Posts Tagged ‘contractual attorney’

Kansas City Star: Would-be Lawyers Find it Harder to Break Into Profession: 02/06/2012

No Job After Graduating Law School

Excerpts from this article: Would-be lawyers find it harder to break into profession (02/06/2012) This news piece focuses only on law graduates from 2008-2011 and does not even mention the hordes of struggling and unemployed attorneys with experience from years prior. While the larger, established Kansas City firms have prospered or at least held steady through the recent recession and weak recovery, they have cut back on hiring associates.

 So the big firms who are very selective already are cutting back on hiring permanent attorneys from top rated law schools. The masses of attorneys do not have a chance at a decent income. The big firms are: “Many are outsourcing more work to contract employees.” —hiring contract attorneys or sending the work to India.

 “I’m not sure if we’re going back to the status quo, but the legal profession as a whole is doing well,” said Nancy Kenner, the board president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. “For new lawyers, it’s very difficult to find jobs right now.

Right after is the subtitle: A Tighter Market; who does she think she’s fooling? The journalist tries to downplay it, it’s not dozens, it’s thousands nationwide. This is your future for the majority of you who insist on attending law school:

 Take David Winter, who graduated last spring from the University of Missouri Law School. Now back home with his parents in the St. Louissuburb of Maryville, Ill., he owes $90,000 for law school and is taking temp jobs reviewing legal documents for $20 an hour while he searches for a full-time position. It is not encouraging that he works alongside dozens of unemployed lawyers doing the same part-time work.

 Don’t be this law student: “We’re all cautious,” she said. “Some people have regrets — ‘If I’d known the market would be that way, I wouldn’t have gone to law school’ — but I don’t think that’s the prevailing view. In other words, many law graduates have deluded themselves into believing they will get that big firm job, make six figures and pay off those student loans in short period of time. They are suffering from a psychosis, built and reinforced by false hopes, rhetoric and advertising and the elusive American Dream that has dwindled to a nightmare of poverty and scavenging to survive.

So that you won’t regret your decision, make the wise one—just say no.

Student Loan Relief for DOJ Attorneys

So, should you be a Department of Justice attorney you’re in for a treat. The Department of Justice has a program to help reduce your student loans, with several exceptions: http://www.justice.gov/oarm/aslrp/poliy.htm#b. The DOJ wants to recruit and retain basically tier-1 law graduates. However, even if you qualify  “funding does not permit selection of all qualifying attorneys for participation in the ASLRP.” Wow, it almost reminds me of the pro bono/not for profit/public interest incentive student loan program–basically almost non-existent, so many hoops to jump through, and should you qualify you will get only a certain portion applied to your student loans.

Looking at most of the DOJ attorneys who do not qualify are, yes you guessed it “temp attorneys” o.k. not in the sense implied but call it excepted service, contractual, temporary,  appointment etc. Factually, excepted service is not permanent employment, GS-level (nor do you qualify for interdepartmental vacancy transfers), or contractual, it is code for “at will” employment. Even in the federal government short-term attorneys are the dregs of the legal field.

According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management ( http://www.opm.gov/oca/pay/studentloan/HTML/QandAs.asp) multiple federal agencies may use this program to benefit its employees. So why doesn’t the federal government implement a program where it contributes to the repayment of your student loans, should one be employed in the private sector and make less than $65,000, paying interest on the student loans, let alone the unemployed are left to once again fend against Sallie Mae all by their lonesome. One could only fathom the number of restrictions that non-federal employee would have to fulfill should a program like this be implemented. What’s convenient for you is that you don’t have to, because well, they just do not exist.