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Messages - joshuach

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Job Search / Re: T1 3L, good gpa, jobless, weighing strategies, advice?
« on: November 24, 2010, 09:31:04 AM »
Thanks for your advice guys.

bigs5068, I've had a few callbacks at biglaw but nothing worked out.  I don't think I'm a terrible interviewer, but obviously not good enough.  Just to give you some sense of my effort so far:

Attended 2 job fairs (one in Chi and one in SF) and emailed every firm for a walk-in interview, and walked into a few while there, and dropped off resumes to everyone else.  Total screenings from these job fairs - ~14.

At OCI, did the same strategy - landed about ~17 screenings.

Emailed about ~400 total firms in NYC, DC, all of California, Chicago, Seattle, Portland and netted 3 callbacks.

The above were for 2L summer jobs (I'm actually slated to graduate in Dec.).

Applied to HP's new graduate program, and got the only callback from my school.  Recruiter said that the guy they selected ended up having more experience than I did.

Applied to honors program jobs at FTC, SEC.

Contacted my network in Bay Area for legal internships, and applied to a few so far.  Also applied to some in-house positions that seemed to indicate that non-law experience was okay.

I'm also constantly checking and for all jobs listed as:
"junior associate" - usually have to add "law" and "years" to see exp. requirement in summaries
"summer associate" - usually nothing
"legal internship"
"ip licensing"

I agree that you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  It seems to me like #3 is the default option anyway - meaning that even if I tried #1 and #2, I'd just end up at #3 if nothing pans out.  So, given that thought, what can I lose by taking the other options?  The pigeon-hole problem is something I'm concerned about but I was thinking that I could de-emphasize the tax-LLM for non-tax jobs (either not present it, if that's ethical, or somehow minimize it).

BikePilot, I'll look into the patent office.  I heard that they're expanding their honors program (or whatever junior attorney program they might have).  But, I've had no responses from government agencies so far.  I've also heard that unless you interned with an agency, the chances of getting called in for an interview for the honors programs are almost zilch.

john4040, another reason #2 appeals to me is because I can keep the student health insurance during withdrawal; it's something that's actually very important to me.  I have an opportunity to do some contract work right now with a startup company (doing tech stuff), but with an opportunity to also handle some of their legal work (mainly coordinating with their outside counsel, and probably some other simple things I can try to do myself).  My thought is that I can roll that experience into something more substantial later on, i.e., if I make a case for that experiencing counting as ~1yr of in-house legal experience.

The other thing is, I'm going to try to pass the patent bar before graduating in both #1 and #2.  I have 1 more chemistry class to take before I qualify to sit for it.

Thanks again for your thoughts.  What are you guys doing right now, or how did you go about your job search?

Job Search / Re: do employers ever call applicants to reject them?
« on: November 23, 2010, 05:00:10 PM »
I've gotten calls from 2 biglaw firms who gave me the "we were impressed, but too many applicants" speech.

Job Search / T1 3L, good gpa, jobless, weighing strategies, advice?
« on: November 23, 2010, 04:54:58 PM »
I'm a jobless 3L with a "Dean's List" GPA (~top quartile, I think) at a top-10 school with about 7 years of work experience in Internet tech companies, and I'm pretty much at my wits' end about my next steps.  Hopefully, someone here can offer advice.

My original reason for enrolling in law school was to practice cross-border IP transactions (licensing, transfers, etc.); since then, I've discovered that law firms do not typically hire anyone out of school to do that, and the usual route to that practice is to take on more IP-related work in corporate law, or any licensing work that falls into your hands while practicing IP prosecution/litigation.  Since I don't have any job offers, the prospect of reaching my goal is very bleak (same story for most jobless 3Ls right now).

I'm down but not out, so to speak.  So far, I'm considering the following strategies:

1) Enter the Tax-LLM program here at my law school next year. 
  • I get the LLM for half-price (and it's a recognized program).
  • I can potentially get a job advising on international tax issues related to IP exchanges, like transfer pricing, which might be a stepping-stone into more of the IP licensing work later on.  According to some tax attorneys I've spoken to, having a tech background is a "nice to have" for firms doing transfer pricing out in Silicon Valley.  Also, I'll qualify for jobs at the Big4 accounting firms (also in international tax planning).
  • The LLM gives me another year to look for law firm jobs in corporate or IP, in addition to tax law jobs.
  • I take on another year's worth of loans (living, tuition) and delay my potential employment date.
  • I'm basically becoming a tax specialist, which I don't actually mind since I like my tax classes so far, but I might be foreclosing the option to pursue work in IP and corporate law.

2) Withdraw from law school next semester (with one more semester to go), and work in my former industry or in a legal internship.
  • If I get a legal internship, I can gain some relevant experience with which to hopefully make a case for the "experienced" jobs out there (~1yr exp).
  • If I end up back in my old industry, I'm essentially making some money while waiting for the job market to improve in law.
  • If I'm working in my old industry, I might have to make a case for taking such a break from studying/practicing law.  But, hopefully my continued status as a law student can dull the impact of such a break.
  • I'm basically delaying a career in the law, and career progression.

3) Just suck it up and graduate, pass the bar, and pound the pavement looking for work.
Although I've done this before in my previous career, I've been told that your starting point is much more determinative of your end-point in the law than in other industries.  My fear is that I will eventually have to seek "any" type of work - in an unrelated field of law, in my old industry, or in a somewhat related law industry (contracts administration, etc.), once student loans come calling; this is actually the situation some of my friends have gotten into.  And, once you go that route, it's hard to get "back on track" so to speak.

Right now, I'm heavily leaning towards the Tax-LLM.  If anything, it's an additional specialty that can potentially get me to where I want to be.

Thanks for reading and your comments are much appreciated!

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