Wednesday, September 17, 2014

JD-Disadvantage, Part V

UPDATE:  Looks like we have yet another to thank for highlighting this issue.  Check out the following link.

http://jddisadvantaged.blogspot.com/

Original post follows:


After a while, this blog starts to write itself.  I have written several posts on this topic alone, and skeptics could rightly suspect that perhaps I am one of the "few" for whom law school was not a great investment, thus my frequent revisiting of this topic.  Maybe I'm merely an outlier, and many, many JDs have actually found rewarding careers outside of the practice of law, as many a ScamDean, LawProf, ABA shill, NALP shill, and LSAC shill have claimed?
 
Not according to the data, as discussed previously.  Further, I am hardly alone in warning people away from the "JD Advantage" moniker - I came across this excellent thread over at JDUnderground, and I will let the posters speak for themselves.  Here is a partial excerpt:

http://www.jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=77295






wolfman (Sep 10, 2014 - 1:37 pm)

Someone mentioned doing a thread on this earlier (JD disadvantage jobs or something similar) and I thought it was a swell idea. So, here it is. If you come across a job that EXPLICITLY and SPECIFICALLY excludes people from consideration because they have a law degree/J.D., please post it here.

I think this is quite law-related, in that it serves to acquaint prospective/current law students with the real deal on "JD-advantage" jobs, but if the powers that be feel otherwise, please move the thread elsewhere...

The main point here is that, while J.D.-preferred jobs do exist, there are also jobs where you are specifically excluded from consideration because you have a J.D.

Of course, this neglects the gazillion job openings that never state so explicitly, but in reality will never interview/hire "a lawyer," just because he's "a lawyer," and never mind other qualifications or experience... but that topic has been adequately discussed elsewhere, for example: http://www.jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=25556

This is for places/roles that flat-out TELL you that they will shred your resume BECAUSE of your ever-so-valuable-and-versatile legal education. Thanks for playing!

Reply

wolfman (Sep 10, 2014 - 1:38 pm)

I'll start: you're one of those social justice types, and you wanna to work with mentally ill people, maybe prisoners who have mental illnesses, and are about to be released? And have a law degree? Surely these soft-hearted social-service non-profit people won't hold your legal background against you? Why would they?

Haha, no soup for you! "No J.D. applicants please." They are soft-hearted, after all - they did say "please."

http://www.idealist.org/view/job/jNSpkMGkjWSP/

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willworkforfood (Sep 10, 2014 - 3:33 pm)

And not two sentences later: "The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer."

lulz

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jorgedeclaro (Sep 10, 2014 - 5:41 pm)

Wow, that website should not exist. It leads people to believe that there is such thing as a paying public interest job that can be obtained just by responding to an internet job post.

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wolfman (Sep 10, 2014 - 1:58 pm)

Excellent... "NO JDs please as they will not be considered."

Thanks, lol school.

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ichininosan (Sep 10, 2014 - 2:01 pm)

Legal Assistant / Office Admin - Family Law (Downtown Seattle)

"Attorneys and/or JD candidates kindly do not reply."

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/lgl/4660023811.html

Reply

onehell (Sep 11, 2014 - 12:03 pm)

The analyst one is my favorite. "No JDs" is the very first bullet under "desired skills." In other words, the thing we want most in the world is for you NOT to have gone to law school.

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taway (Sep 10, 2014 - 2:31 pm)

At least they're being honest about it. I hate wasting 20 minutes filling out a nonlegal application that I know probably won't be read because I'm a lawyer. Putting "No JD" in the ad saves everyone alot of time, even though the prejudice doesn't make sense.

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ibrslave (Sep 10, 2014 - 2:39 pm)

"No JDs" for assistant to partner position at entertainment law firm in Los Angeles. http://www.4entertainmentjobs.com/jobs/105838?utm_source=simplyhired&utm_campaign=simplyhired&utm_medium=RXcpcLA&rx_job=17818658&rx_source=simplyhired&rx_campaign=simplyhired15&rx_medium=cpc. I am sure they would make an exception for a Chapman Law graduate with a certificate in entertainment law. http://www.chapman.edu/law/academic-programs/emphasis-areas/entertainment-law.aspx.

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dropout (Sep 10, 2014 - 2:57 pm)

Is there another field were you see this kind of discrimination? I've never seen an ad requesting that No MBA's or no PHd's need apply. I've seen ads that said no graduates please as this is an internship for a current student but that is different.

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wolfman (Sep 10, 2014 - 4:07 pm)

I don't think there is another field that suffers from an imbalance between actual professional opportunities on one hand and the number of graduates on the other to the extent law does... also, no other profession is hated and despised by people outside it to the extent law is... these two factors probably explain much.

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elitttist (Sep 10, 2014 - 5:34 pm)

I don't think so. One of my former friends who has a PhD in English got a cushy marketing management job after years of being put through the wringer in academia.

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ibrslave (Sep 10, 2014 - 4:02 pm)

"JDs will not be considered" for docketing coordinator position at large D.C. law firm. http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/lgl/4639457144.html.

"No JD's or Attorneys will be considered!" for numerous positions at a D.C. intellectual property law firm. http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/lgl/4660253317.html.

"Please, no JDs" for HR Generalist-Legal position in Palo Alto, CA. http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/hum/4661357146.html. Seriously, no JDs for a HR position that requires knowledge of state and federal employment law!

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kman (Sep 10, 2014 - 10:45 pm)

For some reason, that exclamation point is what really gets me.

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gribble (Sep 10, 2014 - 7:39 pm)

This is by far the most toxic aspect of the scam. The federal government won't hire JDs either. Pre-recession they used to, but around 2009 and onwards they pretty much stopped. It used to be JD could substitute for experience and there was a wide range of jobs USAjobs would advertise where presumably the law degree was an asset. I doubt many were getting jobs through there, but I assume some JDs did get in before the flood made the Feds reconsider.

For a lot of positions that don't even make a comment on JDs, sometimes they will contact applicants telling them they aren't looking for JDs. That happened to me before. It was amazing that people feel a need to contact an applicant rather than just ignore them. That is the stain of the JD.

Of course if too many JDs apply they then in future postings will include that language.

It always makes me laugh just how bad it is. I remember I wound up just putting "paralegal" for a few of my previous law firm jobs. And of course taking the JD off entirely. Then just say you did retail after college if it comes up (it doesn't though) or admin assistant jobs. Apparently those are more prestigious than a JD and legal experience.

I can't understand why people still go to law school. To give yourself a decent shot at success you need to really be T5. And even then, the actual practice just is so soul crushing I still don't think it's worth it.

There should literally only be 5 law schools in the country. I truly believe that.

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kman (Sep 10, 2014 - 10:47 pm)

I'm confused as to why you prefer to be ignored rather than at least receive some response?

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heythere (Sep 10, 2014 - 9:34 pm)

http://www.legal-aid.org/media/177131/para_casehandler_hlu.pdf

Paralegal Casehandler
The Legal Aid Society has a position for a Paralegal II that is immediately available to be based
in the Health Law Unit. The Health Law Unit operates a Statewide helpline and provides direct
legal services to health care consumers and beneficiaries from all five boroughs of New York
City. We help clients with the following health issues: Medicaid; Managed Care (Medicaid, . .

Please note that attorneys, law graduates and J.D.s will not be considered for this position.



The thread goes on, but I couldn't have said it better myself.  Friends, these are not direct members of OTLSS, these are posters who independently reached the same conclusions as OTLSS, and, as far as I am concerned, share common-cause with us on this topic.  Remember, we don't get paid to warn away prospective students.  0Ls, ignore this data and this wisdom at your peril.   

56 comments:

  1. Even if (arguendo) significant numbers of decent "JD advantage" positions did exist, the fact is that people don't go to law school for a miscellaneous job outside the legal "profession".

    Old Guy

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  2. Reminds me of the stories my grandmother used to tell about ads for maid jobs specifying "Irish need not apply." Fact is, these employers must have been getting flooded with resumes from desperate law school grads for them to have to go to the trouble of specifying "no J.D's" in their job postings. Contrast that with a real profession like medicine. When a hospital posts for a RN position, it sure as hell doesn't have to state "no M.D.'s please" in the ad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most MDs are not qualified to be RNs.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    2. "Most MDs are not qualified to be RNs" - that may be true as far as it goes. It's also true that it takes a lot more time, money, and aptitude to become a qualified MD than it does to become a qualified RN. And that's the reason why - all qualifications aside - you would never expect an MD to go begging to become a nurse.

      Delete
  3. A few years ago there was a position at a university seeking a part-time professor possessing a Masters in Criminal Justice at a minimum. The ad clearly stated, "No J.D.s", for the criminal justice course. It didn't matter if you were an assistant district attorney, public defender or even F. Lee Bailey. Another issue to ponder would be that suppose you did have a Masters in CJ and a J.D., would the J.D. actually hurt you (we all know the J.D. is unwanted from the beginning)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure that it would. They probably assume that a J.D. will demand a higher salary and bail for one of those highly-paid lawyer positions as soon as one comes along.

      Delete
  4. All of this evidence is just confirmation bias. A JD is the most versatile degree that there is - Jack Marshall of ethicsalarms told me so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How ethical of him to say that.

      Delete
  5. I have a small law practice and would NEVER consider a JD for a paralegal type position for a number of reasons, but some of the most important: (1) It would be obvious that person is there only because they could not find a legal position and would leave as soon as possible (2) It is possible the person could attempt to steal some of my clients . . being intimately familiar with their cases. (3) I don't generally like lawyers or the people who have become lawyers . . . I really don't. And to have to deal with one acting as a paralegal is not something I would voluntarily take on. The only reason to deal with other lawyers is to partner up . . and that's because you believe the two or more of you will do better than each of you on your own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair, those concerns do make sense. The issue is that the Cartel lets lemmings believe that some bizarre mix of JD-Advantage-paralegal is a way to get your foot in the door, get valuable hands-on nuts-and-bolts experience dealing with real cases, etc. The lemmings believe this, and frankly it doesn't seem that crazy of an idea at first until you learn more about the practice (and business) of law.

      Having the Cartel stop lying and/or making material omissions would be a good first step, for all concerned (except the Cartel, of course).

      Delete
    2. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      "I have a small law practice and would NEVER consider a JD for a paralegal type position for a number of reasons, but some of the most important: "

      Although foot-in-door syndrome is a big one, reason Numero Uno in my book is:

      I do not know a single attorney capable of doing my paralegal's job. I sure as heck can't. Nor can she do my job. They're different jobs, different skills, and fundamentally very different knowledge bases.

      Delete
    3. I would have to agree with this too. Most of these ads seem to be for paralegals and other assistants. The only reason a lawyer would apply for a paralegal/assistant position is if they could not find work as a lawyer, and they would indeed leave as soon as they could find a lawyer position. It would be like a physician applying to be a nurse--no one would expect a physician to be happy with that job.

      This does show how glutted the legal field is, and how desperate so many recent (and not so recent) law school grads are.

      Delete
    4. "(3) I don't generally like lawyers or the people who have become lawyers . . . I really don't."

      Nor me. I don't even like myself for becoming one. A JD is all too often a sign that the person will be a difficult, unpleasant person to supervise, although I think their absolute lack of skills is probably the main reason they are unhireable.

      Delete
  6. As this older entry from OTLSS points out:

    http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/epistle-7-behold-mighty-paralegal.html

    JDs simply don't learn the specific (i.e. practical) legal skills necessary to work as a paralegal. Many JDs will have picked them up of course. However whenever someone lists a job for a paralegal they would get flooded with many applications from desperate JDs. Most of whom couldn't do the work without a lot of on-the-job training.

    Rather than try and sort through them and find the minority of JD applicants with the necessary skills, its easier just to exclude all JDs altogether.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      So, you're traveling?

      Delete
    2. JDs, with few exceptions, also don't learn the legal skills necessary to work as a lawyer.

      Old Guy

      Delete
  7. True story 1:
    After graduating from a Toilet in 2009 (think top 25% of class at T60), I spent almost 2 years semi-employed while looking for work full-time. I did odd-job type "legal" work from time to time like doc review and working for Home Depot. Since I lived close to the rich folk on the North Shore of Chicago I hustled on Craigslist and Freecycle too. When I finally got an interview for a non-legal job (back in engineering), the interviewer was frank with me and told me he was concerned about the JD. I only got the interview through a strong personal connection and I didn't get the job. It was the question I had the best response to, but the stain of the JD was impossible to wash away.

    If you've ever had a cat that likes to piss inside the house, you'll know what I mean. No matter what you do, the smell of piss will always be in your house until you tear up the floors. That's what having a Toilet-Grade JD is like; a house filled with the stench of cat piss.

    True story 2:
    I eventually got a non-legal job and have been working hard here for three years. I recently talked to one of the attorneys that I interviewed with and we shared a laugh because he didn't originally think I should have been hired. As a JD interviewing for a job where a JD wasn't a requirement, he was sure I'd bail the first chance I got. He's a really good guy but has no idea how bad it is for Toileteers.

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  8. How could I have missed it? "JD Advantage" is really the narrative of the Open Road. To wealth and success, no doubt. Or perhaps to misery and shame. At least it doesn't lead to bankruptcy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The open road is paved with good intentions.

      Old Guy

      Delete
  9. I think there should be a way for a JD holder to officially renounce their degree and/or convert it to some "Master of Legal Studies" degree from their law school. If law schools charged for this "service" they could make money on their grads to enable them to pursue those "no JDs need apply" jobs. Perhaps also make it a requirement that such persons also resign from the bar as well.

    That way when a person applies to these jobs, they would be able to honestly say that they do NOT hold the JD. I believe law schools should offer this service to their grads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For a full renouncement there would probably be some stipulations
      (1) The student would swear or affirm that they would never again call themselves a 'lawyer', 'attorney', or any such. The student will also correct others who refer to themselves as such in any case whatsoever.
      (2) The student may never attempt to pass the bar. A Master of Legal Studies degree is not considered a degree that enables someone to sit for the bar examination. If the student was already a member of the bar at the time of their renouncement, their bar membership (and bar membership fees) cease.
      (3) The student may not work any job that requires someone to have a Juris Doctorate or be a member of the bar. They must resign if they hold such a job. So called 'JD Advantage' jobs are fine, and are probably the reason for the renouncement.
      (4) The student may not enroll in any program at any school which would confer a LL.M, SJD, or any other advanced law degree. If a student holds such a degree already the degree is simply canceled with no compensatory degree. No one with a Master of Legal Studies may enroll in a JD program.

      Delete
    2. I would add that if the grad accepted those conditions, the full sum of all loans for the JD then fall upon that law school.

      Delete
  10. Another true story:

    I went to work for $13,000 a year after graduating from law school. I needed the money and after applying for at least 500 jobs, still hadn't found a paying job (and I couldn't even apply to most attorney jobs because they all wanted years of experience.)

    I worked for a government agency. When a position in another department came up, I was told I would not qualify because the department head did not want a lawyer. I was lucky: a co-worker intervened and commended me on my work performance and I was lucky I got promoted to $14,000 a year. Had my co-worker not commended me, I would have still been answering the phone as a receptionist in the customer service unit.

    I never understood why the department head had such a prejudice against lawyers and JD's. All I know is that it just doesn't make financial sense to learn skills that most employers don't want and even your own field in which you trained won't hire you because you don't graduate law school already having 5 years of experience. The field just doesn't care for its own. No one should waste their time investing their time and energy in this field. WASTE.OF.TIME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I don't understand this. Working for minimum wage in a job that requires at best a High School education while holding a JD? Seems to me that anybody intelligent enough to pass the bar, rather than accept such a miserable outlook, has nothing to lose by working for free for a small lawyer, learning the ropes and at the same time trying to start one's own practice and while doing some contract work on the side. We solos often get very busy. Rather than spend our own time at trivial hearings or even depositions, paying another lawyer a small amount to appear for us . . .would be well worth the expense, and certainly that person would be better off rather than working for minimum wage as a receptionist. Now if you are really a person with limited ability, limited intellect and limited communicative skills . . . you should not have gone to law school to begin with. Everybody should have some idea of their limitations by the time they graduate from college. But yea, why would any employer want to employ a JD in any job that barely required a high school education? That would make no sense whatsoever.

      Delete
    2. Boomer Alert! Boomer Alert! We got our selves a reg-u-lar in-fest-ation here.

      *Lack of comprehension that your own personal success story is not EVERYONE's success story, and subtle ignoring that not everyone starts on a level playing field: Check.

      *No-so-subtle demeaning of others as "unintelligent," "miserable", "non-communicative", etc.: Check.

      *Blaming the victim and assuming they just don't want to "work hard": Check.

      *Kicking people while they are down: Check.

      *Wanton self-aggrandizement and humble-bragging, e.g. "we solos get very busy," "just pay someone else to do the trivial work" our of your ample operating expenses: Check.

      *Zero comprehension of the current burden of student loans: Check.

      Oh, by all means everybody, go follow this Boomer's Holy Grail of Advice. Why weren't we all intelligent enought to think of that, corporately? Damn, scambloggers (of whom many are currently working attorneys), we all suck. Yep, God's Gift to Law Has Spoken.

      Delete
    3. Working for "free" or "a small amount" might make sense to you, @8:22, but I've got news for you. The landlord, the grocery store and the holder of the student loan promissory notes want cash now in the full amount. You're living in the past, pal. I got out of school decades ago with $10K in student debt. These kids coming out now with the debt they've got haven't got a prayer of living in your once-upon-a-time world.

      Delete
    4. @8:22

      10:45 here. I did work for free. You honestly thought that today's graduates had a chance in hell w/out working for free for a couple of years before getting hired? What planet do you live on? Can I move there? Where the hell are the people that can get away with that. One of my fellow law graduates, after months of unemployment, just got a job as a legal secretary. Another one has hung his shingle for about four years now and makes $18,000 a year in upstate New York. I am sure, though, of course, that they did something wrong. To think, all they had to do was hang a shingle and do a three-day unpaid internship to get a job and they didn't know that...(choke choke)

      But back to my situation: I worked for an entire year in an unpaid internship at a government agency. I know it's easy to cast stones rather than recognize that an entire market is failing. If you can do that, all the more power to you. I don't have that option. I have to look at and live with the market failure everyday.

      But let me tell you a little bit about the person at whom you cast your stones. I interned for free at a government agency for a year because I considered it an extraordinary privilege and the only way an inexperienced person would be able to pick up some skills in order to eventually be hired in a paid job. Unfortunately, my state was one of the hardest hit states - there was a hiring freeze midway through my internship, so I knew I wouldn't get hired there.

      I took a job as a receptionist not because I lacked skills. I actually have a few years of work experience before law school, was a straight-A student in undergrad, studied at several foreign universities overseas as well as a university in America, interned overeas for the American government and speak four languages. Did most of it while working while studying. Say what you want, I am no slouch.

      I took a job as a receptionist, because I had $24 in my bank account after living off $2000 for a few months while I looked for a job. I needed to take that job - I didn't have the luxury of holding out for a legal or professional job.

      As far as hanging up my own shingle, there wasn't a chance in hell that I could do that. I took the bar in one jurisdiction (and passed on the first try) but after I was unable to find a job for a few months in that jurisdiction, I had to return home to live with my parents, who lived in a different state, because I literally didn't even have enough money for one month's rent. I have never been able to make it back out to the jurisdiction in which I am licensed, and I just don't have funds to take another bar.

      You can look at my story and I am sure you will find something that I didn't do perfectly - something that makes you sigh and say, "thank God," it won't happen to me. Go ahead - fault me for not having money or for having to move back in with my parents or for having to take a receptionist job because I had to suck it up and put food on the table. Go ahead - fault me. But when someone has to make the efforts I have made just to make minimum wage, all with significant student debt, we all just ought to stop and think about what kind of system we are creating and the strenous efforts that are required just to break even with a Wal-Mart worker.

      And remember this last of all: But by the grace of God go I....

      Delete
    5. 10:46 here. Thanks, 8:36 and 8:43.

      You made my day and I gave me a good laugh as well. :)

      Delete
    6. Why is the recent grad the only person in this industry expected to work for free?

      Law school PR men, recruiters, and flaks don't work for free.
      Law professors do not work for free.
      People who publish law school text books don't work for free.
      Law school career services people don't work for free.
      Law school deans and administrators don't work for free.
      BARBRI tutors don't work for free.
      The person who administers the bar exam doesn't work for free.
      The local bar association doesn't work for free.
      Established lawyers, law firm partners, prosecutors, and judges don't work for free.
      The straw boss at the doc review mill doesn't work for free.
      the IT folks at LexisNexis don't work for free.
      Your secretary or paralegal won't work for free.
      Debt collectors and student loan people don't work for free.
      People who grow food, build houses, or sew clothes don't work for free.

      You see, everybody has their hands out, and yet for some reason the law grad, indebted to about $160k already paying all these people is the one who has to work for free.

      Delete
    7. The one striking thing about some of those who post here is the overwhelming defeatism. "What choice did I have " attitude. Well you know, when you have nothing you have nothing to lose. That's when you get to take the most risks while suffering the least consequences. Some of you give up without a fight. You make false assumptions. There are millions of practicing lawyers who would pay more than minimum wages to a lawyer to take care of many of the busy type tasks. Even doing simple investigations. Getting witness statements etc. Geeze you have a law degree, but waste time as a receptionist rather than getting out there and doing something you are not only capable of doing but could lead to something bigger? Makes no sense to me. There are also thousands of employers who will never investigate your resume for many jobs. Fill in the jd gaps by having had your own landscape or bookkeeping business if you don't want to be a jd. Most people put their jd on their resume as a badge of honor. It shows effort and ambition and presumably intelligence. But if you want to hide it, make up something. Nobody will really care for jobs that don't pay a whole lot, especially if you make a good appearance and effort. If you are a jd, certainly you are capable of doing many of the routine jobs out there. But if it were me, I would do my best to do some odds and end jobs out there for the thousands or millions of small firms that would likely be willing to pay more than minimal wages for some of the busy work we all have that take up too much of our time. Or if you hate the law, and are still young.
      Join the military. Learn how to repair ship engines or airplanes on uncle sam's dime. Or with a law degree. You would likely be a candidate for officer training school. Like so many of you say, law is just like any other graduate degree in the liberal arts. You learned some stuff. You may never use it in your career, but you know more about the way the world works than before law school. As for the debt, it's not great to have it but it's manageable with ibr. So you can live life with the hand you were dealt or you can give up. Everybody struggles in life. It's all attitude.

      Delete
    8. @3:27, you are an idiot. "[M]illions of practicing lawyers?" More like 1.2 million active lawyers. How many are in government jobs or in-house? How many are in lager firms that don't give out work to stringers? How many don't have surplus work to pass out? I know lawyers who used to employ young lawyers for occasional tasks but don't now because they don't have enough work. I know real estate lawyers taking felony cases they are not qualified to handle. I know lawyers who swore they'd never touch a divorce file who are now advertising for them.

      If you are not 8:22 you must be his identical twin.

      Delete
    9. Well said, 5:18. Guys like 8:22/3:27, going on about the JD as a "red badge of courage" and all that, just refuse to believe that there has been a real problem of JD overproduction over the last few decades. That when people highlight the problem, that they are doing it honestly with no deception. That this entire scheme has adversely affected real people's economic lives, in the hundreds of thousands, to say nothing of the 1.2 mil "practicing attorneys" per BLS data.

      It's not happening to him, so it can't be actually happening to anyone else, right? Plus it would never happen to him in the first place. Anyone suffering now is merely a loser who clearly "doesn't want it bad enough." And "it's all attitude," as stated, with a smug self-pat-on-the-back.

      Delete
    10. @3:27, what makes you think that many of us have not tried working for free for attorneys?
      Are you aware that most of the T14 schools offer a stipend to their unemployed gradautes to work for free, and that the Toilets do not offer these stipends?

      Second, your comment about making something up on your resume to hide your JD is ill-advised. It's lying. Lying is wrong. I shouldn't have to tell you that.

      Also, what leads you to believe that many of us haven't taken on post JD jobs in fields like landscaping, retail, fast food, etc?

      I think you must be a troll. Either that, or you're completely ignorant.

      Delete
    11. You are all missing my point. I am not advocating anybody going to law school, especially incurring large debt to do so, but for those of you who are already there and who have their JDs . . . all is not lost. There are still thousands of lawyers all over the country making a reasonable income doing things like litigation, will, trusts, etc. There is no reason somebody who is intelligent can not pick a subject and become very, very knowledgeable in that subject. How many lawyers know about asset protection? How many about the Longshore Harbors Compensation Act? How about Erisa. Damn, you have the law degree. To have this attitude that you cannot make it makes no sense. You have no choice but to make it unless you want to be grossly underpaid and a yes sir man in some bureaucracy somewhere for the rest of your life. Law gives you the chance to control your own destiny. I recognize the problems, I've been reading the scam blogs forever, but no use crying over spilt milk. If you have the JD and the Bar admission . . . . you can set yourself apart and earn a living. I don't care how much you protest otherwise. Even if you work out of a bedroom in your apartment, with no expenses save the cost of a computer . . . what the heck do you have to lose?

      Delete
    12. @9:31, if you are 3:27 you just don't get it. Your experience starting out in the past is a total irrelevancy. Twenty years ago in a courthouse I heard two lawyers who looked to be in their sixties reminiscing about the days when you only had to work three days a week to make a good living. As the market has grown more and more glutted breaking into it has become more and more difficult.

      Look at it this way. Law practice is a lot like selling wedding dresses. 99.9999% of wedding dresses are sold to women who are getting married for the first time. Like law it is a finite market. Anyone who wants to get into the business will have to steal business from someone who is already in it. Right now the marriage rate is declining just like legal services as a percentage of the economy are declining. And OBTW, right now there are about 250,000 wedding dresses listed on ebay. Some can be custom sewn in China to your measurements for about $125.00. Sounds kind of like competing with legalzoom.com's $69.00 wills, doesn't it?

      Your theory sounds good, but the reality is that becoming a specialist does not guarantee you a book of business. That will take years to build up. And I'll wager any amount you'd care to wager that any injured stevedore is already able to find a lawyer. There aren't that many lawyers who specialize in that area because it's a particularly finite market, but that doesn't mean there's a shortage. Become an expert if you want but you will have to muscle your way into the business against people whose names are well known at the union hall for getting people results. And many specialties are problematic. ERISA? No corporation is going to hire a solo to do that. The only ERISA solo I ever knew learned her trade at a corporation and got laid off. She represented individuals with pension disputes but good luck being a self-taught specialist competing with her background.

      If there was enough frigging work available to go around people could get up and running but there isn't enough frigging work. The past is over, chief, get a grip.

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  11. I can't remove my JD from my resume - too big of a gap - so I tell people that I got disbarred for alcohol. I work in a blue collar sort of setting, and it works pretty well.

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  12. Looks like Drexel will be around for a while:http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140918_Trial_lawyer_Kline_gives__50M_to_Drexel_law_school.html

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    1. I wonder if they will name the school after Kline , and if so how long it will last .

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    2. This could actually be evidence that things are trending our way. In today's social climate, no one but a trial lawyer would want his name on a law school.

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    3. Yes, they already have. Why go for just a building when you can go for the whole law school. Think of the good that 50 Million Could have done rather than being wasted to prop up a fourth rate law school.

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  13. The reason a JD appears versatile is that Kennedys, children of billionaires, supermodels, etc., get the degree and then go onto do a lot of other things - they become Senators, or found nonprofits or get to be CEOs of fashion companies.

    What is really versatile is wealth and social connections. The JD is incidental to these things.

    In a few cases, very high IQs are involved - something else that's very versatile and can open the doors to many careers.

    A JD isn't versatile. It may be a slight advantage or a feather in the cap of the wealthy or highly talented, but for your average person it is more of a burden than a benefit.

    Things can appear to be versatile when they're associated with other things that really are versatile. As more diploma mills have pumped out tens of thousands of marginal JDs, the associations with talent and money have eroded, and people are seeing the degree for what it really is.

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    1. Quite true, if you have the connections, you can easily get a "kabuki theater" type job.

      Our current First Lady, for example, was a hospital administrator prior to her husband being elected President. When she resigned, the hospital didn't replace her. That says it all.

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    2. And our Princeton/Harvard Law current First Lady flunked the 90% pass rate (at the time) Illinois bar exam on her first try while hundreds of TTT grads passed. It ain't what you know . . .

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    3. Q: What's the really unique thing about a submarine?

      A: It's the only kind of motor vehicle the Kennedys haven't driven underwater.

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    4. Connections and money (which tend to go hand in hand) trump a high IQ any day.

      The JD is indeed a plaything of the rich. Don't fall for the claim that it can open doors for a hayseed like me.

      Old Guy

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    5. "Old Guy" is right.

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  14. The JD is not versatile, but it's not toxic either.

    The real lie law schools are perpetuating with regard to "JD advantage" jobs is this: the law degree BY ITSELF will open doors for you, regardless of whether you're actually qualified for the job you're applying for.

    Law school graduates with nothing else cannot, for example, be accountants, or high school teachers, or nurses, or perform brain surgery, or manage a company, or work in human resources, or do quality control, etc. These jobs actually require training and experience to be performed well, and employers know this.

    Thus, for a law school graduate to be able to get one of these jobs (without having connections), said graduate will have to actually: (1) get an additional degree, and/or (2) have several years of legal practice under their belt.

    So, for example, you can transition into human resources if you've practiced employment or labor law for several years. If, for example, you go back to school and obtain a degree in clinical social work, you can get a job as a therapist. And so on ...

    In summary, there is an actual multi-year process law school graduates need to go through in order to transition into a so called "JD advantage" job, which can be quite expensive, frustrating and risky (especially if you're in your 40s or 50s). Also, unemployed law school graduates who have never practiced (or have just done contract work) are at a huge disadvantage when trying to transition, unless they are able to finance a second post-graduate degree.

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    1. "The JD is not versatile, but it's not toxic either."

      It absolutely is if you just want to wash your hands and walk away from the trash heap.

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  15. 180. It takes significant time and cost for the "JD Advantage" to present itself, if at all, but Sallie Mae is knocking on lawgrad's doors on Day 1. This is time and money the majority of grads don't have, and they are better served by looking at another career in the current environment in the first instance, rather than buying the Cartel line that a JD "opens doors."

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  16. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 18, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Something to look into, TJSL having trouble meeting its debt-ob payments.

    http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/law_school_misses_bond_payment_seeks_to_restructure_obligations

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    1. That building could be turned into some nice, big condos. Right there in downtown San Diego.

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  17. When are we going to have total 2014 enrollment numbers?

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    1. If I recall last year accurately, most of the stats came out in October, with a few of them trickling in through January.

      Watching the LSAT medians go down once again last October was both fascinating and horrifying. I don't think the changes will be as dramatic this year.

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  18. A message above said that IQ opens many careers. It might, but most companies don't want to hire Mensa members either, because they figure they might have to pay more. That is another item that stays hidden. It is the same kind of resistance to a J.D. degree. Actually, I have 2 Bachelors in Computer and Information Science and Chemistry. I got drafted the week before finals, but that's another story. Another curiosity is trying to work for a brief of lawyers, e.g. an Attorney General. Their job description required all postcollege experience to be with personal computers. What was I to have done for eight years until the personal computer was INVENTED? Work for free? Can you say age discrimination? I know you could.

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  19. I love it. This thread says "no robots accepted". There's discrimination everywhere. :-p

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