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Author Topic: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?  (Read 24393 times)  Share 

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Alps

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Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« on: December 09, 2015, 04:09:23 pm »
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Say i do monash law, undergrad or juris doctor, finish with first class honours, get a masters in commercial law, what are the chances of me finding a job?

Also the job market is ultra competitive.

However according to joboutlook.gov.au. The employment level in the thousands in 2013 is 70.7, then in 2014 it decreased to 56.9. What caused this? And why is it predicted that in 2019 it will be around 68.9?

I need to make a serious decision of whether or not i go for solo law undergrad or pursue it as a JD. Please advise.

Orson

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 03:34:21 pm »
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Don't take my word for anything...I don't have any other understanding than the following facts...

- From what I've been hearing, LLB and JD cover nearly the same thing.

- JD will take an extra 4 years (full time), on top of your 3 year undergrad

- Finding a job also depends on other things, as well as your performance
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Rohmer

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 07:11:26 pm »
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Say i do monash law, undergrad or juris doctor, finish with first class honours, get a masters in commercial law, what are the chances of me finding a job?

Also the job market is ultra competitive.

However according to joboutlook.gov.au. The employment level in the thousands in 2013 is 70.7, then in 2014 it decreased to 56.9. What caused this? And why is it predicted that in 2019 it will be around 68.9?

I need to make a serious decision of whether or not i go for solo law undergrad or pursue it as a JD. Please advise.

The job market is very competitive, but if you finish with first class honors and can get through an interview, it shouldn't be too hard to get a job working in commercial law in Melbourne/Sydney. The main thing is to get a decent WAM. Firms get a lot of applicants for clerkships, they cut out most of them by using that. In Australia, the legal profession doesn't really make much distinction between the JD and the LLB for practical purposes.

Generally, you wouldn't actually do an LLM until later down the track. You would probably just do your LLB or JD, try and get a clerkship at a decent firm, and then after a few years working there, do your LLM to specialise (e.g. an LLM in IP). If you were going down the academia route, things would however be different.

Why is it predicted that in 2019 it will go back up? I don't know, but I would guess that it's because these things are cyclical, it's supply and demand. Right now there's quite an oversupply, but the idea is that the market will eventually adjust somewhat vis-a-vis grads, and that economic upturn will result in positions (supply) from firms. How well this will hold true, I don't know.

As to JD v LLB, I would go with the latter generally, since it is a lot cheaper, but it depends (disclaimer: I am not impartial here - I went for the LLB).

Alps

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 07:27:15 pm »
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The job market is very competitive, but if you finish with first class honors and can get through an interview, it shouldn't be too hard to get a job working in commercial law in Melbourne/Sydney. The main thing is to get a decent WAM. Firms get a lot of applicants for clerkships, they cut out most of them by using that. In Australia, the legal profession doesn't really make much distinction between the JD and the LLB for practical purposes.

Generally, you wouldn't actually do an LLM until later down the track. You would probably just do your LLB or JD, try and get a clerkship at a decent firm, and then after a few years working there, do your LLM to specialise (e.g. an LLM in IP). If you were going down the academia route, things would however be different.

Why is it predicted that in 2019 it will go back up? I don't know, but I would guess that it's because these things are cyclical, it's supply and demand. Right now there's quite an oversupply, but the idea is that the market will eventually adjust somewhat vis-a-vis grads, and that economic upturn will result in positions (supply) from firms. How well this will hold true, I don't know.

As to JD v LLB, I would go with the latter generally, since it is a lot cheaper, but it depends (disclaimer: I am not impartial here - I went for the LLB).

That makes sense. What would you consider a decent WAM?

Rohmer

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 07:59:46 pm »
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That makes sense. What would you consider a decent WAM?

To get into the commercial law firms...you'd generally need a 70+ WAM in your law degree to get interviews. It may be possible to get in with a credit average if you have very strong co-curriculars (e.g. volunteering in a community legal service plus work as a paralegal etc.), but it's going to be a lot harder. I'd guess most of those at the top commercial firms ('big six') would have 75-80 averages, though that's just from what I know anecdotally.

Forgot to mention, as to the JD v LLB: There isn't much of a difference regarding the time taken - if you do a 3 year undergrad it's then a 3 year JD = total of 6 years at uni. The common combined LLB degrees (Arts/Law, Commerce/Law) are generally doable in 5 years, although that may presume a few units of overloading (2 or 3 semesters in which you do 5 subjects, not 4), which some students avoid, and just do the degree in six years to lighten the load. Can also avoid overloading by means of the odd summer semester subject too, however.

Orson

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2015, 08:38:23 pm »
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To get into the commercial law firms...you'd generally need a 70+ WAM in your law degree to get interviews. It may be possible to get in with a credit average if you have very strong co-curriculars (e.g. volunteering in a community legal service plus work as a paralegal etc.), but it's going to be a lot harder. I'd guess most of those at the top commercial firms ('big six') would have 75-80 averages, though that's just from what I know anecdotally.

70 - 80 to get interviews? Isn't that already impossible? How many jobs per applicant are there? (I know that you can't give me an exact number) Are you saying that even after going through all this, you still may not get a job?
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Rohmer

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2015, 09:16:44 pm »
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70 - 80 to get interviews? Isn't that already impossible? How many jobs per applicant are there? (I know that you can't give me an exact number) Are you saying that even after going through all this, you still may not get a job?

High 60's might get you some interviews, it depends on the firms. This is in reference to commercial law though, which is a fairly desirable area to get into (another example here would be Human Rights law). Family law, criminal law, your local suburban law firm doing general practice etc. - these would all be easier. Jobs per applicant, not sure...I would estimate that for a firm offering 10 clerkship positions, there would be hundreds of applications, hence some firms would generally cut those back firstly by marks. As I understand it, once you've got a clerkship, you're most of the way there - I think a fairly high proportion of the clerks get offers in Melbourne. Have a look at the graduate forums on whirlpool, e.g. https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2285126

Alps

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2015, 09:41:04 pm »
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High 60's might get you some interviews, it depends on the firms. This is in reference to commercial law though, which is a fairly desirable area to get into (another example here would be Human Rights law). Family law, criminal law, your local suburban law firm doing general practice etc. - these would all be easier. Jobs per applicant, not sure...I would estimate that for a firm offering 10 clerkship positions, there would be hundreds of applications, hence some firms would generally cut those back firstly by marks. As I understand it, once you've got a clerkship, you're most of the way there - I think a fairly high proportion of the clerks get offers in Melbourne. Have a look at the graduate forums on whirlpool, e.g. https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2285126

I have a friend who works for a firm here in melbourne, and he says with around 300-400 applicants, around 10 get a position. So i need to investigate this WAM. How much time and effort would you need to put into a 80 WAM?

Rohmer

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2015, 10:17:52 pm »
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I have a friend who works for a firm here in melbourne, and he says with around 300-400 applicants, around 10 get a position. So i need to investigate this WAM. How much time and effort would you need to put into a 80 WAM?

Would obviously depend on the student and the university, but probably a lot (of reading). At some uni's a law WAM in the low 80's would have you in the running for the university medal, it's likely that not many students will have an average >80. Something in the low 70's would be quite a bit easier to achieve, and not uncommon (still takes quite a bit of work though for most). I believe a ~75 average from a decent uni would get you into quite a few interviews with commercial firms, provided you had at least an okay transcript to go with it - there are a lot of factors here, and some people just don't interview that well, while others can makeup for their more unremarkable grades.

Orson

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2015, 10:30:37 pm »
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Would obviously depend on the student and the university, but probably a lot (of reading). At some uni's a law WAM in the low 80's would have you in the running for the university medal, it's likely that not many students will have an average >80. Something in the low 70's would be quite a bit easier to achieve, and not uncommon (still takes quite a bit of work though for most). I believe a ~75 average from a decent uni would get you into quite a few interviews with commercial firms, provided you had at least an okay transcript to go with it - there are a lot of factors here, and some people just don't interview that well, while others can makeup for their more unremarkable grades.

What's a transcript?
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Rohmer

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2015, 10:43:36 pm »
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What's a transcript?

Sorry I used the wrong word there (an academic transcript is a list of all your uni marks) - I meant CV/resume and your cover letter(s). Marks are a way of culling down applicants, but then there's all the other stuff - e.g. does this person have much experience/co-curriculars, what skills do they demonstrate, what's their work/volunteering history, how well have they responded to our questions (some firms also have these psychometric tests and other stuff), how good is their cover letter explaining why they're interested/suited to the position. All the usual job criteria stuff.

Alps

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2015, 10:46:14 pm »
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Sorry I used the wrong word there (an academic transcript is a list of all your uni marks) - I meant CV/resume and your cover letter(s). Marks are a way of culling down applicants, but then there's all the other stuff - e.g. does this person have much experience/co-curriculars, what skills do they demonstrate, what's their work/volunteering history, how well have they responded to our questions (some firms also have these psychometric tests and other stuff), how good is their cover letter explaining why they're interested/suited to the position. All the usual job criteria stuff.

How does one go about finding a job while studying law? Is there a place in the university which helps you in regards to employment and seeking co-curriculars?

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2015, 11:12:48 pm »
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There is, but unfortunately law is not particularly unique in that major industrial firms use WAM as a key criterion for employment/clerkships/experience placements etc.

Often the best thing you can do for your prospects is just get top marks, since a lot of extra curriculars are very similar.

Rohmer

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Re: Lets be realistic, what are the chances of me finding a job?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2015, 11:28:23 pm »
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How does one go about finding a job while studying law? Is there a place in the university which helps you in regards to employment and seeking co-curriculars?

Many people going for clerkships won't actually have any substantial law-related experience to begin with. Some may have volunteered in Community Legal Centres (CLC's), others may have done a bit of work (probably largely admin-type stuff) in a local firm, or worked for a bit as a paralegal. All that stuff is useful, although some applicants would rely on non-legal work done during university, e.g. part-time work in an office, or in retail/customer service etc. Universities can help here, but they'll only go so far. They'll usually have some sort of careers facility that can help with finding casual jobs, improving CV's/resumes, interview preparation & techniques etc., running careers festivals/events so that students have opportunities to talk to law firms & other potential employers. They may also run subjects that allow students to get some professional practice at CLC's and other places. Law student societies also tend to be fairly active in organising career related events, providing information on jobs in law, and guides as to the clerkship process etc. I can't really speak for other uni's here, but the Monash Law students society does a decent job in this regard.

Another thread on topic here: Getting experience?