« on: January 23, 2011, 10:17:41 PM »
How's the Texas legal market looking right now? How well is SMU placing students in legal jobs?
The Texas legal market seems to be fairing better than other markets, but I personally have experienced issues. Like I said earlier, I went to law school to do patent work. I have had few interviews but have not gotten an internship. I thought I was the ideal candidate for these jobs because in the job posting they say that top 30% and BS in electrical engineering is preferred. I have not met one other electrical engineer in both of the law schools I have attended. I am also in the top 15-20% so you would think that I would be the ideal candidate. But the last interview I had was telling. I straight up asked them, how many interns do you plan on hiring? They candidly responded that they were still trying to decide if they were going to have an internship this year. Which is consistent with my theory. All law firms that usually do OCI dont want to tarnish their reputation by not participating in a sagging economy. So they just interview students at OCI and make 0 offers or substantially less offers than usual. So, the Dallas legal market is hurting a bit, but I think that the most hard hit are the larger firms that do corporate work. "people law" is not hurting that much. There will always be criminals, who have family that will sell their home to pay the lawyer, and there will always be injuries in accidents which the lawyers take on contingency. Transactional work is the hardest hit in a down economy. When commerce stagnates or declines, then there are less transactions. But litigation seems to not hurt as much because people will sue on their patents or contract or anything else to get money where they wouldn't normally get money. Its an avenue that people start to explore when normally they would not sue.
So to sum up everything, yes the Dallas legal market has been hurting but most legal markets are as well. Transactional work the worst, with litigation taking a hit as well but still going. We shall see where the economy takes us. One thing about Dallas though is we have a low cost of living. So the money you make goes a little further than CA or NY. Plus you get the benefit of the large population DFW = 5mill Houston = 5mill. etc.
As far as SMU's placement of students... I personally have not been placed in a job. But I do get emails from Career Services every once in a while, and they do ask for you to tell them if you currently have a job or not etc. But what they do with this information I have no idea. Ever since I told them that I had a job, I have stopped receiving emails from them lol. I used to get emails saying which jobs have been posted lately on symplicity. When I told them I was looking for a job, nothing really changed. If you want something out of career services you will have to seek them out and take advantage of what they have to offer like resume editing, and general recommendations etc. In a perfect world the career services department would be like a head hunter calling around for you trying to place you somewhere. But this is not the reality of most career services departments. SMU is not harvard or yale. The top schools career services probably would fair better with placing students. SMU on the other hand will only be able to place easily in a job those students in the top of the class. The others it would be really hard to do, and take a lot of work on the part of the career services employee. So take it for what its worth and go out and do your own thing. Take advantage of what they have to offer and dont just sit around hoping they find something for you. Dont be a job snob and apply to places you feel are beneath you and you will be fine. Sometimes these jobs end up being the job you always wanted anyway.