T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
manofjustice
Posts: 1323
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby manofjustice » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:07 pm

IAFG wrote:Is there any chance you're feeling depressed about what happened this summer, and it's coloring your opinion of law generally?


This seems true. As someone who is trying to extract himself from the TLS/ATL/ITLSS echo chamber of regret so that I can be as effective as possible (and at present failing...), I would just say, FWIIW, that most objective observers, I would think...say, your parents, your siblings, your professors who care about you...would suggest that you're 1 year away from a T14 law degree...you'd better take it. Or else you're right back where you were 3 years ago. Is that fallacious? Not really. There is no clear "you're fucked" here. The sunk cost fallacy doesn't kick in. You're gonna have to be a 3L lookin for work in this economy. You could argue that is very good company. Nothin on you.

Another way to look at it: if your life consists of the next 24 months, you might think "I'm fucked." But twenty years from now, and who the hell knows what you'll be doing then...do you think you're going to look back and say "man I am glad I dropped out of my T14 law school with less than a year to go and no better alternatives?" Probably not.

DropoutThrowaway
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby DropoutThrowaway » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:08 pm

delusional wrote:Don't ask if they're hiring 3Ls. Divide the firms into two groups - ones where you have a connection, and ones where you don't. Mass mail the ones where you don't, and briefly explain in your cover letter that you have an offer from X Firm but you are interested in working in your home market. In the places where you know people, or you feel comfortable contacting them, start cultivating them now. Email about what it's like to work in that market. Chat on the phone if you can. Plan to go home for at least a long weekend sometime mid-semester, and when you do, plan in advance which ones you will meet. As you get to know each other, start to feel out how likely it is that they'll be hiring, and how amenable they'd be to put in a word for you.
The above is not expert advice, and I welcome others to chime in and critique. I'm just trying to present a workable plan that might plausibly come from someone who was, in fact, offered and does, in fact want to return to his/her home market.

sunynp wrote:Yes, I would contact the partner alums like tomorrow and tell them you have an offer but want to consider returning home. But also get input from other threads about how to best go about this.

uvauvauva wrote:Also-in terms of contacting partners. You can't just contact a partner looking for a job. You need to set up informational interviews. Also note, 3L hiring is very random and it is not centralized. It is by practice area. So, be smart with what fits your background at this point. You need to meet these partners over coffee (an with an outstanding personality) be able to hold a convo with them for about an hour and make them LIKE YOU in order to recommend you or forward your materials to the recruiting committee. Note too, not every partner knows everything. Try and find partners who are rainmakers or alums... Don't waste time with associates.


So basically the consensus is do some mass mailing (trying to make it as targeted as possible), but also call partners to set up informational interviews, learn more about working in my hometown, what the firm does, etc. Then, after a couple of positive interactions, tell the partner I'm interested and ask if he/she can forward my materials to the hiring committee.

DropoutThrowaway
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby DropoutThrowaway » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:10 pm

manofjustice wrote:But twenty years from now, and who the hell knows what you'll be doing then...do you think you're going to look back and say "man I am glad I dropped out of my T14 law school with less than a year to go and no better alternatives?" Probably not.

This was persuasive. I guess it doesn't make sense to drop out unless I have a really solid backup plan.

DropoutThrowaway
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby DropoutThrowaway » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:15 pm

sunynp wrote:Good luck OP! Stay energized !! Post any question you have or any advice you need.

Thanks!
uvauvauva wrote:3L hiring occurs after 2L hiring. This means around Oct/Nov. That should be your plan of attack. Now, you should be looking at clerking because THOSE DEADLINES ARE CLOSING IN AS OF NEXT WEEK.

Government hiring is sporadic. You should be looking at those apps.


There seem to be a lot of deadlines closing in - clerking, public interest fellowships, certain government jobs. It's hard to tell how I should spend my time right now. I'm worried about spending time on clerkships because I feel like judges are the most critical group re: grades (even moreso than firms). I could be completely wrong, though.


EDIT: To continue on the conversation about government relations careers above, I found out that the user who chose that career is Samara. (Please don't bombard him/her, I just thought I would provide this for anyone else that's really interested.)
Last edited by DropoutThrowaway on Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
quiver
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby quiver » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:29 pm

DropoutThrowaway wrote:There seem to be a lot of deadlines closing in - clerking, public interest fellowships, certain government jobs. It's hard to tell how I should spend my time right now. I'm worried about spending time on clerkships because I feel like judges are the most critical group re: grades (even moreso than firms). I could be completely wrong, though.
I agree, although you may have a shot at state court clerkships. Check out the Vermont Guide for those deadlines.

User avatar
Rocío
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:46 am

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby Rocío » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:30 pm

OP - if you are interested in public interest law, try to get an externship for Spring semester and start volunteering ASAP for a public interest organization that practices the type of law (or areas of law) you are interested in. Apart from government honors programs and some fellowships, grades do not matter very much for PI jobs. What matters the most is relevant experience and being able to convince the organization that you have a "calling." PI organizations won't respond positively to being treated like a fall back option.

PM me if you want - I went through the 3L PI/government job hustle, and made it through to the other side. It is really tough, and you need to look way beyond OCI and even public interest career fairs. Networking, especially in this economy, is key.

DropoutThrowaway
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby DropoutThrowaway » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:34 pm

quiver wrote:
DropoutThrowaway wrote:There seem to be a lot of deadlines closing in - clerking, public interest fellowships, certain government jobs. It's hard to tell how I should spend my time right now. I'm worried about spending time on clerkships because I feel like judges are the most critical group re: grades (even moreso than firms). I could be completely wrong, though.
I agree, although you may have a shot at state court clerkships. Check out the Vermont Guide for those deadlines.

Added to my list of resources, and I'll ask my career services office if they have a subscription. Thanks!

DropoutThrowaway
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby DropoutThrowaway » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:44 pm

Rocío wrote:OP - if you are interested in public interest law, try to get an externship for Spring semester and start volunteering ASAP for a public interest organization that practices the type of law (or areas of law) you are interested in. Apart from government honors programs and some fellowships, grades do not matter very much for PI jobs. What matters the most is relevant experience and being able to convince the organization that you have a "calling." PI organizations won't respond positively to being treated like a fall back option.

PM me if you want - I went through the 3L PI/government job hustle, and made it through to the other side. It is really tough, and you need to look way beyond OCI and even public interest career fairs. Networking, especially in this economy, is key.



PM sent. Thanks for the advice!

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby dresden doll » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:48 pm

DropoutThrowaway wrote:
IAFG wrote:Is there any chance you're feeling depressed about what happened this summer, and it's coloring your opinion of law generally?


I'm extremely depressed about it, but these are classes that I wouldn't be interested in whether I were depressed or not. I haven't lost sight of my interests, and I'm still interested in being a lawyer (although not particularly attached to it), but it seems at first impression that my one bad semester turns my career prospects from slim (okay, maybe a little better than that) to nil. Maybe I'm wrong, and no one will care about the semester where I landed two C's. It does seem like a major issue to me, though, and it's difficult enough to find employment as a 3L.


You're a year away from finishing and you still continue to be interested in working as a lawyer. I really think dropping out makes little sense at this point.

DropoutThrowaway
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby DropoutThrowaway » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:55 pm

dresden doll wrote:
DropoutThrowaway wrote:
IAFG wrote:Is there any chance you're feeling depressed about what happened this summer, and it's coloring your opinion of law generally?


I'm extremely depressed about it, but these are classes that I wouldn't be interested in whether I were depressed or not. I haven't lost sight of my interests, and I'm still interested in being a lawyer (although not particularly attached to it), but it seems at first impression that my one bad semester turns my career prospects from slim (okay, maybe a little better than that) to nil. Maybe I'm wrong, and no one will care about the semester where I landed two C's. It does seem like a major issue to me, though, and it's difficult enough to find employment as a 3L.


You're a year away from finishing and you still continue to be interested in working as a lawyer. I really think dropping out makes little sense at this point.

I feel kind of indifferent at this point. I wouldn't miss law if I dropped out, but I wouldn't mind being a lawyer, either, because there are aspects of the profession that I really like (mostly the parts that involve argumentation, not so much the parts that involve reading about Delaware corporate law or revising contracts).

User avatar
Borg
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:08 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby Borg » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:01 pm

If I were in your situation, I wouldn't drop out. You're going to have a lot of debt anyway, and it's going to be a bitch to pay it off either way. Even without a biglaw job, I would think I would be better off with a JD from a T-14 than I would be as a dropout with no skills or credentials that would qualify me to do anything greater than what I did going into law school. You're essentially in the same position right now as many people who go to Fordham, Texas, GW, Notre Dame etc. are, as it is sort of rare at those schools to have a biglaw job lined up prior to graduation. Those people hustle and find a way to make it work, and so can you. You have the additional benefit of going to a more prestigious school and you will be applying to the same positions. Don't listen to the losers on this board who would shit themselves if they ever had to find a job without handholding from an on campus interview program.

I think that you should do everything in your power this year to finish strong and find employment. Try to work for someone during the semester. Network with people (maybe start with the general counsel of your university etc.) and figure out what you can do to find something that will work. Be creative and proactive, and don't sit on your ass and cry like most idiotic law students who are utterly incapable of making something happen on their own. There are plenty of successful lawyers in the world who never set foot in a massive firm. Don't give up.

DropoutThrowaway
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby DropoutThrowaway » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:17 pm

Borg wrote:If I were in your situation, I wouldn't drop out. You're going to have a lot of debt anyway, and it's going to be a bitch to pay it off either way. Even without a biglaw job, I would think I would be better off with a JD from a T-14 than I would be as a dropout with no skills or credentials that would qualify me to do anything greater than what I did going into law school.


That's a good point. I think dropping out would just make me even more depressed, plus I'd have no better credentials than I did when I graduated college. It just seems like I'm paying $50k into a highly uncertain future. (But then again, dropping out wouldn't make my future any more certain.)

I'd like to have a strong year academically, network, volunteer during the semester, etc. However, I keep thinking of other things that I could be doing with my life (I have a few areas that I'm very interested in besides law, but pursuing any of them would require a post-bac followed by a PhD or other professional degree).

User avatar
rouser
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:23 am

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby rouser » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:23 pm

DropoutThrowaway wrote:a cold offer

how many other 'cold offers' were you aware of? don't you think that's a pretty serious scandal?

User avatar
Borg
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:08 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby Borg » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:38 pm

DropoutThrowaway wrote:
Borg wrote:If I were in your situation, I wouldn't drop out. You're going to have a lot of debt anyway, and it's going to be a bitch to pay it off either way. Even without a biglaw job, I would think I would be better off with a JD from a T-14 than I would be as a dropout with no skills or credentials that would qualify me to do anything greater than what I did going into law school.


That's a good point. I think dropping out would just make me even more depressed, plus I'd have no better credentials than I did when I graduated college. It just seems like I'm paying $50k into a highly uncertain future. (But then again, dropping out wouldn't make my future any more certain.)

I'd like to have a strong year academically, network, volunteer during the semester, etc. However, I keep thinking of other things that I could be doing with my life (I have a few areas that I'm very interested in besides law, but pursuing any of them would require a post-bac followed by a PhD or other professional degree).


Thanks, I'm glad you agree. I know it sucks that you got cold offered, and I really do feel bad for you, but you need to remember that this is not the end of the world. You need to understand something that few law students seem to grasp, which is that uncertainty is part of life. There is no magic job that is going to give you a secure six figures per year forever. The fate of firms will change (talk to anyone who was working at Howrey, Dewey etc.). Your personal life will also change. Maybe you'll get divorced, or maybe you'll get sick, or maybe someone you love will die. That's life, and there's no antidote for it. It's all about finding your strength to battle uncertainty and get to a place where you want to be. The only way to do that is to dig down and work hard and be creative.

It is probably very hard with so many of your classmates going into biglaw, but those people are going to have to deal with this very uncertainty as well. Finish strong, get these dumb thoughts about alternative degrees out of your head, and find a way into a job you like. Be social, and really spend time meeting people and making friends and trying to intelligently network. Stick it out and you'll make it work.

User avatar
unc0mm0n1
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:49 pm

DropoutThrowaway wrote:I'm a rising 3L at a T14 who was no-offered by his summer firm (actually a cold offer). My grades are pretty underwhelming (I had two C's from a semester where I had some family issues, otherwise grades are almost entirely B's with a few B+'s). I didn't get the classes I wanted for the fall, so now I'm enrolled in a hodgepodge of things that I'm honestly not interested in at all.

I'm not sure what to do, and I can't stop freaking out. It seems that I'm paying $25k per semester to take classes I'm not interested in, with no real job prospects on the horizon. I don't even know who to talk to about this. It feels like I'm trapped in a nightmare. Am I supposed to drop out? Should I take a leave of absence? Do people in my circumstances get jobs?

I have around $130k-140k in debt right now. I have $10k in the bank from the summer job (probably another $10k after the tax refund arrives in April). Does it make sense to take out another $50k in loans, plus spend the money from my summer job, to complete my third year?


I'd accept the cold offer. What can they do? Rescind the offer? Worse case you're in the same scenario you're in now. Screw them. I'd make them look like complete tools before I'd go away quietly.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby IAFG » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:51 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:
DropoutThrowaway wrote:I'm a rising 3L at a T14 who was no-offered by his summer firm (actually a cold offer). My grades are pretty underwhelming (I had two C's from a semester where I had some family issues, otherwise grades are almost entirely B's with a few B+'s). I didn't get the classes I wanted for the fall, so now I'm enrolled in a hodgepodge of things that I'm honestly not interested in at all.

I'm not sure what to do, and I can't stop freaking out. It seems that I'm paying $25k per semester to take classes I'm not interested in, with no real job prospects on the horizon. I don't even know who to talk to about this. It feels like I'm trapped in a nightmare. Am I supposed to drop out? Should I take a leave of absence? Do people in my circumstances get jobs?

I have around $130k-140k in debt right now. I have $10k in the bank from the summer job (probably another $10k after the tax refund arrives in April). Does it make sense to take out another $50k in loans, plus spend the money from my summer job, to complete my third year?


I'd accept the cold offer. What can they do? Rescind the offer? Worse case you're in the same scenario you're in now. Screw them. I'd make them look like complete tools before I'd go away quietly.

That does not seem like the credited way to launch one's law career. OP has until Nov 1 to line up a firm that will actually want him to work there.

User avatar
unc0mm0n1
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:51 pm

DropoutThrowaway wrote:
Borg wrote:If I were in your situation, I wouldn't drop out. You're going to have a lot of debt anyway, and it's going to be a bitch to pay it off either way. Even without a biglaw job, I would think I would be better off with a JD from a T-14 than I would be as a dropout with no skills or credentials that would qualify me to do anything greater than what I did going into law school.


That's a good point. I think dropping out would just make me even more depressed, plus I'd have no better credentials than I did when I graduated college. It just seems like I'm paying $50k into a highly uncertain future. (But then again, dropping out wouldn't make my future any more certain.)

I'd like to have a strong year academically, network, volunteer during the semester, etc. However, I keep thinking of other things that I could be doing with my life (I have a few areas that I'm very interested in besides law, but pursuing any of them would require a post-bac followed by a PhD or other professional degree).


If you're looking for a job you might want to check into the PMF program. They love Ivy JD's and by the third year you should be making at around 80k which isn't bad.

http://www.pmf.gov/
Last edited by unc0mm0n1 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
unc0mm0n1
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:52 pm

IAFG wrote:
unc0mm0n1 wrote:
DropoutThrowaway wrote:I'm a rising 3L at a T14 who was no-offered by his summer firm (actually a cold offer). My grades are pretty underwhelming (I had two C's from a semester where I had some family issues, otherwise grades are almost entirely B's with a few B+'s). I didn't get the classes I wanted for the fall, so now I'm enrolled in a hodgepodge of things that I'm honestly not interested in at all.

I'm not sure what to do, and I can't stop freaking out. It seems that I'm paying $25k per semester to take classes I'm not interested in, with no real job prospects on the horizon. I don't even know who to talk to about this. It feels like I'm trapped in a nightmare. Am I supposed to drop out? Should I take a leave of absence? Do people in my circumstances get jobs?

I have around $130k-140k in debt right now. I have $10k in the bank from the summer job (probably another $10k after the tax refund arrives in April). Does it make sense to take out another $50k in loans, plus spend the money from my summer job, to complete my third year?


I'd accept the cold offer. What can they do? Rescind the offer? Worse case you're in the same scenario you're in now. Screw them. I'd make them look like complete tools before I'd go away quietly.

That does not seem like the credited way to launch one's law career. OP has until Nov 1 to line up a firm that will actually want him to work there.


It also doesn't seem like a credited way for a law firm to behave.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby IAFG » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:54 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:It also doesn't seem like a credited way for a law firm to behave.

Oh? So a no-offer would have been better? Or firms should have to hire 100% of the summers they take every year?

User avatar
unc0mm0n1
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:00 pm

IAFG wrote:
unc0mm0n1 wrote:It also doesn't seem like a credited way for a law firm to behave.

Oh? So a no-offer would have been better? Or firms should have to hire 100% of the summers they take every year?


ok IAFG we disagree. anyway I said my peace. Hope things work out for you man.

Gorki
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:41 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby Gorki » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:31 pm

DropoutThrowaway wrote:
That's a good point. I think dropping out would just make me even more depressed, plus I'd have no better credentials than I did when I graduated college. It just seems like I'm paying $50k into a highly uncertain future. (But then again, dropping out wouldn't make my future any more certain.)

I'd like to have a strong year academically, network, volunteer during the semester, etc. However, I keep thinking of other things that I could be doing with my life (I have a few areas that I'm very interested in besides law, but pursuing any of them would require a post-bac followed by a PhD or other professional degree).


Tbh if it is debt you are worried about, PhD in many fields is not as lucrative as is often hyped. I say stick with it b/c you do not sound like you hate the very idea of lawyering. Given the 6 month (I believe) grace period for repayment of your loans would end around February, it is also really scary to just up and quit right now and hope to god you can find work that will be able to pay for the post-grace period reality.

User avatar
somewhatwayward
Posts: 1446
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:10 pm

Re: T14, rising 3L, no job prospects - should I drop out?

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:58 pm

I am sorry about the cold offer, but in the long run you may look back at it and be glad you didn't spend several years at this firm doing work you didn't like. I think you still have a good shot at getting a different job, though. People ITT have made a lot of good suggestions already. A couple other suggestions...

Try to get your grades up a little this year. Take seminars with easier curves. If you are better at classes with final papers, take classes with papers rather than exams. At this point, you aren't going to knock anything out of the park because of your grades, but if you are applying somewhere in the spring, and your fall grades show a big improvement (lots of As, no moar Cz!), it can only help. I think getting over a 3.0 is also an important cut-off. You didn't mention whether you are a little above or a little below.

(If you are at CLS, it is possible to get Stone scholar for only a years worth of grades. Aim for that if you can.)

Also, I think getting either a PI or a government internship this year is going to be really important for your resume. I hope you are in a city where there are lots of these, but even if it is Durham or Charlottesville, this should be a priority. I guess my suggested plan is difficult because it will be hard to get good grades and have an internship, but it is definitely doable if you are disciplined.

Also, a poster named Matthies has posted a lot about how to network on this site. Search for his posts. He talks a lot about how to get a job outside of OCI. Of course, you should also apply to 3L Fall and Spring OCI jobs, but you can't count on them. Matthies does say that all that matters at this point is networking (ie, grades count for nothing), so I guess if one has to give way to another, internship/networking is more important than grades.....perhaps I am naive, but I don't completely agree in that I don't think you should neglect your grades and that they may come into play.

Lastly, good luck! (Oh, and if you can't tell, I do not think you should drop out.)




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], eSpinoza, Google Adsense [Bot], LandMermaid, LawHammer, nunumaster, rockosmodernlife, shineoncrazydiamond, TLSreader and 11 guests