Monday, September 8, 2014

The After-Scam Market

One of the oft-repeated claims of the Law School Cartel is that if you don't want to be a practicing attorney, you don't have to.

Let that sink in a minute.  You go to a very specialized form of multi-year schooling, that is regulated by state agencies, by spending roughly $200k for the express purpose of becoming licensed by the state of your choice.  But hey!  If you change your mind, you can just scrap it all!  A JD is THAT valuable, you know.

Great.  So what do you do, then, once the silver has tarnished?  Why, you talk to the after-marketeers. The folks that help you transition from the lucrative practice of law to one of the many, many exciting, interesting, and transformative careers where the JD is a springboard to career-gold.

One of my favorite take-downs of the "after-scam" market was done by the immortal L4L, back in late 2009/early 2010, concerning "Solo Practice University."  (The "Practice of Law" School!)  Granted, this was for people who wanted to still be practicing attorneys, but the point gets across.


31 comments:

  1. Excellent analysis. When you apply to non-law positions, prepare to be grilled over why you don't want to practice law. If a law degree was as "versatile" as the law school pigs claim, then you would not need to conduct yourself as if you were being questioned at a deposition.

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    1. A great point. Interviewers in non-law jobs look at an inexperienced JD grad a failed attorney. You spend half the interview explaining why you're not practicing law after all that education, and most people can only reply with the platitudes and empty slogans fed to them by the "versatile degree" shills, none of which are convincing to anybody with an ounce of common sense. The excuses thrown out about why you're not practicing law are often so bad that they make that poor soul look even more foolish.

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    2. Interview? What interview?

      Old Guy

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  2. Great post, DNT.

    The points you make would apply even more strongly to LLM programs. Most law schools are more than happy to let you escape the dismal job market for an extra year, for a mere $80,000 or so.

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  3. Imagining A Toadly FirstSeptember 8, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    FOIST!
    (Betting DNT won't be the first to comment under this particular posting)

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    1. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 8, 2014 at 7:38 AM

      Dang, got DaNando'd!
      Oh well, there's always next time.

      Delete
    2. Quit writing about toads. It isn't clever, any more than the original article was clever.

      Delete
    3. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 8, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Oh yeah? Well, all you ever write about is Anonyms.

      And, your momma wears combat boots.

      Delete
    4. You should hear Mama's combat boots *SQUISH* all those toads on the sidewalk after a good rainstorm.

      Delete
    5. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      Silly Anonyms. Rainstorms don't create toads.

      We disproved abiogenesis in the 1970's.

      Delete
  4. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 8, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    Giving them the benefit of the doubt, "lawternate" may have started off as an alternative careers resource, but like you said, they seem now to be mostly about lawyer jobs. Hardly "alternative".

    You have to go 35 listings deep before you get to some that are not just regular lawyer jobs (and those are all for well-qualified lawyers, by the way).

    But even clicking on the supposed alternates, most could not be filled by lawyers. You see that the "Development Manager" is required to have "Minimum 10+ years of IT consulting experience". I bet lots of lawyers fulfill this requirement.

    You'll also see that the "Compliance Officer" must have a minimum of "5-10 years" of prior compliance work.

    The "Integrity and Compliance Analyst" position provides some hope, though. Believe it or not, the ONLY educational requirement is "High School Diploma/GED". However, you also must have a "minimum of 5 years compliance audit" experience. Not too many lawyers have that. Unless they've already got a job just like that one.

    I didn't look at all of them, but did go far enough to find one that does look like a true "lawternative" job. The "Regulatory Reporting Compliance Officer" at Morgan Stanley actually states that JD is preferred, and the other requirements are not onerous.

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  5. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 8, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Hey! I found a Space Law Job! Check this one out... (emphases are not in original/added by me)

    Job Title: The Lawyer (sounds simple enough)
    Description: "We are looking for our first Lawyer/ Legal Ninja/ Fixer to help us tackle a broad range of critical issues. We are building the world’s first globally distributed network of ground stations servicing small satellites; we’re buying rocketship launches by the dozen; we have launched operations in the US and Asia and we are expanding into Europe; and we have to deal with ITAR, the ITU, the FCC and other three and four letter words. "

    I do like the sense of humor expressed by these guys. (In case anyone wants to look at this listing, link is below)

    http://www.goinhouse.com/job/the-lawyer-san-francisco-ca-spire-52efbba12c/?d=1&source=site_search

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  6. I agree, great post!

    On Lawlternate, only the top 'featured' section are these senior counsel jobs for more experienced attorneys who want to leave the firms they're at.

    When you scroll down, there are jobs in other fields including risk, compliance, sales, consulting, and marketing.

    No one is trying to scam anyone here. Lawlternate doesn't charge it's users, and the jobs are brought in from other boards. The sad truth is the legal job market is shitty - we're just exposing some opportunities in other fields that can help you start paying off your ridiculous debt while building work experience. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions feel free to email me at sk@lawlternate.com.

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    1. Appreciate the comments, SK, and thanks for trying to educate people as to what sorts of jobs may be out there. That is more than the vast majority of law schools have done, frankly, as many LawProfs and ScamDeans view actual careers post-law-school as "someone else's problem."

      It's hard to write about the Law School Scam and also not appear that we are implicating everyone remotely-related as fully-complicit co-conspiritors. Some organizations are, of course (hello, Solo Practice U), but others indirectly show what the "state of the union" currently is, as you stated. The information is valuable, either way.

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    2. I appreciate the shout out regardless! The fact that law schools and profs DON'T let their students know what's out there is why we exist in the first place. Once again, not trying to take advantage of anyone - just want them to know there are OTHER options in fields where their formal education is actually appreciated. And once again, any questions, concerns, or even changes you'd make - feel free to email me.

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    3. Just a quick update, those looking for exclusively alternate careers - we've made a little tweak. Now just unclick "legal" under the job search box on our main page, and you'll only get alternate options. Hope this helps!

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  7. Nice post, dupednontraditional. The scam continues to echo throughout the remainder of most grads' lives, whether through schemes like those you highlighted, never-decreasing loan payments, bar dues, CLE fees, extortionate "malpractice insurance" etc. The number of organizations who continue to put their hands into the pockets of law grads is truly staggering. How to avoid? Dump the degree, dump the bar membership, don't look back.

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    1. That's right. I have been a licensed attorney for almost 6 years now, paying yearly fees to maintain my license and paying money to CLE providers. I have done this in the futile hope that I will actually someday work as an attorney. But as of today, I'm done. I'm going to let my license lapse. This "profession" has sucked all the money from me that it will.
      If my company wants me to keep that little card in my pocket, fine. They'll fuc$ing have to pay for it

      Delete
    2. I also noticed that attorney licensing fees vary by state. They really should be the same cost to be uniform. Furthermore, they shouldn't cost hundreds of dollars.

      Regarding continuing legal education, it doesn't really prevent malpractice. It's just another money-making irritant.

      The poster above has paid for annual fees and CLE courses and hasn't worked as an attorney yet. Obviously, the system is designed to take in money.

      Delete
  8. Frankly, if lawyers are transitioning into other fields, it is likely that the actual work experience the lawyer has obtained while practicing law is chiefly responsible for any successful transition. That, and a second or third graduate degree obtained in later life after knowing precisely what the market is looking for.

    This, of course, means that law school graduates unable to obtain jobs practicing law or merely able to obtain contract work are once again screwed.

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  9. I just have to say that I find CLE very worthwhile . . far more than law school. If you attend a quality CLE course, you can learn a whole lot that otherwise would take you trial and error and mistakes to get. Why so many are against CLE makes no sense to me. In my case, I attend CLE put on by my State's trial Lawyer Association. Always top notch programs. Always provide invaluable information. Always pumps me up to do better in my cases.

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  10. Can you imagine medical schools have a "bridge" program to non-medical careers? "Sick of healing people? Get into fixed income investing NOW!!!"

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    1. You can do anything with an MD!!! Like:

      -health care compliance
      -consulting
      -pharmaceutical sales
      -medical device development
      -teaching!
      -writing!
      -science/technology museum curator
      -health-related non-profit leader
      -medical records management
      -government healthcare administrator

      MDs likely jump to these hot hot hot fields as often as their JD counterparts!

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    2. Don't stop there:

      * orderly
      * candy-striper (call it an "internship")
      * receptionist in physician's office
      * cashier in pharmacy
      * "business and industry" (fast-food joints, gas stations—possibilities abound!)
      * dean of medical school

      Old Guy

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    3. I heard that over 80% of medical school graduates actually practice medicine for their whole careers. If true, that's really good for doctors, despite all the problems their profession is having (thanks in no small part to us lawyers).

      Still, medicine is a much better profession than law. If I could do it all over again, I'd pick medical school even with all its problems.

      Delete
  11. Why on earth would a JD be versatile? What's so fucking special about it? It's a three-year degree that any idiot can buy with borrowed funds. Why should anyone outside the legal "profession" care about it? For that matter, why should anyone inside the legal "profession" care about it?

    Don't feed me any line about Writing Skills or Critical Thinking. That's a load of bullshit. Most law students can neither write nor think—and wouldn't be able to do so if they attended law school ten times over.

    As far as I can tell, this "versatility" canard is based on nothing more than 1) ego; 2) lies; and (most flatteringly) 3) the fact that so many people who went to law school end up not practicing law.

    Old Guy

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    1. Amen !!

      What exactly does the JD teach you? At best you can say it teaches you how to analyze case law, but in reality it's just three years of listening to your professors state their opinions.

      And does case law really matter to an average lawyer? Perhaps if you're doing high-end litigation or advising an international corporation it does matter, but these lawyers are very few. Your typical lawyer doing closings, traffic court, wills, pre-nupts and divorces rarely consults lexis.

      Also, just how much writing does the typical law student actually do? A brief and memo during the first year; a research paper during the second year (or an article, if they are on a journal); and maybe a few more little papers for a seminar or two. That's basically it. So how can we pretend that law school teaches you how to write?

      Also, my other pet peeve, I don't think law school teaches you how to communicate either. Most law students are not on the trial team or in trial advocacy. Law school doesn't even interview its applicants.

      The whole thing is so poorly conceived. And to fix it (so as to include real writing and communications classes, as well as practical training), it would probably cost so much money, nobody wants to even bring it up.

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    2. Besides which the professors, in the main, wouldn't be able to teach writing or rhetoric anyway.

      I taught a section of the course on legal writing and research. Even though I poured heart and soul into my work, the students never became good writers. I told the supervising instructor—one of the finest people in the place—that we should have them rewrite and resubmit the papers until they reached a high standard. But of course there wasn't time for that. So the students proceeded to graduation as mediocre (or worse) writers. And this was at one of the √©lite law schools. Just imagine how bad things must be over at Indiana Tech or Appalachian or Nova Southeastern.

      Old Guy

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    3. I am a solo, have been for decades. There are lawyers who pay no attention to case law, but they are incompetent. If you don't like to read or analyse cases, you are clearly in the wrong profession.

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  12. i didnt read any of the prior comments, but one glaring question is... with such a heavy student loan debt burden, how do these JDs pay these after-mkt marketers?

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  13. You pretty much have to start your own business. However your law school debt and many wasted years of education as well as any legal work you have done are all further handicaps to you.

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