Avoiding depression during job hunt

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Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:14 pm

Hey guys, just wondering if anyone out there has any tips on how to avoid depression during the long, frustrating, fruitless (thus far) post-OCI mass mail job hunt. I just keep getting rejected left and right and it's been hard to keep my spirits up and keep trying as it's already October. Quite a bit below median at lower T14, so telling myself that I'll find something eventually just isn't that effective.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:23 pm

Hi OP:

I understand your feelings. It's been rough all around.

For my two cents, I know it's going to be hard to find the energy to do so, but you should really supplement your mass-mailing with networking. But for networking, that includes both going to events, and then following up with the attorneys who you hit it off with, and asking them to lunch/coffee.

I also struck out at OCI (T20, top 1/3) and I am really struggling to find something. Though our paths may not be as formal as the OCI path, just think that there were many before us that found 2L summer employment without OCI. And many practicing attorneys will tell you they did not have success with OCI, and did other things before joining their firms.

On a personal note, definitely continue to have fun. I find that nothing feels better than going out and getting drunk after spending hours mass mailing.

Also, if you're weird like me, you can read about successful people who struggled a lot, and achieved much success nonetheless.

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gdane
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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby gdane » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:44 pm

The key is to keep your options open. Maybe you wanted biglaw, but unfortunately that just didn't happen. Maybe in the future, but not now. At this point talk to friends, professors, and anyone else that you think could point you in a good direction.

Things happen for a reason. Dont beat yourself up and don't be unhappy. Just keep on trucking, remain positive, and something good will happen. It might not be exactly what you want, but it'll be good for you.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:45 pm

I am a runner. When I have a bad day, I run, either in the wild or in the gym, and get rid of all my frustration while shredding some weight from my body (burnt sugar, fat, and splashed sweat.) After a run like this, I always feel good about myself and my future. In addition, I build up my stamina to face the next battle or challenge.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:46 pm

Hey OP thanks for posting its actually good to read about people in the same position. I think the name of the game right now is patience. If you think about it, hiring 9 months in advance for summer positions is kind of a stupid system and that's why there's a big gap in between OCI and when the rest of the world hires summer interns. All we can do right now is apply when opportunities become available and follow up with networking.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:50 pm

Hey OP thanks for posting this, I feel better knowing that I am not alone in this situation. I am at a T20 LR and National Moot Court, and I have completely struck out. I have mass mailed over 200 firms and have netted a total of three interviews. I have not heard back from the last one, but at this point, I know I struck out completely. I have zero idea what to do, and it is a struggle to get anything done.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:27 pm

I was in a similar boat last year: T14 and whiffed at OCI. I wound up getting something through mass-mailing secondary markets (I had zero success mass-mailing NYC or DC). I know of at least 2 people who got BigLaw last year in mid-October through mass-mailing secondaries.

Stay on Career Services' radar b/c they'll look out for you if firms contact them looking to fill last-minute slots. To keep your sanity in the meantime, definitely exercise as the previous poster mentioned and get on medication if you need to, there's nothing wrong with it and a helluva lot of people do it.

Worst case, if you don't score BigLaw, bust your ass, try to get your grades up, and gun for a clerkship. I think networking could be particularly useful for clerking b/c clerk hiring is very political from what I've heard.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was in a similar boat last year: T14 and whiffed at OCI. I wound up getting something through mass-mailing secondary markets (I had zero success mass-mailing NYC or DC). I know of at least 2 people who got BigLaw last year in mid-October through mass-mailing secondaries.

Stay on Career Services' radar b/c they'll look out for you if firms contact them looking to fill last-minute slots. To keep your sanity in the meantime, definitely exercise as the previous poster mentioned and get on medication if you need to, there's nothing wrong with it and a helluva lot of people do it.

Worst case, if you don't score BigLaw, bust your ass, try to get your grades up, and gun for a clerkship. I think networking could be particularly useful for clerking b/c clerk hiring is very political from what I've heard.


Same situation for me. T14, stuck out at OCI. Failed at mass mailing all major markets (NYC, DC, Chicago). Ended up getting an offer in late October from a secondary market where I have no ties.

Definitely get on your career services' radar - I heard about my firm from an email from the career center before the position was posted on our job board. And if you can feasibly get to the market you are applying to, put that in your cover letter. I told my firm I would be in X City from October xx - xx and would love to come in for an interview during that time - sure enough, they had me come in for a callback style interview during those dates since I was going to be in the city anyway (little did they know that the only reason I was in the city was for their interview). Had to fund the trip myself, but it was worth it in the end.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:21 pm

I'm a year out of law school and completely struck out at OCI. The following 2 years of job hunting was the most depressing, demoralizing period of my life. The key was to keep making opportunities for yourself so that you at least feel like you're being productive and getting closer to landing a job. I can only speak from experience, but for me this meant taking on internships, doing unpaid research for smaller firms related to practice area of interest, and cold-emailing lawyers in your practice area to see if you can pick their brain (never ask them to take your resume or for a job). While I did all those things, it was a slog, and I had to really grind for 3 years. Eventually it pays off though. Even though I received well over 100 rejection letters (not exaggerating), I managed to land an awesome job, and actually just accepted a federal clerkship. The moral, I guess, it to just keep hustling. Every day, you should do, at least, one thing that is career focused. While you might have to lower your expectations, do so only temporarily. Look for alternative routes to the final outcome you envision. HTH.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:07 am

Hi OP, I'm a well-below median at a lower T-14 myself, and to be honest I didn't deal with depression well at all. For most of the recruiting season, given my terrible grades I already gave up on myself from the start. And when the rejection letters came in, it felt like an affirmation that I was right to give up. My defeatist attitude was probably written all over my face during OCI too. But then I realized what a terrible attitude I had and that it wasn't going to help anything. So when I starting getting rejection letters, I started telling myself "fuck it, I'll just send three more applications out then" and just kept sending out mass-mails. I'd get the most responses out of secondary markets than major markets. I know it's hard to avoid depression, and it's perfectly okay to feel sad for brief moments, but really do try and stay focused on sending apps out. Not necessarily to expect something out of it, but because not doing it is the worst move of all.

Also, "live" leads are the best leads--like the previous poster said, Symplicity, people you meet/refer you via networking, OCS-recommended leads, those are the ones that have the best chances because you know there's an actual opening rather than the blind apps to some random firm. I know it'll feel like they are far and few between, but OCS (if they do something at your school) can give you leads they hear about from firm recruiters.

I know what I said doesn't help much, but I was in your shoes too and I'm rooting for you.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:56 am

T-15% at a T-14 who struck out. I just try not to think about it. I carve out some time every day to work on job hunting, but outside of that I try to carry on my life as though I already had something lined up: getting classwork done, journal work, going out, etc.

It may well end up backfiring, since it does leave me with less time for hustling, but I'm certainly a lot happier on a day-to-day basis than if I constantly surrounded myself with reminders of my predicament.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby northwood » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:43 am

stay away from conversations with other law students about jobs. Even if they also are still looking.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:27 am

I am in the same boat. I'm starting to lose steam because if I don't get my shit together for classes, I will end up doing poorly and ruining my chances at a clerkship. It's put me in a really bad place emotionally. I have started trying to exercise more, and I think I am going to seek counseling. Besides that, all you can do is keep on trucking and have faith that it will work out.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was in a similar boat last year: T14 and whiffed at OCI. I wound up getting something through mass-mailing secondary markets (I had zero success mass-mailing NYC or DC). I know of at least 2 people who got BigLaw last year in mid-October through mass-mailing secondaries.

Stay on Career Services' radar b/c they'll look out for you if firms contact them looking to fill last-minute slots. To keep your sanity in the meantime, definitely exercise as the previous poster mentioned and get on medication if you need to, there's nothing wrong with it and a helluva lot of people do it.

Worst case, if you don't score BigLaw, bust your ass, try to get your grades up, and gun for a clerkship. I think networking could be particularly useful for clerking b/c clerk hiring is very political from what I've heard.


Same situation for me. T14, stuck out at OCI. Failed at mass mailing all major markets (NYC, DC, Chicago). Ended up getting an offer in late October from a secondary market where I have no ties.

Definitely get on your career services' radar - I heard about my firm from an email from the career center before the position was posted on our job board. And if you can feasibly get to the market you are applying to, put that in your cover letter. I told my firm I would be in X City from October xx - xx and would love to come in for an interview during that time - sure enough, they had me come in for a callback style interview during those dates since I was going to be in the city anyway (little did they know that the only reason I was in the city was for their interview). Had to fund the trip myself, but it was worth it in the end.


^-----. Get in with career services. If you show the right people how motivated you are, you will get on their shortlist. I had the head of career services and the person in charge of actually contacting firms contacting me with positions that weren't ever going to see the job board.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:^-----. Get in with career services. If you show the right people how motivated you are, you will get on their shortlist. I had the head of career services and the person in charge of actually contacting firms contacting me with positions that weren't ever going to see the job board.


Sorry if this sounds dense but how do you do this? Do you just tell career services that you are still looking for a job, mass mailing everyday, etc?
Also, I am also at a T14 and significantly below median so I definitely sympathize with everyone posting.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:52 am

I actually found reading stuff like the Vale and other stuff like that on the law school scams a bit more depressing.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:18 pm

So, just a quick bump.

How is everyone doing? I hope everyone here has found something! It's a tough time out there, and it's easy for me on some days to just want to give up because I'm just too tired.

But, let's keep going!

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:36 pm

Lower t14 around median checking in. No jerb.

I've given up on the job hunt for now. I know it's hopeless. So I'm doing the only thing that isn't a complete waste of time -- gunning this semester hard. I don't expect ill ever get a job with my current stats. They've got to change.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:17 pm

I was feeling very down and then I started getting interview requests from my mass mails. I haven't had a ton, but I now have more interviews (which seem genuinely interested, some with fewer applicants, and really like my application) than I had before. I also have some who want to interview me later in the year (aren't hiring yet).

Are these BigLaw? not all (or even most). But even the ones that aren't BigLaw are well respected in their markets.

Anonymous User wrote:Lower t14 around median checking in. No jerb.

I've given up on the job hunt for now. I know it's hopeless. So I'm doing the only thing that isn't a complete waste of time -- gunning this semester hard. I don't expect ill ever get a job with my current stats. They've got to change.


Don't give up! My school and class rank combination are worse than yours and I've gotten bites. If you have only been mailing BigLaw, maybe start on mid-sized. I just keep expanding my list more and more. I'm working on improving my rank as well, but I think finding a job is more important (for me right now at least).

Also: every positive response I've received has been from following up.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lower t14 around median checking in. No jerb.

I've given up on the job hunt for now. I know it's hopeless. So I'm doing the only thing that isn't a complete waste of time -- gunning this semester hard. I don't expect ill ever get a job with my current stats. They've got to change.


Right there with you. I'm ready to throw in the towel with jobs and focus on my exams. Problem is, I already have high grades and they haven't gotten me anywhere, so now everything feels utterly pointless.

I. Hate. This.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:24 pm

I've never been this stressed and depressed in my life.

I've stopped socializing. I get bouts of nausea when I think of what has become of my life.

I've honest to god Googled what happens to student loans if you kill yourself. It's a private loan; will they go after my parents for it?

Every time I get one of those stupid rejection letters or emails with those fake praises... AHH.

I'm sorry, I really needed to vent.

I transferred from a T20 to MVP, forgoing a half-decent scholarship for better job opportunities.

As a transfer student, the experience is even more lonely. If I knew I was going to be unemployed, it would have been nice to stick around with my 1L friends and have some better company to share the misery with.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was feeling very down and then I started getting interview requests from my mass mails. I haven't had a ton, but I now have more interviews (which seem genuinely interested, some with fewer applicants, and really like my application) than I had before. I also have some who want to interview me later in the year (aren't hiring yet).

Are these BigLaw? not all (or even most). But even the ones that aren't BigLaw are well respected in their markets.

Anonymous User wrote:Lower t14 around median checking in. No jerb.

I've given up on the job hunt for now. I know it's hopeless. So I'm doing the only thing that isn't a complete waste of time -- gunning this semester hard. I don't expect ill ever get a job with my current stats. They've got to change.


Don't give up! My school and class rank combination are worse than yours and I've gotten bites. If you have only been mailing BigLaw, maybe start on mid-sized. I just keep expanding my list more and more. I'm working on improving my rank as well, but I think finding a job is more important (for me right now at least).

Also: every positive response I've received has been from following up.


Where do you find midsize firms? Are you just going off of NALP?

Do midsize firms have a slightly different recruiting timeline? Or is it identical to biglaw?

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:13 pm

I definitely have been struggling. I'm slightly above median at a t10, and I went through the lowest 2.5 months of my life. I took it out on my SO and family, and I began to really believe I was a gigantic loser. I mass mailed around 50 firms in secondary markets and Chicago (where my SO will be and where I really want to go) and got 4 callbacks. Of those I've been rejected by 2, and accepted by 1. It's in secondary market which isn't ideal, but shit, not many people enjoy a 6 figure salary, so I'll take what I can get.

Do whatever you can to force yourself to keep mass mailing, particularly to firms with a lot of alums. It gets better.

Edit: I just want to add that I think a lot of people are reluctant to go into secondary markets but just do it! It's so worth it!

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've never been this stressed and depressed in my life.

I've stopped socializing. I get bouts of nausea when I think of what has become of my life.

I've honest to god Googled what happens to student loans if you kill yourself. It's a private loan; will they go after my parents for it?

Every time I get one of those stupid rejection letters or emails with those fake praises... AHH.

I'm sorry, I really needed to vent.

I transferred from a T20 to MVP, forgoing a half-decent scholarship for better job opportunities.

As a transfer student, the experience is even more lonely. If I knew I was going to be unemployed, it would have been nice to stick around with my 1L friends and have some better company to share the misery with.


Trust me, I understand the frustration and pain. There have been times where I have also completely just hated everything. I used to read the rejection letters/emails, and now I cannot bring myself to do so anymore.

But even though it's just so frustrating, the only way it will get better is to hustle, and continuously go out and network with attorneys.

I find myself more drawn to one-on-one meetings with attorneys over going to the big networking events. Some of my classmates hate the one-on-one meetings because they're afraid it'll get awkward. But I prefer one-on-one so I have a better chance of longer and more substantive conversations. But hey, do what works for you.

A recurring theme I've been hearing through my networking is how for firms that are outside of the OCI process hire only on need. And, they may not even post a position on Symplicity, or wherever else. It honestly may come down to a partner reaching out to a student he/she likes, and bringing the student in as a 2L law clerk/SA.

And I know you don't know me, and I don't know you, but please do not do anything to hurt yourself. Don't let this entire job searching process drive you to do something like hurting yourself. Remember, you're in law school in hopes of obtaining a well paying career and not just lucrative summer employment.

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Re: Avoiding depression during job hunt

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:03 pm

Above didn't say anything that made it seem like he'd hurt himself. I wound up getting a big law SA, but I was going crazy in the process. I had high grades, a good resume and am told I'm very likable. However, I'm convinced a lifelong disability was getting me rejected from every firm.

It was depressing. I was up all night, and during the day I was overwhelmed by the stress and guilt. The thought of being unable to land employment despite great credentials and the crazy debt made me ponder the life of truly impoverished people I know and whether that life was really better than dying. One of the things that kept me from seriously considering suicide was the knowledge that student loan creditors would take my savings upon my death, and if I transferred them to loved ones before my death they'd know I was planning on killing myself. I wound up getting back onto ambien which allowed me to sleep again, and be less stressed and miserable during the day.

I was able to feign being bubbly for 5-6 hours a day before getting too exhausted during this time, got rid of the rope and kept my shoes that had laces in a safe because I was still deeply unhappy. I did wind up getting big law by continuing to hustle, but am depressed by how pathetic I must be perceived socially for it to have been this hard for me.

Keep hustling. It's better to be successful and pathetic than dead.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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