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Legal Jobs? - Page 5

post #61 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eponym View Post
I wish I could offer better advice, but I joined my firm under the traditional model of summer then offer. Needless to say, the market has changed significantly since then. Still, other posters have given some great advice in this thread already, and it's worth repeating:
-Network with other attorneys and develop contacts through family as much as possible. Your resume tells a potential employer that you did a great job in contracts and tax, but a personal referral tells them you are trustworthy. Nepotism is alive and well in this profession - embrace it if you can.
-Get as much practical experience as possible. An employer will want to see that you can hit the ground running with practical skills. The learning curve is huge for a new lawyer. Do what you can to stay ahead of it.
-Find a niche and have clear goals and aspirations. There are hundreds of raw new lawyers running around out there. The less you look like them, the more you will stand out.
-Listen to everything Zobo said. He knows all.

Best of luck. It may look bleak out there, but you'll land on your feet

Not really- I mean it may be the traditional way that a given firm does things, but the majority of people that go to law school will never go through the summer associate process or even get an interview for one. I can't speak to the past, but these days summer assoc. jobs are very rare if you aren't at the very very top. I think I know of maybe one person that I went to law school with that got a summer assoc. position, thats it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big A View Post
This is good advice.

Also, why not hang a damn shingle and go it alone? Hustling for clients is no harder than hustling for a job.

Pick an area you like, go to some CLEs to learn & to meet someone willing to answer stupid questions that come up (almost any lawyer is happy to help, even if you are really just helping your future competition), and market!
Why not hang a shingle? Maybe because its a pretty bad idea for someone straight out of law school?
I'm not saying he wouldn't, or couldn't, be successful... its just that it isn't a good idea. Someone straight out of law school is not going to have any idea what he's doing, you just aren't given the training in law school for it. Someone really should have at least a couple years experience before going out on their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grenadier View Post
Do you want to be a lawyer? That is probably the most important criterion.

As to whether it is financially feasible, or "worth it," that depends upon the law school from which you graduate and your grades. If you do not get in to a top-50 law school, then I would advise against going. And I am not saying that you have to go the BigLaw route, but you do not want to foreclose that (or any other option) unnecessarily.
+1 to the first part. The main criteria bar far is whether its what you really want to do... I cannot stress that enough. If you aren't absolutely sure its what you want to do you're going to question your decision (honestly I still question my decision to go, and my decision was not a last minute, what else am I going to do choice... it had been my planned path for quite a while).
Second - while you hear a lot of the 'there's a lot you can do with a law degree,' don't let that affect your decision, its (in my experience) not very true, especially if you don't have useful non-legal experience.
Also, even once the economy improves the legal job market is still going to be overcrowded.

To the 2nd part- Big law gets discussed way too much. I don't know much of anything about you, but chances are you won't work in big law... the vast majority of law grads don't.. despite the fact that the ABA and everyone else focus on it, numbers wise its a small portion of the legal field. Chances are the "biglaw route" is something you're never going to have to make a decision about. Especially if you aren't at a top 25 school or top of your class elsewhere. I went to a Tier 2 school - even there you wouldn't get an interview from those firms unless you're top %5-10 + Law review... even then, none of the people I knew that interviewed got an offer.
post #62 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AR_Six View Post
I could introduce you to a few.

I wouldn't want to shake their hands
post #63 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meis View Post
Especially if you aren't at a top 25 school or top of your class elsewhere. I went to a Tier 2 school - even there you wouldn't get an interview from those firms unless you're top %5-10 + Law review... even then, none of the people I knew that interviewed got an offer.

Given the above, and given your experiences, do you think that attending a non top 25 at full tuition is really worth the sticker price? Or would you suggest that students take a lower tier school with partial/full scholarship?
post #64 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kxk View Post
Given the above, and given your experiences, do you think that attending a non top 25 at full tuition is really worth the sticker price? Or would you suggest that students take a lower tier school with partial/full scholarship?

How much lower and what do you want to do? I would not advise anyone to go to anything below the top 50 and would actively discourage anyone from going to a school not in the top 100. Regardless of what you think you might want to do, you want to have as many doors open as possible.

@Meis: While it is true that BigLaw is a small segment of the legal industry, it is a significant segment of private practice. This is not because big law firms employ the majority of lawyers. They don't. But rather because many small firm lawyers start out at big law firms. Perhaps this is because small firms tend to be more reluctant to hire people straight out of law school.
post #65 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acer View Post
I do want to be a lawyer, but from what I've heard BigLaw isn't really for me. I think I would fit in much better in a corporate setting, but I understand that's not traditionally an "out of the gate" type of job opening. Although I have heard of a couple of F500s that hire new graduates, I understand that to be the exception. The main reason I'm shying away from biglaw is because of the amount of time I wouldn't be able to spend with my family--that's a major reason why I'm looking to get out of the military in the first place.
A lot of former military members that go to law school are able to get hired by the federal government (probably the biggest employer of attorneys in the country/world). Depending on what agency you work for, you can have pretty good quality of life.
post #66 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acer View Post
I'd love to, but I don't know if I could find a law firm in the area that would 1) be willing to let me work there with essentially no qualification, and 2) let me work there on weekends or evenings (as I have a fairly rigid work schedule as it is)

I mean, I'd love to work as an assistant or something of that nature, or even sweep floors if it meant that I could get a feel for what their day to day was like, but I don't think there is even anything like that available in my area

Actually, seriously, just ask. A lot of small firms/solos won't mind having someone around for cheap/free. Look at the firm's websites, find a lawyer who has been in the military or some other thing you have in common, and then send them an email. Just explain that you're thinking of applying to law school and you'd like to learn more about what lawyers do.

You say you don't think there is anything like that available in your area. You're in the military but I'm assuming you're not deployed or otherwise outside continental US because if so then lol yeah there probably aren't too many lawyers other than JAGs out in the middle of Afghanistan. But if you're stationed in the US (or even Guam), I guarantee there are at least SOME lawyers near you even if you're near only a small town. Those small firms are the most likely to be able to accomodate you for just a few hours a week anyway.
post #67 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grenadier View Post
Do you want to be a lawyer? That is probably the most important criterion.

Not really. The typical law student's concept of what being a lawyer is differs greatly from the actual practice of law. Whether they find that fantasy attractive or not has little bearing on whether law school is a good choice. It's hard to say who should go to law school, but I can rather safely say that anyone who doesn't fall into one of these groups shouldn't go:

1. Full price at Yale/Harvard/Stanford
2. Half scholly at Columbia/Chicago/NYU
3. Roughly 3/4 ride at the 6-10 rank or so, shifting to a full ride as you dip in the rankings to Vandy, which is probably the worst school you should go to if your goal is to get a decent job through OCI
4. Full ride at any school no matter how crappy, AND you don't mind forgoing three years of earnings, AND you either have a guaranteed job through a family connection or are willing to devote all your free time during law school to networking and learning how to run a firm so you can successfully hang a shingle. Don't overestimate your talents if you go this route ... if you couldn't break 170 on the LSAT then you probably weren't that bright or hardworking to begin with and you need to carefully think about whether you can learn to run a business with minimal training.
post #68 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by yerfdog View Post
Actually, seriously, just ask. A lot of small firms/solos won't mind having someone around for cheap/free.

+1, I wouldn't mind having someone around at my office... gives me someone to vent to

yerfdog, just for kicks I sent in my paperwork to NSW to see if they'd give me a practical training exemption, I have my fingers crossed. But as the tone of this thread indicates, it's the networking that'll be key in being able to use that cross-border license.
post #69 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kxk View Post
Given the above, and given your experiences, do you think that attending a non top 25 at full tuition is really worth the sticker price? Or would you suggest that students take a lower tier school with partial/full scholarship?

There's always a variety of factors that come into play... location, alumni, the school's specialty (and what you want to do). I wouldn't go to the extent that Grenadier did, but I'd generally recommend against places like Cooley... and I'd point out that when it comes to scholarships that law school isn't like undergrad. While for undergrad you usually have to pretty much purposely fuck up to lose a scholarship its much much easier to lose one in law school - and some schools will set up the 1st year sections so that the curve will guarantee that its impossible for everyone to keep their scholarships.

That said IME the school doesn't seem to be a big issue in hiring except for the top (or if the person doing the hiring went to school were you did...). Using Chicago as an example - It's going to make a difference if you went to U of Chicago, but they're not really going to give that much weight to Loyola vs John Marshall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grenadier View Post
How much lower and what do you want to do? I would not advise anyone to go to anything below the top 50 and would actively discourage anyone from going to a school not in the top 100. Regardless of what you think you might want to do, you want to have as many doors open as possible.

@Meis: While it is true that BigLaw is a small segment of the legal industry, it is a significant segment of private practice. This is not because big law firms employ the majority of lawyers. They don't. But rather because many small firm lawyers start out at big law firms. Perhaps this is because small firms tend to be more reluctant to hire people straight out of law school.

yes it's a "significant" segment of private practice, but definitely not the majority. Most solo/small firm practitioners I know have never worked at a "big law" firm.
post #70 of 116
Somewhat relevant to this topic is a NYT article from this past weekend describing the law school scholarship "scam" -- for example offer a 3 year full ride to 50% of the incoming class if they maintain a 3.0 GPA, but then applying a grade curve that requires over 50% of the class to get < 3.0 GPA. So, at least some of the scholarship recipients are guaranteed to lose their scholarship
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/bu...ol-grants.html
post #71 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdbb View Post
Not really. The typical law student's concept of what being a lawyer is differs greatly from the actual practice of law. Whether they find that fantasy attractive or not has little bearing on whether law school is a good choice. It's hard to say who should go to law school, but I can rather safely say that anyone who doesn't fall into one of these groups shouldn't go:

1. Full price at Yale/Harvard/Stanford
2. Half scholly at Columbia/Chicago/NYU
3. Roughly 3/4 ride at the 6-10 rank or so, shifting to a full ride as you dip in the rankings to Vandy, which is probably the worst school you should go to if your goal is to get a decent job through OCI
4. Full ride at any school no matter how crappy, AND you don't mind forgoing three years of earnings, AND you either have a guaranteed job through a family connection or are willing to devote all your free time during law school to networking and learning how to run a firm so you can successfully hang a shingle. Don't overestimate your talents if you go this route ... if you couldn't break 170 on the LSAT then you probably weren't that bright or hardworking to begin with and you need to carefully think about whether you can learn to run a business with minimal training.

are you serious with this shit? Are you really trying to say that if you can't meet one of these 4 you shouldn't be a lawyer?
post #72 of 116
Yeah thats way over the top. It probably only applies to people who can't imagine an income below a quarter million a year. Some of the most successful lawyers I know went to mediocre schools.
post #73 of 116
The good thing about these law threads is that the stupid advice is obviously stupid. Trolls overshoot their mark.
post #74 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchausen View Post
Yeah thats way over the top. It probably only applies to people who can't imagine an income below a quarter million a year. Some of the most successful lawyers I know went to mediocre schools.

Well, if you are borrowing approx $200M to get your law degree, what kind of annual income do you regard as necessary to achieve a reasonable ROI?. Median lawyer salary in 2001 was $113,000. That is decent cash but not so great when you're servicing that kind of debt. So, while bdbb is perhaps being a bit aggressive, he is not crazy
post #75 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by deaddog View Post
Well, if you are borrowing approx $200M to get your law degree, what kind of annual income do you regard as necessary to achieve a reasonable ROI?. Median lawyer salary in 2001 was $113,000. That is decent cash but not so great when you're servicing that kind of debt. So, while bdbb is perhaps being a bit aggressive, he is not crazy
1 - you aren't borrowing 200K unless you're paying full tuition at Harvard/Yale etc... I went to a private law school in a big city and paid full tuition and I owe about 125k 2 - 113k is definitely more than "decent cash" (except maybe in NYC)
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