Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Career Advice?

Long time lurker. Wonder if anyone could give any advice? unemployedvagabond10/25/17
Personally I think you’re in an ok spot. It really just de burneremail10/25/17
Hindenburg exploded right before reaching its destination. qdllc10/26/17
depends on if you prefer to freeze in water or burn in air esquire13810/29/17
Totally screwed. Get a job as a waiter or drive for Uber. nighthawk10/26/17
I practice in CA and have dozens of lawyer friends in LA. He spaghetti10/28/17
Thanks for the advice and I'm looking to start volunteering unemployedvagabond10/29/17
That's very true. I worked with people who went to Cornell, notreallyalawyer10/29/17
You’re not screwed at all, primarily because you 1. Have n ambulancechaser201310/25/17
Btw. I practice in Los Angeles. ambulancechaser201310/25/17
it's not too late to enter a field other than the law dingbat10/26/17
It takes time to get hired. But there is nothing wrong with thirdtierlaw10/26/17
You're young, "degreed", debt free, and bilingual. On this b anothernjlawyer10/26/17
I'd hardly say you are screwed on a Hidenberg or Titanic sca caj11110/26/17
If I were you I would go into another profession. You have z cocolawyer10/26/17
2 months looking for a way to get into the profession is not jeffm10/26/17
aprende a ser un abogado de inmigración porochi10/26/17
Can't find a job from a T20 in LA just goes to show you how irishlaw10/27/17
It is one of USC/UCLA unemployedvagabond10/29/17
Thanks everyone for the replies so far. Yeah, I was hyperbol unemployedvagabond10/27/17
Immigration Law: do not enter at this time. There has been lifeofleisure11/14/17
Interesting. The immigration firms I've gone to have said th unemployedvagabond11/14/17
Re: Quitting the Law. I don't know much about "fellowships" anothernjlawyer10/27/17
A fair point, to be honest I'm not even sure where to start unemployedvagabond10/27/17
You are definitely not screwed either "Titanically" or "Hind newjag1710/28/17
Thanks. I have been applying to DA's and City Attorney's but unemployedvagabond10/29/17
Don't rule out non JAG military jobs too. Just for fun look esquire13810/29/17
Don't wait too long. I'm too old to even join the military.. notreallyalawyer10/29/17
Short term I say do what you likely are already doing: Ap esquire13810/29/17
I've been living off the savings from my fellowship and I ca unemployedvagabond10/29/17
nvm there was a gov hiring question here I'm going to ask hr unemployedvagabond10/30/17
Just a brief update. I'm about to start volunteering doing p unemployedvagabond11/14/17
Keep your head up, from my personal fed perspective it alway burneremail11/15/17
Criminal litigation is much more prestigious than criminal t lolwutjobs11/14/17
Comforting to see someone with similar credentials as me als themapmaster11/14/17
I'll definitely keep in touch. Hope you're doing all right. unemployedvagabond11/15/17
Re clerkships, judges absolutely don't hire only right out o anonattempt11/15/17
And just got a personal rejection email at 11:00pm. unemployedvagabond11/16/17
Dang, sorry to hear that. Wonder if when the rubber hit the wutwutwut11/16/17
Sorry to hear about the rejection. I have received a ton ove kramer71611/16/17
It's good they got back but not good that they got back at 1 unemployedvagabond11/16/17
Well got a job. It's in criminal defense, pays 50k but 9 to unemployedvagabond11/17/17
Nicely done. 50K fresh out is pretty good when you are in a bittersweet11/17/17
Congrats, Bond; Vaga Bond. wutwutwut11/17/17
Is it okay to be kinda nervous? I don't know how much traini unemployedvagabond11/17/17
I'd say you should reformulate this question, add some addit dogdaypm11/18/17
Yeah I will. I was just overthinking things there for a sec. unemployedvagabond11/18/17
Well, I don't think you're overthinking things. Seems a gen dogdaypm11/18/17
Anyhow thanks folks. My plan is to do this and to look into unemployedvagabond11/18/17

unemployedvagabond (Oct 25, 2017 - 9:01 pm)

Long time lurker. Wonder if anyone could give any advice?

I'm a 2015 T20 grad in Los Angeles. Post Law School I was on a fellowship where I did criminal litigation. However, my fellowship ended 2 months ago and I'm not sure what to do. I've been applying and going to interviews at a good clip but so far no luck. The gov place I was working at isn't hiring and neither are similar agencies.

Should I look for some more volunteer work to do, to pad my resume as I'm starting to get worried about the growing gap in it. It feels like I overspecialized in one field and can't get into anything else. On the plus side no debt and can speak Spanish.

So how screwed am I on a Hindenburg to Titanic scale.

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burneremail (Oct 25, 2017 - 9:16 pm)

Personally I think you’re in an ok spot. It really just depends on what you want to do, firm, govt, non-profit/public interest?

It’s a weird spot right for fed govt as there’s apparently a hiring freeze on. The fiscal year just rolled over and it looks like most agencies are doing a replace 1 for every 2 that leave type deal. It just makes it more difficult is all. I’m not sure when the honors programs applications were due but that’s a consideration. You could also try and scoop a clerkship somewhere? Unfortunately I have no advice re: firms. I have never worked or applied to one.

I would continue doing what you said, applying to a ton of stuff while padding your resume with stuff you would want to do in your career. One thing to consider, try and find some work doing privacy law. Whether it’s volunteering to help news orgs file FOIA requests, legal research, get a certification (this is mainly just a marketing tool), etc

Privacy will be a huge field over the next 10 years. Have 2 friends in DC that focused on the privacy act and related legislation. They get calls from headhunters every other day. That may be a function of being in DC, but I’ve even asked to pick up that type of work in my office just to get some basic experience. It’s not something I’m sure I’ll ever do in the future, but I know having that experience is better than not having it and as a fed every agency needs people who have some background in it.

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qdllc (Oct 26, 2017 - 11:01 am)

Hindenburg exploded right before reaching its destination. Titanic sank mid-voyage. Not sure which would be on the “worse” end of the scale.

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esquire138 (Oct 29, 2017 - 8:26 pm)

depends on if you prefer to freeze in water or burn in air

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nighthawk (Oct 26, 2017 - 1:59 pm)

Totally screwed. Get a job as a waiter or drive for Uber.

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spaghetti (Oct 28, 2017 - 6:31 pm)

I practice in CA and have dozens of lawyer friends in LA. Here's what I'd do if I were you.

Because you did a crim fellowship, the obvious thing to do is apply everywhere for crim jobs. Everywhere. Do not think your UCLA/USC degree puts you above some solo who graduated from Glendale COL in 1980. It doesn't. You missed the prestige boat, so you're with everyone else now. That is the harsh truth.

If you don't want to do crim, apply to PI firms. They love crim experience because it transfers decently to that area of civil lit.

In the meantime, offer to volunteer places. Anywhere. Having a gap on your resume at any point is bad, but this early on it can be a huge, huge problem. Lots of places will not give you the time of day if you've got a six month gap, especially after only a couple years of experience.

You need to do something, anything, to show you were doing legal work. I can't stress this enough. If this forces you to live on a friend's couch while you volunteer, so be it.

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unemployedvagabond (Oct 29, 2017 - 2:41 pm)

Thanks for the advice and I'm looking to start volunteering somewhere next week but for the record I'm not one of those people who looks down on others based on their law school or whatever.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 29, 2017 - 2:45 pm)

That's very true. I worked with people who went to Cornell, Michigan, GWU, Georgetown and other good law schools, and they were doing doc review just like I was.

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ambulancechaser2013 (Oct 25, 2017 - 9:10 pm)

You’re not screwed at all, primarily because you 1. Have no debt 2. Went to a T20 and 3. Speak Spanish in an area where it matters.

Personally, I think it matters what you want to do. If you want to do civil litigation then go do that. I would try to get into a legit firm, let’s say a Lewis Brisbois or the Los Angeles office of Wilson Elser (which is totally different than the NYC version). You can email me if you want to talk, [email protected]

if you want to go government I think you need a bit more experience.

You are in a very enviable position with those credentials and most importantly no debt.

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ambulancechaser2013 (Oct 25, 2017 - 9:13 pm)

Btw. I practice in Los Angeles.

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dingbat (Oct 26, 2017 - 9:18 am)

it's not too late to enter a field other than the law

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thirdtierlaw (Oct 26, 2017 - 10:21 am)

It takes time to get hired. But there is nothing wrong with learning new areas by volunteering at nonprofits. So you can do both.

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anothernjlawyer (Oct 26, 2017 - 12:13 pm)

You're young, "degreed", debt free, and bilingual. On this board, that's a flush hand. A few thoughts:

1) Apply to immigration law firms (obviously) where you can monetize your Spanish speaking skills.
2) Consider getting certified as a court interpreter, and translate for courts, at depositions, etc.
3) Look for other non law / corporate opportunities where the company wants a bilingual person with a bachelor's degree or better.

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caj111 (Oct 26, 2017 - 1:36 pm)

I'd hardly say you are screwed on a Hidenberg or Titanic scale. Sure, it sucks to be unemployed but you're in a better position than most of the currently unemployed law school graduates who have debt, didn't graduate from a T20 and don't speak a second language.

Immigration and family law firms are almost always out there hiring people who speak a second language, it's just a question of timing and finding one that is the right fit as many of them are very small. Most don't pay too well but at least you can go somewhere to get some good training and experience until you feel you've learned enough to go out on your own or parlay it into something that pays better. If you did criminal litigation at your fellowship, there are bound to be some criminal law firms as well that want bilingual attorneys, but they are typically even smaller and rarely have more than a couple associates if any. Some criminal law firms might have per diem work where they need someone to show up for a court hearing on occasion.

2 months time is not a long gap and many would-be employers would understand that your fellowship ended and you didn't have another job right away. You can also explain it away by saying you had some family issues to deal with during that time, or something, and only recently were you actively looking.

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cocolawyer (Oct 26, 2017 - 2:40 pm)

If I were you I would go into another profession. You have zero debt. I mean how many 2015 graduates can say that? Most 2015 graduates will tell you their debt ranges from 150-250k. They have to try to muck it up or they will never get any breathing room.

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jeffm (Oct 26, 2017 - 2:52 pm)

2 months looking for a way to get into the profession is not long. I graduated in May and didn't find anything until September. Even then, the pay I got was pretty embarrassing, although the quality of the experience I got more than made it up for it.

I am sure for some, it takes even longer. At some point, you have to be available to do anything you can to start getting into law. The beauty of your situation is you don't have debt. You have so many options by not being pressed to work full-time.

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porochi (Oct 26, 2017 - 11:32 pm)

aprende a ser un abogado de inmigración

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irishlaw (Oct 27, 2017 - 12:58 am)

Can't find a job from a T20 in LA just goes to show you how absolute crap this profession is if you don't find full employment 3L year.

If that T20 isn't UCLA/USC better send apps out to where your school places and NYC

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unemployedvagabond (Oct 29, 2017 - 7:02 pm)

It is one of USC/UCLA

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unemployedvagabond (Oct 27, 2017 - 4:20 pm)

Thanks everyone for the replies so far. Yeah, I was hyperbolic about how relatively screwed I am but these two months of unemployment have been a brutal slog. I had one recent interview, which was admittedly a stretch goal, were after leaving it I felt like I was more qualified to run for Pope than for the job.

Immigration Law: I've applied at a few places and gotten some interviews. Still waiting for some responses. Anyone have a guess for the starting salary range.

Family Law: Haven't seen a lot of entry level openings for this.

Government jobs: Ideally I would like to get a gov job but there have been few openings. Gone on two interviews but didn't make the final cut.

Clerkships: Aren't I "too old", two years out, it was my understanding that most state and fed clerkships only hire recent grads.

Quitting the Law: I've enjoyed my time so far as a lawyer, except for this period of unemployment, and so I'm not yet ready to give up.

Titanic v Hindenburg: Drowning slowly seems worse that blowing up at once.

Thanks again everyone, if I missed anything I'll come back to it. Lots to think about. Of course any other advice is welcome.

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lifeofleisure (Nov 14, 2017 - 9:32 pm)

Immigration Law: do not enter at this time. There has been a significant slowdown in that practice in L.A. according to some friends in that area. Maybe others in southern California can confirm or dispute.

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 14, 2017 - 9:39 pm)

Interesting. The immigration firms I've gone to have said the opposite, that it's up. Of course I didn't get the jobs so make of that what you will.

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anothernjlawyer (Oct 27, 2017 - 4:44 pm)

Re: Quitting the Law. I don't know much about "fellowships" but I would hesitate to base my decision to stay in law on how much I enjoyed that sort of work experience. Did you have billable hours requirements, appear in court regularly with clients, etc.? Is your experience comparable to working in a smallaw criminal practice? Or is it the kind of thing where you're working for your law school and they pay you a stipend so they can say you're employed in their NALP statistics?

My point is, if a good non-law related opportunity comes up, don't blow it off because you want to "be a lawyer."

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unemployedvagabond (Oct 27, 2017 - 4:50 pm)

A fair point, to be honest I'm not even sure where to start looking for non-law opportunities as my undergrad degree is pretty useless.

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newjag17 (Oct 28, 2017 - 1:25 pm)

You are definitely not screwed either "Titanically" or "Hindenburg-ly".
I agree with the posters who advise to decide what it is you are wanting to do. For example, you mentioned criminal litigation--if you were interested in criminal law (that's what I do), you should apply to a number of DA's Offices and even the City Attorneys. DA's Offices can be challenging to get hired on, however, they all have some level of turnover, and often it's simply a timing issue for the applicant. Your experience plus bilingual skill will be a huge advantage since you will be able to communicate with victims, witnesses, and families without sending them through a third person within the Office. City Attorney Offices can be a solid gig--interesting work, government advantages, etc and often overlooked by applicants. Another pathway may be your States Attorney General's Offices--you may start out in Child Support Enforcement, but it will give you a start inside the Office.
Finally, have you considered military/JAG?

As far as non-government, it would depend upon if you are thinking a traditional firm route or maybe working with 2-3 other attorneys. Firms have their own culture and hiring practices obviously and often focus on grades, law review, school rank etc.

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unemployedvagabond (Oct 29, 2017 - 2:05 pm)

Thanks. I have been applying to DA's and City Attorney's but no luck so far.

I don't think the miltiary/Jag is for me.

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esquire138 (Oct 29, 2017 - 8:28 pm)

Don't rule out non JAG military jobs too. Just for fun look into all branches and MOS's. I knew licensed lawyers who were NCO's in infantry jobs.

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notreallyalawyer (Oct 29, 2017 - 8:36 pm)

Don't wait too long. I'm too old to even join the military..

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esquire138 (Oct 29, 2017 - 8:32 pm)

Short term I say do what you likely are already doing:

Appearance Agency Work: (its piecemeal but flexible, and no litmus test at all to get hired)

DocReview: (pretty close to the first one, but hourly. Still most are flexhours)

Process Serving: Sounds a bit nuts, but it can be fun and we've all done it at least once. Larger Firms are always hiring too.



resist the desire to do probono for people (especially friends and family) just trust me on that one

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unemployedvagabond (Oct 29, 2017 - 9:08 pm)

I've been living off the savings from my fellowship and I can live off them for a bit longer.

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unemployedvagabond (Oct 30, 2017 - 9:58 pm)

nvm there was a gov hiring question here I'm going to ask hr directly.

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 14, 2017 - 8:36 pm)

Just a brief update. I'm about to start volunteering doing pro-bono immigration work. Been on more interviews but not job yet and have a ton of outstanding gov apps in the air. These 2 months and a half, I've interviewed everywhere in between a solo and the State Bar. I'm on a state trial court clerkship list but no movement in months. I was pretty close to getting a clerkship back in July but it seems to mostly go to people recently out of law school with law review. Wish me luck board as I keep pushing this boulder uphill. It's nice to have a group of anonymous people to talk to.

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burneremail (Nov 15, 2017 - 9:07 pm)

Keep your head up, from my personal fed perspective it always slows down this time of year. 1) holidays, people just aren’t around to review candidates, interview, hire, etc 2) technically there’s still a freeze. The fiscal year rolled over in October and a lot of agencies / components are now hiring if they can get a position classified as mission critical or as 1-2 people leave which brings me to 3) no one is leaving their job right now. After the new year I’d expect a lot more movement. 4) keep snagging interviews and keep a positive attitude. Continue doing things that will help with your own professional development, network a ton, etc

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lolwutjobs (Nov 14, 2017 - 8:59 pm)

Criminal litigation is much more prestigious than criminal transactional work, and safer. I think you are in a good spot. If you keep getting interviews, the problem isn't your credentials.

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themapmaster (Nov 14, 2017 - 11:02 pm)

Comforting to see someone with similar credentials as me also having to scrap in the legal job market. Such a ruthless market where marginal differences or luck can lead to drastically different life outcomes. If you are getting an interview per week, I would think you'll get a job within the next few months unless you suck at interviewing. If I got a first offer in your shoes, I would probably take it but unless it's really a good gig, I would continue to apply to better jobs, as if I had never gotten the first job offer. Keep us updated!

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 15, 2017 - 5:36 pm)

I'll definitely keep in touch. Hope you're doing all right.

Question: I interviewed at a small firm last week. I thought the interview went all right but I didn't get a firm timeline on when they would make their decision. I think I was near the end of interviews. I emailed yesterday, a standard I'm still interested email, and haven't heard anything back.

Does that mean (A) I've been ghosted (B) No news is not necessarily bad news (C) Impossible to say

PS: Does anyone know what an Aderant Rules Attorney does?

PSS: I have an online friend who is apparently making 100k, I think he's involved with disposing radioactive waste.

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anonattempt (Nov 15, 2017 - 6:58 pm)

Re clerkships, judges absolutely don't hire only right out of law school. Many judges see work experience as a plus. Seriously consider putting together apps for state clerkships, but the application and interviewing process takes time and significantly in advance of the hire date, so you'd need to continue to also apply to other jobs.

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 16, 2017 - 2:02 am)

And just got a personal rejection email at 11:00pm.

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wutwutwut (Nov 16, 2017 - 7:23 am)

Dang, sorry to hear that. Wonder if when the rubber hit the road, they figured out they didn't have enough work to fill an FTE?

Seen that happen in small and mids.

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kramer716 (Nov 16, 2017 - 10:27 am)

Sorry to hear about the rejection. I have received a ton over the past few months, but don't think I have received any at 11. Keep fighting.

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 16, 2017 - 5:12 pm)

It's good they got back but not good that they got back at 11pm. Anyhow, I have a crim job interview tomorrow. Any tips?

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 17, 2017 - 2:11 pm)

Well got a job. It's in criminal defense, pays 50k but 9 to 5. Firm does a ton of areas of law and their crim calendar is small. Any defense tips?

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bittersweet (Nov 17, 2017 - 5:12 pm)

Nicely done. 50K fresh out is pretty good when you are in a position like yours. You should be very marketable in a couple years. It took some of us 2 years to get a gig doing doc reviews.

Good luck & don't screw it up.

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wutwutwut (Nov 17, 2017 - 5:15 pm)

Congrats, Bond; Vaga Bond.

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 17, 2017 - 6:27 pm)

Is it okay to be kinda nervous? I don't know how much training I'm going to get and all my work has been on the Prosecution side. I'm a noob on how to file forms for like a 1538.5, copy to the court and the prosecutor and personal service, or what substitution form (can I use the civil form) you need when taking a case from a PD.

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dogdaypm (Nov 18, 2017 - 9:50 pm)

I'd say you should reformulate this question, add some additional context, and repost as a new OP.

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 18, 2017 - 10:11 pm)

Yeah I will. I was just overthinking things there for a sec.

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dogdaypm (Nov 18, 2017 - 11:41 pm)

Well, I don't think you're overthinking things. Seems a genuine concern that someone in the neaput gallery might have some helpful insights about.

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unemployedvagabond (Nov 18, 2017 - 6:19 pm)

Anyhow thanks folks. My plan is to do this and to look into transitioning into some government work. I heard that you don't add the new job for obvious reasons while looking for work, so should I put the immigration pro bono thing I'm doing instead, I'm just starting an asylum case. I'll keep you informed on how it goes.

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