Help me evaluate my post-grad options! Forum

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EmmaLauren

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Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

Post by EmmaLauren » Wed May 11, 2022 9:00 pm

Hi everyone! I wrote a much more detailed post 10 minutes ago but the website made me log in before I could post it, and deleted my whole explanation lol. Long story short, I just took an exam that I don't feel great about. I was extremely prepared and just read the instructions incorrectly. Now, I'm panicking about my grade and about my post-grad job options, since I was banking on a GPA boost from this semester.

I will likely be wrapping up my 2L with a 3.15-3.2, at a t50 school in NYC. I initially wanted to go into public interest, but now I'm hoping for litigation at a firm. I'm listing my other experiences below. I've gotten great reviews from all my supervisors, so I know that they will be supportive references also.
    Summer 2021: public interest org
      Fall 2021: DA's office
        Spring 2022: public defenders' office
          Summer 2022: other DA's office
            Journal e-board Notes Editor+ getting Note published this coming year
              Law school trial team
                Student worker in school library

                While I know the odds of me landing a job in big-law are slim, I'm aiming for a mid-size firm. I also plan on externing in the fall at a firm, and once finals are over, I will continue sending out applications and networking. I've been trying to find and communicate with other students who are/have been in similar positions, and finding it hard. If anyone has any insight on my job prospects, regarding where I can reasonably aim for, and/or advice for increasing my odds, I would really appreciate it! Thank you so much!

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                Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 12, 2022 11:47 am

                What class rank does your GPA correspond with at your school?

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                Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 12, 2022 11:51 am

                EmmaLauren wrote:
                Wed May 11, 2022 9:00 pm
                Hi everyone! I wrote a much more detailed post 10 minutes ago but the website made me log in before I could post it, and deleted my whole explanation lol. Long story short, I just took an exam that I don't feel great about. I was extremely prepared and just read the instructions incorrectly. Now, I'm panicking about my grade and about my post-grad job options, since I was banking on a GPA boost from this semester.

                I will likely be wrapping up my 2L with a 3.15-3.2, at a t50 school in NYC. I initially wanted to go into public interest, but now I'm hoping for litigation at a firm. I'm listing my other experiences below. I've gotten great reviews from all my supervisors, so I know that they will be supportive references also.
                  Summer 2021: public interest org
                    Fall 2021: DA's office
                      Spring 2022: public defenders' office
                        Summer 2022: other DA's office
                          Journal e-board Notes Editor+ getting Note published this coming year
                            Law school trial team
                              Student worker in school library

                              While I know the odds of me landing a job in big-law are slim, I'm aiming for a mid-size firm. I also plan on externing in the fall at a firm, and once finals are over, I will continue sending out applications and networking. I've been trying to find and communicate with other students who are/have been in similar positions, and finding it hard. If anyone has any insight on my job prospects, regarding where I can reasonably aim for, and/or advice for increasing my odds, I would really appreciate it! Thank you so much!
                              I don't think you have good enough grades for any NYC firm that hires grads straight out of law school. Below median outside of a T14 school (even if you're at a T50) makes getting hired at a firm challenging. In theory, mid-size firms would be a good option but those tend to hire sporadically and even there, your grades will be an issue. If you really want to work at a firm, I would advise you to go to a district attorney's or local prosecutor's office where you can get a lot of great courtroom experience. Then after a few years, try your hand at getting into a law firm as a midlevel. At that point, your grades will matter less and your hands-on litigation experience from the DA job will distinguish you from other junior associates who are trying to lateral.
                              Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu May 12, 2022 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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                              Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                              Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 12, 2022 11:57 am

                              Anonymous User wrote:
                              Thu May 12, 2022 11:51 am
                              EmmaLauren wrote:
                              Wed May 11, 2022 9:00 pm
                              Hi everyone! I wrote a much more detailed post 10 minutes ago but the website made me log in before I could post it, and deleted my whole explanation lol. Long story short, I just took an exam that I don't feel great about. I was extremely prepared and just read the instructions incorrectly. Now, I'm panicking about my grade and about my post-grad job options, since I was banking on a GPA boost from this semester.

                              I will likely be wrapping up my 2L with a 3.15-3.2, at a t50 school in NYC. I initially wanted to go into public interest, but now I'm hoping for litigation at a firm. I'm listing my other experiences below. I've gotten great reviews from all my supervisors, so I know that they will be supportive references also.
                                Summer 2021: public interest org
                                  Fall 2021: DA's office
                                    Spring 2022: public defenders' office
                                      Summer 2022: other DA's office
                                        Journal e-board Notes Editor+ getting Note published this coming year
                                          Law school trial team
                                            Student worker in school library

                                            While I know the odds of me landing a job in big-law are slim, I'm aiming for a mid-size firm. I also plan on externing in the fall at a firm, and once finals are over, I will continue sending out applications and networking. I've been trying to find and communicate with other students who are/have been in similar positions, and finding it hard. If anyone has any insight on my job prospects, regarding where I can reasonably aim for, and/or advice for increasing my odds, I would really appreciate it! Thank you so much!
                                            I don't think you have good enough grades for any firm that hires grads straight out of law school. In theory, mid-size firms would be a good option but those tend to hire sporadically and even there, your grades will be an issue. If you really want to work at a firm, I would advise you to go to a district attorney's or local prosecutor's office where you can get a lot of great courtroom experience. Then after a few years, try your hand at getting into a law firm as a midlevel. At that point, your grades will matter less and your hands-on litigation experience from the DA job will distinguish you from other junior associates who are trying to lateral.
                                            I think there is some truth to this, but if you (OP) can get a job with a firm for 3L, you may be able to turn it into something permanent. A lot of people I know who ended up in smaller/midsized firms got there through law school jobs.

                                            Also, can you dive into clerkship applications like yesterday? State/local clerkships can be a good way to network and get into smaller local firms.

                                            CanadianWolf

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                                            Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                                            Post by CanadianWolf » Thu May 12, 2022 12:01 pm

                                            Interesting that you were able to get work experience at both a DA's office and at a PD's office.

                                            Big Law is highly unlikely.

                                            Assuming that you are below median at your current NYC Top 50 law school, your focus should be on passing the state bar exam and on sending out hundreds of resumes in hope of securing JD required legal employment. Be prepared to consider working for low pay for a few years after law school.

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                                            Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                                            Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 12, 2022 1:10 pm

                                            CanadianWolf wrote:
                                            Thu May 12, 2022 12:01 pm
                                            Interesting that you were able to get work experience at both a DA's office and at a PD's office.

                                            Big Law is highly unlikely.

                                            Assuming that you are below median at your current NYC Top 50 law school, your focus should be on passing the state bar exam and on sending out hundreds of resumes in hope of securing JD required legal employment. Be prepared to consider working for low pay for a few years after law school.
                                            titcr. Maybe have a slim shot at some random midlaw but op has a super long road ahead.

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                                            Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                                            Post by Anonymous User » Sun May 15, 2022 10:06 pm

                                            It's unlikely that you'll land anything outside of DA or a smaller firm but with a strong effort now, lateraling into midLaw/BigLaw a couple of years into practice is certainly possible.

                                            One thing I would add to the above comments, you should really focus on upping those grades. It's going to take a significant effort, but with a mix of As and A-'s, taking full credit workloads (and maybe graded summer/winter classes if offered), you can up that GPA to somewhere in the 3.4+ range, which should put you top 33% (or maybe higher) depending on the school. You have a bit of an advantage here as presumably your 1L spring semester was P/F due to Covid, and thus each credit is going to count for a bit more.

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                                            Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                                            Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 16, 2022 10:56 am

                                            Just wanted to add that you should try to network the crap out of any trial ad competition you attend. The judges are often practicing attorneys, so if you can convince them you have what it takes to be a good lawyer despite less than stellar credentials, they may be willing to take a chance on you. Would you consider yourself to be relatively personable compared to your peers? If so, you can try to network in other ways, too, but that's hard a) when you have nothing to show them (unlike in a trial ad competition), b) during the pandemic, and c) while you're still in law school. Obviously you can't put all your eggs in the networking basket (bringing up your GPA and resume blasting are equally if not more important), but it's definitely another avenue to explore.

                                            I would also add that it can sometimes be helpful to focus on a particular typeof litigation. That's hard to do this late in the game (you only have two semesters of classes left to go), but if you can find an in-demand field and show genuine interest (e.g., writing an insightful note), you may catch the eye of a firm in desperate need for a body.

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                                            Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                                            Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 16, 2022 6:00 pm

                                            EmmaLauren wrote:
                                            Wed May 11, 2022 9:00 pm
                                            Hi everyone! I wrote a much more detailed post 10 minutes ago but the website made me log in before I could post it, and deleted my whole explanation lol. Long story short, I just took an exam that I don't feel great about. I was extremely prepared and just read the instructions incorrectly. Now, I'm panicking about my grade and about my post-grad job options, since I was banking on a GPA boost from this semester.

                                            I will likely be wrapping up my 2L with a 3.15-3.2, at a t50 school in NYC. I initially wanted to go into public interest, but now I'm hoping for litigation at a firm. I'm listing my other experiences below. I've gotten great reviews from all my supervisors, so I know that they will be supportive references also.
                                              Summer 2021: public interest org
                                                Fall 2021: DA's office
                                                  Spring 2022: public defenders' office
                                                    Summer 2022: other DA's office
                                                      Journal e-board Notes Editor+ getting Note published this coming year
                                                        Law school trial team
                                                          Student worker in school library

                                                          While I know the odds of me landing a job in big-law are slim, I'm aiming for a mid-size firm. I also plan on externing in the fall at a firm, and once finals are over, I will continue sending out applications and networking. I've been trying to find and communicate with other students who are/have been in similar positions, and finding it hard. If anyone has any insight on my job prospects, regarding where I can reasonably aim for, and/or advice for increasing my odds, I would really appreciate it! Thank you so much!
                                                          My GPA hovered in that range for most of law school at FLS. While I struck out at 2L OCI, I did snag a big law gig during 3L fall. A combination of networking and pre-law school experience in the relevant practice group helped me to overcome my grades. Any angle you can work to play up a strength in a particular practice area can help. I would also try to work with Career Services to see which firms have hired 3L's in similar positions in recent years and network/apply accordingly. As noted above, not all mid-size firms will necessarily hire entry level associates, but you never know until you ask/apply.

                                                          objctnyrhnr

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                                                          Re: Help me evaluate my post-grad options!

                                                          Post by objctnyrhnr » Tue May 17, 2022 5:21 am

                                                          I have a slightly different take. I mean yeah the people saying “try your best to get into a midsize firm 3L and get better grades” aren’t wrong. But that’s not your most likely path to a firm at this point, unfortunately. But also yes: definitely do those things.

                                                          But here’s my main advice: make sure not to burn bridges in the das office/s in which you’ve interned. In fact continue to network with all of the people who could theoretically make the difference in you landing one of those gigs on the margins. Try your hardest to get into the most prestigious one you can (read: Manhattan).

                                                          Once you get there, it’ll be tempting to keep climbing the ladder and taking the next small step at the Dao, and really just getting swept up in it along with everybody else. But don’t. Keep your eye on the prize. By the time you land private sector you’ll have enough trial/motion experience under your belt that you’ll feel extremely comfortable before a judge for the rest of your career. Dao experience is fantastic, but insofar as skill applicability to other realms of litigation, the experiential returns are extremely diminishing after like 12-18 months. Most junior-ish ADAs don’t get that and they wait way too long to jump and make the already-uphill battle of getting to reputable private sector even steeper. (This all assumes you’re not about to go start your own private OUI practice, which I don’t think you are based on your post.)

                                                          Anyway, start applying for midsize firms and clerkships about six months into the Dao and focus on networking with people in the private sector. If lit warms up even a tiny bit, and a couple of these firms realize they need more juniors than they have, you’ll be ready to take a big class hit and jump in with more motion experience than the rest of the associates combined. Keep a close eye on the open positions and don’t stop networking, even when being an Ada feels all consuming (and it will).

                                                          But with all this being said, keep working hard and keep your reputation high at manhattan. Getting a rep as a slacker/somebody who isn’t into it could bite you down the road.

                                                          Also, let the PD thing go. The firms it sounds like you want to target don’t want that blue collar defense work, and the trial/motion experience won’t be nearly as robust as being an Ada.


                                                          Lastly, start applying to clerkships (for one year out) even before you begin at the das office. It’ll be way easier to land reputable private sector from a clerkship than from the da’s office. But still be prepared to take a class hit.

                                                          Feel free to DM me if you want to discuss any of this in more detail. Good luck.

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