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August 15, 2013


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Incredulous Guest who thinks you are Scamming Us

I think there is a big contingent of unemployed and underemployed attorneys, including many who once worked at big law firms. There are not enough post-big law jobs out there. The problem with the law school/ legal profession structure today is that it pushes JDs into entry level jobs and then out of those jobs as they get more experience, but there is a dearth of career positions for the lawyers to go to.

There are many stranded talented lawyers who got jobs out of law school. The 500,000 to 700,000 lost lawyers are real. These are people struggling to make a living.

Some of the big law firms have been operating a one way train to unemployment for many for over a decade, replete with mandatory arbitration depriving the firm's lawyers of every possible due process right, including the right to challenge a termination in court, severance agreements, releases and confidentiality agreements - so they can continue running that train that leads so many lawyers to unemployment in absolute silence where people just disappear. It is shock to the young lawyers, but has been going on quietly for years. The large law firm hire and fire many many lawyers each year - many more than there are long term jobs for, and it is business as usual, but so many of the lawyers involved end up unemployed or underemployed immediately or down the road.

Two things. First it is high time for law schools to produce better employment data - data that goes out much farther then 10 months after graduation.

Second, a low paying job in compliance or HR after big law or small law sure beats unemployment. If law schools could offer people who already have JDs but do not have satisfactory legal jobs a path to those low paying jobs and not charge a fortune, lots of experienced lawyers would take the law schools up on this.

Legal jobs are very unstable today. They end abruptly and easily and finding another legal job many not happen. The demand is not there. So a lower paying HR or compliance job would be a lifesafer for those former practicing lawyers if the law schools could help produce a path to such a job.


Incredulous Guest who thinks you are Scamming Us
I couldn't agree more that much of BigLaw is like the carnival in Pinocchio! What is so sad is that BigLaw model is suffering now too, as this thread began.
We have come full circle.
I can't agree that there are enough positions in compliance or HR at law schools. As has been said here, there are tens of thousands of unemployed or underemployed attorneys.
In any event, this thread has been a very interesting exploration of some of these issues, IMHO, without all the nasty insulting posts so usual on this topic and on this blog.
Well done!


Anon: "The fee structure, debt loads, etc. drives the quest for high-paying law jobs, which are dwindling, and out of reach for so many law school grads.
In a market, if that is your point, wouldn't the price of legal services necessarily decrease? To some extent, these prices have decreased, to levels below the compensation of plumbers, in many cases."

This has actually been covered on the scamblogs (it was something that I had not thought about).

You can't practice law part-time, unless you have a job and a boss who's comfortable with coming in in the morning and finding a message from you that you are in court with a client - and BTW, you'll be missing a few more days in the next few weeks, but won't know when until the judge sets the schedule.


Incredulous Guest:

"Two things. First it is high time for law schools to produce better employment data - data that goes out much farther then 10 months after graduation."

I recall that Dean from (somewhere in northern Ohio) making a big stink in an interview about how 9 months later wasn't long enough, and how he had been crisscrossing the country looking for jobs for his grad.

I noticed that he wasn't coughing up any data for employment beyond 9 months; apparently actually collecting data wasn't relevant.

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