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Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams Paperback – Mar 17 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1380 pages
  • Publisher: Gilbert; 2 edition (March 17 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0314176772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0314176776
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 18.4 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #541,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa26958b8) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa26a166c) out of 5 stars The Best Book I Read in Law School Aug. 19 2008
By Phil Yeager - Published on
Format: Paperback
I wish I read this book in my 1L year or even before law school. It is the most serious book out there for getting the legal job of your "dreams" which is not necessarily the job that pays the most. Some of you will stop reading this review at this point because you feel that the two are synonymous. If you are absolutely sure of that, don't read the book or the rest of this review. Also, go get an MBA because they make way more money, especially per hour worked, than lawyers. But, if you are like me and want more out of your legal career than money, definitely read this book. Believe me, I'm not suggesting that money isn't important. It is. But for most people, money is only one component of happiness.

Since all of you reading this are probably law students, I will tell you that I'm a 3L at UC Davis Law School with some experience to share. The book is a collection of chapters that often repeat themselves. The author explains in the introduction that it is not to be read cover to cover. Read the book section by section according to your needs. For the purposes of this review, I will explain my situation and how the book helped me going forward and how it could have helped me had I read it earlier.

I transferred to UC Davis because I never made it off the waitlist initially. But I worked my butt off first year and made top 10%. That got got me into Davis as a transfer student and I got swept up in OCI fever. I came to law school from a political and local government background and thought that was the direction I was heading. However, doing so well academically made me a target for interviews at big firms. I thought "why are these other loser law students getting the opportunity to earn $30,000 in a summer and get a cushy firm job after graduation? Those salaries are more than my parents make! Sign me up!"

Of course, the book would have warned me that this is an example of "Dream Cloning." Is it really MY dream to go on the big firm track? Isn't there a reason why 1/2 of new associates leave their firm? Is there a reason why very few are actually happy with their jobs? What does billing 2200 hours annually actually mean? Why are they really paying this kind of money? I was not thinking about these questions the book helps flush out. I was thinking that I have just as much skills as the clowns next to me. I'm not trying to hate on OCI, big salaries, or big firms, but it is important for folks to make an informed decision. The book helps law students tremendously in knowing their options, especially with the reality of law school costs.

I got 4 callback interviews and zero offers. I felt like a total loser because some of my friends (though not many) got offers and will make a lot of money. During 2L Spring Semester, after all the rejection letters came in, things did not go well. I actually took the business law classes, which covered what the OCI firms actually practice in. It is stupid that firms hire folks before they get a chance to take these classes. Anyways, I hated the classes and did not do that well in them. This lack of interest is probably why I did not get the jobs during my callbacks. I'm not very good at feigning enthusiasm for stuff I'm not interested in.

At the end of second semester, I read the book and it really defined the situation for me. I forgot why I came to law school and lost my focus. I started to live someone else's life and I didn't like it that much. The book has sections to help students find their focus. It helps one answer the right questions about what kind of life one wants to live.

For me, I love civil practice and having as broad a practice as possible. I also love politics and working with political entities. Also, I like the a high public exposure job. Also, I hate doing the same thing over and over again. I'm willing to sacrifice some salary for the diversity of issues in my legal practice. This is why I want to be a City Attorney--civil practice, lots of legal issues, politics, high exposure--that's me. Most law firms don't practice in this area because it is done in house or there is more money elsewhere.

The book also helps law students identify the negatives of what they do because there is no perfect job. For me, there are lots of negatives with my "dream job." Money isn't great at first, civil litigation is boring, City attorneys have to be worried about media exposure, and political pressure from local elected officials. This is not for everybody but I don't mind the negatives.

Do most law students really know what they want to do and what they are passionate about? Seriously, ask your classmates and you will hear a lot of baloney. They don't have a clue what they want to do and are just going on autopilot. This book gives tips of how to take control of your destiny. Once you figure out what you want, the book explains how to get externships, internships, and the other types of experience you will need to get the job. The reason this is necessary is most "dream" jobs are not advertised.

Also, the legal market nationwide, with the exception of patent law, is contracting. It is a horrible time to be a new law graduate because you are competing with experienced attorneys for employment. Most likely, it is going to take a lot of hustling to get any job let alone the job of your dreams. This book helped me figure out what my dream job is and how to maximize my chances of getting it. It offers no easy answers or guarantees, but in life none exist anyway. All you can do is increase your odds to get what you want.

Read the book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2522b1c) out of 5 stars Must reading for folks on the legal job market Sept. 6 2010
By Gopher29 - Published on
Format: Paperback
I met Kimm after she came to my law school to speak, and she sent me a copy of her new book after I told her how I used the old edition to land a summer associate position after my 1L year. As thanks for the book and all the advice in it, I write this review.

The best recommendation I can give is that this book worked for me, during this vexing legal job market. The old edition helped me land a summer associate position. The new edition helped me deal with not receiving an offer from my summer employer and land an offer from another quality employer. Thanks, Kimm! You truly are a "job goddess."

Other reviewers suggest that whether this book works (or doesn't work) depends on who you are in terms of grades and schools. I graduated in the top 25% of my class from a top 25 law school. Certainly, grades and schools matter. However, this book is comprehensive ("I'm a 1L." "I Go to Not-Harvard." "I Go to a Distinguished School" "Help! My Grades Stink!") and imminently usable. Thus, it should have great value for anyone.

I used the sections that were relevant to my job search when they were relevant. Think your career services office stinks? Find out how to get the most out of your counselors. I thought mine were fantastic and think of them as friends. When I had an interview, I read (and reread) the chapter on interviews. After an interview, I followed Kimm's suggestions regarding thank yous. Not sure of what to wear, Kimm's got answers. Not sure of what to say and, maybe more importantly, what not to say in an interview, Kimm's got answers. Curious what matters most to this relatively small firm in a smaller market? Kimm's got answers. Clueless about what questions to ask after receiving your first legal job offer? Kimm's got answers. And it's not just Kimm's answers. They are the answers given by career counselors and hiring partners from all over the country. That is, Kimm's got loads of experience and connections, and this book is well researched.

Obviously, I am biased. I am writing this review after receiving (and accepting) an offer for a fantastic legal job. But I used Kimm's book extensively to get that job. Just so I don't appear too one-sided, some of the "career limiting move" stories offered by Kimm were almost unbelievable. I don't think the stories are made up (you couldn't make some of these stories up), and they are funny. But the stories have more entertainment value that practical value because this reader thought, "who are these people, and how could they have possibly done these things?"

To summarize, then, my biggest compliment for the book: it worked. Other positives: usable and comprehensive. Downsides: some parts are more entertaining than helpful.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa41cd3fc) out of 5 stars This book helped me land a job! July 25 2010
By V - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book for new attorneys looking for a job. Soon after I graduated, the legal market plummeted. I earned high grades in law school and completed several internships. Despite all of this, I was unable to compete with other experienced job applicants. Two years after graduation, I began to get frantic about my prospects. Walton's suggestions absolutely work! I volunteered and became active in my local and state bar associations. I attended several CLEs where I met attorneys. At one CLE, I reconnected with a supervisor from my internship. She later provided me with a professional reference. I worked closely with my school's career services office to prepare for interviews and refine my resume. I used Walton's suggestions to meet attorneys in my geographic area. I even hand delivered my resume to firms on two occasions. This tactic landed me an interview at one of the firms. I wish I had not hesitated to purchase this book last year because once I began actively employing her strategies, I saw immediate results. One month and three interviews later, I am employed as an attorney. This book is worth every dime!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa269821c) out of 5 stars Helps you understand what you know May 1 2009
By James Moffitt - Published on
Format: Paperback
Kimm actually came to my school and I talked to her afterward her seminar. A few weeks later, she sent me the book and it ended up on the growing pile on "things I'll read when I have the time." Several months went by, and I offered to give the book to a 2L who's trying to "find her way." However, I actually wanted to know what I was passing on before I did. So, instead of studying for finals or working on my paper like I should, I sat down and started reading.

Essentially, the book's what she says it is in the introduction, a compilation of stories and information from applicants, interviewers, employers, and firms. Quite a bit of the information consists of things I've already learned on my own or that would appear to be self-evident. However, a lot of it would have made my life and the whole job process somewhat smoother. I can think of at least one interview that Kimm's advice would have turned around and I wouldn't of been coming up with "better answers" on the drive back to the airport. Thankfully, that was my "back-up" interview and not "my dream job."

If you can get your hands on this from your Career Services Office or library, it'd probably do a lot of good to just sit down and glance through it. Some of the sections will apply to you, some of them won't. I'm still going to pass my copy on to the 2L, but I'm buying a copy on my own since some of the topics are going to come up again and again... plus, although it's 1300+ pages, it's easy reading that you can go back to from time-to-time. I might also get a copy or two to circulate among my friends who are still looking for that right job (or the one after "any job" that they can get right now).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2826048) out of 5 stars DON'T BE FOOLED! Aug. 10 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was skeptical about purchasing this product because of the reviews that were less than glowing. After reading the first chapter, however, I felt as if I stumbled across a gold mine. As a first generation law student who does not have any relatives in a white collar profession, attends a school not in the T-15, and is not in the top 10-15% of the class, I started to panic after my 1st semester. My career services center SUCKS, thus, I felt as if I was hopelessly wading through the muddy waters of finding a job. This book is a little overly cheerful and for individuals who are not willing to work hard to implement the numerous strategies and take heed to the model real life examples of success stories, then this book will not work for you. But for individuals who are tired and overwhelmed with the nebulous job search and desire clear cut practical strategies that THEY ARE WILLING TO WORK THEIR BUTTS OFF TO TRY, then BUY this book. I got a firm job (PAID) after my 1L year and I have options lined up for the 2nd summer (And I have not even begun my 2nd year of school yet!) I think this book's helpfulness is directly proportional to when you purchase and how you use it. So...3Ls, I'm not saying it's too late but get a move on! And for 1Ls, 2Ls, you NEED this book. Unless of course you are set on the misconception that a BIG Law firm job will fall into your lap.


You and everyone else buddy.