Seeking some General Advice

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favrefire4
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:27 pm

Seeking some General Advice

Postby favrefire4 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:50 pm

Hello, TLS!

I was hoping to get some general advice for my current situation. As background, from the Midwest, went to a large Big-Ten school for undergrad with unique major and did exceedingly well. Went to Emory for law school and finished somewhere in the top half. Took and passed GA bar. Landed a contract position in Fall of '15 after getting results with national L&E boutique. Was let go in Spring of '16. Moved to DFW area in Spring of '16 to be closer to family. Have been doing e-discovery while awaiting February bar results.

Not getting much (read: any) traction. Have had a couple interviews that haven't gone anywhere. Is it too late for me? Do I begin to look into other career paths? Any help would be immensely appreciated!

LurkerTurnedMember
Posts: 223
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Seeking some General Advice

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:18 pm

What's with so many people on TLS acting like if they don't get big law they need to switch careers cause they're ruined as a lawyer?

With respect to working at a firm, unless you went to a top law school (T14), you're gonna have to put in more work than just mass mailing applications (even people from T14 gotta do it depending on the firm). This means you gotta hit up lawyers at the target firm and go on coffee meets, have informational interviews over the phone or in person, etc. You gotta make sure you personalize your cover letter to the firm precisely, including name dropping people at the firm, and figure out what the firm's needs are exactly and tailor yourself for it. Sending out general mass mailed apps to a bunch of firms won't get you much.

And this works for both big law and smaller firms. Biglaw firms focus on credentials a lot of applicants don't have (law school, prior work history like firm work or clerking, etc) so not having those puts a barrier in front of applicants. Smaller firms might be more local and have more relaxed standards on credentials but they can be just as picky cause they care about geographical connection, specific niche experience, etc. So for whatever firm you're goin for, don't just mass mail general apps.

Even if you don't get a firm job, there are a lot of other options. Try clerking at a less competitive market, even if it's just a magistrate or senior judge. Try a non-profit legal organization that isn't the most competitive. Heck, even ACLU isn't competitive in smaller markets (Some locations don't even have lawyers staffed). It might not be an ideal situation but a job is a job and you can slowly work your way up.

Npret
Posts: 1155
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Seeking some General Advice

Postby Npret » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:26 pm

Things at small firms might open up once you have your license.

Anonymous User
Posts: 295074
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Seeking some General Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:27 am

I'm the Advice General.
Smaller firms are better. They pay the same in the long run (i.e. you actually can stay at the firm), and you get to do more law.
Just do your eDiscovery work and go to section/yld events and meet people at smaller firms. It's hard to find lawyers with experience. Firms give massive recruiting bonuses to associates. Seems like you just say you were a lawyer at the big firm, but then needed to move home to be closer to family. You'll get hired. It's a 40+ year career. This year is just a blip.

Only caveat is: why were you let go? The industry is bumping so that's kind of concerning.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Seeking some General Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:Only caveat is: why were you let go? The industry is bumping so that's kind of concerning.


You'd be surprised. I'm at a national L&E boutique and business firm-wide is down. ELPI rates keep getting lower and lower, so there's a push to bill more and more hours to try to recapture revenue.

Also, OP, have you looked at government? If you're going to go to a small firm, you'll probably earn more in government long-term. Small firm pay usually isn't great and a lot of times does not come with benefits. I wouldn't go back to small firm life (I lateraled from a small firm to my current L&E firm).

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Roy McAvoy
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:55 pm

Re: Seeking some General Advice

Postby Roy McAvoy » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Only caveat is: why were you let go? The industry is bumping so that's kind of concerning.


You'd be surprised. I'm at a national L&E boutique and business firm-wide is down. ELPI rates keep getting lower and lower, so there's a push to bill more and more hours to try to recapture revenue.

Also, OP, have you looked at government? If you're going to go to a small firm, you'll probably earn more in government long-term. Small firm pay usually isn't great and a lot of times does not come with benefits. I wouldn't go back to small firm life (I lateraled from a small firm to my current L&E firm).


I know this is a very random suggestion, but look at staff attorney positions with ND and ED Texas. I've got a friend working there now and they are swamped.

With that aside, network network network. You went to a good school and have a good reason for coming to DFW (family). I definitely think you can spin this in a way so as to not look desperate. There are TONS of small firms in DFW and you never know who might be hiring. Start by searching for every attorney in DFW who went to Emory and/or your undergrad and ask to meet them for lunch or coffee. Does your family know any lawyers? Meet with them and ask at the end who else they suggest you talk to. Things like this. Don't worry too much, you'll be fine.

Anonymous User
Posts: 295074
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Seeking some General Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Only caveat is: why were you let go? The industry is bumping so that's kind of concerning.


You'd be surprised. I'm at a national L&E boutique and business firm-wide is down. ELPI rates keep getting lower and lower, so there's a push to bill more and more hours to try to recapture revenue.

Also, OP, have you looked at government? If you're going to go to a small firm, you'll probably earn more in government long-term. Small firm pay usually isn't great and a lot of times does not come with benefits. I wouldn't go back to small firm life (I lateraled from a small firm to my current L&E firm).

I do l&e and insurance has never, ever been a consideration. Are you really working for insurance companies?

favrefire4
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:27 pm

Re: Seeking some General Advice

Postby favrefire4 » Mon May 01, 2017 11:52 am

OP here. I was let go because the case I was brought in on was pushing towards a quicker settlement than anticipated so the work kind of dried up. I ideally want private practice but really don't care about the size of the firm.

Anonymous User
Posts: 295074
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Seeking some General Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 01, 2017 2:20 pm

favrefire4 wrote:OP here. I was let go because the case I was brought in on was pushing towards a quicker settlement than anticipated so the work kind of dried up. I ideally want private practice but really don't care about the size of the firm.

You're from out-of-state with no network and not yet admitted, so it's gonna be difficult. The best advice I can give is "don't give up"
Keep pounding the pavement, doing the networking thing, reaching out to alumni i the area, etc., until you land something. Keep at it and something will turn up




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