{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I feel like I can’t redeem my career. I’ve been out of paying work since I graduated. My bar was delayed due to a medical problem and since then I’ve only been able to find volunteering. I’ve been working for free for 2 years now. My network is tapped, my mentors are confused why I can’t find anything, my law school’s career services actually gave up on me, I don’t have the money to move to a new place, I have no other support and I can’t even go back to retail because nobody’s hiring out here.", "post_id": "5ef5c2d9c1a7e60021fc0311", "reply_count": 35, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

I feel like I can’t redeem my career. I’ve been out of paying work since I graduated. My bar was delayed due to a medical problem and since then I’ve only been able to find volunteering. I’ve been working for free for 2 years now. My network is tapped, my mentors are confused why I can’t find anything, my law school’s career services actually gave up on me, I don’t have the money to move to a new place, I have no other support and I can’t even go back to retail because nobody’s hiring out here.

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at
Highlighted IconHIGHLIGHTED

I’m a hiring partner at an AM 200 firm, so I don’t speak for everyone. First things first, hiring right now at many firms, especially at a junior level, has been scaled back if not abandoned. As such, it’s not you. Also, although you have been out of work for a while, you are competing against attorneys of your same year that have 1-2 years of experience at another law firm who just got let go. Next, industry experience is very important. While it is important that you can do, for example, a license agreement, I would want to know if you know how to do a license in XYZ industry with ABC type of clients. I say this to let you know that you need to focus on an industry and get it that industry. I’m not saying you have not, but if you have not, take every job you can. Last, but not least, I’ll leave you with this story: I have a friend who got arrested for something drinking related during law school. When he graduated, he failed the bar and when he passed, they made him wait a year because of character and fitness. Then the only job he could get was working at a state agency in a very low position. Over the course of three years he played the politics, worked hard, and moved his way up to pretty high in the agency. Then one day one of the highest paying firms in his city was looking for an associate who always went up against said agency. He joined, tripled his salary, and is now doing his thing. You can give up if you want to, but just know your not alone and it can be done. Don’t give up.

like

Same here. I had a major car accident right before my last semester of law school (2009) that left me with multiple injuries including a concussion. Then, the recession hit, and I was unemployed for 3 years. After my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I ended up working in retail then in HR so I could care for her. It's only been in the last 2 years that I've been able to get back into the legal field but as a paralegal (until I get licensed). Along the way, I've discovered other options besides being a "traditional" attorney. Try temp agencies--there are jobs out there that don't get posted, a good recruiter will know how to sell your skills, and it's a great way to get your foot in the door. Also, get licensed (if it's required in your state) as a Mediator or Guardian; you can make some connections while beefing up your resume. Also consider "non-legal" legal jobs--in Claims for insurance companies, as a Compliance Officer for corporations, doing anything in a government agency, etc. And consider modifying your resume if you just need any job for now; sometimes, the JD scares hiring managers off. I have a resume that includes my JD and one that doesn't (this tip came from a former hiring manager at my state's workforce commission). Get an interview. Get the job. Keep looking. Don't give up.

Recent IconRecent

I know it's a reach but feel free to hang that shingle and set yourself up as a private consultant. This is also a great time to advocate for a cause and that could lead to a career in another field. I have plenty of friends who have taken their JD and done other work with it. I have others who killed themselves for years because they didn't get the calls from the type of firm they would consider a success only to get in there and realize they weren't hired because they weren't a good fit and they turned out to hate it. Clerking also presents a viable option for getting experience that firms/clients find attractive. I know you're frustrated, I had a similar experience coming out, but take the positive attitude and the support of people here as a sign. It will get better if you try each day and broaden your approach. I'm sorry you've had so much of a struggle to date but careers are long and you may yet win out in the end.

like

Thank you so much for your reassurance. I currently volunteer as a private consultant to keep busy though finding clients that can afford to pay anything has been slow. My work has all been pro bono so far, but I understand it takes time for things to get started, so I’m patient with it though I wish for the guarantee and stability of income that comes with working for a firm or company.

likeuplifting

Honestly, just use this opportunity to get out of law. Unless you happen to get extremely lucky, it’s a bad investment of your time and money. I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would choose to go to law school after the bottom fell out in 2008.

like

Law school is arguably a bad investment. However, if you enjoy it and work at it over forty years, you’ll probably come out ahead. A career only partially a financial consideration. As long as you can pay the bills, you have flexibility. That being said, I went into law expecting more money but investing relatively little. In a purely financial sense, it was an okay move for me. But I don’t like the work. And I’m slowly working toward an exit. (7 years into practice.) The money would be good and relatively guaranteed if I stayed put. But I’m fed up. I’ll take my chances elsewhere. My point in saying this is plenty of people like me don’t like their work but they stay put because the money’s better than what they think the alternative is. It might be a hard slog for a while, but if you genuinely want to do the work, people will eventually see that. Provided you get out there and promote yourself, too. My firm doesn’t care about “passion,” but they desperately want to avoid turnover. If you can persuade a firm you’re there because you want to be there and not just for a paycheck, that goes a long way. Especially for smaller and mid-sized firms.

Fishbowl is a great community but it’s so intimidating seeing all these people who don’t have to worry about their next meal. I feel like an imposter, like I don’t even deserve my degree or my law license. I usually do surveys and gig work online to try to make what I can for money but this has gone on too long. It’s been years and there’s only so many cold and warm emails you can send out that end up not working out or becoming more unpaid work. I’m at my wits ends and I don’t know how to fix it!

like

Are you just venting about your situation (totally fine to be doing that, it’s therapeutic sometimes) or are seeking advice on what to do/what others would do in your situation?

like

Transactional or in-house. I have a soft IP and privacy background.

like

Can you look for another market? Have you had someone do a mock interview to see if you are not answering questions correctly? Is it your resume?

like

I have with a few of my mentors and career services. They can’t figure it out other than just remind me the economy must be bad and law is competitive. I didn’t go to a top school. I’ve been putting in apps all over including locally, law jobs, paralegal, retail sales, dish washing. I don’t know what’s wrong. I can get volunteer attorney work just fine though so I’ve been doing legal work these last few years, just nothing paid. Plenty of positive references. Maybe I’m being overly introduced as free labor and being taken advantage?

like

Have you tried state atty, public defender etc? May not be a career but awesome experience. Join some atty groups in your area and network.

like

I’m in a handful of groups/associations, networking is no problem for me. I’ve considered state jobs, but I don’t meet the hard qualifications for what’s currently listed. I rely on public transit and have never had issues in the past with other employers over it, but many of the state jobs require you have your own car regardless, which I just can’t afford right now. I’d apply for court appointments, but I have no civil or criminal trial background, so I’m waiting for some free CLEs to come up on my calendar to address that.

like

If you are in a practice area where its practical, I would agree with hanging your own shingle. I was unemployed for a while out of law school and started taking on my own clients and then leveraged a book of business into a job at a firm, but I could have just as well built up my practice. If you have been working for free, then you at least have some experience. Instead of finding a firm to hire you, it may be more productive to find clients to hire you.

likesmart

This is what I’m working on currently though my clients are pro bono at the moment. I’m hoping eventually I’ll have business I can offer to join a firm with. It’s been a slow process. I’ve been told I’m good at what I do and I have had people seek me out specifically for the experience I have, but I struggle marketing myself and asking for money, so that’s the next step to figure out. A lot of those that reach out to me come from modest means so it’s challenging.

like

How long was your delay to take the bar? For example, in Texas, most graduates take it in July after a May graduation and then are licensed in Nov. I believe of that year. Also, do you address the gap between graduation and your license date in your cover letter? If not, some firms will assume you took the bar but failed.

like

In my office, and in most firms of more than ten attorneys, there’s an office manager or HR person. They’re often the first level of review. You can make your cover letter whatever you think is appropriate. But it can help to get in touch directly with this first-level person. They’re not going to make any decisions, but they can help get you to an interview.

helpful

Maybe it is the free labor thing but you should be able to get even a less glamorous role-- is your practice area niche? Are you being picky with firms? What state are you in?

like

I don’t want to disclose information about me on here, which is one of the reasons I’ve made this rant thread anonymously, but my background is in transactional areas with in-house experience. I have been applying to places out of my location because there are not places locally hiring. That may be some of the hinderance, though with COVID I am hoping temporary remote opportunities may help me afford relocating to a better local market.

like

You might want to try working for an insurance company. They often hire people with law degrees. You can then move into their in-house law department

like

I second the “hang your own shingle.”

like

It took me a couple years to get the law job I wanted (I went to a top school but was picky and didn't interview well). If it's something you really want, then I encourage you to stick with it and don't sell yourself short.

like

I assume you are skilled in at least one area of law. Have you try to become a contract lawyer. Connect your self to a political figure work for him. These individuals if good might have the ability to put in a public sector as a good luck. Do not get depress stay the course. Best of luck to you.

helpful

What geographical area are you in?

Related Posts

Just found out I didn’t get the offer at Altman after 7 interviews… who is hiring ? Have a lot of tmt strategy and transformation experience. Anyone willing the refer me ?

like

Dark lip hair…any long term solutions? Tried laser but it did nothing (might have actually made it worse). Sick of bleaching or using depilatory creams. Open to any ideas!

like

Just got finished with 3 month activation for hurricane support. Great experience, but totally fucked me in my push for manager year. Anyone have a tech strategy or federal manager op they can shoot me a referral for? DC area.

Interviewed for a senior technical position at a startup (about 50 employees). During the interview the CEO spent about 20 minutes answering my questions. There was no discussion about my technical skills or experience. They emailed that they are working on an offer. Is the interview process a redflag? The only technical screening that happened was the HR lead's 10 minute phone call.

like

I work at a boutique that is not very well known, I went on sick leave for personal reasons, which they have been very supportive of. And while on it I received an opportunity to back to a big name I worked for before moving to the boutique. I've only been here for about 7 months. Would it look bad if I agreed to take the offer to boomerang? I'm very confused, everyone I know is saying I shouldn't do it.

like

Team member gave her three week notice. I will likely have to pick up majority of her work for the foreseeable future (which is very different from my assigned work). My company is on a hiring freeze and reduced salaries. Sooo do y’all think it hopeless to ask for some sort of raise or bonus of some kind?

likehelpful

Can you pass through TSA checkpoints multiple times at EWR? They wont let me take bus to terminal b for the lounge. Told me I'd have to exit take skytrain and reenter

like

Offered to join Slalom as a Senior Director with a 90k raise compared to my SM role at Accenture. Any perspective on what a Sr Dir role at Slalom entails?

like

Burning bridges is frowned upon but, for the 'bowl: what are some of the "best" (🔥🔥) ways you've seen consultants exit a firm?

like

I have been seeing lot of LinkedIn posts of Googlers leaving after <2-3 years at Google On the other hand, there are those who have been trying for years to get into Google. So what are some reasons current Googlers leave after such a short time there?

like

How does one go from Sr. Art Director to Studio Manager? And who's hiring mid to senior level creatives right now? Thanks!

like

Interviewing for a role at Deloitte Strategy & Ops Business Insights UK. Got a 4 hour long round 2 (video interview) with case study, presentation type rounds. What type of cases can I expect ?

like

Got reached out to by a recruiter for a Principal Consultant Role at Infosys. Does anyone know what the equivalent t level is at big 4 firms and any insight into the role ? Thanks!

likehelpful

What is “EE disability tax”

like

Hello! I found a role in PwC as an HRT & Optimization that I'd love to apply for. Would anyone be willing to refer / share their experiences? Happy to send and go through my resume!

like

What was the Parthenon Group like before the EY acquisition? How was it perceived compared to MBB, Big 4, etc. in terms of prestige, exit opps, etc.?

like

Has anyone pivoted from government services to commercial? Funding it hard to explain my role and work to people outside gov contracting, so I'm realizing I need a good elevator pitch.

like

Currently interviewing for PM role at a marketing tech company. Is it a bad proxy if this company's product mgrs and software engineers all come from non top 50 undergrads and have no brand name employment history? Or is tech related stuff just different vs. strategy

likefunny

Do you disclose your depression/anxiety as disability in job apps?

helpfullike

Gearing up towards salary negotiations, I've got 2 YOE and 66.668$ TC as a consultant with no benefits. My role description has changed quite a bit since I started and I'm now the only colleague with a qualified QA degree in my team. I am considering putting forward a proposal of a 25-30% increase to match my role as QA lead, is this to bold?

like

Additional Posts

What are the salary bands of TC 2 and Tax senior in deloitte tax

like

What does everyone plan to treat themselves to with their Christmas bonus?!

likefunny

Is there any one of us that thinks American Airlines is a great airline? Seriously.

like

Anyone have any good strategies for taking interviews for other firms while maintaining your travel schedule and demanding meeting schedule? Sneaking around can get exhausting and feel sketchy

Just got my AWS Cloud Practitioner cert and am looking to get something more Strategy or Finance related. Anyone done any good Certs lately?

like

Is it worth moving over to L.E.K. Consulting consulting from Deloitte? Been at the firm for 8 months not sure if it’s worth a reset. Goal is to get an mba in 3 years

like

Flying Delta for the first time in a while. Definitely a different crowd and a pretty nice aircraft. Delta stepping up. Usual United flyer

likeupliftingsmart

Well I came in at 67% of quota. Did yall crush it? Or did yall have a bye-year like me?

like

Me on a 6am Zoom meeting

Post Photo
funny

We are looking to start trying for a baby soon. Any advice on what physicals/tests or what practical lifestyle changes(is eating habits/foods) I need to start to prepare?

like

Considering the FRM certification. Those who’ve taken it, how quant heavy is it? I have a compliance risk background and don’t have a deep math or statistics background. However, I want to expand my skillset. Any thoughts?

like

Anyone in LA hiring a strategist?

Have an interview with an AI company next week. Role is in sales. Recruiter suggested i read Prediction Machines since I have a very introductory knowledge of AI/ML. Since there’s limited time, what short books or podcasts/videos would you all recommend in lieu of prediction machines?

like

I put PTO on my schedule in July to go out of town for a concert & haven't purchased tickets yet. Should I be willing to cancel those plans to free up my time for an engagement that needs staffing?

like

Can someone explain the rationale behind fed hiring a firm for a staff aug role/set of roles versus a dire-hire contractor?

like

Has anyone managed to roll off a shitty project? What did you do?

like

Opinion on current situation vs new offer? Current situation: Spotify, Boston, Senior Product Analyst, almost 4YOE, 120K TC no signing (now 145K TC due to stock jump), no promo in sight, long hours New Offer: Disney Plus, NYC, Senior Data Analyst, 185TC, signing bonus 10-15K, no 401K match first year, relo package TBD, unsure about promo and hours My initial thoughts: TC is a lot better but lateral move, company brand name takes a hit, applying MBA might be postponed

like

Looking for a seasoned AE for a Sr AE role in NYC. Cross-channel experience in CPG preferred.

Went from big 4 advisory to a lower/MM PE Ops role. Is it worth trying for MBB if my near-future goal is to do portfolio ops at larger PE fund? I’m worried my resume doesn’t have strong enough names

like

Moving to San Diego in the spring from the central coast. Any recs on places to live (late 30’s with a kid)? Want to be close to restaurants and things to do, but a little too old and tired for gas lamp!

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal