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Author Topic: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?  (Read 12798 times)

john4040

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2010, 03:03:27 PM »
Well if other degrees even bothered to keep track I counter the argument, but they do not. So I imagine it is even worse in the other areas I mentioned. 

Why don't you quit postulating and find some hard data to support your arguments?  I'm sure there are estimates. 

bigs5068

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2010, 04:02:01 PM »
http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/01/leadership-mba-salary-cx_tw_0801mbacomp.html Here is MBA stats and according to Forbes the "Average" MBA student is making around 100k. I find it hard to believe and there is no regulating body even keeping track of MBA grads. The "average" salary at my tier 4 is 80k, but that is pretty easy to do when you do not report half the people. I am sure MBA schools report the same bloated stats.

http://www.grin.com/e-book/148269/unemployed-mba-graduate-diary. An unempoyed MBA, with no job, and a lot of debt. Sound like a theme we have heard somewhere before?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30622026/ A successful MBA grad who expected to work for a top hedge fund after graduation is instead sleeping on a friend's couch.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=622597 I should have thrown away my med school application when I did worst decision ever. The stress and etc is not worth it. I would rather be a "LAWYER".  This was a whole thread, but a lawyer does chime in along the way and his post is worth reading.

It took me all of 2 minutes to find these types of articles and I could do one about every single type of degree out there. The bottom line is school is not a guarantee and there are always dissatisfied people in every profession. Finding a job sucks and as I have said a million times I have still yet to meet anybody working in any profession that says man I am so overpaid and underworked. However, if there is a profession that is really easy to get into, pays a lot of money, is always interesting, and will never require me to do something I am not excited about doing PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I will drop law school right away if it exists.

john4040

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2010, 04:30:15 PM »
http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/01/leadership-mba-salary-cx_tw_0801mbacomp.html Here is MBA stats and according to Forbes the "Average" MBA student is making around 100k. I find it hard to believe and there is no regulating body even keeping track of MBA grads. The "average" salary at my tier 4 is 80k, but that is pretty easy to do when you do not report half the people. I am sure MBA schools report the same bloated stats.

http://www.grin.com/e-book/148269/unemployed-mba-graduate-diary. An unempoyed MBA, with no job, and a lot of debt. Sound like a theme we have heard somewhere before?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30622026/ A successful MBA grad who expected to work for a top hedge fund after graduation is instead sleeping on a friend's couch.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=622597 I should have thrown away my med school application when I did worst decision ever. The stress and etc is not worth it. I would rather be a "LAWYER".

The bottom line is school is not a guarantee and there always dissatisfied people in every profession. Finding a job sucks and as I have said a million times I have still yet to meet anybody working in any profession that says man I am so overpaid and underworked.

You're right that there are always dissatisfied people in every profession. However, that doesn't mean that there are more or less jobs in the non-legal sector than there are in the legal sector, or that those looking to break into the legal sector aren't experiencing a completely different type of hardship than those outside of it. 

Hamilton's contention is that there is something special going on within the legal job market - namely, the amount of legal jobs are drying up, there is an excessive supply of lawyers, and the cost of legal education is grossly out of proportion with job prospects.  You keep saying that things are bad for everyone - we agree.  But we are going one step further and suggesting that law is a particularly stupid decision for the reasons I have already stated above.  The stats confirm our sentiments.


Edit:  I just clicked on your second link... no wonder the guy is unemployed - he's a lawyer from India that can't write for sh1t:

"My working experience started out as a lawyer in a leading law firm in India with a great mentor who guided me in the finer skills of arbitration and negotiations and in choosing my law school finally lead me to work in Germany for another leading law firm. Probably my immaturity, learning curiosity and entrepreneurial risk taking appetite led me to join a software company afterwards, to work in a multi cultural German environment in the good old days of the internet bubble and to live through the bubble bursting in 2001. Survival would be one of my strengths along with  etermination and process orientation that have helped me in overcoming barriers that I have faced in my career and in my life."

Even your anecdotal evidence is flawed.. lol.

bigs5068

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2010, 04:46:31 PM »
There are problems and I think they should do one of two things. Make admission requirements far higher than they are. As it stands to satisfy U.S. News schools just take someone with a decent GPA in religoius studies or whatever B.S. field of study and a decent LSAT score. Most of the people at any ABA law school are somewhat intelligent regarding tests etc. However, being halfway decent on a MC question is no indication of being a good lawyer, but that is the standard.

So they should require formal interviews at EVERY LAW SCHOOL. Also make it requirement you work in a law office for some set amount of hours maybe 200 that will at least show some type of commitment to the legal profession and knowing what you are getting into. This will get rid of some the typical I graduated college now what oh there is this MC test I can take and then give me 3 more years of not working. Another thing that could be done to prevent this is require you to  take pre-law courses before enrolling to show real dedication to going to law school. Nursing and Medical schools require this and you need to take biology courses etc to get in. Law schools could require you to take 3-4 prelaw classes before even being able to apply. It is way to easy to get into the majority of law schools now and that is a problem. I think MBA's and lot of forms of educations are the same way. The only profession with stringent admission requirements are Medical and Nursing schools and they have better placment. People have more of an idea what they are getting into when they go into this. They can't just take their 4.0 religious studies and nail the MCAT. As I understand the MCAT actually requires you to know hard-facts (I am not sure about that). Where the LSAT you could literally just show up and get a decent score since it is more or less an IQ test.

Law schools should also basically provide you with a free year of clinical experience. They should make a clinic after you pass the bar where you have to work like a residency in the Medical Profession. Something that actually prepares you for real practice of writing motions, fact finding etc. Instead of leaving you knowing about how far the Executive Powers of the President go and putting you in the real world. Those are just some ideas and the whole system could be far more practical and that applies to education everywhere.

john4040

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2010, 04:58:20 PM »
There are problems and I said a they should do one of two things. Make admission requirements far higher than they area. As it stands to satisfy U.S. News schools just take someone with a decent GPA in religoius studies or whatever B.S. filed of study and a decent LSAT score. Most of the people at any ABA law school are somewhat intelligent regarding tests etc. However, being halfway decent on a MC question is no indication of being a good lawyer, but that is the standard.

So they should require formal interviews at EVERY LAW SCHOOL. Also make it requirement you work in a law office for some set amount of hours maybe 200 that will at least show some type of commitment to law school. Opposed to the typical I graduated college now what oh there is this MC test I can take and then give me 3 more years of my life. They could make you take pre-law courses before enrolling to show real dedication. Nursing and Medical schools require this and you need to take biology courses etc to get in. Law schools could require you to take 3-4 prelaw classes before even being able to apply. It is way to easy to get into the majority of law schools now and that is a problem. I think MBA's are the same way. The only profession with stringent admission requirements are Medical and Nursing schools and they have better placment.

Law schools should also basically provide you with a free year of clinical experience. They should make a clinic after you pass the bar where you have to work like a residency in the Medical Profession. Something that actually prepares you for real practice of writing motions, fact finding etc. Instead of leaving you knowing about how far the Executive Powers of the President go and putting you in the real world. Those are just some ideas and the whole system could be far more practical and that applies to education everywhere.

I'm going to inject a bit of my own anecdotal evidence here - not as proof of anything in particular, but just to compare and contrast job outcomes of similar individuals, who chose different career paths, and who are currently searching for jobs at the same time and in the same geographical market.

I chose law and my brother chose medicine.  I attended a T2, my brother attended a med school in the Caribbeans.  We both did well at our respective schools.  We are both looking for jobs in the same market.  I have a fed clerkship and, despite all of the networking I have done (CLEs, outings with my judge, Inns of Court, having lunch with partners I know) and cold-letters sent, I have landed several "courtesy interviews" and no job offers.  My brother has completed his internships (non-prestigious) and is currently interviewing for residencies.  He has multiple offers from hospitals that offer on-the-spot contracts for residencies and also include a contractual period to retain him as a doctor following his residency.  Many of his offers stipulate that he is to make in excess of $100,000/yr. after his residency....

Similar individuals who are looking for jobs at the same time and in the same geographical market.  The only difference is that they chose different career paths and, the doctor has infinitely better job prospects - even coming from what is considered the T3 of medical schools and relatively unprestigious internships.

bigs5068

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2010, 05:10:18 PM »
True, but he is restricted by his residency and offers as I understanding, but  I could be wrong. I though how it worked this is based on complete hearsay is that you sign a contract for a period of 5 years to finish your residency and you are locked into a salary of 50,000 give or take. He cannot leave this position and his right to get more or less for a period of 5 years is restriced. I would imagine at the end of his residency he gets a solid offer, but he is still somewhat locked into the hosptial.   

The pro or con of being a lawyer is that you can make money right after graduation and you are not required to finish a residency.  The obvious problem is finding clients for yourself or a firm to help you make money.  Still if you are really good at being a lawyer out of the gate you can make some dough and the same is not true of being doctor-again as I understand it base don hearsay. So a J.D. gives you more of a chance for success, but there is also a higher risk of failing miserably.

john4040

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2010, 05:12:10 PM »
True, but he is restricted by his residency and offers as I understanding, but  I could be wrong. I though how it worked this is based on complete hearsay is that you sign a contract for a period of 5 years to finish your residency and you are locked into a salary of 50,000 give or take. He cannot leave this position and his right to get more or less for a period of 5 years is restriced. I would imagine at the end of his residency he gets a solid offer, but he is still somewhat locked into the hosptial.   

The pro or con of being a lawyer is that you can make money right after graduation and you are not required to finish a residency.  The obvious problem is finding clients for yourself or a firm to help you make money.  Still if you are really good at being a lawyer out of the gate you can make some dough and the same is not true of being doctor-again as I understand it base don hearsay. So a J.D. gives you more of a chance for success, but there is also a higher risk of failing miserably.

You're right - he's locked into his residency for 3 years at a "low" rate of pay (exactly $45,000 - which is what a significant portion of lawyers are making).  However, he is assured a job at above $100K after that.  I can't exactly say the same for my job prospects.  My clerkship is similar to his residency in that I'm locked in for a term at a set price (a little more than what he's making), but unlike him, I have no guarantees of employment after my clerkship. 

Now you can see why I have serious doubts about the state of the legal profession.  From what I've seen, everything indicates to me that med school - even a Caribbean med school - is an infinitely better bet than any law school T2 and beyond.

Back to the OP.... despite my clerkship, I could be stuck waiting tables with your brother next year - who knows.  I was wise enough not to accrue any student debt and to go to a decent school; however, I seriously fret for the T3 and T4 students attending at full price.  Let this be a lesson to everyone wanting to go to law school... BUYER BEWARE.

bigs5068

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2010, 05:45:22 PM »
Maybe, but it is also possible you can get a good job or represent a client and get a ton of money. Lawyers if there good or complete sleazeballs can make a killing. I was just in a settlement conference last week and this 4 attorney firm was going against the firm I was externing and they let me watch. I read the facts and it was a pretty b.s. class action claim who knows if they could even have gotten certified, but the guy got like 50k in attorney's fees in the settlement bam straigh cash. On a b.s. claim to be perfectly honestly from what I saw, but they just wanted to settle. I imagine you can stuff like that in your clerkship where lawyers CAN get a ton of money real fast if they are good enough and get clients. That is really hard and most people don't get it done. A lot of firms are not interested in training a new associate the ropes they want people with their own book of business who can get help them right away. How you get that going well that is tough, but you can.

So the pro to being a lawyer is that you can get a lot of money real fast and somewhat easily. However, that is the exception and you need to b really f***ing good. Handle the pressure, know the situation, blah blah. Even if you do all that you might put in a bunch of work and get 0. The law is a high risk high reward profession. The opposite of med school where it is very difficult and if you just plug through you will get 100k a year job. You will pay of your loans in a 5 or so years with that salary and go on having a decent life. It depends what type of person you are. I am extremely competitive and I have been forced to be through sports my whole life.  That is what I like about the law it is just going after someone and they come right back at you. A lot of times the winner takes all. Obviously you want to avoid litigation because it is generally not in the best interest of the clients, but I love going to those settlement conferences and seeing how they play out. That was just a random sidenote, but something to consider. I think if you really want to be a successful lawyer not that I even will be, but you need to to have a kind of killer instinct in you. Realize nobody is going to hand you jack**** and if you are one of the writers of JDunderground or other such sites there is a reason nobody has scooped you up.  No client or firm would ever want a crybaby lawyer. Who at the settlement conference says how unfair opposing counsel was not very nice to me and didn't encourage me blah. No if you want to be a real lawyer you have real people and real problems and you got handle your sh**. There is no crying in baseball and there is no crying in the law. When you get into it you need to realize that people expect results and NOTHING is guaranteed.

So anyways quite a rant, but my point is that if you want some solid guaranteed career then the law is probably not for you. That sounds like the medical profession you know what you are going to get. The law is a lot more like sports it is highly competitive and nothing is guaranteed you got to hustle and you are only as good as your last performance. I love that kind of stuff, but a lot of people don't.

john4040

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2010, 05:54:23 PM »
I don't doubt that the possible upside is greater in law than it is for medicine.  However, in order to reach that upside, you're going to have to gain experience at a firm and you're taking an incredible risk (a risk that reaches new heights every day as new law schools continue to spring up, additional attorneys flood the market, work becomes more scarce, and the price of tuition increases - not to mention that few attorneys actually make the type of profits you're talking about).  If you can't get a legal job, you will never see those kinds of profits. 

You're right about one thing... the risks of going to law school and making great money are HIGH.  So high that you'd probably be better off playing the lottery than going to law school.  If I knew back then (when I decided to go to law school) what I know now, I'm not sure I would have gone to law school.

bigs5068

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Re: Graduated and Passed the Bar, but stuck waiting tables. . . What now?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2010, 08:29:49 PM »
Law school has a lot better odds than the lottery. I bet you in a year or two your tune will change about law school, because odds are you will get a job. Unless you join the JDunderground cohort. Then you will not be happy about law school and the cycle continues. No career offers continuos enjoyment and success. I am sure you were STOKED when you got your Federal Clerkship and rightfully so. It sounds like it is going to come to an end and you will be in the unemployed ranks, which is the scariest place in the world to be. No matter what profession you are in. My one professor in Chico always said looking for a job sucks. It just does nobody likes to write cover letters and go through an interview/interviews it is awful. You are generally going to get rejected several times before you find something. It sucks, but if you keep going you will find another job and be STOKED again. Then lay-offs or a change in heart will come along and you will be disappointed with law school. The cycle will continue and no matter what you did this would the case.  I still have never met anybody that said man I have loved every second of my career and never had a bad moment or wish I would have gone down a different path at some point. I have seen posts were you wrote how much you enjoyed law school and were happy with choice, but now a scary time is coming and it will suck. I am sure you will get out of it though and if you don't go the route of blaming others, or the school, or the ABA, or Sallie Mae, or any of the other numerous things you could point to of being unfair it will work out. 

Hopefully it does work out for me, you, and the OP. The only thing I do know for myself is that no matter what happens I made the decision to go to law school, I choose to stay in law school, I took out loans. Nobody held a gun to my head to do these things and I made a choice for better or worse and I will not blame anybody, but myself if things do not work out.