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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 27, 2016, 01:48:54 PM »
On the other hand, it is so difficult to get in, and the overall level (of instruction and peer level) is so high, that there are students that are average at a T14 that would have finished at the top of a T4 school.

To me that's the real issue. Is the overall quality of T14 students so high that an average-ranked T14 grad is essentially equivalent (or even superior) to a T4 valedictorian?

For example, I didn't attend Harvard so I have no idea what is required to earn a C in torts at HLS. But, is getting an A in torts at the University of New Mexico going to require a degree of intellectual firepower, discipline, and writing ability that would only get you a C at HLS? I understand that the pool of peers to which the Harvard student is being compared is of a very, very high caliber. But again, is it really that difficult to get Cs at HLS?

I really don't know, but I sort of doubt it. I have a suspicion that the student who consistently gets As at New Mexico is probably a harder worker and has more self discipline.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 27, 2016, 01:34:29 PM »
Yes, I would agree that the Valedictorian vs. T14 scenario is not common. I mean, there are only so many valedictorians in the world, right?

But depending on where you work, similar matchups are not that uncommon. In large markets like LA it's not unusual for Biglaw and federal offices to get average ranked T14 applicants who are simply trying to trade on the name versus top 10% from say, Loyola or Pepperdine. 

General Off-Topic Board / Who would you hire?
« on: January 26, 2016, 06:03:14 PM »
Had lunch with a group of attorneys today, and this hypothetical came up (as it has before).

Lets say you were in charge of hiring a new associate. Who would you be more inclined to interview: a T14 grad ranked in the middle of the pack, or a T3-T4 valedictorian?

Our group was pretty academically diverse. We had T14 grads, T4 grads, and everything in between. Interestingly, the T4 grads seemed more likely to hire the T14 grad and the T14 guys were like "No way, take the higher ranked grad!".

One guy (a T14 grad) summed it up like this (I'm paraphrasing): the average T14 student and the T4 valedictorian are probably more or less intellectually equivalent. The difference is that the valedictorian works harder, and will probably be a more productive employee.   

I realize that there are many variables, but I think I agree with his assessment. It's far more competitive to get into a top school, but once you're there is it really that much more difficult to get average passing grades?

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: January 22, 2016, 12:16:26 PM »
Call me old fashioned here...............but "Better Dead Than Red" Mr. Sanders (all I am willing to say on the matter)

I don't necessarily disagree with Sanders on certain issues, and I don't think he's "red". For example, I think it's absurd that the richest country in the world doesn't have a comprehensive public healthcare system. We have a patchwork of policies and agencies that sort of form a national healthcare system. Seems silly.

But he is very much like modern European democratic socialists, which is fine as long as you're realistic about the costs and limitations.

The countries which have successfully adopted this model tend to be very small (5-20 million) and have very high taxes. I don't know if people like Sanders have ever really considered the implications of trying to establish such a system in a diverse nation of 350 million. To my knowledge, it has never happened.

Another point that I think American socialists don't realize is this:

The European welfare state system did not create the high standard of living that many enjoy, so much as it preserved what was already in place.

For example, Sweden already had a very high standard of living and a highly educated, mostly middle class, populace by the time the welfare state really kicked in (1960s and 70s). That's not the case in America. We have poverty and socio-economic disparity totally unlike anything Scandinavia can imagine. People like Sanders are expecting an American welfare state to fix that, but I'm not sure how realistic it is.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: January 21, 2016, 05:42:39 PM »
Yeah, I more or less agree. Sanders is an honest guy, and his heart is definitely in the right place. But as you say it's not very realistic at this point.

For example, I constantly see people posting stuff on social media about the awesomeness of the democratic socialist EU countries (Finland, Ireland, Denmark, etc). "In Denmark the minimum wage is $20 an hour and universities are free!" Well, I actually know something about these countries (I'm a dual citizen with one), and here's the point the memes always omit: the average joe in those countries pays 50% in taxes.

Not millionaires, not CEOs with yachts, but average people. Bernie says he can do it by just taxing the rich, but I don't buy it. Sweden wasn't able to sustain the welfare state by only taxing ABBA, and neither will we. Sooner or later, the kinds of programs that Bernie wants will require the average middle class American to pay much higher taxes. And at that point, he will be the most unpopular man in America.

Also, they have rather draconian immigration policies which are designed to limit the number of people who can access the welfare state. Try emigrating to Norway sometime and let me know how it goes. I assume this is not something Bernie is interested in emulating.

Job Search / Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« on: January 21, 2016, 02:05:35 PM »
Yea I'm not at Berkeley or Stanford. (Wish I was). I'm at UC Hastings. So certainly not a Berkeley or Stanford but better than a GGU?

Hastings is a solid, well established school with a good reputation throughout California (and my better half's alma mater to boot!). That will certainly not hurt you.

Incidentally, I have nothing against GGU either. I've met GGU grads who were great attorneys and cool people, and I've met T14 grads who were clueless douchebags. Just depends.

Do you know of any looking to hire or recommend any firms that you would recommend I reach out to?

No, I don't. I think Citylaw offered a great opportunity with the basketball league. Seriously, stuff like that is a great way to meet people and to make connections. Look for similar stuff in the Eastbay.

For the resume drops, would you recommend calling them first? Or just showing up and dropping off a resume? Like will the receptionist actually pass the resume on? And do people still print on the nicer paper for resume or is that viewed as pompous these days?

Try to get a feel for the firm, some are more formal and some are more casual. Personally, I think it's OK to just drop it off. If it's a small office you may get a few minutes with a partner, maybe not.

If the receptionist says "Alright, thanks" and shows you the door, don't push it. Be polite and professional, dress nice. At larger firms it's unlikely you'll get past the receptionist. If you want to call first that's fine, but understand that they will probably just tell you to mail it in. Others here may have a different opinion, this is just my personal view.

I've been meaning to ask about legal experience. Does it need to be relevant? Like if I take a position at a family law firm for example, but let's say I want to do corporate or business law in the long run and be in-house down the road. Will it look odd on the resume? Will it box me into family law or whatever area of law I intern for?

The answer is a qualified "no", BUT...

You will obviously be far more likely to get hired at a job if you have specific experience in that field.

If your first job is in family law, are you barred from ever working in corporate? No, I'm sure that some people make that leap, but why would they hire you when they have experienced applicants to choose from? It's not impossible, it's just harder. 

The other aspect is this: as you gain experience in a particular field, you will naturally gravitate towards jobs that need those skills. It's just easier. You already know the law and procedural stuff. If you do family law for a few years and want to make the jump to corporate, you're going to have to learn corporate law somehow.

I do people who have made the jump from stuff like family law to government positions (county counsel, city attorney, etc), but that's different. Even then there were similarities. Like they went from family law into setting up trusts on behalf of the state. Still somewhat related. 

If you can get into a firm that does general business litigation, contract disputes, that sort of thing, that can be a little more generally marketable. Stuff like family law, criminal law, juvenile law etc is more specific.

Again, just my opinion. Others here may have a different view.

Job Search / Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« on: January 21, 2016, 01:32:17 PM »
Unpopular thought but one I stand by, just take classes over the summer and get done faster

Yeah, maybe if you started taking summer classes after 1L, but at this point as a 2L is that really going to speed up graduation? You're probably only going to be able to take what, two or three classes? I don't think it would enough to get you out a semester early.

Second issue is this: you graduate early with no experience at all. Now what? Study for the bar and start becoming a "volunteer attorney" to get some experience? No thanks.   

Job Search / Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« on: January 20, 2016, 10:09:45 AM »
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.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: January 20, 2016, 09:43:10 AM »
Will the democrats push Biden into the race and/or will there be a brokered convention?  Uncle al?? Anyone?

No, at this point Clinton is almost guaranteed the nomination. Sanders can win Iowa and New Hampshire, but that appears to be it. Clinton has a very commanding lead in just about every other primary. She will easily get enough delegates.

There is no push for Biden, certainly not for Gore. A brokered convention? Why? If Clinton has enough delegates, and the DNC wants her anyway, why would there be a brokered convention?

As far as orange jumpsuits, I'll believe it when I see it. We've heard this about Clinton a hundred times before. Some looming scandal is going to take her down. Never happens. Remember how the Benghazi hearings were supposed to be some kind of bombshell? Nobody cared. The House Republicans care about this stuff way more than the general public does.

The question isn't whether Sanders can get the nomination, the question is whether Clinton can win nationally.

Clinton v Trump/Cruz, I think she strolls to the White House no problem. Clinton v Rubio, however, and I think she gets nervous.

This is the irony about this race. Despite the huge electoral vote advantage she has going into the race Clinton is a vulnerable candidate, especially in swing states. The Republicans may very well hand her the keys to the WH simply because they can't seem to nominate a reasonable candidate. Amazing what has happened to that party.

Job Search / Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« on: January 19, 2016, 09:28:00 AM »
First off, congratulations. Anything above 3.0 in law school is a respectable GPA.

Second, if you can provide a little background like where you are located, if you're willing to move, whether you have a minimum salary requirement, etc., then it's easier to answer your questions.

But generally, I think OCI is a mediocre (at best) option for most students. Unless you're an academic superstar you probably won't get hired from OCI. This means you've got to pound the pavement and hustle.

You mentioned that you have family finances, so I assume you have (or have had) a job before. Getting a legal job is not too drastically different from getting into any other competitive line of work. Sending out a million resumes to every open position will not be very useful. You need to make connections and utilize any connections you already have. If you have any specific marketable experience (whether from your previous job or during law school) try to match it up with a legal job.

You mentioned in-house and sports management positions, but you need to very flexible. In this market the ability to wear many hats and to be adaptable is key. 

Paid positions are going to be pretty tough to get at this point, but if you can afford to accept an unpaid position at a firm or government office I'd do it. The DA, PD, City Attorney and a multitude of state and federal agencies have unpaid interns. Even these are somewhat competitive, but it's imperative that you get some experience before graduation. Even if it's not a field that you're interested in or an office you'd never want to work at, you need something on your resume.

As far as another degree, I wouldn't even worry about that now. More debt, more time out of the job market, and I'm not even sure it would be all that useful. To land a job in law or sports management you need experience. If you have the experience then an MBA won't matter. If you don't have the experience then an MBA still won't matter.

Focus right now on finding a legal position, then focus on passing the bar, then focus on getting a job. 

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