July 25, 2008, 03:30Coker
As I prepare for the July, 08 bar exam, I am faced with some interesting career decisions. I have put myself through law school part-time while working full time. Yes, I am very aware a number of attorneys roll their eyes at this, however, my background is a bit unique in that I am a heavy duty computer geek and IT auditor. In other words, I rode the dot-com wave instead of completing my application to law school back in '97. Seattle U Law vs. Boeing Space & Defense...GI Bill only got me so far.
I have a reasonably successful consulting practice that pays pretty good money. But, I didn't go to law school simply to continue being a testifying expert or to tell large corporations what they need to do to properly protect their data.
My question is a bit career oriented. That is, should I continue to run my business and keep the bar card (crossing my fingers for the bar exam) as a really sweet way to save money on contract drafting and bill collecting, or should I start applying to law firms in order to gain legal experience? I can afford to take a pay cut for a couple of years, but I don't see the point if it won't pay off in the long run.
Finally, I have testified/consulted in criminal fraud cases (only fraud, I won't touch anything that deals with kids or anything else I couldn't tell my Mom about) for defendants. Does this kill any chance I may have at getting a job with a DA's office? How valuable is DA experience?
Just fishing for advice/recommendations.
September 03, 2008, 12:01Reagan County Attorney
The wing walker's creed says "don't let go of what you have until you grab hold of something else."
I landed my first job as an attorney because of my previous experience in the oil field. Some law firms value other life experiences in addition to the bar card. Personally, I wouldn't quit my day job until I found out if I passed the bar. Once you do that, then you can start marketing your license along with your experience as an expert in IT.
Finally, getting a job as a prosecutor is a great way to get trial experience and see a different side of society than the one you were raised in. In the end, you have to decide if your choice of career and wages is worth the risk.
Reagan County Attorney