Legal Jobs?

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

  1. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    lol worst 1st post ever

    +1. I was trying to decide whether or not he was trolling...
     


  2. Eponym

    Eponym Well-Known 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...

    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
     


  3. Unfashionable

    Unfashionable Member

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    lol worst 1st post ever
    +1 Ha! No trolling there...no way.
     


  4. airportlobby

    airportlobby Senior member

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    You have to rely on every lawyer you know. If there is a job out there you want, start emailing all the attorneys you've done projects for in clerkships or internships, or any professors you've had that you think might be able to help you. It's kind of unpleasant, but it's what recent grads without a clear trajectory have to do. You never know which attorney that you performed some small task for will have a connection and a kind word for you.

    Until then, keep working as much as possible in the field. Take on underpaying contract or part-time gigs, especially if you will meet established attorneys. Often, you can work for Legal Aid, etc., doing things like case intake. Volunteer if necessary (pro bono divorces, etc. You'll stay in the game, meet lawyers, and get a little courtroom experience, which can serve to impress at big firms where only 4th year associates see any action). Just plan of doing as much legal work as possible and meeting as many lawyers as possible. This is really key. It's the people who give up early and work outside the law that never recover.
     


  5. JoelF

    JoelF Senior member

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    Here's a thought, just find a niche and start a practice. Not the easiest route but you'll probably find some clients somewhere and learn as you go. For a couple years I took time off from real life and lived in Florida, eventually got bored of not working and took the bar down there. My Spanish is good and so I took out some Spanish language ads for business law. The clients showed up in droves, most of it was pure garbage but there were a couple interesting cases and I even made a little money. My background at that point was pure corp biglaw but when some civil litigation came in I found some young guy to co-counsel in state court and started to figure that stuff out. Has nothing to do with what I do now but I definitely learned a fuckload from the experience.
     


  6. Zobo

    Zobo New Member

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    Get out whilst you still can...

    Based on my 3 years as an associate at Davis Polk in NY, and now 2 years at Slaughter and May in London, I'd say that if you want money, go and be an investment banker, if you want a good life, go "work" for government. The law is a place for suckers.
     


  7. sartorialism

    sartorialism Senior member

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    Sorry that I've been neglecting this post. Thanks for all the wonderful advice, people. I'm still jobless....

    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


    While writing press releases and ghostwriting are on my resume, I never thought of adding blogging. I did blog for a while, but it was a personal blog. Not personal in the sense that it was private"”it had about a thousand+ followers"”but in the sense that it was about my personal reflections, insights, thoughts, observations, commentary, etc. on every aspect of life. I wouldn't want to add that to my resume because I would NEVER want any employer to ask me if they could have a look at the blog...

    Have you clerked with any firm while going to school?

    I work at a boutique patent firm and the students who clerk here end up getting snatched up by a big firm rather quickly, or by the USPTO if that's the route they want to go.


    Yes. In fact, I worked not at one but at TWO patent litigation boutiques! I loved the work, but I didn't receive an offer because I have no science background. None at all.

    Try the following places:

    * Cravath, Swaine & Moore
    * Davis Polk & Wardwell
    * Latham & Watkins
    * Sullivan & Cromwell
    * White & Case
    * Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton
    * Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

    ...and of course, the crowd favourite and pioneer of the poison pill

    * Skadden Arps

    Good luck!


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (But thanks for the good wishes! [​IMG] )

    Get out whilst you still can...

    Based on my 3 years as an associate at Davis Polk in NY, and now 2 years at Slaughter and May in London, I'd say that if you want money, go and be an investment banker, if you want a good life, go "work" for government. The law is a place for suckers.


    Yeah, a week before my last class ever in law school... Though it would be funny if I decided to drop out right now.
     


  8. Big A

    Big A Senior member

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    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
    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!
     


  9. Big A

    Big A Senior member

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    P.S. - BigLaw generally sucks ass. There are benefits to working there, but in the end it isn't worth it.
     


  10. Grenadier

    Grenadier Senior member

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    This may sound like heresy here, but try hitting up insurance defense firms. They're the only firms doing any serious hiring because litigation, particularly litigation paid for by an insurance company, has not appreciably slacked off during the recession. If anything, it has increased.

    It worked for me.
     


  11. sartorialism

    sartorialism Senior member

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    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!


    Maybe at some point but I don't feel ready for that yet. My older brother did that straight out of Columbia Law School; he struggled for a while and is still putting the pieces together a few years in...

    P.S. - BigLaw generally sucks ass. There are benefits to working there, but in the end it isn't worth it.

    I hear ya.

    This may sound like heresy here, but try hitting up insurance defense firms. They're the only firms doing any serious hiring because litigation, particularly litigation paid for by an insurance company, has not appreciably slacked off during the recession. If anything, it has increased.

    It worked for me.


    How would I go about doing that? I got an A- in Insurance Law. Does that qualify me?
     


  12. Grenadier

    Grenadier Senior member

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    Ask career services for a list of law firms, email the hiring/managing partners at the ones who do insurance and insurance defense work and explain your interest. Or go look at recent reported decisions involving insurance or personal injury claims; hit up the firms representing the insurer or defendant. The grade can't hurt, but it's not a "qualification."
     


  13. bdbb

    bdbb Senior member

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    How would I go about doing that? I got an A- in Insurance Law. Does that qualify me?


    A pulse qualifies you. The question is how you feel about 2500 billables for a 55K salary.
     


  14. Chouse

    Chouse Senior member

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    ... I'd say that if you want money, go and be an investment banker...

    How does one go about becoming an investment banker with a law degree? I'm stuck in the biglaw grind as well... I fucked up [​IMG]
     


  15. Deadeye_Dick

    Deadeye_Dick Member

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    Long time lurker, first time poster, etc.

    I am a current 2L at a law school located in the center of the US. Places well regionally, not well known nationally. While my grades and credentials would have gotten me on the summer associate track a few years ago, the current economy has smashed that option for all but a few at my school.

    I had no less than 25 interviews for a position this summer. Probably around 5 callbacks. I was point-blank told by a few of my interviewers that, while they were interviewing several people from the 3 or 4 area law schools (area being around a 150-200 mile radius), a lot of students from T14's were coming "home" for summer work because they couldn't find anything in their respective markets. It's just as well; after listening to what the day-to-day is at a lot of these firms, I realized that I was overapplying to jobs that I would never enjoy working just to say I had a job.

    Things have worked out for me all right, though. Last summer, I worked both in the legal department of a F500 and for one of my professors. The former absolutely sucked (I learned very quick that being in-house at a large corporation is definitely not what I want to do), the latter was awesome, in more ways than one: first, the work was interesting; second, that professor has proven to be one of the best assets I could have when looking for new positions.

    This last semester I worked for a judge on my State's Court of Appeals. One of the greatest experiences of my life. And, after all the aforementioned interviews, and tons and TONS of nothing but hustling and calling professors for contacts and phone interviews and writing letters, I have landed a few decent positions for this summer: I will be working for an [anonymous] Appeals Court in DC for the first half of the summer, and then working for a Justice on my State's Supreme Court the second half.

    I'm really trying to set myself apart (I'm also a non-trad with 10 years of marketing, advertising, and graphic design experience prior to law school), but mostly I'm just happy that I landed a few jobs I really think I will love. Of course, neither of these positions will lead to anything permanent post-graduation, so I will be back in the hunt a year from now I'm sure.
     


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