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Author Topic: I am really bad at making decisions  (Read 585 times)

donedidit

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I am really bad at making decisions
« on: April 11, 2012, 02:57:09 AM »
2L at a TTTT, never looking for big law, pretty realistic about things, I suppose. Sitting at a 2.55 GPA and at about the nadir of my class. I've done some clerking for a judge this last semester, but that's all as far as experience. Naturally, I'm not getting much back in terms of responses as far as my job searches go. I don't think I'm going to do very well this semester either, as I just got the lowest grade on the Crim Pro midterm. I have a bad criminal history - 3 DUI, procuring (keg party in UG over ten years ago), reckless driving, four underage consump - and I'm afraid I might not pass the C&F because of this. I have accumulated over $130,000 in student debt so far and will end up with over $180,000 after next year. I'm just wondering if it's worth going back. I know that I should have never gone in the first place, and that I REALLY shouldn't have came back after my 1L year, but I need some advice. The only way I could afford to pay off these loans is if I got a job with the government or a non-profit (through tuition forgiveness and such), but I doubt I'll get any of those jobs. I see my only option (if I pass my C&F) is to hang my own shingle, which sounds terrifying. There are jobs through local public universities which pay around $40,000/year; I was wondering if I should just apply for those jobs instead of piling on more debt while I fly towards a brick wall of a future.

john4040

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Re: I am really bad at making decisions
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 03:15:10 AM »
2L at a TTTT... I've done some clerking for a judge this last semester

No, you haven't clerked for a judge.  What you did is either an "internship" or "externship".  You didn't clerk.  This drives me crazy.  This may be why you're getting dinged at the firms you're applying to.  If you put that on your resume and I was the hiring partner (who has clerked), I'd instantly throw it in the trash.

Not sure why people can't get this right - are you deliberately trying to puff up your qualifications or are you just that ignorant?

donedidit

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Re: I am really bad at making decisions
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 04:23:17 AM »
On my transcript it says "clinic: judicial clerkship"; I don't put it on my resume; I understand it is an externship. This is an informal board. Relax.

john4040

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Re: I am really bad at making decisions
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 07:43:47 AM »
Your transcript says it was a clinic.  It should be listed as a clinical class on your resume and referred to as such in conversation.  Former clerks are very anal about this because interns and externs are (1) generally less credentialed than clerks; and (2) given lesser forms of work. 

Trust me on this.  I'm  not trying to be an a-hole - just trying to warn you (and others) on this board of the consequences of (possibly inadvertently) listing it as "clerkship" experience.


Good luck on your legal career, though.  I have a feeling that all is not lost.  Sometimes you have to send out 1,000 resumes and cover letters to get a job.  The good thing for you is that you only need one bite out of the 1,000.  If I were you, I would seriously consider peppering ALL of the local small firms with cover letters and resumes.  Use Martindale, Westlaw, Yellow Pages, etc.  Someone out there could probably use an associate. 

FalconJimmy

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Re: I am really bad at making decisions
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 07:54:07 AM »
Trust me on this.  I'm  not trying to be an a-hole - just trying to warn you (and others) on this board of the consequences of (possibly inadvertently) listing it as "clerkship" experience.

People in every profession look down on people who play fast and loose with the terminology of the profession.  Especially when doing so inflates a person's background. 

I would think this is doubly or triply true in a profession that is, at its essence, all about the precise use of language.

Good advice.  May have come across as harsh, but not as harsh as people throwing your resume into the reject pile after every interview.

donedidit

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Re: I am really bad at making decisions
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 01:44:18 PM »
Thanks for the advice, but I was wondering about the debt. I know some lawyers from my hometown who could definitely use me, but that debt is going to be impossible to pay off unless I'm enrolled in that plan where 120 payments while working in for a non-profit, government job, etc. gets the rest of your debt discharged. Like I said, there are jobs starting this summer at local universities which pay $40000. I was thinking this would be a better way to go than adding more debt to hopeless situation. I mean, there is no way I'll ever be able to pay off all my debt if I'm working at a small firm...which is really optimistic considering my GPA, criminal record, etc. 

john4040

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Re: I am really bad at making decisions
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 01:52:40 PM »
Give law a try.  If you can work your way into a small firm (pay is often around $40k to start), you'll be able to lateral to a better firm in 3 years.  Like I said, if you can get a job out of the gate, all is not lost.

sollicitus

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Re: I am really bad at making decisions
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 02:43:08 PM »
Thank you for pointing out the difference between a clerkship and a clinic or intership. You are right, I know a TON of people who say BS simular to that every friggin day and if they were all correct it would imply that getting such a position is as easy as flipping a coin as long as you have at least a 3.0 gpa.

I am glad the OP understands it now, most never will even if you tried to beat it into their heads with a brick.