Recovery

Ed. Note: Will the Lost Generation ever find its way back into Biglaw? This new column is written by a member of the Lost Generation who initially was thrown off of the Biglaw bandwagon but was able to get back on, and is now trying to hang on to his Biglaw second chance.

By the second semester of my 3L year, I began to realize that my whining about graduating law school unemployed was no longer an overly dramatic response to having been no-offered. It had become a legitimate concern.

For the first few weeks of the first semester, I dreamt of finding another Biglaw job somewhere in the country. As the rejection letters rolled in, I began to embrace the idea of practicing in the public sector. I imagined prosecuting violent criminals for assault or defending drug-users for minor misdemeanors. I managed to snag a couple of interviews through the meager offerings of 3L O.C.I. But, I stood no chance against my classmates who had been committed to a side of the criminal “v” since 1L year. Also, there was a glaring white space on my resume where it should have read “offer received.” Instead, it read, “I’m here because the high-paying legal employer that just reviewed over ten weeks of my work didn’t want me, and now I’m screwed and desperate.”

The other candidates had PILC and PILF all over their resumes . . . in bold. I, on the other hand, had never even been to that damn auction everyone kept talking about. Even if I could have competed for those jobs, I knew that I was undeserving as compared to many of my hard-working peers who had committed to being A.D.A.s or public defenders from the beginning of law school. Don’t get me wrong, though. If given the chance, I would have taken one of the jobs immediately

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Double Down”

Ed. Note: Will the Lost Generation ever find its way back into Biglaw? This new column is written by a member of the Lost Generation who initially was thrown off of the Biglaw bandwagon but was able to get back on, and is now trying to hang on to his Biglaw second chance.

When I was no-offered in the summer of 2009, I felt worthless. I am not used to failing in significant endeavors. I prefer to reserve failure my smaller undertakings, you know the ones that are not worth over six figures a year. And this particular failure had an even harsher sting because I felt like an ineffective sell-out.

I had started law school with the fresh and heady eyes of a bachelor of arts who had no employable skills and wanted to save the world. I would wield the law as a tool to empower the weak and oppressed. I was seriously regulating my debt and pinching pennies so that it would be manageable with the $50K salary that I expected.

That was before I found out exactly how much Biglaw associates make per week. My public interest façade didn’t even put up a fight. I think I registered for O.C.I. the next day.

One year later, I was offended by lunches that did not cost at least $20, and I was happy to represent any client in any capacity for any purpose as long as I made enough money so that the amount I paid in taxes exceeded any of my pre-law salaries. I was no longer worried about taking out the maximum amount of student loans available to me. The days of conservatively accepting only part of my loans, and pinching pennies, were gone.

Sadly, I started spending before I actually secured post-graduate employment. Does that sound familiar to anyone…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Anatomy of a No Offer”

Despite the depressing efforts of Marin County and Michigan Law School, there is a leading indicator that could portend good news for Biglaw lawyers. Wall Street is hiring bankers again. Bloomberg reports:

Firms are adding jobs for the first time in two years, rebuilding businesses cut during the financial crisis and offering guaranteed payouts to lure top bankers. In New York, 6,800 financial-industry positions were added from the end of February through May, the largest three-month increase since 2008, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

If bankers are being hired, they will (a) want to make deals, and (b) screw those deals up. Both realities should make opportunities for lawyers…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bankers Return; Can Lawyers Be Far Behind?”