Posts Tagged ‘unemployed attorney’

To find the blogs, You Must Search Danielson

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The following are search terms being used to find the law school truth in advertising a/k/a scam-busting blogs:

law grad unemployment rate

 post office ad

 legal outsourcing june 2010

 “law grads prospects ebb with economy”

 nando fourth tier law schools

 funny one liners found in serious letter

 how to hide your law degree on your resume

 www.cnn news on florida unemployment ext

 cleveland young lawyer job market

 law graduates+economy+recession+no jobs+

 unemployed recent law school graduate jd

 law degree worthless 2010

 tier 5 in michigan unemployment

 why do you think higher taxes lead to job

 unemployed blog

 unemployment los angeles legal

 median rank at howard law

 educational malpractice attorney

 new york times law degree

 put degree on business card jd

 unemployed attorneys may 2010

 sallie mae rip off

You see the authors of these blogs aren’t causing trouble, just exposing it. Providing the people what they request. Just imagine how many thousands of people are inputting these terms into search engines, trying to find an answer that will make sense of the legal industry or provide some comfort. I hope the readers didn’t mind but take a look at the geographic cross-section: Cleveland, OH, Los Angeles, CA,  Michigan, Florida–the legal industry is suffering everywhere. Wonder if 60 Minutes will interview a cross-section of law graduates (different tiers, different graduation dates) like they did the Nigerian fraud victims. Come, come from behind the embarrassment, start blogging too!

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Third Recent News Article: Law graduates, economy and job market

This is related to the previous post on Life’s Mockery: Another News Article: “Law Degree Can’t Guarantee Law Firm Offer” . Just a couple of days ago Crain Business Journal posted:

Law grads’ job prospects ebb with economy – Crain’s Cleveland Business . “As 2010 law school graduates are framing their diplomas and are preparing to enter the working world, the profession is reporting that employment rates for the class of 2009 were the lowest in more than a decade.” The low employment rate didn’t happen over night, other factors contributed to the steady decline of the legal industry. Those in certain positions knew this but not only continued enrolling law students, but increased the number of law students matriculating at their institution. You knew, 0Ls likely didn’t but agents of the industry did.

“The employment rate last year was the lowest since 1996. In addition, the employment numbers include an increase in the number of graduates engaged in part-time and short-term work, as well as more grads taking jobs at the schools they had attended.” And you still are posting on various boards and blogs which law school you’re considering attending. A wise man or woman learn from the mistakes of others.

“Jennifer Blaga, director of career planning at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, said the employment rate for her class of 201 students in 2009 was 84.8%, though she cautioned that not all students report whether they have found jobs.” I’ll repeat what I wrote in that other post: If I went around and asked 10 people I knew were employed and they all said yes I can easily offer that out of the people I surveyed, 100% were employed, which by no means reflect the actual legal industry and broader economy.”

“Ms. Blaga said Cleveland State law graduates are better off than some because they often are looking for jobs at smaller firms, many of which did not face the same challenges that large law firms have over the past three years, when new hires often were deferred for several months and attorneys were laid off.” Smaller firms which also start off at a lower salary for attorney positions not likely to increase earning potential nor maintain a decent standard of living.

“While the 2009 NALP Employment Report and Salary Survey noted that an increasing number of law schools were boosting their employment figures by offering graduates positions at their alma maters, Ms. Blaga — herself a Cleveland-Marshall graduate, albeit in 1994 — said that is not the case at Cleveland State. In 2009, 1.2% of graduates had jobs in academia; 55.6% entered private practice, with slightly more than half of those graduates working in firms with two to 10 attorneys.” They’re on the defensive thanks to Nando at Third Tier Reality and see  Exposing The Law School Scam: A closer look at the employment stats for the 2009 law school class They know people are dissecting the statistics they proffer.

“At the 192 law schools that responded to the NALP survey, academic employment rose to 3.5% in 2009 from 2.3% in 2008. Talking about plumping a turkey so the masses can devour. These temporary, revolving positions helped law schools report exaggerated employment statistics for the new hapless crop to be harvested in next three years, but look:
“James Leipold, NALP’s executive director, said the academic hires were one piece of the “underlying weakness” the employment figures hid. More than 40% of the law schools reported that they provided jobs for graduates on campus and, including judicial clerkships, nearly 25% of all jobs for graduates were temporary.” Now that’s some honesty.

“Added Ms. Weinzierl: “Employers are realizing lawyers have a lot of skills others may not have. They’re more open to considering those who have a legal background.” You’re kidding me right? Please explain why most lawyers have noted that having a J.D. is a detriment to finding working outside the legal field and with professors and seasoned practicioners admitting that law graduates are entering the legal workforce with little to no practical skills, thus unprepared to meet the needs of firms and clients. Oh, do explain.

Legal Outsourcing Company: Someone’s thriving from Lawyers’ Misery PART II

 

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Wow, in the last post I discussed the vendor company iBridge, now we have actual LAW FIRMS that just focus on document reviewe and e-discovery. Wait, you mean that it is not lucrative to practice law? Apparently not. Introducing:  Ryley Carlock, a law firm which thrives on actual document review by its now knew facility. Wow, there’s that word again facility (factory).  Here’s the article stint:

Ryley Carlock opening Michigan center – Phoenix Business Journal, June 17, 2010.  

The Phoenix-based law offices of Ryley Carlock & Applewhite PC will open a new document review center in Grand Rapids, Mich., next month.

Ryley’s document review practice group helps clients manage electronic and physical documents related to lawsuits, evidence discovery and regulatory compliance . The new center will expand on the firms abilities in those areas. This firm is also implementing the business model whereby the contract attorneys will be working for these types of businesses eliminating the need for major law firms to hire through placement agencies. Temporary agencies are next on the chopping block in the big legal-business shift of the legal industry. For some reason, I shed no tear. For all the times decent attorneys were placed in surreal, mental hospital-like conditions with poor sanitary conditions, recruiters and managers who overlook or mishandle violations, improper (we’re talking extreme) near violent-like work conditions with the expection to produce a certain amount of work per day, I say let the games begin. Oh and yes, I forgot to mention the horrendous skimming off contractual attorneys hourly rate whereby they make the same or less than plumbers, mechanics, construction workers, etc. I respect those that do manual labor more, they see what their hands have wrought, they actually constructed something…o.k…I’m back.

Ryley attorney Matt Clarke said the Michigan legal documentation center will start out at 4,000 square feet and accommodate 30 to 40 attorneys. He said it could grow to 16,000 square feet.

Clarke and Ryley Managing Partner Rudy Parga said the Michigan location will help the firm service clients in the Northeast and Midwest. [emphasis mine]. So, out of the major legal markets in the United States: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and West (California), this firm is providing services for two of the three markets. For people who continue to tell lawyers that the East Coast is the economic hub and you can always get a job there, I hope this has enlightened you.

“It give us more touches of our clients,” Parga said.

Parga said as much as half of Ryley’s legal document review work comes from other law firms representing clients in complex, paperwork-heavy cases and lawsuits. No need for new attorneys, “facilities” have it covered.

p.s.: MarketWatch recently featured Epiq Systems, another vendor who provides “innovative” solutions for e-discovery: June 15, 2010: Epiq Systems Retires $50 Million Convertible Debt and Expands Senior Revolving Credit Facility – MarketWatch; and take a look at their brief business model: The Epiq Difference, you’ll see on p.2 where the company provides contract attorneys. And you guys used to laugh at the weird IT guys, looks like they’re having the last laugh.

Note from a Harvard Legal Journal: ‘Rethinking Legal Education’

To quote Esq. Never: http://esqnever.blogspot.com/2010/02/hands-off-education.html “target=”_blank” “Nonetheless, I don’t think I’m too far off the mark. Driving schools teach people how to drive. Typing schools teach people how to type. Clown colleges even teach people how to be clowns. Why on earth don’t law school actually teach people to be lawyers?”

Someone is hearing the call for reform.

As you state the sentiment of others, I came across this brief note in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. The note is entitled: ‘Rethinking Legal Education’: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/crcl/vol43_2/595-598_Chemerinsky.pdf

The line that yelled from the pages for me is: “But the reality is that few law students graduate from law school ready to practice law.” Honestly it was my understanding that most people received practical experience from clerkships at private firms, government agencies including the judiciary. These experiences do take place outside of law school but oft-times simultaenously on a part-time basis while a law student is matriculating.

It isn’t until the very end that you realize that although the note makes a good point, it’s a plug written by a dean for a new law school (the three horns music from the end of ‘A Law School Carol” comes to mind immediately).  Is it really necessary to open an entirely new law school, especially in California to implement these types of programs? One could’ve taken these ideas to law schools that are already in existence and struggling and raise their ranks and benefit the students that are already enrolled. Oh I forgot, actually investing in an American education isn’t worth much. Opening a new law school (August 2009)–priceless: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Although some are hearing the desparate pleas, no one is LISTENING. There’s always a caveat. Always.

NOTE:  Do you know how difficult it is to have a legal article read, accepted, edited and published in an IVY law school journal. Although this was only a note, I find it peculiar how a four-page advertisement is easily accepted by a Harvard Journal.

A Law Degree and Nowhere to Go: January 24, 2010 (from Psychology Today)

I thought this was an interesting article, especially for those CONSIDERING going to law school; what’s kind of funny is the books she recommends at the end of the article, like the legal profession has dissipated!____________________________________________________

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/career-transitions/201001/law-degree-and-nowhere-go

A Law Degree and Nowhere to Go

Lawyers face unique challenges in the job market.

Published on January 24, 2010

When the recession first hit, we heard that there were certain “safe” career fields like health care, higher education, etc. But as the recession drones on, so-called safe industries are belt-tightening and finding themselves subject to the same economics stresses facing other industries. Even the practice of law.

The public perception about legal careers is generally inaccurate. People assume that a law degree guarantees a permanent job, a great income and an exciting, high-powered life fighting for justice. Not to mention a great career for those who like to argue. And the portrayal of lawyers in the media tends to support that image. When warned about this, college students planning to attend law school often say, “well I know the law isn’t exactly like “Law & Order,” but….” – and that’s where the line between myth and reality starts to blur. Sally Kane, writing for About.com identifies some of the prevalent myths about the practice of law.

The Wall Street Journal’s legal blog recently wrote about the increasing isolation in the practice of law and its relationship to depression and suicide. But the legal profession was struggling prior to the recession.

A survey in Legal Careers Blog pointed out growing dissatisfaction with the practice of law. Almost half of all lawyers expressed dissatisfaction with their careers and only 4 in 10 lawyers would recommend a legal career to others. People were looking to leave the practice of law and do anything else.

That was 2008. And then the recession really hit. Law firms have gone bankrupt. Thousands of lawyers have been laid off. New law school graduates are finding the offers less attractive and less plentiful. A legal blog, Above The Law, tracks the legal employment situation, noting weekly layoffs. Another blog, Law Shucks, runs both a “bonus tracker” and a “layoff tracker” simultaneously pointing out the appeal and the risk of the field. Both blogs point to the challenging job market for new graduates and for mid-career lawyers laid off from what were once guaranteed-for-life jobs.

All this leads to more lawyers in the general job market who, as a group, face particularly unique challenges. Employers will assume that you went to law school to be a lawyer so any other career path must be a second choice and the minute the market for lawyers returns, you’ll be gone. They may also assume that you’ll want a higher salary than other workers.

So I’m going to be blunt here: You WERE a lawyer. Get over it– if you want to get a job elsewhere. Let me explain. A law degree provides a great learning experience. You learned to create compelling arguments, develop writing skills, conduct legal analysis, solve problems creatively, etc. As a lawyer, you handled deadlines, dealt with crises, worked long hours, etc. All things employers might want.  But you also know that the word “lawyer” comes with a lot of baggage. People can view lawyers as money-oriented, manipulative, and at worst– litigious and always looking for the next lawsuit. No employer wants to live in fear that their employee will sue them, and hiring a lawyer for a non-legal job seems to invite that.

So how do you make the transition from lawyer/law student to “working anywhere but the law”?

Here are a few tips:

1. Start by analyzing your strengths and interests. What other career fields have you considered? Where would you like to apply your talents? Some career fields lend themselves more naturally to a background in law, including: academic administration, banking/finance, consulting, environmental, government, human resources, intellectual property, journalism, immigration, labor relations, publishing, real estate, and tax preparation. How would your legal background make you a better employee in your newly-chosen field?

2. Focus on the field you’re going into– not where you’ve been. Research the career fields you’re considering. Talk to people in the field. Join professional organizations related to your new field to demonstrate a sincere interest. Develop an understanding of what they do on a day-to-day basis. Determine if/where/how your legal background could contribute to the field. Remove legal jargon from your resume– make sure it speaks to the new field you’re moving into, not the old one you’re leaving.

3. Determine what percentage of time your legal education/background would come into play at the job and then tailor your cover letter, resume, and interview responses accordingly. Obviously, if the position/employer would greatly benefit from your legal degree, then go to town and tell them everything about your legal background. BUT—

4. If people can be hired for the position without a law degree– that’s a clue that your law degree isn’t the be-all and end-all and should not be the first thing you bring up. So don’t have your identity bound up in being a lawyer. Your resume will indicate your legal training and background. You need to come up with other more compelling reasons for the employer to hire you in your cover letter. For instance, don’t start your cover letter with, “As an attorney…” or waste a paragraph detailing your legal acumen when the employer doesn’t care.

5. Know why an employer might have concerns about hiring a lawyer. Don’t waste energy bemoaning the lawyer jokes and complaining that it’s not “fair.” Since you know the problem ahead of time, be ready to address concerns which might not even be voiced. Make sure employers know your skill set is greater than practicing law. And find a way to answer the unasked questions: Can you get along with people? Are you too argumentative? Are you overly competitive? Intense? Do you have hidden agendas?  Here’s a particularly unique challenge for lawyers: they think differently. Let’s put that another way: they are pessimists– it’s what makes them successful lawyers. Unfortunately, the law is one of the only career fields that rewards pessimistic thinking: optimists do better in virtually every other career field. Read the link to learn more about this.

The job market is tough for everyone.  Don’t make it harder for yourself by making the mistakes other lawyers make when they try to move out of their fields. I met a floral arranger recently whose business card had “JD” after her name.  I asked her why she put the degree on her card.  She said, “Well I earned it– I might as well flaunt it.” She has a point, but she also confessed that she went into business for herself because employers weren’t “open-minded enough” to hire a former lawyer. And it made me wonder: was it the employers who weren’t open-minded or was she just too attached to her degree?

Here are some resources to check out about transitioning out of the law: “Running from the Law: Why Good Lawyers Are Getting Out of the Legal Profession” by Deborah Arron

“The Unhappy Lawyer” by Monica Parker

What Can You Do with a Law Degree” by Deborah Arron