Advise.

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brorepresentation1

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Advise.

Postby brorepresentation1 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:12 am

Went to a decent school in Los Angeles (Loyola). Passed the July bar. Ended up at a plaintiff vehicle mill. 70k a year with benefits. I got Bs and As through law school and did not realize the importance of networking until law school was over. Big mistake. At my current job, I work very long hours, almost the sort of hours that people in Biglaw work. I would like to get into Biglaw myself. The truth is, I have no idea how to get into "Biglaw". Given that I have four years of hands on experience in Plaintiff's firms and I have also been a Judicial Clerk within the LASC, I feel as if I am the type of candidate that Biglaw would be looking for. In other words, I do not need much guidance, I clerked for a judge, I did well in law school, I work well under pressure and lastly I'm not a totally weirdo.


I just do not know how to get my foot in the "Biglaw" door. Can someone shed some light on this? Thanks!

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cavalier1138

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Re: Advise.

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:46 am

brorepresentation1 wrote:Went to a decent school in Los Angeles (Loyola).


Since you're employed as a lawyer after graduation, you're doing pretty well for Loyola. But where did your grades place you in your class? Also, when you say you "clerked," do you mean that you clerked for a year after graduation before taking the bar? The way you mentioned your experience is confusing, so I wanted to be clear on the timing.

That said, biglaw firms are primarily looking for people who got good grades at good schools. It sounds like you had the former, but you'll probably need to build up a few years of experience at your current job to stand a chance at lateraling. Or you may need to switch to a plaintiff's firm that does more work in the areas that a large firm is likely to be working (if I understood the nature of your current job correctly).

brorepresentation1

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Re: Advise.

Postby brorepresentation1 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:31 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:Went to a decent school in Los Angeles (Loyola).


Since you're employed as a lawyer after graduation, you're doing pretty well for Loyola. But where did your grades place you in your class? Also, when you say you "clerked," do you mean that you clerked for a year after graduation before taking the bar? The way you mentioned your experience is confusing, so I wanted to be clear on the timing.

That said, biglaw firms are primarily looking for people who got good grades at good schools. It sounds like you had the former, but you'll probably need to build up a few years of experience at your current job to stand a chance at lateraling. Or you may need to switch to a plaintiff's firm that does more work in the areas that a large firm is likely to be working (if I understood the nature of your current job correctly).


First, sorry you were confused. Allow me to clarify. I was in the top 17% of my graduating class.

Moreover, I worked for 4 months after taking the bar exam as a Judicial Extern for a Civil-Unlimited Judge in the Superior Court, writing tentative orders, advising on ex-parte hearings ( in other words, whether or whether not "exigent circumstances" truly exist), motion calendaring as to avoid conflicts in the Department, trial calendaring, etc.

I have also worked for approximately 4 years in Plaintiff litigation firms. As a result, I can take depositions, defend them, write motions, oppose motions, attend court to show cause, or any other judicial related matter. Also, I can do all of discovery with minimal oversight.

In any event, I didn't do OCI because my family was going through some serious stuff (I know, I know, everyone has a story). Nonetheless, now, I'm gainfully employed and doing fine, I am just bored and not making much money. I would like to go into big law, I just don't know how to do it!!!! The only people I know that went into Big Law were either in the top 5% of the class or, even more common ---- nepotism.

If you'd like me to rephrase anything or if you'd like any further clarifications, feel free to ask. Thanks again.

2013

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Re: Advise.

Postby 2013 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:10 pm

brorepresentation1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:Went to a decent school in Los Angeles (Loyola).


Since you're employed as a lawyer after graduation, you're doing pretty well for Loyola. But where did your grades place you in your class? Also, when you say you "clerked," do you mean that you clerked for a year after graduation before taking the bar? The way you mentioned your experience is confusing, so I wanted to be clear on the timing.

That said, biglaw firms are primarily looking for people who got good grades at good schools. It sounds like you had the former, but you'll probably need to build up a few years of experience at your current job to stand a chance at lateraling. Or you may need to switch to a plaintiff's firm that does more work in the areas that a large firm is likely to be working (if I understood the nature of your current job correctly).


First, sorry you were confused. Allow me to clarify. I was in the top 17% of my graduating class.

Moreover, I worked for 4 months after taking the bar exam as a Judicial Extern for a Civil-Unlimited Judge in the Superior Court, writing tentative orders, advising on ex-parte hearings ( in other words, whether or whether not "exigent circumstances" truly exist), motion calendaring as to avoid conflicts in the Department, trial calendaring, etc.

I have also worked for approximately 4 years in Plaintiff litigation firms. As a result, I can take depositions, defend them, write motions, oppose motions, attend court to show cause, or any other judicial related matter. Also, I can do all of discovery with minimal oversight.

In any event, I didn't do OCI because my family was going through some serious stuff (I know, I know, everyone has a story). Nonetheless, now, I'm gainfully employed and doing fine, I am just bored and not making much money. I would like to go into big law, I just don't know how to do it!!!! The only people I know that went into Big Law were either in the top 5% of the class or, even more common ---- nepotism.

If you'd like me to rephrase anything or if you'd like any further clarifications, feel free to ask. Thanks again.


If you just passed the bar, you’ve only been working as an attorney at the firm for a few months, no? I’m confused why you keep saying four years unless you failed the bar multiple times or are adding summer and semester internship time, which doesn’t really count to firms.

Do you know any of the top 5% people? If not, do you know any professors who had some of the attorneys in big firms as students who could put you in touch with them to just talk (like an informational interview)? That’s probably the way to start.

brorepresentation1

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Re: Advise.

Postby brorepresentation1 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:46 pm

2013 wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:Went to a decent school in Los Angeles (Loyola).


Since you're employed as a lawyer after graduation, you're doing pretty well for Loyola. But where did your grades place you in your class? Also, when you say you "clerked," do you mean that you clerked for a year after graduation before taking the bar? The way you mentioned your experience is confusing, so I wanted to be clear on the timing.

That said, biglaw firms are primarily looking for people who got good grades at good schools. It sounds like you had the former, but you'll probably need to build up a few years of experience at your current job to stand a chance at lateraling. Or you may need to switch to a plaintiff's firm that does more work in the areas that a large firm is likely to be working (if I understood the nature of your current job correctly).


First, sorry you were confused. Allow me to clarify. I was in the top 17% of my graduating class.

Moreover, I worked for 4 months after taking the bar exam as a Judicial Extern for a Civil-Unlimited Judge in the Superior Court, writing tentative orders, advising on ex-parte hearings ( in other words, whether or whether not "exigent circumstances" truly exist), motion calendaring as to avoid conflicts in the Department, trial calendaring, etc.

I have also worked for approximately 4 years in Plaintiff litigation firms. As a result, I can take depositions, defend them, write motions, oppose motions, attend court to show cause, or any other judicial related matter. Also, I can do all of discovery with minimal oversight.

In any event, I didn't do OCI because my family was going through some serious stuff (I know, I know, everyone has a story). Nonetheless, now, I'm gainfully employed and doing fine, I am just bored and not making much money. I would like to go into big law, I just don't know how to do it!!!! The only people I know that went into Big Law were either in the top 5% of the class or, even more common ---- nepotism.

If you'd like me to rephrase anything or if you'd like any further clarifications, feel free to ask. Thanks again.


If you just passed the bar, you’ve only been working as an attorney at the firm for a few months, no? I’m confused why you keep saying four years unless you failed the bar multiple times or are adding summer and semester internship time, which doesn’t really count to firms.

Do you know any of the top 5% people? If not, do you know any professors who had some of the attorneys in big firms as students who could put you in touch with them to just talk (like an informational interview)? That’s probably the way to start.



I just passed in July. I apologize for the confusion. You are right, I've only been an officially licensed attorney for a few months. Four years as a law clerk. I gather you are saying that documented experience on a resume as a non-licensed law clerk, even if was for many years, is immaterial to the hiring process in the world of "Biglaw".

And yes, I do know many of those 5% people, many of them are very close personal friends. And the professor suggestion is very interesting. I am going to try that. I appreciate your input.

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Re: Advise.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:15 pm

brorepresentation1 wrote:
2013 wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:Went to a decent school in Los Angeles (Loyola).


Since you're employed as a lawyer after graduation, you're doing pretty well for Loyola. But where did your grades place you in your class? Also, when you say you "clerked," do you mean that you clerked for a year after graduation before taking the bar? The way you mentioned your experience is confusing, so I wanted to be clear on the timing.

That said, biglaw firms are primarily looking for people who got good grades at good schools. It sounds like you had the former, but you'll probably need to build up a few years of experience at your current job to stand a chance at lateraling. Or you may need to switch to a plaintiff's firm that does more work in the areas that a large firm is likely to be working (if I understood the nature of your current job correctly).


First, sorry you were confused. Allow me to clarify. I was in the top 17% of my graduating class.

Moreover, I worked for 4 months after taking the bar exam as a Judicial Extern for a Civil-Unlimited Judge in the Superior Court, writing tentative orders, advising on ex-parte hearings ( in other words, whether or whether not "exigent circumstances" truly exist), motion calendaring as to avoid conflicts in the Department, trial calendaring, etc.

I have also worked for approximately 4 years in Plaintiff litigation firms. As a result, I can take depositions, defend them, write motions, oppose motions, attend court to show cause, or any other judicial related matter. Also, I can do all of discovery with minimal oversight.

In any event, I didn't do OCI because my family was going through some serious stuff (I know, I know, everyone has a story). Nonetheless, now, I'm gainfully employed and doing fine, I am just bored and not making much money. I would like to go into big law, I just don't know how to do it!!!! The only people I know that went into Big Law were either in the top 5% of the class or, even more common ---- nepotism.

If you'd like me to rephrase anything or if you'd like any further clarifications, feel free to ask. Thanks again.


If you just passed the bar, you’ve only been working as an attorney at the firm for a few months, no? I’m confused why you keep saying four years unless you failed the bar multiple times or are adding summer and semester internship time, which doesn’t really count to firms.

Do you know any of the top 5% people? If not, do you know any professors who had some of the attorneys in big firms as students who could put you in touch with them to just talk (like an informational interview)? That’s probably the way to start.



I just passed in July. I apologize for the confusion. You are right, I've only been an officially licensed attorney for a few months. Four years as a law clerk. I gather you are saying that documented experience on a resume as a non-licensed law clerk, even if was for many years, is immaterial to the hiring process in the world of "Biglaw".

And yes, I do know many of those 5% people, many of them are very close personal friends. And the professor suggestion is very interesting. I am going to try that. I appreciate your input.


To be honest, I don't know if you will ever land a big law job.

1) You haven't clerked (an externship is not a 'clerkship').
2) You graduated from a T4 school and want to practice in a state that has several top law schools and attracts top legal professionals from across the globe, and
3) You come from a plaintiff's firm (biglaw does mostly defense work)
4) Your grades are okay (I assume you're in the 17% because you got more Bs than As)
5) You don't have any other distinguishing things about you (like externing for AUSA or being on law review)

Not trying to be mean but Lewis Brisbois is as close as you'll get to biglaw, based on my experience in having interviewed/looked at candidates for biglaw positions.

nixy

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Re: Advise.

Postby nixy » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:39 pm

TBF, Loyola (in LA) isn't a T4 school, though it's true that it has a lot of competition, including from higher-ranked schools.

Also, OP, yeah, work done as a student isn't going to be seen as quite the same as work done as a licensed attorney, and frankly, I'm also a little concerned about the idea that you, a student, were taking and defending depositions? or appearing in court? I'm sure you did get good substantive experience (probably more than a lot of biglaw associates get in their first couple of years), but you want to be clear about what you did/didn't do.

In any case, I agree with the above about getting in touch with people from your class/professors, and you could add alumni in firms that interest you. You say you didn't realize the importance of networking - it's still important and you can start now.

brorepresentation1

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Re: Advise.

Postby brorepresentation1 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:30 am

nixy wrote:TBF, Loyola (in LA) isn't a T4 school, though it's true that it has a lot of competition, including from higher-ranked schools.

Also, OP, yeah, work done as a student isn't going to be seen as quite the same as work done as a licensed attorney, and frankly, I'm also a little concerned about the idea that you, a student, were taking and defending depositions? or appearing in court? I'm sure you did get good substantive experience (probably more than a lot of biglaw associates get in their first couple of years), but you want to be clear about what you did/didn't do.

In any case, I agree with the above about getting in touch with people from your class/professors, and you could add alumni in firms that interest you. You say you didn't realize the importance of networking - it's still important and you can start now.



Let me be clear so there's no question on the ethical front. Everything i did was under strict supervision of fully licensed attorneys, including any and all work product and never went to a deposition without someone fully licensed. All work product checked many times by licensed lawyers. With that said, thank you for your advice about networking and the fact that it is never too late to begin.

brorepresentation1

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Re: Advise.

Postby brorepresentation1 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:
2013 wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
brorepresentation1 wrote:Went to a decent school in Los Angeles (Loyola).


Since you're employed as a lawyer after graduation, you're doing pretty well for Loyola. But where did your grades place you in your class? Also, when you say you "clerked," do you mean that you clerked for a year after graduation before taking the bar? The way you mentioned your experience is confusing, so I wanted to be clear on the timing.

That said, biglaw firms are primarily looking for people who got good grades at good schools. It sounds like you had the former, but you'll probably need to build up a few years of experience at your current job to stand a chance at lateraling. Or you may need to switch to a plaintiff's firm that does more work in the areas that a large firm is likely to be working (if I understood the nature of your current job correctly).


First, sorry you were confused. Allow me to clarify. I was in the top 17% of my graduating class.

Moreover, I worked for 4 months after taking the bar exam as a Judicial Extern for a Civil-Unlimited Judge in the Superior Court, writing tentative orders, advising on ex-parte hearings ( in other words, whether or whether not "exigent circumstances" truly exist), motion calendaring as to avoid conflicts in the Department, trial calendaring, etc.

I have also worked for approximately 4 years in Plaintiff litigation firms. As a result, I can take depositions, defend them, write motions, oppose motions, attend court to show cause, or any other judicial related matter. Also, I can do all of discovery with minimal oversight.

In any event, I didn't do OCI because my family was going through some serious stuff (I know, I know, everyone has a story). Nonetheless, now, I'm gainfully employed and doing fine, I am just bored and not making much money. I would like to go into big law, I just don't know how to do it!!!! The only people I know that went into Big Law were either in the top 5% of the class or, even more common ---- nepotism.

If you'd like me to rephrase anything or if you'd like any further clarifications, feel free to ask. Thanks again.


If you just passed the bar, you’ve only been working as an attorney at the firm for a few months, no? I’m confused why you keep saying four years unless you failed the bar multiple times or are adding summer and semester internship time, which doesn’t really count to firms.

Do you know any of the top 5% people? If not, do you know any professors who had some of the attorneys in big firms as students who could put you in touch with them to just talk (like an informational interview)? That’s probably the way to start.



I just passed in July. I apologize for the confusion. You are right, I've only been an officially licensed attorney for a few months. Four years as a law clerk. I gather you are saying that documented experience on a resume as a non-licensed law clerk, even if was for many years, is immaterial to the hiring process in the world of "Biglaw".

And yes, I do know many of those 5% people, many of them are very close personal friends. And the professor suggestion is very interesting. I am going to try that. I appreciate your input.


To be honest, I don't know if you will ever land a big law job.

1) You haven't clerked (an externship is not a 'clerkship').
2) You graduated from a T4 school and want to practice in a state that has several top law schools and attracts top legal professionals from across the globe, and
3) You come from a plaintiff's firm (biglaw does mostly defense work)
4) Your grades are okay (I assume you're in the 17% because you got more Bs than As)
5) You don't have any other distinguishing things about you (like externing for AUSA or being on law review)

Not trying to be mean but Lewis Brisbois is as close as you'll get to biglaw, based on my experience in having interviewed/looked at candidates for biglaw positions.



You are probably correct. Thanks for your input.

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Auxilio

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Re: Advise.

Postby Auxilio » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:26 am

To be blunt, a good (but not great) student at Loyola who failed the bar many times (seven times? or did you skip some administrations) who is working at a plaintiff's firm (presumably in PI or another area of the law that most biglaw firms don't do much of) just isn't going to get the attention of a biglaw firm.

You can try and network, but I just don't want to give you false hope. You can certainly aim for a better job--I just wouldn't set your focus on biglaw. The outcome you have isn't really underplaying your hand.

That's not to try and put you down or anything, it's great that you persisted and eventually got barred and it sounds like you got great substantive experience (the fact the firm kept you on for four years and continued to invest in you despite failing the bar says a lot). But biglaw by its nature is focused on a lot of things you just don't meet. You'll be screened out 99% of the time, unless you can really leverage a networking opportunity and try to sell yourself..

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Re: Advise.

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:09 pm

Auxilio wrote:To be blunt, a good (but not great) student at Loyola who failed the bar many times (seven times? or did you skip some administrations) who is working at a plaintiff's firm (presumably in PI or another area of the law that most biglaw firms don't do much of) just isn't going to get the attention of a biglaw firm.

You can try and network, but I just don't want to give you false hope. You can certainly aim for a better job--I just wouldn't set your focus on biglaw. The outcome you have isn't really underplaying your hand.

That's not to try and put you down or anything, it's great that you persisted and eventually got barred and it sounds like you got great substantive experience (the fact the firm kept you on for four years and continued to invest in you despite failing the bar says a lot). But biglaw by its nature is focused on a lot of things you just don't meet. You'll be screened out 99% of the time, unless you can really leverage a networking opportunity and try to sell yourself..


Where did OP say he or she failed the bar seven times? Are you interring that from the four years as a law clerk to the plaintiff’s firm? I’m assuming the OP interned there throughout law school and is now counting that time as “four years”. If OP graduated from law school in circa 2014 and is only now passing the bar and looking at biglaw, it is impossible for the simple reason that OP is far too senior to ever be looked at seriously by biglaw recruiting, on top of the lack of academic credentials and past bar failures.

What sort of upward advancement opportunities do you have at the plaintiffs firm? It seems like you should consider yourself fortunate to be there and make the best of it. Plaintiffs work can be very lucrative.

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Re: Advise.

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:16 pm

OP - I'm unclear on when you graduated, but will assume you are Class of 2016 given that you posted in the 2014 UCLA transfer thread (and thus were presumably a rising 2L in summer 2014).

As others have said, Biglaw is extremely unlikely. You just don't have the grades and type of litigation experience that biglaw values. Frankly, your best bet is to try and go to some giant ID firm (I'm thinking specifically or Lewis Brisbois or Gordon Rees here), as they'll be less picky about your experience and grades. These firms may also be more likely to give you credit for the time you worked in law school. Not making any judgments about your experience, etc., but this sort of is the lay of the land (on the bright side, your current outcome is pretty good for Loyola)

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AVBucks4239

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Re: Advise.

Postby AVBucks4239 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:20 pm

Everyone has already said what needs to be said regarding chances at big law, so I'll take a different route.

$70k with benefits is pretty good starting fresh out of school. You'll be making more as years go by and you'll get more litigation experience than almost everyone at big law. Folks in PI firms around me end up doing very very well when they transition to a bigger firm and/or go out on their own because they have real experience, and the procedural experience you get from doing any type of civil litigation generally transfers across practice areas.

Also, you may want to calculate your actual hourly rate right now. I made about $50k/year when I first got out of law school, but comparing my actual hourly rate, I was making like $8/hour less than if I were in Big Law. That's not worth it at all.

So, all this to say maybe back up and think about why you want Big Law. If it has anything to do with external validation, realize you're in a good spot right now and maybe you should evaluate the landscape and make a gameplan to make your career wildly successful.

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Auxilio

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Re: Advise.

Postby Auxilio » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:21 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Auxilio wrote:To be blunt, a good (but not great) student at Loyola who failed the bar many times (seven times? or did you skip some administrations) who is working at a plaintiff's firm (presumably in PI or another area of the law that most biglaw firms don't do much of) just isn't going to get the attention of a biglaw firm.

You can try and network, but I just don't want to give you false hope. You can certainly aim for a better job--I just wouldn't set your focus on biglaw. The outcome you have isn't really underplaying your hand.

That's not to try and put you down or anything, it's great that you persisted and eventually got barred and it sounds like you got great substantive experience (the fact the firm kept you on for four years and continued to invest in you despite failing the bar says a lot). But biglaw by its nature is focused on a lot of things you just don't meet. You'll be screened out 99% of the time, unless you can really leverage a networking opportunity and try to sell yourself..


Where did OP say he or she failed the bar seven times? Are you interring that from the four years as a law clerk to the plaintiff’s firm? I’m assuming the OP interned there throughout law school and is now counting that time as “four years”. If OP graduated from law school in circa 2014 and is only now passing the bar and looking at biglaw, it is impossible for the simple reason that OP is far too senior to ever be looked at seriously by biglaw recruiting, on top of the lack of academic credentials and past bar failures.



That's fair, I wasn't thinking the four years would encompass school. Personally I would have discounted it in some way when describing the situation (such as "three years full time and one year while in law school"). But I realize that the opposite is fine too.

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Re: Advise.

Postby QContinuum » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:25 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:Everyone has already said what needs to be said regarding chances at big law, so I'll take a different route.

$70k with benefits is pretty good starting fresh out of school. You'll be making more as years go by and you'll get more litigation experience than almost everyone at big law. Folks in PI firms around me end up doing very very well when they transition to a bigger firm and/or go out on their own because they have real experience, and the procedural experience you get from doing any type of civil litigation generally transfers across practice areas.

Also, you may want to calculate your actual hourly rate right now. I made about $50k/year when I first got out of law school, but comparing my actual hourly rate, I was making like $8/hour less than if I were in Big Law. That's not worth it at all.

So, all this to say maybe back up and think about why you want Big Law. If it has anything to do with external validation, realize you're in a good spot right now and maybe you should evaluate the landscape and make a gameplan to make your career wildly successful.

Agree with most of the above but OP says they currently "work very long hours, almost the sort of hours that people in Biglaw work." Wonder if we could get clarification on what "very long" entails in OP's eyes. It's possible that OP is actually working BigLaw-esque hours.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Advise.

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:35 pm

Wait, are you telling us that you took and defended depositions as an unlicensed law clerk? I don’t think that flies (no matter who supervised you).

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Re: Advise.

Postby deference » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:52 pm

OP, you’re being a little too impatient here (assuming you graduated this past May).

Having said that, and no offense, you really inflated your credentials and your background doesn’t scream BigLaw (for now) and it doesn’t look like you really what type of candidate BigLaw looks for.

To sum it up correctly, socially you are not weird, check; academically you are mediocre, no check cause we’re talking about Loyola; you worked, as a law student, for a plaintiffs firm for four years working on what I assume is substantive work, half a check cause many first year BigLaw don’t even get to touch in substantive stuff (nonetheless it’s a plaintiff firm); and clerked, as an extern, for the LASC for a semester, no check cause court interns are a dime a dozen in BigLaw and you have first year hires (not through summer) who actually clerked for federal courts and not just intervened. Doesn’t sound like you have law review or moot court or whatever activities to speak of.

Outside of academic and school qualifications, which you mentioned, the type of junior associates BigLaw hires are those with demonstrated interest and preferably substantive experience in a niche BigLaw practice, such as antitrust. So, very likely your next job if you decide to leave would not likely be BigLaw but a boutique that can translate into BigLaw. I may be wrong, but where you are currently does not translate to that. perhaps it can and I’d suggest you LinkedIn stalk and reach out to some alumn who has made that jump before.

Networking is your priority now. Join and volunteer some ABA events and contribute substantively any way you can to get your name out there. Hustling like this is hard work but if you don’t think you have the chops for it you won’t have the chops to advance in BigLaw either.

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Re: Advise.

Postby r6_philly » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:34 am

I know people who went from PI or contract work to mid/large firms doing insurance defense. It isn't "biglaw" as we think in school, but they do pay over 100k+ and act more like a "biglaw" firm than a plaintiff firm. It can be done, but you need some differentiating, good work experience. For example, someone with a lot of experience taking and defending depositions can do the same for insurance defense.

Bllljd115

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Re: Advise.

Postby Bllljd115 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:33 pm

OP: You start off pretty behind the curve since not only do you practice in an area without a lot of overlap with biglaw firms (PI, not commercial litigation) you are also on the plaintiff's side, rather than the defense side. You are also applying for a job that, until you reach more senior levels, sadly doesn't value experience over class rank/school. So you really need to make a couple of jumps to get yourself in a position to be a competitive applicant and it will take a lot of networking and research.

Like others have said, the path would probably be to jump to an insurance defense firm and then switch to specializing in an area of ID that overlaps with biglaw litigation. That could be mass tort, employment, maybe construction/real estate related work. You could then try to apply to biglaw firms or a respected mid-size firm that has a need in that area. You could also try to grab a judicial clerkship - I'd say you should probably target out of the way federal districts, state appellate courts, or federal magistrate clerkships.

Before investing a lot of time in a job search, though, you ought to think about why you want to make the switch. It's going to take a fairly long time to work yourself into a position to be a competitive applicant for biglaw, and there is a risk you don't get there. ID firms don't pay as well as biglaw and the hours can be just as brutal. In that circumstance, it might be more lucrative to continue working at the PI firm and then strike out on your own especially if you are more business minded. You'll also get more efficient at doing litigation work as you get more senior and build up a good set of skills and template documents. As that happens, the fact you are at a firm where you don't have to meet a billable hour target will turn into an asset, not a liability and you can spend that time chasing cases.

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