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Messages - smujd2007

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If you are a disciplined person, then self study should be okay. I did barbri and pmbr, but they are not magic wands.  What ensured my passing score was my structured review on my own.  Just taking the classes is not enough.  If you are willing to put in 8-10 hours/day in the 2 months before the exam, and 12-14 hours a day during the 2 weeks before the exam, and you have the discipline to create a schedule for yourself and stick to it, then go for it.  If not, get yourself into barbri and pmbr ASAP.

Job Search / Re: Out of my League to handle
« on: March 20, 2008, 03:35:48 PM »
If your interview is not over, you need to think positive and focus on your assets.  Sounds like your work history is one of them.  Don't waste your time whining about not being in the top third of your class.  The way you make it sound, you are probably in the top half.  That being said, you do have a shot. Lots of firms hire from the top 1/2 after 1L OCI.   

Firms do waste money on screening interviews, a lot of times just to be like==I interviewed such and such number of people for this job. So, I wouldn't exactly agree with the notion that firms only interview people they are "serious" about.  If its an interview at the firm, with lunch--they are thinking seriously about you.  If its just an interview and they don't tell you what type (or won't tell you what type), then more likely than not, its a screening interview.  Always try to find out what type of interview you are doing--that's a hint as to how you should prepare.

Job Search / Re: Writing Sample length
« on: March 20, 2008, 03:28:18 PM »
I would stick to the ten page rule.  Ask your career services office, though, if you think they might be the least bit helpful.  Though, I can't imagine how something 17 pages long doesn't have a natural breaking point to cut it down to 10 for a writing sample.  If you want an outsider to look at it and see if there's a place to break, PM me.

Transferring / Re: Dean's Letter of Good Standing
« on: March 17, 2008, 04:07:21 PM »
This is normally something you get from your school that you have to send to each school individually. You can get it sealed from the school or they can send it out. 

Also, to answer your question, my school (SMU Law) offers nothing to aid those starting their own practice right out of law school--unfortunately.  In fact, I would say that this is discouraged.  The closest that people at my school come to doing this is piggybacking on a family member that is already a lawyer and sharing resources and knowledge that way.  That's cool if you are fortunate enough to have a lawyer in the family, but I am the first.


Thank you for the invaluable information on this thread!

I was considering starting up on my own after having very little success in the job search.

I recently took a position with a nonprofit and I am very excited about that.

I still want to start up a law practice at some point in my life, just not right now.  Even though you can just "take on more debt,"--I am actually in the low range for law school debt, under 50K, cost is a major factor for me.  And I want to have at least 1 child before I am 30 (I'll be 26 next month), so I am still toying with that thought in the back of my mind--I want to make sure I do it at the right time.  Any thoughts on having a solo practice and being a mom? Thanks. 

I plan to take a look at your blog soon.  Thanks!

Current Law Students / Re: Starting Over After 1L? At Worthless T3
« on: March 16, 2008, 01:49:20 PM »
I thought you were out of school the way tou are stressing about the job situation.

I know lots of people who didn't work their first summer (at the school that I went to and at a local, lower ranked school) and had job offers when they got out.  The second summer is by far a lot more important.

That being said, I would say seriously think about transferring. Since you have such high grades, that should be a serious thought.  And bar passage rates are serious.  The last think you want after paying a ton of money for law school is not to be able to take the bar exam.

Relax a little, though.  I would focus on transferring--especially if there are some top tier schools in your state that wouldn't require a lot of adjustment.  Good luck.   

Current Law Students / Re: Courses to take in preparation of bar exam
« on: March 16, 2008, 01:39:25 PM »
You should check with your state board of bar admissions to see what topics are covered on the bar and in what percentages. 

If you want to get started reviewing now, I would start listening to the PMBR audio CDs in the car (on the subway, however you travel).  That helps to dig the cobwebs out of your brain since most of the stuff on the MBE was covered during your first year of law school. 

In Texas, procedure and evidence was a big deal, so I took a procedure class my last year.  Also, I took wills and trusts, because that is a big essay topic.  So, in terms of classes, take what you can that is covered on the bar in your state.

If your state tests commercial paper on the bar exam, I STRONGLY suggest that you take that class.  You can teach yourself secured transactions, but commercial paper is a little abstract and requires some extra thought. 

That being said, I would still recommend barbri and pmbr ( I would say both the 6 day and 3 day.).  They are costly, but go to the barbri lectures, take notes --use handouts, review them carefully after class, and write practice exam questions.  PMBR really throws you some crazy MBE questions that really make you study the nuances of the law. Whatever study plan you choose, you have to stick with it and be disciplined.  Almost any type of study regimen where you review all of the law to be covered at least 2 or 3 times before the exam can help and lead to a passing score, as long as you are serious about it and stick to it. Most people do barbri and PMBR to "force discipline" on themselves, and it works, most of the time.   

Bar Exam Preparation / Re: Working during Bar Study
« on: March 14, 2008, 10:00:47 PM »
Obviously, you have not been to law school yet--or you are a 1L or something. You have no idea how competitive this profession is. You are naive, and to some degree, I feel sorry for you.

I have not been sending out  "random resumes."  In fact, probably what you would consider to be a "random resume" actually landed me a job offer recently.

Many of my classmates are in the same boat.  If you are not in the top half of the class at any school that's not top 20, this is what you face.  Statistics are not on your side. 

I worked halfway through law school--going to school full time, and sometimes even working 2 part time jobs.  I worked for a judge, and at a couple of law offices, and I clerked at a large city attorney's office. I did everything everyone says you should do that was within reach.  Sure, my grades weren't great, but there were people with worse grades than me. The bottom line, is like I said: no full time experience= problems finding a job in ANY field.

By the way, while you are interrogating me when this isn't even your thread, what are you bringing to the table other than attacking the fact that it took me awhile to find a full time job? What do you have to contribute? Where are you in this process?

Bar Exam Preparation / Re: Working during Bar Study
« on: March 14, 2008, 06:50:21 AM »
I have friends who have JD/MBA combos who get snapped up when they finish. Maybe its the combo, not the MBA itself. 

Anyhow, I am not being picky. Pretty much from January -May and again from September -now, I put in applications EVERYWHERE.  Large firms (even though I knew that was a stretch with my grades), small firms, medium sized firms, government--and, to correct you, I am actually interested in family law.  I would take a family law job before anything, because that is where my interests lie. 

Dallas is flooded not only with SMU grads, but grads of all other Texas law schools, including UT. 

I would still have to disagree with you on the MBA/JD, at least in Dallas.  An MBA in DFW is like gold.  There are so many companies headquartered here. Law jobs in Dallas are hard to come by unless you have years of experience in a particular area.  No experience + flooded market + bad economy = long job search. 

And unemployment and underemployment (or no employment in the legal field) are two totally different things. If you take a job that pays ok, that has nothing to do with law, if you went to law school for the right reasons, there will still be a longing to practice law.  Job dissatisfaction abounds. I know people who have jobs, but hate them because they are not legal jobs.  But you have to do what you have to do to survive.

I'm not answering this question because I have answered it before.  See my prior posts.  The end. 

A law degree is not a ticket to a permanent job.  If you want a ticket to a permanent job, go get an MBA and learn Spanish. Or, get a Masters in Education. 

I apologize if I offended you. It's just surprising that a top tier (or at least near top tier) school graduate AND the only law school's graduate in a big city such as Dallas would have probem finding employment. 

May I ask if you're somewhat picky.....such as you're avoiding say, family law or certain type of law?

I think the unemployment rate among MBAs or at least beginner MBAs is much higher than JDs. 

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