As promised, here's the current status of my job search (the ostensible focus of this blog).
I found an opportunity to volunteer on a local campaign. Okay, yes, that's weak, but I've actually done this before. Politics seems to be the one field where people really want to network - everyone always wants as many connections as they can get. Because I enjoy campaign work, I put a lot of effort into the last campaign on which I worked and got recognized for it. Had I decided to go into politics at the time, I would have had some good connections. This will also build experience for me to market myself for some of the major campaigns coming up in 2010. There may also be some residual benefits in meeting people in other fields.
I spoke to a friend in the IT field - more on him in a later post (get ready to weep some more, fellow J.D. scam victims) - and while he couldn't do much for me directly, he gave me a decent suggestion. While entry level jobs in IT are a bit difficult to come by ITE and often require greater proficiency than I have in certain software and/or languages, he suggested looking into temp work to build my resume.
I'm not sure why I didn't think about that before. Actually, I know why. The words "temp agency" and "computers" usually conjures up visions of TTT J.D.'s slaving away in a boiler room, clicking their mouse buttons like trained chimps - only with less self respect. Nonetheless, this isn't a bad suggestion and opens up some new opportunities. (I'm going to discuss the advice I've received for getting into IT in another thread.)
I have a friend who's pretty connected to the local business community. He was working on finding some contacts for me. I was going to have lunch with him this week to discuss my job search, but something came up, so it has been delayed until next week. I'm going to let him know of my new found interest in moving in the direction of working in IT/IS. Perhaps he knows someone who works under a CIO or COO.
Despite my best efforts to abandon this field, people are still trying to push me in this direction. One friend of mine gave me the name of his former boss who runs a local issue advocacy organization. A number of her family members and friends are apparently attorneys. He suggested I contact her.
A number of people have also approached me about handling some legal matters once I'm formally admitted to practice. (I passed the bar, and I'm just waiting for the final certification.) How willing they are going to be to actually pay me is a different story. At one point I thought going solo would be great alternative. Now I realize that it is just a hassle. If I was looking to go that route, maybe this would build experience, but I think I'll leave the solo market slightly less saturated. Starving solos, if you'd like to thank me, you can refer your pre-law friends to this blog.
The best connection I actually made was through my mom (which is pretty freaking sad). Apparently some woman she knows who is in her early 30's works as the in house counsel for a local company. I'd actually be tempted to contact her because at least it's not working for a firm, but she said they're not currently hiring.
This isn't actually all that interesting by itself. In fact, it could easily just by a courtesy she was showing my mother. However, the next time the two of them ran into each other, she went through the trouble of writing down her contact information and the web site of the company. She also gave some details about what she does. Apparently, she's actually a VP at the company.
Like I said if they were hiring, I probably wouldbe more willing to explore this avenue. Because I'm not really interested in the law at all - in house counsel seems just as boring as anything else in the law - I'm not sure I want to waste her time. I'm also not sure why she would go through all this trouble if there aren't any job opportunities. Maybe my mom lied and told her I was good looking and she's looking for a date. Sorry ladies, Esq. Never's looks are about as impressive as his career prospects and current living arrangement.
Yes, folks, this is legal networking. Having your far more extroverted mom try get her friends to employ you. It kind of reminds me of when I was teenager and my mom picked up some job applications from local retailers for me to get me out of the house during the summer. Would anyone else like a cup of my dignity?