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Ann Levine, law school admission consultant and author of The Law School Decision Game: A Playbook for Prospective Lawyers, will interview four newly licensed (and employed!) lawyers about how they got their jobs and what they learned through the experience.
Participants represent one Top10 school attendee, one Top 14, and two Top 100 schools in various locations around the U.S. They are employed in government and private law firm positions.
This podcast is for current and prospective law students curious about how they should spend their time during law school to maximize their chances of finding a great job upon graduation, and how much it matters where you choose to attend law school.
Hi! This is Ann Levine. Welcome to the Law School Expert Blog Talk Radio show. I am a Law School Admission consultant and the owner of the lawschoolexpert.com. I am the author of the Law School Admission Game and the Law School Decision Game and this is my 23rd blog talk radio show. They had been heard almost 50,000 times since I started the show in 2009 and today's topic is an important one. How I got my first job at the Law School. We were going to hear from recent grad at other law schools from all over the country at different places in the ranking from four very different individuals who practiced very different kinds of law. So there should be something in this for everyone. We see a lot about how scarce the job market is for new attorneys, but not a lot of solutions or coping strategy or pointers. So I reached out before my former law school admission consulting clients, who are recent law school graduates in the last year or two. (Inaudible) who happily agreed to share their experiences and insights with you, prospective and current law student, and what we are going through the program today if you are listening live, you are welcome to chat comments and question that I will try to incorporate. Our four people today represent top law schools in east coast, west coast, the Midwest, top 100. They represent people working in public interests, government, small firm or big firm. They include people who worked in the same city where they attended the law school, as well as someone who had to take their take job through cross-country twice. And it's a pleasure to introduce these four individuals. So, I'm going to start by introducing Alona who is a graduate of Northwestern and she was on the __02:01__. She had a federal clerkship and she is now a trial attorney with the federal defender of the San Diego, which is a nonprofit representing indigent clients accused of federal offenses and she is working in her hometown. Hi, Alona!
Hi, how are you doing Ann and everybody?
We also have Eva with us, who coincidentally is also in San Diego and the graduate of the University of San Diego, School of Law.
Hi! Where Johnny attended other (inaudible) as well and...
Pardon, someone is cutting out here.
Yeah, it's cutting out from me too.
I can do about that and so we're very happy to have Johnny here. He is working in public insurance (inaudible). I'm sorry.
I cannot really hear you.
Yeah, I can't hear anything either.
Hi, just a moment.
Hi, guys -- just a moment. Okay, can everyone hear me now?
Yes, I can hear you.
Fabulous, I'm so sorry for all of our listeners. I have never had that happened during our live show before. But with the wonders of the internet, these things happened. So I hope you're still listening and I'd like to re-introduce Johnny so that everyone can hear. Johnny is a graduate of University of Kansas Law School. He also went undergrad and he is currently working for a small firm in Kansas, although he is licensed to practice in Tuesdays and he is specializing in personal injury and worker's comp and then now, he is on the board of pro bono legal clinic and the interesting perspective among others that Johnny brings to the table is he is in a part of legal practice where he's already responsible for bringing in clients and building a practice. So Johnny, I'm so glad that you're here with us tonight.
Thank you, Ann. I'm happy to be here.
Thanks for your patience during the little sound, now feel. Our final guest is Rebecca who is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Law, and she will begin her work as an associate in a large Boston Law Firm in January. Until then, in the interest of being candid, she is assisting me as law school expert in house proofreader and serving as a last line of defense before my law school admission client submit their application. So Rebecca, I'm so glad you're here tonight. Thank you.
Hi! No problem, glad to be here.
Well, I'd like to start by doing is now that I've explained to our listeners what you are doing as sort of an entering lawyer. I'd like to just give you each a minute to explain how you got your job whether it was on campus interview or sending out resumes or something just a direct how you got your job and we'll go in the order that we started. Alona?
Yeah. I got my job, it was a long process. They did come to on-campus interviews at Northwestern and it's like interviewed with them as a 30 at the very beginning of 30 and I went into the callback interview that December of 30. But then, they had, you know, as you will find in a lot of government nonprofit positions. They had funding issues and so I didn't really ever get a hiring decision and they weren't hiring a new class and I eventually secured the clerkship as you mentioned. So I went in court for a year. During that year, I kept basically harassing them via email and checking in and saying, "Hey, I'm here and I'll be available. You know, come this next fall" and because it wasn't my hometown, I did end up heading back there and coming in for another short interview to reintroduce myself since it had been a while since they had seen me and then eventually got hired that way. So it wasn't on campus interview that just sort of extended. It's for like two years.
Well, it required a lot of followup and initiative on your part. So that's important you mentioned too that it wasn't automatic.
No, definitely. I think they would have forgotten about me -- not continually reminded them of my existence.
Oh, thank you. Eva, your story is -- you actually worked almost all of your law school for the district attorney's office and so tell our listeners a little about how you turned that experienced into a job offer.
Absolutely, Ann. And I just wanted to say hi to everyone because I didn't answer in the little sound issues. So hello, thanks for having me on the show. For me, I applied to be an intern at the attorney's office in December after my one whole year. I did that. That summer, I absolutely love it and I stayed on every semester, every summer and I worked there for about two years as an intern. And then in my three whole year, fall semester, I applied through the formal recruiting process. So I submitted my resume, my cover letter, letters of recommendation and then, I'd got an interview where I had to do an opening statement and some hypothetical questions about criminal law and criminal procedure and then from there, they hired me on as graduate law clerk.
Thank you. We'll talk a little more about some backchannels in and how you used some of your resources and networking to help you with that too. Johnny, tells us about what you did. Now, you did a little stint working for yourself and then joined with a smaller firm. Tell us a little bit about how that works.
Sure, Ann. Yes. In law school, I worked for a plaintiff lawyer and learned a lot of the rules during deposition, motions for summary, judgment, the whole nine yards and at the same time, I was volunteering for an organization where I was getting some hands-on experience writing demand letters and those types of things under the supervision of lawyers. My goal in my whole philosophy has always been -- if I need and this is a little bit strong when we put out there so I do not recommend everyone to follow it, but I've always told myself if I need a resume, I'm in trouble. Right at law school, I started my own practice and I began to get clients. I realized through the networking and connections I have that I have the ability to maintain it client based. However, after about a year, I got to the point where yes, I have client. I need money to fund some of these cases and the business loan throughout there that were out there that is high for small business. We're not very I guess you could say strong. I mean they weren't very supported. It was hard to get big business loan. I end it up then with the cases I had speaking with another law firm. I had experienced in the areas of law that I was trying to practice and practicing and we started splitting the business half and half working together and eventually, it just made sense just to merge and that is where I stand now. It was my current job as a firm that I begin the work with before. So, in a nutshell, that is how I come to work for the law firm that I work for today.
Oh, that's great! I'm so glad you're on the call today because I think that hanging your shingle is really piece that is not mentioned a lot in law school and for recent grads and I hope -- I'm really glad you're here to a let our listeners know that there is more than one way to skin this cat so to speak. So thank you so much Johnny for your perspective. I look forward to hearing more about it. Rebecca, how about you? What process did you go through to find the job that you will start in January?
Sure. So Penn has a relatively extensive NCI program. There is something like over 500 firms that come, but I was roughly committed to working in Boston. In Boston, I discovered a remarkably influent market. I'm very nervous about losing people who currently lives in New York. So they are very selective about places where they hop on to the community. So, I participated in NCI, but I also sent letter to a lot of the top firms in Boston who actually don't come to Penn and I just sent targeted cover letters in the 100 firms and some are responsive, one of which was the firm that I ended up working for and interviewed with them. Actually, before NCI to the end of my first summer after __12:37__ and it turned out to be a great fit for me and I think it was neat because since they didn't have to interview me because I sent out this cover letter and ended up being a firm that was a really good culture and it really good fit for my interest and passion.
That's great. It's so exciting for me to hear from all four of you knowing where you were about four years ago and what you'd hope to accomplish and seeing you get there. It's really exciting. So I'm so glad you sharing it, especially because the job market is different now than it was when you all were entering. And so I think that sharing your success stories is just fabulous. So I'll keep thanking you profusely. But I love to go on and ask you, you know. If you could each tell me one or two things that you did during law school that you think that's prepared you for the job you ended up getting and made you most appealing to the people ended up hiring you and we'll go in reverse order. I'll start with you, Rebecca. What do you think it was about you coming from a law school that wasn't somewhere that they automatically hired from, that wasn't in the same city? What is it that that you brought to the table that you think that formally appreciated?
So, it's kind of -- I think internally, I really didn't use my first year in a way that would make me super appealing to attorneys and through base that they took. Now, I'm not sure it was great. I was really focused on my grade and not get involved in extracurricular. Because I regret a little bit, but I think that something that made me most appealing to my employer was the experiences that I had in college. I was a very successful collegiate debater and also was involved with a number social justice organizations that ended up matching up with the organizations that my firms does pro bono work for. So I think that my pre-law school experiences ended up helping me find my job more than anything I did in my first year and... (Crosstalk) Yeah, I think in terms of skill development, something that I was really focused was legal writing and I subsequently became a legal writing instructor and I think spending a lot of time in focusing on that first year was the means that helped me turn my summer associateship into an offer.
That's fabulous! Johnny, how about you? If you have to think of one thing you did during law school that prepared you to practice, what you would point to?
No, I think I'm going to go just straight to what I think is most important and that's knowing exactly what you want to do after law school and you know, without that, I just think that it's hard to have any type of direction or any type of as far as narrowing down who you need to talk to and what contacts do you need to make and what law you want to start learning to better yourself to become a great lawyer at the gate and that's the first thing I did even before I start at law school is I knew exactly what I wanted to do and beyond that, I think you know I think volunteering in clinic that help you sharpen your skills. I think also any chance you can get to get an internship during the summer you know trying to do that and something that relates to the field that you want to do, and nothing in this day and age, in this job market today, can top at networking. I mean we still are facing this legal fraud right now. We have a lot of baby bloomers that are very comfortable as partners and use the law firms and as we all know lawyers just don't really retire. I mean they keep working. So the job market is different and for that reason, I think in law school what I did was network a lot and also volunteer and just try and take advantage with any internships likelihood.
And that's very easy when you go to law school in the location where you hope to practice and I think that that's a major consideration that I often talk to my clients about when they're at the point where they are deciding where to attend because if networking is your being, you have to have access to the community where you want the networking to pay off. So that's a great point. Eva how about you, if you have to pick one thing would it be the fact that you interned there? I mean would that be the one thing or was there something else on your resume that even brought you that first internship with the district attorney?
Well you know my very -- the reason I got my internship had a lot to do with my grades. I had pretty good grades in law school. I had shown an interest in wanting to do prosecution work because I worked at the prosecutor's office in Santa Barbara when I was in college. So I think that got me my initial internship, I think what it really was I really think that it was networking within the office that got me hired because there are a lot of people who are applying for the same job as me who had done previous internships at the Dean's office but because I have been there for so long, I was able to work at different branches in San Diego. I was able to work in different divisions within thereof. I got to know a lot of people in the office and a lot of them were important people who had __17:57__ committee. So you know, if you work so much for long enough where you got to establish your reputation, I think it makes it a lot easier for them to trust you and to hire you. So I would definitely go with networking as being probably the number one reason I got hired.
Okay, and Alona how about you? What do you think? I'm even pestering them to hire you. What do you think it was on your resume that was the thing that really sold you or was it not something on your resume?
You know, I of course want to echo the good grade is helpful, legal writing, experience was helpful that they are focusing on that and having that clerkship I think demonstrated something, but what I want to say is something different than when anybody said and this really I think does apply to jobs where you are going to be doing a lot of trial work right away and you are going to be up in court. For me, it was taking trial advocacy classes and participating in activities like __18:55__ court where I was on my feet because the interview with my office and with a lot of public defenders and prosecutors, they will put you on the spot in front of a group of 15 or 20 attorneys and force you to a closing argument or a cross examination or appellate argument or sometimes all three and you know having a strong performance in that area and showing your ability to have those trial skills I think can overcome decision and not the best law school, not the best grade, not the best resume.
Thank you for that. You know, these guys have known me for a long time. You know how I feel about over reliance by law school applicants on the law school rankings by US News and yet they remained so important even as we all bashed them constantly in the media. So one thing I would just like to point out for our listeners is you know we have someone here who's at the top 10, someone from a top 15 school, someone from a top 70, someone from a top 80. So we've got the top 100 pretty well represented here and I think I will do a whole other show for the rest of the law schools, but in terms of this, I'd really like to talk - have you guy talked about in hindsight, how much it matter that precious ranking and to what extent you think it mattered or was it more importantly have better grades or was it more important to be out there working. Now it's different depending on who is hiring you, but I'd loved to hear any thoughts each of you have about this whole issue about in hindsight the ranking matter too much, could you be doing what you're doing, going to a lower rank school, what do you guys think? Someone, feel free to jump in.
So I'm jumping in from going to kind of a top school actually we had discussion with this from developments in the office and I think that if you want to go for a larger law firm, it's very different than some other places. So with my (inaudible) 14 people, 10 of the 14 came from top 40 law schools. Few were the top seed __21:13__ and few were the top two seedings that brought me to college and I was kind of given the impression that if you don't go to one of the top schools that you really have to have something that needs to be a stand out incredibly or be close to the top of media regional school in your state then they have some connection to the firm.
Anyone else, how do you feel in hindsight about how much ranking mattered versus other things?
You know Ann I am going to jump in. You know, I think we all had the anxiety when we first take that LSAT and we think about law school and we hear about rankings then we think about who is the top ten, who was the top 50. I mean you could think about it all night so you got blue in the face and I think it's really important that goals that are applying for law school and thinking about that to think about location. I need to think about their family. They need to think where they want to be after law school because more times, I certainly think that yes okay, you are from I don't know where you are from. You are from Oklahoma or Kansas and you got -- your accepted into a great law school on the East Coast or somewhere but you know great, but you know the fact that you get there in either of the three years, you are going to start meeting people there that want to hire you and next thing you know, you're going to be hired and the next thing you know you have kids there. Next thing you know, you are away from your family. So I mean I think that is something I consider. The other thing is you know we get caught up in this LSAT, we are caught up in the ranking as far as how they are doing in our school in our law school and if we are not doing well we're cast out, but you know the one thing that isn't measured in law school are certain things like honesty, bravery, like devotion to justice and caring for others and more than anything else is our ability to communicate and I think a great person, a great example of this is I mean there are many lawyers that are great examples but I think one in the media I think anyone can recognize is Benjamin Brafman. He is a criminal defense lawyer in New York.
He has represented people such as Michael Jackson, such as __23:39__ and others and he is a very, he is a short individual. He was a comedian before he became a lawyer and he went to Ohio Northern University. I have no idea what the ranking is of Ohio Northern University, but I know that's not the top 100, but I just think it's a great example of someone who has come forward and they knew exactly what they wanted to do and they are brave person and they are committed to justice and I think it's a great example of someone. So I would encourage people not to focus so much on class rank and even the law school. I would focus more on where you want to be and really how you feel about what you're going to do and that means being a lawyer that means being an honest lawyer and a courageous lawyer and fighting for what you believe in and those are my two cents.
I love it, love it Johnny thank you. Alona, let's go to you because if I may remember currently way back when? I mean you had options to stay close at home and you chose to go further away and you know any feelings now or any particular reasons why it was worthwhile to you to go further away and whatever else is on your mind.
You know I'm really of two minds of it honestly. I think for the clerkship, there is no doubt that going to a top 15 school made a difference. That's not to say that judges don't hire outside of that. My judge in fact hired students who did not go to top 15 schools, but again they were in the very top of their class. So I think that going to a top school gives you a little bit more flexibility, but I think that the kind of super __25:26__ counting of the rankings to where you are acting as a 5 spots or 10 spots on the ranking it's a huge deals, it's probably ridiculous and it is one thing to say you know the one school was significantly worse than another, but when you are dealing with schools, they are all pretty close. I don't really think it makes a difference and I do think that being closer to home would have been helpful for me because I did make a lot of contacts not just professional, but also just a lot of great friends in the Midwest and it made it harder to leave and I definitely was a little jealous to people who were closer to home. So I do wish that I had considered that more that said. There is only a certain level to which I would have sacrificed the ranking of my school because it has opened a lot of doors.
Thank you. Now, Alona I'm going to pick on you a little bit and you know what I'm about to share, but we had dinner not too long ago and it was a very different Alona. So I just want to share with our listeners that we have made it sound very easy "Oh, I wanted a job, I got a job", but I would love for you to share with our listeners tonight a little bit about how it's not as easy as it sounds and how it, you know, what it required and how you have to keep getting up after rejections because it is not an easy process.
No. I mean my job hunt was not an easy process neither for the clerkship nor for my current job. Both times, I felt like I had close brushes with unemployment which to the outsider it probably looked like it wasn't that hard because I ended up getting the jobs in time but I wasn't employed at my graduation from my law school and I was unemployed when I ended my clerkship and so did have those you know couple of months of worry and it did work out and I think it was the combination of perseverance and talking to almost everyone I knew. I think that some people are ashamed when they don't have a job at graduation or you know I was a graduation speaker and I announced in front of the whole auditorium that I do not have a job and I actually thought it was great because I had so many people reach out to me, I had so many people pass along suggestions and connections, but you know I wish that I could go back in time and tell myself to have a bit more of a positive attitude because there is no doubt that from time to time I was like "This is the worse decision I have ever made, I hate everything. I am going to die in the streets" which was an exaggeration. Even if I hadn't found a job, I probably wouldn't die in the streets, but yes so I think it can be tough and I think it's hard to maintain a positive attitude, but maybe taking some breaks along the way and reaching out to people can help you get through it.
Thank you for that. I think it's important for people to hear and you guys don't know about me, I really like to stay positive but I also really like to be real and so I would be remised and this was not in the notes. I sensed any of you had a time, but I'd like to talk for a second, it's worth more than a second, about death in law school, okay. Show of hands, out loud please. Anyone check out student loans?
Okay. There is a lot of - this is a big factor in people deciding to go to law school. I just wrote a book about this last year at the law school decision game about whether law school is worth it and what you have to consider and what lawyers really do and how much they really make and you know when I am asking this next question, I would love for you to sort of keep in mind your other friends that you graduated and other members of your class and how you think they would answer with some kind of consensus or whether it's all across the board, but if it's worse taking out $100,000 or more in student loans in your opinions to do this. Now obviously if you really want to be a lawyer let's just all agree there is no other way to do it being a lawyer is other than being a doctor or a CEO of a major corporation the best way to get a job in this country that pays six figures or up, okay? I'm just going to say it's an absolute fact. You can check it on the Bureau of Labor Statistics for anyone who is listening. However, there is a sacrifice there financially. So I'd love to know you either how you guys still personally about this issue or you know, things you've heard from your classmates and what would you tell people who are considering doing this?
I'm going to jump in on this because this is something that hits close to home for me. I borrowed about $200,000 to go to law school and if I could go back you know, when you're applying to law school, I think you're kind of in a rush. Your taking the LSAT, you're getting your applications together, worrying about deadlines and rolling admission and you know, you're focused on "I need to apply now and get it into the best school I can get into with the grades and LSAT score I have". If I could go back, I would take an extra year. I would take the LSAT much more seriously. You know, I took a test, not sure it's LSAT course to save work, but I don't think I did as much to study for it as I could I have. It is absolutely worth it to take another six months, seven months get a killer score on the LSAT and get the scholarship somewhere, and I would even take the scholarship to a lower rank school in order to not be in debt. Because you noticed it when you graduate and your paying, you know, $5 to $10 a month in student loans and that's income-based repayment and you're looking at 30 years down the road and wondering "Oh my God! You know, I'm not going to be done paying my debt in 30 years from now" and that is crazy when you're, when you're actually in the midst of paying for it. If you don't think about that in the beginning when you know just starting law school, I think that's something that you should be a lot more serious about and I would be very careful to take out loans instead of just trying to have a scholarship somewhere.
Thank you so much for that Eva. I also want to say this just to you that it's a lot of money when you're young but as you and especially you know you're thinking about other things in the next years, getting married perhaps, trying to buy a house perhaps, all of these other things. But 10 years and 15 years down the road, this payment is not going to feel like this to you. And you I mean I hope that we'll talk in 10 years and you'll say, "Oh Ann, you're right. It was very stressful in the beginning, but in the end, it worked out" and there's no way you're still going to have that in 30 years. You're going to pay that off. And so I think you're absolutely right by way and as you all I think no, I'm always encouraging people. I tell all of my law school applicants that I work with. My goal for them is to have the choice to make between the dream school and the scholarship school and this is the choice I want every law school applicant to make for themselves and then if they made it, you can sit with it, and you can be okay with it in the end. So, I really want to thank you for bringing that up and anyone else, somebody comment on that regard about the debt issue and whether if you feel it's worth it?
Ann, I'd like to talk about making the choice. Oh, I'm sorry.
No, Alona, go right ahead.
I'll be - I'll be quick. I just want to say that when it comes down to making your choice, I think it's important to keep in mind choosing something that you'll be happy with, best case scenario or worst case scenario, and not based on assumptions about what your career is going to be. I know that a lot of people assume they'll get. They'd law firm jobs and it does not workout. For me, it was sort of the opposite. I always assume that I would get a public interest job and then do loan repayment and you know, my school would really help me out and you know, the government would forgive some and my school forgive some and when I could not find the job in the area, I wanted to leave and I started looking into private practice. I realized I have now settled myself. I took so many loans just assuming it would be helped out because of public interest and if this does not work you know, so I would say make your decision not based on your dream career or like the perfect scenario, but like what if I had to compromise on the job, could I still live with my financial situation.
Thank you (crosstalk). Rebecca, go ahead.
Yeah, so I kind of took the opposite approach. So I gave up a lot of scholarship money with some other school to take on more of that at Penn and I actually feel so happy that I made that decision. I think that a policy that a lot of people fall into is "Okay. Well, they'll go to a lower range school. I will rank higher in that class." But I think that that's a really dangerous mindset to get in because it's impossible to know how well you're going to actually do when you get to law school because there are very smart people at every law school and you can't predict the factors like the testing that you might have or the adjustment to a new city. And so I feel very good about having you know, depending behind me would give me a little of bit of cushion and that my experience is something I really appreciated.
Thank you so much for sharing that. Any other comments on this topic? It is an important one, so I want to make sure I got everything in because you've reached through such important points.
You know, I just wanted to offer one thing. You know, there is scholarship money out there and with any school and I did receive some scholarship that were minimal and they were just for working internship in law firms that were kind of outside the county of where the law school actually exist. There are other reasons for scholarships. Of course, there is I mean I think there are scholarships for those I'm exaggerating for those who are __35:44__. I mean you can create a scholarship or anything anymore of these days as far as where the school I went, the school that I went to law school. I mean there were scholarships for everything. You know I do have that. I have over $100,000 of that. Yes, it was a mortgage. I believe in all are just priceless and I think with anything else that if your going to get a law school, you better want to go law school because you going to inherit that debt when you're finished or you're going to get grade for 80 with grade on 50 score, you're going to get the scholarship. But I hope too and my goal is to develop scholarship money for those that are in the middle of the class and those that have passion about what they want to do and I think that less emphasis, there is less emphasis today on actually interviewing applicants for scholarships and even applicants for law school. And I think I heard that -- I think there is someone here on the call that went to Northwestern Law School, I'm not sure.
They do interview? Have you ever ready?
That's what I heard it...
I love that. I absolutely love that idea and I wish that more law schools would be that and in fact, for scholarships also. Because you know, I truly believe that you know, I mean I truly believe that the people that want the scholarship the most and that can actually apply them and use them can get them and I've seen people got on law school with top scores, top LSAT scores and drop out and have scholarship money. And you know, it just kind of makes me wonder. But those are just a few things throughout there and...
I guess if I was in a more with position and power with the law school if I can make a decision, I would recommend that they interview applicants for scholarship and for...
Well, thanks Johnny. You know, we've covered quite a bit of ground actually, but one thing that none of you have really talked about is the experience of law school itself. Other than the clinics, other than the end result of grades, but law school itself, okay. Yes, we understand to move court in clinic and writing experience are all things that helped you get jobs that employers understand. But what is it about law school itself whether it's classes or relationship with faculty members or activities on campus? I mean what can people do while they're in law school at the law school to prepare themselves and to take advantage of the opportunities that are offered there? Because law school is the midst to an end, but it also a three-year experience in it of itself. So, I'd love to hear any ideas on how people can really use that time wisely within the conference of the campus. Why don't we start with you, Eva? Do you have any idea?
Well, you know, at least I need (inaudible)...
You're breaking up a little bit there and the sound isn't coming to Eva so I'm going to come back to you and see Rebecca whether you have any ideas about that.
Sure. Some things that I did that I really like to my third year was to take a lot of classes with adjunct professors who were major lawyers in the Philadelphia Legal Community who taught classes in their free time. I did a class on defamation from leading defamation lawyer in Philadelphia and it was an amazing experience because he shared a lot of his insights from practical lawyering, so we really kind of forge a relationship by writing papers and talking to him in office hours and I think that if I ever decided to practice once a week, he will be a great resource to me. And so, if you want to a network, a great way do it is to have a meaningful relationship and to pursue classes of adjuncts.
Great suggestion, anyone else have anything? Eva (crosstalk).
I have a very Northwesternee answer
Okay. Let's hear, let's hear your plan for Northwestern, Alona.
Yeah. Northwestern loves teamwork and really emphasizes that in a lot of its curriculum. But I really do think that when you get out of the job, I mean most jobs you're going to be doing at least at the beginning, a lot of what you're going to be doing is you're going to be working with other people in teams, collaborating with other attorneys and I think getting involved whether it's classes or you know you'll be working in that style like practical-type classes or just getting involved in groups and whether it's student government and some sort of club or whatever, something that requires you to kind of negotiate, even study groups within your classes so that you practice, you know, talking and debating legal issues with your peers. I think all that is still helpful plus you make lots of friend which is good for networking and having fun because that's what you need to do during law school because soon you'll be working a really hard job and we'll have a less time for fun and people should not neglect the fun factor.
It's great suggestion and essentially integral part of student government which is something that I was very involved with way back when I'm in law school and you also meet the leaders that way and those are usually people who had gone being leaders in the legal community and I'm almost the same to say, though we won't get into political discussion a few weeks before presidential election. But you know, Reince Priebus is the head of the National Republican party. He was actually the president of the student government when I was at seven. You do sort of get to meet people through organizations of like-minded interest and make connections that way that lasts long time after the three years of law school. So, I think that's a great suggestion and anyone else. Johnny, do you have anything that you can think of during law school, not just networking, not just getting jobs, but is there professor that guided you or a certain student group, I mean anything like that that you think was really worthwhile to reach out to.
Yes, definitely nice. At KU Law School, we work hard. I guess we're known for our clinical programs and you know, we have the Defender Project. We have the prosecution clinic where actually in law school, as I was in my third year, you know, I was prosecuting with the temporary program underneath the county attorney, real cases and getting trial experience and to me that was priceless. It gave me those butterflies in my stomach you know as I go in before high school football. There is huge competition that is hard to find and...
Yeah. I think and it's important for the listeners to realize you can do these programs at any law school. You know, every law school some have more of these programs than others, but every law school has a clinical program litigation skills program where you can do this and even if you plan to be a transactional attorney, it's completely worthwhile to try to do. So, I think that's a fabulous thing. Now, we have about a minute and half left. So I just want to give everyone one quick a little bit of time to just share you know a last thought you'd like to leave people with who are thinking about going to law school or currently in law school who are you know concerned about finding a job and what they need to do in the decisions that they are making. Alona, how about you?
I guess the last thing I'd like to say is to trust your gut. There were times when I felt so desperate about job stuff that I applied for job that I know I would have hated or considered accepting you know positions that weren't right for me and I'm glad that I really stuck to what I'm you know wanted to do with my life because now, I feel so happy that it worked out.
Thank you so much for that and we won't have time actually to go to everyone. I just want to thank you all for making time late the night to talk and offered advice to people considering law school. You've all given so much to think about and I truly appreciate it. You were a pleasure work with years ago and you continue to be a pleasure, so thank you so much. And for those people who are listening in tonight, there's a lot more information on these topics at lawschoolexpert.com/blog. We also have 22 other podcasts for you to listen too for free on blog talk radio or ITunes under Ann Levine and if you are currently applying to law school, I hope that you will keep in mind all of the great advice that everyone provided tonight. Guy's, thank you so much for being a part of the law school expert show tonight.
Thank you Ann!
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It's good to talk.