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Author Topic: 1 year since graduation = still no job  (Read 12606 times)

Eugene Young

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2008, 04:50:36 PM »
Meh. I guess. No doubt it sucks. Sometimes you gotta get in where you fit in though. His life at the end of the day. I still say working traffic court is better than what he's doing now. It doesn't mean he'll spend his whole career as a ticket lawyer. But that's just me. Do you, man.

Miss P

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2008, 04:52:05 PM »
Meh. I guess. No doubt it sucks. Sometimes you gotta get in where you fit in though. His life at the end of the day. I still say working traffic court is better than what he's doing now. It doesn't mean he'll spend his whole career as a ticket lawyer. But that's just me. Do you, man.

I have no way to judge this.  You may be right, but a lot of career services people say otherwise.

And congrats on finishing, kiddo!
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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Ninja1

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2008, 04:58:48 PM »
So, you're saying you think the JD detracts from your resume for non-legal positions?  That's interesting.

I think it does if you're applying for jobs that are really beneath your education level, like McDonalds "crew" or something. Otherwise, I've always failed to see how it would weaken an application for any sort of exec level job, even mid-management somewhere.

Did you read the thread?  It's not that it detracts so much as they think you'll leave them once a legal position opens.  No employer wants an employee who'll leave the minute the economy gets better.

i believe it's supposed to hurt even for some legal positions.  lots of paralegal openings supposedly say explicitly that they don't want JD's.

Ah yes, I have seen the paralegal ads that say, in no uncertain terms, no JDs.

I can see the logic of a place being worried that you'll bail from a non-legal job to a legal job if given the chance, but is that really as big of a concern if you're in a job that already gives you lots of authority and pays well? Like say your dean of anything at some third rate school that still pays you well and gives you a generally good QoL, or mid-level management somewhere making $50-60k without doing a ton of overtime, do you (anyone) think places like that would be as worried about a JD jumping ship? I really don't know, but I am curious what everyone else thinks.

I have been applying at non-legal jobs in the interm as well: in private equity, landman, title insurance, and in investment banks. I was applying to places like JPMorgan, Smith Barney, and Merril Lynch before the Bear Sterns meltdown. While those firms like to hire a few JDs, I think they realized that they couldn't afford new hires, just like the bigger law firms. Plus, I have a limited financial background...so I bombed the private equity firm interview when I couldn't answer questions on what P-E ratio I think is optimal for investment in a hedge fund and how to help develop the proper portfolio mix for an employer retirement fund when the client prefers a volitality fluctation of X% (the guy they eventually hired was a Wharton MBA Grad who lateraled from a larger PE firm).

In addition to thinking that you will leave their company as soon as you get a better law job, I've heard that non-law employers just don't like hiring lawyers. Whether it is an inferiority complex or that they think an employer with a JD will be more argumentative and confrontation, lots of managers don't like working over a person with a JD. I have a friend who works at a marketing firm and he said he was very paranoid when he found out a new co-worker had a JD. He said he felt that the guy was going to analyze everything he did even though my friend is more senior than him. I guess to each his own, but that has been my experiences in the non-legal world.   

Informative, thank you.

Well, ever since my first job I've analyzed everything my bosses said and often told them why they were retards, so I guess at least now I'll have a stamp warning them about that tendency... ;)
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legalese_retard

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2008, 05:20:42 PM »
The true intention of my post is to provide a cautionary tale for those looking at law school (like someone already mentioned). There are a few rants in my post, but I'm not trying to disparage my law school or the practice of law (I would probably still go to Tulane if I had to do it all over again). This is reality. I have seen a number of posts from people who think law school is a golden ticket. I've even seen a couple of people talking about how they will soon own a BMW because they just got accepted to XYZ law school. I'm sure a lot of it is in jest, but I have a feeling that there are some half-truths in there. I was gungho when I applied to law school and didn't think unemployment or underemployment would ever be an issue. I saw the $100K+ average starting salary stats and the 98%+ employment after 9 months of graduation stat and thought law school was a sure thing. I also remember hearing stats about how the legal field is recession proof because "you are always going to need a lawyer" and there is always bankruptcy law, etc, etc. Again, stupid on my part for not researching further.

I posted on here several times when I was applying to law school and swept up by the group think mentality. Look around. The majority of people who post on here are not trying to convince each other to NOT attend law school. Most here have already convinced themselves to commit (rightfully or wrongfully) and they use these boards to pump themselves up waiting on admissions and determining what to do before going to law school. No one likes a debbie downer, but I think more debbie downers need to start posting about realities people here don't know about, or purposely try to avoid.

A lot of folks on here engage in active ignorance - they know recent law school grads are struggling, they know more law schools are opening up, they know there are more lawyers, they know some legal jobs are being outsourced to India, they know law school debt is getting higher and higher. These folks think that they will never graduate below the top 10%, that the economy will be bad at graduation, that they will make less than $100K/year, or that their monthly payments for their law school loans will be more than $2K/month. I know this because that's what happened to me. There were tons of cheerleaders on here congratulating me when I was accepted to Tulane, told me how good the school was and that the job prospects would be good.

According to OCS, I did everything I was supposed to in law school. I made above average grades, graduated with honors, was an editor on a law school journal, was published, was active with law school student groups, did some pro bono my 1L year, interned for a federal judge for a summer, was a summer associate during my 2L year, worked part-time at a law firm during my 3L year, networked with alumni and local attorneys, etc. Yes I haven't turned EVERY stone, but I didn't spend 4 years of undergrad, 3 years of law school, and 3 months prepping for a hellacious bar exam to throw my hands up in the air and pick an area of law I have no interest in and don't want to pigeon-hole myself into.

If you think it's easy to setup your own shop and start practicing and billing hundreds of dollars an hour, then you are up for a rude awakening. If you think it is so easy to setup a solo, why aren't the people who graduated in the 10% or T-10 law schools opening up their own law firm? Yeah an attorney earned $800K last year as a solo...I also know someone who won the lottery. Go look at actual statistics and see how much the average solo is making right out of law school - (hint: it's not going to be 6-figures). Do you know the amount of money you have to spend to get malpractice insurance, to be current on your CLE, to hire staff, to advertise, to get westlaw/lexus, to buy equipment, or to even get a lease? Guess what, being a solo is not for everyone. Just because I don't want to "fight" to be a solo, doesn't mean I won't fight for my clients or that I will be a crappy attorney. I know several established partners who would cringe at the idea of setting up their own practice, and they have been practicing law for years. Not to mention the number of malpractice suits and disbarrment hearings that solos have to put up with.

Again, caveat emptor, read the fine print, look before you jump. I'm not saying that people should avoid law school...I am saying that prospective students do better research and analysis before going to law school. Am I complaining? Yes. Am I sitting around expecting a job because I graduated from a tier 1 law school? Hell no. I am being proactive, but the economic conditions are not optimal for recent law school grads. I even went on an interview a few months ago for a contract attorney position. The recruiter looked at my resume after he called me in and said that he could not give me a job because I was "over-qualified." He said someone with my stats will find a much better job and his client does not want to risk hiring someone who will not be on the project for at least 1 year.    

,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2008, 05:25:50 PM »
In all fairness, there are a few posters who denigrate certain school choices (the so-called T14 or bust mentality), but, yeah, if you want a reality check, there are better forums than this one.  (And, IMO, TLS is even worse.)

vap

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #45 on: December 12, 2008, 06:22:03 PM »
Does the income you make now satisfy your loan payments and allow you to save anything?

Do state trial court judges in Texas hire law clerks?  I know the intermediate appellate courts hire "briefing attorneys," but those typically go to more experienced attorneys...

Thanks for sharing and answering questions.  Despite what some are saying, I've appreciated reading this thread.  There are lots of people in your position (on this site and on JDU) who are much more negative.  I'm probably going to be returning to TX without any employment offers, so I appreciate your story and advice.

I've been browsing some of the solo lawyer blogs for the past few years, checking out some ABA resources, and have read most of Jay Foonberg's book (http://www.abanet.org/abastore/index.cfm?section=Main&fm=Product.AddToCart&pid=5110508).  It seems doable, but I haven't priced specific items like malpractice insurance or CLE.

Matthies

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2008, 09:41:17 AM »
If you think it is so easy to setup a solo, why aren't the people who graduated in the 10% or T-10 law schools opening up their own law firm?

Because most people like you would rather work for someone else than try to do something on their own.

Yeah an attorney earned $800K last year as a solo...I also know someone who won the lottery.

 If you were actually out networking rather than bitching on a message board you would know how many successful solo there are.

Go look at actual statistics and see how much the average solo is making right out of law school - (hint: it's not going to be 6-figures).

What staitcis, this is part of the problem, we only have hard numbers for firms, you got to go actually meet solos to find out what there lives are like. So your only willing to do law if it pays six figures?

Do you know the amount of money you have to spend to get malpractice insurance

$600-1,000 per year.

, to be current on your CLE

$12-15 dollars a month if you go through the local bar associations CLEs

, to hire staff

What staff? You do the work yourself

, to advertise,

You get referrals from you contacts

to get westlaw/lexus

its called the law library, and its fee

, to buy equipment

Your posing on the internet so Iíll asuume you own a computer

, or to even get a lease?

Office share

Guess what, being a solo is not for everyone.

Well so far youíre not having much luck at being an associate either

I know several established partners who would cringe at the idea of setting up their own practice, and they have been practicing law for years.

I doubt you know any partners or many lawyers for that matter

Your flame. You went to Tulane but you have never posted on the huge Tulane thread here? Why? Did you really go there? Those are your alumni the people who know where Tulane grads are getting jobs, who hear about who is getting hired where every day, who have contacts, yet you post here about how you canít find anything after a year of really trying hard?

Botbot sent you his e-mail offering to spend your resume out to people he knew, your response was you said you were afraid he would post it on the thread so you would not send him it.

Your full of excuses but not action, you have an excuse for every suggestion people on here make. Your not looking to get help finding a job, you just want to talk about how hard it is. Yes its hard out there, no dount, but this kind of flame is BS and helps no one, and can give people bad advice, go to JD Underground.

Your either flame or really have no clue how the world works.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2008, 11:50:24 AM »
He seems too earnest to be flame.  Well, back to my practice exam so I don't end up like him.

Changed Name

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2008, 12:14:44 PM »
This is an interesting thread.  I don't really want to comment on if he's a flame or not, I think, as mentioned above, he seems pretty earnest.

But this raises some questions for me, and I wonder what other posters would do.  If you were the OP, what would you do?

Assume that you cannot get a biglaw job or other medium sized firm job.  Assume that the only type of work you could get (law related) was ID/PI type stuff.

Would you wait it out?
Would you try and start your own practice?
Would you take anything legally related right now and hope to switch later?
Would you try and find a career in a non-law related field?

I would like to think I'm the type of person who would take the gamble and try and open up shop.  But, I can't say with certainty I'd do that.  I'd definitely be weary of start-up costs and the fact that I wouldn't have had any real experience.

I feel for the OP and hope that he can find something he'll be happy with.  His story has got me wondering though...

Miss P

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Re: 1 year since graduation = still no job
« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2008, 02:31:02 PM »
If you think it is so easy to setup a solo, why aren't the people who graduated in the 10% or T-10 law schools opening up their own law firm?

Because most people like you would rather work for someone else than try to do something on their own.

Yeah an attorney earned $800K last year as a solo...I also know someone who won the lottery.

 If you were actually out networking rather than bitching on a message board you would know how many successful solo there are.

dude, while i generally find that you're a tremendously useful source of information, i think that in this instance you're overstating your case.

first, as to why people want to go work at big firms instead of starting their own practices, you're partially right: lots of people don't want to start their own firms (at the very least right away) because running a small business is a giant pain in the ass. 

but really, the more important reason is that people want to minimize risk.  yes, if you start your own practice you might be enormously successful, but you might also be a giant failure even if you're out networking around the clock.  if you go to a big firm, there's reasonable certainty that you'll last around three years or so and pull in a good half million dollars. 

it's the enormous amount of risk of going solo versus going to an established large firm that determines the decision for most people.  and you cannot in earnest say that networking plus going solo is guaranteed success.

I agree.  There are high barriers to entry (perhaps higher in some states than in others) and a lot of risk, particularly in this economy.  In my city, there is a glut of lawyers, and the solo practitioners I know are netting about $20K/year after expenses.  They are in loan forbearance.  These are people who network (seriously, I see them everywhere), who are active members of committees at the city bar (which I believe is the largest local bar association in the country) and the National Lawyers Guild, and who receive referrals from star private defenders.  They are also on the state's assigned counsel panel (though you aren't eligible until you complete one year of practice, and you can't do felonies until your fifth year). 

I think it's great that Matthies' friend and employer are both doing so well, but it's just not the norm, at least not here. 
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.