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 Post subject: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 193733
Why write this?

Thanksgiving this year was more social than it typically is for us, and we attended a gathering that included a hodgepodge of various families that I had not met before. Social circles are small, however, and people appeared to be generally familiar with the concept that I was a smart lawyer in a big city working with a big firm on big cases making big money. I thus was subjected to a seemingly never-ending carousel of young, good-natured twenty-somethings who were sent to speak to me at the behest of their parents regarding the perceived merits of law school.

The kids were bright-eyed, enthusiastic, and many were more or less neck deep in the law school evaluation process. Our conversations typically fell along the following lines: “I’m looking at [law school], and I have met with the admissions people there, who seem really great. I’m pretty excited about the prospect of attending. It’s cool that you work at [Firm X] in [City Y]. Do you like being a lawyer?”

In any event, I punted, not wanting to be the resident buzz kill while the gravy was still warm. My answers were vague, and I generally discussed the intellectual challenges one might expect to face as a law student. If one did manage to corral me into discussing the prospects of obtaining law firm employment after graduation, my replies were purposely noncommittal—“it depends, some fields are hotter than others;” "It's hard to say; before attending, be sure to research firms that you may be interested in to see the type of graduates they hire," and so forth.

Afterwards, I reflected that it was bothersome to hear that the admissions departments were still shoveling the same brand of irresponsible rhetoric that, I suppose, in hindsight, had hooked me when I was in their shoes. I mused that, in a vacuum of anonymity—no gossip, no whispers—my answers to some of their questions would have been very different.

So here is my made-for-the-internet story, as a class of 200[6][7][8][9] law school graduate. It is not intended to persuade or dissuade; instead, I merely recount the details of my background and my work experience. The rest is, as they say, up to you.


My background

I, like most of you, am a striver. At a young age, I was identified as “gifted,” and recall that I generally enjoyed the process of learning. Academic success came, along virtually all stages of educational conveyor belt, with relative ease. I excelled in middle school, and afterwards, was able to gain admission to the highly selective private high school in our city. Less than 10% made the cut. High school was certainly more competitive—no longer the big fish in a small pond—but I continued to work hard and did well. I took the SAT seriously and prepared diligently. My score was high, and I was able to obtain admission to a highly prestigious undergraduate program.

Undergrad was more of the same, and I obtained a degree in a [technical field]. After graduation, I secured a full-time position in at [highly recognizable institution related to technical field]. While there, I [accomplished noteworthy achievements [X][Y]].

In 200[], I decided that I wanted a change of pace, and sat for the LSAT. Law school, after all, appeared to be attractive: only three additional years of education and a pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow. With my technical background, I envisioned a career in IP litigation. My LSAT score was high, and I decided to attend a non-T14 T20 on partial scholarship.

Law school went relatively well, and I was able to secure membership on a secondary journal. I also participated in moot court and mock trial, and [further completed noteworthy achievements [X][Y]]. Grades were decent, not great—and I finished top [2][3][4]0% or so. Why not higher? Well, at the good schools, (1) everyone is smart, and (2) 100% enter with the notion in mind of finishing within the top 10%. Strangely, 90% end up being disappointed.

In any event, I interview well, and my technical background and law school performance were sufficient to net me a [DC][LA][NYC][SF] biglaw summer associate position during 200[5][6][7] 2L OCI.

I received an offer from the firm after the summer, and began my legal career at the same firm following my graduation from law school. I remained with firm for nearly [3][4][5] years—a period in which the firm only promoted one new partner (yes, literally one) in the [DC][LA][NYC][SF] office. I decided that, in light of these staggering odds, hanging around "to make partner" no longer constituted a viable career path. I thus decided that it was time for a change, and made a lateral move to a group at [Firm X] that appeared to have potential as an up-and-comer.

Mistake.

This new group, though initially very successful, fell apart [due to reasons completely beyond my control]. In [January][February][March][April] of this year, the entire group was shown unceremoniously to the door.

My reality:

Initially, I wasn’t hugely concerned. After all, I believed in the caliber of my credentials, and I had over [X] years of top-notch training at [DC][LA][NYC][SF] biglaw. I had worked hard, and had billed a large number of hours. My skills were solid, and my references were (presumably) stellar. Additionally, I was linked to a “hot” area of the law in IP litigation, and had a great cover story too—this was not a traditional lay off. A victim of circumstance, nothing more. Think Howrey.

My family wasn’t worried, either. After all, I had been that “striver,” remember? The self-starter, the “high performer”—they seemed to intuitively believe that I was going to invariably land on my feet; historically speaking at least, I always did. My parents had several contacts at large firms—they reached out to them on my behalf. These contacts expressed interest, at least initially.

I identified “targets,” and began sending out resumes. I’m was not overly conservative, and a fairly significant number went out. The personal contacts called as well, and they proceed with informational interviews. They sound encouraging, and they discuss possible openings in the event of A, B, and C occurring.

Three months go by. Rejection e-mails roll into the inbox. The personal contacts have stalled. I decide to pursue potential clerkships, and I apply from the appellate level all the way down to the magistrate level. I also begin targeting more firms, widening my net: big, small, whatever—as long as the work experience requirement is relatively aligned. I reach out to every personal contact in the book, and further apply to various in-house positions.

I failed to obtain a single clerkship interview. Not even the magistrates want to talk to me. I do, however, gain some traction with firms, and obtain interviews at several. You haven’t heard of these places—but at least one seems to have some promise—it has diverse clients in fields unrelated to my own, but is otherwise looking to further develop its IP practice. Given the generally unknown nature of this small firm, I reason that the competition can’t be too intense. The interview goes extremely well. "It’s my job," I think, walking out. No: instead, they hire a former federal clerk out of Harvard Law with biglaw experience. Wow—fair enough. What is this guy doing interviewing at a place like this?

The next interview, well—it was with an insurance defense shop. Nice guys, made an offer on the spot—but only after complaining at length about the brutally slim profit margins. They offered 60k a year to defend insurance companies. For more money, I probably would have taken it. However, it’s completely unrelated to IP litigation and, from what I understand, once you jump into ID, that’s it, you’re stuck and yeah, let's not mince words: we’re talking about a pay cut of more than 140k. I just couldn’t do it. I turned them down.

In hindsight, I probably should have taken it.

Thanksgiving has now come and gone, and here I am, still jobless. I’m collecting unemployment, and still manage to send a resume or two when something pops up that I haven’t already applied to. I’ve lost track of the number of “ding” emails I’ve received—I'm guessing well over 100 by now. The cycle of rejection appears to be never ending. Family, once casual about this, now appears awkward and uncertain. No one knows what to say.

At this stage, I’ve applied to the full range. In-house, out-house, large, small, prestigious, “TTT” —the end result is, shockingly, the same. In [month X], when I lost my job, I never envisioned this result. I thought that there would always be a place for a person like me—up until now, there always had been. Fortunately, my loans are paid, and thus, unlike a lot of my peers, I don’t have the weight of their financial burden around my neck but, in any event, unemployment maxes out at $450 a week—it doesn’t cover the expenses of living in [DC][LA][NYC][SF]. I am, for better or for worse, going broke.

My next step is to swallow my pride and jump into the doc review circuit full-time. It is, however, as bad as they say—generally ~30 bucks an hour for 8 to 10 hours of day of base document coding. I sat through one for 2 weeks. It is truly mind numbing—"responsive," "unresponsive," "doctype," etc. You could quite literally train a reasonably savvy 6th grader to do it. It isn't legal work, and I don’t want to go back to doc review. In a way, I suppose that it's demeaning, and is, without question, light years beneath my credentials. After all of the hard work, after the years of billing 2100 to 2400 hundred hours, after all of the education and the achievement, is this really what I’m qualified out to do?

By way of comparison, consider a premedical student who graduates with a 3.7 and a 98th percentile MCAT score. I don't know exactly how the percentile correlates, but let's assume that it equates to a 41. 3.7, 41 MCAT—this person is essentially guaranteed to not only get into an elite medical school, but also to have a stable career as a physician provided that he/she is willing to do the work, etc. The same applies for your 3.7 / 98th percentile (780?) business school applicant: this person, provided that he/she has solid WE, will almost certainly go to a top5 MBA program on scholarship and will invariably have a career in banking, consulting, etc. provided that the desire to put in the work remains. There are no such guarantees with your prototypical 3.7 / 98th percentile LSAT graduate. And here, in my opinion, is the critical difference between the law and other potential career fields. In law, you can do everything right, and still be completely unemployable.

I used to be you, albeit on lawschooldiscussion.org. I heard the stories, but didn’t believe them. Things like this couldn’t happen to me. Well, this is real, and it has been [X] months since my last non-government-issued paycheck. I have always been a happy, well-adjusted person, but this process, including the multitude of rejections, has exacted its toll. Unfortunately, depression has become a reality for me, and I no longer sleep well at night. I’m typically up between the hours of 3 and 6AM, tossing and turning, wondering what, if anything, the future may hold. In a short number of months, my lease expires, and I don’t have the foggiest of clues as to where I will live.

The point of this story isn’t that you shouldn’t go to law school per se. It is, instead, to merely relate my story to you. This story is neither unique nor novel, and similar varieties from the genre afflict a huge percentage of young lawyers out there. As a recruiter at a prestigious placement firm recently told me [BCG, etc.], “you have a top 5%” resume. Well, recall the federal law clerk from Harvard that beat me out for the never-heard-of-it small law firm several months ago—I’m trying to get by with a top 5% resume in a top 1% world. This goes for me, and for those either in law school already or who are considering going, it will apply to you too. As Campos says, there are no special snowflakes.

In medicine, those with top 5% resumes will always be hot shit doctors with highly desirable specialties. In business, the same will be top level executives. In law, well—hello document review.

So there it is. I was, once upon a time, a striver just like you. Now, I'm just a chronically unemployed person who can't sleep. Thank you law school—it's not me, it's the profession. After undergrad, I had gained admission to several non-law graduate school programs, and now often wonder what my life had been like if I had gone that route. It's hard to envision a predicament being worse than this.

Be sure to do your diligence. You'd hate to back a losing horse.

UPDATE: a number of interviews recently came in the door, including one at a V[X] (albeit in a secondary market where I know no one). Still, the story is what it is. Best of luck to all.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:41 pm 
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User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:47 pm
Posts: 18114
Location: banned
Anonymous User wrote:
Why write this?

Thanksgiving this year was more social than it typically is for us, and we attended a gathering that included a hodgepodge of various families that I had not met before. Social circles are small, however, and people appeared to be generally familiar with the concept that I was a smart lawyer in a big city working with a big firm on big cases making big money. I thus was subjected to a seemingly never-ending carousel of young, good-natured twenty-somethings who were sent to speak to me at the behest of their parents regarding the perceived merits of law school.

The kids were bright-eyed, enthusiastic, and many were more or less neck deep in the law school evaluation process. Our conversations typically fell along the following lines: “I’m looking at [law school], and I have met with the admissions people there, who seem really great. I’m pretty excited about the prospect of attending. It’s cool that you work at [Firm X] in [City Y]. Do you like being a lawyer?”

In any event, I punted, not wanting to be the resident buzz kill while the gravy was still warm. My answers were vague, and I generally discussed the intellectual challenges one might expect to face as a law student. If one did manage to corral me into discussing the prospects of obtaining law firm employment after graduation, my replies were purposely noncommittal—“it depends, some fields are hotter than others;” "It's hard to say; before attending, be sure to research firms that you may be interested in to see the type of graduates they hire," and so forth.

Afterwards, I reflected that it was bothersome to hear that the admissions departments were still shoveling the same brand of irresponsible rhetoric that, I suppose, in hindsight, had hooked me when I was in their shoes. I mused that, in a vacuum of anonymity—no gossip, no whispers—my answers to some of their questions would have been very different.

So here is my made-for-the-internet story, as a class of 200[6][7][8][9] law school graduate. It is not intended to persuade or dissuade; instead, I merely recount the details of my background and my work experience. The rest is, as they say, up to you.


My background

I, like most of you, am a striver. At a young age, I was identified as “gifted,” and recall that I generally enjoyed the process of learning. Academic success came, along virtually all stages of educational conveyor belt, with relative ease. I excelled in middle school, and afterwards, was able to gain admission to the highly selective private high school in our city. Less than 10% made the cut. High school was certainly more competitive—no longer the big fish in a small pond—but I continued to work hard and did well. I took the SAT seriously and prepared diligently. My score was high, and I was able to obtain admission to a highly prestigious undergraduate program.

Undergrad was more of the same, and I obtained a degree in a [technical field]. After graduation, I secured a full-time position in at [highly recognizable institution related to technical field]. While there, I [accomplished noteworthy achievements [X][Y]].

In 200[], I decided that I wanted a change of pace, and sat for the LSAT. Law school, after all, appeared to be attractive: only three additional years of education and a pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow. With my technical background, I envisioned a career in IP litigation. My LSAT score was high, and I decided to attend a non-T14 T20 on partial scholarship.

Law school went relatively well, and I was able to secure membership on a secondary journal. I also participated in moot court and mock trial, and [further completed noteworthy achievements [X][Y]]. Grades were decent, not great—and I finished top [2][3][4]0% or so. Why not higher? Well, at the good schools, (1) everyone is smart, and (2) 100% enter with the notion in mind of finishing within the top 10%. Strangely, 90% end up being disappointed.

In any event, I interview well, and my technical background and law school performance were sufficient to net me a [DC][LA][NYC][SF] biglaw summer associate position during 200[5][6][7] 2L OCI.

I received an offer from the firm after the summer, and began my legal career at the same firm following my graduation from law school. I remained with firm for nearly [3][4][5] years—a period in which the firm only promoted one new partner (yes, literally one) in the [DC][LA][NYC][SF] office. I decided that, in light of these staggering odds, hanging around "to make partner" no longer constituted a viable career path. I thus decided that it was time for a change, and made a lateral move to a group at [Firm X] that appeared to have potential as an up-and-comer.

Mistake.

This new group, though initially very successful, fell apart [due to reasons completely beyond my control]. In [January][February][March][April] of this year, the entire group was shown unceremoniously to the door.

My reality:

Initially, I wasn’t hugely concerned. After all, I believed in the caliber of my credentials, and I had over [X] years of top-notch training at [DC][LA][NYC][SF] biglaw. I had worked hard, and had billed a large number of hours. My skills were solid, and my references were (presumably) stellar. Additionally, I was linked to a “hot” area of the law in IP litigation, and had a great cover story too—this was not a traditional lay off. A victim of circumstance, nothing more. Think Howrey.

My family wasn’t worried, either. After all, I had been that “striver,” remember? The self-starter, the “high performer”—they seemed to intuitively believe that I was going to invariably land on my feet; historically speaking at least, I always did. My parents had several contacts at large firms—they reached out to them on my behalf. These contacts expressed interest, at least initially.

I identified “targets,” and began sending out resumes. I’m was not overly conservative, and a fairly significant number went out. The personal contacts called as well, and they proceed with informational interviews. They sound encouraging, and they discuss possible openings in the event of A, B, and C occurring.

Three months go by. Rejection e-mails roll into the inbox. The personal contacts have stalled. I decide to pursue potential clerkships, and I apply from the appellate level all the way down to the magistrate level. I also begin targeting more firms, widening my net: big, small, whatever—as long as the work experience requirement is relatively aligned. I reach out to every personal contact in the book, and further apply to various in-house positions.

I failed to obtain a single clerkship interview. Not even the magistrates want to talk to me. I do, however, gain some traction with firms, and obtain interviews at several. You haven’t heard of these places—but at least one seems to have some promise—it has diverse clients in fields unrelated to my own, but is otherwise looking to further develop its IP practice. Given the generally unknown nature of this small firm, I reason that the competition can’t be too intense. The interview goes extremely well. "It’s my job," I think, walking out. No: instead, they hire a former federal clerk out of Harvard Law with biglaw experience. Wow—fair enough. What is this guy doing interviewing at a place like this?

The next interview, well—it was with an insurance defense shop. Nice guys, made an offer on the spot—but only after complaining at length about the brutally slim profit margins. They offered 60k a year to defend insurance companies. For more money, I probably would have taken it. However, it’s completely unrelated to IP litigation and, from what I understand, once you jump into ID, that’s it, you’re stuck and yeah, let's not mince words: we’re talking about a pay cut of more than 140k. I just couldn’t do it. I turned them down.

In hindsight, I probably should have taken it.

Thanksgiving has now come and gone, and here I am, still jobless. I’m collecting unemployment, and still manage to send a resume or two when something pops up that I haven’t already applied to. I’ve lost track of the number of “ding” emails I’ve received—I'm guessing well over 100 by now. The cycle of rejection appears to be never ending. Family, once casual about this, now appears awkward and uncertain. No one knows what to say.

At this stage, I’ve applied to the full range. In-house, out-house, large, small, prestigious, “TTT” —the end result is, shockingly, the same. In [month X], when I lost my job, I never envisioned this result. I thought that there would always be a place for a person like me—up until now, there always had been. Fortunately, my loans are paid, and thus, unlike a lot of my peers, I don’t have the weight of their financial burden around my neck but, in any event, unemployment maxes out at $450 a week—it doesn’t cover the expenses of living in [DC][LA][NYC][SF]. I am, for better or for worse, going broke.

My next step is to swallow my pride and jump into the doc review circuit full-time. It is, however, as bad as they say—generally ~30 bucks an hour for 8 to 10 hours of day of base document coding. I sat through one for 2 weeks. It is truly mind numbing—"responsive," "unresponsive," "doctype," etc. You could quite literally train a reasonably savvy 6th grader to do it. It isn't legal work, and I don’t want to go back to doc review. In a way, I suppose that it's demeaning, and is, without question, light years beneath my credentials. After all of the hard work, after the years of billing 2100 to 2400 hundred hours, after all of the education and the achievement, is this really what I’m qualified out to do?

By way of comparison, consider a premedical student who graduates with a 3.7 and a 98th percentile MCAT score. I don't know exactly how the percentile correlates, but let's assume that it equates to a 41. 3.7, 41 MCAT—this person is essentially guaranteed to not only get into an elite medical school, but also to have a stable career as a physician provided that he/she is willing to do the work, etc. The same applies for your 3.7 / 98th percentile (780?) business school applicant: this person, provided that he/she has solid WE, will almost certainly go to a top5 MBA program on scholarship and will invariably have a career in banking, consulting, etc. provided that the desire to put in the work remains. There are no such guarantees with your prototypical 3.7 / 98th percentile LSAT graduate. And here, in my opinion, is the critical difference between the law and other potential career fields. In law, you can do everything right, and still be completely unemployable.

I used to be you, albeit on lawschooldiscussion.org. I heard the stories, but didn’t believe them. Things like this couldn’t happen to me. Well, this is real, and it has been [X] months since my last non-government-issued paycheck. I have always been a happy, well-adjusted person, but this process, including the multitude of rejections, has exacted its toll. Unfortunately, depression has become a reality for me, and I no longer sleep well at night. I’m typically up between the hours of 3 and 6AM, tossing and turning, wondering what, if anything, the future may hold. In a short number of months, my lease expires, and I don’t have the foggiest of clues as to where I will live.

The point of this story isn’t that you shouldn’t go to law school per se. It is, instead, to merely relate my story to you. This story is neither unique nor novel, and similar varieties from the genre afflict a huge percentage of young lawyers out there. As a recruiter at a prestigious placement firm recently told me [BCG, etc.], “you have a top 5%” resume. Well, recall the federal law clerk from Harvard that beat me out for the never-heard-of-it small law firm several months ago—I’m trying to get by with a top 5% resume in a top 1% world. This goes for me, and for those either in law school already or who are considering going, it will apply to you too. As Campos says, there are no special snowflakes.

In medicine, those with top 5% resumes will always be hot shit doctors with highly desirable specialties. In business, the same will be top level executives. In law, well—hello document review.

So there it is. I was, once upon a time, a striver just like you. Now, I'm just a chronically unemployed person who can't sleep. Thank you law school—it's not me, it's the profession. After undergrad, I had gained admission to several non-law graduate school programs, and now often wonder what my life had been like if I had gone that route. It's hard to envision a predicament being worse than this.

Be sure to do your diligence. You'd hate to back a losing horse.

UPDATE: a number of interviews recently came in the door, including one at a V[X] (albeit in a secondary market where I know no one). Still, the story is what it is. Best of luck to all.

Sorry to hear about all of this. Its stories like these that have kept me from going to law school. A person makes all the right moves, makes the right contacts, etc... and is still comes out unemployed. You're very fortunate to have paid off any loans you had. Keep your chin up buddy.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm
Posts: 14065
Location: living in a shotgun shack
Great story. Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm
Posts: 10162
Anonymous User wrote:
By way of comparison, consider a premedical student who graduates with a 3.7 and a 98th percentile MCAT score. I don't know exactly how the percentile correlates, but let's assume that it equates to a 41. 3.7, 41 MCAT—this person is essentially guaranteed to not only get into an elite medical school, but also to have a stable career as a physician provided that he/she is willing to do the work, etc. The same applies for your 3.7 / 98th percentile (780?) business school applicant: this person, provided that he/she has solid WE, will almost certainly go to a top5 MBA program on scholarship and will invariably have a career in banking, consulting, etc. provided that the desire to put in the work remains. There are no such guarantees with your prototypical 3.7 / 98th percentile LSAT graduate.

This is where you lose credibility.
One of the banks I worked with had such a significant churn rate that half the people I talked to wouldn't be there 6 months later. People have lost jobs because interest rate changes made their work impossible.I know people whose entire division was shuttered because management made a strategic decision to get out of that market, even though it was profitable. I know people with M7 MBAs who've been unemployed for several years. I know directors and managing directors who can't find a job. And I'm not even talking about Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers

Not all doctors make bank either. I know doctors who can't retire (despite being late 60s early 70s) because they don't have enough money. there are no guarantees.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:33 pm
Posts: 127
Don't sweat not taking the insurance defense gig. Insurance defenders are so sorry & pathetic its literally beyond words. The carriers of late flat fee nearly every file regardless of the hours, cut billing at whim, and are now outsourcing routine pleadings like answers and interoggatories to Indian LPO shops for like a nickle an hour.

Even funnier, the "attorneys" (ROTFL) have to drag the adjuster to court or mediations with them on any case worth more than nusiance value. I had a settlement conf. this morning with an elderly insurance defender (like 55 yrs old). He sat there staring at the floor while the adjuster and judge got into an argument about what the file was worth, and the adjuster said "no problem we're suing the subcontractors and then doing motion to consolidate" blah blah. The judge thought it was hilarious how the adjuster does all the talking and even told the old fart ID lawyer "boy, things sure have changed, they should just dump all these turds into arbitration."

He's right. Tons of stuff nowadays that used to go to court is now getting sent to arbitration, as the judges don't want to be bothered anymore with this garbage. Used to be you could fight the arb clauses, but no longer. The insurance companies just send the adjusters to the arbs to argue the turd cases so they save legal fees there. In some states like NY the adjusters even take depositions. ID shitlaw is a dying industry for sure. Bet in 5 years there is no such thing anymore. Good riddance.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm
Posts: 10162
sadsituationJD wrote:
Don't sweat not taking the insurance defense gig. Insurance defenders are so sorry & pathetic its literally beyond words. The carriers of late flat fee nearly every file regardless of the hours, cut billing at whim, and are now outsourcing routine pleadings like answers and interoggatories to Indian LPO shops for like a nickle an hour.

Even funnier, the "attorneys" (ROTFL) have to drag the adjuster to court or mediations with them on any case worth more than nusiance value. I had a settlement conf. this morning with an elderly insurance defender (like 55 yrs old). He sat there staring at the floor while the adjuster and judge got into an argument about what the file was worth, and the adjuster said "no problem we're suing the subcontractors and then doing motion to consolidate" blah blah. The judge thought it was hilarious how the adjuster does all the talking and even told the old fart ID lawyer "boy, things sure have changed, they should just dump all these turds into arbitration."

He's right. Tons of stuff nowadays that used to go to court is now getting sent to arbitration, as the judges don't want to be bothered anymore with this garbage. Used to be you could fight the arb clauses, but no longer. The insurance companies just send the adjusters to the arbs to argue the turd cases so they save legal fees there. In some states like NY the adjusters even take depositions. ID shitlaw is a dying industry for sure. Bet in 5 years there is no such thing anymore. Good riddance.
Fucking hate this. Any job can be gone tomorrow, doesn't mean you shouldn't take it.

Whatever happened to "a job's a job"?


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:33 pm
Posts: 127
Quote:
Not all doctors make bank either. I know doctors who can't retire (despite being late 60s early 70s) because they don't have enough money. there are no guarantees.


Give us all a break with the law vs. medicine nonsense. In terms of income, lay prestige, and all around "coolness," medicine blows law clear out of the water. That's because med schools have real standards and, gasp!- pre-requisites like ORGANIC CHEM, PHYSICS, CALCULUS- you know, the 'hard' classes. Guess what else- you have to literally ACE these toughies plus kill the MCAT, and you still might not get into an US AMA school even then. Even the CAribbean schools are pretty fussy compared to a laughingstock TTTToilet like 'Bozo or NYLS or Cooley.

Comparing something truly difficult and prestigious with nonsense gibberish like UCC 2-207 and the Rule Against Perpetuities and other legalese pigslop is absurd. Any mouth breather can drool on the LSAT, get into lawschool somewhere, and pass the bar. Hence supply of lawyers=limitless whereas supply of doctors= very scarce.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:20 pm 
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dingbat wrote:
sadsituationJD wrote:
Don't sweat not taking the insurance defense gig. Insurance defenders are so sorry & pathetic its literally beyond words. The carriers of late flat fee nearly every file regardless of the hours, cut billing at whim, and are now outsourcing routine pleadings like answers and interoggatories to Indian LPO shops for like a nickle an hour.

Even funnier, the "attorneys" (ROTFL) have to drag the adjuster to court or mediations with them on any case worth more than nusiance value. I had a settlement conf. this morning with an elderly insurance defender (like 55 yrs old). He sat there staring at the floor while the adjuster and judge got into an argument about what the file was worth, and the adjuster said "no problem we're suing the subcontractors and then doing motion to consolidate" blah blah. The judge thought it was hilarious how the adjuster does all the talking and even told the old fart ID lawyer "boy, things sure have changed, they should just dump all these turds into arbitration."

He's right. Tons of stuff nowadays that used to go to court is now getting sent to arbitration, as the judges don't want to be bothered anymore with this garbage. Used to be you could fight the arb clauses, but no longer. The insurance companies just send the adjusters to the arbs to argue the turd cases so they save legal fees there. In some states like NY the adjusters even take depositions. ID shitlaw is a dying industry for sure. Bet in 5 years there is no such thing anymore. Good riddance.
Fucking hate this. Any job can be gone tomorrow, doesn't mean you shouldn't take it.

Whatever happened to "a job's a job"?


I think there's a difference between simply "turning your nose up" at a job, and deciding not to enter a rapidly-declining area of practice, especially if the OPs assertion is true (specifically, that getting into ID work severely limits your options afterward).


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:25 pm 
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ScottRiqui wrote:
dingbat wrote:
sadsituationJD wrote:
Don't sweat not taking the insurance defense gig. Insurance defenders are so sorry & pathetic its literally beyond words. The carriers of late flat fee nearly every file regardless of the hours, cut billing at whim, and are now outsourcing routine pleadings like answers and interoggatories to Indian LPO shops for like a nickle an hour.

Even funnier, the "attorneys" (ROTFL) have to drag the adjuster to court or mediations with them on any case worth more than nusiance value. I had a settlement conf. this morning with an elderly insurance defender (like 55 yrs old). He sat there staring at the floor while the adjuster and judge got into an argument about what the file was worth, and the adjuster said "no problem we're suing the subcontractors and then doing motion to consolidate" blah blah. The judge thought it was hilarious how the adjuster does all the talking and even told the old fart ID lawyer "boy, things sure have changed, they should just dump all these turds into arbitration."

He's right. Tons of stuff nowadays that used to go to court is now getting sent to arbitration, as the judges don't want to be bothered anymore with this garbage. Used to be you could fight the arb clauses, but no longer. The insurance companies just send the adjusters to the arbs to argue the turd cases so they save legal fees there. In some states like NY the adjusters even take depositions. ID shitlaw is a dying industry for sure. Bet in 5 years there is no such thing anymore. Good riddance.
Fucking hate this. Any job can be gone tomorrow, doesn't mean you shouldn't take it.

Whatever happened to "a job's a job"?


I think there's a difference between simply "turning your nose up" at a job, and deciding not to enter a rapidly-declining area of practice, especially if the OPs assertion is true (specifically, that getting into ID work severely limits your options afterward).

I just think beggars can't be choosers. It's not like OP is fresh out of law school, or only got laid off yesterday. OP's had a tough time finding a job, and the longer OP remains unemployed, the more unemployable OP becomes. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to hire someone who's been unemployed for a significantly long period of time. OP will be competing with people who might not have as good credentials (maybe), but won't have a track record of having done nothing for half a year.

If OP can't find a job s/he wants, at least s/he should volunteer somewhere, to signal that OP is ready and willing to work. Anything is better than nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:33 pm 
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ID work is truly a "scarlet letter" in the industry. There are actually ads for "real" litigation jobs that say "No ID attorneys please" or "we will not consider any candidates with insurance defense backgrounds." You might as well show up for an interview in a wifebeater and flip flops vs. list an ID firm as "experience" on your resume.

Once for fun I applied for a commerical lit job in NYC and listed my brief ID experience on my resume. The agency actually wrote me a scathing email saying "why did you waste our time, we are not and will not consider ID attorneys period."

The miserable work/culture of ID work combined with its steep decline (which seems to get worse every year) makes it a no-brainer to turn down. Of course, none of you kids know squat about ID or any practice area for that matter. Knowing what I know, I applaud OP for turning it down, a dood like him would probably killself in an ID sweatshop dealing with the abysmal garbage and embarassments of that cesspool of an industry.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:44 pm 
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This should be helpful for both those considering law school and those 3Ls looking for job.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Something smells fishy...
Is it the positive comments about MDs and MBAs combined with the general law is gloomy message? I mean we all know that the grass is not that much greener on the other side, especially on the MBA side...
Is it the great dislike of ID?
Is it how BAD this whole situation seems?
Is it how meticulous the author is in his presentation of the info.?
Is it SadSituationJD's immediate presence?

Something about this post smells like areyouinsane... it might all be in my mind, but I get the feeling that this might be a flame.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:29 pm 
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try inlaw.me. good options on there...


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:06 pm 
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sadsituationJD wrote:
Quote:
Not all doctors make bank either. I know doctors who can't retire (despite being late 60s early 70s) because they don't have enough money. there are no guarantees.


Give us all a break with the law vs. medicine nonsense. In terms of income, lay prestige, and all around "coolness," medicine blows law clear out of the water. That's because med schools have real standards and, gasp!- pre-requisites like ORGANIC CHEM, PHYSICS, CALCULUS- you know, the 'hard' classes. Guess what else- you have to literally ACE these toughies plus kill the MCAT, and you still might not get into an US AMA school even then. Even the CAribbean schools are pretty fussy compared to a laughingstock TTTToilet like 'Bozo or NYLS or Cooley.

Comparing something truly difficult and prestigious with nonsense gibberish like UCC 2-207 and the Rule Against Perpetuities and other legalese pigslop is absurd. Any mouth breather can drool on the LSAT, get into lawschool somewhere, and pass the bar. Hence supply of lawyers=limitless whereas supply of doctors= very scarce.



I still think this argument is highly general. You don't have to "literally ACE" all pre-med courses. If this were the case, only people with 3.7-4.0 science GPAs would be going to med school. Look at any med school admissions statistics, and they will show that many if not most people have lower numbers than this.

Also, how are Caribbean schools "fussy" compared to schools like 'Dozo when AUC School of Medicine's average cumulative GPA is 3.3, with a science GPA of 3.1? (AUC's website shows this in it's student profile section).

I understand where you're coming from in the case of really low-ranked law schools that got ABA accreditation and started taking any loan money they could get from gullible students who had no idea of the job market that awaited them. But, to imply that law has no prestige (simply "legalese pigslop") seems a bit problematic.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:08 am 
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Pokemon wrote:
Something smells fishy...
Is it the positive comments about MDs and MBAs combined with the general law is gloomy message? I mean we all know that the grass is not that much greener on the other side, especially on the MBA side...
Is it the great dislike of ID?
Is it how BAD this whole situation seems?
Is it how meticulous the author is in his presentation of the info.?
Is it SadSituationJD's immediate presence?

Something about this post smells like areyouinsane... it might all be in my mind, but I get the feeling that this might be a flame.


The thing with MBAs is that a lot of people get them part time and have their employer pay the cost. Everyone I know that got one went this route.

I'll agree that the MBA market has significant problems as well, but 1) a lot of these people had their expenses covered, and 2) an MBA is only 2 years, so there's less debt and less opportunity cost anyway.

Things are not perfect with the Med school and MBA route, and the job market for PhD students in most other fields is terrible as well. But to compare these to law and say "its just as bad everywhere" is nonsense. Law is much worse because tuition is far more expensive. Most PhD students not only get their full tuition covered by scholarships and grants, but they also get a cost of living stipend. So they're actually earning money while getting their degree. Only in law do students take out mortgage-sized debt to face a 50/50 shot at employment in their field--where about 50% of those that do find employment (25% in all) end up making enough to pay off that debt before they default or have the government bail them out.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Have you considered teaching LSAT courses? Some of the companies start people at $50 an hour. Obviously it's not ideal (inconsistent hours, no benefits, not legal work) but I've never understood why more unemployed JDs don't try this.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:03 pm 
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dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Have you considered teaching LSAT courses? Some of the companies start people at $50 an hour. Obviously it's not ideal (inconsistent hours, no benefits, not legal work) but I've never understood why more unemployed JDs don't try this.

You have to have earned an LSAT score above a certain level to tutor for most companies - which, granted, it sounds like the OP would have no problem with, but unemployed JDs from lower-ranked schools probably won't qualify. (PowerScore requires a 99th percentile score. Kaplan and Princeton Review only require 90%ile or a 160.) So it's an option for people like below-median T14 folks, but not really a solution for the mass of unemployed JDs. (Leaving aside the fact that if word continues to get out about the economic return on law school, and LSAT applications continue to drop, it's not exactly a long-term solution.)

Also, if you don't like teaching, it's almost as hellatious as doc review. :P


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Thank you for your story.

Wake up, strivers! This is reality.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:38 pm 
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It's too bad that most people who would find this story helpful won't stumble across it until they've already entered law school. Sadly, employment outlook just isn't at the front of the minds of way too many prospective law students.

Much thanks for sharing though OP.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Thank you for sharing your story.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:15 pm 
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I'm really quite tired of people with disdain for insurance defense. I left Biglaw in the recession of 1991, and landed in ID, and became a non-equity partner, and then went in-house. ID was great. You did not do busy work just to overbill. Your clients were reasonable (as it was not their money). The insurance carriers did not freak out if you lost a motion or case, as they know you win some and lose some. I never made more than $125,000 in ID, but I never worked more than 50 hours a week on average. In Biglaw, I never got to take a deposition or argue a motion. In ID, I did it all the time. In Biglaw, I never got to trial. In ID, I did every year or two. The best part is that ID gave me enough time to start a side business that I really enjoy that has generated $50,000 of side income every year. ID gave me the time to start a family, where Biglaw did not. ID is what the practice of law should be -- a comfortable six figure salary after 10 years, with enough time to enjoy life and family. Biglaw is a ponzi scheme where you get $200,000 for 3 years, and then are unemployable, with no deposition, law and motion, or trial experience.

And for those of who you think that ID limits your future options, I ask: what future options do you have as a fourth year Biglaw associate with zero deposition, law and motion, or trial experience? You have no options -- think about it.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:15 pm 
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JCougar wrote:
The thing with MBAs is that a lot of people get them part time and have their employer pay the cost. Everyone I know that got one went this route.

I'll agree that the MBA market has significant problems as well, but 1) a lot of these people had their expenses covered, and 2) an MBA is only 2 years, so there's less debt and less opportunity cost anyway.

Things are not perfect with the Med school and MBA route, and the job market for PhD students in most other fields is terrible as well. But to compare these to law and say "its just as bad everywhere" is nonsense. Law is much worse because tuition is far more expensive. Most PhD students not only get their full tuition covered by scholarships and grants, but they also get a cost of living stipend. So they're actually earning money while getting their degree. Only in law do students take out mortgage-sized debt to face a 50/50 shot at employment in their field--where about 50% of those that do find employment (25% in all) end up making enough to pay off that debt before they default or have the government bail them out.


Look at the situation from the MBA perspective. I finished my major in math, worked in business for five years, and now, I may get screwed by the job market, or only get a 100k job. On the other hand, my buddy with a much weaker major, worked as a waiter, with his 4.0 in the easy major went to a top law school, and now is rocking a 160k starting salary.

Or the PhD in physics who has a hard time finding employment after studying for ten years. This is actually not a hypothetical, it is actually someone I know...

My point is not that things are good in law or that they are better than other fields. My point is that I am tired of these weird comparisons. And yes, tons of people take on huge debt for law school, but there also plenty of "TTT" business schools out there, indeed the great majority of them, and there are people paying tons of money for them. Someone with that much professional work experience, as the OP, should know that the grass is not always greener on the other side.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Pokemon wrote:
and now is rocking a 160k starting salary.


You realize that less than 10% of people who go to law school obtain this outcome, right? And the ones that do don't last very long.

It's not that you can't make a good living in law...it's that the career outcomes are so disparate given people with the exact same degree and alma mater go in completely different directions based on a few percentage points of GPA. It's an "all or nothing" risk.

Even if that PhD can't find a job (and I do acknowledge that academia is terrible right now), they're not shouldering an insane amount of debt. They could go wait tables and not have their credit ruined, and when they did find a decent job, they could actually buy a house instead of paying off a mountain of debt for 20 years.


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:04 pm 
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JCougar wrote:
Even if that PhD can't find a job (and I do acknowledge that academia is terrible right now), they're not shouldering an insane amount of debt. They could go wait tables and not have their credit ruined, and when they did find a decent job, they could actually buy a house instead of paying off a mountain of debt for 20 years.

The one thing I will say about this is that you're right, there isn't the same mountain of debt - but the opportunity costs of spending 10 years earning a PhD (which is, seriously, not unusual at all) are pretty significant. (You think getting a non-law job with a JD is hard? Try getting a non-academic job with a PhD when you haven't had a non-academic job for 10 years.)

Which isn't to say that PhDs have it worse or JDs have it worse or any of that, because it's not a competition. Really, it just all points to the fact that advanced education in any field is a double-edged sword these days - it holds out the promise of some kind of great, professional, meaningful work, but if you don't hit the bulls-eye, you can easily end up more screwed than if you never did the education to begin with. A LOT of people are ending up screwed over by higher/graduate ed - the details vary, but the overall result is pretty similar.

(Sorry if this is a bit of a tangent from the main thread...)


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 Post subject: Re: My Story
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Quote:
I'm really quite tired of people with disdain for insurance defense. I left Biglaw in the recession of 1991, and landed in ID, and became a non-equity partner, and then went in-house. ID was great. You did not do busy work just to overbill. Your clients were reasonable (as it was not their money). The insurance carriers did not freak out if you lost a motion or case, as they know you win some and lose some. I never made more than $125,000 in ID, but I never worked more than 50 hours a week on average. In Biglaw, I never got to take a deposition or argue a motion. In ID, I did it all the time. In Biglaw, I never got to trial. In ID, I did every year or two. The best part is that ID gave me enough time to start a side business that I really enjoy that has generated $50,000 of side income every year. ID gave me the time to start a family, where Biglaw did not. ID is what the practice of law should be -- a comfortable six figure salary after 10 years, with enough time to enjoy life and family. Biglaw is a ponzi scheme where you get $200,000 for 3 years, and then are unemployable, with no deposition, law and motion, or trial experience.


This has to be the most ROTFL-worthy post I've seen in years! Are you the dean of a TTT per chance?

ID is a sewer, joke, and utter laughingstock. 125 K? In ID? Surely you jest! I know two dozen ID schlubs in their mid-fifites who are lucky to pull down 70, and that's for a 55-65 hour week of paper-churning, bottom-scraping shitlaw.

Bragging about your experience with ID "trials" and "depositions" is also hilarious. You really believe asking some Bronx welfare queen about her supermarket slip n' fall or trying some cervical sprain whiplash case for Allstate counts as "expereince" that is marketable to non-ID firms/employers?

Just take a look at the turnover rates at ID mills like Wilson Elser- this tells u everything you need to know about the gulag of ID.


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