Seeking some General Advice

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Posts: 441
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!

Posts: 111
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.

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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.

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