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Author Topic: How are you going to get a job?  (Read 1230 times)

specultr

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How are you going to get a job?
« on: December 16, 2005, 05:43:26 PM »
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mb3303

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Re: How are you going to get a job?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2005, 06:48:55 PM »
Check out my thread "99% sure..." I recently gave up the whole law school thing for many reasons, but one of those reasons was that I'm 35, would be almost 39 when I graduated LS, and know the field is age-o-phobic. Plus, I've been in the working world long enough to know that working 60-80 hrs a week is insane and NEVER worth it, which is what many firms would require. If you're an older student, even if you WANTED to work those hours, it would be very hard to get hired at a large firm. (Incidentally, I work 35 hours a week, without exception, and make as much as many public interest lawyers). And without that kind of (big law) experience, you can forget about working for a nonprofit or something, which is what I wanted to do. Not trying to discourage you, but I would think long and hard (realistically) about what your job prospects are at 43 in the field of law. Good luck, in any event.

LawyersGunnersnMoney

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Re: How are you going to get a job?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2005, 11:19:11 AM »
I have read of the covert age discrimination among law firms, mainly big law. When looking at bios of the lawyers in larger firms with websites in my city, I see just about all of the attorneys went to law school straight out of undergrad. I only saw one older career changer, and he worked in the business side of his field before studying law.

How would a male graduating LS at 43 get hired? Does it have to be related in some way to my previous career, which I dislike? Are grades the ticket to a law job? This actually worries me more than the LS study schedule. I don't want to be left holding 90K in debt without a chance to practice law.

perhaps its self selection and simple percentages.  the majority of law students are a few years out of college at the most; likewise, older students may have a more specific career path in mind than broadly slugging it out in the biglaw salt mine


sck

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Re: How are you going to get a job?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2005, 12:07:34 PM »
My personal goal is government or working directly for a company as a general counsel. Possibly a small firm, but I have little to no interest in big law myself.

It probably also helps that people generally guess me to be aboue 5 years younger than I am, too, although my resume would obviously show my age.
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LawyersGunnersnMoney

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Re: How are you going to get a job?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2005, 12:10:07 PM »
I would like to believe you very much that it's just a question of numbers in spite of what lawyers will tell you under their breath. Do you have any concrete examples of the methods non-trads used to get jobs? Blogs, websites, etc.? Hey, I'm all for optimism too but with a dash of reality as well.

unfortunately not.  basically my own theory loosely supported by talking to lawyers/recruiters who say they dont have many older students apply for corp law

kmpnj

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Re: How are you going to get a job?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2005, 03:01:53 PM »
I'm in a similar situation, in that I'll be 35 when I graduate Law School.  Although I will probably be too old for BIGLAW, that's not my aim anyway.  My goal is to work either in a DAs office or US Attorney's office as a criminal prosecutor.  I already have about 5 years experience as a police officer and 4 years military, I would have to think that my experience works to my advantage in that regard.

As for the quiet discrimination that exists in BIGLAW, I would guess that that has something to do with their probable perception of older law school graduates.  For example, if you're a 20-something graduate of a law school and this is your first decent paying job, then your more likely to put in the 80+ hours per week, no questions asked.  They probably figure that, as an older starting lawyer, your loyalty is not going to be with the firm, but with the family.  I used to work in the Casino industry in Atlantic City and it was the same deal.  They would rather take some young kid, who knows nothing, and train them the way they want the job done, as opposed to someone who has a little wear on the tires and has a way of doing things their own way that might contradict BIGLAW's ways.

It is a vicious cycle, which bites the big one. 

upNdown

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Re: How are you going to get a job?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2005, 05:34:34 PM »
I wonder how much of it has to do with the fact that so many non-trads go part-timeor nights.  I've though long and hard about it and can only come to the conclusion that, all things being equal, your chances of landing a good job are much better coming out of a full time program.  One of the biggest reasons (though not the only one), is that people who go nights can't take that clerkship or that summer internship, or even that clinic, cause they're still punching the clock m-f,m 9-5.
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mobo

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Re: How are you going to get a job?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2005, 04:17:24 AM »
i AM one of those people who has thought long and hard about exactly this issue and who came to a different conclusion than mb3303.

i want to go into public interest/govt/intl law, and i will be turning 40 just as i graduate law school. and my age, the potential agism, the added aspect that i will be 40 yo woman with no kids and who may still want kids, the debt, the three year commitment, all of it combined is enough to make a less dedicated woman freak out.

(oh. my. god. what am i doing!!! and there it was. ;))

just as in any job search you have to know how to market and position yourself. here is my plan - maybe it will help you in some way.

first, get good grades and work to get as high a ranking/gpa as i can. second, third, fourth, and fifth, network while i am in law school. lastly, pursue some kind of part-time work while i am a 2l and 3l in the field that i want to pursue, and network there too. many times the part time work you do while in school tranlates to a fulltime, unadvertised position when you graduate. (this happened with one of my good friends who went to gtown, so not a fantasy.)

i am sure that you guys have been around the block with me on this - you know that most jobs are not advertised, and given to people with connections. plus, i have to think that in many ways we will be able to better connect with some professors/legal contacts, who are closer to our age and may have more appreciation for our experience, and more in common with us than with some of our younger colleagues. plus we have networks already in place, from our previous WE, that we can leverage during and after law school. (and that doesn't mean getting a job in the same industry. maybe your former boss who thinks well of you has a brother who is a lawyer, like  mine does, and would be happy to connect the two of you. see? not so daunting if you ask the right questions...)

research the professors at your school, figure out who has the connections that you want to leverage, and pursue a relationship with that professor. it doesn't matter what the area is, from corp law to public interest. i know this sounds almost mercernary, but law school isn't academia; it is a trade school, a very expensive, very prestigious trade school. so treat it like an entry level job that you want to use as a stepping stone to the next job (which pays more money than law school). at least, that is what i plan to do.

AND i am counting on the fact that my networking skills have been finely honed over the course of the last 15 years of work experience, to the point where i can out-network a 25yo recently minted law school grad, who has come up in the world of instant messaging and misspelled emails. (no offense meant to anyone, jsia. and i am well aware that my forum posts are lower case and occasionally mis-spelled and sometimes even grammatically awkward.)

just my $.02...

LostMyMonkeys

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Re: How are you going to get a job?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2005, 01:16:43 PM »
To me, that's not even quitting, its not even bothering to start the race because it looks 'too hard' and the competition is tough so why bother even trying?

I mean, I understand if you came to the conclusion you did for your own reasons, and I am not saying that you are quitting the opportunity just because of age but it's definitely not me.
Not once have I even considered if my age would be a factor later. I decided I wanted to be a lawyer, and here I am at age 31, starting law school for the second time.
Its like anything else out there, you work hard, you perform well and it will be rewarded. I am not 'not going to even bother trying' just because some fool out there says youngin's have a better shot than I do at getting what *I* want. Sorry, but that is a pretty defeatest mentality.

I like to think that I have distinct advantages over my younger peers because I have pretty impressive work experience, better life experience, etc etc....




Check out my thread "99% sure..." I recently gave up the whole law school thing for many reasons, but one of those reasons was that I'm 35, would be almost 39 when I graduated LS, and know the field is age-o-phobic. Plus, I've been in the working world long enough to know that working 60-80 hrs a week is insane and NEVER worth it, which is what many firms would require. If you're an older student, even if you WANTED to work those hours, it would be very hard to get hired at a large firm. (Incidentally, I work 35 hours a week, without exception, and make as much as many public interest lawyers). And without that kind of (big law) experience, you can forget about working for a nonprofit or something, which is what I wanted to do. Not trying to discourage you, but I would think long and hard (realistically) about what your job prospects are at 43 in the field of law. Good luck, in any event.
Nice ass won't get you through your whole life. When you turn 30 you better have a personality