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Author Topic: Working For a Solo  (Read 2033 times)

AssaultAndBattery

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Working For a Solo
« on: June 23, 2008, 01:07:12 AM »
I attend a T4 and this summer I landed a job working for a solo as a legal clerk. The pay is $11 an hour which isnt much, but I actually feel lucky because alot of my friends with better grades had to take non-legal jobs paying less. The job is unlikely to lead to perm. employment as its a small office with 2 solos working there but I feel fortunate getting some form of income AND gaining legal experience.

Even though the work is not the most intellectually stimulating, I am learning how a law office operates and witnessing life as a lawyer first hand IE. the hours, the stress, and the rewards. I am also gaining experience with legal software which appears to be necessities for many legal jobs, IE. abacus, word perfect, legal solutions.

My question is will such work experience look good on my resume for OCI or even when I pursue 2L employment? I realize my options coming from a T4 are limited so I am not seeking a big law gig. Will this experience illustrate to potential employers that I have some legal experience and perhaps put me at some advantage compared to my peers?

Thanks in advance, hope everyone is having a good summer. 

Ninja1

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Re: Working For a Solo
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 04:23:56 AM »
*Tag for personal interest.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

raider1218

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Re: Working For a Solo
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 07:44:42 AM »
I worked for a solo after my 2L year and it definitely was beneficial in permanent job interviews.  I found that that the experience was most helpful when interviewing with smaller employers because then you can really tie in what you did with the solo to what you would be doing for them.  I can't say how well it will help you with a large firm, but I don't see how it could hurt.

One good thing about working solo is that you'll never run out of stories to tell during an interview.  It will also give you a better perspective on the law and will make it easier to answer some of the tougher questions you might get in an interview.  Good luck this summer, and I'm sure you'll learn more about the legal profession in one week than you will in 3 years of law school. 

sassafrass

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Re: Working For a Solo
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2008, 11:00:30 AM »
OP,

if you don't mind me asking, what school do you attend?

AssaultAndBattery

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Re: Working For a Solo
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 09:46:42 PM »
OP,

if you don't mind me asking, what school do you attend?


I rather not say because I know classmates visit this site. Its in SOCAL however.


Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Ballsgraf

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Re: Working For a Solo
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2008, 11:44:10 AM »
Of course the experience you gain will be valuable to you, both in your development as an attorney and to add to your resume.  I work for a small firm as well and I would imagine that working closely with partners on smaller, manageable cases is probably more enlightening than being part of a big, standardized summer program at a big firm.  And clearly it is better than delivering pizza.


smujd2007

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Re: Working For a Solo
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 09:46:42 AM »
Don't discount your experience.  Learn all you can about the software, and do a great job so that you have 2 great references while looking for permanent employment.  I had a similar situation (except I was at a low T! school) and I only made $10.00 an hour.  But I have three references for the rest of my legal career and an extended family with the lawyers that I worked with.   

I attend a T4 and this summer I landed a job working for a solo as a legal clerk. The pay is $11 an hour which isnt much, but I actually feel lucky because alot of my friends with better grades had to take non-legal jobs paying less. The job is unlikely to lead to perm. employment as its a small office with 2 solos working there but I feel fortunate getting some form of income AND gaining legal experience.

Even though the work is not the most intellectually stimulating, I am learning how a law office operates and witnessing life as a lawyer first hand IE. the hours, the stress, and the rewards. I am also gaining experience with legal software which appears to be necessities for many legal jobs, IE. abacus, word perfect, legal solutions.

My question is will such work experience look good on my resume for OCI or even when I pursue 2L employment? I realize my options coming from a T4 are limited so I am not seeking a big law gig. Will this experience illustrate to potential employers that I have some legal experience and perhaps put me at some advantage compared to my peers?

Thanks in advance, hope everyone is having a good summer. 
smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!

Matthies

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Re: Working For a Solo
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 10:13:17 AM »
I think working for a solo is a great thing to do your 1L summer, you will learn so much that you donít get to see working at a larger firm. Iím part time starting my fourth (and hopefully last!) year in law school. Iíve clerked at large, medium and small firms (year round). For the last year I have been clerking part-time for a solo, and its been the best learning experience clerk wise yet. Iíve been able to do everything, memos, briefs, appellate briefs, motions, client interviews, depositions, appear in district, federal and the 10th circuit courts several times. Basically everything he does I have done in some degree, including trials. If your solo is a good mentor you will learn a lot this summer.

As to finding other employment, Iím not sure how this would have worked for my 2L as Iím doing it last, but its certainly helped me land leads/offers for post law school work. My boss has been practicing 35 years and went to my school, heís also very well know in his field so he knows practically everybody in our legal market to some degree. By introducing me to people he knows I have met state supreme court justices, 10th cir judges, big law partners ect. He tries to set up a lunch with someone in the legal field I have not met yet once every week. Its been great, and Iíve had more offers from that (and his personal recommendation of me) than I could possible accept. My advice would be try to encourage your boss to do something similar, introduce you to the people he knows, some of them might be able to help with your 2L summer or post law jobs.

Good luck
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AssaultAndBattery

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Re: Working For a Solo
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2008, 09:02:53 PM »
I think working for a solo is a great thing to do your 1L summer, you will learn so much that you donít get to see working at a larger firm. Iím part time starting my fourth (and hopefully last!) year in law school. Iíve clerked at large, medium and small firms (year round). For the last year I have been clerking part-time for a solo, and its been the best learning experience clerk wise yet. Iíve been able to do everything, memos, briefs, appellate briefs, motions, client interviews, depositions, appear in district, federal and the 10th circuit courts several times. Basically everything he does I have done in some degree, including trials. If your solo is a good mentor you will learn a lot this summer.

As to finding other employment, Iím not sure how this would have worked for my 2L as Iím doing it last, but its certainly helped me land leads/offers for post law school work. My boss has been practicing 35 years and went to my school, heís also very well know in his field so he knows practically everybody in our legal market to some degree. By introducing me to people he knows I have met state supreme court justices, 10th cir judges, big law partners ect. He tries to set up a lunch with someone in the legal field I have not met yet once every week. Its been great, and Iíve had more offers from that (and his personal recommendation of me) than I could possible accept. My advice would be try to encourage your boss to do something similar, introduce you to the people he knows, some of them might be able to help with your 2L summer or post law jobs.

Good luck



Hello matthies,

Thanks for the informative post and kind wishes.Goodluck to you as a 4L. I am sure you will do great!

I am learning alot working with this solo. He is a feminine hygiene product though and is the atypical lawyer that people make jokes about. He is pompous, rude, and unfriendly and just cares about the dollar. And boy is he cheap!

Nevertheless, I am trying to not let that effect my experience.

I have a couple more questions that maybe someone can address. 


I. As an incoming 2L, what is the process to begin looking for permanent employment?

II. When can a incoming 2L begin applying for permenant employment and how would one go about asking firms and offices if they are hiring?

III. When someone says permenant employment, is that strictly referring to summer associate positions? If not, what other type of permenant employment is there?

Thanks guys for the helpful info as always.


Goodluck to those of you getting ready to take the bar.