Deciding Where to Go > Where should I go next fall?

Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)

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C4rd0z0Attack!:
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.

Maintain FL 350:

--- Quote from: C4rd0z0Attack! on October 25, 2012, 10:09:36 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.

--- End quote ---

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).

aglittman:
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

livinglegend:
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.


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