some
other form of business. Unfortunately, I have been encountering considerable difficulty securing
interviews for such positions so far

While today's job market is hardly optimal for those in the legal profession, I believe another reason
for the difficulty I've been facing is my lack of work experience. To date, the only experience I have
working at a law firm was during a summer internship that was cut short by a surgical operation.
Ultimately, all the open paralegal and legal assistant positions being offered by law firms require
a minimum of 2-5 years of experience working in a law office or within some capacity as a paralegal.

However, I do possess a broad range of knowledge and skills that I believe enable me to make a
meaningful contribution to the market. For instance, I am familiar with methods for drafting pleadings
as well as performing sophisticated legal analysis on existing statutes and precedents as a result of
taking courses in Law Office Practice & Management and Pre-Trial Practice & Procedure. Similarly, as
a result of taking of exceptionally in-depth courses in tort law, I am highly knowledgeable of litigation
strategies for a broad range of tort claims, particularly in the field of products liability. Furthermore, I
have acquired knowledgeable in the fields of intellectual property, secured transactions, employment
law, family law, and business associations law.

With that being said, I was writing to see if anyone could offer me advice on ways that I could go about
presenting (i.e."selling") my qualifications to a prospective law firm that would cause them to overlook
my lack of work experience. Alternatively, I was wondering if anyone was aware of some other capacity
where my skills would be transferable aside from paralegal or a legal assistant position. Any input
regarding this matter would be appreciated. Thanks!
Last edited by Jynx1980 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dr123
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby dr123 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:34 pm

Why arent you looking for a job as an attorney??

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Nova
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Nova » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:48 pm

If youre not in Alabama right now, you need move back. Cumberland should have a decent rep there. Your degree is basically worthless everywhere else.

You need to be applying for attorney positions.

No one wants to hire a paralegal or assistant with a JD.

Jynx1980
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Jynx1980 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:48 pm

dr123 wrote:Why arent you looking for a job as an attorney??


At the present time, I haven't taken the Bar yet. I literally just graduated a couple
of months ago. I considered registering for the Bar this past February but I ultimately
decided not to because I had not yet have the experience necessary to run my own
law practice. From what I've been told, starting off as a solo practitioner in law is
nothing short of suicide considering that most clients are already likely to be swiped
up by well-established firms in the area. Consequently, I opted not to take the Bar
until I acquired sufficient hands-on experience working in a law office and/or I had
some guarantee that I would have a foot in the door at an existing law firm.

Just to clarify, I am not trying to say that what I made was a wise decision. However,
there's no way I can go back and change the past. Thus, all I can do is focus on looking
for ways to improve my situation now. Hence, why I am currently seeking advice.
Last edited by Jynx1980 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Nova
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Nova » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:01 pm

You need to take the bar and find a firm that will hire you now, knowing that youll be able to practice in the near future.

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stillwater
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby stillwater » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:07 pm

Nova wrote:If youre not in Alabama right now, you need move back. Cumberland should have a decent rep there. Your degree is basically worthless everywhere else.

You need to be applying for attorney positions.

No one wants to hire a paralegal or assistant with a JD.


when the firm i worked at was hiring for paralegal positions we instantly trashed the candidates with JDs. In addition to thinking they'd probably want more than we were willing to pay, it was just depressing. no one wnats that. you need to take the bar and find an atty position.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:11 pm

Nova wrote:No one wants to hire a paralegal or assistant with a JD.


I know of several people with JDs who are now working as paralegals.

Jynx1980
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Jynx1980 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:13 pm

Nova wrote:You need to take the bar and find a place that will bring you on once you pass.


As previously stated, I intend on doing that. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to register for the Bar
until October. I need to have some means of keeping the knowledge I acquired from law school fresh
in my mind until that time. Consequently, I am currently seeking advice on how I can obtain employment
that will enable me to obtain some line of income while preventing my legal skills from rusting in the
meantime.

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Nova
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Nova » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:33 pm

Jynx1980 wrote:
Nova wrote:You need to take the bar and find a place that will bring you on once you pass.


As previously stated, I intend on doing that. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to register for the Bar
until October. I need to have some means of keeping the knowledge I acquired from law school fresh
in my mind until that time. Consequently, I am currently seeking advice on how I can obtain employment
that will enable me to obtain some line of income while preventing my legal skills from rusting.

You never said you intended to register for the bar soon or gave a time line until now.

Do you live in Birmingham/Montgomery/Mobile? Are you willing to relocate there? Have you tried mass e-mailing personal injury firms in those cities? How many firms have you contacted?

I would email every single personal injury firm in those cities if I were you, letting them know youre going to take the bar soon and are looking for legal work in any sort of capacity.

I know your thread is mostly about not having work experiance, but I think the logistics of your campaign are very important.
Last edited by Nova on Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:35 pm

Jynx1980 wrote:
Nova wrote:You need to take the bar and find a place that will bring you on once you pass.


As previously stated, I intend on doing that. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to register for the Bar
until October. I need to have some means of keeping the knowledge I acquired from law school fresh
in my mind until that time. Consequently, I am currently seeking advice on how I can obtain employment
that will enable me to obtain some line of income while preventing my legal skills from rusting in the
meantime.

Dood u just graduated law school

You don't have any legal skills

NYstate
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby NYstate » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:35 pm

You are in a tough spot. You have probably been given bad advice or no advice along the way. Most law firms don't expect new grads to know very much. Dont worry about that. Do you have any references at all?

Maybe you could look for work as a law clerk for a firm or docket clerk? You might have to find some other source of income and try to find volunteer work somewhere.

Do you have any connections or network at all? If not start going to local bar association events and start meeting people . You can ask for advice on job hunting. There might even be some committee you can join.

Just try to get integrated into a legal community.

Do you know what you want to specialize in?

Read the threads here on mass mailing.
Create versions of your résumé for different specialties.
Come up with a better reason for not taking the bar- family emergency or something plausible. Your explanation while I don't doubt you make you look like you aren't committed to practicing law. You don't want people to think you failed in July when you end up taking in February .

Also have confidence in yourself. We can help you get this sorted out so you can get on the correct path.

Jynx1980
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Jynx1980 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:02 pm

Nova wrote:
Jynx1980 wrote:
Nova wrote:You need to take the bar and find a place that will bring you on once you pass.


As previously stated, I intend on doing that. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to register for the Bar
until October. I need to have some means of keeping the knowledge I acquired from law school fresh
in my mind until that time. Consequently, I am currently seeking advice on how I can obtain employment
that will enable me to obtain some line of income while preventing my legal skills from rusting.

You never said you intended to register for the bar soon or gave a time line until now.

Do you live in Birmingham/Montgomery/Mobile? Are you willing to relocate there? Have you tried mass e-mailing personal injury firms in those cities? How many firms have you contacted?

I would email every single personal injury firm in those cities if I were you, letting them know youre going to take the bar soon and are looking for legal work in any sort of capacity.

I know your thread is mostly about not having work experiance, but I think the logistics of your campaign are very important.


In my previous applications, I have merely stated that "I am a recent graduate of Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, and I am
writing to express my interest in working as a clerk or paralegal." I left out the fact that I was not registered for the Bar because I felt
it would needlessly hurt my chances of getting an interview. However, considering your advice about letting prospective employers
know upfront about such info, are you implying that legal employers conclude right away that I have no intentions of taking the Bar
in the foreseeable future by saying that I am a law school grad seeking employment as a legal assistant as opposed to an attorney?

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:38 pm

I've read this thread and still don't understand something - why are you not applying for attorney positions? sure, apply to be a law clerk, but make it clear you're going to take the February bar and are looking for employment as a lawyer.

And even though above someone mentioned knowing some JDs who are working as paralegals - well, THAT is career suicide. Working as a paralegal with a JD is a red flag that will follow you on your resume, and, as mentioned, just sort of sad, actually pathetic. That's because someone with a GED can be a good paralegal - you're way overqualified if you have a JD. It's like an MD working as a nurse's aid.

Don't sell yourself short. You're a new JD, all lawyers know new JDs are legal babies and don't know anything.

You want to practice - so SELL that fact, pound the pavement, network like hell, and someone, somewhere, will give you a shot. Good luck.

rad lulz
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:41 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:You want to practice - so SELL that fact, pound the pavement, network like hell, and someone, somewhere, will give you a shot. Good luck.

maybe

Anonymous User
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:01 pm

Definitely see my recent post "bottom of the class now I'm here" for hope and guidance.

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20160810
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby 20160810 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Definitely see my recent post "bottom of the class now I'm here" for hope and guidance.

Is it just me or has this guy cross-referenced his thread like 100 times?

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Nova
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Nova » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:01 pm

Its been an underwhelming thread so far

Aqualibrium
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Aqualibrium » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:27 pm

OP is pretty dumb. It sounds like you've screwed yourself by declining to apply to sit for the bar at least one and at most, and most likely, three times (it sounds like you missed the July bar after graduation, missed the Most recent feb bar, and missed the registration deadline for the upcoming July bar). To top it off, your reason for doing it is quite possibly the stupidest thing I've ever heard "I went to LAW SCHOOL, but since it's hard to be a solo I decided not to take the bar so I could actually BECOME A LAWYER, choosing instead to apply for jobs as a SECRETARY or paralegal until I can gain enough experience from those jobs to give me the nuts to sit for the bar and try to be a LAWYER." If you want to eat, go work retail or at a friend or family member's business until you can sign up for the bar. Honestly though, I think you're either a flame or a colossal dumb ass.

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stillwater
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby stillwater » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:45 pm

this was probably the worst angle of attack i have read in a long time (ever?)

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Clearly
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Clearly » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:47 pm

stillwater wrote:this was probably the worst angle of attack i have read in a long time (ever?)

It was pretty weak right?
:arrow: Can't be lawyer cuz didn't take bar, can't take bar because not employed, not employed cuz not lawyer.

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stillwater
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby stillwater » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:50 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
stillwater wrote:this was probably the worst angle of attack i have read in a long time (ever?)

It was pretty weak right?
:arrow: Can't be lawyer cuz didn't take bar, can't take bar because not employed, not employed cuz not lawyer.


not to mention working as a paralegal is a pox upon your resume forever.

Jynx1980
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby Jynx1980 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:02 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
stillwater wrote:this was probably the worst angle of attack i have read in a long time (ever?)

It was pretty weak right?
:arrow: Can't be lawyer cuz didn't take bar, can't take bar because not employed, not employed cuz not lawyer.


I thought I made the purpose of this thread fairly clear before but it seems I was mistaken. While I have no problem with constructive
criticism, this thread is intended to provided insight on potential future courses of action for someone in my position, NOT just
to make observations on how much I've screwed myself. The fact that my situation is bad due to stupid decisions I've made in the
past should be obvious to anyone viewing this thread.

What's done is done. Comments on what I should have done in hindsight are irrelevant. Unless you're using such
comments to set the backdrop for a future plan of action, I would appreciate that you not write anything at all.
It's a waste of your time and mine.
Last edited by Jynx1980 on Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:51 pm, edited 8 times in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby rad lulz » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:07 pm

Jynx1980 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:
stillwater wrote:this was probably the worst angle of attack i have read in a long time (ever?)

It was pretty weak right?
:arrow: Can't be lawyer cuz didn't take bar, can't take bar because not employed, not employed cuz not lawyer.


I thought I made the purpose of this thread fairly clear before but it seems I was mistaken. I have no problem with constructive
criticism. However, the purpose of this thread is to offer insight on potential future courses of action not JUST to make observations
of how much I've screwed myself in the past. The fact that my situation is bad due to stupid decisions I've made in the past should
be obvious to anyone viewing this thread. Consequently, unless you're using such comments to set the backdrop for a future plan
of action, I would appreciate that you not write anything at all. It's a waste of your time and mine.

Register for the bar

Then contact firms and network

Aim for a position as a law clerk; tell them you are registered to take the bar

Don't work as a paralegal

Good luck.

NYstate
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby NYstate » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:42 am

rad lulz wrote:
Jynx1980 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:
stillwater wrote:this was probably the worst angle of attack i have read in a long time (ever?)

It was pretty weak right?
:arrow: Can't be lawyer cuz didn't take bar, can't take bar because not employed, not employed cuz not lawyer.


I thought I made the purpose of this thread fairly clear before but it seems I was mistaken. I have no problem with constructive
criticism. However, the purpose of this thread is to offer insight on potential future courses of action not JUST to make observations
of how much I've screwed myself in the past. The fact that my situation is bad due to stupid decisions I've made in the past should
be obvious to anyone viewing this thread. Consequently, unless you're using such comments to set the backdrop for a future plan
of action, I would appreciate that you not write anything at all. It's a waste of your time and mine.

Register for the bar

Then contact firms and network

Aim for a position as a law clerk; tell them you are registered to take the bar

Don't work as a paralegal

Good luck.


And if you can't register for the bar yet, put something on your résumé that clearly indicates you are taking in Feb.

I hope you keep posting nd asking questions as you go along. Maybe we can help you.

Also, everyone makes mistakes. You just have to deal with where you are now.

I strongly agre that paralegal is not the path you should take.
You sound like you have a lot of heart, so keep going.

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BunkMoreland
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Re: Finding a Job With Little More than a J.D.

Postby BunkMoreland » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:09 am

this thread is pure flame




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