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Passed the Hawaii Bar Exam, February 2018 - Any Advice?

Hi, I recently passed the Hawaii bar exam, and I'm trying kanakoa05/10/18
It may be tough getting a job in Hawaii if you are applying kramer71605/10/18
Thanks! kanakoa05/10/18
Go to the courthouse in the town in which you want to practi jeffm05/10/18
Solid advice. To add on to my earlier comment about the US T kramer71605/10/18
Hey Kanakoa, no particular advice for you, but I was wonderi meezerman05/10/18
Volcano law? shuiz05/11/18
Tiki Torch PI law. isthisit05/11/18
How much experience do you have? Did you recently graduate? trollfeeder05/11/18
Ha ha! To someone my age (50), it is a little humorous to t jeffm05/11/18
You need to do something so that people will take you serio dandydan05/14/18
kanakoa (May 10, 2018 - 9:21 am)

Hi,

I recently passed the Hawaii bar exam, and I'm trying to figure out as to where I should go from here. I'm currently a freelance virtual law clerk, a position that does not provide a sustainable career. My long-term goal is settle in Kapaa, Kaua'i by next year, in order to be close to my family. I've been seeking remote work, but now I'm contemplating applying for jobs in Hawaii. For the longest time, I was applying for jobs in Hawaii (out of state) without having passed the bar, and I wasn't getting anything. I think Hawaii employers should now take more of an interest in me. I'm attending the admission ceremony, and the law school in Hawaii for a Professional Responsibility course, in June. I'm hoping maybe somebody there can give me insight what to do.

However, my question for JD is whether anyone has advice as to what jobs I should be looking for? How do I find those jobs? Like document review jobs. I'm open to anything, however I don't want to become a traditional lawyer, a litigator or anything. I may even decide to just have the credential I am admitted to the bar in Hawaii without being actively licensed. I know for a certainty I don't want to be the lawyer who constantly grinds 80 hours per week, but I'm interested in legal research, analysis, the investigative process. I want to build a career that provides me the challenge of being a lawyer with my skill sets, but without doing the cutthroat kind of work.

Is there a legal career I should be seeking that is the best, in terms of life-work balance, sustainable income, and job security? I'm thinking of estate planning or environmental law, because that's big in Kaua'i. However, I'm not sure right now what I should be doing.

Any advice is welcome. Thank you!

Kana

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kramer716 (May 10, 2018 - 9:29 am)

It may be tough getting a job in Hawaii if you are applying from the mainland. Also, look at government jobs in the US territories. In the meantime, I would apply for doc review jobs anywhere to build up the income. Also look for federal jobs. If you do not have any experience it will be hard to be selective, so just find something to get your foot in the door and go from there.

Also, talk to the Bar Association on Hawaii. They may be able to put you in touch with a mentor who knows the Hawaiian legal market better than us.

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kanakoa (May 10, 2018 - 9:30 am)

Thanks!

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jeffm (May 10, 2018 - 11:14 am)

Go to the courthouse in the town in which you want to practice. Talk with judges. Talk to the DA.

Get names of local attorneys. Find out who does probate, who does real estate, who does criminal, etc. Talk to them - even the ones in practice areas which do not interest you (you get/give referrals this way). Maybe the judges can give you appointments as attorney ad litem on some cases. Find out what's going on over there with your boots on the ground. That's the best way to find the information you are seeking.

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kramer716 (May 10, 2018 - 11:27 am)

Solid advice. To add on to my earlier comment about the US Territories, since you have experience clerking you may want to call the Superior Court of Guam and see what you have to do to be a law clerk there. I worked on Guam for five years and knew a few clerks there and they all seem like good people.

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meezerman (May 10, 2018 - 1:10 pm)

Hey Kanakoa, no particular advice for you, but I was wondering about your current gig as a freelance virtual law clerk. How did you end up doing that? I'm currently working a boring govt. job that leaves me lots of free time and I've been looking to do legal research and writing on a remote, freelance basis for a little extra money. Let me know if you have any advice, and good luck on your job search.

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shuiz (May 11, 2018 - 7:41 pm)

Volcano law?

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isthisit (May 11, 2018 - 10:24 pm)

Tiki Torch PI law.

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trollfeeder (May 11, 2018 - 8:34 pm)

How much experience do you have? Did you recently graduate? What kind of law job do you want if you dont want to be a lawyer? It just seems really late in the game to be figuring this stuff out.

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jeffm (May 11, 2018 - 10:02 pm)

Ha ha! To someone my age (50), it is a little humorous to think that ~25-30 years old is late to be figuring it out, when so many people 30-40 years old start increasingly feeling trapped by the choices they made when they were only 25-30.

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dandydan (May 14, 2018 - 9:52 am)

You need to do something so that people will take you seriously. If you just graduated and lack real experience then you need to show that working in Hawaii interests you. This means moving there and start making headway so people will view you as a Hawaiian lawyer, not some guy who occasionally vacations there.

Also, you mentioned that you are not interested in being a traditional lawyer yet want to move to Kapaa. Do you expect that lawyers there do ISDA compliance? They do traditional lawyer work. I'm happy to offer advice but do not get what you are doing and what you are trying to do.

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