August 11, 2010
Those law school summertime blues
As I mentioned Friday, last week concluded my summer at Bet Tzedek. This week I am spending each weekday camped out at the Hotel Angeleno, where On-Campus Interviews are being held with a big law firms (oddly off campus). OCI is an interesting time—stressful, indeed, but I rather enjoy the barrage of 20-minute interviews. I only wish the conversations could last longer, and that a little less rode on them.
Finding work as a lawyer in 2010 is not as tough as being a journalist now, or even five years ago, but the economic downturn certainly reversed the fortunes of the meaty middle of law students at top schools who for a few years there were basically guaranteed a job at a big law firm. With it came big money, long hours and invaluable legal experience. By comparison, I’m interviewing with firms this week who are considering somewhere between 50 and 100 additional candidates for two or three summer spots. Summer spots that turn into first jobs when law school ends.
None of this is news to me. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal ran an excellent article on the waning value of just having any J.D. That article focused on both the high numbers of attorneys and the over-saturation of the legal education market. Still, the top schools were, and largely remain, strong indicators of a promising legal career. You just might need a little longer to take off.
Employment prospects remain dim, though not as ugly as they were last year. (Making the NBA is still more of a long shot.) There are indications the tide is turning. For now, what we know is that the legal profession is rebounding—but how quickly?
Writing earlier this summer in The Jewish Journal, Idan Ivri, a fellow double Bruin licensed to practice in California, told some very familiar tales.
The gist of his article: Three 6 Mafia was right. Ivri writes:
Why was this a Jewish story? Well ...—insert Jewish lawyer joke here. or just watch this video via Heeb, embedded after the jump.
Anyway, for all my friends participating in OCI now and over the coming weeks across the country, good luck and godspeed. Just save a job for me. Preferably not at the firm mentioned in the following video clip. I don’t think I’m, uh, qualified for that job.
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