Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sharkfish Blog (law school at a distance - no debt. no pomp. no circumstance.)

I have found Sharkfish to be very informative when it comes to law school in general and especially to anyone exploring the non-ABA online law school path.

In addition, the following post appeared on Sharkfish that I believe provides insight to all future law students, Cooley or otherwise, about the need to NETWORK and play the game accordingly to succeed in the real world.

I posted to this board way back in 1999 when I was a 45 y.o. 1L and
this group first started up. Just finished chatting with a woman
who'll be starting lawschool this fall at age 38 and, after advising
her to join this group, it occured to me that I ought to log in
again. Since I'm now well into my third-year of practice, I thought
you all might find my hind-sight helpful.

First off, let me say that I loved law school but my first couple of
years of practice were TOUGH. I have now settled into a GREAT firm,
am getting to do really interesting legal work, and am (finally)
earning the kind of money I expected to make as an attorney. Yes, I
would do it all over again!

A few pointers:

1) Don't hang your hopes on landing a big-firm job.
As you are no doubt aware, for new attorneys (and for students
looking for summer work), the big money is at the big firms. But
your chances of landing a cushy summer clerkship or a $120K/year job
fresh out of school are practically nil if you're over a certain
age. For women, the cut-off age seems to be about 32-35; for men, 37-
40. Basically, the older you are, the fewer large firms will give
you serious consideration UNLESS you have some highly relevant pre-
law experience. (i.e., if you were CEO of a fortune 500 firm before
you went to law school or were a state legislator for 20 years, your
age probably won't be a hindrance.)

I've heard some rather naive folks argue that "law firms wouldn't
discriminate because it is against the law." Baloney. Of the 16
over-forty students in my class of 350 (at a top-twenty law school),
at least ten or eleven graduated in the upper 50%. Seven, I know,
graduated with honors. Two were on law review. Several others won
some of the most prestigious awards given by the school. But NONE
managed to land a big firm job.

Continued here




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