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Author Topic: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)  (Read 5599 times)

legend

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2012, 11:44:18 AM »
Just my advice you should never work for free. It sounds like your putting a lot of work for nothing this is just not very smart you could be applying to 100's of jobs a week the amount of time you are spending in the courthouse. I know it is not ideal, but there is certainly document review work out there.

When you are in law school the "free" labor scam can work, but you are a practicing lawyer now. You could make more money as a solo practitioner in a week since 0 is not hard to surpass.  I would highly recommend getting out of that position leave on a good note, but don't work for free this is likely taking up your energy, time, and preventing you from succeeding.

Instead of doing that join Bar Associations, go to your schools career services weekly, check in with your undergrads career services, then of course use indeed, juju, the BYU intercollegiate job bank is also a great site for recent law grads it has almost every schools career services job positing on it. Your career services office will likely have the password to access it if you ask.

It sounds like you have gained experience at your position so leave on a good note, but you should not be volunteering your time every weekday and weekend. That is 45 hours a week of time you could be on the job search and finding a job is often more time consuming than any job itself. Good luck to you.

jack24

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2012, 02:15:37 PM »
I really think there is a lot of delusion at both ends.  Yes, people still get jobs and not everyone is screwed.  There are chicken littles out there who are going crazy.  But things aren't easy, particularly for lower-ranked grads.

 I was a top 1/4 at a school just outside the top 50.  I was a law review editor and moot court member.  I had two fantastic internships, one of which produced a ton of 1st chair experience, and I was networking and job hunting from 1L Christmas until I passed the bar.  I got my first full-time attorney job two days before I was sworn in as an attorney (Five months after graduation), and most of my income is based on bonuses.

In my experience, the legal field is absolutely brutal right now, and the available jobs for new associates are absolute crap.  I hustled for years and basically worked for free for four employers while I studied for the bar.  Hundreds of emails, months of networking, at least 50 applications for open positions, calling in every favor I had.   At the end of all that, I had two associate offers, and one came when a managing partner liked me a lot during a paralegal interview.

One state court clerkship in a medium market (salary = less than 40k/year) attracted well over 100 licensed attorney applicants. 100!  The guy who got it was ranked in the top ten students at a school in the top 40.

Anyone at the bottom half of their class or in the bottom half of law schools faces an incredibly brutal, up-hill battle for jobs with horrible starting salaries.

My advice to those licensed attorneys still looking for a job is to write emails to every attorney you can find and offer to do their crap drafting work for 40 bucks an hour on a contract basis.  Also, apply for paralegal jobs and then just start picking up attorney work as it becomes available in your firm.  They will love this because they can pay you less than 20 bucks an hour and bill you out at a low rate, but still tell your clients you are an attorney.

Anti09

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 07:11:40 PM »
I really think there is a lot of delusion at both ends.  Yes, people still get jobs and not everyone is screwed.  There are chicken littles out there who are going crazy.  But things aren't easy, particularly for lower-ranked grads.

 I was a top 1/4 at a school just outside the top 50.  I was a law review editor and moot court member.  I had two fantastic internships, one of which produced a ton of 1st chair experience, and I was networking and job hunting from 1L Christmas until I passed the bar.  I got my first full-time attorney job two days before I was sworn in as an attorney (Five months after graduation), and most of my income is based on bonuses.

In my experience, the legal field is absolutely brutal right now, and the available jobs for new associates are absolute crap.  I hustled for years and basically worked for free for four employers while I studied for the bar.  Hundreds of emails, months of networking, at least 50 applications for open positions, calling in every favor I had.   At the end of all that, I had two associate offers, and one came when a managing partner liked me a lot during a paralegal interview.

One state court clerkship in a medium market (salary = less than 40k/year) attracted well over 100 licensed attorney applicants. 100!  The guy who got it was ranked in the top ten students at a school in the top 40.

Anyone at the bottom half of their class or in the bottom half of law schools faces an incredibly brutal, up-hill battle for jobs with horrible starting salaries.

My advice to those licensed attorneys still looking for a job is to write emails to every attorney you can find and offer to do their crap drafting work for 40 bucks an hour on a contract basis.  Also, apply for paralegal jobs and then just start picking up attorney work as it becomes available in your firm.  They will love this because they can pay you less than 20 bucks an hour and bill you out at a low rate, but still tell your clients you are an attorney.

Hanging a shingle is a pretty awful option.  Besides the fact that law school teaches you nothing about actually being a lawyer, the start up costs associated with solo practice are often prohibitive, especially for those with significant student debt.

cooley3L

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2012, 01:25:57 PM »
I really think there is a lot of delusion at both ends.  Yes, people still get jobs and not everyone is screwed.  There are chicken littles out there who are going crazy.  But things aren't easy, particularly for lower-ranked grads.

 I was a top 1/4 at a school just outside the top 50.  I was a law review editor and moot court member.  I had two fantastic internships, one of which produced a ton of 1st chair experience, and I was networking and job hunting from 1L Christmas until I passed the bar.  I got my first full-time attorney job two days before I was sworn in as an attorney (Five months after graduation), and most of my income is based on bonuses.

In my experience, the legal field is absolutely brutal right now, and the available jobs for new associates are absolute crap.  I hustled for years and basically worked for free for four employers while I studied for the bar.  Hundreds of emails, months of networking, at least 50 applications for open positions, calling in every favor I had.   At the end of all that, I had two associate offers, and one came when a managing partner liked me a lot during a paralegal interview.

One state court clerkship in a medium market (salary = less than 40k/year) attracted well over 100 licensed attorney applicants. 100!  The guy who got it was ranked in the top ten students at a school in the top 40.

Anyone at the bottom half of their class or in the bottom half of law schools faces an incredibly brutal, up-hill battle for jobs with horrible starting salaries.

My advice to those licensed attorneys still looking for a job is to write emails to every attorney you can find and offer to do their crap drafting work for 40 bucks an hour on a contract basis.  Also, apply for paralegal jobs and then just start picking up attorney work as it becomes available in your firm.  They will love this because they can pay you less than 20 bucks an hour and bill you out at a low rate, but still tell your clients you are an attorney.

Hanging a shingle is a pretty awful option.  Besides the fact that law school teaches you nothing about actually being a lawyer, the start up costs associated with solo practice are often prohibitive, especially for those with significant student debt.
I hear this a lot from students of other law schools. Is Cooley the only one that teaches law office managment and accounting for lawyers along with pretrail skills, trial skills andthe  basic ability to survive?

Anti09

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2012, 09:18:59 AM »
I really think there is a lot of delusion at both ends.  Yes, people still get jobs and not everyone is screwed.  There are chicken littles out there who are going crazy.  But things aren't easy, particularly for lower-ranked grads.

 I was a top 1/4 at a school just outside the top 50.  I was a law review editor and moot court member.  I had two fantastic internships, one of which produced a ton of 1st chair experience, and I was networking and job hunting from 1L Christmas until I passed the bar.  I got my first full-time attorney job two days before I was sworn in as an attorney (Five months after graduation), and most of my income is based on bonuses.

In my experience, the legal field is absolutely brutal right now, and the available jobs for new associates are absolute crap.  I hustled for years and basically worked for free for four employers while I studied for the bar.  Hundreds of emails, months of networking, at least 50 applications for open positions, calling in every favor I had.   At the end of all that, I had two associate offers, and one came when a managing partner liked me a lot during a paralegal interview.

One state court clerkship in a medium market (salary = less than 40k/year) attracted well over 100 licensed attorney applicants. 100!  The guy who got it was ranked in the top ten students at a school in the top 40.

Anyone at the bottom half of their class or in the bottom half of law schools faces an incredibly brutal, up-hill battle for jobs with horrible starting salaries.

My advice to those licensed attorneys still looking for a job is to write emails to every attorney you can find and offer to do their crap drafting work for 40 bucks an hour on a contract basis.  Also, apply for paralegal jobs and then just start picking up attorney work as it becomes available in your firm.  They will love this because they can pay you less than 20 bucks an hour and bill you out at a low rate, but still tell your clients you are an attorney.

Hanging a shingle is a pretty awful option.  Besides the fact that law school teaches you nothing about actually being a lawyer, the start up costs associated with solo practice are often prohibitive, especially for those with significant student debt.
I hear this a lot from students of other law schools. Is Cooley the only one that teaches law office managment and accounting for lawyers along with pretrail skills, trial skills andthe  basic ability to survive?

Probably because Cooley is the rare TTT that recognizes from the start that it's extremely unlikely for their graduates to get jobs at real firms, and thus will be proportionately more likely to hang a shingle out of desperation.

(For the record, Cooley grads have a greater chance at unemployment than they do of scoring work as a lawyer._

HolmesBoy

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2012, 02:36:05 PM »
I hear this a lot from students of other law schools. Is Cooley the only one that teaches law office managment and accounting for lawyers along with pretrail skills, trial skills andthe  basic ability to survive?

Students can learn many of these skills through clinics, which I believe are offered at every ABA approved school in the country. Also, CUNY was the first school to establish a solo incubator for recent graduates. The school provides valuable resources for graduates to start solo firms. Many schools have now established solo incubators (e.g., UMKC School of Law, University of Maryland, Pace, Thomas Jefferson, Cleveland State).

HolmesBoy

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2012, 02:46:33 PM »

Probably because Cooley is the rare TTT that recognizes from the start that it's extremely unlikely for their graduates to get jobs at real firms, and thus will be proportionately more likely to hang a shingle out of desperation.

(For the record, Cooley grads have a greater chance at unemployment than they do of scoring work as a lawyer._

It's not that bad... http://cooleylawschoolblog.com/2012/08/16/summary-enough-about-the-ills-and-evils-of-legal-education/  ;)

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2012, 01:28:39 PM »
Most (if not all) law schools offer practical skills, courses, trial advocacy, etc. My law school offered a few courses that were designed for small firm/solo litigators. That's not really the point, though.

The tough part of starting a solo practice straight out of law school is not managing the office, it's finding clients, getting paid by clients who are often broke themselves, and learning how to navigate the court system. The people I've known who successfully started solo practices had several years of hands-on experience working in small offices. The typical law school class is only 30-45 hours per semester, not nearly enough to prepare the average student.

jack24

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2012, 04:25:14 PM »
Most (if not all) law schools offer practical skills, courses, trial advocacy, etc. My law school offered a few courses that were designed for small firm/solo litigators. That's not really the point, though.

The tough part of starting a solo practice straight out of law school is not managing the office, it's finding clients, getting paid by clients who are often broke themselves, and learning how to navigate the court system. The people I've known who successfully started solo practices had several years of hands-on experience working in small offices. The typical law school class is only 30-45 hours per semester, not nearly enough to prepare the average student.

This is great insight.  The easy clients to get are the hardest to get money from.  I do think some firms suffer and die because of mismanagement, but most of the time they starve from a lack of paying clients.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Is the legal job market really that bad (jdjive)
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2012, 11:31:57 AM »
Definitely. When you're new and have no reputation, other attorneys are hesitant to send referrals your way. Often, the only clients brand new attorneys get are the ones nobody else will take. Sometimes that's because their case is a loser, sometimes it's because they have no ability to pay. Imagine trying to get your fee from a client who's house is underwater, who is in arrears on child support, or who is contemplating bankruptcy. It can be done, but it's an  art that requires experience.

I have a friend who worked at a small family law office for all four years during law school (part time program). She was the office manager/accountant/law clerk/filing clerk/client intake interviewer/collection agent, and anything else you can imagine. She was at the local family court every day filing papers and getting to know the system. She did this full time for four years, and felt competent to hang out her shingle after law school. I think you'd almost have to have that kind of experience to stand a fighting chance.