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lawgirl17

Discouraged after unsuccessful job search

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Let me start by saying I know we're told multiple times that it's not the end of the world if we don't get a summer position, but it is really discouraging.

I did OCIs, didn't get a job. Submitted applications to other places and didn't hear back. Interviewed with a firm I really liked and didn't get the job.

My ECs are great, my grades are good, I'm told I'm very personable - although maybe I just suck at interviewing?

Either way, any advice on how to cope with not being able to find a job? And alternatively, accepting you may be doing something other than working within the law your 2L summer? I'm trying to stay focused and not dwell on what has happened, but I really do feel discouraged. I put a lot into my school work and ECs, and now I just feel like it doesn't matter regardless of what I do. 

I also just really wanted to be working within the field this summer so I really am just discouraged (and kind of sad, not going to lie)

Just looking for any kind of guidance or words of encouragement or advice here really. I'm not sure what my next steps will be and I think maybe that's making it harder as well. 

Thank you in advance

Edited by lawgirl17
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Hey!

What I can tell you is that you shouldn't stop trying to put yourself out there! I have many colleagues that did research assistantships during their summers and they really enjoyed it. 

Try to find professors that are offering these positions during the summer months. They can be very good experience for a law student that is still learning the craft of legal research.

Just keep working on your courses and ECs, and persistence should carry you through! Even if you cannot get an RAship, see if you can join law firms as a law clerk or assistant. 

Good luck!

 

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Hey! I’m not sure how much advice I can give as a fellow 2L that has just literally secured a job the other day but I wanted to chime in and let you know that I felt the exact same way after I was unsuccessful through the Toronto recruit. I did a few things to cope and work towards finding a job.

After being unsuccessful, I compiled a master list of all the jobs I found through my school, Indeed or other recruits and spent a lot of time tailoring my cover letter and resume to each position. Like I mean preparing cover letters and resumes became my part-time job. I tried to make some sort of connection to each place I was applying to whether that was that I did my undergrad in the particular town the firm is located in or demonstrated interest in a practice area through ECs/courses.

 I also really kept my options open and didn’t limit myself to a particular city or area of law when applying. I found that this really helped me secure more interviews and after each interview, I wrote down the questions they asked me so that I could better prepare for future interviews. After a lot applications and interviews, I ended up landing a job I’m pretty excited about.
 

All of this to say don’t lose hope. I felt the exact same way as you and I know it sucks when you hear about other people around you landing jobs. However, there are still more jobs that will come out between now and May. I’d be happy to send you my list of current places hiring and the interview questions if you feel as though that would be helpful. 

Edited by blonderachelzane
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This happened to me too (albeit some years ago). I was unsuccessful in both NY and Toronto OCIs back to back, and I felt really rejected and discouraged. It's hard, and you need time to heal (because recruitment is, in my opinion, traumatizing). But don't give up on yourself.

Something that helped me was calling the recruiters and interviewers so that I could understand WHY. I was in a similar position - top 10% of my year, solid ECs, and I was told that my interviewing was excellent. There wasn't much they could tell me, but they appreciated my perseverance and put me in touch with other employers (and highly recommended me). It was awkward and hard to face them and thank them for their time after they shattered my Bay Street career dreams, but I think it helped me in the long run. 

Other than that, keep working on yourself as a future lawyer - do research work, be a TA, do something that helps your legal skills even if it's not explicitly in the field (for example, doing writing assistant work or something that highlights transferrable skills). It'll just make you stronger for your next applications.

Finally, REMEMBER that finding a coveted law job (particularly in OCIs) is very competitive, so a lot of good candidates don't get a shot. You just need someone pushing for you in that decision room, and a lot of luck goes into that. But you will find something eventually - just keep persevering.

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If you feel like your interview skills are holding you back, I think you can see if you can get any feedback e.g. from your career office? They might be able to do some mock interviews with you and give you some pointers. 

I also think one of the best things someone who strikes out in the 2L OCI process can do is to take the opportunity to really think about what they want to do. A lot of people apply to firms in the OCIs without thinking too much about it, and most of the applications end up being pretty generic just because of the nature of the recruit. If you take the time to reflect on and identify the kind of law you really want to practice, I think you will 1) do a better job of articulating why you want a certain job/why you're a good candidate in applications and interviews, 2) have a better chance of getting the job, and 3) will be happier in the long run.

Definitely don't get discouraged. Lots of people who don't get anything in the 2L recruit end up with great jobs in the articling recruit where a lot more employers will be hiring. I know plenty of people who struck out in the 2L recruit who now are working as lawyers where they articled and are having a great go of it. Odds are the same will happen for you.

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From your posting history I presume you're a 2L and struck out at OCI's?  

I'm not sure what the current status is for 2L student markets outside Toronto.  I presume deadlines have passed but others can correct me.

At the end of 2L there's significant hiring done for articling in Toronto and elsewhere.  

Should you feel dejected?  Of course.  Should you remain confident that you're going to find a great articling gig?  Yes.  

I speak as someone who struck out at all 2L formal hiring, and ended up spending my 2L summer volunteering at a legal clinic and working with a sole practitioner for less than minimum wage.  I ended up securing my articling position during the 2L summer (during the formal recruit outside Toronto), and now work at a major firm (and am on the student hiring committee!).  

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@lawgirl17 for what it's worth, while getting a job through OCI's is a definite leg up in getting an articling job, don't be so concerned you have to get any law-related job for 2L summer.

Back when I was in law school 2L summer jobs weren't as big of a thing.  I wound up getting a job at a firm that specialized in aboriginal clients (not necessarily aboriginal law per se, but more the legal issues of first nations people).  It was an interesting experience (I have vivid memories of interviewing clients about their residential school experiences, for example), but it was not an area I was interested in, not related to anything in my subsequent career.  I wasn't asked about this summer job in articling interviews, and I don't think it gave me any advantage.

So there's nothing wrong with waiting tables, or planting trees, or whatever other non-legal summer job.  With good grades, good ECs, a good personality you're still a strong candidate to land an articling position, which is the job search that really matters.

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1 hour ago, utmguy said:

From your posting history I presume you're a 2L and struck out at OCI's?  

I'm not sure what the current status is for 2L student markets outside Toronto.  I presume deadlines have passed but others can correct me.

At the end of 2L there's significant hiring done for articling in Toronto and elsewhere.  

Should you feel dejected?  Of course.  Should you remain confident that you're going to find a great articling gig?  Yes.  

I speak as someone who struck out at all 2L formal hiring, and ended up spending my 2L summer volunteering at a legal clinic and working with a sole practitioner for less than minimum wage.  I ended up securing my articling position during the 2L summer (during the formal recruit outside Toronto), and now work at a major firm (and am on the student hiring committee!).  

this really makes me feel better. I did strike out on OCIs, but also with some jobs outside of OCIs so I just feel not the best.

Your experience really does help though. Being in the position currently makes me feel like it's the end of the world (despite knowing it absolutely is not), so it's hard to move past it and stay motivated in all the things I do to be a better applicant.

Thank you!

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3 minutes ago, lawgirl17 said:

this really makes me feel better. I did strike out on OCIs, but also with some jobs outside of OCIs so I just feel not the best.

Your experience really does help though. Being in the position currently makes me feel like it's the end of the world (despite knowing it absolutely is not), so it's hard to move past it and stay motivated in all the things I do to be a better applicant.

Thank you!

I struck out of OCI's three times and eventually still ended up at a downtown Vancouver litigation boutique for articling. 

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8 minutes ago, Mal said:

I struck out of OCI's three times and eventually still ended up at a downtown Vancouver litigation boutique for articling. 

Do you have any particular advice regarding the articling recruit? When should students start preparing, what to expect, etc?

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2 hours ago, utmguy said:

From your posting history I presume you're a 2L and struck out at OCI's?  

I'm not sure what the current status is for 2L student markets outside Toronto.  I presume deadlines have passed but others can correct me.

At the end of 2L there's significant hiring done for articling in Toronto and elsewhere.  

Should you feel dejected?  Of course.  Should you remain confident that you're going to find a great articling gig?  Yes.  

I speak as someone who struck out at all 2L formal hiring, and ended up spending my 2L summer volunteering at a legal clinic and working with a sole practitioner for less than minimum wage.  I ended up securing my articling position during the 2L summer (during the formal recruit outside Toronto), and now work at a major firm (and am on the student hiring committee!).  

Do you have any particular advice regarding the articling recruit? When should students start preparing, what to expect, etc?

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I did a 2L recruit last year and struck out, and didn't have a summer position lined up until February-March (I think). I ended up doing research and I'm very grateful for that, as it afforded me the flexibility to work on my application package for the articling recruit, which I was successful in and secured a biglaw articling position.

It sounds like you're doing all the right things, so stay positive and keep going. There will be so much that comes out over the next few months as employers realize what their needs will be over the summer. Getting a summer position isn't THE end of the world, but articling is - so if you're going to be doing the articling recruit, try and keep a long term vision of what you want that to look like. Focus this semester on doing some soul searching and figuring out where you want to be, because employers for articling recruits will have a bit more of an expectation that you have an idea of what you want to do. Make sure your ECs and classes can speak to those interests. If you can find a summer position that also speaks to those interests, great. And absolutely keep your grades up - I had the best grades of my life in 2L because I knew I didn't have a choice, and my transcript was really important going into finding an articling position. 

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I didn’t even do OCIs and I got a great position as well. Chin up. :)

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I turned down two offers from OCI and happy that I don't have to spend 3 hours on TTC.

Some  firms will post 2L summer positions from Feb to Jun.

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It's only January. It's a bit too soon to think you have no chance for a legal summer job...

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I got my 2L summer job by phone interview in the middle of second semester exams... and then they offered me articles like two months after that, so I never had to do an articling job application! Keep chugging along, buddy.

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You will hear lots and lots of no's - but it is often worth it once you get that 1 yes. Don't give up.

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17 hours ago, Luckycharm said:

Are you looking for positions in GTA only or Windsor too?

just the GTA! Which I know might be ridiculous giving I'm looking for work, but I just don't enjoy Windsor enough to be willing to stay. 

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