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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: I am a 4L and will be finishing up my degree during summer session in July. I hated law school and took 2 leaves of absence because I was positive that I was not going to take the bar. … I decided that I wanted to go into social work. After applying for job after job after job for literally a year, I landed an internship doing what I thought would be perfect for me — I worked for a nonprofit as a court advocate for domestic violence survivors. I realized after about a week that I was really over-qualified for the position although the experience was enjoyable and I am happy I did it — I was used to having much more responsibility, and I guess after 4 years of law school its what I’m comfortable with. So, basically I decided that I will take the bar in February, and I would really like to go into family law.

Here is my situation currently — being that I’m not taking the bar for 9 months and I don’t have the most impressive resume, no one is exactly knocking down my door even for an internship or paralegal position. For some reason I am not even getting call backs for any summer jobs — even unpaid positions. No one feels so bad for me though, because most are in the same boat — however, the whole reason why I decided that I didn’t want to be a lawyer was because I interned for a very successful real estate/landlord-tenant law firm, which my uncle just happens to be the senior partner of. I just don’t know what to do — I hated it there, I hated how people were fake to me because of who I was related to and the whole thing was just unbearably boring, not to mention every attorney there told me to go into a different field. I swore I wouldn’t go back, but the idea of a salary is just barely comprehensible.

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