Posts Tagged ‘too many attorneys’

Attorneys and Law Students Commit Suicide All Over the World

These are stories of law students and attorneys whose delusion with practicing law, obtaining a job and being able to provide for basic needs such as food is compromised, or dealt with depression and saw no other way out but suicide. From North Africa to India to to Europe Michigan, USA. This post does not endorse suicide but to provide a glimpse into other side of the legal industry and a warning to 0Ls who are convinced it will not be them. Statistics have shown that attorneys are two to six times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.  The rhetoric is fading and reality is settling in and most people are unable to deal with their false-fed dreams….

Here’s a sampling of lawyer/law student suicides from around the world. These are just the ones who made the news (protest, prestigious law firm, or top school involved).

Autopsy and 911 call reveal Fargo lawyer shot himself at I-29 rest stop (02/10/2012) HILLSBORO, N.D. – An autopsy has confirmed that Fargo attorney Steven M. Light, whose body was found Wednesday evening inside a rest stop near Hillsboro, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Traill County Sheriff’s Department said.

 “But with that, there’s so much stress and so much pressure, and that can eat you alive and make you depressed,” Richie said.

Law Students Commit Suicide (02/07/2012) Rohtak (Haryana), Feb 7 (PTI) A law student allegedly committed suicide by jumping before a moving train here, police said.Babli (22), who was pursuing LLB from Maharshi Dayanand University, ended her life by jumping before Delhi-Jind Passenger train yesterday, they said.
The reason behind the girl taking the extreme step is yet to be ascertained, police said.

Moroccan law graduate who set himself on fire dies  (01/24/2012)  A 27-year-old Moroccan who set himself on fire to protest his unemployment died from his burns Tuesday in a Casablanca hospital, his wife said.

Abdelwahab Zaydoun was part of a group of unemployed graduates who occupied an Education Ministry building inRabat, the Moroccan capital, to protest their unemployment and threatened to set themselves fire when police didn’t let supporters deliver them food.

Prosecutor commits suicide during traffic stop (11/11/2011): Christine Trevino, 51, of Escondido committed suicide at 6:36 p.m. outside a shopping center at Vista Way and Jefferson Street, north of state Route 78. Police had been looking for her to conduct a welfare check, said Lt. Leonard Mata in a news release.

Escondido police had received information earlier in the day that Trevino had threatened to kill herself, got into her car and drove away from her home. Using unmarked cars, police tracked her cell phone and located her in Carlsbad, where they requested assistance from the Carlsbad Police Department.

Council lawyer who hanged himself ‘wrote suicide letter to controversial boss Andrea Hill’ (08/31/2011)

Student’s Death Likely a Suicide (04/29/2010) CHAPEL HILL — A student found dead in an Odum Village apartment on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus Wednesday was a third-year law student who appeared to have killed himself, law school dean Jack Boger said Thursday.

Pune Law Student Commits Suicide (01/26/2010)PUNE/AHMEDNAGAR: A second-year student of DES Law College in Pune allegedly committed suicide by jumping into a well at Umbare Khandba village near Rahuri in Ahmednagar district, about 150 km from Pune, on Monday.

Suicide Victim a Baker & Hostetler Partner (01/22/2010) Police have determined that the death of John Mason Mings earlier this week on a beach in Galveston, Texas, was an apparent suicide. Mings was 45.

Body of Missing University of Michigan Law Student Found (12/03/2009) A University of Michigan Law School student reported missing last month hanged himself, Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputies said.

She was a mother of three and top lawyer who jumped off a bridge into the Thames. What does her death tell us about Britain today? (08/01/2009)

What do you do when your child is asking for you, while your boss is insisting that you get yourself into the next meeting, all the time desperately trying not to show one iota of the stress you are under beneath that polished veneer of professionalism.

It is an impossible situation. Why do it? For power and prestige? For inner fulfillment? Clearly, the latter was insufficient to prevent this lovely young woman cracking under the strain of it all and seeking her own final solution

Mark Levy–Laid off Lawyer Commits Suicide (04/30/2009). Mark Levy, a Washington DC lawyer, shot himself in the head in his office one day after being laid off from his law firm Kilpatrick Stockton.

 …David Baum, the law school’s assistant dean and senior manager of student affairs, said in a statement posted on Above the Law that the school had been aware of McGinnis’ challenges and adjusted his academic load.

More Law Schools See Surge in Law School Applications

On July 6, 2010 Life’s Mockery reported that UMass Law School had a surge in law school applications: https://lifesmockery.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/in-the-news-a-new-unaccredited-law-school-has-surge-in-applications-enrollment/ Well, the madness hasn’t ceased, the operative words are more and surge, sounds like legal-industry-gluttony at this point. Today the National Law Journal reports: (False) Hope drives rise in law school applications 

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Hope drives rise in law school applications: Despite grim job statistics in nearly every corner of the legal world, law school applications increased by 7% over last year.

 The grim job statistics in nearly every corner of the legal world are surely enough to make any aspiring lawyer think twice about diving into massive debt to attend law school. [emphasis mine]. Apparently not for many, hopefully for others. Even with this frank start to the article, people are so desparate as to believe that obligating themselves into more debt will resolve their personal financial woes in this turbulent economy. Does this make sense? No.

“How much do applicants know about the contraction of jobs in the legal industry? It’s hard to say,” said Brian Tamanaha, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law who has urged law schools to provide more accurate information about graduate employment. “People could be thinking, ‘Well, in a few years things will change.’ I think we’re seeing a structural change in the industry. Even if things do come back, it won’t be to the same degree we saw just a few years ago.” My word, we bloggers have been saying this for a while, but I guess it’s considered speculation unless a professor says it. The legal industry is forever changed, there are IVY leaguers who cannot even find decent paying jobs, work is outsourced overseas, student loan debt, $40,000-$50,000 average attorney pay, do not go to law school. O.k. I’m back.

“In a climate like this one, we’re seeing applicants who are conscientious shoppers looking to get the greatest value for their dollar,” said Aaron Latham, the interim director of law advancement at Alabama, which won the NCAA Bowl Championship Series football title last year.  Apparently they’re conscious in a parallel world to take on this type of debt in this contracting field, or they would not have decided to go to law school in the first place.

The idea of law school as “the great default” is hardly new. Law school has long been more attractive than business school or medical school to college graduates with vague career ambitions, Leipold said. He attributed that in part to the versatility of a law degree, which can translate into the corporate world, public policy or any number of other fields.  Of course not, but who continues to propagate that “you can do anything with a law degree” and prestige with it’ll work itself out. I will say that at this point it’s not all the legal industry faults, sure deans, professors, lawyers who graduated in prior generations are culpable but we have unwitting lay people who have this imagery no doubt fueled by the media and the entertainment industry of law being a fast-paced glamorous life with a fast track to financial success. One can see how bad it is when the article states that most 0Ls do not know the reality of the legal industry and therefore have no idea what they are getting themselves into.

However, the idea that law school is always a solid choice should be retired in light of the growing price of a legal education and the dimming jobs prospects, several critics said. He’s saying that idea does not hold true, step into the real world and there are no jobs. Drop out of law school while you can! Do you want to subject yourself to over $100,000 debt, putting off having a family, no available jobs, depression, psycho attorneys on projects who are mentally ill or became that way because of the mental-institution like environment encouraged by staff attorneys? (that’s if you get a contractual job). Or perhaps you will enjoy having a J.D. on your resume and being practially locked out of nearly every other field as being overqualified or your degree being to specialized or not considered a true doctorate where you won’t qualify for fellowships in the future unless, you guessed it you plan to go BACK to another graduate school after law school.

“People who haven’t done any investigation into what lawyers do are foolhardy to pursue law school,” said Zearfoss, the Michigan admissions dean. “Anyone using law school as a default should rethink that.” Oh my, I may have to take some of my previous words back, believe me this law school dean just called you a fool for attending law school at this point. The image of the bully Nelson pointing at you saying “ha-ha” popped in my head. No matter how raw the honesty, he doesn’t reflect the majority of law school academia, at least so far.

“In 15 years of teaching, I’ve known a lot of students who came here because they didn’t know what they wanted to do,” Tamanaha said. “A lot of this is about cyclical irrational decision-making. It’s based on a very human trait, which is overoptimism. For the people who have always wanted to be a lawyer, they should go to law school. For anyone else, it’s not a good decision.”

O.k., so you have been called a fool and irrational for attending law school, do not let your ego allow you to make likely one of the worst decisions in your life. 

“Just because you wish for something, doesn’t make it true.”  ●Disney’s The Princess and the Frog

Wondering Why Your Salary is Low?: Legal Recruiters Consider Reduced Commissions

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Hot off the presses:  Connecticut Law Tribune: Legal Recruiters Consider Reduced Commissions June 21, 2010.

The first line of the article reads: “Too many lawyers and not enough jobs.” If this isn’t a clear indication that you should not attend law school, then there are no more words.

“Some law firms are asking their recruiters to take a lower commission after the firm has hired an attorney recommended by the recruiter. Generally speaking, recruiters earn 25 percent of an attorney’s annual starting salary.” So many associates who are directly hired by firms already have taken a pay decrease compared to those associates of yesteryear. Now those who are hired through placement agencies will see a bigger decrease. The agencies who make their money from getting the attorney the job must succumb to market pressures that if their pay is decreased, imagine what the actual attorney’s decrease will be. We’re not even referring to contractual attorneys, just associates hired through agencies, so imagine even further what contractual attorneys will continue to deal with lest they find a new field of work.

“During economic shifts over the past 20 years, Seder said recruiters “have all been asked to go with the flow, and when the economy recovers, firms have gone back to paying competitive rates so they don’t miss out on the talent.” I guess you have already, some of the ‘top talent’ are contractual attorneys as well.

She added, “I think this is temporary.” Of course you do, you have the same mentality as the 0Ls who are trying to convince themselves of the same thing, and why should you not, you benefit from more law graduates which equate to more commissions in your pocket.

Typically, the request is to drop commissions from 25 to 20 percent, Seder said. But she added that companies seeking in-house counsel have not discussed such reductions.

During economic shifts over the past 20 years, Seder said recruiters “have all been asked to go with the flow, and when the economy recovers, firms have gone back to paying competitive rates so they don’t miss out on the talent.”

“The activity in Connecticut is a reflection of decisions nationwide, though recruiters say this is not a widespread phenomenon.” This has widespread implications for attorneys throughout the country.

“Part of the current challenge for recruiters is that firms simply aren’t in aggressive hiring modes. With no shortage of talented attorneys on the market, some firms see an opportunity to cut their costs with recruiters.” In other words, too many attorneys drives down the market pay and firms exploit this to their fiscal ability where attorneys are asked to do substantive work for fast-food prices.

“Also on the rise, Lord said, are instances where firms reach out to a recruiter while at the same time conducting their own in-house searches. That leads to recruiters spending time on a project only to discover that their efforts were wasted when the firm goes out and hires someone to fill a vacancy in a particular practice area.”  Hmmm and we just thought agencies were greedy. Attorneys are a commodity, the placement agency is the broker and the firm is the owner. Here’s my flow chart: Attorneys may not be needed: attorneys need money but have no job → attorney seeks assistance in finding a job through an agency → Agency is actually a broker → broker is still in business because they’re plenty of attorneys to present for sale = Attorneys have it rough.

Does Prince George’s Need a Law School?: An Article in The Washington Post

Are you kidding me? Maryland is one of the smallest states in the country already has two law schools and borders Washington, DC and Virginia. The question is does America needs another law school? What really bothers me is that African-Americans make up the majority and has since pretty much of the inception of Prince George’s County, Maryland. Since the 1990s (we’ll leave historical racial discrimination alone for now) the housing market, specifically banks have already raped the pockets of these residents by giving them subprime loans. No, they qualified for better loans but because they were black the banks decided to give the worst terms to them:  
The Seattle Times, ‘Judge dismisses Baltimore suit against Wells Fargo,’ The Associated Press January 7, 2010. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2010726364_apuswellsfargosubprimelawsuit.html?syndication=rss 
The New York Times, ‘Memphis Accuses Wells Fargo of Discriminating Against Blacks,’ Michael Powell, December 30, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31wells.html (last visited January 16, 2010)
WBALtv.com, ‘City Tries To Push Forward Wells Fargo Lawsuit: City Claims Wells Fargo Used Predatory Lending On Blacks,’ June 29, 2009. http://www.wbaltv.com/money/19897079/detail.html
The New York Times, ‘Bank Accused of Pushing Bad Mortgage Deals on Blacks,’ June 6, 2009, Michael Powell http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/us/07baltimore.htm?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1260291635-M9E2ycPY47KMy84bjX/QWA 
NAACP Press Release, March 13, 2009, NAACP Files Landmark Lawsuit Today Against Wells Fargo and HSBC
http://www.naacp.org/news/press/2009-03-13/index.htm . The point is that blacks haven’t recovered from this last recession, the being taken advantage of when they think they finally have an opportunity to make it and here comes the law schools, ready to exploit them in another way. NO! Anyway, here’s the article:
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http://voices.washingtonpost.com/annapolis/2009/04/legal_studies.html
The General Assembly has nixed a study of a D.C. United soccer stadium in Prince George’s this year, but here’s something they’ve given the go-ahead to study: A possible law school in the Washington area.
Del. Justin D. Ross (D-Prince George’s) worked with Del. John L. Bohanan Jr. (D-St. Mary’s), the chair of the education subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, to insert language in the state budget authorizing the study. The budget now asks that the University system study the “feasibility and logistical costs and benefits” of launching a branch of the University of Baltimore’s law school in the D.C. area. The report is to be submitted to the legislature by Sept. 1.
Ross said his goal is to look at creating a law school in Prince George’s County, a reasonable place for a law school, he said, because of the University of Maryland’s undergrad campus in College Park and the federal courthouse in Greenbelt. U-Md.’s law school is located in Baltimore.
“I think it could be a great success for the University of Baltimore law school and the county,” he said.
 
By Rosalind Helderman  |  April 13, 2009; 10:32 AM ET
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NOTICE HOW THEY WANT TO PUT THE FOURTH TIER LAW SCHOOL [http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/title+University%20of%20Baltimore
IN THE MAJORITY BLACK MIDDLE CLASS COUNTY INSTEAD OF University of Maryland (Tier 1) Law School [http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/c_final_tier+1/title+University%20of%20Maryland],
which would make more sense, since the University of Maryland (Terps) College Park is already there.  BLACK PEOPLE DON’T LET THEM EXPLOIT YOUR IGNORANCE! The article towards the very end makes it appear that ONLY UM has a law school, wrong both UM and UB already exists in Baltimore, Maryland!