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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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The Internet Gives Law Grads Career Advice

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Anastasia at Ruby Red Slipper has reminded me that the internet can actually be useful sometimes with her wonderful post Talk Amongst Yourselves….. She lays out the following scenario and gets some fantastic comments from folks across the country.

Okay, I’m attempting to facilitate a discussion on the blog. Anyone can contribute. However, when you comment, please indicate if you are a: law student, practicing lawyer, law grad without employment, law grad working in a non-traditional job, or other. This all relates to finding your first job after law school.

My hope is to get a realistic evaluation from people who know. Sometimes an ‘interim’ position can really end up hurting your chances over the long haul, so I’m trying to figure out what people like me should be taking into consideration.

Which of these should you consider/not consider and why when you are actively looking for a full-time associate position, but need something in the interim to either keep you afloat or help make your resume more attractive?

1. Consider taking a paralegal job while looking for work?
2. Consider doing contract work?
3. Take a full-time law clerk position?
(I’m clarifying this one; when I say ‘law clerk,’ I mean working full-time at a firm as opposed to a court. I would definitely do the law clerk thing at a court if I could find that.)
3. Take a very low paying Associate job? How low? 40k? 35k? 30k?
4. Take a job that more than pays your bills, but has nothing to do with law?

Feel free to add other options in the comments. I’m curious to hear what you guys have to say. For example, the paralegal option could work either way. I once took a job as a secretary in order to get my foot in the door at a company, but was amazed that after being hired, management only perceived me as a secretary despite what I’d been told in the interview. To make matters worse, when I was trying to get out of that job and look for something better, I only seemed to get calls for secretarial work despite recently graduating with a business degree. Is it like that in law as well?

Are you damning yourself professionally if you go lower salary, lower position, or outside the industry? Or, are you creating a richer resume?

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  1. [...] noted last month that the The Internet Gives Law Grads Career Advice over at think like a woman. act like a man. Anastasia has a Job Search Update… with this [...]

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