A couple of days ago, an attorney sent in an email to the New York State Bar Association listserv. Like many people, the attorney was looking for a job. He decided to ask the listserv for some helpful tips:
Subject: [nysba-nonres] (somewhat) new attorney still seeking first FT position
Its a difficult time for new lawyers graduating with gigantic student loan debts and a bad economy. I’ve been searching for two years sending out hundreds of resumes and applying for an online jobs every chance I get but it now seems hopeless.
I’m a Fordham Law School graduate and have an internship working at a small bankruptcy/divorce/immigration firm and also have been doing debt collection in state court and attending 341 hearings as a per diem attorney. I also have an interest in criminal law and litigation and therefore took hands on courses in law school: civil litigation drafting, trial advocacy, fundamental lawyering skills, criminal procedure.
I want a full time position but contract work would be helpful also.
If anyone has any suggestion as to where to apply or what to do please advise.
Everybody tells you to network to find a job in this economy. But what if you don’t know anybody? One can understand how the state bar association listserv could seem like a viable option to a recent Fordgam graduate.
Were the employed attorneys helpful to the young Fordham ram? What do you think?
After the initial email, a couple of other
desperate interested attorneys glommed on to the request. It is truly a sign of the times that people are trying to use listservs to get job leads. Those career service professionals are really earning their keep, aren’t they? In any event, after a couple of these requests went out, employed attorneys started offering suggestions:
Query for all non-resident members: I value this list serve tremendously but worry that the multiple recent posts in the nature of resume postings may lead/are leading to a very different purpose for the list. Is there a way to segregate the job search postings sto avoid bogging down the list serve?
That was quickly followed by:
The purpose of the list serve is not for job searching, but as a resource for legal questions and referrals. I think that there other services for job assistance and if needed it should be segregated. I think the list serve has worked well and is a great resource.
And then there was even more agreement:
I do agree.
NYSBA should discourage such mails. It should be purely for referrals, partnership,professional networking & legal resources.
Seems to me that “professional networking” was precisely what the unemployed lawyers were trying to do.
Of course, this argument was made on the listserv as well:
If the list serve is to refer attorneys to paying clients, or to send client who can pay to attorneys on the list, then why can’t baby attorneys look for jobs? It is difficult out here now even for established attorneys. Baby attorneys do not have the money to pay for head hunters or professional search engines because they don’t have the money. Most likely the ones that are looking for jobs are the first attorney in their families like I am, and because of that fact they probably have zero contacts in the profession.
I have gotten many clients and jobs because I knew someone who could put me in touch with an employer or client who needed my expertise. This was before I ever participated on any list serve.
I say if you can help, then you should, these kids are taking a shot in the long dark of night, hoping and praying that they can get a position so that they can actually practice and start paying down their student loans. We should encourage this practice of job seeking, and encourage job posting.
In deed, on the many other list serves I participate in with other lawyers, baby and established attorneys look for jobs. Jobs are posted for baby and established attorneys as well. People also look for office space, partnerships and experts. Why should this site be any different? If the purpose of the site is to help attorneys, questions, practice tips and oh yes, for referrals, guess what my friends, that referral is a job for some one. Membership should have some privileges.
Hmm … you know what this is missing? Really biting sarcasm that isn’t funny so much as it is mean spirited:
Oh really? In that case, can someone on this listserv please help me paint my living room this weekend?
Many have written that the purpose of this listserv is to HELP attorneys. I REALLY need to paint my living room and I AM an attorney. Please help. Specifically, I am looking for someone who is good with a roller.
I cannot pay you, but that should be OK because I have a lot of other financial responsibilities (mortgage, student loans, Bar fees, bar tabs, Bernie Madoff losses) and the economy is tough right now.
Sorry young unemployed attorneys. It doesn’t look like the NY bar listserv is a community that wants to help you out.