Dear Professor Campos,
I'm a semi-unemployed recent law graduate. I graduated from [Top Five Law School] in 2010, where I [won an academic award for my third year grades] and had decent grades my first two. My undergrad was at [Ivy League School], where I double majored in [Liberal Arts Majors]. I got no-offered by a [Vault 50 firm] in the summer of 2009. After graduating from [law school], I was set up with a temporary law school sponsored job at a law firm... Then I was on unemployment... Then I [ended up doing] litigation [for a small firm], as a per diem attorney. Sometimes I'm busy, but generally, I'm lucky if I can bill them 15 hours a week, at $30 per hour. I've applied to a million different jobs, and sometimes gotten interviews, but usually not.
Since graduating in 2010, I've lived with my parents. I have about as much debt as you'd expect. I really want to be able to move on with my life, live like a grown-up, not be broke, and be able to be proud of my career. I'm just not sure how.
I recently ordered test prep books for the GMAT, so that I can apply to full-time MBA programs. I'm great at standardized tests, so even though business school admission isn't as numbers-based as law school (I wish), I think I might have a good chance of getting into a top MBA program. But even there, there's huge risk- I know some substantial portion of the graduating class at top business schools doesn't have a job at graduation, and the typical published salaries for MBA grads are lower than a first year big law firm associate makes. Which would matter a lot to me, because I'd have well over a quarter million dollars in debt at graduation.
Aside from business school, I don't have many other good ideas. I've thought about starting my own firm- probably mostly criminal defense, but I'd take whatever work I could get. But the problems with that are: 1) I'm unsure whether I'm qualified, at least by my own standards; and 2) I know many small firms struggle to bring in enough business. Since my biggest priorities are 1.) not be poor; 2.) move out of bedroom; and 3.) end unemployment deferment of loans, struggling to start a firm with the hope that if I'm successful I might clear $40k after a year doesn't seem like a very good option.
I'm not sure what other options I have. Biglaw is impossible- I've tried so hard to get back in, and they just don't want me. I feel like I'm too old and have too much debt to start any other type of graduate program, and except for premed to med school (which would take forever and leave me with an insane debt level) any other educational ideas I can think of seem riskier than business school. So right now my plan is to keep applying for law jobs, and apply to MBA programs. If I don't have a permanent, full-time job by summer 2013, go to business school, and if I do have such a job, I can choose between them then.
So I guess my question is: Is there something I'm missing? Should I prepare for the GMAT and apply to MBA programs? Or is there something else I can do with my career?
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The MBA option?
Something this blog hasn't discussed very much is what options people who've graduated from law school in the last few years might have. I got an email last week that posed this question in terms of an issue (possibly pursuing an MBA degree as a way of dealing with a post-JD disaster) that I don't know anything about. So I'm posting it here in the hope that the writer and other similarly situated people might get some useful advice from those more qualified to address the issue than I am: