Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

gladiator0flaw11
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Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby gladiator0flaw11 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:44 am

My life quickly went to crap after graduation and failing NY Bar than the UBE in NYC. Lost my gf of 4 years and all my friends and the amount of time between exam and results is insane. I also live in a toxic home environment with a single parent and three siblings and now that I'm single again, I def. need out. I got some interviews, but it took two bar sittings for anything to pick up

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rcharter1978
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby rcharter1978 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:05 am

Have you passed?

When I didn't pass I holed myself up, but I didn't live with my parents. I was lucky that my friends and family understood that I didn't really want to talk to anyone until I passed. It was a super depressing time, but I knew that at some point things would get better. And they did.

Maybe you can drive for uber or something. It would allow you some flexibility, get you out of a toxic house, and let you interact with people you dont know and won't ask you about law school/bar exam.

You may also make enough to move out.

jjlaw2381
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby jjlaw2381 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:45 am

I mean, I failed in July passed in February. My mom pretty much let me get drunk for a week straight and then I got back on the horse and study. I started doing some part time paralegal/law clerk work at small firms and working delivery at restaurants to start saving up.

lawst_
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby lawst_ » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:46 am

I was sort of in your same position. Failed the bar 3 times before passing on the 4th try. Two of those times I was working in a risk mgmt/consulting role and hated every minute of it but stuck with it just to earn a small paycheck. In hindsight, not the best idea because I was killing myself at work while trying to study...guess which won that battle.

I parted ways with that job while studying for my 4th bar. I was unemployed, living on my own, had decent emotional support from friends, but less from family. Basically I spent my mornings at the gym, afternoons applying for jobs and studying, evenings studying, and late nights driving for Uber/Lyft just to make some money. I depleted savings, even had to borrow a little from family. But those were all things I was willing to do rather than move back into an environment that was less than supportive.

It's going to suck for awhile. Absolutely. But as someone else suggested, try to make a little money where you can (e.g. Uber). I had a lot of friends doing unlicensed JD doc reviews and the pay usually fell between $15-$25/hour. Spend as much time as you can studying and memorizing so you can kill this upcoming bar and look back on this rough period and laugh. It's a character-builder for sure, but you can do it.

Message me if you need any support. I was in this exact position just a few months ago.

waxecstatic
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby waxecstatic » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:04 pm

Dude, honestly speaking, if you don't have anything lined up after graduation, it's incredibly hard to get a job. Where I live, there's probably 4 times as many attorneys as openings. Generally, you can get a doc review job but those usually require bar passage (although you can be licensed in any state). I worked on one that allowed unlicensed JDs. They could only work 40 hours a week and were paid 20 an hour. A licensed JD got 28 an hour and could work up to 60 hours a week. As you can see, you have to ask yourself after a while if it's even worth it anymore. If you have a significant gap between graduation and bar passage it will be even harder to get a job. You have to ask yourself how important it is you for you to practice law. Best of luck.

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PrayingToTheBarGods
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby PrayingToTheBarGods » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:22 pm

I'd say do doc review for quick money. There are lots of review places that dont require ur license. Work is boring, but it will allow u the flexibility to study. Pay can be between $24-30/hr.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:26 pm

waxecstatic wrote:Dude, honestly speaking, if you don't have anything lined up after graduation, it's incredibly hard to get a job. Where I live, there's probably 4 times as many attorneys as openings. Generally, you can get a doc review job but those usually require bar passage (although you can be licensed in any state). I worked on one that allowed unlicensed JDs. They could only work 40 hours a week and were paid 20 an hour. A licensed JD got 28 an hour and could work up to 60 hours a week. As you can see, you have to ask yourself after a while if it's even worth it anymore. If you have a significant gap between graduation and bar passage it will be even harder to get a job. You have to ask yourself how important it is you for you to practice law. Best of luck.


$28/hour for 60 hours a week is pushing $90,000/year. The work may suck, but that's decent money.

waxecstatic
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby waxecstatic » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:30 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
waxecstatic wrote:Dude, honestly speaking, if you don't have anything lined up after graduation, it's incredibly hard to get a job. Where I live, there's probably 4 times as many attorneys as openings. Generally, you can get a doc review job but those usually require bar passage (although you can be licensed in any state). I worked on one that allowed unlicensed JDs. They could only work 40 hours a week and were paid 20 an hour. A licensed JD got 28 an hour and could work up to 60 hours a week. As you can see, you have to ask yourself after a while if it's even worth it anymore. If you have a significant gap between graduation and bar passage it will be even harder to get a job. You have to ask yourself how important it is you for you to practice law. Best of luck.


$28/hour for 60 hours a week is pushing $90,000/year. The work may suck, but that's decent money.


Yeah, except for the fact the projects do not last all year and are few and far between. The average project lasts a couple weeks. Then you're unemployed again. I made 45K last year.
Last edited by waxecstatic on Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

waxecstatic
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby waxecstatic » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:33 pm

PrayingToTheBarGods wrote:I'd say do doc review for quick money. There are lots of review places that dont require ur license. Work is boring, but it will allow u the flexibility to study. Pay can be between $24-30/hr.


That's not true. I just got off a doc review that required a license that paid 25 an hour. The most I've ever seen is 30. I was on one that didn't require a license and it paid them 20 an hour. If you don't believe me, go check out Indeed.

spartan4life
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby spartan4life » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:59 pm

Apply for food stamps. Even though people don't know that you are going through a strugggle, especially with finding a job, it helps with food. I've never been so humbled in my life financially and it's because of this damn state bar test. So much hinges on these results and employers have not been wanting to hire me because they are looking for "permanent" employees.

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jchiles
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby jchiles » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:12 pm

You owe it to yourself to at least spend time exploring and interviewing for jobs that you can see yourself doing that may even make some use of your legal education but don't require a law degree. Figure out an explanation for why you want to be there and if you end up passing and getting a job as an attorney you can bail but you might find something you actually like doing and financial independence/getting out of your moms house are more urgent goals than having a bar-required job.

waxecstatic
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby waxecstatic » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:41 pm

gladiator0flaw11 wrote:My life quickly went to crap after graduation and failing NY Bar than the UBE in NYC. Lost my gf of 4 years and all my friends and the amount of time between exam and results is insane. I also live in a toxic home environment with a single parent and three siblings and now that I'm single again, I def. need out. I got some interviews, but it took two bar sittings for anything to pick up


How many times have you taken the bar? Are you waiting on results right now? Sucks about your girlfriend. She probably wasn't the one for you anyway. There are jobs like in compliance known as "JD preferred" which don't require bar passage and in some cases they're better than being a personal injury lawyer that makes 50 grand a year anyway. For all you know it could be a blessing in disguise. Another thing you could which is more of a temporary solution is to simply go to staffing agencies and do whatever administrative work is available. The money will suck but you'll get out of the house and be in a professional environment.

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PrayingToTheBarGods
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby PrayingToTheBarGods » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:27 pm

waxecstatic wrote:
PrayingToTheBarGods wrote:I'd say do doc review for quick money. There are lots of review places that dont require ur license. Work is boring, but it will allow u the flexibility to study. Pay can be between $24-30/hr.


That's not true. I just got off a doc review that required a license that paid 25 an hour. The most I've ever seen is 30. I was on one that didn't require a license and it paid them 20 an hour. If you don't believe me, go check out Indeed.


I think it depends where u are. I'm in Chicago and we've got tons of doc review companies. I've never been paid lower than $28 (with just my JD), and I've been doing it for roughly 2 years. If you know a foreign language that's even better! Our Arabic and Mandarin reviewers make over $80 an hour.

waxecstatic
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby waxecstatic » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:27 pm

PrayingToTheBarGods wrote:
waxecstatic wrote:
PrayingToTheBarGods wrote:I'd say do doc review for quick money. There are lots of review places that dont require ur license. Work is boring, but it will allow u the flexibility to study. Pay can be between $24-30/hr.


That's not true. I just got off a doc review that required a license that paid 25 an hour. The most I've ever seen is 30. I was on one that didn't require a license and it paid them 20 an hour. If you don't believe me, go check out Indeed.


I think it depends where u are. I'm in Chicago and we've got tons of doc review companies. I've never been paid lower than $28 (with just my JD), and I've been doing it for roughly 2 years. If you know a foreign language that's even better! Our Arabic and Mandarin reviewers make over $80 an hour.


Yeah, some markets might be better than others, but where I am, in Boston, the average is 28, and I've only seen one for non-licensed JDs. The last doc review I was on was so miserable we actually had to put our phones in a basket they took away as soon as we walked in. No internet. 25 an hour, looking at spreadsheets all day, 10 hours a day. Literally the worst job ever. Hopefully OP doesn't experience that!

lgp876
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby lgp876 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:36 am

OP I feel your pain. I quit my job after the 2nd week of January to study for the Feb bar (which I failed) full time and haven't been able to find a job since taking the bar. Law firms are hesitant to hire me for support jobs because they don't see me as a "long term" employee. I agree with a previous poster that the bar exam experience is quite humbling, especially if you have to take it multiple times. I have completely depleted my savings in an effort to pass the bar with nothing to show for it after two attempts. The lease on my apartment expires at the end of April and I'll be moving back home with my parents because I simply can't afford another month of rent. I haven't lived with my parents since I moved out over 10 years ago so I'm dreading it but I don't have a choice. Definitely going to look into a doc review job that previous posters mentioned and I suggest you do too. Another option I'm looking into is applying for a bar loan to get me through the next few months as gear up to study for this damn exam a third time.

You will get through this.
Hang in there.

Ssparker
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby Ssparker » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:30 am

waxecstatic wrote: Dude, honestly speaking, if you don't have anything lined up after graduation, it's incredibly hard to get a job.


--I hate people like the "dude" who wrote the above quote. First, that's not necessarily true, depending on the area of law you want to work in and/or region of the USA and/or the time period you are hunting for a law job. Second, even if it was accurate, don't you have better shit to be doing with your time dude?
MOST people don't have their entire career solidified upon graduation...some do, and then unexpectedly fail CA's sadistic bar exam...and even they will be ok...and probably even better off for having this dose of forced humility. No one likes a smug POS, and so hopefully we all will be able to avoid becoming "that guy."

waxecstatic
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby waxecstatic » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:07 pm

Ssparker wrote:
waxecstatic wrote: Dude, honestly speaking, if you don't have anything lined up after graduation, it's incredibly hard to get a job.


--I hate people like the "dude" who wrote the above quote. First, that's not necessarily true, depending on the area of law you want to work in and/or region of the USA and/or the time period you are hunting for a law job. Second, even if it was accurate, don't you have better shit to be doing with your time dude?
MOST people don't have their entire career solidified upon graduation...some do, and then unexpectedly fail CA's sadistic bar exam...and even they will be ok...and probably even better off for having this dose of forced humility. No one likes a smug POS, and so hopefully we all will be able to avoid becoming "that guy."


So if everyone who passes the bar can get a job, how do you account for the statistics the ABA gives (24% of surveyed lawyers weren't practicing law in 2012)? And then there are the law school statistics which are even grimmer. I only said that so the person who fails doesn't think it's the end of the world, not because I'm an arrogant douchebag, asshole. I'm speaking from experience, too. When you have to simply throw an application on Indeeed or Law Jobs, wherever it gets thrown, it joins the masses with hundreds of others. It is hard to get a job and that is not being negative, it is being completely realistic, there is a difference. Finally, I said all this not because I'm a smug POS but because if in the event he fails, he realizes it isn't the end of the world, and that there are other avenues that may be better anyway.

waxecstatic
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby waxecstatic » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:15 pm

waxecstatic wrote:
Ssparker wrote:
waxecstatic wrote: Dude, honestly speaking, if you don't have anything lined up after graduation, it's incredibly hard to get a job.


--I hate people like the "dude" who wrote the above quote. First, that's not necessarily true, depending on the area of law you want to work in and/or region of the USA and/or the time period you are hunting for a law job. Second, even if it was accurate, don't you have better shit to be doing with your time dude?
MOST people don't have their entire career solidified upon graduation...some do, and then unexpectedly fail CA's sadistic bar exam...and even they will be ok...and probably even better off for having this dose of forced humility. No one likes a smug POS, and so hopefully we all will be able to avoid becoming "that guy."


So if everyone who passes the bar can get a job, how do you account for the statistics the ABA gives (24% of surveyed lawyers weren't practicing law in 2012)? And then there are the law school statistics which are even grimmer. I only said that so the person who fails doesn't think it's the end of the world, not because I'm an arrogant douchebag, asshole. I'm speaking from experience, too. When you have to simply throw an application on Indeeed or Law Jobs, wherever it gets thrown, it joins the masses with hundreds of others. It is hard to get a job and that is not being negative, it is being completely realistic, there is a difference.

justaguest
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby justaguest » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:57 pm

I passed two bar exams, each on the first try, and I am in that percentage of attorneys who are not practicing. I never cared about being an attorney; I went to law school to increase the possibilities available to me. There are so many things you can do with a law degree. Because I can't see the future, I'll keep my licenses active. But for now, I'm quite happy (also in Boston) not practicing.

gladiator0flaw11
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby gladiator0flaw11 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:35 am

justaguest wrote:I passed two bar exams, each on the first try, and I am in that percentage of attorneys who are not practicing. I never cared about being an attorney; I went to law school to increase the possibilities available to me. There are so many things you can do with a law degree. Because I can't see the future, I'll keep my licenses active. But for now, I'm quite happy (also in Boston) not practicing.


You are a legend. The bar exam (had to take it three times) took my finances, love of my life (she wanted a ring and commitment I stuck to bar studying and regret it now). As a 1L SA in litigation if I wasn't happy billing hours chances are I wasn't happy practicing after the bar. I should have done this math at graduation and just stayed JD-non license. I ruined good opportunities for these exams and your post just makes me feel less crazy about it. What type of work are you doing if you don't mind me asking? thank you

justaguest
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby justaguest » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:33 pm

I work for the feds and I'll have to leave it at that.

Getting hired by them was a lengthy process involving backgrounds checks (security, finances, fingerprints, and drugs) and conversations between "special agents" (seriously, that's what they identified themselves as) and my friends, family, and neighbors but totally worth it. I started at the highest possible grade level (which really means highest possible salary) for my position and that was all because I held a JD and was able to substitute it for the experience. I applied and interviewed prior to knowing the bar exam results so a law license couldn't have been that critical to them.

NaeDeen
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby NaeDeen » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:08 am

If anyone is interested, there is a 600+ things you can do with a law degree article that is out there. It may help you look for work in areas that you didn't really think about it. I have a copy I can upload or you can just go to http://www.mslaw.edu/wp-content/uploads ... degree.pdf

Hope this helps someone!! I am currently working a non-legal job and am waiting for bar results, as my main goal is to practice law. Good luck all and remember to keep the faith :)

Sauer420
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby Sauer420 » Tue May 02, 2017 12:23 pm

Thank you NaeDeen for the list of things you can do with a law degree! This is helpful.

I've been struggling trying to get a non-JD job in Los Angeles, as I hear back on less than 10% of resumes sent out even though I have all the skills and experience required for the positions. I've only had one in-person interview. I forgot how tough it is to be unemployed - it's very easy to lose motivation and just mope around. My ultimate goal is to be in-house counsel, so I'd be happy to work in a non-attorney position for several years and slowly work my way up, but it seems very difficult to get even the non-attorney positions at big companies. After applying to about 50 jobs in two months, I decided to give up applying until the Cali bar results are released in mid-May. However, the attorney positions I've seen aren't promising either, as most of them want a mid-level attorney with 3-7 years of experience.

I looked into a couple of doc review projects as people have mentioned, but the temp agencies are often disorganized and unprofessional. They also seem to post a lot of fake jobs just to collect names. I was suppose to get one doc review position lasting 3-6 months, but the lawyers settled the case at the last minute.

I've tried driving for UberEATS lately (can't do UberX or Lyft because I drive a 2-door car) but it completely sucks. Most people in L.A. do not tip and therefore my wage is below minimum when accounting for gas / wear & tear. People tip their pizza delivery person but not their Uber driver (probably because Uber basically discourages tips). At least it gets me out of the house so I can feel marginally productive.

gladiator0flaw11
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Re: Those unemployed and in bar exam limbo, how have you economically and socially survived

Postby gladiator0flaw11 » Fri May 05, 2017 10:37 pm

justaguest wrote:I work for the feds and I'll have to leave it at that.

Getting hired by them was a lengthy process involving backgrounds checks (security, finances, fingerprints, and drugs) and conversations between "special agents" (seriously, that's what they identified themselves as) and my friends, family, and neighbors but totally worth it. I started at the highest possible grade level (which really means highest possible salary) for my position and that was all because I held a JD and was able to substitute it for the experience. I applied and interviewed prior to knowing the bar exam results so a law license couldn't have been that critical to them.


I completely understand, thank you for sharing. Let's just say I was going through a very tough time personally with an ex-gf of 4 years who I intended to marry but left me during my second try in 2016 and coming from a broken home and having a diagnosed condition, my finances were strapped and I rushed through an fed opportunity/exam called "Phase 1" three times and three sittings, as fast as I can without receiving proper accommodations and wish I left one more sitting on the table. Last job I held required a top security clearance and haven't let go of that position in my mind, but it was just a summer there. Hoping to join you and the feds with my prior fed govt. exp.




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