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Legal Jobs?

post #1 of 116
Thread Starter 
Please post job-search tips for starting attorneys. I'm keeping my question open-ended because I'm open to all suggestions and advice. This market forces me to be open minded about my options. Fire away...
post #2 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sartorialism View Post
Please post job-search tips for starting attorneys. I'm keeping my question open-ended because I'm open to all suggestions and advice. This market forces me to be open minded about my options. Fire away...

Are you still in law school or have you graduated already?
post #3 of 116
Thread Starter 
Graduating in June
post #4 of 116
I don't graduate until next year, but I have heard a couple stories of law students showing up to CLEs in their desired practice area, meeting people/networking, and ultimately getting an offer.
post #5 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sartorialism View Post
Graduating in June

What's your debt situation looking like?
post #6 of 116
So you're in DC, which is at least a good economy, unlike most other areas that used to employ lots of attorneys at high salaries. Most obvious is apply for every government thing you can think of, starting now. Also try contractors. Do you have any personal connection to a small town or any area in the middle of the country? If you banish yourself from a big city you won't make much money, but you probably have a better chance of not getting stuck in a nonlegal job for so long that you get a scarlet letter. I had an offer to work for a small firm in the same town I was working in a nonlawyer job a long time before I was able to get hired as an attorney (would have had to take a big pay cut initially to go work for the small firm, because it was basically staking me in my own solo practice, not like a real associate, so I didn't take it)
post #7 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
What's your debt situation looking like?

Appx. 100K

Quote:
Originally Posted by yerfdog View Post
So you're in DC, which is at least a good economy, unlike most other areas that used to employ lots of attorneys at high salaries. Most obvious is apply for every government thing you can think of, starting now. Also try contractors.

Do you have any personal connection to a small town or any area in the middle of the country?

If you banish yourself from a big city you won't make much money, but you probably have a better chance of not getting stuck in a nonlegal job for so long that you get a scarlet letter.

I had an offer to work for a small firm in the same town I was working in a nonlawyer job a long time before I was able to get hired as an attorney (would have had to take a big pay cut initially to go work for the small firm, because it was basically staking me in my own solo practice, not like a real associate, so I didn't take it)

Thanks for the advice!

Anyone else? Job search tips are much needed and appreciated!
post #8 of 116
Network, network, network.

Conservative? Go to Federalist Society and Republican National Lawyers meetings. Liberal? Go to American Constitution Society and Democratic National Lawyers meetings.

Do you know anyone working in DC? The majority of jobs originate not from close friends, but people you know more casually.

I'll try to post more ideas as I think of them.
post #9 of 116
Following this thread for gems of information. I'm in Boston and graduating this Spring as well.
post #10 of 116
http://abovethelaw.com/2011/02/proof...ks/#more-57697 (sort of NSFW, btw) in all seriousness: how much do you love law? any specific fields? I will echo the network sentiment. I'm also a 3L, but some of the class of 09/10s that graduated without jobs have seemed to find occasional success by just showing up to events and hustling the hell out of these people. Mostly not biglaw jobs, but at least they're employed and somewhat paying off their debts. Alternatively: you're in DC so this could work. Have you thought about government affairs or legislative/policy analysis? I did this last summer after totally striking out at law firm hiring. Mostly seem to seek MPA/MPPs, MBAs, and even econ PhD's, but I'm sure you might be able to convince them of a value of a JD in policy analysis. Really interesting work and surprisingly high paying.
post #11 of 116
Thread Starter 
What do you think of just cold calling firms or government agencies, asking for the recruitment department and send just sending my resume to wherever directed?
post #12 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sartorialism View Post
What do you think of just cold calling firms or government agencies, asking for the recruitment department and send just sending my resume to wherever directed?
I don't think your yield will be very high. A lot of government agencies have websites with links to job openings. Check those out.
post #13 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sartorialism View Post
What do you think of just cold calling firms or government agencies, asking for the recruitment department and send just sending my resume to wherever directed?

Your yield on government agencies will be zero.

Your yield on firms will approach zero.

I would talk to your school's career services and get a list of alumni currently working in D.C. (any job or law firm job). Almost guaranteed the office has this.

Then, forget about any of the Biglaw firms that have official summer programs.

Google every 'unknown' (i.e., non-BigLaw) firm on the list and look at their website. The firms with 3-20 lawyers. Then send an email to the alumnus, not the hiring partner. Maybe it has a resume attached, but probably not. It's just a feeler/networking email saying you're also an alum of XYZ Law School and would like to stay in D.C. and want to get your foot in the door and maybe the two of you can have lunch and talk about the job market in D.C. He might have an opening, or be able to point you at someone who does, etc.

If you only stick to the jobs posted on your career services board, judicial clerkships, and other nationally advertised positions, you're basically boned.
post #14 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
Your yield on government agencies will be zero.

Your yield on firms will approach zero.

I would talk to your school's career services and get a list of alumni currently working in D.C. (any job or law firm job). Almost guaranteed the office has this.

Then, forget about any of the Biglaw firms that have official summer programs.

Google every 'unknown' (i.e., non-BigLaw) firm on the list and look at their website. The firms with 3-20 lawyers. Then send an email to the alumnus, not the hiring partner. Maybe it has a resume attached, but probably not. It's just a feeler/networking email saying you're also an alum of XYZ Law School and would like to stay in D.C. and want to get your foot in the door and maybe the two of you can have lunch and talk about the job market in D.C. He might have an opening, or be able to point you at someone who does, etc.

If you only stick to the jobs posted on your career services board, judicial clerkships, and other nationally advertised positions, you're basically boned.

This is good advice. Your situation is pretty difficult. It's time to hustle.
post #15 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sartorialism View Post
Graduating in June

Have you been working at all while in school, i.e. summer jobs, externships during the school year, etc? In other words, do you have any legal work experience that you'd bring to the table?
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