Law School Discussion

Law Students => Incoming 1Ls => Topic started by: legalese_retard on December 10, 2008, 09:26:29 AM

Title: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 10, 2008, 09:26:29 AM
Haven't posted on here in a while, but someone emailed me and wanted an update. I graduated last December and I still don't have a legal job. I have been working at Starbucks and work at a free legal clinic part-time, but the job prospects keep getting weaker and weaker. I graduated from a good law school, with decent grades, and have a marketable resume (according to my school's OCS), but I never anticipated how long it would take me to find a job in a bad economy.

Basically, this is just a friendly reminder for you future lawyers that there is no sure thing after law school (even if you go to a top tier school). Make sure you are prepared to be unemployed for over a year after you graduate. If you can't afford that risk, I recommend going to a school that gives a really good scholarship or wait and save some money before you attend.   
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: MauveAvenger on December 10, 2008, 09:35:20 AM
define "good law school."
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: econtutorNV on December 10, 2008, 09:59:28 AM
Haven't posted on here in a while, but someone emailed me and wanted an update. I graduated last December and I still don't have a legal job. I have been working at Starbucks and work at a free legal clinic part-time, but the job prospects keep getting weaker and weaker. I graduated from a good law school, with decent grades, and have a marketable resume (according to my school's OCS), but I never anticipated how long it would take me to find a job in a bad economy.

Basically, this is just a friendly reminder for you future lawyers that there is no sure thing after law school (even if you go to a top tier school). Make sure you are prepared to be unemployed for over a year after you graduate. If you can't afford that risk, I recommend going to a school that gives a really good scholarship or wait and save some money before you attend.   

It's not just lawyers. My GF has had a tough time trying to find a job after graduating in Dec. with her Masters, the best my roommate has been able to do with his Bachelors is find temporary warehouse work and most of my friends live in sheer terror of the rounds of layoffs that have been happening at their employers. Summary = It sucks to be looking for a job no matter who you are right now.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 10, 2008, 10:16:37 AM
define "good law school."

Tulane
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 10, 2008, 10:21:05 AM
Haven't posted on here in a while, but someone emailed me and wanted an update. I graduated last December and I still don't have a legal job. I have been working at Starbucks and work at a free legal clinic part-time, but the job prospects keep getting weaker and weaker. I graduated from a good law school, with decent grades, and have a marketable resume (according to my school's OCS), but I never anticipated how long it would take me to find a job in a bad economy.

Basically, this is just a friendly reminder for you future lawyers that there is no sure thing after law school (even if you go to a top tier school). Make sure you are prepared to be unemployed for over a year after you graduate. If you can't afford that risk, I recommend going to a school that gives a really good scholarship or wait and save some money before you attend.   

It's not just lawyers. My GF has had a tough time trying to find a job after graduating in Dec. with her Masters, the best my roommate has been able to do with his Bachelors is find temporary warehouse work and most of my friends live in sheer terror of the rounds of layoffs that have been happening at their employers. Summary = It sucks to be looking for a job no matter who you are right now.

True, but a lot of people go into the law thinking it is recession proof and that people will always need lawyers. I have been applying to bankruptcy and litigation boutique firms, but they aren't hiring either (even though they probably need the help). Until the economy hits rock bottom, I think there is going to be a hiring freeze. Also, I have noticed that sometimes having the JD hurts a little. I've tried applying to non-legal jobs and utilizing my undergraduate degree, but those places see a JD and assume that I would only use them as a stepping stone until the economy got better (rightfully so). 
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 10, 2008, 02:00:11 PM
Why are you applying to lit and bankruptcy boutiques.  With a JD from Tulane, average grades, and a "marketable" resume (i.e. not strong), you probably wouldn't have a shot at these boutiques even in a good market.  Why not apply to ID/PI firms?
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: vap on December 10, 2008, 03:59:36 PM
Have you looked into short-term contract/temp attorney jobs?

What did you do 2L summer? (general.. or ignoring this Q is fine).

What cities/locations are you looking at?  Which bar did you pass?

When applying to non-lawyer jobs, you might consider leaving the JD off and removing all (or just some) of the dates that you graduated undergrad and worked other jobs.  I've heard leaving off the JD can be more productive, but then there are typically large date gaps.  You might overcome those gaps by just simply leaving off dates to get an interview (at which point, if they like you, hopefully they won't care that you either 1) didn't include dates, or 2) if the topic comes up, that you graduated law school).
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Bigbie on December 10, 2008, 05:13:56 PM
Why are you applying to lit and bankruptcy boutiques.  With a JD from Tulane, average grades, and a "marketable" resume (i.e. not strong), you probably wouldn't have a shot at these boutiques even in a good market.  Why not apply to ID/PI firms?

What's ID?

I think it stands for insurance defense.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 10, 2008, 05:16:37 PM
Have you looked into short-term contract/temp attorney jobs?

What did you do 2L summer? (general.. or ignoring this Q is fine).

What cities/locations are you looking at?  Which bar did you pass?

When applying to non-lawyer jobs, you might consider leaving the JD off and removing all (or just some) of the dates that you graduated undergrad and worked other jobs.  I've heard leaving off the JD can be more productive, but then there are typically large date gaps.  You might overcome those gaps by just simply leaving off dates to get an interview (at which point, if they like you, hopefully they won't care that you either 1) didn't include dates, or 2) if the topic comes up, that you graduated law school).

I passed the Texas bar, so I am looking in the Houston/Dallas/San Antonio markets. I have been looking for contract positions, but they are not as prevelant in Texas as they are in places like NYC, DC and Chicago. My 2L year I was a summer associate at a large firm in Texas, but I was "laid off" a month after I graduated and was prepping for the February Bar. My qualifications made me competitive at several reputable firms in Texas. I just got shafted by the firm I committed to and positions at other firms were filled by the time I could start looking for a new job.

I've actually thought about leaving off the JD from my resume, but my PR professor strongly suggested that I shouldn't do this because it walks a fine ethical line. According to the prof, failing to mention the fact that I am a licensed attorney is tantamout to misrepresenting the fact that I am not a lawyer. I doubt I could lose my license for failing to put this on my resume, but I don't want to tempt the Texas Bar Association and I don't want to be the case study for future PR classess.  
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 10, 2008, 05:17:36 PM
Why are you applying to lit and bankruptcy boutiques.  With a JD from Tulane, average grades, and a "marketable" resume (i.e. not strong), you probably wouldn't have a shot at these boutiques even in a good market.  Why not apply to ID/PI firms?

What's ID?

I think it stands for insurance defense.

Correct

ID = Insurance Defense
PI = Personal Injury/Plaintiffs firm
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Ninja1 on December 10, 2008, 06:37:44 PM
So, you're saying you think the JD detracts from your resume for non-legal positions?  That's interesting.

I think it does if you're applying for jobs that are really beneath your education level, like McDonalds "crew" or something. Otherwise, I've always failed to see how it would weaken an application for any sort of exec level job, even mid-management somewhere.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on December 10, 2008, 07:08:41 PM
So, you're saying you think the JD detracts from your resume for non-legal positions?  That's interesting.

I think it does if you're applying for jobs that are really beneath your education level, like McDonalds "crew" or something. Otherwise, I've always failed to see how it would weaken an application for any sort of exec level job, even mid-management somewhere.

Did you read the thread?  It's not that it detracts so much as they think you'll leave them once a legal position opens.  No employer wants an employee who'll leave the minute the economy gets better.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Bigbie on December 10, 2008, 07:13:06 PM
For precisely the reasons stated: employers will eye you warily if you passed the bar but never worked as an attorney and are now trying for some middle-management position. They could well assume you're unable to find a lawyering job and plan to use them until you find something better. Or they'll consider you overqualified and assume you'll lord your JC over their inferior little heads.

I can't wait to lord my Jersey City over someone's head...
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: vap on December 10, 2008, 07:27:06 PM
I've actually thought about leaving off the JD from my resume, but my PR professor strongly suggested that I shouldn't do this because it walks a fine ethical line. According to the prof, failing to mention the fact that I am a licensed attorney is tantamout to misrepresenting the fact that I am not a lawyer. I doubt I could lose my license for failing to put this on my resume, but I don't want to tempt the Texas Bar Association and I don't want to be the case study for future PR classess.
 

Lol @ the bolded.  But really, that's interesting about the ethics aspect.  I'd wonder if you can contact the Bar and get their advice about the resume thing.

I passed the Texas bar, so I am looking in the Houston/Dallas/San Antonio markets. I have been looking for contract positions, but they are not as prevelant in Texas as they are in places like NYC, DC and Chicago. My 2L year I was a summer associate at a large firm in Texas, but I was "laid off" a month after I graduated and was prepping for the February Bar. My qualifications made me competitive at several reputable firms in Texas. I just got shafted by the firm I committed to and positions at other firms were filled by the time I could start looking for a new job.

*&^%.  I'm sorry to hear about the firm.  Have you been applying to non-firm employers, as well?  I'm sure you already know of this site, but just in case: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobs/job.html.  I've seen quite a few advertised attorney positions on there.  The TX Attorney General's Office regularly hires new attorneys.  I've heard the work is not always that interesting in some of the non-litigation departments, and the pay isn't great, but it's a start.

As far as I know, most counties in Texas have an appointment system for indigent criminal defendants.  Is that an option?

Is going solo an option (doing the virtual office / advertising thing)?
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Ninja1 on December 11, 2008, 07:13:55 AM
So, you're saying you think the JD detracts from your resume for non-legal positions?  That's interesting.

I think it does if you're applying for jobs that are really beneath your education level, like McDonalds "crew" or something. Otherwise, I've always failed to see how it would weaken an application for any sort of exec level job, even mid-management somewhere.

Did you read the thread?  It's not that it detracts so much as they think you'll leave them once a legal position opens.  No employer wants an employee who'll leave the minute the economy gets better.

i believe it's supposed to hurt even for some legal positions.  lots of paralegal openings supposedly say explicitly that they don't want JD's.

Ah yes, I have seen the paralegal ads that say, in no uncertain terms, no JDs.

I can see the logic of a place being worried that you'll bail from a non-legal job to a legal job if given the chance, but is that really as big of a concern if you're in a job that already gives you lots of authority and pays well? Like say your dean of anything at some third rate school that still pays you well and gives you a generally good QoL, or mid-level management somewhere making $50-60k without doing a ton of overtime, do you (anyone) think places like that would be as worried about a JD jumping ship? I really don't know, but I am curious what everyone else thinks.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 11, 2008, 08:08:22 AM
I've actually thought about leaving off the JD from my resume, but my PR professor strongly suggested that I shouldn't do this because it walks a fine ethical line. According to the prof, failing to mention the fact that I am a licensed attorney is tantamout to misrepresenting the fact that I am not a lawyer. I doubt I could lose my license for failing to put this on my resume, but I don't want to tempt the Texas Bar Association and I don't want to be the case study for future PR classess.
 

Lol @ the bolded.  But really, that's interesting about the ethics aspect.  I'd wonder if you can contact the Bar and get their advice about the resume thing.


That's actually Chapter 2 of your PR book, "Getting an advisory opinion from the State Bar Association is not a defense." I forgot the example, but one lawyer received an advisory ruling that he can disclose the location of victim's body after his client died. Later, his license was suspended because he breached the attorney-client privilege that was not relinquished after death. Of course the Restatement says something completely different, but that is besides the point.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 11, 2008, 08:16:51 AM

poo.  I'm sorry to hear about the firm.  Have you been applying to non-firm employers, as well?  I'm sure you already know of this site, but just in case: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobs/job.html.  I've seen quite a few advertised attorney positions on there.  The TX Attorney General's Office regularly hires new attorneys.  I've heard the work is not always that interesting in some of the non-litigation departments, and the pay isn't great, but it's a start.

As far as I know, most counties in Texas have an appointment system for indigent criminal defendants.  Is that an option?

Is going solo an option (doing the virtual office / advertising thing)?

Thanks for the heads up on the state job, but competition is fierce even for those jobs. Plus, the State has a bias for in-state law students, especially people from the lower ranked Texas law schools who have a tougher time looking for a job. I did submit my applications for a couple of positions on there, but haven't heard a peep.

As far as being a solo or utilizing the solo option, I'm going to have to take a pass on that. Malpractice insurance alone prohibits me from even opening up a shop even if I wanted to (plus I'm sure I maxed out the amount of money a lender would be willing to give me on top of my law school loans). Another PR fact, over 70% of the lawyers who are suspended or disbarred are solos. Usually for failing to communicate effectively with clients or misapplication of client escrow accounts. Finally, of all the subjects I dealt with in law school, criminal law was my least favorite. I just don't feel comfortable representing a client straight out of law school who is facing jail time if I don't represent them effectively. Again, another quick way to lose my license before I even start utilizing it. 
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 11, 2008, 08:30:56 AM
So, you're saying you think the JD detracts from your resume for non-legal positions?  That's interesting.

I think it does if you're applying for jobs that are really beneath your education level, like McDonalds "crew" or something. Otherwise, I've always failed to see how it would weaken an application for any sort of exec level job, even mid-management somewhere.

Did you read the thread?  It's not that it detracts so much as they think you'll leave them once a legal position opens.  No employer wants an employee who'll leave the minute the economy gets better.

i believe it's supposed to hurt even for some legal positions.  lots of paralegal openings supposedly say explicitly that they don't want JD's.

Ah yes, I have seen the paralegal ads that say, in no uncertain terms, no JDs.

I can see the logic of a place being worried that you'll bail from a non-legal job to a legal job if given the chance, but is that really as big of a concern if you're in a job that already gives you lots of authority and pays well? Like say your dean of anything at some third rate school that still pays you well and gives you a generally good QoL, or mid-level management somewhere making $50-60k without doing a ton of overtime, do you (anyone) think places like that would be as worried about a JD jumping ship? I really don't know, but I am curious what everyone else thinks.

I have been applying at non-legal jobs in the interm as well: in private equity, landman, title insurance, and in investment banks. I was applying to places like JPMorgan, Smith Barney, and Merril Lynch before the Bear Sterns meltdown. While those firms like to hire a few JDs, I think they realized that they couldn't afford new hires, just like the bigger law firms. Plus, I have a limited financial background...so I bombed the private equity firm interview when I couldn't answer questions on what P-E ratio I think is optimal for investment in a hedge fund and how to help develop the proper portfolio mix for an employer retirement fund when the client prefers a volitality fluctation of X% (the guy they eventually hired was a Wharton MBA Grad who lateraled from a larger PE firm).

In addition to thinking that you will leave their company as soon as you get a better law job, I've heard that non-law employers just don't like hiring lawyers. Whether it is an inferiority complex or that they think an employer with a JD will be more argumentative and confrontation, lots of managers don't like working over a person with a JD. I have a friend who works at a marketing firm and he said he was very paranoid when he found out a new co-worker had a JD. He said he felt that the guy was going to analyze everything he did even though my friend is more senior than him. I guess to each his own, but that has been my experiences in the non-legal world.   
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: vap on December 11, 2008, 08:42:55 AM
I've actually thought about leaving off the JD from my resume, but my PR professor strongly suggested that I shouldn't do this because it walks a fine ethical line. According to the prof, failing to mention the fact that I am a licensed attorney is tantamout to misrepresenting the fact that I am not a lawyer. I doubt I could lose my license for failing to put this on my resume, but I don't want to tempt the Texas Bar Association and I don't want to be the case study for future PR classess.
 

Lol @ the bolded.  But really, that's interesting about the ethics aspect.  I'd wonder if you can contact the Bar and get their advice about the resume thing.


That's actually Chapter 2 of your PR book, "Getting an advisory opinion from the State Bar Association is not a defense." I forgot the example, but one lawyer received an advisory ruling that he can disclose the location of victim's body after his client died. Later, his license was suspended because he breached the attorney-client privilege that was not relinquished after death. Of course the Restatement says something completely different, but that is besides the point.

My lack of PR knowledge is blatant! ;)
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: vap on December 11, 2008, 08:54:19 AM
Thanks for the heads up on the state job, but competition is fierce even for those jobs. Plus, the State has a bias for in-state law students, especially people from the lower ranked Texas law schools who have a tougher time looking for a job. I did submit my applications for a couple of positions on there, but haven't heard a peep.

As far as being a solo or utilizing the solo option, I'm going to have to take a pass on that. Malpractice insurance alone prohibits me from even opening up a shop even if I wanted to (plus I'm sure I maxed out the amount of money a lender would be willing to give me on top of my law school loans). Another PR fact, over 70% of the lawyers who are suspended or disbarred are solos. Usually for failing to communicate effectively with clients or misapplication of client escrow accounts. Finally, of all the subjects I dealt with in law school, criminal law was my least favorite. I just don't feel comfortable representing a client straight out of law school who is facing jail time if I don't represent them effectively. Again, another quick way to lose my license before I even start utilizing it. 

Very, very understandable.  Fingers crossed for those state jobs.  I always thought Tulane was practically a Texas school -

I did want to ask you about malpractice insurance, though.  I've heard that malpractice insurance for newer grads in solo/small firms is often lower compared to more established attorneys at large firms because newer grads handle lower-value matters.  If you don't mind me asking, have you gotten quotes on insurance in Texas? I'm probably going to practice there, and I'm interested in what this would cost for a new attorney.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 11, 2008, 10:14:02 AM
Thanks for the heads up on the state job, but competition is fierce even for those jobs. Plus, the State has a bias for in-state law students, especially people from the lower ranked Texas law schools who have a tougher time looking for a job. I did submit my applications for a couple of positions on there, but haven't heard a peep.

As far as being a solo or utilizing the solo option, I'm going to have to take a pass on that. Malpractice insurance alone prohibits me from even opening up a shop even if I wanted to (plus I'm sure I maxed out the amount of money a lender would be willing to give me on top of my law school loans). Another PR fact, over 70% of the lawyers who are suspended or disbarred are solos. Usually for failing to communicate effectively with clients or misapplication of client escrow accounts. Finally, of all the subjects I dealt with in law school, criminal law was my least favorite. I just don't feel comfortable representing a client straight out of law school who is facing jail time if I don't represent them effectively. Again, another quick way to lose my license before I even start utilizing it. 

Very, very understandable.  Fingers crossed for those state jobs.  I always thought Tulane was practically a Texas school -

I did want to ask you about malpractice insurance, though.  I've heard that malpractice insurance for newer grads in solo/small firms is often lower compared to more established attorneys at large firms because newer grads handle lower-value matters.  If you don't mind me asking, have you gotten quotes on insurance in Texas? I'm probably going to practice there, and I'm interested in what this would cost for a new attorney.

Nope, I haven't asked for a quote. I think it can go up to $10K/year, but you are right about newer solos having a reduced rate (for the first 3 years I think).
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 11, 2008, 01:09:54 PM
Are you flame or do you just have a bad sense of entitlement?  You are spending your resources applying to PE jobs?  These jobs are extremely competitive even for a Harvard LR grad with 3 years at Cravath and finance experience.  I'm not trying to be an ass, but maybe you'd have a job if you spent time applying to jobs you are qualified for.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on December 11, 2008, 01:19:57 PM
Are you flame or do you just have a bad sense of entitlement?  You are spending your resources applying to PE jobs?  These jobs are extremely competitive even for a Harvard LR grad with 3 years at Cravath and finance experience.  I'm not trying to be an ass, but maybe you'd have a job if you spent time applying to jobs you are qualified for.

What's PE?

Litigation boutiques do seem to be a little out of his league.  Has he sent his resume to Susman Godfrey yet?   ::)
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 11, 2008, 01:22:11 PM
PE= Private Equity.  Think Blackrock, KKR, Bain Capital, CDR, Cereberus, Goldman's PE Arm etc.

Are you flame or do you just have a bad sense of entitlement?  You are spending your resources applying to PE jobs?  These jobs are extremely competitive even for a Harvard LR grad with 3 years at Cravath and finance experience.  I'm not trying to be an ass, but maybe you'd have a job if you spent time applying to jobs you are qualified for.

What's PE?

Litigation boutiques do seem to be a little out of his league.  Has he sent his resume to Susman Godfrey yet?   ::)
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 11, 2008, 01:24:03 PM
I used qualified for because he is talking about some of the hardest finance jobs to land.  If you can't answer their screening questions, you are not qualified to do the modeling and math you are required to do on the job.

Are you flame or do you just have a bad sense of entitlement?  You are spending your resources applying to PE jobs?  These jobs are extremely competitive even for a Harvard LR grad with 3 years at Cravath and finance experience.  I'm not trying to be an ass, but maybe you'd have a job if you spent time applying to jobs you are qualified for.

i wouldn't use "are qualified for".  i'd go with "are competitive for" instead.  actually i'd probably go with "for which you are competitive", but that's just me.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 11, 2008, 01:26:22 PM
True there are less selective firms if you have the requisite background.  These firms actually require even more knowledge because they will throw you right into the fray. 

PE= Private Equity.  Think Blackrock, KKR, Bain Capital, CDR, Cereberus, Goldman's PE Arm etc.

to be fair, there are smaller, less selective PE firms out there.  but still.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on December 11, 2008, 01:32:32 PM
Why would you want to make 60k in ID when you could make three times that in PE? ???
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 11, 2008, 01:34:26 PM
PE associates are more like 300k + bonus + possibly interest depending on your package.  My point is 60k is better than Starbucks because a PE job is simply not going to happen.

Why would you want to make 60k in ID when you could make three times that in PE? ???
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on December 11, 2008, 01:37:22 PM
PE associates are more like 300k + bonus + possibly interest depending on your package.  My point is 60k is better than Starbucks because a PE job is simply not going to happen.

Why would you want to make 60k in ID when you could make three times that in PE? ???

Are you sure it's not the economy?  He probably doesn't want to get pigeonholed in insurance defense until more transactional stuff picks up.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 11, 2008, 01:40:41 PM
Has nothing to do with the economy.  Transitioning from law to PE was extremely tough even during the PE boom.  Pretty much a T10 school, plus a sufficient baseline of finance knowledge + experience at a top 10 firm + couple years experience doing fund formation/leveraged buyouts or something of the like at the firm.

Edit: I think you are confusing doing PE related transaction work with the finance side of PE.  Even if you wanted to go in house to a PE firm in their law department, you will need to do 2-3+ years of related work at a top firm.

PE associates are more like 300k + bonus + possibly interest depending on your package.  My point is 60k is better than Starbucks because a PE job is simply not going to happen.

Why would you want to make 60k in ID when you could make three times that in PE? ???

Are you sure it's not the economy?  He probably doesn't want to get pigeonholed in insurance defense until more transactional stuff picks up.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 11, 2008, 01:48:16 PM
I disagree, PE firms are sitting on mountains of cash.  It will be back, but buyouts will be much less leveraged.  Lower return for the PE firm, but from a legal perspective, the work will still be the same.

Are you sure it's not the economy?  He probably doesn't want to get pigeonholed in insurance defense until more transactional stuff picks up.

transactional stuff is never coming back.  :)

i'm curious as to what kind of job OP would be willing to take.  maybe he's already said.  i'm going back to check.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: AmyWaxFanClubPresident on December 11, 2008, 01:50:58 PM
Ha.  I've always been enthralled by how litigators and corporate lawyers see the other groups.  Neither can believe that any sane person would want to do the other type of work.  Edit:  Although both hate on tax more.

I disagree, PE firms are sitting on mountains of cash.  It will be back, but buyouts will be much less leveraged.  Lower return for the PE firm, but from a legal perspective, the work will still be the same.

i was kidding.  :P

damned transactional work.  >:(
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 11, 2008, 03:05:13 PM
I never was interested in PE. I had a really good family friend that was a partner at a smaller PE firm and got the connection through there. The firm likes hiring JDs, even if they had no knowledge of finance because they "learn faster." He said that his firm received so many more qualified applicants than they were expecting, that they decided to only hire someone who was already in PE. Like I said, the job eventually went to a Wharton grad...had I known it was that competitive, I would have taken my hat out of that job pool before I even interviewed.

My original focus was in transactional law, but I adjusted when the economy tanked. The problem is that firms that you would expect would be hiring (bankruptcy, employment, litigation, etc) are not. Supposedly "things will pick up at the end of January." What's said is that I have even been looking on craiglist and the firms there are only paying $30-40K/year with no benefits. What's sad is I think those firms are still getting flooded with resumes and that they can be very selective. One of those firms was in family law and the other one dealt with traffic tickets. 
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Bigbie on December 11, 2008, 03:40:34 PM
Aren't there better places to look than craigslist? Don't know, just asking.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 11, 2008, 06:28:14 PM
Thanks for the heads up on the state job, but competition is fierce even for those jobs. Plus, the State has a bias for in-state law students, especially people from the lower ranked Texas law schools who have a tougher time looking for a job. I did submit my applications for a couple of positions on there, but haven't heard a peep.

As far as being a solo or utilizing the solo option, I'm going to have to take a pass on that. Malpractice insurance alone prohibits me from even opening up a shop even if I wanted to (plus I'm sure I maxed out the amount of money a lender would be willing to give me on top of my law school loans). Another PR fact, over 70% of the lawyers who are suspended or disbarred are solos. Usually for failing to communicate effectively with clients or misapplication of client escrow accounts. Finally, of all the subjects I dealt with in law school, criminal law was my least favorite. I just don't feel comfortable representing a client straight out of law school who is facing jail time if I don't represent them effectively. Again, another quick way to lose my license before I even start utilizing it. 

Very, very understandable.  Fingers crossed for those state jobs.  I always thought Tulane was practically a Texas school -

I did want to ask you about malpractice insurance, though.  I've heard that malpractice insurance for newer grads in solo/small firms is often lower compared to more established attorneys at large firms because newer grads handle lower-value matters.  If you don't mind me asking, have you gotten quotes on insurance in Texas? I'm probably going to practice there, and I'm interested in what this would cost for a new attorney.

Nope, I haven't asked for a quote. I think it can go up to $10K/year, but you are right about newer solos having a reduced rate (for the first 3 years I think).

Its about $600-1000 a year for malpratice for first year out of law school grads.  Here you can contract to pick up overflow PD stuff for 2k a month, once you get some experince you can apply to get the felony action which is around 8k a month just doing that. Stop looking on craiglist for jobs, its useful only for hookups/selling sports equitment.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 12, 2008, 10:09:27 AM
I am still hesitant to pursue the ID/PI/traffic law route. While beggars can't be choosers, I am pissed that I have to pick between working crappy hours for less than $40K/year or nothing. If I went to a law school that was in the 3rd or 4th tier or graduated in the bottom half of my class, I would expect this scenario. But I went to a repuatable school (albeit not Harvard or even a Vanderbilt), but still a good school. Every time someone tries to tell me "don't worry things will get a better, this is only because of the economy," I want them to call my student loan company and give them that line when I can't make my student loans.

I don't think I am entitled and I'm not trying to be a spoiled brat by not taking ID/PI/traffic or the like. I have been networking at the local bar and alumni association in town and the attorneys at those events highly advised me AGAINST taking those jobs. Even the folks at the OCS at Tulane cautioned me about this route. They all said that I could be "pigeon-holed" into that area of law for the rest of my career. People who go after ID/PI/Traffic are stuck and almost never move up to big law firms or even medium-small practice law firms. Apparently there is a stigma attached to those law jobs and unless you have the entreprenurial know-how to make your practice big, you will be relegated to 2000+ hours/year at $40-50K per year (plus a holiday bonus of a $50 giftcard to Starbucks).
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 12, 2008, 10:25:13 AM
I am still hesitant to pursue the ID/PI/traffic law route. While beggars can't be choosers, I am pissed that I have to pick between working crappy hours for less than $40K/year or nothing. If I went to a law school that was in the 3rd or 4th tier or graduated in the bottom half of my class, I would expect this scenario. But I went to a repuatable school (albeit not Harvard or even a Vanderbilt), but still a good school. Every time someone tries to tell me "don't worry things will get a better, this is only because of the economy," I want them to call my student loan company and give them that line when I can't make my student loans.

I don't think I am entitled and I'm not trying to be a spoiled brat by not taking ID/PI/traffic or the like. I have been networking at the local bar and alumni association in town and the attorneys at those events highly advised me AGAINST taking those jobs. Even the folks at the OCS at Tulane cautioned me about this route. They all said that I could be "pigeon-holed" into that area of law for the rest of my career. People who go after ID/PI/Traffic are stuck and almost never move up to big law firms or even medium-small practice law firms. Apparently there is a stigma attached to those law jobs and unless you have the entreprenurial know-how to make your practice big, you will be relegated to 2000+ hours/year at $40-50K per year (plus a holiday bonus of a $50 giftcard to Starbucks).

I have a classmate who started her own practice right out of law school, she has been licsinsed for all of 8 weeks and already collected 14k in paid fees. She gets referrals and overload cases from attorneys she met through networking, has never advertised and has more work then she can accept. I clerk for a solo who has also never advertised and gets all his work from referrals, he netted over 800k last year. The one thing both these people have in common is that they are not the types to wait around for something to happen to them, they go out and make it happen. You seem to be really good at making excuses for why you donít take this job or donít try that job, why not put some of that energy into actually trying something rather than waiting for someone to hand it to you?   Obviously what you have been doing thus far has not worked yet and its been a year, maybe its time to try something else?
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: JDat45 on December 12, 2008, 12:59:30 PM
For precisely the reasons stated: employers will eye you warily if you passed the bar but never worked as an attorney and are now trying for some middle-management position. They could well assume you're unable to find a lawyering job and plan to use them until you find something better. Or they'll consider you overqualified and assume you'll lord your JC over their inferior little heads.

I can't wait to lord my Jersey City over someone's head...


Dammit! LMAO! :D
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Eugene Young on December 12, 2008, 01:34:11 PM
I am still hesitant to pursue the ID/PI/traffic law route. While beggars can't be choosers, I am pissed that I have to pick between working crappy hours for less than $40K/year or nothing. If I went to a law school that was in the 3rd or 4th tier or graduated in the bottom half of my class, I would expect this scenario. But I went to a repuatable school (albeit not Harvard or even a Vanderbilt), but still a good school. Every time someone tries to tell me "don't worry things will get a better, this is only because of the economy," I want them to call my student loan company and give them that line when I can't make my student loans.

I don't think I am entitled and I'm not trying to be a spoiled brat by not taking ID/PI/traffic or the like. I have been networking at the local bar and alumni association in town and the attorneys at those events highly advised me AGAINST taking those jobs. Even the folks at the OCS at Tulane cautioned me about this route. They all said that I could be "pigeon-holed" into that area of law for the rest of my career. People who go after ID/PI/Traffic are stuck and almost never move up to big law firms or even medium-small practice law firms. Apparently there is a stigma attached to those law jobs and unless you have the entreprenurial know-how to make your practice big, you will be relegated to 2000+ hours/year at $40-50K per year (plus a holiday bonus of a $50 giftcard to Starbucks).

O RLY?

Dude, then don't come on here complaining about how you can't find a damn job. Nobody in the practice gives a @#!* that you went to Tulane or whatever the hell. If you can't find for yourself, how the hell can you expect to fight for your clients? Go be a barista at Starbucks or something. You don't seem to be cut out for law if all you're gonnna do is sit back and whine. Be proactive. Do something for chrissake.

You could start with growing a pair. Sorry to sound so harsh, but that post sent me off the deep end.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Miss P on December 12, 2008, 02:18:09 PM
Yeah.  I normally agree with Matthies and Eugene on this stuff, but it sounds as if the OP is really trying.  My career services office also advises against taking certain kinds of work unless you're willing to do it long-term.  If employers are still telling him that it's just the economy -- and not his qualifications or level of competition -- preventing him from getting an offer like the one he lost, I think it makes sense not to retreat into traffic ticket defense right away.  It sounds as if he is networking, applying to things out of his comfort zone, working hard at his job, etc.  Cut him a little slack if he needs to vent.  It really sucks to have an offer rescinded.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Eugene Young on December 12, 2008, 02:50:36 PM
Meh. I guess. No doubt it sucks. Sometimes you gotta get in where you fit in though. His life at the end of the day. I still say working traffic court is better than what he's doing now. It doesn't mean he'll spend his whole career as a ticket lawyer. But that's just me. Do you, man.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Miss P on December 12, 2008, 02:52:05 PM
Meh. I guess. No doubt it sucks. Sometimes you gotta get in where you fit in though. His life at the end of the day. I still say working traffic court is better than what he's doing now. It doesn't mean he'll spend his whole career as a ticket lawyer. But that's just me. Do you, man.

I have no way to judge this.  You may be right, but a lot of career services people say otherwise.

And congrats on finishing, kiddo!
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Ninja1 on December 12, 2008, 02:58:48 PM
So, you're saying you think the JD detracts from your resume for non-legal positions?  That's interesting.

I think it does if you're applying for jobs that are really beneath your education level, like McDonalds "crew" or something. Otherwise, I've always failed to see how it would weaken an application for any sort of exec level job, even mid-management somewhere.

Did you read the thread?  It's not that it detracts so much as they think you'll leave them once a legal position opens.  No employer wants an employee who'll leave the minute the economy gets better.

i believe it's supposed to hurt even for some legal positions.  lots of paralegal openings supposedly say explicitly that they don't want JD's.

Ah yes, I have seen the paralegal ads that say, in no uncertain terms, no JDs.

I can see the logic of a place being worried that you'll bail from a non-legal job to a legal job if given the chance, but is that really as big of a concern if you're in a job that already gives you lots of authority and pays well? Like say your dean of anything at some third rate school that still pays you well and gives you a generally good QoL, or mid-level management somewhere making $50-60k without doing a ton of overtime, do you (anyone) think places like that would be as worried about a JD jumping ship? I really don't know, but I am curious what everyone else thinks.

I have been applying at non-legal jobs in the interm as well: in private equity, landman, title insurance, and in investment banks. I was applying to places like JPMorgan, Smith Barney, and Merril Lynch before the Bear Sterns meltdown. While those firms like to hire a few JDs, I think they realized that they couldn't afford new hires, just like the bigger law firms. Plus, I have a limited financial background...so I bombed the private equity firm interview when I couldn't answer questions on what P-E ratio I think is optimal for investment in a hedge fund and how to help develop the proper portfolio mix for an employer retirement fund when the client prefers a volitality fluctation of X% (the guy they eventually hired was a Wharton MBA Grad who lateraled from a larger PE firm).

In addition to thinking that you will leave their company as soon as you get a better law job, I've heard that non-law employers just don't like hiring lawyers. Whether it is an inferiority complex or that they think an employer with a JD will be more argumentative and confrontation, lots of managers don't like working over a person with a JD. I have a friend who works at a marketing firm and he said he was very paranoid when he found out a new co-worker had a JD. He said he felt that the guy was going to analyze everything he did even though my friend is more senior than him. I guess to each his own, but that has been my experiences in the non-legal world.   

Informative, thank you.

Well, ever since my first job I've analyzed everything my bosses said and often told them why they were retards, so I guess at least now I'll have a stamp warning them about that tendency... ;)
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 12, 2008, 03:20:42 PM
The true intention of my post is to provide a cautionary tale for those looking at law school (like someone already mentioned). There are a few rants in my post, but I'm not trying to disparage my law school or the practice of law (I would probably still go to Tulane if I had to do it all over again). This is reality. I have seen a number of posts from people who think law school is a golden ticket. I've even seen a couple of people talking about how they will soon own a BMW because they just got accepted to XYZ law school. I'm sure a lot of it is in jest, but I have a feeling that there are some half-truths in there. I was gungho when I applied to law school and didn't think unemployment or underemployment would ever be an issue. I saw the $100K+ average starting salary stats and the 98%+ employment after 9 months of graduation stat and thought law school was a sure thing. I also remember hearing stats about how the legal field is recession proof because "you are always going to need a lawyer" and there is always bankruptcy law, etc, etc. Again, stupid on my part for not researching further.

I posted on here several times when I was applying to law school and swept up by the group think mentality. Look around. The majority of people who post on here are not trying to convince each other to NOT attend law school. Most here have already convinced themselves to commit (rightfully or wrongfully) and they use these boards to pump themselves up waiting on admissions and determining what to do before going to law school. No one likes a debbie downer, but I think more debbie downers need to start posting about realities people here don't know about, or purposely try to avoid.

A lot of folks on here engage in active ignorance - they know recent law school grads are struggling, they know more law schools are opening up, they know there are more lawyers, they know some legal jobs are being outsourced to India, they know law school debt is getting higher and higher. These folks think that they will never graduate below the top 10%, that the economy will be bad at graduation, that they will make less than $100K/year, or that their monthly payments for their law school loans will be more than $2K/month. I know this because that's what happened to me. There were tons of cheerleaders on here congratulating me when I was accepted to Tulane, told me how good the school was and that the job prospects would be good.

According to OCS, I did everything I was supposed to in law school. I made above average grades, graduated with honors, was an editor on a law school journal, was published, was active with law school student groups, did some pro bono my 1L year, interned for a federal judge for a summer, was a summer associate during my 2L year, worked part-time at a law firm during my 3L year, networked with alumni and local attorneys, etc. Yes I haven't turned EVERY stone, but I didn't spend 4 years of undergrad, 3 years of law school, and 3 months prepping for a hellacious bar exam to throw my hands up in the air and pick an area of law I have no interest in and don't want to pigeon-hole myself into.

If you think it's easy to setup your own shop and start practicing and billing hundreds of dollars an hour, then you are up for a rude awakening. If you think it is so easy to setup a solo, why aren't the people who graduated in the 10% or T-10 law schools opening up their own law firm? Yeah an attorney earned $800K last year as a solo...I also know someone who won the lottery. Go look at actual statistics and see how much the average solo is making right out of law school - (hint: it's not going to be 6-figures). Do you know the amount of money you have to spend to get malpractice insurance, to be current on your CLE, to hire staff, to advertise, to get westlaw/lexus, to buy equipment, or to even get a lease? Guess what, being a solo is not for everyone. Just because I don't want to "fight" to be a solo, doesn't mean I won't fight for my clients or that I will be a crappy attorney. I know several established partners who would cringe at the idea of setting up their own practice, and they have been practicing law for years. Not to mention the number of malpractice suits and disbarrment hearings that solos have to put up with.

Again, caveat emptor, read the fine print, look before you jump. I'm not saying that people should avoid law school...I am saying that prospective students do better research and analysis before going to law school. Am I complaining? Yes. Am I sitting around expecting a job because I graduated from a tier 1 law school? Hell no. I am being proactive, but the economic conditions are not optimal for recent law school grads. I even went on an interview a few months ago for a contract attorney position. The recruiter looked at my resume after he called me in and said that he could not give me a job because I was "over-qualified." He said someone with my stats will find a much better job and his client does not want to risk hiring someone who will not be on the project for at least 1 year.    
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on December 12, 2008, 03:25:50 PM
In all fairness, there are a few posters who denigrate certain school choices (the so-called T14 or bust mentality), but, yeah, if you want a reality check, there are better forums than this one.  (And, IMO, TLS is even worse.)
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: vap on December 12, 2008, 04:22:03 PM
Does the income you make now satisfy your loan payments and allow you to save anything?

Do state trial court judges in Texas hire law clerks?  I know the intermediate appellate courts hire "briefing attorneys," but those typically go to more experienced attorneys...

Thanks for sharing and answering questions.  Despite what some are saying, I've appreciated reading this thread.  There are lots of people in your position (on this site and on JDU) who are much more negative.  I'm probably going to be returning to TX without any employment offers, so I appreciate your story and advice.

I've been browsing some of the solo lawyer blogs for the past few years, checking out some ABA resources, and have read most of Jay Foonberg's book (http://www.abanet.org/abastore/index.cfm?section=Main&fm=Product.AddToCart&pid=5110508).  It seems doable, but I haven't priced specific items like malpractice insurance or CLE.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 13, 2008, 07:41:17 AM
If you think it is so easy to setup a solo, why aren't the people who graduated in the 10% or T-10 law schools opening up their own law firm?

Because most people like you would rather work for someone else than try to do something on their own.

Yeah an attorney earned $800K last year as a solo...I also know someone who won the lottery.

 If you were actually out networking rather than bitching on a message board you would know how many successful solo there are.

Go look at actual statistics and see how much the average solo is making right out of law school - (hint: it's not going to be 6-figures).

What staitcis, this is part of the problem, we only have hard numbers for firms, you got to go actually meet solos to find out what there lives are like. So your only willing to do law if it pays six figures?

Do you know the amount of money you have to spend to get malpractice insurance

$600-1,000 per year.

, to be current on your CLE

$12-15 dollars a month if you go through the local bar associations CLEs

, to hire staff

What staff? You do the work yourself

, to advertise,

You get referrals from you contacts

to get westlaw/lexus

its called the law library, and its fee

, to buy equipment

Your posing on the internet so Iíll asuume you own a computer

, or to even get a lease?

Office share

Guess what, being a solo is not for everyone.

Well so far youíre not having much luck at being an associate either

I know several established partners who would cringe at the idea of setting up their own practice, and they have been practicing law for years.

I doubt you know any partners or many lawyers for that matter

Your flame. You went to Tulane but you have never posted on the huge Tulane thread here? Why? Did you really go there? Those are your alumni the people who know where Tulane grads are getting jobs, who hear about who is getting hired where every day, who have contacts, yet you post here about how you canít find anything after a year of really trying hard?

Botbot sent you his e-mail offering to spend your resume out to people he knew, your response was you said you were afraid he would post it on the thread so you would not send him it.

Your full of excuses but not action, you have an excuse for every suggestion people on here make. Your not looking to get help finding a job, you just want to talk about how hard it is. Yes its hard out there, no dount, but this kind of flame is BS and helps no one, and can give people bad advice, go to JD Underground.

Your either flame or really have no clue how the world works.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on December 13, 2008, 09:50:24 AM
He seems too earnest to be flame.  Well, back to my practice exam so I don't end up like him.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Changed Name on December 13, 2008, 10:14:44 AM
This is an interesting thread.  I don't really want to comment on if he's a flame or not, I think, as mentioned above, he seems pretty earnest.

But this raises some questions for me, and I wonder what other posters would do.  If you were the OP, what would you do?

Assume that you cannot get a biglaw job or other medium sized firm job.  Assume that the only type of work you could get (law related) was ID/PI type stuff.

Would you wait it out?
Would you try and start your own practice?
Would you take anything legally related right now and hope to switch later?
Would you try and find a career in a non-law related field?

I would like to think I'm the type of person who would take the gamble and try and open up shop.  But, I can't say with certainty I'd do that.  I'd definitely be weary of start-up costs and the fact that I wouldn't have had any real experience.

I feel for the OP and hope that he can find something he'll be happy with.  His story has got me wondering though...
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Miss P on December 13, 2008, 12:31:02 PM
If you think it is so easy to setup a solo, why aren't the people who graduated in the 10% or T-10 law schools opening up their own law firm?

Because most people like you would rather work for someone else than try to do something on their own.

Yeah an attorney earned $800K last year as a solo...I also know someone who won the lottery.

 If you were actually out networking rather than bitching on a message board you would know how many successful solo there are.

dude, while i generally find that you're a tremendously useful source of information, i think that in this instance you're overstating your case.

first, as to why people want to go work at big firms instead of starting their own practices, you're partially right: lots of people don't want to start their own firms (at the very least right away) because running a small business is a giant pain in the ass. 

but really, the more important reason is that people want to minimize risk.  yes, if you start your own practice you might be enormously successful, but you might also be a giant failure even if you're out networking around the clock.  if you go to a big firm, there's reasonable certainty that you'll last around three years or so and pull in a good half million dollars. 

it's the enormous amount of risk of going solo versus going to an established large firm that determines the decision for most people.  and you cannot in earnest say that networking plus going solo is guaranteed success.

I agree.  There are high barriers to entry (perhaps higher in some states than in others) and a lot of risk, particularly in this economy.  In my city, there is a glut of lawyers, and the solo practitioners I know are netting about $20K/year after expenses.  They are in loan forbearance.  These are people who network (seriously, I see them everywhere), who are active members of committees at the city bar (which I believe is the largest local bar association in the country) and the National Lawyers Guild, and who receive referrals from star private defenders.  They are also on the state's assigned counsel panel (though you aren't eligible until you complete one year of practice, and you can't do felonies until your fifth year). 

I think it's great that Matthies' friend and employer are both doing so well, but it's just not the norm, at least not here. 
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Eugene Young on December 13, 2008, 12:44:21 PM
Still with Matthies on this one. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Pretty much comes down to survival at this point, at least professional survival. Miss P, you're in NYC. Go down to Court St. and throw a rock and you'll hit about 12 lawyers. I take it the OP is in Dallas, there's gotta be something man. Even in this economy. Hell, when I go to the courthouse in a suit and observe trials a couple of people always come up to me and ask if I'm a lawyer. Surely, with a bar card, you can find something. If the transactional thing isn't working out, you may need to think about a different practice area. It may not be what you want, but it's gotta beat serving up grande mocha fraps with skim milk and no whip. But again, that's just me. I'll be damned if I'm ever on my ass like that. I'll make something happen. But not everybody is that resourceful. Again, do you.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: sheltron5000 on December 13, 2008, 12:50:25 PM
Matthies you need to cool down a little bit. This guy is not whining. OP could probably be a little more proactive, but just because the advice he is getting from other people is different from your experience doesn't make him a flame. In fact, I think this is the best post on "the dark side of law school" yet. He isn't whiny and he seems to have actually just fallen through the cracks. He's NOT some TTT grad complaining about not being able to make $300k.

OP, just to clarify, from your tone it sounds like you aren't in total panic/breakdown mode yet? How close are you and how bad are things for you? Have you been able to make your loan payments and all that? How much longer can you hold out before it all falls apart?
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Miss P on December 13, 2008, 12:54:38 PM
Still with Matthies on this one. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Pretty much comes down to survival at this point, at least professional survival. Miss P, you're in NYC. Go down to Court St. and throw a rock and you'll hit about 12 lawyers. I take it the OP is in Dallas, there's gotta be something man. Even in this economy. Hell, when I go to the courthouse in a suit and observe trials a couple of people always come up to me and ask if I'm a lawyer. Surely, with a bar card, you can find something. If the transactional thing isn't working out, you may need to think about a different practice area. It may not be what you want, but it's gotta beat serving up grande mocha fraps with skim milk and no whip. But again, that's just me. I'll be damned if I'm ever on my ass like that. I'll make something happen. But not everybody is that resourceful. Again, do you.

This is exactly why it's not easy to make it as an entry-level solo practitioner here, and why my friends who are doing it (I know several!) are having such a hard time.  And yes, I also get asked if I'm a lawyer all the time when I'm in court, but not by people who can pay me. :)  Some people would prefer to have a steady income (from Starbucks) without the financial risk.  YMMV.  I don't see the point in being so judgmental about this choice, especially when the OP seems to be working hard and wasn't even complaining all that much.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: newmom on December 13, 2008, 04:30:33 PM
He seems too earnest to be flame.  Well, back to my practice exam so I don't end up like him.

lol, funniest post on this thread
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: newmom on December 13, 2008, 04:40:36 PM
He seems too earnest to be flame.  Well, back to my practice exam so I don't end up like him.

lol, funniest post on this thread

Don't encourage him.

was seriously funny tho...

just to add my two cent, I think everyone, or at least I would feel much more for the OP if his search wasn't taking so long.  I mean a year?? Just can't see it taking that long, even in this economy, to find decent legal work if he were really putting in the leg work
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 14, 2008, 08:08:24 AM
I think I have done a poor job of clarifying what I am trying to say in this post. I think there comes a time, and what time that is probably varies from person to person, but I think a year is a pretty good point in which saying itís the economy or the rank of your school thatís keeping you from getting a job becomes an excuse and not the primary reason.

I am not suggesting starting your own firm is a cure all, those that picked up on that missed my point, probably because I did not make it clear enough. The point is after a year, if your seriously looking for work you should have at least reviewed all possible options. One of those options would be to at least look into the basics of starting your own firm, malpractice insurance, CLEs this info is out there are readily available to anyone who took a few minutes to search it out. Someone who was seriously looking for legal work for a year would at least know that basic info if for nothing more than to say thatís not for me. After a year of poring coffee itís something I would at least look into, even if it was just part time overflow for some lawyers I knew to get something legal related on my resume.

My point was not start your own firm, but at least look for options beyond a 100k firm job handed to you after a year. Comments like ďWhat's said is that I have even been looking on craiglist and the firms there are only paying $30-40K/year with no benefits.Ē Or ďPeople who go after ID/PI/Traffic are stuck and almost never move up to big law firms or even medium-small practice law firms. Apparently there is a stigma attached to those law jobs and unless you have the entreprenurial know-how to make your practice big, you will be relegated to 2000+ hours/year at $40-50K per year (plus a holiday bonus of a $50 giftcard to Starbucks).Ē Thatís not, in my view, making a serious effort to find a legal job. Its hard out there no doubt, but after a year I would be exploring all available options to me, even if they are not my dream job, even if it means I got to start at the bottom and work my way up.

There comes a point where the economy/school rank argument is nothing more than an excuse in my book. If youíre not willing to start on the bottom and work your way up, if your only willing to take a job in a larger firm, or you think going to school X means you should get Y job or if your still holding on to this belief ďI saw the $100K+ average starting salary stats and the 98%+ employment after 9 months of graduation stat and thought law school was a sure thing.Ē Thatís fine, I have no problem with that, I have no problem with you deciding to work outside the legal field rather than take a job you think is beneath you. BUT thatís your decision, its not the fault of the economy or the rank of your school.

 My point is this is an exercise in excuses until one comes to term with the fact that they, not just outside factors, play a role in their own fate. Someone who canít see that is either so oblivious to how life works or just flame trying to needless scare people.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Eugene Young on December 14, 2008, 11:06:57 AM
My point was not start your own firm, but at least look for options beyond a 100k firm job handed to you after a year.

co-sign.

go hustle.


/s/ Eugene Young
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Bigbie on December 14, 2008, 04:36:39 PM
/s/ Eugene Young


When did /s/ become a thing. I've never seen it before this fall, and I've seen it like five times in the past few months in real emails.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: vap on December 15, 2008, 12:37:43 AM
/s/ Eugene Young


When did /s/ become a thing. I've never seen it before this fall, and I've seen it like five times in the past few months in real emails.

I've seen lawyers do it to distinguish between their name/address block and their "signature" for a document filed with ECF.  They've been doing it for years although I don't think you really have to do it to sign.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: legalese_retard on December 15, 2008, 10:25:07 AM
First and foremost, my intentions behind my posting is to provide a personal account. The only reason why I even stated where I went to law school, was to put my story in perspective. Most people assume that if you haven't been employed after 1 year of graduation that you must have gone to a "TTT" law school (however you define it) or did terribly in your class. While I know I may sound "whiney" and "entitled," I am mainly frustrated. The fact that several here think I am a flame demonstrates what I already know - that with my credentials I am "supposed" to have a job after a year. Now I had a family emergency that caused me to graduate in December instead of May, but that is only one component that might have delayed my employment. I've asked the folks at the OCS several times to review my resume and cover letters to see if there is a glaring mistake that I missed or if my approach is wrong. They have suggested that smaller firms may not take me seriously because I am "supposed" to be already employed at a higher paying job.

While some here think I am only sitting on my ass bitching online, no I am not. If I am not working at Starbucks, I am working at a free clinic getting to know several prominent attorneys who are doing their pro bono. They have told me that if a job or job lead come up, I would be the first one they would contact. The firm I summered at also said they are keeping an eye out for me and one of the partners even emailed me last week to see how I was doing. Again, they were all shocked that I haven't even received an interview. They told me that I should contact them before a future interview so they can recommend me and make sure that the firm knows that I didn't get an offer solely because of the economy and not because of my performance. I also attend local bar assocation meetings and the local young lawyers meetings (as long as they are free), but they are filled with other recent grads who are jobless and trying to network their ass off.

Again, you may think I am a flame or a loser or whatever explitive you want to use to describe me. I know I have done the best that I can do both in law school and after graduation. I don't expect my school to magically create jobs and I never viewed OCS as a career placement office. I'm also not expecting the world's greatest legal job - hell, if I was a temp doc review attorney getting $35/hour, you would not see me posting on here. That's a good job to hold someone over until the economy and job prospects turn around. Maybe you call this being "entitled" but yes, I thought that if I went to college for 4 years and law school for 3 years I could work at a job that I actually wanted and was remotely interested in. I'm sorry, but being a solo is the last thing I ever wanted to do. I know beggars can't be choosers, but when should a law school grad ever be a beggar? THAT is the story I wanted to share on this board. I never intended a "whoa is me" story or a "please be sorry for me" story, but a real story beyond the incesant complaints you will read on places like JDUnderground. Like I said many times before, I am grateful that I got into a tier one law school and had an amazing experience at Tulane that I would never give up, in the end I am frustrated with how it all ended. I got caught up with where I am "supposed" to be after I graduate and where I am actually at now.

As far as the other questions, I am not "too" worried about finances yet. I can make my minimum private loan payments and my government loans are in hardship deferrment. To me it's just embarrasing that I have to be in a hardship deferrment when several of my classmates ranked barely above and below me are making 6-figures or are at a legitimate law practice. The reason why I am at Starbucks is because I worked there before law school, it is the only job that would hire me that had health care provided (for my medical issues, I can't afford health insurance), and I can get free food on days that I close (we throw away any sandwiches that are left after closing, so I can eat off of those for a few days). If anything, I have learned to be especially frugal since law school ;)     
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 15, 2008, 11:17:50 AM
Here is some honest advice, what I would do if it was me in your situation.

First I would become more involved in the local bar association. Pick one or two subsections that interest you, whatever those may me, litigation, tax, environmental whatever. Go to their monthly lunch meetings, it should not be more than $15-20 and that will likely include a CLE credit which you will need anyway. Go on a regular basis, introduce yourself to the whomever are the leaders of the group (as who comes will change monthly but the leaders will always be there). Show inertest, volunteer to help set-up before the meetings, but most importantly go regularly. Donít say youíre looking for a job, yet, unless asked. It takes time and trust before people will be willing to go out of their way for you, this is why its important you go regularly. If you get invited to another event, or asked to lunch GO. Or ask someone you click with out to lunch for an informational interview, ask them what they would do asa new lawyer to break into field X. The point of all of this is to build relationship credits that you can cash in later, this takes time so go every month. Its sucks going to these things alone, trust me I know, Iím naturally very shy but that goes away quickly when you start to see the same people.

Secondly ask for work from the people you already know, here at least the going rate is $20 an hour for clerks. Something around that might be a good place to start. Ask if they could use some research or writing help, most people will say yes. If they will pay you great, if not, do it for free for a awhile until they start recommending you to their friends. Try to get work from as many different people as you can, its contract work and wonít be that glamours, but its an ends to a means - not the work that matters. Be sure to ask if you can keep copies of what you write and use it for your portfolio. This is really what your after. Being out of school so long and not working in the legal field means you canít just rely on cover letters/resumes. What you need is something that sets you apart from new grads, and this is where the portfolio comes in. Bring it with you to interviews, have concrete examples of the types of things you have done and written, this will add to your ability to say Iím ready to start working today over a new grad that has not done this type of thing. Keep your portfolio up to date, and with a variety of things you have worked on, memos, briefs, client advisory letters.

Third, youíve got some free time, use it to enhance your resume. Once you have picked out the specialties in the local bar and started going to the meetings, a good way to start a conversation and to get to know some lawyers well is to ask them if there is anything out there in their field they think would make a good article (start small, like the bar association newsletter, or the sections ABA newsletter). Most everyone will have an idea, and some folks may want to write about something but not have the time, there is where you come in, you help do the research and the writing and get co authorship, or you write it yourself. These donít have to be long, and can be something as  simple as a case note on a recent case that affects that specialty. Section newsletters are always desperate for something to publish, even if its just a few pages. You donít have to be an expert to do this, but it does build your creditability within the section if you can do it a few times. Its also very attractive to firms, firms like to have their lawyers publish on stuff so they look like experts.

Basically my advice is you need to change your job searching methods, your too far removed from school to keep trying what you would do as a new grad. Your emphases now should be A) making contacts, B) creating a portfolio of work you have done showing your skill set, and C) publishing or finding other ways to stand out from the crowd.

Talk to local law schools in your cities career services offices. Most schools have reciprocity, means you can use their services and job bank/listing even if you did not go to school there. Call and see what you need to do to get access to their listings.

None of this is as easy as mail merging and mass mailing resumes, but thatís not working for you. So change up your methods of looking for a job, do things that make you stand out from the crowd, get involved in the legal community and make connections. Its not going to be easy, and it means work on your part beyond checking craigslist, but its how people find jobs, and from my personal experience how people find GOOD JOBS. 80% of the available legal jobs out there are unadvertised positions, they are filled by referral and word of mouth recommendations. Most people will only turn to putting an add in the paper if they canít fill the position from recommendations first.  Even more so in this economy, the days of filling all your vacancies by just hiring everyone in your summer class are over. Also donít forget that partners often bring people in to work under then outside on the traditional OCI route. You need to tap into that hidden job market, and the suggestions above will help you do that .

Finally get a copy, either from the library or buy its used if you have to of the latest edition of Guerilla Tactics for getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams. It has a lot of good ideas, resources, and things you may not have thought of, it WILL help you on your job search. But the key here is putting yourself out there as an active job searcher rather than a passive job searcher. Everything you do from this point on should be focused on creating contacts and building up your portfolio of work, get a few publications on the way and you will be even more attractive. Just because youíre out of school and passed the bar does not mean you should not always be adding things to your resume.

Good luck
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on December 15, 2008, 12:21:14 PM
I read Guerilla and thought it was mostly common sense, but whatever.  If you want a firm job, Guerilla also seems pretty useless.  It depends, from what I gather, mostly on school/rank and possibly less stringent school/rank criteria if you're trying to lateral.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 15, 2008, 12:57:32 PM
I read Guerilla and thought it was mostly common sense, but whatever.  If you want a firm job, Guerilla also seems pretty useless.  It depends, from what I gather, mostly on school/rank and possibly less stringent school/rank criteria if you're trying to lateral.

I think this is true for very large firms in the largest markets, but its not been my experience in my mid market. I also think we are seeing the end of most firms hiring entire summer classes. The economy just canít support that kind of hire everyone and see who makes it past the first year mentality. The income is not there anymore to support hiring an entire class of summers and clients are no longer clamoring to pay top dollar for top name talent. I think we are going to see this starting this summer decisions being made more on an individual basis, and far more people not getting offers for full time employment. The market has been changing for a while, and here at least hirering full summer classes has been on its way out.

I expect that trend to move to the larger firms and larger markets as firms reevaluate their bottom line and the amount of money they spend on new talent without vetting them as thoroughly. I think this is going to hit the top schools the hardest, as for the last ten years itís been pretty much a given that if you summered and did not f-up you got an offer. Career services at these schools have not had to deal with many no offers 2Ls as I think they will this summer, and more so next. I tend to think the pedigree alone is not going to cut it and youíre going to see some fierce competition among summers even from top schools and more realistic work to be judged upon.

The market just canít support the old hiring methods when firms are no longer swimming in cash its going to come down to distinguishing yourself from the pack, even from the top law schools. There has been a couple article in the ABA magainize about trends towards competition based placement, I think, until we see a real and sustained upturn in the economy, that is where many firms are going to head.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 15, 2008, 01:53:12 PM
I think this is true for very large firms in the largest markets, but its not been my experience in my mid market. I also think we are seeing the end of most firms hiring entire summer classes. The economy just canít support that kind of hire everyone and see who makes it past the first year mentality. The income is not there anymore to support hiring an entire class of summers and clients are no longer clamoring to pay top dollar for top name talent. I think we are going to see this starting this summer decisions being made more on an individual basis, and far more people not getting offers for full time employment. The market has been changing for a while, and here at least hirering full summer classes has been on its way out.

I expect that trend to move to the larger firms and larger markets as firms reevaluate their bottom line and the amount of money they spend on new talent without vetting them as thoroughly. I think this is going to hit the top schools the hardest, as for the last ten years itís been pretty much a given that if you summered and did not f-up you got an offer. Career services at these schools have not had to deal with many no offers 2Ls as I think they will this summer, and more so next. I tend to think the pedigree alone is not going to cut it and youíre going to see some fierce competition among summers even from top schools and more realistic work to be judged upon.

The market just canít support the old hiring methods when firms are no longer swimming in cash its going to come down to distinguishing yourself from the pack, even from the top law schools. There has been a couple article in the ABA magainize about trends towards competition based placement, I think, until we see a real and sustained upturn in the economy, that is where many firms are going to head.

i disagree with this post in almost its entirety.

my take:

yes, this summer will see more no-offers than last summer and definitely more than the summer before that, but for the top firms, there will still be close to 100% offers.

i also consider the idea of top firms moving away from the 100% (or close) model dubious.  if anything, firms will just have smaller summer classes.

finally i disagree that the top schools will be hardest hit.  the summer's not a lot of time to actually evaluate law students thoroughly.  assuming that summer associate A comes from uchicago and summer associate B comes from a significantly lower-ranked school, all things equal summer associate A will have an advantage over summer associate B because of the firm's desire to maintain good relations with and a good reputation at summer associate A's school.

I think you focused on part of my argument that was not part of my arguemnt, your talking about something completly diffrent than was my orginal point. Let me try to explain what I'm getting at.

I think this idea that firms hire from certain schools for any other reasons than profit margins fails to account for the business side of law that created that demand in the first place, its assumes law firms have allways hired the way they do now. Itís not always been that way, but you have to look back a decade or more to see how it once was. The reason firms hire from top schools in large markets is primarily because of the Cravath model. That business model was pretty simple, fill your firm with the top talent from the top schools and bill more to your clients because of it. Clients responded to this, paying more for top talent, and other firsm saw this and repated the methodes themslves. It worked very well, to the point that it became the standard model of hiring for big law firms, and why firms would spend so much money on lavishing summers to get them to choose their firm (and to a degree tell their friends to choose that firm). The model worked extremely well in top markets (but never really caught on in mid markets simply because the supply/demand by clients for the best of the best was not there). That model is breaking down now, it has been for awhile, but the economy is giving it a huge push.

The economy simply canít support it anymore. Firms are not rolling in cash anymore, and they donít have the overhead to support a large number of lawyers at top salaries in part because in the downturn clients are not demanding that anymore, nor are they willing to pay the premium they once would to have all name brand talent working on their case. You can see this in firms laying off experienced attorneys, they simple donít have the receivables anymore to support a top heavy firm. There are two easy ways to continue to make money in a down economy, rid yourself of dead weight, and move more responsibility towards lower paid employees that make more profit per hour.

You can see this in layoffs and in the increasing amount of work formerly done by lawyers now done by paralegals. This is in part in response to the downturn in the economy but at the same time there has been an increasing awareness on the part of clients that some of legal work done by lawyers can be done more cheaply (for them) by paralegals, and they have demanded lower fees. Combine all this together and we are seeing, I think, a fundamental shift away from the Cravath model and the methods of hiring talent as they have been for the last decade.

Law students I think forget that first and foremost law firms are a business, and to stay in business they must respond to the demands of their clients. Clients are increasingly demanding legal services at lower rates, which goes counter to the Crvath model. I am not saying students from top schools are gong to have to compete with students from lower ranked schools for the same jobs, thatís not my point at all. My point is the whole business model is changing, and part of that change I think will be more competition (among top law students) for a fewer number of available jobs. As firms move away from the Cravath model there will be fewer numbers of firms trying to attract the top (and most expensive) talent, meaning more competition among law students for this smaller number of frims paying the highest market rates. There are simply too many graduates of top law schools to support anything but a crunch in opportunities if even a third of law firms move away from the Cravath model.

Its not that they are going to be competing with students from lower ranked schools, its that they are going to be competing for a smaller number of very high paying jobs with more students from the same schools than in the past, simply because of the changing demands of clients and the ability of firms to make money in a down economy when their business model is pay the highest salaries to bill the highest fees. As more firms move away from the high pay high billing model in an effort to attract a larger number of clients by offering the complete opposite of the Cravath model - lower fees in exchange for larger volumes of work - the hiring methods will change. There will have to be a way to distinguish between talent when all the talent has similar stats, that will mean more emphasis on actual work product in an attempt by firms to hire the best or the best of the best talent for a smaller number of open slots.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 15, 2008, 02:09:23 PM
well cravath model going away is something we could debate, and you may very well be right, but that doesn't necessarily mean that summer hiring (i.e. trying to give 100% offers, continuing to focus on the top schools) will change.

but if you're saying that things will be worse than during the past few years when things were booming, sure i'll sign onto that position.


I really think we are seeing the start of a fundemntal change (when copared to the last decade) in how firms do buiness that will impact hiring. While Iím looking into my crystal ball at the future of the legal industry I also think we will see in the next five years or so the beginnings of the end of the billable hour as the primary fee modeling system. In part because of reasonable demands by clients and more competition, but in big part because I think the future model will be firms providing quality legal services at rates lower than their competition as an attempt to gain market share and increase in offshore legal services. My bet is within ten years the billable hour will be dead except for specific types of action and we will see the rise of a different method of pricing legal services.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 15, 2008, 02:18:25 PM
eh, i disagree but we don't really need to go into all that.  even if it all does change, there's no reason why the firms can't still try to do the majority of their vetting at the interviews for 2L summer jobs, with only a "we must have been crazy so let's not invite this one back" check in place in case somebody REALLY doesn't work out.

I duuno, I tend to think its not going to be as easy to get an offer from this point on, and if anything firms are going to be looking for people who can hit the ground running and start earning their keep from day one. But, we should know if Iím right in three years or so, by then I think it will be clear if the Cravath model and thus the hiring methods of the past can survive the downturn or we are looking at a real change in how firms operate and how new talent is brought in.  Either way the golden years of 2003-2004 are over. 
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 15, 2008, 03:49:14 PM
if anything firms are going to be looking for people who can hit the ground running and start earning their keep from day one.

why?  do you think firms expect associates to be able to bring in significant amounts of business right off the bat?

I think its heading in that direction, I think firms are going to expect more from new associates faster than in the past. I think shrinking profits will mean that new associates will be expected and rewarded with creating new business, maybe not necessarily with brining in new clients, but perhaps an expectation that new associates will keep up with changing legal times and look for opportunities to create work rather than relying on it being handed down from the top. Things like suggesting to clients or their senior associates when it might be possible to create more business (such as a review based on pending legislation for a market segment).

I generally think firms are going to look for associates at all levels to step up and create business in addition to partners and rain makers. I think the slowing amount of legal work (to the point that some associates are doing paralegal work to try and meet their billables as the ABA reported on Friday) means higher overall expectations of firms for new hires to be more productive in creating and brining in revenue sooner than in the past.

As I alluded to above the present system is top heavy, and with a decreasing amounts of new legal business coming in and serious losses in some legal departments there is going to be blurring of the lines between the purely legal aspects of a new associates job and the business side. Those associates that can create business as well as solve legal problems will be in higher demand than those that can just solve legal problems. Again law is fundamentally at its core a business, and business decisions drive a firm, law is just the service they produce. I think we as law students sometimes forget that, or donít understand how important that aspect of life of a working lawyer really is.
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 15, 2008, 05:59:52 PM
well i agree that more will be expected, but i don't think the changes will go as far as you suggest.  it's one thing if the only thing that is asked is bringing in business, but the question is will associates be able to bring in a particular type of business, i.e. business for which a client is willing to pay enormously high fees?

That I donít know, the trend seems to be leaning now towards volume clients over one single golden ticket client. Iím kind of surprised this all seems like news to you, if you read any of the trade magazines like ABA or American Lawyer they have be writing about this stuff for over a year. The legal business is changing a lot from what it was just five years ago, larger law firms by their nature are just slower to adapt. 
Title: Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
Post by: Matthies on December 15, 2008, 06:20:47 PM
That I donít know, the trend seems to be leaning now towards volume clients over one single golden ticket client. Iím kind of surprised this all seems like news to you, if you read any of the trade magazines like ABA or American Lawyer they have be writing about this stuff for over a year. The legal business is changing a lot from what it was just five years ago, larger law firms by their nature are just slower to adapt. 

i'm not saying that diversification of the client base is unimportant, just that there aren't a lot of clients out there who have work that needs to be done that's worth whatever astronomical figure the top firms are charging.

and i haven't kept up with the trade magazines lately.  i've been dealing with a serious personal issue for most of the semester.

Well I hope that works out for the best, law school is hard enough without other poo going on too.

On a personal note I think the ABA rag makes good bathroom reading.