Archive for March 20, 2010

The U.S. Post Office is always hiring

Actually it’s not. During the past two years the Washington, D.C.; Virginia; Maryland areas postal services were affected by the recession. Local news stations touted the proposed shorter office hours as wells as reducing the number of days a postal worker delivers mail to 5 instead of 6 days. Wow, in my experience I have to wonder which is worse, waiting in a line at a bank for a teller to wait on you or waiting at the post office. I think it depends on the time of day and the teller, usually they’re both horrible. As of date, the U.S. postal service still delievers 6 days a week, but now they’re considering ‘reducing staff.’ Really? I guess having 2-3 tellers is too much especially when you service three suburban counties. So by now you have realized that the U.S. Postal Service isn’t hiring; but the U.S. Census is–allegedly.

I knew of an attorney who applied last year and was told that it was only the beginning of the application process. The Washington Post seems to promote being a census taker–at least it’s money. One cannot have an article about unemployed professionals without discussing the attorney who is looking for work:

The Washington Post Carol Morello, Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 8, 2010 [
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/07/AR2010030702886.html?hpid=topnews ]

“After just two years as an associate at a small firm in the District, Williams was laid off in November 2008. She assumed she would land another job within four months. When that didn’t happen, her brother mentioned seeing an ad that the Census Bureau was hiring.”

Wow, at least she was able to get some real legal experience–I’m assuming. And look at this article posted a few days ago, it’s as if attorney’s are the new gauge for unemployment rates among professionals!:

‘Those college degrees don’t seem to be worth very much now,’ Dayton Daily News, March 16, 2010, Carol Flowers [http://www.daytondailynews.com/opinion/those-college-degrees-dont-seem-to-be-worth-very-much-now-603118.html ]

“My son holds five associate degrees, a bachelor’s, a master’s and a law degree. He has passed the bar exam in three states and cannot get a nibble because he is in competition for jobs with unemployed lawyers who have 10 to 15 years of experience.” Ok, this mother has to be reading our blogs now, so maybe family members do understand, well I still think most don’t.  Maybe she was part of the PLUS loan programs and now her credit is being affected, who knows, but the college-law school promos are being exposed.

Now just imagine that you were an older attorney but in the same situation. Economists state this is a jobless economic recovery. What? So I am to conclude the only ones primarily benefitting from a financial upturn would be actual corporations.

Repeat After Me: ‘Too Often a Law Degree Today is a Bad Investment’

This is a great new mantra to have:’Too Often a Law Degree Today is a Bad Investment.’  Maybe the author of this article will feel enough sorrow for me to pay off my student loans. Anyway, I think the article speaks for itself and continues to echo the reality and dissent of law graduates (I only show a portion of the article):

http://www.keytlaw.com/blog/2010/03/law-school-bad-investment/

Too Often a Law Degree Today is a Bad Investment

By Richard Keyt, on March 14th, 2010

Last week I read a blog post entitled “University of Alabama School of Law Accepting Applications for LL.M in Taxation Program” on a law professor’s blog.  The ivory tower prof who wrote the post proudly announced not only the beginning of the new law school program, he also linked to a brochure about the new program, linked to a video about the new program, gave the class schedule and an email address at the University of Alabama where people could send messages for more information.  Makes me wonder why the prof is shilling so hard for the new program.  I suspect he thinks it is wonderful that more young lawyers will be able to  go deeper into debt to get a masters degree in tax law.  I’ve got news for him, the view from the ivory tower is much different than the view from the trenches where young lawyers must seek employment…

I found the following tidbits of information in the University of Alabama’s brochure about the new online LL.M. program: 

  • “The LL.M. in Tax Program has rightfully earned a reputation for being one of the best educational values available.”  The brochure does not offer any support for this bold statement of fact.
  • “we have assembled a “dream team” tax faculty”
  • Tuition will be between $25,200 and $26,490 for 24 semester credit hours.

I could not find anything on the law school’s website or in its sale brochure that discussed if having a master’s degree in tax law would help an unemployed lawyer get a job or an employed lawyer get a better job or make more money.  I am sure that the new program will make a lot of money for the law school. 

There is something terribly wrong with the higher educational system in general and the law school education system in particular.  What is wrong is that these education systems are misleading young people into incurring massive debts to pay for degrees that many times do not justify the investment.  See “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be…Lawyers.”  Law schools are at the top of the student abuse chain because of the staggering cost for a year of school.  One hundred and sixty-five law schools charge more than $20,000 a year for tuition.  One hundred and one laws schools charge more than $30,000 a year for tuition.  See the table comparing law school tuition.  If a student can get by with room, board, books and incidentals of $15,000 a year, the cost for three years of law school is: 

$20,000/year tuition = $35,000/year = $105,000 total
$30,000/year tuition = $45,000/year = $135,000 total
$40,000/year tuition = $55,000/year = $165,000 total 

Here are the monthly payments at six percent simple interest paid over 10 and 20 years for the above-three debt amounts: 

$105,000 debt = $1,160 and $749
$135,000 debt = $1,491 and $962
$165,000 debt = $1,823 and $1,176 

I feel very sorry for young people graduating from law school in these difficult economic times.  More often than not they have been mislead by their law schools into believing that a law degree is a ticket to a great paying job.  Why aren’t the law schools required to give exact graduate job hiring and salary statistics?  Even though ivory tower guy and the intellectual elites that teach and run the nation’s law schools are putting their collective heads in the sand because it all boils down to big money in the pockets of the law schools and their faculties, the media and other people are starting to notice the problems with legal education in the United States.

I see a bit of  Nando/Third Tier Reality and Esq. Never in this article-with your breakdowns and estimated financial calculations. Anyway, this article is pretty much self-explanatory, should enough people keep saying it potential law students will finally accept it. It works when you are lied to, so maybe it’ll work when they realize bloggers are telling the truth.