Lawyer'n career advice needed - Page 2
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.)
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.
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
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.