Just how bad is the legal job market really?

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awesomepossum
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby awesomepossum » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:44 am

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 + Top 10% + Secondary Journal + Hard Science PhD + Pursuing Patent Litigation = 1 CB so far at non-market firm = Really Bad.


Things are bad, but chances are you:

1) attend a school that has not finished OCI yet

2) used your bids terribly

3) interviewed with a ton of Chicago and LA firms (who supposedly haven't done many callbacks yet)

or 4) have the interpersonal skills of a vegetable


It also depends on which hard science. Anything outside of EECS is pretty much unemployable for IP.


PhD in Chem/Bio is historically just as employable for IP.



historically that might have been true. I know a few folks with Chem PhDs who are hurting right now though. The EE folks I know (including myself) have been doing just fine. This is totally anecdotal, but I know a person who has worked at a patent boutique who agrees with this view. It's kind of unfair, but it's also supply and demand. I guess there are simply fewer EE types and actually a significant amount of EE work out there.

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rayiner
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby rayiner » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:21 am

awesomepossum wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Things are bad, but chances are you:

1) attend a school that has not finished OCI yet

2) used your bids terribly

3) interviewed with a ton of Chicago and LA firms (who supposedly haven't done many callbacks yet)

or 4) have the interpersonal skills of a vegetable


It also depends on which hard science. Anything outside of EECS is pretty much unemployable for IP.


PhD in Chem/Bio is historically just as employable for IP.



historically that might have been true. I know a few folks with Chem PhDs who are hurting right now though. The EE folks I know (including myself) have been doing just fine. This is totally anecdotal, but I know a person who has worked at a patent boutique who agrees with this view. It's kind of unfair, but it's also supply and demand. I guess there are simply fewer EE types and actually a significant amount of EE work out there.


That's interesting. There is a supply/demand issue, of course, but I was under the impression that there was a decent amount of pharma, etc, work too and that Chem/Bio PhDs aren't exactly a dime a dozen either.

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lotus
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby lotus » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:50 pm

I have a life sciences Ph.D. and I'm doing okay, at least in terms of getting callbacks. I did have to be somewhat pro-active in arguing how my research background made me a good candidate for areas outside of IP, though. I have a couple of callbacks where I'm not talking to the IP department much at all. I've a few friends with Ph.D.s in bio who are struggling with focusing purely on IP, so I think the trick was to market yourself more broadly (admittedly, not all of these people are at a T14 so I have no idea how much school is playing into this). I did have one interviewer tell me straight out that he was happy to see that I was so flexible because, while the firm likes people with technical experience, they don't like people who seem like they'll only do one thing. The attitude I was reading from him was that if I hadn't expressed interest in multiple areas, it would be an automatic ding. He was pretty harsh on the other guy with a Ph.D. he'd interviewed earlier in the day who apparently acted like the firm should be grateful anyone with a Ph.D. was showing interest in them. Maybe that was just that interviewer's attitude, but somehow I don't think so.

waahrus
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby waahrus » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:58 pm

DESCRIBE "fine" and "okay" in terms of callbacks. are you guys sweeping CBs? 8+?

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CE2JD
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby CE2JD » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:T14 + Top 10% + Secondary Journal + Hard Science PhD + Pursuing Patent Litigation = 1 CB so far at non-market firm = Really Bad.


Wow... flame.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Cole S. Law » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:T14 + Top 10% + Secondary Journal + Hard Science PhD + Pursuing Patent Litigation = 1 CB so far at non-market firm = Really Bad.


Probably because your resume makes you look like a flake. If I were doing the hiring, I'd be thinking "a couple of late nights and this guy will be spending all day filling out medical school applications and studying for the MCAT. Next."

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:04 pm

Cole S. Law wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 + Top 10% + Secondary Journal + Hard Science PhD + Pursuing Patent Litigation = 1 CB so far at non-market firm = Really Bad.
Probably because your resume makes you look like a flake. If I were doing the hiring, I'd be thinking "a couple of late nights and this guy will be spending all day filling out medical school applications and studying for the MCAT. Next."

I doubt that's the case, but when another 10%'er from a T20 gets 16 callbacks, you gotta wonder

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rayiner
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby rayiner » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:13 pm

Cole S. Law wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 + Top 10% + Secondary Journal + Hard Science PhD + Pursuing Patent Litigation = 1 CB so far at non-market firm = Really Bad.


Probably because your resume makes you look like a flake. If I were doing the hiring, I'd be thinking "a couple of late nights and this guy will be spending all day filling out medical school applications and studying for the MCAT. Next."


How'd that make you look like a flake? PhD + JD for patent work in the life sciences is not an unusual qualification.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:27 pm

rayiner wrote:How'd that make you look like a flake? PhD + JD for patent work in the life sciences is not an unusual qualification.

But you know what's an unusual qualification? an PhD + JD + MD lolol

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Blindmelon
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Blindmelon » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:45 pm

I talked to a bunch of 2/3Ls at BU - most were pretty happy with where they're going employment wise. Those in the thick of OCI had a lot of interviews, but people weren't confident in getting callbacks, etc. People had some really interesting prestigious public interest work lined up, and career services seems to be pushing people towards avenues other than biglaw. All in all, the big firm employment is dry, but those who have networked and reached beyond the biglaw model seem to be doing well and happy. The 3Ls obviously were better off than the 2Ls, but many of the 2Ls weren't doing so bad for themselves. As career services stated, its just time to get creative and spend much more time networking and pulling contacts than needed in the past. This is of course anecdotal, as I only talked to about 8ish people.

Those who rely only on OCI for work are not in a good place though, but its pretty lazy to just rely on one thing ITE.
Last edited by Blindmelon on Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby rayiner » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:46 pm

Lxw wrote:
rayiner wrote:How'd that make you look like a flake? PhD + JD for patent work in the life sciences is not an unusual qualification.

But you know what's an unusual qualification? an PhD + JD + MD lolol


My dad showed me the resume of someone he'd recently hired. The guy had a BS, a PhD, an MD, and had recently just finished his MPH. All in all about 14-15 years of school.

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Matthies
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Matthies » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:19 pm

Blindmelon wrote:I talked to a bunch of 2/3Ls at BU - most were pretty happy with where they're going employment wise. Those in the thick of OCI had a lot of interviews, but people weren't confident in getting callbacks, etc. People had some really interesting prestigious public interest work lined up, and career services seems to be pushing people towards avenues other than biglaw. All in all, the big firm employment is dry, but those who have networked and reached beyond the biglaw model seem to be doing well and happy. The 3Ls obviously were better off than the 2Ls, but many of the 2Ls weren't doing so bad for themselves. As career services stated, its just time to get creative and spend much more time networking and pulling contacts than needed in the past. This is of course anecdotal, as I only talked to about 8ish people.

Those who rely only on OCI for work are not in a good place though, but its pretty lazy to just rely on one thing ITE.



I agree with this 100%. Graduated from a T2 school in May and have a job. Worked all through LS clerking FT or PT as well. Got all my jobs through networking, never bothered with OCI. In fact two weeks ago I had a federal agency call me, and ask me to interview with them for an open position (had not even been advertised yet). All because someone I knew put in a good word for me.
Connections is everything in law, who you know beats where you go. Of my friends who were actively part of the legal community from the start of law school all have good jobs. Those that relied exclusively on OCI, well most of them are still looking. The days of many people finding jobs from OCI, even at top schools, are over for awhile. You have to have other options, and one of the best is getting involved in the working legal community through the bar or other groups as soon as you start school.

I’d also like to address the bi-modal thing. There are entry level jobs out there in the 60-80k range. I know plenty of people who got them. But again, all those jobs came from contacts, these firms don’t OCI and they don’t put adds on Craigslist. They are filled by word of mouth referral. The reason why law students have such hard time finding them is because they don’t tap into the legal market the way they need to get them. In the bimodal distribution your seeing more than just salaries, your seeing OCI jobs at the top and people finding crap jobs at e the bottom from Craigslist and a few people who got connected in law school finding the mid range jobs from word of mouth. Its as much a problem with law students not understanding how to find good jobs as it is anything else.

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elliefont
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby elliefont » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:05 pm

Matthies wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:I talked to a bunch of 2/3Ls at BU - most were pretty happy with where they're going employment wise. Those in the thick of OCI had a lot of interviews, but people weren't confident in getting callbacks, etc. People had some really interesting prestigious public interest work lined up, and career services seems to be pushing people towards avenues other than biglaw. All in all, the big firm employment is dry, but those who have networked and reached beyond the biglaw model seem to be doing well and happy. The 3Ls obviously were better off than the 2Ls, but many of the 2Ls weren't doing so bad for themselves. As career services stated, its just time to get creative and spend much more time networking and pulling contacts than needed in the past. This is of course anecdotal, as I only talked to about 8ish people.

Those who rely only on OCI for work are not in a good place though, but its pretty lazy to just rely on one thing ITE.



I agree with this 100%. Graduated from a T2 school in May and have a job. Worked all through LS clerking FT or PT as well. Got all my jobs through networking, never bothered with OCI. In fact two weeks ago I had a federal agency call me, and ask me to interview with them for an open position (had not even been advertised yet). All because someone I knew put in a good word for me.
Connections is everything in law, who you know beats where you go. Of my friends who were actively part of the legal community from the start of law school all have good jobs. Those that relied exclusively on OCI, well most of them are still looking. The days of many people finding jobs from OCI, even at top schools, are over for awhile. You have to have other options, and one of the best is getting involved in the working legal community through the bar or other groups as soon as you start school.

I’d also like to address the bi-modal thing. There are entry level jobs out there in the 60-80k range. I know plenty of people who got them. But again, all those jobs came from contacts, these firms don’t OCI and they don’t put adds on Craigslist. They are filled by word of mouth referral. The reason why law students have such hard time finding them is because they don’t tap into the legal market the way they need to get them. In the bimodal distribution your seeing more than just salaries, your seeing OCI jobs at the top and people finding crap jobs at e the bottom from Craigslist and a few people who got connected in law school finding the mid range jobs from word of mouth. Its as much a problem with law students not understanding how to find good jobs as it is anything else.


this is really fascinating, thanks for this perspective. I have no personal interest in Big Law, but am sad for my friends currently struggling and worried about the ripple effects... rather like Ivy Leaguers and laid off financial analysts flooding Teach for America last year, I worry that PI will be flooded with those shut out of traditional OCI. Clerkships are already increasingly competitive... Hard to see the exact effects at this early point, but anyone have a clue about this trend?

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Matthies
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Matthies » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:22 pm

elliefont wrote:
Matthies wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:I talked to a bunch of 2/3Ls at BU - most were pretty happy with where they're going employment wise. Those in the thick of OCI had a lot of interviews, but people weren't confident in getting callbacks, etc. People had some really interesting prestigious public interest work lined up, and career services seems to be pushing people towards avenues other than biglaw. All in all, the big firm employment is dry, but those who have networked and reached beyond the biglaw model seem to be doing well and happy. The 3Ls obviously were better off than the 2Ls, but many of the 2Ls weren't doing so bad for themselves. As career services stated, its just time to get creative and spend much more time networking and pulling contacts than needed in the past. This is of course anecdotal, as I only talked to about 8ish people.

Those who rely only on OCI for work are not in a good place though, but its pretty lazy to just rely on one thing ITE.



I agree with this 100%. Graduated from a T2 school in May and have a job. Worked all through LS clerking FT or PT as well. Got all my jobs through networking, never bothered with OCI. In fact two weeks ago I had a federal agency call me, and ask me to interview with them for an open position (had not even been advertised yet). All because someone I knew put in a good word for me.
Connections is everything in law, who you know beats where you go. Of my friends who were actively part of the legal community from the start of law school all have good jobs. Those that relied exclusively on OCI, well most of them are still looking. The days of many people finding jobs from OCI, even at top schools, are over for awhile. You have to have other options, and one of the best is getting involved in the working legal community through the bar or other groups as soon as you start school.

I’d also like to address the bi-modal thing. There are entry level jobs out there in the 60-80k range. I know plenty of people who got them. But again, all those jobs came from contacts, these firms don’t OCI and they don’t put adds on Craigslist. They are filled by word of mouth referral. The reason why law students have such hard time finding them is because they don’t tap into the legal market the way they need to get them. In the bimodal distribution your seeing more than just salaries, your seeing OCI jobs at the top and people finding crap jobs at e the bottom from Craigslist and a few people who got connected in law school finding the mid range jobs from word of mouth. Its as much a problem with law students not understanding how to find good jobs as it is anything else.


this is really fascinating, thanks for this perspective. I have no personal interest in Big Law, but am sad for my friends currently struggling and worried about the ripple effects... rather like Ivy Leaguers and laid off financial analysts flooding Teach for America last year, I worry that PI will be flooded with those shut out of traditional OCI. Clerkships are already increasingly competitive... Hard to see the exact effects at this early point, but anyone have a clue about this trend?


I think a lot depends on the market you’re looking in. In my regional market there has not been a flood of big law transplants filling the market. Some, but not near to the degree of big markets. Regional markets are somewhat insulated in that they tend to be connections driven already (at least for entering the market from outside). I work in PI right now, and again it was the same for all my legal jobs I have had, who you know beats everything. I got my current job over lunch and a handshake. It’s going to be tougher for those who want to change markets, because the advantages of networking relay only work locally.

What you want to try and avoid when you’re looking outside of OCI is being in a paper race with a bunch of other faceless resumes. You want to avoid that because it takes all the personal connections out of it, he with the greatest stats on paper wins. The way to avoid his is to try and tap into the market for jobs before they get to the point of advertising the position. That way your competing on the much smaller internal market and not in a paper race with everyone else. Again knowing lawyers and judges is how you tap into this, they will hear long before it hits the CSO office whose looking for what. Having that insider info puts you on the inside track for jobs before the masses even know they are open.

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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:04 am

I didn't apply to NY, DC, LA, CHI, etc (essentially the major legal markets), but I got plenty of CB's from the secondary markets I applied to (full disclosure: T14, T10%, LR). I don't hear too many people recommending trying these markets, but it's probably not a bad idea. Even if you have your heart set on one of the usual places, having a job in a smaller market is better than not having one. Plus, 130-145k from a secondary market isn't much worse than 160k when you factor in cost of living.

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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:39 am

The worst is indeed over. Last January people were predicting the end of BigLaw as we know it. I think now we can all agree that Big Law is not going anywhere and the problem that remains is what to do with the log jam of entry level associates caused by deferrals. Kids graduating this year will have to compete with kids who graduated last year but were promised a job in a year. This means that the class of 2010/2011 will get screwed, but as we move on and the log jam eases things will get better.

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M51
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby M51 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:10 am

Simple trickle down effect. Cravath is hoping to get 30 people this summer (as opposed to having 120 acceptances last summer, and 160 the summer before). Skadden announced halving thier summer class from 225 to whatever half of that is... the other biglaw firms aren't broadcasting anything, but it's a safe bet everyone's going to be giving out at most half the offers they gave last year (due to smaller class size AND the expectation of a higher yield rate). Less offers at the top squeezes ex-top people to the middle/bottom, and a good portion of the orginal V100 people are going to end up outside of traditional OCI firms

Which firms go to CCN OCI anyway? The firms who'll at least get a guy every few years... and when push comes to shove on the budget, firms drop the reach school OCIs and the heavy safety OCIs, to retain where they'd get most of thier students. This is what happened this year (see the "lower V" firms dropping Yale, even though they have a better shot this year at Yale grads than any other).

So, a NJ firm outside of the V100 faced with the choice of 4 OCIs instead of the traditional 10 will do Rutgers, Seton Hall, Fordham, and Brooklyn (or Cardozo, I really don't know) to fill thier reduced summer class even if they traditionally also tried for CLS/NYU/Penn. I know quite a few local non-Vault firms who've traditionally had a presence at CN OCI drop out this year. It's the same effect.

Personally, I expect all of my classmates (including the ones shut out at OCI) to find a firm somewhere at decent local market pay if they really want to work at a firm. It was just impractical for many firms to come to OCI. But who knows, always a chance the local firms don't realize this effect is happening and overbook thier summer program at the traditional feeders and screw CCN over.

My 2 cents.

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rayiner
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:24 pm

Rumor and innuendo about SAs deferred to 2012...

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wiseowl
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby wiseowl » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 + Top 10% + Secondary Journal + Hard Science PhD + Pursuing Patent Litigation = 1 CB so far at non-market firm = Really Bad.


Things are bad, but chances are you:

1) attend a school that has not finished OCI yet

2) used your bids terribly

3) interviewed with a ton of Chicago and LA firms (who supposedly haven't done many callbacks yet)

or 4) have the interpersonal skills of a vegetable


1. Done, but firms could obviously still contact me. I have been told by Career services that many firms are doing things in tiers and so CBs may be offered later.

2. Bid across entire range of firms, focusing on firms with large group and many clients in my specialty.

3. Nope, not Chi or LA. Only bid in one competitive major market and think that may be most of the problem (I thought I'd be fine with strong grades and resume). Strong ties.

4. Have been told I interview well and had a good set of interviews, minus a few typical awkward moments.

I think my resume plays very poorly to the corporate, tax, and white collar lawyers I interviewed with from GP firms. Many seemed scared that there was any science on my resume (there is quite a bit, although it's been thoroughly vetted by career services and many of the IP lawyers told me it was stellar). I did my best to discuss my experiences in skills and interest-based language, but I think it can be hard to overcome that initial bias.


Did you do either Loyola Patent fair or Southeast?

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:46 pm

wiseowl wrote:Did you do either Loyola Patent fair or Southeast?

What's Southeast?

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rayiner
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:48 pm

Lxw wrote:
wiseowl wrote:Did you do either Loyola Patent fair or Southeast?

What's Southeast?


there is a souheast patent fair held by I believe GSU.

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wiseowl
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby wiseowl » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:04 pm

rayiner wrote:
Lxw wrote:
wiseowl wrote:Did you do either Loyola Patent fair or Southeast?

What's Southeast?


there is a souheast patent fair held by I believe GSU.


yes, its in Atlanta usually the same week as Loyola. Some overlap but not always.

FrankReynolds
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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby FrankReynolds » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:18 am

I'm bottom half at CCN, and OCI has been absolute carnage so far for me.


I'm also bottom half at CCN, and I have an offer at a V50...but yea, still hard to tell how bad it will be, since a lot of students have 1-3 callbacks. If the callback/offer rate isn't high, it could be pretty bad. Personally, I think CCN will end up okay, but a huge chunk of everyone below N is gonna be doing some soul-searching.

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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:47 am

Can you say...M-B-A? Better yet, can you say...entrepreneuer or orthodontist? They make great money. lol.

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Re: Just how bad is the legal job market really?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:55 am

Just woke up kinda board, so decided to browse TLS and see if anything interesting popped up. Read thru this forum, and am more motivated then ever to start drinking before noon. Thank god my school has kegs in the quad on Thursdays... take that CCN twatt waffles




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