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General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / 1 year since graduation = still no job
« on: December 10, 2008, 11:26:29 AM »
Haven't posted on here in a while, but someone emailed me and wanted an update. I graduated last December and I still don't have a legal job. I have been working at Starbucks and work at a free legal clinic part-time, but the job prospects keep getting weaker and weaker. I graduated from a good law school, with decent grades, and have a marketable resume (according to my school's OCS), but I never anticipated how long it would take me to find a job in a bad economy.

Basically, this is just a friendly reminder for you future lawyers that there is no sure thing after law school (even if you go to a top tier school). Make sure you are prepared to be unemployed for over a year after you graduate. If you can't afford that risk, I recommend going to a school that gives a really good scholarship or wait and save some money before you attend.   

I graduated top third and with honors from Tulane Law School in December and I am still unemployed. I moved to Dallas in January, but the firm I worked for during the summer laid me off (with other attorneys). I already passed the Texas bar in February but I still can't find a legal job. Currently I am working at Starbucks and at a bar to pay rent and my $2000/month student loans. I want to work at a law firm or some other legal part-time job but there is nothing available - not even contract jobs. I am going to have to start selling my personal possessions on Ebay because I am falling behind on my credit card payments and about to deplete all of my savings. Plus I have to go to a coffee shop with free WiFi to post this stuff on Ebay because I can no longer afford internet or cable. I just submitted my application to a small law firm in a town outside of Dallas that pays $40K/year with no benefits and has a 2100 billable hours/year requirement (which means I will be working for less than $15/hour when you factor in actual hours worked).

I am just posting this as a rant because I thought that graduating with honors from a tier one school would open doors, not close them. I went from working at a firm paying six figures to working at Starbucks. To law school applicants, consider the worst case scenario (i.e. unemployed) before choosing a law school (especially if you have to take out loans). Even if a law school has an average starting salary of $100K/year, the only jobs outside the big law firms pay less than $50K/year. What really sucks is that my 10 year high school reunion is coming up and I will be either unemployed or getting paid less than the high school dropouts who are plumbers. Even if I get the $40K/year job, I might have to sell my car and start using the bus (which sucks in Dallas) because I can't afford the gas and insurance.

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