Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: ks2pa on February 18, 2007, 06:55:08 PM

Title: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: ks2pa on February 18, 2007, 06:55:08 PM
Has anyone here visited www.jdjive.com? This site seems to be filled with people complaining at the job market for people with JD's. Is it really as bad as they make it seem. What about for people looking at upper tier 2 schools?
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: ks2pa on February 18, 2007, 07:00:34 PM
could you elaborate a little bit more?
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: ks2pa on February 19, 2007, 07:39:29 PM
meh bump
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Jackie Chiles, ESQ. on February 19, 2007, 08:28:43 PM
they speak about these things:

- how every school not in the first tier gets you no job at all

- every school besides T1 leaves you unemployable and stuck taking temporary document review jobs for 35-45k/year in conditions similiar to a sweatshop - or doing insurance defense which to them is dispicable

- how people have no money after being over 100k in debt from what they think is a useless school
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: dahorns on February 19, 2007, 09:12:17 PM
I wouldn't base much on JDjive.  For the most part it is inane banter.  It also seems mainly to consist of people attending t4, and lower t3 schools.  Obviously the job market is going to be rougher for this segment of the population particularly in Cali and New York, where the majority of those posters appear to be from.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Jackie Chiles, ESQ. on February 19, 2007, 09:19:49 PM
I wouldn't base much on JDjive.  For the most part it is inane banter.  It also seems mainly to consist of people attending t4, and lower t3 schools.  Obviously the job market is going to be rougher for this segment of the population particularly in Cali and New York, where the majority of those posters appear to be from.

agreed
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: . . . . . . on July 25, 2012, 12:40:19 PM
agreed
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Julie Fern on July 25, 2012, 01:47:31 PM
something against inane banter?
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: sonnyhodgin on August 13, 2012, 12:54:54 PM
It's no secret that the job market's not as good as it once was, but there are still legal jobs out there to be had.  About half of my 2012 graduating class (and nearly all of the staff of the 2012 law review at my law school), secured legal jobs after graduating.  I doubt that most of them are making 6 figure starting salaries, but they're still doing pretty well for themselves.  Besides, in a small and inexpensive market (Valparaiso, Indiana in my case), $60k-$70k a year goes a very long way.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: aglittman on August 14, 2012, 09:51:29 PM
I disagree with sonnyhodgin.  I graduated in 2011 from a school ranked 35th by U.S. News, passed my state's bar exam (and took a 2nd, which is pending), and can't find ANY job.  If one more person tells me I'm not trying hard enough I'll scream.  Right now I'm interning (for free) for a bankruptcy judge, going into the office every weekday, and often put in time on the weekends.  He's even published two of my "draft opinions."  I honestly don't know what more I can do.  At this point, I would happily take any job (even one paying around 30-40k/year).  If anyone has ideas for me, please share them.  Thanks

-Andrew
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: legend on August 15, 2012, 09:44:18 AM
Just my advice you should never work for free. It sounds like your putting a lot of work for nothing this is just not very smart you could be applying to 100's of jobs a week the amount of time you are spending in the courthouse. I know it is not ideal, but there is certainly document review work out there.

When you are in law school the "free" labor scam can work, but you are a practicing lawyer now. You could make more money as a solo practitioner in a week since 0 is not hard to surpass.  I would highly recommend getting out of that position leave on a good note, but don't work for free this is likely taking up your energy, time, and preventing you from succeeding.

Instead of doing that join Bar Associations, go to your schools career services weekly, check in with your undergrads career services, then of course use indeed, juju, the BYU intercollegiate job bank is also a great site for recent law grads it has almost every schools career services job positing on it. Your career services office will likely have the password to access it if you ask.

It sounds like you have gained experience at your position so leave on a good note, but you should not be volunteering your time every weekday and weekend. That is 45 hours a week of time you could be on the job search and finding a job is often more time consuming than any job itself. Good luck to you.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: jack24 on August 15, 2012, 12:15:37 PM
I really think there is a lot of delusion at both ends.  Yes, people still get jobs and not everyone is screwed.  There are chicken littles out there who are going crazy.  But things aren't easy, particularly for lower-ranked grads.

 I was a top 1/4 at a school just outside the top 50.  I was a law review editor and moot court member.  I had two fantastic internships, one of which produced a ton of 1st chair experience, and I was networking and job hunting from 1L Christmas until I passed the bar.  I got my first full-time attorney job two days before I was sworn in as an attorney (Five months after graduation), and most of my income is based on bonuses.

In my experience, the legal field is absolutely brutal right now, and the available jobs for new associates are absolute crap.  I hustled for years and basically worked for free for four employers while I studied for the bar.  Hundreds of emails, months of networking, at least 50 applications for open positions, calling in every favor I had.   At the end of all that, I had two associate offers, and one came when a managing partner liked me a lot during a paralegal interview.

One state court clerkship in a medium market (salary = less than 40k/year) attracted well over 100 licensed attorney applicants. 100!  The guy who got it was ranked in the top ten students at a school in the top 40.

Anyone at the bottom half of their class or in the bottom half of law schools faces an incredibly brutal, up-hill battle for jobs with horrible starting salaries.

My advice to those licensed attorneys still looking for a job is to write emails to every attorney you can find and offer to do their crap drafting work for 40 bucks an hour on a contract basis.  Also, apply for paralegal jobs and then just start picking up attorney work as it becomes available in your firm.  They will love this because they can pay you less than 20 bucks an hour and bill you out at a low rate, but still tell your clients you are an attorney.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Anti09 on August 20, 2012, 05:11:40 PM
I really think there is a lot of delusion at both ends.  Yes, people still get jobs and not everyone is screwed.  There are chicken littles out there who are going crazy.  But things aren't easy, particularly for lower-ranked grads.

 I was a top 1/4 at a school just outside the top 50.  I was a law review editor and moot court member.  I had two fantastic internships, one of which produced a ton of 1st chair experience, and I was networking and job hunting from 1L Christmas until I passed the bar.  I got my first full-time attorney job two days before I was sworn in as an attorney (Five months after graduation), and most of my income is based on bonuses.

In my experience, the legal field is absolutely brutal right now, and the available jobs for new associates are absolute crap.  I hustled for years and basically worked for free for four employers while I studied for the bar.  Hundreds of emails, months of networking, at least 50 applications for open positions, calling in every favor I had.   At the end of all that, I had two associate offers, and one came when a managing partner liked me a lot during a paralegal interview.

One state court clerkship in a medium market (salary = less than 40k/year) attracted well over 100 licensed attorney applicants. 100!  The guy who got it was ranked in the top ten students at a school in the top 40.

Anyone at the bottom half of their class or in the bottom half of law schools faces an incredibly brutal, up-hill battle for jobs with horrible starting salaries.

My advice to those licensed attorneys still looking for a job is to write emails to every attorney you can find and offer to do their crap drafting work for 40 bucks an hour on a contract basis.  Also, apply for paralegal jobs and then just start picking up attorney work as it becomes available in your firm.  They will love this because they can pay you less than 20 bucks an hour and bill you out at a low rate, but still tell your clients you are an attorney.

Hanging a shingle is a pretty awful option.  Besides the fact that law school teaches you nothing about actually being a lawyer, the start up costs associated with solo practice are often prohibitive, especially for those with significant student debt.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: cooley3L on August 25, 2012, 11:25:57 AM
I really think there is a lot of delusion at both ends.  Yes, people still get jobs and not everyone is screwed.  There are chicken littles out there who are going crazy.  But things aren't easy, particularly for lower-ranked grads.

 I was a top 1/4 at a school just outside the top 50.  I was a law review editor and moot court member.  I had two fantastic internships, one of which produced a ton of 1st chair experience, and I was networking and job hunting from 1L Christmas until I passed the bar.  I got my first full-time attorney job two days before I was sworn in as an attorney (Five months after graduation), and most of my income is based on bonuses.

In my experience, the legal field is absolutely brutal right now, and the available jobs for new associates are absolute crap.  I hustled for years and basically worked for free for four employers while I studied for the bar.  Hundreds of emails, months of networking, at least 50 applications for open positions, calling in every favor I had.   At the end of all that, I had two associate offers, and one came when a managing partner liked me a lot during a paralegal interview.

One state court clerkship in a medium market (salary = less than 40k/year) attracted well over 100 licensed attorney applicants. 100!  The guy who got it was ranked in the top ten students at a school in the top 40.

Anyone at the bottom half of their class or in the bottom half of law schools faces an incredibly brutal, up-hill battle for jobs with horrible starting salaries.

My advice to those licensed attorneys still looking for a job is to write emails to every attorney you can find and offer to do their crap drafting work for 40 bucks an hour on a contract basis.  Also, apply for paralegal jobs and then just start picking up attorney work as it becomes available in your firm.  They will love this because they can pay you less than 20 bucks an hour and bill you out at a low rate, but still tell your clients you are an attorney.

Hanging a shingle is a pretty awful option.  Besides the fact that law school teaches you nothing about actually being a lawyer, the start up costs associated with solo practice are often prohibitive, especially for those with significant student debt.
I hear this a lot from students of other law schools. Is Cooley the only one that teaches law office managment and accounting for lawyers along with pretrail skills, trial skills andthe  basic ability to survive?
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Anti09 on August 26, 2012, 07:18:59 AM
I really think there is a lot of delusion at both ends.  Yes, people still get jobs and not everyone is screwed.  There are chicken littles out there who are going crazy.  But things aren't easy, particularly for lower-ranked grads.

 I was a top 1/4 at a school just outside the top 50.  I was a law review editor and moot court member.  I had two fantastic internships, one of which produced a ton of 1st chair experience, and I was networking and job hunting from 1L Christmas until I passed the bar.  I got my first full-time attorney job two days before I was sworn in as an attorney (Five months after graduation), and most of my income is based on bonuses.

In my experience, the legal field is absolutely brutal right now, and the available jobs for new associates are absolute crap.  I hustled for years and basically worked for free for four employers while I studied for the bar.  Hundreds of emails, months of networking, at least 50 applications for open positions, calling in every favor I had.   At the end of all that, I had two associate offers, and one came when a managing partner liked me a lot during a paralegal interview.

One state court clerkship in a medium market (salary = less than 40k/year) attracted well over 100 licensed attorney applicants. 100!  The guy who got it was ranked in the top ten students at a school in the top 40.

Anyone at the bottom half of their class or in the bottom half of law schools faces an incredibly brutal, up-hill battle for jobs with horrible starting salaries.

My advice to those licensed attorneys still looking for a job is to write emails to every attorney you can find and offer to do their crap drafting work for 40 bucks an hour on a contract basis.  Also, apply for paralegal jobs and then just start picking up attorney work as it becomes available in your firm.  They will love this because they can pay you less than 20 bucks an hour and bill you out at a low rate, but still tell your clients you are an attorney.

Hanging a shingle is a pretty awful option.  Besides the fact that law school teaches you nothing about actually being a lawyer, the start up costs associated with solo practice are often prohibitive, especially for those with significant student debt.
I hear this a lot from students of other law schools. Is Cooley the only one that teaches law office managment and accounting for lawyers along with pretrail skills, trial skills andthe  basic ability to survive?

Probably because Cooley is the rare TTT that recognizes from the start that it's extremely unlikely for their graduates to get jobs at real firms, and thus will be proportionately more likely to hang a shingle out of desperation.

(For the record, Cooley grads have a greater chance at unemployment than they do of scoring work as a lawyer. (http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=cooley&class=2011&show=chars)_
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: HolmesBoy on August 26, 2012, 12:36:05 PM
I hear this a lot from students of other law schools. Is Cooley the only one that teaches law office managment and accounting for lawyers along with pretrail skills, trial skills andthe  basic ability to survive?

Students can learn many of these skills through clinics, which I believe are offered at every ABA approved school in the country. Also, CUNY was the first school to establish a solo incubator for recent graduates. The school provides valuable resources for graduates to start solo firms. Many schools have now established solo incubators (e.g., UMKC School of Law, University of Maryland, Pace, Thomas Jefferson, Cleveland State).
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: HolmesBoy on August 26, 2012, 12:46:33 PM

Probably because Cooley is the rare TTT that recognizes from the start that it's extremely unlikely for their graduates to get jobs at real firms, and thus will be proportionately more likely to hang a shingle out of desperation.

(For the record, Cooley grads have a greater chance at unemployment than they do of scoring work as a lawyer. (http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=cooley&class=2011&show=chars)_

It's not that bad... http://cooleylawschoolblog.com/2012/08/16/summary-enough-about-the-ills-and-evils-of-legal-education/  ;)
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on August 27, 2012, 11:28:39 AM
Most (if not all) law schools offer practical skills, courses, trial advocacy, etc. My law school offered a few courses that were designed for small firm/solo litigators. That's not really the point, though.

The tough part of starting a solo practice straight out of law school is not managing the office, it's finding clients, getting paid by clients who are often broke themselves, and learning how to navigate the court system. The people I've known who successfully started solo practices had several years of hands-on experience working in small offices. The typical law school class is only 30-45 hours per semester, not nearly enough to prepare the average student.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: jack24 on August 27, 2012, 02:25:14 PM
Most (if not all) law schools offer practical skills, courses, trial advocacy, etc. My law school offered a few courses that were designed for small firm/solo litigators. That's not really the point, though.

The tough part of starting a solo practice straight out of law school is not managing the office, it's finding clients, getting paid by clients who are often broke themselves, and learning how to navigate the court system. The people I've known who successfully started solo practices had several years of hands-on experience working in small offices. The typical law school class is only 30-45 hours per semester, not nearly enough to prepare the average student.

This is great insight.  The easy clients to get are the hardest to get money from.  I do think some firms suffer and die because of mismanagement, but most of the time they starve from a lack of paying clients.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on August 28, 2012, 09:31:57 AM
Definitely. When you're new and have no reputation, other attorneys are hesitant to send referrals your way. Often, the only clients brand new attorneys get are the ones nobody else will take. Sometimes that's because their case is a loser, sometimes it's because they have no ability to pay. Imagine trying to get your fee from a client who's house is underwater, who is in arrears on child support, or who is contemplating bankruptcy. It can be done, but it's an  art that requires experience.

I have a friend who worked at a small family law office for all four years during law school (part time program). She was the office manager/accountant/law clerk/filing clerk/client intake interviewer/collection agent, and anything else you can imagine. She was at the local family court every day filing papers and getting to know the system. She did this full time for four years, and felt competent to hang out her shingle after law school. I think you'd almost have to have that kind of experience to stand a fighting chance.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: cooley3L on August 29, 2012, 10:11:29 AM
All I know is it seems to be #1 thing most Cooley grads do, and tend to do ok at it.

I don't think any work before getting paid. That solves that issue right there. (unless a Tort attorney or other contingent based recovery)

Firms need new lawyers, so it is good that people are willing to work for them. For me, the whole point of getting higher education was to be my own boss. If I wanted to work for someone else I would have gone for an MBA or a PhD in HR.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: SoCalLawGuy on September 26, 2012, 01:14:10 AM
Well, with the job market these days (I'm talking any domain, not only law) it's likely that you get in debt to pay for your school and end up with no job. It's bad but, if you can still look at the glass half full I'd say this should make you struggle harder.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Nathaniel on October 04, 2012, 03:43:15 PM
I went to the University of Southern California law school in 2007 and now I can make big money.

1,$$$,$$$,$$$
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Julie Fern on October 19, 2012, 05:54:37 AM
my, that is lot money.  want contribute julie foundation?
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: kenpostudent on October 19, 2012, 11:32:16 AM
they speak about these things:

- how every school not in the first tier gets you no job at all

- every school besides T1 leaves you unemployable and stuck taking temporary document review jobs for 35-45k/year in conditions similiar to a sweatshop - or doing insurance defense which to them is dispicable

- how people have no money after being over 100k in debt from what they think is a useless school

I went to a second tier school and got a job at a local law firm in Las Vegas.  I'll make six figures this year.  I think my class had about a 90% employment rate at graduation.  Although, not everyone had full time work.  I would imagine the full time figure would be around 75%.  I suppose that it depends on where you intend to practice.  You can make a decent living in law outside of big firms, but that depends on your geographic area.  For instance, if I were to move back to CA, I would be looking at 45% unemployment for new lawyers. I probably would struggle to find a position.  In Nevada, the bar is pretty tough.  He have a passage rate in the mid 60% range.  So, that keeps the populations of lawyers fairly small. The market is decent here.  I don't know anyone with a license that cannot find work.  However, unlicensed recent grads have to work harder to find jobs as law clerks, but those jobs are available for those willing to hustle.  Ultimately, the practice of law is what you make of it.  If you are a good entrepreneur, you can develop a vibrant practice.  Most law school grads, however, are looking for a job where their bosses hand them work.  To succeed in this economy, you have to find work and bring in business.  This means you have to network and creatively market yourself.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: C4rd0z0Attack! on October 25, 2012, 08:09:36 AM
Yes, it is that bad. I'm seeing inexperienced law grads competing with experienced attorneys for entry-level (no jd/licensure reqs) part-time positions.  And who gets hired? It's the girl with a high-school education, because you know an attorney is going to be bitter filing papers and answering phones for $10/hr.

It sucks, but that's the reality. You've either got to excel at school and get yourself placed somewhere, or God has to favor you in some other way.
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on October 25, 2012, 10:16:21 AM
I'm seeing inexperienced law grads competing with experienced attorneys for entry-level (no jd/licensure reqs) part-time positions.  And who gets hired? It's the girl with a high-school education, because you know an attorney is going to be bitter filing papers and answering phones for $10/hr.

The market is bad, but let's not get carried away. I live and work in LA, one of the worst legal markets for new grads. I have never  heard of an "experienced attorney" competing for a $10/hr job with high school grads. I assume that you're in NY, and perhaps the market there is significantly worse.

Frankly, an experienced attorney who is competing for a $10/hr job has problems that go far beyond the economy. An experienced attorney should be able to go solo and make more than $10/hr.

What I do see are a lot of new grads with very little experience competing for entry level associate positions, deputy DA/PD, etc. , against attorneys who have 2-3 years experience. Many of the new grads think that their grades and pedigree should land them the job, but fail to understand that small firms and govt offices don't have the money train someone. At non-biglaw/non-federal jobs, applicable experience trumps just about everything else. I would encourage every law student to worry less about grades and to focus on gaining experience and networking. It will help you far more than being able to say "I got an A in civpro."

One quick example: my friend went to law school part-time at a T4 and worked in a small family law office during the day. By the time she graduated she had four years of experience doing everything from interviewing clients, to making appearances, to writing motions. On top of that, she hustled like crazy and made tons of connections. She had job offers at graduation, before passing the bar. She found a niche, focused on gaining real experience, and it paid off. She was probably in a better position than a UCLA grad with better  grades and one internship under their belt.   

It's very difficult straight out of law school for most new lawyers, but it does get better after a couple of years. I truly believe that many law students could reduce their disappointment by being a little more realistic about where they're likely to get employed (small firms, doing non-glamorous work like DUIs and divorces), and gaining real experience (not just research-based summer associate positions).
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: aglittman on December 20, 2012, 08:49:15 PM
Applying to law school today would be incredibly dumb.  I was very fortunate to have my law school education financed by my father, but even though I went to a Tier-1 school, and am barred, I haven't been able to find any jobs to even apply to.  Earlier this year, I interned (yes, interned) for a federal judge.  I put in about 60 hours a week, and wrote four opinions, but it didn't lead to anything.  I really don't know what to do, am very depressed, and wish everyday that I didn't go to law school.  If you have any constructive suggestions for me, I would be most grateful.  Thanks
Title: Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
Post by: livinglegend on December 20, 2012, 09:28:43 PM
Well there are quite a few jobs out there I have found for my friends if you know where to look. Here are some places I know that are very actively trying to hire recently law barred lawyers.

http://www.westcoast-atty.com/ 

http://www.lflm.com/careers.htm

and if you can Handle Alaska my friend was getting called day and night to come work here and he went to a Tier 4 school. I think they have a huge need for judicial clerks and it pays 70k. 

For more information, visit http://www.state.ak.us/courts/recruit.htm and select “Information for Prospective Law Clerks.” They are very eager to fill Bethel Alaska and are actively hiring clerks.

Another resource to find entry level jobs is the BYU intercollegiate Job Bank it has basically every law school's career service website on it and there are thousands of jobs to apply for. Below is the username and password.

Username: Jobfind
Password: Fall2012

From reading your post it sounds like you are one of the recent graduates that is not valuing themselves enough. Never and I mean never work for free after you have passed the bar unless you are doing pro-bono work and have a paying career.  If you fall for the work 60 hours a week for free and do not have anytime to apply for jobs etc you are shooting yourself in the shoot. I personally have a ton of errands you could do for free and I will give you a glowing letter of recommendation, but I would not take your application seriously for a real attorney job. If your an attorney you need to bill and make money if your working for free that doesn't show lot of business sense.

I know plenty of grads working for free, but they would all be much better served spending 8 hours a day drafting detailed cover letters and scouring the intercollegiate job bank for positions. I graduated and passed the bar without people flocking to me, but after a few months of searching I was offered several paying attorney positions. I personally turned down numerous unpaid internships when I passed the bar and I truly thought about taking them, but am very glad I did not let something like that take time away from my job search.

Again I know how depressing and awful it can be to look for a job, but keep going you have a long legal career ahead of you. Good luck.