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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.


Q: This question is opposite to the one you received and answered about how to exit the legal profession after graduating from a low-tiered law school. I also graduated from a low-tiered law school, not because I wasn’t smart enough to be accepted to a higher tiered school, but because it was what I could afford. I’m not looking to leave the legal profession, however.

I’m looking to get an in-house counsel position. In the interest of full disclosure, law is a second career for me. I graduated in May 2007 and passed both the Massachusetts and New York Bar Exams the same year. I have extensive professional experience working in in-house legal departments. But even with respected professional referrals, recommending me directly to other in-house legal departments as well as to law firms, I can’t get an interview anywhere.

I am assuming this is because I didn’t graduate from either a first- or second-tier school. The longer away I get from graduation without acquiring any legal experience, the less attractive I become to the legal marketplace. Any advice?

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