Career Alternatives, Job Searches, Kids, Law Schools

Lawyer With Six Figures Of Debt Forced To Work As Professional Babysitter

‘This one is a story about shoes… international shoes!’

Let’s have a chat about the job market. For the past few years, it’s been a rather bleak situation, with a little more than half of recent law school graduates employed in full-time, long-term jobs as attorneys. Jim Leipold, executive director of the National Association for Law Placement, recently revealed that the class of 2011 would “historically come to be seen as the bottom of the market.” Less than half of the class of 2011 found jobs in private practice, with the overall employment rate sinking to lows not seen since the mid 1990s.

Now that it’s been a few years since they graduated, just how screwed are the members of the class of 2011? By all accounts, it seems like the answer may be “very.” As it turns out, all of the law professors who thought they were cheekily offering babysitting jobs to their students for some extra cash were really just preparing them for their future careers.

Take heed before you apply to law school, lest you become a nanny with six figures of debt…

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a story out about people armed with college and professional degrees who are being forced back into jobs they once held while they were in high school. Take, for example, the tale of this recent law school graduate — a girl who’s now a highly educated babysitter swimming in debt:

Ashley Newhall

Manayunk resident Ashley Newhall, 28, has a law degree and a master’s in agricultural law, and she passed the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These days, she’s working with some extremely demanding and exacting clients.

The hitch? Most of them are less than 3 years old. Newhall’s primary income source for the last few years has been babysitting.

Parents, said Newhall, are “blown away. They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh! You’re the most overeducated nanny I’ve ever had.'” But jobs are scarce, and all that education came with six-figure debt. Along with two other jobs, she said, “the nannying is keeping me afloat.”

According to her LinkedIn profile, Newhall graduated from Texas Tech Law in 2011, and doubled down on her debt and bad decisions by getting an LL.M. in Food and Agricultural Law from U. Arkansas Law. Newhall somehow wound up in Pennsylvania, and was able to use her Juris Doctor for about three months while employed as a law clerk at a boutique litigation firm.

Newhall “consider[s] her stint in the nursery a detour,” but the truth is she’s been working as a “senior care specialist” for the Philadelphia Nanny Network for almost two years. She also teaches classes like “Butts and Gutts” at Never Give Up Training. Sometimes, though, there are glimmers of hope for her legal career:

Newhall … said she often finds herself nannying for lawyers’ kids. A few parents have asked for her résumé – though no legal job has so far come of it.

Sadly, we bet we could find a few career services officers who would say this happens from time to time through “networking” — that is, if you consider telling bedtime stories to be a form of networking.

We wish Ashley Newhall the best of luck as she attempts to “find [her] career path.” Please keep her in mind, partners, because we hear she’s absolutely wonderful at cleaning up other people’s sh*t.

For college grads, nannying is not such a bad deal [Philadelphia Inquirer]

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