So, as you have probably guessed from my blog title, I am graduating from law school in May 2010, and the prospects of a legal job are NOT GOOD, to say the least! I started this blog to chronicle my experience and open up a forum for discussion for those who may also be in my situation or those with some helpful advice.
First, a little about me. I am 34 years old, married, and have four wonderful kids. Before I started law school, I was a Chinese Linguist in the Air Force for over 9 years. I started law school part-time while still working full time on active duty. I was medically retired during my second summer in law school, so I transferred to the full time program.I am attending a lower 1st-tier law school in Washington DC (ranked 48) and have good grades. I currently fall within the top 20% of my graduating class, but expect to graduate in the top 15%. At the very least, I will graduate cum laude. I plan to take the bar in Illinois, as I have family there.
During my legal studies I have participated in a legal internship, Tax Clinic, and Trial Advocacy. I was graded-on to a Journal, but was unable to accept, because the Air Force tried to send me to Japan. My main focus has been taxation; I have taken every tax course my school has to offer.
I participated in my school's fall recruitment. We had about 10-20 large firms participate, with over half of them being IP firms who were not interested in my Undergraduate degree in Chinese. I received only one interview, which was form a governmental office, and never heard back.
Since then I have sent out over 230 Resume/application packets to large and medium firms throughout the Washington DC, Chicago IL, and Raleigh NC locales. I have received over 150 wonderful replies by mail and email. Each one talks about how great my credentials are and how impressed the firm is, and then crushes all my hopes and dreams in the last sentence with a rejection. I love form letters!
I have also sent out a great deal of government applications, hoping to use my military background and experience for preference. Not much interest there either; I have heard the government is inundated with attorney applications that it is ridiculous.
So, what is going on? I am graduating in under a month, I have spent a great deal of time and money trying to sell myself. I have good grades and class standing, a strong work background, Chinese Language skills, a government security clearance, but no job prospects!
Oh, and did I mention the $65,000 in student loans? I have actually done well in this regard; most graduating law students from my school are in debt well over $125,000. I was lucky enough to work my first two years and qualify for the GI Bill.
So what should I do? What CAN I do? What are my prospects after I pass the bar? Will this help? An LLM is really not an option, as I have a family to support and our savings has run completely dry.
This post pretty much summarizes everything that has happened so far. I will be updating with my thoughts and any developments often, so stop back and feel free to post. Let me know what you think, your situation, any advice you might have, or just vent a bit!