Law School Discussion

Safety in numbers

Safety in numbers
« on: April 13, 2010, 11:36:31 AM »
As many of you know, times are tough for newly minted attorneys and laid off attorneys.  With unemployment at a 20-year high, and in the midst of a recession, there are many who are very discouraged at what the job market has to offer, but still have hope for the future.  After all, we all did put ourselves through three years in law school, invested thousands of dollars of debt and many hours studying for the bar to reach our goal of becoming a licensed attorney.  

But the reality is that we have mounting debt, families, and other financial obligations weighing down on our shoulders without many prospects for jobs.  We have done everything humanely possible to find a job -- e.g. networking, job postings, career services, recruiters, all with little or no luck.  Simply put, many of us (myself included) sometimes feel completely lost.

Just curious, for those in NYC, is there an existing group of people that meet to talk about their experiences looking for stable, permanent legal employment?  If not, would anyone be interested in something like this?  I feel like that a group like this would help empower each other to continue pressing forward despite our lack of success; not to make each other more depressed than we already are.  I also feel that actually hearing other people going through the same thing and finding solutions together would be mutually beneficial to all; there is safety in numbers.  Any thoughts?

Re: Safety in numbers
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2010, 10:43:01 PM »
If it helps, I graduated in a prior severe recession, and there is life at the end of the tunnel.

Different people work through these frustrations and desperations differently, but it might well be good to keep in touch with others from your class, or meet new graduates facing the same troubles.  One aspect of this that might cause even greater harm is that we don't often want to admit just how difficult this is--and how badly affected we are.

On the positive side, for all I encourage you to search out unusual opportunties, whether in smaller firms, out-of-the-way agencies, or in administrative work that is close to your desires and for which you might get some mileage out of your legal credential.

I'll recommend a few books that can help, both in practical terms and in getting back into a positive frame of reference.  The first is likely to cause a reaction, but the reason I'm including it is that the skills needed to land a job at the top are very much the same skills to land a job anywhere else, inside the law or elsewhere.  This is The Insider's Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job.  There are strategies for scrounging interviews quite apart from the unreal world of OCI.  And there are key skills to doing well in the actual interview.

Once you've landed a job--even if it's temporary, contract, appointment, or unpaid--this is the time to shine.  This is where raw caring and dedication can make up for pedigree and economics.  Read Jagged Rocks of Wisdom--The Memo.  You'll be miles ahead.  This is from Morten Lund, author of the first book in that series...creatively enough, just Jagged Rocks of Wisdom.

I hope these bring back some of that mojo, and to all, best of luck,



Re: Safety in numbers
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 06:02:28 PM »
Speaking of "safety in numbers" since lawschool is on a curve, couldnt smaller class (I've seen them as small as half a dozen for electives) just group up and agree to all to do it at the same level to all ace it?

Re: Safety in numbers
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 12:15:08 AM »
Speaking of "safety in numbers" since lawschool is on a curve, couldnt smaller class (I've seen them as small as half a dozen for electives) just group up and agree to all to do it at the same level to all ace it?

The curve is usually applied to first-year courses and larger elective courses, and not to smaller courses, seminars, and clinics.  That written, there are restrictions on professors, so there's not a whole lot of room for bunching. (Or conspiracies for that matter, although it was a good try.  = :  )

PS:  And work at the "same level" would give Bs (or worse), even in seminars.