Industry observers can debate why applications are down. But I think it’s really as simple as what I’m about to show you. People go to law school so they can get jobs and have nice lives. They don’t go to law school for love of abstract learning. They don’t go to law school because of anything that happens in the third year of law school. They go for jobs.
And when there are no jobs, when experienced attorneys are making Craigslist postings like this one I’m about to show you, it makes people think, “Why in the hell would I go to law school right now?”
Let’s take a look at the saddest single dad with a J.D. on Craigslist….
Anyone who’s been following the implosion of the law school bubble is well aware of the fact that many recent graduates have been left floundering when it comes to employment prospects. And given the vast media coverage of the legal academy’s existential crisis, everyone and their mother knows that entry-level law jobs are few and far between. People are hungry for experience, but they’ve quickly come to the conclusion that it’s a real seller’s market out there. In today’s economy, it’s kill, be killed, or work in retail with a law degree (a fate which, for some, may be worse than even death).
As expected, some employers have chosen to take advantage of this situation. Take, for example, the “excellent position” we covered last summer, after a number of tipsters emailed us to express their outrage. The job was touted as providing “valuable experience,” and even though it had a sad little yearly salary of $10,000, some 32 people applied.
In the wonderful world of legal one-uppance, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with an even more audacious employment scheme. Would you be willing to pay someone for legal experience? Because that’s what this Connecticut law firm expects you to do.
Leave it to a lawyer to come up with a way to turn this dearth of job opportunities into a revenue stream….
Elections have consequences, and right now I’m waiting for Republicans to start paying the piper. I’m looking at you, Ted Nugent. You declared, nay promised, that if Obama was reelected, you’d either be dead or in jail within a year. Well, tick tock buddy, we’re all waiting.
In fact, there were many Republicans who promised to do all sorts of horrible things should Barack Obama win. And apparently some of them are following through. Nothing makes a political statement about the vibrancy of our democracy than petulantly firing people when democracy doesn’t go your way.
And heck, we don’t even know how many people will be “not hired” because, “Grrr… we have to pay for our employees’ health care because we were too partisan or stupid to support a single-payer system that would have shifted the burden of health insurance away from private employers.”
At least, we won’t know unless they tell us. Which, incredibly, one solo practitioner apparently did, in a rejection letter to somebody who applied in response to her Craigslist ad. It’s easily the best post-election rejection letter we’ve seen….
If you were searching for employment and you saw an ad proposing that you audition for the job — much like you would if you were a contestant on Top Chef, Project Runway, or ATL Idol — would you still apply? What if the firm was offering $20 per hour for each assignment completed during the audition process?
Those are the questions that we’ve been tasked with today by many of our loyal readers who emailed us about a Craigslist job out in California. This is what the legal job market has come to….
Back in May, we brought you news about a full-time job opportunity that appeared on Boston College Law School’s Symplicity page. Everyone expressed outrage over the position advertised, simply because of its annual salary of $10,000. If you do the math, that works out to about $4.81 per hour, which is well below minimum wage. But apparently our economy is such that at least 32 people applied for the job — a job that didn’t even yield a living wage.
Keeping that tableau in mind, tipsters recently brought our attention to yet another low-paying job. This one is above minimum wage. But even jobs that will get you off of a ramen noodle budget just aren’t good enough these days….
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.
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.
Anyone who has used Craigslist knows the site has not really changed in the 17 years it’s been around. In a time when you can even geolocate cell phone photos, the site design is a bit anachronistic (read: annoying). There’s no mapping, and no ability to add more than one post at once, or take advantage of a lot of options more recent sites offer.
So, as technology folk tend to do these days, a variety of entrepreneurs have attempted find ways to improve the site’s formula.
But Craigslist keeps saying no dice. Not only will it not update, it goes after these imitators — so far, quite successfully — in court. Why?
If you think collection agencies are mainly staffed with unscrupulous jerks who barely understand the law and care about it even less, you might not be wrong.
A tipster sent in a Craigslist ad for a foreclosure firm in Pennsylvania. It’s pretty straight forward in terms of what the agency is about, and what kind of lawyer they’re looking for. Let’s just say that they’re not looking for people who made law review.
In fact, they aren’t even looking for a lawyer who will prepare his or her own documents. If you can sign your name, you can be their lawyer….
Funny, if I told you that a prospective law student was taking out a mess of student loans in order to rent a reasonable apartment for three years of law school, people would react with a considered “meh.” It’s the way the system works. It’s expected that law students will finance part or all of their law school experience with debt — debt that is backed up by the federal government.
So, now if I tell you that a student is using public assistance to pay for housing while she’s in law school, does your reaction change?
If it does, you are what the scientists call a “Republican.”
If she’s eligible for public assistance, isn’t doing something like going to law school exactly what she’s “supposed” to do in order to one day not need public assistance?
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.