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Messages - linquest

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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....

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.

OP- I emailed you some suggestions.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Suffolk a tier 4?
« on: June 20, 2009, 11:36:23 PM »
I went to law school in Boston.  How the hell Suffolk dropped below NESL leaves me scratching my head, considering that Suffolk's alumni network is so much more extensive numbers-wise and in the variety of practice settings they have a lot of grads in.

EricN- If you're open to practicing in the Midwest, definitely go to IUB.  If you were deadset on practicing nowhere other than Boston, you might be okay with going to Suffolk considering the higher scholarship.  However, IUB will give you more options as far as where you might be able to get a job after graduation.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Capital or Toledo
« on: June 20, 2009, 11:17:32 PM »
How much more is a Toledo degree respected than a Capital law degree? 

Would you ever want to practice out of state?  I've met Toledo grads working in IL and DC, but have yet to meet someone from Capital.  Not that that's evidence of much, just thought I'd throw it out there.

I don't think there's any way you could go wrong with going to the school that's in an entirely higher tier and that's also substantially cheaper.  Definitely agree with big - fat - box on Point 2.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: SLU Or WashU?
« on: June 19, 2009, 07:11:46 PM »
I would take SLU unless the scholarship had a high class rank requirement like top 25% or something.  I remember from when I applied years ago that SLU had a high mandatory attrition rate--that they auto fail out something like the bottom 15% of the 1L class--but I don't know if that's still true or not. 

Also, usually the specialty rankings mean jack, but SLU's rank in Health Law is actually well-deserved.  I first heard of SLU Law when I was working in healthcare in NYC.  SLU's industry connections allow them to place some graduates directly in-house within the region, whereas in most other industries, you'd need to practice in a different setting for several years first.  A few months ago, I talked to an attorney (who also graduated from my LS, so obviously not trolling for SLU) high up in the Dept. of Health in DC who told me that SLU students really have a leg up on getting internships and post-grad jobs there as well. 

I think the hefty scholarship, your desire to stay local, and your intended focus on health law are sufficient to justify turning down the higher-ranked school.  JMHO though.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Chicago-Kent PT?
« on: June 19, 2009, 06:52:25 PM »
It's a good school and also easy to switch into the full-time division after your first year.  I think both divisions share mostly the same profs, and I believe a lot of the upper year electives for both divisions are held in the evening anyway.  Kent is especially strong in IP and Labor. 

With a 171 though, I'm sure you could get into the full-time division from the get-go though, and probably a host of higher-ranked schools too.  It seems like most schools care more about the LSAT, and you've got strong reasons for the GPA dip.

General Board / Re: How do you study?
« on: June 19, 2009, 02:14:26 PM »
I wouldn't spend too much time trying to memorize material, unless you have a closed book exam (I only had 1 or 2 of these in LS) and it's later in the semester.  Honestly, most professors don't see or care how you've prepared for class as long as you answer sufficiently when called upon (and unlike "The Paper Chase", I don't think most professors ask you to stand up and answer from memory).  I spent most of my 1L study time briefing cases and reviewing/re-organizing notes from class, and then doing practice exams a few weeks before finals. 

After 1L, you'll figure out what techniques and shortcuts work for you.  I don't think I've ever spent anywhere near 45 hours/week just on homework, except approaching finals and when I have papers due.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Seton Hall vs. Hofstra $$
« on: June 15, 2009, 04:54:57 AM »
I think Hofstra's fine if it's the best school you get into, but I wouldn't turn down much higher ranked options.  The 3.25 req is pretty steep and you'll likely regret your decision if you lose that $.  Purely anecdotal, but I've watched four of my friends struggle in the legal market since graduating in the last 4 years (the only 1 that has gainful legal employment in NYC was magna cum laude and review editor), which doesn't give me huge confidence in the marketability of that school.  Rankings aren't everything, but with so many local schools and everyone else across the country that wants to work in NYC, I think you should take every competitive advantage you can get.

PS: Hofstra does have at least one area that it excels in - it's Labor & Employment law journal is well regarded in the field of (obviously) Labor & Employment law. Not saying it's worth going there just for that, but it's at least 1 good thing I can think of about Hofstra...

Just because they have a specialized journal doesn't mean that they "excel" in that field.  Cornell, NYU, St. John's, UB, and Syracuse (which used to have the primary labor law journal for the ABA) all have greater or similar prominence in the NY labor realm.

Law Firms / Re: Going in-house, how does it work?
« on: May 22, 2009, 11:38:06 PM »
Most people go in-house after working in BigLaw or a related government agency for several years.  I know a few people who went straight from law school through connections or prior internships with the company.  How much pre-LS work experience will help you depends on what type of work you were doing and what kind of connections you were able to make.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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