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Is my life a complete failure???

Yes
 20 (44.4%)
No
 25 (55.6%)

Total Members Voted: 45

Author Topic: Complete Failure  (Read 18003 times)

Miss P

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2008, 11:01:31 AM »
why don't you tell us what jobs are not competitive.

I think I agree with your point: it's not easy to get a job (as an attorney or not) these days.  I was just responding to some posters who seem to think the non-profit sector is where all the losers go. 

Since the OP has passed the NJ bar, I would recommend looking into NJ and Delaware state clerkships for next year and trying to work as a contract attorney in the meantime.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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Matthies

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2008, 11:12:16 AM »
I'm not trying to discourage the OP, but JD positions at small non-profits are extremely competitive, and not just because the economy makes it difficult for them to hire right now.  There are very few non-profits that will use their scarce resources to hire someone who hasn't already demonstrated a commitment to the issue or at least to public service.  The (apparently widespread) notion that it's easy to land non-profit jobs is extremely out of touch. 

why don't you tell us what jobs are not competitive.

The least competitive jobs are the ones no one else knows about. 
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goaliechica

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2008, 11:18:10 AM »
Something at a small non-profit.  I know the big non-profits are extremely hard to get into, but there has to be something that would be interested in taking on the OP>

Yeah, not to belabor the point, but it doesn't even make sense that it would be easy to get a full-time paying job at a small non-profit. They have even fewer resources than the "big" non-profits (I put that in scare quotes, because even the most nationally-known non-profits don't tend to have more than a single-digit number of full-time, paid attorneys in any given office). There are simply far fewer jobs, period, in public interest work than there are in other areas, because, you know, it doesn't generate money, and a lot of people think they want to do it.

I wonder if maybe this notion that it's easy to score a public interest job may stems from the fact that it's not as difficult to get unpaid internships during law school at a lot of public interest organizations, particularly the smaller, less well-known ones, and it seems like something that people do their 1L summers before they are competitive for firm jobs. This is all true, but it certainly doesn't mean they are going to have the funding or the desire to hire you for real after law school. Many of these orgs don't hire even one new person per year, and there are many people who spend most of law school trying to position themselves to be that hire.
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Dip827

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2008, 11:26:25 AM »
I'm going with a couple of agencies right now but still nothing.  I've also tried PI jobs but no one is biting

thorc954

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2008, 07:58:14 PM »
The OP applied to firms and clerkships.  That leaves government, which has already been mentioned, and public interest.  No one suggested that he apply for public interest jobs.  Not every non-profit job is difficult to get.  Not every job is as competitive as a Big Firm, or even a mid size firm.  Smaller non-profits fall into this not as competitive group.  Obviously, in every sector there are competitive jobs (DOJ Honors, Big Law/mid size law, and the NAACP/(something else good)).  Anyway, then there are easier jobs to obtain like local DA/PD jobs (definitely easier to get than one in NYC or DC assuming you have some connection to the town), smaller law firms (5-10 attorneys, assuming they need help), and smaller non-profits.  Not every job is as competitive.  The TTT and TTTT crowd has to work somewhere, and all the posters on this thread (with the exception of a few) basically act like all these jobs take top grades from top cities.  I doubt very highly that OP couldnt go into Camden and get a job at a non-profit helping indigents or something (I dont know about any North Jersey cities, just souther Jersey).  Major cities always have non-profits that no one has heard of.  With the OP's great local school and connections to the state, he/she could convince a place to hire him/her doing this work.

Terribly paid non-profits who no one has heard of are objectively easier to work for than good paying non-profits.

Anyway Dip827, I feel for you trying to obtain a job.  The economy will hopefully recover soon and you will be able to get something.  In the mean time, look into contract attorney jobs if you need the money or keep plugging along till you get some bites.

Miss P

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2008, 12:48:44 AM »
The OP applied to firms and clerkships.  That leaves government, which has already been mentioned, and public interest.  No one suggested that he apply for public interest jobs.  Not every non-profit job is difficult to get.  Not every job is as competitive as a Big Firm, or even a mid size firm.  Smaller non-profits fall into this not as competitive group.  Obviously, in every sector there are competitive jobs (DOJ Honors, Big Law/mid size law, and the NAACP/(something else good)).  Anyway, then there are easier jobs to obtain like local DA/PD jobs (definitely easier to get than one in NYC or DC assuming you have some connection to the town), smaller law firms (5-10 attorneys, assuming they need help), and smaller non-profits.  Not every job is as competitive.  The TTT and TTTT crowd has to work somewhere, and all the posters on this thread (with the exception of a few) basically act like all these jobs take top grades from top cities.  I doubt very highly that OP couldnt go into Camden and get a job at a non-profit helping indigents or something (I dont know about any North Jersey cities, just souther Jersey).  Major cities always have non-profits that no one has heard of.  With the OP's great local school and connections to the state, he/she could convince a place to hire him/her doing this work.

Terribly paid non-profits who no one has heard of are objectively easier to work for than good paying non-profits.

I think you're confusing two things: the credentials required for a job and the competitiveness of the job.  The kinds of jobs you describe are extremely competitive for precisely the same reasons you identify: there are not very many openings, and there are hundreds of people academically qualified to fill them.  On top of that, there are students from top schools and top students from lower-tier schools who actively seek those jobs, even if they might have credentials required for more elite jobs.  Moreover, given the low pay and losing odds of non-profit legal work, most organizations will focus their searches on people who have a demonstrated commitment to the issue or who have experience working in a similar field.  They want to make sure that the people in whom they invest their limited resources will stick it out in tough conditions, and dedication to the cause is one test of that.  The non-profit sector is extremely competitive, from top to bottom.

I'm not saying any of this to discourage the OP.  I just want to make it clear that non-profits -- small or large -- are not way stations for otherwise unemployed or unemployable attorneys any more than other employers are.  The dynamics of the market are just somewhat different for the non-profit, for-profit, and public sectors.

Anyway Dip827, I feel for you trying to obtain a job.  The economy will hopefully recover soon and you will be able to get something.  In the mean time, look into contract attorney jobs if you need the money or keep plugging along till you get some bites.

Likewise, Dip, I wish you luck.  Something will come through the pipeline eventually!
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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thorc954

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2008, 08:47:00 AM »
Miss P, I am not confusing the two things. Obviously all legal jobs are competitive, but some less so.  The way you comment on everything, you would think that only the top 5% at every school is able to get any possible job.  That is simply not the case.

I second what YBR says on this subject, and I will not continue to argue this issue because there is no way that every legal job out there is equally competitive.

Miss P

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2008, 10:19:19 AM »
You're missing the point: I'm not talking about whether people with elite credentials work in these jobs (though you'd be surprised at the number of places you'd find them) but the number of openings versus the number of candidates.  There is a huge number of people applying for these jobs -- regardless of whether they graduated magna from HLS or at the bottom of their class from the local law school -- and these are organizations that have very few resources with which to create positions.  It smacks of elitism to view the difficulty of securing a job solely in terms of the number of "brilliant" people there or the "top 5%."  It's difficult to get jobs because there aren't very many and there are a lot of people looking.  This is particularly true in the non-profit sector where most organizations are poor and have their hiring budgets further limited by the demands of charitable giving ratings (which rate non-profits by, among other things, the percentage of their resources that go to administrative costs).


EDIT
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Miss P

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2008, 05:14:52 PM »
Smacking of elitism?  You keep telling us that we're confused and missing the point, but I'm not really sure that you know what you're talking about.  There are LOTS of crappy towns in this country and LOTS of nonprofits in these crappy towns.  And many of the nonprofits aren't that poor; they just try to keep overhead/salaries low because of the whole "non-profit" thing.  It is not difficult to get ALL of these jobs. I have reviewed the applications for JD-optional nonprofit gigs; there are not that many applications, and most of them don't have JDs or other requested qualifications. A 3.36 from Rutgers-Camden should let him land SOME job in the public interest sector. 

I don't really feel as if I am in a position to judge what towns are crappy, but I don't think there are "LOTS" of entry-level job openings for attorneys in legal non-profits in any towns, crappy or no.  They're certainly not showing up on my career services database, on PSLawNet, on Idealist, etc.  A lot of legal non-profits don't even hire except for through fellowships.  So where are these jobs, and where are they listed?

My experience doing hiring at a legal non-profit is very different from yours.  For instance, I found that when I placed an ad for a temporary JD position at my former employer on one online database, I had over a hundred applications within a few days.  (I ended up getting over 500 applications before the deadline.)  Of course, we can probably agree that New York is not a crappy town, and my employer was a pretty well-known outfit, but this was in much better times for non-profits (2004), and we had to reject over 100 qualified (and many more marginally qualified or unqualified) people.

As for the bolded, I don't really understand what you mean.  Non-profits would gladly spend more money on hiring good people if they had the resources and capacity and if they weren't limited by charitable givings ratings.  But even if you think they are just crying wolf when they say they can't afford to hire, doesn't this still indicate that there aren't very many jobs to be had?

Finally, yes, I think your and thorc's posts have been a bit elitist, from the fact that you analyze competitiveness solely in terms of credentials to your references to "truly unexceptional people with crap resumes" and "crappy towns."  It's not helping the OP to pretend that it should be easy to get a job.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

thorc954

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Re: Complete Failure
« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2008, 05:56:37 PM »
Its not pretending like it will be easy to get a job.  I think YBR and I were both just saying that OP should look at some non-profits if he/she werent already doing so.  It is not easy to get a non-profit job, even at a small, unknown non-profit, but it is easier than getting jobs elsewhere. 

You come across as if you believe that every legal job is equally difficult to obtain.  This is simply not the case.  Unqualified people work somewhere.  This isnt to say that they are all in non-profits as many are probably in the small firms, government jobs, and even large law firms.  The point is just that the OP, with good grades from a good school may be able to find something from a smaller less known non-profit.  That is all.