Archive for May, 2010

The Legal Industry: Media attention to the “Law Degree No Guarantee for Job”

Did someone just awaken from a stupor after eating the apple from the nice old lady? First it was Georgetown law students with NPR with their confessionals of dismal employment outlooks upon graduation, now Michigan State University law dean admits it. The interesting question is why are they admitting it only when it’s time for the harvest of the next crop of graduates to hit the job market? It was getting bad during their 1Ls wasn’t it? Anyway here’s the article stint entitled:

Law degree no guarantee for jobs, fresh off the online presses-May 31, 2010 [http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20100531/NEWS03/5310316/Law-degree-no-guarantee-for-jobs] It’s not an intellectually stimulating piece, just a short reminder of what most of these blogs have been telling people, the job market for lawyers is awful and there is no real hope of it improving and you will most likely be working outside of the legal field unless you’re volunteering or doing document review: “According to research conducted by the Association for Legal Career Professionals, all measures of employment growth for new lawyers in 2009 decreased.” I’m not sure whether this statement means measures of whether a recent law graduate entered into the legal field with a secured job upon graduation, specifically whether it was at a law firm, public interest or government, or measuring the actually salary of law graduates or a combination of these factors plus others. Just to assume that the just mentioned variables were calculated, the legal industry is abismal, yet law schools are graduating more and more lawyers into this field? !

It next reads: “In 2008, only 89.9 percent of lawyers coming into the field found employment, which was a decrease from a high of 91.9 percent in 2007, said Judith Collins, research director for the association.” This is the power of words, because ONLY 89.9% found employment? I let you navigate to Exposing the Law School Scam and Third Tier Reality for the mathematical calculations regarding statistics published by NALP, AALS and whoever else. This simply cannot be. Between what the federal government and even more of the mainstream media reports this cannot be accurate. Asides that out of this alleged percentage the article does not state whether these newly minted lawyers even found work in the legal industry. In other words, they may very well be working at a department store, fast food restaurant, manual labor, seasonal mall work, etc. I remember reading in one of the other blogs that some recent graduates are hired by the law school immediately just to heighten the appearance of their law graduate statistics! Simply amazing. Yet, yet…people want to go to law school, it’s like you’re saying with this now available information: “When I grow up I want to be unemployed, stressed, overburdened with debt and have postponed having a family or a real chance at have a good quality of life.” Anyway…it further states

“For instance, the Department of Homeland Security has been hiring law graduates to work in their offices reviewing documents, even though a law degree isn’t required.” You see now instead of the embarrassment and stigma of being a document reviewer in the private law firms, you have the opportunity to be a document reviewer for a government job, though no job title is provided in this piece. Isn’t it just wonderful? Oops wait a minute: “”These are students that are willing to start at the bottom of a rung in a non-attorney job…” Wow, even in the private sector you’re still dubbed an attorney even a contractual one, here you don’t even have that level of ‘prestige’, interesting. The rest is just putting the burden on the recent graduate with a good luck, we cannot help you, it’s all on you.

Advertisements

Economy, job losses, higher taxes, homelessness, debt, oh my!

All rights reserved

Today we are reporting regional play by play of the economy and job loss:  Sallie Mae: Yes, District of Columbia-metro area residents, it’s right in your backyard. Remember the jobs cuts from those big corporations such as Citigroup, AIG and the like and their failing assets? Well, I highly doubt Sallie Mae is suffering as it can thrive on the interest payments alone that are paid by unemployed professionals, those who financed their education at trade schools and other institutes of learning. But did you know Sallie Mae decided to lay off a major segment of employees and close locations? (March 2010-http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2010/03/22/daily16.html) Not only are federal jobs few and hard to come by, major regional corporations aren’t hiring but firing.So for people who continue to say that DC is a “good” place to move in this down economy are highly mistaken. An article published in December listed Maryland and Virginia around 15 out of 55 of the states [I know there aren’t 55 states, but that’s how the article designated it] with the HIGHEST unemployment while California was much lower on the scale (ok I’m kind of surprised too). So that’s only Virginia, Washington, DC, what about Maryland? Well, as most people know, southern Maryland as well as some residents further north (such as Baltimore) and Pennsylvania commute all the way to the District of Columbia to work.  Now, DC wants to tax commuters for working in DC, though these commuters already pay their own state, local and federal taxes based on where they live (http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=101759&catid=158). But what of those who work in Maryland? This past winter increased Maryland’s deficit because of the snowcastrophe also known as a blizzard. Maryland went over its budget to render the clearing, salting and snow removal services. So what will they do, well, how about we tax people again? You know take more money people don’t have.   Now more Marylanders are scheduled to lose jobs next week, an estimated 600, specifically Baltimore city workers. ( http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9EL6N7G0.htm   ). I think Baltimore city needs to raise  over 40 million and should they not be able to render an agreement with trade unions the city government will have to raise another 64 million. Can uou imagine even more disgruntled laid off city civil workers roaming around Maryland in addition to the 100,000 unemployed Marylanders with a depleted unemployment insurance fund? You think crime is bad now, let’s watch the next few feeks. Run for the border.

…while New Jersey prepares for budget cuts, ok proposals to lay off workers (more?) in their state:  Tens of thousands rally against New Jersey budget cuts http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/newj-m24.shtml). The state wants to eliminate free lunch for poor school students? Everyone knows that having meals, especially breakfast contributes to energy and academic performance. The snowball continues to roll bigger and bigger.

In New York the state is trying to balance their budget which is affecting local universities: New York’s Budget Woes Could lead to Furloughs, Layoffs at SUNY, May 26, 2010 http://www.wgrz.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=77276&catid=37

In California the government proposes to cut teachers (Solano County teacher union chief among hundreds to protest cuts http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_15163841) is it just me or do some of these states find schools and education dispensible? One California state university is laying off staff to balance their budget: (Sacramento State lays off staff to cover $26M shortfall – Sacramento Business Journal May 25, 2010)

Recently, a Texas state university laid off employees and plans to cut more (Univ. of Texas lays off 122 workers, may cut more, May 11, 2010 http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9FKMRKO0.htm)

Although states are not doing well, this article claims that local economy within Ohio isn’t doing so bad: (Construction jobs boost economy: http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/522157.html?nav=5002)

The good news I guess is that Congress is considering extending unemployment benefits again (.http://www.marketwatch.com/story/12-million-unemployed-may-lose-federal-benefits-2010-05-24)..because: Jobless Claims Rise By Largest Amount In 3 Months (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103396584 and choice (D) “All of the above”.

James C. Strouse: Legal Education Malpractice: The Law School Education Scam

James C. Strouse: Legal Education Malpractice: The Law School Education Scam

P. 149.

 This text should be read by potential law students as well as law professors with the hope that until the legal industry changes to actually benefit the student, practice of law, pursuit of justice and not a method to promote economic servitude at the hands of the elite few, it’s obvious whether the average citizen with no connections, prior generation of elite education, extremely well financial situation, there is no need for additional attorneys to this field.

 “Although law school deans will surely challenge the notion of educational malpractice, that is exactly what law schools do.  The massive negligence committed by almost all law schools have dire consequences for the practicing bar and the American public.  It is analogous to allowing a surgeon to practice without supervision or training on actual patients,” taken from page 149.  O.k. it’s from the preview, I just discovered this book and haven’t read it.

 Wow, these words are taken directly from a Maryland lawyer who apparently graduated law school decades ago. What is interesting is that he is not akin to these older attorneys who tend to blame the younger generations for not hacking it, for failing to do the research, you know ‘blame the victim.’ In the quoted excerpt this second-career seasoned attorney lays out the obvious defect in the legal education system. Of course the times have changed with the technological advancements, continuous needs to reduce overhead, the mass production of attorneys, and do it yourself  legal forms (with no guidance or advisors), these factors surely have contributed to the increased unemployment of attorneys.

 What is interesting is that the attorney wrote this book within the past decade, maybe his observation of what he sees is the unprepared proliferation of attorneys into a field that held more meaning yester-year struck a nerve. I just came across his biography and book, and it looks like it’s an interesting read.

Law & Order Drama: CANCELLED

Law & Order All Rights are Reserved

At one point or another we hear that art imitates life and vice versa. One network television stations decided to cancel the more realistic original series: Law & Order. You know the one that shows the police living mediocre everyday lives, those who are corrupt part of the task force or forensics’ lab. Then we have Jack McCoy who starts as a straight-shooter Assistant State’s Attorney? and ends up in a more political position as State’s Attorney of the entire office where politics vs. ethics vs. morals are challenged.

Of course it is not realistic to believe that the same officers will always be on the same case together and that a crime deserves so much attention that all of the detective resources will be used to resolve it. At the beginning, I”m sure we saw the flaws in the beginning years while we thought ‘he can’t do that, he didn’t read him his Miranda rights’ or ‘he asked for his attorney, why are the officers still questioning him?’ Or why is the other assistant state’s attorney (female) is relegated to a legal assistant/visual who helps the real state’s attorney solve the crime. Ok, granted Dick Wolf did allow a consistent flow of lead female Assistant State’s Attorney on Law & Order: SVU. Oh and ok Van Buren was the lead detective on the original Law & Order for ages, but you know how television is, they were killing her off with cancer.

Unlike other shows which glamorized law such as Boston Legal and some new show I heard a preview about in which at the end of the day, it’s all about the money, smoking a cigar and drinking some vintage spirit with no regard for the law except to manipulate the hearers of testimony to fail to understand what magic show is brought before them, Law & Order sometimes left you guessing at the end what the verdict will be until the (duh-duh noise and credits) appear because that’s the reality of cases when there is a jury. One never knows.

Apparently, someone thinks that Law & Order needs to be hipper by moving it to Los Angeles, likely to compete with NCIS: Los Angles and CSI: Miami.

Anyway, I think this is a big mistake, I remember they kept moving around Law & Order while the network was figuring out the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien fiasco. They moved Law & Order to Friday night which is known to kill any show, then they moved it to Monday, then Tuesday with repeats. It was the perfect set up, to say oh well now you have low ratings so we have to cancel you. p.s.: You see how art imitates life 🙂

United Nations: People are calling the international community to the plight of Black Unemployment

All Rights Reserved

All I have to say is wow, it’s that bad:Group Wants UN Scrutiny Of U.S. Black Unemployment, April 26, 2010  http://www.citylimits.org/news/articles/3956/group-wants-un-scrutiny-of-u-s-black-unemployment

 As national attention is drawn to the bp oil spill, the President’s current Supreme Court nomination and home foreclosures, it seems that unemployment remains wisping in the wind. As I read one Associated Press article concerning white flight into the cities and basically because they’re there, now the cities are worthy of federal assistance, I cannot help but think that’s what happened with the housing crisis. When it affects a growing number of certain people, that’s when bailouts are necessary? Anyway, back to unemployment. It is 2010, though I will say living in the DC metro area I see on nearly a daily basis ignorant (behavior wise) blacks, they are those who are not just educated but actually attempt to conduct themselves professionally and remain delusionally hopeful that they will derive some benefit from the legal job market.

One news article just posted TODAY stated: “But the ugly truth is that the road to success that the degree they’ve earned was supposed to open up is littered with potholes that their education cannot overcome. This year, blacks who have earned a bachelor’s degree and higher have a higher unemployment rate than whites who have only obtained a two-year college degree. And blacks with college degrees earn substantially less than white college graduates.” [ Black college graduates face road full of potholes, May 11, 2010, http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20100511/OPINION/5110318/1049/OPINION ]. So just imagine black unemployed law graduates with additional student loan debt.

It is 2010-black unemployment is highest across the board throughout the nation. Apparently since the government and private sector does not care to risk employing the majority of black Americans, help from the international community is sought. The international community is powerless to do any thing.  Here are some viable options: 1) educated black women stop being single moms, no I’m not referring to those who are divorced, widowed or have an annulment, I ‘m referring to the superwoman mentality in which black women just want to be a mom and feel that a traditional family structure is out of there reach. I read statistically that women in urban areas who are single moms are likely to birth children who will live below the poverty level. Instead, marry a good guy from another country who is educated and not looking for a visa to remain in the country. That way you can get dual citizenship and maybe employed elsewhere while expanding your horizons. 2) Americans can start facing the reality that education is not the cure for society’s ills whether financial or social. The more debt people have, the worse their outlook of the world, the worst their social interactions, the more deranged members of so-called civilized society. The economic devastation is all too self-explanatory regarding: plummeting credit scores, high interest rates, living paycheck to paycheck, inability to do more things one enjoys, feeling trapped, and I truly believe that this contributes to most attorneys having low self esteem masked in a surreal ego for survivial. Other than those with mental and physical disabilities, and maybe those who are just inclined to be hateful, this would give some sort of perspective as to why contract attorneys are so deranged on assigned cases.

The international community in reality cannot force the federal government to fairly employ qualified citizens within their borders. Due to mutual respect of nations and international custom the only thing the international community can really do is put pressure on the United States which I doubt it will do,  through such mechanisms as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Since most UN mechanisms have a two prong methodology: one can be a signatory of an instrument to say you agree with the contents but unless a particular nation ratifies it, the international community cannot bring it under it’s jurisdiction in a particular global forum.

With the overemphasis of free market and free trade…the fact that most black Americans aren’t considered worthy of respect,  the international community is not going to risk their financial and political stability by fighting on behalf of what many consider “the permanent underclass.” Should anyone know anything about Russia, Poland and Germany ummm African immigrants are not a priority and likely swept aside as a non-issue, just as the more indigenous Black Americans are in the U.S.

This post is bleak, I don’t have a solution. Most federal laws are more easily enforceable when the employer is an actual government entity versus a member of the private sector. The private sector runs the country, “big business”, lobbyists, loan generators, insurance companies and the Federal Reserve. These entities could care less about equal employment opportunities and fairness.

It’s time for a Civil Rights Movement revival, apparently this country has regressed to the era of the old guard.

How Benevolent of You Sallie Mae

In this episode of why I went to law school we will discuss Sallie Mae’s new option. Congratulations you qualify for EXCESSIVE DEBT FORBEARANCE. There are several things wrong with this statement: 1) why does Sallie Mae make it sound like I will benefit for having excessive debt? 2) why is Sallie Mae trying to make a forbearance a good thing 3) when did this option become available, is it like a certain amount of interest accrues and I get “reward points” in the form of different ways to keep the borrower further in debt? 4) or is this one of those smoke and mirror programs that the federal government claims will benefit everyone like those home mortgage modifications which put many people in a worse financial position had they left their mortgage in its current form or just allowed the home to foreclose.

Sallie Mae isn’t doing anyone a favor, and let’s be honest it doesn’t intend to. Sallie Mae is probably a worse rip off than Fannie Mae, at least with the latter you have something tangible to show what you bought–the collateral. With student loans you just have broken promises, lost dreams, living paycheck to paycheck, a headache, anxiety attacks and probably at some point a nervous breakdown.

Congratulations: We at Sallie Mae will continue to capitalize more interest on your already unbearable student loan accounts with the further obligation that if someday you get that platinum level government job you may be able to pay us off before you die. In the meantime we’ll make it sound as if we’re doing you a favor, in the meantime the capitalized interest will go to further finance our student loan schemes for the fresh prey ready to be devoured by our all too willing loan officers.

So, since Sallie Mae acknowledges that I paid too much for a mediocre education as it deemed my student loans excessive debt, instead of forgiving a portion of the debt, they show their benevolence by compiling more interest to increase your overall debt amount  in this known collapsing economy.

Next level: ethereal, because you will die before you can get the Sallie Mae monkey off your back and before the federal government does anything to help you.

The Rejection Letters Haven’t Ceased

“Thank you for applying for the Assistant United States Attorney position for the ______District of __________, in our ____ Branch Office. This letter is to advise you that another highly qualified candidate was selected for this position. We appreciate your interest in this position and hope you will consider other vacancies as they occur.”

[in order for us to reject you for those too]  At this point I really do not see the purpose of applying for jobs. I know you’re supposed to, but these polite rebuffs just reinforces the belief that this system is set up to advance certain people. To continue to believe that the job market is fair or should you work hard and qualify society will be fair to you in return. It’s simply not the case. No, this isn’t the first time I discovered this, but when you were a few years younger one still possessed glimmers of hope. This hope is exterminated to the stark reality of America. The system doesn’t work–except for a few people.