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Posted: 5/14/2011 3:30:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 10:03:10 AM EDT by spartacus2002]
Do not plan on finding employment right now in this economy.  Or at least not six figure employment.

Unless you are in the top ten people (not %, people), Law Review will not help you find a job.  Nor will moot court or any of the various ethnic student organizations.  Instead, do clinics and externships so you have practical skills to fall back on if you don't get a job.

Start thinking like a business owner now.  Even if you get a job in private practice, you cannot think of yourself as a lawyer.  You are a business owner whose business is the delivery of legal services.  You will only have job security if you have your own book of business, whether you are a solo or a partner in a big box firm.  Learn marketing, networking, and selling NOW.  Join at least one group outside of law school, such as Toastmasters or the local business organization, and volunteer for the hard jobs.  This will let you develop your business development skills before they become necessary.

If you are unwilling or unable to accept the above, do not cry in a different professor's office each day of the week.  They are not therapists.  Either accept truth or quit law school.


Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.

Link Posted: 5/14/2011 12:52:38 PM EDT
I'd change that a little.  Unless you're in the top 10 at a top 10 school, don't expect to get recruited.  

One of the best things you can do is work full time and go to school at night.  This will allow you to get a little real world experience and network.

The jobs just aren't out there right now.  
Link Posted: 5/14/2011 1:54:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By davewvu86:
I'd change that a little.  Unless you're in the top 10 at a top 10 school, don't expect to get recruited.  

One of the best things you can do is work full time and go to school at night.  This will allow you to get a little real world experience and network.

The jobs just aren't out there right now.  


Concur wholeheartedly.

I am a little bitter because one of my former students is getting dicked over by a large employer.
Link Posted: 5/15/2011 6:37:30 AM EDT
yet law schools will happily take their money.
Link Posted: 5/15/2011 7:26:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By funkymonkey1111:
yet law schools will happily take their money.


and the career services offices will happily say "oh, sending out 3000 resumes hasn't gotten you a job?  SEND OUT 6000!"

To be honest, the students are in denial and not listening to the career services shops advice on networking and externing.  

Link Posted: 5/16/2011 9:13:45 PM EDT
I'm hiring right now for a position, and the job description specifically says "No JD's". (It's a job in the legal field, though not an attorney position.). Sure enough, 80% of the resumes are from JD's.

I understand, though.  Many of them simply need a job.  Any job.

The legal industry is doing a HUGE disservice to society by graduating so many lawyers.  If 75% of these people knew what awaits them after they graduate...they would never set foot in law school.  It is a massively over-saturated market.  Combined with a whole host of other factors (clients cutting back on what they'll pay, outsourcing, increased use of cheaper para-professionals, etc.), the jobs just aren't there...save for the best graduates from the better schools.

And yet, in part due to law schools not being honest with students about post-law school realities, most law schools have no problem filling their classrooms.  Of course, the students themselves are partially at fault.  They simply refuse to believe that the job market is as bad as it is, and that being a lawyer is more often than not FAR from glamorous or rewarding.
Link Posted: 6/20/2011 8:14:32 PM EDT
When I graduated in 2006 it was a different story. Even  my dumb ass had multiple job offers. If you really, really want to be a lawyer, you can make it. Taking criminal and civil appointments from large firms is a good start. Get involved with the Bar. For that matter, just go hang out at the courthouse like my grandfather did in the '40's and '50's and see what you can pick up. If you talk to the judge before criminal court starts he may appoint you to a couple cases. BE SOMEBODY. BE IN COURT.
Otherwise, go do something else. Be a commercial diver, or a helicopter pilot - wait tables on a cruise ship - write a book - crew a fishing charter or a dive boat - become a hunting guide - fix vintage motorcycles - do something fun!!!

Law is often very boring, life is short, you are obviously smart. There are no rules in life.
Link Posted: 6/20/2011 11:37:19 PM EDT
I frequently have people ask me about law school - I tell them run - but "it will be different for them" they tell me.  I have to chuckle bitterly too at those who think being an Army JA will be their "back up plan."  Last board we had 1800 applicants for 200 selections.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 12:09:24 PM EDT
Going to law school was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I walked away from a six figure job and had to borrow some money to pay the tuition.  That said, I have been alright so far and am earning a little more than before school.  Financially, it has been about a wash.

The reason it was the right decision is that I love the law.  I have always wanted to be a lawyer, and I love the practice of law.  It is interesting.  It is not glamorous most of the time.

My advice to anyone who asks is this:

Don't go to law school because you want to make money.
Don't go to law school because you think it is a prestigous profession or because it is glamorous.
Don't go to law school because someone told you that "there are a lot of things you can do with a law degree other than practice law"  (there aren't).

You should only go to law school if you love the law and want to devote your life to advancing and improving it.  You might make make a dollar or two along the way if you are lucky.  You wil get to help people who need it, and sometimes you will get paid for it.  You will also likely do a bunch of mundane BS that pays the rent.

Overall: do what you love.  Life is too short to spend your life doing a job you hate.

Link Posted: 6/23/2011 4:52:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MikeDeltaFoxtrot:
Going to law school was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I walked away from a six figure job and had to borrow some money to pay the tuition.  That said, I have been alright so far and am earning a little more than before school.  Financially, it has been about a wash.

The reason it was the right decision is that I love the law.  I have always wanted to be a lawyer, and I love the practice of law.  It is interesting.  It is not glamorous most of the time.

My advice to anyone who asks is this:

Don't go to law school because you want to make money.
Don't go to law school because you think it is a prestigous profession or because it is glamorous.
Don't go to law school because someone told you that "there are a lot of things you can do with a law degree other than practice law"  (there aren't).

You should only go to law school if you love the law and want to devote your life to advancing and improving it.  You might make make a dollar or two along the way if you are lucky.  You wil get to help people who need it, and sometimes you will get paid for it.  You will also likely do a bunch of mundane BS that pays the rent.

Overall: do what you love.  Life is too short to spend your life doing a job you hate.


Word.
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