Sunday, January 15, 2012

New comments policy

Up until now I've had something close to a completely unregulated comments policy.  This has been partially deliberate, as I've wanted to get as far away as possible from the social structure of the law school classroom, in which one person gets to be the toadied-to authority figure and everyone else gets to be his supplicants (Yes, I know, your classroom isn't like that. Noted.)

This approach, like any other, has its benefits and costs, and now I'm going to modify it a bit.  I'm going to start deleting comments more aggressively, to the extent they fall into the following categories:

(1) Idiotic shouting matches between commenters obsessed with each other.  Just cut it out. If you want to criticize another commenter's point of view on a substantive topic, that's great. This does not, however, include criticizing the commenter's purported mental health, overall posting tendencies, whether this person is ruining the comments etc etc

(2) Speaking of Rule (1), don't threadjack by posting a bunch of comments about your favorite subject in every single thread. All of us have such subjects, but use some discretion about how often and when you raise a point you've made many times before in many threads. Try to stay at least loosely on topic, broadly defined.

(3) Comments about whether Rules (1) and/or (2) are being violated are prohibited.

(4) No sock puppets.  That means you Prof. X.

The comments on this blog (there have been more than 10,000 in the five months of its existence) have been on the whole very valuable.  I've learned a lot from them, as I'm sure others have as well.  They've contributed a kind of crowd-sourcing knowledge to the blog's main topics, which is one of the best things about the internet.  I much appreciate everyone's contributions, despite the various annoyances that a largely unmoderated forum will sometimes create.  Thanks for taking part, and thanks in advance for your cooperation with this attempt at a slightly increased level of regulation.

77 comments:

  1. Since blogger doesn't give IP information, it's hard to see how you can weed out any sock puppets.

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  2. I think the comment wars may have something to do with the fact that readers of this site do not have a productive way to channel their anger and misery. They were victimized and they can't do anything about it, so they just attack each other.

    Here's a suggestion - in every post, or once a week, or at least once a month, let's provide a proactive task that can be done.

    For example, in the last post we saw how Charlotte figured out a way to get email lists in the hope of trapping a person with a decent LSAT in their program. I suggested that we figure out how to get the email list, and prepare our own succinct warning about law school.

    Focusing readers on a positive contribution would help sway them away from negativity, harassment, trolling and other hallmarks of the spotted mind.

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  3. Censorship!!!11!1!!!!!eleventy!

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  4. Professor Campos, I commend you for taking a more proactive approach to maintaining the integrity of your blog. There are many trolls and industry shills that will, nonetheless, try to discredit what you are trying to accomplish, which I believe is a laudable task.

    Some commenters directly questioned my account of what happened during my encounter with a lawyer who is now working in a car dealership's service department. 10 years ago, I am not sure I would have believed this scenario. The sad reality is that with the oversaturation of this profession, coupled with its decline, expect to hear more stories about licensed attorneys working at HomeDepot, Payless Shoes, Radio Shack, Starbucks, etc.. The trolls are in denial. Most are probably prospective law students or current law students who want to believe that they will reach the end of the rainbow on commencement day. The ironic thing is that these same people are living in a fictitious universe. Reality will hit these folks the hardest. Then you have the industry shills, who want to downplay the horrible fates facing current law graduates. Of course, this group is only trying to defend what they do since their financial livelihood depends on it.

    Professor Campos, I know many practicing lawyers that are functional drug addicts and alcoholics. I am not going to say that this profession turned me into an alcoholic but drugs and alchohol help us cope with the misery and drudgery that comes with being a lawyer. I have seen many young people go through a transformation once they become a lawyer. I went throught it myself. What do I have to show for all the "accomplishments" and "prestige" I have acquired? 3 failed marriages? Two kids that despise me for not being their while they were growing up? When I started law school 20 years ago, people used to tell me "The law is a jealous mistress." People would laugh at this saying in a jovial and dismissive manner. 20 years later, the mistress is still jealous and demands every ounce of your soul. Many lawyers will not openly discuss what I am talking about out of fear of being considered "weak," "burned out" or "damaged." Thank you and forgive me for using your forum to unload my thoughts about what I really think about our "beloved" profession.

    A.E.S.

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  5. Thanks AES I liked your post. Ignore the trolls, as harassing you is their way of coping with their misery. Their drugs and alcohol if you will.

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  6. As I study this morning, I'm watching a 30 minute infommercial for "The Law Offices of John Ribarich." Ribarichlaw.com

    He has a couple being "interviewed" by a "reporter." They talk about how they bought a house but now risk losing it due to the economy. Then the "reporter" states that they were the "victim" of "predatory lending" meaning they were "allowed to borrow money that they could not pay back." Then he lists a bunch of past "successes" such as settling a $120,000 mortgage for $10,000.

    What strikes me is that I've finished all of my property and lending courses, and I don't have a clue how to deliver the results he promises. I'd trade my entire JD to learn how to do a dozen real, practical legal things.

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  7. Hi AES, if you are not presently participating in a 12 step program, I highly recommend your local state chapter of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, its an free support group for attorneys with various addiction problems. That's my broken record issue on this blog but I think a lot of here people could benefit from it.

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  8. Do those 12-step programs work though? I've heard their success rate is on par with Cooley's job placement rate.

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  9. @9:24AM

    I appreciate your advice and I am aware of a local program sponsored by our local bar for attorneys suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. I don't mean to trivialize this issue but I have my condition in check, at least when it counts. Many attorneys go past the ledge and allow their addictions to control their lives. They start missing court dates, deadlines, appear in court high, and eventually piss off clients to the point of getting referred to the disciplinary committee. These attorneys usually get a slap on the wrist or suspended for 6 months (for initial offense). I never appeared in court inoxicated or high. I usually do my drinking after work hours or on the weekend. Again, I use it as a coping mechanism. I have gone to marriage counseling and was seeing a psychiatrist for 2 years. The psychiatric treatment has its benefits but once you are on prescription drugs, you develop another type of addiction. Drugs never did anything for me except make me more depressed. I was on Xanax for a few months and all it made me feel was numb. I became despondent, even to my clients. This was no good so I stopped the prescription medication and the psychiatric treatment as I was spending 3 hours a week there. When you have a billable time requirement, those 3 hours are valuable. I am not saying prescription drugs and psychiatric treatment are ineffective, only ineffective in my case.

    I grew up reading Stan Lee/Jack Kirby comics. My favorite was the Hulk. The Hulk's alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, tried to keep his anger in check in order to prevent the Hulk from manifesting. In many ways, I have become like Dr. Banner. I control my alcohol intake to the point where I don't let it take over me.

    Before becoming a lawyer, I was a happier person. I was more comfortable within my own skin. I was piss poor but I was happy. I knew I had real friends because they stuck with me despite my being broke. I had charisma back then. Once I became a lawyer, I became an arrogant asshole. I discarded my true friends and "traded" up friends. So I befriended other lawyers who were just as or more arrogant and insufferable than me. Every social event was about moving up the social ladder. Conversations would start "Jack and I just purchased a 3 floor brownstone in Brooklyn Heights" or "I just got a new Mercedes" or "We just enrolled little Johnny at an elite preparatory academy." All the while these people feigned their happiness to make you feel more miserable. Some friends eh? Eventually, I met the wrong women as well. When I was in college, I was engaged to a lovely woman who was into me despite that I came from a poor background and was broke. We broke up after my semester in law school. She said that I had changed for the worse. Suddenly I had no time for her and looked down on her activities. I often miss her. She was perhaps the truest love I ever had.

    I can't believe that I have been married 3 times. All in the span of 16 years. My first wife admitted to me that she would not have married me if I was a grease monkey. She told me that being a lawyer was my redeeming quality. I divorced that bitch 4 years after we were married. I have never been in jail so I can't relate to being physically raped by another inmate. However, after my first divorce, I felt that my ex, her lawyer and the judge bent me over and took turns raping me. By the way, family judges love stripping financially successful lawyers of their money. I suppose they feel that they are evening the playing field since most judges earn a pittance salary. Then again, it is a generous salary considering most family court judges are lazy and dumb.

    I have rambled again. It has been a long time since I have talked about my miserable existence. It feels somewhat cathartic. My apologies Prof. Campos. I did not mean to detract from your message.

    A.E.S.

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  10. Exactly AES, as someone who is holding down and succeeding at a high demand job, you're doing far better many other depressed and miserable law students and graduates.

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  11. A.E.S., I think lawyers telling their stories is an important part of this blog. And I'm glad you've raised the issue of alcohol and other drug dependencies, which is a huge problem in this profession, as a glance at the the disciplinary proceedings of any bar association confirms.

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  12. Law Prof is right to point out the role that substance plays in disclipline problems. It is critically important for those looking to go into the profession to study the matter, talk to lawyers, and be sure that it is what they want to do.

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  13. "Do those 12-step programs work though? I've heard their success rate is on par with Cooley's job placement rate."

    That's a very good question. It depends on how you define "work". Be aware that even with a program, that people with alcohol and drug abuse problems often have relapses. The question is, do they do better then if they had no such support, and antidotally the answer seems to be yes. The attorneys I go with often speak of their need to go to a "meeting" to keep from slipping back into the condition which brought them there in the first place.

    I'm there because I am clinically depressed. The fellowship at these meetings has been a major factor in keeping my condition from getting even worse. In three years I've also been able to talk to the group about two practice situations which had the potential to land me in front of a grievance committee. In both cases I was able to avoid ethical problems that might have proved to be disasterous.

    Now in the old days, if I was in a law firm with more experienced attorneys I could have sought their advice and achieved the same result. However I'm a solo because my grades in law school were poor and my practice record is very undistinguished so no established firm would want to hire me for a permanent position.

    And yes, if I could find a job outside the profession, I would be happy to take it.

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  14. 11:09, It's good that you're aware of it which puts you far ahead of many others.

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  15. "It has been a long time since I have talked about my miserable existence. It feels somewhat cathartic"

    You would generally get this experience in these meetings. One thing that I've also seen is that many attorneys may not be showing up to court while drunk, but they engage in other risky behavior like after hours drunk driving which has the potential to also screw up their careers. Most of the lawyers I go to group with have totalled cars or done similar things while drunk which they were lucky not to have been caught doing.

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  16. Three wives and you haven't figured out getting a prenupt yet?

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  17. 11:09, It's good that you're aware of it which puts you far ahead of many others.

    Thank you. In fairness to the profession, I suffered from Chronic depression BEFORE I went to law school, school and the practice simply aggravated a pre-existing condition.

    I personally think that all potential law students should be warned "if you suffer from such pre-existing conditions you should think very carefully before taking up a profession which might make you worse off."

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  18. Ironically that probably allowed you to better cope with law school and legal work, as you had taught yourself coping mechanisms.

    I totally agree with your recommendation.

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  19. Does anyone know if stress has anything to do with hair going grey? There's a guy at my firm who is going gray and he isn't even 30 yet. I'm not sure if it's the environment or perhaps just genetics.

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  20. Thousands of recent law grads would give their right hand to work in a car dealership. After a rescinded offer in 2008, I worked in call centers and temped as an administrative assistant. I have never been able to find paid legal employment. I became fed up with searching for legal positions when each advertised low-paid (10 $/hr) opening was a mere "bait and switch" for an unpaid internship.

    The most disgusting example was the County's District Attorney Office. I made the second round of interviews for a paid law clerkship. Yes, it was advertised at 10 $/hr and at 40 hours a week so I could pay my rent, bills and food. Plus, it would give me the chance to make connections with local practitioners which could assist in my career search. Boy, was I wrong. The hiring attorney informed me that the position would no longer have compensation. Furthermore, I would have to make a 6 month commitment. He kept on warning me of the dangers to my reputation if I flaked out early. I bristled with rage. You can't pay the rent with experience. You can't buy food with karma points. I held on my to composure and told the hiring attorney that my financial situation would not allow me work in an unpaid position.

    I look back at that interview and feel like such a wimp. I used lawyerly words like "financial situation" and "untenable". I should have told him to fuck off and slapped the paperwork off his desk and onto the floor. I may have permanently poisoned the well in the Portland, OR job market. I may have been disbarred. Not like it matters anyways. I am now wiser and know that I will never work as an attorney.

    I hope that law school applicants realize that law schools will wreak catastrophic and irreparable damage to your personal, financial and professional life.

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  21. $10/hour = $20,000 per year, maybe $30,000 per year if you do a ton of over time and they couldn't even pay you that. METER MAIDS get paid that much. And fuck that asshole DA for threatening to libel your reputation because you might "flake out" early i.e. look for a paying job. To these scumbag experienced lawyers, law professors, deans et al. who want to keep sucking and sucking from youth - how do they expect you to live?

    You see so much of this. Some old baby boomer who makes a fortune, expecting some 20-something to return to the apprentice model of the 1700s.

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  22. Can we at least say there is a chance this will happen instead of saying that every person who goes to law school will experience these things? It lessens a serious subject to talk in extremes like that.

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  23. Sounds good to me. I mostly just skim over the stupid comments, and to be honest, those that are too long. But if you think this will help the discourse, I support your policy.

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  24. @11:28 a.m.:

    The sick thing about your internship story is that someone undoubtedly took it.

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  25. Do you mean "sock puppets" in the wikipedia sense? I'm not sure what that means.

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  27. "The sick thing about your internship story is that someone undoubtedly took it."

    No doubt. It's actually an attractive opportunity in the wasteland created by law schools.

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  28. This is 11:28 again.

    The worst boomers can be your parents. I hate visiting them for vacation. They "know" that attorneys make at least $95K so they immediately dismiss me when I explain the realities of the job market and the misleading stats published by the law schools. They think that I am having an existential crisis, don't want to grow up, or whatever self-indulgent personal exploration kids in the 60s did. The worst is when my parents print out jobs from Craig's List or Usajobs.gov and slide them accross the kitchen table. As if I hadn't applied to all those freakin' jobs already! Arghh! It's not like I wanted to lose my 70K in-house position in 2008.

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  29. lol @ at least $95k (unless attorneys means working attorneys, as opposed to anyone with a JD)

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  30. 11:42, Give them your USAJOBS login and tell them to go nuts.

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  31. @11:17AM

    Support groups can be helpful once you admit to yourself that you have a problem. This is perhaps the hardest thing to accept: that you have a problem and it is out of control. As attorneys, we are often too confident to admit that there are some aspects of our life that are beyond our grasp. Personally, I have tried the support groups, therapy and prescription medication. The support group is helpful in that it breaks you from the isolation mindset that you alone have a problem. Once you see others similarly situated experiencing your problems, then you realize you are not alone and you are not an exception (i.e., weak link). Having a sponsor is also helpful. I had a sponsor but he moved to Florida in 2009 and we lost touch. Breaking in a new sponsor is difficult. It is like breaking in a new therapist which is hard because you have to spend a lot of time doing recap (re-telling your story). I would encourage attorneys experiencing alcohol problems to go to a support group. I used to think going to the attorney bar authorities for help was a bad idea but now I think otherwise. They can actually identify how far off you are and intervene in assigning another attorney to supervise or help you. This last option is for solos and you will have to pay for the other attorney's time. This may not be a bad option since it may save you from losing your law license.

    Here is the problem with most attorneys: they are arrogant. They refuse to believe they have a problem. We all have our vices, some stronger and more pernicious than others. Attorneys usually have a tendency to abuse their addictions. Take for example the addiction of gambling. Just googling "gambling" and "lawyers," I found two attorneys who lost their life and law license over gambling:

    http://articles.philly.com/1999-08-19/news/25483339_1_gamblers-arnie-wexler-suicide

    http://www.gamblingandthelaw.com/columns/189-compulsive-gambler-just-cant-win.html

    Law schools never delve into these issues. Sure most will offer a soft course in ethics but is this enough?

    In the last 10 years I have seen an increase in attorneys that had drug addiction problems before attending law school. I wouldn't be surprised if this group has the hardest time adjusting to the practice of law.

    @11:19AM

    First marriage: I thought I was in love and had no pre-marital assets so there was no pre-nup.

    Second marriage: The pre-nup was invalidated by the hack judge because the lawyer who represented my ex during the pre-nup drafting happened to be a friend of mine (she was her friend first) as well.

    Third marriage: After the first two divorces, I had nothing since I had given the shirt off of my back. Yet I got stuck paying alimony. I learned my lesson though. I will never get married again. NEVER AGAIN.

    A.E.S.

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  34. "The pre-nup was invalidated by the hack judge because the lawyer who represented my ex during the pre-nup drafting happened to be a friend of mine"

    Oh man that sucks. That's just an example of the randomness of law that is responsible for at least some of the mental distress of law students and lawyers. There was a rule, you followed it, and for some random reason things get turned upside down by way of a person's raw abuse of discretion (or are you not allowed to be friends with your wife's friends?)

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  35. Try getting nailed with child support. 17% of gross income for 21 years.

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  36. Well, you're supposed to take care of your kids.

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  37. I'm sure that's exactly where the money goes...

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  38. "Support groups can be helpful once you admit to yourself that you have a problem. This is perhaps the hardest thing to accept: that you have a problem and it is out of control."

    One of the biggest problems with law school and lawyers, is that there are a bunch of people who are white knucklingly, teeth grindingly mentally distressed, suffering from serious depression, rage and other issues - yet they don't want to admit it or talk about it.

    But this just makes things much worse because the problems don't go away, rather they manifest themselves in very disruptive ways.

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  39. Seinfeld did that topic in the serenity now episode.

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  43. Why does everyone here not have a name other than anonymous and a time?

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  47. @ 11:28:

    So sorry to read about your situation. I live in Portland as well, and I know that the job market here for attorneys (as well as everyone else) is really beyond terrible. My family members, who live out of state, are looking on in abject horror about my un/underemployment--astounded that I haven't found an actual job after 3 years here. And I'm mindful that my situation is much better than yours--because I have lots of years of practice experience. Not sure why Lewis & Clark, U of Oregon and Willamette continue to dump so many JDs into the utterly bleak job market. (Oh, wait, I do know--$$$$$$!)

    When I first moved here, one of TPTB told me that it was going to take a year to find a lawyer job. My response to that at the time was, who the hell is going to pay my bills in the meantime? I was outraged, and incredulous. My response now is: ha--if only it had just taken a year.

    I have no words of wisdom for you, my friend. I have an enormous amount of sympathy.

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  48. LawProf,

    Troll chain in 1:48 to 2:11.

    Thanks

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  49. "My family members, who live out of state, are looking on in abject horror about my un/underemployment--astounded that I haven't found an actual job after 3 years here."

    Three years? How do you support yourself?

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  50. 2:16, That's surprising as I read that Portland's unemployment rate was only 5%.

    http://bls.gov/web/metro/laummtrk.htm

    If you Portland folks are suffering, imagine how bad it is in NY or LA, places with twice the unemployment rate.

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  51. Lawprof, in general I support your efforts to moderate the comments. But if you are overly aggressive, then you are no better than certain people who do not allow comments at all on their blogs. Also, by the time you do remove the inflammatory comments, in most cases, the damage has been done.

    You may want to consider three options:

    First, you can require admin approval before the comments are posted. Doing this will deter the usual suspects from posting. However, considering the popularity of this blog and the numerous comments, this can be time consuming for you.

    Second, recognize there is a distinction between trolling and a passionate disagreement. While some people post obviously inane crap, others cannot handle disagreements and cowardly call them out as trolls. It's a hard distinction to make at times but if in doubt, I'd give the troll the benefit of the doubt to promote debate.

    Finally, encourage your readers to ignore the trolls. A lot of these people post just to gain attention or to pick a fight. If they are ignored, they will quickly disappear like a fart in the wind.

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  52. 2:16 here.

    "Three years? How do you support yourself?"

    A: I've been enormously lucky in being able to work on projects, on and off, on a contract basis, some as an attorney and some as a paralegal. One of those projects paid very well on an hourly basis. The rest have not, but some money is better than no money at all. The working conditions have, for the most part, really sucked. I'd love for some 0Ls to shadow me for a week. They'd be scared straight from ever applying to law school.

    I've gotten these contract gigs through my social network. Interestingly, one of the attorneys I work for is a front-end Baby Boomer and, besides being a genuinely lovely person and nice to work for, "gets it" in terms of how fantastically crappy the legal profession actually is. Many of the Boomers I encounter don't get it at all.

    Work is hard to come by, though, and I am scrounging every month. I never thought that my life would be like this.

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  53. 2:33, au contraire. whatever deep pain and anger pushes an adult to make antagonism their goal in life - it will not be quenched if they are ignored. Ignoring them will only magnify those feelings and intensify the trolling. Deleting comments will also not work as demonstrated by the trolls redoubling of his or her efforts whenever the are moderated.

    Ironically the best solution is to express anger and misery while gibing the troll credit for your hurt feelings. That will quench their desire to spread misery.

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  54. 2:38, glad you're surviving. keep up the efforts.

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  55. 2:38 were you able to IBR your loans or are you one of those poor pre IBR folks?

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  56. A thought on unpaid internships stimulated by 11:28's comments. They certainly provide benefits to young law graduates. But only to well to do graduates. The intern makes connections with local practioners, gains practical skills, learns much about the real world practice of law, while filling in their resume. The problem for society is that this creates more economic disperity. A kid without some money or outside income just can't work without pay. Even if in the best of worlds and you can live with your parents, six months, a year, 18 months without a check simply isn't possible. But with money or well to do parents its just another unpleasant thing that you have to do on the way to a legal career. So and again rich kids are in and poor kids are out. An even higher percentage of the profession is made up people with money in their background. And isn't there something odd about the graduate with little or no student debt, getting the chance for an internship and at least a long shot at a legal career while..... William Ockham

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  57. WCL: Good thoughts. We'll see how it goes -- I would very much prefer to tolerate lots of arguable trollishness as opposed to squelching any genuine debate.

    William Ockham: That is a great point that deserves its own post.

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  58. A postscript to my comment above. I got an unpaid summer clerkship after my 1L year. The only thing that learned was that I disliked the law and that the assocites lived in constant terror. To bad that I didn't take the lesson. William Ockham

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  59. William,

    Constant terror of what? Being fired?

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  60. 2:16/2:38 here.

    @ 2:42--thanks for your kind words. They actually made me feel better about life, and that's hard to do at this point, even with my enormously lowered expectations.

    One thing I should add about being able to survive for 3 years without an actual "job" is lovely friends who "just happen" to suggest lunch or dinner when they know I'm cash poor, and breezily pick up the check in a way that doesn't embarrass me, or insist on paying for my coffee as well as their because, lo and behold, they have "lots of money" on their Starbucks card, or insist on overpaying me for house/pet sitting because I'm doing them "such a huge favor". . . so that makes it easier, and God bless my friends. I will be happy to do the same for unemployed JDs, as soon as I have any spare income. This is no way for a grownup to live, though, and that's really my larger point.

    2:51 - very low student loan payments, in all honestly because of factors that had nothing to do with me being smart or planning ahead. Still, on forbearance (or whatever it's called) at the moment, because--you can't get blood from a turnip, people.

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  61. They can't get blood from you, but they can garnish your wages and put a lien on your bank account. I think deferments end after 3 years so please look into IBR ASAP.

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  62. I just want to add that I am very happy being a lawyer. I read this blog because my son and his friends were considering law school. I started to do some research.

    I was shocked at the state of law for new graduates as well as how much it costs now to go to law school. So my son is not going to law school.

    The only one of his friends who is going got 178 on the LSAT, got into Harvard and is independently wealthy.

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  63. My daughter really wants to go, but will be taking several years off before she applies. There are five lawyers in the family, and she knows the current situation well.

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  64. I don't understand. can't you just get them a job at your firm?

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  65. This is 11:28 again.

    If you graduate from Lewis & Clark Law School, you may end up applying to work at 24 Hour Fitness and collecting food stamps, just like this alumna -

    http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-10970-the_young_and_the_jobless.html

    I guess it's not a surprise considering Lewis & Clark's CSO knows that its students are failures. Last year, Above The Law reported tips that the CSO reset the password for Symplicity to "fail8ure". The career counselors, really just a glorified title for administrative assistants, did not apologize and blamed the auto-generate password feature in Symplicity. If these hacks can't come up with an original password, you can rest assured that they are not doing anything to generate leads for their students. Hell, a hard days work for them is cut-and-pasting an ad from Craig's List.

    http://abovethelaw.com/2011/02/lewis-clark-law-school-subtly-insults-its-alumni/

    I am a tad bit relieved that the Oregon State Bar has recognized there is a dire problem. Their monthly magazine, shipped to all bar members, had a cover story titled "Cream and Sugar with that Law Degree". It's full of stats and compiles all the arguments against law school from the NYTimes, WSJ, ABA, and the scamblog movement. In my opinion, it's the best piece on law schools fleecing gullible students. Please pass it on to friends and lemmings.

    http://www.osbar.org/publications/bulletin/11nov/degree.html

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  66. LawProf,

    Troll commenting on other posts @2:19,

    Thanks.

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  67. Jesus 7:30 that's beyond ridiculous and it was obviously intentional

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  68. Dear desperately under- and unemployed lawyers who graduated from Oregon law schools between 2008 and 2010:

    Don’t you wish you’d invested your time and your money in training for a profession in which 87.6 to 91.9 percent of graduates were employed within nine months of graduation?

    Of course, if you had checked out your law school on its website or in U.S. News & World Report, you would have been led to believe that you were putting yourself in that position.

    Which is why law school graduates and others are questioning where these statistics came from, and learning — among other things — that some law schools actually have paid unemployed graduates to work, rendering them “employed” on key reporting dates.

    Data-reporting entities and law schools are pointing fingers at each other, and some graduates of law schools in other states have even sued their alma maters for false representation.

    “Jane Smith” (not her real name), a 2010 Lewis & Clark Law School alumna who was paid to work over the key reporting date of Feb. 15, says that she finds these numbers reported for post-law school employment “really hard to believe, even at the lowest number.” (The 87.6 percent figure quoted above is from NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals for 2008 graduates; the 91.9 percent is for 2010 graduates.)

    “For recent graduates, I would estimate that for people working in the legal field, not in coffee shops, 65 to 70 percent would be high, high,” says Smith, who subsequently found full-time legal employment, then lost it in a round of lay-offs. “And I would estimate that most of those just found jobs in the last few months, and most of those were temporary or term-limited jobs.”

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    Excellent

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  69. WCL at 3:16 Terrified of EVERYTHING. William Ockham

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  70. William,

    Related to your post, I've noticed that nepotism is rampant in junior hiring, even in federal government hiring where it is totally unethical.

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  71. @ 7:30:

    Yes, that was a wonderful article in the Oregon Bar Bulletin about the law school scam.

    You know what was also wonderful? Last week I was chatting with an established and respected old-school Oregon attorney. Really nice guy. Five minutes into the conversation he started explaining the law school scam to -me- (I didn't tell him that I'm an avid reader of this blog and other scam blogs). He was horrified by the astronomical tuition and horrible job prospects. I was pleasantly surprised he was aware of, and appalled by, the problem. Progress!

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  72. 11:28/person with story about the DA's office: yeah, I had a similar experience. I "accepted" the "offer" for unpaid "employment", intending to get trial experience while I looked around for a paid position. Then, within my first 72 hours as an unpaid "ADA", I got a paid legal job. I took great pleasure in advising the office that couldn't be bothered to pay me that I would not be honoring the rest of my "commitment." They had the temerity to be upset about this.

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  73. I know a laid off biglawyer doing the free ADA thing for 6 months.

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  74. Meanwhile, Casey Anthony is asking (and will probably get) close to $1 million for her first interview.

    Welcome to our distopia.

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  75. 2:16/2:38/3:uhsomethingiforgot

    I've been there. Three years is a long, long time. I know the position well. Hang in there. Eventually found something albeit temporary and have spent the last year feeling like an institutional man. I'm frankly just happy for the mental health break at this point. Scrape to get by. Keep trying. By definition, next one's a win.

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