Should I wait for a legal job?

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

Should I wait for a legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:45 pm

Median grades at school in the 40's, graduated this spring and just took the bar exam, have 40K of debt (close to full scholarship and had savings from prior work).

I have a job offer right now for a non-legal position, although I guess the job would probably be termed “JD Preferred.” The position is in the industry I was in before law school, and I know I would enjoy the work. There’s quite a bit of room for advancement but I think taking this job would preclude me from working in law down the road. The pay is 65K.

I still want to be a lawyer, but I’m trying to get a firm job doing transactional law (I know big law and midlaw are out of the equation now, but I’d still love to find work at a smaller firm). I was in the unenviable position of working for a small firm during law school doing transactional law but was told at the beginning of my employment that they weren’t hiring a full time associate afterwards. I know that I would enjoy transactional law since I have had quite a bit of experience doing transactional law during law school and both parents practiced transactional law.

Basically, where my thinking is at right now: I would take a job at a firm doing transactional law over the job offer I have right now, but I would take the job offer I have over any other type of law (Insurance defense, criminal law, gov’t work, etc.)

I have a few questions. How long do you think it may take to find a firm job doing transactional law? Is it even a realistic possibility to find a job at a firm, given that most firms doing transactional law will not hire fresh attorneys without some prior experiences? Am I correct in my thinking that by taking this non-legal position I will be unable to find work as an attorney down the road if I so choose?

Thanks everyone. I realize I am lucky in that my debt load is pretty much non- existent and at least I have an option.

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Nova
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Should I wait for a legal job?

Postby Nova » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Am I correct in my thinking that by taking this non-legal position I will be unable to find work as an attorney down the road if I so choose?

No. Take the money and keep looking.

frankc
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:41 pm

Re: Should I wait for a legal job?

Postby frankc » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:52 pm

If you don't have much debt, 65k is not a bad salary at all (depending on cost of living, but even ing NYC, 65k is fine). It sounds like you would enjoy the work, and since it's not a law firm, there may be major quality of life upside. Of course I don't have a ton of details but it sounds like this is actually not a bad situation to be in at all.

Take the job. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

octagon
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:33 pm

Re: Should I wait for a legal job?

Postby octagon » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:06 pm

My vote is to take the job as well.

If you want to keep one foot in practicing law, do some volunteer work for your local small business association.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Should I wait for a legal job?

Postby SemperLegal » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:15 pm

Total brainstorm here, but I am trying to be creative.

Is it possible for you to take the job as a p/t gig, spend a lot of time volunteering at a legal aid, and keep up the job search? Obviously the shelf-life of your JD will still deplete, but hopefully at a slower rate since there is no hole in your resume and you are slowly growing your skills and network. If after a few months you have no luck, it should be easier to transition to fulltime then if you spent the whole time unemployed job searching.

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

Re: Should I wait for a legal job?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:45 pm

OP here. Thanks for the feedback. That's interesting about the volunteer work. My career office basically said the same thing re. trying to find some volunteer opportunities to keep myself involved in the legal community. The market I'm looking at is a non NYC/LA/Chicago one, so its a big city, but not necessarily one where legal jobs are plentiful. I probably have 4-5 weeks before I would have to start working at the job so I'm worried that's not a lot of time to look. Additionally, don't think I'd be able to do anything but start working full time, so a part time set up wouldn't work.




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