Crappy Jobs

Low hanging fruit needs love too.

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….

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Does this count as 'employed at graduation'?

This has not been a great weekend for the University of Pittsburgh community. As many of you know, the school’s college basketball team choked disappointed fans with an early round exit from the NCAA tournament.

You should always avoid comparing a school’s basketball team with its law school, but it appears that things aren’t going much better at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While there is some evidence that the legal economy is recovering, the improving fortunes have not trickled all the way down to 3Ls searching for work….

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It’s been a while since we took a look at how little lawyers are willing to pay new attorneys. But today we’ve got two jobs which pay a combined salary of $1,000 per/month. I guess these employers are trying to ensure that whoever takes these jobs will show up to work on time because the new employees will leaving for work from the subway station bathroom.

Actually, saying that these two jobs have a combined salary of $1,000 per/month is a little misleading. Our first job pays $1,000, our second one pays nothing at all. It’s always nice to see lawyers who want other lawyers to contribute their legal expertise for $0. It really says a lot about how lawyers themselves value their own profession.

Let’s get to it. I’m sure some of you are at home, ogling daytime cable news anchors, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to fall into your lap…

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a true contestant for the title of most depressing job offered to a law student. Sure, there have been a lot of jobs that offer $10 an hour, or even $0 an hour, for legal work. But at least those jobs were offering the opportunity to put long years of legal education to some sort of use.

No, the most depressing jobs for would-be lawyers in this economy are jobs they could have easily gotten before they went to law school. Or college. Really, the most depressing job I’ve seen appeared last year, when University of Texas law students were given the opportunity to do some babysitting for extra money. That’s an opportunity you present to responsible high school students, not students at the fifteenth-best law school in the country.

If you thought those days were behind us, think again. Take a look at the job that was blasted out yesterday to students at the other law school ranked #15, UCLA Law.

Traffic in L.A. is notoriously horrible, and now one UCLA law student might profit from his or her stop-and-go driving skills…

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Is this a “terrible job” or “the inevitable future of the legal economy”? Note: those two answers aren’t mutually exclusive.

The University of Michigan Law Schoolthe 9th-best law school in America — is now posting job opportunities from India.

Has it really gotten bad enough that graduates from a top law school should consider international LPO opportunities? Yes, yes it has….

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This morning, you might have heard the great news that the legal sector added jobs in May. Jobs, yay, woohoo! It sounds like great news, until you look at how tepid the jobs bump was in May. Am Law Daily reports:

The legal sector gained 300 jobs in May after experiencing losses in the hundreds during the previous month, according to the latest employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the industry has still lost 400 jobs since March, and a total of 22,200 legal jobs have disappeared since May 2009.

It’s been a while since my mathlete heyday, but couldn’t you write this story as: “Legal sector loses 100 jobs since March.” Or you could say: “Legal sector loses 19,900 jobs over the past year.”

And we don’t even know if these 300 jobs are “good” jobs…

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We’ve done a lot of posts about terrible jobs. Here’s another one.

We don’t know which law school is pushing this job, but we know that the National Environmental Policy Act Campaign is looking for the cheapest legal services it can find. A tipster was so very sad about his situation, he emailed us:

As a jobless 3L from a TTT, I have been keeping up on you employment, alternative careers, and general law school news for, well, about 3.5 years now. I have never commented and I have never contacted you until now.

The reason for writing is the disgust and despair I felt when I went to quickly check my email less than an hour before I donned my cap and gown for my graduation ceremony. This email was sent from one of the 3 employees at our Career Services office, specifically noting an open position. I like that he took the time to send it out as a separate email rather than post it on Simplicity or the intranet vacancy board.

We occasionally get emails from “first time caller, long time listener.” Those emails are always interesting.

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blind item AboveTheLaw legal blog.jpgNo matter when it’s done, job hunting usually sucks balls. When done in the middle of the Great Recession, it feels like the balls are covered in tangled hair and pointy skin-piercing spikes. It’s painful and you have to be careful.

One disgruntled attorney recently emailed us about a company that he suspects is trying to take advantage of desperate job hunters. He calls it “a new type of scam preying on unemployed lawyers.”

He responded via an ad on Craigslist to an “assets management company” seeking IP attorneys for full-time or part-time contract work. We’ll call the company Pay To Work, LLC. In the ad, PTW says it’s looking for “entrepreneurial” attorneys to do intellectual property work. It says its clients include scientists, inventors, writers, artists, celebrities, universities, and multi-national corporations. That sounds pretty sweet!

But there are some big catches. First off, “partners” are supposed to pay $295/month for “administrative fees.” Second off, the company has no clients at the moment. It’s a start-up in the “set-up phase.” So if you sign up and start paying $300 a month, what exactly are you getting for your money?

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In a cover story last year for Washingtonian magazine, on the subject of lawyer incomes, Kash and I posed a question: Are lawyers like white-collar auto workers?

Answer: no. Autoworkers are better paid. Check out this latest job listing, from craigslist for Orange County:

Full time associate attorney start at $12 an hour.

Welcome to the OC, bitch.

Salaries in the legal profession may be experiencing some deflation, but $12 an hour for the holder of a J.D. is… ridiculous. As one of the many readers who sent this to us observed, “I made this much in high school.” Said a second: “They’re looking for an associate who will work for $12 / hour. At that rate, one might as well go for an In-N-Out gig. You’ll probably get benefits there.”

But wait, it gets better….

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