URM Employment and Recession Fun

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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URM Employment and Recession Fun

Postby Alltheirsplendor » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:18 pm

Is it worth it to pursue law still as a URM? I mean, I am--what the TLS world calls--one of those "mystical unicorns" known as an AA male... And I've heard URMs tend to do better at OCIs, but I've also read that in times of recession URMs are the first to go. I guess what I'm also curious to hear is other people's opinions on the possibility of success in the legal field as a URM in the current climate. I mean, is a biglaw path even feasible? Sigh.

Note that I don't think I'm special or feel I'm above the economic downturn in anyway--hence this post. I'm just a lowly 0L who doesn't feel confident about the possible returns of a law degree (and one who comes from a particularly underprivileged background--hence the hesitation)

EDIT: Also, in this scenario, I'm thinking of a URM coming out of a top 3 school...

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Re: URM Employment and Recession Fun

Postby Marley » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:48 am

I'll give you the same advice I'd give to any 0L, URM or not. If you're not positive you want to go to law school, and all the risks that come along with that, WAIT. If there's absolutely any other career path you're curious about, go do that. Law school will always be around (and, ITE, you're better off with work experience anyway). I'm a URM at a top 3 school and am very happy with my decision, but I also know there's nothing outside where I am now that I would rather be. You don't want that feeling of regret/what could have been/why am I spending 200K for something I don't even want; law school is stressful enough.

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Re: URM Employment and Recession Fun

Postby MartianManhunter » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:56 am


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Re: URM Employment and Recession Fun

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:58 am

Too many variables. You're apparently asking not only if you could find a job at OCI but whether you'd be able to keep that job in a recession downturn. That just depends on too many things (how well you do at your job, how bad the recession is, how your particular firm handles shrinking revenues, etc).

From a "top 3 school" (aka HYS), BigLaw is certainly feasible. You'll get plenty of interviews and CBs and have good odds of finding work somewhere as long as you bid wisely. I'm not saying it's guaranteed, these days nothing looks guaranteed even from HYS, but your odds will be good enough that it is in fact "feasible" to find a BigLaw job. After you get that job, how long you can hold onto it is another matter.

URMs might see differences in legal hiring, but once you have your job and you're out their working, your "possibility of success" is largely the same as everyone else's. It depends on a lot of things, some of which (your job performance, enthusiasm, etc.) are within your control, some of which (the economy, your firm's future staffing needs) are not.

You can wait if you're this nervous. Get some work experience. If the economy does keep looking better, odds are you'll still be as good a candidate for HYS as you already were. (In fact, with additional work experience you might be even better.) Choosing not to apply now doesn't mean you're choosing to never apply. It just means you're not ready yet, and you can still try to go if you change your mind later.

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