Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

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Anonymous User
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Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:34 am

I was accepted for enrollment this fall at a mid-T14 and while I was excited at first, I am now having reservations about going into law school with a resume as weak as mine. I'm afraid it is going to cost me at OCI. Consequently, I'm considering first working in a staff capacity at a BigLaw firm (if possible). However, I'm really struggling to get traction anywhere. I've applied all over the Vault 100 and have only gotten 1 interview so far, which didn't end up going anywhere. I hear it is notoriously hard to get one of these jobs without having gone to a prestige university for undergrad and/or having connections (neither of which apply to me), so I might be fighting a losing battle. However, do you guys have any advice or know of any good hiring agencies for such jobs? Desperate for any kind of help.

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KMart
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby KMart » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:56 am

you don't need it. enjoy your summer before law school instead. it's too early to be focused on OCI. focus on having fun. then, during 1L, focus on your grades. then, during summer 2018, focus on OCI.

180orDie
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby 180orDie » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:03 am

KMart wrote:you don't need it. enjoy your summer before law school instead. it's too early to be focused on OCI. focus on having fun. then, during 1L, focus on your grades. then, during summer 2018, focus on OCI.


Well, the problem is, I'm not a K-JD. I did a gap year (graduated in May 2016) but I've only recently got a (menial) job. And by recently I mean within this month. I studied full time from graduation until the December LSAT and I've been trying to get a decent job ever since, but to no avail. I finally swallowed my pride and settled for a menial job, but now I'm realizing I shouldn't have been so prideful. So there's going to be a big gap. I'm hoping by working a year or two I can distance myself from that gap for OCI.

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KMart
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby KMart » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:04 am

180orDie wrote:
KMart wrote:you don't need it. enjoy your summer before law school instead. it's too early to be focused on OCI. focus on having fun. then, during 1L, focus on your grades. then, during summer 2018, focus on OCI.


Well, the problem is, I'm not a K-JD. I did a gap year (graduated in May 2016) but I've only recently got a (menial) job. And by recently I mean within this month. I studied full time from graduation until the December LSAT and I've been trying to get a decent job ever since, but to no avail. I finally swallowed my pride and settled for a menial job, but now I'm realizing I shouldn't have been so prideful. So there's going to be a big gap. I'm hoping by working a year or two I can distance myself from that gap for OCI.

well you're not going to be working for long because you start school in 4 months. what did you do during your gap?

180orDie
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby 180orDie » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:09 am

KMart wrote:
180orDie wrote:
KMart wrote:you don't need it. enjoy your summer before law school instead. it's too early to be focused on OCI. focus on having fun. then, during 1L, focus on your grades. then, during summer 2018, focus on OCI.


Well, the problem is, I'm not a K-JD. I did a gap year (graduated in May 2016) but I've only recently got a (menial) job. And by recently I mean within this month. I studied full time from graduation until the December LSAT and I've been trying to get a decent job ever since, but to no avail. I finally swallowed my pride and settled for a menial job, but now I'm realizing I shouldn't have been so prideful. So there's going to be a big gap. I'm hoping by working a year or two I can distance myself from that gap for OCI.

well you're not going to be working for long because you start school in 4 months. what did you do during your gap?


Well like I said from graduation til December I just treated LSAT studying like a full time job. Then after that I had a tumultuous couple of months where I had plans to move and had a job lined up but it fell through because of some unforeseen circumstances. I've been looking for gainful employment since. It's a long story. But it's not easily explained away, and that's what frightens me.

ausimpv
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby ausimpv » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:01 am

You really shouldn't be worried about OCI now. You still have to go through your first year and first summer job to get there. If you don't get a job during OCI it won't be because of your resume now. It will either be 1) your grades or 2) lack of interviewing skills.

ballouttacontrol
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby ballouttacontrol » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:43 am

wrong time to apply most hiring for vault paralegals is done after ug graduation, and then expects a 1-2 yr commitment. you're applying kinda out of cycle.

if you're applying for jobs other than paralegals, these jobs are really really specialized so its not surprising you'd get no traction with zero experience. I'm not 100% sure on this but I feel staff positions other than paras and legal secretaries are pretty competitive positions (docketing, billing, reception, recruiting, HR, IT, marketing, devers/desigeners,all that other crap) and i would imagine need some reasonable experience in the field. Biglaw benefits and pay for these kinda staff positions is pretty solid so I would imagine fairly competitive.

If you want some exposure to law for the next couple months you could try hitting up smaller firms/trolling craigslist.

Obviously you're not gonna learn dick in 2-3 months of work, and you'll kill any chance of working for that firm in the future.

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TooMuchTuna
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby TooMuchTuna » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:42 am

ballouttacontrol wrote:
Obviously you're not gonna learn dick in 2-3 months of work, and you'll kill any chance of working for that firm in the future.


Agree with the bolded. Do you NEED the money or do you just want experience? If it's the latter, why don't you volunteer somewhere?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:15 am

Agree that volunteering is the better bet.

For what it's worth, I think that firms generally give approximately zero extra credit to people who were former biglaw staff. I know I do when interviewing 2Ls. It's helpful to show that someone has seen up close what the job is and still wants to do it, but that's about it.

In any event, you will not stand out for having little experience. That describes many law students.

But to answer your question, finally - I don't think any firm will hire you to work for 4 months, in any capacity.

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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby YBF-W » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:18 am

TooMuchTuna wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
Obviously you're not gonna learn dick in 2-3 months of work, and you'll kill any chance of working for that firm in the future.


Agree with the bolded. Do you NEED the money or do you just want experience? If it's the latter, why don't you volunteer somewhere?


You also don't have to restrict yourself to biglaw staff jobs. You can gain professional or meaningful experience doing many other things: volunteering​, add on to a business venture/start up team, research, development or project planning work with a think tank engaged in a subject of interest.

Also, you do know K-JDs get jobs?

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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby Nebby » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:I was accepted for enrollment this fall at a mid-T14 and while I was excited at first, I am now having reservations about going into law school with a resume as weak as mine. I'm afraid it is going to cost me at OCI. Consequently, I'm considering first working in a staff capacity at a BigLaw firm (if possible). However, I'm really struggling to get traction anywhere. I've applied all over the Vault 100 and have only gotten 1 interview so far, which didn't end up going anywhere. I hear it is notoriously hard to get one of these jobs without having gone to a prestige university for undergrad and/or having connections (neither of which apply to me), so I might be fighting a losing battle. However, do you guys have any advice or know of any good hiring agencies for such jobs? Desperate for any kind of help.

Your resume isn't nony going to cost you. To get a biglaw job you need to go to a T14 and get non-terrible grades

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deepseapartners
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby deepseapartners » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:32 am

OP the only thing that should matter to you at this point is getting the absolute best possible grades during 1L. Take this opportunity to travel, read, catch up with family and friends, etc. There are plenty of people who get great biglaw jobs who didn't go to Ivies or whatever, they just busted ass their first year and walked away from OCI with a good job.

I suspect from reading your post that you don't have a super clear idea of how recruiting works, and I would strongly recommend reading those threads in this forum. If you still have questions, feel free to PM me.

180orDie
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby 180orDie » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:49 am

deepseapartners wrote:OP the only thing that should matter to you at this point is getting the absolute best possible grades during 1L. Take this opportunity to travel, read, catch up with family and friends, etc. There are plenty of people who get great biglaw jobs who didn't go to Ivies or whatever, they just busted ass their first year and walked away from OCI with a good job.

I suspect from reading your post that you don't have a super clear idea of how recruiting works, and I would strongly recommend reading those threads in this forum. If you still have questions, feel free to PM me.


I understand the importance of 1L grades, but my concern is having had a gap year but only having a job for a few months out of that gap year. I'm afraid that is going to look terrible at OCI.

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby Dr. Nefario » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:57 am

180orDie wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:OP the only thing that should matter to you at this point is getting the absolute best possible grades during 1L. Take this opportunity to travel, read, catch up with family and friends, etc. There are plenty of people who get great biglaw jobs who didn't go to Ivies or whatever, they just busted ass their first year and walked away from OCI with a good job.

I suspect from reading your post that you don't have a super clear idea of how recruiting works, and I would strongly recommend reading those threads in this forum. If you still have questions, feel free to PM me.


I understand the importance of 1L grades, but my concern is having had a gap year but only having a job for a few months out of that gap year. I'm afraid that is going to look terrible at OCI.


Firms really won't care. If you explain you spent your time treating the LSAT like a full-time job then its no big deal. If anything it shows how committed you were to preparing for your future. But people take full-gap years and travel. You're going to a t14. Your resume will be the same as if you went k-JD. Just enjoy your summer and your small job now.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:00 am

I'd consider being a big law staff member to be a slight negative, not a positive at all.

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nealric
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby nealric » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:06 am

180orDie wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:OP the only thing that should matter to you at this point is getting the absolute best possible grades during 1L. Take this opportunity to travel, read, catch up with family and friends, etc. There are plenty of people who get great biglaw jobs who didn't go to Ivies or whatever, they just busted ass their first year and walked away from OCI with a good job.

I suspect from reading your post that you don't have a super clear idea of how recruiting works, and I would strongly recommend reading those threads in this forum. If you still have questions, feel free to PM me.


I understand the importance of 1L grades, but my concern is having had a gap year but only having a job for a few months out of that gap year. I'm afraid that is going to look terrible at OCI.


Nobody is going to care, nor would they be impressed by some low-level biglaw staff job. Just relax. Volunteer, travel. Summer before 1L may be the last time in a LONG time you can just cut lose with no work to bother you.

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deepseapartners
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby deepseapartners » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:13 am

180orDie wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:OP the only thing that should matter to you at this point is getting the absolute best possible grades during 1L. Take this opportunity to travel, read, catch up with family and friends, etc. There are plenty of people who get great biglaw jobs who didn't go to Ivies or whatever, they just busted ass their first year and walked away from OCI with a good job.

I suspect from reading your post that you don't have a super clear idea of how recruiting works, and I would strongly recommend reading those threads in this forum. If you still have questions, feel free to PM me.


I understand the importance of 1L grades, but my concern is having had a gap year but only having a job for a few months out of that gap year. I'm afraid that is going to look terrible at OCI.

It won't. You really should take this time to relax, stressing about OCI against everyone's advice 4-5 months before you've even started law school is only going to make your life harder. Like everyone else has said here, you should enjoy what will likely be your last long period of freedom, and even if you're the kind of person who can't enjoy time not working or worrying about something, worrying about OCI at this point is extremely unproductive.

albanach
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby albanach » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:18 am

As others said, go volunteer somewhere like your local legal aid. Then find some volunteering opportunities when you start school - bot not so much that they interfere with your studies. 1L grades are important.

Do some different probono over either Christmas or Spring break and then with your 1L summer position you'll have three or four things to talk about during a 30 minute interview at OCI.

You don't need a biglaw staff position now and it won't help you even if you do land one.

Tiny Rick!
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby Tiny Rick! » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:19 am

The only thing you need to do is figure out how to explain your gap year better than you did in the OP. Saying that you tried to get a job but couldn't, acting wishy washy about studying for the LSAT and not being confident in your credentials will be why you will struggle at oci.

Say you affirmatively chose a gap year to concentrate on the LSAT, volunteer and travel. Make sure you have some good stories from volunteering and traveling along with some things that you learned. This will only look like a weakness in your resume if you don't seem deliberative and confident about the direction of your life.

YBF-W
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby YBF-W » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:44 am

Desert Fox wrote:I'd consider being a big law staff member to be a slight negative, not a positive at all.


Why?

1styearlateral
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:03 pm

Worrying about OCI before you've even attended your first class is asinine. Also, assuming there's a law firm out there that would hire you with the knowledge that you will quit in 3 months, a staff job at any major law firm will not help you with your courses, exams, or OCI in any way, shape, or form. OP is overly paranoid.

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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:05 pm

Tiny Rick! wrote:The only thing you need to do is figure out how to explain your gap year better than you did in the OP. Saying that you tried to get a job but couldn't, acting wishy washy about studying for the LSAT and not being confident in your credentials will be why you will struggle at oci.

Say you affirmatively chose a gap year to concentrate on the LSAT, volunteer and travel. Make sure you have some good stories from volunteering and traveling along with some things that you learned. This will only look like a weakness in your resume if you don't seem deliberative and confident about the direction of your life.


Bingo. Your lack of confidence is misguided. Spin everything you do as a positive and be confident about your gap year - its nothing to be ashamed of. Also, as others have mentioned, just focus on getting good grades. The rest will fall in line.

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elendinel
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Re: Advice on Getting a BigLaw Staff Job?

Postby elendinel » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:42 pm

I agree with everyone else above. You're over thinking things; enjoy the summer and whenschool starts, make sure your 1L grades are as good as you can get them. Plenty of people with no work experience do fine in OCI.

In the meantime, focus on having confidence in yourself and confidence in the choices you have made so far. Literally anything can be spun into a positive learning experience, when you learn not to be ashamed of yourself.




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