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Yachtzee
09-02-2007, 01:57 PM
So I'm out of law school, waiting for the bar results, trying to find a job, and need to bring home a paycheck in the meantime. Does anyone have any experience with legal temporary agencies and employment agencies? Are they legit or do they just collect resumes? I won't know my results from the bar until late October, so I'd really like to do something in the meantime.

cincinnati chili
09-02-2007, 03:10 PM
Yachtzee,

You'd better state the market(s) that you're willing to work in, as I imagine this question has a different answer depending on where you live.

Are you still near Akron and are you willing to commute to Cleveland?

You might look at jobs on Cleveland's craigslist, and see which temp agencies are advertising posisions there. If one appears a lot, then you might run the name of those specific agencies by the career development office at your old law school, your old professors, friends you trust, etc.

I'm not yet done with law school (final year, evening student) so I went with one of these agencies to find a paralegal job I could work during the day. They were cordial and all, and thought they could get me some interviews. But they were also very busy, and I ended up finding my own paralegal job before they could find me something.

You told me, IIRC, that you were on law review and have been published. While this is by no means a panacea, you might be your best advocate. Presumably, you have a writing sample showing you can write. Thus, these agencies might get you jobs that you would have gotten yourself, causing you to get paid less.

Good luck. Jobs are stressing me out right now too.

Yachtzee
09-03-2007, 05:21 PM
Yachtzee,

You'd better state the market(s) that you're willing to work in, as I imagine this question has a different answer depending on where you live.

Are you still near Akron and are you willing to commute to Cleveland?

You might look at jobs on Cleveland's craigslist, and see which temp agencies are advertising posisions there. If one appears a lot, then you might run the name of those specific agencies by the career development office at your old law school, your old professors, friends you trust, etc.

I'm not yet done with law school (final year, evening student) so I went with one of these agencies to find a paralegal job I could work during the day. They were cordial and all, and thought they could get me some interviews. But they were also very busy, and I ended up finding my own paralegal job before they could find me something.

You told me, IIRC, that you were on law review and have been published. While this is by no means a panacea, you might be your best advocate. Presumably, you have a writing sample showing you can write. Thus, these agencies might get you jobs that you would have gotten yourself, causing you to get paid less.

Good luck. Jobs are stressing me out right now too.

That's what I figured. It's just slow going right now, being in that gray area between law school graduation and bar passage.

For the record, I missed out on publication. The article was looking good, but with 2 kids and trying to graduate, I just didn't have the time to examine my issue as deeply as I would have liked. I might revisit the issue after a few years of experience. My issue was so new, it will be interesting to see the effect of the change in law. One tip, if one is considering law review, I recommend getting on with it and going for it at the earliest possible point rather than waiting until your last year to do it. You don't want your note deadlines hanging over you when you're trying to graduate and find a job.

cincinnati chili
09-03-2007, 07:43 PM
That's a drag about your Note. But good luck with the more important venture - the job.

Caveat Emperor
09-04-2007, 12:57 AM
That's what I figured. It's just slow going right now, being in that gray area between law school graduation and bar passage.

For the record, I missed out on publication. The article was looking good, but with 2 kids and trying to graduate, I just didn't have the time to examine my issue as deeply as I would have liked. I might revisit the issue after a few years of experience. My issue was so new, it will be interesting to see the effect of the change in law. One tip, if one is considering law review, I recommend getting on with it and going for it at the earliest possible point rather than waiting until your last year to do it. You don't want your note deadlines hanging over you when you're trying to graduate and find a job.

That sucks man.

Luckily I had my old "internship" waiting for me when I graduated law school, so I could work there and just wait out my bar results. Transitioned right into my current job. I know a lot of people who ended up just waiting tables waiting for their bar results to come through (though, none of them with your credentials of being on law review).

On the subject of law review -- it all depends on where you go to school, but I know this much about my graduating class: I know people who wrote for law review that didn't find work quickly, but I know nobody in the Top-10 GPAs that didn't find work.

Translation: Grades, Grades, Grades are still the bottom line, it seems.

Yachtzee
09-04-2007, 10:15 AM
That sucks man.

Luckily I had my old "internship" waiting for me when I graduated law school, so I could work there and just wait out my bar results. Transitioned right into my current job. I know a lot of people who ended up just waiting tables waiting for their bar results to come through (though, none of them with your credentials of being on law review).

On the subject of law review -- it all depends on where you go to school, but I know this much about my graduating class: I know people who wrote for law review that didn't find work quickly, but I know nobody in the Top-10 GPAs that didn't find work.

Translation: Grades, Grades, Grades are still the bottom line, it seems.

That is so true. In fact, I would say that 1st year grades are the most important. At our school, the on-campus interview program occurs in August-October of your 2nd year. Just about all firms look for 2nd year students in the top 10-15% of the class. At that point, you may be on law review, but you haven't done anything yet, so all you have is your first year grades. What really stinks is that most people who have jobs out of law school usually get hired by firms they worked for as summer associates. So basically if you didn't get grades to put you in the top 10-15% first year, a lot of the more prestigious firms won't even look at you. Your better bet is to find an area of law that interests you and latch on with a boutique firm. I also found that Judicial clerkships usually go to those same 10-15% who have jobs with big firms lined up already, but decide instead to clerk.

I did know one person who had top 15% grades and law review and was still looking for work. Of course she chose a public interest fellowship second year instead of working for a big firm. So if you have the grades and want to work for a big firm, you have to get in ASAP.

I have a good relationship with my last employer. Of course I was working for an elected official with elections coming up this November, so everything is too unsettled for me to count on a job there, and even if they could offer me a job, it wouldn't start until January.

Caveat Emperor
09-04-2007, 03:15 PM
That is so true. In fact, I would say that 1st year grades are the most important. At our school, the on-campus interview program occurs in August-October of your 2nd year. Just about all firms look for 2nd year students in the top 10-15% of the class.

Even that is changing now, with more and more of the large firms going to 1st year associate programs and then bringing back the top performers out of that group for 2nd year associates. A lot of the smaller law schools (read: Toledo) have been slow to catch on to this growing trend and miss an opportunity for placement. That also makes 1st year, 1st semster grades even more important.

My advice to anyone even considering law school is to start lining your ducks up as early as possible. Try to do intern and clerk work for firms while you're in college to build connections with partners and people in charge of the hiring process. If I were even looking at law school, I'd spend my college summers trying to find work, even unpaid, at the bigger firms in town. These places get massive amounts of unsolicited resumes every season, and unless you really blow them away or come from a great school, you're going to find pickings to be slim without some sort of "in" at the firm.

UKFlounder
09-04-2007, 07:02 PM
I worked for Legal Plus in Cincy a few years ago in a paralegal-type job (more data entry though) and it was a decent experience.

I'm not at all in the legal field, so what I did probably would not be of interest to you (as I said a lot of data entry, but it was neat reading some of the cases with some big-time companies involved) but they gave me one assignment that actually lasted for most of two years, after I got out of college and was trying to get on with my life.

vaticanplum
09-04-2007, 08:56 PM
Just about all firms look for 2nd year students in the top 10-15% of the class.

What on earth happens to the other 85-90%?

Yachtzee
09-04-2007, 09:15 PM
What on earth happens to the other 85-90%?

Most latch on somewhere. There are a lot of small boutique firms out there if you have one area you specialize in. Patent and Intellectual Property law would be a good area where you would likely find a job regardless of grades. Unfortunately, outside of NY, LA and Chicago, Intellectual Property law requires passing the Patent Bar, which means you need a science/engineering degree just to be allowed to take it. Jobs at boutique firms are usually found by just beating the bushes through networking and cold resume mailings. They don't necessarily advertise when they have an opening. There are also quite a few government jobs, but you often have to wait until you pass the bar to get those. I'm confident I'll have a job sooner or later. I just need to find something to pay the bills until then.

vaticanplum
09-04-2007, 10:36 PM
Good luck Yachtzee!

Betterread
09-04-2007, 10:56 PM
What on earth happens to the other 85-90%?

The most competitive people in our society play professional sports. After that, Lawyers and Stockbrockers are next. That means that law school and the first five years out of law school weed out a significant number of bright, young people who are not willing to do what it takes to practice law. This includes people in the top 10% of law school classes and law review. I know a significant number of people in that category who no longer practice law. The top-paying jobs at big law firms are highly coveted by many for their pay and status, but the sad fact is that good grades often don't correlate to working success. You may ask why grades factor so highly in the hiring process? What else can employers use for inexperienced young attorneys.
The fact is, people want their lawyers to get them the maximum amount. That typically means an experienced professional who knows the law, the opposing counsel, the judge and the current legal climate. All these things come with experience. Its tough to be a young lawyer. You just have to find a way to survive and be useful until you get the experience you need. I storngly recommend doing pro-bono work. No matter what you do, people will appreciate your effort and your committment to public service. Good luck Yachtzee.

Caveat Emperor
09-05-2007, 12:27 AM
What on earth happens to the other 85-90%?

They all wait outside the Fire Department and start running as soon as the garage doors open up. ;)

I finished right at 15% and didn't draw any interest from firms, so you can't even predict everything on grades. Thank God for the Government. ;)

Yachtzee
09-05-2007, 03:16 PM
Man, Betterread and Caveat. You guys really know how to make a guy feel good. I'm actually considering applying for a job as a monster for a haunted house and I might put in an application at the local video store.

Yachtzee
09-20-2007, 04:37 PM
Update: I was just offered an intern position with the county prosecutor's office while I wait for my bar results. The pay stinks, but it will bring in some money until I find something better. They're also going to send my resume down to another division of the prosecutor's office for consideration after I pass the bar. So I have that going for me. Interviews have really picked up in the past few weeks. After months of nada, it's nice to start getting some positive feedback on my job search efforts. I've got an interview tomorrrow as well. We'll see how that goes.

cincinnati chili
09-20-2007, 04:42 PM
Update: I was just offered an intern position with the county prosecutor's office while I wait for my bar results. The pay stinks, but it will bring in some money until I find something better. They're also going to send my resume down to another division of the prosecutor's office for consideration after I pass the bar. So I have that going for me. Interviews have really picked up in the past few weeks. After months of nada, it's nice to start getting some positive feedback on my job search efforts. I've got an interview tomorrrow as well. We'll see how that goes.

That's good news. It's a lot easier to get a job from a job. You don't seem as desparate.

I've sent out over 75 cover letters in the last month. I got nothing for weeks, but it eventually yielded 3 interviews.

Yesterday, I got a full-time Law Clerk position with a small-medium sized firm in town, backing up their civil litigators. This firm doesn't usually hire its clerks, but it should at least be a good conduit to a good job next summer. I take the bar in July '08.

Good luck on your bar results.

Yachtzee
09-20-2007, 05:35 PM
That's good news. It's a lot easier to get a job from a job. You don't seem as desparate.

I've sent out over 75 cover letters in the last month. I got nothing for weeks, but it eventually yielded 3 interviews.

Yesterday, I got a full-time Law Clerk position with a small-medium sized firm in town, backing up their civil litigators. This firm doesn't usually hire its clerks, but it should at least be a good conduit to a good job next summer. I take the bar in July '08.

Good luck on your bar results.

Thanks, and good luck yourself. Are you still looking for work in Denver while going to school in Boston? I think that adds a degree of difficulty to the search for sure.

Things have been up and down with me. The last two weeks were the weeks of major depression, when I was getting a mailbox full of ding letters. It's amazing how fast things can turn around. I also got a call today from an Ohio District Court of Appeals about possibly interviewing for a law clerk position, which just happens to be the job I've been secretly dreaming about for the last 3 years.

Strikes Out Looking
09-21-2007, 03:38 PM
Hang in there guys. I came to D.C. without a job and eventually found one and have had a very interesting career since.

Network as much as you can--basically meet as many people as you can and listen to their stories and advice--some will definitely be good (and some horrid).

Caveat Emperor
09-22-2007, 01:50 AM
Update: I was just offered an intern position with the county prosecutor's office while I wait for my bar results. The pay stinks, but it will bring in some money until I find something better. They're also going to send my resume down to another division of the prosecutor's office for consideration after I pass the bar.

So far, following my career path to the T! ;)

Good luck with the interviews!

Yachtzee
12-05-2007, 07:33 PM
Update: Looks like I might be trying the legal temp agencies again. I was a finalist for a clerkship at the appellate level, but lost out to the other candidate. The money for my position at the Prosecutor's office runs out on Dec. 23 and they have no money to hire me in as a full-time Asst. Prosecutor. The best they can promise me is that one of the Appellate Attorneys might retire in the next year. All the jobs I've seen lately are demanding at least 1 year of experience. I never dreamed I would still be out of full-time work this long. For those of you looking to get into law, be warned. You can be top 1/3 of your class, work on Law Review, have incredible writing samples and practical experience and still not find a job. This seriously blows.