Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Job Search Anxiety  (Read 2438 times)

woomen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • Email
Job Search Anxiety
« on: February 29, 2008, 07:13:41 PM »
Are most people feelin the pressure like I am trying to find a job for this summer?  I'm in the top 25% of my class, go to tier 3 school, have five years of paralegal experience, a judicial extenership with a federal court, and am having trouble landing a good summer associate position at a firm.  I'm lookin for jobs locally but there's nothing available.  I particpated in FAll and Spring OCI with no luck.  I've mass mailed 200+ law firms with no luck.  Networkign thus far has produced nothing.  I really would like to have a job offer before graduating, and without a job this summer, I feel like my odds are better at winning the lotto.

If you're a 2L w/o a job right now, what do you think?  Is there a realistic chance, that as a 3L, you'll be able to find a job pre-graduation?  Or will this anxiety continue after graduation and after you take the bar?  Is there no mercy?

1LMan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Re: Job Search Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2008, 08:20:58 PM »
There is a reason people say bad things about tier 3 schools, however, when heading to law school, everyone wants to ignore the realities.

Contract2008

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
    • View Profile
Re: Job Search Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2008, 01:06:05 AM »
Are most people feelin the pressure like I am trying to find a job for this summer?  I'm in the top 25% of my class, go to tier 3 school, have five years of paralegal experience, a judicial extenership with a federal court, and am having trouble landing a good summer associate position at a firm. 

What city are you in?  If you don't want to reveal that, what state are you in? 

Did you ever consider transfer back then or was that not an option? 

Peaches

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Job Search Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2008, 01:39:59 AM »
Have you had interviews?  If you're getting callbacks and not sealing the deal, you probably need to rethink the way you're approaching interacting with associates and partners.

1LMan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Re: Job Search Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2008, 02:04:40 AM »
It's a tier 3, you have to accept that top 25% at a Tier 3 isn't going to get you a big firm job and possibly not even a medium sized firms.  Tier 3 grads have to be top 5-10% to really get any of the lucrative attorney jobs.  Hell, even at top 25 schools it can be a battle to get a firm job.

It's time to reconsider your choices and start looking at government, public interest, and small firms.

WhiteSoxFan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Job Search Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2008, 08:20:53 PM »
I'm in a similar situation.  Low tier-2 school in a mid-sized city(Indy) with a GPA of 2.83 and I can't find anything, not even on a volunteer basis.  I'm a 2L and the only legal experience I have is a judicial internship in superior court and juvenile court.  The previous semseter was rough for me(sister was diagnosed with a serious mental illness, otherwise I would probably be over 3.0) and at this point I'm beginning to panic.  I know it's only March but without a summer position my chances of getting a legal job after graduation are nil, and as far as I know I'll end up in bankruptcy because I can't repay my loans.  I despise the constant apprehension I feel and sometimes wish I could rewind my life and do something different.  I can't do that, so instead I'll just keep trying.  My resume is in good shape and I'm friendly, professional, and relaxed at interviews, so I can't fathom what the problem is.  The only thing I can think of that's holding me back is the 2.83 GPA at a tier-2 school and lack of "real-world" experience resulting from going straight to law school from college.

Can anyone relate to this either currently or previously at one point in time?  My law loans are mounting in a big way and the stress from worrying about my dim employment prospects is quite literally going to give me a heart attack.  How can I dig myself out of this ditch and what opportunities should I be focusing on?

lawschoolsucks

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Job Search Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2008, 09:38:40 PM »
WhiteSoxFan,
I'm in a Tier 3 myself also in a midsized city and it was ROUGH getting a job lined up for this summer (I'm a 2L) especially when I'm competing against other higher or equally ranked schools in the area. With the economy as it is, you have to play pretty much every card you have if your grades aren't enough to secure you with a position this summer. Send out A LOT (by a lot I mean 50+) resumes to firms/corporations in your area to see if you can snag at least an interview that way. I'm pretty good at interviewing so once I get that far, it's all about whether the firm liked me personally (I wouldn't have gotten the interview had they not liked my qualifications). I only JUST secured a job about 2 weeks ago with a firm and believe me, the anxiety before then was enough to keep me pushing on and sending resumes out. It's tough, but times are tough and persistence is key. I know you've heard that before but it really is all you can do at this point. It is getting late in the game so at this point your best bet is to focus on mid-sized/small firms and government/public interest positions. Work on that resume to help yourself stand out. Join a trial team or your student bar association. Anything to help you stand out. I find it hard to believe you haven't been able to find volunteer positions- I know there are always low income legal organizations looking for people to volunteer with them. At this point, you have to work on getting experience which should make you more marketable come your 3rd year. If you still cannot find anything in your city, you may have to branch out- I know for a FACT there are places in larger cities always looking for volunteers. Good luck and may the thought of those loans keep pushing you cuz it sure as hell kept me going.

WhiteSoxFan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Job Search Anxiety
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2008, 08:31:55 PM »
Thanks for the support and advice lawschoolsucks, but I have to apologize for the panicked tone of my previous message as it was written right after I was rejected from a position I thought I had in the bag.  In addition, the loan situation is probably relatively stable as I have in-state tuition, sorry if it came off as sounding desperate but again I was in a bit of a tense state.

Currently I'm awaiting responses from a few prosecutors' offices and I have interviews lined up with a few large public interest organizations so it's definitely not the end of the world.  I figure pro bono experience is better than no experience and besides, public interest work was what I wanted to do prior to law school anyway(although I'm not sure if it will pay the bills post-graduation) and spinning that kind of experience in an interview is a cinch.  I'm not sure if I'm alone in thinking that not having a job equals disaster, but I'm beginning to realize that there's always a job for a lawyer somewhere and no lack of experience in law school is as apocalyptic as we ourselves hype it up to be.  For those experiencing similar stress, remember that your law career is far more malleable than you realize and there are always opportunities.  Also remember that at the end of the day, a job is simply nothing more than something you do for money and it does not matter what it is as long as you enjoy it.  Whoops, didn't mean to sound dramatic but hopefully that will put some people's minds at ease.

Peaches

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Job Search Anxiety
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2008, 09:13:09 PM »
Quote
your best bet is to focus on mid-sized/small firms and government/public interest positions. Work on that resume to help yourself stand out. Join a trial team or your student bar association.

Also, it's good to keep in mind that there really isn't much of a "midlaw" secondary tier.  There are mid-sized firms.  That doesn't mean that hiring qualifications or easier -- pay is often only slightly less than biglaw in the area, but there are lots of perks.   Many of those mid-sized firms are boutiques and some are even more selective than "biglaw." 

There are many top law students who are actively choosing elite law firms of 50-150 lawyers with no billable hours requirements or better chances at making partner that still pay close to biglaw rates.  So don't necessarily use size (or Vault rankings) for determining whether the firms you are applying for are more in your reach.

I'd look at the schools where they do OCI and the qualifications of their attorneys (as well as any NALP form hiring preferences - prefer top 10%, law review, etc.) for clues about the elite "midlaws."  I'd direct your focus towards ones that, frankly, don't pay well or don't recruit at the most highly ranked schools in your area.

You should really be focusing on small law firms (<50 attys., and at this point, probably even <35), government and public interest.  You may want to expand your radius to less desirable geographic areas as well.