Friday, August 01, 2008

The "Ghettoization" Of The Legal Profession




"I can’t imagine any other industry where people with the same education are divided into two groups with all of the benefits, advancement potential, and job openings being reserved only for the smaller, whiter, more male, and more affluent group. Meanwhile, the other group is segregated into basements, storage spaces, and warehouses; paid substantially less (though often billed to clients at substantially similar rates) than the elite group; and told that they will never, ever be allowed to join the elite group or advance in any way, no matter how good of a job they do, no matter what level of skills they demonstrate, no matter how often they are asked to train new members of the elite, and no matter how often they are asked to do more substantive tasks. If they don’t like the basement, they can go start start their own business or find employment outside of that industry because their kind need not apply to any other jobs available within that industry. BigLaw employment attorneys would be salivating over the potential lawsuits if they found this situation in any other industry."

113 comments:

Anonymous said...

a) You need to explain your graphs rather than just post them.

b) If what you say is true, then why no civil action?

Anonymous said...

Didn't know they have doc review in canada.

A man on a Greyhound bus travelling across the Canadian Prairies has killed and decapitated a fellow passenger.

An eyewitness said the victim was stabbed 50 or 60 times by the man sitting next to him, who then severed his head with a large knife.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know they have doc review in canada.

A man on a Greyhound bus travelling across the Canadian Prairies has killed and decapitated a fellow passenger.

An eyewitness said the victim was stabbed 50 or 60 times by the man sitting next to him, who then severed his head with a large knife.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

don't worry roach girl. you go see a doctor and you will be good as new.

Anonymous said...

This is why I don't even bother to communicate with my colleagues from law school who got BIGLAW -- they either can't understand the enormity of the gap between us, or refuse to do so.

Anonymous said...

Saw this on Greg Mankiw's blog about a week ago. It is very telling. Some
law professor has a paper out discussing it (calling it the Cravath model)
and suggests that it is about to implode because the business model will
not hold up for much longer.

Anyway, law schools should be required to distribute that chart in all of
their recruiting brochures. I mean, law school professors love to impose
fair business practices on other industries, right? The way they publish
post-graduate salaries is unbelievably deceiving. In fact, I think it
might be intentional misrepresentation (through omission). We should file
a class action.

Anonymous said...

Saw this on Greg Mankiw's blog about a week ago. It is very telling. Some
law professor has a paper out discussing it (calling it the Cravath model)
and suggests that it is about to implode because the business model will
not hold up for much longer.

Anyway, law schools should be required to distribute that chart in all of
their recruiting brochures. I mean, law school professors love to impose
fair business practices on other industries, right? The way they publish
post-graduate salaries is unbelievably deceiving. In fact, I think it
might be intentional misrepresentation (through omission). We should file
a class action.

Anonymous said...

Saw this on Greg Mankiw's blog about a week ago. It is very telling. Some
law professor has a paper out discussing it (calling it the Cravath model)
and suggests that it is about to implode because the business model will
not hold up for much longer.

Anyway, law schools should be required to distribute that chart in all of
their recruiting brochures. I mean, law school professors love to impose
fair business practices on other industries, right? The way they publish
post-graduate salaries is unbelievably deceiving. In fact, I think it
might be intentional misrepresentation (through omission). We should file
a class action.

Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled, people of all colors and races are being "ghettoized". The white males seeking work now are being replaced in favor of women and minorities.

What this really is, I believe is a class issue. If you went to a T14 law school and did okay, you are in the club. That's the actual point of separation.

If you attend a TTT or anything else below T14, you will not be hired into biglaw, unless you are deemed exceptional and atypical for your school. The best you do otherwise is temp or perhaps gain a perm gig as a staff attorney.

Biglaw is not for everyone and there are rules for entry. Going to a TTT guarantees you nothing.

It's not a race or gender thing, but rather a prestige and class distinction. Take a look at the attorney roster (on their web sites) at any Big law firm and see where their attorneys went to law school. This is the dividing line. Forget the gender/race warfare stuff, this only about prestige.

Anonymous said...

Update is up to their old tricks. They asked me if I had any upcoming doctor appointments. Isn't this illegal? I mean what if I were secretly disabled and said yes? Would that bar me from working for them?

Anonymous said...

WWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. It's not fair! I only make $100,000 temping. I want my own secretary and a 4 hour workday.

Anonymous said...

From the above quoted article,

"Law Schools. The economics of the bi-modal distribution take the pressure off elite law schools--indeed, they can raise tuition! Thus, for many law professors, the best outcome is lateraling into a Top 15 law school. But more/better law review articles--a precondition of a lateral offer--is not going to solve the difficult institutional problems of lower ranked schools. Now more than ever, all law faculty members need to understand the structural shifts taking place in our profession. When faculty at Harvard and Yale ignore these changes, it does not mean that these changes are not important. It just means that Harvard, Yale, et al. are not affected."

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_legal_studi/2008/07/class-of-2007-s.html

Anonymous said...

12:01 - How come when you walk into any doc review, you will see a disproportionate # of african americans, latino, asians, lgbt, and older people? Compare that the milky white, conservative looking associate and partner ranks? I guess you are going to claim that they are somehow inherently smarter or well qualified? That's the same argument that the plantation owners made in the post-Civil War south; they even had their own scientific biologists on hand to back it up.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that the Class of '07 chart is even more pronounced than the Class of '06 chart. In the coming years, doc reviewers will be hand feeding bon bons to the associates.

Anonymous said...

Are doc reviewers more diverse than associates? Sure, I agree with that. But my point is it has more to do with credentials than anything else.

I'm a basement dwelling doc reviewer too, I've seen all types working in NYC. Just being white and male guarantees you NOTHING. I hope you can grasp this; it is not a racial thing.

Many many white boys are temping too. They don't get any advantages over the other temps. In fact, on projects like McCarter and English almost all of the supervisors were African American. So what?

My point is, that none of us are qualified to be big firm associates based on our first year law school grades at our Toilet law schools. That's it.

If you went to a better law school or had better grades you might be in the biglaw club. I believe that most top firms are making an effort to hire qualified minority candidates, just visit their web sites.

To blame it on race is self defeating. I wish the conditions were better, of course and that I had a stable job with benefits and retirement. But I realized that I will have to find a new career outside the law, because my 1L grades placed me in the bottom of my class, period. No big firm will ever have me.

So we are working within a strict caste system, based on law school attended and law school grades and and activities. The problem for many of us, is that we did not really understand the rules when we went to law school, we thought we'd have better prospects. Sadly we don't and it was a bad career choice.

No, we're never going to get our shot at biglaw. It has a lot less to do with race than you believe, and it doesn't help you to blame it on such. The law is a shitty profession full of assholes. Make your temp cash and move on to a perm law gig or a new career. No, it isn't fair.

If you feel qualified for biglaw, apply directly to firms for staff attorney jobs. They aren't advertised and firms hire people directly to do a lot of the work that we do in the basements.

Just go to the NYC big firm web sites and look around for staff attorney jobs. Bitching and moaning won't get you a job.

Anonymous said...

The reason there are more minorities (though few jews) on the doc review projects is because they are not as smart as their Caucasian peers.

Think about it.

Law schools admit people today based on anything but intelligence. If you have dark pigmentation, you're in; if you were not born here, you're in; if you have a vagina, you're in; etc, etc. Affirmative action is putting people in places they don't belong and it is killing this country.

In reality, it is hardest for white males to get in to law schoools these day (despite the fact that they are still part of the vast majority in this country) so they have to be very smart. That is why they are not on doc review projects.

I know you needed someone to explain that to you because you are not that smart. Funny how dumb people never know that they are dumb.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot. They scored high on some perpetine mind puzzle games when they were 22. Surely, that justifies the current system of lifetime apartheid. Frankly, the above quote is correct. After the 1L experience, no matter how hard you work, no matter what you do, you will NEVER get ahead. There is absolutely NO incentive to work hard as a professional.

Anonymous said...

12:27 = exactly right

12:35 = troll asshat that should seriously consider killing himself for the good of the species

Anonymous said...

Most partners are pretty classist and racist. They will pretend that they are PC but look where they choose to live: - in lily white co-ops on Park Avenue or Central Park West or in lily white suburbs in CT or NJ. They represent big banks and hedge funds that only look out for the rich and then they whine that they don't get paid as much as the hedge fund managers.

Anonymous said...

Where you went to school isn't a good indication of how smart you are. Look at some these associates. They don't know their ass from their elbow.

Anonymous said...

We're not saving the manatees here.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The job of most big law firms is to aid and abet corporate america in screwing over the poor. Some of the first corporations were set up to exploit India for its spices and jewels and to exploit the West Indies for sugar and rum. Murder, famine and the slave trade were the result. The more prestigious a firm is the more likely it is screwing the poor over.

Anonymous said...

12:07

I bet if you asked most of the temp workers who you characterize as "multi-cultural" or whatnot did not go to the top schools. I bet they worked, went to school at night, and took out loans, disproportinately.

The burden is on the top schools to hire persons of diverse perspectives.

Ghettoizaton is a bit strong. Temping is just a market that works very well for many--I enjoy the opportunites for finacial gain and a flexible schedule. If a temp wants to, he (or she, mind you) can get his (or her) red/yellow/black/white ass out there and get a job.

Anonymous said...

Knock knock

Anonymous said...

who's there

Anonymous said...

Anita

Anonymous said...

Anita who?

Anonymous said...

I need to blame my inability to get a big fancy job on larger social forces.

Lawschools! That's it. No, bigger. Racism!

Rima said...

what the fuck do you want? you fucking miserable pieces of shit?

Anonymous said...

Well, you knew white entitlement had to rear its head in a discussion of economics. When you are at the bottom of the food chain, you have to imagine there is someone lesser than you. Hence, the b.s. about the qualifications of people of color and women lawyers. I would love to see the school, transcripts and rankings of all those people so certain they are superior. My guess is just like white trash all you got is the bravado, because the white upper class is going to screw you over because you are so busy focused on the wrong thing.

Anonymous said...

Cue Elvis: "In the Ghetto"

Anonymous said...

Link to the source of the graph:

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_legal_studi/2007/09/distribution-of.html

Anonymous said...

Link to the source of the graph:

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_legal_studi/2007/09/distribution-of.html

Anonymous said...

7:41 - I agree, let's compare the credentials of the associates with the temps. It would be interesting to actually the examine the disparity.

It would be interesting if a reporter/blogger could really dig deeper into this, rather than resorting to cheap race/gender scare tactics, which won't solve anything.

What are the socio-economic backgrounds of temps vs. associates? Is there a big grade discrepency, tier of law school or undergrad school?

Law is a very tough profession and there are no gimmee putts, but the game is definitely rigged for some. It obviously is not rigged in favor of those of us posting here...

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but why stay in NYC? I stumbled across this blog by accident, and I guess I really don't understand the problem. I am a 20 year Texas lawyer who didn't attend a top school and graduated in the top quarter of my class. I worked for a public defender for over a year, and then started my own practice. I work as much as I want, make a very good living, and don't answer to anyone but myself and my clients. If you really hate the system you are caught in, why not get out of it? There is a whole world out there besides NYC, and I bet if you passed the New York bar, you can pass any bar exam if necessary. I do very well in Houston, which is not exactly some little podunk place. The level of anger and hostility I see in your blog can't possibly be good to carry around. I always knew that I was never going to be hired by a top law firm too, and instead of worrying about it, I just created my own firm and my own life and its a very happy one.

Anonymous said...

HOUSTON?!?!?! WTF would anyone want to move to Houston?
I never complain on this blog, but I had to chime in. I don't like the idea of leaving Manhattan. Why would I, or anyone else who lives in NYC, want to go anywhere else, much less Texas.
A lifetime of anger is nothing compared to living in the backwoods...like Houston.

Anonymous said...

9:29 PM I like your post! I am glad you injected a bit of reality into the unemployable attorneys who continuously temp, redact, temp, redact, and then post on this laughable blog. Most of these attorneys have no marketable abilities. They couldn't represent a client if their life depended on it. I was once a temp at one of those "big projects" and I realized that the bottom of the barrel take these projects because they are totally unemployable. (This includes Tom The Temp. I met him once, and that was enough to realize what a total loser he is. And no, his real name isn't Tom....) I started a small practice doing estate work as well as representing small businesses. It is amazing how much legal work is out there if you just look for it. (I actually am too busy to take everything that comes in my door.)I make a great living, call my own shots, and make money. I am tired of attorneys blaming everybody else but themselves. It is not the economy, it is not the temp agencies, it is not the law schools....ITS YOU! GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO POST HERE.

Anonymous said...

9:29 PM,

The problem for many people who post here is that they borrowed over $120,000 to attend law school, and cannot afford to take a lesser paying job or go solo because of loan payments. Also, not everyone has the entrepreneurial talent to start their own business.

20 years ago, law school tuitions were much more affordable than they are today, and the legal field was much less crowded.

Today, private law schools charge outrageous tutions and publish misleading statistics about employment prospects. That's how many of us got into this position.

Anonymous said...

Let me explain why the whiners on this blog will be destined to failure.

You all think you are entitled to something. You are entitled to nothing but an opportunity. Something you have failed to realize is that life is hard. Ask an illegal immigrant making $4 an hour with no health care that works 14 hours a day what he thinks of his pay and conditions and he will say he is grateful for work.

Ask a temp attorney who makes (and I am going low here) $60000 a year what they think and they will cry because they can't buy a fancy car and living a fancy apartment (all while living in NY and blogging on their new phone while eating out in a nice restaurant sipping cocktails.

You whiners are the elite of society and rank in the top 20% of income earners in the world. You can go take a job in any business setting (outside of law) and in 3 years work your way up to steady 8ok salary.

I am embarrassed that you whiners (and only the whiners) are not only attorneys but also americans.

If african americans are so tired of their plight I suggest they go spend 3 months in mexico or africa. Those people have it bad -an attorney doesn't have it bad. And for the record all attorneys are in the same boat. If america is so awful and you hate the corporate structure so badly here is a suggestion - North Korea would gladly accept you, everyone is treated equal there.

You are all so spoiled you can't even realize how good you have it. You are a disgrace and need to grow up....

Anonymous said...

9:29, many people would love to leave NY but can't because of family responsibilities. In theory, I agree with you. But in practice, it's not so easy. I think it's called "baggage."

The biggest factor that will get you in the door of a large firm is NEPOTISM. In fact, NEPOTISM will get you in the door anywhere, no matter if you went to Harvard or CUNY.

It's always been "who you know," and always will be.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

yep, it's all about the schools you attended and family connections.

Somebody please tell the poor slobs at BLS, Carbozo, Sttt Johns, Tttouro, Hofstttra, Settton Hall and Rutttgers this fact.

Anonymous said...

Eh, not always. It's also about how determined you are to do things, how focused you are on trying to network/putting your best foot forward & doing what YOU want to do, not what lawyers or law school says you SHOULD do.

I decided to freelance since I'm already a partner in my own company (not owned by family members or prior friends) which is in the very area I wanted to work in. BTW, it's in an area that's harder to get into than Big Law. I wanted to get into that area despite many people telling me it was hard to get in, including a law school professor who knew what she was talking about. Instead of settling for an area I hated & partly b/c of life circumstances leading to a lot of free time on my hands + little need for $, I opted to take this professor's advice on how to get into the field.

I've been getting deferments due to not getting any pay. NOW, I'm freelancing & have found some decent clients, including some w/connections who offered on their own initiative to help me do very great things. I even got work in my field & new lawyers NEVER get the kind of work I'm getting, including big firm associates. Once I can get steady paid, I'm all set.

This has happened w/me NOT being from a high ranking law school, a rich family or having connections before the ones I forged on my own (I'm the first in the whole family to even ATTEND law school). If I believed being born poor means you will die that way, I'd have killed myself long before going to college.

It's different when you've got kids to worry about but if you don't or your spouse makes some $, stop whining & do something constructive so people can look at you w/respect instead of contempt. Living below your means doesn't hurt either (I live in Queens). Don't buy into the 7th grade mentality of Big Law & go follow your passion; once you do, you'll stop caring who does or doesn't like you. Freelancers can name an hourly rate & don't even have to start setting up a shop; I actually can't b/c I'm committed to my company & have to be able to move on when the time comes. None of my clients have objected & screw someone if they do. I'd get a partner but I won't work w/someone who treats me as a drain & prefer someone who's in it to get some experience but has an office/business line/etc.

Anonymous said...

I would give anything to leave DC and/or NY. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen in the next several years as I am burdened by these massive loans.

Anonymous said...

But back to my point...HOUSTON>!?!?!? Seriously, some of us want to enjoy NYC while we are young, and not try to make it out in the stix only to return when we are ready to retire.

Anonymous said...

Heard about Houston, heard about Detroit, heard about Pittsburgh PA...

Anonymous said...

I do not understand all the hostility on these thread..and why do people keep talking about this Anita person? Isnt that old news?

I agree with the poster talking about entitlement. Most of you doc review people are raking it in. I graduated from Brooklyn Law several years ago and currently work in the area of no fault insurance. I make 78K and my hours are 9-6 pm on average (if I need to do work on weekends, I can take my work laptop home to do it). I started out at the bottom like all of you - loans (65K at the time) and a pitiful salary (29K). I never did doc review and thankfully after reading this blog, am glad I never did.

There are other areas of law out there which many of you have yet to explore. Its not like the legal profession is divided into "biglaw" and everyone else. When you graduate from law school, it seems that way because of the salary differentials but when you think about it, biglacomprises about 10% of all lawyer jobs out there. Besides my area of law (ins defense) there is landlord tenant, workers comp,real estate, tax, personal injury, etc and there is of course the county, local and state government jobs.

Those of who you are still stuck doing doc review for over a year are there because you want to be, not because you lack the skills or abilities to find a real attorney position.

Good luck.
Dont be so myopic, and quit bitc

Anonymous said...

It's odd reading these self help book arguments in the face of economic statistical information. I don't disagree that people should put themselves in a position to try to help themselves, and figure out a way to do so, but to pretend that this chart isn't damning of our industry (the legal profession) and what that means for quality of life and outcomes is as delusional regarding the law as some of these people that think the sky is always falling. Both are bullshit positions to take and unhealthy. No one should wallow in the numbers, but no one should pretend they don't exist either. The numbers aren't about doc reviews, but the profession itself. That's the concern.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, law sucks! I'm getting out, hitting greener pastures.

Good bye temp life, I wish I never knew ya!

Anonymous said...

Well I left the doc review world after doing it for a year to work in these "other areas" of law outside of biglaw 2:44 is talking about. The stress is awful, the mentoring is non-existent, the wages ridiculously low and there are little or no benefits. I'm happy that after years of struggling you are finally making 78k, but I notice that you didn't exactly say how many years of virtual slave labor it took before you got to that wage. I also notice you didnt mention what your benefits package looks like. I make about 50k a year at a general litigation firm composed of just under 20 attorneys. I have no pension, no 401k and they contribute a lousy $200 a month to my health insurance plan. I spent 250 a month out of pocket for insurance.

Why did I go to grad school? For this? God help us all. I was making more money as a temp. I want to gain "real" experience, but this real experience I am gaining does not look like it will EVER produce a financial result. I've been working in toilet law for a year now too and I dont think I can stand much more of this. The hours are awful and the stress with some of these cases is immense (I do some crim law). It is not worth it. My partners dont even want to practice anymore, they all have side projects that dont involve legal work. One associate left because he bought a stake in a McDonalds.

Anonymous said...

7:55 AM,

The only thing I have to complain about is the deceptive marketing practices of the law schools, and the utter failure of the so-called American Bar Association to curb these abuses.

As a doc reviewer, I openly admit that I make excellent money and have no complaints about it. I drive a junky used car and live in a cheap area. I just don't give a hoot about the legal profession or the blowhards who run this racket. These people preach justice, yet turn a blind eye to the lies their institutions spout.

Anonymous said...

Small law shitlaw is the absolute worst. It makes Paul Weiss seem like a jaunt through Alice & Wonderland. Before he starts screaming at around noon, my boss usually reeks of alcohol. I guess that makes him my family law mentor.

Anonymous said...

no one is forced into a basement or anything else. They don't have to go into corporate law. the logic of that post pretty well explains why some temp attys are not associates.

Anonymous said...

133

The graph factually refutes your post. Maybe you are too stupid or lazy to have realized that before posting.

Choice doesn't seem to be the only factor if one wants to be a lawyer working in a real practice making a good quality of life living at it. The graph clearly indicates there is a bifurcation of outcomes in the market for lawyers.

Your definition of choices amounts to deciding between ingesting arsenic or cyanide. Its a choice, but not one that most normal people think is a good one.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, as if most people make the conscious choice to work as temps. Sure some retirees like to temp to make extra money, but most of the temps are doing it because they need to.

Need to pay rent, need to pay sallie mae, need to pay bills, need to eat, need to keep themselves afloat.

But you must donate your pound of flesh to Shylock on every project.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shylock

And the best part is, once you finish the project, you get no advancement, no bonus for good work or acknowledgement from your temp slave ship captains that you've done a good job. No,you get to start over in the monkey house with a fresh group of desperate attorneys.

I've met wonderful people temping, but many fall into the "I'm one paycheck away from defaulting on my credit cards and getting evicted.". Sometimes you can get on a long term project and get some stability, but you've got sit like a greased pig in your coding chair 12-14 hours a day. No exercise and rote, mechanical clicking staring at the overbright computer screen. Our bodies were not designed for this.

It's almost impossible to get any stability when you get laid off a few days into a supposed 6 week to two month project.

It's unbelievable what goes on in these filthy cauldrons. They're social experiments more than anything else.

Praise to TTT for exposing these horrors, because if he didn't no one would believe us.

Anonymous said...

First of all, the median salary isn't that bad for the lower median salary shown in the graph.

Second, there are opportunities in mid-sized firms and government. O.K., maybe you have to start at a low salary level for the first year, but it increases rapidly after that.

Third, temps do get hired by the lawfirms as litigation assistants or whatever. Maybe it's not an associate position, but it's certainly not a bad job.

Overall, I can't see what everyone is complaining about. Sure, ocassionally, there's a bad temp gig, but that's 1 out of 5 times.

Anonymous said...

"Third, temps do get hired by the lawfirms as litigation assistants or whatever. Maybe it's not an associate position, but it's certainly not a bad job."

Really? in NYC firms RARELY hire temps. In fact, once you've worked as a temp in a firm you are essentially written off by them. Please provide a list of the firms which hire attorneys temp to perm.

We're waiting...

Anonymous said...

So you would never try to earn a better job? You are, therefore, hopeless, and a list wouldn't help you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, pppppuuuuuusssssssssssaaaay. I wouldn't wait on one of these troll bloggers for something to happen. Go grab life by the BALLS!

Anonymous said...

I am the 2:44 poster above. To answer the query posted about my 78K job doing no fault and the benefits - here is some background. I passed the NY bar exam in 2004, was admited in 2005. I went straight to a mid sized firm but that folded shop about 6 months in. I bounced around at firms paying 55-65K doing liability defense and left for no fault because one of the partners was makig my life a living hell.

To make a long story short, I have been "officially" practicing law for only 3 years. I make 78K and I have full medical/dental and health insurance (my paycheck deducsion is only $135/month). I have a 401K that matches 5% of my contribution to the max of 5% per year. My firm rquires only 45 billables per week and offers 4 weeks paid vacation.

In sum, I hustled to get this job. I did not "give up" and take doc review jobs (I was indeed hounded by Update Legal and Hudson to take several projects at Dechert and Gibson Dunn when I was laid off from an ID firm downtown). I simply sent resumes and worked on my interviewing skills.

So, things worked out for me. I was just cognizant that you have to work hard for what you want. I don't see why other people can't do the same, that's all.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

You still haven't answered the question. Those "jobs" you so casually referenced, don't exist. So please choose your words more carefully next time, and include concrete examples.

Most of us that have worked as temp "attorneys" in NYC know the truth and that what you said is false.

12:33 good luck to you too, you will need it in shitlaw. But you seem contented in your position more power to you.

Anonymous said...

To 9:23, if you look at the median without the additional context of cost of education and lost opportunity cost of 3 years in professional school that maybe true, but with those in mind, this is one of the few degrees that actually not worth the value of its cost. This is something that's actually well known because I heard it on one of the cable news shows about a year ago when experts were discussing the job market and graduate schools.

In other words, the average person would not make out better under such a bifurcated market because the number of opportunities are diminished to recoup cost versus what one would have made not having gone to law school. None of this excuses the choice of having gone to law school, but once having gone, there is no way to argue that the median still represents quality choice that's going to pay one's bills, a good quality of life and allow for real savings. The three basic components to a middle class existence.

12:33 again you miss the point of the graph. The plural of anecdote is not data. It doesn't mean that your personal anecdotal circumstances aren't true or lack any weight, but it does mean your personal circumstances do not out weigh the data about the legal market place. The graph isn't just about temps. It's about the legal market in general.

For the record, I've started to do things to change where I am right now, but that doesn't mean I can't just be honest about what the data says. Why can't you?

Anonymous said...

The agency, shitlaw, and Joan King trolls can't stand that chart. They shriek away from it in horror. Whatever bullshit or out of the realm exceptions these people dish out, the numbers speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

However, the ABA is controlled and dominated by BigLaw. And, BigLaw is perpetuating this and also reaping the rewards of such a caste system. Moreover, I hate to point out the obvious, but if these staff, contract and temp attorneys are so incompetent and incapable, why are they utilized at all, let alone retained in such large numbers? The idea that these attorneys are so incompetent as to warrant being treated this way and abused (yes, ABUSED) is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Some of you are so effin' (sic) stupid. I love how some of you generalize all minorities as "not as smart" as whites and that's why they are temping, at the same time others complain "minorities" get all the "good" jobs. Why does this always have to be about race?

The legal job market stinks for everyone right now, except those lucky enough to get into BigLaw. I graduated in the top of my class, and I can't find a job. And I have blond, blue-eyed "All-American" looks. I get mad when people at the bottom of the class b!tch and moan and say they don't have jobs because they "weren't in the top 10%". I know tons of people who had inferior grades, but got jobs at BigLaw because of who they knew and who they blew, not because of WHAT they knew or their "learning potential". I feel like I never got a fair chance to prove my "learning potential" because my dad wasn't a judge or I didn't sleep with anyone to get to the top. I grew up in a working class family, worked hard to get where I am, and all I ended up with was $130,000 in student loan debt!

We all need to stick together and speak up about what's going on, like Tom the Temp and Wicked Words (well, before she shut her blog down) and so many other bloggers are doing! Nepotism is the problem in hiring practices, not grades or race. The legal profession is a horrible profession to be in right now, and I think it will only get worse as the economy continues to decline. Maybe we won't even have to worry about our student loans in a few years if the US economy collapses. Then the spoiled associates will be in the same boat as we are. (at least those who slept their way up, not those who are living off Daddy.)

Anonymous said...

you gonna bite little doggies or just bark all day?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to read the angry responses to this data. This is one of those few articles on this blog that actually is substantive. A lot of the anger over his having posted this articles seems to be misdirected denial because some people can't handle the reality that it portrays. Its been my experience that if you were really as enlightened and above fray as you claim- you wouldn't be here attacking others who have not yet moved on. People who have moved on don't have time to attack others.

Anonymous said...

Kwitcherbitchin! Don't take a job that pays less than you want.

Anonymous said...

There was this book a few years ago about emotional IQs. A really smart person can be emotionally underdeveloped. You can see that on display here. A chart of data isn't bitching. I feel sorry for you that you can't handle the graph.

Anonymous said...

wow, you read a book, congratulations! Sounds like a big step for you, good job!

Anonymous said...

8:36

I know the chart is supposed to "be like, so unfair," but since you mention emotional intellegance, I am willing to bet the 25% of the rich motherfuckers have more emotional intelligence than all the whiners on this blog.

Anonymous said...

a) 10:22 - Money doesn't necessarily equal mental health or emotional intelligence. It's also has nothing to do with the data.

Unless you are saying the median of lawyers are insane or of low intelligence. That maybe true. But, it has nothing to do with money.

b) 9:55. I can understand why reading would impress you.

Anonymous said...

"The biggest factor that will get you in the door of a large firm is NEPOTISM."

Yet somehow if you go to the website of any vault 100 firm in New York, the vast overwhelming majority of the associates either went to a top 25 law school, were on the law review or granduated order of the coif. The handful that weren't almost all got into the firm through mergers and acquisitions of smaller firms and practice areas. But you're right, nepotism is the biggest factor.

Anonymous said...

Let's accept 7:27's argument as true. The reality is that it doesn't explain the bifurcation. This ultimately is the problem. You can argue until blue with the posters who try to come up with their own emotion-based theory of why the bifurcation, but to me, the numbers themselves are the problem. If the nepotism argument is wrong (and I think it is ) , the problem is that so is the arguments using school, grades and standing in class to explain the numbers. They don't. The median for doctors (general practitioners) is 150k. For MBA, here's the first article I found in a quick google: http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_40/b3701023.htm

Guess which degree doesn't has a bad ROI?

Anonymous said...

"doesn't has" should read "has"

Anonymous said...

NEPOTISM

Just look at Emily Pataki. She couldn't even pass the bar.

George Bush, yale?

It goes down the line.

the 2:44 poster said...

You people forget that the chart compares 1991 and 2007 classes. The economy and job market was completely different in 1991. Back then, big firms were at 85-95K starting. Since 1998, the big firms increased their salary from 125K, to 160K and upwards now to almost 200K. The rest of the legal profession simply has not made those jumps. Even Legal Aid and the NYC District Attorney's Office haven't raised salaries over 50%in that 10+ year time frame.

The problem isn't just supply and demand. Lawyers in 1993 were still complaining about how there are "too many lawyers for too few jobs". That will probably never change. You need to interpret the graph for what it is - a snapshot of what the economy was like in 1991 and now in 2007. This is no secret and soon a JD is simply a 3 year "add on" to a BA because the ABA keeps opening up new law schools.

If you don't like the system, don't enter it - simple as that. No one said the profession was 'easy' for this very reason.

Anonymous said...

George Bush is not a lawyer and did not attend law school and therefor is irrelevant.

What the chart seems to indicate is that all of the resources are being allocated into biglaw salaries, which are artificially high.

The nepositism argument is mostly ridiculous. Sure there are instances here and there, but not enough to affect an individual's hiring chances.

More important are the school you attended (most impt) and if a lesser school, your credentials from that school (class rank, law review, etc.). On top of that, people with superior social skills and ability handle pressure will be better candidates.

Law firms do not dole these jobs out like candy based on nepotism. It's just not accurate. Take a look at any large firm's web site and scroll through the attorneys list. Page after page of Ivy League and T14,and a few lesser schools, but only with top credentials.

It's prestige. The firms can brag to their clients about the superiority of their attorneys by law school pedigree. They're not going to brag that they've the daugther of Vinnie Gomatelli on the payroll, unless she went Harvard Law School. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

"Just look at Emily Pataki."

Emily Pataki went to Columbia for law school. She would have gotten hired almost anywhere in the city based on that alone.

But putting that aside, nepotism in law just doesn't work as well. Firms charge riduculously high rates for associates. The absurd credentials are necessary to justify those rates. I'm not saying that nepotism doesn't happen, just that's it's not a huge force in the legal world.

Also, keep in mind that clients only hire big firms (and pay big firm rates) when there's a lot of money on the line. When someone slips and falls in the lobby, a company doesn't hire Skadden. If a company gets sued for securities fraud (and the board of directors is facing personal liability) they call the best lawyers they can get. No one says, "isn't Bob's kid a lawyer? Why don't we hire her?"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

threas has become agonizing, new topic?

Anonymous said...

I just took the July bar exam. Should I sign up with EP Dine. I hear they have a big project starting up.

Anonymous said...

Of course not! Run a search on Dine.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to know what is going on in this biz do a search for Anita's article on EDD. Tom is not allowed to talk about it because of a court order (or he is now married to Anita) and it will give you a good idea of what is going on in the biz from the "real attorney" side.

Anonymous said...

4:26 - if there is a court order, please produce it.

Of course you cannot, because you are just lying phony. Take your bitterness and head back to your cave.

Anonymous said...

re: Houston as a solution......Let's get real pal. If you went to a Texas law school, you will land a job with a Texas law firm (unless you are a non-Texan who went to a top 10 BigLaw School e.g. HLS, Stanford, Chicago etc etc._. Moreover, if you are a Texan, who attended a Texas law school,and know the judges from boyhood or daddy knows the judges, you will easily get clients walking in the door e.g. unless you are in criminal law or juvi law e.g. like who cares, they are desparate for any lawyer. If you are a Texan, who went to a Teas law school, and know the Texas-LA federal judges personally or have a way to get to kknow them personally, AND have friends at insurance companies who will throw you business or friends at law firms that service insurance companies, and are classmates who need a solo to help them with overflow, you will have clients. What you are saying about your experience in Texas has no translation to our system in NYC.....even if you are a non-Texan who went to a Texas law school, forget getting business as a solo or getting a BigLaw job if you stay in Texas and do not return to your home state UNLESS you went to a Top10 BigLaw School......you are offering the readers of this blog b.s. .....sorry....just another story from an outsider who doesn;t have any true insight into our problems in NYC. Had you arrived in NYC, you would be temping too.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Roach Girl is back. Able to fix that little odor problem?

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to all of these yahoos. EP Dine pays well, and I have had an average experience with them every time--I go in, it is really slow and nobody really knows what is going on for a day or two, I then work 60 hours a week for between three weeks to up to a few months, and then I take the two to three thousand dollars I made each week and laugh my ass off for about two weeks until I find another. Get your own benefits, save for the future on your large paychecks, and don't complain like the people who wanted to be superstars on this site. They sometimes have helpful things, though.

Anonymous said...

hey texas 9:29, u hiring? willing to share some of that do "very well" (beyond the usual salary offer if you are not top 10% of usually less than a years tuition) and mentor (instead of the usually here do all this and here do some more of this and here is some more and here is some more and get going no questions)? Or u can just keep that secret to yourself. what they have like 107 lawyers back 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

its america- not england

Anonymous said...

Looks like some trouble is brewing in the sleazy LPO industry. Patents are the first of many to be seriously called into question:

http://gabesguide.com/?p=554

http://321patent.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/patent-offshoring/

http://saviorodrigues.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/ibms-outsourcing-patent-application-withdrawn/

Anonymous said...

South Boston gangster Whitey Bulger is still a fugitive. The FBI is promising $1,000,000 to anyone who provides information leading to his capture. His last confirmed sighting was in 2002 in London.

Which one of you pussies wants to go hunt down this bastard with me?

Cranky said...

Why is starting your own practice so bad? A firm doesn't owe anyone a job, and last time I checked, there is still enough legal work to go around to anyone who wants to start a practice. Golf half the day--probably not.

ANITA said...

Bossing temps around hasn't been so fun since Tom went soft. Maybe I was telling the truth in my article and Tom was wrong all along...

Anonymous said...

yo whats the hudson project?

Anonymous said...

Hudson is a major pain in the ass. Come in one day for a short meeting, and then come in another unpaid day for an interview? WTF?

Anonymous said...

no dum fck what is job they are rampin up?

Finger said...

11:04

Don't comment while under the influence of drugs, pothead. It was fine during law school--everyone was high, well, not law review, but you know what I mean. If you keep that drug thing up, you'll be as unemployable as TTT.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how anybody could get through a day of Hudson/Dechert WITHOUT taking drugs.

Anonymous said...

Unless the egg came before the chicken and you know why you work at places like that

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's roach boy, the voice of reason to the rescue.

Please, tell us all about Anita's article and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

well, er maybe not, you're putting me to sleep.

Anonymous said...

My friend almost got hit by a car.

Anonymous said...

this blog sucks. TTT disappoints us what a loser.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone here take my twucks??

Tom the Titmouse said...

It's not fair! WAAAAAAAAAAH!

Anonymous said...

Tom may be on vacation, but Roach Boy isn't!

Welcome back Roach troll ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzz
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzZ
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

You really need some NEW material roach boy. It's like Groundhog Day, the same drivel over and over again.

Anonymous said...

fkin losers = roach and anything anita related.

Anonymous said...

Bag o' ass! Bag o' ass!!

Anonymous said...

This is America. We minorities need not apply.

Anonymous said...

"Just look at Emily Pataki."

Emily Pataki went to Columbia for law school. She would have gotten hired almost anywhere in the city based on that alone.
*******************************

Do ya think that maybe the fact that she was a Pataki helped her get into Columbia???!!!
Also with the Pataki name and the ability to get access to her dad and the clients he could serve up, Emily could have gone to Hofstra and she would have got a job in Biglaw at a V10 firm.

Also, if Emily is so smart then how come she failed the NY bar? Again, that doesn't matter because she is a Pataki.

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