Thursday, January 30, 2014

Put That JD to Work!

From's Ask Annie feature:
Last spring, I graduated from a good law school and, all these months later, I still can't seem to get hired by a law firm in my (fairly large) city. . . . Do you or your readers have any ideas about how I should broaden my job search? I'd still like to use my law degree if possible, especially since I went into debt to get it.
Welcome to my career counseling center, post-graduate lemming!

I highly recommend checking out Annie's five suggested options.  The first four (in-house, law firm administration, government, and nonprofits*) are excellent options for graduates shut out of the high-salary private law firm market.  The fifth one - "temp" work - I'm a bit skeptical about; after all, who would want to hire a lawyer for part-time when you can bring one on for 60 billables a week?  YOU'RE LEAVING CASH ON THE TABLE!

I would like to add five (5) more options for law graduates who have a lot of spirit but can't get a spot on the private sector squad:

6.  Law librarian
7.  Appellate law clerk
8.  Legal publications journalist / adjunct professor (tie)
9.  Hang. Own. Shingle.
10.  Judge

*And no, you snarky ass, "nonprofit" is not, in fact, a synonym with starting your own firm.


  1. Five more suggestions:

    11. Stock shelves at Kmart
    12. Doc review click monkey
    13. Tend bar
    14. Become a bouncer
    15. Barista

  2. 16. Apply for Social Security disability
    17. Supreme Court fluffer
    18. Craigslist Casual Encounter Engineer
    19. International Fugitive
    20. Welfare Enthusiast
    21. CEO of Goldman Sachs!
    22. Firefighter!
    23. Policeman!
    24. Superhero

  3. Annie forgot (6) President of the United States. I'm afraid that this would be "JD preferred" though so the graduate's law school might encourage to wait until a "JD required" job opened up instead so it would look better in their employment stats. The problem is you never know when a (7) US Supreme Court Justice slot might open up. These jobs are usually "JD required."

  4. I don't know how Mark Newall managed to suggest that "in-house, law firm administration, government, and nonprofits" were viable options for a newly minted lawyer with zero experience, and still maintain a straight face. That's hilarious. Surely he can't believe that. He must be making money from these poor lemmings selling them these fantasies.

    1. He deals only with "people who've been at a firm for a while". His suggestions may be relevant to people who have accumulated a few years' experience in practice. They're utterly useless, however, to fresh graduates of law schools.

  5. Yes! There's an urgent need for judges!

    All those judges are going to start retiring soon...

    1. I've never been before a judge who's under 40. My God, in twenty-five years, we'll have NO JUDGES unless we breed some more.

  6. Just take any old sort of job and the $$$ will flow. After all, didn't Simkovic say that the $50,000 avg. annual JD salary premium accrues whether the JD actually practices law or not?

    It goes down like this:

    Kmart manager: Clean up, men's restroom.
    Lowly worker: You know, speaking of toilets, I have a law degree.
    Kmart manager: Well, why didn't you say so? I will immediately arrange for your $50,000 raise.

  7. Some more suggestions:
    16. Associate at McDonalds/Burger King/Taco Bell/Backyard Burgers/Applebys/Olive Garden/Red Lobster/Wendy's/etc
    17. Work the cash register at JCPenny/Sears/Nordstrom/Target/Walmart/Kohls/TJmaxx/Marshalls/etc
    18. Landscaper
    19. Handyman
    20. tour guide/docent

  8. 25. Day Laborer
    26. Law school career services
    27. Bum/Begger (tie!)
    28. "Massage" "Therapist"
    29. Street Pharmacologist
    30. LSAT tutor
    31. Unlicensed Methamphetamine chemist

  9. 32. Law-school tout (can I get a commission for every person whom I dupe into signing up?)

  10. Oh, all you guys are missing the boat and going too low. Why, the sky's the limit for our young, unfortunate letter writer.

    Why haven't any of you suggested the obvious? CEO of a fortune 500 company!

    Really, you all are too pessimistic - no wonder you don't have jobs...