Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas present

One of the earliest indications I got that new law grads were having increasing difficulty finding work was when a friend of mine graduated from Michigan in 2008 and couldn't find anything.  He had middle of the class grades and it's fair to say he's somebody who went to law school in significant part because he got into a top school rather than because he had clear idea what he wanted to do, so in that sense his struggles were "his fault."  (Of course I went to exactly the same law school for exactly the same reason, but for some mysterious reason baby boomers got away with this kind of thing much more often).

He spent nearly a year looking for a job, then finally found a three-year staff attorney position with a federal court.  That ended this spring, and he spent several months before then looking unsuccessfully for other legal work.

 Finally just after his job ended was offered a judicial clerkship of some kind on a U.S territory in the middle of the Pacific.  He had gotten married in the interim so he and his wife have been improbably Polynesian for several months now.  This is a one-year gig, so he's kept searching for a "permanent" job (of course for law school reporting purposes both of his post-graduation positions count as full-time long-term jobs requiring a law degree -- i.e., real legal jobs).

Yesterday he got word that he had been accepted into the JAG.  He's thrilled: although the pay is relatively modest, and the job has the major disadvantage that he and his wife are certain to be uprooted and dropped down who knows where several times over the course of the next couple of decades (he'll have to hope for Aviano rather than Ft. Bragg), it's a real legal job with real benefits -- working for the military is in some ways the ultimate government gig.  Plus he remains PSLF-eligible for his six-figure law school debt.

So he will have what figures to be an actual legal career.  The daunting thing is that he had to spend four and a half years finding it -- and this saga features a middle of the class grad from a top ten school, who comes from the kind of upper middle class background that makes this sort of story economically feasible.

The other moral of the story is that this class of 2008 grad is taking what until very recently was thought of as an entry-level job -- i.e., one more job that the members of the class of 2012 (and 2011 and 2010 and 2009 . . .) won't get.

Nevertheless . . .

119 comments:

  1. You'd be a fool to go to law school these days. The K through JD members of law schools entering this fall began college in August/Sept. 2009. By the fall of 2009, everyone with a pulse knew that America's economy significantly and permanently changed in 2008.

    I very much hope there are fewer "I'm not sure what to do" or "I like poli sci, history, english lit, and philosophy and will go to law school" types out there than there once were.

    I suspect that the word is out that law school is a bad option for almost everyone these days. Frankly, among the cynical bunch of young post-TARP Generation Ys, I suspect that Deans barking come-ons in the NYT is a good sign that you should run the other way.

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  2. Lawprof,

    When will your friend get to reap the models & bottles lifestyle that T-14 schools promised him?

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  3. Not trying to sound snarky or anything, but this does sound like an unusually bad case for a Michigan graduate...Granted he graduated in 2008, which was a pretty shitty year for legal hiring. But still..I don't think his story could accurately be understood as the general outcome for upper T-14 graduates. I'm sure there are people who have had worse experiences, such as people who graduated in the bottom half/third of their class. But keep in mind that the bottom third who gets screwed are still the minority when compared to the remaining two-thirds of the class that end up okay. Sure they might be in debt up to their eyeballs...but they're not wandering the legal desert looking for work in the middle of the pacific.

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    1. What is your definition of ok? Where is your data? Do we even know how many 2008 grads of Michigan are working as practicing attorneys?

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    2. And why does it seem fine to just dismiss the outcomes for an entire third of a law school class at what some consider a top school?

      This distinction that it is acceptable to just give up on huge portions of a class has to end.

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    3. Original anon here. You're right that I don't have stats about the fate of 2008 Michigan grads. But neither does anyone else. My point is that it's standard operating procedure for the bottom portion of the class at a top law school to struggle and have a hard time. And by "okay" i guess I would mean "employed"

      But you're right, it's not okay to just dismiss a third of a class as necessary casualties. But that's how the system is designed. Schools grade on a curve, the bottom students get the shaft.

      As unfortunate as that is, the only graduate program that comes close to 100% employment at graduation is medical school. As bad as it is for the bottom third of law school grads, it's even worse for most of the class at other grad programs. Undergrad isn't any different. A portion (usually the bottom portion) of any class of any graduate program is likely to have a hard time finding employment. That's just how it is.

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  4. Unemployed NortheasternDecember 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    There actually IS a pent-up demand for attorneys in the middle of the Pacific, snarky lawyer jokes aside. At least, there is a slight demand in the Northern Mariana Islands: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/prolific_defendant_conflicts_out_entire_cnmi_bar_us_territorys_court/

    "Prolific Defendant Conflicts Out Entire CNMI Bar; US Territory’s Court May Fly in Guam Attorney"

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    1. This is not all that unusual in smaller markets having a federal district court. One side or the other will poison the well by hiring all the good firms for a bit of work each so they'll be conflicted as to the other side. Of course, most of the real litigating gets done by your pro hac guys, but if you don't have at least some substantial courtroom presence with local firm guys, the local jury will punish, punish, punish you.

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  5. so, he found three jobs in four years.

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    1. All you have to do is to attend a school that is more prestigious than 98% of the rest and borrow over $100,000 accruing interest somewhere between 4 and 8 percent.

      Afterwards, those sub-$60k government jobs requiring transoceanic relocation will just fall into your lap.

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  6. Your friend is taking a lot for granted if he's counting on staying in the military "for the next couple of decades." The DoD is definitely downsizing, and (as with many law firms) it is "up or out" after the first few years.

    I would say that working for the military *is* the "ultimate government gig," but only if you are talking about the DOD's contingent of *civilian* attorneys.

    BTW, Michigan shouldn't be in the so-called "top ten." Its employment numbers (especially at larger firms) lag behind those of several less "prestigious" schools - and their acceptance rate is one of the highest of the T20.

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    1. Is that conclusion based on LST data? We know there is a huge gap between the top 3, then Columbia , then the other cN, then gap, then all but Georgetown pretty close and then GILC.

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  7. I dunno 10:59. Heard a similar story to the Michigan grad at Xmas dinner. A cousin's friend graduated in 2007 middle of the class at NYU. He got a BigLaw gig but was shown the door after the crash in early 2009. He spent two years trying to find another real legal job. He's now working for a four-attorney "boutique" that, upon further examination, is him and three similarly situated mid-2000's grads hanging out a joint shingle.

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    1. I've been hearing a lot of horror stories about NYU and Columbia grads in the last year or so.

      Are we moving toward a T4 (HYSCh)?

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    2. 10:59 here. I stand corrected

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    3. LOLeiter

      It is and has been HYS or bust since the crash.

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    4. @1232,

      LOL, I'll bet you did one year at each of them.

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    5. All the top law schools have significant numbers of bad outcomes. HYS does not shield lawyers from unemployment. Too many lawyers equals unemployment for many lawyers irrespective of their schools.

      That being said, Columbia and MYU take too many students.

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    6. Reginald Wentworth Breckinridge IVDecember 26, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      "Yale or fail."

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    7. The Chicagoarket remains very tough as far as I can tell. At least Chicago has a small class.

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    8. Chicago has a T4, a T10, a T30 state school, and a T20 wannabe that all view it as the main output center for graduates, in addition to spillage from the other T14, the 5 Chicago-area TTT/TTTTs, the neighboring state schools (Iowa, Wisc., Ind.), and the flood of people from Chicago with connections who decided to go elsewhere for law school.

      U of C places well, but I can't even justify paying a dime of tuition there given the Chicago market reality.

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  8. "he'll have to hope for Aviano rather than Ft. Bragg".....um, that will kinda depend on whether he is AF or Army. Personally, I would prefer to be with the HOOAHs at Bragg. 505PIR/H-Minus.

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  9. One advantage about JAG positions is with IBR and/or PSLF. Your IBR is only based on your income, but you receive your housing allowance on top of your income. So you will generally live better than you would in a a comparably-paying gig.

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  10. Not sure how many tears I'm supposed to shed for a guy who landed two nice judicial clerkships and made it into JAG. Shouldn't this be counted as a success story? In particular, a "you don't need to land in biglaw to be a success" success story?

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    1. Ugh, really? A guy graduated from a top school and had to flounder around for 4 years to find a permanent job, and you want to see this as a success story? Yes, come, come to law school, everyone!

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    2. He might appear as a success story to the unemployed- but he is definitely a cautionary tale.

      Reminds me of the kid who thought that people are lying about how bad the market is- be ause if it really was so bad, why are they in law school? His conclusion was that people are magnifying the scam to avoid competition. Some people will read this post by Lawprof and misinterpret what it means.

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  11. At least, he has a paid legal gig - unlike many unpaid internships "opportunities." What a prestigious "profession," huh?!

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  12. LawProf, your friend is going to be in a world of hurt at JAG. Being a former JAG officer, I will tell you what awaits your friend. JAG units are usually attached to brigades or battalions. Usually, it is infantry. If that is the case, infantry commanders look down on JAG officers who don't know shit about the Art of War other than the same bullshit that was taught during McNamara's days at the War College. Your friend's superior will likely be a LTC or full bird colonel, which means a person who has 15-25 years of service. 15-25 years ago, JAG accepted TTT grads so your friend's Michigan Law degree won't mean squat at the base. JAG officers get a lot of trial experience so that is a plus, but it is all based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice which is completely different than civil law. For example, adultery is a criminal offense punishable by being put in the brig for several years. Your friend better plan on staying in for the long haul. If he keeps his nose clean, he will make the rank of major in 12 years. Remember, he will still be looked down upon, even by Sergeant Majors, who rank lower than your friend. If your friend wants to climb the ranks in the military, he will have to jump from JAG to infantry, which means he will have to be in shape and take shit from the grunts (remember, in training your captain's bars don't mean crap as you have to lick your drill instructor's boots).

    One word of advice to your friend. Become friends with the mess hall and quartermaster sergeants. These are the people you want to like you in case you are deployed. With Obama promising more peace via conflict, there is a chance your friend will be called to the green zone, which is shrinking with each and every conflict American taxpayers subsidize.

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    1. Probably hard to make that jump if you don't do it pretty early on. Also, and I can't believe Old Guy hasn't chimed in yet, the military is very much up or out. If you're passed over for promotion twice as an officer you're gone. That said, the competition isn't as fierce as it is in the civilian world.

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    2. Old Guy doesn't know much about military jobs but certainly wouldn't sign up to do the spadework for the Great Satan.

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    3. This is probably a stupid question but how do they run you out of the military?

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    4. They do the paperwork on you and - POOF! - you are a civilian again.

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  13. I work with three retired JAG officers. Each of them enjoyed the experience and all had good careers post military.

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  14. I'm a current JAG about to leave. JAG is a roll of the dice. JAG's have been engaging in unethical cutthroat backstabbing since the military downsizing started to speed up in 2011. JAG is dangerous too since JAG goes to Afghanistan too and rides in the same convoys everyone else does. JAG accepts tier 4 with prior military service and the senior lawyers all were bottom of their class and are mostly incompetent. Stellar new grads and incompetent (legally) bosses is a horrible combination. Also Army JAGs are not necessarily gaining much useful experience for private practice. The pay is ok, but the disdain from society is harsh.

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  15. Thought JAG officers were all like "Harm" and flew F-14s on the side and oogled Maj. McKinzie's hooters? No?

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    1. No worries 1:25, I appreciated it!

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    2. 1:25 -no kidding, that job on TV looks great. ahhh Catherine Bell.

      I particularly liked the episode where she had to don a bikini to catch a perp

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  16. Uncle Sam Wants YOUDecember 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    High school: going to army was for jocks who didn't want to cut it at trade school or work in a field or a warehouse somewhere.

    Law school: going to army was hotly contested among winners because it's a stable legal career and there are few opportunities elsewhere.

    If the army wants to solve any recruiting shortfalls, it should just expand JAG, let the enrollee call himself a JAG, and then be a common soldier donating 1/10 of time to the JAG unit in a clerk capacity.

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    1. LOL - this will SOOOOOO work...

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  17. I'm in the JAG Corps. I'm getting out later this year. Promotions are getting much more difficult. The pay is ok but spouses have a hard time finding decent work. If your married to another professional as I am, JAG life is hard.

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    1. Please say that you have something else lined up before jumping ship (sorry for mix't metaph.)?

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  18. JAG=Just another GlorifiedGrunt

    JAG officers get no respect at places like Fort Bragg or Leavenworth. When I attended law school, JAG took the bottom of the class. Now it takes mediocre students from Michigan. Lawprof, your friend should really investigate military life. For example, he can start by looking up divorce stats among military couples. Divorce rates are higher in the military than they are for civilians. Your friend should make the jump to infantry. Have him join the Rangers unless he is a sloth. If he joins the Rangers, he gets additional perks such as hazard pay and higher allotments for uniform maintenance. Plus, as a Ranger, he will get promoted easier than if he stayed at JAG. I have met several JAG officers. Most are not the brightest tools in the shed. Imagine your friend showing up with his Michigan JD at the base. He better watch out because insubordination is a criminal offense in the military. A Michigan grad will be derided harder than the average JAG officer. Lastly, I hope your friend is not some pudgy bastard that is out of shape. He can be thrown out of the Army for repeated failures of his physical test.

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    1. There was a post in TLS by a recent grad who had a JAG offer rescinded because of his poor eyesight.

      He had something else lined up but he posted a warning to others about his fate.

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  19. "....but for some mysterious reason baby boomers got away with this kind of thing much more often."

    Because they took to the law when the economy still functioned properly; for the last 18 years the American economy has been falling apart under the blows of deindustrialization, financialization, and the rise and fall of bubbles (dot com, real-estate, the coming college loan implosion, other scams.) These people were making it in times that were described as "stagnant" or "boom-bust" depending on the writer and the date. So yeah, it's that fucking bad right now.

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    1. @Mrs. Paintroach,

      Maybe the economy WOULD "function properly" if people like you and your hubby started working for a living instead of sitting around all day with your thumbs up each others' butts demanding that the taxpayers give you MORE TREATS THAN EVER.

      American labor is just too damn expensive. That's the problem. And it's plain as day that labor isn't your "thing" anyway.

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    2. When my mom went to Columbia the cost of attendance was like 8,000. Think that makes a difference in outcomes??

      C'mon Lawprof- you know the answer to this question.

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    3. @212:

      Strelnikov and Painter are two entirely different people with entirely different analytical abilities.

      "American labor is just too damn expensive. That's the problem."

      This is absurd Randian propaganda. Relative minimum wage today is 20% lower than it was in the 60s. That's the only required payment to labor, and as yesterday's post showed, there are plenty of ways to get around even that barest of protection.

      The issue is that Malaysian and Sri Lankan and Lesothan labor is too cheap and the American government too quick to sell out what should be its fundamental principles.

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    4. Actually, I'm pretty sure that those two idiots become one idiot several times a day.

      Did you forget about "free" health care for employees? How about OSHA and EO compliance reports? Or "discrimination" lawsuits? I'm guessing that you have never hired even one person, have you?

      And it's cute that you refer to *relative* minimum wage. Which pretty much means that you are justifying the extreme cost of hiring Americans by referring to the insane overuse of the printing press by the Treasury. LOL, maybe we should just adopt the Zimbabwe model in full. They have rosy employment numbers, right?

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    5. 212/426:

      Delusional...

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    6. LOL, it's too bad we can't send YOU to Zimbabwe. With your hard, "realistic" outlook, you would surely be a prince of the welfare rolls.

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    7. @426:

      I'm using relative minimum wage because you made the claim that labor is "damn expensive." Well, it's no more expensive now than it was in 1965 or 1985 or whatever. Yet you hear much, much more carping about it from greedy capitalists even though wealth disparity is at all-time highs.

      Most businesses don't have to seriously worry about OSHA or EO or discrimination. They exist, but it's like like OSHA violations are or have ever been rampant in an office setting, and it's not like the factories of the 70s were sweatshops.

      Inflation is a separate issue altogether, but given your overall approach, I'm guessing...NYU Law?

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    8. LOL!

      If you really think it's that cheap to run a business that hires Americans, why don't you try it yourself sometime? Create your own workers' paradise right here in the good old U.S.A. Honesty, they say, begins at home. What's stopping you?

      And "wealth disparity" is at "all-time highs?" Is it now higher than it was in, say, the 1880s - when there was no income tax at all?

      You, sir, are a living testament to the need to revive literacy tests as a condition for voting.

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    9. How many logical fallacies can YOU stuff into three paragraphs? Can you beat 9:49?

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    10. LOL, how illogical to ask you to take action on your BS claim.

      Give it up, dude. It's over and you lost. You plainly don't have a leg to stand on. If your only retort is to just keep *saying* that you do, I guess this will go on indefinitely.

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    11. Actually, the proverb is "charity begins at home." I suppose the idea of charity was not important in your family. In my family, we have our own charity we support, help the homeless and deliver Thanksgiving meals

      Since Sandy, we have worked several days mucking out debris.

      We were also taught to help people in need.

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    12. Sounds pretty suspect to me. You wouldn't be referring to "your favorite charity," by any chance?

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  20. JAG is a bad outcome for him. In my experience... one JAG tour makes you attractive to private firms and other government jobs, so it makes sense right out of law school.

    But this guy has already been a lawyer for 4 years. He might get lucky with a private gig if he aggressively looks for one at the end of his first tour. If he stays in 10 years to get PSLF, then he won't be a good candidate for many (if any) legal jobs when he gets out. A 14 year lawyer, all of his experience as a government employee and the last 10 with the UCMJ. Who wants to hire him? Maybe a DA's office. Maybe.

    This really is a bad outcome for someone who 1. never really wanted to be a lawyer and 2. never wanted to be career military. That will probably be his only option.

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    1. @2:17 here. I didn't mention the toll this will take on his wife and any children they may have.

      I went through some JAG boards during law school but stopped applying when I got a civilian job. I cannot imagine applying to JAG four years into a civilian legal career.

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  21. JAG's do PT at 0630....work 0900 till 2000 (8PM) all for about 60k.
    Living in Texas is also very likely. JAG is very competitive and the culture is very conservative and traditional. Harvard grads work with Cooley grads. Senior leaders are a mix of good and awful. The post first tour job prospects are getting scarce.

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  22. Law prof: you should not have added the "unless" at the end of the title of your book.

    Given the cost to attend and the oversupply of lawyers, no one should be going to law school. The best and the brightest who are going to Yale could easily make a great life doing something else.

    I get very sad when I see posts on TLS about paying sticker at a school like Michigan and how the gullible are taken in by the perky Dean Z. I get sad when I see people posting who feel that decent grades at a T14 will get you a job in biglaw or a local midrange firm.

    What else can we do to get the word out????

    I glanced at a post today where a person was explaining how they calculated the increased income they would have by going to law school. I didn't read the whole thing, but that anyone could make that calculation in this employment market is just about insane. There is no certainty in law, even in the armed forces it seems.

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  23. Soooooooooooo many JAG experts in one place! What a gold mine of made-up experience and "a friend of a friend of a friend" stories this blog is...

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    1. So can you post actual experience that contradicts what has been stated?

      Or are you just going to make fun of other posters in the hopes of dissuading them?

      Please, please share your experience so we can know the other side of the story. I honestly would love to know.

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    2. Happy Holidays, Bwian!

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  24. What a bunch of tripe with this article "Stop complaining about the legal job market." http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2012/12/stop-complaining-about-the-legal-job-market.php

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    1. Saw that article on JDU and left the author a comment, which has not and probably will not be approved despite its lack of vulgarity or other offensiveness.

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  25. Nobody goes JAG to Biglaw. JAG to BS law is possible. One PI former JAG I know brings in 300k plus now. Still getting into JAG is very competitive. Then staying in JAG after the first promotion cycle is tough. JAG is a success story and in 2007 it was a sad story.

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    1. I know a guy who went directly from JAG to V100 about 10 years ago. Not sure if it ever happens now.

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  26. I commented earlier about JAG service. I completed a tour in the mid '90s. Today's military service is much more different than it was when I served. For example, I picked my first duty station, which was located near my house. I rejected military housing because there is no expectation of privacy in government quarters. Nowadays, it is rare to get your first choice of station. You will likely be assigned to someplace in the middle of nowhere (think Fort Benjamin Harrison, Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, etc.). Military life is hard. Hours go by real slow. When you start, everyone except the non-commissioned officers are above you. I was assigned to a medical brigade and everyone else was at least a major or above. I was a first lieutenant so I was hazed somewhat by the others. Tensions tend to flare easily at military installations. The pay is horrible but on the flipside, the government will pay for your housing, healthcare and food. You won't have time to enjoy life which means you won't be spending a lot of money. You can save 50% of your paycheck easily. Given that President Obama is a war mongerer, I would not join the military, not even JAG. Lastly, I will echo what others have said about JAG and military bosses. Most are by the book and although they will be dumber than you, they own you. If you don't believe me, try talking back to a superior officer and you will be put in criminal proceedings faster than you can say "at ease."

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    1. Your point being? Other than the pay and benefits, sounds like life in biglaw and midlaw.

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    2. Actually, going "by the book" usually gives you the correct answer.

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    3. For those e perienced In JAG, how difficult is it for a civilian to become part of the military- assuming the situation here- liberal arts degree, T14 law school, 4 years practice as a civilian, married?

      I know nothing about the military. How hard is the adjustment?

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    4. 3:55 pm, "You will likely be assigned to someplace in the middle of nowhere (think Fort Benjamin Harrison, Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, etc.). "


      LOL'd this. Fort Ben was decommissioned in `90 or `91.

      So by the "mid 90's" when you say you were in, there was no Fort Benjamin Harrison.

      A lot of the other stuff you have written is just going to be dependent on where and with whom a person is stationed. You can work with good people and have a great time of it, or work with (and for) complete buttwipes and have a miserable time of it. That's true anywhere, military or otherwise.

      And your comment about "criminal proceedings" for talking back is pure bunk. If you'd really been in, you'd know that at worst, you might get threatened with NJP - "Non Judicial Punishment" (not criminal punishment). Unless you decided to let your fists to the talking, that is.

      And in any event I've had plenty of arguments with superior officers. As long as you maintain respect for their office during the argument, and learn to shut up if they decide the discussion is closed, you're not going to get charged with anything just for arguing.

      @ 5:21 PM - some of the above may have answered your question. But I'll add that it really, really does matter what kind of unit you're in. In the Army, you can be in a very gung-ho unit where it is a huge adjustment, or you can be in a unit where, other than wearing a uniform it's not really so different than civilian life. I'd suggest doing some research (away from these pages) to see what life is like today. Also some of the comments upthread seem relevant. When I joined you could list 1st/2nd/3rd choice of initial duty station after OCS/OTS (or whatever they call officer training now) and be pretty assured of getting at least 2nd choice. But one of the comments above indicates that may be a thing of the past...

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  27. This will be hard on his wife/marriage/family. My husband is in the military, albeit only part-time now, and I am the attorney in the family. While it is true that long hours at the office can be hard sometimes, at least an attorney gets to come home at night. Think of how stressful it is to be out of town for a week or even a few days....now imagine a month, or three, or eighteen without being able to simply pick up the phone and chat when you feel like it. If something really big happens (say your roof gets messed up in a storm), you might be able to run home from the office or at least manage hiring the repair guy, etc. Not so much when you are sitting at Al Udeid. My husband has been gone all through the holidays, and I can tell you that managing on your own as a military spouse sucks....but at least I have a career and money to take care of things and our son is nearly grown....I can't imagine being married to full-time military life, while trying to build my own career and maybe having young kids. Good luck to him...and his wife...it ain't easy.

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  28. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-26/generation-y-wakes-american-dream-faces-american-nightmare

    commenting on http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-21/american-dream-fades-for-generation-y-professionals.html

    lots of interviews with lawyers in the bloomberg article

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  29. I imagine leaving law school and not being able to find work can be stressful. We help clients every day who decide to hang their own shingle. Why wait for someone else to give you a job when you can do it yourself. It may be a slower road to the big bucks but you will be in control of who you represent and, depending on how hard you work, how much money you make.

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    1. Why would you spam this site ?

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    2. Really??? this is the last place you want to be advertising your b.s. services.

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    3. Wow. just what I was looking for in this tough market. Where can i sign up? How much money can i make? i do work hard as opposed to these other loosers on this page. please tell me more!!

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  30. JAG sounds promising. Isn't every day like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j2F4VcBmeo

    Might as well be a law school dean in the witness box.

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    1. NO job would ever sound "promising" to you, Paintroach - what with the prospect of having to work and all.

      Do you ever stay up at night worrying that you might not be able to hand the taxpayers your debt 20 years from now?

      Didn't you promise us that you would only be posting on your own blog from now on? What was it again? worthlessbasementdwellingdingleberry.tumblr?

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    2. 5:19 here - I'm not that painter guy

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    3. Really? I thought I smelled failure ...

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    4. Also, because his loans have been in default-at least I assume that is the story without doing more research- he doesn't get IBR or pay as you earn.

      Please correct me if I'm wrong. His only recourse is to try bankruptcy which he refuses to do, possibly no one will take his case and he probably can't pay anyone.

      Delete
  31. JAG to Biglaw? You'll have a better chance of getting into Top Gun flight school working out of the motor pool. Does it happen? In my career, I saw it happen once. The firm involved was a NLJ250 firm and the guy's dad was a partner and the son had graduated from West Point and he was a highly decorated tank commander during the 1991 Gulf War.

    To get into JAG, I believe there is an age restriction (32 or 34 years old is the cut-off with no prior military experience). Also you have to pass a physical test, which is no joke, especially if you are pushing 30.

    I agree with the earlier comment about the difficult of getting a job in the civilian world as a lawyer if you do more than one tour (unless you work for the government-state or federal). If you want to get that 10 year student loan forgiveness, you have to serve more than a couple of tours.

    LawProf's friend might as well hang a shingle. By entering the military, he is endangering his marriage and if he has kids, he will be screwing them over. I have dated too many military brats who have fucked up daddy and identity issues. I suppose this is the result of being moved around from base to base, uprooting your kids's lives. I would not recommend JAG to a married guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Also you have to pass a physical test, which is no joke, especially if you are pushing 30. "

      Bull. Pure bull. The PT test is a pure frickin breeze if you're in the Air Farce. Not much harder in the Army or Navy. A bit tougher for Marines, but still completely do-able, for any 30-year old in reasonably good shape.

      Delete
  32. "Plummeting? Law schools will fill their classes full for many years to come.

    Plus the scamblog movement is dying. The law school reform movement - aka Law School Transparency etc. - is thriving.

    Nando has had nothing to do with numbers plummeting. He is a clown. No rational person takes his advice, but they do listen to the quieter, smarter voices at LST and various other blogs promoting change rather than revenge and destruction.

    Scamblogging. What an embarrassment.

    Law school reform? I'm onboard with that. Pictures of poo? Yeah, not too interested in being associated with that."

    - See more at: http://www.lawschoolfail.com/2012/12/are-scamblogs-wrong.html?showComment=1356577124209#c8640328837177866863

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Mr. Infinity!

      Delete
    2. the blog is quite lame. written by some guy who calls himself a philosopher. sounds like some hippy giving marriage advice or something. i think he needs counseling or maybe a hug would suffice.

      Delete
    3. Stop giving him (it) ad click revenues.

      If you must read its content, do a google search and open the pages in cached mode.

      Delete
  33. I think the key word to all of this is someone who graduated in the t14. Obviously, most law school grads, including myself, havent.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Once again the posters here have uncovered the dark hidden truth - life is hard, not everything works out exactly as planned or even as advertised, and sometimes you have to work your ass off to get somewhere. Jumping on the JAG program is just one more example of the pathetic whining endemic to the posters on this site.

    I didn't do JAG, but I had a number of law school classmates who did. From talking to them, it's clearly not for everybody. If you don't want to be near combat, wear a uniform, or kiss ass to your superiors, don't do it.

    But it's definitely for some people. In addition to having pretty good pay and benefits (check out the loan repayment plans - they're off the charts), it is a great way to start a law career. Maybe NJL 100 firms aren't breaking down your doors, but there are a lot of litigation firms who love recruiting JAG alums. At the very least, clients go gaga over stuff like that. Makes them think that their attorney isn't your typical attorney type. Oh, and you get to serve your country in a time of war too. But that probably doesn't mean much to the posters on this site.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You missed the point of the post. The point is not that JAG is good, or that JAG is bad. The point is that someone with top-level credentials had to struggle and needed considerable luck to get it, whereas 10-15 years ago someone with average credentials would have landed it easily.

      The point of the whole blog, which you have also seem to have missed, is that in this day and age you can "work your ass off" and easily end up going absolutely nowhere.

      Delete
    2. I've worked my ass off, yet aught it has availed me.

      Delete

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    4. "You missed the point of the post. The point is not that JAG is good, or that JAG is bad."

      Right. JAG is good for some people. It's a bad outcome for a UM Law grad who has been licensed for 4 years and is taking JAG because he can't find any other long term legal job.

      Delete
    5. How dare you with your baby boomer mentality say that young people today don't respect the military or love their country?

      You guys destroyed this country in the name of your own deep greed.

      You love to talk about the " posters on this site". Because you seem clueless to the obvious, i will explain this: by adding your comments, you too are a " poster on this site." That might be a clue to you that the posters on this site are not a monolithic bunch of losers who can't get jobs.

      Delete
    6. Baby boomer mentatlity? You hit the head on the nail for sure with that one. Oh, except I was born after 1964 and couldn't give a rat's ass about flower power.

      And omfg, someone from Michigan didn't get a big firm job like they wanted. They had to settle for judicial clerkships and the JAG Corps. Wah wah.

      Let's check the facts, last year Michigan reported 129 full-time, long-term JD required jobs in law firms with 100+ attorneys, plus 40 in federal clerkships, plus 30 in government, plus 40 in public interest. Only 2 were school funded. Add another 17 for state and local clerkships and you've got 256 Michigan grads with very good outcomes. Not anywhere close to a perfect score, but far from the doom and gloom found on this site. Why doesn't this blog post about the 256 Michigan grads who got exactly what they came for?

      Delete
    7. Woo, only ONE THIRD of the class at a TOP TEN school got totally fucked! (And LOL at counting all "government" and "state and local clerkships" as people getting "exactly what they came for.")

      And to answer your question, the law school propaganda machine is working 24/7 to advertise and exaggerate the good outcomes, so I don't think you have to worry about the lemmings being discouraged from running over this particular cliff.

      Delete
  35. I think the JAG Corps is fine for some. By this I mean that it makes sense for those who truly desire to be military officers, and become immersed in military life. I don't think it works for those not absolutely dedicated to the military. What makes the JAG experience difficult is that young people wishing to be officers in the military can do so right out of undergraduate school, and begin their careers much earlier than with the law school route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except that you start out as a 1LT if you go JAG...

      Delete
    2. As a current military officer and someone accepted a year ago in the FLEP I can say this is true-- if you know the military culture (prior service, brat etc.) and are comfortable with it then JAG will probably not be too bad...if what you know about the Army comes from movies and the acronyms BAH, LES and TDY don't mean anything to you then I suggest more research before putting in a packet.

      As for all the horror stories-- it really depends on the unit but different geographical areas have different tendencies-- Campbell and Bragg are known for their "light" units. Expect a lot of running, a lot a focus on the rules and regulations. Ft. Hood is known for its "heavy" units. Expect a lot of time training, a lot of crassness from tankers, a lot of conservative culture. Korea and Germany to a lesser extent would be terrible for a lawyer since Soldiers are known for constantly CONSTANTLY getting into trouble in these places.

      Just my 2 cents...

      Delete
    3. This person just popped up on an Air Force OTS site today. He is living on island that has an Air Force Base on it and interviewed with SJA there. There are big differences in military culture between Army JAGs and AF JAGs. Air Force JAGs are generalist until they finish their 2nd tour. They rotate every six months or so through the jobs in their offices. Adverse actions, claims, civil law, and article 15s are some of these. Courts are additional duties some bases are heavier in courts than others. The work/life balance is better than friends who are doing big law/mid law. Home most nights by 1730. Work several weekends preparing for a court or during an exercise, but get extra days off “USAFE family day”. Plus 4 days passes on many federal holidays and 30 days paid leave.
      Air Force Bases come in really good Germany, Italy and really isolated Clovis NM and Minot ND. 2 years go by fast. If you go to a less than desirable place and do well there, many times it pays off with a much better place.
      We do deploy to GITMO and sandbox locals for 6 month rotations. Some never leave the wire and some are detached to FOBS. GITMO deployers all seem to come back with their scuba certifications. The only thing to do during these 6 months is work and exercise….or maybe if you’re in Cuba scuba dive.
      During your 6th year you meet a Majors board, most folks pin on somewhere in their 7th year of service. Come in as a 1st Lt. within 6 months you pin on Capt. You receive good raises at 2, 3, and 4 years of service. The medical is free but can say that isn’t perfect.
      It is not a perfect life, but talking to law school friends I will say ”glad not trying to get 2000 billable hours a year” But, needs of the Air Force always come first.

      Delete
  36. Is this. a JAG Club site ?
    Amazing, what did IKE say about the Military Industrial Complex..
    You know General IKe, who became President.

    ReplyDelete
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