Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

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Voodoo94
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:58 pm

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Voodoo94 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:48 am

It's really hard to accept the fact that I will not ever have a realistic opportunity to work in the fed. gvt or more prestigious state gvt. positions.


If you are going to narrowly limit your Federal job search to "attorney" positions (series 0905), you are shooting yourself in the foot and being shortsighted.

There is so much more to the Federal service than lame 0905 attorney positions in agencies (the real Federal "lawyers" are at DOJ). No matter what is happening at DOJ, the Federal government is still hiring at other agencies for non-attorney positions.

An LLM would be like burning your money for nothing in return.

If you are predisposed to another year in school and want to work in the environmental field, you need to be looking at things like the Masters in Environmental Management (MEM) program at Yale. A 1.5 year MEM from Yale costs about the same as an LLM and will actually help you greatly in the Federal job search. It will confer real credibility for non-attorney Federal jobs where the JD alone could be a liability. It also will confer a "no shit" alumni network in environmental policy circles.

http://environment.yale.edu/academics/degrees/mem/

Folks who want to work in the Federal sector need to get over this "attorney job or bust" mentality. There are very rewarding career paths in the Federal government where a JD is a huge asset but not required. I've had two of these positions and would not trade the experiences for any boring "general counsel" position.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:06 am

If you are going to narrowly limit your Federal job search to "attorney" positions (series 0905), you are shooting yourself in the foot and being shortsighted.

There is so much more to the Federal service than lame 0905 attorney positions in agencies (the real Federal "lawyers" are at DOJ). No matter what is happening at DOJ, the Federal government is still hiring at other agencies for non-attorney positions.


Do you have any idea how insanely competitive even these non-legal Fed positions are? There is a "points system" to get these gigs, and the reality is that any ordinary JD who's not a URM and/or Iraq war veteran and/or female+minority URM will have no shot. Period. This helps explain the hard truth:

http://perrya.hubpages.com/hub/Working- ... Impossible

Gee, ya think of the 2000 lawyers who applied for WHOPPING SIX (6) honors slots at the SEC, or the 1400 lawyers who competed for FIVE (5) slots at the Nuclear Regulation Commission haven't had this same idea?:

http://www.law.com/jsp/law/LawArticleFr ... slreturn=1

For those not interested in the complete link, consider the following snippet:

Last year, 20 federal agencies hired about 340 honors lawyers, according to data from the University of Arizona's Government Honors and Internship Handbook. The programs are open to lawyers coming straight from law school or a clerkship and are virtually the only way that agencies hire entry-level attorneys. (Unlike law firms, where profitability is premised on leveraging the work of junior lawyers, agencies can afford to rely on experienced attorneys to handle most tasks. As a result, the government hires comparatively few new lawyers.)

Statistics from the Honors handbook give a sense of just how competitive the hiring process has become. In 2010, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for example, hired six new lawyers out of 2,000 applicants; the Department of Housing and Urban Development selected 25 out of 1,100; and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission picked five out of 1,400.

So what does it take to get hired?

In many ways, it's more complicated -- and less predictable -- than landing a law firm job. The valedictorian of a top 10 law school might not even rate an interview, while someone from the same school with a lower GPA -- but who spent summers working on a public interest project in the practice area -- could be offered a job.

"We get extraordinary candidates year after year," said Feinstein of the FTC. "It's really remarkable the talent we have to choose from." The agency typically hires eight entry-level lawyers in the Bureau of Competition out of about 1,000 applications -- less than 1 percent of those who apply.


Since the OP doesn't even know for certain where he wants to practice, he's in a tough spot as law licenses are not portable. New state=new bar exam, unless you can waive in, although that usually requires 5 or more years of experience to qualify for the waiver & get admitted on motion. Yet another miserable feature of a miserable, decaying industry which is saturated beyond all comprehension.

Anonymous User
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:43 am

for fed gov lawyer positions, any state's bar will be sufficient.

buttonpusher wrote:
If you are going to narrowly limit your Federal job search to "attorney" positions (series 0905), you are shooting yourself in the foot and being shortsighted.

There is so much more to the Federal service than lame 0905 attorney positions in agencies (the real Federal "lawyers" are at DOJ). No matter what is happening at DOJ, the Federal government is still hiring at other agencies for non-attorney positions.


Do you have any idea how insanely competitive even these non-legal Fed positions are? There is a "points system" to get these gigs, and the reality is that any ordinary JD who's not a URM and/or Iraq war veteran and/or female+minority URM will have no shot. Period. This helps explain the hard truth:

http://perrya.hubpages.com/hub/Working- ... Impossible

Gee, ya think of the 2000 lawyers who applied for WHOPPING SIX (6) honors slots at the SEC, or the 1400 lawyers who competed for FIVE (5) slots at the Nuclear Regulation Commission haven't had this same idea?:

http://www.law.com/jsp/law/LawArticleFr ... slreturn=1

For those not interested in the complete link, consider the following snippet:

Last year, 20 federal agencies hired about 340 honors lawyers, according to data from the University of Arizona's Government Honors and Internship Handbook. The programs are open to lawyers coming straight from law school or a clerkship and are virtually the only way that agencies hire entry-level attorneys. (Unlike law firms, where profitability is premised on leveraging the work of junior lawyers, agencies can afford to rely on experienced attorneys to handle most tasks. As a result, the government hires comparatively few new lawyers.)

Statistics from the Honors handbook give a sense of just how competitive the hiring process has become. In 2010, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for example, hired six new lawyers out of 2,000 applicants; the Department of Housing and Urban Development selected 25 out of 1,100; and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission picked five out of 1,400.

So what does it take to get hired?

In many ways, it's more complicated -- and less predictable -- than landing a law firm job. The valedictorian of a top 10 law school might not even rate an interview, while someone from the same school with a lower GPA -- but who spent summers working on a public interest project in the practice area -- could be offered a job.

"We get extraordinary candidates year after year," said Feinstein of the FTC. "It's really remarkable the talent we have to choose from." The agency typically hires eight entry-level lawyers in the Bureau of Competition out of about 1,000 applications -- less than 1 percent of those who apply.


Since the OP doesn't even know for certain where he wants to practice, he's in a tough spot as law licenses are not portable. New state=new bar exam, unless you can waive in, although that usually requires 5 or more years of experience to qualify for the waiver & get admitted on motion. Yet another miserable feature of a miserable, decaying industry which is saturated beyond all comprehension.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:32 am

It's really hard to accept the fact that I will not ever have a realistic opportunity to work in the fed. gvt or more prestigious state gvt. positions.


But the sooner you start "accepting it," OP, the sooner you can re-tool for another field altogether. At this point anything other than bottom-feeding shitlaw and/or some doc review dungeon is pretty much a pipedream. Neither route will supply anything worthwhile in terms of pay, experience, an upward career path, or benefits (rarely do small firms offer health insurance anymore, most prefer to pay you as a 1099 ind contractor so you even more exploitable/expendable). I think you already know in your gut how right I am, and I do hope to spare you further disappointment.

Understand that a lottery was held, and your ticket just wasn't the winner. I know it sucks, but no matter how many times you stare at it & wish it was different, it just ain't so.

You certainly aren't alone. I always at least took solace in the fact that, like you, I went to school ranked in the 50s/60s, where any decent outcome was the longest of long shots anyway. A family friend of mine graduated Duke in 2009 and had her Biglaw offer deferred and finally rescinded in the bloodbath. She's now also looking to enter the teaching field and has begun working as a substitute in my district. I can't imagine having a 160 K gig lined up and then having the rug ranked out from under you like that. I believe she is now taking anti-depressants and is not in the greatest state of mind, but shit happens. Funny thing is that I told her law school was a bad idea before she started, but she thought she was a lot "better" than me since she got into Duke. Now she's a substitute teacher making $80 a day and slogging thru life living with her parents at age 28.

I take no pleasure in pointing out these hard truths, but sadly the general consensus is that law is a career of yesterday. Between outsourcing, better software/technology, the general economic meltdown, and other factors it's but a shell of what it was 15 years ago. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see another round of deferred/rescinded offers coming next year, as the euro debt crisis and our own massive structural issues here in the US unleash another epic economic collapse. As the dot.gov hiring freeze well proves, lawyers are usually the first people cut when times get tough. The fact that the DOJ is now taking on AUSA's as volunteers shows that your own government considers the "value' of a JD to be zero dollars. I wonder if these "volunteer" DOJ clowns ever walk about the hallways and wonder why the janitor gets a paycheck and they don't?

Food for thought.

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johansantana21
Posts: 855
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby johansantana21 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:11 am

buttonpusher wrote:
It's really hard to accept the fact that I will not ever have a realistic opportunity to work in the fed. gvt or more prestigious state gvt. positions.


But the sooner you start "accepting it," OP, the sooner you can re-tool for another field altogether. At this point anything other than bottom-feeding shitlaw and/or some doc review dungeon is pretty much a pipedream. Neither route will supply anything worthwhile in terms of pay, experience, an upward career path, or benefits (rarely do small firms offer health insurance anymore, most prefer to pay you as a 1099 ind contractor so you even more exploitable/expendable). I think you already know in your gut how right I am, and I do hope to spare you further disappointment.

Understand that a lottery was held, and your ticket just wasn't the winner. I know it sucks, but no matter how many times you stare at it & wish it was different, it just ain't so.

You certainly aren't alone. I always at least took solace in the fact that, like you, I went to school ranked in the 50s/60s, where any decent outcome was the longest of long shots anyway. A family friend of mine graduated Duke in 2009 and had her Biglaw offer deferred and finally rescinded in the bloodbath. She's now also looking to enter the teaching field and has begun working as a substitute in my district. I can't imagine having a 160 K gig lined up and then having the rug ranked out from under you like that. I believe she is now taking anti-depressants and is not in the greatest state of mind, but shit happens. Funny thing is that I told her law school was a bad idea before she started, but she thought she was a lot "better" than me since she got into Duke. Now she's a substitute teacher making $80 a day and slogging thru life living with her parents at age 28.

I take no pleasure in pointing out these hard truths, but sadly the general consensus is that law is a career of yesterday. Between outsourcing, better software/technology, the general economic meltdown, and other factors it's but a shell of what it was 15 years ago. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see another round of deferred/rescinded offers coming next year, as the euro debt crisis and our own massive structural issues here in the US unleash another epic economic collapse. As the dot.gov hiring freeze well proves, lawyers are usually the first people cut when times get tough. The fact that the DOJ is now taking on AUSA's as volunteers shows that your own government considers the "value' of a JD to be zero dollars. I wonder if these "volunteer" DOJ clowns ever walk about the hallways and wonder why the janitor gets a paycheck and they don't?

Food for thought.


You are like MTAL without the trolling.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:25 am

My cousin graduated from a T-14 almost at the BOTTOM OF HIS CLASS. He didn't get a single callback at OCI, so you're ahead of him there. He moved to LA, took the bar on his own dime, and spent three months crashing with different friends before landing a non-prestigious state clerking gig (the kind of thing you would be eminently more qualified for, considering how horrible my cousin's grades were and the fact he had no journal/EC to speak of). He worked there two years, and landed a job with a firm that does the type of work Biglaw does--litigation for big farming conglomerates. They bill $200/hr for his services, so I'm guessing with his clerking experience he makes 85-100K. This kind of stuff happens all the time. You can land that kind of job after doing PI/state clerkship/small firm. Once you have some experience the game totally changes.


"Bottom of the class" at Top 14 is still far better than OP's position. It's called "national reach." Absent the Top 14 on his resume, he'd likely be flipping burgers at Appleebees.

It doesn't matter a whit how "qualified" the OP is, he doesn't have Top 14 credentials. Having a Top 14 on your resume provides a benefit that follows you the rest of your life, as your cousin has proved.

Voodoo94
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:58 pm

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Voodoo94 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:11 am

Do you have any idea how insanely competitive even these non-legal Fed positions are? There is a "points system" to get these gigs, and the reality is that any ordinary JD who's not a URM and/or Iraq war veteran and/or female+minority URM will have no shot. Period. This helps explain the hard truth:

--LinkRemoved-- ... Impossible

Gee, ya think of the 2000 lawyers who applied for WHOPPING SIX (6) honors slots at the SEC, or the 1400 lawyers who competed for FIVE (5) slots at the Nuclear Regulation Commission haven't had this same idea?:


Buttonpusher,

As a Federal employee, I am well aware of how competitive non-legal Federal jobs are right now. I am also well aware that no matter how competitive hiring is for them, they are orders of magnitude more attainable than the attorney (series 0905) positions. At our agency, we recently had over 2,000 applicants for a single entry level attorney position. By contrast, non-attorney positions at the same grade level usually only draw between 150-400 applicants.

As I suggested above to the OP, a substantive Masters Degree and a JD can be an attractive combination for non-attorney positions. Conversely, a plain-vanilla JD and resume filled with "moot court" awards will work against you as Federal hiring officials can transparantly see that anything outside of "law" is your distant "Plan B."

There are myriad positions in the Federal service where a JD holder would be preferred - provided they have substantive academic/work experience in the area of the agency's focus. These positions are usually clustered in the 0301 and 0343 series. A focused USAJOBS "advanced search" for these series at the GS 9-11 level will give you an idea of what I am talking about.

Is hiring uber competitive right now? Yes! That said, all doors are not closed as you suggest. My office is in the process of hiring 3, 0301s to work as program/policy analysts. These are non attorney slots but 2 of the offers went to JD holders because we view it as a valuable credential for those who have a baseline knowledge of our business line (e.g. healthcare). Our sister office down the hall has hired 5 entry level 0301 reg. writers this year. While technically "non attorney" positions, all the hires were JDs and most were recent JD grads. Of the 5, only one was a veteran.

As a veteran, I will be the first to tell you that the veterans prefereence system (largely unchanged since 1946) is not meeting the needs for Federal hiring and is hurting a lot of great non-veteran candidates. The WWII veteran cohort that these rules were written for was much more broadly reflective of society - educationally, geographically and ideologically - than todays narrow, all-volunteer cohort. This is a problem.

I will say to those seeking Federal employment and who are under 29, why not consider serving a few years in the military yourself as an officer? Army OCS is still the best option in town. Selection rates for civilians, while down from nearly 100% two years ago, are still about 1 in 4. It's a 3 year commitment and you get great leadership experience, vest veterans preference and earn the new GI Bill to refocus your career.

Buttonpusher,

On most levels I completely agree with you - law is a dying profession. I am imploring students and recent grads to quickly refocus their efforts towards more viable and rewarding career paths.

luthersloan
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby luthersloan » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:28 am

I am never entirely sure what people mean when they say things like law is a "dying profession," like obviously it is going threw a period of downward adjustment in terms of the number of certain types of jobs because of outsourcing and related phenomenon. But it is not a field that is subject to true technological obsolescence. As near as I can tell, from my perspective as an unemployed 3L the major problem with the law is a the over supply problem, caused in large part by the wide spread perception of law as the default I don't know what I want to do with my life fallback. That seems to be changing however as the far from rosy employment situation facing law school grades becomes more widely known.

c3pO4
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby c3pO4 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:40 am

luthersloan wrote:I am never entirely sure what people mean when they say things like law is a "dying profession," like obviously it is going threw a period of downward adjustment in terms of the number of certain types of jobs because of outsourcing and related phenomenon. But it is not a field that is subject to true technological obsolescence. As near as I can tell, from my perspective as an unemployed 3L the major problem with the law is a the over supply problem, caused in large part by the wide spread perception of law as the default I don't know what I want to do with my life fallback. That seems to be changing however as the far from rosy employment situation facing law school grades becomes more widely known.


the, like, oversupply is not going away in the next 10 years. also, like, the demand has shrunk substantially (like, pretty much every firm hires like, a lot less entry level grads). the profession has structurally changed due to client pressures on fees/in-sourcing/consolidation at the top. the point buttondude is making is like, if you don't get that lottery ticket, then like, the game is over.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:35 pm

the, like, oversupply is not going away in the next 10 years


Correct. I'll add that, if anything, the oversupply will get exponentially worse. Hell, there may be a Thomas Cooley in every state by 2020. These schools always manage to fill every available seat too, since so many dummies liked "Law & Order" as kids and want to be Jack McCoy even with a 139 LSAT and 1.8 UGPA. Cooley will welcome them w/ open arms.

The oversupply has already driven prices for basic "consumer" law like Ch 7 BK, simple wills, DWI defense, residential closings etc down to absurdly low levels, and even at those low prices most clients want "payment plans" and other nonsense. Money is scarce among the masses, and getting scarcer all the time.

Already, many of the revenue streams for shitlaw solos and small firms are long gone. Basic wills= legalzoom. DWI defense= waste of $$$- except in 0.000001% of cases a lawyer can't get you a better deal than you could get going pro se. LLC formation=online via most state's Dept of the Treasury. Also, since UPL "Unauthorized Practice of Law" rules are weakly/seldom enforced, there are tons of craigslist "doc filing" services that will basically "walk you thru" filling out stock forms for a Ch 7 or no-fault divorce, etc. Check out http://www.wethepeopleusa.com/ for a great example of this BS.

Don't forget it isn't just Biglaw doc review that's getting outsourced. My friend runs a small collections firm in Westchester, NY and uses Indian paralegals to draft all his complaints, pleadings, motions, and other toilet paper. They have templates to work off of, and when done they just upload them to dropbox.com and he signs 'em electronically and files same w/ the court. 10 years ago he would've needed 3 or 4 associates to churn that paper, but now he has Indians who get 7 bucks to do a complaint and about 15 for a motion. In shitlaw, as I said above, everything is 100% copy & paste. Rarely does my friend even need to edit/review the outsourced docs before filing. He then uses per diem attorneys who get $50 an appearance to cover his calendar.

The only reason he was able to start this collections practice is because his uncle already had it up & running years earlier, so it was "waiting" for him when he graduated. Absent that rainmaking connection, he'd be out of law or on doc review.

Anyone at the 2L level who missed Biglaw or dot.gov gigs has to seriously ask themselves whether it's worth throwing another 3 semesters tuition + the lost work/re-training time to find another career. I think many of you already know the answer, even if you aren't willing to admit it publicly.

Voodoo94
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:58 pm

Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Voodoo94 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:34 pm

Correct. I'll add that, if anything, the oversupply will get exponentially worse. Hell, there may be a Thomas Cooley in every state by 2020. These schools always manage to fill every available seat too, since so many dummies liked "Law & Order" as kids and want to be Jack McCoy even with a 139 LSAT and 1.8 UGPA. Cooley will welcome them w/ open arms.

The oversupply has already driven prices for basic "consumer" law like Ch 7 BK, simple wills, DWI defense, residential closings etc down to absurdly low levels, and even at those low prices most clients want "payment plans" and other nonsense. Money is scarce among the masses, and getting scarcer all the time.

Already, many of the revenue streams for shitlaw solos and small firms are long gone. Basic wills= legalzoom. DWI defense= waste of $$$- except in 0.000001% of cases a lawyer can't get you a better deal than you could get going pro se. LLC formation=online via most state's Dept of the Treasury. Also, since UPL "Unauthorized Practice of Law" rules are weakly/seldom enforced, there are tons of craigslist "doc filing" services that will basically "walk you thru" filling out stock forms for a Ch 7 or no-fault divorce, etc. Check out http://www.wethepeopleusa.com/ for a great example of this BS.

Don't forget it isn't just Biglaw doc review that's getting outsourced. My friend runs a small collections firm in Westchester, NY and uses Indian paralegals to draft all his complaints, pleadings, motions, and other toilet paper. They have templates to work off of, and when done they just upload them to dropbox.com and he signs 'em electronically and files same w/ the court. 10 years ago he would've needed 3 or 4 associates to churn that paper, but now he has Indians who get 7 bucks to do a complaint and about 15 for a motion. In shitlaw, as I said above, everything is 100% copy & paste. Rarely does my friend even need to edit/review the outsourced docs before filing. He then uses per diem attorneys who get $50 an appearance to cover his calendar.

The only reason he was able to start this collections practice is because his uncle already had it up & running years earlier, so it was "waiting" for him when he graduated. Absent that rainmaking connection, he'd be out of law or on doc review.

Anyone at the 2L level who missed Biglaw or dot.gov gigs has to seriously ask themselves whether it's worth throwing another 3 semesters tuition + the lost work/re-training time to find another career. I think many of you already know the answer, even if you aren't willing to admit it publicly.


Buttonpusher,

Great summary. You really nailed how the legal profession is dying and covered all the bases.

You are correct that 2Ls who struck out at OCI and with government, really need to consider refocusing their career through a dual degree or consider cutting their losses.

There is no future in shitlaw and Buttonpusher laid out the cards for all to see. Things are very bleak and, as he suggested, the masses don't have the $$$ anymore for low level legal "services". This past year I went to the NJ State Bar Association convention in Atlantic City and the desperation was palpable. At the "cultivating contacts/leads" seminar, there were dozens of seasoned practitioners desperately looking for ways to turn around years of steadily declining revenue. Many of the young attorneys were in totally dead end jobs. Perhaps the saddest stories were those of the law clerks at the NJ trial level courts. They had a one year gig and most had no employment prospects once they ended. Many had crushing debt from places like Albany and Seton Hall and they had no idea how they could make the nymbers work after their clerkship.

zomginternets
Posts: 547
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby zomginternets » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:50 pm

Voodoo94 wrote:
Correct. I'll add that, if anything, the oversupply will get exponentially worse. Hell, there may be a Thomas Cooley in every state by 2020. These schools always manage to fill every available seat too, since so many dummies liked "Law & Order" as kids and want to be Jack McCoy even with a 139 LSAT and 1.8 UGPA. Cooley will welcome them w/ open arms.

The oversupply has already driven prices for basic "consumer" law like Ch 7 BK, simple wills, DWI defense, residential closings etc down to absurdly low levels, and even at those low prices most clients want "payment plans" and other nonsense. Money is scarce among the masses, and getting scarcer all the time.

Already, many of the revenue streams for shitlaw solos and small firms are long gone. Basic wills= legalzoom. DWI defense= waste of $$$- except in 0.000001% of cases a lawyer can't get you a better deal than you could get going pro se. LLC formation=online via most state's Dept of the Treasury. Also, since UPL "Unauthorized Practice of Law" rules are weakly/seldom enforced, there are tons of craigslist "doc filing" services that will basically "walk you thru" filling out stock forms for a Ch 7 or no-fault divorce, etc. Check out http://www.wethepeopleusa.com/ for a great example of this BS.

Don't forget it isn't just Biglaw doc review that's getting outsourced. My friend runs a small collections firm in Westchester, NY and uses Indian paralegals to draft all his complaints, pleadings, motions, and other toilet paper. They have templates to work off of, and when done they just upload them to dropbox.com and he signs 'em electronically and files same w/ the court. 10 years ago he would've needed 3 or 4 associates to churn that paper, but now he has Indians who get 7 bucks to do a complaint and about 15 for a motion. In shitlaw, as I said above, everything is 100% copy & paste. Rarely does my friend even need to edit/review the outsourced docs before filing. He then uses per diem attorneys who get $50 an appearance to cover his calendar.

The only reason he was able to start this collections practice is because his uncle already had it up & running years earlier, so it was "waiting" for him when he graduated. Absent that rainmaking connection, he'd be out of law or on doc review.

Anyone at the 2L level who missed Biglaw or dot.gov gigs has to seriously ask themselves whether it's worth throwing another 3 semesters tuition + the lost work/re-training time to find another career. I think many of you already know the answer, even if you aren't willing to admit it publicly.


Buttonpusher,

Great summary. You really nailed how the legal profession is dying and covered all the bases.

You are correct that 2Ls who struck out at OCI and with government, really need to consider refocusing their career through a dual degree or consider cutting their losses.

There is no future in shitlaw and Buttonpusher laid out the cards for all to see. Things are very bleak and, as he suggested, the masses don't have the $$$ anymore for low level legal "services". This past year I went to the NJ State Bar Association convention in Atlantic City and the desperation was palpable. At the "cultivating contacts/leads" seminar, there were dozens of seasoned practitioners desperately looking for ways to turn around years of steadily declining revenue. Many of the young attorneys were in totally dead end jobs. Perhaps the saddest stories were those of the law clerks at the NJ trial level courts. They had a one year gig and most had no employment prospects once they ended. Many had crushing debt from places like Albany and Seton Hall and they had no idea how they could make the nymbers work after their clerkship.


Buttonpusher alt.

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NinerFan
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby NinerFan » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:53 pm

Voodoo94 wrote:
Correct. I'll add that, if anything, the oversupply will get exponentially worse. Hell, there may be a Thomas Cooley in every state by 2020. These schools always manage to fill every available seat too, since so many dummies liked "Law & Order" as kids and want to be Jack McCoy even with a 139 LSAT and 1.8 UGPA. Cooley will welcome them w/ open arms.

The oversupply has already driven prices for basic "consumer" law like Ch 7 BK, simple wills, DWI defense, residential closings etc down to absurdly low levels, and even at those low prices most clients want "payment plans" and other nonsense. Money is scarce among the masses, and getting scarcer all the time.

Already, many of the revenue streams for shitlaw solos and small firms are long gone. Basic wills= legalzoom. DWI defense= waste of $$$- except in 0.000001% of cases a lawyer can't get you a better deal than you could get going pro se. LLC formation=online via most state's Dept of the Treasury. Also, since UPL "Unauthorized Practice of Law" rules are weakly/seldom enforced, there are tons of craigslist "doc filing" services that will basically "walk you thru" filling out stock forms for a Ch 7 or no-fault divorce, etc. Check out http://www.wethepeopleusa.com/ for a great example of this BS.

Don't forget it isn't just Biglaw doc review that's getting outsourced. My friend runs a small collections firm in Westchester, NY and uses Indian paralegals to draft all his complaints, pleadings, motions, and other toilet paper. They have templates to work off of, and when done they just upload them to dropbox.com and he signs 'em electronically and files same w/ the court. 10 years ago he would've needed 3 or 4 associates to churn that paper, but now he has Indians who get 7 bucks to do a complaint and about 15 for a motion. In shitlaw, as I said above, everything is 100% copy & paste. Rarely does my friend even need to edit/review the outsourced docs before filing. He then uses per diem attorneys who get $50 an appearance to cover his calendar.

The only reason he was able to start this collections practice is because his uncle already had it up & running years earlier, so it was "waiting" for him when he graduated. Absent that rainmaking connection, he'd be out of law or on doc review.

Anyone at the 2L level who missed Biglaw or dot.gov gigs has to seriously ask themselves whether it's worth throwing another 3 semesters tuition + the lost work/re-training time to find another career. I think many of you already know the answer, even if you aren't willing to admit it publicly.


Buttonpusher,

Great summary. You really nailed how the legal profession is dying and covered all the bases.

You are correct that 2Ls who struck out at OCI and with government, really need to consider refocusing their career through a dual degree or consider cutting their losses.

There is no future in shitlaw and Buttonpusher laid out the cards for all to see. Things are very bleak and, as he suggested, the masses don't have the $$$ anymore for low level legal "services". This past year I went to the NJ State Bar Association convention in Atlantic City and the desperation was palpable. At the "cultivating contacts/leads" seminar, there were dozens of seasoned practitioners desperately looking for ways to turn around years of steadily declining revenue. Many of the young attorneys were in totally dead end jobs. Perhaps the saddest stories were those of the law clerks at the NJ trial level courts. They had a one year gig and most had no employment prospects once they ended. Many had crushing debt from places like Albany and Seton Hall and they had no idea how they could make the nymbers work after their clerkship.


I wonder if the increasing amount of debt from people taking out loans for education will force a change to the system before we have a Cooley in every state. At some point, a gigantic mountain of people aren't going to be able to pay back their non-dischargeable loans. The government will either have to pump money into the program (probably not going to happen), raise rates (which will discourage people from taking on additional debt), or screen applicants instead of just giving a free pass to people who want to take 150k to go to law school.

If the ABA refuses to regulate schools better, the pure economics of the situation will probably force a change.

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leobowski
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby leobowski » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:51 pm

NinerFan wrote:
I wonder if the increasing amount of debt from people taking out loans for education will force a change to the system before we have a Cooley in every state. At some point, a gigantic mountain of people aren't going to be able to pay back their non-dischargeable loans. The government will either have to pump money into the program (probably not going to happen), raise rates (which will discourage people from taking on additional debt), or screen applicants instead of just giving a free pass to people who want to take 150k to go to law school.

If the ABA refuses to regulate schools better, the pure economics of the situation will probably force a change.



This. Eventually the default rate for students at bottom-feeder law schools is going to reach a breaking point. This is happening right now with for-profit schools, which Obama's education guru is pretty pissed about.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:13 pm

To the poster who wrote about the value of a T14 degree, I go to a T14 school (range = lower half, T7-14), and after being a fair amount below median struck out at 2L OCI this year and am not having any success either with Government, grades will probably unfortunately drop further as a result of the stress/depression from the job search/the situation. You said the T14 name has staying power/national reach, but if I finish law school, GPA above a 3.0 but probably not much higher, and finish with my T14 degree, am I really in any better of a position, as an unemployed graduate, than the OP even with that T14 name? Because from what I've heard/seen so far, it sure doesn't seem like it..

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To the poster who wrote about the value of a T14 degree, I go to a T14 school (range = lower half, T7-14), and after being a fair amount below median struck out at 2L OCI this year and am not having any success either with Government, grades will probably unfortunately drop further as a result of the stress/depression from the job search/the situation. You said the T14 name has staying power/national reach, but if I finish law school, GPA above a 3.0 but probably not much higher, and finish with my T14 degree, am I really in any better of a position, as an unemployed graduate, than the OP even with that T14 name? Because from what I've heard/seen so far, it sure doesn't seem like it..


May I ask which T14 and how far below median?

Curious because I will probably be in a similar situation in a year. DCN here.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:23 pm

I'm at a DCNG school as well, probably around bottom quarter so definitely a fair amount below median

buttonpusher
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:11 pm

Allow me to clarify some points I made previously, as I think many here are taking my "advice" the wrong way:

Look guys, a law license is still a chance (albeit a slim one) to make some serious cash easily if all the stars line up for you. For example, a good pal of mine from law school settled a personal injury claim for his aunt (who was crippled in a car accident) for 200 K about a year after passing the bar. He walked away from that one case with a roughly 65 K fee, paid off his loans, and now has left law and does pharma sales, which is where his "niche" was prior to law school.

Problem is that when Auntie Grizelda calls your ass to ask about her case, and you have 0% personal injury experience (while she's pissing herself thru a catheter in wheelchair), there is a good chance you won't be able to "bluff" enough knowledge to grab that case. Fuck this deal up, and you're the Scarlet Letter come Thanksgiving dinner. See what I'm getting at? Would any of you be able to competently negotiate her damages w/ an insurance carrier's lawyer a year or two out of school?

Your adversary is not stupid. If he looks you up in the law diary and sees you were admitted 6 months ago, do you think that influences the amount of $$$ he will offer? Will you be able to find/schedule a "plaintiff's" doctor to testify in court to her injuries? Walk her thru all the "traps" of a deposition, and the IME (Insurance Medical Exam), where Allstate's doctor says she fine if she walk into his office w/ her head in a box?

My friend was only able to get her that deal b/c first of all, he's an incredibly slick salesman and "natural" at negotiation. Second of all, he had a year's experience at a PI firm that paid him a whopping 35 K a year. He learned just enough about how this works to scam that settlement. He's the extreme exception to the rule, and don't expect to duplicate his success. After all, he got that settlement rather easily and still left the law for good for sales, so what does that tell you?
What I'm getting at here is that you have to be able to competently handle your own files if you aspire to be an independent rainmaker/solo, and you have to live w/ yourself if you get ballsy and fuck up an important case for a family member/friend. So the idea of "getting business" thru family & friends is not as easy as many of the geeks on here make it out. As a recent grad, you know NOTHING- and let me repeat- NOTHING- about how this business works. You are every bit as incompetent as a layperson, even more so since you know just enough to be dangerous.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby zomginternets » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:36 pm

How "lucky" for your friend that his aunt was crippled in a car accident.

I also don't see how this clears up your previous posts. You basically just reiterated that you shouldn't go to law school because of how unlikely it is that you'll "luck into" a large sum settlement case and have the know how to handle it. Which is equivalent to saying that outside of biglaw OCI, you should drop out because the chances of this happening are too remote to bank on and there's nothing in between, which I believe is the same crap you've been pushing for going on 3 pages now.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:34 pm

How "lucky" for your friend that his aunt was crippled in a car accident.

I also don't see how this clears up your previous posts. You basically just reiterated that you shouldn't go to law school because of how unlikely it is that you'll "luck into" a large sum settlement case and have the know how to handle it. Which is equivalent to saying that outside of biglaw OCI, you should drop out because the chances of this happening are too remote to bank on and there's nothing in between, which I believe is the same crap you've been pushing for going on 3 pages now.


Oh how I love the 0 L "anger." It never ends. Hurry now son, and back to those Rule Against Perpetuities puzzles. Remember kid, just one "B" separates you from a 160 K position and a seat in the doc review bullpen for $17 an hour w/ no health insurance.


ROTFL!

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby c3pO4 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:42 pm

buttonpusher wrote:
How "lucky" for your friend that his aunt was crippled in a car accident.

I also don't see how this clears up your previous posts. You basically just reiterated that you shouldn't go to law school because of how unlikely it is that you'll "luck into" a large sum settlement case and have the know how to handle it. Which is equivalent to saying that outside of biglaw OCI, you should drop out because the chances of this happening are too remote to bank on and there's nothing in between, which I believe is the same crap you've been pushing for going on 3 pages now.


Oh how I love the 0 L "anger." It never ends. Hurry now son, and back to those Rule Against Perpetuities puzzles. Remember kid, just one "B" separates you from a 160 K position and a seat in the doc review bullpen for $17 an hour w/ no health insurance.


ROTFL!


Really nobody in law school is a kid. We're all in our early 20's at the youngest.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby zomginternets » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:06 pm

buttonpusher wrote:
How "lucky" for your friend that his aunt was crippled in a car accident.

I also don't see how this clears up your previous posts. You basically just reiterated that you shouldn't go to law school because of how unlikely it is that you'll "luck into" a large sum settlement case and have the know how to handle it. Which is equivalent to saying that outside of biglaw OCI, you should drop out because the chances of this happening are too remote to bank on and there's nothing in between, which I believe is the same crap you've been pushing for going on 3 pages now.


Oh how I love the 0 L "anger." It never ends. Hurry now son, and back to those Rule Against Perpetuities puzzles. Remember kid, just one "B" separates you from a 160 K position and a seat in the doc review bullpen for $17 an hour w/ no health insurance.


ROTFL!



No anger, and not a 0L. I know plenty of lawyers who did not go to T-14s, did not get biglaw OCI and are doing fine for themselves. A partner at the firm I used to work for graduated from a T4 and is now probably making in the upper six-figures, where as the GULC grad was fired 1 year after being hired. But I'm sure both of us could give a bucketload of anecdotal stories to back our respective claims. My point is that while there's a correlation between school rank/class rank and job placement/salary, to claim that everyone not in the top 1/4 at a T-14 or got biglaw at OCI is wasting their time/money by not dropping out is just absolutely retarded. What makes you think you're guaranteed to get that 175k superintendent job after spending another assload of money on more schooling and tuition?

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby johansantana21 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:09 pm

zomginternets wrote:
buttonpusher wrote:
How "lucky" for your friend that his aunt was crippled in a car accident.

I also don't see how this clears up your previous posts. You basically just reiterated that you shouldn't go to law school because of how unlikely it is that you'll "luck into" a large sum settlement case and have the know how to handle it. Which is equivalent to saying that outside of biglaw OCI, you should drop out because the chances of this happening are too remote to bank on and there's nothing in between, which I believe is the same crap you've been pushing for going on 3 pages now.


Oh how I love the 0 L "anger." It never ends. Hurry now son, and back to those Rule Against Perpetuities puzzles. Remember kid, just one "B" separates you from a 160 K position and a seat in the doc review bullpen for $17 an hour w/ no health insurance.


ROTFL!



No anger, and not a 0L. I know plenty of lawyers who did not go to T-14s, did not get biglaw OCI and are doing fine for themselves. A partner at the firm I used to work for graduated from a T4 and is now probably making in the upper six-figures, where as the GULC grad was fired 1 year after being hired. But I'm sure both of us could give a bucketload of anecdotal stories to back our respective claims. My point is that while there's a correlation between school rank/class rank and job placement/salary, to claim that everyone not in the top 1/4 at a T-14 or got biglaw at OCI is wasting their time/money by not dropping out is just absolutely retarded. What makes you think you're guaranteed to get that 175k superintendent job after spending another assload of money on more schooling and tuition?


You're dumb. Times have changed.

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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby buttonpusher » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:46 pm

You're dumb. Times have changed.


Exactly. I ROTFL when idiots start talking about their neighbor/uncle/dad's college roommate etc who graduated some "generic" TTT law school in 1978 and now makes big money. Hell, even comparing what you're going to face with people like me who got out in early 2000s is absurd. Back then, you could at least get a 45 K a year shitlaw job or do doc review for 35-40 an hour.

Now thanks to outsourcing and the general economic collapse, you struggle to even land a shitlaw gig at 30 K with no benefits. Government has indefinite hiring freezes nearly everywhere. Doc review/temp work is nearly all outsourced to India or replaced by better software/filters, and the few gigs remaining pay 20-25 an hour, slightly more in NYC. Going solo is an idea so ridiculous is doesn't even merit discussion: as the poster above said, revenues for small firms and solos have been plunging for years, to the point where many of these little shops are closing down altogether. Here's an assignment: Open you local Yellow Pages, and count the number of attorneys with ads in there. Multiply same by 3 to cover the schmucks who can't afford an ad, and then ask yourself "gee, does my town really need another shitlaw DWI/Bankruptcy/Divorce/Ambulance Chaser lawyer, or are we pretty well saturated as is?"

Forget all the anecdotal stories of uber-successful lawyers coming out of TTT's and such. The bottom line is that, as I've said before, failure and unemployment are the norm in this industry nowadays, not the exception. The oversupply is truly jaw-dropping, and gets worse and worse each year as the Cooleys and other TTTTtoilets open up lawschools on nearly every streetcorner:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/ ... -by-state/


I truly wonder what it is about this industry that attracts so many people, to the point where "cult" websites like this exist to discuss and dream about said industry? For the most part, it's an extremely boring slog of a job, akin to putting a nut on a bolt in some factory. Mostly just endless cut n' paste, boring & hyper-technical "rules" and procedures, long hours, childish bickering, and just general misery. Couple that with abysmal compensation (outside Biglaw, which 75% or more of you will fail to get), and I simply fail to see from where the attraction comes? If you're living in NYC (where most Biglaw is), 160 K is not anything close to a "rock star" lifestyle anyway, after paying rent, taxes, student loans, etc. And with the hours, it's really not a 160 K a year job, but rather two 80 K a year jobs, since you're working roughly twice the hours a normal person does. Do you really want to spend the best years of your life, years you'll never get back, spending 80 hour weeks poring over "Tri-Lateral Global Broker Dealer Sub-Agreement Addendums" and other makework, paper-churning nonsense, serving the interests of faceless corporations who have screwed & destroyed this country?

Or are you a "public interest" hippie, save the world type? I can tell you that most of the people you aspire to "help" are unappreciative, nasty lowlifes who'd as soon spit in your face than say a simple "thank you." My state requires me, even as a non-practicing attorney, to take on pro-bono cases when assigned them. I've done 3 in the past 6 years and all of the clients were nightmares and total scum.

Yet I've seen threads on this website with people cheering that they're "In at Brooklyn" and other subpar diploma mills where the chance at biglaw is well south of 5%, and the chance of never finding ANY paying work as an attorney is likely 50/50 at best.

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Ludo!
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Re: Fall 3L: Solid resume. No offers. Career dead in a ditch?

Postby Ludo! » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:50 pm

Good to have areyouinsane back but less preaching - more funny stories




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