Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

To those who did doc review for more than a year, how did you get out?

Maybe a consolidated thread to give others possibly a sembla notreallyalawyer10/11/17
I did it for like 30 months or so. Made like 80k one year an cantimaginenocountry10/11/17
Hey that's great. I think the most I ever made doing agency notreallyalawyer10/11/17
The lawyer thing didnt bother me especially when I saw the s cantimaginenocountry10/11/17
Very inspirational story. patenttrollnj10/13/17
No offense, NotReallyALawyer, but you seem to post threads l blackholelaw10/12/17
keep in mind I have really severe anxiety.. notreallyalawyer10/12/17
Only one way to get over it -get out there, start small. anonattempt10/12/17
Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I'm not kidding OP. The only isthisit10/12/17
Truth. I have anxiety too. Agreed law is not the best prof blackholelaw10/13/17
I was in some 4 month group CBT session for social anxiety. notreallyalawyer10/13/17
"CBT didn't work for me" --- you're still making excuses. Y blackholelaw10/13/17
I've stopped trying? I'm currently seeing a shrink. I've see notreallyalawyer10/13/17
I did doc review for four years post graduation. On the side phillydoucherocket10/13/17
Believe me, if I had any technical abilities I'd be doing th notreallyalawyer10/13/17
OP -- though many try to deny it, the profession of law is o ginganinja10/13/17
I purposefully registered with nonlegal staffing companies. beat12310/15/17
Started in doc review, did it for 5 years. Got a law clerk 1 burneremail10/16/17
went back to school...teach high school in a low income area jdcumlaude10/17/17
[insert response from notreallyalawyer talking about how he blackholelaw10/17/17
Government paralegal gig (by taking a civil service test, bt wolfman10/11/17
I think one day in the future there won't be any doc review notreallyalawyer10/11/17
Government employment is the credited response. Or academia, flyer1410/12/17
Move to North Dakota. Mexican migrants working the sugar be tedandlisa12310/11/17
I heard the housing costs there are astronomical notreallyalawyer10/11/17
And housing in NYC or D.C. isn't? If you are going to do do tedandlisa12310/11/17
I don't think spanish gets paid that much more than english notreallyalawyer10/11/17
Spanish is typically a 50% bump over English. I’ve seen as anonlaw12310/13/17
Why would housing costs in North Dakota be astronomical? The caj11110/12/17
Uh, in the oil fields, housing is scarce. It is all about su downwardslope10/12/17
Why would you pay $3k to rent a trailer? If you borrowed 20 tedandlisa12310/12/17
Imagine how many law schools will close down when that happe notreallyalawyer10/12/17
Seven have closed down already over the last few years, gran caj11110/12/17
I think I read that too. The issue is that some states have downwardslope10/12/17
Doc review for 5 years in a decade. I hustled and got a litt booyeah10/11/17
My advice if you just want out - Get out. Drop the bad suit. booyeah10/11/17
One last thing. Trust yourself. Yes, it’s hard to take a s booyeah10/11/17
I don't think it is who I am, but I've been applying for job notreallyalawyer10/12/17
NotReallyALawyer - I want you to succeed. It stinks you're jd4hire10/12/17
I think NotReally needs some perspective. I mean, it sucks t downwardslope10/12/17
At the time my fraternity was small . My pledge class was 5. notreallyalawyer10/12/17
Great example of your attitude. It's all "can't" and anxiet jd4hire10/12/17
I'd say the reality of my life is pretty dismal. It's nice t notreallyalawyer10/12/17
Amateur psychiatrist coming to play here, although my experi flyer1410/12/17
I'm honestly not sure of what my strengths are. I wouldn't e notreallyalawyer10/12/17
Thanks for the advice. I've tried multiple avenues trying to notreallyalawyer10/12/17
Dude. If you’ve been unemployed for six months try somethi booyeah10/13/17
And the money I owe? YOu really think Home Depot is going to notreallyalawyer10/13/17
Yes, there are plenty of JDs working at Home Depot. Some of booyeah10/13/17
Seriously. JDs are everywhere. I talked to a guy over at a f downwardslope10/13/17
Curious, when you say JD do you mean someone who went to law notreallyalawyer10/13/17
I said my neighbor’s friend was an attorney. That means he downwardslope10/13/17
Nope. Used JD because it’s shorter to type than attorney, booyeah10/13/17
I'm sorry, to the both of you. My experience is when people notreallyalawyer10/13/17
I spent most of 2014 working as a shade tree mechanic with m flyer1410/14/17
He can keep his crappy attitude, as long as he is hustling b triplesix10/14/17
Did you ever try getting a hold of your old law school caree kramer71610/12/17
Well I graduated 15 years ago. They were helpful when I was notreallyalawyer10/12/17
Unless you are working or have an interview I would contact kramer71610/12/17
I've really thought about this, and even asked my shrink if notreallyalawyer10/12/17
First off, when it comes to finding a legal position screw y kramer71610/12/17
Would emailing them be the functional equivalent? I'm really notreallyalawyer10/13/17
Unless you're applying to a double-blind job agency, you bet sanka10/12/17
Getting out of doc review is easy, stop taking doc review jo thirdtierlaw10/14/17
When I get bad credit because I won’t be able to pay my bi notreallyalawyer10/14/17
You are now moving the goalposts. You were saying that you w thirdtierlaw10/14/17
I can’t even get doc review. I’ve applied for many jobs notreallyalawyer10/14/17
HOW about office temping? Is that realistic for someon like notreallyalawyer10/14/17
Office temping is possible. Amazon will be hiring a ton of s booyeah10/14/17
I remember about 7 years ago I wanted to quit doc review and notreallyalawyer10/15/17
There are SBA disaster lawyer jobs available right now. You whipster10/14/17
I’ve applied to that and haven’t heard anything from the notreallyalawyer10/14/17
why do you want to get out of doc review now versus the past petunia10/14/17
I don’t mind doing doc review for another year or two but notreallyalawyer10/14/17
I do realize that this message will likely be put down by no kyiv10/14/17
He can't handle that. Too much "anxiety" or some other bs ex petunia10/14/17
THat book is selling for $614 on Amazon :( I wish I could notreallyalawyer10/14/17
Check the website of the author- he sells it for $16-$30, if kyiv10/14/17
The 2017 Corolla was 2003's car of the year. That's actually flyer1410/15/17
I do realize that the car isn’t fancy or doesn’t have th kyiv10/17/17
But, if I was notreallyalawyer, I would look at Sentras. MUC kyiv10/17/17
Seriously? I looked the book up. Barnes and noble sells the thirdtierlaw10/15/17
You make. Lot of assumptions. I also checked on eBay. I didn notreallyalawyer10/15/17
Yet you've managed to spend 14 years doing doc review? I thirdtierlaw10/15/17
thirdtierlaw, i have no idea if notreallyalawyer is real or anonlaw12310/15/17
I'm not helpless. I just have very bad anxiety which gives p notreallyalawyer10/15/17
What do you want me to do? Apply to the SBA again? And piss notreallyalawyer10/15/17
Someone in another thread said they are still looking for an thirdtierlaw10/15/17
IM Curious, do you read every thread here? I don’t. I’v notreallyalawyer10/15/17
I read a fair number of them, it's a great way to pass the t thirdtierlaw10/15/17
CAn I guess you haven’t been diagnosed with generalized an notreallyalawyer10/15/17
He’s beyond unbelievable at this point. If he pays no rent downwardslope10/15/17
I just applied to a gs7 contract specialist position 10 minu notreallyalawyer10/15/17
Became a physician bigsal10/14/17
Started taking night classes in computer science. Got good e drwayoflife10/15/17
I went to college for that hoping to do that. Barely passed notreallyalawyer10/15/17
Of all the silly excuses you made so far, "wish I had a tech junkwired10/16/17
Did you call the SBA number? The new one that was posted? I kramer71610/16/17
What are you planning on saying to them? I’m very fearful notreallyalawyer10/16/17
You are way overthinking this. Just call and ask, be resp burneremail10/16/17
Just going to call and say I heard that the SBA needs attorn kramer71610/16/17
I'm a bureaucrat. Once a week for any request (including hir flyer1410/16/17
Don't call the 1-866-407-7795 number. I tried and all they s kramer71610/16/17
I did doc review for 3 years then I applied for an accelerat hopingagainsthope10/22/17
Two things 1. You aren't a quitter. I would call you a su kramer71610/23/17
You did quit, sure, but only because you had the foresight a themapmaster10/23/17
There's a need for people in the medical field. You will be notreallyalawyer10/23/17
I challenge you to go three days without using the phrase "I flyer1410/23/17
Troll alert. triplesix10/23/17
He trolls on reddit too, under a different username and not blackholelaw10/23/17
If someone here suggested I join the NBA? You do know tha notreallyalawyer10/23/17
I am petitioning admin for you to be banned to the dome... triplesix10/23/17
I really feel bad for someone whose life is so miserbale the notreallyalawyer10/23/17
You've been certified dear... Please proceed to /dome. triplesix10/23/17
In this thread and others, you've told us you can't: - Ge flyer1410/23/17
I'd really appreciate if we got back to the topic, and stop notreallyalawyer10/23/17
So rather than saying "I have no money for a four door", tel flyer1410/23/17
I think that Uber has car rental programs. I don’t know ho kyiv10/23/17
Notreallyalawyer needs to get a job where s/he can b!tch and bittersweet10/23/17
Instead of telling people what you can’t do, tell people w burneremail10/23/17
Any advice on finding positions in the counties around DC. A kramer71610/23/17
I'd look through the county government websites, they usuall notreallyalawyer10/23/17
I used to check the DC AG office and Maryland state attorney burneremail10/24/17
Well for now my plan is to do doc review to get out of debt, notreallyalawyer10/23/17
what kinda debt? law school debt? is your debt private? i anonlaw12310/23/17
I still have pretty substantial student loans(cosolidated st notreallyalawyer10/23/17
I would say don’t put off your future to deal with your pa burneremail10/24/17
notreallyalawyer, insert [...therefore I cannot help myself nighthawk10/24/17
Again, why can't you just not read let alone not post? someo notreallyalawyer10/24/17
Excellent advice. kramer71610/24/17
Thanks for the advice. I have two resumes I work with, on notreallyalawyer10/24/17
Yes you need an updated writing sample, most places want som burneremail10/25/17
notreallyalawyer, insert [...therefore I cannot help myself nighthawk10/25/17
I'm of the opinion that NRAL needs to be sent to the dome no flyer1410/25/17
Why would he send himself to the dome? He's generating all wutwutwut10/25/17
I forgot to add some items from my original reply. That's burneremail10/25/17
Excellent post. kramer71610/25/17
Yes. The reality is that you have to get your foot in the do downwardslope10/25/17
Just regarding the latest VA Posting. I don't think they ask kramer71610/25/17
I did Doc Review for about 3.5 years right out of law school thebishop11/06/17
I am in my sixth year of doc review in the DC market, but my relativityforever11/07/17
Relativityforever - although you’re able to pay your bills burneremail11/07/17
Oh definitely. I think that technology will eventually crush relativityforever11/07/17
I left law practice to take one of those 9/11/12 fed jobs in flyer1411/08/17
Also relativityforever, if you work long enough you'll devel notreallyalawyer11/08/17
I've got some project that keeps on having the start delayed notreallyalawyer11/08/17
You don’t need to speak. Just read a lot and build your v tedandlisa12311/08/17
When’s your interview for the irs thing? burneremail11/08/17
Posse List advertised two English projects on Monday that st relativityforever11/08/17
The best way to escape doc review is to drop doc review habi secondcareerlawyer11/07/17
I did doc review for 3 years before taking a position as a p imkickingrocks11/07/17
In DC, today, everyone is giddy with joy because of the Old aknas11/08/17

notreallyalawyer (Oct 11, 2017 - 5:37 pm)

Maybe a consolidated thread to give others possibly a semblance of hope. Just got a bunch more rejection emails from fed jobs today the "you were one of the most qualified, however you weren't selected". I wasn't even selected for an interview..

Anyone who got out, please tell us how you managed to do it. Especially career change stories.

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cantimaginenocountry (Oct 11, 2017 - 6:17 pm)

I did it for like 30 months or so. Made like 80k one year and 54k the other year and this was in 1997-1999.

On my final project I was offered a job as a big law paralegal which I accepted. Within 2 yrs I was making 90k a year plus great beenies. After 9 years of this I got a JD plus job and make 110k-130k now!

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 11, 2017 - 6:23 pm)

Hey that's great. I think the most I ever made doing agency work was about $60k a year and that was 2003ish. Then again I only did agency work for about 1.5 years.. Not sure I'd want to do paralegal stuff, perhaps if I had kids or something and needed the work, but I'd rather not be working in a law firm if I'm not in any kind of lawyer capacity, it would just make me bitter. Hopefully when I finally pay off my debt I can get into some low paying entry level job if they won't hold my age against me.

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cantimaginenocountry (Oct 11, 2017 - 7:53 pm)

The lawyer thing didnt bother me especially when I saw the stress that the associates had to deal with; demanding clients and uber demanding mean partners. As a biglaw para you didnt take work home with you and there was OT, cars home and paid dinners if you wanted them. I though better big law para with great benefits than terlet law with high stress, no job security and crappy benefits. at soem point you do learn enough to move on to something else better!

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patenttrollnj (Oct 13, 2017 - 12:53 pm)

Very inspirational story.

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blackholelaw (Oct 12, 2017 - 11:22 am)

No offense, NotReallyALawyer, but you seem to post threads like this every single day and then when people give you helpful suggestions, you make excuses about why it wouldn't work for you.

A career coach might be helpful to walk you through how to answer difficult interview questions regarding your career path, but if you want to leave doc review that badly, at some point you will have to step out of your comfort zone and just go for it.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 12:34 pm)

keep in mind I have really severe anxiety..

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anonattempt (Oct 12, 2017 - 2:02 pm)

Only one way to get over it -get out there, start small.

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isthisit (Oct 12, 2017 - 3:18 pm)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

I'm not kidding OP. The only way to change your life is to take action and posting about it isn't action.

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blackholelaw (Oct 13, 2017 - 12:31 pm)

Truth. I have anxiety too. Agreed law is not the best profession for us, but I actively work to overcome it through therapy and medicine because I refuse to let it ruin my life.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 13, 2017 - 1:01 pm)

I was in some 4 month group CBT session for social anxiety. It didn't help me, but I think it helped some of the others. I think my problems are too severe for it, plus the thoughts that they told us to think, weren't realistic to me. my current shrink says I'd be deluding myself If I thought i could get any job I want, not like CBT was saying that, but for it to have any chance of working, the thoughts you should believe have to be realistic, and nothing was realistic to me. Other people had issues like "i'm nervous about giving a presentation" and this woman already had a very high level, great job, one I'll likely never have, and she managed to get that job, something I wouldn't have been able to do in the first place..

I'm in my early 40s, I've never had a real job in my life. Before I got my staff job all I had done was a couple of internships and temp work. Every aspect of my life is crippled.

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blackholelaw (Oct 13, 2017 - 1:24 pm)

"CBT didn't work for me" --- you're still making excuses. You're not "unfixable," you just haven't found the right person to fix you yet. That's not an excuse to stop trying.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 13, 2017 - 2:17 pm)

I've stopped trying? I'm currently seeing a shrink. I've seen a shrink since I was in 4th grade. What exactly has this accomplished? I'm now in my 40s and can't even support myself. I've been on every medication known to man. I can read every book on CBT there is, do all the exercises, and if I can't believe it, it can't possibly work. That's wonderful this stuff helps other people. it doesn't help me.

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phillydoucherocket (Oct 13, 2017 - 12:32 pm)

I did doc review for four years post graduation. On the side, I did IT work, taught adjunct classes, did contract review and drafting work for IT & security professionals.

I also taught myself common security assessment tools- nmap, nessus, metasploit. After a while, I was able to do some of the security assessment and writeup work for my infosec clients.

I got a break when a small law firm in my area posted a position for a 'technology lawyer'. They liked the idea of a lawyer who could also pen-test. I worked for them for a while as a lawyer- helping their clients draft policies and contracts around technology use.

I got more and more into the testing work and found that small law, even in technology paid less than a junior pentester. I applied to consulting firms and made the switch. Haven't looked back since.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 13, 2017 - 2:41 pm)

Believe me, if I had any technical abilities I'd be doing that. When I went to college, I tried to be an engineer but did horribly. Barely passed my freshman classes. That's simply not an ability I have, though my personality would be ideal for it, but naturally, I lack the ability.. so that's just another one of those that's my life story thing.

I barely passed Fortran, the only reason I did was because my project partner did all the work on our project. I had to withdraw from physics because I had no idea what was going on. I barely passed calculus.

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ginganinja (Oct 13, 2017 - 11:34 pm)

OP -- though many try to deny it, the profession of law is one-on-one and entrepreneurial. Even at the biggest law firms and in corporate law, every single partner has his OWN clients. Practicing law means you represent someone. You don't need a job for that. Just do it. Charge fees commiserate with what they are hiring for and what you can do for them -- even if very cheap. Turn down cases that are losers. Within 4-5 years, you'll have a financially successful law practice. You can start slow and cheap.

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beat123 (Oct 15, 2017 - 10:34 am)

I purposefully registered with nonlegal staffing companies. Some of these companies were useless and saw me as the poster child of what happens if you fail to get a law job after law school. However, one of them helped me get a temp to perm job with a government contractor. I worked in the contract department with included procurement department. I was paid $25 per hour, and I worked 40 hours per week. After 6 months in that position, I gain some skills in negotiating vendor contracts.

Unfortunately, I was not extended a job offer, but I was given the option to stay for another three months as a temp worker or leave. I decided to leave. In hindsight, it was a dumb to leave the temp position without having a job offer, but I was pissed that I did not get a job and I did not want to work there anymore. There was so much cronyism, nepotism, and peter principle crap. I wasn't emotionally mature to stay and see the bigger picture.

Less than two months later, I was offered a full-time job as a contract negotiator (I negotiate software agreements). I was offered 60K as a base salary. I negotiated and increased it to 70K. Not bad. If I got full-time with the government contractor, my initial salary would have been 45K to 50K (but it was nonprofit so I qualify for loan forgiveness).

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burneremail (Oct 16, 2017 - 11:44 am)

Started in doc review, did it for 5 years. Got a law clerk 1 position, did that for 3 years. Now a full time fed, started as a 12 and now a 13. At what some would call a prestigious agency. I don't do trial work, based in DC.

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jdcumlaude (Oct 17, 2017 - 8:01 am)

went back to school...teach high school in a low income area in NC.

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blackholelaw (Oct 17, 2017 - 12:06 pm)

[insert response from notreallyalawyer talking about how he could never teach high school because of his anxiety and also he could never move to NC because it's too HCOL]

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wolfman (Oct 11, 2017 - 5:53 pm)

Government paralegal gig (by taking a civil service test, btw... they should base more jobs on testing:-)... it ain't all that, but it ain't all bad either... I make a bit more than I would make doing $25/hr English-language doc review all year long, but way less than I'd make doing foreign language doc review all year long (of course, neither of these ever really was all year long). Far less flexibility and a few more headaches. I do get health insurance and sick leave, holidays and a bit of paid vacation though, and I don't have to wonder if I'll still have a job tomorrow. But I have to work as a paralegal. So meh... if something happened, or if I got really sick of it, I'll just go back to doc review, whatever.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 11, 2017 - 6:24 pm)

I think one day in the future there won't be any doc review to go back to.. Technology will replace a lot of reviewers, and there will be much smaller review teams if anything..

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flyer14 (Oct 12, 2017 - 11:40 am)

Government employment is the credited response. Or academia, if at all possible. Or both.

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tedandlisa123 (Oct 11, 2017 - 6:26 pm)

Move to North Dakota. Mexican migrants working the sugar beet or potato fields earn more than English doc reviewers in NYC. The oil fields aren't as hot as they used to be, but you still find opportunities. Workers who are willing to get cold and dirty are always in demand. Liberal artists in trendy cities that do the work that a computer or monkey can do just as well aren't.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 11, 2017 - 6:32 pm)

I heard the housing costs there are astronomical

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tedandlisa123 (Oct 11, 2017 - 6:36 pm)

And housing in NYC or D.C. isn't? If you are going to do doc review, at least do it in a 2nd tier city, but even there the agencies have been low balling the rates. I recently saw a foreign language Spanish review in Miami for $35 an hour.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 11, 2017 - 6:52 pm)

I don't think spanish gets paid that much more than english anywhere. I don't think I can take the risk of moving to Charlotte for doc review. Say if there's only a handful of agencies, or a handful of firms. Say if I conflict out? So risky.

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anonlaw123 (Oct 13, 2017 - 8:14 pm)

Spanish is typically a 50% bump over English. I’ve seen as high as 55/hr

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caj111 (Oct 12, 2017 - 1:17 am)

Why would housing costs in North Dakota be astronomical? There is nothing there but space. I just randomly looked up apartments in Bismarck and found plenty of apartments offering 1 bedroom units for well under $ 1000 per month.

However, if I was looking to get out of doc review (I was never in it to begin with, thankfully, I hold what career services would call a "JD Advantage" job I guess), I can't say that doing agricultural or oilfield work would be what I'd have in mind anyway.

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downwardslope (Oct 12, 2017 - 6:29 am)

Uh, in the oil fields, housing is scarce. It is all about supply and demand. People pay $3k to live in a trailer. Some people live in dorms.

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tedandlisa123 (Oct 12, 2017 - 8:12 am)

Why would you pay $3k to rent a trailer? If you borrowed 200k to go to law school, you an be resourceful enough to come up with the money to buy your own trailer. I am just saying that soon there might not be a choice. Machines are making make work jobs like document review go the way of the do-do bird.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 8:55 am)

Imagine how many law schools will close down when that happens.

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caj111 (Oct 12, 2017 - 12:06 pm)

Seven have closed down already over the last few years, granted most of them were total crap and for-profit schools, except Whittier, which was around since 1966 and actually had some prominent alumni. The surprised me a little but I commend Whittier College for coming to its senses about their being too many law schools, especially in California.

However, four more law schools are currently proposed, although just on the drawing board as far as I know. Hopefully those who proposed them will come to their senses.

I saw a Washington Post article that said that this country actually needs more lawyers and more law schools to train them, saying that there was no shortage of potential clients - the problem is, most of these would-be clients can't afford to pay a lawyer but earn too much to qualify for Legal Aid. They may be right but I don't know what to say to that because I'm not working for free, I have to eat too.

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downwardslope (Oct 12, 2017 - 12:17 pm)

I think I read that too. The issue is that some states have altogether too many law schools. why does Florida need 12 or 13 law schools? Why does California have so many? Some rural states may have one or two and lots of people end up leaving to go to other states.

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booyeah (Oct 11, 2017 - 10:05 pm)

Doc review for 5 years in a decade. I hustled and got a little solo experience in the first half of that decade which turned into an in house gig. Then the Great Recession and a refusal to go back to doc review - I managed retail instead. Back to doc review eventually because I needed the money. Ended up on a 2+ year gig in house which looked for all intents and purposes like a real job. During this time I sent hundreds of resumes to USA jobs (and others), was randomly selected to interview for a social services examiner position and aced the interview. Now a federal employee. The long term doc review got me the interview. The retail experience nailed the interview and got me the job. Think outside the box - you’ve got the education and experience but you’ll need something more to get out of the $30/hr doc review trap.

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booyeah (Oct 11, 2017 - 10:22 pm)

My advice if you just want out - Get out. Drop the bad suit. Drop the attitude. Be honest - if asked why you want the job say that you want the job because it’s stable, because you’re not earning the living you expected as a lawyer, because you made a mistake. I see plenty of stuff on this board about “spinning” your doc review experience. That’s transparent. You’re probably interviewing with someone else with broken dreams of their own, someone else who is not in their dream job but just wants to make a living. They get it and they can definitely smell a phony. Doc review, with its fake attorney prestige and it’s relatively high short term wages is a trap. Doc review, and being an attorney, is and will always be a part of you but is no longer who you are. Get out, take the short term hit, become a better person and reap the long term benefits.

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booyeah (Oct 11, 2017 - 10:33 pm)

One last thing. Trust yourself. Yes, it’s hard to take a step backwards in wages. But the same skills that got you through college, through law school, thorough some fumbling speech from a 1st year associate who couldn’t tie his own shoes but who somehow knows all about mergers and acquisitions, will get you through that first meeting with a manger where you say you just need a job, will help you do your job, will get you out of the trap you’ve put yourself in, will get you promoted, will get you out. It’ll be tough at times but it will get better and you will look back and wonder at the wasted years and wonder what took you so long.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 8:55 am)

I don't think it is who I am, but I've been applying for jobs for 14 years now and I've gotten nothing. I made the mistake of rejecting a government lawyer job about 11 years ago, and I've regretted it every day, even though from what I'm told, it's very unpleasant work. But it would have at least been a career. I financially cannot take the short term hit. Perhaps in 1.5-2 years I'll be able to, but not now. What exactly is a social services examiner position?

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jd4hire (Oct 12, 2017 - 12:34 pm)

NotReallyALawyer - I want you to succeed. It stinks you're in the position you're in. I don't have advice on how to get out of Doc Review, but two things. I too feel as though you post a lot about getting out, but immediately shut down suggestions or make statements as to why it can't work for you.

Second, I love this forum, but I think it can be pretty darn dismal. I like it for a variety of reasons, but essentially it is a place to (1) whine about what a terrible mistake law school was; (2) whine about debt and the horrible law school scam that exists; (3) ask about salary info; (4) seek career advice; (5) trade war stories or poke fun at others in your jx where you saw something stupid; or (6) ask really random legal related questions such as Harvey Weinstein fleeing to Israel.

Point is, I wonder if this site is helping or hurting your attitude/ mental health. It seems you've squeezed a ton of info out on doc review, job ideas, etc. Maybe take a break from viewing the site day in day out and feeling sorry for yourself. Focus more on putting together strong applications, going through contacts, etc.

I say this sincerely and not in an effort to upset you. Just my thoughts from a passive observer. I do wish you the best of luck and hope something comes together for you.

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downwardslope (Oct 12, 2017 - 1:04 pm)

I think NotReally needs some perspective. I mean, it sucks to get rejected, but I have probably applied to hundreds of legal jobs and didn’t get them. I don’t let it get me down. I work in government and know an “easy” government job gets at least 50 applications. A hard one usually gets 500-1000 or even more. Why would I take it personally?

There are also posts that are so self-defeating. NRAL apparently made it into a fraternity, so he has some social skills. I think it is just the self-defeating attitude that brings him down.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 1:07 pm)

At the time my fraternity was small . My pledge class was 5. Now the chapter is much larger and considered a cool house . It wasnt when I was there and I was happy about that. I’m incredibly anxious , I don’t interview well, don’t date well and can’t speak well.

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jd4hire (Oct 12, 2017 - 1:13 pm)

Great example of your attitude. It's all "can't" and anxiety. I get it, but you need to start flipping that perspective. You're at least reasonably intelligent given law review, a law degree, and graduating from college.

Start working on things you do well and figure out how to leverage them. I would ask what benefit this site is bringing you? Is it helpful or dismal?

Responding to each suggestion as to why it won't work or why you can't do it isn't helpful. Make yourself a success story. I also don't think it'd be a bad idea to get some professional help as you seem to have huge anxiety issues. I know you've posted in the past how that didn't work, but your current state of affairs isn't working, so something needs to give.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 5:55 pm)

I'd say the reality of my life is pretty dismal. It's nice to read that other people have escaped doc review. It means it is theoretically possible.

I'm more afraid of seeing a psychiatrist again, and them trying the same thing over again, they've not invented any new class of drugs, and I tried 10+ kinds of meds in the past, nothing helped, some things caused irreparable damage (such as a gagging issue) that i didn't have before I started that medication.. I still see a psychologist, but that's not helping. I've tried CBE in the past, did nothing.

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flyer14 (Oct 12, 2017 - 1:15 pm)

Amateur psychiatrist coming to play here, although my experience is usually dealing with teenagers rather than Gen X'ers:

Every time you have a thought borne out of anxiety - i.e. I can't do it, I don't interview well, etc... you know that's in your head. So, you're free to entertain the negative thought, but immediately come up with a positive thought to offset it. And focus on the positive one instead.

"I might not get this job, but my strengths are in X fields. I'm going to focus on applying those instead."

"I screwed up this date, but I can focus on these qualities."

It's up to you though. Or you can continue to be self-defeating.

I lost count at 200 applications in an 18 month period when I was a recent grad looking for a job. I eventually moved entirely out of law practice and now enjoy my life in defense contracting.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 5:59 pm)

I'm honestly not sure of what my strengths are. I wouldn't even consider myself a good writer since it's been 17 years since I've written anything.

When I was doing 2L OCI wasn't even that nervous, I made the mistaken assumption I because of my grades and law review, was going to get something. Now that I know that's all meaningless now, I get much more nervous..

Please keep in mind, to everyone on here, it's not just the legal field this impacts me. I don't live a "normal" life. I have practically no dating experience, I'm in my 40s, my last relationship was 10 years ago, it was a 5 month relationship, by far my longest. THe thought of going on a date is like going on an interview. Just horrible. This anxiety has really crippled me in every aspect of my life. At least I'm not agoraphobic like a cousin of mine is. I guess it could be worse.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 5:53 pm)

Thanks for the advice. I've tried multiple avenues trying to get out of law. I've applied for contract specialist positions, local county non lawyer jobs, policy research type jobs, and haven't gotten any interviews. I've kind of got a history of being on depressing message boards, but for a long time I was in denial at my staff attorney position. I wasn't looking for work or a way out, I was in denial that the inevitable would happen and that I would lose my job. Others told me it would be possible to get other work, which I'm finding for me, isn't accurrate. 6 months of applying for jobs and not a single interview. I really appreciate any and all advice I get. And on here, there's never really been a "just kill yourself" response, which frequently happens elsewhere.

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booyeah (Oct 13, 2017 - 11:40 am)

Dude. If you’ve been unemployed for six months try something different. I’m sorry, but reading your posts here I don’t get the impression that you’d be competitive for any of the jobs you’re currently applying for. Get a job at Home Depot, in a food truck, or wherever else and see where that takes you. You’ll meet some new people, gain some new skills and maybe a new perspective to get out of this mess.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 13, 2017 - 12:58 pm)

And the money I owe? YOu really think Home Depot is going to take someone with a law degree even if I didn't have my financial issues? I've done that work before, it didn't give me any perspective. All it's going to do is reinforce that I'm without hope, that I'm the only person in the history of the world to have been on law review working at home depot.

From what you're saying, I'd be better off losing all my limbs and being on disability. am I really this worthless?

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booyeah (Oct 13, 2017 - 1:31 pm)

Yes, there are plenty of JDs working at Home Depot. Some of them were probably on law review as well, though no one cares about yours as that was years ago.

Seriously - I’ve run across a JD working part time mowing the lawn of the local school and another who drives a bus. Magazine articles are written about others who have started cupcake shops or other businesses. I’ve also run across others who sit around and do nothing while complaining about their lot in life (especially bizzare when debt is an issue). Guess which is worthless.

Minimum wage is greater that the zero wage you’re getting doing nothing - and nothing would prevent you from quitting that job to get a sweet two week doc review gig if you think you’re too cool for work.

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downwardslope (Oct 13, 2017 - 2:06 pm)

Seriously. JDs are everywhere. I talked to a guy over at a former neighbor’s house who did subcontractor work. He was a retired attorney. I did not ask if he was on law review because it was not relevant to me. The point is, JDs do everything.

Either work or apply for disability because you can’t work. The latter will certainly pay less than working, however.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 13, 2017 - 2:42 pm)

Curious, when you say JD do you mean someone who went to law school but couldn't pass the bar? Something for me to be extra bitter about? I'm licensed in two jurisdictions and working at home depo.

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downwardslope (Oct 13, 2017 - 2:50 pm)

I said my neighbor’s friend was an attorney. That means he passed the bar. He practiced law for many years. Then he went on to do work involving sawing and drywalling and the like. I did not ask why he left law practice. I assumed he did not want to do it anymore and liked working with his hands more.

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booyeah (Oct 13, 2017 - 2:55 pm)

Nope. Used JD because it’s shorter to type than attorney, lawyer, or whatever you chose to call yourself. I too had two bar admissions when I slummed it in retail and continue to hold two bar admissions in my non law job. Nobody cares that you’re admitted but yourself. (Non lawyers will give you credit for being smart enough to pass a bar exam though.)

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 13, 2017 - 3:06 pm)

I'm sorry, to the both of you. My experience is when people say JD, it means they aren't a licensed attorney.

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flyer14 (Oct 14, 2017 - 2:29 am)

I spent most of 2014 working as a shade tree mechanic with my JD because I couldn't find a job in law.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

I'm more concerned about how every post you've made here, you manage to defeat yourself before even attempting to get out of doc review (or your career situation, dating life, etc.)

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triplesix (Oct 14, 2017 - 9:31 am)

He can keep his crappy attitude, as long as he is hustling but it seems he aint doing that. My understanding is that he is in DC, which is one of few places where one can still hustle since there are technically jobs outside of doc review and big law that require a JD unlike most of the rest of US.

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kramer716 (Oct 12, 2017 - 1:25 pm)

Did you ever try getting a hold of your old law school career services office? If not I would pick up the phone today and call. Just tell them what you tell us. You have anxiety issues. You want help interviewing because you think you don't interview well. Ask them if you know of any alumni who have had social anxiety issues in the past, and can you possibly get contact information for them. I don't think taking the orthodox route will help you, but if you try some off the wall stuff, then you may have more luck.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 6:01 pm)

Well I graduated 15 years ago. They were helpful when I was a recent graduate, and I think they would focus their limited resources on recent grads. They got me an interview for a clerkship position for a judge that was retiring in 1 year. He picked someone else. Also my law school is 250 miles away, so even if they offered some interviewing help, I couldn't really go in for that. Back in the past they offered to see if they could get reciprocity from a local law school, but that law school said no.

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kramer716 (Oct 12, 2017 - 8:56 pm)

Unless you are working or have an interview I would contact your career services office to set up an appointment. I am sure they will meet with you on the phone, or skype for that matter. I am sure you can facetime as well, but if I am being honest I have never used facetime so no clue how it works. Anyway, talk to them and try to get some help, or you will continue to have limited options. They probably cannot get you a job, but they may be able to get you in touch with someone who has a similar mental health situation as yours, and that person may be able to give you better guidance than us. Also, stop with the limited resources excuse. Their job is to help alums, too.

If you really don't want to take advantage of your career services office, then contact your local/state bar association. They may have a mentoring program and tell them the same thing you tell us. I apply the same logic, they may know of an attorney who has similar issues as you, and they may be able to help you.

You need to do something different if you don't want doc review, if you keep doing the same things all you are doing is spinning your wheels and your situation won't change.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 12, 2017 - 9:10 pm)

I've really thought about this, and even asked my shrink if I should do this. The only reason why I haven't yet is just the shame/embarrassment factor. I'd be telling them 15 years after graduating I've still not gotten a job.. I know I should overcome this, and when I do, I will contact them, but I'm perfectly expecting them to not helping me. I know people who were in my class, who didn't make partner, and are now having really hard time getting jobs despite having had years of being an associate.

I've already asked my local bar, and they met with me for two meetings, and all they did was provide me with a list of career counselors or some who do a combo of that with psychiatry. They said they'd have been able to help me more if I were an alcoholic or drug addict, that's what their program is designed for.

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kramer716 (Oct 12, 2017 - 9:24 pm)

First off, when it comes to finding a legal position screw your shrink. We know more about this particular topic than your therapist. Don't get me wrong, I am sure he/she is doing everything to help you, but I would value our advice more than the therapist's.

I get the shame and embarrassment. I have been getting slapped down for job after job, too. All you can do is get up and keep going. Call the career services office tonight and leave a message asking for an appointment. Write yourself a little script to work off of. Just say something like I graduated in 02. I have been doing doc review for fifteen years. I would really like to transition to a non-doc review position. I have x issues that make interviewing difficult for me, so I am wondering if you can offer career advice, and suggest maybe someone who has similar issues as I do who I can speak with.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 13, 2017 - 12:54 pm)

Would emailing them be the functional equivalent? I'm really too embarrassed to even leave a voicemail for them. Any ways I'd think an email would be less likely to get missed.

I'm fairly certain, that after doing 14 years of doc review, there's no getting out of it. My only chance is a career change, and everything I see "go into business" "go into sales" "become a real estate agent" would be even worse fields for me.

It's not just interviewing that's the issue, it's doing basic functions, like speaking to people, especially if there's a huge power differential between us. I got so nervous in the presence of the associates and partners in the law firm I was staff at. Literally whomever partner was on the case is one of the most famous, influential and powerful lawyers in the country, on each case I was on. Just asking a question about a document was extremely difficult for me. I just can't imagine how bad this would be if I had to regularly do presentations or a job that involves clearly communicating with others. I'm just terrible at it, no matter what I do, prepare for think, it always goes horribly. I almost vomited going into register with a temp agency earlier this week. I could barely string out coherent sentences in the "interview" I had with them.

I'll seriously contemplate emailing my OCS tonight, but seriously thinking this over, just the shame..

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sanka (Oct 12, 2017 - 1:42 pm)

Unless you're applying to a double-blind job agency, you better book your appointments with the tanning salon, the liposuction doc, and the boobs/pecs implant doc to put you on the cusp of being too beautiful. Also the teeth-whitening dentist, to help you laugh at the not-funny employer's jokes.

Here is the scientific basis for my advice:

When you’re looking for a job, everyone has some bit of advice about what to wear, what to say, how to shake hands, and when to make a joke. Sometimes you should be yourself, but sometimes you should dress for the job you want; the situation is always fluid. Folksy wisdom has its place, but scientists have also been studying the problem of getting a job, and sometimes it’s nice to have some hard numbers to back up suspicions and assertions. If you want a leg up on the competition in the job search, knowledge is power. Here is what science says you need to know.

BE YOUNG

You already know this, but it’s still going to be hard read. If you want a job, your best bet is to be young, thin, and beautiful. (But not too beautiful, as we’ll see below.) That’s not my opinion or the opinion of the creepy guy leering at you from across the interview table. That’s science.

With respect to the first—young—a paper published last year in Psychological Bulletin, titled Age and Reemployment Success After Job Loss: An Integrative Model and Meta-Analysis, looks at “mechanisms by which chronological age affects job search and reemployment outcomes after job loss.” The upshot is this: for every year you age after 50, you are 2.6% less likely to find a job.

Is there hope? Yes. The study doesn’t say you won’t get a job, but rather, that it gets harder. You already knew that. Moreover, the the study cannot say with certain whether the numbers are so grim simply because many over-50s abandoned the job hunt all together. So keep on keeping on. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

BE THIN

You can’t change your age. But what about your weight? Look, I’m not here to judge. I think you’re beautiful. Unfortunately for you, I’m a writer. I’ll never hire anybody (and if history is any guide, nobody will ever hire me). But according to science, hiring managers hire thin people. Is that wrong? Yes, but that’s what they’re doing. You can try to mount an impassioned defense of body positivity during the job interview, or you can hit the gym. If you’re already qualified for a job and want to move the needle, those are your choices.

To find out how companies might discriminate, a 2013 study published in the International Journal of Obesity presented to hiring managers resumes with photographs attached. Some photographs were of overweight people. Some photographs were of the same people, only much slimmer after having undergone bariatric surgery. The results will not surprise you: down the line, the skinny version of the same person with the same resume received higher marks.

The thing about the job search is that it often becomes necessary without warning. If weight loss were easy, and you were so inclined, you’d have already done it. So what can you do in the cold face of human prejudice? It’s not clear-cut. Weight is not a protected class under federal discrimination laws. (Morbid obesity is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, however.) It’s illegal in Michigan and in a handful of cities, but that is cold comfort when you live in Alabama.

BE BEAUTIFUL (BUT NOT TOO BEAUTIFUL)

If you want the job, it helps to be conventionally attractive. Again, that’s not me; that’s what research suggests. Call it the “what is beautiful is good” effect. Employers are more likely to hire candidates who are pleasing to the eye regardless of whether the position has high public visibility. Even the drudge in the basement, it seems, has Disney eyes and perfect white teeth.

There is an exception to this. You don’t always want to be too beautiful. A major study in 1979 posited the “beauty is beastly” effect, in which physical beauty is an asset when you’re seeing a job, but a hinderance if you are a woman seeking a managerial position or a traditionally male job. In other words, Miss America would have a hard time getting a job repaving roads, or leading the highway improvement program. Is that unfair. Yes. Is that what science says? Yes.

BE YOURSELF

Here’s a rare bit of good news, though even the scientists conducting this study couldn’t believe the results. In a 2016 report, researchers submitted to online job postings nearly 9,000 resumes with names designed to suggest race and gender. The result, according to the University of Missouri, which led the study: “little evidence of employer preference for applicants’ race or gender in the early stages of the hiring process.” The resume attempted to control for socioeconomic status and age (i.e., no Lindsey-Olivia Rothschild type names, nor any Ethels or Mildreds).

It would “be crazy,” according to the study lead, to take from the study the idea that racial bias is a problem of the past. Still, it is a tiny glimmer of hope in a pool of otherwise grim data.

BE FUN

So managers aren’t hiring the old, unattractive, or out of shape. They’re not always discriminating by race or gender. But who are they actively hiring? According to a 2012 study published in American Sociological Review, managers are hiring people they want to be friends with. Really! As one participant told the study lead, “You know, you will see more of your co-workers than your wife, your kids, your friends, and even your family. So you can be the smartest guy ever, but I don’t care. I need to be comfortable working everyday with you, then getting stuck in an airport with you, and then going for a beer after. You need chemistry.”

As reported elsewhere, job interviews in general are a bad way of determining a candidate’s fit for a job, and the people who do the hiring vastly overestimate their abilities to find just the right candidate while underestimating personal biases. As long as they retain their iron grip on the hiring process, the job-seeker’s only choice is to play by the rules. Maybe the homespun wisdom is right. Give them a confident handshake, woo them, and be yourself. Once you get the job, even if it turns out you hate them, at least you’ll be drunk, and have a company to pick up the bar tab.


David Brown is a regular contributor to Clearance Jobs.

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thirdtierlaw (Oct 14, 2017 - 2:26 pm)

Getting out of doc review is easy, stop taking doc review jobs.

All your threads follow the same pattern, some responds with "you should do 'x'" then you post why it'll never work and essentially say that you can't do anything other than doc review.

But what I'll never understand is the "I'm unemployed but I'm not going to apply to nonlegal jobs because I'd feel shame working a nonlegal job."

If I got laid off tomorrow, I would be be handing in applications everywhere from home depot, to grocery stores, to bars, to restaurants, to even McDonald's. Then I'd work one or all of those jobs while I searched for a legal job.

Finding any white collar work takes longer than getting a job in retail or restaurant work.

I lived in an affluent neighborhood growing up where half the neighborhood was working on wall street. The markets crashed and houses started going into foreclosure. My next door neighbor started delivering pizzas for $10/hr. The guy was likely making close to $500k a year prior to the crash. His mindset was, "Bills still need to pay, so why would I sit around feeling sorry for myself when I'm looking for work, when I can at least make a little money?" It has always stuck with me.

But if that guy can swallow his pride coming from where he was, you have no excuse coming from doc review.

If half the stuff you say about yourself is true and not just in your imagination, you do not have the personality type to do anything law related except doc review. There is nothing wrong with that, but you can't then look to other industries requiring the same skills and wonder why nobody wants you.

Sorry for the tough love.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 14, 2017 - 3:01 pm)

When I get bad credit because I won’t be able to pay my bills on retail wages will they continue employing me or hire me? You make the assumption they’d even consider me. I’d have to lie on my application

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thirdtierlaw (Oct 14, 2017 - 4:31 pm)

You are now moving the goalposts. You were saying that you want a job, any job because you are unemployed. Now it's "well I need a job that pays better than I was making in doc review to start."

To answer your question, yes they will. My clients that have multiple felony charges, and the idea of them having a credit score above the 500s is laughable, get hired all the time at the types of places I mentioned. I don't actually think any of them actually do background checks.

My "uncle-in-law" has an engineering degree, a masters in something useless and got a full time job at Lowe's while working towards a second masters. He spent his days either working a register or stocking shelves. He did not lie on his application. It also got him healthcare and a discount that he made good use of.

I can't walk through my local hannafords without running in numerous ex-clients. I'm sure they'll gladly hire a person who doesn't have multiple felonies on their record over my clients. You are more likely to show up to work when scheduled, show up sober, not steal, and when you leave you'll actually give them notice.

There is also a person from this very site who left doc review to go work in an Amazon warehouse.

I get it, you want us all to reaffirm your belief that you're a lost cause. But that isn't the reality and just saying what you believe to be true, doesn't make it true. Other people in a similar situation may read these sites looking for guidance as well.

If you want, I'll provide you with a throw away email to reach me and I can practically guarantee that I can set you up with a warehouse job to start within a month. But you'll need to move and the pay starts at $12/hr.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 14, 2017 - 4:53 pm)

I can’t even get doc review. I’ve applied for many jobs that pay well less than $30/hr what doc review pays. Thanks for he offer. I can’t afford to move though. I’m currently living rent free

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 14, 2017 - 3:14 pm)

HOW about office temping? Is that realistic for someon like me? I’ve researched even warehouse jobs and I’m not even qualified !

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booyeah (Oct 14, 2017 - 5:55 pm)

Office temping is possible. Amazon will be hiring a ton of seasonal workers, maybe you could try that. It’d give you something to do (and may pay OT.)

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 15, 2017 - 9:41 am)

I remember about 7 years ago I wanted to quit doc review and emailed my resume to some office temp job and they replied "are you sure you want to be doing this? It pays a lot less than what you are probably used to".. I replied yes, but they never got back to me. I didn't pursue either, was just trying to figure out then how much it paid... But at least they initially responded so there is some chance. I'll check out amazon, though I'd prefer full time long term stuff. Even considering doing uber eats delivery, at I can have a coupe and do that.

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whipster (Oct 14, 2017 - 5:42 pm)

There are SBA disaster lawyer jobs available right now. You will have to move to Ft Worth for the temporary gig. Not a bad gig, but it's temporary and will try your very soul because every case you handle is sad.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 14, 2017 - 5:45 pm)

I’ve applied to that and haven’t heard anything from them. The SBA says they provide hotels.

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petunia (Oct 14, 2017 - 5:53 pm)

why do you want to get out of doc review now versus the past? Is it just because you got laid off six months ago? Did you try to get a staff attorney job at another firm?

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 14, 2017 - 6:16 pm)

I don’t mind doing doc review for another year or two but not for the rest of my life. I even got rejected from a zero hours contract job working directly for a firm with zero benefits. I’ve had zero luck getting any staff attorney jobs

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kyiv (Oct 14, 2017 - 6:20 pm)

I do realize that this message will likely be put down by notreallyalawyer. But, I will still write the following. Out of all the posts on this thread, my favorite was the guy who recommended going solo. If I was in your situation, notreallyalawyer, I would try solo practice, and do Uber/Lyft on the side until my solo practice can sustain me (yes, you can spin doc review experience as consumer client-appealing experience on your own firm’s website). Yet!! If that is really not an option for you, if you truly, genuinely believe that being a solo is not an option, then check out a book called “Hot Dogs Saved My Life”. With one hot day cart you can make a middle class income, and after some months (less than a year), you can save up for 1-2 more carts. Once you will have 3 carts going, you will not have to sling dogs anymore- you can supervise your employees and be a small businessman/woman. Plus, with 3 carts, it is possible to have a 6-figure net profit. As I previously said- I would choose the solo route, and temporarily do Uber/Lyft on the side. There are plenty of stories on this website of solos becoming successful. They all hustled, and, a 6-figure income is possible for those who hustle in a solo life. Yet, if you are under a sincere opinion that the solo option is unattainable for you, please do consider the book.

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petunia (Oct 14, 2017 - 9:12 pm)

He can't handle that. Too much "anxiety" or some other bs excuse and hot dogs are beneath him...he was on law review!

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 14, 2017 - 9:28 pm)

THat book is selling for $614 on Amazon :(

I wish I could do uber but my car is 14 years old and is a coupe

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kyiv (Oct 14, 2017 - 9:48 pm)

Check the website of the author- he sells it for $16-$30, if I remember correctly. As for Uber- try to get a new, or a slightly used Nissan Sentra. Or a Hyundai Elantra. They’re cheaper than a Corolla, but, their reliability is not too far behind a Corolla. I’ve had a Sentra while I was an undergraduate- it served me quite well. Also, their front legrooms/headrooms are better than a Corolla’s (I’m actually a huge fan of Corollas, due to their reliability and the ease of driving them- but, the Sentra and the Elentra are much cheaper).

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flyer14 (Oct 15, 2017 - 12:38 am)

The 2017 Corolla was 2003's car of the year. That's actually not necessarily a bad thing, though.

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kyiv (Oct 17, 2017 - 11:51 pm)

I do realize that the car isn’t fancy or doesn’t have the gadgets that many cars that have higher consumer ratings today have. But, Corollas are so easy to drive- I’ve done things with a Corolla that I wouldn’t do even with my dad’s Camry Hybrid (like going through extremely-narrow streets/alleyways of historic parts of the city at rush hour). Plus, I love their reliability.

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kyiv (Oct 17, 2017 - 11:52 pm)

But, if I was notreallyalawyer, I would look at Sentras. MUCH cheaper, and their quality is only a little below a Corolla.

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thirdtierlaw (Oct 15, 2017 - 8:01 am)

Seriously? I looked the book up. Barnes and noble sells the e-book for $15.99. You can get the book from the guys website for about the same price. That took me less than a minute.

This is no different than the SBA gig from a few weeks ago. I posted the link to the SBA, you then don't apply because, even though I pointed out the ad said it paid per diem and would train you, you didn't apply. Then two weeks later, after the initial rush of applications would have been sent in, you're posting you really wanted a job like that, when the ad is posted in the Texas bar, but can't do it because you couldn't afford even a cheap hotel. Then you complain about them not getting back in touch with you.

This is why some people don't believe you're real. The repeated self-defeating decisions you make are unbelievable. The book isn't on Amazon so you don't even bother to just Google for alternative sources? Come on.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 15, 2017 - 8:19 am)

You make. Lot of assumptions. I also checked on eBay. I didn’t even realize Barnes and noble still existed. I also do t use nor do anything have an ereader. Despite doing doc review, reading off screens bothers my eyes and I prefer books

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thirdtierlaw (Oct 15, 2017 - 9:09 am)

Yet you've managed to spend 14 years doing doc review?

I did a Google search for the book, that's how I saw BN and the guy's website sells it. You can read ebooks on a cellphone or computer.

Lot of assumptions? I've just read what you've written on here. I'm assuming nothing else.

Living rent free is great. Having the SBA pay your living expenses while you gain actual experience, which you claim to completely lack, is even better.

Max unemployment benefits in D.C. is about $1,500 a month for 26 weeks. Yet that somehow leaves you in a better position to pay your debts than any of the jobs, that pay better, you believe to be below your law review pedigree?

Which of my assumptions are erroneous?

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anonlaw123 (Oct 15, 2017 - 9:15 am)

thirdtierlaw, i have no idea if notreallyalawyer is real or not, BUT in my experience lots of people really are that helpless

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 15, 2017 - 9:49 am)

I'm not helpless. I just have very bad anxiety which gives people the impression I'm a complete idiot when i'm in a situation such as an interview, or presentations, something like that. I'm a horrible interviewee. I know that, I've accepted that, the issue now is I can't even get interviews. I've applied for 130+ jobs now, only about half are lawyer jobs, I've applied for research jobs, local government jobs, contract specialist jobs, etc. I'm horrible at selling myself, interviews, dating...

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 15, 2017 - 9:44 am)

What do you want me to do? Apply to the SBA again? And piss off some beaurocrat who makes hiring decisions? I've applied for that job. I made it clear I be willing to work wherever they place me, for however hours they would need me, up to the 84 hours they listed per week.

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thirdtierlaw (Oct 15, 2017 - 12:22 pm)

Someone in another thread said they are still looking for anyone with a pulse and to call. S/He even posted the number. I'm going to go out on a limb and bet you haven't done that. If they haven't responded why would you even care if you annoy the H.R. person? Worst case you end up in the exact same position, best case you get an interview.

But you're missing the point. Missing the SBA boat is a symptom. Same with being unable to do a simple Google search for a book someone recommended you to pick up. The second something requires a bit of effort or doesn't fall right in your lap you appear to make an excuse for why it'll never work. When people point out that it is foolish, you make another excuse.

Like I wrote above, other people in a similar position may be reading these threads looking for advice and feeling helpless. All these responses are for them just as much for you.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 15, 2017 - 12:35 pm)

IM
Curious, do you read every thread here? I don’t. I’ve stated multiple times I want a career change, assuming that’s a legal job you are talking about, I want to move to some other state for a legal job and have to take the bar exam or at least waive in?

You’ve never dealt with government bureaucrats before, I have. I once called in about a security clearance and and why it was taking so long and the person put it at the bottom of her pile. The only reason I ever got it was that I had to get a relative to in who worked at the same agency to get her to stop ignoring it. Otherwise I would never have gotten the security clearance and would have lost the internship. You don’t piss off or annoy crats. If the SBA were desperate they would have called me even for a paralegal job. They obviously have more applicants than they need. I don’t need to remind you there are more lawyers than jobs.

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thirdtierlaw (Oct 15, 2017 - 1:19 pm)

I read a fair number of them, it's a great way to pass the time when you're waiting to get called into court.

I've managed to get two government job offers in the past year. One contract specialist, where I had to deal with the security clearance background check. The other was an assistant attorney general position. I'm sure there are people who are better suited to talk about getting federal jobs, but I've at least gotten through the interview process, initial offer, and background check, before ultimately turning it down. That is coming from a litigation background, meaning practically zero applicable experience.

What is the SBA "crat" going to do if she or he gets annoyed? Not offer you a job a second time? That must be crushing.

You claim you want a career change, yet every thread that someone suggests a career change, you once again make excuses. I in this very thread talked about my uncle-in-law working at Lowe's for awhile. Your response was you'd have to lie on your application and they'd fire you once your credit took a hit, no explanation as to why.

Also if you're looking to leave the legal profession why does it matter if there are more lawyers than legal jobs?

The irony is that you likely have way better credentials than I do. I want to a low ranked school, was not on law review, and graduated at a time that unemployement for law grads was unbelievably high. I'm a terrible writer and I also don't feel like I'm a great attorney. I'm not bad, but nobody is going to look back at my work in awe. Even with all those limitations, I have learned how to get people to want to pay me money for me to work for them.

So it catches my interest when someone believes it is impossible to find a job and they are hopeless. But it is also somewhat mindboggling to then see that exact same person, who is on unemployment, reject everyone who has escaped that trap's suggestions.

It's clear that my advice is falling on deaf ears. You'll figure it out or you won't. I truly do wish you the best of luck.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 15, 2017 - 1:28 pm)

CAn I guess you haven’t been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and major depression? I didn’t go to a very good law school and I’m glad because even if I graduated top of my class at Harvard I would have had the same results.

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downwardslope (Oct 15, 2017 - 8:21 am)

He’s beyond unbelievable at this point. If he pays no rent, he can afford to move. Period. Being stuck in a lease an underwater mortgage is what makes it hard for people to move, but NRAL doesn’t have these issues. His loan balances have changed. His law school has changed. He’s been recommended to apply to lower paying federal jobs, but he says he can’t due to debt.

How is debt a major issue when he lives rent free in DC, where the largest concentration of federal jobs are? How does a person who purports to have no social ability whatsoever manage to wrangle a rent-free living situation in his 40s? Even if it is with his parents, most parents at that point would be saying he needs to get himself a job and get out ASAP, not live there indefinitely. I know I took a low paid option during the economic downturn when I was living with my parents because I had to get out.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 15, 2017 - 9:22 am)

I just applied to a gs7 contract specialist position 10 minutes ago. You don’t really think you can read my mind do you or know what I do or am doing?

Elderly relatives, who need my help with basic tasks of just living daily life. They appreciate me being there. Serious health problems involved.

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bigsal (Oct 14, 2017 - 6:29 pm)

Became a physician

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drwayoflife (Oct 15, 2017 - 1:02 pm)

Started taking night classes in computer science. Got good enough to get a couple of Oracle certifications, which in turn was enough to get me a couple of interviews. Now starting my second year as a junior software developer.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 15, 2017 - 1:05 pm)

I went to college for that hoping to do that. Barely passed fortran. Wish I had a technical mind. Congrats

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junkwired (Oct 16, 2017 - 3:35 pm)

Of all the silly excuses you made so far, "wish I had a technical mind," is probably your worst.

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kramer716 (Oct 16, 2017 - 11:56 am)

Did you call the SBA number? The new one that was posted? I would do that today, actually I will be doing that today and I hope you do as well. That is probably your best shot to find employment, but you may have to work for it so you get your stuff noticed.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 16, 2017 - 12:22 pm)

What are you planning on saying to them? I’m very fearful of pissing off a bureaucrat.

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burneremail (Oct 16, 2017 - 12:30 pm)

You are way overthinking this.

Just call and ask, be respectful. This means be pleasant, say please and thank you, make one call. Don't call and check every other day. Often times they are just passing your info on and may not be able to do anything beyond that.

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kramer716 (Oct 16, 2017 - 1:05 pm)

Just going to call and say I heard that the SBA needs attorneys. Is this still the case? If so, I am very interested and was wondering what do I need to do to be considered. Odds are they will give you an email address to send your stuff too, probably the ODA-get hired one. I will ask what the process is and when do you expect people to start. Be respectful as was said/

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flyer14 (Oct 16, 2017 - 1:38 pm)

I'm a bureaucrat. Once a week for any request (including hiring) is socially acceptable, because your request has to be passed on to someone else... and then that other person has to get back to me first before I can often provide a reply.

That's enough to show you're interested.

***

Now, the one guy who called three times in an afternoon? I left my phone off the hook the rest of the day so I could get some peace.

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kramer716 (Oct 16, 2017 - 1:28 pm)

Don't call the 1-866-407-7795 number. I tried and all they say is enter the name of the person you wish to call. I have no clue who I am supposed to be speaking with.

Call 817-868-2300. They said it should be about a week for them to give you an answer. Anyway, just be respectful when you call. Just ask are you still looking for attorneys? How do I apply? How long will it take to hear back? Thank em for their time and hang-up. They will give you an email address like pdhcr or something like that. You may want to try the other address that was given in the other thread.

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hopingagainsthope (Oct 22, 2017 - 11:41 pm)

I did doc review for 3 years then I applied for an accelerated nursing program, it took 16months (4 semesters) including summer semester. I finished this May, took the licensing exam and accepted an offer in August at a hospital making $28/hr day shift, $35/hr night shift before overtime.Overtime is time and a half. Full benefits. I work 3 nights a week, 12hr shifts. With time I will add one or two more shifts in order to score overtime but for now I am just getting used to it and not trying to do too much.
I work with people who look at me like I have a third eye when they learn I went to law school. I don't talk about it much. Sometimes it feels like I am a quitter. Sometimes if feels like I could have tried harder to put my JD and license to good use.But for the most part for now I am content, and if it is meant to be I am sure my career path will veer towards law again in whatever capacity.

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kramer716 (Oct 23, 2017 - 12:23 am)

Two things

1. You aren't a quitter. I would call you a survivor. You got punched and adapted. You should be proud. I cannot handle nursing school. You have the ultimate fall back since nurses are always in demand and you can work anywhere. The labor market for JDs sucks, and it has sucked for years. I found one position, but had to move 6500 miles away to work. I had a blast doing it, but I would have liked to have not been in the same time zone as Sydney. I am trying to get a fed job now with very little success to this point.

2. This is based on my own personal experiences. When you are doing an IV on a patient, and that patient tells you that the only vein you will find is in the middle of his arm by the elbow, listen to the patient and just insert the IV. Do not spend the next 2 minutes jamming the needle into their arm trying to find a vein. I looked like a damn heroin addict when she was done. She ended up putting it in where I told her to in the first place.

Serously, good luck to you and congrats on the nursing degree and job.

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themapmaster (Oct 23, 2017 - 1:28 am)

You did quit, sure, but only because you had the foresight and intelligence to see that there was something better out there for you and you made it happen. I sometimes think to myself that if I am so smart, why don't I find a way out of the legal field where I can have a meaningful and prosperous career? It's a sobering question.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 23, 2017 - 1:18 pm)

There's a need for people in the medical field. You will be marketable and will be able to get jobs when lawyers are desperate to get anything in their field. If I didn't have the world's weakest stomach I'd look into going into that, but I practically vomit every time I brush my teeth. I can't even use public restrooms because just the smell in them makes me ill. I've even tried hypnosis over this, and unfortunately this makes me an unlikely candidate.

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flyer14 (Oct 23, 2017 - 1:50 pm)

I challenge you to go three days without using the phrase "I can't" as you seem to preface every post or comment with that.

That's the self-defeating attitude that everyone here is talking about.

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triplesix (Oct 23, 2017 - 1:51 pm)

Troll alert.

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blackholelaw (Oct 23, 2017 - 2:04 pm)

He trolls on reddit too, under a different username and not as often.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 23, 2017 - 2:05 pm)

If someone here suggested I join the NBA?

You do know that the health field isn't for everyone right? There's a reason why. People with weak stomachs can't do the work, ask the person. They'll be able to explain to you, and will admit it's not for everyone.

Of I kept kosher or halal would you tell me that I should be a bacon taste tester too?

Not everyone can do everything.

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triplesix (Oct 23, 2017 - 2:10 pm)

I am petitioning admin for you to be banned to the dome...

You are a troll but even if you are not... Your mental health issues can be properly serviced in the dome anyway. You are poising this section of jdu with your rhetoric. There are people out there who struggle and don't have mental issues, that is for who this section of the fora is reserved.

Nothing wrong with being a troll or having mental issues but it doesn't give you a blank check to fuk with people here.

/threadlocked

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 23, 2017 - 2:31 pm)

I really feel bad for someone whose life is so miserbale they cannot even tolerate seeing posts they don't agree with. i'm sorry my life isn't going well now, but you have to get people banned for that reason? What is wrong with you? I mean seriously. Nobody forces anyone to read let along RESPOND to my posts. So if you don't like them, act like an adult, and ignore them, instead of running to your mommy.


Ask yourself, how do your personal attacks and off topic posts attacking posters contribute in any way to the topic at hand or the board? This topic is about doc review and leaving it. how did you discuss that issue in any way other than threatening to have me banned which still wasn't discussing the topic?If you don't like posters and their posts, THEN DON'T READ THEIR POSTS.

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triplesix (Oct 23, 2017 - 2:54 pm)

You've been certified dear... Please proceed to /dome.

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flyer14 (Oct 23, 2017 - 2:23 pm)

In this thread and others, you've told us you can't:

- Get an interview
- Use a public sh*tter
- Get a "very high level great job"
- Do IT work
- Date well
- Speak well
- Be a functional person

***

While I don't think you're a troll, you have to start believing you can do something, rather than blame your perceived inabilities for your lack of change.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 23, 2017 - 2:45 pm)

I'd really appreciate if we got back to the topic, and stop making this be about me.

Can I give you one example though?

Someone says "go drive uber". I say I can't. I then get criticized for that. Here's why I can't. My car is a two door. They don't allow you to use two door cars for uber. I have no money to buy any car let alone a newer model. So it's not an option for me.

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flyer14 (Oct 23, 2017 - 3:10 pm)

So rather than saying "I have no money for a four door", tell us instead how you plan on getting the money (working extra hours, cutting expenses, etc.)

Even if you don't intend on driving for Uber, you need to start generating solutions to your problems rather than simply accepting things as they stand.

***

To get back on topic, this is the same thing that applies to anyone who feels "stuck" in doc review. Tell us how you're going to get out of the situation rather than merely commiserate about your life.

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kyiv (Oct 23, 2017 - 2:57 pm)

I think that Uber has car rental programs. I don’t know how active they are anymore, you will have to check on that, but, if they still exist, it won’t be too difficult to save up a 10%-20% downpayment on a quality compact car.

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bittersweet (Oct 23, 2017 - 5:21 pm)

Notreallyalawyer needs to get a job where s/he can b!tch and whine for a living.

Seriously though, Flyer and Triplesix have a point. Everyone has troubles. In this thread and other people have tried time & time again to give you (Notreally) some reasonable advice to try to better your lot. Everything thus far has been met with whining and excuses.

You need to see a therapist or something. Coming here won't help you if you can't / won't follow the advice. It sounds like your life needs a major overhaul and some unanimous strangers (granted, we are very well educated strangers) will not be able to easily help you. Get some professional help.

Please.

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burneremail (Oct 23, 2017 - 5:38 pm)

Instead of telling people what you can’t do, tell people what you can/will do. Stop with the rationalizing why something wont work, stop the defeatist attitude of “I probably won’t get it”, stop creating excuses every time someone posts an option.

If you want to leave doc review, honestly, the best thing to do is game plan how you’re going to make this happen. Stop buying nutshells on IP and trying to get a job as an AA with the USPTO.

YOU tell US what your plan is, people will provide suggestions, take or leave each bit as you please.

There are jobs in the DC area, fed / city govt, county govts across the river, etc. What is your plan here? And don’t tell me it’s replying to everything that you can’t or won’t do certain things.

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kramer716 (Oct 23, 2017 - 5:48 pm)

Any advice on finding positions in the counties around DC. Any website that you suggest? I routinely check the DC AG website, but I am sure it's a small part of the available jobs.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 23, 2017 - 6:34 pm)

I'd look through the county government websites, they usually have HR pages. I've applied for Montgomery County, MD government jobs through their human resources page. Maybe you'll have better luck. I'm sure the rest of the counties have similar things. I don't recall seeing any of those listed jobs also on places like indeed.com

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burneremail (Oct 24, 2017 - 11:20 am)

I used to check the DC AG office and Maryland state attorney jobs (specifically Baltimore and Annapolis). I don’t have a VA license so I didn’t check those. I also checked the big job boards like indeed and idealist, I posted my resume to the ladders, etc

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 23, 2017 - 5:49 pm)

Well for now my plan is to do doc review to get out of debt, then I'll have more options available to me. I'm making these posts to find out options for when I'm financially able to leave doc review, as I assume I'll be making a lot less money in whatever I switch to.

I've applied to multiple state/local government jobs that are not lawyer jobs. I've been rejected for all of them. I can keep on applying.

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anonlaw123 (Oct 23, 2017 - 6:23 pm)

what kinda debt? law school debt? is your debt private?

if you have federal debt, getting a govt job could be part of your plan of getting out of debt...

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 23, 2017 - 6:32 pm)

I still have pretty substantial student loans(cosolidated stafford and private loans), but I also have private debt, a lot of it is from medical bills (many years of psychiatry deductibles and my 20% added up).

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burneremail (Oct 24, 2017 - 11:12 am)

I would say don’t put off your future to deal with your past in this particular instance. The quickest way to maximize your earnings is to get into a full time job NOW. Not when your debt is paid off, that may take 5+ years or something (based on your post below).

Saying you’ll do something in the future is the easiest way to never do it. You can find a million reasons to delay, it’s more important to find a full time gig imo.

If you keep applying and don’t hear back you’re not even being rejected, you’re not being considered. That means your resume needs a serious overhaul. If you currently do doc review, do not list out every case you’ve ever worked on. Do not. I can’t stress that enough. That makes your resume look too busy, it’s generally irrelevant to the jobs you’re applying to (govt) and make it look like you’re an expert at doc review. And that’s the problem. No one needs a doc review expert. Strip it out and boil it down to 5-8 bullet points as to what you can do, choose the most impactful. Ie: second review for accuracy and consistency, privilege log creation, etc etc

Also I think you’ll find waiting doesn’t actually give you more options, it limits them. It’s great to be debt free, but unless that means one of your options is to work as a receptionist because you don’t need or want to make more than 60k a year, then what was the point of doing doc review? If you want to work as an attorney, take the steps to do that.

For you I’d suggest this:
1) sit down and really go over your resume, is the formatting good, is it free of errors, does it make sense for the type of job you’re applying to, and most importantly does it make you look good on paper? If all you have is doc review your job options will be limited. Get involved with your local pro bono office, volunteer at a clinic, etc The resume should be worded to fit the job you’re applying too. This may mean you have to make 2+ resumes. If you aren’t willing to put in the work on a resume, you frankly don’t deserve an interview. Do the work.

2) work on the best cover letter you could possibly write. Plenty of samples out there, pick and choose the style you like, for your content into the structure then tweak it. Have a colleague review then tweak again.

3) work on a writing sample, a brief or motion is ideal, legal memo is the next option if you don’t have that type of writing experience. You want two ideally, one under 5 pages and another that’s 5-10. If you only want to work as a fed most attorney jobs ask for writing samples that are of those 2 lengths.

4) don’t waste your time trying to become an expert at the agency you’re applying too. They will train you on the stuff you need to know.

5) apply for as many jobs as you can that interest you or fit your skill set. Earlier you said you apply to 2 jobs a week on Sunday or something. Expand your job hunt timeline. Look literally everyday or have your usajobs account email you daily. A lot of jobs get posted and close after 100 applicants come in. If that’s posted Monday, it may not be there Sunday. The numbers people tossed around were more or less right, for every 1 job there’s 200-400 applicants.

6) don’t limit yourself to a fed job, look to start as a contractor. That experience is above doc review and below a fed. It’s a perfectly good inbetween. Do it for a year, then look for a law clerk II or full time fed position. Law clerk I in DC pays about 67k a year with varying benefits. Those positions open all the time. You will get more substantive experience and it looks a million it’s better on a resume. Do not be content with that position. Keep working towards the fed position. It’s easy to become a contractor for 2+ years, don’t let that be you.

7) be realistic. I’m not saying don’t apply, but don’t get dejected if you apply to 100 jobs, get referred (which doesn’t mean much) for 60, and get interviewed for 0. It’s a numbers game. Also, keep in mind some agencies put applicants into tiers, if you aren’t a tier 1-2 (top law school, or law review, or big law refugee) candidate you won’t get an interview.

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nighthawk (Oct 24, 2017 - 11:22 am)

notreallyalawyer, insert [...therefore I cannot help myself and will just complain on JDU.]

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 24, 2017 - 11:32 am)

Again, why can't you just not read let alone not post? someone wanted to get me banned for having depression/anxiety and all you can do is write about me? You complain about me yet you make obvious troll posts while in your next one, you'll call me a troll.

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kramer716 (Oct 24, 2017 - 11:27 am)

Excellent advice.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 24, 2017 - 11:49 am)

Thanks for the advice.

I have two resumes I work with, one for law jobs, the other for non law jobs.

Question about the writing sample, I have two from law school, from 16-17 years ago, no professional ones as I never wrote anything other than emails, maybe one memo, and it was their work product. Do you just suggest I write on some topic? I'm a bit out of practice, but nothing like practice to get back into the swing of things.

I'm primarily trying to leave law right now. I've applied for lots of those law clerk I positions, and never got anywhere. I continue to apply, but not sure my luck will change. keep in mind those require extensive background checks, and even if you get an offer, it takes months for the background check, in case anyone else is considering that.

I realize my best shot at federal lawyer jobs are the lower tier ones like Veterans Affairs, but they don't even want me, and I'm not sure I'd even want that level of stress and lack of job security especially from a government job. I wouldn't even waste my time applying for a job at the DOJ. I was on law review and the top 5% of my class, but at a crappy law school.

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burneremail (Oct 25, 2017 - 4:17 am)

Yes you need an updated writing sample, most places want something you’ve written on your own and done within the last 2 years. I’d pick a a hypothetical situation and write on that, if you want crim law jobs, pick a crim law topic and vice versa.

The last 2 paragraphs of your post might be the most self defeating thing I’ve ever read. Until you change your mindset and attitude, it will leak out in everything you do. Daily personal interactions, your writing, interviews, etc. no one wants to hire or work with someone who feels like they don’t deserve anything in life. It’s depressing as hell.

Stop giving me reasons why you can’t do something. I’m serious. I’m not insensitive to the situations you’ve discussed. You seem to bring it up non-stop even when no one asked which is weird.

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nighthawk (Oct 25, 2017 - 9:20 am)

notreallyalawyer, insert [...therefore I cannot help myself and will just complain on JDU.]

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flyer14 (Oct 25, 2017 - 9:31 am)

I'm of the opinion that NRAL needs to be sent to the dome now. We've repeatedly asked him to stop with the self-defeating comments. While I don't think he's a troll, he definitely needs professional help before he begins his job search... with the attitude here, this guy will never get a job.

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wutwutwut (Oct 25, 2017 - 11:27 am)

Why would he send himself to the dome? He's generating all these lovely 100+ comment threads.

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burneremail (Oct 25, 2017 - 10:45 am)

I forgot to add some items from my original reply.

That's good you have 2 resumes, but you'll want to tailor your resume for every fed job you apply for. One boilerplate legal resume just won't cut it, there's no possible way it will convey your abilities to the specific job you're applying to in an adequate manner. The people who don't even bother to check the job duties and responsibilities really stand out, their experience section is never relevant. It doesn't mean they don't have the requisite experience, they just didn't list it. This goes back to my point above, do the work. Yes, it's a total pain in the ass to have to come up with 50 tailored resumes and 50 tailored cover letters. But you need to stand out to HR specialists who pass your resume to people who make decisions. You want a decision maker to read a resume showing experience that hits 75-90% of their requirements and a cover letter that really shows your interest and desire while highlighting the value you add.

Check the duties, wordsmith the hell out of your resume. It's the ONLY way you'll even make it past the initial usajobs screening. It's maddening how bad that software is.

If you keep applying for Law Clerk jobs and aren't getting interviews then unfortunately, I hate to say it, but your resume is in bad shape. It's not about luck, it's about making sure your resume presents you in the best light possible. For 1 open law clerk position they'll pull maybe 10-15 candidates, present it to the client, then the client will interview 3-5 and make their choice. It sounds much more daunting than it really is. Like I said, those positions open up constantly. Just do a search on indeed or go direct to the websites of Lockheed, CACI, PAE, and Deloitte.

As to the extensive background checks? They're not extensive. They run a basic criminal background check, check your basic finances, and do a drug test. It takes anywhere from 1-3 months max. When I say check your finances that generally means they're looking to make sure you don't have liens or bankruptcy issues, and even then it doesn't necessarily mean you won't pass the background check. As long as you aren't a bankrupt felon on meth, you will get an interim public interest clearance or whatever the lowest clearance at your agency is.

I would say getting jobs at the DOJ and SEC are very difficult. If your absolute dream is to work at either but your credentials don't make it possible now then take steps to make it a reality down the road. Start out at any state / fed agency, get your experience, then apply after 2-4 years and are a more attractive candidate. It's not uncommon for people to lateral to DOJ. Get your foot in the door then work twice as hard.

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kramer716 (Oct 25, 2017 - 11:02 am)

Excellent post.

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downwardslope (Oct 25, 2017 - 11:41 am)

Yes. The reality is that you have to get your foot in the door somewhere. When I was in state government, most of us did time in the really bad jobs. I was lucky to start in a good job, but had to go to a bad one for a while to get a raise. Any job can also get bad, which is what happened to me. It went from being decent to terrible due to changes in management style.

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kramer716 (Oct 25, 2017 - 9:12 am)

Just regarding the latest VA Posting. I don't think they asked for a writing sample initially. I think they did during the last round of hiring, but this time it seems they aren't requiring many documents up front, but after the initial stage, then you will have to supply your stuff.

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thebishop (Nov 6, 2017 - 9:29 pm)

I did Doc Review for about 3.5 years right out of law school. Looking back on all the random projects I worked on, it seems like such a blur. I used to apply for jobs every night when I got home. What a nightmare.

I finally got a job at a national bank as an entry level attorney handling commercial closings and due diligence. The starting pay was horrible, but I took it because I was so desperate to get out of doc review. The job gave me some great experience even though I was paid like crap. After two years in that position, I started applying for lawyer jobs in private practice and finally got one at a good firm in a major market. The only reason I got the job because I took the entry level job at the bank (this firm represents banks only). So, after 3.5 years of doc review making under 50K and 2 more years working in-house at a bank making just above 50K, I starting making much more.

Looking back, I still don't know if it was worth it, but if you want to get out of doc review, you need to be willing to take another crappy job as a stepping stone and it might turn into something better.

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relativityforever (Nov 7, 2017 - 9:24 am)

I am in my sixth year of doc review in the DC market, but my experience sounds like it has been different from some of the grim stories that get posted on JDU. I mostly worked long-term jobs with decent overtime, so it didn't really make sense to switch over to a GS-9 SSA position that would've entailed more work, more stress, and less pay. So my problem is that I'm kinda settled in/stagnant more than I'm unable to pay the bills.

OP, you're in DC, right? I find it hard to believe that you are in the DC area and unable to find any doc review. The place where I have been for several years recently hired a lot of people and seemed desperate for anybody with a JD. Do you check Posse List and Craigslist? Did you register with staffing agencies recently?

Have you considered learning a foreign language? Foreign language doc review pays far better. If you aren't interested in doc review, knowing a foreign language opens up other opportunities. I have been learning Japanese for two years. If you put in the time, it's achievable for almost anybody. You can use online resources if you don't have the money for classes.

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burneremail (Nov 7, 2017 - 10:01 am)

Relativityforever - although you’re able to pay your bills (and presumably save) just realize that doc review is a trap. It may suck to take a 9/10/11 somewhere but it’s all about getting your foot in the door. Even if you don’t go fed, getting a job where you can find forward momentum is important. Don’t wait. You will find that it is difficult to get a good full time job the older you are, especially if all you have on a resume is doc review.

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relativityforever (Nov 7, 2017 - 10:42 am)

Oh definitely. I think that technology will eventually crush employment opportunities in the field, if it hasn't already for first level review. Even if that doesn't happen, it's not smart to stay in a field where you aren't developing new skills or contacts. I'm not planning on doing this for more than another year.

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flyer14 (Nov 8, 2017 - 9:27 am)

I left law practice to take one of those 9/11/12 fed jobs in flyoverstan. Three years out and I'm on track for a 13. I have no regrets whatsoever.

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notreallyalawyer (Nov 8, 2017 - 9:49 am)

Also relativityforever, if you work long enough you'll develop a lot of conflicts, some firms are more stringent about it than others, but eventually you'll get declined for gigs because of a conflict

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notreallyalawyer (Nov 8, 2017 - 9:48 am)

I've got some project that keeps on having the start delayed. I'm horrible at languages. I took german for 6 years and can barely hold a conversation. Posse list has far less doc review gigs than I've ever seen, and most of the posts are for languages or some specialized kind of thing, Title VII or something like that.

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tedandlisa123 (Nov 8, 2017 - 10:56 am)

You don’t need to speak. Just read a lot and build your vocabulary.

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burneremail (Nov 8, 2017 - 11:03 am)

When’s your interview for the irs thing?

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relativityforever (Nov 8, 2017 - 2:39 pm)

Posse List advertised two English projects on Monday that started today.

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secondcareerlawyer (Nov 7, 2017 - 1:46 pm)

The best way to escape doc review is to drop doc review habits when taking a full time hour or salary job.

This means conforming to the job's dress codes, hours, and other work expectations.

This means not showing up at 1130am in a hoodie with untucked shirt and food stains. This means not showing up at work at 630am before the door opens and claiming you can leave at 230pm while still billing 8 hrs. This means not taking 3hr liquid lunch (with your friends jack daniels and wild irish rose) breaks while billing.

This means not taking loud phone calls for a side practice in the bathroom boasting about your million dollar settlement or real estate closing. This means not arguing politics with your boss and colleagues. This means not trying to bring your comfort therapy dog to the office when there are known dog allergy sufferers there.

This means not watching netflix videos on your cell phone while at work. Yes this last one is a new problem. Cell phone addiction is 1 thing while clicking docs. It is another when you have a desk, phone, emails to answer, and meetings to attend in person.

Yes I've seen all this in doc reviews I've done. Thankfully I'm out with a real job.

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imkickingrocks (Nov 7, 2017 - 7:37 pm)

I did doc review for 3 years before taking a position as a portfolio manager at a bank. My advice is to work your contacts. This may require you to look beyond all the lawyer friends that make up 90% of your inner circle. When I expanded my search to include non-legal jobs, I emailed past work associates, members of my church congregation, old university buddies, etc. I even joined social groups geared for young professionals on Meetup so I could expand my network.

My opportunity came when an accountant acquaintance (she and I volunteer at the same local food bank) heard about the open position from the department head, brought it up to me, and offered to walk my resume in when I told her I was interested. I'll be honest, without her doing that I would have never gotten past HR if I was applying on my own.

Yes, you'll have to field questions about why you're interested in a non-legal job but just be honest (stability, mobility, benefits, etc). For those who may have reservations reaching out to their friends because they don't want to be rejected or for some reason feel ashamed because they didn't "make it" as an attorney, don't be. This isn't charity. You're willing to work hard for pay. At the end of the day, no one (except for smug douches but eff them) is going to fault you for seeking honest work. If it helps, a lot of companies offer hiring referral incentives. In my company, if an applicant is referred by a current employee and then hired, the current employee can receive a referral bonus up to $5k depending on the position filled. Everyone wins!

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aknas (Nov 8, 2017 - 10:32 am)

In DC, today, everyone is giddy with joy because of the Old Dominion election aftermath.

Now may be a good time to hit up your DC contacts for a better job.

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