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Lawyer'n career advice needed

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Eason, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Eason

    Eason Senior member

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    So my brother is a smart guy, he's studying a JD at Cornell, and he's recently finished his first year. However, he hasn't yet landed any internships/jobs and it's really gotten him down. He's got it stuck in his head that everybody decent gets hired during their first vacation and he's lost his shot or something. As my brother I know he's brilliant and has a great logical mind that can work anything out, but I suspect his problem is being somewhat negative or maybe introverted in his interviews and not putting his best foot forward. Could anybody who is in the field give me some advice or suggestions I could give him? Either for how to act in his interviews (I assume they're different from academic ones, which is my field) or other options. Hopefully he's just exaggerating and gloomy when he says he's screwed because he hasn't found a job yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  2. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

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    Completely screwed? No. Kind of screwed? Yeah. Your best chance at employment following law school is to pick up a summer associate position through the on campus interviews after your first year. If you do not land one, which a lot of students don't, you have some work to do. Just build up your resume by doing the best internships as possible (smaller firms, federal agencies, federal judges) and hope for the best. The legal market is complete crap right now. Even the most qualified graduates are having a hell of a tough time finding a job.
     
  3. Eason

    Eason Senior member

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    Thanks for the quick reply. I told him that the style forum big-timer lawyers all agreed going into law is not a good idea right now, but he insisted that it would be good enough to attend a top 3 school.
     
  4. Ebichuman

    Ebichuman Senior member

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    But then he went to Cornell? :confused:

    Not that it is a bad school, but it sure isn't top 3...

    And regarding interviews - tell them to use and abuse the career services. Cornell should have a decent set up, one where they would even tape you during mock interviews and critique afterwards - everything, content, body language, etc. Painful but incredibly useful.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  5. rohde88

    rohde88 Senior member

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    What are his law grades. what did he do before law school?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  6. Eason

    Eason Senior member

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    I think he's getting A-'s and B+'s. He majored in Business/MIS and worked in logistics chain management before going back to LS.
     
  7. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Cornell isn't a top 3 law school. It's not even top 10 last I recalled.

    Also, is he American? Sometimes, that affects placements.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  8. Eason

    Eason Senior member

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    I think the specific program he's in is ranked very highly. Anyway, wikipedia says: Rankings include 7th in the 2009–10 Law School 100 rankings,[11] 28th in the world by the QS World University Rankings by Subject: Law,[12] 13th in the 2009 U.S. News and World Report,[13] and its master of laws, or LL.M., program ranked 1st in the 2011, 2010, 2008 and 2006 AUAP rankings.[14] In 2011, the National Law Journal reported that Cornell Law graduates had the 2nd highest percent placement at the top 250 law firms.[15]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. freddych

    freddych Senior member

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    USNWR is the ranking with the most weight. Cornell is good, but it's no Harvard/Yale/Stanford (top 3).

    He has his work cut out for him, but I think he should be fine. Leverage career services and letter writing to find a job. People understand that he last few years have been tough, and won't write him off just because he doesn't have a 2L internship in BIGLAW. Now is the time to start looking for smaller shops that will give you an summer associate internship, working as an intern for a judge, or even working with a professor over the summer, anything to fill the coming void in the resume. That way, when OCI rolls around again 3L year, he's starting off on the right foot.

    The most important thing is that he does SOMETHING, suck it up and take the best job available, even if he has to watch his classmates rake in 3080 a week.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  10. Eason

    Eason Senior member

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    I think his problem so far is that he hasn't gotten a job anywhere yet. I don't know his targets but I think he's been trying. His plan as suggested by his supervisor is to drop out for a year if he can't find work, attend a lot of funerals or get cancer, then come back and use that to explain where he's been. (0)
     
  11. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    What area of law is he going into?
     
  12. Eason

    Eason Senior member

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    Contract/business law
     
  13. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

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    There are plenty of internships available for law students. Work for a judge, work for a federal agency, work for a state agency. They do not pay, but experience is more important.
     
  14. Ebichuman

    Ebichuman Senior member

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    I am not sure if you realize just how competitive those are...:confused:
     
  15. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

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    Not really competitive at all. State attorney general took in dozens of students from my school alone. Heck, there were 4 students from my school (7 students total) in one department. The two federal district courts took at least a dozen, and the local US Court of Appeals judge took 3-4 per semester. There is an internship for everybody.
     
  16. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    Ooof. Best of luck to him.
     
  17. Eason

    Eason Senior member

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    Is that a particularly hard-hit sector of law?
     
  18. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    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.)
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. freddych

    freddych Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  20. Brianjdmba

    Brianjdmba New Member

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    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.
     

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