Archive for ‘Job search’

June 1, 2012

And then, bar review began…

Today was my first real day of bar review classes. We had class two days ago. It was an introduction and orientation to the bar review process. The instructor for this week is the owner of the company, an older man named Jim Rigos. He’s a neat old guy, but wicked smart. I’m happy I chose this particular company, because it has a much more personal feel to it. A lot of my former classmates are using BarBri, and while I don’t care for any idea of a rivalry between the two, they have had problems accessing online materials and have to wear a badge to get into their class. Silliness!

Let me tell you though, this is going to be madness.

The only way I can explain the process I’m creating for myself is that it is like studying for a law school final. My preparation consisted of starting with the syllabus as a skeleton for the outline. Then, I would go to the library to get four to five supplements. I would go through the assigned texts and the supplements using the syllabus as my guide, filling in everything case by case and point by point. In the span of 10 to 20 hours, I would have a beast of an outline ready for commitment to memory.

The bar review process is the same. Only, I just have to pull information from one source. But I have to do it 14 13 times (just finished the contracts outline!). To be honest, either I am lying to myself about how difficult this is, or the hype doesn’t match up to what it means to prepare for the bar. Sure, it is still early days and I am enthusiastic about what I’m doing. It sucks but, it doesn’t seem terrible. Yet. Next steps: do practice questions and memorize outline. I have a secret weapon for memorization, which is to record myself reading it slowly. Then, I can listen to the recording while I do flashcards or during a commute. It’s something I started back when I was taking Latin in undergrad, and it’s incredibly effective. I highly recommend it.

That being said, I’m still having difficult finding a job. I found a decent one on Craigslist with a solo practitioner, who actually returned my call. He told me that his major reservation about hiring me is that I’d be looking for an attorney level position once I get my bar results. But he asked me to send over my resume if I am still interested in the position. Considering this is a legal position, I’m all about it. I told him that I’m leaning toward hanging my shingle once I get results back, so he’d have me until my firm was sufficiently established. I did hear back from him after that, and he said he’d get back to me Monday/Tuesday to let me know, since he has a ton of other applicants to wade through. Here’s hoping; I can really use the work.

May 27, 2012

How to Survive Post-Law School and Pre-Bar Part 1

25 27 applications submitted. 1 interview. 0 calls to offer employment. These are my current employment statistics. I’ve applied to just about every available part time position, whether legal, administrative, hospitality, or retail. Most of the jobs that are available are in retail, but even those aren’t very plentiful.

The one interview I had was with a retailer who said it would call on Friday to set up a second interview. It was at a place I like to call Hipster Central, aka a thrift store. It is close to school, so I could eat lunch after bar review, then walk over there. But it’s Sunday now, and I still haven’t heard from them. Bummer.

I’m guessing that part of the reason it is difficult to find a job is that the economy isn’t improving as much as the news says it is. There simply don’t seem to be a lot of jobs available. And I’m guessing that every job is getting many, many more applications than the employer anticipates. That probably means that even if my application is being viewed, it is probably receiving minimal attention.

The other part is probably due to the fact that I have some pretty severe limitations on my time. Studying for the bar exam will require approximately 70 hours per week, or an average of 9 to 10 hours per day. So I can only work about 20 to 25 hours per week. And even those hours are limited to the time from 1pm on, as bar review is from 9am to noon. Part time employment it is then.

And as a result of the fact that all of my work experience over the last five years is in the legal field, I don’t have any recent experience that I can use to sell say, a retailer, on hiring me. At the same time, employers probably look at my resume and rightly assume that I’ll leave to find full time legal work as soon as I’ve taken the bar.

None of this is to say that I’m upset or angry about the situation I’m in. It’s just that when I started law school, I thought things would be smooth sailing from graduation onward. This isn’t true at all. Granted, I’ve been able to spend much more quality time with the Fiancee. And I’ve been able to relax and do nothing for large periods of time, which is nice since it’s taking me a while to recover from the last three years. Still, it’s rough out there, and it’s tough for a lot of people.

All of this suggests that it will be a rather difficult summer, but nothing I can’t handle. I can’t wait to be done with the bar exam. As far as work goes, whether I work full time in the legal field until I get my bar results, or go work in a different field entirely, I don’t care. Really, I’ll just be happy to have a regular income that I can use to enjoy life after the J.D.