Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

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jbagelboy

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:10 am

there are cool law jobs out there. being a lawyer isn't universally bad. the positions that are interesting with tolerable lifestyle and sufficient pay to sustain a family are just very competitive and take a lot of creativity and hustle.

The big problem right now is really the debt. It just doesn't fit with the old industry model, and so now they only way to sustain yourself is biglaw (or a very select few PI positions for those who are highly qualified for them).

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby 84651846190 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:44 am

RobertGolddust wrote:
For the vast majority of law students, law school is not worth it and there is nothing better than biglaw (when you consider the pay/pain ratio -- a ton of lower paying law jobs still have shitty (although not AS shitty) hours). Law sucks for everyone except those with tippy top grades from top schools who get to do cool stuff like DOJ, academia, etc


I like everything about law school so far except for people like you. First off, you have a misunderstandings about the law school game. Scoring tippy top grades at a respectable school will almost always lands you a 2l SA and a high paying gig after unless you carry yourself with your attitude, that is, you know it all, the worlds against you, and you're entitled to greatness despite the fact that you probably have the courage of a weasel. Why do you feel the need to preach ominous portends about a community you're a part of, and obviously care about? Second off, compared to an ordinary job, a career in the legal profession, especially big law, is better than most of the jobs out there. Even if you can't land big law, I'm sure if you really want to make money it can be done. Moreover, I'm absolutely certain there will be several lawyers coming out of Appalachian School of T4 law who will be far better attorneys than you will ever be. You have the millennial attitude that everyone hates. I'm sorry that big law isn't as great as being a rock star, or athlete, or celebrity, or being some millionaire playboy living off a trust fund. However, you should be thankful that you make way more money than the rest of the world in an elite profession. How you ever graduated from an elite school and landed big law is beyond comprehension. My guess is that you've spent your whole life in the library, and thus, are probably a virgin whose never done anything authentic in his life. Safe space penetrated.

Also you have a better chance of landing a 9th circuit clerkship from T4 then making this happen:

If you want an easier lifestyle, consider tech: https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/defaul ... _guide.pdf

People with Bachelors-only credentials are easily pulling in 100k+ and working chill hours. LOL @ JD morons. WTF were we thinking?


Brother, I'm not sure what part of my post triggered this lengthy screed, but I'm sorry if I offended you in some way. I don't think anything you quoted is untrue. Law school is a bad choice for most law students (given future debt load and low quality of life). I stand by that statement.

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clarion

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby clarion » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:47 am

OP: Are you in between your two clerkships right now, or what? I couldn't quite tell from your posts. I ask, because I'm in the Legal Honors program at a federal agency, and I know you can apply to them if you're currently doing a clerkship. And by "currently" I mean you can apply in September 2016 if you have a 2016-17 clerkship.

As people have suggested, my agency has regional and field offices all over the country, and although most of the LH hiring goes to Headquarters in DC, if there's a need in a regional office for an attorney you can get there as well. Worst case you can start in HQ and then lateral to a regional office after your first year if there's a compelling reason (like family), but whatever.

Obviously LH programs are fairly competitive, but I'm just putting the option out there. I do litigation at my agency in HQ, which includes hearings in front of ALJs, motions drafting, and occasionally, serving as agency counsel in a DOJ matter. I went to a T-14 and I know that my friends in biglaw work much longer hours, and have much less control over their cases. I work like 40 hours a week the vast majority of the time, unless I have a crazy court deadline that requires me to add a few extra hours on weeknights/weekends. (But you get credit hours for it, so it's all good). I think that litigation in the regional offices is similarly interesting, but I admittedly don't know a ton about it. I just know anecdotally I had a friend in my current LH class come up to DC from a regional office to participate in a deposition: so clearly they do SOMEthing.

And though the salary isn't the best, you start at GS-11 and increase annually until you reach GS-14 (low six-figures in DC). So with no student loans, you'll be making pretty good money considering the work-life balance (and VERY good by non-lawyer standards) by year 4. From there you increase up the steps.

Different agencies do different things w/their LHs, and some require that even if you are applying as a clerk, that you haven't passed the bar by the time you apply. (Weird, but true). But I'd look into the LH programs if you're interested. Again, depending on whether you're finishing up your clerkships this year or what. And even if you are finishing your clerkships this year, I'd keep a lookout for job postings on USAJobs as sometimes an agency will post something that is open only for a week. Good luck!

Tl;dr - If you're eligible for the Legal Honors programs at any or all federal agencies, and your credentials are good, I'd definitely look into those. Worth.

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RobertGolddust

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby RobertGolddust » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:38 pm

Brother, I'm not sure what part of my post triggered this lengthy screed, but I'm sorry if I offended you in some way. I don't think anything you quoted is untrue. Law school is a bad choice for most law students (given future debt load and low quality of life). I stand by that statement.


Yea, I agree which is why I opted for a regional school in exchange for a full ride. I'm sorry for the attack it was undoubtedly a transference thing, venting rage about a few people who have caused me severe distress who happen to have a similar attitude. Also I couldn't sleep when I launched my attack. I'm sorry for the assault and appreciate the apology.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:38 pm

jbagelboy wrote:there are cool law jobs out there. being a lawyer isn't universally bad. the positions that are interesting with tolerable lifestyle and sufficient pay to sustain a family are just very competitive and take a lot of creativity and hustle.

The big problem right now is really the debt. It just doesn't fit with the old industry model, and so now they only way to sustain yourself is biglaw (or a very select few PI positions for those who are highly qualified for them).


OP here. I have always believed this to be true, which is why I feel like I should be able to avoid biglaw with no debt...I'm just having trouble filling in the blanks for what those cool jobs are. This may very well be my own fault -- maybe I should be better at researching and leveraging connections to discover opportunities rather than asking strangers on this board. But I have done a fair amount of searching and keep coming back to the conclusion that, unless I move to D.C., there's no clear (civil litigation) alternative to biglaw that makes any sense with no actual experience. Could you be more specific about what you had in mind?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:40 pm

clarion wrote:OP: Are you in between your two clerkships right now, or what? I couldn't quite tell from your posts. I ask, because I'm in the Legal Honors program at a federal agency, and I know you can apply to them if you're currently doing a clerkship. And by "currently" I mean you can apply in September 2016 if you have a 2016-17 clerkship.

As people have suggested, my agency has regional and field offices all over the country, and although most of the LH hiring goes to Headquarters in DC, if there's a need in a regional office for an attorney you can get there as well. Worst case you can start in HQ and then lateral to a regional office after your first year if there's a compelling reason (like family), but whatever.

Obviously LH programs are fairly competitive, but I'm just putting the option out there. I do litigation at my agency in HQ, which includes hearings in front of ALJs, motions drafting, and occasionally, serving as agency counsel in a DOJ matter. I went to a T-14 and I know that my friends in biglaw work much longer hours, and have much less control over their cases. I work like 40 hours a week the vast majority of the time, unless I have a crazy court deadline that requires me to add a few extra hours on weeknights/weekends. (But you get credit hours for it, so it's all good). I think that litigation in the regional offices is similarly interesting, but I admittedly don't know a ton about it. I just know anecdotally I had a friend in my current LH class come up to DC from a regional office to participate in a deposition: so clearly they do SOMEthing.

And though the salary isn't the best, you start at GS-11 and increase annually until you reach GS-14 (low six-figures in DC). So with no student loans, you'll be making pretty good money considering the work-life balance (and VERY good by non-lawyer standards) by year 4. From there you increase up the steps.

Different agencies do different things w/their LHs, and some require that even if you are applying as a clerk, that you haven't passed the bar by the time you apply. (Weird, but true). But I'd look into the LH programs if you're interested. Again, depending on whether you're finishing up your clerkships this year or what. And even if you are finishing your clerkships this year, I'd keep a lookout for job postings on USAJobs as sometimes an agency will post something that is open only for a week. Good luck!

Tl;dr - If you're eligible for the Legal Honors programs at any or all federal agencies, and your credentials are good, I'd definitely look into those. Worth.


Thanks a lot for this post. My second clerkship is finishing up this fall. I absolutely would have applied to DOJ Honors last fall if I'd been able to manage a move to D.C., but I don't think that's an option for me (at least, not yet). I will make sure to keep checking USAJobs.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby zot1 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:59 pm

RobertGolddust wrote:
For the vast majority of law students, law school is not worth it and there is nothing better than biglaw (when you consider the pay/pain ratio -- a ton of lower paying law jobs still have shitty (although not AS shitty) hours). Law sucks for everyone except those with tippy top grades from top schools who get to do cool stuff like DOJ, academia, etc


I like everything about law school so far except for people like you. First off, you have a misunderstandings about the law school game. Scoring tippy top grades at a respectable school will almost always lands you a 2l SA and a high paying gig after unless you carry yourself with your attitude, that is, you know it all, the worlds against you, and you're entitled to greatness despite the fact that you probably have the courage of a weasel. Why do you feel the need to preach ominous portends about a community you're a part of, and obviously care about? Second off, compared to an ordinary job, a career in the legal profession, especially big law, is better than most of the jobs out there. Even if you can't land big law, I'm sure if you really want to make money it can be done. Moreover, I'm absolutely certain there will be several lawyers coming out of Appalachian School of T4 law who will be far better attorneys than you will ever be. You have the millennial attitude that everyone hates. I'm sorry that big law isn't as great as being a rock star, or athlete, or celebrity, or being some millionaire playboy living off a trust fund. However, you should be thankful that you make way more money than the rest of the world in an elite profession. How you ever graduated from an elite school and landed big law is beyond comprehension. My guess is that you've spent your whole life in the library, and thus, are probably a virgin whose never done anything authentic in his life. Safe space penetrated.

Also you have a better chance of landing a 9th circuit clerkship from T4 then making this happen:

If you want an easier lifestyle, consider tech: https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/defaul ... _guide.pdf

People with Bachelors-only credentials are easily pulling in 100k+ and working chill hours. LOL @ JD morons. WTF were we thinking?


Dude, I don't understand why wrote all of these things about someone you don't know. Civility can take you a long way in this profession.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby krads153 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:15 pm

RobertGolddust wrote:
For the vast majority of law students, law school is not worth it and there is nothing better than biglaw (when you consider the pay/pain ratio -- a ton of lower paying law jobs still have shitty (although not AS shitty) hours). Law sucks for everyone except those with tippy top grades from top schools who get to do cool stuff like DOJ, academia, etc


I like everything about law school so far except for people like you. First off, you have a misunderstandings about the law school game. Scoring tippy top grades at a respectable school will almost always lands you a 2l SA and a high paying gig after unless you carry yourself with your attitude, that is, you know it all, the worlds against you, and you're entitled to greatness despite the fact that you probably have the courage of a weasel. Why do you feel the need to preach ominous portends about a community you're a part of, and obviously care about? Second off, compared to an ordinary job, a career in the legal profession, especially big law, is better than most of the jobs out there. Even if you can't land big law, I'm sure if you really want to make money it can be done. Moreover, I'm absolutely certain there will be several lawyers coming out of Appalachian School of T4 law who will be far better attorneys than you will ever be. You have the millennial attitude that everyone hates. I'm sorry that big law isn't as great as being a rock star, or athlete, or celebrity, or being some millionaire playboy living off a trust fund. However, you should be thankful that you make way more money than the rest of the world in an elite profession. How you ever graduated from an elite school and landed big law is beyond comprehension. My guess is that you've spent your whole life in the library, and thus, are probably a virgin whose never done anything authentic in his life. Safe space penetrated.

Also you have a better chance of landing a 9th circuit clerkship from T4 then making this happen:

If you want an easier lifestyle, consider tech: https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/defaul ... _guide.pdf

People with Bachelors-only credentials are easily pulling in 100k+ and working chill hours. LOL @ JD morons. WTF were we thinking?



lol @ "millennial attitude" - please F off. Boomers barely worked and didn't have the competition we have....the planet is overpopulated due to boomers booming. They had basically no competition. Boomers could get jobs with a history degree in an office - no biggie - and raise families off union blue collar jobs. Education cost like 5 bucks - I could have worked at McDonald's part time and paid for college as a Boomer. They lucked into a lot of high paying jobs that a millennial will never get due to outsourcing, Boomers' booming all of the money away, and Boomer corporate greed. Not to mention the Internet making most office jobs far more demanding with tighter deadlines and constant 24/7 being on call. The Internet (mark my words) has made working in an office a billion times more stressful due to higher demands. The nature of biglaw has changed dramatically since the Internet. And thanks to Boomers, the United States is on a steep and guaranteed decline in our generation.

Also you're clearly not in biglaw if you're writing this lengthy screed.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby kartelite » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:54 pm

krads153 wrote:lol @ "millennial attitude" - please F off. Boomers barely worked and didn't have the competition we have....the planet is overpopulated due to boomers booming. They had basically no competition. Boomers could get jobs with a history degree in an office - no biggie - and raise families off union blue collar jobs. Education cost like 5 bucks - I could have worked at McDonald's part time and paid for college as a Boomer. They lucked into a lot of high paying jobs that a millennial will never get due to outsourcing, Boomers' booming all of the money away, and Boomer corporate greed. Not to mention the Internet making most office jobs far more demanding with tighter deadlines and constant 24/7 being on call. The Internet (mark my words) has made working in an office a billion times more stressful due to higher demands. The nature of biglaw has changed dramatically since the Internet. And thanks to Boomers, the United States is on a steep and guaranteed decline in our generation.


While it's true that education was a lot cheaper back then, it's ridiculous to think that people just "lucked" into a higher quality of life. The overall level of productivity given equal levels of capital and labor is waaay higher now than it was then. A lot of it has to do with perception - now your typical middle or upper-middle class family has like two HD televisions, two cars, smartphones for everyone, eats out frequently, hires someone to paint the house or change the oil...such was definitely not the case in the "glory days" of which you speak. And why do you talk about "outsourcing" as a bad thing? It allows a society with skilled workers, such as the US, to hire cheap labor and better concentrate our efforts on higher-value tasks.

One of the drawbacks, which is what I think you're alluding to, is that there has been an increase in wealth disparity, which comes with the territory. But even accounting for that, the ceiling is much higher for what most individuals can achieve - the problem for some people is, the surplus is going less to "grunts" (anyone who works on an effective wage basis, such as lawyers) and more to "innovators." Back in the day, you only had to have relative smarts, no real ingenuity, and you could be set up decently. Now, the total pie is much greater, but the competition is stiffer. Look at how many young internet millionaires there are, many of whom have developed products that make our lives easier - most of them never would have had the opportunity to create or capture such value back then. And that does mean a smaller relative share of producer surplus for people like lawyers. Anyway, to think that the Boomers just "lucked" into some pot of gold that they proceeded to squander (or in your words "boomed away" - where did that money come from anyway?) reveals a very fundamental misunderstanding in how you seem to think economic value is created. Whether or not the Internet has actually made working in an office a billion times more stressful, I'm not sure if you realize how many times more efficient it has made many tasks, such as communicating or doing research, and the amount of both time and money it saves.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby zot1 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:56 pm

I have met way too many lawyers who were originally working class, went to law school, paid for their law school loans within the first MONTHS (if not first paycheck) and who are now and have been comfortably upper middle class. These attorneys didn't start with debt... That made it A LOT easier for them to create wealth--Wealth we (those with debt) won't be able to create for quite sometime depending on the job we ended up.

Let's not forget that these attorneys walked into nice paying jobs (hi there, ma'am, are you all hiring? Oh goodie, I'll be back Monday. Thanks!)

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby RobertGolddust » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:07 pm

This:
Also you're clearly not in biglaw if you're writing this lengthy screed.
is the only statement in your response that even approaches a rational analysis. However, you completely missed my point, which is that the legal profession is better than almost all the careers out there.

please F off. Boomers barely worked and didn't have the competition we have....the planet is overpopulated due to boomers booming. They had basically no competition. Boomers could get jobs with a history degree in an office - no biggie - and raise families off union blue collar jobs. Education cost like 5 bucks - I could have worked at McDonald's part time and paid for college as a Boomer. They lucked into a lot of high paying jobs that a millennial will never get due to outsourcing, Boomers' booming all of the money away, and Boomer corporate greed. Not to mention the Internet making most office jobs far more demanding with tighter deadlines and constant 24/7 being on call. The Internet (mark my words) has made working in an office a billion times more stressful due to higher demands. The nature of biglaw has changed dramatically since the Internet. And thanks to Boomers, the United States is on a steep and guaranteed decline in our generation


Although I like the stuff about "boomers booming" you fail to state any reliable facts, and instead, just proceed to make hyperbolic conclusions in a bombastic tone. Hate to say it man, but the internet is an advantage not a disadvantage, if you can't figure out how to get rich with a JD from a good school in today's day and age then you probably just weren't cut from that cloth.

But to refute a few of your points, outsourcing has affected mostly blue collar jobs or IT stuff which to me would be more undesirable then being a sex slave for Kim Jong-Un. Secondly, Corporate greed was still rampant in the boomer generation. The people under 40 who actually got rich (not middle upper-class or whatever undesirable fantasy your referring to) were the same then as they are now: business owners, lawyers, finance people, maybe a few doctors, maybe a few corporate executives.

So don't tell me
lol @ "millennial attitude" please F off to fuck off-
and then proceed to serve as a perfect example for my argument by acting like the victim of "the boomers" without any really justification. You and the attitude your kind propagates enrages me, and was precisely the cause for this vicious tirade.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby sundance95 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:15 pm

RobertGolddust wrote:The people under 40 who actually got rich (not middle upper-class or whatever undesirable fantasy your referring to) were the same then as they are now: business owners, lawyers, finance people, maybe a few doctors, maybe a few corporate executives.

lol wut

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:19 pm

1. BigGov positions (like DOJ honors) are substantive and rewarding, and are probably open to someone coming from your position. There are some of these outside of DC -- you just have to look.
2. AUSA positions. Ditto (esp. after a year or two in biglaw).
3. Elite litigation boutiques. E.g., places like Bartlit Beck and Kellogg Huber.
4. Elite plaintiffs firms. E.g., places like Lieff Cabraser and Robbins Geller.
5. Academia (although you'll have to find something else to do for 1-3 years).
6. The judiciary (although you'll have something else to do for the next ~10 years).
7. Elite PI outfits. E.g., places like NAACP and the NRDC. (Although it's going to hard for you to break into elite PI if you don't have a pretty strong track record in civil rights or the environment or whatever it is that your place of choice does.)

There are not a ton of opportunities in any one of these categories. But taken together, you're actually going to find more than one or two entry-ish level openings in just about every major market each year. The way to find them is to pick one category and extensively research that (and yes, you can simultaneously be on the market for AUSA and lit boutique positions, for example). With two federal clerkships, you'll be in the pole position for these slots.

My biggest recommendation if it's not too late is to start looking before your second clerkship ends -- it's much harder to land a job when you're jobless.

Finally, congrats on your position. Probably the most significant thing for landing one of these jobs is your pedigree -- which it sounds like you probably have locked up with your clerkships. (Although it'd help a lot if your law school was also impressive.) But not having debt to worry about helps too, especially given that few of these rewarding jobs pay close to biglaw (which could therefore make servicing hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt difficult).

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:31 pm

jbagelboy wrote:there are cool law jobs out there. being a lawyer isn't universally bad. the positions that are interesting with tolerable lifestyle and sufficient pay to sustain a family are just very competitive and take a lot of creativity and hustle.

The big problem right now is really the debt. It just doesn't fit with the old industry model, and so now they only way to sustain yourself is biglaw (or a very select few PI positions for those who are highly qualified for them).


How is this true? Most of the cool jobs are insanely competitive. The barrier for entry for most of the cool legal jobs is that generally a Yale or Chicago kid with a fancy clerkship is going to get the spot. Sure, I see how it could be semi-unpleasant to make an AUSA salary work with six figures of debt, but it's going to be a rare case that debt will be the barrier to entry for these positions. On the other hand, the fact that these positions are really hard to get pretty much always will.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:37 pm

RobertGolddust wrote:This:
Also you're clearly not in biglaw if you're writing this lengthy screed.
is the only statement in your response that even approaches a rational analysis. However, you completely missed my point, which is that the legal profession is better than almost all the careers out there.

What? Lol. I like being a lawyer fine but I have no idea why anyone would call it better than almost all the careers out there.

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1. BigGov positions (like DOJ honors) are substantive and rewarding, and are probably open to someone coming from your position. There are some of these outside of DC -- you just have to look.
2. AUSA positions. Ditto (esp. after a year or two in biglaw).
3. Elite litigation boutiques. E.g., places like Bartlit Beck and Kellogg Huber.
4. Elite plaintiffs firms. E.g., places like Lieff Cabraser and Robbins Geller.
5. Academia (although you'll have to find something else to do for 1-3 years).
6. The judiciary (although you'll have something else to do for the next ~10 years).
7. Elite PI outfits. E.g., places like NAACP and the NRDC. (Although it's going to hard for you to break into elite PI if you don't have a pretty strong track record in civil rights or the environment or whatever it is that your place of choice does.)

There are not a ton of opportunities in any one of these categories. But taken together, you're actually going to find more than one or two entry-ish level openings in just about every major market each year. The way to find them is to pick one category and extensively research that (and yes, you can simultaneously be on the market for AUSA and lit boutique positions, for example). With two federal clerkships, you'll be in the pole position for these slots.

My biggest recommendation if it's not too late is to start looking before your second clerkship ends -- it's much harder to land a job when you're jobless.

Finally, congrats on your position. Probably the most significant thing for landing one of these jobs is your pedigree -- which it sounds like you probably have locked up with your clerkships. (Although it'd help a lot if your law school was also impressive.) But not having debt to worry about helps too, especially given that few of these rewarding jobs pay close to biglaw (which could therefore make servicing hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt difficult).


OP here. Thanks a lot for this post. I probably just need to get better at researching these kinds of positions, because many (if not all) of them sound appealing. I think I know how to search for #1 and #2 -- usajobs.com and doj.gov, right? -- but so far I haven't seen anything in my market. #5 and 6, as you say, certainly aren't realistic yet (and probably won't ever be, I realize). #7 will be tough for the exact reason you identified: I don't have a resume that screams any particular substantive area of PI. But I feel like I've done a poor job searching for #3 and #4 so far. If I search "litigation boutique [market]," I find a lot of firms' websites but trying to evaluate those feels like a total crapshoot. Same for "plaintiffs' firms [market]." I'm not opposed to cold-e-mailing places like that, but I don't know how to figure out which ones are worth contacting. Any sites I'm missing that provide lists of the most-respected boutique or plaintiffs' firms in secondary markets (not flyover)?

One other question: if I don't find something like this right away, do 1-2 years in biglaw conceivably keep at least options 1-6 open for the future? (I imagine biglaw would make #7 a lot harder.) Entering biglaw would feel a lot more palatable if I could view it as a temporary jumping-off point. Would having biglaw on my resume close off any worthwhile opportunities, or can it only help?

Thanks again!

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1. BigGov positions (like DOJ honors) are substantive and rewarding, and are probably open to someone coming from your position. There are some of these outside of DC -- you just have to look.
2. AUSA positions. Ditto (esp. after a year or two in biglaw).
3. Elite litigation boutiques. E.g., places like Bartlit Beck and Kellogg Huber.
4. Elite plaintiffs firms. E.g., places like Lieff Cabraser and Robbins Geller.
5. Academia (although you'll have to find something else to do for 1-3 years).
6. The judiciary (although you'll have something else to do for the next ~10 years).
7. Elite PI outfits. E.g., places like NAACP and the NRDC. (Although it's going to hard for you to break into elite PI if you don't have a pretty strong track record in civil rights or the environment or whatever it is that your place of choice does.)

There are not a ton of opportunities in any one of these categories. But taken together, you're actually going to find more than one or two entry-ish level openings in just about every major market each year. The way to find them is to pick one category and extensively research that (and yes, you can simultaneously be on the market for AUSA and lit boutique positions, for example). With two federal clerkships, you'll be in the pole position for these slots.

My biggest recommendation if it's not too late is to start looking before your second clerkship ends -- it's much harder to land a job when you're jobless.

Finally, congrats on your position. Probably the most significant thing for landing one of these jobs is your pedigree -- which it sounds like you probably have locked up with your clerkships. (Although it'd help a lot if your law school was also impressive.) But not having debt to worry about helps too, especially given that few of these rewarding jobs pay close to biglaw (which could therefore make servicing hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt difficult).


OP here. Thanks a lot for this post. I probably just need to get better at researching these kinds of positions, because many (if not all) of them sound appealing. I think I know how to search for #1 -- usajobs.com and doj.gov, right? -- but so far I haven't seen anything in my market. #5 and 6, as you say, certainly aren't realistic yet (and probably won't ever be, I realize). #7 will be tough for the exact reason you identified: I don't have a resume that screams any particular substantive area of PI. But I feel like I've done a poor job searching for #3 and #4 so far. If I search "litigation boutique [market]," I find a lot of firms' websites but trying to evaluate those feels like a total crapshoot. Same for "plaintiffs' firms [market]." I'm not opposed to cold-e-mailing places like that, but I don't know how to figure out which ones are worth contacting. Any sites I'm missing that provide lists of the most-respected boutique or plaintiffs' firms in secondary markets (not flyover)?

One other question: if I don't find something like this right away, do 1-2 years in biglaw conceivably keep at least options 1-6 open for the future? (I imagine biglaw would make #7 a lot harder.) Entering biglaw would feel a lot more palatable if I could view it as a temporary jumping-off point. Would having biglaw on my resume close off any worthwhile opportunities, or can it only help?

Thanks again!


I'm the original list-poster.

I'd research lit boutiques by looking at the NLJ hot list lit boutiques and by asking around. Especially if you went to a top school, you should be able to figure out where the super good ones are. (They tend to be super competitive, fyi.) I think there are also posts on tls, and if there are not you can make your own. There are maybe 5-10 super legit "national" lit boutiques like BB and KH, and then there are usually 1-2 legit regional boutiques per mid-to-major market that have > biglaw hiring standards (and personally I'd take an elite "regional" boutique over most biglaw options--you'll be getting better experience on bigger projects). To find those, though, you've gotta find someone who knows a lot about that market. I know the one in my mid-sized market, but i have no clue about other cities.

I'd research plaintiffs' firms by looking at the NLJ plaintiffs hot list. It's based on verdicts, though, so I'd put the most stock on firms that repeat on the list. Look back through ~5 years of the list and write down the firms that re-occur 2-3 (or more) times. There are about 10-15 legit national plaintiffs firms (with all but 1-2 based on the coasts or TX). There are also threads on tls about the elite plaintiffs firms and, of course, you can always create a new one specific to your questions.

Finally, if you do 1-2 years of biglaw, you probably don't close any doors. There's even a remote chance that you could open a PI door if your biglaw experience is in the exact right specialty (although really don't count on it). That's part of the reason why everyone does biglaw: it's effectively a 1-3 year incredibly high-paying residency that helps you figure out what you actually want to do.*

*Note, though, that it can sometimes be tough to get in the lit boutiques not at the ground floor, and biglaw might somewhat color your application for plaintiffs firms (but not at every firm). If you apply and don't get either a lit boutique or a plaintiffs firm in your market, though, there's only so much you can do. Biglaw is probably your safest, most option-preserving option.

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mrs.miawallace

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Re: Okay, I get it: Biglaw sucks. But what else is there?

Postby mrs.miawallace » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:58 am

RobertGolddust wrote:
For the vast majority of law students, law school is not worth it and there is nothing better than biglaw (when you consider the pay/pain ratio -- a ton of lower paying law jobs still have shitty (although not AS shitty) hours). Law sucks for everyone except those with tippy top grades from top schools who get to do cool stuff like DOJ, academia, etc


I like everything about law school so far except for people like you. First off, you have a misunderstandings about the law school game. Scoring tippy top grades at a respectable school will almost always lands you a 2l SA and a high paying gig after unless you carry yourself with your attitude, that is, you know it all, the worlds against you, and you're entitled to greatness despite the fact that you probably have the courage of a weasel. Why do you feel the need to preach ominous portends about a community you're a part of, and obviously care about? Second off, compared to an ordinary job, a career in the legal profession, especially big law, is better than most of the jobs out there. Even if you can't land big law, I'm sure if you really want to make money it can be done. Moreover, I'm absolutely certain there will be several lawyers coming out of Appalachian School of T4 law who will be far better attorneys than you will ever be. You have the millennial attitude that everyone hates. I'm sorry that big law isn't as great as being a rock star, or athlete, or celebrity, or being some millionaire playboy living off a trust fund. However, you should be thankful that you make way more money than the rest of the world in an elite profession. How you ever graduated from an elite school and landed big law is beyond comprehension. My guess is that you've spent your whole life in the library, and thus, are probably a virgin whose never done anything authentic in his life. Safe space penetrated.

Also you have a better chance of landing a 9th circuit clerkship from T4 then making this happen:

If you want an easier lifestyle, consider tech: https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/defaul ... _guide.pdf

People with Bachelors-only credentials are easily pulling in 100k+ and working chill hours. LOL @ JD morons. WTF were we thinking?




support for Goldust YOU ARE GOLDEN

This attitude plagues people's mind and just makes anxious people more anxious. This pandemic pessimism should be kept to miserable people themselves. Those vents are generally painful and useless. Not one single career is easy and affords a well-to-do life at the same time. Stop being a victorian deserted wife please.



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