Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

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Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:34 pm

2L here. K-JD. Attend full-time at a T1 (ranked 40-50 by US News Reports). Class Rank is slightly higher than top 1/3.

Biglaw hiring is just about done. I don't have a damn offer or even any offer pending from ANYONE. What should I do? I recently have been getting interviews with solo practitioners asking me to work with them part-time while I attend law school. Like that will turn into anything in the future. I also get interviews with small firms (about 4-5 attorneys) to work with them as well part-time while attending law school.

How do I go about getting a job now that will pay me somewhat decent after graduation because I will be stuck with shitlaw? Should I just keep checking simplicity rigorously at this point? I am in a large legal market but am looking for decent pay and something which could eventually turn into permanent employment.

At this point am I better off just working with someone part-time while attending law school and hoping that job turns into some permanent gig and continuously checking simplicity?

Sorry for a lot of questions but recently I have been very depressed and can't find motivation to even get up out of my bed but still manage to because I signed up for this hell!

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:43 pm

I know it doesn't help your situation, but you're not alone. I'm in the same boat as you, as are many of my classmates (at my relatively decent school) and so are most of my friends at law schools across the country. Keep networking and sending out apps. It will be okay.

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:45 pm

Any interest in government work? Government jobs tend to be less obsessed with school rank than BigLaw firms. You could give yourself a fighting shot at some government stuff if you started building a public service focused resume now: internships, 2L summer, etc.

lawhopeful100

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby lawhopeful100 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:51 pm

I graduated last May from a T1 regional school. I would just say get as much experience as you can and if that means working part time or for a smaller firm so be it. Keep in mind if a better offer comes along you can always switch. For my 2L summer I first accepted an offer at a small firm and then reneged to take an offer at a (relatively) larger firm. Also a lot of my classmates didn't have anything lined up at graduation but most seem to have found something by now. You might not end up at the larger firm like you wanted but it also isn't panic button time yet.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby andythefir » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:55 pm

This site has a very narrow understanding of the job market for attorneys. Yes, it is true that the ship has probably sailed re a 300+ attorney firm. But there are lots of good jobs in the mountain west that LRAP/PAYE can make very reasonable. Now, who knows if PAYE will go away, but there are options. Outside of the very narrow understandings of this site and your CDO.

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viz-luv

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby viz-luv » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:05 pm

Top third at that tier is unlikely to get biglaw so yeah not surprising at all there. If you are truly hoping for biglaw maybe focus on a practice area for possible 3l spots (still NOT likely, especially as you said kjd so no work experience to play off. However you can get lucky and get the right area, 2 of our students pulled this off my year). Or consider an llm in tax at nyu (also anectodatally I've seen this work for someone but ymmv).

But the best way into small and mid law is to actually work there and have them love you. Yes there is no guarantee but the smaller shops can't afford to gamble on an opening 2 years in advance. If they already know you fit in then you are who gets hired when the time comes. You should definitely clerk with a firm you like to get experience, keep applying to anything you like better, and keep networking. The majority of full time employment at this type of regional school seems to come from letting them see your work.
I don't understand why you seem to equate all small firms with shit law. Not really accurate and you may miss something amazing. Some smaller places start low but do accelerated raises so that pay gap goes down fast. You can't really tell this from the websites but you can see it if you join a firm. If it feels sweat shop like, you still have another 3 semesters and a summer to try a better place.
The government idea is great too. Some awesome agencies with steady raises and great time off. Like with firms, get in with the one you like and show commitment.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:46 pm

I wish I could tell you that things will get easier, but it likely wouldn't.

It is hard but not impossible to get a midlaw/biglaw position as a 3L. You need to really up your grades. I went to a T25 school and was in the top 20% and I ended up finding a midlaw job my 3L year. I have a couple of friends who were also ranked in the top 25% of a T25 who were also able to snag something at either a midlaw/biglaw firm.

You also need to network and pound the pavement hard. Set up informational interviews with attorneys that you have common things with (i.e., same school, hobbies, church ... etc.). Start that now and check in with them ever 3-4 months. It is possible that next year they will have an opening for a 3L hire and they may be able to refer you. A lot of it is based on luck. I did over 30 informational interviews and I ended up getting lucky and got a job. My friend did over 100 informational interviews before it paid off.

Also look at inhouse jobs, while inhouse typically doesn't hire attorneys with no experience, some places are starting to hire fresh law graduates. Consider writing articles and learning more about a specific area of law. That will be the easiest way for you to demonstrate your interest and knowledge in a certain area of law.

Consider taking accounting classes in law school to get a CPA and try to get a job in Big 4 tax. While not ideal, it still at least gives you a start in the corporate world and gives you a beginning point.

Summary:
Focus on your grades, try to graduate top 15% if possible.
Network with midlaw/biglaw people you have a common interest with.
Consider writing articles on a specific subject of law.
Consider getting a CPA looking at Big 4 tax.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:31 am

Don't dismiss small firms as shit law. Yes, your biglaw ship has probably sailed, but there are plenty of good small firms (particularly in large cities) who do a ton of interesting work. You are also likely to get more (and better) experience faster at these firms. The only way to get your foot in the doora t may of these firms is by working part time as a clerk during the semester. Do it! You'll learn a hell of a lot more than you do in class and will have some spending money.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:21 pm

You need to work. Take 2 jobs if you can.

I struck out during the GR. Took a series of part-time legal jobs for anyone who would have me during school (sometimes 3-4 at a time) mostly because I was broke and had no hope of steady income aside from continuing to run up debt to the feds. These included working for free at government/non-profits, working for solos/small firms, research projects for profs. A bunch of those jobs turned into interviews including with biglaw, both based on my direct connections having connections with partners at firms and just because my resume was filled out with a lot of interesting stuff that made hiring managers take notice. Eventually got a clerkship, and the clerkship experience eventually got me biglaw.

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deadpanic

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby deadpanic » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:12 pm

Unfortunately, it looks like you fell for the Tier 1 trap by US News or the school you attended. There is really no meaningful distinction between a school ranked between 40-50 and one ranked between 100-110. Once you get past the T18ish schools, you will need to be top 10%, if not in the top 10 students, for any small shot at big law (and it is still a small chance at top 10%).

I would echo what many are saying in that the big law ship has definitely sailed (and was not really there to begin with in the first place). Mid law is almost certainly out as well (I think this is sometimes even more difficult than big law because their hiring is more similar to smaller firms and not lockstep). You definitely need to start hustling and trying to reach out to small firms and/or showing an interest in government work (non-fed), where they care less about grades and school rank.

What did you do your 1L summer?

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:26 pm

deadpanic wrote:Unfortunately, it looks like you fell for the Tier 1 trap by US News or the school you attended. There is really no meaningful distinction between a school ranked between 40-50 and one ranked between 100-110. Once you get past the T18ish schools, you will need to be top 10%, if not in the top 10 students, for any small shot at big law (and it is still a small chance at top 10%).



Bold is 100% true IME. In fact, a lot of "lower" ranked schools way out perform better T1 schools. I can all but guarantee Brooklyn Law (#96 or so) puts more folks in biglaw per year then a school like Arizona State (#25). Once you get beyond the tippy top schools, location matters a hell of a lot more than rank.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:29 pm

Op here. Thank you guys.

Yes, good question. 1L summer I just did a non-paid internship with a local county judge. It was a County Civil Court. Nothing big.

Wrote memoranda on pre-trial issues mostly.

Yes indeed I did fall for the trap, but I am to blame for this. The information was already available to me had I searched deeper, but you know what, I still took the gamble....

There really is no difference between a T40-50 and a higher TTT lol.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AT9

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby AT9 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:30 pm

In addition to government jobs generally, take a look at state level appellate and/or federal magistrate clerkship opportunities. Seems like a lot of those judges (depending on the state/market) look for students in the good-but-not-amazing grades at a T1 demographic. That may be a good way to set yourself up for a job at a decent firm (regardless of size), gov. jobs, or better clerkships.

Like others have said, as a kjd/non-IP student, biglaw is unlikely at top 1/3 from most schools in the 30-50 range. Might be able to get a shot at 3L offers if you can move closer to the top 10/20%.

Maybe consider a tax LLM or something as others suggested (if you're interested in tax), but you don't need to relegate yourself to unemployment or more debt just yet. Your outlook is still generally positive if you network, keep your grades up, and hustle.

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:39 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:I can all but guarantee Brooklyn Law (#96 or so) puts more folks in biglaw per year then a school like Arizona State (#25).

This is true for sure in NYC.

I always find it interesting that people on this site always preach T14 or die when it comes to biglaw. Not disputing the statistical anomalies of TTT students in biglaw, but there's a little more at play than just school pedigree and grades. As we speak, I'm looking at a practice group partner's bio page from a very well-respected NYC midlaw firm who attended a school in Alabama that not only have I never heard of/knew existed but is also unranked.

Sure, school ranking and grades come into play with first-year associates because there's really nothing else for a firm to go off of when reviewing candidates. And with so many law school students graduating these days, they can't possibly interview every single one of them. So they have to thin the herd some way. But what can really help attorneys move from small law to midlaw to biglaw is expertise, knowledge, and skills in a certain area. Firms don't just hire to have flashy attorney bio pages; they need people to do the actual work. If you have to work "shitlaw," be the best at what you do at your firm so you can impress the attorneys in your field. If you pout at your shitlaw desk all day you're not going to learn anything and you'll be stuck.

Or, build a solid $2 million/year book of business and I bet even the Cravaths of the world will welcome you and your Vermont Law School diploma with open arms.
Last edited by 1styearlateral on Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lettow

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Re: Biglaw Hiring is About Done - No Job Prospects

Postby Lettow » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:51 pm

OP, I would not dismiss any legal job with terms like "shitlaw," which is an offensive and typically unfair term applied to numerous jobs that anyone in your position should be glad to have. You went to a mediocre school and are not the top of your class. You're going to get even more depressed if you think of the jobs available to you as being shit.



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