I'm seeking any and all advice regarding my career search. I will be relocating to Los Angeles from the Midwest in July. I lived in Los Angeles prior to attending law school and have always wanted to move back. I graduated from law school this month and will be taking the California bar exam. Unfortunately, the Career Services department at my school offers me very little assistance.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The law school I graduated from has generally been ranked between 70th-90th in the U.S. World News rankings. Unfortunately, I am ranked in the bottom half of my graduating class and only a “B” law student. Although my grades varied quite a lot, I did very well in certain subjects. I did extremely well in employee benefits law (i.e. ERISA, HIPPA, COBRA, OBRA, FMLA, ect.) and was taught by a particularly noteworthy expert in the field. This area seems to be my best chance at landing a quality job. Pursuing a non-traditional legal job such as work in a HR department interests me. Unfortunately, I do not have any work experience in this field.
I also did very well in intellectual property law such as trademark, copyright, and entertainment law. The professor who teaches trademark and copyright is very influential and well respected. One reason for why I might have done well in intellectual property is because of the connection to the entertainment and publishing industry. I graduated with a bachelors of arts in political science and English (3.62 gpa) in 2007. I maintain a strong interest in politics, philosophy, economics, art, film, and music. I am interested in becoming a writer which could provide me with additional income. I have solid connections with people involved in the publishing industry.
Constitutional law was another strong area, but I don't see this as enhancing my employment opportunities. I did okay in antitrust, employment law, my tax courses, and administrative law. I'm more interested in the transactional side of law than the litigation side. I have very limited legal work experience and would be in need of a mentor. My legal experience revolved around public interest work for low income people -- family law, bankruptcies, and litigation. Although I gained experience, the work was not a good fit and did not relate to anything I was interested in. My non-legal experience includes entry-level work in customer service and sales. Although I was very good at these jobs, I wanted to do something more with my life.
I am a natural leader who thrives at being able to direct and manage others. I have thought about pursuing an MBA at some point, but I absolutely do not have the money for it now. Business management and administration is something that really excites me. I was the president of a student group this past year and enjoyed it. We were able to put on a lot of quality events and increase funding and membership. My personality type on Myers-Briggs is an ENTJ. I remember my Gallup Strengths as being command, strategic, competition, and relator (I can never remember what the fifth one is).
A friend has offered me a place to stay in Encino for a month while I get situated. I can use his address to apply for jobs. I have a few other very good friends in Pasadena whose places I could likely use as a “base of operations.”
My minimum salary requirement for Los Angeles is $65,000. I sketched out a rough draft of my necessary and likely expenses. I do not need any reimbursement for relocation expenses.
Student Loans $12,000
Rent $12,000 (with a roommate)
Transportation $3,000 (auto loan payments)
Auto Insurance $2,000
Cell phone $800
Gym membership $700
Shoes and Clothing $1,000
Total Expenses $20,000
I am considering taking public transportation which would save me a lot of money. I do not own a car at the moment, but I recognize that a car may be a necessity. I would probably buy something used for around $10,000 or less.
I am in excellent health, though I will be in need of some major dental work at the end of this year (minimum $2,000). The work is highly recommended, but not necessary. While having health insurance would be nice, it is something that I am not able to afford at the moment.
I can probably lower my annual student loan payments to $6,000 or so, but I would only be maintaining the interest. I have $115,000 in student loans. I have no other debts and have good credit.
I am 28 years old and ready to settle down and begin a career. I am fine with working well beyond 40 hours a week. I have no spouse or children. I am not involved in a relationship.
I am a member of the American Bar Association and the Los Angeles Bar Association.
Thanks for the comments and advice in advance. I really appreciate any help I can get!