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Job search advice? Willing to take non-legal jobs...

Post by OpenBook » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:58 pm

Short version
A little above median, top 25 law school, want to work in Atlanta, transactional course load, summered doing transactional work but SA's were all no-offered. Mediocre undergrad, degree in political science. Willing to take legal and non-legal jobs. Would like to make 62k+, would settle for as low as 44k temporarily. Would work somewhere other than Atlanta (have connections to DC, NC, Atlanta) if I got 15k + a cost of living adjustment on those numbers. Advice?

Long Version

I am a 3L at a top 25 law school (which I will keep anonymous and then give away). Last summer, I worked for a mid-size firm doing corporate/transactional work. They decided not to hire all 5 of the SA's because they began struggling financially. They offered to provide a strong reference if contacted. I am getting a transactional certificate (which just means I took a bunch of good transactional classes). Almost none of my elective classes are litigation-based. I don't have stellar grades. I am between median and the top 1/3 of my class. I didn't have any spectacular previous work experience before law school. First summer, I mostly worked at a public interest job. I went to a pretty mediocre undergraduate school that is in the same region as, but a different state from, my law school. I majored in Political Science. I have not networked well and I have already tried working with the few contacts I have without success. I am not on a journal, nor am I on moot court.

I very much want to live in Atlanta, although if I found a good job I would be willing to move. I have connections to Atlanta, D.C., and most of North Carolina.

I looked closely at my finances. I think I could afford to live on as low as $44,000/y (thanks to IBR), but to stay current on my loan payments, I would need to make at least $52,500 (this would involve not paying my Subsidized loan interest), and to feel at all comfortable I would need to make about $66,500. I'd prefer to work 40h/w at 66,5 than 80h/w at 160k.

Other Assets of mine:
I have been studying to take the GMAT and I think I will do well on it based on practice tests (I'm taking the GMAT because I know a lot of Consulting firms ask for GMAT and SAT scores, and I didn't do well at all on the SAT verbal so I look dumb right now). I am physically strong and in general very fit. I have taken a few business school classes. I received a large scholarship for law school. I think I am a very likable person and I give good first impressions.

Other Liabilities:
I really hate networking. I tried doing those "informational interviews" over e-mail last year. I sent out about 40 of them and followed up, made phone calls, etc. I hated them so much and I thought they were so awkward. They were entirely unhelpful even though I honestly think I did a pretty good job. I realize that I should also have attended lots of in-person events and all that, which I didn't do. I got my job last year through a mass mail -- I mailed 600 firms targeted cover letters and resumes and landed a total of 1 interview.

So, any ideas on what jobs (a) are hiring, (b) I am qualified for, (c) pay at least 44-66.5k, and, ideally, are in the Atlanta area?
I am interested in all types of law (although I'm not sure that anyone would want to hire me as a litigator, and I'd much prefer transactional work), consulting, investment banking, insurance, banking, compliance, being a detective or FBI type officer, any government work, and pretty much any area that meets the (a)-(d) above.
Also, any advice on how to land these jobs would be great.

I am really frustrated with how things have worked out. When I started law school, about 75% of my class came out with jobs over 85k, and 50% landed jobs over 140k (LinkRemoved). Now, I'd guess that 20% of my class has a job making around market, 20% of my class has a job between 85k to 120k, 20% has a public interest-type job, and 40% of the class is entirely unemployed. And, my school has increased tuition and fees about 6k since I started. This is a lot, relatively, since my scholarship paid for all but 10k the first year. That's over a 50% increase in real costs.

Thanks guys.

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Re: Job search advice? Willing to take non-legal jobs...

Post by vamedic03 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:25 am

Have you considered state court clerkships? State regulatory agencies? Non-JD positions in financial regulatory agencies?

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