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Messages - linquest

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Job Search / Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« on: October 26, 2009, 12:12:22 AM »
LSDSL - Congrats on passing the bar!  Maybe I'll see you at swearing in on Nov. 5th?  Keep your chin up-- I believe actually having your law license in hand will help your job search.

Current Law Students / Re: To everyone taking the bar tomorrow…
« on: July 30, 2009, 06:55:34 PM »
Nothing personal, but I hope the pass rate in most states comes in betweeen 20 and 30% for the next 4 or 5 years. We need to cull the herd and give this legal market a chance to recover, so that the millions of unemployed lawyers we already have floating around can find some work.

thats ridiculous

what's ridiculous are that state bars keep admitting thousands of new members twice a year, when over half the graduates from the past two years' graduating classes, still haven't found any work. So, yes I do hope all of you and thousands of other test takers fail the bar. Its harsh, but the more of you there are, the less money I make. Its that simple.

Nothing personal, but perhaps your inability to get a job in over a year has more to do with yourself than your competition.  It could just be THAT simple.

Current Law Students / Re: To everyone taking the bar tomorrow…
« on: July 28, 2009, 08:21:27 PM »
I'm still a little shell-shocked from essays today.  Not what I expected.  I'm just thanking my lucky stars that my job gives me another try or two before they boot me, LOL.

Everyone remember to always mark "B" tomorrow ;)

Bar Exam Preparation / Re: Examsoft issue- speakers
« on: July 24, 2009, 07:24:02 PM »
IL was $100.  I've heard of other states charging between $50 to $150.

Bar Exam Preparation / Re: Examsoft issue- speakers
« on: July 23, 2009, 04:42:26 PM »
Just figured  it out.  Apparently, you just need to turn your speaker volume all the way up and then re-adjust before any sound comes out.  Odd bug.

Bar Exam Preparation / Examsoft issue- speakers
« on: July 23, 2009, 04:38:07 PM »
I downloaded the ExamSoft software and did a practice test on it.  Ever since then, my speakers and headphone jack don't put out audio.  I've tried adjusting my speaker settings, to no avail.  My headphones work fine on my MP3 player, so I know it's not they're not broken.  Anyone else dealt with this?

This thread seriously has me about to cry.  I made top 20% and a secondary journal at at T25 and instead of feeling like celebrating my 1L successes, I have never felt like more of a failure in my life.  And Matthies, I understand the importance of networking, and obviously you and your friends have been successful.  But for anyone interested in public interest or government, I don't think that's going to help much.  It might give you a tiny leg up over a similar candidate but it's not like going on a bunch of lunches and informational interviews with people is going to get them to overturn hiring freezes just for me, especially when ITE they could probably get themselves an HLS grad if they did need anyone.  I know that if I were making hiring decisions, I'd probably hire the kid from the higher-ranked school even over someone I know well.

Hey, I have NO grades, NO class rank, NO law journal, and NO moot court experience.  I was hired for a PI job (fed gov't) over some friends from traditional law schools ranked 30-50 spots higher than mine.  What I did have was a shitload of contacts and experience in my legal specialty-both before and during law school-that showed commitment to the field and the agency that I'm going to be working for.  My entire interview was about my work experience and my thoughts on the agency's role--it helped that I'd interned with the agency in undergrad even though that was 8 years ago.  The only question that came up about school was whether or not I'd taken a trial skills course.  Fortunately, not everyone with hiring authority has the same viewpoint as you do.  There are other ways to stand out than just the numbers.

Please, any advice would be great. I have no idea what to do right now. I mean, I'm really good at actual law ... I received an A on my appellate brief, and in my internship I keep getting compliments on my briefs and research. But still, grades are everything in this career.

Actually, if you want to do PI, grades AREN'T everything.  PI employers tend to focus less on grades.  Considering the lower pay, many tend to look more for evidence of commitment to the field/cause, so they have better assurance you won't jump ship for that BigLaw job.  Practical experience can make up for a lot as well. 

Law school exams aren't much like the actual practice of law.  If you perform well and enjoy your work on your internships, that may be much more indicative of your ability in the profession than how you perform on some artificial, 3-4 hour, closed book test.  And yes, you can definitely bring up your grades over the next 2 years, especially since you'll be able to choose most of your classes from then on, pick what's interesting to you and you'll likely do better.

Ditto everything else big - fat - box said.

Exempt status is determined by federal law, FLSA, not state law.  I'd imagine they're claiming you under the "trainee" exemption to avoid overtime, but that is a case-by-case evaluation, there is no simple bright line test of "intern" (or law clerk) vs. "employee" entitled to overtime.  For the white collar exemption, there is a minimum salary test that you must make not less than $455 per week. 

I was paid overtime for the legal internships where I was paid hourly, but I know it's common for interns to not be paid OT or even minimum wage.  It sucks, but I think ToTransferOrNot has a good point....

Job Search / Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« on: June 30, 2009, 04:55:58 PM »
Don't feel too bad.  There are tons of people in your situation, especially this year now that legal industry is in a tanker.  Right now, it doesn't help that so many law firms have been laying people off, so there are a lot of attorneys that have already been practicing that you are now competing against.  Beyond the firms (mostly Biglaw firms that are now in trouble) and government agencies (many now in hiring freezes) that hire well in advance, most legal employers prefer to interview people who have already passed the bar so they can start working right away.  I also have a friend who just got a job offer last week, so there's hope that you can interview and get a job while you're studying for the bar.

I know from personal experience that Chicago is a tough market to break into if you don't have connections.  At least you are from IL, so that will help show that you're not here on a whim besides the fact that you're taking the bar here.  Where did you do your legal internships?  Is there a particular type of law or practice setting that you are particularly interested in?  I might be able to give you some networking tips based on that. 

Have you already checked for alumni from your school in Chicago?  I know you went to school on the West Coast, but it's entirely possible that there are some out here (that's how I networked from my East Coast school).  Also, check out Kimm Walton's "Guerrilla Tactics: For Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams", great book on job hunting.

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