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Author Topic: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?  (Read 47126 times)

Matthies

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2009, 12:52:10 PM »
Its tough out there no doubt. At my T2 there seems to be two kinds of students, those that have gone the OCI/mass mailing route and those that have networked (and what I consider networking is pretty hard core). The OCI/mass mailing folks have had universally bad results. There are just too many folks out there all applying to the same jobs as everyone else that itís a real employers market.

Those folks that have networked heavily all have jobs. The job Iíll be starting after the bar I got over breakfast and was created just for me. They have never actually seen my resume, never asked for it, hired me through recommendations. They will bill me at a paralegal rate till I get bar results, than at their lawyer rate. They are also cool with the fact and know I plan to look for something else while doing this job (environmental public interest work) and I can work from home too. They are also cool with me picking up side work if I need it and will pay my malpractice insurance up for six months as soon as I pass.

Totally great, flexible job to start out with as I look for something else in the environmental flied (other than the PI pay apscte of it) but I never had to do an a real interview, provide my resume or even my transcripts. And they have already introduced me to other folks in the environmental law filed that might have openings for me later on. So the networking continues.

Chevlle have you joined the local bar, chcked to see if any Inn of Court around? Right after the bar start hitting these and CLE's hard and start making some freinds in the legal commnity. They will introduce you to others and often know about jobs that are not advertised so you will be one of the few applying. 
*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.

Matthies

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2009, 01:12:15 PM »
OP: I graduated top 10% from a T2

It's real frustrating. I know a lot of others in my position. But I'm just trying to not get real upset (though I have my moments where I throw my Bar/Bri books down and ask what the point of all this is), pursue any lead I can, and I just study for the bar and figure when that's over I'll really do nothing else but look for a job.

I don't know if this makes you feel any better, but I hope it makes you realize you're not alone.

How did you end up at top 10% and law review, but no offers? 

 

I do feel like I've been ignored and turned away by many local firms that my school's OCS thinks should be begging to hire me, yet no one can tell me why. I showed a million lawyers my resume and they all say it's great. Admittedly, I might come off a little shy and quiet in interviews. But I hardly get interviews to begin with.


.

Oh, and I think the shy and quite thing is hurting you more than you realize. Its likely you also come off as timid. Your cover letters might be timid as well. This does not seem like much, but its bad for a lawyer, lawyers arenít shy, quite people. Youíre not applying for a cubical job. They want, although its never said outright, take charge folks who can make critical decision on their own and put peoplesí feet to the fire when it needs to be done. This does not mean you have to be gregarious, loud, or even an extrovert, but you canít come off as quite, shy or timid or your adversary (and your employers) will see this as a weakness.

Go get some books from the library on networking and how to talk to strangers. Think seriously about joining toastmasters, you need to be an extrovert when youíre looking for a job and its CRITICAL to networking, you need to be able to walk up to strangers, strike up a conversation and keep it going for ten mins at least.
 
Some people are born with that skill, most are not, but it can be learned, and just like anything else you get better with practice. As much as I preach networking on here I bet most folks think Iím a very outgoing guy in RL. Iím not, Iím a hermit, I prefer to be ALONE 99% of time.

In the last 10 days I have seen 4 people face to face, and talked to two on the phone and thatís pretty ĎoutgoingĒ for me in such a short time. I donít like going out, Iíd rather stay home alone in my cave. BUT I can turn on the charm when I need to like a light bulb, and I make it a habit to force myself to go to one networking function a week, talk to one new person, try and make one new friend even if inside I HATE IT, because thatís what you have to do in the legal world. Youíll learn quickly if you have not yet, that everyone knows everyone else in the legal world. Who you know beats everything and how the legal work gets done. Knowing your adversaries, the judges you appear before, all that is vital info you get from other lawyers. You need to be able to ask for it and get it.
*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.

vap

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2009, 06:59:11 PM »
you are not alone. there are hundreds of law students who are currently studying for the bar, without jobs and with thousands of $ in debt. the few jobs went to students at the tier 1 schools. they are not feeling it like we are at the tier 2 schools. most of the student loans can be deferred until employment, luckily. hang in there and try not to think about anything but the bar exam for now. then in August, think about getting a part-time job while still looking for full-time legal work. i also wish there was some statistics showing the number of unemployed recent law grads.

More like "thousands" than hundreds.  And it's not just tier 2 and below feeling the burn in this economy.  Plenty of tier 1 students are entering (and will be leaving) their third year without a job.  In an e-mail to its students, Georgetown recently warned that offer rates at firms would be drastically low this year, and even many offers would be for deferred employment to begin in 2011.  http://abovethelaw.com/2009/06/advice_for_summers_from_george.php

coquita

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2009, 03:30:37 PM »
I graduated either in the top 10% or 15% of my class (will know for certain in August when rankings are up). I don't have a permanent job, but have a post-bar internship with a small chance of being hired because of gov't cutbacks. Yes it sucks, just don't let it get you down now. Treat Barbri like school and just push through it and worry about jobs after the bar. Networking really does help. I met someone at get together this weekend that said they would work on getting me placed somewhere  if I don't get an offer after my internship. No resume or anything, just a family friend of my husband. That is how things work in this economy.

After the bar (emphasis on after)...use your family and friends to get some connections, and have them spread the word about you.."Oh my ___ just graduated from law school and did really well and is looking for a job after the bar." That definitely can get some interest in you. It has helped me in the past, and is how I got my internship my current internship. I told my summer employer that I was interested in a post-bar internship with an government office and had applied, they saw them at a job fair and gushed about me to them. Got the internship after a 10 minute interview. Networking is definitely important.

Good luck!

LSDSL

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2009, 11:14:00 PM »
BTW studying for the Bar is no picnic.

Contract2008

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2009, 01:22:43 AM »
BTW studying for the Bar is no picnic.

It's not that bad if you went to a decent law school and didn't end up at the bottom 25% of the class.  It's just like an extra half semester of law school. 

lawschoolsucks

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2009, 02:38:05 AM »
Tier 3 grad here. 150K in debt. Moot court. Law journal. Top Half of class (yeah not great but ah well). Had an in-house clerk position 1st summer and a summer associateship my second summer at a local midsize firm with a great rep. I was positive I was getting an offer (had it hinted to by more than one partner) and then all of a sudden all of the summers were bumped with no offers due to this toxic waste dump of an economy. Tons of attorneys were laid off in my area and there are hiring freezes all over the place. Most of my classmates are jobless (even our #1 got bumped from his biglaw firm).

I too am studying for the bar with no hope of a job afterwards. The crushing debt is scaring the crud out of me and it's sending me into a state of despair. This was the absolute worst year to graduate from law school. Along with studying for the bar, I send out resumes to at least 10-15 places EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I wholeheartedly regret law school because of this mess. My degree isn't worth the paper it's written on. I actually contemplated the military myself but didn't want to be deployed. So now I've started looking at jobs in other fields (I've completely taken law school and my jd off of my resume and have been using my finance/marketing degree to job hunt- a jd is a scarlet letter if you're trying to pursue non-legal careers). It's a sad state of affairs for the completely oversaturated legal community. Good luck OP in your job search.

dischord

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2009, 10:30:30 AM »
So now I've started looking at jobs in other fields (I've completely taken law school and my jd off of my resume and have been using my finance/marketing degree to job hunt- a jd is a scarlet letter if you're trying to pursue non-legal careers). It's a sad state of affairs for the completely oversaturated legal community. Good luck OP in your job search.

How do you explain your 3 year absence from the job market? 

Also, and no offense to your background, but it deeply disgusts me that non-legal employers would rather have someone with just a marketing B.A. than someone with a J.D. 

I know the whole rationale that they think that the J.D. will just leave.  But seriously, it's ridiculous that in this economy people with professional and graduate degrees are less valued than people with just B.A.s or even Associates'.  I even ran into this problem after undergrad -- I went to a really elite college and got a liberal arts B.A., but would be passed over for office jobs for Associates' holders. 

Anyway, you'd think that more people would see the value of an employee who's better educated and willing to work hard and challenge himself. 
At least I can f-ing think.

likewise

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2009, 10:50:23 AM »
In the same boat as the OP here -- still looking. And studying for the bar with this crap hanging over my head is simply no fun. My grades are dead center, no law review or moot court. I have 10 years of business and writing experience (usually a downside, not an up), and I did co-author an article.

Anyhoo, I've applied for virtually EVERY open legal gig within commuting distance since I arrived in my market 8 weeks ago (which means, like, a dozen). No interviews even granted. My hurdle, unfortunately, is that I'm trying to get a gig in the midwest with a JD from a regional East Coast school. Yes, try getting hired in Des Moines with a degree from Temple. No fun.

Networking. I stay well-connected with the folks I interned with last summer (in the midwest), but they're a close-knit community, and there's NO work in that practice area right now. I guess there's more networking to do, and I need to get on top of it. Think that's likely my only hope.

lawschoolsucks

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2009, 11:54:04 AM »
So now I've started looking at jobs in other fields (I've completely taken law school and my jd off of my resume and have been using my finance/marketing degree to job hunt- a jd is a scarlet letter if you're trying to pursue non-legal careers). It's a sad state of affairs for the completely oversaturated legal community. Good luck OP in your job search.

How do you explain your 3 year absence from the job market? 

Also, and no offense to your background, but it deeply disgusts me that non-legal employers would rather have someone with just a marketing B.A. than someone with a J.D. 

I know the whole rationale that they think that the J.D. will just leave.  But seriously, it's ridiculous that in this economy people with professional and graduate degrees are less valued than people with just B.A.s or even Associates'.  I even ran into this problem after undergrad -- I went to a really elite college and got a liberal arts B.A., but would be passed over for office jobs for Associates' holders. 

Anyway, you'd think that more people would see the value of an employee who's better educated and willing to work hard and challenge himself. 

No offense taken. Seriously it disgusts me too. I kept going into non-legal interviews (the one or two that would even talk to me) and instead of talking about the current job and why I'd be a good fit, they spend the entire time wondering why someone with my educational background doesn't want to practice law. Obviously it's not that I don't want to, it's that I can't with the market the way it is now. But I obviously don't tell them that. They all express the fear that once the market turns around, I'd bolt which isn't necessarily true since I take my commitments quite seriously (I made it through 3 years of law school after all). It pains me when they pass me over not even for Associate/BA degree holders but for friggin' HS DIPLOMA folks?!?!?! I keep getting turned away with the "you're overqualified" spiel.

So now, I just don't even want to bother explaining anything to these idiots in HR and I have simply just taken law school off my resume. How do I explain the 3 year gap? Well luckily for me, I had some side jobs I would work during the school year (yeah on top of a full time schedule with moot court/journal/clubs) over the weekends in sales/marketing so I don't have as big a gap to explain.

I went to a top college so I'm hoping it holds water in interviews, but for now, my law degree is completely worthless to me.