Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

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Troyj323

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Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby Troyj323 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:55 am

Hi All,

I just graduated from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles at the very bottom of my class. I have huge debt so I willl be on IBR. I am studying for the bar in Feburary. I am aware that I cannot work for a big firm in CA. Do you guys think I will be able to find a job in a small firm like the positions posted on craigilist? I know some of my classmates are working in small law or DA, PD, etc. Do you think the DA would consider me at the bottom of the class? I suffer from major depression/axiety and I should have sought accommodations during law school? I don't have any money to start a solo pratice so that is not a possibility. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, all.

malibustacy

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby malibustacy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:55 am

It's hard to say. You already know you're facing an uphill battle, but you've graduated, so that's that. Focus first on passing the bar exam I suppose.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:14 am

Troyj323 wrote:Hi All,

I just graduated from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles at the very bottom of my class. I have huge debt so I willl be on IBR. I am studying for the bar in Feburary. I am aware that I cannot work for a big firm in CA. Do you guys think I will be able to find a job in a small firm like the positions posted on craigilist? I know some of my classmates are working in small law or DA, PD, etc. Do you think the DA would consider me at the bottom of the class? I suffer from major depression/axiety and I should have sought accommodations during law school? I don't have any money to start a solo pratice so that is not a possibility. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, all.



I think you're best bet would be to volunteer for DA/PD and try to get a second job at night. I doubt they'll hire your straight up, but may after six or so months of volunteer work. Then you'd be in a PLSF eligible job, and you're loans would be forgiven in ten years.

Also, CA DA's and PD's get paid well anyway. May be a stretch because these jobs are highly competitive for that reason.

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zhenders

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby zhenders » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:51 am

1) pass the bar
2) focus on interviewing skills

Ask around in your area to see if you can get an impression for which jobs ask for grades and which don't.

Good luck!

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zot1

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby zot1 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:58 am

Pass the bar first, then look for jobs. At this point, most places would be hesitant to hire you anyway until you have your license.

Baby steps, man. Baby steps.

andythefir

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby andythefir » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:16 pm

New Mexico's 5th District hires mostly Cooley grads. Their PD can't even get people to apply, and the situation made the NYT. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/us/n ... rtage.html. If you pass the bar anywhere you can work as an attorney if you're working in public interest and take the next bar.

If I were you, I'd take a UBE pass state with the lowest LSAT score among sitters. If you pass, you pass in tons of states. Then apply to every single PD/DA/AG office in every single state, whether or not they're advertising. California's bar is way too hard to count on passing, and I'd bet the market is super saturated. Good luck.

se7en

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby se7en » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:48 pm

Yes - you can get a job at the DA or other gov entity - I have had a number of friends get jobs there and they never asked for grades. I am not sure about LA, but definitely other Southern Cali cities. Pass the bar first, though.

Troyj323

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby Troyj323 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:09 pm

I really appreciate the advice given.

Troyj323

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby Troyj323 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:15 pm

se7en wrote:Yes - you can get a job at the DA or other gov entity - I have had a number of friends get jobs there and they never asked for grades. I am not sure about LA, but definitely other Southern Cali cities. Pass the bar first, though.


Thanks, man what about small law jobs thou.

1styearlateral

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:58 pm

Troyj323 wrote:
se7en wrote:Yes - you can get a job at the DA or other gov entity - I have had a number of friends get jobs there and they never asked for grades. I am not sure about LA, but definitely other Southern Cali cities. Pass the bar first, though.


Thanks, man what about small law jobs thou.

If you're personable and competent (being bottom of your class does not necessarily mean you're incompetent), a small firm would likely take you. Honestly, just get good at a certain area of law or specialize in a niche practice and you could find yourself very valuable.

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rpupkin

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby rpupkin » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:47 pm

Pass the bar. Then find a small firm (or a solo practitioner) that needs help. Accept/assume that your pay will be very low at first. Your focus should be on acquiring skills.

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anon sequitur

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby anon sequitur » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:54 pm

Are you focused on California? DA/PD jobs are not really easy to get anywhere in California. Lots of people want to be there in general, and they actually pay pretty well unlike other jurisdictions. Your grades won't matter for most such jobs though.

Troyj323

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby Troyj323 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:05 pm

anon sequitur wrote:Are you focused on California? DA/PD jobs are not really easy to get anywhere in California. Lots of people want to be there in general, and they actually pay pretty well unlike other jurisdictions. Your grades won't matter for most such jobs though.



I am not really focused on California; I grew up here in Los Angeles and I did decide to go to law school in Los Angeles. Southwestern was not my first choice, obviously. And I totally failed in terms academic performance at SW which blows my mind. My law school depression was very severe. I am looking for any entry level attorney position in all 50 states.

Troyj323

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby Troyj323 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:09 pm

rpupkin wrote:Pass the bar. Then find a small firm (or a solo practitioner) that needs help. Accept/assume that your pay will be very low at first. Your focus should be on acquiring skills.



Thanks for the on point advice; I would absoulutely accept low paying position if I could get experience as a Attorney.

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anon sequitur

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Re: Graduated from Southwestern law school at the very bottom of the class with huge debt.

Postby anon sequitur » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:22 pm

If you pass the bar and are geographically flexible, you can find an attorney job. If you are actually interested in crim work you can definitely get in somewhere, and you might find you really like your job. The good news about your grades is that although it makes it hard to get certain jobs, you can just concentrate on jobs that don't care about GPA, and you'll never have to think about your grades again.



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