To Maintain FL 350 -
Thanks! I sure wish the employers respected my GPA too..
So to share a little about my background, I'm located in the Bay Area (San Francisco Bay Area - so think anywhere from Concord to Oakland to SF to Palo Alto) I'm willing to move within California but ideally stay in the Bay Area as I have a house here. Honestly at this point, salary requirement is up in the air. I really want a job that would put me near 80-90 K (yes I realize I might be daring to dream). In a perfect world, 100,000 (highly unlikely I realize). But realistically 60-70k to start would be nice? Too much to ask?
Alright, that does help. I'm in LA but I'm familiar with the Bay Area market. I lived there for a few years and my wife went to law school and worked in SF.
As you know, it is a very popular place to live and there is a lot of competition. Also, having a 3.0 from Berkeley provides different opportunities than a 3.0 from GGU. So it depends.
I would recommend looking at government offices throughout the region (Contra Costa, Alameda, even Sonoma/Rohnert Park/San Jose if you can do the commute). Also, assuming that you're not at Berkeley/Stanford, look at small and midsized firms in the suburbs. There are lots of small firms in Walnut Creek, Oakland etc. Be prepared for unpaid positions.
If you don't have a connection to the firm/office, I recommend dropping off your resume in person. Some people advise against this but I can tell you as someone who has sifted through the literally hundreds of resumes that pour into an office, being able to put a face with a name helps. Be polite, don't overstay your welcome, but introduce yourself and let them know how interested you are in what they do. You may only get to speak with the receptionist, but it's better than a blind resume drop.
$60-70,000 in the Bay Area is not unrealistic, but you're not going to get it without some marketable experience. It is IMPERATIVE that you get some legal experience under your belt. If that means an unpaid internship, take it. If it means helping draft MSJs in boring divorce cases, take it.
How to make connections? The fact is, some people are better at this than others. Incidentally, this is why I think most law students would benefit from a couple years of work experience before law school.
Here's an example. When I was in law school I took a class taught by an adjunct prof who was practiced a type of law that I was interested in. I did well in his class, was always prepared, and one day mentioned that I wanted to do what he did, and did he have any advice? He mentioned that his office had internships and that I should apply. Surprise surprise, I got the internship. I was not a top student (although I did well), and I was competing against people from much higher ranked schools. I got the internship because of the connection. Hopefully that helps.