Job Searches

So, you know how we at Above the Law love to bring you something a little bit later in the day for our west coast and late night readers? I bring this up lest you think I have masturbatory ulterior motives for the timing of this post.

So, this lady is apparently a law student somewhere in Miami:

Click below the fold for the rest of this story. (Arguably not safe for work, children, Jesus, reasonable people, Princess Leia, or PETA).

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craigslist recruitment above the law.jpgEarlier this month, duty called us to a midtown Manhattan bar to cover a Pink Slip Party for our sister site, Dealbreaker. Geared toward those laid off from Wall Street, the “party” was a depressing scene meant to bring job-seekers together with potential employers. There were more recruiters than potential employers around, though, and there were lines of people in suits waiting to sit at booths to go over their resumes with the recruiters.

Job seekers are similarly disadvantaged in the legal market, thanks to continuing layoffs. One unemployed lawyer is trying a novel new approach. He wants to turn the headhunter payment arrangement inside out, and pay a recruiter to find a job for him. From his Craigslist ad:

This economy sucks. It probably sucks for recruiters too! Therefore I want to make life a little more interesting. This may not be a huge amount of money, but if you’re already on commission it’s more than usual I imagine.. For any recruiter that helps me a permanent position as an associate attorney in relevant areas (defined below) I will pay the following immediately:

$60,000- $69,999 per annum I will pay you $3,000

$70,000 – $90,000 per annum I will pay you $4,000

$100,000 + per annum I will pay you $5,000

I am also looking for contract work in the short term. I will pay $300 for anything which is supposed to last more than a month.

This seems to make sense. Sometimes job seekers are advised to avoid working with a recruiter because it makes them more expensive, since the employer has to pay the recruiter a fee on top of the new hire’s salary. If the new hire foots the recruitment bill, the game changes.

Some people don’t like this idea. The Craigslist poster, who asked to remain anonymous, has had some angry responses, after the jump.

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Will Work for Food 3 Above the Law blog.JPGOkay, let’s try to blow the lid off this thing. We know that some firms are rescinding offers to 3Ls, we just don’t know which ones.

Here’s a quote from yesterday’s Workplace Prof Blog:

I’ve just started hearing of major law firms rescinding or “indefinitely deferring” employment offers to this year’s 3Ls. At our school, this is disproportionately hurting our top students — students who clerked for major firms last summer, received what they thought was a job offer, did not participate last fall or early this spring in the job-search process under the rational assumption that they already had a job, and only now are being informed that that job does not exist. The information I’m hearing is that these students are not being given a stipend, a “severance” package, or anything else to help tide them over — they’re just being told “see ya later.”

We know things are bad for 2Ls. We know things are terrible for 3Ls without offers. We know clerks are chaining themselves to their desks.

But if you are a 3L who had an offer rescinded, you’ve essentially been fired before you started working. You’ll have to compete with all the other laid off attorneys, yet you’ll have zero Biglaw work experience.

We’re asking 3Ls to step forward and tell us which firms are rescinding offers. We’ll try to collect your tips, and figure out just how many firms are rescinding offers.

Send your tips to

3Ls Getting Hosed [Workplace Prof Blog]

Earlier: You’re a 2L? I want to say one word to you. Plastics.

pyroclastic flow melts jobs.JPGWhile the bad news continues to rain down on practicing attorneys, law students are the ones sitting there with a “deer in cataclysmic meteor event” look on their faces.

It’s been a while since we gave law students a chance to vent their frustrations, so here we go.

Today, NALP is out with actual statistics showing how 2Ls are seeing their jobs disappear in a pyroclastic flow. From a synopsis in the National Law Journal:

The median number of offers to 2Ls for summer associate positions at firms of all sizes fell from 15 in the fall of 2007 to 10 in the fall of 2008. The decline was even steeper at firms with 700 or more attorneys, where the median number of summer associate offers fell from 30 in 2007 to 18.5 in 2008. Additionally, fewer callback interviews yielded summer associate offers in 2008. In recent years, about 60% of callback interviews led to summer associate offers. Last fall, however, only 47% of callback interviews led to offers.

And after scrolling through the 20-page NALP report, we also noticed the shortening of summer programs:

Summer programs were typically 10 to 12 weeks long, regardless of firm size. Over three-quarters of offices reported summer programs of either 10, 11, or 12 weeks, although the lengths reported ranged from 6 to 19 weeks. For the vast majority of offices (80%), the 2008 summer program length was the same as in 2007. About 11% reported that their program was one or two weeks shorter compared with 2007; however, about 5% reported that their summer program was one or two weeks longer.

More numbers, statistics, and reasons to trade in your J.D. for a certificate of attendance in refrigerator repair, after the jump.

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Luce forward.JPGOn Monday, Luce Forward laid off 27 people. Today, we are learning that those are not the only cuts the San Diego firm is making.

Luce Forward has decided to rescind offers to all the 3Ls from their 2008 summer program, and cancel the 2009 summer program entirely. The firm confirmed this information with us earlier today.

The firm had already delayed the start of of 2008 summers to January 2010, but it doesn’t appear that any of them expected Luce would fire all of their incoming first year associates.

I’m not sure how 3Ls will go about finding a post-graduate job at this late stage in this economy. But hopefully things will get better by the time these new lawyers are receiving their diploma.

Good luck out there.

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Luce Forward Keeps it Short

volunteer.jpgWhen the economy was better, we had a career alternatives for lawyers series, for those in Biglaw looking to do something new. Given the layoffs and sluggish law firm hiring these days, we’re starting a new series: “Can’t find work?” We’ll offer “options” for those shut out — or forced out — of Biglaw.

On Tuesday, we suggested an “option” for recent law grads unable to find work: start your own firm. Two University of Missouri grads were unable to find work and hung out their own shingle in Kansas City. ATL readers lent their support to the venture by spell-checking the hell out of the Buckley & Hutchings website.

Today, we have a new “option” for those looking for work. Offer up your legal services for free!

CARPLS, a legal aid society based in Illinois, is offering unemployed attorneys true pro bono work. From the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (subscription):

A local legal aid provider is seeking unemployed lawyers as volunteers to staff its telephone hotline for low-income families in need of legal advice…

The volunteers must be licensed Illinois lawyers and are asked to work on the CARPLS hotline for at least four hours each week on a morning or afternoon shift. Schwartz said CARPLS officials hope that between 40 and 50 out-of-work lawyers will volunteer for the new program. The new volunteers will supplement the work of 32 paid staff lawyers, Schwartz said.

CARPLS officials posted a job description for the new program on craigslist and other online sites Thursday afternoon, Schwartz said. By Friday morning, there were about 35 responses, he added. The first response was from a lawyer who was offended because she was being asked to work for free, according to Schwartz. The rest of the responses came from lawyers interested in participating in the program, he added.

You may not get paid in cash, but you will get basic training in family, landlord-tenant and consumer law. Press release from CARPLS, after the jump.

So, if you’re twiddling your thumbs these days, think about calling up your local legal aid office and putting some of their attorneys out of work by volunteering your time.

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sarah buckley and alexandra hutchings b & h.jpgThe number of attorneys looking for jobs continues to grow each month. And we can’t help running into them in New York, ground zero for attorney layoffs. We asked one Thacher refugee whether he had thought about banding together with other jobless legal eagles to start their own venture. “Too junior, not interested,” he replied.

Well, that’s not stopping two recent law grads from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports that Sarah Buckley and Alexandra Hutchings were unable to find work after passing the Missouri bar exam last year, so they’ve started their own firm: Buckley & Hutchings, LLC:

The question remains, though, whether they are an exception or — as more law school grads find a serious shortage of law firm jobs — the start of a trend.

Are these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed UMKC grads blazing a novel trail? More after the jump.

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now hiring must have a clue help wanted.jpg[Ed. note: This is a cross-post from one of our sister sites, DealBreaker. We linked to it in passing last week, but we thought we'd mention it again in case people missed it. If you're a transactional lawyer with a background in finance or accounting -- perhaps you worked on Wall Street or as an accountant before going to law school -- these opportunities may interest you.]

Back in October, we mentioned we were looking for an additional writer (or writers) for DealBreaker. In case you were wondering, we’ve not yet filled the position. Because Bess and Equity Private have been doing such an excellent job — January was a record month for DealBreaker in terms of traffic — we haven’t felt much pressure on this front. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But we are once again thinking of hiring more talent, given how the site is thriving (and how many Wall Streeters might be looking for new jobs right now). Would you be interested (or would you know anyone who might be)?

This is a full-time position, with standard benefits — health insurance, a 401(k), abuse from anonymous commenters. If you’re looking to transition from Wall Street to writing, this is an excellent opportunity.

If you’d like to apply for this position, please email us at jobs at dealbreaker dot com (subject line: “DealBreaker Writer Application”). Please describe yourself and your background, what you have to offer DealBreaker, and your vision for the site. Feel free to include a résumé, a writing sample, a link to your own blog (if you have one), or any other information relevant to evaluation of your application.

Separately, we’re thinking about hiring a part-time writer or writers to cover the world of accounting, with a focus on the Big Four. If this opportunity interests you, please email us also at jobs at dealbreaker dot com (but with this subject line: “Accounting Writer Application”).

Thanks for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you.

Not Hiring sign.jpgI have a radical idea. Let’s move the start date of the 2009 on-campus interview programs from the middle of August 2009 all the way up to the end of August 2006. That way there will be jobs for everybody! Somebody get Daniel Faraday and “magic” Desmond on the phone.

Michigan Law School is the latest school to try to give their students a competitive edge along the fourth dimension:

The 2009 Early Interview Week will be from Tuesday, August 18 through Friday, August 21. We will have orientation for it and a program on callbacks on Monday, August 17. We regret that this early schedule may be an inconvenience for some students, but we believe the early start date may help maximize students’ success in this difficult economy. We will have numerous programs and communications in the next few months to prepare you for Early Interview Week.

Students seem to feel good about this decision. One tipster reports:

At least they were up-front about the reason.

With all these schools interviewing in the middle of August (prime vacation time for partners and senior associates), you have to wonder if firms will have enough interviewers to go around.

Earlier: University of Chicago Law School The Latest to Change Fall OCI

Fall Recruiting Fallout: Harvard/Yale Make Concessions to ‘Reality’

Not Hiring sign.jpgThus far, the University of Chicago Law School has been immune to the fever of grade reform. While other law schools bend over backwards to make the same level of education look better on a transcript, Chicago has held the line.

But it’s not like U of C Law is just ignoring the economic realities of the day. Another trend among top law schools it to make their on-campus interview process start earlier so firms don’t “fill up” on other candidates. Chicago is officially moving in that direction:

The fall 2009 on-campus interview program may seem very far away during the Chicago winter, but the Office of Career Services has begun planning in order to maximize your opportunities during this important phase of the job market for students exploring law firm careers. This planning has led to a notable calendar change: The University of Chicago Law School’s fall on-campus interviews will be held August 17-28, with an orientation to the program scheduled for August 15th.

After the jump, Chicago Law makes its intentions clear — but there are other problems with changing the timing of OCI.

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