Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

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Neff
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Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Neff » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:58 pm

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Last edited by Neff on Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:00 pm

*sets up drum circle*
*lights bong*

Anonymous User
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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:11 pm

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." -Thomas Jefferson

That is a quote I've been relying on.

I've been mass-mailing, hustling, networking etc. Doing everything I can to secure a 2L position, and I am hoping all of this pays off.

And yes, I do feel that it has been somewhat unfair. Some of my classmates who I've interacted with are completely arrogant, piss off everyone they talk to, and have zero charisma, have landed a ton of offers. All I can think to myself is, "How will this person ever be able to bring in business for the firm?" But I digress.

And some people who have offers are walking around like I should respect them more. I went to a clerkship event, and a guy--who has an offer with a V20--who I was really friendly with last year asked if I had an offer, and I said no. And then he said, "Do you think you should even apply for a clerkship then?"

What's even worse is overhearing people bragging in the common areas by saying stuff like, "Oh god, I'm just so stressed. I really want to take this V20, but this V50 has a shorter partnership track, gosh I'm just sooooo stressed." Wow, talk about first world problems.

The law school common areas are the worst when you don't have an offer, and some around you do.

AND, what's really the cherry on top of all this is overhearing 1Ls talk about "looking forward to OCI." And how they want to go to X firm because they have the best corporate practice in the state; even though the 1L does not even know what a corporate lawyer does...

Neff
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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Neff » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:11 pm

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Last edited by Neff on Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:46 am

I would say that whatever happens happens for a reason. If a door is closed, see it as God, fate, whatever you believe in guiding you towards a better path for you. As someone once said to me, "Man plans, but God decides." Every failure is an opportunity to learn and do better. If you didn't get something you wanted to now, draw on it for motivation to be even more successful next time.

Yeah, it's true that law school brings out the worst in people. I think that if you remember that everyone is really good at heart, you'll be able to connect more. If someone seems arrogant or off-putting, they're probably just insecure, anxious, sleep deprived, etc. So it's best to try and get beyond people's superficiality and get to know how they really are.

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Gorki » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:I would say that whatever happens happens for a reason. If a door is closed, see it as God, fate, whatever you believe in guiding you towards a better path for you. As someone once said to me, "Man plans, but God decides." Every failure is an opportunity to learn and do better. If you didn't get something you wanted to now, draw on it for motivation to be even more successful next time.

Yeah, it's true that law school brings out the worst in people. I think that if you remember that everyone is really good at heart, you'll be able to connect more. If someone seems arrogant or off-putting, they're probably just insecure, anxious, sleep deprived, etc. So it's best to try and get beyond people's superficiality and get to know how they really are.


Ever read Candide, Mr. Pangloss?

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby guyplus » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:48 pm

Gregg Popovich's (San Anotinio Spurs coach) discussion of how he uses this Jacob Riis quote to motivate his team was something I would remind myself of constantly. It was incredibly helpful.

"When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” Jacob Riis

Pop's explanation of his usage - “That was a long time ago. It was back in the 90s and I was reading something about immigration in New York way back when, that kind of thing, and he was a reformer. He fought for better housing and better conditions, working conditions, that type of thing, for immigrants of all countries.

He was relentless at it and that quote that we use is obviously his quote, and I thought it embodied anyone’s effort in any endeavor, really. It doesn’t have to be basketball. It can be a musical instrument or it can be learning mathematics or going to law school or figuring out how to turn the water off in your house because you’re an idiot. If you can’t figure that out you just keep looking, keep trying, keep going."

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:54 pm

Gorki wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I would say that whatever happens happens for a reason. If a door is closed, see it as God, fate, whatever you believe in guiding you towards a better path for you. As someone once said to me, "Man plans, but God decides." Every failure is an opportunity to learn and do better. If you didn't get something you wanted to now, draw on it for motivation to be even more successful next time.

Yeah, it's true that law school brings out the worst in people. I think that if you remember that everyone is really good at heart, you'll be able to connect more. If someone seems arrogant or off-putting, they're probably just insecure, anxious, sleep deprived, etc. So it's best to try and get beyond people's superficiality and get to know how they really are.


Ever read Candide, Mr. Pangloss?


Nope, other than the fact that I just spent 1 minute reading the Wikipedia intro on it in response to your post.

Let me say that I wrote that above not from any sheltered/idealistic standing point. Before I went to law school, I worked for a number of years and was laid off from my job, which was one of the most devastating things that ever happened to me. To this day, I still suffer from a chronic medical condition as a result of it. I tried really hard to find the meaning in my suffering then. Looking back on it, I can see what role it served in my development. For example, I went to a dinner party recently and met a guy who was unemployed for several years in a sector that is being offshored. His unemployment was this big elephant in the room, and everyone seemed to be avoiding him because they didn't know what to say. But because I really understood how he felt, I was able to talk to him, and I saw how much his face lightened up when I understood his problems. So as a result, I would say I'm a much more compassionate and sensitive person that I otherwise would have been. I have a number of other stories how unemployment and failure became a learning point for me. It's not easy, and like everyone else I was very bitter and depressed at one point. But if you take a long-term perspective, it's easier to bear it.

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:37 pm

I had top grades at a T10. I struck out with the first 90% of my OCI screeners. I couldn't figure it out. I was not a great interviewer, but not a terrible one. I mass-mailed a hundred firms within a few days. For a month, I thought I was done. That it was the end of the road and I would drop out. Somehow the last 3 or 4 OCI screeners were the ones I was able to convert. Somehow from these few callbacks, I got a few offers -- weeks after the vast majority of them came pouring in on TLS/overhearing others.

Some of my closest friends at LS had the same grades as me, were better interviewers, more personable, more WE, and still struck out. When I see them/speak to them now I struggle to be careful with what I say so that we don't get to the topic of employment at all unless they bring it up. We are "lucky" enough to go to a school that provides a temporary stop gap for the unemployed, but the process is so fucking arbitrary and ridiculous.

If I had struck out I would be screwed. A ton of debt, and no family that is capable of helping me out at all. I was considering public interest work, but that would mean more debt and an even less certain chance of post-grad employment. Had I struck out I probably would have dropped out and taken a non-law job -- maybe minimum wage, since I had no real work experience to show (and in fact have a huge resume gap). I think about how lucky I am every day that the process decided I will be able to escape the poverty into which I was born, but by no means do I think I am safe from harm in this industry.
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stillwater
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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby stillwater » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:40 pm

there is nothing spiritual about the job search. it's no different than a caveman looking for a bigger slab of meat. its pretty much a lose-lose: no biglaw --> poor; biglaw --> life sucks. welcome to the world you never wanted.

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:51 pm

stillwater wrote:there is nothing spiritual about the job search. it's no different than a caveman looking for a bigger slab of meat. its pretty much a lose-lose: no biglaw --> poor; biglaw --> life sucks. welcome to the world you never wanted.


"Spiritual" is perhaps the wrong word, but I feel like towards the end the Vale became more about the day to day job hunt -- a useful thread, certainly, but I think this thread could serve a different purpose if people want to provide anecdotes.

It sucks that what you say is the reality right now. People should not be in a position where their only options are to bill 2000 a year for Corporate America, or fall into poverty. I agree that law students make their own choices and can research the realities of the job market, but the realities of cost of law school/how law schools are run/how student debt works are absurd and unsustainable.

- 2:37.

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stillwater
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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby stillwater » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
stillwater wrote:there is nothing spiritual about the job search. it's no different than a caveman looking for a bigger slab of meat. its pretty much a lose-lose: no biglaw --> poor; biglaw --> life sucks. welcome to the world you never wanted.


"Spiritual" is perhaps the wrong word, but I feel like towards the end the Vale became more about the day to day job hunt -- a useful thread, certainly, but I think this thread could serve a different purpose if people want to provide anecdotes.

It sucks that what you say is the reality right now. People should not be in a position where their only options are to bill 2000 a year for Corporate America, or fall into poverty. I agree that law students make their own choices and can research the realities of the job market, but the realities of cost of law school/how law schools are run/how student debt works are absurd and unsustainable.

- 2:37.


its just a heavily distorted market that has created all the wrong incentives. problem is how protectionist the market is. its a racket, pure and simple.

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:24 pm

stillwater wrote:there is nothing spiritual about the job search. it's no different than a caveman looking for a bigger slab of meat. its pretty much a lose-lose: no biglaw --> poor; biglaw --> life sucks. welcome to the world you never wanted.


Sadly, this epitomizes Neff's correct perception that law students are a snarky, pessimistic bunch, and no one wants to talk about values in law school. We're here to support OP and talk about all the small ways we can retain values or a sense of purpose, at least in this thread.

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby stillwater » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
stillwater wrote:there is nothing spiritual about the job search. it's no different than a caveman looking for a bigger slab of meat. its pretty much a lose-lose: no biglaw --> poor; biglaw --> life sucks. welcome to the world you never wanted.


Sadly, this epitomizes Neff's correct perception that law students are a snarky, pessimistic bunch, and no one wants to talk about values in law school. We're here to support OP and talk about all the small ways we can retain values or a sense of purpose, at least in this thread.


I think letting go, as hard as it may seem, mentally that is, is the only way to restore proportion and perspective in your life. I think law school consumes people and, without anything else to fill the void, people lose their way.

Neff
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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Neff » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:46 pm

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:04 pm

It is scary how much of this process has been luck. And it's crazy how all-or-nothing it is. I was all but struck out as of a little more than a week ago, working close to my 500th mass mail, sitting on two CB rejections, when my third CB (V100) came through at the last minute. It is just crazy to think that just because someone out there who had that offer and one other, decided on the other, which opened up a spot for me, I went from having no options next summer to being one of the lucky few with an offer. The ramifications are huge. And it is totally unfair because I am no different a person, but just because something worked out my favor I will likely have more opportunity in the future.

But, I think this can be encouraging to those of you still looking, too. Something may come along, seemingly out of nowhere. I also know someone who recently graduated my school who struck out at OCI, wound up with something unconventional 2L summer and is now at a V10 in a major market. Does it make sense? no. And did they obviously deserve to strike out at OCI originally? No. But it can work itself out. Just gotta believe it.

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:04 pm

this is all luck + geography + going to a law school the market you want actually gives a **** about. i go to a t6. we were told employers love people from our school (hah, right)

last week, i talked to three other people still looking. one guy had top 15%, law review + work experience, but got nothing because he bid only on a secondary market -- his wife and kids live in a secondary market and that secondary market doesn't give a **** about our school. he had 1 callback and 0 offers. another person is top 30% of the class, easy to talk to and socially active, but got nothing for bidding on DC only. 0 callbacks. a third person was in the middle 3rd of the class, also socially active but got nothing for bidding mostly sf/sv. also 0 callbacks.

yet... everyone from the top 5% to the bottom 5% who wanted nyc got a job in nyc

my advice for lurking 1L/0L's: go to school in the market you plan to practice in.

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:59 am

The last few months do not define who you are or who you will be, though they are one step in the process. The job you get will not be your job forever, and may not be your job for even the next two years. You have a long life ahead of you, and you will accomplish many things, regardless of what you did your 1L or 2L summer.

As my advisor in college told me: "If you knew what you were going to do with the next two years of your life, that would be terrifying."

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:24 pm

Neff wrote:Very interesting responses everyone. I also wasn't quite sure whether "spiritual" is the right word. I was simply wondering what kinds of life lessons or philosophical reflections (or any other "positives") some of you might have taken away from your job search.

Everyone talks about how stressful and unpleasant the OCI/mass mail process is, but are there any out there who 1) did not get offers and 2) thinks that the experience of not getting what you wanted was a GOOD experience? That it made you a better person or "enlightened" you in some way about life?


1) No offers from OCI. I didn't bid NYC.
2) I didn't want to work in NYC. When I was applying to law schools, I had vague, public-interesty aspirations. I ended up going to a T14 law school where I got caught up in the OCI/big firm/big money machine. Most of my peers were exclusively interested in doing corporate law. Only the super liberal hippie vegan people were public interest oriented. Our professors would joke about how much money we were all going to make once we graduated. I started to want all of that.

Then, I struck out at OCI. I thought about dropping out of law school. I was REALLY depressed for a period of time and felt completely worthless. I let law school and OCI results define my life and my worth as a human being. I am slowly making my way back to a healthy mental state. Luckily, my parents are helping me with tuition (had this not been the case, I would have dropped out after my first semester). I'm doing a lot of legal volunteer work and that has helped me discover what I'm really passionate about- and it's not corporate law. All of the attorneys that I work with are genuinely nice people and I feel privileged to be learning from them.

I used to think that I'd be okay doing just about any job as long as it paid. Now, I recognize the importance of enjoying what you do.
In the worst case scenario, I will be unable to find a legal job and I'll have to do something else whilst paying off my enormous law school debt.
I've made peace with that. Maybe I'll become a law school scam blogger when it's a year later and I'm unemployed and stripping for a living and can't afford to have kids ever but I guess the takeaway I've gotten from all this is that its okay to fail. People aren't perfect. We all screw up from time to time and I guess I'm lucky in the sense that my biggest screw up so far hasn't landed me in prison or anything.

One of my favorite inspirational quotes is a Japanese proverb that tells you to "Fall down 7 times and stand up 8."

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby stillwater » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
One of my favorite inspirational quotes is a Japanese proverb that tells you to "Fall down 7 times and stand up 8."



sounds like chumbawamba bro

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby glitched » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:19 pm

stillwater wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
One of my favorite inspirational quotes is a Japanese proverb that tells you to "Fall down 7 times and stand up 8."



sounds like chumbawamba bro


if you fall down 7 times, wouldn't you stand up 7?

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stillwater
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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby stillwater » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:22 pm

glitched wrote:
stillwater wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
One of my favorite inspirational quotes is a Japanese proverb that tells you to "Fall down 7 times and stand up 8."



sounds like chumbawamba bro


if you fall down 7 times, wouldn't you stand up 7?


you gotta stand up to fall down bro

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." -Thomas Jefferson

That is a quote I've been relying on.

I've been mass-mailing, hustling, networking etc. Doing everything I can to secure a 2L position, and I am hoping all of this pays off.

And yes, I do feel that it has been somewhat unfair. Some of my classmates who I've interacted with are completely arrogant, piss off everyone they talk to, and have zero charisma, have landed a ton of offers. All I can think to myself is, "How will this person ever be able to bring in business for the firm?" But I digress.

And some people who have offers are walking around like I should respect them more. I went to a clerkship event, and a guy--who has an offer with a V20--who I was really friendly with last year asked if I had an offer, and I said no. And then he said, "Do you think you should even apply for a clerkship then?"

What's even worse is overhearing people bragging in the common areas by saying stuff like, "Oh god, I'm just so stressed. I really want to take this V20, but this V50 has a shorter partnership track, gosh I'm just sooooo stressed." Wow, talk about first world problems.

The law school common areas are the worst when you don't have an offer, and some around you do.

AND, what's really the cherry on top of all this is overhearing 1Ls talk about "looking forward to OCI." And how they want to go to X firm because they have the best corporate practice in the state; even though the 1L does not even know what a corporate lawyer does...



Haha spot on! Are you at Penn? Bec pretty convinced that the same exact stuff happened to me. The best are the 1ls some came up to me within the first 2 weeks of school to "discuss OCI". Are they making more gunners this year or I just never noticed them?

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby Neff » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:14 pm

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Re: Spiritual dimensions of the legal job search

Postby mr.hands » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:31 am

Neff wrote:An old Chinese parable that has helped me a lot over the years, and especially at law school:


A farmer had only one horse, and one day the horse ran away. The neighbors came to condole over his terrible loss. The farmer said, "What makes you think it is so terrible?"

A month later, the horse came home--this time bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. The neighbors became excited at the farmer's good fortune. Such lovely strong horses! The farmer said, "What makes you think this is good fortune?"

The farmer's son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg. All the neighbors were very distressed. Such bad luck! The farmer said, "What makes you think it is bad?"

A war came, and every able-bodied man was conscripted and sent into battle. Only the farmer's son, because he had a broken leg, remained. The neighbors congratulated the farmer. "What makes you think this is good?" said the farmer.


Yeah, Charlie Wilson's War was a great movie




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