As legal employers increasingly fault law schools for failing to prepare their students for the actual practice of law, law schools have responded with an increasing array of student requirements that appear relevant without actually requiring the law school to provide any of that pesky practical experience that most professors don’t actually have. For example, when law firms complain that students exiting law school don’t have a proper grounding in how to draft legal documents like motions, briefs, or memos, the law school may respond by adding an “analytic paper” requirement in which a student must write a short academic treatise on a legal topic.
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POSITION FILLED on April 11, 2013.
When you are job searching there is a “no stone unturned” mentality in finding a hopeful employer to send your “based on a true story” résumé and completely bullshit cover letter. One location that I never thought would work but actually has had some results is Craigslist. Yes the same website where you can buy used Ikea furniture can also help you find a job. Is it sketchy? Definitely. But no worries, Bitter Lawyer has your back. Keep these 5 tips in mind when applying and you likely won’t be skinned alive during the interview.
Getting law students to agree on something normally has about the same success rate as a North Korean missile test, but mention law school tuition and pretty much all of us will opine that the current rates essentially pauperize graduates. This is an unfortunate and largely inescapable fact of life in the US educational system. Regardless of what solutions we might put forth for fixing the problem in the future, the fact is that most of us realize that, for now, it’s the price we have to pay to get our J.D. That slip of paper which is little more than a permission slip to allow us to register for the bar exam.
There just are any qualified candidates out there. Really? Depends on your perspective.
Check out this week’s Bitter Comic by Albert Wang.
1. What is Your Five Year Plan?
Having a five year plan is good, describing your five year plan in full to the future boss is usually less than ideal. For one, your plan might include plans to start a family, write the great American novel, or travel to every continent in the world. Whatever your interests, if it falls outside of work, you had better keep it to yourself, lest you give off the impression that you yearn for work-life balance. Furthermore, if your goal is to open up your own practice, switch to public interest, or open up a cupcake shop, then you are going to keep that goal to yourself. No law firm wants to hire someone who will use them and then leave them just when he becomes a valuable employee.
QDuring the course of the last 3 weeks or so of bar prep, I had a few interviews. I got an offer (for a lot less money than I thought they’d offer) a few days before the bar, and the hiring partner tried to strong-arm me into accepting over the phone, even threatening to rescind the offer if I didn’t accept it by “the middle of next week” i.e. the Tuesday and Wednesday of the bar. I was able to talk him off the ledge and convince him to give me a few more days to think about it. My second interview was four days before the bar, and again I was told that if I didn’t want to come on that day, then I wouldn’t be considered for the job. This is a small (30 attorneys) firm.
Keep Reading ⇒
In this installment of the Bitter Brief, we send off this summer’s bar examinees with one last bar exam freakout, things get real with our discussion of a rather depressing job offer, it’s time for bloggers—and, apparently, anonymous commenters—to beware, and one law firm’s unusual want ad lands a Chicago lawyer in deep poo-poo.