I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

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I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:03 pm

I am currently serving a one-year term in a trial level state clerkship in a small city in the state where I attended law school (mid-atlantic). I have been admitted to one state bar, and graduated in May 2013 in the top 15% of my class from a T2 law school associated with a large university with national name recognition (and strong alumni base). While in school I served in the 3rd highest position on the main law review, was published, worked as an RA/TA, worked for 2 years at a non-profit law office related to education law, and summered at another non-profit law office. I'm not sure what else from my resume would be relevant, but I would be happy to answer any questions.

I don't know what to do now. I want to work in education law, specifically I would LOVE to work for a university general counsel's office. I have written to every (not exaggerating) general counsel's office at a college or university in the northeast and mid-atlantic, and heard back from about 65% of them all saying the same thing: that I need more experience. I have applied for fellowships and other competitive positions like fellowships, but not surprisingly I have gotten no leads. I have also inquired about appellate level clerkships, but none of the judges I have contacted are hiring within my timeline (I can't start until my current clerkship ends in late summer/early fall). My target cities would be Philadelphia or Boston, maybe Pittsburgh (I know these are all reaching), though any "large" city in the northeast/mid-atlantic would be ok.

I've started looking at firms that do education law, but I have NO firm experience. I have literally never stepped foot inside a law firm. I've emailed some firms inquiries, but heard nothing back. Give it to me straight TLS - what do I do here? How do I start a career?

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legalese_retard
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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby legalese_retard » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:56 pm

Not sure if fellowships like this might interest you:

http://www.educationpioneers.org/ApplyToday

Anonymous User
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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:48 pm

legalese_retard wrote:Not sure if fellowships like this might interest you:

http://www.educationpioneers.org/ApplyToday


Thank you

gogogogo
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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby gogogogo » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:30 am

what about starting with something like this?


Staff Attorney, Office of the Superintendent

Staff Attorney, Office of the Superintendent

Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church VA 22042



Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the nation�s 11th largest school district, located in suburban area just outside the nation�s capital, is seeking a dynamic individual to serve as the Staff Attorney. The Staff Attorney serves as a junior level attorney for FCPS; and performs related duties as required or assigned.

The ideal candidate will possess Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school with membership in, or eligibility for, the Virginia State Bar, plus a minimum of three years of progressive experience, with expertise preferred in one of the following areas: public school legal issues, constitutional law, Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, intellectual property, student rights, custody, educational rights, employment, civil rights, real estate, local government, procurement, contract, litigation, or tort law. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Ability to develop effective working relationships with senior FCPS administrators and community and governmental leaders.

We offer an outstanding salary and benefits Package!

Interested candidates should apply online at CareerQuest

Equal Opportunity Employer

http://www.washingtonpost.com/jobs/JS_J ... 5&agentID=

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:44 am

You realize a clerkship doesn't confer three years of experience, though, right? I mean, it's worth applying because that's the "ideal" and they may not get the ideal, but that's still not quite an entry-level job.

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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:06 pm

gogogogo wrote:what about starting with something like this?


Staff Attorney, Office of the Superintendent

Staff Attorney, Office of the Superintendent

Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church VA 22042



Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the nation�s 11th largest school district, located in suburban area just outside the nation�s capital, is seeking a dynamic individual to serve as the Staff Attorney. The Staff Attorney serves as a junior level attorney for FCPS; and performs related duties as required or assigned.

The ideal candidate will possess Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school with membership in, or eligibility for, the Virginia State Bar, plus a minimum of three years of progressive experience, with expertise preferred in one of the following areas: public school legal issues, constitutional law, Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, intellectual property, student rights, custody, educational rights, employment, civil rights, real estate, local government, procurement, contract, litigation, or tort law. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Ability to develop effective working relationships with senior FCPS administrators and community and governmental leaders.

We offer an outstanding salary and benefits Package!

Interested candidates should apply online at CareerQuest

Equal Opportunity Employer

http://www.washingtonpost.com/jobs/JS_J ... 5&agentID=


I did submit an application for this position already, but thank you for the suggestion.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:You realize a clerkship doesn't confer three years of experience, though, right? I mean, it's worth applying because that's the "ideal" and they may not get the ideal, but that's still not quite an entry-level job.


OP here - I generally apply for anything that's 3 or less years experience required, even though I know it's a long shot.

I am willing to put in the time at an entry level position, but I don't know how to go about finding one. I have applied to every education law related position out there (that I have found, and I search A LOT), and I haven't had anything promising come back. Do you have suggestions for what I should be doing that's a bit more realistic? Firms?

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Dignan
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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby Dignan » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:24 pm

OP,

You're in a tough position. As I'm sure you're finding, education law is a small, specialized field.

Have you considered using your judge's connections to get a job at a small or mid-size law firm in the state you're clerking in? Yeah, you're unlikely to get a job at a firm that does education law, but you could start getting real-world lawyer experience. In the meantime, you could stay in contact with education law via pro bono work and/or staying involved with the PI firm you worked at while in law school. A couple years down the road, you might be in a position to lateral to a firm that specializes in education law.

owlofminerva
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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby owlofminerva » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:41 pm

I think part of the problem OP is that you are too narrowed on your focus possibly. If your dream job is something like a university GC's office, there is no need to narrow yourself only to positions with a focus on education law. I imagine the bulk of the issues encountered in those offices is not substantive education law, but rather labor law issues with staff and faculty, IP law regarding the school's research, real estate and construction law for campus expansion/renovation, and the like. As a result, I would consider just normal law firms that have a broad practice that will give you some experience in these areas that will be more helpful in a GC role to a school superintendent or university.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
gogogogo wrote:what about starting with something like this?


Staff Attorney, Office of the Superintendent

Staff Attorney, Office of the Superintendent

Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church VA 22042



Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the nation�s 11th largest school district, located in suburban area just outside the nation�s capital, is seeking a dynamic individual to serve as the Staff Attorney. The Staff Attorney serves as a junior level attorney for FCPS; and performs related duties as required or assigned.

The ideal candidate will possess Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school with membership in, or eligibility for, the Virginia State Bar, plus a minimum of three years of progressive experience, with expertise preferred in one of the following areas: public school legal issues, constitutional law, Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, intellectual property, student rights, custody, educational rights, employment, civil rights, real estate, local government, procurement, contract, litigation, or tort law. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Ability to develop effective working relationships with senior FCPS administrators and community and governmental leaders.

We offer an outstanding salary and benefits Package!

Interested candidates should apply online at CareerQuest

Equal Opportunity Employer

http://www.washingtonpost.com/jobs/JS_J ... 5&agentID=


I did submit an application for this position already, but thank you for the suggestion.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:You realize a clerkship doesn't confer three years of experience, though, right? I mean, it's worth applying because that's the "ideal" and they may not get the ideal, but that's still not quite an entry-level job.


OP here - I generally apply for anything that's 3 or less years experience required, even though I know it's a long shot.

I am willing to put in the time at an entry level position, but I don't know how to go about finding one. I have applied to every education law related position out there (that I have found, and I search A LOT), and I haven't had anything promising come back. Do you have suggestions for what I should be doing that's a bit more realistic? Firms?

OP, didn't mean to suggest you shouldn't apply - of course you should, you never know. I guess sometimes I get snarky about people recommending things that don't seem to fit what the questioner asks about - and in this case, it ended up redundant. But I was just feeling a little cranky this morning (or whenever I wrote that).

I agree with the advice above about trying to get general firm experience that's transferable to a university GC's office. I have also seen firms specialize in education law/representing schools, though I'm sure you've looked for those. It's a shame you're limited to the northeast because I know people who've started entry-level at higher ed GC's offices in the western US. Don't know if that particular university system is just unusual.

Anonymous User
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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:53 pm

OP here

Thanks for responding everyone.


A. Nony Mouse wrote:It's a shame you're limited to the northeast because I know people who've started entry-level at higher ed GC's offices in the western US. Don't know if that particular university system is just unusual.


I would like to limit my search generally to the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, but if it was a job at a university GC office I would go pretty much anywhere (though I have applied to all the listings for those I have found).

Should I just start mass mailing firms in the places I'd like to end up? A fair number of firms actually list "education law" as a practice area, so I could start with those. Is actual paper mailing preferred over emailing for such things?

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Re: I'm feeling lost...advice on what to do after my clerkship?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:34 pm

Bump. Any advice?




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