I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

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Perseus_I
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I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Perseus_I » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:38 am

I had a summer position at a federal agency and left happily with my offer letter, only to find it cancelled at the end of September due to budgetary issues.

That was a quasi-legal job but heavily focused on business and market analysis. Now, I have no idea what I am doing after graduation. I am at UT where I took a full ride, but I don't feel like such a good fit for Texas, and I think Texas tends to agree (I once read an article about college football about 5 times trying to understand how the system works and ended up giving up unsuccessfully lol).

What I really like is policy research or technical business-related research; my job this summer was heavily focused on economics. And I am finding I may NOT like the actual practice of law. My most painful experiences involve talking to Texas attorneys about their practice areas.

But full ride or not, I feel like I should do something after graduation besides teaching English abroad or working at McDonalds while I figure out my next steps. Question is what. I don't think I have the interpersonal skills to even get hired at a small Texas firm since they seem really schmoozy and such. My attempts to network in such settings have not gone well. I am a boring quiet (likely to the schizoid side of things) person without too much in the way of hobbies or anything interesting in my life. But I'm personable enough for most professional jobs and interviews, just it seems not most small firm Texas law jobs, or maybe I just don't jibe well with attorneys. Which is very possible.

Seems like every job I apply for requires a background in something I don't have (as if I am the only History major to ever go to law school), which sucks a ton. And my friends say I'm in the wrong career and should be considering academia -- but obvs not in law. While my 1L grades were stellar in the top 10%, my 2L grades knocked me into barely the top third.

This has gotten me looking at other graduate degrees, for example, one of UT's 10-month Finance or Economics "Masters" that could be a springboard to more analytical positions in D.C. or the federal government (when the thing opens), or a new life in a new field. Also, think I should be applying for other jobs and fellowships. But the question is what because literally everything seems like a bad fit, and I'm always being grilled on why I didn't do something or take something I supposedly should have. Oh, I also quit the Texas Law Review for personal reasons.

I could spin a commitment to public service in the area of consumer protection (though I haven't taken bankruptcy) based on law school work experiences. Seems like none of the fellowships are geared that way though. And UT's network seems to suck as far as diverse opportunities vs. my friends at other law schools.

Then, again, I could always just forget about it all until graduation and then apply for the Pathways recent graduate programs in the federal government since I have a Schedule A disability. But I have no idea what I should be doing, and I think completely differnetly than 99% of the people around me, which makes asking for advice difficult.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:26 am

Are you the guy that used the binders full of women Romney image? I loved that particular one. It made my day much better. I couldn't find it by Googling it. Can you use it again? This thread has a lot of great potential.

LSATNightmares
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby LSATNightmares » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:50 am

It sounds like policy work would be a good fit. It's semi-legal, without being overwhelming legal. You may find something in the DC market. There are tons of jobs out there, from government to private sector. There are tons of databases there to job search -- I would look there. But a lot of jobs don't open at this time of year -- you probably won't see much posted until spring would be my guess.

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JazzOne
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby JazzOne » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:01 am

I'm tagging this thread because I was in a similar situation a few years back. I attended UT Law on a full scholarship. I was top 10% 1L year, and then I let my grades drop due to some personal problems. I was a member of TLR. I never had a problem finding jobs or interviewing before law school, but I felt very out of place around attorneys, and I underperformed my numbers at OCI. I was no offered at my 2L summer firm, so I had to get out there and hustle as a 3L. After graduation, I was hired by a litigation firm, and I really did not enjoy working as an attorney.

I don't have specific advice for you now, but I'll update your thread if I hear of any opportunities. BTW, I am now a lecturer at McCombs. I'd be happy to meet you for lunch and give you an honest opinion on what kind of first impression you make. Or if you'd just like to chat about academia, feel free to PM me.

ETA: I just saw your other thread. I'm a total Aspie (no joke), and it has taken a LOT of effort for me to change my personality. But it's a challenge that I have embraced, and I am a better man for it. There are great books about every kind of psychological illness. There are support groups. And you're not alone. I felt very isolated and depressed in law school. Let's grab some coffee next week. Have you tried Kirbey Lane yet?

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Perseus_I
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Perseus_I » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:41 pm

JazzOne wrote:I'm tagging this thread because I was in a similar situation a few years back. I attended UT Law on a full scholarship. I was top 10% 1L year, and then I let my grades drop due to some personal problems. I was a member of TLR. I never had a problem finding jobs or interviewing before law school, but I felt very out of place around attorneys, and I underperformed my numbers at OCI. I was no offered at my 2L summer firm, so I had to get out there and hustle as a 3L. After graduation, I was hired by a litigation firm, and I really did not enjoy working as an attorney.

I don't have specific advice for you now, but I'll update your thread if I hear of any opportunities. BTW, I am now a lecturer at McCombs. I'd be happy to meet you for lunch and give you an honest opinion on what kind of first impression you make. Or if you'd just like to chat about academia, feel free to PM me.

ETA: I just saw your other thread. I'm a total Aspie (no joke), and it has taken a LOT of effort for me to change my personality. But it's a challenge that I have embraced, and I am a better man for it. There are great books about every kind of psychological illness. There are support groups. And you're not alone. I felt very isolated and depressed in law school. Let's grab some coffee next week. Have you tried Kirbey Lane yet?


Sent you a PM. And I am actually on top of things now and should have a very high GPA this semester.
Last edited by Perseus_I on Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:03 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Perseus_I
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:01 pm

I also ended up getting off the law review at my school due to not getting along well with the managing editor.

So...list on resume or not?

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mr. wednesday
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby mr. wednesday » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:07 pm

PMF would be a good program for you, though I think you missed the 2014 deadline. You would still be eligible for the 2015 program, if you are still looking at that point.

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Perseus_I
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:51 pm

I am curious. People say that degrees don't matter. But it seems that due to lack of provable number skills, my liberal arts background tends to get me stereotyped and then slotted into generalist positions designed for loud people, even within the same general job description at the same organization.

I did not want to do litigation for OCI for personality reasons, but then I met with skepticism from the tax and securities transactions people for not having a business or accounting background. I even talked to one of my adjunct professors about this concern, and he said, "Having a specialized isn't an issue when interviewing for these organizations. You can just be a litigator like me. I majored in classics and I was what you call a generalist."

I guess he kind of gives it away, right?

There's gotta be something to the quant vs. non-quant thing. But the standard career advice dogma does not seem to recognize it. What should I do?

For me, "fit" depends on the people in the work environment being on the right hand side of the following contrasts:

loud vs. quiet or else a mix
homogenous white upper middle class vs. diverse and international (including, ideally, lots of East Asians and Indians, especially men)
Type A vs. Type B vs. Type C
close-knit vs. arms-length

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alicrimson
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby alicrimson » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:46 pm

Perseus_I wrote:I also ended up getting off the law review at my school due to not getting along well with the managing editor.

So...list on resume or not?


I know at my school, if you get kicked off or quit law review, you don't get to put it on your resume. I'm not sure why or if that's even a thing, it was just mentioned at new member orientation when I was a 2L. You might want to check if your LR has anything in the bylaws about this.

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Perseus_I
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Perseus_I » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:20 pm

I seem to have learned two things from law school:

1. When choosing a school, location location location. Unless you're going to Harvard Yale or Stanford.

2. Specialists get the good jobs. Generalists get shitty jobs, all else being equal (same networking ability, interviewing, etc).

If you go to law school as a liberal arts major, you're expected to be a litigator with all the additional skills that go with that, including being loud, obnoxious, arrogant, and aggressive. I have voice volume and tonal issues due to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Not even bad social skills per se as per the opinions of professionals and close friends. So I tend to be disqualified from liberal arts law jobs on personality grounds and analytical jobs on lack of background, although they do seem to like me otherwise, and will occasionally give me a chance anyway (e.g. the federal agency that wanted to hire me after my summer there but had to revoke my offer later due to its FY 2014 sequester budget. I was one of the few without a specialized background there).

So the solution seems to be to go and get advanced analytical skills, even if it's part-time while working in one of those shitty jobs available to History majors who didn't go big law and didn't check all the right boxes for public interest (basically defined as employment environmental and immigration law at UT) while in law school. This would also allow me to have more Asians and fewer white frat boys as co-workers, something that is necessary to my professional success as an Asexual individual with disabilities.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:31 pm

Litigators aren't all loud, obnoxious, aggressive, and arrogant.

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FlanAl
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby FlanAl » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:40 pm

Perseus_I wrote:I seem to have learned two things from law school:

1. When choosing a school, location location location. Unless you're going to Harvard Yale or Stanford.

2. Specialists get the good jobs. Generalists get shitty jobs, all else being equal (same networking ability, interviewing, etc).

If you go to law school as a liberal arts major, you're expected to be a litigator with all the additional skills that go with that, including being loud, obnoxious, arrogant, and aggressive. I have voice volume and tonal issues due to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Not even bad social skills per se as per the opinions of professionals and close friends. So I tend to be disqualified from liberal arts law jobs on personality grounds and analytical jobs on lack of background, although they do seem to like me otherwise, and will occasionally give me a chance anyway (e.g. the federal agency that wanted to hire me after my summer there but had to revoke my offer later due to its FY 2014 sequester budget. I was one of the few without a specialized background there).

So the solution seems to be to go and get advanced analytical skills, even if it's part-time while working in one of those shitty jobs available to History majors who didn't go big law and didn't check all the right boxes for public interest (basically defined as employment environmental and immigration law at UT) while in law school. This would also allow me to have more Asians and fewer white frat boys as co-workers, something that is necessary to my professional success as an Asexual individual with disabilities.


Some of the best litigators I've met are really very quiet and mild mannered people. I may be wrong on this but I feel like top grades from a top law school like you have should get you into a solid graduate program, like one that will pay for it. I would recommend against academia, you'll have to lecture and deal with job politics, neither of which sounds like something you would want to do. If you can hack it, an advanced degree in math or statistics could probably land you the sort of job you are looking for.

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Perseus_I
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Perseus_I » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:48 pm

FlanAl wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:I seem to have learned two things from law school:

1. When choosing a school, location location location. Unless you're going to Harvard Yale or Stanford.

2. Specialists get the good jobs. Generalists get shitty jobs, all else being equal (same networking ability, interviewing, etc).

If you go to law school as a liberal arts major, you're expected to be a litigator with all the additional skills that go with that, including being loud, obnoxious, arrogant, and aggressive. I have voice volume and tonal issues due to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Not even bad social skills per se as per the opinions of professionals and close friends. So I tend to be disqualified from liberal arts law jobs on personality grounds and analytical jobs on lack of background, although they do seem to like me otherwise, and will occasionally give me a chance anyway (e.g. the federal agency that wanted to hire me after my summer there but had to revoke my offer later due to its FY 2014 sequester budget. I was one of the few without a specialized background there).

So the solution seems to be to go and get advanced analytical skills, even if it's part-time while working in one of those shitty jobs available to History majors who didn't go big law and didn't check all the right boxes for public interest (basically defined as employment environmental and immigration law at UT) while in law school. This would also allow me to have more Asians and fewer white frat boys as co-workers, something that is necessary to my professional success as an Asexual individual with disabilities.


Some of the best litigators I've met are really very quiet and mild mannered people. I may be wrong on this but I feel like top grades from a top law school like you have should get you into a solid graduate program, like one that will pay for it. I would recommend against academia, you'll have to lecture and deal with job politics, neither of which sounds like something you would want to do. If you can hack it, an advanced degree in math or statistics could probably land you the sort of job you are looking for.


I was talking to a partner at Quinn last year who told me specifically what litigators look for, and I am pretty sure I do not have those traits. I also think pretty differently than most lawyers do; something that doesn't make sense - as much of the legal profession doesn't - tends to bother me a lot, and I tend to like to find new ways to do things or improve things. I am an ISTP in a field dominated by ENTJ and INTJ.

However, I am pretty good at public speaking and was a teacher before and liked it. In addition, I have dealt with office politics before; it can be a mild to a severe pain in the butt depending on the environment. But politics are going to be everywhere. THAT is unavoidable. Lawyers - aren't they avoidable? There's gotta be something wrong when my most unpleasant experiences are trying to "network" by talking to lawyers about their practice areas, and sustaining the conversation is incredibly painful, but talking to computer engineers or doctors about stuff I know relatively little about and have no specific interest in is a sustainable conversation.

I am thinking about the Finance MS or the Applied Economics MS at John Hopkins to help me break into agency work at a place like the FDIC or the Treasury or consulting work. I get vet pref and disability pref, and I have gotten some interviews on USAJobs for analytical jobs, including the FDIC, that I had to decline due to being stuck in Austin at this bullshit school, so I'm sure I'd do even better if I am actually in the area with the proper credentials.

Right? Maybe?

I also just got a job offer for a paying job at the County Attorney that has a good chance of turning into a permanent job. So it's not like I don't have fallback options in shitlaw.

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Nelson
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Nelson » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:31 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
I was talking to a partner at Quinn last year who told me specifically what litigators look for, and I am pretty sure I do not have those traits. I also think pretty differently than most lawyers do; something that doesn't make sense - as much of the legal profession doesn't - tends to bother me a lot

This is just an elaborate, long-term flame account right?

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Perseus_I
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:14 am

Nelson wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
I was talking to a partner at Quinn last year who told me specifically what litigators look for, and I am pretty sure I do not have those traits. I also think pretty differently than most lawyers do; something that doesn't make sense - as much of the legal profession doesn't - tends to bother me a lot

This is just an elaborate, long-term flame account right?


Nope, but the fact that you think this is evidence of me having a mind that is out of sync with most of the population but particularly most of the legal profession, especially the "J" in the ENTJ's and INTJ's in most of law.

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JazzOne
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby JazzOne » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:06 am

Perseus_I wrote:
Nelson wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
I was talking to a partner at Quinn last year who told me specifically what litigators look for, and I am pretty sure I do not have those traits. I also think pretty differently than most lawyers do; something that doesn't make sense - as much of the legal profession doesn't - tends to bother me a lot

This is just an elaborate, long-term flame account right?


Nope, but the fact that you think this is evidence of me having a mind that is out of sync with most of the population but particularly most of the legal profession, especially the "J" in the ENTJ's and INTJ's in most of law.

That's funny. I felt like I thought differently from my classmates too, but I'm INTJ. I'm surprised to hear that you think INTJ is heavily represented in law school. Then again, I used to score around 90 for the I attribute, so I'm unusual in most crowds.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:33 am

Perseus_I wrote:
Nelson wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
I was talking to a partner at Quinn last year who told me specifically what litigators look for, and I am pretty sure I do not have those traits. I also think pretty differently than most lawyers do; something that doesn't make sense - as much of the legal profession doesn't - tends to bother me a lot

This is just an elaborate, long-term flame account right?


Nope, but the fact that you think this is evidence of me having a mind that is out of sync with most of the population but particularly most of the legal profession, especially the "J" in the ENTJ's and INTJ's in most of law.

I'm not sure it's a good idea to take TLS as representative of the legal profession.

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Dr. Review
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby Dr. Review » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:37 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm not sure it's a good idea to take TLS as representative of the legal profession people.

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JazzOne
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Re: I have no idea what I am doing as a 3L

Postby JazzOne » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:42 am

Bedsole wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm not sure it's a good idea to take TLS as representative of the legal profession people.

Have there ever been any TLS meet-ups? We should have a meet-up group or something. It would be a funny mix of folks.




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