Employment and my family tree

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Employment and my family tree

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:20 am

I don't mean for this post to come off as shallow, but I'm trying to gauge my potential for success before I commit to law school. I graduated from a well-respected liberal arts college with a good GPA, and I think I have a pretty good shot at a T14 school. I've been interested in law for a while, partly because my grandfather served on my state's supreme court. I'm more interested in corporate law than trial law, but my question is whether having him as my grandfather might serve as a conduit later on when I'm looking for internships and jobs. I don't expect anyone to hire me unless I'm really worth my salt, but one former boss told me having "the name" would be a big help. My grandfather was active in the legal field until recently, but he's old and might not even be around when I start law school. Everyone is saying law school is a terrible idea, and I hear horror stories about students graduating with 200k in debt and no jobs, so I want to know what my career options might be before I commit.

User avatar
emkay625
Posts: 1839
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby emkay625 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't mean for this post to come off as shallow, but I'm trying to gauge my potential for success before I commit to law school. I graduated from a well-respected liberal arts college with a good GPA, and I think I have a pretty good shot at a T14 school. I've been interested in law for a while, partly because my grandfather served on my state's supreme court. I'm more interested in corporate law than trial law, but my question is whether having him as my grandfather might serve as a conduit later on when I'm looking for internships and jobs. I don't expect anyone to hire me unless I'm really worth my salt, but one former boss told me having "the name" would be a big help. My grandfather was active in the legal field until recently, but he's old and might not even be around when I start law school. Everyone is saying law school is a terrible idea, and I hear horror stories about students graduating with 200k in debt and no jobs, so I want to know what my career options might be before I commit.


To be honest, no one can tell you anything without your actual GPA and an LSAT score. Have you taken a diagnostic exam yet?

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:20 am

Does your state have a lot of biglaw firms? If your grandfather was on the NY, CA, TX, IL, or MA supreme court then I would imagine he will have some powerful connections. Connections are usually only a part of the puzzle though.

You should probably ask him though.

nycdweller
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:00 am

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby nycdweller » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:09 am

Don't go into law unless you know what being a lawyer involves and after an honest self assessment think you'd enjoy it

Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:52 am

nycdweller wrote:Don't go into law unless you know what being a lawyer involves and after an honest self assessment think you'd enjoy it

Thanks for the help. I do think I'd enjoy practicing law, but I want to know whether I'll be able to get a job. I do expect to get into a T14, but don't expect to be in the very top of my class, which would make the decision riskier. I know that right now I have good connections with major firms in my state (still under 1.000 lawyers), but will those connections mean anything after my grandfather passes away? In business, a lot of people get jobs because their boss was doing someone else a favor, but I expect the terms would be very different when the applicant's connection is no longer in the field. Is that true in law? -OP

Norwood
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:13 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby Norwood » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:11 pm

you'll be fine. you got the potential to get into a great school. just work hard like everyone else and you'll end up with something. it might not be the ideal job, but if you love practicing law, then hopefully it'll be enough. The extra family connection is great, but you shouldn't completely rely on it.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:08 pm

I think what you should do is express to your grandfather that you are interested in practicing corporate law and wonder if knows any lawyers in firms who would be willing to talk to you about their careers. Get networking now with his connections and maintain them through the next couple of years.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know that right now I have good connections with major firms in my state (still under 1.000 lawyers)


States with <1,000 lawyers don't really have major firms in the T14 sense of things. The number of opportunities for entry level positions that pay >$100,000 is greatly reduced in smaller legal markets. Even a >1,000 lawyer market like Seattle has <30 summer associates per year and might not have 100% offer rates. You should go into a T14 law school expecting to have to get the grades to compete with your classmates in a major market. The secondary (or tertiary) market where you're from is going to have to be a supplement to traditional recruiting, not necessarily a safety net.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:14 pm

bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know that right now I have good connections with major firms in my state (still under 1.000 lawyers)


States with <1,000 lawyers don't really have major firms in the T14 sense of things. The number of opportunities for entry level positions that pay >$100,000 is greatly reduced in smaller legal markets. Even a >1,000 lawyer market like Seattle has <30 summer associates per year and might not have 100% offer rates. You should go into a T14 law school expecting to have to get the grades to compete with your classmates in a major market. The secondary (or tertiary) market where you're from is going to have to be a supplement to traditional recruiting, not necessarily a safety net.

I assumed OP meant that the firms are all under 1,000 lawyers.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby bdubs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:25 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know that right now I have good connections with major firms in my state (still under 1.000 lawyers)


States with <1,000 lawyers don't really have major firms in the T14 sense of things. The number of opportunities for entry level positions that pay >$100,000 is greatly reduced in smaller legal markets. Even a >1,000 lawyer market like Seattle has <30 summer associates per year and might not have 100% offer rates. You should go into a T14 law school expecting to have to get the grades to compete with your classmates in a major market. The secondary (or tertiary) market where you're from is going to have to be a supplement to traditional recruiting, not necessarily a safety net.

I assumed OP meant that the firms are all under 1,000 lawyers.


I'm not sure it matters much. The firms with >1000 lawyers are the ones most likely to have far flung offices. If OP's state doesn't have K&L Gates, Jones Day, or Baker McKenzie offices (or any of the other megafirms for that matter) he is probably in a state with less than 1,000 big firm lawyers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273367
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:26 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know that right now I have good connections with major firms in my state (still under 1.000 lawyers)


States with <1,000 lawyers don't really have major firms in the T14 sense of things. The number of opportunities for entry level positions that pay >$100,000 is greatly reduced in smaller legal markets. Even a >1,000 lawyer market like Seattle has <30 summer associates per year and might not have 100% offer rates. You should go into a T14 law school expecting to have to get the grades to compete with your classmates in a major market. The secondary (or tertiary) market where you're from is going to have to be a supplement to traditional recruiting, not necessarily a safety net.

I assumed OP meant that the firms are all under 1,000 lawyers.


Exactly. I meant firms with under 1,000 lawyers but with several offices, including NYC.
-OP

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby MrAnon » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:29 pm

My grandpa was a farmer. It didn't make me interested in farming though. You might want to decide if you actually like law for yourself before you set off to law school.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: Employment and my family tree

Postby FlanAl » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:32 pm

Have your grandpa introduce you to people now. Build your network as a "i'm trying to figure out if law school is the right choice". People who are actually lawyers will be able to tell you more than the people on this site AND older people like it when younger people give a genuine sh#$ about what they do. THEN once you're in law school maintain contact with all these people. Stings should be pulled by your grandpa way before you need them to be pulled. That way it won't be like he's calling in a favor you'll be so and so's fantastic grandson/granddaughter.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests