Law School Discussion

What are my prospects?

What are my prospects?
« on: January 25, 2008, 12:06:47 AM »
Hello everyone.  I'm a 2L at an upper tier 2 school.  I didn't do OCI this past fall because I was in the bottom half of my class (not by much, though) and felt that I could improve my grades this semester.  Grades came out last week and I got myself a couple A's, a B and a high pass so I'm feeling a bit more confident.  When the new rankings come out I will probably be in the top 45%.

While my grades are not horrible, I am fully aware that my job search will be a bit of an uphill battle.  I'm not on law review, nor am I doing moot court, and my only legal experience has been the legal aid work I did this last summer and a secretarial type position at a small firm that I've worked for the past 18 months.  As a college grad who leaped straight into law school, I don't have an impressive resume or much life experience to draw upon in interviews.  It seems like everyone on these boards goes to a T14 and is in the 10% of their class with job offers streaming in from V100 firms.  My situation is a bit different.  I plan on meeting with career services this next week and signing up for spring OCI.

The reason I am posting this thread is twofold.  First, I'd like to know what more can I do, other than OCI, to get myself out there and maximize my chances of landing a decent SA position.  Second, what sort of SA positions am I still realistically in the running for?  I assume biglaw is out (and really its not something that appeals to me anyway).  I know there are a lot of additional variables, such as interviewing skills and extracurriculars, but is there any way of approximating my job prospects so I can set realistic expectations in the upcoming weeks/months of job hunting?

Thanks in advance to everyone who replies :)

Re: What are my prospects?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 06:38:29 AM »
My advice:

1) Network your ass off.  Ask your parents if they have any friends who are lawyers.  Ask ANYONE who you think might have any friends that are lawyers.  This is by far the most effective way of getting a job outside of one of the large firms (and often with the large firms as well).
    1a) What about the firm you're working for as a secretary?  That sounds like the most logical place to start.

2) Especially if you're looking towards in a small/medium-sized town, I'd do a search for firms on Martindale.  In a larger town, this could end up producing an overwhelming number of results, but you can filter by firm size and practice area. 

3) Government--I think many government jobs don't get going with their hiring until the spring.  While some of these positions are competitive grades-wise, many are not.

Re: What are my prospects?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 01:07:11 PM »
Thanks for the advice alamo.

I just recalculated my GPA and it turns out that I made a mistake in my initial calculation.  My actual gpa is 3.26 which equates roughly to the top third of my class.  Does this change much?


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Re: What are my prospects?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 02:19:43 PM »
No, I don't think it changes all that much; you're still looking at the same sort of job search but hopefully that will get you more initial interviews.

I second all of what Alamo said, with special emphasis on networking your ass off.  I highly recommend Kimm Walton's book, Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams.  This book is geared towards people not going the "typical" OCI route for whatever reason (although a lot of the advice is helpful for pretty much everyone).