Posts Tagged ‘survival’

Another Law Graduate Shares Her Woes of Unemployment and Poverty

(Over)Educated, Black, Broke, and Jobless in NYC

“Share my day to day struggle of trying to find gainful employment in New York City after earning three degrees. Will I make it or will I end up homeless? Only time will tell, and there is not much left. . .”

You cannot make this stuff up! I don’t recall how I stumbled across this page. It appears to be similar to a blog but the posts are shorter.

From the title and caption summary it appears this person has a PhD–wrong a law school graduate.

If you scroll down to the post entitled “Bitter” you will realize it is yet another unemployed law graduate struggling to provide for her basic needs. Another one bites the dust. You who still want to attend law school, should perish the thought. Or let homelessness, malnutrition and depression and unemployment be your demise. Your choice.

Unemployment Programs; Black Unemployment…

On May 11, 2010 I posted my thoughts on black unemployment and some organizations call for the United Nations to address black unemployment.  Well, the Economic Policy Institute presented a  more in depth statistical analysis: released: 

Uneven pain—Unemployment by metropolitan area and race dated June 8, 2010. Between this and another previous post we can conclude:  Blacks are the most affected by the economic recession and unemployment; thus will most likely be affected long-term socially. Ironically, Blacks and Latinos had an increased in education attainment but higher unemployment rates.

From the May 11, 2010 post [ United Nations: People are calling the international community to the plight of Black Unemployment] on this blog in which I quoted:  “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, Statesman Journal updated version provided in a different website:  Black college graduates face a road ahead full of potholes | | Lancaster Eagle Gazette ] Even with these facts and statistics I see not a regression but a potential full-blown manifestation of hatred as many of us have read in history. When a country is in decline which most obvious sign is its economy and international trade, those who are members of unpopular groups, you know those who are not deemed by dominant society as “one of us” will be blamed for it.

Let me state a brief insight: For minorities to try to do things the “right way” attain education, work towards a goal, only to be overlooked for a lesser educated white potential employment is psychologically damaging. It is a reminder that racism is inherent in American culture, government and politics. When push comes to shove, minorities as well as a few whites are expendables. This leaves a resounding whisper in the minds of those largely affected that “America has not changed.”

Should we assume that the abismal statistics provided by EPI are accurate, this gives additional insight to news regarding unemployment benefits. According to an article posted by the Huffington Post on June 14, 2010; more people continue to lose unemployment benefits due to Congress’ failure to extend it and other programs. [Uneven pain—Unemployment by metropolitan area and race].

As Blacks maintain the highest percentage of unemployment across the nation, rationally, they are the very ones who are relying on unemployment benefits for survival, though many are likely educated and not necessarily blue-collar workers. Simply fathoms the mind, for those who believed that they could taste the American Dream but only to be met with sometimes polite rebuffs that reinforces a cyclical society of unbalance and discrmination. I have read that some economists are expecting riots in urban areas because of the economic crisis. For those who believe that living in the suburbs shields them, let me remind you that plenty of Section 8 housing residents and others are spread throughout the suburbs and that some suburbs are dependent and surround major urban areas–you know where many professionals commute to work. It’s looking grim. Can you say Ecuador?

An Open Letter to Families of Law Graduates and Attorneys

To Whom it May Concern:

You may not understand why your daughter/son/husband/wife are suffering. Everyone claims because of the economic downturn since 2008, it is the reason why lawyers cannot find a job. This is not the case. Attorneys from prior generations were already suffering and the most recent economic collapse just further opened the lid on such an embarrassing secret: law school was not a good investment.

You see,  the majority of students spent long, listless hours in the law library, being broke, surviving on student loans but making sure you had enough for branded coffee. What they also endured is a teaching method unparallel to any other graduate school-the socratic method.  It’s basically academic hazing in which a professor calls on the student in the midst of silence, hoping that the student either blew off or was too tired to read the previously assigned caseload in order to demean them in the most sarcastic of ways. There is no such thing as “catching up” on previously assigned work because it’s continuous reading for most classes with a final exam at the end of the semester. This is preparing your family member for real world of the “practice of law” as well. You see, should he or she not be employed in appropriate legal industry within the first three years, attending law school becomes the equivalent of career suicide.

World War II I believe, as women showed that they were more than capable of working in factories and taking care of the “homefront” as American were off at war. It was not only women who threatened the availability of jobs, young adults did as well. This is how adding tiers of education to prolong children/young adults entry into the workforce and prevent their sudden encroachment of jobs for the working class. This methodology is now so inflated that you have members of a younger generation who are over-educated, with no practical skills and can barely survive (if they are) in this country where the modis operandi is simply the opposite of what they tried to do; that is they tried to work and do things the ‘right way’ while others just took advantage of the system. You should be angry at the latter, not the former.

For those who actually practiced law for some time, you have no idea the type of work environment they undergo. Most work environments have backbiting and gossip, but magnify it 10X when you’re addressing the legal field and every stereotype one can imagine: conniving, deceptive, manipulative, liars, phony, deceitful, greedy and hateful. You should be glad that they are either being forced out or deciding no longer to be in this field. Those who want to stay will more than likely fit the just mentioned adjectives very well.

Anyway, I know you would like them to “stick with it” in their legal practice or law job search. Reality dictates that there is no adhesive keeping this economy together. It’s all falling apart. It’s not like during your time where you can make an ‘honest living,’ purchase a home, get married have children, backyard, pickett fence and a dog. Companies and law firms are dissipating completely primarily contributing to the loss of jobs (even with mergers and acquisitions there is some job loss but not as many). With the rise in prices for fresh produce, apartments, housing, inflation, this country’s debt to other countries, your attorney family member’s student loan debt, high stress, delay of having a family because he or she wanted to do the right thing and is now being punished for it. Whatever jobs exist in the federal government your generation is clasping the reigns for dear life as they likely lost their retirement funds or money in the stock market and probably are unable to retire now even if they wanted to.

 Do not mock, scorn, name call, belittle your law graduate family member. This is the time they need your support, not your scorn.

**I remember an episode of Dr. Phil stating that “I know it’s un-American to tell you not to have a credit card [and debt]. Well, I thought I could take it a step further and say do not get a graduate degree.

BusinessWeek News Article: Tips From a Bitter Temp

To all those attorney bloggers out there, you were right this is the new American economy, the Titanic hit the glacier, let’s see who survives.

As the economy worsens and does not appear to ever return to a satiable and to address the unemployed attorneys who are feeling hopeless, the following is a news article published about two years ago, you’ll laugh as you reminisce about your comparable expriences and likely mourn for the reality that you had to even deal with this type of “work” environment:

August 14, 2008
Tips from a Bitter Temp
How to survive in a bureacracy

By Anne Altman

When I tell people I work at an insurance company, I feel I need to explain myself. Sure, I work in insurance, but I’m “in insurance” about as much as a Giants Stadium security guard is “in professional football.” See, I’m a temp. An outsider. My industry? Survival.

I perform and write comedy, which in my case is not lucrative. So I temp and do my funny business on the side. Since moving to New York I’ve strung together about a dozen long-term temp gigs at big-time, fancy-pants companies. Now, a year after settling in, I still don’t know a thing about insurance. But I know a whole lot about surviving in a bureaucracy. Here are five tips from a bitter temp:


Two jobs ago I shared a conference table in a windowless room with 12 other people five days a week. My last gig was a step up: an office in the Empire State Building, a jewel of an historic building with climate control from another century. Imagine my delight when I arrived at my current job to find not only my own air-conditioned cubicle, desk, phone, computer, and Aeron (MLHR) chair, but a nearby pantry stocked with free coffee, milk, and cereal—including my guilty pleasure, Corn Pops (K).


Each time I’m assigned to a new company, it’s like moving to a new country. I’ve got to learn the local language. In my current office, the underwriters talk about “sublimits,” “percentage deductibles,” and “quota-share excess renewals.” It’s Greek to me. There’s also an account service notification form, otherwise known as an ASNF. Say that one aloud and see if you don’t laugh as hard as I did.


Bureaucracies are big on protocol. There’s a right way to do everything—like recording your voice mail message. My company manual suggests this: “Hello. This is Anne Altman. I am unavailable . Please leave a message and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. Thanks and have a nice day.” Here’s what I’d really like to say: “Hi. This is Anne Altman and I’m screening your call. I will most likely reply to your voice mail with an e-mail so I don’t have to speak with you. Buzz off.”


Bureaucracies are little subcultures that sometimes seem more like cults. Take sales meetings. They bear a cult’s telltale signs: leader (an over-caffeinated VP of sales), mantra (Accelerate in 2008!), big production number (“The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”), and ritualistic insignia (logo-emblazoned totes). I sit in the back where nobody can catch me scrawling “KILL ME PLEASE” on my handout.


Settle in. Master the language. Sip the Kool-Aid. But remember: You could be out on a moment’s notice. I was once denied a dollar-an-hour raise. At first I was insulted. But the next week two execs were canned with no notice, led down the hall like criminals, and spirited out with a “We’ll mail you the contents of your desk.” Young guys right out of college were speechless. Me? I poured myself a bowl of Corn Pops and sat back down in my Aeron chair.

I’ve adapted so well to my new environment that my boss wants to offer me a job, make me legit: an underwriter. “So, Anne,” he said. “Do you like insurance?” After some stalling I said: “Look, I don’t understand this stuff, but I love the cereal here. I love the chairs. I really, really like a few of the people, and I’d like to stay. How can we make that happen? Could I have a demotion? Order staplers and stuff? That I know how to do.”