Law School Discussion

Law Students => Job Search => Topic started by: sollicitus on April 22, 2012, 03:49:27 PM

Title: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: sollicitus on April 22, 2012, 03:49:27 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/1-2-graduates-jobless-underemployed-140300522.html

Half of college grads either don't work at all or are doing work a GED dropout could do.

Makes our stats not look so bad by comparison. Even with a little extra debt, I'd rather have twice the debt and be able to make the payments then half the debt and no ability to pay at all.

In todays society a BA is as useless as a GED was 20 years ago. A masters is the new AA, a doctorate the new BA. Post doctorate the new doctor.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on April 22, 2012, 04:21:56 PM
I would argue that even an MA or PhD in many fields is almost useless. The guy mentioned in the article had a BA in Creative Writing, and is working at a low end job. Does that actually surprise people? Let's say he gets an MA in Creative Writing. Then what? Teach a few community college classes with no chance at tenure? Maybe, if he's lucky. Let's say he then gets a PhD in English from a non-elite university. What are his chances of obtaining a professorship?

I'm not trying to be snarky, I studied History as an undergrad, a field for which there is almost zero market demand. We have done a terrible job in the U.S. of preparing students to study for degrees that might help them earn a living. For many students college is an overpriced extension of high school.

Not everyone can (or should!) be an engineer, doctor, or chemist. I get that. But the numbers are way too skewed. I live right down the street from a very well known, very prestigious private college. For every pre-med or computer science major that I meet, I swear I meet twenty who are majoring in pottery and drawing.

Incidentally, I think this immature attitude contributes to the hiring problems faced by new law grads, too. Many of the people I go to law school with have limited their job search to OCI and mass resume drops. The people I know who have job offers HUSTLED. They're not necessarily top of their class, but they know how to market themselves.

I will now step down from the soapbox.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: sollicitus on April 26, 2012, 05:12:38 PM
It seems that was one example and the stats were recent grads in general.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Cher1300 on May 14, 2012, 03:50:44 PM
I have to say also, that as an employer, there are two major problems I see with recent grads coming out of college.

1.  They have very little work experience while in college.  Although I do not expect a student to work much during college years, I am looking for SOMETHING on their resume other than a 4.0 GPA.  Sorry, but work will get you more work.  I went to college and worked to pay myself through school.  Sure, it was less expensive at the time, but the point is, even while working I managed a good GPA and still had time to party.  In the 17 years since I've graduated, I see more and more parents coddling thier kids and thinking they should not work because they need to keep up their GPA to land their first job.  This might be true for the science industries, but a liberal arts major or creative writing major with a 4.0 is not that impressive without some type of work history.  I want to know that this person can handle the stress of even a fast-food place or restaurant and has the ability to show up on time.  Parents need to realize that the people hiring their children also went to college and a major like creative writing does not require hours and hours of study.  We are looking for some type of work ethic.

2.  They are not taking low paying jobs because they feel entitled to be making more money.  I've noticed an entitlement with some undergrads that they should be making 40K a year right off the bat.  I realize this is not a lot of money, however, when a college grad does nothing for a year because they feel above taking certain jobs, that is also a red flag for me.  Again, work will get you more work.  Maybe people worry that putting a fast-food place on your resume will hurt, but I beg to differ.  Now, I can't speak for every other employer out there, but if I have to choose between someone who worked at Burger King for the last year with a 3.2 gpa versus one with a 4.0 gpa and no work experience, I'm going to hire the BK kid.  I'm looking for a strong work ethic and a desire to work.  If you stayed at home depending on mommy and daddy for the last year without doing some type of work, it insinuates that either you won't do certain tasks required for your job or that you may not even want to work.  Everyone has to pay their dues at some point.  How can I possibly give someone a chance at an entry level job when I don't know if they can even hold down a job?   

I realize that we are still in a recession and when we have a job available, I get hundreds of resumes.  However, there has definitely been a shift in perception among young graduates about what they should be doing and a shift in the parents perceptions as to thinking a small job during college is somehow going to be disastrous for their kids.  It is simply not the case and I don't think I'm the only person out there that feels this way.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Duncanjp on May 14, 2012, 10:26:29 PM
Nicely said, Cher. You're the first person I've ever seen on the internet who has said that a 4.0 isn't that impressive. I couldn't agree more. People who don't have to work while they attend school ought to be getting a 4.0, or something awfully close to it. I mean, good grades are child's play when work doesn't stand in the way. Anything over a 3.0 gpa that a person can manage while holding down a job to pay one's own way is infinitely more impressive than a dorm student getting a 4.0.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Julie Fern on May 15, 2012, 03:36:07 PM
now add to that students who believe they should get high grades without doing much work, or at least very good work.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: jack24 on August 27, 2012, 04:56:47 PM
What is personal litigation?  Does that mean non-business litigation.  Couldn't you just say, "Litigation"

Anyway, I'm glad this thread was resurrected.  I remember reading it a while back.

Cher1300, if you are reading this, sorry to be sassy:
1) What type of work experience do they need?  What if they move bricks for a living or work at the school library?  I worked my way through school, and I learned a lot.  But I don't think you need to work through school to know how to handle stress and show up on time.  Additionally, work ethic changes depending on the job.  A salesman who makes commission by selling mortgage products might have to go to luncheon's and play golf a lot and he has to be self-driven and commit to the sale.  A grocery store clerk basically just has to work at a high level and stay put.  Those are two wildly different skill sets.

2) The second paragraph of points you make sounds like someone who only likes to manage one type of person.  Maybe a college student who was involved in several campus activities and frats and partied all the time will actually have a wildly different skill set than someone who worked the window at the movie theater.   Your post implies (not insinuates, since that's different) that you want to hire drones. 

Also, a 3.0 and a 4.0 are miles apart, Duncanjp.  At most state universities, a 3.0 in a liberal arts degree doesn't require hardly any effort.  Maybe some 4.0's aren't "that" impressive, but a true 4.0 shows dedication.    That said, a 3.6 and holding down a job is pretty dang impressive. A 3.0 and holding down a job shows you have the skills of a highly functioning primate, at least.




Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Cher1300 on August 28, 2012, 10:49:29 AM
What is personal litigation?  Does that mean non-business litigation.  Couldn't you just say, "Litigation"

Anyway, I'm glad this thread was resurrected.  I remember reading it a while back.

Cher1300, if you are reading this, sorry to be sassy:
1) What type of work experience do they need?  What if they move bricks for a living or work at the school library?  I worked my way through school, and I learned a lot.  But I don't think you need to work through school to know how to handle stress and show up on time.  Additionally, work ethic changes depending on the job.  A salesman who makes commission by selling mortgage products might have to go to luncheon's and play golf a lot and he has to be self-driven and commit to the sale.  A grocery store clerk basically just has to work at a high level and stay put.  Those are two wildly different skill sets.

2) The second paragraph of points you make sounds like someone who only likes to manage one type of person.  Maybe a college student who was involved in several campus activities and frats and partied all the time will actually have a wildly different skill set than someone who worked the window at the movie theater.   Your post implies (not insinuates, since that's different) that you want to hire drones. 

Also, a 3.0 and a 4.0 are miles apart, Duncanjp.  At most state universities, a 3.0 in a liberal arts degree doesn't require hardly any effort.  Maybe some 4.0's aren't "that" impressive, but a true 4.0 shows dedication.    That said, a 3.6 and holding down a job is pretty dang impressive. A 3.0 and holding down a job shows you have the skills of a highly functioning primate, at least.





ANY type of work experience.  My point wasn't so much that they have to have a crappy job to get hired.  My point was that the college students entering the work force these days have NO work experience, won't do an entry level job, and complain that they can't get a job.  I went to college too.  I worked, did activities, and still had time to party.  Campus activities are pretty easy - at least the ones I was involved in.   So was partying.  Most people do campus activities and go to parties they enjoy.  Going to work and dealing with a difficult public or difficult coworkers or boss isn't always enjoyable.   Maybe you haven't had to deal with that on your job, but I found work to be very different than academia, parties, and activities.   Of course you need different skill sets.  Most of the sales people I work with that do those lunches or golf outings, however, are working their @$% off to meet a quota and get the sale even if that means working nights and/or weekends.

The kids coming out of college now are very bright and probably much smarter than my generation.  However, they are having a difficult time making it in the work force and I believe it has more to do with an unwillingness to do an entry level job than the recession.  They are competing with others who will do those jobs and don't care if they have to do it.  Entry level positions and admin positions can turn into management or higher level jobs.   So when someone complains that they aren't making 40K right out of college with no work experience when they've had opportunities for entry level positions, it's hard to feel sorry for them.
 
Lastly, Im curious as to why you think my second paragraph implies that I hire drones.  Is it because you think working at Burger King while going to college makes a person a drone?  It implies the exact opposite to me, but may explain why high school and college kids won't do those jobs.  Perceptions vary widely. 

Over the years, many employers - including a DA that recently spoke at our school - mentioned that working in the food industry was a plus on a resume when someone didn't have a great deal of experience.  They explained that those jobs dealt with a high amount of stress and involved a great deal of interaction with the public.  Does every employer feel this way?  Probably not.  Does this job require an education?  No.  But it does require a skill set that an employer may be looking for.

Honestly, what these kids do or don't do isn't going to hurt me in the long run, so what do I care really?  It's just some issues I've noticed over the years.  My main point was that you have to start somewhere - even if it is as a drone at BK.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: jack24 on August 28, 2012, 11:34:15 AM
  Now, I can't speak for every other employer out there, but if I have to choose between someone who worked at Burger King for the last year with a 3.2 gpa versus one with a 4.0 gpa and no work experience, I'm going to hire the BK kid.  I'm looking for a strong work ethic and a desire to work.  If you stayed at home depending on mommy and daddy for the last year without doing some type of work, it insinuates that either you won't do certain tasks required for your job or that you may not even want to work.  Everyone has to pay their dues at some point.  How can I possibly give someone a chance at an entry level job when I don't know if they can even hold down a job?   

Cher1300:
I don't know if you want to hire drones or even what your definition of drones is.
Work ethic and "dues paying" are important, but they can often be overcome with management and incentives.  Many employers don't think they should have to manage or incentives.  They want someone who works because that's what people should do.   I had an employer who complained about how people were on facebook all the time.  He managed to get it banned from the network but he didn't point out deficiencies in our work product, and we hadn't missed any deadlines.  He addressed the symptoms, not the problem.

The new generation, particularly those smart kids with no work experience, probably won't work without an assignment and a reason.  Drones work because they are there to work.  They find things to do. They see a need, they fill a need.   That said, Many managers are far to busy (lazy) to train, assign, evaluate, and give feedback.  They feel this is "babysitting."    Also, many managers don't want workers who say, "Why are we doing this>?  This doesn't make sense. I'm not doing it."   Most of the time that is because managers are either too busy (lazy) or they don't have a good answer.

Your statement implies that you either evaluate work ethic over talent, or you don't see a 4.0 as evidence of talent.  If it's the latter, then fine.  If it's the former, then you don't have enough confidence in your ability to manage.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Cher1300 on August 29, 2012, 10:35:21 AM
It's not that I don't think someone with a 4.0 has no talent.  The reason I'd hire the person with work experience at BK with a 3.2 instead is because they probably could have gotten a higher gpa if they didn't work in addition to doing a crappy job that gave them some additional skills dealing with people. 

Unless you are a rock star, I don't know of a single profession where someone doesn't dislike doing a part of their job.  Whether that's mopping a floor, dealing with angry customers, or even a judge that doesn't like you and embarasses you in a court room.  Unfortunately, that is life in general.  Of course some managers are lazy and maybe they make people do stupid things.  Usually it's because they are on a power trip.  But how much training, feedback, and assignments with explanations are managers supposed to do?

All of the things you mentioned were discussed in a seminar one of my coworkers went to.  It was focused on the newer generation of grads coming in to the work force and how companies are changing their management styles to help them succeed.  It was explained that they were raised by helicopter parents who were "hyper-present, but psychologically MIA."  The new grads don't take initiative because they are used to being told when to do everything.  When to wake up, when to do their homework, in addition to watching their parents blame teachers for the their bad grades, etc.   Yet, the psychological absence has also made them more sensitive.  The paperwork on this seminar actually describes the kids as spoiled.  While I agree that a manager needs to give feedback, assignments, and training, etc., there is also overkill through micro managing.  Does your boss have to explain every single assignment he gives you and if you don't like it, do you tell him you're not going to do it?  I mean, I have no problem telling someone why they have to do something, but if I have to stand there asking them and smiling at them and cheering them on to get them motivated, then I will absolutely feel like a babysitter. 

My definition of a drone is someone who mindlessly does things.  I don't believe taking some initiative is mindless.  No one wants to work for a manager that doesn't care or makes them do non-sensical taks just because they are on a power trip.  However, no manager wants to be someone's helicopter parent at work all day either. They should be able to handle some situtations without constant guidance, and some history of work experience usually indicates they've acquired some skills.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: cooley3L on August 29, 2012, 06:51:42 PM
So in short what types of work experience would you say help give an applicant an edge, and which don't?

I'd think someone with a decade of fast food experience would mean less than even a month unpaid internship at a legal aid clinic as far as relevancy goes.

Most weekend and nights Cooley students are on the part time plans and tend to be around 40 some even with a pension from their old jobs. Would you give them priority over a Harvard grad due to that?
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Cher1300 on August 30, 2012, 12:07:46 PM
So in short what types of work experience would you say help give an applicant an edge, and which don't?

I'd think someone with a decade of fast food experience would mean less than even a month unpaid internship at a legal aid clinic as far as relevancy goes.

Most weekend and nights Cooley students are on the part time plans and tend to be around 40 some even with a pension from their old jobs. Would you give them priority over a Harvard grad due to that?

To answer your first question, it really depends upon the job someone is applying for.  My fast-food analogy mostly applied to young college graduates applying for entry level positions, etc.   So of course, 10 years of fast food experience compared to a legal internship for a legal job is not going to look so good.  The DA I mentioned was responding to a person who asked if it was okay to put any other experience on their resume if the intership experience was limited.  They were concerned that any other experience may not be relevant, which was not necessarily the case. 

In terms of your last question, however, you're now talking about school rankings which affects job prospects much more than work experience.  A 40 year-old T4 student doesn't hold a candle to a Harvard law graduate.  Since I am a 40 year old at a T4, I can say that with some certainty.  Any ivy league grad will generally be sought after by big law firms and making over six figures their first year.  A 40 year old T4 grad won't even be looked at for that same position.  On the other hand, if the 40 year old is competing with a younger T4 grad for the same job, it could go either way depending upon grades, experience or even an employers perception.  Some employers may look at the 40 year old as someone who will hate doing document review work or any other type of entry level law work because of their experience, etc.   An employer might think the 40 year old is more set in their ways whereas a younger grad may be more eager to please and the employer can shape them the way they want.  It all depends upon the employer really.  But if the 40 year old has a history of insurance experience and is applying as an attorney for an insurance company, then that will give them an edge, etc. 
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Zepp on August 30, 2012, 05:48:49 PM

Most weekend and nights Cooley students are on the part time plans and tend to be around 40 some even with a pension from their old jobs. Would you give them priority over a Harvard grad due to that?

There is no experience that a Cooley student can have that will ever give them a leg up on a Harvard grad (unless that Harvard grad has subsequently been convicted of a felony).  Sorry, those are just the cold hard facts.  At least keep it reasonable, a see how you compete against a 3rd tier grad...not a grad from one of the top 3 schools.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Duncanjp on September 02, 2012, 01:01:26 PM
Also, a 3.0 and a 4.0 are miles apart, Duncanjp.  At most state universities, a 3.0 in a liberal arts degree doesn't require hardly any effort.  Maybe some 4.0's aren't "that" impressive, but a true 4.0 shows dedication.    That said, a 3.6 and holding down a job is pretty dang impressive. A 3.0 and holding down a job shows you have the skills of a highly functioning primate, at least.


I wasn't belittling a 4.0, Jack . It's certainly impressive, regardless of the graduate's major. My point was that a person who has the luxury of going to college without having to hold down a job ought to get good grades. Working at BK or wherever is time-consuming, and it drains the person both mentally and physically. The student who can get good grades in undergrad while holding down steady employment simply demonstrates discipline, character, and a clear work ethic, which are highly marketable traits to have. This doesn't mean that a person with a 4.0 might not also possess the same traits. But the student with a high GPA who doesn't have to work has only proven that he or she did what one should expect of them during college. Obviously, they're capable of learning. But it doesn't really demonstrate much about their work ethic when required to do something they don't want to do, or whether they'll take mental health days on a regular basis, or how well they're going to cope with angry clients, insensitive bosses, snide co-workers, and the weekly grind out in the real world. Incidentally, I used to work with somebody who, unbelievably, had a custom license plate that read 4.0 GPA. Even if pretentious, he was a very intelligent guy. But his interpersonal skills created a thick glass ceiling over his head, which kept him from ever getting anywhere close to a position in management. My point is that, standing alone, a GPA, like the LSAT, is an imperfect predictor of later success.

That's anecdotal, I realize. I think Cher is correct, though. A person who works her way through college and gets a 3.3 would almost certainly have gotten a much higher GPA if she had not had to work at all. But she's shown things that the 4.0 has not necessarily shown: (1) the ability to manage her time under a substantially harder schedule; (2) an ability to juggle multiple, diverse responsibilities; and (3) an ability to function successfully outside the ivory tower of academia. Furthermore, there is a good probability that the working student with the solid GPA is going to have a healthier, more cooperative ego, than the 4.0, who will be tempted to think he's above mopping a floor or making a pot of coffee. After several years in management, I've seen enough of both to know and can declare from experience that a good attitude has far more to do with success in business (maybe not government) than one's superior knowledge. The person who has to work through college knows that she's not entitled to anything, and nobody's going to hand her a dime. The student who never worked through college may or may not know that, but as an employer weighing candidates, it crosses your mind - especially if you had to work through college yourself.

All of that being said, 10 or 15 years out of college, the playing field levels. Nobody is going to be uber-impressed by your 4.0 or the fact that you worked your way through college. Your credentials and success will speak for themselves. If you're right out of school looking for work, you stress your 4.0 if you have one, or you stress your character + solid GPA if you worked. There's no shame in either. But there's no excuse for getting a really low GPA, whether you worked or not. That person has shot himself in the foot big time. That person has shown that he cannot learn new things, cannot juggle responsibilities or manage time, and probably had no discipline in college at all. Would have been better waiting until he grew up a little before enrolling.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: cooley3L on September 02, 2012, 03:09:38 PM

Most weekend and nights Cooley students are on the part time plans and tend to be around 40 some even with a pension from their old jobs. Would you give them priority over a Harvard grad due to that?

There is no experience that a Cooley student can have that will ever give them a leg up on a Harvard grad (unless that Harvard grad has subsequently been convicted of a felony).  Sorry, those are just the cold hard facts.  At least keep it reasonable, a see how you compete against a 3rd tier grad...not a grad from one of the top 3 schools.
where you attend school has nothing to do with your experience (if talking about prior to law school) and as far as post, yeah being a sitting Judge or Prosecutor, or just being licensed for a decade will give more of an edge than some rookie who didn't just graduated with no experience and blow off seminars for electives.

Every one who hasn't even taken the lsat yet thinks they know the world. Never fails.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: jack24 on September 04, 2012, 09:55:44 AM
I wasn't belittling a 4.0, Jack . It's certainly impressive, regardless of the graduate's major. . . .

I've managed up to ten employees at a time in my career, so I'm no executive level business guy here.  Still, I would take raw talent, energy, and enthusiasm, over "work ethic" any day.   Find the right mixture of duty, reward, and fear, and you can unleash them.  I recognize there is a significant risk that you will waste time and money in training someone who ends up being lazy and entitled, but there is also a huge long-term reward.

Before I passed the bar, I worked with four law firms (100+ hours with each).  Nobody involved wanted to manage at all.  My current firm is the same way.  They want you to just "go, go, go!"   I understand why they are that way, but that simply isn't the reality.  However, I think the new crop of employees has much more potential with the right management.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: cooley3L on September 05, 2012, 02:58:38 PM
I don't get why more students don't volunteer at legal aid while in school. They take almost anyone and give all the managment and help  one could want if needed. Plus a resume builder.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: SoCalLawGuy on September 23, 2012, 03:41:18 AM
From what I heard, it's hard to get a job even as a janitor with the economy these days so, yeah, attending law school doesn't mean you'll necessarily be a lawyer after you graduate.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: pmt2103 on July 18, 2013, 06:48:00 PM
Cher,

I understand what you're saying, but please consider what the job market is like.  College graduates have a very difficult time finding jobs, even in retail.  Please consider people who have just attended school full-time because you do not know why they did not have a job.
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: kckeisel on August 12, 2014, 03:35:44 PM
It still amazes me how many people complain about the number of jobs that there are available out there or how unhappy they are at their current position! I read this article the other day and found it very interesting! Why not keep looking for something that you can be happy with both personally and financially. There are plenty of opportunities out there if you look!

http://www.lawcrossing.com/article/900042544/25-Reasons-Why-Most-Attorneys-Go-Crazy-And-What-to-Do-About-It/
Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: Citylaw on August 13, 2014, 09:08:32 AM
Agreed.

There are thousands of attorney jobs or other employment opportunities. If you are fortunate enough to graduate from an ABA accredited law school you have had more opportunity than 99% of the world, and if your complaining that it is still not fair then the issues you are facing are self-created.

Title: Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
Post by: barprephero on August 13, 2014, 08:31:15 PM
Agreed.

There are thousands of attorney jobs or other employment opportunities. If you are fortunate enough to graduate from an ABA accredited law school you have had more opportunity than 99% of the world, and if your complaining that it is still not fair then the issues you are facing are self-created.
99% of the world doesn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars of interest bearing non dischargeable debt