Career Alternatives

It’s time to take another look at some of the worst jobs being offered to recent law graduates around the country. Most people think that getting a J.D. is a path to high-salaried positions where you work in an office that smells of rich mahogany.

For some people, it all works out. But many recent graduates of law school end up fighting it out on salaries between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. It’s the bi-modal salary distribution curve, folks, and it’s not your friend.

Today, we’re not looking at full-time jobs, though. We’re taking a look at some positions available for people looking to supplement their income. These are part-time positions, but if you are a student or a recent graduate who needs some extra cash, you should check these out.

And, you know, despair…

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I’m telling you folks, the message is starting to filter through about law schools. The education costs so much and the job prospects are so uncertain for new lawyers that people are finally starting to understand that getting a J.D. is not the kind of bankable asset that it used to be.

It’s filtering through to students. But most importantly, it’s starting to filter through to parents. Raise your hand if you are in law school now because Mommy or Daddy thought it would be “good for you” to “get serious” about something. (Wait, don’t literally raise your hand, you might get called on… oh, sorry. Just say something about how the case holding “seems to contradict, at least in part” the holding from the last case you read. That’s always the right answer.)

As I was saying, it’s parents who think that law is the kind of professional enterprise that will guarantee their children good, stable incomes. Armed with this (incorrect) information, they often push their children into legal careers that their kids never wanted.

But that’s all starting to change, and today’s example of that change is Theresa Brenner. She’s decided to “postpone” making a decision about going to law school. Instead, she’s going to drive the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. And her parents are supporting her decision.

She’s having second thoughts, but I think we can all clearly see that driving around in a car shaped like a hot dog is a FAR SUPERIOR career choice than going to law school in this market at these prices….

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* That’s one hell of a “rainy day fund.” Greenberg Traurig is asking for $24M over the next two years, and has no plans to do it again in the near future. [Daily Business Review]

* Lots of law firms have been listening to that Petula Clark song about how great things are downtown, because that’s where their offices are headed. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Republicans are begging Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin to quit, but he’s vowed to stay the course. “[A]bortion is never an option,” not even for his campaign. [New York Times]

* Dipping and squeezing is serious business in the condiment world, and that’s why there’s a patent lawsuit over this innovative ketchup packet. [Huffington Post]

* Career alternatives for attorneys: sci-fi salvaging savior? This entertainment lawyer is taking out-of-print fantasy novels and turning them into e-books. Sometimes being a nerd is pretty cool. [New York Daily News]

* Chris Danzig will be attending and live tweeting the Apple v. Samsung trial today. Follow him! [Twitter]

Would that it were easy for women to dress professionally without being critiqued on every aspect of their ensemble. If that were the case, then we wouldn’t have so much to write about when it comes to the intersection of fashion and women’s issues. From hairstyle to hemline to heel height, women are constantly bombarded with differing opinions as to what’s acceptable to wear in the workplace.

With on-campus interviewing season right around the corner, you’ll need to look and act the part. The hour has drawn nigh for some tips that will allow our female readers to maintain a stylish appearance from a day in the office to a night out, all at the click of a button. Because fashion should be a piece of cake, even for lawyerly ladies who are too busy to shop….

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We talk a lot around these parts about the versatility (or lack thereof) of a law degree. Does a J.D. help you grab non-law related jobs? Maybe, maybe not.

But for certain brave — or maybe just kooky — individuals, there are jobs for which a J.D. is really neither here nor there. Think truck driver, sommelier, or a guy who lives in the woods and extracts venom from poisonous rattlesnakes for a living. You might have to sacrifice the corner office, but you make up for it with the thrill of dangerous living. The pay ain’t so bad either…

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Your J.D. isn't actually like this, but it costs WAY more.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, there was a brilliant piece in Am Law Daily the other day about the “versatility” of a J.D. — or lack thereof. Matt Leichter argues that if you believe your J.D. is a utilitarian degree, you are living in an illogical dreamworld.

Of course, nobody ever accused prospective law students of being logical. Many people justify time and treasure expended on going to law school on the supposed versatility of the J.D., and like most things involving the decision to go to law school, the students have done little research to back up the claim.

That thought about the degree is so ingrained that you regularly see vast numbers of students heading off to law school who say they don’t want to be lawyers. Think about that. You don’t hear med students say, “I don’t want to be a doctor, I just thought it would be good to know how to save a life.” Heck, you don’t hear plumbers say, “I didn’t really want to be a plumber, but you never know when being able to make raw sewage flow freely will come in handy.”

Make no mistake, going to law school in order to do non-law stuff is stupid….

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Jaynie Mae Baker

* What do Tiger Woods’s sexts, Anthony Weiner’s wiener, and the newsworthiness exception to copyright infringement have in common? They’re all in this colorful Ninth Circuit dissent. [National Law Journal]

* Dewey have any idea when this “clawback” deadline will stop being extended? Partners have again been granted another extension to sign on the dotted line, but this time for only 48 hours. [WSJ Law Blog]

* If your reason for resigning from your position as a congressman has to do with “increasing parenting challenges,” becoming the managing director of Biglaw practice group likely isn’t a wise choice. [POLITICO]

* A shareholder suit filed against Goldman Sachs over mortgage-backed securities and early TARP repayment was dismissed. I didn’t watch the Daily Show last night, but I’m sure Jon Stewart had a great joke. [Reuters]

* Musical deans? Hot on the heels of Jeremy Paul’s announcement that he was leaving for Northeastern, Professor Willajeanne McLean has been appointed as interim dean at UConn Law. [Connecticut Law Tribune]

* Law school didn’t build that: as it turns out, a juris doctor isn’t as versatile a degree as it’s made out to be. Just because you managed to get a good non-law job, it doesn’t mean a J.D. helped you. [Am Law Daily]

* Jaynie Mae Baker, the Millionaire Madam’s sidekick, has struck a plea deal with the DA. She won’t be going to jail for her adventures in high-class hooking, and might walk away without a criminal record. [New York Post]

While many would-be lawyers were busy taking the bar exam in July, actual lawyers (and law students) were allegedly busy behaving badly. We’ve singled out a lucky few for our Lawyer of the Month honors.

Some of our nominees have adopted unusual career alternatives, and others have allegedly adopted unusual sexual relationships. But who will come out on top in our monthly contest?

Take a look at our nominees for July’s Lawyer of the Month and find out….

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Lawyers tend to overindulge in the finer things in life — things like designer clothes, fast cars, and luxurious lawyerly lairs. Unfortunately, lawyers also tend to overindulge in alcohol. In fact, according to the ABA, about 13 percent of lawyers qualify as alcoholics. Keeping that in mind, practicing law may be fine preparation for a new career in the wine bar business.

Meet Elizabeth Banker. This former in-house lawyer for Yahoo! and current counsel at ZwillGen is putting her legal career aside to follow something she’s been passionate about since her college days: wine. (Despite sharing a surname, apparently she’s not a fan of Banker’s Club vodka.)

Back in the day, Banker drank gallon-sized jugs of Chablis. Since then, her “tastes have evolved,” and now she’s more of a high-class sommelier. Let’s learn more about Banker’s new business, and find out when opening day will be….

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Erika Awakening

Sometimes attorneys are desperate to find a way out of the legal profession. Sometimes that desperation will lead them down a strange road to an entirely new career — and not just a new career, but a new way of life.

Meet Erika Frick, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School. After graduating from HLS, Frick worked for the antitrust division of the Department of Justice and for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. But if you’re a member of the pickup artist community, you know Frick better as Erika Awakening, a New Age life coach and self-proclaimed guru of the seduction community. How frickin’ fabulous is that?

What would cause a Harvard-educated attorney on a rather prestigious career track to turn her focus to the Law of Attraction? Let’s find out….

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