Thursday, December 29, 2011

The ONLY Way to Make Law School Affordable.

Live on the streets. My jaw hit the floor when I read this article from gawker.  I am sure he'll continue to be homeless when he becomes a debt burdened attorney.  But seriously though, there's something to this guy's strategy.  Once, when I was on a temporary project, I sat next to a guy who clearly shat in his pants and was probably homeless.  I complained to the Associate who told him he should go home and clean up and come back, so he went to bathroom--scrubbed up and came back.  He still stunk.  He could learn a little something something from this anonymous law school student.  Apparently the key is to rent a locker at a sports club/gym--actually several.  Read on...

So I have one locker for running clothes and laundry, one for dress shirts, one for dress pants and one for miscellaneous things. And also each locker has a spot for shoes at the top so that's really good.
I had to really reduce the amount of stuff that I had. I had to get rid of everything that's nonessential. I only have, like, five dress shirts, five dress pants, some running clothes that are necessary and then obviously sweatshirts and stuff. Other than clothes I don't really have a lot of stuff, just stuff for shaving and brushing my teeth and books. I have a school locker too, so that helps.
I also have access to my school. Its open until midnight and then opens again at 8 a.m. so I nap there a lot. There's this one room in the library that has couches and I nap there during the day when I have breaks in between classes. At night I try and stay in there as late as possible so I can get the maximum amount of warmth. So I'll leave there at midnight and go find a spot and then NY Health and Racquet club opens at six. So I really only have six hours outside, so its not unbearable.
Awesome!  And this very realistic youth realizes that he might not have a job as an attorney when he's done.  So, he's already contemplating a change in careers.  He wants to become a homelessness consultant.  I think he's brilliant and my hero of the month!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Unemployed Attorneys Resort To...

I received an anonymous tip that deserves some treatment.
When one is laid off from their law firm job or never finds one to begin with, there are very few options.  You could put out a shingle, like I did--but that requires experience.  If we know anything from the past couple years, law schools don't promise you that you will be able to actually practice when you graduate (nor a job or a prospect at getting one).  So, you're usually stuck living in your parents basement and racing to send your resume to various recruiters for temporary projects that pay $22 to $35 an hour with no overtime.  Even those are hard to come by.
Another little known option is per diem work.  Per diem work entails making court appearances for status conferences and defending depositions for little to no money.  The work can be sporadic and stressful as you're often given many conferences in different courtrooms in one county.  Imagine you have 4 conferences on in Kings County Supreme Court (all in different court rooms) and then another at Civil Court (a different building) at the same time.  It happens.  And for all of that running around, my tipster tells me that she gets $75 dollars for the first appearance and $35 for each additional conference, assuming that each conference is an hour.  Otherwise, your rate is discounted.  Sounds bad, but not horrible---right?
Well, apparently, there's a guy in New York by the name of D_______ V______ (I'm kinda afraid to use his real name, but the initials are intended as a warning for people seeking employment with him) that makes his per diem attorneys sign a contract that states that they can expect payment in three months--but never after three months.  If you make yourself available, he will send you to court every single day to do per diem work for many firms in New York.  And you are enticed to go because you could earn $500 a week at a minimum and the catch is that you have to wait to be paid.   But, get this, he won't pay you for at least 3 months. Then, when you ask for the money--he sends you about $300 or $400 dollars!  After three months of busting your hump for about $100 a day!  So, basically, he carries a balance of thousands of dollars with you and you have to hassle the shit out of him to get paid.
Here's the real kicker.  The excuses that he uses for non-payment, according to the tipster, he says that paypal is not working, he's sick, he had a death in the family, food poisoning, non-payment by the firms that contract with him, he's got bills too... the list goes on and on.  And every time he pays, you'll only get $300 a pop.  And if you stop working for him, God Forbid--you'll never get paid.
Scum of the scum.  And the REAL asshole move is his contract, which specifies that any fee disputes must be dealt with in arbitration.  It takes about $700 to file for arbitration.  So, you've worked hard for 3 months and you're not likely to get that money and you have no outlet to fight for it.
So, we're living in The Jungle by Upton Sinclair for lawyers.  The capitalist pigs take advantage of poor underemployed lawyers and they sink deep into poverty.  Lawyers are poor.  It's sad. I've actually dropped off on posting because I feel like a broken record repeating the message that is now out there.  Law school is for suckers.  I still cringe when I hear people say that is what they are doing, but I can't fix stupid.
It's out there and it's on you if you think you're so special that you'll be different.  Our parents have raised us incorrectly. When I was a child, the star of the soccer team got a trophy.  About 15 years ago, I noticed that all children on the team get trophies.  We're not all winners.  Some people are the cream of the crop, and the rest of us are just trying to make it.  Get real, people.

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