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Current Law Students / Consulting Jobs
« on: July 25, 2009, 11:09:45 PM »
Yeah, so lately I've been exploring lots of career paths.  I have been following up with all the suggestions you dudes have made and I applied (and am applying) to pretty much everything.  It seems like all the other thousands of lawyers and law students are doing the same thing.  Despite a huge time investment thus far, I'm putting the likelihood of landing a real paying law job at "pretty damn low" for next summer.

Anyway, next on the plate is Consulting.

This is something that is super, super appealing to me.  I really wish I pursued this instead of law school (especially now...although I do like research, writing, in-court advocacy, etc.), and don't know how the hell I didn't look into this more.

So, can someone answer some questions?  I tried finding a Consulting forum for this, but there really are not any active ones that I saw.  Feel free to mix and match or just give general answers.  I'm lacking lots of knowledge here.

(1) How high up can I start?(i.e. would I be considered an "analyst" or "associate" after I finished school?)
(2) How early do people start applying for summer positions?  What are they called?(i.e. Summer Associate positions?)  Are they generally paid, and if so, how much?
(3) How much do the not-top-3-firms typically pay for entry level?
(4) Is there anything I can do to make myself more marketable? Is there anything that might not make me more marketable, but that I should do to learn useful stuff for consulting (i.e. read the WSJ)?
(5) How international is consulting? (i.e. do you travel overseas a lot, or generally just work with domestic companies?)
(6) How is the consulting industry doing in the recession?  Will I be able to get a job?
(7) Will I be able to start off doing work that I couldn't do when I was 14?  If not, when will I be able to do something that requires thinking and applying stuff I learn?
(8) How should I apply?  Should I just go to the career section and follow along, or should I do something special?
(9) Is a JD/MBA worth looking into?

And most importantly, (10) Am I qualified for any of the firms?  (33% at Emory, on transactional/business law path, interned for dept of commerce, don't have a business degree of any kind, but very good at business stuff)

Pursuing an LLM / Asking questions about a tax LLM is trendy, right?
« on: July 20, 2009, 09:33:36 AM »
So, as part of my job hunt this year, I e-mailed about 20-25 associates/partners at various mid & biglaw firms and asked dumb questions and tried to start "networking" (don't worry Matthies, I'm doing other stuff, too!).  Although I don't know how successful I was in actually networking, I did get some insightful responses from several people.  Obviously every person I talked to said that the job market is unbelievably bad.  In light of that, the advice I got from a couple of people was that I should do everything possible to improve my resume while delaying starting work; two suggested seriously looking into an LLM in tax, and hoping that by the time I finish the economy improves.  (I'm also considering the idea of applying to G-Tech and taking 24 hours in physics so I can sit for the patent bar, or trying to convince the business school to let me do a JD/MBA).

Anyway, I read over most the relevant threads here, but a couple questions...

(1) It seems like biglaw basically ignores the tax LLM and instead picks people based on their JD performance.  But, when I was looking for places to mass mail, I noticed a lot of midlaw firms with HYS/CCN law grads, along with T2+LLM students.  I don't really care how prestigious my firm is, but I do care how much money I make.  Will a tax LLM significantly improve my chances of getting a 110k+ job?  Are there a significant # of non-biglaw jobs?

(2) Given that there are (relatively) probably a lot of people considering this path, any idea what my chances are of landing NYU/GULC/UF?  Is it worth going to Miami/UVA?  Would I be competitive for $$ at any of these places?
Relevant info:  Based on my current GPA, and my plan to coast the rest of the way through law school, I'm guessing I end up 30-50% at Emory (ranked #20).  I am planning on going through our Transactional program, so I should have a fair number of tax courses.  I am mostly interested in a tax LLM because I am assuming I will not have a "real" job, so work experience is not going to be a selling point.

(3) Serious newbie question.  Let's say they completely reform the tax code.  Would an LLM in tax lose a lot of value?  Will classes in tax turn out to be a total waste?

(4) Will I be able to defer my loans while I am doing the LLM thing?

(5) Are there other LLMs or other degrees I should consider?  Law in general is very interesting to me ... so I'm not worried about being uninterested regardless of what I pursue -- I want to do whatever I can to maximize my earning potential.  Also, I am not afraid of hard sciences or other grad schools.


Any idea on this?

How much do the chances change if you meet the OCI criteria?

What if you're mass mailing firms that you should be competitive for?

And, when going into the interviews, does your resume still matter a lot?  Or, have firms already weeded out the people that don't have the qualifications, and are just looking to pick someone they like at that point?

Job Search / Best Marketcs ITE?
« on: June 28, 2009, 09:07:55 PM »
Short question:  What markets should someone with no connections and without an amazing resume target?

So, basically, what legal markets are doing the best ITE?  This can include midlaw firms since that's what I'm more likely to land.

Also, how much does having 0 connections to an area hurt you?  I would be happy to work in just about any medium+ size city that will hire me, but I only have connections to NC/Atlanta/DC.  Given that I'm not going to be super competitive, where else should I apply?  I'm looking to cast a wide net.
Since LA/NYC have so many firms, should I go ahead and throw a bunch of letters there and hope one bites?

One of my classmates said that she is not applying outside NYC because she doesn't want to need to tell employers that she is applying elsewhere (so that she can be like "omgomgomg NYC or bust i <3 NY."  Should I consider following in suit and only applying to 1 or 2 markets?

Current Law Students / Cover letter for mass mailing/question
« on: June 26, 2009, 12:35:11 PM »

I am trying to set up everything to mass mail.

I want to individualize things as best I can without putting a ridiculous amount of effort into it (i.e. I am not going to legitimately research many individual firms for this).

My plan is (and I'm halfway done with this) to make a general cover letter, and then edit a few things (1) depending on where, geographically, I am applying to, and (2) depending on what type of job I am applying to.

(1) I have the geography part down and this is not an issue.
(2) I can't figure out a good way to individualize for law firms.  I am planning to separate things into (a) Business Litigation, (b) Transactional Law, (c) Federal Government, (d) state/local government, (e) specific JAG programs, (f) federal GS-1822 (like a detective), and then (g) "other law firms."

I might separate (g) ("other law firms") into (i) biglaw and (ii) mid/small law.  But, I can't think of a good way to individualize for them without doing a lot of research about the firms.  And, for most firms, they have like 20 different areas of practice, and I don't know which are doing well.  My line for B-Lit, for example, is (sorta like): "I want to practice B-Lit, and you dudes are good at it."

Any advice on how to write something similar when I don't actually know what the law firm's specialty is?

Again, there are a few firms OCIing that I will do research on and write specific/targeted cover letters for, but I want to cast as wide of a net as possible, and take a couple hours to apply to non-Business-Litigation/non-transactional law firms.

Also, as a general question, how much should I have the tone of "start my career" vs. "get a job for a summer?"

Sorry for this being very unclear.  Thanks.

Ok, so I've met a couple people that are important lawyers and stuff.  I want to keep in touch with them I guess.

I guess my "relationship" with each of them is very different.

Person 1 - Partner at a mid-law firm that has offices in my hometown (that I don't want to go back to) and is headquartered Atlanta (I go to Emory).  Nice guy that I know through family (although don't know all that well).  He has been trying to "mentor" me.  He works in business litigation and he said his firm is doing really well.  This would be exactly the ideal job for me.
Anyway, I was thinking about sending him an e-mail and telling him what I did over the summer, and then asking a couple questions at the end.  But, I don't know what questions to ask.  And I'm not positive that this is a great idea.  I think his firm OCI's at my school

Person 2 - (I have several "contacts" I met that are similar to this one)  I met this guy when I was eating lunch at court with my boss.  He works for another mid-size law firm and gave me his business card and said to stay in touch.  Yeah, so exactly how do I stay in touch?

I also know a couple people pretty well that go to my gym (it's one of those small, close-knit gyms) that are associates at biglaw firms.  I guess I'm just supposed to keep talking to them and ask law-related little questions here and there?

It is frustrating that I need to write this.  I am not an awkward person and I get along with people well, but I guess I haven't made "professional friends" before.

Current Law Students / Using a Law Degree internationally?
« on: June 17, 2009, 12:01:28 PM »
Hi friends.

I am continuing my plans to search for new and different uses of my law degree (while still hopelessly applying to the same big/mid/small law jobs that I would have applied to anyway).  I am a rising 2L, so I have plenty of time to change my focus and such.  I go to Emory.  My GPA is mediocre.  I'm just outside of the top 1/3.

I want to explore some possibilities that involve using my law degree outside the US.  If I was paid in a currency that is not about to hyper-inflate, that would be pretty sweet.  Fun fact:  I know absolutely nothing about working as a lawyer outside the US.

Anyway, I would really enjoy spending a couple years in Singapore/Switzerland/the UK/Australia/Ireland/Italy/Japan.  I wouldn't at all mind traveling for my first 10 years out of school.  Is there any reasonable path to making this happen right out of school (international law?  maybe some kind of business focus?)?  Can I still make any money at all?  (Note:  I now consider "any money" to be $60k).

Any other advice in general about this?


Current Law Students / Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« on: April 28, 2009, 12:29:54 AM »
I'm a pretty average writer.  I would probably benefit from doing a journal.  I will not make law journal.  I will (probably) make Bankruptcy or International Journal.  I am not in moot court or mock trial and I have basically no great EC's.  Is it a really bad idea not to do Bankruptcy/International Journal?  Will non-biglaw firms and not-really-law-jobs care much?

And, is there any kind of EC that I really need to do?  (I don't have so little on my resume that we struggle to talk during interviews, but I don't have anything other than grades since law school started, basically)

Hi friends,

These past couple weeks have been dedicated to thinking of possible uses for my law degree that do not involve working for a large law firm.  This is basically on the advice of my Career Services office, which has encouraged us to consider non-firm jobs.  Also, see AboveTheLaw's sad article.

This section is dedicated to background and skills:
I am 22 (1L).  I go to a T20 law school.  I have good, but not great grades (and would be looking for a biglaw job as of 2 years ago, based on where I'm at).  I have a worthless Political Science degree from a crappy undergrad.  I have no real work experience (interned for USDOC; worked for a midlaw firm; filed taxes).  I don't have any great extracurriculars besides doing some athletic-type stuff.  I have a really clean record.  I am in really good shape.  I can act very sincere and interested.

I am willing to suck it up and not make real money for a couple years.

I basically want to do something that at least makes me very marketable 3-4 years after graduation (and gets pay raises during this time).  I can afford to start at 50k/y, but I would need legitimate pay increases during those 3-4 years, and after that time (or, maybe after a couple more years), I would like the opportunity to make legitimate money.  For example, I was thinking of trying to do a JAG program (which I might not even be selected for), then lateraling into a USAttorney position, then working for a senator, and then becoming a lobbyist and making millions of dollars.

Likes and Dislikes:
Federal government jobs would be fine.  So would private jobs.  Using my law degree would be nice (but not a deal-breaker).  I want challenging work that does not involve pushing paper.  I like economic-type stuff.  I like politics and (much more broadly) analyzing policies.  I like making business decisions, although I don't really like selling things or managing people.  Gathering intelligence seems cool, although I'm not really sure what that means (yet. (and I'm kinda kidding)).  I don't mind moving or doing a little traveling.  I don't mind intensely focusing on details, so long as there is depth to the details.  I don't mind physically active jobs if they give-way to a promising future.  I don't like not understanding how the "Steps" for Federal jobs work, however I do like great job-security and guaranteed, large pay raises without excess accountability.  I may or may not be able to trick the Business school into letting me go into a JD/MBA program.  Other likes:  reasonable work hours, doing important/cool stuff, and being in an environment that lets me "continue my education," whatever that means.  I don't like filling out surveys that start with "Do you like to work outdoors?" or "Do you imagine yourself in the corner of the room?"

So, there we go.  I have been spending the last 2 years expecting to work for a big firm.  That's not happening.  I have no idea what other jobs are out there, so this could be fun.  Also, I'm a currently unemployed 1L, so I have some time to get started.  Hit me!

(p.s. maybe we could make this into a group game!)

Current Law Students / JAG Questions
« on: April 18, 2009, 10:57:29 AM »
So, after spending far too much time posting on these boards before school started, I've managed to keep myself away for the most part.

Anyway, I have some questions regarding the specifics of the JAG programs for the various branches.  I've read through most of the sites, so I've got the general information, but the military always hides the specifics.

If anyone can answer these questions, that would be excellent.  I realize that the answers may differ significantly between the branches..
(I'm about to finish my 1L year, which may be relevant)

Edit:  After reading over this, my message seems more bratty than it should.  I realize that this is a chance to serve, and that is definitely one of the primary reasons I am interested in becoming a JAG.  I was a military brat, and I understand the risks involved in service, and I can accept them.  But, I'd like to get an understanding of what I can reasonably expect so I can decide if this is the right way for me to have a fulfilling career.  If things go south, I'll handle it, but I'd like to serve in a capacity that I'll enjoy.

(1) How much of a choice do you have about where you're stationed?  How often will you typically get moved around and for how long?  What are the primary bases for JAGs in each branch?

(2) Pay...  I realize there are various tax benefits and housing benefits that go along with base pay.  I also realize you start as an O-2 in the Army/Navy/Air Force, an O-3 in the Coast Guard, and an O-1 in the Marines.  Do you start with 0 years TIS?  Do you get any bonus for being a JAG? 

(3) What is the likelihood of being deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan?
If I am deployed, I realize we're not fighting WWII, and that not a lot of people die.  But, how much danger is a JAG/Marine Officer in over there relative to the other troops?  Given that I won't start until around Fall 2011, is it likely we'll still have a high demand for troops in combat zones?

(4) Is there anything I can do while in law school to increase my pay?  i.e. join the ROTC?  And what about the 2L Summer Internship program?  If I go through that, do I still start off as an O-2 w/o experience when I actually start?  Can I do anything during the school year?  Are there any Loan Repayment programs for a 4 year commitment?  10 years?
(I hate to be so fixated on this, but graduating with $100k in debt is kinda troubling)

(5) What are the "typical" hours like?  What portion is law work?  I realize that if you're deployed, then you are working 24/7.  If not, how often do you have "training exercises?"  What are the hours like in those?

(6)  Will I need to live in a barracks or anything like that on a regular basis?  Will my life be very controlled 24/7 at certain times?  (How often?)

(7) Selectivity ... What is the actual criteria?  What can I do to improve my chances of getting selected? 

So, yeah, that was a lot.  Feel free to pick and choose.  Thanks.

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