{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How do you get experience when no one will hire you? I wouldn’t mind hanging a shingle but I feel it’d be irresponsible to do so with no experience. Unlike all of my classmates, I never landed an internship/externship in law school - had only one interview. I was a PT law student, came from a CS background, and worked in IT throughout law school. I passed the bar exam on my first try (Oct 2020) and have only had a couple interviews out of the hundreds of applications I sent out. Any suggestions?", "post_id": "60219e09d04ada00211a1d31", "reply_count": 10, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5dd2006f74be32002122c4ed", "bowl_name": "Attorneys of Color" }

How do you get experience when no one will hire you? I wouldn’t mind hanging a shingle but I feel it’d be irresponsible to do so with no experience. Unlike all of my classmates, I never landed an internship/externship in law school - had only one interview. I was a PT law student, came from a CS background, and worked in IT throughout law school. I passed the bar exam on my first try (Oct 2020) and have only had a couple interviews out of the hundreds of applications I sent out. Any suggestions?

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Mot probono clincs (legal aid societies and courthouse prigrams such as attorney-of-the-day)offer training and supervision. Additionally, you can sign up for court appointed work (usually criminal defense and guardian ad litem) and you will receive training and remuneration. In both cases you will not only gain experience but also exposure to other attorneys in your community with whom you can network and lead to mentorship and employment opportunities.

likesmart

I second the appointment dockets!

I graduated in 2008 when the economy was total crap. I could count the number of fellow law grads that had firm jobs straight out of law school on less than two hands. It took me 3 years to find my first firm job. Looking back now, I wish I had applied to places as a contracts manager. I know several fellow grads who did that and were able to eventually go in-house (which was my ultimate goal) without ever working at a firm.

likehelpful

Wow, thank you for sharing this! I stopped applying to contract manager jobs once I passed the bar. Now I will definitely start reapplying for them.

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Hi, i had the same experience but more so because i had an LLM instead of a JD, and American firms are hell bent on only going through summer associate route. I ended up doing unpaid internships/traineeships at reputable places which led me to getting a full time job at a decent law firm in the practice area I wanted. I’d suggest trying to find people with a similar background as you in various firms and reaching out to them for informational interviews. They will definitely have some times and advice for you. Moreover, this will put you on their radar for any future openings. You will be surprised how many times networking is the way people land jobs.

likehelpful

I started my own practice 9 months out. I did work in several law firms in law school prior to. There’s a lot to learn and it’s challenging. However, just have to think outside the box. I don’t have close mentors but I lean list servs, colleagues from law school, practice guides, CLEs, Facebook atty groups, just network. I also partnered with facility offering certain free services, gives your ad the atty a chance to learn while helping people in need and building experience.

Which city are you in? I know a few law firms in Denver that are dying to recruit attorneys of color. If you’re willing to move to a less diverse area, you’ll be snapped up quicker. The downside though is that there is a cost to being one of a few, including an increase in bias and less competitive pay than your white peers.

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