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Author Topic: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school  (Read 5121 times)

loner84

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2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« on: March 30, 2009, 10:04:31 PM »
So as the title of this thread suggests, I'm facing a bit of a dilemma and need your sage advice. If you have a proclivity for leaving sarcastic and/or unhelpful comments, please go on to the next thread.

My question is with regards to where I should practice the year after I graduate law school. Below are the specifics of my situation.

I am currently a 2L at a top 5 law school. I recently got engaged and my fiance is a 1L attending a top tier school in FL. I have a summer associate position in a NY law firm this summer.

I would like to be in the same place as my fiance after I graduate (naturally we'd like to get married some time after law school!). The problem is, however, based on his grades and the general economic climate, I dont think he would be competetive to land a job up here. We have both discussed this, and we will likely work at least for a few years in the south after he graduates.

So the reasonable option would be for me to try to land a position in a law firm in FL upon graduation. There are 3 problems however. I know that during the first year after law school, it is important to receive good training- I am afraid if I go to FL, I will not receive this. (I may be misinformed about this, so if you think otherwise, please let me know). Secondly, I am interested in IP and government affairs and I've had some trouble finding big law firms in FL that specialize in these areas.

One option that I've considered is working in DC. I think it has reciprocity with all other states, so maybe I could take the FL bar and practice in DC for a year.

Another option is working in NY and then go back down to FL after my fiance graduates. Problem with this is having to take the NY bar one year, and the FL bar the next year (b/c FL has no reciprocity with any states ever). Also, NY is really expensive and I have a LOT of loans to pay off (I'd like to pay them off within a few years). And the hours will be killer, I'll never get to see the fiance.

A third option is to return to FL upon graduation. Drawback in this case is that I might end up stuck in an area of law I'm not particularly interested in and may receive suboptimal training as a first year associate (if i'm wrong on this, please let me know).

What should I do?


lucky7

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2009, 08:31:06 AM »
Find a firm with offices in both NY and FL. There are definitely a few NY firms with offices in Miami. You will get the training you need, maybe even the work you want. Alternate option: you said your fiance won't be competitive in NY. Why not try a state a little closer, but less competitive? PA, maybe a small firm in NJ or CT? NJ is in the middle of PA and NY, you could each commute in opposite directions. Years down the road, it will be a lot easier to go from NJ or PA to NY than from FL.

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2009, 11:35:52 AM »
So I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're either at CLS or NYU, though it doesn't make that much of a difference, honestly.

My advice is to go with option two.  Option one doesn't really work because it will probably be incredibly difficult to get a job in DC given the current economic climate.  DC is a tough market to crack even under good conditions.  Option three will probably entail too great a drop-off in terms of your own career opportunities.

At this point, I think you (and all of us) need to adopt a defensive strategy.  You have a job in NY; hold onto it.  Live frugally, maybe somewhere outside of Manhattan.  Grit your teeth for a year or so.

In terms of the bar, I suggest that you find out how different the FL bar exam is from the NY bar exam.  You might be able to take both the summer after you graduate, which would make things easier for you down the road.

themanwithnoname

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2009, 04:45:56 PM »
realistically, the problem with option 2 is that nobody wants to hire laterals with less than 3 years, so if you start in NY that is what you are committing to, unless you are able to switch offices within a firm, as somebody suggested. The reason you can't find IP work in big Florida firms is that neither Orlando nor Miami is a major center for tech. Good IP firms tend to be in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, DC, Seattle, etc. New York has good IP because it is such a big market and there are synergies with business like M&A. I am not sure what you mean by governmental affairs, but if you mean regulatory work that is mostly in DC. The thing people forget is that people tend to hire firms in their areas, so a local economy that is good for one thing will tend to have law firms that are good at that.

loner84

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2009, 06:01:55 PM »
Find a firm with offices in both NY and FL. There are definitely a few NY firms with offices in Miami. You will get the training you need, maybe even the work you want. Alternate option: you said your fiance won't be competitive in NY. Why not try a state a little closer, but less competitive? PA, maybe a small firm in NJ or CT? NJ is in the middle of PA and NY, you could each commute in opposite directions. Years down the road, it will be a lot easier to go from NJ or PA to NY than from FL.

Thank you for your advice. The firm I'm working for this summer has an office in FL- albeit, a very small one. Unfortunately, due to his own preferences, I dont think the tri-state plan will be an option. I had the same feeling as you that I should look into firms with offices in both places.

loner84

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2009, 06:08:27 PM »
So I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're either at CLS or NYU, though it doesn't make that much of a difference, honestly.

My advice is to go with option two.  Option one doesn't really work because it will probably be incredibly difficult to get a job in DC given the current economic climate.  DC is a tough market to crack even under good conditions.  Option three will probably entail too great a drop-off in terms of your own career opportunities.

At this point, I think you (and all of us) need to adopt a defensive strategy.  You have a job in NY; hold onto it.  Live frugally, maybe somewhere outside of Manhattan.  Grit your teeth for a year or so.

In terms of the bar, I suggest that you find out how different the FL bar exam is from the NY bar exam.  You might be able to take both the summer after you graduate, which would make things easier for you down the road.

Thank for the advice. You're right, in this economic climate, anyone from any school should feel fortunate to have a job. I'm going to hold onto the position I have for now. Additionally, I plan to look into FL and DC firms this summer to see what my options might be. Unfortunately, I checked out the dates for the NY and FL bar- they are on the same dates , so I cant take them at the same time. You confirmed by suspicions that it will likely be difficult to crack the DC market this year.

loner84

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2009, 06:16:11 PM »
realistically, the problem with option 2 is that nobody wants to hire laterals with less than 3 years, so if you start in NY that is what you are committing to, unless you are able to switch offices within a firm, as somebody suggested. The reason you can't find IP work in big Florida firms is that neither Orlando nor Miami is a major center for tech. Good IP firms tend to be in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, DC, Seattle, etc. New York has good IP because it is such a big market and there are synergies with business like M&A. I am not sure what you mean by governmental affairs, but if you mean regulatory work that is mostly in DC. The thing people forget is that people tend to hire firms in their areas, so a local economy that is good for one thing will tend to have law firms that are good at that.

Thank you for your advice. My main concern about starting in NY is that I will get stuck here for 2 or 3 years. I've already done long distance with my fiance for almost 3 years, and doing that much more is not an option. The firm I will work for has a small office in FL, but I dont want the possibility of 3 more years of long distance hinging on the prospect of working there. In all likelihood, I will probably look for firm jobs in FL and the southern region of the country, even if it means sacrificing my professional interests (in IP) for a few years.

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2009, 09:03:05 AM »
Thank for the advice. You're right, in this economic climate, anyone from any school should feel fortunate to have a job. I'm going to hold onto the position I have for now. Additionally, I plan to look into FL and DC firms this summer to see what my options might be. Unfortunately, I checked out the dates for the NY and FL bar- they are on the same dates , so I cant take them at the same time. You confirmed by suspicions that it will likely be difficult to crack the DC market this year.

Hmmm.  That's lousy.  Sorry to hear.

CTL

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2009, 09:22:48 AM »
Check out Greenberg Traurig.  Offices in NY/Miami/West Palm (if I remember correctly).  They're supposedly a good firm to work for, so I don't think you'll have to worry about training.
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themanwithnoname

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Re: 2L seeking some advice on life after law school
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2009, 11:33:08 AM »
realistically, the problem with option 2 is that nobody wants to hire laterals with less than 3 years, so if you start in NY that is what you are committing to, unless you are able to switch offices within a firm, as somebody suggested. The reason you can't find IP work in big Florida firms is that neither Orlando nor Miami is a major center for tech. Good IP firms tend to be in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, DC, Seattle, etc. New York has good IP because it is such a big market and there are synergies with business like M&A. I am not sure what you mean by governmental affairs, but if you mean regulatory work that is mostly in DC. The thing people forget is that people tend to hire firms in their areas, so a local economy that is good for one thing will tend to have law firms that are good at that.

Thank you for your advice. My main concern about starting in NY is that I will get stuck here for 2 or 3 years. I've already done long distance with my fiance for almost 3 years, and doing that much more is not an option. The firm I will work for has a small office in FL, but I dont want the possibility of 3 more years of long distance hinging on the prospect of working there. In all likelihood, I will probably look for firm jobs in FL and the southern region of the country, even if it means sacrificing my professional interests (in IP) for a few years.

I think it is risky to assume you can transition into IP after having worked in another specialty to a few years. What is the long term plan? To work in Florida for a few years and then relocate? Incidentally, have you considered the NC research triangle? It has proximity to Florida and has a lot of tech, so I assume there must be decent IP firms there.