Law School Discussion

Off-Topic Area => Meta Discussion => Site Suggestions and Announcements => Topic started by: Matthew_24_24 on October 07, 2004, 10:23:39 PM

Title: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: Matthew_24_24 on October 07, 2004, 10:23:39 PM
Why are you unemployed?

Did you finish bad in your class?

Matt
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: TDPookie1 on October 07, 2004, 11:12:35 PM
Why are you unemployed?

Did you finish bad in your class?

Matt

1. you're an ass.

2. in the US, esp in this economy, it's hard to get a job before you have (successful) bar results in hand.
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: inthesun on October 07, 2004, 11:13:25 PM
Why are you unemployed?

Did you finish bad in your class?

Matt

MATT!!!  This is why no one voted for you on the LSD bf thread!   >:(
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: Andrew on October 08, 2004, 07:10:36 AM
No, I didn't "finish bad".  A couple points / answers:

1) At my law school, and I suspect others, people don't tend to talk about grades.  Some people get pretty offended by people asking about or talking about grades.  Such discussion never bothered me, but I'm putting you on notice - it's a touchy subject for many - even those that did very well.

2) I attribute my lack of employment to a bad hiring economy.  I'd estimate that about 1/3 of my class got summer associate jobs of some sort and thus had a position lined up upon graduation.  For the rest of us it's been really hard.  My grades are good - probably above average (there's no way to tell), but shy of the top 1/3 of the class.

3) Where you "finish" in the class has little weight in the job search.  The big firms do almost all of their hiring through their summer associate programs.  They interview for those jobs at the beginning of the second year.  By practice, the only thing important to those firms is one's first-year grades.  So it's entirely possible (and common) for the people who have jobs at big firms to be in the middle or bottom of the class upon graduation.

The natural line of advice from this is that you should do everything possible to do well your first year.  It's pointless to give such advice in a large setting like this board.  Because class rank is relative, it's logically impossible for all you to do well your first year.

4) The big firm summer associate jobs are the only jobs that, logistically speaking, are easy to get.  There's a system in place.  That's why you hear about those jobs so much.  The reality is that it's not even the majority of students that get those jobs.  Everyone else is left to find whatever they can - and many look to small firms, government, and public interest.  That's why the median salary for private practice at BU is so high.  They bend the stats to sound better.  A $125k median private practice salary just means that, of the people that had jobs at the time of the survey (graduation?), half +1 of those in private practice were at big firms.

It sounds like the average student got a $125k job, but that's not true.

5) People have been asking me about my employment situation a lot lately.  I suppose I invited that by my little "unemployed with JD" caption.  Please realize that my class year (2004) is truly where the hiring economy hit bottom.  The class before mine didn't do that well either, but they did a little better.  The class behind mine seems to be doing better.  I don't mean to be a pessimist.  I have faith that I'll find a good job that I'll enjoy, and I think those of you starting law school soon will find a positive change in circumstance from what I've been describing.


Wow - long post - but what else do I have to do today?  hahaha
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: buster on October 08, 2004, 07:18:03 AM
Thanks for the candor, I'm sure many (including myself) have been curious and this was an interesting post. I chuckled at the first line, BTW.


No, I didn't "finish bad".  A couple points / answers:

1) At my law school, and I suspect others, people don't tend to talk about grades.  Some people get pretty offended by people asking about or talking about grades.  Such discussion never bothered me, but I'm putting you on notice - it's a touchy subject for many - even those that did very well.

2) I attribute my lack of employment to a bad hiring economy.  I'd estimate that about 1/3 of my class got summer associate jobs of some sort and thus had a position lined up upon graduation.  For the rest of us it's been really hard.  My grades are good - probably above average (there's no way to tell), but shy of the top 1/3 of the class.

3) Where you "finish" in the class has little weight in the job search.  The big firms do almost all of their hiring through their summer associate programs.  They interview for those jobs at the beginning of the second year.  By practice, the only thing important to those firms is one's first-year grades.  So it's entirely possible (and common) for the people who have jobs at big firms to be in the middle or bottom of the class upon graduation.

The natural line of advice from this is that you should do everything possible to do well your first year.  It's pointless to give such advice in a large setting like this board.  Because class rank is relative, it's logically impossible for all you to do well your first year.

4) The big firm summer associate jobs are the only jobs that, logistically speaking, are easy to get.  There's a system in place.  That's why you hear about those jobs so much.  The reality is that it's not even the majority of students that get those jobs.  Everyone else is left to find whatever they can - and many look to small firms, government, and public interest.  That's why the median salary for private practice at BU is so high.  They bend the stats to sound better.  A $125k median private practice salary just means that, of the people that had jobs at the time of the survey (graduation?), half +1 of those in private practice were at big firms.

It sounds like the average student got a $125k job, but that's not true.

5) People have been asking me about my employment situation a lot lately.  I suppose I invited that by my little "unemployed with JD" caption.  Please realize that my class year (2004) is truly where the hiring economy hit bottom.  The class before mine didn't do that well either, but they did a little better.  The class behind mine seems to be doing better.  I don't mean to be a pessimist.  I have faith that I'll find a good job that I'll enjoy, and I think those of you starting law school soon will find a positive change in circumstance from what I've been describing.


Wow - long post - but what else do I have to do today?  hahaha
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: buster on October 08, 2004, 07:20:48 AM
Concise and accurate. Pookie, you're on top of things as usual.

1. you're an ass.
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: mukhia on October 08, 2004, 07:30:16 AM
I know how it feels (sort of).  Prior to graduating UG, I was swamped with job offers from all over and after graduation I had a cushy job lined up.  Then all of a sudden, I was laid off before I even started and it took much longer than I had expected or wanted to find another job.  Very scary and a good reminder for me to be less complacent and arrogant about such matters!  Thanks for keeping us down to earth, Andrew and good luck! 
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: nathanielmark on October 08, 2004, 07:39:22 AM
this is the reason i would consider foregoing a highly ranked school in favor of a tier 1 school with in-state tuition... in a worst case scenario, i would rather have a bad job with my JD and no debt load then a bad job, a JD, and about $700 a month in student loan payments.
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: jgomez on October 08, 2004, 01:34:34 PM
It sounds like the average student got a $125k job, but that's not true.

I think this is a misconception that many pre law students have on this board.  That everyone will come out making the big 6 figure salary. 
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: TDPookie1 on October 08, 2004, 02:35:42 PM
Why are you unemployed?

Did you finish bad in your class?

Matt

1. you're an ass.

2. in the US, esp in this economy, it's hard to get a job before you have (successful) bar results in hand.

Andrew, was I right about this?  (I am referring to point #2, assuming that you won't confirm that Matthew is an ass :) )  Or is my assumption negated by people getting jobs through summer associateships?

My sister graduated from USC in 2001.  She didn't want to stay at the firm where she worked after 2L and was unable to get a job until January.  Bar results came in November, she sent out her resume to at least 300 firms, and interviews seemed to start at the beginning of the new year.
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: DESI on October 08, 2004, 05:51:17 PM
Why are you unemployed?

Did you finish bad in your class?

Matt

for your sake, i hope you don't have this same attitude in law school
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: Ginatio on October 08, 2004, 06:04:36 PM
according to USNEWS, 100% of BU Law grads are employed 9 months after graduation. I'm sure Andrew will be just fine--even IF he had "finished bad".
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: DOWNY on October 08, 2004, 10:42:56 PM
Why are you unemployed?

Did you finish bad in your class?

Matt

Andrew owned  you Matt.

Matt is a feminine hygiene product bag.
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: gobears on October 11, 2004, 01:16:10 AM
That's cool, good luck to you Andrew!
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: Andrew on October 11, 2004, 07:39:03 AM

2. in the US, esp in this economy, it's hard to get a job before you have (successful) bar results in hand.

Andrew, was I right about this?

I haven't really witnessed the job market from the perspective of an admitted attorney, so I can't say for sure.  I think this is probably true for the people that don't go to big firms.  The smaller firms don't hire people just to hire people like the big ones.  They only hire when there's an actual need, and if they need an attorney a JD probably won't be good enough.  I think (and hope) there's some truth to your assertion.

The 9 month US News stat makes sense.  Of course everyone has a job within 9 months.  If I still don't have a job after 8.5 months, I'm working at McDonalds.
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: TDPookie1 on October 11, 2004, 08:47:43 AM
ooh, that's a good distinction.  my sister was applying at small firms only.

we all have confidence in the fact that you will NOT be working at mcdonald's, or any other non-law-firm (or whatever your goal is at this point), 5 or so months from now. 

best of luck!  enjoy the relaxation time while it lasts ;)
Title: Re: Site will be down for a few minutes tonight
Post by: Ginatio on October 11, 2004, 09:18:42 AM

2. in the US, esp in this economy, it's hard to get a job before you have (successful) bar results in hand.

Andrew, was I right about this?

I haven't really witnessed the job market from the perspective of an admitted attorney, so I can't say for sure.  I think this is probably true for the people that don't go to big firms.  The smaller firms don't hire people just to hire people like the big ones.  They only hire when there's an actual need, and if they need an attorney a JD probably won't be good enough.  I think (and hope) there's some truth to your assertion.

The 9 month US News stat makes sense.  Of course everyone has a job within 9 months.  If I still don't have a job after 8.5 months, I'm working at McDonalds.

im not sure if usnews would count the mcdonalds type jobs as qualifying as valid employment, otherwise the %ile salary data for private sector jobs would be WAAAAY off...
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: lexylit on October 11, 2004, 09:22:38 AM
i was at b&n yesterday so i picked up one of those guide-to-law-school books that sorted by various rankings... and the list that sorted from highest percent employed at graduation had BU tied for first with something like 100% employed. (and BC was right there too, which is similarly bull as i learned from my brother's experience.)

i knew they boosted the stats some, but that's pretty egregious. when it comes down to choosing schools i guess i'll know better than to put a lot of stock in those numbers and rankings :-\ one more reason to go with your gut, not your USNWR spreadsheet.
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: Andrew on October 11, 2004, 09:36:53 AM
I bet they would count McDonalds as employed.  They probably require the school to fill out a form, and the school probably counts anything they can as employment.  Does US News make a distinction as to "private practice" or not?  If so, there's probably an "other" category so McDonalds employees don't get counted as private practice.  I know that BU is keen to tell you the median private practice instead of the average.  With a system like that, a couple McDonalds managers wouldn't have any effect on the number (assuming there were a couple big firm lawyers matching them at the other end of the scale).

Of course this is mostly just a theory of mine.  I don't, for the record, expect to see any of my classmates working at McDonalds... because I never go to McDonalds.
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: lexylit on October 11, 2004, 09:41:45 AM
Does US News make a distinction as to "private practice" or not? 

i'm sure they break it down somewhere, but this particular list was striking in that it just ranked schools from most to least employed. or maybe it was by salary and im confused... but it listed the median figure you give (125) and about a dozen schools report that number, then it jumps down to 115, and you have to figure those schools (a bunch of t14s) have comparable stats and were just crunching them differently, right?

it will be pretty ironic if i end up jobless out of LS, since the job market accounts for 90% of the reason i dropped out of my phd  :D
Title: Re: Why is Andrew unemployed?
Post by: dunson on October 31, 2004, 08:45:47 PM
i know the career services person at a TTT and they do count any employment as part of their figures....


andrew, good luck bro, that was definitely a tough year to graduate from all accounts i have heard, the same person told me they only placed 10% of their class by graduation where it was once 60 and has steadily declined since (4-5 years ago and these are mostly small firm jobs)