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Lawyer'n career advice needed - Page 2

post #16 of 25
Originally Posted by Eason View Post

Contract/business law

Ooof. Best of luck to him.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Is that a particularly hard-hit sector of law?
post #18 of 25
Originally Posted by Eason View Post

Is that a particularly hard-hit sector of law?

It's a very generalized practice area, that doesn't require a particularly specialized skill set. This makes it rather competitive, as the supply of lawyers who are able to do it is large.

Some practice areas that are easier to find employment in are areas that require specialized background or skills, like patents, environmental, bankruptcy, etc. Also certain types of litigation. (Good litigators are always in demand.)
post #19 of 25

As far as lateral hiring goes, transactional attorneys are much more in demand than litigation attorneys at this point. But it ebbs and flows.


Not sure about summer associate hiring though.


Any internship, even an unpaid one, is better than nothing. When you are interviewing for 3L year, they will not ask you whether or not you were unpaid.

post #20 of 25
I am a JD as well and do not practice law. I fell into a career in Human Resources. If he is at all interested in giving me a call I can at least help him think of some alternative career ideas that will utilize his specific skill set.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
He's thinking of dropping out right now, Brian do you want to pm me some of your deets? Thanks.
post #22 of 25
He is, unfortunately, not in an uncommon situation. One option for him to consider is a specialized area with less competition. For instance, tax can open doors in the big 4 as well as at law firms. He would probably need an LL.M., but that only takes a year and is worth it if he truly enjoys that area of law.
post #23 of 25
First, he shouldn't get too down at not getting big law his 1L summer. What will matter more are his OCIs after this summer. Of my graduating class (2012) I don't remember more than 10% with big law summer jobs 1L summer, but 30-35% ended up with them 2L summer and now, post-grad.

If he doesn't get one for next summer, he may want to abandon general corporate work for something more specific. I was lucky in that I fell in love with Admiralty at a school with 2 of the best adm profs in the country; I was able to work with them and land a great rec letter. I can't suggest that approach highly enough, if he can find a specialty he enjoys with strong profs at Cornell (not necessarily maritime).

Also, tell him to network his ass off. Offer to buy any and all attorneys he has some connection to lunch or coffee. Strong high school/prep school alum network? Hit them up. Same thing with undergrad, parents' friends, etc... I would try to get their advice and keep up with them through law school. If you're smaller firm bound those connections and referrals are vital.

He should only really consider dropping out, IMO, if he's bottom 1/3 or just doesn't like the idea of actually practicing law and went to school exclusively for a big firm paycheck

This is all JMO. I just graduated from a similarly ranked (admittedly lower though) school, in what may be a similar class rank, so I feel I may have at least a small grasp on the situation. Best of luck to him

edited to correct some iphone nonsense. I'm not sure how I could be of more help, but if I can be, just pm me.
Edited by hookem12387 - 11/24/12 at 9:18pm
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Apparently 3.34 GPA puts him around 40-50 percentile :/ Admiralty sounds cool, he could be on a boat!
post #25 of 25

First, I agree that it is a bad decision in general to attend law school. I noticed that your comment was prefaced by "right now" (or something to that effect), but my theory is that it is a bad decision for the foreseeable future.


Second, I would highly recommend doing something. My best advice is to do something of substance. If that is not feasible, then do something - volunteer, unpaid internship, etc. In this extraordinarily competitive field, and especially if he graduates less than in the top 10% of his class, he better have experience that counts.


Third, I would suggest he get involved in bar associations yesterday, last week, or months ago. Now is it not too late, but good bar associations are priceless. He should begin to participate in committee meetings and attend seminars now in the practice areas that he is interested in.

  • Attend bar association meetings and seminars;
  • Create cheap (even free), generic business cards with contact information;
  • Network at these meetings and seminars;
  • Ask questions (even preface your comments, "I am currently in law school . . ."); and
  • If you are not in the top of your class after 1L, better get some excellent, substantive experience DURING LAW SCHOOL/AS A LAW STUDENT. The idea of training is over. Even if he does land a job that pays, he will be thrown right in with the wolves.




Fourth, and I know that this advice will be taken, consider leaving law school. This is not as bitter as it sounds. I suspect your brother will be better off by leaving law school. This 1L summer struggle is only going to get worse. I am not pessimistic, but I practice law every day (literally, every day). If he is smart, talented, and disciplined enough to get into law school, he is wasting his skills and intellect in a career that he will probably find unsatisfactory. Law school, and the legal profession, are not good places to find yourself or discover your passions (or even develop skills). It is a merciless and ruthless game. Hopefully, your brother has been warned.

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