Law School Discussion

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - joshuach

Pages: [1]
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!

Pages: [1]