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Patience is a Virtue When Looking for a Job Your 3L Year


If you are a 3L looking for a legal job, you are not alone. Only the select few obtain offers from big law firms, government positions, or clerkships. In fact, most lawyers do not obtain an offer for their first legal job until after they have passed the bar.

For me, this caused a lot of anxiety. I applied to hundreds of law firm jobs and clerkships during my 3L year, all to no avail. I would constantly ask myself, why is this happening to me?

Although you should worry about jobs during your 3L year, it should not be something that consumes your life. The simple truth is that you need to pass the bar to be marketable to most legal employers. So concentrate your energies on doing well in your classes, especially your bar classes. In other words, your number one goal coming out of law school should be that you are ready to begin the mentally and physically draining bar review process. (You also don’t want to burn yourself out before you being your bar review class, which usually begin the week after you graduate.)

Indeed, it is extremely important that you dedicate yourself to those few months of bar study. It is painful enough having to take the bar once, you don’t want to have to do it again. The mental, physical, and financial toll is too high. I have friends that didn’t pass, and they were completely devastated. Don’t let this happen to you!

However, once you pass the bar, you are highly likely to find a job within a few months. It is seriously like night and day compared to trying to find a job as a 3L. Just like most lawyers, it took me until after I passed the bar to find a job.

My torts professor explained that this whole process of becoming a lawyer is kind of like being stuck on a treadmill that you can’t get off. You have to keep on moving, even if you don’t want to. The process of finishing law school, passing the bar, and then landing your first legal job is a long and grueling one. So it is best to try to be extremely patient and try to relax with your friends, family, and loved ones when you can. Good things come to those that are patient.

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