Posts Tagged ‘associate’

Bloomberg’s News Article, Death of the Legal Industry and its Obituary

Law school No Longer a Safe Safe Bet
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-22/when-law-is-no-longer-a-safe-bet.html
Bloomberg News

Although the article seems to mourn associates and their high salaries which the author recognizes is only a small percentage of actual attorneys, it gives the reader a backlash if you are a law graduate. It references how white collar employees who demeaned or look down upon blue collar workers in the 1950s who chose to forego higher education. This portion is distasteful as many law graduates who graduated before the 2008 economic collapse but in the late 1990s or later had nothing to do with 1950s social stigma as they were not even born and just emphasizes what I pointed out in the last point that no one cares what happens to attorneys as society has nearly always relegated practitioners as underhanded, spoiled, backstabbers and overpaid. The author basically gives a “middle finger” to attorneys and reflects why there is lack of support of reform from the accrediting agencies to those on Capitol Hill. The article did however discussed the legal industry as dead (yet more confirmation from mainstream media) and even wrote its obituary. A portion of the news article is displayed below:
_______________________________________________________

When I was contemplating becoming an English major, lo these many years ago, one helpful counselor told me that despite the stereotypes, English majors had lots of job opportunities. Advertising, public relations, academia. “And there’s always law school!” she said chirpily.
I didn’t end up going to law school; instead, after graduating, I embarked on a peripatetic odyssey of jobs and graduate school that culminated in my becoming a journalist. But I can imagine an alternative universe in which I did go to law school. Law school has long been the backup plan for humanities majors who don’t quite dare to apply for food stamps.
That era appears to be ending. Noam Scheiber writes the obituary:
“‘Stable’ is not the way anyone would describe a legal career today. In the past decade, twelve major firms with more than 1,000 partners between them have collapsed entirely. The surviving lawyers live in fear of suffering a similar fate, driving them to ever-more humiliating lengths to edge out rivals for business. ‘They were cold-calling,’ says the lawyer whose firm once turned down no-name clients. And the competition isn’t just external. Partners routinely make pitches behind the backs of colleagues with ties to a client. They hoard work for themselves even when it requires the expertise of a fellow partner. They seize credit for business that younger colleagues bring in.
“And then there are the indignities inflicted on new lawyers, known as associates. The odds are increasingly long that a recent law-school grad will find a job. Five years ago, during a recession, American law schools produced 43,600 graduates and 75 percent had positions as lawyers within nine months. Last year, the numbers were 46,500 and 64 percent. In addition to the emotional toll unemployment exacts, it is often financially ruinous. The average law student graduates $100,000 in debt.
“Meanwhile, those lucky enough to have a job are constantly reminded of their expendability. ‘I knew people who had month-to-month leases who were making $200,000 a year,’ says an associate who joined a New York firm in 2010. They are barred from meetings and conference calls to hold down a client’s bill, even pulled off of cases entirely. They regularly face mass layoffs. Many of the tasks they performed until five or ten years ago—like reviewing hundreds of pages of documents—are outsourced to a reserve army of contract attorneys, who toil away at one-third the pay. ‘All these people kept on going into this empty office,’ recalls a former associate at a Washington firm. ‘No one introduced them. They were on the floor wearing business suits. … It was extremely creepy.’ Still, any associate tempted to resent these scabs should consider the following: Legal software is rapidly replacing them, too.”

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$10,000 First Year Associate Salary-Boston

No,this is not a joke. The article begins with:

Say No to Law School
Protect Your Sanity and Your
Financial Future

By now, most people know a law degree hardly guarantees law school graduates will snag a good job, let alone a high-paying BigLaw position.

But it may be even tougher than you think to get a high-paying legal job just out of law school. Hiring law firms, if you thought you were low-balling new grads, think again. (Boston Business Journal 06/01/2012): Legal job market hits new low: BC Law lists job below minimum wage 

Yahoo’s version: (06/01/2012)  Attention Lawyers: Get Your … $10,000 a Year Salary: 

The beginning of the article states: Attention college students applying to law school: put down the LSAT prep book. You might want to consider another line of work.

How can this be legal, it reminds me of how waitresses are paid poorly on an hourly basis then make most of their money on commission, maybe this is the same scheme. For shame, BELOW MINIMUM WAGE. Sallie Mae, SLM, Access, Nelnet does not care: All they say is _________ , you better have my money with a financial, back-handed slap known as late charges, additional finance charges, interests and other ‘costs.’

This has been going on for decades. Mainstream media is just late to the party; I would dare say ‘fashionably late.’ The kind of oh I was going to get there, so when I (mainstream media) arrive I appear to expose this dying legal market.

Guys! Keep it Up: Law School Enrollment Decreases (via Associated Press)

Law School Enrollment in Missouri Lags as legal jobs dry up

July 3, 2011

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Last Updated: July 03, 2011 – 2:55 pm

Time is the answer. Initially viewed as disgruntled scam bloggers, these posts have given laymen and 0Ls insight to the disheartening new reality of the legal industry. At least people in Missouri get it. Now only we wait for the impact to reach the heavily saturated areas likeWashingtonDCmetro,New York,PennsylvaniaandCalifornia. Interesting how the article makes reference to the one law graduate probably willing to expose his dire situation in that state with “at least it’s something.” Keep telling yourself that. We’ll see. In the meantime let your eyes enjoy the following:

ST. LOUIS—Missouri law schools expect fewer students in the fall after several years of significant enrollment growth both regionally and nationally.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this week that theUniversityofMissouri’s flagship campus inColumbiahas received 17 percent fewer applications this year. Applications atWashingtonUniversitydropped 13.3 percent, whileSt. LouisUniversityis seeing a nearly 20 percent decline.

A national group that tracks law school enrollment says that applications are down more than 10 percent overall compared to this time last year.

The economic downturn means that law school graduates can no longer count on landing lucrative jobs straight out of college. The declining interest comes one year after many schools reported record enrollment.

“The stories about the legal market have certainly dampened some people’s enthusiasm,” said Paul Pless, assistant dean for admissions and financial aid at theUniversityofIllinoisat Urbana-Champaign College of Law. Applications atIllinoisare down nearly 8 percent so far this year.

Melissa Hamilton, 35, is a recentUniversityofMissourilaw school graduate still looking for a job. She’s applied for a few government positions but is waiting until she passes the bar exam before making a stronger push. She’s also looking into jobs where she could also use her master’s degree in social work.

“I’ve known for the past year it would be hard to find a job,”Hamiltonsaid. “It’s making me open my search up to things I wouldn’t have considered. I kind of have to get creative.”

Area schools say that the declining interest hasn’t translated into a lower overall quality of applicant, at least as measured by test scores.

Local legal observers even offer a positive spin on the drop — they say it may help the profession by weeding out students who lack a passion for law.

“That’s not a bad thing, that people are thinking about it on the front end,” said Lawrence Dessem, dean ofMissouri’s law school. “I have a sense it may lead to more satisfied lawyers down the line.”

Mary Ann Clifford, assistant dean for admissions atWashingtonUniversity, suggested that an influx of first-year law students coming straight from their undergraduate experiences helped account for last year’s surge. With fewer jobs overall, students who otherwise would work a few years before applying to law school instead went immediately into graduate school.

Law firms are also adjusting to the new economic reality. Some have developed nonpartner track positions with lower ceilings in terms of pay, benefits and prestige. More are relying on contract attorneys, a higher-paying version of the temp worker. And customers are demanding great efficiencies from the firms they employ.

“Obviously, law firms serve clients. As those clients go through economic struggles, you see a change in demand for legal services,” said Dan Nelson, partner and hiring chairman for Armstrong Teasdale inSt. Louis.

Not all area graduates are struggling to find work. Ty Harden, 33, is a recentMissourigraduate who was offered the first job he interviewed for, a position with a small civil litigation firm inSpringfield.

He figures that one advantage he had over some of his still-unemployed classmates was a willingness to consider jobs, regardless of where they might be situated.

“It’s probably a matter of flexibility,” Harden said.