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Legal Jobs?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by sartorialism, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. sartorialism

    sartorialism Senior member

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    New York
    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...
     
  2. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    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?
     
  3. sartorialism

    sartorialism Senior member

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  4. nerdykarim

    nerdykarim Senior member

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    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.
     
  5. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    Graduating in June

    What's your debt situation looking like?
     
  6. yerfdog

    yerfdog Senior member

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    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)
     
  7. sartorialism

    sartorialism Senior member

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    What's your debt situation looking like?

    Appx. 100K

    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!
     
  8. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    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.
     
  9. Zackb911

    Zackb911 Senior member

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    Boston, MA
    Following this thread for gems of information. I'm in Boston and graduating this Spring as well.
     
  10. kxk

    kxk Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. sartorialism

    sartorialism Senior member

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    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?
     
  12. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

    Messages:
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    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.
     
  13. crazyquik

    crazyquik Senior member

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    Location:
    Capital of Southern Elitism
    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.
     
  14. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

    Messages:
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    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.
     
  15. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Oct 27, 2009
    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?
     
  16. sartorialism

    sartorialism Senior member

    Messages:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    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 looks like great (even if somewhat dismal) advice. Thanks!

    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?

    I haven't been working during school, but I've worked at a firm last summer and at the NY AG's office (then Cuomo) during my 1L summer. I also have some legal experience from before I started school. Why do you ask?
     
  17. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Senior member

    Messages:
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    I haven't been working during school, but I've worked at a firm last summer and at the NY AG's office (then Cuomo) during my 1L summer. I also have some legal experience from before I started school. Why do you ask?

    I was asking because (i) I was curious whether you would be able to bring anything to the table to those employers in terms of being able to hit the ground running, and (ii) was going to ask whether you've asked your former employers re: opportunities upon graduation.
     
  18. sartorialism

    sartorialism Senior member

    Messages:
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    New York
    I was asking because (i) I was curious whether you would be able to bring anything to the table to those employers in terms of being able to hit the ground running, and (ii) was going to ask whether you've asked your former employers re: opportunities upon graduation.

    1. Yes, I believe I could. 2. I don't want to work for the AG, and the firm I worked for last summer was an IP litigation firm. Fantastic as it was, they only hire engineers, and I'm no engineer. So nothing doing there either.
     
  19. rohde88

    rohde88 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    at least the economy is picking up for you. I graduated in 2010, had a few interviews, but ultimately started as associate with the small firm I worked for during school.

    You have to make a niche for yourself, what is special about you that no one else has? it might be top 10% or it might be 10 years of construction experience, either way there are way too many middle of the pack liberal arts majors who did so-so in law school and have no special skills

    Parents or important friends count as a skill, btw.
     
  20. Lawman

    Lawman Senior member

    Messages:
    880
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    Nov 17, 2006
    I am an alumnus of two very large, AmLaw 100 firms, and now am one of two partners at a very small firm. For the smaller firms, they really like people who can do things in-house that the firm normally outsources. You could get your foot in the door and quickly make yourself indispensable. The kinds of things I am thinking about would include, able to create and maintain a blog, able to update website, able to do some basic optimization, able to write press releases, able to write or ghost-write articles. Any high tech skills that you bring to the table will tend to make you a valuable get, especially if the firm is comprised of techno-phobes. Good luck!

    Mark
     

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