School funded fellowships- where are you now?

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School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:30 am

Figured I should make this to shine more light onto these fellowships

1. What was your school rank (range)?
2. Class rank and year of graduation?
3. 1L/2L summer jobs?
4. Where did you work during your fellowship period?
5. What was your job(s) after the fellowship and how did you get it?
6. Any advice/additional details you can give to people who were in your situation?

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zot1

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby zot1 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:32 am

Great thread.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Nebby » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:34 am

I think this is a good idea for a thread, hopefully there are some TLSers who have had these experiences.

I have networked with some CLS alums who used these, and they all transitioned into full-time gigs or they were able to get another job at the end of the year.

The most common complaint I know of is that the CLS fellowships are below what the other T6 schools offer, but they are still valuable in terms of breaking into the nonprofit arena

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:35 pm

I did one of these and it worked out very well and saved my ass. Graduated last may, top 33% from a T30 in Northeast. Moved cities for family reasons and couldn't get a job ANYWHERE in the new (mid size) city. Literally did 250 applications/mass mail/networked and did not get a single interview with a firm. Sat at home for almost 3 full months after the bar exam. On a whim, I emailed the head of a medium/small federal agency in that city and asked for an unpaid internship just so I could get some work experience and stop sitting at home. I had some background and lots of coursework in the area of law regulated by that agency (it was my practice area of choice) and thank god he said yes. Then I went to my law school and had this set up as a public service fellowship, received a $1000 stipend per month. (Fortunate that I could accept this amount of income because my wife could support us financially)

Worked at the agency for about 7 months, hoped it would turn into a full time job. I did great work, the head of the office wanted badly to hire me but they simply couldn't because of budgetary reasons, there simply wasn't an opening, he requested it and the headquarters in DC said no because there was greater need for attorneys in other offices of the agency. I was very depressed after that. I left, then had another month with not a single interview. Then out of nowhere, I got an interview with a V50 that was looking for a new (recent grad) associate in the same practice area. Interviewed, offered, and obviously accepted. It was very apparent during the interview that the reason I was a strong candidate was because of my 7 month fellowship and all of my experience gained in the agency. That work experience came up over and over again and it was clear they needed someone who could deal with the agency efficiently and my inside knowledge was why I got the job.

I think my story may be atypical because I didn't use a school fellowship to break into non-profit or government work, but instead I used it as away to get relevant substantive work experience while continuing to search specifically for a firm job in that practice area. That work experience ended up landing me a job. It obviously took a LOT of luck. The local head of the agency had received atleast 25 other emails from law students asking for an unpaid internships and I'm very fortunate that he chose me. And even more fortunate that a perfect fit at a firm opened up just at the right time and they were looking for a recent grad like me. Lots of luck. But these fellowships are a great way to get hands on experience and make yourself more desirable to employers.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Nebby » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:39 am

Awesome. Glad everything worked out!

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:25 am

I did one of these with a human rights NGO headquartered in DC for a year.

About halfway through I applied for a clinical teaching fellowship at a law school abroad, got that job, and did that for 2 years. Then moved to a different teaching fellowship at a different school.

There was potential for my fellowship to turn into a full time job but I decided fairly early on I didn't really want that and just started looking for other opportunities. I did get a lot of good work experience though, even though most of it was figuring out that I don't want to work at a large human rights NGO.

The worst part of it was really just making it on a very low salary in DC, especially since my husband wasn't making a lot at the time either. It was 30k per year which is actually really generous for a fellowship but not in a major city.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:35 am

Co-clerk of mine had the following path:
Class of 2010. Got no offered by a v50 (half the class did).

Law school fellowship.
Bankruptcy clerkship for two years.
Went to a top bankruptcy shop.

So, took three years but got back in track.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:41 am

Dd

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:38 pm

I'm a t-10 grad who was around median at graduation (I had higher grades 1L year, but then I stopped trying). I got no-offered by my shop, and went on a school fellowship for a year. I kept applying to big firms during that year, and none of it paid off. I was starting to look seriously at government gigs at around the 10-11 month mark, and had a few good leads, when an opening for a big law gig dropped right into my lap. I took the interview, killed it, and had a new gig the next week. I've been there for 2 years now and am doing well.

A lot of what happened to me was just good luck. If the opening hadn't come when it did, I would've been screwed. That said, I and others here show that the fellowship can still be converted to big law (or whatever else it is you want), if you're lucky. It's just a lot harder at that stage. Down, but not yet out.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a t-10 grad who was around median at graduation (I had higher grades 1L year, but then I stopped trying). I got no-offered by my shop, and went on a school fellowship for a year. I kept applying to big firms during that year, and none of it paid off. I was starting to look seriously at government gigs at around the 10-11 month mark, and had a few good leads, when an opening for a big law gig dropped right into my lap. I took the interview, killed it, and had a new gig the next week. I've been there for 2 years now and am doing well.

A lot of what happened to me was just good luck. If the opening hadn't come when it did, I would've been screwed. That said, I and others here show that the fellowship can still be converted to big law (or whatever else it is you want), if you're lucky. It's just a lot harder at that stage. Down, but not yet out.


Congrats! And I agree. The fellowship can be turned into a firm job, but it takes the right circumstances and its definitely a narrow path. Your grades still have to be strong enough. I think the key is what kind of experience you are getting at the fellowship. Opportunities to do actual drafting are important.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby zot1 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:50 pm

Could y'all at least give some details about what the fellowship was about?

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:01 am

MVPB class of 2015, did my fellowship with the federal public defender after doing legal aid and public defender gigs during law school. Shitty grades (around bottom 25-30%), never got anything close to a real job opportunity through 3L, though I didn't try as hard as I might have because I knew the fellowship would bail me out.

My fellowship was a great experience, in that it gave me something to put on my resume rather than post-bar unemployment. The federal PD office I worked at was fantastic, but I am not sure it was a good career move, because there was pretty much zero chance I was going to be able to convert that job into anything else with the FPD, and since it was criminal work, it wasn't that attractive to firms or really anyone. Except--I was able to spin my experience in federal court into a federal magistrate clerkship. Not an amazing job, I had zero chance at even a non-AIII clerkship before. And it's a real job giving me real experience, and I'm confident that I'll be in a much better position after my clerkship is over than I could have hoped for if I had just had to scramble to find something after 3L. So I'm pretty damn happy with the fellowship.

If I had to do things over again, I would have either: A) used the fellowship to get a job at somewhere that I thought would hire me after I finished (this is actually pretty hard, at least for good jobs, so I don't feel too bad about not doing it), or B) done a fellowship with a d. ct. judge in an area I wanted to practice afterward. I think doing a "pro bono" fellowship with a judge is pretty much bullshit, but it's good experience that opens up more doors than I think a lot of other fellowships can.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:41 pm

OP here

Awesome. Thanks for all the contributions. Would love to hear from more people (even if you didn't get biglaw or your "dream job" after the fellowship, would still love to hear how everything turned out).

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Hahalollawl » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:13 pm

worldtraveler wrote:I did one of these with a human rights NGO headquartered in DC for a year.

About halfway through I applied for a clinical teaching fellowship at a law school abroad, got that job, and did that for 2 years. Then moved to a different teaching fellowship at a different school.

There was potential for my fellowship to turn into a full time job but I decided fairly early on I didn't really want that and just started looking for other opportunities. I did get a lot of good work experience though, even though most of it was figuring out that I don't want to work at a large human rights NGO.

The worst part of it was really just making it on a very low salary in DC, especially since my husband wasn't making a lot at the time either. It was 30k per year which is actually really generous for a fellowship but not in a major city.


30k is generous for a fellowship? And in DC, yikes.

If you don't mind sharing, what did you do during your summers? I don't mean this as harsh criticism, but wouldn't those have been good opportunities to try out work at a large human rights NGO to see if you liked it?

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:14 pm

Hahalollawl wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:I did one of these with a human rights NGO headquartered in DC for a year.

About halfway through I applied for a clinical teaching fellowship at a law school abroad, got that job, and did that for 2 years. Then moved to a different teaching fellowship at a different school.

There was potential for my fellowship to turn into a full time job but I decided fairly early on I didn't really want that and just started looking for other opportunities. I did get a lot of good work experience though, even though most of it was figuring out that I don't want to work at a large human rights NGO.

The worst part of it was really just making it on a very low salary in DC, especially since my husband wasn't making a lot at the time either. It was 30k per year which is actually really generous for a fellowship but not in a major city.


30k is generous for a fellowship? And in DC, yikes.

If you don't mind sharing, what did you do during your summers? I don't mean this as harsh criticism, but wouldn't those have been good opportunities to try out work at a large human rights NGO to see if you liked it?


That is generous. I saw a posting for a fellowship in MA that pays $21,500 for ten months.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:42 am

Question to those who did a fellowship:

So I was informed that my company most likely won't be extending my stay at the company beyond the fellowship period. Did other people in similar situations start looking for jobs immediately? Where did you guys look? Thank you.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:30 am

2014 graduate, T10, bellow median. Two summers of public interest work.

Took fellowship in-house with large non-profit corporation that also had a large law department. Told them after 6-8 months that I was interviewing elsewhere and was offered a full-time gig shortly thereafter. Make low six figures, leave the office before 6pm most days.

My advice to others is, either go somewhere that might reasonably hire someone after a year, get skills in an industry that is marketable, or (if your fellowship allows it) try to turn it into a desirable clerkship giving you another shot at biglaw.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby albanach » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:Question to those who did a fellowship:

So I was informed that my company most likely won't be extending my stay at the company beyond the fellowship period. Did other people in similar situations start looking for jobs immediately? Where did you guys look? Thank you.


Is your company a commercial enterprise or a law firm?

If you're a commercial enterprise, ask your supervisors if they would recommend you to your outside counsel. Apply to every firm your company uses. Do not delay - start applying elsewhere today, to everyone in the industry.

If you're with legal aid, etc. Do you want more of the same? Do as above but to other legal aid offices, particularly any that the other lawyers have contacts at. If you want to transition to a firm, apply to every firm that takes on pro-bono work with your office.

This isn't rocket science. You need to figure out what skills you are gaining from your fellowship. Step 2 is identify where those skills would be valuable and step 3 is apply everywhere you identified in step 2, ideally with letters of recommendation from your current gig.

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:57 am

albanach wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Question to those who did a fellowship:

So I was informed that my company most likely won't be extending my stay at the company beyond the fellowship period. Did other people in similar situations start looking for jobs immediately? Where did you guys look? Thank you.


Is your company a commercial enterprise or a law firm?

If you're a commercial enterprise, ask your supervisors if they would recommend you to your outside counsel. Apply to every firm your company uses. Do not delay - start applying elsewhere today, to everyone in the industry.

If you're with legal aid, etc. Do you want more of the same? Do as above but to other legal aid offices, particularly any that the other lawyers have contacts at. If you want to transition to a firm, apply to every firm that takes on pro-bono work with your office.

This isn't rocket science. You need to figure out what skills you are gaining from your fellowship. Step 2 is identify where those skills would be valuable and step 3 is apply everywhere you identified in step 2, ideally with letters of recommendation from your current gig.

I am currently working in-house at a hedge fund. I've been applying to all the various different firms and positions that I could think of, but for some reason, I don't seem to be gaining any traction :/ I've gotten a handful of dings already (mostly for open positions), but places that I'm reaching out to cold, I've gotten nothing but silence. I am very worried that I am approaching this job search process wrong and don't want to screw up essentially. Any ideas as to where I should be looking?

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Re: School funded fellowships- where are you now?

Postby albanach » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently working in-house at a hedge fund. I've been applying to all the various different firms and positions that I could think of, but for some reason, I don't seem to be gaining any traction :/ I've gotten a handful of dings already (mostly for open positions), but places that I'm reaching out to cold, I've gotten nothing but silence. I am very worried that I am approaching this job search process wrong and don't want to screw up essentially. Any ideas as to where I should be looking?


You should be looking everywhere. Literally, you should be putting out dozens of applications. Look on here for recruiter recommendations.

Does your resume make clear you're on a school funded fellowship? Chat to your school careers office about whether you need to say that, and confirm it with your supervisor and HR as appropriate. Don't lie though. If asked - answer clearly.



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