Posts Tagged ‘employment’

National Law Journal: Accountability and Transparency: Law schools are adapting to the shifting job market

Buyer Beware

This news article Law schools are adapting to the shifting job market (01/24/2012) posted by the National Law Journal discusses the reality of  lawgraduates unemployment, the change in the legal industry and wow, accountability and transparency. The horns and sirens have sounded long enough where the ABA and US News and World Report actually have to tell the truth. The remaining issue, whether federal oversight-the Department of Education will regulate it providing substantive accountability rather than a new way for these accrediting and ranking entities to formulate a new form of ‘smoke and mirrors.’ You may enjoy this part of the article:

The ABA, NALP and U.S. News — under much criticism themselves — have been working to increase, clarify and standardize the employment information they collect from law schools. Within a few short months, the ABA’s most recent changes will be fully in place.

One of the benefits of the new standards is that “employed” graduates will be further classified within subcategories. The ABA and U.S. News no longer will consider both the grad working at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and the grad working at Starbucks as merely “employed.” Additional breakdowns will funnel them into categories that indicate how many are employed in full-time vs. part-time, professional vs. non-professional, long-term vs. short-term and school-funded positions, and in jobs for which the J.D. provides an advantage.

Lol, let’s see how they would justify tuition once and if these changes are implemented. Buyer beware.

Select Rejection Letters: Fall/Winter 2011

This is self-explanatory. The following are a sample of rejection letters emailed to me from federal agencies:

● The following are a few letters for this one vacancy:

09/29/2011: Thank you for submitting an application for the position of Attorney Advisor, vacancy announcement number ATTY-WTB-2011-0004.  Your name was referred to the selecting official for consideration; however, another applicant was selected for the position.

We appreciate your interest and hope you will continue to apply for future vacancies.

Sincerely,

Dionne Butler

BUT WHAT, WE MAY STILL HIRE YOU, OR SOMEONE ELSE…:

10/03/2011: Please disregard the Status of Application Letter, dated September, 29, 2011, for the position of the Attorney Advisor, Vacancy Announcement Number: ATTY-WTB-2011-0004.  The Selecting Official has determined an extension for considering applicants for Vacancy Announcement Number: ATTY-WTB-2011-0004.

We appreciate your interest and hope you will continue to apply for future vacancies.

Sincerely,

OK JUST KIDDING, WE WON’T HIRE YOU:

01/31/2012: Thank you for submitting an application for the position of Attorney Advisor, vacancy announcement number ATTY-WTB-2011-0004.  Your name was referred to the selecting official for consideration; however, another applicant was selected for the position.

We appreciate your interest and hope you will continue to apply for future vacancies.

Sincerely,

Dionne Butler

11/07/2011:

united states of america

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION

One LafayetteCentre

1120 20th Street, NW – Ninth Floor

Washington,DC 20036-3457

 November 7, 2011

 [NAME AND ADDRESS DELETED]

RE: Attorney Advisor GS-0905-11/12/13/14                                                                                                                                                                                           Vacancy Announcement OS-2011-03

 Dear Ms. [                         ]:

The purpose of this letter is to thank you for your interest in our Attorney Advisor position.  We appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to submit an application with us.  Although, your application was forwarded to the selecting official for consideration another applicant was selected for the position.

 Again, thank you for your interest in joining the staff of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.  We wish you the best of luck in the future.

 Sincerely,

 Linda M. Beard

Linda M. Beard
Human Resources Specialist

 I WAS QUALIFIED FOR EACH GRADE, AND THEY LET ME KNOW I WAS REJECTED FOR EACH GRADE-FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

 08/24/2011:

DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR   
BUR OF OCEAN ENERGY MGT   
DIVISION OF HUMAN RESOURCES   
381 ELDEN STREET   
MS 2400   
HERNDON VA  20170   
August 24, 2011   
 
    This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:   

Position Title:      Attorney-Adviser (General) GS-0905-11/12/13/14   
Pay Plan/ Series/Grade:      GS-0905-11/14   
Vacancy ID:      481224   
Announcement Number:      OS-DA-11-MM481224   
Hiring Office:      Office of the Secretary   

    Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:   

    Referral Type:      Non-Traditional   
    Appointment Type:      Term   
    Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 14   
    Promotion Potential:      14   
    Locations:      1440 – Alexandria, Arlington & Falls , VA   

    You were rated among the best qualified group of candidates and your name was referred to the selecting official for further review.  However, another candidate has been selected for this position.     

    Your application will be retained as part of the official records and will not be referred to other vacancy announcements.   
    Audit Code   
    NS   
    Code Definition   
    Not Selected   
    Code Explanation   

    The selecting office has indicated that you were not selected for the position.   
    Thank you for your interest in employment with our agency.   
    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY.   

 ●    08/24/2011:

  DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR    
  BUR OF OCEAN ENERGY MGT    
  DIVISION OF HUMAN RESOURCES    
  381 ELDEN STREET    
  MS 2400    
  HERNDON VA  20170    
  August 24, 2011   

    This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:   

    Position Title: Attorney-Adviser (General) GS-0905-11/12/13/14   

    Pay Plan/ Series/Grade:      GS-0905-11/14   
    Vacancy ID:      481224   
    Announcement Number:      OS-DA-11-MM481224   
    Hiring Office:      Office of the Secretary   

    Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:   

    Referral Type:      Non-Traditional   

    Appointment Type:      Term   
    Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 13   
    Promotion Potential:      14   
    Locations:      1440 – Alexandria, Arlington & Falls , VA   

    You were rated among the best qualified group of candidates and your name was referred to the selecting official for further    

    review.  However, another candidate has been selected for this position.   

    Your application will be retained as part of the official records and will not be referred to other vacancy announcements.   

    Audit Code   
    NS   
    Code Definition   
    Not Selected   
    Code Explanation   

    The selecting office has indicated that you were not selected for the position.   

    Thank you for your interest in employment with our agency.   

    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY.   

    For additional information, please refer to the vacancy announcement for this position. 

  

08/24/2011: This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:   

    Position Title:      Attorney-Adviser (General) GS-0905-11/12/13/14   

    Pay Plan/ Series/Grade:      GS-0905-11/14   
    Vacancy ID:      481224   
    Announcement Number:      OS-DA-11-MM481224   
    Hiring Office:      Office of the Secretary   

    Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:   

    Referral Type:      Non-Traditional   
    Appointment Type:      Term   
    Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 12   
    Promotion Potential:      14   
    Locations:      1440 – Alexandria, Arlington & Falls , VA   

    You were rated among the best qualified group of candidates and your name was referred to the selecting official for further review.  However, another candidate has been selected for this position.        

    Your application will be retained as part of the official records and will not be referred to other vacancy announcements.   

    Audit Code   
    NS   
    Code Definition   
    Not Selected   
    Code Explanation   

    The selecting office has indicated that you were not selected for the position.   
    Thank you for your interest in employment with our agency.   
    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY.  

 

08/24/2011:

 DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR   
 BUR OF OCEAN ENERGY MGT   
 DIVISION OF HUMAN RESOURCES   
 381 ELDEN STREET   
 MS 2400   
 HERNDON VA  20170   

August 24, 2011     

    This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position below:   

    Position Title:      Attorney-Adviser (General) GS-0905-11/12/13/14   

    Pay Plan/ Series/Grade:      GS-0905-11/14   
    Vacancy ID:      481224   
    Announcement Number:      OS-DA-11-MM481224   
    Hiring Office:      Office of the Secretary   

    Results regarding your recent referral to the Hiring Official are as follows:   

    Referral Type:      Non-Traditional   
    Appointment Type:      Term   

    Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 11   
    Promotion Potential:      14   
    Locations:      1440 – Alexandria, Arlington & Falls , VA   

    You were rated among the best qualified group of candidates and your name was referred to the selecting official for further review.  However, another candidate has been selected for this position.         

    Your application will be retained as part of the official records and will not be referred to other vacancy announcements.   

    Audit Code   
    NS   
    Code Definition   
    Not Selected   
    Code Explanation   

    The selecting office has indicated that you were not selected for the position.   

    Thank you for your interest in employment with our agency.   

    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY.   

    For additional information, please refer to the vacancy announcement for this position.   

 

In the News: Smart People Halt Going to Law School

 

All Rights Reserved

The Smarties Aren’t Rushing to Law School – The Careerist (full article) July 15, 2010

It’s madness. It’s loopy. How else to explain the spike in law school applications — a 7 percent surge, according to

The National Law Journal? Hello — didn’t anyone hear about those 22,000 legal jobs that got wiped out last year? Why is everyone and their mother trying to get into law school — any law school? So far we’ve heard the terms, irrationale, fool-heartedly, unaware and now madness and loopy. These characterizations refer to the mindset of those who continue to ping their false hopes on attending law school. At this point those who are already members of the legal industry are diagnosing you with a being deranged or a mental illness, I’ll refer to it as psychosis. This is when a person does not deal with the reality of situations or circumstances and continue to operate and behave as though the reality they’re comfortable with is the reality that’s actually there.

So who’s not rushing to law school? Ironically, some of the nation’s most sought-after college graduates are spurning law school, even highly coveted ones–at least for now. [emphasis mine]. The author asserts that those applying to law school in this economy and particular shift in the legal industry are not doing so with diligence and research. You are considered to be haphazard in making a very important decision. Now 0Ls and first year law students are being referred to as unintelligent.

A few days ago, I queried what’s harder: getting a job in a big-name law firm or a seat at a prestigious kindergarten in Manhattan? Though I’d put my money in the kiddie pool, it turns out there’s another prize that might even beat out admission to a swanky private school — and that’s a junior position at Teach for America.  

The New York Times reports that the nonprofit education group received over 46,000 applications for 4,500 spots to teach at some of the nation’s most troubled schools. (Hat tip to ABA Blog.) The article is full of anecdotes of students at highly selective colleges who got dinged by Teach for America. But what was really interesting is that many of the students in the article said that they’d rather teach than go directly to law school, including some who had gotten into places like Harvard Law School.  Earlier this year it was the U.S. Census that witnessed a unprecedented spike in temporary employment applications, with lawyers and Ph.D graduates at the helm. Teach for America is the runner-up for sought after position? This is interesting as far as law graduates who are now directing their attention to more meaningful, less paying work; though by the general public are perceived as money-grubbing-fast talkers. Let’s face it, not everyone who went to law school had greed in their hearts, though they did think that law school was the easier method for financial stability, many creative people are in business and law. These persons have sometimes found a way to escape the legal industry and focus on their creative outlet while sustaining a living. Some posts about these people may give some hope about leading your own path out of law.

But before you get all misty-eyed about the altruism of America’s youth, consider this: A stint with Teach for America is an instant resume enhancer. That it’s now become so competitive to get into the program can only add to the glow of those who have made the cut. Of course, when the market contracts, different careers either become extinct or more competitive as a shift in applicants increase. I’ve also heard that Peace Corps is now competitive. You even have to prove that you are able to pay your student loans, credit cards or other loans (either off in their entirety or meet monthly payments) while you’re in some remote area with none of the comfortable Western amenities you’ve grown accustomed to.

Corporate America can’t seem to get enough of these elite do-gooders. I can’t tell you how many times partners at major firms tell me that their favorite interviewees are Teach for America alumni. Partners talk about them in glowing terms, citing their leadership skills, work ethic, and all-around wonderfulness. From the personalities I witnessed in law in general, I disagree that this is the majority of firms or higher-ups within firms and businesses.

If you think about it, the profile of a Teach for America alum is what every big firm would want — someone who went to the right school, worked for a couple of years in a challenging environment, and then had the good sense to get back on the corporate track. They are what big-firm lawyers like to fancy themselves to be: smart and thoughtful, but practical enough to keep their billables up. So if you’re interested in doing some good in the world, make sure to the best of your ability for altruistic reasons; should you do this type of program to get your foot in the door of big business, you STILL won’t be considered because you attended a TTT/TTTT. It’s really saying, that Teach for America would be an ADDITIONAL criteria along with graduating at the top of your class at an IVY League. Ha, the door is still shut for the majority in the legal industry.

It might be too cynical to suggest that Teach for America has become a magnet for those with legal or corporate ambitions, but big law firms certainly seem smitten with the credential.  Umm, references to the legal industry should be cynical, afterall that’s what law schools trains its students to be resulting in depressed, hyper-competitive, backstabbing patrons of the legal industry, all the while having the student loan monkey on your back.

A Somewhat Honest Letter from New Jersey Bar Association President: Law Profession and Minorities

Letter From The President Of The New Jersey State Bar Association; Published: July 05, 2010

All Rights Reserved

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

As members of the bar we represent a noble profession. Template characterization of the law field.

As we strive on behalf of our clients, we are also mindful of our obligation to improve the system of justice. This should extend to the members of the legal profession, those ‘officers of the court’ who have taken an exhorbitant amount of student loans with no system of justice looking out for their best interests as a whole.

The New Jersey State Bar Association is committed to addressing the issues that are critical to the profession and society.

Issues like the economy’s continued effects on our job market; the need to promote diversity in the legal community; the delivery of legal services, and our obligation to protect judicial independence. TTT/TTTT have no problem promoting diversity by being the primary institutions of U.S. legal education that will enroll minority students. Thus, those who had the ability to achieve and outperform are relegated to schools that have set them up for a future of disdainful looks and assumptions that the only reason they even attended law school, no matter how poor the ranking, was due to affirmative action.

Early this summer, I helped welcome over 100 new attorneys to the profession at a swearing-in event in Trenton. Each of them signed up for law school believing they would join a noble profession – a profession that would allow them to make a difference in society while earning a good living for their families. Unfortunately, the job market that greets them remains grim. [emphasis mine] Yet, the were struck by the harsh reality of the economy, closed doors, inadequate training and lack of opportunity. All the while working within the confines of this ‘noble’ profession: March 15, 2010

The Undertraining of Lawyers and Its Effects On The Advancement of Women and Minorities in the Legal Profession « Life’s Mockery

The state’s largest lawyers group is committed to assisting lawyers navigate these troubled times. We will continue to help lawyers get their practices up and running, and be a resource for those who have already hung out their own shingle. As someone who made the leap into solo practice 10 years ago, I know how the state bar can help lawyers make a transition. First, you begin by saying that the economy is bad, and that members of the legal industry have a an obligation to the law graduates and professionals. Then you encourage those minorities who aren’t afforded the opportunity to enter into decent job prospects to start their own firms with no substantial experience. They will need, escrow account, a separate interest bearing account (depends on jurisdiction) supplies, office for leasing, liability insurance, malpractice insurance, office supplies. The funds for the start up costs will likely emanate from small business loans (more debt and interest). Most businesses lose money their first year in operation. Most law students aren’t taught economics, finance or how to operate a business. Most law students aren’t graduating with practical skills to practice law and there are just too many attorneys. Since the economy remains grim, how do you expect these inexperienced lawyers to attract clientele for their small firm in which most will not be able to pay retainer or contingency fees. So, you encourage new lawyers to incur more debt, increase their professional risk in this bad economy. Most small to mid-size firms not only lose money but are often wiped out by BigLaw firms because they are unable to compete. It’s like these lawyers who do not know better or being set up for another fall with additional financial consequences.

While most lawyers have been hurt by the recession, there are signs that the diverse population in the bar has been especially hard hit. The economic crisis has reduced opportunities for minority lawyers and hampered the profession’s efforts to increase diversity. Yet, you encourage the just above mentioned approach. I know that these blogs have been sounding negative but with estimates that the job market will only worsen for the next couple of years and that the legal industry may see a slight improvement in a few years, it’s simply not a reasonable investment. They will make things worse for themselves.

This is not acceptable. Our great state – the most diverse in the nation – demands an equally diverse legal profession. In the coming months, the state bar association will convene a summit on diversity to examine the progress we have made and to chart a path forward toward the goal of a more inclusive profession. It’s about time, why don’t a national bar association do this?

An inclusive profession is powerful and meaningful in today’s increasingly global marketplace.  That’s a nice sentiment, but the reality is that it depends on who you ask.

It is true that the global marketplace has brought changes to nearly every business and profession, and the law is no different. So true, legal outsourcing to India via LPOs has changed the American legal industry. There is cause for concern about how these trends may diminish the importance of practicing lawyers – and the public’s access to quality legal services.

In order to better understand and respond, we will establish a task force on the future of the delivery of legal services, with an eye toward protecting the public and preserving our professional values.

When it comes to protecting the public, we are reminded how blessed we are in New Jersey to have one of the most respected state court systems in the nation. That is because it is an independent and impartial branch of government. We will continue to fight to preserve the sanctity of our justice system – because every judge in our courts and every resident of New Jersey deserve it. This is confusing. The letter begins by stating the need to protect the interests of attorneys who are affected by the downturn in the economy. I will have to assume that getting attorneys to open firms to represent clients somehow enhances the justice system. So the interest is moreso getting criminals legal representation while lawyers sink in a mire of debt with no one caring about their interests.

After all, this is what the bar association is about:  Examining the tough issues so you know what is at stake and offering insight about the path to take.

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.