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Author Topic: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?  (Read 47660 times)

FalconJimmy

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #110 on: March 15, 2011, 09:36:56 AM »
By the way, that same poor dude who lowered himself to join the JAG Corps (of any branch) after about 10-12 years or so service:

RANK:
O-5(Lt. Colonel/Commander) 10-12
Base Pay: $81,500
BAS/BAH: $30,000 (NON-taxable)
tax advantage: $10,000

TOTAL COMPENSATION:  $122,000/year

just TERRIBLE!

You could then resign your commission, join the Reserve (to keep earning points for retirement), and take
that opportunity to join your hometown firm as a partner.

To pick a nit, after 10 years of service, a person would likely be an O-4.  O-5 promotions typically happen around the 16 year mark.  Maybe 14 for a JAG since they are considered to have two years of constructive service.

Still good money, though.

As for leaving to go reserve, no, you don't resign your commission.  The day you resign your commission, you cease to be an officer.  The commission is what makes you an officer.  If you resign it, you're done.  Game over. 

Again, picky, but just trying to keep the discussion factual.

As for being an officer while establishing a law practice, that's a good idea and a path I may pursue.  At that point, your drill pay (for the one-weekend a month) is starting to get considerable.  An O-4 over 10 makes about $850 a month just from drill.  The main reason some might want to consider it is the inexpensive (currently $200 a month for full medical coverage) health insurance you can get.  Health insurance is a beeyotch if you're self-employed.  (Hell, it's a beeyotch no matter what, but at least when you work for somebody else, some poor employer is usually paying part of it.)  Also, as a drilling reservist, you can earn a military retirement.

Specks

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #111 on: July 08, 2011, 02:30:21 AM »
I've noticed a lot of people talking about joining the JAG corp, but does anyone know how that selection process works? I've seriously considered it for a while now and have just been apprehensive about making any sort of commitment/contract. It seems to be getting more of a viable option lately thought. My top 2 choices have always been JAG or hanging my own shingle. The only thing that trips me up is that I'm really not that patriotic. I mean, I like this country just fine, but I'm not above seriously critiquing a lot of our policies. I worry that this sort of attitude will kill me during the interview process. Thoughts?

Also, not exactly on topic but still about employment: Does anyone know a good book that helps people choose their field of law? I have an LSAT student I'm teaching that asked and I have no idea what to say to her.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #112 on: July 08, 2011, 04:15:06 AM »
Specks -

As to the process, each branch maintains its own selection criteria and process.  Search via each branch's recruitment site.  (I believe there were links to each elsewhere, but they're easy enough to find.) 

Quite a few members of the military are critical of national and social policies, but you do have a fair concern.  While it's certainly possible to be blase about patriotism, that's not a terribly good start.  (If you'd like to ignite a sense of pride in these United States, click on Transparency International, find their annual list of global corruption, choose any of the nations in the bottom half--via a game of darts is fine--and go teach English there for two years.  Actually, two months will likely do it.  You'll become so patriotic your own parents will threaten to disown you if you don't cease and desist humming God Bless America.)

Hanging your own shingle?  Unless you're willing to work harder there than you will in Officer Training School (or Candidate School, depending upon the service), no. 

If "no" is a bit too brusque (as I've been guilty of), read Lund's first two Jagged Rocks of Wisdom books.  Substitute "client" for "partner."  If you're still inclined in that direction, that's a good sign.

As to choosing an area of law, not even a 3d-year law student should spend too much time on this.  This is hard for pre-law students to fathom, but there are really only two tracks in law school: litigation and transactional . . . and those aren't all that hard-and-fast.

I could recommend a book, but that would be a tad self-interested, yes?   = :   )

Best of luck to you and your tutee.

T.


Specks

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #113 on: July 09, 2011, 02:20:01 AM »

Hanging your own shingle?  Unless you're willing to work harder there than you will in Officer Training School (or Candidate School, depending upon the service), no. 

If "no" is a bit too brusque (as I've been guilty of), read Lund's first two Jagged Rocks of Wisdom books.  Substitute "client" for "partner."  If you're still inclined in that direction, that's a good sign.

Heh. Thanks for the heads up Thane. I'll have to check that book out. I mean, I know hanging your shingle is  no walk in the park and I certainly expect to work much harder than I would even at big law. The thing is, I'm currently running my own LSAT tutoring service right, and I find it really fun--even the part where you have to go pound the pavement for clients. But you're right, I should be looking into this more deeply before I just leap. Recently bought "Solo By Choice" and I'm planning on actually cracking it in August. Will put your recommendation on the reading list as well.

As to choosing an area of law, not even a 3d-year law student should spend too much time on this.  This is hard for pre-law students to fathom, but there are really only two tracks in law school: litigation and transactional . . . and those aren't all that hard-and-fast.

I could recommend a book, but that would be a tad self-interested, yes?   = :   )

I tried to explain the difference and how most have 1 thought going into law school and an entirely different inclination once they graduate. No dice. Hence the book rec. :) But now that you mention it, I know the perfect one. ;)

LSDSL

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #114 on: March 13, 2012, 03:31:34 PM »
Since I'm the OP, I thought I'd update you all on my progress.  Recall, I started this thread when I woke up one night in a panic because I was studying for the bar and had no job.  After working as a Law Clerk at the firm I clerked for the summer before 3L, I was promoted to Staff Attorney, which was essentially a change in title only. 

Three weeks ago, I started a new job working for one of the counties near Chicago, where I have a sweet judicial clerkship gig.  Though the pay still isn't spectacular, I'm getting great experience, the hours are amazing, and it looks great on a resume. 

I know the job market still sucks but (I'm told) it's getting better little by little.  Please keep the faith, people.  If you're activly looking for work in the legal field, something will come.  Trust me. 

- LSDSL

sollicitus

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #115 on: March 13, 2012, 03:34:36 PM »
So after all this term being a clerk, was it all worth it?

I know people gun for those gigs, but I for the life of me can't tell why.

Hope you enjoy it and the best, I just wish you better is all.

LSDSL

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #116 on: March 13, 2012, 03:39:09 PM »
So after all this term being a clerk, was it all worth it?

I know people gun for those gigs, but I for the life of me can't tell why.

Hope you enjoy it and the best, I just wish you better is all.


It was worth it.  You have to take what you can get.  It's easier to talk about whatever experience you got rather than why you  have a tremendous gap in your resume's timeline. 

- LSDSL

sollicitus

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #117 on: March 13, 2012, 03:46:38 PM »
good point. Pay now vs no pay is better (obviously) plus the resume part. Factor in extra experience too, and take vs nothing I would take too.

I just see people in school bragging about clerkships as a goal (longterm even) and it makes we wonder if they were dropped on their heads as kids or what.

Sure, its competitive to get some of them, so what?

It's a long line in the breadline, dosn't mean I want to stand in it for the rest of my life.

LSDSL

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #118 on: March 13, 2012, 04:02:27 PM »
I'm sorry, I thought you were referring to my "Law Clerk" position at my old job.  I didn't mean to belittle my clerkship.  Clerkships are among the most competitive jobs in the legal field for a reason.  Judicial Clerks have uncanny access to the thought process that judges use.  Having that kind of insight is something that can't be taught.  This (usually) translates into intreviews and job offers down the road. 

- LSDSL

sollicitus

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Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« Reply #119 on: March 15, 2012, 03:54:47 PM »
I'm sorry, I thought you were referring to my "Law Clerk" position at my old job.  I didn't mean to belittle my clerkship.  Clerkships are among the most competitive jobs in the legal field for a reason.  Judicial Clerks have uncanny access to the thought process that judges use.  Having that kind of insight is something that can't be taught.  This (usually) translates into intreviews and job offers down the road. 

- LSDSL

My point exactly. The theory that "competitive" means "better".
By that theory the only person worth marrying is the one you win on the bachelor.