Gradenfreude

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

When President Obama was debating Mitt Romney, he patted himself on the back because of the strides he took to give young people the chance to get an education by making student loans available.  I guess making loans available is all that really matters, because after all, who cares about having the loans paid off? That’s the one thing that he didn’t mention: once you accept the loans, you’ll be bent over a barrel for the rest of your life — unless, of course, you’re able to become a Senator and then write a couple of best-selling books.

I think that most students realize they’ll spend the vast majority of their lives paying off the loans they took out to further their educational pursuits.  What many may not realize is just how ridiculous the government is when it comes to getting their money back.  Their tactics and terms fall just short of being classified as Mafia-like. On the bright side, if there is one, at least no one’s broken my legs yet.

Although the government may allow for a deferment for economic hardship, if you have a full time job, it’s likely that you won’t meet the strict requirements to attain that deferment.  Because even when you work a job that only allows you to live in your parents’ basement, essentially as dependent upon them as you were in high school, the fine United States government still expects timely repayment.

That’s right: I currently make too much money to qualify for an economic hardship deferment, and I work for just over minimum wage.  Earning the least amount of money per hour that I ever have in my life, I am making too much money to earn the government’s pity….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: Loan Debt Repayment for Law Grads Is a Scam”

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

As the number of days without a career increases, I can feel myself losing it. Now by “it,” I don’t mean I’m going to have a bad day and go postal, but instead, I believe I’m becoming a little dumber every day. It seems that the lack of thought required for working in retail is resulting in a regression in terms of my basic common sense.

I now understand why old people need to play brain games to stay sharp. At least once a week, I catch myself doing something that is out of character — something that, if I saw another person doing it, would make me think that person was a moron. I feel like this job is turning me into the complete idiot that my customers treat me like….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: Working Retail as a Lawyer Is Pretty Damn Demeaning”

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

I know that I complain about my job a lot, but when you have the experiences that I’ve got under my belt since graduating from law school, I think I have the right to complain. Personally, when I’m at work and thinking about how much I hate the job, I’ll sometimes wonder, “What could possibly make this worse?”

Last week, I found out.

I walked up to my boss as he was speaking to a coworker about the lack of intelligence required to do our job, and he said, “It’s not like we have a bunch of lawyers walking around here.” And my coworker responded, “Actually, now we do have one.” It was then that my boss grabbed a mop and said, “Tristan, just because you passed the bar exam doesn’t mean that you can’t clean the floor.”

Wow. I didn’t realize that it was possible, but my boss actually made me hate my job even more….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: I Passed the Bar Exam, But I Still Mop the Floors at My Crappy Job”

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

In law school, we all learn that networking is a valuable tool, especially in today’s vastly oversaturated job market. So now, as an underemployed graduate, I think back to what I could have done differently to make a better impression and really get noticed by a potential employer.

Sometimes I can be a little too shy and reserved, which can be perceived as a lack of self-confidence. I have a tendency to ramble on about minor details, and potential employers hate it when you can’t see the big picture. When I am put on the spot or get too nervous, I can lose my internal coffee filter and begin to say things — things which may or may not be completely inappropriate — without fully thinking them over.

With amazing characteristics like these, isn’t it shocking that I had to resort to working in retail?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: Networking For Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Law School Graduates”

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

As the holiday season draws near, many in Biglaw are focused on what they want to buy with their upcoming bonuses — or, more likely, how much they will bitch and moan if bonuses are not everything that they expected. And I have to admit, when I was in law school, I would read Above the Law articles covering the bonuses being handed out at firms and think, “I can’t wait to complain about the inadequacy of my year-end bonus.”

Little did I know just how true that statement would turn out to be. That’s because now, after graduating, the closest thing to a holiday bonus I’ll receive will be avoiding those annoying family gatherings — the ones where you act like you care about how people you only see once a year are doing — while I work non-stop.

Shortly after the holidays, however, I should be due for a raise, which will be nice because by that time, I foresee my alcohol intake and spending increasing dramatically. Unfortunately, that raise will only result in an extra $3,120, before taxes, after a full year of working. That’s right, the maximum amount that I’ll receive, should I be moved up to management, will be $1.50 per hour.

But since there are currently no positions on the management team at my retail job, the raise is more likely to be in the range of 50 cents. Fifty f**king cents….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: Please Stop Bitching About Your Biglaw Bonuses”

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

Hello my loyal readers — oh, and you commenters, too. A lot has happened since we last met. I had a job interview last week. How did it go, you ask? The words embarrassing and atrocious come to mind. Think about getting mugged on the way to your car, getting a flat tire in the rain, and then having your credit card declined at McDonald’s. Yeah, that would have been a much better day than I had.

Looking back at the day as a whole, I really should have known that it was going to be a bad time. First, my power went out in the middle of the night, but luckily for me, I was so excited and nervous that I woke up every couple of hours and noticed early on that I needed to turn on my cell phone alarm to make sure that I woke up. But then, of course, I couldn’t go back to sleep because my anxiety level was at an all-time high.

While I lay in bed and waited for my alarm to go off, I practiced going over interview questions in my head. My alarm finally went off, and I felt like I did before most of my law school exams: “Oh sh*t, I am not nearly prepared for this. Why the hell did I do this again?”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: My Interview Horror Story (Or, How I Underwhelmed A Hiring Partner With My Law Degree)”

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

Whoever said, “No news is good news,” obviously wasn’t dealing with trying to find a legal job in this economy. I really wish that there was anything remotely resembling news to report on my legal aspirations, but the only thing that I’ve accomplished is mastering drinking my worries away.

This experience has made me realize that when you’re constantly trying to get something that you really want, but not having success, it’s easy to begin to doubt yourself and your abilities. Then, as a result, it’s possible that you may lower your expectations because the fear of failure takes over. But what can be really interesting is how the little things in life can change your expectations.

I’ve always been a superstitious person, and along with that, I believe that the world often gives you signs. Okay, I bet you think that sounds dumb. Well, what makes it worse is that I take my signs from fortune cookies. Before going to law school, I got a fortune cookie that said, “You are about to begin a prosperous business venture.” CHA-CHING!!! What else could you possibly need to know before taking on colossal debt?

A fortune cookie would never steer me wrong, would it?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: Living Life By Fortune Cookies — Bad Idea Or Worst Idea?”

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

When you are unhappy with your job, you have to take joy in the simpler things in life. For me, sometimes that’s just kicking back and enjoying a relaxing evening of good television. Yes, I have a television, but I also live in my parents’ house, so technically, it’s their television. Whatever.

I planned on watching TV on Sunday night, but unfortunately, something that was said at work stuck with me. During one of my breaks this week, where I sat in a windowless back room with less natural light than a prison, I met a new employee who recently graduated from college, and we were exchanging job-search horror stories. A fellow coworker walked in and overheard me talking to about how much my current job sucked, and he retorted, “Oh, the plight of a law school graduate in 2012.”

That completely ruined my night — so much so that, when at the end of the latest episode of “The Simpsons” the characters asked viewers to submit their own ideas for the opening “couch gag,” my mind instantly went to Lisa reenacting the quest of going to law school, and the life that it can lead to in today’s economy.

This is what I submitted….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: The Plight Of A Law School Graduate In 2012″

Ed. note: Gradenfreude is a new series chronicling a recent law school graduate’s life after attending an unranked school. Feel free to email the author at [email protected], and he’ll respond ASAP. After all, it’s not like he has anything better to do.

If you’re a frequent reader of Above the Law, then you’ve seen plenty of stories about the horrors of attending law school. But even so, the editors have expressed a few opinions: Elie doesn’t want you to go to law school at all; Lat thinks you should give law school a try, as long as it’s free; Staci’s ambivalent, but thinks it’s cool if you sue after you graduate; and Danzig stalks people who went to law school, so… yeah.

It’s a little confusing, isn’t it?

Perhaps you’re still unsure about what you should do. That’s why I’m here to tell you about the darker side of being a law school graduate who just so happens to be a member of the Lost Generation. I’m here to tell you about the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life. I’m here to tell you about going to an unranked law school….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gradenfreude: The Beginning of the End”

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