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Messages - legalese_retard

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11
So, you're saying you think the JD detracts from your resume for non-legal positions?  That's interesting.

I think it does if you're applying for jobs that are really beneath your education level, like McDonalds "crew" or something. Otherwise, I've always failed to see how it would weaken an application for any sort of exec level job, even mid-management somewhere.

Did you read the thread?  It's not that it detracts so much as they think you'll leave them once a legal position opens.  No employer wants an employee who'll leave the minute the economy gets better.

i believe it's supposed to hurt even for some legal positions.  lots of paralegal openings supposedly say explicitly that they don't want JD's.

Ah yes, I have seen the paralegal ads that say, in no uncertain terms, no JDs.

I can see the logic of a place being worried that you'll bail from a non-legal job to a legal job if given the chance, but is that really as big of a concern if you're in a job that already gives you lots of authority and pays well? Like say your dean of anything at some third rate school that still pays you well and gives you a generally good QoL, or mid-level management somewhere making $50-60k without doing a ton of overtime, do you (anyone) think places like that would be as worried about a JD jumping ship? I really don't know, but I am curious what everyone else thinks.

I have been applying at non-legal jobs in the interm as well: in private equity, landman, title insurance, and in investment banks. I was applying to places like JPMorgan, Smith Barney, and Merril Lynch before the Bear Sterns meltdown. While those firms like to hire a few JDs, I think they realized that they couldn't afford new hires, just like the bigger law firms. Plus, I have a limited financial background...so I bombed the private equity firm interview when I couldn't answer questions on what P-E ratio I think is optimal for investment in a hedge fund and how to help develop the proper portfolio mix for an employer retirement fund when the client prefers a volitality fluctation of X% (the guy they eventually hired was a Wharton MBA Grad who lateraled from a larger PE firm).

In addition to thinking that you will leave their company as soon as you get a better law job, I've heard that non-law employers just don't like hiring lawyers. Whether it is an inferiority complex or that they think an employer with a JD will be more argumentative and confrontation, lots of managers don't like working over a person with a JD. I have a friend who works at a marketing firm and he said he was very paranoid when he found out a new co-worker had a JD. He said he felt that the guy was going to analyze everything he did even though my friend is more senior than him. I guess to each his own, but that has been my experiences in the non-legal world.   

12

poo.  I'm sorry to hear about the firm.  Have you been applying to non-firm employers, as well?  I'm sure you already know of this site, but just in case: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobs/job.html.  I've seen quite a few advertised attorney positions on there.  The TX Attorney General's Office regularly hires new attorneys.  I've heard the work is not always that interesting in some of the non-litigation departments, and the pay isn't great, but it's a start.

As far as I know, most counties in Texas have an appointment system for indigent criminal defendants.  Is that an option?

Is going solo an option (doing the virtual office / advertising thing)?

Thanks for the heads up on the state job, but competition is fierce even for those jobs. Plus, the State has a bias for in-state law students, especially people from the lower ranked Texas law schools who have a tougher time looking for a job. I did submit my applications for a couple of positions on there, but haven't heard a peep.

As far as being a solo or utilizing the solo option, I'm going to have to take a pass on that. Malpractice insurance alone prohibits me from even opening up a shop even if I wanted to (plus I'm sure I maxed out the amount of money a lender would be willing to give me on top of my law school loans). Another PR fact, over 70% of the lawyers who are suspended or disbarred are solos. Usually for failing to communicate effectively with clients or misapplication of client escrow accounts. Finally, of all the subjects I dealt with in law school, criminal law was my least favorite. I just don't feel comfortable representing a client straight out of law school who is facing jail time if I don't represent them effectively. Again, another quick way to lose my license before I even start utilizing it. 

13
I've actually thought about leaving off the JD from my resume, but my PR professor strongly suggested that I shouldn't do this because it walks a fine ethical line. According to the prof, failing to mention the fact that I am a licensed attorney is tantamout to misrepresenting the fact that I am not a lawyer. I doubt I could lose my license for failing to put this on my resume, but I don't want to tempt the Texas Bar Association and I don't want to be the case study for future PR classess.
 

Lol @ the bolded.  But really, that's interesting about the ethics aspect.  I'd wonder if you can contact the Bar and get their advice about the resume thing.


That's actually Chapter 2 of your PR book, "Getting an advisory opinion from the State Bar Association is not a defense." I forgot the example, but one lawyer received an advisory ruling that he can disclose the location of victim's body after his client died. Later, his license was suspended because he breached the attorney-client privilege that was not relinquished after death. Of course the Restatement says something completely different, but that is besides the point.

14
Why are you applying to lit and bankruptcy boutiques.  With a JD from Tulane, average grades, and a "marketable" resume (i.e. not strong), you probably wouldn't have a shot at these boutiques even in a good market.  Why not apply to ID/PI firms?

What's ID?

I think it stands for insurance defense.

Correct

ID = Insurance Defense
PI = Personal Injury/Plaintiffs firm

15
Have you looked into short-term contract/temp attorney jobs?

What did you do 2L summer? (general.. or ignoring this Q is fine).

What cities/locations are you looking at?  Which bar did you pass?

When applying to non-lawyer jobs, you might consider leaving the JD off and removing all (or just some) of the dates that you graduated undergrad and worked other jobs.  I've heard leaving off the JD can be more productive, but then there are typically large date gaps.  You might overcome those gaps by just simply leaving off dates to get an interview (at which point, if they like you, hopefully they won't care that you either 1) didn't include dates, or 2) if the topic comes up, that you graduated law school).

I passed the Texas bar, so I am looking in the Houston/Dallas/San Antonio markets. I have been looking for contract positions, but they are not as prevelant in Texas as they are in places like NYC, DC and Chicago. My 2L year I was a summer associate at a large firm in Texas, but I was "laid off" a month after I graduated and was prepping for the February Bar. My qualifications made me competitive at several reputable firms in Texas. I just got shafted by the firm I committed to and positions at other firms were filled by the time I could start looking for a new job.

I've actually thought about leaving off the JD from my resume, but my PR professor strongly suggested that I shouldn't do this because it walks a fine ethical line. According to the prof, failing to mention the fact that I am a licensed attorney is tantamout to misrepresenting the fact that I am not a lawyer. I doubt I could lose my license for failing to put this on my resume, but I don't want to tempt the Texas Bar Association and I don't want to be the case study for future PR classess.  

16
Haven't posted on here in a while, but someone emailed me and wanted an update. I graduated last December and I still don't have a legal job. I have been working at Starbucks and work at a free legal clinic part-time, but the job prospects keep getting weaker and weaker. I graduated from a good law school, with decent grades, and have a marketable resume (according to my school's OCS), but I never anticipated how long it would take me to find a job in a bad economy.

Basically, this is just a friendly reminder for you future lawyers that there is no sure thing after law school (even if you go to a top tier school). Make sure you are prepared to be unemployed for over a year after you graduate. If you can't afford that risk, I recommend going to a school that gives a really good scholarship or wait and save some money before you attend.   

It's not just lawyers. My GF has had a tough time trying to find a job after graduating in Dec. with her Masters, the best my roommate has been able to do with his Bachelors is find temporary warehouse work and most of my friends live in sheer terror of the rounds of layoffs that have been happening at their employers. Summary = It sucks to be looking for a job no matter who you are right now.

True, but a lot of people go into the law thinking it is recession proof and that people will always need lawyers. I have been applying to bankruptcy and litigation boutique firms, but they aren't hiring either (even though they probably need the help). Until the economy hits rock bottom, I think there is going to be a hiring freeze. Also, I have noticed that sometimes having the JD hurts a little. I've tried applying to non-legal jobs and utilizing my undergraduate degree, but those places see a JD and assume that I would only use them as a stepping stone until the economy got better (rightfully so). 

18
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / 1 year since graduation = still no job
« on: December 10, 2008, 11:26:29 AM »
Haven't posted on here in a while, but someone emailed me and wanted an update. I graduated last December and I still don't have a legal job. I have been working at Starbucks and work at a free legal clinic part-time, but the job prospects keep getting weaker and weaker. I graduated from a good law school, with decent grades, and have a marketable resume (according to my school's OCS), but I never anticipated how long it would take me to find a job in a bad economy.

Basically, this is just a friendly reminder for you future lawyers that there is no sure thing after law school (even if you go to a top tier school). Make sure you are prepared to be unemployed for over a year after you graduate. If you can't afford that risk, I recommend going to a school that gives a really good scholarship or wait and save some money before you attend.   

19
Denials / Re: University of Houston
« on: October 31, 2008, 10:56:30 AM »
I know I will get flamed for saying this, but I don't think you should go to law school if you don't get a scholarship from a school like Texas Tech, STCL, or St. Mary's. I graduated from Tulane with honors in Jan. and already passed the Texas bar and I am still looking for a job. Hopefully the economy will be getting better in three years from now, but I wouldn't risk it. If you are not in it for the money or are OK with a $40K/year salary and loan payments of up to $2K/month, then by all means go for law school. Just consider the worst case scenario BEFORE taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans.

I think Texas Tech is fine as long as he pays instate tuition and there is no way he is going to pay $2K/month on student loan going to a instate school paying instate tuition unless the price tag is similiar to a private school such as schools as UVA or Michigan. 

So, have you found a job yet?  Tulane with Honors.  How can you not find a job? 

The job market in Dallas is really tough (as is everywhere else). Plus I am competing with quality SMU and UT grads who still don't have jobs yet.

20
Where should I go next fall? / Re: 50% of Law Student Grads
« on: August 07, 2008, 06:02:21 PM »
Well I graduated from Tulane in the top third of my class, with honors, on a secondary journal, published, already passed the bar, and have still been struggling to find a job. If you live in a larger city, most graduates who can't find a job will either do contract work or have to "settle" with an insurance defense firm or a personal injury firm. I put settle in quotes because these are the lucky ones in today's economy. Most people are put in limbo by working at firms who are doling out little to no contract work.

Those who decide to move to smaller towns usually work for a solo practioner or a really small law firm. Basically these people are treated like apprentices and get paid less than the paralegals and secretaries. While going solo is also an option, most folks can't go down this route because malpractice insurance is way too expensive and the credit crunch is making it harder for people to get business loans. Solos have a lot of startup costs (rent, staff, Lexis/Westlaw subscription if they can afford it) and no book of business to start off with.

Given the economic woes which are expected to last for years according to folks like Greenspan and the talking heads on any news show, several law grads are being forced to look for non-legal jobs (like teaching, bartending, or waitstaff).

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