Unemployed

There are 64 open jobs in occupational therapy for every 100 working in the field, the [SimplyHired.com] site’s data show. Yet online job listings for these positions get 50 times fewer clicks than the hardest-to-place industry — the legal field. Meanwhile, unemployed lawyers now find themselves in the country’s most cutthroat race for a job, with less than one opening for every 100 working attorneys.

— from a recent Wall Street Journal article, Where the Jobs Are.

At number nine in the latest U.S. News law school rankings, it comes as a surprise that the University of Virginia School of Law hasn’t been doing so hot this year in terms of finding jobs for its graduates.

In March, we reported that UVA Law students donned venomous t-shirts in protest during an admitted students’ weekend. In April, we saw the artistic and architectural work of yet another unemployed UVA Law student.

And now, almost three months after graduation, we have some more bad news from Charlottesville, thanks to the Virginia Law Weekly. Someone from UVA Law Career Services forgot how to blind carbon copy, and we now have an idea as to many Class of 2011 graduates are unemployed.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be HARVARD LAW SECURE….

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“[T]he new NALP numbers confirm that the job market is terrible for young lawyers (aka the “lost generation”).” I wrote that last year about the class of 2009.

And last year things were way better than this year. This year’s NALP employment numbers are out, and they show that the class of 2010 had some of the worst employment outcomes of the last 20 years.

No wonder people are suing their law schools. Going to law school turned out to be a terrible decision for many of them….

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Try telling a recent college grad to think critically before applying to law school. Just try to do it. It won’t be long before the young person you are trying to help gets inappropriately angry and shouts, “Well what AM I supposed to do, you fat f**k? Seriously oh wise internet blogger, what the hell am I supposed to do, work at Barnes & Noble? Oh wait, they’re not hiring, a$$hole.”

Yeah, recent college grads tend to act like going to law school (or some other professional school or post-graduate degree program) is their only option in a market that doesn’t have enough jobs. Citing the results of a recent poll taken by Twentysomething Inc., Time reports that 85% of 2011 college graduates are expected to move back in with their parents. (Gavel bang: BL1Y.)

Honestly guys, this is how riots start. Unemployed adults living in forced infancy without enough money to start a family of their own. That’s the tinder that has brought down pretty much every society ever.

The report reiterates what we already know: people are turning to professional school to wait out this terrible job market.

In the face of these numbers… well, I still think that people going to law school simply in response to a difficult job market are making a terrible and ruinous choice. Here’s why….

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Being a federal prosecutor, an assistant United States attorney (AUSA), is a great legal job. The work is interesting and challenging, you’re serving the public, and you’re paid decently — maybe not Biglaw bucks, but reasonably well when compared to many state government or public interest positions. And if you want to earn more money later, perhaps as your kids approach college age, you can walk through the revolving door into the world of private practice, which values AUSA experience.

I worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in my home state of New Jersey from 2003 to 2006 (under then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie). My colleagues enjoyed their work. I remember that when I interviewed for my position, I met one AUSA who told me, “I love my job so much, I’d do it for free!”

Well… would you? Because that’s what some U.S. attorney’s offices are offering: the opportunity to work there, for no pay, with a minimum commitment as to time period.

And apparently lawyers are lining up for the opportunity….

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Ervin Burell was a man who know how to 'juke the stats.'

All right folks, graduation is upon us. If you are a 3L who did not secure a post-graduate legal job, I’m sorry. Your life isn’t over, but law school didn’t work out as well for you as you might have hoped. At least not yet.

Not that your law schools want anybody to know that. No, according to your law school, you, unemployed 3L, are an embarrassment. They wish you would just go away. They don’t want to be reminded that you exist. Why? Because your unemployment could hurt your law school’s U.S. News ranking.

Unfortunately for some schools, U.S. News is actually paying more attention these days to schools that simply ignore their unemployed 3Ls for purposes of reporting their employed-upon-graduation statistics. Maybe U.S. News can’t force schools to report only those students employed in legitimate legal jobs, but they can punish schools that refuse to report on all of their recent graduates.

You know what that means: bring on your fake job programs, designed largely for rankings-enhancement purposes.

Let’s try to collect all of the schools that are enacting ridiculous “employment” programs that seem designed primarily to enhance their U.S. News rank. We’ll get you started with a fun one….

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* This identical-twin date-rape ad probably wasn’t vetted through legal. [Copyranter]

* Adultery is still illegal in Colorado because…? Maybe state legislators are worried that a “favors adultery” attack ad could work? [WSJ Law Blog]

* The legal industry added jobs in April. [Am Law Daily]

* Law firms still find the time to be charitable. [Street Law]

* Do Republicans spend too much time in the gym, and not enough time passing laws? Check out Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) — and his awesome abs. [Towleroad]

* Are there simply too many law reviews? [Truth on the Market]

* Above the Law commenters can be excellent correctors. [What About Clients? (see "Note" at end)]

I graduated from Northwestern Law in 2009. It is now 2011, my loans are coming due (real due — not the fake, put ‘em in forebearance, due of yesteryear), and I am currently “employed” doing two things: reviewing documents at an embarrassing hourly wage on projects that start and stop without any sort of consistency, and writing “jokes” about the Microsoft Zune every weekday morning, every other week. To borrow from David Foster Wallace, this is water.

And so it is with a sick sort of pleasure that I read Professor Paul Campos’s very interesting piece on The New Republic website yesterday. Coupled with Elie’s post on the Biglaw bloodletting, the article tells me what I’ve wanted to know and, in fact, what I’ve been telling my mom for two years now. Namely, that MJ was right. I am not alone.

What is the true state of unemployment for law school graduates? Professor Campos has crunched some numbers….

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It’s hard to put a number on just how many people are in the so-called “lost generation” of attorneys who had their careers ruined during the recession. We’ll probably never know how many people did not get jobs or had to take very bad jobs because of the weak economy in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

But one way of assessing the damage is to look at the number of positions that have been shed by Biglaw firms. That’s the perspective the National Law Journal 250 took this year. Based on their numbers, Biglaw has lost almost 10,000 lawyers since 2008.

So if you got laid off during the recession, you are certainly not alone…

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It’s a familiar refrain around these parts: it’s tough to find legal employment, unless you got into one of the top law schools. The prevailing wisdom is that students at the “best” (i.e., highest-ranked) law schools have been protected from the recession-dampened job market facing recent graduates of most American law schools. “HYS” (Harvard, Yale, Stanford), “CCN” (Columbia, Chicago, NYU) — these law schools are thought to be safe bets for people who would like to be employed upon graduation.

But are they?

We know that things aren’t as bad for students at top schools as they are for people attending schools that are not ranked as highly by U.S. News. But that doesn’t mean a degree from a “T6″ school parts the jobless sea and leads graduates to the promised land of gainful employment.

In fact, at this late date in the law school calendar, we know that there are 3Ls at great schools staring into the abyss of post-graduate unemployment. The proof comes from the charity that employed students are trying to extend to their unemployed brethren…

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