Job Searches

Kentucky law facebook.JPGIt’s been a tough year for Kentucky. They were on the wrong side of the Obama-wave. They killed a horse. Rick Pitino isn’t walking through that door.

And it’s not like University of Kentucky College of Law students are immune from the larger problems in the legal market. But unlike Churchill Downs, the UK Law administration is looking for creative ways to deal with emerging realities. In response to the cratering job market, UK Law’s interim dean has suggested that students spend more time on Facebook:

We want you to know that you can sign up for the UK College of Law Alumni group on Facebook. Even though you are not technically yet alums, you will be soon and I thought that participating in our Facebook page might help you make contacts that would assist you with your job search.

I realize that your class is graduating into a difficult job market. It’s my intention for the Dean’s Office to do whatever we can to make your job search less stressful and more productive. One idea is that you could sign up on Facebook and use your profile to describe your interests, including the fact that you are looking for a job after graduation.

Well, every great idea looked a little bit ridiculous before it worked right?

And there’s some salient Facebook pimping advice for those inclined to try it out:

I’ll be sending a “wall” message to those alums who are already participating, asking them to help us with placement for our grads. You never know who might know about the perfect job for you, so be sure to make your profile and any comments you post something that is “professional.” Yes, I know that some grads put up pictures of their dogs—and far be it from me, of all persons, to criticize dog photos—but I think that if you are using this as a marketing opportunity you want to be careful what you post.

Read the Dean’s full Good Will Hunting-esque message after the jump. And remember you can share this post on Facebook with other job seekers friends.

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staff attorney contract attorney doc review.jpgBack in the golden days of Biglaw (in the before times, in the long, long ago), associates were fired all the time. Getting laid off for poor performance or low hours is nothing new.

Of course, back when we had a functional American economy, getting fired was a temporary bump in the road. You could always work at a smaller firm or for the government. Back in the day, you could even work as a contract attorney if you needed something to tide you over.

Now … everything is different. And contract attorney jobs are great gets in this market. Yesterday, the National Law Journal ran a piece about the curious case of paying off law school debt while making $35 an hour:

As law firms downsize, laid-off attorneys and new law school graduates unable to find jobs have been turning to an option they may never have imagined at law school: becoming contract attorneys — hired guns for $35 an hour.

Yet in the past couple of months, even that field appears to be showing signs of a slowdown.

People who waited too long to swallow their pride and confront the reality of the financial crisis are finding that contract work has already been snapped up by less prestige conscious job seekers.

And it probably isn’t helping that just as the American legal market is starved for low level work, the ABA has made it easier to outsource doc review to other countries:

Also cutting into their business is the growing popularity of outsourcing to India. Hudson Legal has countered with an ad campaign that encourages law firms to “onshore,” and choose U.S. staffing companies where there are no security or privacy concerns and where they operate in the Eastern time zone.

Even if you land a contract attorney job you never thought you wanted, the working conditions remain just as bad as you remember them.

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telephone repairman.JPGIf you enjoy watching people kick other people while they’re down, you’ll love the new study released from JobsRated.com. They’ve done “extensive” research and data mining and come up with a comparative list of 200 job options:

JobsRated.com offers help for uncertain job seekers by analyzing 200 different jobs according to 5 vital criteria: Stress, Work Environment, Physical Demands, Income and Outlook. In every area each job receives a specific score, and data is mined to provide the most detailed information possible — for example, rather than listing average incomes, our rankings combine each job’s mid-level salary with its outlook score, which eliminates data from employees making too much or too little to provide a more accurate result.

According to these people, being an attorney ranks 82nd, just ahead of “bookbinder” and stockbroker, but behind the illustrious career of telephone repairman.

I guess I should have mentioned that the prone people being kicked were members of the legal profession.

More nuggets from these rankings after the jump.

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William and Mary Marshall Wythe School of Law Above the Law blog.jpgMaybe William & Mary School of Law administrators were checking in on the ATL Idol competition over the summer. The Law School Dean Search Committee’s methods for choosing a new dean sure sound familiar:

Hi. After vetting well over 100 candidates and conducting ‘airport’ interviews over two weekends (one in DC, the other here in Williamsburg), the Law School dean search committee has chosen 5 finalists who will be coming to campus for interviews over the next 6 weeks. There may be a 6th candidate, but that has not yet been determined.

Hey, ATL Idol turned out well enough (didn’t it?). Why shouldn’t William & Mary law students have a more active role in choosing the new dean? They at least deserve a chance to meet the candidates.

Students will have the opportunity to meet each candidate in a ‘town hall’ (large group, question & answer) setting. We will provide dates and times as schedules crystallize.

Check out the list of W&M Law Dean finalists after the jump.

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Hiring anybody.JPGA couple of weeks ago, we told you that a small firm based in Nassau County (Long Island) was trying to add an associate off of Craigslist — for the bargain basement price of $36K – $42K.

The position hasn’t been filled yet, but there is apparently a lot of competition for the job. From the firm’s latest Craigslist ad:

I will say that overall I’ve been impressed with the creative cover letters and the excellent resumes. In any event, we haven’t contacted anyone yet, so don’t be alarmed by our silence. Enjoy the holidays. Relax with family and friends, remember what is important. Next year will be better. Now I do need to say, if we do not call you in, please understand that it is not a reflection on you, we’re a small firm and we only have one opening. I’ve received resumes from at least thirty five attorneys (and a few soon to be attorneys) that I would interview and hire in a heart beat, if I only had the time and the openings. Stay upbeat.

Relax? At the point where you are applying for $40K/year jobs over the holiday season, you are incapable of relaxing … neither is your landlord.

Of course, not all of the responses have been positive:

To the one anti – semite who thought somehow, that religion had anything to do with the salary we were offering – F*ck off – It is my Christmas wish that you remain unemployed forever, and that the closest you come to a legal job is selling Blumberg forms in a Staples.

Read the full ad after the jump. And remember, if you work in Nassau you can still live in much nicer and more economically priced Suffolk County.

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Hiring anybody.JPGWith all of the carnage in the legal community, unemployed attorneys might have to look outside the box to find jobs right now. We suggest an “all of the above” strategy. Headhunters, personal connections, career counselors, or even Craigslist could produce the job you need to satisfy your landlord.

An interesting little ad appeared on Craigslist this week. The job is based in Long Island:

Small Congenial Litigation Office with an insurance defense, Plaintiff’s personal injury and commercial litigation practice seeks an entry level attorney who wants to learn how to practice law.

All of our attorneys have a big firm background. You don’t need one. You will however, learn from quality attorneys while showing us just how invaluable you are and why you should be paid more money.

Are there any Hofstra 3Ls out there whose Biglaw dreams crashed on the rocks of the shifting economy.

Remember, life isn’t all about prestige. This firm is offering something no Biglaw firm would dare say:

We are not looking to overwork the successful candidate. We have lives – he/she should too. Bill 35 to 40 hours a week legitimately and the rest of the week is yours. Show us that we can’t live without you, and we’ll increase your salary. Bring in clients or cases and get a piece of what you bring in. Bring in the right case, and make more than the partners.

Nice.

I grew up on Long Island and have some knowledge about the environs around the Mineola courthouse. The ad’s kicker makes a lot of sense:

Trust me there are worse places to work – my partners and I have all worked there. Practicing law need not be a chore, but it is essential to get the right start.

Do you have information about other firms that are “hiring” in this market? Send them into tips.

Read the full ad after the jump.

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In this economy, legal recruiters remind me of benevolent clergymen:

YOU: I’m just so confused … so afraid.

RECRUITER: Do not despair my child. Open your heart and mind to Us and We will show you opportunities of great satisfaction.

YOU: But I have been forsaken!

RECRUITER: We see all, We help all. Come with Us and take back your rightful share of the glory.

Recruiters can be helpful, but they are almost always soothing. We expect recruiters to make us feel better about ourselves, and in times of strife self-confidence becomes really important.

We don’t expect recruiters to make us sad or mournful. But one recruiter did just that with a visual reminder of terrible mistakes that should remain in the past.

See the pics after the jump.

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Not Hiring sign.jpgWe spent a lot of time documenting the recruiting struggles for Harvard Law School students. Comparatively speaking Yale Law students seemed to do pretty well. The school did not send around an “accept your offers” email to students, and it appears that most Yale students who wanted jobs in Biglaw did okay. A tipster reports:

It doesn’t seem that the economy has hurt anyone too badly. Nobody said that they got dinged by any firm they really wanted…everyone seems to have a handful of offers from various firms they’re happy with.

Despite the placid exterior that comes from being at the top and knowing it, even mighty Yale looks like it’s ready to make some concessions to the general market strife. The school is now contemplating moving their fall recruiting program to August, prior to the start of classes:

yale law school.jpgThe Law School is considering moving the Fall Interview Program from September to the latter half of August prior to the start of classes. A number of factors have influenced this decision, including proposed changes to the law school calendar for 2009-10; the National Association for Law Placement’s new timing guidelines governing interviews; recent developments in the financial markets; and the shift to Early Interview Week programs by many law schools. In contemplating this change, student feedback is important to us. Please take a moment to hit reply to this email and answer the following question:

I _________ (would/would not) recommend that the Law School move FIP from September to August.

Feel free to provide comments here. In addition, Deans Sharon Brooks and Megan Barnett will be offering drop in sessions next week (at dates and times TBA) for students who wish to provide their comments in that manner.

Please reply by Monday, December 8, 2008.

Evidently, all of the cackling you heard from schools that start fall recruiting in August was based on some objectively positive results.

Meanwhile, the Crimson Behemoth moves in the same direction after the jump.

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clerks snowball earth.JPGIn late October, we received this question from a federal clerk:

To date, I’ve seen at least six posts in a series ATL has been doing about firms rescinding unaccepted summer associate offers to 2L’s due to oversubscription of the summer class. I would be interested to know whether firms are actually, or at least contemplating, rescinding unaccepted offers for full-time associate positions that were being held open for former summer associates that are doing judicial clerkships this year?

I have an offer from a biglaw firm and was assured (albeit almost one year ago) that my offer would be held open until I had completed my clerkship and could formally accept. Needless to say, I am getting more than a bit nervous about whether my job will still be waiting for me come September ’09.

At the time, we told the questioner that we hadn’t heard anything like that from any major law firm during this recruiting cycle. Nobody’s going to rescind offers to clerks!

We thought.

We hoped.

Yesterday, we had a couple of interesting conversations with folks over at Wiley Rein. We now believe that the chair of Wiley Rein’s recruiting committee placed a number of phone calls over the weekend to current judicial clerks. The recruiting coordinator was careful to say that Wiley was not “rescinding” offers, but that the clerks should seriously consider looking at other options for full-time employment when their clerkships are up.

More details after the jump.

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Wiley Rein ‘Cold Offers’ Judicial Clerks”

Mofo Mojo MofoMojo Morrison Foerster tote bag.jpg
“My boyfriend summered at MoFo, and all I got was this lousy tote bag!”

These days are dominated by gloomy news: dissolutions, layoffs, rescinded offers. It gets depressing — and old. So let’s shift gears and talk about a happy topic: law firm offer swag.

Yes, America still has large law firms. They are still hiring summer associates. And these firms still woo prospective summers with fabulous prizes, to encourage acceptance of their offers. Word on the street is that S&C is once again plying offerees with its fabled bonsai trees.

And sometimes even editors of humble legal blogs get gifts in the mail. The good folks over at Morrison & Foerster sent us some lovely gifts, which we’re guessing they’ve also shared with offer recipients (although we’re not positive; please do let us know).

Update: A tipster tells us that, in addition to the items we received, MoFo also gave out 4G jump drives and universal outlet converters.

Check out a slideshow of the MoFo loot — and compare your Biglaw hauls, in the comments — after the jump.

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