Posts Tagged ‘law graduate’

A Few More Rejection Letters

Rejection Letters 2013:
08/08/2013
We received your online application for Attorney Advisor, GS-905-13/14 (Excepted Service) ARC, GS-0905-14 which was advertised under vacancy number FHWA.HCC-2013-0006 and closed on 02/06/2013. Your name was referred to the selecting official at the grade 14 along with other highly qualified candidates; however, another candidate was selected at the grade 14. 

We appreciate your interest in employment with U.S. Department of Transportation. Please visit our Careers in Motion jobsite at http://jobsearch.dot.gov for 
a current list of job vacancies.  We encourage you to continue to apply for future vacancies in which you are interested and wish you success in your future employment endeavors.

Please note, if you requested consideration under more than one grade level for this position, you will receive an individual email PER grade level.

Best regards,
The DOT Automated Staffing Office
TRANSJOBS@fhwa.dot.gov
__________________________
08/08/2013:
We received your online application for Attorney Advisor, GS-905-13/14 (Excepted Service) ARC, GS-0905-13 which was advertised under vacancy number FHWA.HCC-2013-0006 and closed on 02/06/2013. Your name was referred to the selecting official at the grade 13 along with other highly qualified candidates; however, another candidate was selected at the grade 13. 

We appreciate your interest in employment with U.S. Department of Transportation. Please visit our Careers in Motion jobsite at http://jobsearch.dot.gov for 
a current list of job vacancies.  We encourage you to continue to apply for future vacancies in which you are interested and wish you success in your future employment endeavors.

Please note, if you requested consideration under more than one grade level for this position, you will receive an individual email PER grade level.

Best regards,
The DOT Automated Staffing Office
TRANSJOBS@fhwa.dot.gov
___________________________
05/14/2013:
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY    
USCIS HR OPERATIONS CENTER    
70 KIMBALL AVENUE    
SOUTH BURLINGTON VT  05403    

 Dear [           ],

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

Position Title:      Entry Level Attorney    
Pay Plan:       GS    
Series/Grade: 0905-12    
Vacancy ID:   826700    
Announcement Number:   CIS-826700-COU    
Hiring Office:      US Citizenship and Immigration Services    

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

   Referral Type:  Non-Traditional    
   Appointment Type: Excepted 
     Service Permanent    
   Specialty / Grade:      0905 – 12    
   Promotion Potential:      15    
   Locations: Location Negotiable 
     After Selection    

Thank you for applying for this position.  Your application has been considered.  However, another applicant was selected.  We appreciate your interest in employment with our agency.    

   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 Federal employment.  You are encouraged to visit http://www.usajobs.gov to view additional Federal employment opportunities and information.    

PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL MESSAGE.  IT IS AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED.    

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

Georgetown Law Graduate Discusses Law School: Is it Worth It?

Freedom from the Sunk Cost Fallacy: Say No to Law School
http://drewfrederick.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/freedom-from-the-sunk-cost-fallacy-say-no-to-law-school/
July 2013

During my fourth semester of law school, having already put in two years’ patent law work at a prestigious law firm, I realized that I didn’t want to be a lawyer.  All my friends told me to stick it out and finish the final year since I’d already invested two years of my life, and a lot of money, into law school.

Then I discovered the sunk cost fallacy: the mistake of incorporating past losses into current decisions.  For example, consider two men who have concert tickets to a favorite band playing at an outdoor venue; the first man received his free as a promotion while the second man paid $50.  On the evening of the concert, the weather is terrible and neither man wants to go.  The first man rationalizes that his ticket was free anyway, so doesn’t go, while the second forces himself to go, lest he lose $50.

But, of course, the ideal rational decision should be the same.  In both cases, at the time of decision, the men simply possess tickets to a show.  Assuming their preferences are the same, it is irrelevant how they came by those tickets – therefore, neither should go.  The second man has been duped by the sunk cost fallacy, believing that the cost already sunk in his ticket is relevant to a later decision.  It isn’t.

In deciding whether to finish my final year of law school, the only relevant question was whether it was worth the additional year and expense to receive my law degree; it was irrelevant whether I’d already spent two days, two years, or two decades pursuing the degree.  I finally decided that it was, considering that a law degree can be used to open a wide variety of doors (not just doors to law firms), but if I’d been in the same position after only my first year, with another two more years to go, my decision would have been to walk – nay, run.

Now that graduate degrees are what undergraduate degrees were twenty years ago, Generation Y seems to feel professionally incomplete without a master’s degree, law degree, or MBA.  U.S. law schools are graduating more future lawyers than ever before, and it’s a booming business for University, Inc.  Unfortunately, job opportunities and income are simply not keeping pace with the supply of graduate degrees, and Millennials now complain of debt, particularly student debt, as their “biggest financial concern.”  So it’s worth asking the question: Is law school worth it?  Let’s look.

Tuition.  At Georgetown University Law Center, my alma mater, annual tuition for 2012-13 was $48,835.00.  Just tuition.  To give you an idea of how much that is, here is a picture of several stacks of $100 bills, totaling $40,000.  Stare at this picture for a moment.  Then repeat to yourself: All this money is NOT ENOUGH for a SINGLE SEMESTER of law school tuition.
Living expenses.  Depends on where you go to law school, of course, but D.C. is not a cheap place to live.  My poorest law school friends squeaked by on another $20,000 a year, but most people racked up $30,000+ a year in rent, utilities, insurance, transportation, books, fees, and entertainment.
Opportunity cost.  Few Americans have enough savings for six months’ worth of unemployment; can you imagine three years of unemployment?  Some students were lucky enough to get summer associate positions at law firms but they were few and far between.  Most students settled for a modestly paid or even unpaid summer internship.  To calculate opportunity cost, figure out how much you could have made in the same period and subtract what you actually did make.  For most law students, the opportunity cost is well over $30,000 a year.
Interest.  Money ain’t cheap.  Most students will pay interest on their entire law school debts for many years after graduation.
Let’s assume a net expense of $70,000 per year for three years, plus an annual opportunity cost of $30,000, and amortize that over ten years at 6% per year.  That comes to a monthly cost of $3,330, or about $40,000 per year – for the next ten years.  But remember: that $40K premium is paid with after-tax dollars.  (Yes, there is a student loan interest deduction, but it’s limited to $2500, a tiny fraction of the interest paid, and it doesn’t apply to single people whose adjusted gross income is over $75,000.)  At a 30% marginal tax rate, representing federal and state income taxes, this $40K premium actually represents $57,000 of one’s nominal income.

In other words, if you go to law school under the above assumptions, then you’ll be paying $57,000 a year for the next decade just to break even, so your new job as a lawyer better account for that.  But what happens if you discover you don’t like practicing law?  Or what if your law degree doesn’t add $57K to your salary?  The major D.C. law firms, for example, are starting new lawyers at between $100K and $140K, but these positions are highly competitive and a relatively small proportion of law school graduates, even from the highest ranked schools, can get these coveted positions.

According to Above the Law, the median starting salary for law firms in 2012 was just $85K, and for those not lucky enough to land a law firm job, the median starting salary was only $60K.  Then again, over 15% of 2011 graduates had a median starting salary of $0, since they couldn’t find a job at all.

So let’s say you give up your $50K/year job to go to law school and get an $85K/year law firm job.  Not only will your real income shrink by $22,000 a year ($57,000 in annual debt payments makes a big dent in your increased salary) but you’ll actually be working significantly longer hours just to make that higher salary.  That’s right.  To succeed in one of those high-paying law firms, expect to bill 45+ hours a week, which means actually being present for 60-70 hours a week to deal with meetings, non-billables, and other administrative and corporate bullshit.  Believe me, I’ve been there.  And, of course, you can’t leave – you’ve already incurred the law school debt and need the job to pay it off.

Conclusion?

Option A: Quit your job, go to law school, incur enormous amounts of debt, compete for the coveted law firm position that will pay you, after your student loan payments, less than you made before, where you will work 50% to 75% more hours, and that you cannot leave for ten or more years because of your law school debt.
Option B: Be happy with your current job and avoid law school like the plague.

$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.

Law Professor and Former Dean Writes Book Exposing the Law School Scam

This article The Bad News Law Schools – NYTimes.com (2/20/2012) describes what a former law school dean but still law professor has to say regarding law schools failings and the American Bar Association’s complicity in the legal industry crisis:

In fact, that news was itself not so new. Uneasiness about the state of legal education has been around for some time, but in the wake of the financial meltdown of 2008, uneasiness ripened into a conviction that something was terribly wrong as law school applications declined, thousands of lawyers lost their jobs, employers complained that law school graduates had not been trained to practice law, and law school graduates complained that they had been led into debt by false promises of employment and high salaries. And while all this was happening, law schools continued to raise tuition, take in more and more students, and construct elaborate new facilities.

Well, I think this sums it up.

Someone Started a New Blog: An Unemployed Recent Law Graduate

Throwing Money in the....

This blog is very recent. Apparently it chronicles the downfall being a new law graduate who has passed their state bar and is looking for a job.  For many of you 0Ls this will be your unfortunate fate.  Learn from others’ mistakes:

The blog is called: Value of a Law Degree

More on Accountability: ‘Law School Transparency Weighs in on Reform’

Waiting for the Anvil to Fall

Law School Transparency Weighs in on Reform (02/08/2012):

“We founded LST because we saw how difficult it is for prospective students to compare employment outcomes at various schools. This has grown to us advocating for all sorts of consumer-oriented policies to combat significant problems in legal education. One method is producing reports that highlight the misinformation law schools provide about post-graduation outcomes; our latest is the Transparency Index Report.”

LST puts the burden on current students to make their law school administrations to tell the truth, for many though it is too late. What would be the effect on their grades, their chances of being black-listed for clerkships, summer apprenticeships should they “rock the boat.” No easy answer. Law schools do attract bright, inquisitive minds but many attract the sheister stereotypes–the back stabbers, the what ifs brown-nosers who will do anything to get to the top of his class. All this to confront while Sallie Mae is waiting for you at the end of the law school tunnel with a bill in one hand and a financial anvil in another ready to crush your future should you be unable to pay.

Simpler language, we are well aware that law schools have deceived 0Ls and those who underwent the lawschool scheme. We are exposing the false information law schools provide which lures the reader into thinking law school is a viable investment in their futures. Fraud by inducement.

Even Spain’s Lawyers Can’t Find Jobs

Ok, so we heard about Britain and America and the oversaturation of the legal industry. I’ve even read about American law firms merging  with British ones resulting in the inevitable loss of jobs. India, well between outsourcing contract work and their oversaturation…oh and the Nigerian “lawyer’ who migrates to New York after taking a one year LLM and presto change-o-becomes a lawyer. But Spain? Ok the article is mostly about Spain’s poor economy and unemployment in general but of course, once again one cannot report about a country’s recession without mentioning “the unemployed lawyer”; this may become a new clinical diagnosis under DSMR-VI:

Many Spaniards lucky enough to have jobs these days are underemployed — law graduates working in restaurants, for example.

Here’s the article in full: Spain workers lose bridge holidays in debt crisis austerity move (01/22/2012)

So much for finding a job abroad. In the past year the media has discussed the problem with Greece and Italy. The European Union doesn’t want to bailout Greece until Greece shows it has a plan to get its country in order. The IMF says Italy isn’t doing so bad but is hesitant to loan its government money because its economy is not in the best of shape. So I’m sure we’ll see more about how their economies are affecting the legal industry there as well.

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.

Center for American Progress Report Entitled: What Can We Learn From Law School?

All Rights Reserved

For those considering law school, this is a good read, a summary report entitled: What Can We Learn From Law School (click title for pdf) December 2011 by the Center for American Progress. I highlighted some quotes:“This report explores the field of legal education with the hope that putting a magnifying glass to this small part of higher education will help us better understand the problems that face all colleges. (see sidebar) It details the steady rise in law school enrollment, despite high tuition rates and a heavy reliance on student loan debt. And it describes the unpleasant surprise that awaits law students upon graduation: Though a few lucky grads will make more than $130,000 per year, most new lawyers can expect annual salaries of around $63,000. With monthly loan payments near $1,000, graduates are finding that membership in the legal profession is not the golden ticket they thought it would be.”

 p. 7: The high demand for legal education is somewhat surprising given its hefty price tag.  It’s difficult to locate the cause of this steep rise in tuition. Though some have claimed that stringent accreditation requirements drive price, a 2009 GAO study showed that this assumption is incorrect.

So not only student enrollment screening has become more lax, so has ABA accreditation.

p. 9 On the whole, this low default rate does not seem like a big deal. But for the individuals who fall into the default category, it can have devastating effects. Federal student loans are not dischargeable through bankruptcy.

That University of Maryland student that filed for bankruptcy should have had access to this report before going to federal court.

p.13: Though the return on investment in law school has been in question for young graduates since at least 2008 and possibly even earlier, this news was not widely reported until recently. This may be due, in part, to the fact that statistics about the legal profession as a whole mask the circumstances that young lawyers face. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on the legal profession show that the growth in law jobs slowed over the past several years. In other words, law schools are able to admit large classes, maintain the same educational model, and continue to push tuition higher because students still turn out in droves for a chance to be in their entering classes.

Basically, as long as the 0L public continues to buy into it, the law schools will continue to rope you in. You have the power to stop this madness, stop buying into the law school degree can open so many doors and you can do anything with a JD. It is obviously not true. These people are laughing in your faces at this point. You are now willingly and openly proceeding towards a known danger.

To ensure students, colleges, and policymakers react to the forces that are changing the value of college degrees, the following policy changes should be implemented:

• The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, should collect and publish average employment and salary data for recent entrants into an occupation. Would provide 0Ls reality of the legal market and what they’re getting into.

• The BLS should work in conjunction with the Department of Education to make this information available to prospective students. So 0Ls/general public are not duped by misleading and in some cases blatantly false statistics provided directly on the law schools’ websites who have obvious financial interest to skew data and currently no repurcussions to ensure accurate information.

• Accreditors in all sectors of higher education should create standard definitions for employment and salary statistics, and require member schools to make such information readily available to students. Accreditors should audit member schools’ adherence with these standards from time to time. Audit, compliance then the federal government can fine them, and they would lose money they hold so dear.

 The beginning of the report appeared to be slanted by providing the reader with the impression that although the legal industry is shrinking/worsening and the value of the JD degree is decreasing the legal education sector only accounts for a small amount of those enrolled in graduate degree programs. However, this report doesn’t provide any statistics to support that.  It is a good read for general summary which hints to the reader that law school, especially at this point of America’s development and economy is not a good investment, no matter how you play with the numbers.

The Wall Street Journal: Lawyers Settle…for Temp Jobs

Lawyers Settle…for Temp Jobs

June 15, 2011 By VANESSA O’CONNELL

When he decided to become a lawyer, Jose Aponte followed a familiar path: He took the LSAT, spent more than $100,000 on law school, took a grueling bar exam and paid for continuing education.

But the work the 37-year-old New York lawyer, a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law, is getting is a far cry from the stable, lucrative type he originally envisioned.

The grunt work in corporate litigation is being farmed out to contract attorneys. More and more law school graduates, steeped in student-loan debt, are settling for this unsteady, monotonous work for surprisingly low pay. WSJ’s Vanessa O’Connell and Jason Bellini report.

Mr. Aponte is part of a growing field of itinerant “contract” attorneys who move from job to job, getting paid by the hour, largely to review documents for law firms and corporate clients. These short-term jobs, which can pay as little as $15 an hour, have increasingly become a fixture in the $100 billion global corporate legal industry as law firms and clients seek to lower their costs.

This new “third tier” of the legal world illustrates the commoditization of the legal profession, which once offered most new entrants access to prestige and power, as well as a professional lifestyle. It also shows how post-recession belt-tightening is permanently altering some professions….

Please tell me why is this article JUST NOW being published. It’s so ‘johnny come lately” that it’s journalistic satire. Lawyers haven’t settle into contract work–they have been pushed into contract work by TTT and TTTT schools, false statistics, an economic bubble, lost jobs and oversaturation in the legal industry and let’s not forget outsourcing. The title alone makes it appear that an attorney is CHOOSING to be a temp lawyer when the reality is that many do it because they I don’t know would like to eat the next day. Any time an economy have partners and associates losing their jobs in the private sector and firms merger with others in Europe to decrease costs and relying on LPOs as their new business model the over-the-top educated ones in debt will suffer.

Interesting how the author uses the word “commoditization” you know a sophisticated manner of referring to the legal industry as McLaw or its attorneys ummm “slaves” or “working poor.”

The title is a mockery to those who have worked hard and constantly applied for jobs in their field and level of experience. Then again, maybe lawyers have settled…settled into knowing that their industry and their lives as they believe it would be will never exist or be the same again. It’s a conventional and practical way of thinking for many. To avoid disappointment, become accustomed to depression and being in debt and knowing that your life has been financially ruined though you will be held to a higher standard than any lay person. At a brink where we should be screaming at the top of our lungs are voices have turned to a faint shriek because no one cares. It’s a joke. The only sanity you can really hold on to is regardless of your professors they may have sabatoged you (not all just most), the economy and the corporate greed, you did your best but it’s game that you have likely already lost; but most people do not make a conscious choice to lose. They just didn’t know the game was rigged from the beginning.

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