Laid off from Big Law, Considering Going into Teaching

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Laid off from Big Law, Considering Going into Teaching

Post by Guest » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:23 pm

Hello,

I have spent the last 2.5 years working in big law. I got let go from my first firm after a year, found another big law gig during month 3 of the severance period, and then got laid off again (with a severance period) from firm #2 after about a year.

I don't know much about the specifics of how or why. The first firm never gave me a review prior to the canning, and firm #2 only had one mildly bad review about halfway in. My hours were consistently low at firm 1, and were consistently low at firm 2 after the mid year review. To be frank, I think I was just really bad at being an associate in big law. My attention to detail was lousy, and my drafts would frequently have 1-3 basic mistakes in them. I honestly don't fault either firm for doing what they did.

Now, with having had a few months to brainstorm, take aptitude tests, and network, I think I want to make a career shift into becoming a teacher. This would involve getting a masters in teaching.

The problem is, my fiance has one year left on her phd, and won't know for a few more months where her post-doc will be (it will be in one of three cities). Thus, for the next year I still need to be employed doing SOMETHING in law. Trouble is, between my resume being what it is (leaving two firms after 1.25 years at each is a big red flag) and the general impact from corona, I am having trouble finding jobs to even apply to.

What advice would yall give to someone in my position, both in terms of the longer goal of the career shift, and the shorter goal of finding a job? I am not picky, and would basically do anything legal as long as it can cover the bills through next year.

Thank you in advance.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: Laid off from Big Law, Considering Going into Teaching

Post by BlendedUnicorn » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:35 pm

I'd think there are a lot of private schools that would be willing to look past the lack of a masters in teaching with your JD and experience. Granted, it's going to be tough to break into any market right now, but that seems like it would at least be worth a shot.

If you have any experience with litigation or interest in criminal defense, maybe try to get on the CJA list for your local JDX? Otherwise just apply as widely as possible if you're just trying to get a gig to fill time.

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Nony
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Re: Laid off from Big Law, Considering Going into Teaching

Post by Nony » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:33 pm

Money wise, do you have to work this last year of your fiancé’s PhD? Is it possible that you might still be able to apply for MA programs for this fall?

I also saw someone recommend https://www.theposselist.com/how-to-sub ... job-lists/ for things like doc review/contract work.

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notachicken
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Re: Laid off from Big Law, Considering Going into Teaching

Post by notachicken » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:42 pm

why don't you just do tutoring. pays pretty well and you can make sure you like teaching.

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64Fl
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Re: Laid off from Big Law, Considering Going into Teaching

Post by 64Fl » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:59 pm

notachicken wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:42 pm
why don't you just do tutoring. pays pretty well and you can make sure you like teaching.
I think this is a great idea. If you're willing to dust off your LSAT prep books, there is a lot of money to be made too. I went to school with folks who charged $50/hr.+ for LSAT tutoring.

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Re: Laid off from Big Law, Considering Going into Teaching

Post by Guest » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:45 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone.

I've been looking into tutoring gigs, both for the LSAT and more generally. Fingers crossed on that one, my concern though is getting enough hours to cover cost of living. I would really like to do it or something classroom adjacent though, because even though I am pretty well informed as to the challenges and struggles of day to day teaching, it wouldn't hurt to get final confirmation that it is the right path.

Nony, I do have around 40k in savings (and I paid off my law school debt earlier this year) but cost of living is high enough that it will get depleted quickly once unemployment runs out in 3.4ish months, and my fiance doesn't earn enough from her phd stipend to make up for my share of rent/utilities/food. Masters in Teaching programs typically run one year from may to may or June to June, and I am looking to apply for the cohort that begins in 2021 (apps are generally due around December). I will definitely look into that link regarding contract work!

BU, that's a good suggestion but sadly my experience is all in transactional work, so those options aren't available to me. I've been applying widely to just about every legal opening I am remotely qualified for on goinhouse, linkedin, indeed, attorneyjobusa, glassdoor, etc. Anyone have other tools or resources for applying? Regarding looking into private schools, I have been doing some of that in my area, but they seem to still want some sort of teaching license or prior experience.

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