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Messages - cisforcookie

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Job Search / Re: in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« on: February 29, 2008, 08:22:50 AM »
the context of my question perhaps is important. I expect that I will have the choice to enter biglaw, but that I will not want to. I do not expect to have any debt, and I enjoy living simply, so, for me, money is not the issue that it might be for some people. I can afford to take much less in salary. What I don't know is whether entry level jobs like this even exist, or how a person goes about getting them.

Is it the case that there is no choice but to go to a biglaw firm? If so, I may decide not to go to law school.

Job Search / Re: in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« on: February 29, 2008, 04:17:01 AM »
Yes, I know about OCI. I was under the impression that most OCI firms were larger firms that could afford to hire well in advance. Did you find this not to be the case, that there were many smaller firms at your OCI?

Job Search / in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« on: February 28, 2008, 09:06:37 AM »
Do any of you have experience looking for enjoyable work for law firms that fall between these extremes of lowly sucktitude and lofty towers? I'm imagining firms of 15-75 lawyers, but perhaps that is off the mark. Was your job search almost entirely a mail 100 letters for every 1 response jungle? do these sorts of firms usually only hire attorneys who have already passed the bar? Do you know of people who chose this type of work over "biglaw?" Anything that you think might be relevant to a person looking at such work would be much appreciated.

What degree of difficulty would you all say is involved in getting a position with the government at the entry level? I do not wish to work for a law firm, especially not a large law firm, and I am planning my law school career around this rather broad personal belief. I could see myself being very happy working for some federal agency or perhaps for a local DAs office or maybe some interesting state government post.

I understand that many gov positions do not hire in advance the way that large firms do. I understand also that the pay is frequently very bad, but I am not expecting to come out with much/any debt, so that should help. What I am most interested in is the level of competition for these positions, particularly competition from fairly well credentialed people. For those of you who are applying, or have watched friends ahead of you apply, or perhaps are already working in one of these positions, what advice would you offer?

Is it particularly advantageous to be a lateral hire from some law firm? I get the impression that many law firm lawyers are rather unhappy and would like to go into something more personally meaningful with lower hours. How much does this clog the process down and/or undercut the efforts of younger, less experienced attorneys? I have heard that this is a much larger problem in the largest cities and with the most prestigious posts like the DOJ, but what about elsewhere? What if I want to be a city solicitor in portland, oregon or perhaps work in utilities regulation in las vegas? Are these types of jobs available to very young lawyers? How about very young lawyers who didn't quite graduate from the top14?

Any advice or personal experiences would be most appreciated.

Current Law Students / Re: Student Loan Interest Rates
« on: February 24, 2008, 02:41:08 PM »
Those are pretty standard actually.  Also, what people fail to recognize as they complain and lament over the rates is that when you graduate you can consolidate once the rates drop down, which they inevitably will in the next few years. 

I am under the impression that publicly available long term fixed interest rates are fairly sticky. What rates were people getting in 2001? 7 percent? cause that's still too high for my taste.

Current Law Students / Re: Student Loan Interest Rates
« on: February 23, 2008, 06:58:32 PM »
good god. those rates suck. I'm definitely not borrowing a dime at 8 percent. WUSTL it is.

Current Law Students / Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« on: February 22, 2008, 07:40:33 PM »
I think it more likely that this is just a relatively unpleasant time to be anything other than filthy rich. Our economy is experiencing some growing pains as it copes with the confluence of outsourcing and technology. I can't think of any prestigious job class that seems particularly stable. Except, unfortunately, politicians.

Perhaps there is a much better question than whether this right now is a bad time to be a lawyer. What is the likelihood that things will be good for lawyers throughout our careers? More than a blip on the economy radar, I would worry more that the legal profession will grow more and more into a legal services industry where we are merely the newest members of the proletariat.

Job Search / Re: Trial level judicial clerkships
« on: February 20, 2008, 05:53:18 AM »
I have no idea if they advertise openings. I doubt it. What possible consequence could there be if they just throw your resume in the trash?

Are you looking at superior trial courts? I know that around here they have courts for misdemeanors and low level civil cases and courts for felonies and large civil claims. The clerks on the superior court, as well as most of the trial lawyers and a not insignificant number of the judges, tend to come from the local T3. If you are staying local, you should be able to find a sizeable alumni base in your city and one of them should be able to give you much more specific advice for that town. Ask them. It's not like anything actually bad can happen.

Job Search / Re: Trial level judicial clerkships
« on: February 19, 2008, 12:51:44 PM »
For what it's worth, any letters you send will first land on the desk of the judge's current clerk, and he'll probably only give a handful of them to the judge, so I wouldn't personally worry about offending the judges by applying to a lot of them since most of them will never see your application anyway.

On a similar note, and this is merely friendly advice which you can feel free to ignore, I would not recommend applying across the board at the trial level because a good deal of those judges will be talentless bozos. If I were in your shoes, I would dig up the contact info on trial lawyers in the area that you want to clerk in. If they're alumni, great. If they're your uncle's old college roommate, good enough. Worst case, if you have no connection, you could just blindly email public defenders or somesuch. Any competent lawyer that practices regularly in that court will know pretty well which judges are the good judges and which ones are less likely to be of help to you. State trial courts don't have much prestige, so you're going to really want to find a judge who people respect.

best of luck

Current Law Students / Re: irrational paranoia at top schools?
« on: February 09, 2008, 02:55:30 PM »
See, I get that people diss undergrad grades. as a technical major, which puts me in the vast minority (especially for non-ip people), I worked hard for Bs in my major and didn't have to try to get As in softer courses. so I get that the curves are totally screwed up. what I don't get is why law schools have to grade on a curve that arbitrarily concludes that 20-75 percent of the class are inferior. Having more than a little knowledge of statistics under my belt, I would fully expect that the highly competitive entrance process at these schools would result in tightly packed groups of students in the middle, with a few outliers. Very few people, even are yale, are going to set themselves apart with their brilliance. At the same time, I'm sure that most people in law school aren't incompetent fools.

The whole "if you can't cut it" attitude presumes on its face that anyone who wasn't at the top of their class couldn't cut it. And yet, I have never heard a single person tell me that they thought law school grades were remotely acceptable as indicators of a person's talent or work ethic. Instead, we hear a thousand voices screaming about how utterly arbitrary and idiotic the whole process is. It's simply absurd.

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