What do I do about this interview?

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theswisswereright

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What do I do about this interview?

Postby theswisswereright » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:09 pm

So I’m a 3L at a low tier 1/high tier 2 law school (honestly not sure which it is right now). I’m top 15%, executive board on a secondary journal, and am currently externing for a district judge near my law school.

Due to a combination of being poor, a first generation professional, and attending a school with a horrible career services office, law school has basically been a bust for me. I’ve constantly felt uninformed and lost, and my resume currently indicates that I’m set on staying in my home state. That’s never been the case; I hate it here and want to leave, but no one has believed me during interviews for jobs elsewhere.

I can’t seem to get an interview with firms that are hiring hiring for next fall, even though I’ve had my materials checked and been informed they’re great. My options at this point are clerking, taking a horrible job doing debt collection in my home state, or taking the UBE next summer and continuing to job search.

Clerkship applications have also essentially been a bust for me. I have one interview scheduled for next week with a magistrate judge in a flyover Midwest district, for a two-year clerkship. The area isn’t where I’d want to work permanently, although it would be nice to spend time there. This interview is going to cost me a ton, so I want to know if it’s worth it (and if not, how to back out).

My ultimate goal would be to try and leverage this experience into a district court clerkship somewhere I DO want to work, and then flip that over into Big(ish)law. My original plan/dream was doing transactional work, so I know the experience doesn’t really transfer, but because of my school and geographic issues, I can’t see another way out.

Are my expectations realistic? Should I spend the money and go to the interview? If it isn’t going to be worth it, how do I cancel without shooting myself in the foot?

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koval

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Re: What do I do about this interview?

Postby koval » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:29 pm

First of all, congrats on the interview. My advice would first be to ask if you could do the interview telephonically. Judges do this all the time. If the Judge says no then you have a real choice to make. If I didn't have a job lined up and had the prospect of guaranteed employment for two years I'd probably bite the bullet and travel there. But, again, ask if you can do the interview telephonically--they happen all of the time.

Concerning magistrate clerkships leading to other things, if you clerked for this magistrate judge you may have an outside shot of flipping that into a district court clerkship. But, the chances of you getting biglaw without summering somewhere, even with the clerkship, are low in my opinion. That being said, there are plenty of decent non-biglaw jobs out there that you could land, even with just a magistrate clerkship on your resume.

Other people's opinions might vary on this, but that's my two cents.

theswisswereright

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Re: What do I do about this interview?

Postby theswisswereright » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:48 pm

koval wrote:First of all, congrats on the interview. My advice would first be to ask if you could do the interview telephonically. Judges do this all the time. If the Judge says no then you have a real choice to make. If I didn't have a job lined up and had the prospect of guaranteed employment for two years I'd probably bite the bullet and travel there. But, again, ask if you can do the interview telephonically--they happen all of the time.

Concerning magistrate clerkships leading to other things, if you clerked for this magistrate judge you may have an outside shot of flipping that into a district court clerkship. But, the chances of you getting biglaw without summering somewhere, even with the clerkship, are low in my opinion. That being said, there are plenty of decent non-biglaw jobs out there that you could land, even with just a magistrate clerkship on your resume.

Other people's opinions might vary on this, but that's my two cents.


Oops. I guess I should have quoted so you get a notification. I’m still figuring out this forum thing.

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totesTheGoat

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Re: What do I do about this interview?

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:08 pm

theswisswereright wrote:Due to a combination of being poor, a first generation professional, and attending a school with a horrible career services office, law school has basically been a bust for me. I’ve constantly felt uninformed and lost, and my resume currently indicates that I’m set on staying in my home state. That’s never been the case; I hate it here and want to leave, but no one has believed me during interviews for jobs elsewhere.


Why are you using a resume that has bad info on it?

I think it's time for a mentality shift. The way you describe it, there's a whole lot happening to you right now, and not much of you taking the reins and making things happen.

First, everybody feels uninformed and lost. Getting a job isn't easy, and career services is universally awful unless you force them to do their job. Don't get too down on yourself because this is an intimidating process.

Second, it's time to start using your resources rather than relying on your resources. For example, it's a great idea to get good advice from career services on the layout and contents of your resume. However, it's on you to review your resume word for word and make sure it says exactly what you want it to say. It's inexcusable that you're sending out a resume that doesn't say exactly what you need it to say. Spend the 15 minutes required to review your resume and remove stuff that is wrong or doesn't fit your current situation.

Part of using your resources is holding your resources accountable for their part of the bargain. One thing I say around here a lot is that you need to leave a permanent assprint in a chair in the career services office. Until you have the job you want lined up, you should be a regular fixture in the career services office, asking for info about every lead, every job opening, every networking event. They're not going to get you the job, but they are a treasure trove of opportunities.

Overall, you need to realize that you are the only thing dictating whether you succeed or fail. Nobody is going to intercede for you because you're poor. Nobody is going to cushion the fall because you're a first gen professional. Nobody is going to give you a pity job because career services sucks or because you feel lost and uninformed. You've been tossed in the deep end alongside all of your classmates, and it's time to either sink to the bottom of the pool or swim on your own.

I hope this part wasn't too harsh and you receive it as intended. Now onto the question at hand:

I have one interview scheduled for next week with a magistrate judge in a flyover Midwest district, for a two-year clerkship. The area isn’t where I’d want to work permanently, although it would be nice to spend time there. This interview is going to cost me a ton, so I want to know if it’s worth it (and if not, how to back out).

My ultimate goal would be to try and leverage this experience into a district court clerkship somewhere I DO want to work, and then flip that over into Big(ish)law. My original plan/dream was doing transactional work, so I know the experience doesn’t really transfer, but because of my school and geographic issues, I can’t see another way out.


How much are we talking? $500 for a couple flights and a meal, or more than that? I'm not keen on paying for an interview, but I think your idea of asking for a phone interview may be a good compromise. I'd be up front about it and mention that you don't have the money to pay for a trip at this time.

You still have plenty of time to land a job, but you need to put in a ton of effort. Network, network, network. Don't start getting desperate yet! You're interested in transactional, so focus on getting to know transactional lawyers... adjuncts, alumni, people who made a presentation on campus, attorneys at your dream firm. Build genuine relationships with them so that when the interviews come, you know somebody who knows somebody. The personal relationship is the key to a successful job hunt. Sure, you may be stuck in your area for a little while after graduation, but that's better than being stuck somewhere else you don't like doing work that you don't like. Once you get a few years of experience, a whole world of geographical transfer opportunities opens up.

theswisswereright

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Re: What do I do about this interview?

Postby theswisswereright » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:32 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:
theswisswereright wrote:Due to a combination of being poor, a first generation professional, and attending a school with a horrible career services office, law school has basically been a bust for me. I’ve constantly felt uninformed and lost, and my resume currently indicates that I’m set on staying in my home state. That’s never been the case; I hate it here and want to leave, but no one has believed me during interviews for jobs elsewhere.


Why are you using a resume that has bad info on it?

I think it's time for a mentality shift. The way you describe it, there's a whole lot happening to you right now, and not much of you taking the reins and making things happen.

First, everybody feels uninformed and lost. Getting a job isn't easy, and career services is universally awful unless you force them to do their job. Don't get too down on yourself because this is an intimidating process.

Second, it's time to start using your resources rather than relying on your resources. For example, it's a great idea to get good advice from career services on the layout and contents of your resume. However, it's on you to review your resume word for word and make sure it says exactly what you want it to say. It's inexcusable that you're sending out a resume that doesn't say exactly what you need it to say. Spend the 15 minutes required to review your resume and remove stuff that is wrong or doesn't fit your current situation.

Part of using your resources is holding your resources accountable for their part of the bargain. One thing I say around here a lot is that you need to leave a permanent assprint in a chair in the career services office. Until you have the job you want lined up, you should be a regular fixture in the career services office, asking for info about every lead, every job opening, every networking event. They're not going to get you the job, but they are a treasure trove of opportunities.

Overall, you need to realize that you are the only thing dictating whether you succeed or fail. Nobody is going to intercede for you because you're poor. Nobody is going to cushion the fall because you're a first gen professional. Nobody is going to give you a pity job because career services sucks or because you feel lost and uninformed. You've been tossed in the deep end alongside all of your classmates, and it's time to either sink to the bottom of the pool or swim on your own.

I hope this part wasn't too harsh and you receive it as intended. Now onto the question at hand:

I have one interview scheduled for next week with a magistrate judge in a flyover Midwest district, for a two-year clerkship. The area isn’t where I’d want to work permanently, although it would be nice to spend time there. This interview is going to cost me a ton, so I want to know if it’s worth it (and if not, how to back out).

My ultimate goal would be to try and leverage this experience into a district court clerkship somewhere I DO want to work, and then flip that over into Big(ish)law. My original plan/dream was doing transactional work, so I know the experience doesn’t really transfer, but because of my school and geographic issues, I can’t see another way out.


How much are we talking? $500 for a couple flights and a meal, or more than that? I'm not keen on paying for an interview, but I think your idea of asking for a phone interview may be a good compromise. I'd be up front about it and mention that you don't have the money to pay for a trip at this time.

You still have plenty of time to land a job, but you need to put in a ton of effort. Network, network, network. Don't start getting desperate yet! You're interested in transactional, so focus on getting to know transactional lawyers... adjuncts, alumni, people who made a presentation on campus, attorneys at your dream firm. Build genuine relationships with them so that when the interviews come, you know somebody who knows somebody. The personal relationship is the key to a successful job hunt. Sure, you may be stuck in your area for a little while after graduation, but that's better than being stuck somewhere else you don't like doing work that you don't like. Once you get a few years of experience, a whole world of geographical transfer opportunities opens up.


I think this definitely came off very harsh, but I’m trying to take it as intended (how was it intended, if not to be harsh?). You tell me not to be down on myself, but you essentially came down on me like a ton of bricks, so I’m getting conflicting signals. I have actually been doing a lot of networking with alumni in my desired field. The above post was meant to give an overview of my situation as a lead-up to a specific question, not explain everything I’m doing outside of the clerkship situation.

Believe me, I am one hundred percent aware that no one is going to intercede for me for any reason, but it’s not unreasonable to say that my lack of money has, for example, limited my ability to take an unpaid job in a good geographic area to demonstrate interest in working there— a decision I had to make 1L year. I’m not sure why your sticking point seems to be that I disclosed that I spent a lot of time feeling confused about the job-finding process. I get it, I was an idiot. I don’t find the lecture to be very helpful. I’m attempting to find good intentions in it, but you haven’t told me anything I don’t know.

I think you misunderstood what I meant about my resume. It’s entirely accurate, but my experience to date is all in my home state. Said home state has a bar/system of law that is entirely unique, and is very hard to transfer elsewhere. Therefore, I believe my resume doesn’t line up with my ultimate goals, even though it’s correct. I’m aware that using inaccurate documents is, as you say, “inexcusable.”

About the interview— we’re talking $1000 or more, largely because they scheduled so close to current day. I can’t make that happen. I appreciate the second on asking for a phone interview, anyway.

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totesTheGoat

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Re: What do I do about this interview?

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:30 pm

theswisswereright wrote:how was it intended, if not to be harsh?


Realistic and honest.

Here's a question for you. Would you even give this interview a second thought if you were getting solid opportunities for other interviews? I'm guessing the answer is no. Who would pay $1000 to interview for a job that isn't in their preferred practice area and isn't in their preferred geographic area? Only desperate people.

Anyway, I don't want to further burden you with an unwanted topic of conversation, so I'll just shut up.

About the interview— we’re talking $1000 or more, largely because they scheduled so close to current day. I can’t make that happen. I appreciate the second on asking for a phone interview, anyway.


Yeesh, yeah don't pay that.



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