Law School Discussion

2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives

Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2016, 02:05:35 PM »
Yea I'm not at Berkeley or Stanford. (Wish I was). I'm at UC Hastings. So certainly not a Berkeley or Stanford but better than a GGU?

Hastings is a solid, well established school with a good reputation throughout California (and my better half's alma mater to boot!). That will certainly not hurt you.

Incidentally, I have nothing against GGU either. I've met GGU grads who were great attorneys and cool people, and I've met T14 grads who were clueless douchebags. Just depends.

Do you know of any looking to hire or recommend any firms that you would recommend I reach out to?

No, I don't. I think Citylaw offered a great opportunity with the basketball league. Seriously, stuff like that is a great way to meet people and to make connections. Look for similar stuff in the Eastbay.

For the resume drops, would you recommend calling them first? Or just showing up and dropping off a resume? Like will the receptionist actually pass the resume on? And do people still print on the nicer paper for resume or is that viewed as pompous these days?

Try to get a feel for the firm, some are more formal and some are more casual. Personally, I think it's OK to just drop it off. If it's a small office you may get a few minutes with a partner, maybe not.

If the receptionist says "Alright, thanks" and shows you the door, don't push it. Be polite and professional, dress nice. At larger firms it's unlikely you'll get past the receptionist. If you want to call first that's fine, but understand that they will probably just tell you to mail it in. Others here may have a different opinion, this is just my personal view.

I've been meaning to ask about legal experience. Does it need to be relevant? Like if I take a position at a family law firm for example, but let's say I want to do corporate or business law in the long run and be in-house down the road. Will it look odd on the resume? Will it box me into family law or whatever area of law I intern for?

The answer is a qualified "no", BUT...

You will obviously be far more likely to get hired at a job if you have specific experience in that field.

If your first job is in family law, are you barred from ever working in corporate? No, I'm sure that some people make that leap, but why would they hire you when they have experienced applicants to choose from? It's not impossible, it's just harder. 

The other aspect is this: as you gain experience in a particular field, you will naturally gravitate towards jobs that need those skills. It's just easier. You already know the law and procedural stuff. If you do family law for a few years and want to make the jump to corporate, you're going to have to learn corporate law somehow.

I do people who have made the jump from stuff like family law to government positions (county counsel, city attorney, etc), but that's different. Even then there were similarities. Like they went from family law into setting up trusts on behalf of the state. Still somewhat related. 

If you can get into a firm that does general business litigation, contract disputes, that sort of thing, that can be a little more generally marketable. Stuff like family law, criminal law, juvenile law etc is more specific.

Again, just my opinion. Others here may have a different view.


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Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2016, 02:32:05 PM »

The answer is a qualified "no", BUT...

You will obviously be far more likely to get hired at a job if you have specific experience in that field.

If your first job is in family law, are you barred from ever working in corporate? No, I'm sure that some people make that leap, but why would they hire you when they have experienced applicants to choose from? It's not impossible, it's just harder. 

The other aspect is this: as you gain experience in a particular field, you will naturally gravitate towards jobs that need those skills. It's just easier. You already know the law and procedural stuff. If you do family law for a few years and want to make the jump to corporate, you're going to have to learn corporate law somehow.

I do people who have made the jump from stuff like family law to government positions (county counsel, city attorney, etc), but that's different. Even then there were similarities. Like they went from family law into setting up trusts on behalf of the state. Still somewhat related. 

If you can get into a firm that does general business litigation, contract disputes, that sort of thing, that can be a little more generally marketable. Stuff like family law, criminal law, juvenile law etc is more specific.

Again, just my opinion. Others here may have a different view.

I'll add to this. This is an interesting one, and it relates to a concept called "path dependency." It's a useful concept, both in law and in general. The easiest way to think about path dependency is to think about the qwerty keyboard. Originally, it was developed to slow down typists and keep common letter combinations apart (to keep the old typewriters from jamming). This may or may not be true (it's commonly said, but there's no contemporaneous support), but the point is that once that layout was picked, it stuck. Typists learned it, manufacturers made it. Whether or not it made sense, that was the path taken (cue Robert Frost). You see this happen in the law a lot, whether it be stare decisis or reliance interests, a path taken at one point can be hard to overcome.

So, what does it mean with experience? The more experience you gain in a particular field, the harder it becomes to move into something different. Especially in the law. Yes, some skills are transferable. Civil litigation in one area can be civil litigation in another. Trial experience. But family law (for instance) tends to be very specialized.

The longer you go on, the harder it becomes. In all areas. I know amazing attorneys who won't practice in federal court because they have spent 35 years in state courts - so even though the case is exactly the same, they procedure is so different that they just won't do it.

Now for the counterpoint - this is just a summer job. It is preferable to get something in a field you would like to work in. But any legal experience is better than no legal experience.

Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2016, 02:37:43 PM »
Yes the lawyer league is a great thing to do and it was at Hastings for one semester, but you need to tell the school to get a better gym. We boycotted the roof in their blocked more shots than anyone : / . Other than the crappy B-Ball gym though Hastings is a fine school as is GGU, USF, etc.

What you will realize once you get out of the law school bubble is that none of it really matters. You are either going to succeed or not. A T14 degree might open some doors, but a Stanford/Harvard/Yale Gard has no idea what the difference between USF/GGU or Hastings is.

Instead Hastings Grads often hire Hastings Grads, USF hires USF and GGU hires GGU. More importantly if your able to bring in clients nobody cares what school you went to.

In summary, it sounds like you are understandable stressing out you are halfway into your law school career and your entire life is not figured out. However, that is typical and honestly I miss that feeling I am lawyer with deadlines, client meetings, court appearances etc, which is fine, but enjoy law school. You get to read cases, hang out with friends, it is a fun-time in life honestly. I am always in the Phil'z coffee right by Hastings before I go to work and I see all the Hastings students with their Con-Law Books, or whatever and I think man it would be so fun to just really read the cases have a flexible schedule etc.

When I was in law school I thought man I can't wait to have an office, clients, make money, blah, here I am looking back fondly on law school, but as the saying goes the grass is always greener.

The best way to deal with the whole situation is just don't overthink it. You are fortunate enough to be in law school, in San Francisco about 5.9 billion people would trade in their life for yours right now. Appreciate where your at and work hard and just do common sense things.

Apply to jobs, use career services one real helpful thing I used in law school was the BYU Intercollegiate Job Bank it has basically every ABA law schools job postings on it, got to love the Mormons and their kindness :) .

Also if you sign up for the Bar Association of San Francisco, which is $35 for law students I think they just launched their own career center, which has a lot of jobs on it.

Also sign-up for LinkedIn-Premium, the Sacramento County Bar Association etc and there are job postings all the time.

Basically, you are at a stage of your life with a lot of uncertainty it is scary, but trust me if you pass the bar you will find work. It might take a few months, but it will happen at least in San Francisco/Bay Area. I am not sure about other places, but the Bay Area economy is booming right now and there are jobs everyday, but finding a job sucks always has always well.

Anyways, enjoy law school and dont' stress I think back to my 2L and I had the same thoughts you are, but I should have enjoyed it more.


Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2016, 08:52:52 PM »
Unpopular thought but one I stand by, just take classes over the summer and get done faster

Yeah, maybe if you started taking summer classes after 1L, but at this point as a 2L is that really going to speed up graduation? You're probably only going to be able to take what, two or three classes? I don't think it would enough to get you out a semester early.

Second issue is this: you graduate early with no experience at all. Now what? Study for the bar and start becoming a "volunteer attorney" to get some experience? No thanks.
You'd be in an identical situation no matter what in most jurisdictions today (unless hired on by the place you interned at which almost NEVER happens anymore too)
Plus "working" over the summer often ends up meaning non legal work. You can internship for CREDIT at every law school on the planet anymore, do that.

Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 11:38:59 PM »
Hi Citylaw,

Absolutely. I am definitely freaking out and to a much larger scale than I would have ever thought. If we went back a year or two ago,  I would have bet that I would never freak out like this. But here I am freaking out. I'm reaching out to local firms and seeing if I can get some experience for sure, but its reassuring to know that jobs will come down the road.

I would love to play! But important question is, do I have to be any good or are the teams more for fun? I definitely play hard, but my shooting is pretty bad. More of a defense player. I can definitely talk to people and see if there is a Hastings team interested in playing. In case there isn't, do you guys take pick up players?

And yea the Hastings gym is not pretty. How's the USF gym? I haven't been up there.

Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2016, 11:40:10 PM »
That's a fair point on graduating early and its flaws. Incidentally, I did take two summer classes in 1L summer but that was so I can have room to do clinics in 3L year. It never occurred to me to graduate early.

Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2016, 07:01:56 PM »
That's a fair point on graduating early and its flaws. Incidentally, I did take two summer classes in 1L summer but that was so I can have room to do clinics in 3L year. It never occurred to me to graduate early.

A lot of people save their for credit clinics and internships until the final year for that reason
some get lucky and roll into jobs (even if unpaid) that let them stay on while in bar prep and waiting on bar results too
just a thought

Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2016, 11:46:12 PM »
That's a fair point on graduating early and its flaws. Incidentally, I did take two summer classes in 1L summer but that was so I can have room to do clinics in 3L year. It never occurred to me to graduate early.

A lot of people save their for credit clinics and internships until the final year for that reason
some get lucky and roll into jobs (even if unpaid) that let them stay on while in bar prep and waiting on bar results too
just a thought

That's a good idea. I was thinking of doing clinics, working, and using some Credit/No Credit classes?

Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2016, 01:36:16 PM »
That's a fair point on graduating early and its flaws. Incidentally, I did take two summer classes in 1L summer but that was so I can have room to do clinics in 3L year. It never occurred to me to graduate early.

A lot of people save their for credit clinics and internships until the final year for that reason
some get lucky and roll into jobs (even if unpaid) that let them stay on while in bar prep and waiting on bar results too
just a thought

That's a good idea. I was thinking of doing clinics, working, and using some Credit/No Credit classes?
whatever works best for you. For sure save easy blowoff electives to the end if possible for that type of reason (and no grade is same idea) But it depends on where the internship is. Clinics are on campus, but the internship might be 8 states away. It just depends on stuff like that. But even then some campuses have "blue jeans" type online classes too that you can use for a limited number of electives too since the ABA allows that now.

Re: 2L Summer & Post-Grad Employment Search & Alternatives
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2016, 06:59:51 PM »
Yea I'm going to use a C/NC next year and then take a handful of Non-GPA classes. I'm already using a C/NC this semester so that I can work on my thesis thing and not worry about my scholarships