Used & Abused-Employment Issues

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mouse89
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:42 pm

Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby mouse89 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:50 am

I've always felt like private smaller firms (non OCI basically) were taking advantage of new grads and law students, but I never really felt it so acutely until the other day.

Small two-person firm in a big city (couple of years old) with a self acclaimed heavy case load (think multiples of 100). I'm a new grad-awaiting bar results, two relevant non profits and two relevant small firms on my resume, multilingual (big pro for my area), solid grades, good references. Received offer to work part time. Was informed the next morning that pay was $10 per hour.

I realize that beggars can't be choosers but it felt like a huge slap in the face. JD and, possibly, bar admission for $10 per hour? For the record, that is less than what I made in the past two years of my law school work and also less than what I made working retail in college.

Anyone else dealing with this kind of stuff? I countered. The experience would be nice, but I can't even reconcile that and my student loans enough to make it acceptable for me.

I never really considered public government work even though I am pro-public interest. Officially considering it.

ClubberLang
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby ClubberLang » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:14 pm

Just say no. You're better than that, and it truly is an insulting offer.

mouse89
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby mouse89 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:34 pm

I did. I of course wanted to be ruder but I told them that I'd asked around, talked to Career Services, and that I couldn't accept lower than 20 per hour, which seems fair based on what others are getting and what the market rate is for this kind of stuff. But I was so pissed off man... :twisted:

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Nekrowizard
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Postby Nekrowizard » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:48 pm

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Last edited by Nekrowizard on Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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seizmaar
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby seizmaar » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:58 pm

immigration law doesn't pay man

ClubberLang
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby ClubberLang » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:04 pm

Out the firm.

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los blancos
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby los blancos » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:22 pm

Nekrowizard wrote:I made more loading boxes onto UPS trucks. And got benefits! Fuck these guys.


Supply/demand. Fuck the ABA.

mouse89
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:42 pm

Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby mouse89 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:10 pm

seizmaar wrote:immigration law doesn't pay man


Honestly, I never had a problem making an average law clerk salary ($12-$15) in this area. I really think that this has become a big problem for anyone looking for a small-mid size firm job. A friend of mine was offered THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND as a salary to be an associate attorney. We may as well have become paralegals if we wanted to take pay like that.

los blancos wrote:
Nekrowizard wrote:I made more loading boxes onto UPS trucks. And got benefits! Fuck these guys.


Supply/demand. Fuck the ABA.


I really wish we could strike about this or do a mass petition without people freaking out about their job prospects. How is it acceptable? I'd love to see if other people have similar issues because IMO it's an insult to our profession that fellow attorneys think they can get away with these kinds of rates.

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Nekrowizard
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Postby Nekrowizard » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:50 pm

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Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:01 pm

Don't accept less than $20 an hour. That's hugely exploitative

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:49 am

mouse89 wrote:
seizmaar wrote:immigration law doesn't pay man


Honestly, I never had a problem making an average law clerk salary ($12-$15) in this area. I really think that this has become a big problem for anyone looking for a small-mid size firm job. A friend of mine was offered THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND as a salary to be an associate attorney. We may as well have become paralegals if we wanted to take pay like that.

los blancos wrote:
Nekrowizard wrote:I made more loading boxes onto UPS trucks. And got benefits! Fuck these guys.


Supply/demand. Fuck the ABA.


I really wish we could strike about this or do a mass petition without people freaking out about their job prospects. How is it acceptable? I'd love to see if other people have similar issues because IMO it's an insult to our profession that fellow attorneys think they can get away with these kinds of rates.


yeah collective bargaining would be the way to go. unfortunately, thats not reality. what is reality is this is what entry level jobs pay in small law. a lot of my friends took jobs very similar to this and now make significantly more but the truth is a first year attorney to a small firm just isnt worth shit.
the dont accept less than 20 an hour or whatever is kind of true, but depending on your options you may be doing yourself a disservice. getting the best experience you can at this point is the name of the game.

mouse89
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby mouse89 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:44 am

JohannDeMann wrote:yeah collective bargaining would be the way to go. unfortunately, thats not reality. what is reality is this is what entry level jobs pay in small law. a lot of my friends took jobs very similar to this and now make significantly more but the truth is a first year attorney to a small firm just isnt worth shit.
the dont accept less than 20 an hour or whatever is kind of true, but depending on your options you may be doing yourself a disservice. getting the best experience you can at this point is the name of the game.


I get what you're saying about experience and, honestly, if you didn't really work substantial jobs in law school that would give you great experience in the field that you want to get into yeah go ahead and take it. I pulled a lot together in school and, personally, have a good portfolio of work I've done. I do have a few direct avenues & positions that I can look into thanks to contacts so that could have contributed to making this an easier decision for me (although I definitely was seriously looking at this small firm).

I take issue with people offering law school grads this type of salary rate ( what they offered me will be considered minimum wage in my city in a few months). As great as benefits are, I have long ago accepted that's not a possibility right now for most of the law jobs. I get that people need experience, but if someone is going to offer "unpaid lawyer internships for experience" (a very real thing I've seen online while looking at jobs) and rates like this, the firm needs to take a seat and go look for a law student instead. IMO people with JDs and bar admissions should no longer look at this as an acceptable option. People with similar levels of professional education wouldn't, especially if they were looking at jobs in their area of expertise.

ajax
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby ajax » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:04 pm

As everyone knows, law schools have been producing fewer graduates over the past few years. Eventually, this should improve employment outcomes for law grads, decreasing the odds that a law grad is offered a job, like this one, paying 10/hour. But law schools are fighting back. If they abide by certain criteria, law schools can now admit students that have not taken the LSAT. And, after admitting students over the past couple of years that very likely will not pass the bar, law schools are now advocating against the Bar Exam requirement. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/busin ... .html?_r=0.

If you want jobs out there that pay more than 10/hour, something needs to happen to prevent law schools from reversing the trend of dwindling applicants. Paul Campos can't stop law schools on his own. Lawyers who want better pay need to organize. They need to advocate that law school employment and debt transparency (which caused applicants to decrease in the first place), the LSAT requirement for 100% of matriculants, and the Bar Exam requirement for 100% of practicing attorneys, be maintained.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:30 pm

mouse89 wrote:
seizmaar wrote:immigration law doesn't pay man


Honestly, I never had a problem making an average law clerk salary ($12-$15) in this area. I really think that this has become a big problem for anyone looking for a small-mid size firm job. A friend of mine was offered THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND as a salary to be an associate attorney. We may as well have become paralegals if we wanted to take pay like that.

los blancos wrote:
Nekrowizard wrote:I made more loading boxes onto UPS trucks. And got benefits! Fuck these guys.


Supply/demand. Fuck the ABA.


I really wish we could strike about this or do a mass petition without people freaking out about their job prospects. How is it acceptable? I'd love to see if other people have similar issues because IMO it's an insult to our profession that fellow attorneys think they can get away with these kinds of rates.


I clerked at a firm in law school that offered 25K for entry level attorneys. The environment and work conditions were very good and the hours were like 40 hour work weeks (no billables). The boss kept asking why people don't like him and why his turnover is 4-6 months all the time. He couldn't figure it out. Employee retention is a delicate balance between work conditions and salary. If you're gonna pay above market you can probably be a slave driver and scream at people and they may still stay to get that check but they will eventually decide its not worth it Likewise, you can offer 9-5 in a low pressure "family" environment, but if the salary is barely enough to cover rent, people are gonna get it, get 6 months of experience and get out.

Anonymous User
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:23 pm

mouse89 wrote:
seizmaar wrote:immigration law doesn't pay man

A friend of mine was offered THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND as a salary to be an associate attorney. We may as well have become paralegals if we wanted to take pay like that.

los blancos wrote:
Nekrowizard wrote:I made more loading boxes onto UPS trucks. And got benefits! Fuck these guys.


Supply/demand. Fuck the ABA.


I currently make $45k as a corporate paralegal in a tertiary low CoL market and I do fuckall every day. Seriously considering not touching law school with even a 10 foot pole and just doing an MBA or alternative degree instead.

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bearsfan23
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby bearsfan23 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mouse89 wrote:
seizmaar wrote:immigration law doesn't pay man

A friend of mine was offered THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND as a salary to be an associate attorney. We may as well have become paralegals if we wanted to take pay like that.

los blancos wrote:
Nekrowizard wrote:I made more loading boxes onto UPS trucks. And got benefits! Fuck these guys.


Supply/demand. Fuck the ABA.


I currently make $45k as a corporate paralegal in a tertiary low CoL market and I do fuckall every day. Seriously considering not touching law school with even a 10 foot pole and just doing an MBA or alternative degree instead.


LOL at doing an MBA as a good alternative, especially when your WE is as a freaking paralegal. I really hope you actually do your research before you throw your future away

sparty99
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby sparty99 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:01 pm

LOL at doing an MBA as a good alternative, especially when your WE is as a freaking paralegal. I really hope you actually do your research before you throw your future away[/quote]

My friend got a MBA at Emory and a nice corporate job after working in the study abroad office for 3 years at a university.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Used & Abused-Employment Issues

Postby JohannDeMann » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:14 pm

bearsfan23 wrote:
LOL at doing an MBA as a good alternative, especially when your WE is as a freaking paralegal. I really hope you actually do your research before you throw your future away


Way dumber to keep working in law because someone has a couple years of literally worthless experience.

Law sucks man. MBAs can be scammy too, as all of higher ed can be, but MBA is clear the winner here assuming OP can get into similarly ranked MBA schools as law schools. People try to cut every cost when it comes to legal expenses. Not the case in business. Way more cushy jobs in business than law that pay well.




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