Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last night, while I lay thinking here, some Holyshits crawled inside my ear and pranced and partied all night long....

Holyshit, I'm doing Doc Review.
Holyshit, why does this type of work now require experience.
Holyshit, a sterile cross between an ape and a monkey can do this.
Holyshit, I'm paid hourly.
Holyshit, I'm paid so little hourly.
Holyshit, I am not paid when I spend time visiting my family for Thanksgiving.
Holyshit, taxes are high when you count every last penny.
Holyshit, it's hard to budget when your paycheck varies from week to week.
Holyshit, I don't know how I will bill 70 hours in a week, when I'm limited to 9 a day.
Holyshit, I'm afraid my throat is itchy.
Holyshit, I fear that I may have swine flu.
Holyshit, I am in a cramped room with 20 other attorneys.
Holyshit, I'm elbow to elbow with my neighbor.
Holyshit, I'm going to start an epidemic of swine flu at this law firm.
Holyshit, I am paid hourly so I can't afford to do the honest thing and stay home.
Holyshit, I'm bound to spread swine flu to my neighbors because we are sitting elbow to elbow in a hot room.
Holyshit, one of the guys forgot to wear deodorant.
Holyshit, I don't have room to use my mouse and I may develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
Holyshit, my toe hurts.
Holyshit, I think I have an ingrown toe nail.
Holyshit, I can't afford to take time off to see a podiatrist.
Holyshit, I'm not sure that I am covered by COBRA yet because I just sent in the form.
Holyshit, a co-pay is a lot to worry about when you don't know where your next paycheck is coming from.
Holyshit, this project may end soon.
Holyshit, an infected toe is totally not cool when you're stuck in a crowded conference room.
Holyshit, I can't take this pressure.
Holyshit, I may lose my mind.

But then I look around the crowded room and I see that it's not just me who suffers from the Holyshits. The room is filled with laid off attorneys from big corporations and prominent firms, attorneys who are tired of the associate lifestyles and attorneys who fear that they won't be able to support their children on such shitty pay.
Everything seems well, and then
Holyshits strike again!

[In the style of Shel Silverstein]

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tough Market for Law School Grads - ABC News

Tough Market for Law School Grads - ABC News

ABC covers the current situation for Law School Grads! Yippy. This is as mainstream as it gets. The word is getting out and there's no hiding the law school scam anymore!

Law Firm Business Model Implodes!

Wow. Rough day in the exotic and exciting life of a big city [unemployed] attorney. Had to come home to see the Fam for Turkey Day. Rather than take the train or airplane, to which I had grown accustomed in recent years, my broke ass took the bus. I convinced myself that it's actually a more luxurious ride than a train because buses often have Wi-Fi. Not the one I rode. When I asked the bus driver about Wi-Fi, he pointed out the plug. Mmmmm. No. So, instead of posting this from the bus, I am sitting up until 1:30 on Turkey Day Eve sharing my tale. I am so cool, with my duffle bag and lunch box. I can't even afford to buy a decent dinner before I hit the road. I packed PB&J. Isn't it grand, being a high-powered attorney?

So, to what I intended on Posting from the bus:

My friend, Ronnie, sent me an article that he thinks I should share with you all (or y'all if you're southern, he-haw!). As an aside, Ronnie is several years younger than me. When I was in law school, he was a senior at the undergrad of the same name. We met while we both worked in the Law Library. I would tell him almost daily... Ronnie, you're smart and athletic and handsome. Why do you want to go to law school? You will seriously lose points if you go. Like many starry-eyed pre-laws... he didn't listen to my tales of woe. He went to a law school in the deep south and surely regrets it... as he too is unemployed. And he was kind enough to stay good friends with me so I could tell him "I told you so" regularly.
Anyways, gotta love Ronnie.

So he sends me this article about how law firms are undercutting each others' bids for business--to the point where the low fees make business unsustainable. I just chuckle to myself. They are offering "free discovery" (i.e. discovery for 5 cents/hr done by Indians in sweat shops in Calcutta) and free motions.... LOL! Why do I laugh, you ask? Isn't it hilarious that they could all agree to go lockstep on increasing salaries for first years... remember when they all increased the first year salary to $165K? Don't get excited pre-laws... when I say "they all".. that is in the 'top 20 NYC firm' sense of the word. As in, 'not likely to be a $165K salary for you' kind of salary. Anyways... these firms could all agree to stay lockstep and pay associates the same amount. But they could not agree at this DIRE time, not to undercut each other? What options would companies involved in American Litigation have???? If all of the major law firms decided that they would not drop hourly fees below a certain amount... then the companies would be forced to pay it. Instead.. being the EXCELLENT business people that lawyers have proven themselves to be, they are running themselves into the red. They are firing talent daily. They are shipping jobs to India. They are ruining the legal industry.

Should I hold a summit and explain this to them? DON'T REDUCE FEES. YOU ARE DEVALUING OUR WORK! Companies will always remember this time as the moment they learned that attorneys weren't worth anything. How low will they go?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Give Protectionism a Chance... Please!

Why did I take the bar if I could have gone to India and been a lawyer without suffering for those 2 to 3 months? As many of my readers surely know, in August of 2008, the ABA blessed legal outsourcing to countries such as India. I find it ironic that the ABA would make a move that would be so detrimental to American lawyers and compromise the integrity of the American legal system. No, that's wrong. I expect it of the ABA at this point. The ABA is my enemy, actually.
In my view, international outsourcing leaves so much room for debasing our "high ethical standards." If American legal work can be outsourced to companies located in India, how can we control the standards by which one becomes a lawyer in India? For example, a person graduating from an unaccredited school in California would not qualify to sit for the bar in most (49 of 50) states... yet they can likely go to India and work as an attorney. Whose stopping them? What is the justification behind having to pass a bar to practice in this Country, if you can by-pass that requirement by moving across the seas. So, is this about "ethics" and "professionalism" or is it about the almighty dollar? The onus of whether or not the standards of the subjection country's legal profession is up to snuff is on the "supervising attorney." Look at your boss for a second and tell me what the hell he knows about foreign lawyers and the rigor of their respective legal education and licensing requirements.

I actually ran across an advertisement for a job at one of these outsourcing companies:

U.S. Litigator/Document Review Manager-Pangea3

Location: New York City (Greater New York City Area)


Outsourcing/Offshoring, Legal Services
November 20, 2009 by David Perla David is a 3rd degree contact
$70,000 - $100,000 Per Year
Base Salary + Benefits + Equity
Referral Bonus:
  • Bonus based on merit and contribution

LinkedIn Exclusive — this job is available only on LinkedIn

Job Description

Dynamic US Litigator Sought for India-based Leadership Opportunity
Looking for an outgoing, organized, self-starting, and highly-motivated, midlevel or senior U.S. litigator or document review manager looking to change career paths and leverage his or her legal education.

Pangea3 is the global leader of legal outsourcing solutions to corporations and law firms.

We are a high-growth, fast paced, energized group of lawyers, engineers, and business professionals working together to achieve excellence in the newest frontier of global legal services. We are revolutionizing the way lawyers around the world practice law, and we are having a tremendously fun time doing it. Today, Pangea3 seeks a dynamic, proactive, and highly motivated U.S. lawyer to join our team of US and Indian lawyers in Mumbai, India to help manage our litigation division primarily focused on electronic discovery.

Job Description:

Mid-level to senior litigator with at least five years experience at a large law firm or managing document reviews in a staffing or corporate environment.

The ideal candidate will assume a leadership role in assisting in the management of Pangea3’s India-based Litigation teams on some of the highest profile cases facing US based Fortune 500 companies and financial services firms. Knowledge of Internet delivery of services, working across continents and time zones, and expertise in servicing global clients in private law firms or within the scope of a legal department of a large corporate entity is required.

Specifically, you will:

• Supervise and manage within our Mumbai facilities electronic document reviews (including responsiveness and privilege review, issue code strategy, relevance search strategy on multiple e-discovery platforms, as well as other pre-trial preparation engagements such as witness notebook preparation.

• Supervise and manage within our Mumbai facilities contract summarizations/abstractions and/or contract drafting projects.

• Teach India-based members of the litigation and/or corporate teams on industry specific terms of art, business practices, and domain specific areas of US law.

• Ensure that all work product generated is client ready and will meet highest U.S. and international standards.

• Manage multiple projects simultaneously while meeting stringent restrictions on time and billable hour considerations.

• Coordinate efforts of clients working with our organization including maintaining relationships and high-level touch with in-house counsel attorneys and third party law firm attorneys.

• Support business development activities, including participating in client phone calls and meetings as and when needed.

• Act as a liaison with corporate partners on work-related matters.

• Participate in the budgeting and review processes to evaluate team members.

A highly effective communicator, you have:

• A JD and admission to at least one state bar.

• Solid experience and a demonstrable acumen to communicate with and successfully manage teams.

• A minimum of five years' litigation-related and/or document review experience.

• A desire to live in Mumbai, India. The ideal candidate will live in Mumbai, India for at least the first two years of employment with Pangea3.

Additional Required Skills:

• Excellent verbal and writing skills.

• Strong Inter-Personal Skills/Outgoing.

• Proficient Internet and PC skills, including PowerPoint, Word and Excel.

• Highly proficient with the most popular web based document review platforms.

• Comfort with, and ability to, communicate with C-Level executives and law firm partners.

• Capable of Working under Pressure.

• Ability to prioritize, handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and maintain high levels of confidentiality.

• Attention to detail and strong follow-up skills.

• Good judgment and initiative in selecting the most effective marketing and sales methods.

• Team management experience preferred.

We offer a challenging, enriching and entrepreneurial work environment. Compensation includes equity, competitive benefits and bonus.

Qualified candidates should send resumes to with the subject line "US Litigator"

Company Description

Pangea3 is the global leader of legal outsourcing solutions to corporations and law firms.

We are a high-growth, fast paced, energized group of lawyers, engineers, and business professionals working together to achieve excellence in the newest frontier of global legal services. We are revolutionizing the way lawyers around the world practice law, and we are having a tremendously fun time doing it. Today, Pangea3 seeks a dynamic, proactive, and highly motivated U.S. lawyer to join our team of US and Indian lawyers in Mumbai, India to help manage our litigation division primarily focused on electronic discovery.

Additional Information

  • Referrals through network preferred.

Job ID: 789202

So, this company is probably in search of one American Lawyer who is licensed to practice law in the States to supervise the work of 500 Indian Document Reviewers. Well, at least they are keeping it honest. I am just so upset that the ABA has done their share to ship American Jobs abroad.. and this time, it's involving a fundamental part of American Life... the Justice System. Excellent job, ABA!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Holidays are Around the Corner!

Nothing gets me more in the mood than The Christmas Carol... the ghosts... Scrooge and Tiny Tim. EsqNever (a fellow blogger) has made the story relevant to lawyers in his creation of Law School Carol. Hilarious, kids. Make sure to watch parts #2 to #5 as well and the epilogue.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Executive Director of ABA Resigns!

I'm ecstatic. Henry F. White Jr. resigned. I hope he realized that he is a failure, that ass wipe. I wish he was laid off instead. But I'll accept this and rejoice the day!

Who do you think I am? Oh yah, a lawyer.

When I first got out of law school, one of my main challenges was the people's perception of a lawyer. I went from getting discounts and breaks for being a woman and a student... to getting the "lawyer" treatment. Let me illustrate through a story.

I dye my hair. I always do. I don't have to, but I like to look "pretty" or different. Whatever. When I first moved here, it was a challenge to find an affordable salon. I went to all the normal places downtown. I quickly realized that I couldn't afford getting my hair done there on 50K a year. So, I tried the low end salons in the expensive area... and suffered greatly. I had a woman cut my long locks off with clippers--of all things. The salon thought that cutting hair with clippers was innovative. Another time and another salon, I had hair that was the same color as Bozo the Clown's. And it's curly too. So, I looked like Bozo the Clown. I was desperate.

I was looking for the holy grail of hair stylists... both affordable and talented. So, the next best thing would be to go to ethnic salons.

A secretary at my office came in one day with a kick ass haircut and phenomenal highlights. I was so intrigued!

"Allisa, where the heck did you get your hair done? It looks amazing??!"

"Oh my God, Angel. I go to this Tranny Mexican's salon in the mexican part of town. She's cheap as shit, but she is really good!"


I made an appointment and walked, NO, ran down to the salon. Well, I took the train.

I exited the train and walked past Mexican restaurants and grocery stores. I passed a couple of members of the Latin Kings. Everyone was nice as can be. I even stopped in a Mexican/Cuban bakery and ordered a tres leches cake. Delicious. I was happy as a clam to find this gem of a neighborhood and a diamond of a Tranny Hair Stylist.

So, I walked in the salon. I spotted Ursula right away. She's the only Mexican I've ever seen (who isn't born here) that was over 6 feet tall. She was wearing a see through mesh shirt and her tatas were exposed to the world. It was love.

We didn't understand a word the other said, but I left with brilliant looking hair. Somehow, I conveyed to her that I worked with Allisa at a law office. I wasn't specific. By our hand gestures and small exchange, I could tell she assumed I was a secretary.

We "spoke" about her well endowed boyfriend and how he rescued her from her pueblo [sic] in Mexico. The grand total for a cut and highlights was $50.

And it was $50 when I came in again in a few months.

It was $50 when I came a few months later.

At my third appointment, she did her magic once again. I opened my purse and reached for my $50 bill and an additional $15 for tip.

Then she said... $175.

What????? I went to an ATM at the store next door and got the money.

The next day, I went up to Allisa and told her what happened. Allisa was shocked and dumbfounded.

Then she came into my office and said,

"I know what happened. I got my hair cut yesterday and she asked me what you do here and I told her you were a lawyer. She must have figured you can afford it." WRONG!

Yes.. she knew I was an Abogado. Of course, I could never go back. Why would I trek into the Mexican Barrios to pay Downtown prices?

I really need to go back to my natural color.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Legality in the Law

Although the mainstream media will have you believe that the legal world has suffered only because of the recession, I contend that it has been dying a slow death since the bubble burst. I have had several opportunities to run away from the law and I ignored them. Of course, the first came when two grown women stood in my mother's nail salon and cried, literally wailed, about how being an attorney ruined their lives. The second time was when my first semester grades came in below par. I trekked on like a stampeding cow. I more than made up for my first semester--but it was too late by then. Eventually, I found myself working for a small law firm. I thought I jumped the hurdle and was ready to be a real attorney. I had no idea what I was in for.

Working at a small firm was eye opening at first. Then it was jaw dropping. The small firm that employed me was willing to pay me a decent wage. $50K at the time--about 10 years ago. I was ecstatic.

But as I worked there I noticed a few practices that were not legal. I was shocked at first, but then I came to understand that a small firm needs to cut corners to survive. If you show me an honest small practice, I will will show you a broke ass attorney.

My former employer was very inventive with the way he paid me. Let's say my take home, after taxes were deducted, was $1200. At first I received pay checks with FICA and federal/state tax taken out. I saw that I was contributing to my Social Security, or that of my parents. I doubt I'll ever get that money. I was fine. After a few months of a check, payday would come and I wasn't being paid on time. Pay Day was Friday. By the following Tuesday, being taught not to beg, I unwittingly approached my employer and said, "MMMM... where's my paycheck? Did you forget to pay me?"

"OHHHH... the paychecks were sent out late. Do you want to wait until Friday or should I just give you cash?"

Dilemma. I have bills to pay. A mortgage and student loans. "I'll just take the cash." The same thing kept happening week after week until I nearly never saw a paycheck. My reported income dropped from $36K to $11K in a couple of years. I suppose I wouldn't have minded much if I was given the GROSS pay, so I can deal with the taxes on my own. No. My boss would give me the $1200. I was being treated like a Mexican illegal.

That wasn't where it ended, either. Let's talk about Health Care.
I didn't have any. The Health Care Plan of the office was, if a worker gets sick--the boss will pay for the expenses. I guess it worked fine at the time. I was suffering from severe stomach problems and was diagnosed years later with IBS. But instead of seeing a gastro specialist, I saw the local pediatrician--the firm's client. He suggested I take Prozac because I had a nervous stomach.

I also suffered, like many women, from PMS. I woke up one day and I had horrible cramps. I felt trapped because I didn't feel right asking my Boss to pay for birth control pills to alleviate my pain. So, I called in sick. Some of my friends had given me a Percocet and few Vicodin that they had been prescribed for dental surgeries and sprained ankles. I self medicated and alternated between the bed and tub. My caring employer called me to see how I was.... every fucking hour. "Hey, Angel. How are you feeling? You want me to send somebody to come and pick you up? "

"No, I'm sick."

The phone rang again... probably the fifth time that day. I didn't answer. My boss left me a horrible message in an accusatory tone. "I'm calling to see how you're feeling. Where the hell are you? I thought you said you're home! Are you home? If you're not, you should come to work."

I called back after hearing the nasty message. And my boss YELLED at me about how I'm a liar and he just cares and wants to know how I'm feeling.
I lost it...
"I was on the SHITTER. That's why I didn't call you back. Can you leave me the hell alone or I'm never going to feel better! You're bothering me."

I hated him. But I knew that I made myself indispensable and that was the reason why he cared. My job was secure. His biggest fear was that I would claim to be ill, and interview elsewhere.

I have bad teeth. I don't have fangish or craggley teeth, but I feel that they are perpetually rotting away. You can imagine that I didn't have dental insurance. But I knew that things were going down hill in the four years that I spent at this firm. I told my boss that he needs to look into dental insurance for me and others in the office that need it. He told me to do the research and give it to him. I did. Then I bugged him about it bi-weekly.

About a year after I brought up the topic, I woke up one morning and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I tasted that something was a little bit off. I peered in my mouth, and to my HORROR, my wisdom tooth had caved in.

I went to the office and showed my tooth to my boss and chastised him for not getting me dental insurance. In accordance with the Health Care Policy, the boss paid for it.
He sent me to another of the firm's clients, a dentist, to give me about $6K worth of dental work.

I don't think my small firm experience is that different that that of others. I have several friends that were paid less than me, in cash. They were not permitted sick days. They lived without health insurance. They were lucky they didn't get pregnant or sick with cancer.

All of this, and I don't blame my former boss. I think that is what he needed to do to pay his attorneys a living wage. But I find it almost comical that my parents became citizens of this Great Nation to have their daughter treated like an illegal.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Minority Law Student Numbers are Dropping! Good for Them!

Let me preface this by saying that I'm a minority... although I am brown, I am considered "White". I don't make the rules and I don't get it, but that's the fact. In any case, my heart says that I am ECSTATIC for minority students. I ran across this article wherein the Director of New York State Division of Human Rights is ALARMED that the number of minority Law Students has decreased by as much as 9.2%. I say, touché!

For once, minorities will end up on top because they MUST have realized the mistake of going to Law School. I know that schools will throw money at them to fix their numbers for USNWR purposes.

And frankly, as a minority, I don't think that law school is for us. Frankly, my brain works very different than an old man in a robe's brain. It's not worse or better, but different. I've felt this way my whole life. Or maybe it's minorities' general lack of resources (i.e. lawyer parents, family law libraries, etc.)

Law Schools bend over backwards to get minorities in and it's not working. I could not be happier.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ABA is Actually Doing Something! Too Little, Too Late!

I stole this from ATL, but I think I have to address it... and I'd like to think I have different readers. Apparently, the ABA is actually lobbying the Obama Administration for recent grads. What does this relief entail? The ABA is hoping that Obama will convert private loans to federally backed loans. Why? Because federal loans can be deferred for up to 3 years. I guess the ABA thinks that these recent jobless grads will be settled into their high paying jobs in 3 years. Yah right! We all know by now that the market is saturated beyond to belief and will continue to be such until schools are closed and people stop flocking to law schools. Besides, what isn't mentioned is that a deferral isn't that helpful. While you defer paying your loans, the interest accrues and the principle ends up being larger than it was when you started. I know someone that deferred his loans to pay off other debts for three years. A 50K loan ballooned to a 75K loan in those three years. Is that the answer?

I think that answer is to both forgive interest on loans for the period that law students are without work AND tie payments to income. If you can only find a job for $45K, then a payment of $150 is probably all that you can afford.

Although, I would like to give credit to the ABA for looking out for lawyers (for once), I am prohibited from doing so because I fear they haven't made much ground in this recent crusade. After all, Access Group (the largest lender of private loans) hasn't even heard about the ABA's latest mission. Go ABA! Keep fighting the good fight for us!

Angel Gets a Job Offer!! Don't Celebrate Yet!

I'm a cocky person. I also do a great interview. So, I wasn't shocked to hear back from a firm that I had applied to. I sat in on the first interview and I wasn't that impressed. I was frankly wondering why I applied to work there. I was a little blase about the job. So, much like lovers, these men were more interested in me because I wasn't that interested in them.

I didn't even send a Thank You note.

So, I had my second interview with this firm. I decided I'd give it a chance, although I doubted that they would pay me enough to work there. I'm not looking to earn a ton, but working at this firm would necessitate the purchase of vehicle and I don't like driving or spending money on cars. I love public transportation. That's why I live where I live.

So I met with the firm's head honcho and it was clear that I was the "One" for him. He practically had stars in his eyes. Then it came time for the salary. He asked me how much I was making. I told him and he literally, tipped his chair back, raised his mouth to the sky and laughed like a hyena. I was a bit hurt.

Then he told me what he was thinking. Without going into details... it was fucking low.
Low-- as in--I don't think I can work there and eat at the same time. I imagine taking a job at that salary would make me more poor because I would go into debt supporting my working habit.

So, feeling like I had nothing to lose, I grew some balls and told him:
I have a proposal for you. Why don't you hire someone right out of law school, because that's the right salary for them and when you have more clients as you claim you will, you can give me a call. I'll come in and fix everything the new grad got wrong and I will earn back my salary for the firm in no time.

He must have liked that because then the tables turned.

I was interviewing him. He proceeded to tell me about his million dollar practice fromm another life and all of the big clients he was expecting, how connected he was and how this firm was growing exponentially.

I didn't want to be a bitch, but I'm sure I came off as one. I told him that I'll still be around in 6 months and he can contact me after he lands those clients.

He apparently doesn't hear well, because he told me to consider the offer and get back to him as soon as possible.

Yah, right.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nigerians in the News...

I am an avid reader of The Temporary Attorney Blog and what I often find most entertaining is the comments. There is the "Lisa Needs Braces" chant, which reads like this:


I don't really understand the point. I guess it's about temp attorneys needing benefits.

The other comments that are often quite funny (although extremely racist) are those about Nigerians. Apparently, there's a feeling that they are infiltrating our temp job markets and accepting less pay. I worked with a lovely Nigerian Lady and she wasn't at all like that. Those comments read like the following:

I remember when I got sworn in in a court with a marble bust of Bejamin Cardozo the judge told the drivers license like crowd of how proud they and their families should be of their achievement. It's been downhill from there. Being a prostitute is more noble than being a lawyer. The Nigerians were smiling taking photo-ops that day. Maybe happy that they outsmarted the system while everyone else was drowning in $200k of debt and three years wasted so that they could have the privilege of campus life. Like the Touro professor test driving every hot body on campus. Then throwing them away for the next slutty looking airhead.


Ruthless? I mean they are just letting the Irish and the Nigerians take over all of the big and shit law firms in NY in addition to all of the recruiting agencies. Seem like every time I look I see another Jew firm taking on Nigerian and Polish names on their letterheads. They are such pussycats that a jew can't even get a job in law anymore. They only thing left to them is lox distribution.


What do u have against everybody? Send the Nigerians back and be done with it. There is no need to be so offensive. Drop Dead Spoiled Brad with Oversized Ego!

Wow! Aren't they horrid? Well, if any of those anonymous posters read my blog, I found this article about Nigerians. It is sure to push some Temp Attorneys over the edge. Apparently, a Nigerian State Government has sponsored 45 indigenes of the state for a programme at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja at the cost of N15 million."

Yippy! More Nigerians! We should welcome them to our abysmal job market with open arms!

Why, Oh WHY????

So apparently, I'm not reaching people. I came across this article in the Daily Iowan and nearly up-chucked. In short, University of Iowa's law school applicants has increased by 53%!!! Shut up. I'm so upset.

Well, I guess that has always been the trend. When people cannot find gainful employment--they go to school. Tradition has always said that law school is a wise decision. This is the premise that I seek to usurp daily. It is an extremely UN-wise decision.

But wait! A further read of the article reveals that it's not the economy that is causing the people to stampede UI's law school, but "largely a result of more aggressive recruiting efforts."

I'm pretty convinced that the ABA paid off this newspaper because the author included the following fibs:

"In previous years, the mortgage and credit crises have forced application numbers down as potential students struggled just to stay afloat, he said. But people are adjusting now and realizing they can be accepted to and pay for law school, he said.

People are also realizing the benefits of a law degree in the current economy. Officials agree when the economy falls, interest in graduate programs increases." [emphasis added]

University of Michigan (Tier 1) and Michigan State (Tier 3) say that they did not do more recruiting. The blame the severe increase in applicants, 50% and 40% increase respectively, on the economy alone.

Thank goodness, all of the schools do not plan on increasing enrollment. UI seeks quality--not quantity.

I think that I'm going to post a comment on this article to dissuade students from going to school. I have to think of something good to say.

This all reminds me of when I was young. I was very good in school. According to my mother, the more school smarts I picked up, the more real world smarts fell out of my head. She said, "with every degree, you lose some common sense." Yah.. my mom can be a meanie. My point is, there are so many kids that are so brilliant that they will be able to get into a competitive law school like UI, despite the increased number of applicants. However, these same students are not intelligent enough to reconsider going to law school.

Ironic, isn't it?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Humor Print #4 “Law School Diploma Mills”

Humor Print #4 “Law School Diploma Mills”

To further illustrate my point!

The Great Lawyer Massacre of 2009

I wish this sort of article would appear on mainstream media. Like I didn't know it, but this has been the worst year in terms of attorney jobs lost in 30 years.

Just from the top 250 firms (i.e. a small percentage of total lawyers actually), over 5000 jobs have been lost.

This is the first time the number of lawyers has dipped since 1978.

I thought this stat was interesting: "The number of attorneys in 2009 sank to 126,669 lawyers, compared with 131,928 attorneys last year. In 2008, the number of attorneys increased by 4.3 percent."

Of course, if you read my blog any at all, you should know what perked my ears up at this statistic. There are 45K law student graduates pumped into the market yearly. Isn't it funny/sad/pathetic/absurd that the number of graduates is 36% of the total number of lawyers yearly? Wow... add to that, the number of lawyers is dwindling and it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Of course, what I found the MOST interesting about this article was that it only covers the news in top firms. The top 250 firms represent the the heaven of the legal industry. So if the news in paradise is bad, how is it in the depths of hell, i.e. solos, small firms, public interest?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recession Over but Unemployment Not!

Unemployment has topped 10%, the highest number since 1983. I know the legal industry has been affected. Nearly everyone that I know that is unemployed is an attorney, but that could be because I'm an attorney. But I know people in finance, and although the world looked dark for them in September of 2008, they have all managed to find permanent gainful employment. This is not true of attorneys. What other industries have been hit? What do you unemployed friends do? My aunt is a social worker and she was laid off. My stepfather is construction and he feels that his job is touch and go. What about you?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

10 Jobs that Pay More than Law Jobs With Little to No School Loan Debt!

I ran across this on and I thought it was enlightening and depressing as hell. I thought I'd share. Enjoy....

By the way, the profession of my dreams is Funeral Director. I wish I did that instead of this.

The Career You Should Have Pursued(From Yahoo)

Here's a list of top-paying jobs requiring little schooling, and their median annual earnings as of 2006, using the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Keep in mind that these jobs have their own challenges and often require some type of specialized schooling - sometimes on-the-job training.

1. Air Traffic Controllers: $117,200

These workers make sure airplanes land and take off safely, and they typically top lists of this nature. The median 50% earned between $86,860-142,210, with good benefits. Air traffic controllers are eligible to retire at age 50 with 20 years of service, or after 25 years at any age.

Watching blinking dots on a radar screen that control the lives of hundreds can be stressful, and the job require specialized FAA schooling and on-the-job training. Typically, two to four years of training are needed in order to become fully certified, although previous military experience can cut that time down significantly.

2. Industrial Production Managers: $77,670

They oversee manufacturing activities. A college degree is preferred, but not necessarily mandatory. They often work in industries such as aviation and automobiles.

3. First-Line Police and Detective Supervisors: $69,300

Police officers can advance through the ranks to become supervisors by passing exams and achieving good performance reviews, and advanced training can help win promotions.

4. Funeral Director: $49,620

College programs in mortuary science usually last from two to four years. You typically must also serve a one-year apprenticeship, pass an exam and obtain a state license. Hours can be long and irregular. Dealing with dead bodies and crying relatives isn't for everyone.

5. Police and Sheriff Patrol Officers: $47,460

Police corporals had an average minimum annual base salary of $44,160, according to the International City-County Management Association. But total income can significantly exceed base salary because of overtime pay. And police officers can often retire at half-pay after 25-30 years of service.

Applicants usually must have at least a high school education, and some departments require a year or two of college or even a degree. Rookies are trained at police academies.

6. Advertising Sales Agents: $42,750

20% have a high school degree or less, and 10% have an Associate's degree.

7. Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: $39,760

Don't let that figure fool you; the highest 10% earned more than $111,500. While advanced coursework is not necessarily required, new entrants must pass an exam and get a state license. Connections in the community and a willingness to work hard are what really count, but experience and a good housing market also help.

8. Occupational Therapist Assistants: $42,060

These workers usually need an associate degree or a certificate. They work with occupational therapists, helping injured patients recover from, or compensate for, lost motor skills. Job prospects are good in the growing health care field, especially for those with some post-secondary education.

9. Occupational Therapist Aides: $25,000

These employees receive most training on the job. Under supervision of occupational therapists, they also work with injured people. Competition for jobs is tougher for those with only a high school diploma.

10. Physical Therapist Assistants: $41,360

These workers deal with physical therapists, helping patents improve mobility, relieve pain or overcome injuries or disabilities. Those working in home health care services tend to make more on average. Aides, earning an average of $22,000, are trained on the job. Assistants, who have greater responsibilities, typically need an associate's degree.

The Bottom Line

Despite a recession, plenty of career paths can lead to well-paying professions without spending four years or more hitting the books, including opportunities in law enforcement, health care and sales. The goal is to find a job that matches your own particular talents and preferences in addition to supporting your lifestyle.

Deep Thoughts by Angel the Lawyer

I was preparing my apartment to sublet and I called the super up to replace the faucet in the tub. It took him 45 minutes. I gave him a $40 tip. Then I chuckled to myself. I'm a lawyer and I can't find a temporary job reviewing documents for $33/hour. So, I told him that I accidentally gave him an extra $20 and took it back.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Is Ralph Nader Losing it?

I saw Ralph Nader speak about 12 years ago. I think he was running for President or somethingI appreciate him for making our vehicles safer and I do think of him every time I click my seat belt. I remember being a little disappointed at the Great Public Advocate because I sensed he was losing it. Yes, 12 years ago he appeared a little bit senile. I ran across this and, now, I know he's lost it. He visited his alma mater, Harvard Law, to promote his book: Only the Super Rich Can Save Us. Yes, Mr. Grassroots thinks that the educated and enlightened super elite of this world may be able to save us. Well, not really. He claims this book is a Utopian ideal. But, still a little nuts. The problem with entrusting the earth's future to the elite is that they cannot help the rest of the world without adversely affecting their interests. For example, a healthy company that makes excellent profits cannot possibly be fair to it's employees (with high wages and benefits) without cutting into its profits. That's why the stock market is doin so well, but unemployment remains high. A strong company is one that employees less, not more, citizens. But, I guess he can dream. Or he can be senile. Old people say the darndest things.
He also had
a few things to say about Harvard Law. He thinks that the legal system is being corroded or, in his Alzheimers way, "The law is being evaded, circumvented, destroyed, and mocked," Nader said. "What's your indignation level? We're not dealing with trivia here--we're dealing with our country."

Yah, what he said.

I think he feels it is the responsibility of law schools and law students to challenge injustice in the U.S.A. I have my own gripes about law school, but I don't have standards nearly as high as Mr. Nader's. I would happy if law schools produced lawyers that could practice directly out of law school. Or, if law schools pumped graduates into a field that paid and living wage. If I can't get what I'm asking for, than Mr. Nader can hold his breath.

This Guy Did EVERYTHING Right! Shouldn't he be Running for Office?

Overqualified Attorney Seeks Position

Date: 2009-10-31, 3:25PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I might be considered "overqualified" or too senior for most jobs posted.

More than 15 years out, top of class at Yale and Stanford Law School, former Deputy Solicitor General for New York State, federal Circuit Court clerk, diverse experience in criminal and civil cases, trial and appellate levels.

I'm ready to enter at the level you desire. I'm a quick study, eager to learn new areas. I'm a team player looking for a new start after leaving solo practice.

Think outside the box. There's value in it.

  • Compensation: negotiable
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
PostingID: 1445919455

Well, there's no shame in begging. None at all. The first thing I did when I lost my job was send an email to my 800 friends (that's actually not an overestimate) begging for help. Never mind that it amounted squat. I'm not bitter. But, I must say, this guy should be running for Attorney General, not begging for work. I want to hire him.

There's really no need, but I think this CL ad deserves a list emphasizing this person's credentials:

1. 15 Years of Experience
2. Yale
3. Stanford
4. Top of Class--presumably at both.
5. Federal Clerkship
6. Former Deputy Solicitor General of New York.

That is a list of 6 things this guy has over me. I don't stand a chance getting a job if this shark is lurking out there as well.

Is the fact that this person is unemployed a statement about our industry? Possibly. Make that, probably. But, just to illustrate a point, I'm going to try to be a little less harsh on the industry and just blame the candidate personally. Although I don't know him, and even though he had the wherewithall to get into Stanford and Yale and end up at the top of the class at both schools--I'm going to assume he is a total fuddy duddy and doesn't know how to speak to people. Why else would a person with those credentials be in that situation?

A person who was socially inept may have been able to make it into great schools, but his success would have stopped there. I guess that flame would have been put out in the interview process. But then he proceeded to get a federal clerkship and then a prestigious government position. So, is it likely that he was just a loser and couldn't get his shit together to make it in modern society? No. It's not.

Why am I going on about this? Because I used this ad to illustrate the thought process of every potential law student out there. If they are at all internet savvy, they all know the rumors about people who don't make it as lawyers or advise against going to law school. But somehow, after seeing the facts before them, they figure that something was wrong with that person or the advice somehow doesn't apply to them.

I cannot connect the dots anymore than I just did. If you don't see my point, you're never going to see it.


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