2L at Louisville taking questions

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bizjunkie4
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2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:41 pm

I am a 2L at the University of Louisville School of Law -- yes, one of the schools that dropped out of the Top 100 last spring, but we are poised to re-enter next year, and I don't think the rankings are a huge deal below T14 anyway. I am a member of the school's law review, heavily involved in several student groups, and I write a blog about law school at this site: http://uofllawschool.blogspot.com/

Ask questions, and I will answer as time is available.

- Alex Davis

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johnnyutah
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:02 pm

Is it possible to get jobs in Louisville without knowing someone?

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bizjunkie4
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby bizjunkie4 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:10 pm

johnnyutah wrote:Is it possible to get jobs in Louisville without knowing someone?


Oh, that's a good question. The short answer is no. I think it's tough to find a job anywhere without knowing someone, unless you are right at the top of the class with terrific grades. That said, Louisville is a fairly isolated legal market for a community of it size. The closest law schools are more than an hour away at Indiana (Bloomington) and Kentucky (Lexington). So even for a student coming from outside the region, you have the pick of the litter in terms of networking opportunities. It's not hard to squeeze your way into social functions held by the Louisville Bar Association, or to meet attorneys through school-sponsored events such as speaking panels. The number of summer jobs available through OCI is somewhat small (perhaps a few dozen at the very most, and probably fewer), but the number of potential positions available with smaller firms and solo practitioners is bottomless. For example, I did not get a job through OCI this past year, despite being in the upper one-third of my class at the time (I am now top 15%, and I'm hopeful I will do better this fall). But I found a job through a networking contact, making $20 an hour plus bonuses, and made almost as much money as I would have at a medium-sized firm. Plus, the experience was amazing, and I got to do a lot more than sit in some dusty library doing meaningless research. That's my two cents.

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johnnyutah
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:17 pm

What is the social atmosphere like there?

GettingReady2010
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby GettingReady2010 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:21 am

How does it compare to Kentucky (i.e. reputation, employment prospects, etc.)?

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Barbie
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby Barbie » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:25 am

also wondering about the differences between Kentucky and Louisville. I would like to know about the quality of life at each and the main differences in career prospects.

lawschool2014
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby lawschool2014 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:27 am

Are you nervous about securing a job next year? Is the school atmosphere very competitive given the lack of job opportunities via OCI?

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Barbie
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby Barbie » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:28 am

lawschool2014 wrote:Are you nervous about securing a job next year? Is the school atmosphere very competitive given the lack of job opportunities via OCI?


Since you are apparently going to Duke, why do you care?

lawschool2014
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby lawschool2014 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:30 am

Barbie wrote:
lawschool2014 wrote:Are you nervous about securing a job next year? Is the school atmosphere very competitive given the lack of job opportunities via OCI?


Since you are apparently going to Duke, why do you care?


just curious barbie. would like to learn about different schools :)

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bizjunkie4
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby bizjunkie4 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:32 am

Playing catch up on questions, sorry for delay. Law review assignment due later today, so this may have to be abbreviated.

First, social atmosphere: I didn't come to law school to have fun, so I don't go out very often. I'm also a non-traditional student (34 years old, married, two kids, rental property,etc.). Still, I think Louisville is a great town for many reasons. The city is large enough to have dozens of great restaurants and hundreds of bars, but small enough to not wait 45 minutes in traffic whenever you want to go somewhere. Neighborhoods such as the Highlands are funky and eclectic, with tons of local businesses and art galleries, pubs, etc. There is usually at least one law school social function each week. Here is a link to one that is coming up: http://www.law.louisville.edu/lawlapalooza/

Louisville v. Kentucky: Fans of UK refer to the Cardinals as "Little Brother" and in some respects that holds true for the law schools as well. UK is obviously ranked higher, and probably carries more prestige in general. However, Lexington is a much smaller legal market, and I would argue that if you want to work in Louisville, you will be better situated by attending U of L. The school also is cheaper, and I believe it was recently ranked one of the best values in the nation for a law school.

Finding a job: I am not worried at all. I recently turned down a transfer to Washington & Lee because I felt my degree from Louisville would be a better value considering the extra debt I would rack up at W&L. The legal market here is quite large, and the main competition comes from Bloomington and Lexington, both more than an hour away. I have seven OCI appointments in the next week, all with medium to large firms based in Louisville. I have certainly heard of students at other schools with dozens of OCIs, but seven is fine with me. When you look at the starting wages that those firms pay their associates ($80-95k) and compare that with the cost of living in Louisville (median home price $140k; dinner at nice restaurant with wife $50), I would take Louisville over Boston or NYC any day. I'm an unemployed law student, and my wife (a social worker) and two kids live in a 3,000+ square foot house in a terrific neighborhood with a mortgage that is only a shade over $1,200 a month.

Hope those answers help. Feel free to follow up or PM me with questions

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bizjunkie4
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby bizjunkie4 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:37 am

Looks like I failed to address competition. It's a good question, and one of the reasons I really enjoy being here. In my opinion, competition is very low key. Even at the top, students are very willing to share notes and outlines, and move between study groups. Underhanded tactics such as hiding books, etc., are pretty much unheard of, and upper level students were extremely helpful to me when I was a 1L. In fact, one of them personally saw to it that I found a summer job when I didn't receive an offer through OCI. It is true that only a dozen or so students snagged jobs at what I would describe as "big" firms for the summer, but dozens of other students found paying jobs at smaller firms or public service agencies, and pretty much anyone who wants to can find a volunteer job locally. I have friends in large markets who swore that they couldn't even find a reasonable volunteer job after their 1L year. So, competition exists, but the environment is very collegial and I appreciate that.

- Alex

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johnnyutah
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby johnnyutah » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:52 am

bizjunkie4 wrote:Finding a job: I am not worried at all. I recently turned down a transfer to Washington & Lee because I felt my degree from Louisville would be a better value considering the extra debt I would rack up at W&L. The legal market here is quite large, and the main competition comes from Bloomington and Lexington, both more than an hour away. I have seven OCI appointments in the next week, all with medium to large firms based in Louisville.

Did you get those by being connected?

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bizjunkie4
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby bizjunkie4 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:48 pm

johnnyutah wrote:
bizjunkie4 wrote:Finding a job: I am not worried at all. I recently turned down a transfer to Washington & Lee because I felt my degree from Louisville would be a better value considering the extra debt I would rack up at W&L. The legal market here is quite large, and the main competition comes from Bloomington and Lexington, both more than an hour away. I have seven OCI appointments in the next week, all with medium to large firms based in Louisville.

Did you get those by being connected?


If you are referring to the OCI stuff, the answer is no. I do have some extras on my resume, including an 11-year career in journalism before law school, a small real estate company that I own with my wife, and decent community involvement. But I think most law students are fairly interesting and accomplished people, even if they are straight out of undergrad. I would say that grades and activities such as law review and/or moot court are 90 percent of the battle. It is very possible to get an initial OCI with a firm based on connections, but I did not use any for this round. Also, the personal connection will only go so far, and probably won't get you past the callback unless you are the managing partner's nephew, etc.

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johnnyutah
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby johnnyutah » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:58 pm

What do you think about the odds of getting a legal job in Louisville if you don't go to law school in Kentucky or Indiana?

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bizjunkie4
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Re: 2L at Louisville taking questions

Postby bizjunkie4 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:53 pm

johnnyutah wrote:What do you think about the odds of getting a legal job in Louisville if you don't go to law school in Kentucky or Indiana?


Louisville's larger firms routinely hire talent from law schools outside the region, although the schools are usually top-flight, i.e. Virginia, Michigan, Harvard, Yale, etc. To score a job at a medium or large size firm from a T2 or lower school, you probably would need to 1) have terrific grades, 2) know someone, or 3) pound a lot of pavement and do a lot of networking.




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