Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Beating a dead horse - something else to consider before going to law school  (Read 1107 times)

Betty_Crocker

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
I've seen relevant threads, but I'd like to put a candid perspective on what I am coming across as a recent law school graduate with no job. While it sucks not having a job right out of law school, I'm not as doom and gloom as a lot of the posters here and on jdunderground. It amazes me that so many of us in the legal profession demand jobs right out the gates of law school just because other students got jobs as 2Ls. Ask a recent college grad and they would be amazed that people are whining that they don't have a job before graduating or before they even have a license to practice law.

I am currently waiting for my bar results and if I pass, then I will start worrying about getting a job. With that said, I think this website is a bit biased and feeds a misperception about law school. I know I a lot of people get sick of negative posts talking about how bad some law schools are and the job situation, but I think it is good to have a balanced perspective on the law school process. It is nice that there is a place for people to talk about applying to law schools and give encouragement to those with less stellar LSATs or GPAs and those who are on endless waitlists. However, it is equally important to highlight the future of the vast majority of law students at or after graduation. The anxiety and uncertainty many of you future law students feel is nothing compared to the feelings you will have after graduation if you don't have a job. Even though waiting 6-9 months may seem a drop in the bucket and worth the wait, try actually living in that time frame without a job in this economy.

It is especially humbling when you know that people with similar or worse grades from you who graduated a year before you had employers banging at their doors with awesome job offers. I know that there is a silver lining and I still don't regret going to my law school and taking out $160K in loans. But there are some observations that I'd like to share from my personal experience:

Because of the economy, many medium and smaller firms have stopped hiring recent grads. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but the reason kind of scared me. The smaller firms do need more lawyers, but there are so many experienced lawyers in the market place that they don't need to focus on the recent graduates anymore. If you ask legal recruiters, they are doing extremely well in this economy because lawyers are jumping ship from their old firms before they are getting laid off from their current firms. As such, the smaller firms who used to hire 1 to 2 recent grads are now focusing on lawyers with 2-3 years experience for the same or similar pay. I have been on at least two interviews for "entry-level" positions that eventually went to lateral attorneys. The guy interviewing me was surprised that someone with my grades and class rank would even apply to his firm, but he was also amazed at the number of resumes he received for just one job opening. Hopefully this trend is not permanent, but with the number of new law schools expanding and the number of law firms outsourcing to India, it might be something else for future law students to consider. 

xferlawstudent

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 608
    • View Profile
This is exactly correct.  The market is tough out there.  I am Top 10% from a 40s T1 school and I'm having a difficult time.  For me, complications occur because I have SA and pre-LS experience in real estate which is completely in the toilet right now and also because I moved to a different city than my law school.

I had an interview the other day (cross your fingers) for which the hiring attorney received over 100 resumes in response to the ad.  I had an interview with the public defenders office for an "entry level" ADA position, but the job ended up going to a 5 yr experienced defense attorney who had to close his solo firm because of the financial problems.

The OPs post is right on.  I've been able to make some head way recently through networking but its tough out there.  One lesson is that 0Ls should know about this right now.  I would not dissuade someone from attending law school if they think they want a career in law, but realize that the path to riches is more myth than reality.

Also surprising, its difficult to get a paralegal or non-legal job because everyone else thinks I will bolt once I pass the bar.  I guess the myth of lawyer riches persists among outsiders as well.

Now, I'm sure we will all be doing fine five years from now.  But think about taking out $160k in loans and having a difficult time finding a job for a year.  Its a reality you should acknowledge right now.

Matthies

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
    • View Profile
    • Tell me where you are going to school and you get a cat!
Hey guys, sorry to hear you are struggling on the job front. But for the poster who took the bar, that has to be one of the hardest things you will ever do, its in a year for me and Iím already scared, so compared to that finding a job should be less stressful.

Let me share what has worked for me in hopes it might work for you guys. Iím at a T2 with a 30s school in the same market. Iíve never done OCI or mass mailed a single resume, in fact Iíve only give out resumes after I was asked for one (although I am trying 3L OCI but only bid on two firms because they were the only ones that remotely interested me). Right now I have three offers open till Dec. 30th. Two good offers, and one great PI but low paying offer. I got all of them through networking, and I was (as far as I know) the only person they interviewed for the jobs.

Since I was recommend by people who knew me and knew the employers these jobs had yet to even be advertised. Large, mid and small firms only resort to adds when word of mouth does not turn up any good recommendations. People natural prefer to hire people that come personally recommend over unknown entities who are just another
resume in a pile. If a judge says to a partner friend of his at a firm I know this candidate, and I think he would be a great catch for you guys that holds a lot of weight. In fact I have seen it create offers where they had not necessarily be ready to hire, but based on a recommendation made room for somebody rather than letting him go to another firm.

My advice would be spend the next several months seriously networking. I made a thread on what I have done, it was mostly aimed at 1Ls but it can be adjusted for 3Ls and graduates. The main and biggest point is avoiding being just a resume in a pile, seek out offers and opportunities others donít even know about. Yes, its hard talking to strangers, and it takes time before it can pay off, but the results are much better in the end. Hence suck up any embarrassment you have about talking to people you donít know and go do it, before you know it a few months will have gone by and you will have a large network of people helping you on your job search.

Here the link where I posted what has worked for me http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4013253.0.html

Good luck!
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

America's Next Top Lawyer

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 454
  • Free at last!
    • View Profile
I've seen relevant threads, but I'd like to put a candid perspective on what I am coming across as a recent law school graduate with no job. While it sucks not having a job right out of law school, I'm not as doom and gloom as a lot of the posters here and on jdunderground. It amazes me that so many of us in the legal profession demand jobs right out the gates of law school just because other students got jobs as 2Ls. Ask a recent college grad and they would be amazed that people are whining that they don't have a job before graduating or before they even have a license to practice law.

I am currently waiting for my bar results and if I pass, then I will start worrying about getting a job. With that said, I think this website is a bit biased and feeds a misperception about law school. I know I a lot of people get sick of negative posts talking about how bad some law schools are and the job situation, but I think it is good to have a balanced perspective on the law school process. It is nice that there is a place for people to talk about applying to law schools and give encouragement to those with less stellar LSATs or GPAs and those who are on endless waitlists. However, it is equally important to highlight the future of the vast majority of law students at or after graduation. The anxiety and uncertainty many of you future law students feel is nothing compared to the feelings you will have after graduation if you don't have a job. Even though waiting 6-9 months may seem a drop in the bucket and worth the wait, try actually living in that time frame without a job in this economy.

It is especially humbling when you know that people with similar or worse grades from you who graduated a year before you had employers banging at their doors with awesome job offers. I know that there is a silver lining and I still don't regret going to my law school and taking out $160K in loans. But there are some observations that I'd like to share from my personal experience:

Because of the economy, many medium and smaller firms have stopped hiring recent grads. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but the reason kind of scared me. The smaller firms do need more lawyers, but there are so many experienced lawyers in the market place that they don't need to focus on the recent graduates anymore. If you ask legal recruiters, they are doing extremely well in this economy because lawyers are jumping ship from their old firms before they are getting laid off from their current firms. As such, the smaller firms who used to hire 1 to 2 recent grads are now focusing on lawyers with 2-3 years experience for the same or similar pay. I have been on at least two interviews for "entry-level" positions that eventually went to lateral attorneys. The guy interviewing me was surprised that someone with my grades and class rank would even apply to his firm, but he was also amazed at the number of resumes he received for just one job opening. Hopefully this trend is not permanent, but with the number of new law schools expanding and the number of law firms outsourcing to India, it might be something else for future law students to consider. 

interesting WSJ blog on this topic:

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/09/24/the-dark-side-of-legal-job-market/

SCK2008

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1366
    • View Profile

Neat ANTL.  Here is another one you may have missed:


And when you can't find a case in your jurisdiction that defines a word, then that is when you look to other similar jurisdictions to see how they defined the word. Then you use that jurisdiction's definition as persuasive secondary authority. But in most cases, there will be a seminal treatise, legal primer, or Restatement that is followed and respected by lawyers in the field. So when you can't find a word defined in a case, there will be many more sources to wade through even before you pick up a Black's dictionary.   

So...when a US Court of Appeals or the US Supreme Court cites to Black's and other dictionaries FIRST, and then go to the cases after that, are you saying they've clearly gone to the wrong source to back up their arguments?  I'm just curious, because the definitions of some words were a key part of my law review comment, and I have a huge stack of opinions in a binder that all cite to one dictionary or another before going to more in-depth case analysis from district and circuit courts.   ::)

It seems to me you have an unusual understanding of the best and most basic place to start when researching a topic.

That's ANTL for you.  She's really good at that type of *&^%.  But I don't like to pile on.
Honorable Mention/All-Valley Tournament

SCK2008

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1366
    • View Profile
Or this one:

Perhaps you might consider sticking up for yourself (since no one else seems to be coming to your defense) and your bad argument before commenting on other things?

Hope this helps...

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4011677.msg5159390.html#msg5159390
Honorable Mention/All-Valley Tournament

SCK2008

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1366
    • View Profile
God DAMN! She's lame as hell!

That is the impression that I get.  I'm pretty sure she means well though so I respect her for that at least.
Honorable Mention/All-Valley Tournament

SCK2008

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1366
    • View Profile
Hard to argue with that.  Other than to encourage her to do better in our own special ways I suppose there is not a lot we can do.  Some people never learn, but I have faith in ANTL...


Honorable Mention/All-Valley Tournament

SCK2008

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1366
    • View Profile
Nah, I am a sonuvagun, but I assure you I am trying hard to be better.  And starting with the man in the mirror....lol....lmao...lol
Honorable Mention/All-Valley Tournament