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Messages - linquest

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Bar Exam / Re: Illinois Character and Fitness
« on: March 21, 2009, 11:12:13 AM »
It's going to be fun tracking down the "order of disposition" the bar requires- all I did was pay the ticket and it went away.

Reviving an old thread.  I got two tickets and a short license suspension (for failure to respond to a court summons I never received post-address change, rectified quickly) some years ago.  This was in a different state than where I've got my drivers license now.  The tickets/suspension are so old that they are not on my drivers record (abstract).  I don't have any paperwork now.  What am I supposed to send for "order of disposition"?

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Wisconsin vs. American
« on: March 16, 2009, 04:47:50 PM »
I guess I have a final question, which is whether or not a school's focus area or basically, what they are known for, can negatively impact your ability to get a job later.  For example, I visited Wisconsin and it seems like they are very focused on criminal law... I've heard American is known for international and human rights law.  I don't really want to go into any of those focus areas - will attending Wisconsin or American negatively impact my ability to do so?

I don't think so.  Both schools have strong reputations generally, and the areas that you listed above are pretty generic.  This is the first I've heard that Wisc is crim-focused.  Labor & employment is my specialty, and I know of a lot of grads in that field from both schools.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Attrition rates...
« on: March 15, 2009, 03:21:08 AM »
The high attrition rate at lower-ranked schools with strict curves is to protect their bar passage rates, a factor in law school rankings and ABA accreditation.  They're weeding out students unlikely to pass the bar before they graduate.

More importantly, you may not qualify for admission to the bar or even be permitted to sit for the exam without completing your undergraduate work.  Massachusetts' bar exam qualifications rules state:
"Rule 3.2 - College. Each applicant shall have completed the work acceptable for a bachelor's degree in a college or university, or have received an equivalent education in the opinion of the Board." 
On the other hand, IL requires a high school diploma and a JD from an ABA accredited school, but does not explicitly require a bachelors.  So you need to check the bar admission rules of the state(s) you are interested in practicing in.

I would be worried about how your lack of a college degree would affect your job prospects as an attorney.  Not having an undergrad degree on your resume or application form would be a huge red flag to employers.  Considering the over-abundance of lawyers on the market and decreasing job opportunities, you don't want something like this that might prevent you from even having a chance at an interview.  If you do get an interview, expect to be grilled on it.

I definitely understand that it would suck to go through an additional 3 years of undergrad at this stage in your life.  Suck it up ;)  Most lawyers/law students have, you can too!  In this day and age, I think a bachelors would improve your job prospects vastly, whether or not you end up trying the lawyer route.  Good luck on your endeavors.

1L job search / Re: Too late to apply to more firms?
« on: February 24, 2009, 11:09:19 PM »
If you're talking about the regional branches of large firms, aren't they on the same recruiting schedule?

1L job search / Re: Too late to apply to more firms?
« on: February 24, 2009, 07:14:15 PM »
It's not too late to apply to small/medium firms.  Many won't even know if they'll be able to hire a summer intern until now.

"I'm not sure there is such a thing as a "going rate" for internships with smaller/medium sized firms (they play by different rules when compared to the big law firms [who, i believe, don't even have year long "internships"])"

This is true.  Small firms vary a lot depending on type of practice, size, and location.  For comparison, I got paid between $15-20/hour when I interned with solos/small firms.  These were in areas with a very high cost of living, so I'd imagine that rates would be lower elsewhere.  I have classmates that have interned for free-I think it's unfair for private firms to demand that, but they're able to in this market.

Sometimes, the employer honestly doesn't know what the "market rate" is.  On my first internship (not a firm), my boss asked me why they had trouble recruiting from my school.  I told him that two similar orgs were paying $X more.  He was shocked- they'd been paying the same rate for several years and just hadn't thought much about intern compensation.  Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you might not be stuck at $10/hour the entire time.  He might move you up after seeing what you can do.  If not, you might be able to negotiate later by finding similar firms that pay more.

Let's be honest- there are many jobs where you could get paid more.  Some of those jobs won't even require advanced education.  But those jobs likely won't do much for you in terms of building your skills, resume or legal network.  It can't just be about the money.   

General Board / Re: Working in Boston
« on: February 13, 2009, 12:13:46 PM »
Bingham McCutcheon, Mintz Levin

2L job search / Re: What do I do now?
« on: February 12, 2009, 12:37:59 PM »
I'm assuming that all the BigLaw firms are done hiring by now.  Start hitting up the medium and small firms that didn't go through OCI.  Small firms often don't start hiring until now anyway, because they don't have the fat to hire far in advance of knowing what their summer workload is going to look like. 

Is Career Services aware of the situation?  If they haven't already contacted you with suggestions, don't be afraid to be proactive and ask them what they can do to help.  When one of my friend's jobs fell through last March, our department started calling around and asking, "We have a great student whose offer was rescinded through no fault of her own.  Would you possibly need help this summer or know someone who does?"  One of the firms they called was ecstatic- the student they'd set their heart on had accepted an offer with a large firm, and they were worried that they were going to be behind on recruiting.  I'm not sure that every CSO is willing to do this, but I can't imagine why they wouldn't if you went and talked to them.

Start networking if you haven't already.  Ask your professors if they have any contacts or need research assistance this summer.

Northeastern / Re: Northeastern for Big Law? Pros/cons?
« on: February 11, 2009, 02:57:25 AM »
Just how many 3L's have offers from biglaw?  I would venture a guess that its not a significant minority.

I don't know the total number of 3Ls for this current year, I just know people personally on my rotation (I'm sure there are Fall/Spring rotation people too) that have BigLaw offers.  Keep in mind, the NUSL population is largely self-selecting.  Unlike many other schools, BigLaw is NOT the predominant goal here.  Remember that this school's reputation is built on public interest and we send 3-5x as many grads into those types of jobs than the national average.  The other popular specialties here (family, personal immigration, plaintiff/union-side employment, etc) are not areas that Biglaw firms traditionally practice in.  The number of 3Ls getting Biglaw offers might be lower, but so is the proportion of students who are actually seeking those kinds of jobs.

Also, the fixation on a $50K starting salary (I'm not sure if that's an official statistic someone pulled here?) does not represent what you can be making 2 or more years down the road.  Most judicial clerkships, government jobs (even the prestigious federal Honors positions), and non-profit fellowships start in that range or less.  A large share of our recent graduates go to these positions first because of our public interest focus and that does bring our salary stats down. 

In any case, the point is that it is not impossible or a pipedream to get a Biglaw job from Northeastern if that's what you want.  We don't have traditional grades, class ranking, or law review - the factors that Biglaw firms typically rely on to select students - yet NUSL Biglaw placement is typically between 10-15% of the class each year compared to 7% average amongst other Tier 2 schools.  To put it into context, only the T-14 schools place 30%+ into BigLaw while the schools ranked at #15-50 average 19% of the graduating class. 

I freely admit that there are better schools for those dead set on a Biglaw job.  If that's your dream and you can get into a school with a significantly higher Biglaw placement rate, go for it!  But if you don't have the right numbers for that high Tier 1 school, or NUSL is a better choice for you for personal or financial reasons, you wouldn't kill your dream just by coming here.

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