Law School Discussion

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Messages - Talk Is Cheap

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1
2L job search / Re: Summer 2011 Outlook
« on: May 02, 2010, 03:15:40 PM »
It's a bloodbath out there, the vast majority of 3Ls I know have no jobs and are looking for *&^% on craigslist. 3Ls estimate about 2/3rds of them have no job lined up and are still out there looking--along with all the 1Ls, 2Ls, laid off lawyers, and 2008/2009 grads who still haven't committed suicide and are looking for employment. Even our Career Services is panicking because after repeated calls and begging, only 100/284 (35%) of people have turned in their employment surveys (can't get people with no job to bother to turn it in). A lot more 3Ls who summered with the big firms in town are getting no-offered than ever before.

For the Class of 2011, things are at least as bad, if not worse. I'd guess that less than a third of us have a "real" temporary summer position lined up. Can think of several classmates who are top quartile and law review who can't find anything to do.
Words cannot express how ridiculously bad it is for the majority of our students. There will always be a bright forecast from those who actually do have jobs (even if they refuse to recognize they are temporarily employed as cheap summer labor), or from those handful of sunny folks who are ALWAYS confident that things will eventually go there way...but honestly, the school feels like a funeral parlor these days, and the overall attitude amongst our student colleagues is somewhere around "utterly miserable."

Good luck to everyone in their employment searches.

2
2L job search / Re: Summer 2011 Outlook
« on: March 31, 2010, 01:37:03 PM »
It's awful this year. I was in your place a year ago (just above median--40%--), Minnesota Law, externed with a judge, got few OCI interviews and struck out.

I know kids from law review on down in my class who have nothing lined up for this summer. Word on the street is about 50% of this class has nothing for the summer...and of course, your chances in 3L are much worse.

How much will things turn around by your year? Maybe some, but probably not enough. It's an employer's market right now.

3
General Board / Re: How does one cope with law school debt?
« on: November 02, 2009, 08:34:15 PM »
I try not to pay attention to it, but that doesn't really work for me.

To be honest, my law school debt casts a cloud over my entire existence. I know most of us have it, and we just deal with it, but that doesn't make it any better. You go to the Dept. of Education and calculate what your monthly repayment will be like, and then you despair some more. You realize that you'll likely be making peanuts in this economy and despair a little more. Wonder if you would have been better off taking a low-paying job with your undergrad degree...but without this handicapping debt. You flirt with deferring your repayments to the "25 year plan" rather than the default 10-year plan, but can't stomach paying that much interest. You calculate how much disposable income you'll have per month, after state and federal taxes, and loan repayment. You make different models based off of several prospective starting salaries, which run the gamut from depressingly realistic to overly optimistic.

Oh wait, obsess much?

In the end, all you can do is repay them...or skip the country, I guess. Many people before us have managed. I'm sure we will, too.

That being said, if I could take a prospective law student and give him my wizened advice today, I would sternly caution him about the evils of taking on mountainous debt to try and grab an ever-shrinking slice of the decent-salaried pie. There are much easier, and less stressful, ways.

4
General Board / Re: LRW-Is this a real threat?
« on: October 10, 2009, 11:14:03 PM »
If it's graded, take it seriously.

Even if not, don't blow it off...it's probably the most practical course you'll take 1L year, and doing it "well," getting plenty of feedback, improving your writing, etc., is invaluable.

5
3L job search / Re: Crisis of Faith: Why even pursue this path?
« on: October 09, 2009, 01:54:44 AM »
Rant noted and accepted, sir.

I can't say that I don't sympathize with you, for the reasons you noted. Making it in this profession, as I'm sure it is many others, is about making your personal peace with the unseemly aspects of it. Once you recognize that it's all a bunch of systematic gaming with a fine veneer of "legal science" to it, you can hop right in...if your conscience will allow it.

I was much more mercenary in my outlook going into law school than I am now, it's strange. I've become more of a black and white, right and wrong kind of guy. Not quite sure why that is...reactionary response to the perpetual fence-straddling in law school?

Anyhow, life is too short to do something you absolutely loathe. You presumably made it through three years of law school, there might be some area of the law that you can practice in without feeling sick to your stomach. If all else fails, just skip the country.

6
OP = neurotic.

Anyway, like you I had big dreams when I first hit the law school shores. I think most students do. I did better than you, but ITE even the traditional "top 25%" requirement is going to get you much, much less. So we're essentially in the same boat.

Life isn't so bad, though...we'll make less money, and (perhaps) we will be a bit less stressed. I'm not going to kill myself if I only end up making, say, 45k a year. Not going to happen at that salary. 

Stop bringing these doom-and-gloom thunderclouds over the heads of everyone else. We're all upset about the economy and our own lack of a 4.0 GPA. That's life. Were I in the bottom half of my class, I would probably be more despondent, but my realistic options would be to stick it out, try to improve, or drop out and work at Starbuck's or something. I think most people who end up in the bottom 50% will stick around, anyway. Part of it is inertia, part of it is lack of a better option. Even at 45k a year, after taxes and after a massive monthly loan payment, you're still doing better than a lot of my 20-something friends who went to college, graduated in a recession, and only found bad jobs.

7
$40-65k to start is still better than you can make with most liberal arts BAs, and the long term upside of a JD is huge compared to a BA. The $100k+ is an expensive buy in, but if you can't recoup it several times over with a JD, you're doing something wrong.

This.

I'm not going to lie, I wanted the money going in, but...reality sets in. It's unlikely that you're going to be making 50k for the rest of your working career.
The debt sucks, but you'll pay it off. I know many people with ridiculous debt from their undergrad degrees...at least we'll have a J.D.

Law school is (too) expensive, but if I were to end up with a 65k starting salary, I'd feel pretty damn good ITE.

8
General Board / Re: Job Search Dilemma
« on: September 27, 2009, 05:46:39 PM »
Not to mention, what will you put on your resume?  Volunteer research for federal judge?  It will be obvious you weren't a clerk and I don't see it doing anything for your resume. 

You doing free labor is a favor for the judge, not the other way around....

This is true. I now a guy who graduated and is still doing free volunteer work for a local judge as his only legal work. It is better than nothing, but at the same time I don't think I would do it if I were this guy. There's got to be something, SOMEWHERE in the lower 48 states that pays money.

9
General Board / Re: Ask Judge for Fewer Work Hours???
« on: September 27, 2009, 05:44:58 PM »
I also want to know if this is a US Circuit Court judge or a local trial judge. Although either way I would probably say dump trial ad. You'll probably learn more about advocacy in the internship anyway, whether it's a COA or local trial judge. Plus if you do well, you can get a recommendation from a judge (which is always a good thing to have) and you might be able to use his connections to get a job/clerkship.

This.

10
General Board / Re: Why this board sucks
« on: September 21, 2009, 07:07:46 PM »
We can discuss cases all day at school with our classmates and professors.

What we cannot do is discuss the job market and firms with a bunch of fellow students who are wet behind the ears and know nothing about the actual practice of law.

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