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Messages - linquest

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Attrition rates...
« on: March 15, 2009, 01:21:08 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.

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

Job Search / Re: Too late to apply to more firms?
« on: February 24, 2009, 05:14:15 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.   

Current Law Students / Re: Working in Boston
« on: February 13, 2009, 10:13:46 AM »
Bingham McCutcheon, Mintz Levin

Job Search / Re: What do I do now?
« on: February 12, 2009, 10:37:59 AM »
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.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Best ADR/Negotiation Clinics
« on: February 10, 2009, 07:29:17 PM »
Ohio State
U. Mich

Cornell has labor and securities law clinics where you might get involved in N/ADR; you'd also have access to the Institute on Conflict Resolution at the ILR School.  Columbia and Fordham have mediation clinics, but I haven't heard much about them.

Pepperdine, Cardozo and U. MO have good ADR programs and are ranked in the 50s, so they might be safety schools to consider.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wisconsin vs. American
« on: February 09, 2009, 11:20:49 AM »
Considering that there's no bar exam in WI, would you still be able to waive into DC Bar?  If yes, I'd definitely choose WI.  Actually, I'd choose WI anyway, but that's something you ought to look into if you're interested in possibly working in DC someday.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: How do I choose???
« on: February 09, 2009, 11:17:52 AM »
Go to Penn.  There's no question in my mind that it would give you the most options post-grad. 

Congratulations on your acceptance!

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