Monday, October 1, 2012

McJobs

Hi Professor,
I have been reading your blog since it's inception.  Thank you so much for shedding light on this terrible situation which is ruining lives of so many of our brightest, best, and most ambitious.  Honestly, morbid as this sounds, I cannot believe that more people aren't jumping off of buildings.  I think the only thing allowing many whose lives have been ruined from doing so is their own cognitive dissonance about their situation, which I will explain further below and will tie into the title of this email.  First, a little bit about me...
I am a 2008 graduate of [middling public law school], middle of the pack class rank, who wound up with a job in a 2 person firm in smallish town/city (population about 150k) salary in the 35-50 k range.  My lower than average debt load from a public school, coupled with a low COL, has allowed me to service my loans as well as contribute a modest amount to retirement savings.  So, all things considered, I feel extremely fortunate about my situation.  Knock on wood, I will make it out of this and be okay while so many others will be ruined for life.  Although your blog mainly focuses on Biglaw, a majority of the students who actually get jobs as lawyers get jobs like mine. And it finally dawned on me what these jobs really are:
Most people enter the law with the idea of law as a career.  And, to most people, a career means this:  start out entry level, gain skill sets, get promoted with proportional increase in pay, broaden skill sets.  Repeat.  This is how the corporate world works, and almost every other vocation works, even the trades (start out as an apprentice, learn trade, become tradesmen, move up to foreman, etc.).  Although I have no first hand experience, this appears to be the track in BigLaw as well, assuming you can hang on and notwithstanding the up or out nature of the business.
So, what about these small 2-10 attorney jobs that pay in the 35-50k range?  Recent grads understand how to the job market is and many are grateful just to have paid legal employment.  However, suffice it to say that many graduates had higher aspirations and had to settle for these jobs, and the pay is nowhere near what was expected or what it needs to be for a graduate to service their loans.  In fact, these salaries only provide enough income to pay rent and utilities, eat, put gas in the car, make your minimum student loan payments, and have a few dollars left over for beer money/fun.  Basically, holders of these jobs are treading water.
And I think that recent grads, aware of the bad legal job market, are content to tread water at this point because they see law as a career.  The belief is that the legal job market is bad, and that these jobs are a "foot in the door" and a way to "gain experience" to move on to bigger and better opportunities.  Basically, they see these as entry level jobs as described above, and believe that, once the appropriate amount of experience is gained, greater opportunities will open up with appropriate increases in pay, etc., like in the corporate world.  If the small law associate can just tread water for a few years and get over the entry level hump, eventually they will move up and  have the income to pay down their loans, purchase a home, begin saving for retirement, and overall living the middle class lifestyle they envisioned.
That may have been true in the past, and it will probably still hold true for a few graduates.  After all, someone has to become judges, state's attorney, the (fill in the blank type of small law) king of a particular community.  But, for the majority of small law associates, the experience in their small law area of practice just means that they have a skill set in that small law area of practice.  Your 3 years experience as a consumer bk attorney is not going to give you a leg up when a mid-sized commercial litigation firm is hiring.  If you are currently making 40-50k litigating custody battles and baby daddy cases, and have your Friday afternoons blocked off for collection calls to beg these people for money, if we fast forward 10 years, guess what you will still be doing?  And guess how much that service will be worth to potential employers?
McJob is slang for a low-paying, low-prestige dead end job that requires few skills and offers very little chance of intracompany advancement
Unfortunately, there is no pot of middle class lifestyle at the end of the small law rainbow for the vast majority of associates. 
Law school is a scam, and I am (thankfully) on my way out of this "career".
 From the TLS employment forum, Sept 22 (emphasis added):

I feel really sad writing this... but I've been trying to find "real" legal work for a long time now, and have turned to applying for document review positions, and am not getting any responses there. My resume isn't that bad (graduated top 1/3 from a T30, with exec position on LR), so I am not sure if I am not going about getting contract/temp work the right way? Should I be calling to follow up after sending in my resume, or just waiting until they get in touch with me?

Does anyone have any experience getting doc review work, and how can I get an interview with a doc review company? I need cash to start paying off my nearly $150K in loans in about two months here, and to pay rent, and to eat... :(

I don't know how things ended up this way. I didn't realize until spring of 2L that the legal market was as unhealthy as it was. I have only gotten one interview this entire last year. I'm tired of sitting at home; I just want to be doing something legal, so I don't feel like such a waste of space, even if it involves running doc review software 40 hours a week. At least I'm touching a case that way, and making some money.

Any advice on how to obtain such work would really be appreciated. I'm at wit's end, and don't know what to do from here.
 Updated last night:

OP Update - Got an interview with a small firm in Dallas. They said that "if the work is there," then I will have a job! It's far from an offer, but it feels really, really good to know that someone out there saw my resume, thought it was decent enough to want to speak with me, and liked me enough to tell me that I could work for them if they have enough work. I'm just going to hope and hope that this firm somehow has enough work. Expecting a final decision from them in the next week or two!

In the meantime, I did join the local bar association, and recently spoke with someone who was at a doc review agency here about a year ago, so I may have a way to get my resume looked at there now.

Thanks everyone for the advice!
 

214 comments:

  1. Kick, scream, cry, holler, etc.

    That's the name of the game, and I got the number of comments back up didn't I?

    What would all of youse people do without me?

    But I'm done, and as the weeks go by you can eagerly await my return, or go looking for me.

    At least I am not Anon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See you tomorrow.

      Delete
    2. Dude. The guy's 'trolling' takes the form of reposting your bizarre drunk comments in an effort to shame you into stoping. Take a hint.

      Delete
    3. JDPainterguy, do you actually think you have more integrity or credibility because you don't post Anon? I would tell you to get a clue, but I've seen your law school transcript. Even simple concepts just don't sink in with you, do they?

      Delete
  2. Hey, I'm the anon creep that wants to hide, and copy and paste all of painterguy's comments:

    Kick, scream, cry, holler, etc.

    That's the name of the game, and I got the number of comments back up didn't I?

    What would all of youse people do without me?

    But I'm done, and as the weeks go by you can eagerly await my return, or go looking for me.

    At least I am not Anon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi:

    I'm also a creepy crawler anon shill and troll that lives under a rock.

    And when I am not doing that I slither on my belly and cowardly poke and prod that painterguy fellow, and then pat myself on the back.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ^^ @5:16AM

    Snakes don't have backs. Do they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh they have backs. Patting themselves on it would be a bit difficult since they have no hands.

      I was prodding him to try to write to Congress and the President, as to talk to more than 3 bankruptcy attorneys to try to get some change in the situation, otherwise it is just the same thing over and over with him.

      Delete
    2. But of course his response to that was to call me an asshole.

      Delete
  5. The unfortunate thing is there is no ladder up. If one is working for that small law firm, one can plan on continuing to work there, or to move to a similar firm for a similar income.

    Big law only hires right out of law school, unless one has a book of good clients. Very few attorneys gets a book of good clients working for small firms. And if by chance someone should get it, big law has nothing to offer.

    About the best one can hope for is working for some government agency, where the salary is about the same, but the hours are shorter and the benefits are better.

    Many try to strike out on their own after getting a few years of experience, but it is a tough row to how. It takes the right personality to market oneself, and a fair amount of skill and knowlege to run a successful business.

    High Plains Lawyer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Big law only hires right out of law school, unless one has a book of good clients. Very few attorneys gets a book of good clients working for small firms. And if by chance someone should get it, big law has nothing to offer."

      Note that this is not uncommon; if for example you're an engineer, you get hired by the big/elite companies right out of college, not at all.

      Delete
    2. Getting clients is part of the job description of being a lawyer. We prolly need to stress this to law students. Not for nothing, but "getting patients" is part of the job description for a lot of new doctors too.

      Delete
    3. This is not completely true. Biglaw hires laterals. I think the market is hotter now because they fired all the junior associates a few years ago.

      Delete
  6. The complaint is the same - X crappy job only prepares me to do X as a crappy career. Being a low end associate in BigLaw means for most people up and out. Starting as a small town lawyer means being a small town lawyer.

    The problem is that a lot of people assumed being a lawyer was a ticket to freedom. But that was never the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, the problem is:

      (1) It now costs $150K in debt or more to become a small town lawyer, which makes no sense economically.

      (2) Even becoming a small town lawyer is getting increasingly difficult.

      Delete
    2. The complaint was actually about the job itself - that it's low skilled (is it really?) Yeah, it's totally absurd to pay $150k or more for such a job. But being a starting lawyer sucks all around, and most people don't survive whether it's in small law or big law.

      Delete
    3. How is being a lawyer really low skill? Some a-hole comes to you, vomits out their problems, and you have to sort through all of that, and figure out what argument you can make, and then make it effectively. How is that low skill? You have to do things like communicate well, instill confidence, not sound like an idiot, etc. Maybe even have some business skill. How the f*** is that low skill? This f***** guy has a job as a lawyer and is crying because it's...he never really said why. It just "wasn't what he was expecting." Well welcome to life. Do something with it. (He even saved on his student loan debt, to boot!)

      Delete
  7. Tell the guy who sent you that letter to stop whining. I wasted 10 minutes of my morning listening to some recent law graduate whine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Hi professor,"

      Delete
    2. This doesn't even make sense.

      Delete
    3. Stop whining, 5:35.

      Delete
  8. Occasionally, some troll who has his little heart set on going to law school - despite the facts - will assert that attorneys making $35K per year can "work harder" and make more money later. Keep in mind that such comments probably come from 20 year old kids who have no understanding of the workplace.

    If you land a low-paying job upon graduation, and you remain in that field, then you will likely be making peanuts for MANY years. Even if you change careers in a few years, you will not improve your salary drastically. Employers will (logically) assume that you are worth what your salary history indicates. If you work for a two man firm, in a small community, then you will not go from $35K to pulling down six figures any time soon. Even if you were lateral to another similar-sized law firm, you will make about the same income.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That hissing sound you're listening to is someone's dreams deflating.

      Delete
  9. while i dont disagree with your comments about lawyers, your view of the corporate world is not completely accurate.

    "And, to most people, a career means this: start out entry level, gain skill sets, get promoted with proportional increase in pay, broaden skill sets. Repeat. This is how the corporate world works, and almost every other vocation works, even the trades "

    most mail carriers, teachers, doctors, auto workers, secrataries, and nurses will remain mail carriers, teachers, doctors, auto workers, secretaries and nurses the rest of their lives. There is not a lot of career advancement in these positions.

    a staff dr at a hospital is going to stay a staff dr at a hospital unles he open his own practice.

    in this regard, being an attorney is not much different than these other jobs.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Teachers teach the subject they want usually, staff doctors practice in the field they want usually, etc. If law student wants to draft appellate briefs regarding some toxic pollution suit or something (regardless of whether this is possible right out of law school), if he gets stuck in a small family law firm he will not practice in the area of law for which he went to law school.

      That's part of the scam. Get experience, anywhere, and you'll move up. What if I want to draft 144 offerings, as boring as that may be?? A big firm that has that practice area is not gonna hire me if I'm at an4 person firm churning out immigration papers, despite all the old heads who say any legal job is good -'law is fungible. It's not. Practice experience is shrinking and where you start is generally where you en up.

      I think it's the lack of choice that other fields have that is the most startling of the scam.

      Delete
    2. There is a BIG difference. Those other jobs such as mail carriers, teachers, etc don't cost $150k to obtain said jobs. So sure maybe a nurse stays a nurse and never advances. But that nurse didn't spend years of education and money to become a nurse.

      As for doctors, no real doctor job is really "entry level". So while they might be a staff doctor and not get much in promotion, their pay is still commensurate with their time and money spent on their physician training.

      So in this regard being an attorney is very different than these other jobs due to the cost of entry of being said attorney.

      Delete
    3. Oh lord. "draft appellate briefs regarding toxic torts." Yea, I'm a med student, and I just want to "do brain surgery."

      Delete
    4. Nurses can move up. They become the nurse supervisor, they become nursing professors, they get seniority and better hours, they move into research, they move into administration, etc.
      Teachers can move up too. They become principals, superintendents, they can get tenure, get raises, etc. The difference is that not every teacher expects to "make principal" quite the way young lawyers want to "make partner." The basic job, for teachers and nurses, is pretty much the same at all levels. They pretty much know what kind of money they are going to make, and they don't expect to be part of a small percentage that become multimillionaires. The 10% top earning RNs in the USA probably only make about 3 times what the lowest earning 10% of RNs in the USA make. That's nothing like the doc review guy making $30,000 in a good year compared to the NYC partner pulling in 3 million.

      Delete
    5. Writer of letter is not doing doc review. He is working in a law office as a lawyer.

      Delete
    6. Well, he probably is doing some doc review, but he is not working for a doc review firm. That makes a big difference.

      Delete
    7. Nurse definitely advance. There are nurse practitioners as well as nurse anethesiologists.

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    8. That's not "advancing" in their career paths. Those are new career paths, requiring new degrees.

      Delete
    9. True.. And what similar paths are there for lawyers to move up into better careers?

      Delete
  10. yea, re: other jobs is right. You know, I just realized who this blog is aimed at: really stupid young people. got it. well, to that extent, bravo. But for God's sake, the above letter basically described the working world for almost every friggin job imaginable. In fact, I think Law Prof himself might testify to how menial the academic world can be at first...work for my adviser, do what he tells me to do, make no money, pretend like I agree with him.

    100% right. Law is not the golden ticket.

    But to 0Ls who think it is...at least try having a real job for two years...you know, you HAVE to wake up early...every day. That's a start. And THEN decide if you just want the substance of that job to be law rather than something else. I guarantee that if you actually love what you do and realize why you're doing it (Golden Ticket NOT a good reason)...you'll actually do pretty well. Just an insane thought. "Will I be rich?" you ask? GTFO.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. update: I'm not even being mean. Get a job before you go to law school it will help you get interviews after.

      Delete
    2. Does "working world for almost every friggin job imaginable" require 7 years (BS/BA + JD) of education and expenses?

      No. Then STFU.

      If law degree was an undergraduate degree or even a cheap masters maybe you have a point. But since it doesn't, at least in this country, your point is invalid.

      Delete
    3. This is the key point. Small law is largely boring clerical work with the stress of a low and variable income that depends on your own business development skills. As jobs go it sucks, because it's both boring and stressful, and it doesn't pay much.

      Now add to that that this job requires seven years of higher education and a fortune in tuition. That's insane. And this is a good outcome these days for a law school grad!

      Delete
    4. So you made a mistake. You paid too much. But that's very different than saying "you're fucked." If you really think you have nothing to work with here, then I don't know what to tell ya. Be a salesman, you'll have the same problem. Be a whatever, you'll have the same problem. Too bad you didn't go to med school but now you're gonna have to deal. (med school costs MORE than law school, and starting salaries are going down in that field too, btw.)

      Delete
    5. Except:

      Going to med school means you get to be a doctor. Going to law school means you have a 50% chance of being a lawyer, maybe.

      There are no doctors making $30K-$60K five years out of medical school. That's a typical salary for a recent law grad who actually gets to be a lawyer.

      Delete
    6. Yes, except the letter above is from a law student who is now a lawyer.

      Delete
    7. 7:22

      Yeah, I'm trying to "be a whatever", but turns out they don't want lawyers for that either.

      This would be where the "I'm fucked" thing would come in. That and no bankruptcy.

      Delete
  11. Young people would be a lot "smarter" about the way the world works if old people didn't feed them so much stupid bullshit. Where exactly do students get their ideas about the way career ladders work anyway?

    The idea that a small-law attorney can "move up" after a few years of experience is widely believed and spread, by old people. It is offered as a consolation prize to young people who are (or are going to be) disappointed by their first job.

    Before we blame the graduates, lets try actually telling the truth for a few years and see what happens. Let's tell them that their first job defines them in ways that can't be escaped and which will determine their options for the rest of their lives. Let's tell them that if they don't get the good job right away, they will never get it. All you personal responsibility trolls out there, how many kids have you explained this to?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Where exactly do students get their ideas about the way career ladders work anyway?"

      Television?

      Delete
    2. No, instead of "telling them the truth," why don't you learn it yourself. Get a job before going to law school. Besides, if we told you the truth, you probably wouldn't believe us. Since when have young people listened to their parents.

      The truth is you of course can move up in any job you take. But your bosses have to like you, you have to convince them that you buy your BS (yea, learn how to do that), and be good at your job...actually, you don't even have to be that good.

      There, now you know. It's the same everywhere. From Cravath to ShitLaw.

      Delete
    3. you buy their* BS

      Delete
    4. Oh, two more things, since you asked: don't be too good at your job unless your boss or client needs you to be, and who you work for are your clients, not just your boss.

      Delete
    5. old people didn't feed them so much stupid bullshit.

      Amem.

      Boomers, generally, buy into the power of magical thinking. Of course, it works when you consume the future (debt) to give you magic today. Unfortunately, there is not much future left to consume.

      Delete
    6. Clearly law school costs too much $$. But you made the stupid decision to go to law school anyway. So here are the suggestions to (probably) make it work.

      Delete
    7. "So here are the suggestions to (probably) make it work."

      ...

      ...

      ...

      ...

      Delete
    8. There all over this comment thread.

      Delete
  12. Today's post has prompted me to ask you all if my employer (law office of two attorneys) is being an opportunistic git while trying to assuage some guilt. Here is the situation: we had an awesome paralegal who recently quit. Many young attorneys have applied for the position, which is listed as paralegal/office admin/secretary. My boss has had a whimsical hair to hire one of the recent grad applicants for the position. Our office focuses on a rather technical field for which one would typically require a mentor and resources to develop skills (I suppose most areas of law are like this, right?). My boss has made it clear that he does not intend to turn this paralegal position into an attorney position; he will not be mentoring this individual. He said that I will be responsible for training the person and showing them our system. He also said that he would be happy to let the paralegal advertise that he/she is an associate here to boost his/her resume (isn't that nice?), despite the fact that there will be no attorney stuff for him/her. Given that there are often slow days for me when I feel under-utilized, I don't see this individual getting any real experience. Oh, and I suppose these are important details: the salary is $35k/year and the office is in downtown Boston; the position requires the individual to be in the office from noon to 5:30 on week days.

    What do you all think? Are we jerks for luring in a new grad to this "mutually beneficial" position? Is it true that this would be "better than nothing" despite being a (likely) absolute dead-end? Would the magic of being employed wear off after three weeks of filing and phone-answering, leaving the law grad depressed, unfulfilled, and possibly worse off?

    More importantly, what would you all suggest I do to help out the law grad? My boss is bringing candidates into the office on Wednesday for final interviews. I think his heart is in the right place, but I don't want to set anyone up for McJob misery and failure, or at least I want to increase the odds that this position would be worthwhile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How to help her out: get her interviews by using your network if you think she would reflect well on you.


      BTW, 35k a year, a free job title, 35k a year for part time work...that's not shit.

      And yes, the luster of having a job will wear off as soon as she starts working.

      Also: invite her to social meetings you have with clients, find her cases your firm won't take..again, provided she will reflect well on you.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the suggestions; I have only been practicing for two years and I am still an utterly clueless introvert.

      Delete
    3. Write her a letter of rec.

      Delete
  13. You can't save them all, Holden.

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  14. Why are so many young people so reluctant to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you suggest working at one of the plentiful blue-collar jobs?

      Perhaps build a practice in 1970, when clients (and people in general based on real wages) had money and law wasn't a commodity, like you did?

      Or maybe just get in the Jeffery Skilling racket and ride the next government primed asset bubble. I think the next one will be . . . . tulip bulbs.

      Delete
    2. Yes, lack of ambition is what's hurting young lawyers. Are you serious?

      Delete
    3. Ambitious people don't whine

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    4. Ambitious people don't whine

      Of course, they just ask their parents for a loan. Good luck in the debate, mittens.

      Delete
    5. Romney Loan from Parents Statement

      (not trying to make a political statement. Just one about class and how the "whiners" look from the top of the pyramid. I voted for bush twice, and would have voted for McCain sans Palin)

      Delete
    6. Come on now. Roll up your sleeves and get your shit dirty. There are hoards of people begging for legal services that they can't afford.

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    7. 10:09AM:

      Holy shit.

      Delete
    8. Right...you just said that they can't afford to pay anyone for their work. This means it is not sustainable for a career - eventually your clients need to pay you.

      What does that have to do with rolling your sleeves up?

      Delete
    9. To use an analogy, if I give all of my food and money to the starving, who are begging for food they can't afford, and in so doing become one of them, have I done any good?


      To steal Christopher Hitchens' criticize of Mother Theresa: you don't love the poor, you love poverty.

      Similarly, if I perform legal services for those who can't pay me enough to service my debt, I don't serve the poor, I am poor; rolled up sleeves or no.

      I hope that you're a troll.

      Delete
  15. That first letter hit the nail on the head. There is no real opportunity for "advancement" and regularly increasing one's income in law, unless 1) you move up the ladder and make partner at a medium to large firm, OR 2) you have your own practice are good at running a business, are extroverted, and talented at "networking", meaning you spend a lot of time schmoozing with people you don't like, so that they will hopefully send you business. Both paths require certain abilities and personalities. If you don't have these, and get a law degree, you will be stuck in small-firm job with no real options for advancement (unless you go solo and have a talent for that), or working for a government agency.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Somewhere along the way, law faculty bought their own bullshit: namely, that law school was educational and existed to help individuals think like lawyers, a skill that will help them in many different endeavors, including, but not limited to law.

    This is, of course, a package of lies sold to gullible 21 year olds.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My first job (besides helping out with the family business) was as a cashier in the local bakery in the mornings before school. I was paid about $3.50 an hour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL

      What year was that? How much was tuition and living expenses? What about food and gas?

      Did your parent use to tell you that movies cost a nickel and they went to the soda fountain beforehand to split a soda? And that gum was a penny? This is the same concept.

      Delete
    2. My first job was $2.20 an hour, 14-16 hours a day in the fields. We got time and a half if, and only if, we worked all 7 days of the week.

      (Stupid federal exemptions for "farms" when our employer was a large national crop seed corporation.)

      Delete
  18. "My resume isn't that bad (graduated top 1/3 from a T30, with exec position on LR), so I am not sure if I am not going about getting contract/temp work the right way?"

    Well, T30 is a new one for me.

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    Replies
    1. It means whichever school is 29th or 30th on those stupid rankings.

      Delete
    2. T30 isn't a thing.

      She probably went to Notre Dame or a similar school.

      Delete
  19. A $35k to $50k salary, even if it's fairly dead end, isn't a bad outcome for a recent graduate . . . OF UNDERGRAD.

    The $35 to $50k outcome is a push for what this person might have gotten 2 or 3 years out of college.

    Law is a mature career and offers declining career prospects to young people. To all 0L special snowflakes, be a special snowflake in a new industry. Even if you are supremely talented, these days it's tough to be a special snowflake cowboy, a special snowflake longshoreman, a special snowflake grocery store owner, and a special snowflake lawyer. Don't fight the tide.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "A $35k to $50k salary, even if it's fairly dead end, isn't a bad outcome for a recent graduate . . . OF UNDERGRAD"

    law school is a terrible idea for most people without a doubt. but so are many undergrad degrees. after much searching, a friend got a job doing "communications" with a comminication degree from a decent school for 24k a year. its currently a contract job. its a horrible time for many right now unless you have an engineering degree with some experience.

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    1. It's just a bad time all around. Might as well triple-down on a law degree. No blame to those who run law schools, of course.

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    2. I would say, go to law school again. two JDs are more versatile than one.

      Delete
  21. It has been the case for at least 20 years that I know of that these jobs in small law firms are mostly dead end with very very little chance to improve or advance. It has been the case for at least 20 years that the more experience you have and the more years out of law school, the LESS opportunity that you have unless you have your own clients (and only a tiny, single digit percentage do). Thus, thankfully this aspect of the lawyering school scam and the lawyering business is being exposed. Truly, I personally know of no other field where experience and seniority are such a detriment to job prospects like the lawyering business. It is absolutely completely unrealistic and almost impossible to start out small, gain experience and eventually do better in the lawyering business.

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    1. "It is absolutely completely unrealistic and almost impossible to start out small, gain experience and eventually do better in the lawyering business."

      So 35k for the rest of your life? Give me a break.

      Delete
    2. I know plenty of 60-year-old lawyers who never came close to breaking six figures. In their good years, they'll clear $60,000. In bad years, $40,000.

      If you have experience and aren't a complete jerk, law is a field where you can make $40,000 pretty easily. There are few positions, however, that pay more than $75,000, and you really have to bust your back to make it unless you get some cushy government job.

      Delete
    3. 40 to 60. Well, a lot of people live on 40 to 60 in this world. It sucks.

      Delete
    4. Most people that make 40 to 60k did not spent 150k on education

      Delete
    5. Yep, some roll the $150k dice and lose.

      No one forced anyone to roll the dice.

      Delete
    6. Yeah and nobody forced anyone to roll the dice on business loans. Oh wait, they're dischargeable. Hmm.

      Oh and wait...you are forced to come up with $150k if you want to go to law school. Weird.

      Delete
  22. "its a horrible time for many right now unless you have an engineering degree with some experience."

    Bullshit. Engineers are as fucked as everyone else. Ask an engineer before making ill-informed comments like that.

    ReplyDelete
  23. If you are currently attending law school, remember these stories when your school announces a tuition increase that is (a) larger than any measure of inflation, but (b) is still reasonable in the school's mind because it is slightly smaller than the five or six annual increases before it.

    These kids must not have realized how Versatile a Degree they have.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Time for an economic reality check courtesy of Doug Short and Charles Hugh Smith.

    Look at the second chart down the blog page on this link (it's currently on the main Of Two Minds page):

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogoct12/govt-inflation10-12.html

    It shows the 600% increase in education tuition and fees since 1980.

    Over 300% since 2000.

    It compares this to real increases in income, which is less than 100% over the last 30 years.

    This is the core of the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome. Thanks for posting.

      Delete
  25. ""its a horrible time for many right now unless you have an engineering degree with some experience."

    Bullshit. Engineers are as fucked as everyone else. Ask an engineer before making ill-informed comments like that."

    in several companies i am very knowledgable about, engineers with some experience are getting poached left and right with better paying opportunities. so much so that the engineers have been getting raises more than the rest of the company to keep them in place. this has been confirmed by engineers working in these and other companies. This has also been confirmed by a friend in HR at a major manufacturing firm as well as a VP on engineering at a tier 1 supplier. Also confirmed by an uncle who is a senior design engineer at an oem who was complaining about the turn over in his department as people depart his group for more money.


    i know what i saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have to side with the younggins on this one. From what I know, the engineering market is pretty hot.

      But that's not to say they're all great jobs, or they're not vulnerable to a downturn or outsourcing or you-name-it.

      Not to say you won't one day open your checkbook and think "boy I need a masters."

      Not to say MIT grades aren't doing better than State U.

      For sure not to say the jobs are any less grade-sensitive than BigLaw.

      Delete
  26. i have a older friend who is dating a 22 year old college grad. yes, a lucky guy. she just got her first job in her field after graduating undergrad. its a decent job at a decent company.

    two weeks into the job she is complaining that it is a dead end job. when he tries to tell her its great experience, and it could lead to this and that, she gets all mad at him like some of the law school grads around here.

    maybe its simply a youth thing to expect the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean, I am not saying the youth do not have complaints. After all, we did destroy the country. But, oh well. We did it and we got away with it and now you have to deal with it. So either you can complain, or listen to us. We are not totally evil. You should also stop assuming you know everything. (And by "destroy" I mean hurt really bad...part of listening to our advice is understanding that you can move up...even if it's a bit harder, even if you have way too much debt.) Just separate the questions of what YOU should do (either go to law school or, having already made the mistake, trying to make a go of it) and what we (the government, law schools, whatever) should do about law school costs. They are totally and completely independent questions.

      Delete
    2. Oh dear god.

      "I mean, I am not saying the youth do not have complaints. After all, we did destroy the country. But, oh well. We did it and we got away with it and now you have to deal with it. So either you can complain, or listen to us."

      I hope that was meant to be ironic.

      Delete
    3. Ignoring you is the best way to proceed.

      Delete
    4. Nice post comparing the completely irrelevant anecdote of an undergrad's first job experience to the experience of grads from a "professional" school who expect to be able to get a job in their profession and spend an additional 3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars (over the undergrad in the example) in the process.

      They have nothing to do with each other except in your addled boomer mind.

      Delete
  27. NOVI, Mich. -
    Dozens of companies will be on-hand today at The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) Engineering and Technology Job Fair at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi from 2 until 7 p.m.

    With almost 4,000 job openings, these companies will be looking for engineers and technical professionals to fill full or part-time vacancies in a variety of fields and skill levels.

    Hiring companies include: Altair, DENSO, Bartech, Chrysler, DTE Energy, Durr Systems, Ghafari Associates, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc., ITT Technical Institute, Link Engineering, Magna, Mitsubishi Motors¸ Nissan, Volt, and many others.



    Companies will be hiring for a variety of positions, including architects, chemical, civil, computer, design, energy, electrical, biomedical, environmental, aerospace, transportation, biofuels, defense, manufacturing, mechanical, programming, technical and other engineering and technology related fields.

    The job fair is free to ESD members and only $15 for non-members (includes a one-year free membership to ESD–good for new first time members

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any possible jobs for JD Painterguy?

      Delete
    2. I thought JD painterguy is a painter.

      Delete
    3. Probably not PosnerOctober 1, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      One issue with science jobs is that we tend to lump all engineers/scientists under one label when talking about their job prospects. The biology PhD market, for example, is pretty saturated. The chemical engineering market less so. It's helpful to get specific.

      Delete
    4. Well the cars need to be painted. I guess that another option for JD Painterguy would be medical research experiments. But the JD did help him set up a successful house painting business, so you can see that the JD is versatile.

      Delete
  28. How long it takes to become a lawyer, and how much it costs, don't have anything at all to do with the nature of the work, the stability of the market, the clients' ability to afford you, or the usual arc of a legal career. They just don't, and talking about them only underscores the cluelessness that has gotten so many people into such a bad place.

    That said, it does seem to me that 5 or 7 years experience in some small law specialty ought to reasonably fit someone out to open an office. Might not make much more money -- net -- but at least you're your own boss. And there's something to that.

    CC

    ReplyDelete
  29. i am an engineer and things are a mixed bag. we have 150 engineers and they hired one more three years ago and in three days we got 500 applications. Most applicants were well qualified and it was tough picking one, but we ended up with a young man fresh out of a top college.

    That said, most engineers have small student loan debt and only spent 5 years in college.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Do you think Denny Crane got a good job outta law school? We need to reconnect to some strongly-held social mores. If you find out what you are good at and exploit that, you'll do well.

    It seems that that is really the problem with all of this. People are going to law school not as a plan to exploit their talents but because they have nothing better to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so, to put the question squarely: are there enough jobs for people who SHOULD be going to law school? Let's see some data. If the answer, provisionally, is YES: then, if you should be in law school, but you're tied-up among all those that shouldn't, the only credited answer is: properly distinguish yourself. And yea, a shit job is a great way to do that if you know what to do with it.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and from my own work experience, let me say one thing that recent law grades REALLY need to hear. Your boss knows if you want to be there. You NEED to convince your boss that you do. You need to develop the art of lying at a cocktail party. Keep your true thoughts to your friends. If you let on that yo hate the job, you're not getting promoted, or getting access to clients, or getting good work. And if you don't have any of the above, there's no way for you to screw your boss over (which is what you really want to do) by leaving him for a better gig and hopefully taking his clients with him. So there. Free advice. The same kinda advice the boomers used to screw with our economy and do all sorts of bad things. It's your turn now.

      Delete
    3. I cannot stress this enough. You can be clarence f**** darrow. But if you let show for a second in all the hours and days you spend with your boss that you don't like working for his firm, or you think it's beneath you, you're screwed. Find a new job because you've screwed up the one you got. Learn how to actually have such work be beneath you but make your boss fall in love with you because he things you are his alone. It's like dating.

      Delete
    4. Who is Denny Crane?

      Oh, you mean a fictional character.

      Delete
  31. Everything is over saturated. Engineers with some experience, so the company would be hiring eternally. Why would you hire someone who was laid off or fires over a recent graduate?

    "Some experience" is HR code for hiring within the company.

    ReplyDelete
  32. @9:44 and 9:47

    I this is someone's first job I can see that. I would also tell them that work colleagues are not your friends. Don't hang out with them outside of work. This will help one avoid all the work place drama.

    It blows my mind when I hear people talking about hanging with work colleagues outside of work. It's not worth the risk. This isn't high school, grow up and take yourself out of the drama.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The problem with engineering is that you become obsolete when you hit 50 and can be replaced by cheaper, faster components.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fifty? More like 35. I lost my job at 31 and couldn't find another in engineering.

      Delete
    2. "I lost my job at 31 and couldn't find another in engineering."

      what kind of engineering?

      Delete
  34. This site MUST be MANDATORY reading for anyone contemplating law school! You have to know what you are getting yourself into BEFORE you actually do. The recession tore through this profession like a saw wheel like many others and the future of it doesn't look like a beacon of light. Not all mistakes can be avoided but a costly one like law school can.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Law prof: I have another area to push for transparency. Schools need to disclose how many people are on their LRAP and howuch they are spending.

    Schools like northwestern tout their LRAP- but it has serious drawbacks. You have to get the job as your first job out of school. Almost no one is getting these jobs. So how big is this program really and how much does it help people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with this. A number of the touted LRAP programs have terms and conditions that tend up foreclosing substantial participation in the program. Like many aspects of the law school scam, the LRAP programs get worse as the need for it increases (HYS all have great programs--you can go into and out of the program, which is a huge plus--but even the next cut starts to tie participation to IBR).

      Delete
  36. Some engineering fields are very hot right now such as ocean engineering and petroleum engineering as well as plain old mechanical engineering that can be applied to the energy sector. Think a lot of the engineers in the aerospace industry are going into tough times with the upcoming defense cutbacks.

    A lot of the oil companies are the only ones who seem to have retained any bennies worthwhile such as a pension as well as a 401K, decent medical care, tuition reimbursement, ect. they also tend to promote from within and seem to have a greater respect for the engineering profession than they do the MBA crowd.

    ReplyDelete
  37. ^^^^^@10:47...agreed but NOTHING will deter the deluded 0L with the special snowflake syndrome. I graduated in 2003 from a TTT crapper and have done okay (NOT PRACTICING LAW mind you). I am 41 years old. Two of my friends (one 42, the other 48) enrolled in law school this year despite all my warnings and references to this blog and Third Third Reality, etc. Both of my friends are at TTT schools.

    ReplyDelete
  38. My Question

    What do I do when one of these kids (hey I'm nearly an official old fart) sends me a resumé or engages me in a conversation that is heading around to "can you give me a job?" It is a situation where I do not have a job to offer this person.

    Usually my instinct when dealing with someone in this situation is to try to be encouraging - to try to think of what I can do to help - and to try with helpful suggestion. But as far as the suggestions go - most are up there with "but didn't you save it?" after a Word crash where there is inexplicably no backup - do you think this kid has not tried it? Sometimes, if they are bad, I help with resumé edits, but how much help is that?

    The issue is really what should I say. I really do not want to have a crap on these people, they have had enough shit land in them ... but I don't want to give them false hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same thing you say when a homeless guy asks you for money. I'm sorry, I can't help you.

      Delete
    2. Except that if the homeless person looks like they won't spend it on booze or drugs I will give them a dollar or five.

      Delete
    3. The point stands. "I'm sorry, I can't help you" is straightforward and polite. You can dress it up if you want and tell them it's a tough market but why give someone false hope just so you don't feel bad guilty?

      Delete
  39. I wheent tuu uh luh schuul ahhhnd annnd it whuuus reeely reeely guud thhaat I whent beeecuse it mhade me reeely smardt ahhnd pruhesshinall ahnnd ahhhnd it is reeeely reeely guud two bee pruhfeshunnull cuse thuh pruhfeshurs were reely smarrrdt tu annd teeched me luh in thu luh schuuul beecuse thaht is guud 2 du.


    Ahhnu now I havve two pay a lhott of lhoot of muuny thaadt now qhudriipled thimes fuur thu oridginul ammmoundtt tuu thuh guhvurnmunt ahhnd thhhhat mhhhake mee sadd ahnnd deepreshed abhout itt.

    Thu ductur says that uh opurashuion on algernon wurrked fine ahhnd now i wiil haave un opurashuiin whiith uh giiglky saw ahhnd a fruntul lobotumee or mhaybe thu bohttle in frundt uf mee :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome back JD Painterguy. I see that this its all done lasted 8 hours and 47 minutes.

      From your earlier post: "But I'm done, and as the weeks go by you can eagerly await my return, or go looking for me."

      Delete
    2. The JD did help you set up a successful house painting business.

      Delete
    3. Charlie Gordon went to Cooley.

      Delete
    4. For posterity:

      JD PainterguyOctober 1, 2012 1:59 PM
      I wheent tuu uh luh schuul ahhhnd annnd it whuuus reeely reeely guud thhaat I whent beeecuse it mhade me reeely smardt ahhnd pruhesshinall ahnnd ahhhnd it is reeeely reeely guud two bee pruhfeshunnull cuse thuh pruhfeshurs were reely smarrrdt tu annd teeched me luh in thu luh schuuul beecuse thaht is guud 2 du.


      Ahhnu now I havve two pay a lhott of lhoot of muuny thaadt now qhudriipled thimes fuur thu oridginul ammmoundtt tuu thuh guhvurnmunt ahhnd thhhhat mhhhake mee sadd ahnnd deepreshed abhout itt.

      Thu ductur says that uh opurashuion on algernon wurrked fine ahhnd now i wiil haave un opurashuiin whiith uh giiglky saw ahhnd a fruntul lobotumee or mhaybe thu bohttle in frundt uf mee :)

      Delete
    5. How uniquely messed up is JD Painter? Is there anyone who would trade places with such an abject loser?

      Delete
    6. I've started to ignore his posts. Watching him self- destruct is too sad.

      I wish he would at least try bankruptcy. He might find relief. He owes so much. He has nothing to lose at this point.

      Delete
  40. Hmph. Look at this. I'm gonna be a mean anon dick and law school industry shill and copy and paste that.


    I wheent tuu uh luh schuul ahhhnd annnd it whuuus reeely reeely guud thhaat I whent beeecuse it mhade me reeely smardt ahhnd pruhesshinall ahnnd ahhhnd it is reeeely reeely guud two bee pruhfeshunnull cuse thuh pruhfeshurs were reely smarrrdt tu annd teeched me luh in thu luh schuuul beecuse thaht is guud 2 du.


    Ahhnu now I havve two pay a lhott of lhoot of muuny thaadt now qhudriipled thimes fuur thu oridginul ammmoundtt tuu thuh guhvurnmunt ahhnd thhhhat mhhhake mee sadd ahnnd deepreshed abhout itt.

    Thu ductur says that uh opurashuion on algernon wurrked fine ahhnd now i wiil haave un opurashuiin whiith uh giiglky saw ahhnd a fruntul lobotumee or mhaybe thu bohttle in frundt uf mee :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shhh... You'll attract the attention of the CIA, FBI, DHS, the Kremlin, and Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor herself, and I know this because page views.

      Delete
  41. There's a lot of variety in small firms. I pay my associates more like $80K and I think they are not falling out of the middle class at all and have decent career prospects.
    But it is true that there are a ton of small firms I wouldn't want to start at.

    ReplyDelete
  42. ^^^^ Painterguy:

    Why don't you see a dozen bankruptcy lawyers and have them all grab you by the scruff of the neck and throw you out of their offices?

    The IS NO bankruptcy for student loans!

    And writing to your congressman is just like pissing up a rope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is bankruptcy for undue hardship, which may be hard to meet, but really look at him.

      Delete
    2. That's for undue hardship, not for uncouth hardheads.

      Delete
    3. I agree. A psych eval, meds, attempted but failed treatment, and JDpainterguy just might qualify for disability. The mental kind.

      Perhaps that is why he has a blog in the first place. You do need a mountain of proof to qualify...

      Delete
  43. Oh I'm FOARP. Look at how exotic and fancy I am. And look at me! Look at me!

    I'm a fancy pants snooty snoot, playing the skin flute!

    I'm as rich as JP Morgan, and I love playing the hanging organ.

    Because I'm Fancy FOARP!

    Whoa! Let's all get out of the way of FOARP!

    All the roses in the garden, bow and ask his pardon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I like this FOARP guy.

      His blog is fun to read if you like to read blogs like his.

      Delete
    2. JP "His blog is fun to read if you like to read blogs like his"

      You sound like a lot of post-KSR examiners. "The combination is obvious because reference A and reference B together show all the elements, and therefore one of skill would have obviously combined the elements because, if one of skill had desired to do so, they are there in the art."

      Delete
  44. Ooooh, JP, I know what you are saying.

    And FOARP is always saying: "I Want! And I Want! And I Need! I Need!

    But did FOARP ever once in his life, EVER ONCE stop and think, just for a moment, that I might be a human being, and with feelings, and with dignity, and that I might have wants, and that I might have needs too?

    DID HE?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "You've got to say, 'I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value!'"

      Delete
    2. Alcohol and Internet don't mix:


      JD PainterguyOctober 1, 2012 2:51 PM
      Ooooh, JP, I know what you are saying.

      And FOARP is always saying: "I Want! And I Want! And I Need! I Need!

      But did FOARP ever once in his life, EVER ONCE stop and think, just for a moment, that I might be a human being, and with feelings, and with dignity, and that I might have wants, and that I might have needs too?

      DID HE?

      Delete
    3. Hey JD Painter, you can borrow my copy of "The Collected Works of Stuart Smalley" if it will help you get through this rough patch otherwise known as your entire sorry life.

      Just keep repeating: "I'm a good person. I'm not a ludicrous alcoholic completely unworthy of the oxygen required to sustain me for even another minute."

      Say it over and over.

      Delete
    4. Remember, Stuart Smalley is now the Senator from Minnesota.

      Delete
    5. And Gosh Darn it, Half Of The People Like Me.

      Delete
    6. "But did FOARP ever once in his life, EVER ONCE stop and think, just for a moment, that I might be a human being, and with feelings, and with dignity, and that I might have wants, and that I might have needs too?"

      You two having a tiff?

      Delete
  45. Youse people all live for this stuff.

    So put the debtor in the zoo,
    then it's cookies, and candy,
    and ice cream for you!

    And hey guess what, you booger guy
    there is no reaching for the sky.

    Cause there never even was a pie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Painter's post -

      Youse people all live for this stuff.

      So put the debtor in the zoo,
      then it's cookies, and candy,
      and ice cream for you!

      And hey guess what, you booger guy
      there is no reaching for the sky.

      Cause there never even was a pie!

      Delete
  46. Anonymous @2:57PM:

    You're really going to keep this up - this reposting everything JD Painterguy posts? How pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And come to think of it you're a fucking pussy too. You're really going to pick on a guy clearly having a hard time? I'm no fan of JD Painterguy's comments. I can't tell you the last time I visited his blog either. But you're complete trash. Can't bring down anyone stronger than the weakest among us? What a joke.

      Delete
    2. Just who do you think you are calling pathetic?


      JD PainterguyOctober 1, 2012 3:03 PM
      Youse people all live for this stuff.

      So put the debtor in the zoo,
      then it's cookies, and candy,
      and ice cream for you!

      And hey guess what, you booger guy
      there is no reaching for the sky.

      Cause there never even was a pie!

      Delete
    3. Um, WTF is a "booger guy" and why JDPainterflop STILL PERMITTED TO POST on this blog?

      Delete
  47. Good luck with the Dallas prospect, I hope everything works out for you. I know the job market is not ideal at the moment, but if you dig in your heals somewhere you are bound to find an opportunity for growth. All the best :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. @ 3:04PM

    Yes he or she is motivated by pure hatred, and will, because he or she wants to ruin me, like that detective that chased around Jean ValJean.

    But I cannot be more ruined than I am now anyway, and my blogging is a swan song for a life of sould destroying debt.

    After a while the debt absolutely becomes a part of one's identity.

    And one person said that my debt is paper and not "real" debt, but still it affects the credit and shoots to shit any chance of getting a job that requires a credit check.

    And debt like mine is a strong deterrent to marriage if not the formation of the American family unit.

    What the square minded, literal uncool jerk @2:57PM reposted is part of a story I am writing, and I kind of adapted it to fit with FOARP, and for fun, but it is really just a few creative lines that can be dovetialed into a lot of situations and issues etc so long as there is transitional material or rather introductory lines.

    That is creative writing.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JD Painterguy October 1, 2012 3:17 PM

      @ 3:04PM

      Yes he or she is motivated by pure hatred, and will, because he or she wants to ruin me, like that detective that chased around Jean ValJean.

      But I cannot be more ruined than I am now anyway, and my blogging is a swan song for a life of sould destroying debt.

      After a while the debt absolutely becomes a part of one's identity.

      And one person said that my debt is paper and not "real" debt, but still it affects the credit and shoots to shit any chance of getting a job that requires a credit check.

      And debt like mine is a strong deterrent to marriage if not the formation of the American family unit.

      What the square minded, literal uncool jerk @2:57PM reposted is part of a story I am writing, and I kind of adapted it to fit with FOARP, and for fun, but it is really just a few creative lines that can be dovetialed into a lot of situations and issues etc so long as there is transitional material or rather introductory lines.

      That is creative writing.

      Delete
    2. Dude- at least get a login ID so we can skip your posts. You remind me of a three year old.

      Delete
    3. Sample suggested name for the serial repeater: { JDPainter-Peater }October 1, 2012 at 7:06 PM

      ... just a thought

      Delete
    4. I think you owe an apology to all three year olds.

      Delete
  49. And that tired old flowers for algernon bit from my repertoire is pretty redundant as well.

    Hell I used to post that kind of stuff on Kimber's old blog.

    Only 2:57PM, the square, thinks it is all new under the sun and wants to "tell teacher" on me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JD Painterguy October 1, 2012 3:24 PM

      And that tired old flowers for algernon bit from my repertoire is pretty redundant as well.

      Hell I used to post that kind of stuff on Kimber's old blog.

      Only 2:57PM, the square, thinks it is all new under the sun and wants to "tell teacher" on me :)

      Delete
  50. And my melodramatics about not coming back, but not keeping my word and coming back are about two years old too.

    Look: if, with the help of every friggin' law school in the USA and a Congress, a bank can lend a certain amount, and then later on change that amount to 4X that amount later on, then why should I be literal?

    And alls youse people get so offended?

    So it is very logical and morally right for a student loan to triple or quadruple, and not for painterguy to come back and needle the shills?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a potential lawyer, did you read what the student loan contract stated? What did it say?

      Delete
    2. JD Painterguy October 1, 2012 3:32 PM

      And my melodramatics about not coming back, but not keeping my word and coming back are about two years old too.

      Look: if, with the help of every friggin' law school in the USA and a Congress, a bank can lend a certain amount, and then later on change that amount to 4X that amount later on, then why should I be literal?

      And alls youse people get so offended?

      So it is very logical and morally right for a student loan to triple or quadruple, and not for painterguy to come back and needle the shills?

      Delete
    3. You sound like such an idiot Painter. The funny thing is you so desperately try to sound erudite and well read, but you just come across like a total dipshit. Find a date. Or better yet ... in your case ... spank it.

      Delete
  51. I thought of something recently. The terrible economics of most law practice may be behind older attorneys becoming what is known as a "copyright troll."

    See, eg., https://www.eff.org/issues/copyright-trolls

    maybe the dearth of real legal jobs is behind some lawyers going beyond the line of what most folks would be comfortable with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I thought of something recently."

      Hey, me too!

      Delete
    2. More seriously, until early this year there was a short lived (about 18 month) phenomenon called "patent marking troll" law suits. Same thing - law firms without enough real business basically running shake-down operations.

      Thankfully Congress finally shut down that stupid little cottage industry.

      Delete
  52. "Except:

    Going to med school means you get to be a doctor. Going to law school means you have a 50% chance of being a lawyer, maybe.

    There are no doctors making $30K-$60K five years out of medical school. That's a typical salary for a recent law grad who actually gets to be a lawyer."

    As a physician myself I can say that whoever posted this is full of crap.
    Many physicians these days are bankrupt or close to bankruptcy.
    Here is a good piece of reality from CNN Money:
    "Beau Donegan, senior executive with a hospital cancer center in Newport Beach, Calif., is well aware of physicians' financial woes.
    Many are too proud to admit that they are on the verge of bankruptcy," she said. "These physicians see no way out of the downward spiral of reimbursement, escalating costs of treating patients and insurance companies deciding when and how much they will pay them."
    Donegan knows an oncologist "with a stellar reputation in the community" who hasn't taken a salary from his private practice in over a year. He owes drug companies $1.6 million, which he wasn't reimbursed for."

    I can definitively say that most of you here know as much about the real world of physician practice as I know about the real world of law practice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all are in the same boat.

      Delete
  53. Kids, be so very careful, and teach your children well to be afraid.

    There is a horrible baby boomer icon and hippie era monster that wants to come and take all of your borrowed money, as well as your liver:

    http://www.davidcrosby.com/

    ReplyDelete
  54. Some law schools are cutting on the supply side - lowering class size. Others, incredibly, are not. See new blog memotogeorgetownlawfaculty (dot) wordpress (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  55. One Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Six Hundred Ninety-Seven TLS Posts - OH MY!October 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    "From the TLS employment forum, Sept 22 (emphasis added): I feel really sad writing this... but I've been trying to find "real" legal work for a long time now, and have turned to applying for document review positions..."


    Am I the only person to note that the jobless TLS poster has One Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Six Hundred Ninety-Seven TLS Posts???

    What could s/he have done differently with all that time spent?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are the total number of anonymous posts in that forum, not that particular poster's posting stats.

      Delete
    2. Looks like Nancy Drew came up empty-handed this time.

      Delete
    3. One Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Six Hundred Ninety-Seven successful trollings - OH MY!October 1, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      buwahahahaa.

      Delete
    4. This is the funniest thing I've read on this blog.

      Plus it clarifies the nature of the commenters who are just looking for negative points. As well as exposing themselves as clueless boomers who don't have an idea hoe forums work.

      So, yes, this is hilarious.

      Delete
    5. I strongly prefer the Ho Fora to the Hoe Forums.

      Delete
    6. Lol! That was my phone and my bad typing.

      I meant how, but how is funnier.

      Delete
    7. Um, if the poster is "Anonymous", then you've embarrassed yourself.

      Delete
  56. A former professor long ago told us that we should major in a field that we were interested in, that we could do, and that someone would pay us to do.
    Not more complicated than that except that the economy is collapsing around everyone's ears. The JD degree is worse than useless, the PhD degree is hopeless, as is, increasingly, the MBA. A Master's degree, in your field, earned at night and paid for by your company, may be the only sane advanced degree to obtain. And that assumes you have already graduated in one of the few remaining in-demand disciplines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One problem with in-demand disciplines is that they don't remain in demand. Perhaps today there's a shortage of petroleum engineers. But will there be by the time I could become qualified for that profession? Will the positions last?

      There was a big demand for software developers in the late 1990s. But 2000 and 2001 changed all that.

      Delete
    2. Valid point, but an educated guestimate for is better than what is going on now with the debt and three years for the JD, up to ten years for a PhD on top of an undergraduate degree in anthropology, sociology, psychology. Not to mention African Studies, Women's Studies, Dance Therapy, and all the rancid rest of it.

      Delete
    3. Hi! I'm a BA in African Women Space-Dancing Basket Weaving International EntertainmentOctober 1, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      ssssssssssssssssss

      Delete
  57. "The JD degree is worse than useless, the PhD degree is hopeless, as is, increasingly, the MBA. A Master's degree, in your field, earned at night and paid for by your company, may be the only sane advanced degree to obtain. "

    Optometry is still viable. Cf the comment from the doctor above, a significant portion of the OD's business is not reimbursed or covered by insurance - people are used to footing a significant portion of the bill for their contacts and especially for their frames and spectacle lenses. And spectacles are where an OD makes a good bit of his/her profit. Very little chair time required but good margins.

    ReplyDelete
  58. A friend recently got his glasses by mail from Pakistan. He just entered the prescription on the computer and placed an order.

    Maybe opticians will soon be in trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nah (I'm 5:47 above). Low cost spex services like you mention from Pakistan (or try www.zennioptical.com - I use them for short term needs, to get extra glasses for sports or building projects etc., and always recommend them to folks who can't spend a lot, senior citizens, etc.) have been around for a long, long time.

      But the vast majority of people are still buying their fashion frames.

      Delete
    2. Osama Optics?

      Delete
  59. Optometry may be a field worth looking into, excellent point.

    Two other fields that are cratering, however, are architecture and airline pilots. Architecture has a wild overabundance of new graduates and the pay and benefits just aren't there. Airline pilots have had their pay and benefits drastically slashed over the last several years. All the major carriers except Southwest have gone into bankruptcy, many have visited bankruptcy several times. Working for the smaller regional carriers is like being in a labor gulag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, that's true re: small regional carriers.

      Delete
  60. Here's my take on the first guy's story after about 10 years out from law school. There are so many "rules" that dominate the legal profession that are not applicable to corporate America. Generally, I've found that an attorney's career always rolls downhill. Kind of like the saying that shit rolls downhill. If you start off at biglaw, when you get shown the door, your can generally lateral DOWN a notch in prestige. Many aspiring attorneys make the huge mistake of thinking that if they take the shitlaw job, then once they get experience, they can lateral to biglaw. With rare exception for those attorneys that are connected or have acquired some obscure specialty that is in demand for larger firms, moving UP just doesn't happen. If you don't make it to biglaw during your 2L summer, chances are you're not going to make it. Fact is the supply/demand imbalance is such that there is always a steady stream of eager legal bushy eyed beavers waiting in the wings with the hungry eye of the tiger look in their eyes. Somehow having $150,000 in debt brings out the tiger in all of us. Anyways ... I worked in midlaw job for a few years before I got the boot. Pay was good and I was learning a lot. Unfortunately, unless you have 4-6 years of experience, in-house opportunities are not available. I've been doing doc review for about 7 years now. In the mid 2000's, things were humming along on the doc review circuit (at least in NYC), but things have dried up quite a bit over the past few years with all the offshoring to India, advances in technology, and the continued glut of attorneys. Bottom line is even getting one of these doc review positions now is considered "lucky," particularly if it lasts longer than 3 months. I have about $70,000 left to pay off, about half is low interest. I told Smellie Mae to F-off a few years ago thankfully. At this point, I feel that the only way for me to ultimately find "happiness" in the legal profession is to create my own opportunities. I hope to launch my own firm in about 2 years, but easier said than done with the debt load recent graduates are carrying. In fact, it's nearly impossible unless you have a wife with a good job able to support you through the lean years. So to sum it up, horrible profession, very unstable, glutted. You're better off taking a path less travelled to differentiate yourself from the pack of people who attend law school. I've forgotten what it was like to have a stable job that lasts at least 3 years and has benefits. The life of a lawyer is tentative and can be rather short-lived except for those rare few that through luck or shear ass kicking beat the odds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Site fore soar ayesOctober 1, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      "... there is always a steady stream of eager legal bushy eyed beavers waiting in the wings with the hungry eye of the tiger look in their eyes."

      That their maid my ayes hurted.

      Delete
    2. Well, I get what you're saying. But rolling downhill can be lucrative...but if you don't have clients...then it's hard.

      Delete
  61. ^^ regarding architecture graduates, I was good friends with a graduate of Yale school of architecture. This was a number of years ago (prob. 15). He did find a job at a good firm, but he was essentially working for minimum wage. If I recall correctly, he said he was making something ridiculous - like $4.50 per hour - in NYC!!! Reason being is that, like law, there is a glut of aspiring architects. Architectural firms can lowball people and people will take the job because some experience is better than no experience - even if it is paying minimum wage - or no wage. In law today, there are many stories of people doing unpaid internships into infinity in the "hope" that they will ultimately get offered a full time job. I've heard horror stories recently about people working in these types of arrangements for public defenders offices. At some point, people need to make money to eat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prestigious internships are being auctioned off for tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, the résumé mentions only the flashy "employer" and omits the information that Mommy or Daddy forked over $50k (deductible) as a "donation".

      Delete
    2. If ma and pa kettle can afford to fork out $50k donations, they're already pretty much tapped out in deductions and/or strapped by AMT, so the deductibility of the donation (assuming it was a non-profit) is pretty much a moot point.

      Delete
  62. Get Painter off this blog. Sick of his tangential, obscure ramblings. We don't care about his poetry, his stupid little ankle-biting dog, banjo playing and other desperate/pathetic attempts at receiving attention. Instead of hanging out on this blog, I think he should go straight to Match.com and try to get a date or some woman that is willing to listen to his sappy-ass b.s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. PLEASE delete this Painter person's rubbish. His self-indulgent demands for attention make the discussions all but unreadable.

      Delete
  63. When I came out of law school, I went to work for a sole practitioner. There was another associate, but after he moved all her files on me she was gone. Then I came to slowly realize working through the files that he changed his associate every six months. Then the sole would follow me to lunch and not eat. And for a month solid he stayed in his office sitting in total darkness with his shades drawn. So I quit. Ah yes small town law.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great anecdote with absolutely no relevance to generalize.

      Delete

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