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Re: How to encourage someone to drop out?

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:02 pm
by volsi
I.P. Daly wrote:
stillwater wrote:you could hire areyouinsane for a couple hours
Random sampling from Mr. Insane (bro allegedly moved overseas (Turkey?) to escape student loan debt):
areyouinsane wrote: Yet people on here still plan to attend non-Top 14 programs, blissfully unaware that the craigslist bottom feeders will likely be their only chance to "practice law", such as it is. Outside the rapidly shrinking number of Biglaw spots, market demand for non-elite JD grads is essentially zero. The salaries of 0 dollars proffered by these dumps (along with the lack of health benefits) tells you everything you need to know.

Hell, even the US Attorney has joined the NJ AG's office in offering a salary of 0 dollars: ... teers.html

and ... hbxlogin=1

Yet curiously, many people feel they'll be somehow "exempt" from the law of supply & demand. You gotta admit it's pretty gruesome to "work" for free after 7 years of higher education. Even worse when you must "compete" with others to give your labor away gratis! Imagine graduates of a truck driving school taking to the Interstate for free, or Lincoln Tech'ers firing up the arc welder pro-bono. Only law grads are so deeply "invested" in the system that they think any "experience" is worth donating 40 hours or more a week to the f-ing government!
areyouinsane wrote: RE: paying off student loans on credit cards and then doing a Ch 7 def. will not work. Neither will taking a HELOC on a home and then defaulting on the payments and discharging the note/mortgage in bankruptcy. They do a pretty careful "look back" on even simple Ch. 7s and will catch this stuff easily. (Just google it and you can find stories of people who tried and failed).

Then you're on the hook for fraud/abuse of the system.

It's a disaster, and will only get worse as more formerly "good" jobs for highly educated people are shipped overseas by the boatload. And you do have to admit that never before in history have people in their early/mid 20s been saddled with such toxic and astronomical debt, nor with so few jobs paying a sufficient wage to service said debt. Making the debt 100% non-dischargable is another wild card never before seen in history. A bad decision at a very young age can and will haunt these kids for the rest of their lives. Only since 2005 have private loans been non-dischargable, and notice how tuitions started rocketing into the stratosphere not long after that bill became law. The schools, of course, risk nothing. They get paid in full a few days after your name is on the loan paperwork.

I also gotta LOL at people counting on IBR and other programs. I think many of you are grossly underestimating how miserable life is with debt hanging over your head. To even be IBR eligible you have to meet criteria that pretty much doom you to a shitty, sub-poverty level lifestyle anyway. The question is why anyone would seek an education to "enjoy" a lower standard of living than someone with a GED? Do you really find law that fascinating? There are no "do-overs" in this business. A few shitty doc review gigs, maybe a stint or two in shitlaw, and in only a couple short years your resume is a huge 'red flag" that screams "LOSER."

Remember, a JD closes a lot more doors than it opens. It isn't a Swiss Army Knife, and lawyers aren't viewed as "MacGyvers" who can handle any corporate job by virtue of their "superior education" and "reasoning ability" and such. In this market HR departments want cookie cutter resumes with substantial and recent experience in specific business areas, not washout JD also-rans who can "synthesize appellate caselaw."

Hell, a JD actually makes it HARDER to get a lot of jobs. For example. I applied for a job as a high school English teacher in an impoverished NJ district and got an interview last year. But in NJ teachers are paid union scale based solely on their level of education. A JD counts as "Masters Plus 45 Credits" under the NJ union scale, so they'd have to pay me 8 K more than a BA holder. (55 K vs 47 K)
And my raises would be substantially more as well down the road. So I got dinged because the school districts are broke and want cheaper labor: the Principal told me he felt terrible and really wanted to offer me the job, but the good ole' JD screwed me over- the Superintendent of the district was pushing them to cut costs and not hire Masters/JD holders (and no, you can't just agree to work for less- this is a lockstep unionized position). I actually went home and tore my JD out of the frame and tossed it into the garbage not long afterwards. I did use the frame for a nice picture my fiancee' painted for me though.

Understanding how embarrassing it is to be a "failed" attorney is a hard thing to do. No one goes to law school expecting to end up in 35 K a year shitlaw, or working in a "glass gulag" cubicle at Discover Ready for $29 an hour sans health benefits, or worst yet being totally unemployed after months of sending out resumes. Yet it does happen, and happens very frequently nowadays. Non-lawyer friends and family all chuckle and say "wow, all that schoolin' really paid off" and things like that, all the teasing and other degrading shit you endure which only makes you feel worse. Watching others buy their first home, start families, and build a future while you drift from one dead-end temp gig or shitlaw office to the next, trying to pay loans, health ins. bar dues, CLE fees, etc.

I frequent a lot of ex-pat mssg boards (since I'm soon joining their ranks), and I'm amazed at how many kids are overseas solely to escape the student loan debt noose. Yes, you don't get paid a huge amount of $$$ to teach in Turkey, but you can have a decent little apartment, eat out a few nights a week/have drinks, travel a bit on your time off, etc. All things that I cannot and will not be able to do in the US. Plus my fiancee has already lived there and had friends and connections which could actually help me rebuild my life down the road. WTF I am going to do here in the US? Work in a glass box at Discover-Ready for $29 an hour until even the scraps of these shitjobs are outsourced to India, with Aunt Sallie Mae garnishing 30% or more of my paycheck? I'd rather just eat a gun now than face that kind of "life," if that's what you want to call it.

And just looking around the US, you can't help but see not a nation but an empire, an empire undergoing a terminal phase of decline. We jail more people than any country on Earth, have pointless wars raging in 3 theatres now (hello Libya), high & systemic unemployment, housing values that know no bottom, wages actually lower in adj. dollars than in 1973, crumbling roads and bridges, terrible public schools, wholesale outsourcing of jobs, and a political class composed of shysters and morons who are 100% owned by the Wall St "boyz" and act only to further their interests. I often tell people "the question isn't why I'm leaving, it's why the fuck you're STAYING?"
areyouinsane wrote: Sure. It's beyond easy with a budget of 0 dollars (and a car so shitty I'm afraid it will overheat/explode going across town), to cruise out to Kansas (or whatever you define as the "middle of nowhere), take the bar exam there, wait 4 months for results, pay the admission fees, rent an office, runs some ads, "hang a shingle," and hope to make a living while working a part-time job at Arby's to hopefully pay the rent on a room at the local YMCA. I'm sure all the locals will be lining up to have the new "Jersey Guy" handle their stuff, instead of Grandpa Joe, Esq who runs a combination law office/dairy farm and grew up with these folks in their 20 person high school class, etc.

Being a "self-respecting" person is great & all, but "self-respect" doesn't pay the rent (or student loans), or put food in your stomach. And re: "getting blood from a turnip," you might want to look into the facts about student loans. They are exempt from the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, are not dischargable in bankruptcy, and have collection powers a Mafia loan shark could only dream of. It's a living nightmare dealing with these thugs- I had to swtich cell numbers because they were calling me 50 or 60 times a day, even on Sundays & holidays. They froze my checking account and made me bounce 4 other checks, each with a sweet $35 returned check fee + late charges from the people I bounced said checks to.

I think you're grossly underestimating what a miserable fucking nightmare being an indebted TTT grad is. It doesn't take much at all for the walls to start closing in and your "options" to vanish. My financial & employment situation is like a "totalled" car- beyond all repair. Why take a shitjob in some telemarketing place or work as a file clerk/fry cook/shitlaw attorney when nearly everything I earn will simply go to loan penalties and interest? Talk about a treadmill to nowhere.

The doc reviewers at places like Discover Ready have a choice between "dignity" and paying their bills, and have chosen the latter. You can choose one or the other, but not both. The supply/demand metrics have made it possible to pay & treat attorneys like completely expendable pieces of garbage, knowing that for every coder who quits there are 1000 more begging to take their place. This is the "new normal," and I want no part of it, hence my impending departure from the USA. Gotta try to rebuild elsewhere away from the loan shark shakedowns. Paying even one cent on those loans at this point is just throwing good $$$ after bad.
areyouinsane wrote: Er, no. I didn't stay in doc review for 10 years. I worked at a shitlaw personal injury firm for 1.5 years (until my boss got disbarred) and then did insurance defense for 6 months. The PI job paid 45 K no bennies in NYC, and the insurance defense gig paid 48 K with a crappy Oxford HMO which I paid 50% of the premium.

There are no exit options for PI other than getting your own cases, which is very easy since there's only about six million firms in NYC/NJ running TV commercials 24/7 begging for these cases. And of the cases they get, 90%+ are soft tissue injury "whiplash" fender benders worth 5 K or less. AS I said, in this tough economy more and more folks are cruising around w/ state minimum 25 K policies, so even if your client brings his head to court in a box, if it's a 25 K policy that's all he's gonna get. Understand that in PI, you usually have either a "whopper" policy and no real injuries, or catastrphic injury but a crap (or no) policy whatsoever. If no policy at all, you have to go after the state fund for un/underinsured motorists, and they generally pay out crap and drag the case out for decades. It's a nightmare.

(I mention auto cases so much b/c that's what 95% of PI claims are. The other 4% are the trip n' slip cases, which have their own set of problems like "notice" and "transient conditions" and "sidewalk law" etc. Then you have the occasional "weird" case, like one we had where a guy was working under his car w/ his legs sticking out, and a window-unit air conditioner fell from 4 floors up and broke both his femurs. But those cases are once-in-a-lifetime rare.

Insurance defense is even worse. Time was, lots of small carriers would use "mom n' pop" firms to defend auto and premises liability cases, and pay reasonable fees (like 125 to 150 an hour) for that stuff.

But there aren't a lot of small carriers left- most of them have long since been "gobbled up" by the big boys like Allstate, Geico etc, or driven out of business by them. (In fact, my former insurance defense firm closed down about 6 months ago. They only had one carrier and they took everything in-house).

And the larger carriers are run by MBA/Corporate people with an eye on the bottom line. Hence, almost all general liability (e.g. auto & premises liability & property damage) stuff is in-house. Under the in-house model, there are one or two decent, experienced trial attorneys making decent $$ (like 80-90 K) and under them a huge squad of shitlawyers making 40 K or so to make the court appearances and churn the motions and other cut n' pasted shitpaper. I actually interviewed last year with Allstate's in-house division in NJ. When salary discussions came up I asked for 55-60 K and the lady looked at me like I asked for a private corporate jet. She said they pay 40 K starting take it or leave it. I left it.

Here's what caused this: in the early 2000s Allstate hired a consulting firm to see how they could save $$$. The consulting firm studied their business model and said "fight every single claim to the death, and do so w/ in-house shitlawyers. Mark every case "no pay" regardless of merit, and eventually people won't even handle cases where you're the defendant."

It was brilliant, and it worked. Just google "Allstate claims fight" or something like that and see how hard it is to get $$$ out of this carrier. Of course all the other companies caught on, so things are hundreds of times tougher in PI than they were in the late 90s and early 2000s. No more settling whiplash cases w/ a phone call for 10 K, that's for sure. Also google "NY threshold Law" and see how hard it is to even get these turds past summary judgment. Anyone with delusions of being the next "king of torts" a la John Edwards better do a little research first: it's not 1985 anymore.

Oh, I forgot to mention I was doing re-fi closings per diem last year for Quicken Loans. They paid $150 a closing (no gas or mileage) and cut you a check every 2 weeks as a 1099 ind contractor. It wasn't a bad gig - I did about 3 to 6 closings a week, mostly on Staten Island and northern NJ from March to Nov. of 2010. It wasn't much $$$, but it beat unemployment (barely).

But the title company for Quicken Loans hired a new manager late last year, and the first thing he did was shit-can having lawyers do the closings. Now they use notaries instead and pay them $40 a closing. So that gig came to an end around Dec of 2010. Since then I have applied to about 40,000 jobs and heard nothing from any of them.

I tried to "network" while doing the closings and passed out my own business cards to every single client I did a closing for. Of the 200 or so closings I did, exactly 0 of them ever called me for any other work.

It's rough out there and getting rougher.
Fuck, this guy lays it all out nicely. I'll send these over to the kid after the semester ends, if he hasn't changed his tune. Thank you.

And to everyone who said
IAFG wrote:
You can't force people do see what they don't want to.

I know. And you're right. I'm just a big softie under this gruff exterior.

Re: How to encourage someone to drop out?

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:47 pm
by zomginternets
volsi wrote:
Fuck, this guy lays it all out nicely. I'll send these over to the kid after the semester ends, if he hasn't changed his tune. Thank you.
I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 1L once, and these types of posts still didn't convince me to drop out of my T3, so don't be surprised if the kid just chalks it up to one guy failing at law school. He needs just one anecdote of a median student from a similarly-ranked school as him making biglaw/midlaw to justify ignoring everything areyouinsane has spelled out.

Edited for clarity

Re: How to encourage someone to drop out?

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:11 am
by se7en
let people make their own choices.

Re: How to encourage someone to drop out?

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:28 am
by SuperCerealBrah
Send him here...

And then let him make his own decision.

Re: How to encourage someone to drop out?

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:52 am
by TheFutureLawyer
se7en wrote:let people make their own choices.
Seriously, I'd go with this. After telling the kid how it is, and pointing out websites/articles showing how it is, AND apparently trying to get your parents to try to talk to his parents, there comes a point where you gotta just let it go. There's nothing else you can really do.

Though I will also say this; if, when you talked to him about it, it was a light kind of discussion, do it again one more time. But make it a somber and sober talk, kind of like an intervention. After that, if the person continues to go forward, there's really nothing you can do. He's gonna have to find out the hard way (or, maybe things work out. you never really know).

Re: How to encourage someone to drop out?

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:46 pm
by typ3
Just talked to an attorney who is now a car salesman that graduated #1 in his class and was editor of law review nearly 28 years ago. He ran a successful practice for 25 years, but just couldn't keep the lights on anymore. Also talked to an attorney who was in-house counsel for an insurance company for 20 years. Had a trial record of 49-0, and the company now wants to move him to being a contract attorney without benefits and pay him 3k per case without travel or food expense compensation. He of course said no because that would be comparable to minimum wage. Another starving attorney gladly took the offer.

Corporate America. +1

Re: How to encourage someone to drop out?

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:42 am
by TheGreatFish
He's already made the commitment and it sounds like he's working hard to improve, so maybe it's time for you to back off. Let him keep working on becoming a good lawyer, and you can go back to working on "drinking bourbon during the day."

Re: How to encourage someone to drop out?

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:36 pm
by dingbat
typ3 wrote:Had a trial record of 49-0
I had an attorney with a similar record explain to me that it's nowhere near as impressive as it sounds - if he's not sure he's going to win, he finds a way to settle.