Danteshek wrote:Vanwinkle: I think you are unduly pessimistic. You should count your lucky stars for being able to attend a school from which these firms (that are apparently rescinding offers) would hire from in the first place. You are in a better position than 97% of law students in this country.
I realize I'm in a better position than maybe 97% of law students in the country. But does that mean I shouldn't try to give that 97% advice based on what I've seen?
Besides (and this is part of my point) it's not just where you go anymore. I'm at a T14 and I've seen some of my classmates struggle to find jobs. Not all of them, mind you, quite a few have been able to do well for themselves, but things are
that bad now, that even being at a T14 assures you of nothing. You've still got to earn it even here. One of the things that puts me in a great position here is that I do have a few years' WE between UG and now, and that gives me an edge. But that also means it's an edge at the expense of other T14 kids who don't have WE but think their law school experience will make up for that. It won't, everyone's being extraordinarily picky right now.
I've got a stack of rejection letters for unpaid internships for local DA and PD offices across most of the state. Most of them say things like, and these are actual quotes off of them, "we received a high volume of submissions from many very qualified candidates" and "it was a difficult decision to make in light of your very impressive resume and your enthusiasm for public service". I'm at a T14 which is also the top law school in the state, I have good grades, 5 years' WE, I did more than 60 hours of pro bono work this school year, and I have good grades, and I still
got rejected by every local PD and DA in the state. These are the jobs that people keep referring to as the "fallback" jobs that they'll take if they can't get BigLaw. I aimed for these things in the beginning and I still couldn't get anything around here.
You're right that I got lucky, I got really
lucky, I got something in New York. That was the only thing I got a job offer (or even an interview) from. If I hadn't gotten that I might still be looking for an internship somewhere right now. It's a trickle-down effect; the 2Ls aren't getting paid jobs from law firms, so they're eating up all the unpaid internships the 1Ls usually take, leaving the 1Ls with very few options. I've heard the school dramatically increased funding to professors to hire summer research assistants in order to make sure 1Ls had something to do this summer.
So, essentially, the only reason everyone has something to do this summer is the school is creating work for them
. And this is at a T14!
Based on everything I've heard, this is how bad it is for people graduating, too. Law firms aren't hiring graduates in the numbers they used to, so folks who would've gone for BigLaw are now trying to pile onto all the PI jobs they can find, and you've just got too many people aiming for too few jobs. The law schools are even creating temporary work for graduates, too, setting up temporary fellowship programs to employ them for a year or two at a very low pay once they graduate. That gets the law school their employment-at-graduation numbers, but after that money runs out... what then? They're still left entering a job market that doesn't have room for them.
If things are this bad at a T14, how bad do you really think they are elsewhere? This is why, when I hear people talk about how things are going at their low T1 or T2 schools and they say even top 20% people are struggling to find jobs there, I believe them. And there's been a lot of stories like that, too.
Pessimistic? Yes. Unduly? I will let each person who reads be the judge of that. If all what I'm saying does is encourage people to go look it up and see if it's true or not, then I've done my part. I know there are other people out there saying the same thing I am. They'll see it if they start looking for it.
People have this idea that a JD is a golden ticket, and it's not. Not anymore, not even at a top law school.