I’m a 2L at a second-tier midwestern school. Fall OCI didn’t go so great for me and, after resigning myself to failure, I accepted an unpaid internship with the government in my home metropolitan area. If I keep the job, chances are good that I’ll end up taking out loans for externship credit and will also be forced to obtain some sort of weekend employment to pay the bills.
Surprisingly, I just got an offer to be a summer bitch at a decent-paying firm within my home town. I talked to Career Services about this problem, and they made it clear that I needed to reject the firm offer. But that option would obviously strain me, both career-wise and financially. So my ultimate question is, can I tell the government that I’m sorry, but will no longer be able to take the position? From a purely financial point of view, I can either borrow ~6k this summer for tuition and living expenses, or make ~20k.
-Money on the Table
Dear Money on the Table,
As if law students didn’t have enough strikes against them — sh*tty economy, no jobs, worthless degree — a new and insidious threat also conspires to keep them broke and unemployed: Career Services. Everyone tolerated their quaint but useless “resume writing workshops” and rhetorical great-unpaid-opportunity-in-Kansas emails when the economy was great, but now that sh*t has tanked and they are unable to fulfill their express job duties — namely, creating careers — they’ve turned underminer. If they can’t create careers, no one should have them….
Here at Above the Law, we write all the time about crappy law job postings. A good deal of these awful employment listings come from law school career services offices (which is not at allimpressive!).
We recently received word about a law school career services job posting that was so horrendous, so ridiculous, that we could not help ourselves but to write about it. After all, writing about crappy law jobs is like opening a can of Pringles: once you pop, you can’t stop.
And this job — well, let’s just say that it takes the cake, or the potato chip, as the case may be….
We’ve been down this road before, but society still seems to think that female lawyers and law students don’t know the basics of fashion. Maybe it’s true, especially given the number of events on this topic that repeat the same information ad infinitum. We’ve seen seminars on how to have fashion sense for the workplace, followed by lessons on fashion dos and don’ts. When will the madness end?
We thought that we had gotten the point across on this in October: ladies, if you dress like hookers, the only jobs you’ll get will be underneath a partner’s desk.
But apparently that message fell on deaf ears, because one law school’s Career & Professional Development Office had to co-sponsor an event with the school’s Women Law Students Association on how to properly dress for an interview….
We’ve been talking lately about career services officers who don’t seem to know, or just plain deny, that it’s their job to find jobs for law students. Guess what? You might not like it, but that’s the job that you signed up for. You have to find jobs for these people. We don’t really care how you do it (and you probably don’t, either), but you have to do it.
Apparently one career services official has taken our words of wisdom to heart. At least this guy is trying to find jobs for graduates.
Alas, his efforts made us realize how sad it is when a law school that claims to have a 92% employment rate nine months after graduation literally has to beg its alumni to employ recent graduates….
La vengeance se mange très-bien froide. Or as a Klingon might say, “revenge is a dish best served cold.”
I’m pretty sure that the administrators at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles didn’t think they were walking into a smackdown when they sent out an email to alumni asking them to update their employment statuses. But smacked they were, down on their heads, as one student’s epic, slightly rambling response to the innocent request just tore up the school for its behavior towards recent graduates.
And this comes from a student who seems to be doing well, despite the challenging economy. You want to know the best way to “get back” at your law school, if you so desire? Send them an email that says: “I am going to be very wealthy here, and I will not be giving a dime to Loyola.”
I’m a man who can respect honesty. Even if the honest message is painful to receive and misguided, I tend to respect people who can honestly express their worldviews.
So when I saw an email from a career services officer at a law school where she stated that finding students jobs was not her job, well, I had to just nod my head and say, “Balls.”
I mean, that’s how many of them think, right? They “advise” or “counsel” or “leave early to go the gym,” but it’s somebody else’s job to actually make sure these students are employed. Right? People don’t go to law school to get jobs, they go because… well, the CSO doesn’t much care why people go to law school, so long as the students don’t blame the CSO when they are unemployed and struggling.
At least this particular CSO employee had the guts to tell the student body the truth….
With the legal economy in the toilet, the morale in career services offices has reached an all-time low.
They all know that law school graduates are getting sick and tired of putting the “bar” in barista. They all know that law school graduates living the legal grind are busy serving lattes.
Well aware of these facts, the career services brigade at one highly-ranked law school decided that it was time to put their heads together and come up with a way to make career alternatives look exciting and new….
Alright, we’ve got a little bit of a bone to pick with career services offices. Aren’t the people who work there supposed to help law students find jobs? Or at least give law students some clues about how they can find jobs themselves?
Apparently that’s not happening anymore. Just in case you haven’t had enough, here’s another report on the depressing things that are going on in law schools today.
In lieu of jobs or career advice, career services offices are now offering children’s poetry to their students….
While there are students enjoying the good life as summer associates, many rising 3Ls are staring into the abyss of entering 3L recruiting without a post-graduate job lined up. At the University of Michigan Law School, the office of career services is preparing students for just how abysmal the abyss is going to be:
As you look at the employers coming to campus to interview 3Ls, some of you may be feeling quite frustrated at the number of employers willing to interview you as a 3L when there were far more willing to interview you when you were a 2L. Unfortunately, in the next few weeks there may be even more firms that cancel or reduce the number of interview slots they want reserved for 3Ls.
Welcome to “the suck,” my friends. I hope you brought your BFG…
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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