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Going to grad school to postpone job hunting

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Posts

  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Spoit wrote: »
    MadnessBA wrote: »
    underexperienced because they never worked? huh funny... I thought I was arguing that they should get a job. Even jobs where they hire people with no experience so this may not be a problem anymore. (If that was directed at me)

    Except that's kind of, you know, the point of this thread. That the economy is shitty, so companies aren't hireing, and those that are are picking up the experienced people who were laid off.

    And Robman, I'd love to hear where these magical PM jobs are, as I am a recent engineer graduate, who hasn't been having any luck finding entry level positions

    Paid PM work requires PM experience. Non-profits and NGOs are always short on people, and will take on people who actually have the skills to manage projects in a heartbeat. They're pretty much the only way to break into PM at this point.

    Trust me, I know about the hiring from the experienced pool thing... 1 in 3 biotech firms around San Fran alone closed their doors through the recession thus far, and many more are still failing. The entire biotech industry in North America has shit the bed. In fact it's gone beyond shitting the bed, the poo is spilling over the bedroom floor and making it difficult to open the door.

    Deciding to write my MCATs this summer was an easy decision.

    Biotech in San Diego is doing really well, actually.

    Perpetual on
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    What bothers me - strikes me as wrong, even - is that many grad school applicants today are applying not because they are actually interested in that field, or even like school itself, but because they don't want to bother with job hunting. It is the path of least resistance, and that is only true for the moment - when they graduate two years from now, they'll find themselves competing with tens of thousands of people like them, and they'll be in a very similar situation as far as job prospects go.

    This is off topic, but I think that people who go to grad school mostly for career reasons tend to do better there than the people who go just because they really, really want to learn more about a subject. Those people almost always suffer severe burnout when their passion for their obscure subject fades after 3-5 years and they have no idea what they want to do anymore, whereas the first type of people can just keep chugging along. They might not love it, but they'll never hate it either.

    Pi-r8 on
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    I will say that what you're doing right now is a billion times more productive than what the op is suggesting, since you're actually getting paid positions with actual responsibility in your chosen field. The op's suggestions are all over the place, from "mastering" programming languages to "coaching" childrens sports teams to "mastering" a foreign language.

    The entire point of this thread is that hordes of people are retreating back to academia because they are too afraid to take initiatives on their own. Doing what someone else tells you is pretty easy (and that's what academia is - instructors giving you instructions and you delivering answers/work). Actually deciding what needs to get done, and doing that, is hard. This is why, barring extreme financial difficulties, grad school doesn't make much sense.
    That's not what any decent grad school is like at all. You're expected to take initiative for yourself.

    Pi-r8 on
  • JordyJordy Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Can I ask a question to anyone in the US?

    I am currently working and living abroad and spending my time studying researching to prepare for grad school (maybe in a few years).

    How much does already having mastery of a few foreign languages help your job opportunities/acceptance into Grad school?

    I'm just wondering if my language learning will be a big help other than personal enrichment, because I've never seen jobs in the US that really require foreign languages...though it might be that I've been looking in the wrong places.

    Thanks!

    Jordy on
  • legionofonelegionofone __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2010
    Jesus, this thread and the sense of entitlements therein.

    I don't know of too many parents who can support an adult at home, to be quite honest with you.

    legionofone on
    "They have shit," Krause said. "Rights my ass. 'Rights'. Nobody has any fucking rights unless they've got a machine gun."
  • AtomikaAtomika a sour and coarse bogborne hellfruit Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Pardon me for not reading the last six pages, but has anyone pointed out yet that graduate level degrees, unless specifically targeted for employment needs, often are more disruptive to employment opportunity than not? I'm sure someone has by now.

    Like, if you're going to grad school for nursing or education, there are jobs that directly correlate with those accomplishments. You can't be an NP or professor, respectively, without them.

    But if you're going for something you enjoy but have no prospects for, like fine arts, liberal arts, or humanities, I think it's more than a bit naive to get pissy when people don't start beating your door down to give you a great job.

    Hell, even my first degree was in something relatively ubiquitous, Economics, and I got jack-shit offers out of college. But I did get a lot of, "Hey, you wanna be our intern for a year and then fight for a job that pays less than a fry cook?" offers.

    Atomika on
  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Ross, how did things work out after school and what are you doing now?

    CygnusZ on
  • AtomikaAtomika a sour and coarse bogborne hellfruit Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Ross, how did things work out after school and what are you doing now?

    I moved back in with my folks for about three months while looking for work and going on interviews. I kind of had a weird problem; I graduated a year early, but I didn't do any internships during summers, instead taking classes at community college to graduate faster. I think I would have been better off taking longer for my BS but getting my foot in the door somewhere. A buddy of mine basically did that with a BA-GB, and has worked for Foley's, Macy's and now Academy in upper executive management. He'll be a VP before he's 30.

    What I ended up doing was going to nursing school, but taking a pause in the middle to go finish out my NCAA football credits and do some TA work while getting a masters in linguistics (totally worthless, but in line with NCAA rules). After getting the masters, the RN, and an associates in GB that I literally got by simply having the requisite credits, I moved to New York to go to film school. Loved every minute of it, and went completely broke.

    So now I'm in Dallas, working as an RN, and making fairly good money. Much better than anything my other degrees ever offered me.

    Atomika on
  • LearnedHandLearnedHand Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    I didn't want to find a job after university myself. So I went to the world's worst law school. Disasterous. One year of that shit and I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt and still unemployed.

    You have to get a job eventually so only go to graduate school if you'll be studying something in a field you plan on working in and which actually requires a master's degree. Don't get a master's degree in English or history or something similar unless you have full scholarships, wealthy parents footing the bill, or your company is sponsoring it.

    As for law school in particular, if it's first tier or it's not costing you anything, you should hopefully be ok. Below that, really think things over. And absolutely do not go to the really shit law schools. Do some research, and you'll see the same few names cropping up.

    That said, this list of things to do is pretty funny. "Give a speech a week to local organizations" is the best. "I'd like to welcome our speaker...some unemployed 22 year old hobo". What "local organization" would have a use for such a speaker?

    I also don't see what "running a marathon" would contribute to a job search.

    "What skills and experience do you bring to the table?"

    "Well...I ran. Like 20 miles."

    "I see. We'll let you know."

    Maybe toss a racist joke in there to improve your chances.

    The rest of the list is ok, I guess. I'm opposed to volunteering in general terms (people should get paid for their labour) but I volunteered for a few months. I couldn't find a paying job. Sometimes you can get more prestigious volunteer positions than pay positions.

    LearnedHand on
    MaryWorth020211.jpg
  • His CorkinessHis Corkiness Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    First of all- and I'm surprised no one has mentioned this- if you take out student loans to pay for your undergrad degree, you have to pay them back as soon as you graduate. Whether or not you've found a job.
    Sucks to live in the US.

    His Corkiness on
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Actually, setting the goal to run a marathon would be highly beneficial for someone who haves a lot of free time.

    What's better for someone who's unemployed?

    Continue be inactive and become a 400lb fat slob who's stuck on the couch. Develop chronic diseases early in his life, develop depression, become uninsurable, and finally become a burden to society?

    or

    Maintain their fitness level, self confidence and motivation?

    Casually Hardcore on
  • MosatiMosati Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    First of all- and I'm surprised no one has mentioned this- if you take out student loans to pay for your undergrad degree, you have to pay them back as soon as you graduate. Whether or not you've found a job.
    Sucks to live in the US.

    Except what he said wasn't true.

    Mosati on
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Mosati wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    First of all- and I'm surprised no one has mentioned this- if you take out student loans to pay for your undergrad degree, you have to pay them back as soon as you graduate. Whether or not you've found a job.
    Sucks to live in the US.

    Except what he said wasn't true.

    i meant to say that you have to start paying them back. You don't have to instantly pay it all back of course.

    Pi-r8 on
  • MosatiMosati Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Mosati wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    First of all- and I'm surprised no one has mentioned this- if you take out student loans to pay for your undergrad degree, you have to pay them back as soon as you graduate. Whether or not you've found a job.
    Sucks to live in the US.

    Except what he said wasn't true.

    i meant to say that you have to start paying them back. You don't have to instantly pay it all back of course.

    I didn't have to pay my UG loans back for six months, and I later had them deferred. I was under the impression that was normal. Did you have a different experience?

    Mosati on
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Mosati wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Mosati wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    First of all- and I'm surprised no one has mentioned this- if you take out student loans to pay for your undergrad degree, you have to pay them back as soon as you graduate. Whether or not you've found a job.
    Sucks to live in the US.

    Except what he said wasn't true.

    i meant to say that you have to start paying them back. You don't have to instantly pay it all back of course.

    I didn't have to pay my UG loans back for six months, and I later had them deferred. I was under the impression that was normal. Did you have a different experience?

    I was lucky enough to get a full scholarship so I never had student loans. Looking at it now, I guess you do get a 6 month grace period. But that's not really a long time to find a job that will pay enough to live on and repay debt. If you haven't found a good job inside of 6 months than grad school looks pretty good. How did you get yours deferred?

    Pi-r8 on
  • MalaysianShrewMalaysianShrew Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Mosati wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Mosati wrote: »
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    First of all- and I'm surprised no one has mentioned this- if you take out student loans to pay for your undergrad degree, you have to pay them back as soon as you graduate. Whether or not you've found a job.
    Sucks to live in the US.

    Except what he said wasn't true.

    i meant to say that you have to start paying them back. You don't have to instantly pay it all back of course.

    I didn't have to pay my UG loans back for six months, and I later had them deferred. I was under the impression that was normal. Did you have a different experience?

    I was lucky enough to get a full scholarship so I never had student loans. Looking at it now, I guess you do get a 6 month grace period. But that's not really a long time to find a job that will pay enough to live on and repay debt. If you haven't found a good job inside of 6 months than grad school looks pretty good. How did you get yours deferred?

    My ex did a sort of pre-law program and had to start paying back her loans during the year we lived together after she graduated. She was still working the waitressing job she had during school and I wasn't making that much at Home Depot. It sucked. She brought home more than me but I had to pay the bills a number of times because the bank was on her ass about late payments on her loans.

    I am skeptical about the actual utility of college. By that I mean how necessary it is to do most jobs that require it. It obviously helps you get a job. But maybe it shouldn't.

    MalaysianShrew on
    Never trust a big butt and a smile.
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    Kyougu wrote: »
    I got a BA in Political Science, and I always wanted to do the Graduate School or Law school, but reading stuff like the OP and thinking about the debt I'll get just scares the hell out of me.

    Stay out of law dude. Trust me on this - I went through similar decisions.

    You can read stuff like this and learn all you need to know.

    You have to be a member to see this link, can you sum it up?


    I'm in a sort of, but not really, similar situation to this thread. I plan on applying to law schools this coming fall, to start in 2011, but I'm not doing it as a stopgap measure, I currently have a job, and am applying purely because I want to be a lawyer. I think 4 years from now is a decent amount of time to think that the job market should be picking back up.

    SageinaRage on
  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    As for law school in particular, if it's first tier or it's not costing you anything, you should hopefully be ok. Below that, really think things over. And absolutely do not go to the really shit law schools. Do some research, and you'll see the same few names cropping up.

    This has been true for a while, and unfortunately the economy has really sharpened it. Finding a job as a newly-minted lawyer is tough right now, but entirely possible - as long as you went to a top-tier school and are near the top 10-15% of your class. As you get down into tier 2 and 3, or top 35% of your class, fewer and fewer firms will even look at you.

    KalTorak on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    Kyougu wrote: »
    I got a BA in Political Science, and I always wanted to do the Graduate School or Law school, but reading stuff like the OP and thinking about the debt I'll get just scares the hell out of me.

    Stay out of law dude. Trust me on this - I went through similar decisions.

    You can read stuff like this and learn all you need to know.

    You have to be a member to see this link, can you sum it up?


    I'm in a sort of, but not really, similar situation to this thread. I plan on applying to law schools this coming fall, to start in 2011, but I'm not doing it as a stopgap measure, I currently have a job, and am applying purely because I want to be a lawyer. I think 4 years from now is a decent amount of time to think that the job market should be picking back up.

    Your still going to have competition with all of the lawyers who graduated during the time and still need work. I'm currently in law school but have no delusions about it. I just want to be a lawyer and am willing to take a bet that I might get lucky. I'm sort of hoping that the job market will just be shitty instead of apocalyptic by the time I get out. I really want to work in criminal law or some other form of public service.

    Couscous on
  • LibrarianThorneLibrarianThorne Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Loklar wrote: »
    Qonas wrote: »
    100% agreed with the "how are you LIVING" sentiment.

    Everything on that list the OP quoted is laudable and will certainly increase job prospects. However, that person can't be doing just those things and be making a living at the same time. What exactly are they going to do? Trot off to deliver their speech to a "local organization" from their mother's house, where she is left pulling hairs out because her child is quite literally doing nothing while she foots the bill? Or even better, does this person mooch off a roommate, who'll have even less sympathy than a family member? Or is this hypothetical person, spending a year helping a non-profit and delivering speeches, simply homeless?

    I think you're giving up a little easy.

    The makeup of this board is probably "rich" by world-wide standards. I mean, we all have access to computers and we like videogames. That means we're probably used to a lot of luxury. This might be what has to change.

    Um, those things cost nothing compared to shelter and food.

    Bullshit from, admittedly anecdotal, experience.

    I graduated in 2008 with a pretty unproven degree (game design, basically). I moved across country with the help of family (and ~$15,000 in savings with no college debt). It took me about a month and a half to find my first paying job, during which time I was the news editor for an Xbox site (my article was the first from the E3 where they announced FF13 was hitting 360. Something like qunitupled daily site numbers) and I was doing that for free. Then, I worked QA at a mobile gaming company for about 3 months, and was let go in 12/08 down about $3,000 from my savings. It would take me 7 months to find another job, this time at an Apple call center. In those seven months, I attended IGDA meetings, designed a couple of pen and paper games, ran pen and paper campaigns that drew attendees from the industry (some TOR game designers were in a Knights of the Old Republic campaign I ran), helped with major game industry gatherings in the city, and did some blogging. I also pitched and started development on a small iPhone title. By the time I started working for Apple, I'd burned through around $5,000. Apple let me go after two months (coincedentally making me swear off call center work for the rest of my life) and I finished development on the iPhone game and released it as a free to play title on gamesalad.com. I also started working with local Flash developers on a game based around the whole Tim Langdell controversy, and in July I was picked up to do part-time QA for a small peripheral manufacturer.

    If you've got the savings, you can very much do what this article advises. However, I'll also say that pursuing a dream, or a career, requires lots of sacrifice. I cut out dining out for about 6 months. If I had to eat out (i.e. nothing in the pantry), I never went over $7 and never tipped. I used the bus, and I also learned how to drive so I could make it to farther out job interviews. I walked to get groceries, about a mile and a half round trip (which is pretty awful in Texas summer).

    Now, I'm also horribly lucky. I had a family that could buy me a car, and enabled me to graduate college without outstanding debt. I could, basically, live off of 0 income for a while and do what needed to be done to find a career. For those that can't, living with parents or finding some other rent-free living is perfectly okay. College graduates aren't going to find work after graduation without some kind of sacrifice, and certainly (in my opinion) not without doing a TON of work for free.

    You may be lucky to have a job, but surely your aspiration isn't doing part-time QA? I will say that what you're doing right now is a billion times more productive than what the op is suggesting, since you're actually getting paid positions with actual responsibility in your chosen field. The op's suggestions are all over the place, from "mastering" programming languages to "coaching" childrens sports teams to "mastering" a foreign language.

    If you went and got a masters degree in electrical engineering, you could be doing a lot more than QA.

    While true, I'd also be in a boatload of debt. While I was unemployed, I investigated a local community college program in game design, largely because it was taught by industry veterans (including the lead writer on TOR, as I recall). Even that would've saddled me with not inconsiderable amounts of debt. I also looked at graduate school at the Guildhall, but by the end of that program I'd be ~$100,000 in the hole and looking for positions that paid around $35,000 a year.

    While I made terribly little money in 09 while I "paid my dues", as it were, the position I hold now is about 35-50 hours a week and I'm on salary for $32,000 a year, which may double by year's end. Now, it is a startup so job titles don't reflect all the work really being done and funding concerns pop up very frequently; but without doing so much work for little or no pay I'd not be where I am.

    LibrarianThorne on
  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Actually, setting the goal to run a marathon would be highly beneficial for someone who haves a lot of free time.

    What's better for someone who's unemployed?

    Continue be inactive and become a 400lb fat slob who's stuck on the couch. Develop chronic diseases early in his life, develop depression, become uninsurable, and finally become a burden to society?

    or

    Maintain their fitness level, self confidence and motivation?

    Exactly. No one is saying go run a marathon and put it on your resume, but running a marathon probably has other important benefits.

    Perpetual on
  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    Kyougu wrote: »
    I got a BA in Political Science, and I always wanted to do the Graduate School or Law school, but reading stuff like the OP and thinking about the debt I'll get just scares the hell out of me.

    Stay out of law dude. Trust me on this - I went through similar decisions.

    You can read stuff like this and learn all you need to know.

    You have to be a member to see this link, can you sum it up?


    I'm in a sort of, but not really, similar situation to this thread. I plan on applying to law schools this coming fall, to start in 2011, but I'm not doing it as a stopgap measure, I currently have a job, and am applying purely because I want to be a lawyer. I think 4 years from now is a decent amount of time to think that the job market should be picking back up.

    Well, the thread itself is ridiculously long, and it's the eleventh iteration. Here are some choice quotes.
    This isn't a cycle. It's the start of what could very well be a permanent change in the legal industry. There was just no way this industry could perpetuate itself with the churning out of fifty thousand new lawyers year after year after year with not enough jobs to employ all of them. You've got the ABA accrediting new schools every single year, because that's their cash cow, and the problem just keeps compounding.

    The jobs that do exist are changing and becoming fewer in number. We outsource work to India. People are seeing fewer lawyers for matters like tax, divorce, and probate because of software packages and pre-built forms sufficient for 90% of the populace. Mandatory arbitration is taking a lot of disputes out of the courtroom and not letting lawyers participate.

    Large firms stopped pricing attorney salaries at anything approaching a reasonable fashion and firms couldn't keep up. Lockstep increases are a huge cause of all of the recent firm failings and mergers. I think lockstep will disappear within five years, as a matter of mere survival, but it's somewhat a question of whether it's too late to go back to the good ol' days of merit pay.

    At some point the dam was going to burst, and here we are. But we've still got three years of fledging attorneys in the hopper, and at least a few more years after that of undergrads who are still convinced that law school is the best thing ever, and so long as there's an industry built on selling that myth and an economy so far in the shitter that graduate school becomes an attractive alternative to unemployment (at least for three years), it ain't gonna get better.

    I just found out that several of my friends who graduated from a T3 law school are now on food stamps and welfare.

    Want to fix the industry? Unaccredit the entire third and fourth tiers. And not because of some elitist statement of quality, but because we don't need 200 law schools in this country, even if they were all as good as Yale. Shrink class sizes in the remaining 100 law schools. Law school itself needs to become the barrier to entry, just like medical schools operate now.

    Unfortunately, that means that all of the unique snowflakes might not be able to go to law school. It means that I probably would not have been able to go to law school. I started at a T3. Things turned out okay for me, but go talk to my friends who are all unemployed with zero prospects five months after graduation. Most of them admit they would have been better off had they never been admitted to a law school in the first place. Sometimes industry paternalism is a good thing.
    I’m on a one-woman mission to talk people out of law school. Lots of people go to law school as a default. They don’t know what else to do, like I did. It seems like a good idea. People say a law degree will always be worth something even if you don’t practice. But they don’t consider what that debt is going to look like after law school. It affects my life in every way. And the jobs that you think are going to be there won’t necessarily be there at all. Most people I know that are practicing attorneys don’t make the kind of money they think lawyers make. They’re making $40,000 a year, not $160,000. Plus, you’re going to be struggling to do something you might not even enjoy. A few people have a calling to be a lawyer, but most don’t.

    From http://www.abajournal.com/news/law_dean_says_schools_exploiting_students_who_dont_succeed
    Law schools are “exploiting” any students who aren’t successful, according to a law school dean who spoke at a program on law school rankings earlier this month.

    “We should be ashamed of ourselves," said Richard Matasar, dean of New York Law School.

    Matasar said schools need to take responsibility for the failures of their students, according to an account of his Jan. 9 remarks by TaxProf Blog. Matasar said a law school education can cost as much as $120,000 for a students who are making a “lottery shot” at being in the top 10 percent of their class so they can get high-paying jobs.

    He spoke during a program sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools that is available in a podcast. TaxProf Blog noted Matasar’s remarks and highlighted a Forbes article that questions whether students are being misled into believing that large school debt translates into a life of economic privilege. The article featured a lawyer couple divorcing amid overwhelming stress because of $190,000 in student debt.

    “We own our students' outcomes," Matasar said at the AALS program. "We took them. We took their money. We live on their money. … And if they don't have a good outcome in life, we're exploiting them. It's our responsibility to own the outcomes of our institutions. If they're not doing well ... it's gotta be fixed. Or we should shut the damn place down. And that's a moral responsibility that we bear in the academy.”

    At 50 law schools, 20 percent of the students either flunked out, can’t find jobs or have unknown outcomes, according to another speaker at the program, Indiana University law professor William Henderson. TaxProf Blog also transcribed some of his remarks.

    Matasar questioned whether students are beginning to understand that law school does not guarantee a good job. He said registrations for the law school admissions test are flat or below the norm for this year. “That's never happened in a downturn in the economy before,” he said. “They're catching on. Maybe this thing they are doing is not so valuable. Maybe the chance at being in the top 10 percent is not a good enough lottery shot in order to effectively spend $120,000 and see it blow up at the end of three years of law school.”
    My firm recently was looking to replace a paralegal, and the hiring partner figured that, given the current job market, we could get a licensed attorney for the price of a paralegal, and get the benefit of having somebody to do all the idiotic court appearances none of the actual lawyers felt like wasting time on. So we placed an ad for an attorney, with the only requirements being "licensed in New York" and "some firm experience" (we'd accept somebody with summer intern experience). The salary offered was $50K. Entry level all the way. We were totally expecting to hire some recent BLS or Fordham grad just looking for a place to start out.

    Within 24 hours of putting the ad out -- one day, people -- we had received over 200 responses. For one job. At least half of them were from people with V200 firm experience. It felt like we got resumes from every single associate who used to work at Thacher Proffit before they imploded, along with about a dozen people from Latham Watkins. We had a smattering of former Proskauer, Shearmen Sterling, Hogan Hartson, and Dewey Lebouf associates. And a lot of them weren't particularly recent graduates; while the majority of applicants were 2008 or 2007 grads, we got some people applying from as early as 2001. And from basically every top school.

    In the end, we went with a UVA grad who'd been laid off from Cadwalader last Christmasish because he'd failed the bar the first time, and hadn't been working since. We didn't want to hire anybody with too much experience, since somebody used to making $200K over the last couple years would likely jump ship the second a better offer came along. Also, somebody who'd spent only four months at a big firm would be used to doing grunt make-work paralegal stuff, and wouldn't complain about it.

    Should you go to law school? Follow this graph:
    e1656e942317a22a9aff19ba7502aa3dff18ec86.png

    Perpetual on
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    With regards to the legal profession, it's true that people coming out of law school right now are in a bad position.

    But, keep in mind, law school lasts 3 years. We're starting to see signs of life in legal hiring now, and I'm fairly confident that it's going to get better as time goes by. Furthermore, the hits we've seen have been concentrated in certain practice areas, such as real estate and M&A. Litigation departments are still hiring, as are bankruptcy, family practice, criminal defense etc.

    I also read an article that pointed out the average age of lawyers is the highest it's ever been. We're going to see a lot of lawyers retiring in the next decade or so.

    That being said, should you go to law school just as a way to hide from the recession? Probably not. But, even if the economy was hot right now, I'd be saying pretty much the same thing- don't go to law school just because you're not sure what else to do.

    Just wanted to chip in that in the public defender program I work in they have something like 120 applications for every staff attorney opening.

    That's pretty fucking grim.

    Speaker on
    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    First of all- and I'm surprised no one has mentioned this- if you take out student loans to pay for your undergrad degree, you have to pay them back as soon as you graduate. Whether or not you've found a job.
    Sucks to live in the US.

    I don't know what U.S. Pi-r8 lives in, but you can defer those loans for a long time if you are having a tough financial time.

    It's almost comical how flexible companies are with educational loans compared to other kinds.

    Speaker on
    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • AeneasAeneas Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    Perpetual wrote: »
    Kyougu wrote: »
    I got a BA in Political Science, and I always wanted to do the Graduate School or Law school, but reading stuff like the OP and thinking about the debt I'll get just scares the hell out of me.

    Stay out of law dude. Trust me on this - I went through similar decisions.

    You can read stuff like this and learn all you need to know.

    You have to be a member to see this link, can you sum it up?


    I'm in a sort of, but not really, similar situation to this thread. I plan on applying to law schools this coming fall, to start in 2011, but I'm not doing it as a stopgap measure, I currently have a job, and am applying purely because I want to be a lawyer. I think 4 years from now is a decent amount of time to think that the job market should be picking back up.

    Well, the thread itself is ridiculously long, and it's the eleventh iteration. Here are some choice quotes.
    This isn't a cycle. It's the start of what could very well be a permanent change in the legal industry. There was just no way this industry could perpetuate itself with the churning out of fifty thousand new lawyers year after year after year with not enough jobs to employ all of them. You've got the ABA accrediting new schools every single year, because that's their cash cow, and the problem just keeps compounding.

    The jobs that do exist are changing and becoming fewer in number. We outsource work to India. People are seeing fewer lawyers for matters like tax, divorce, and probate because of software packages and pre-built forms sufficient for 90% of the populace. Mandatory arbitration is taking a lot of disputes out of the courtroom and not letting lawyers participate.

    Large firms stopped pricing attorney salaries at anything approaching a reasonable fashion and firms couldn't keep up. Lockstep increases are a huge cause of all of the recent firm failings and mergers. I think lockstep will disappear within five years, as a matter of mere survival, but it's somewhat a question of whether it's too late to go back to the good ol' days of merit pay.

    At some point the dam was going to burst, and here we are. But we've still got three years of fledging attorneys in the hopper, and at least a few more years after that of undergrads who are still convinced that law school is the best thing ever, and so long as there's an industry built on selling that myth and an economy so far in the shitter that graduate school becomes an attractive alternative to unemployment (at least for three years), it ain't gonna get better.

    I just found out that several of my friends who graduated from a T3 law school are now on food stamps and welfare.

    Want to fix the industry? Unaccredit the entire third and fourth tiers. And not because of some elitist statement of quality, but because we don't need 200 law schools in this country, even if they were all as good as Yale. Shrink class sizes in the remaining 100 law schools. Law school itself needs to become the barrier to entry, just like medical schools operate now.

    Unfortunately, that means that all of the unique snowflakes might not be able to go to law school. It means that I probably would not have been able to go to law school. I started at a T3. Things turned out okay for me, but go talk to my friends who are all unemployed with zero prospects five months after graduation. Most of them admit they would have been better off had they never been admitted to a law school in the first place. Sometimes industry paternalism is a good thing.
    I’m on a one-woman mission to talk people out of law school. Lots of people go to law school as a default. They don’t know what else to do, like I did. It seems like a good idea. People say a law degree will always be worth something even if you don’t practice. But they don’t consider what that debt is going to look like after law school. It affects my life in every way. And the jobs that you think are going to be there won’t necessarily be there at all. Most people I know that are practicing attorneys don’t make the kind of money they think lawyers make. They’re making $40,000 a year, not $160,000. Plus, you’re going to be struggling to do something you might not even enjoy. A few people have a calling to be a lawyer, but most don’t.

    From http://www.abajournal.com/news/law_dean_says_schools_exploiting_students_who_dont_succeed
    Law schools are “exploiting” any students who aren’t successful, according to a law school dean who spoke at a program on law school rankings earlier this month.

    “We should be ashamed of ourselves," said Richard Matasar, dean of New York Law School.

    Matasar said schools need to take responsibility for the failures of their students, according to an account of his Jan. 9 remarks by TaxProf Blog. Matasar said a law school education can cost as much as $120,000 for a students who are making a “lottery shot” at being in the top 10 percent of their class so they can get high-paying jobs.

    He spoke during a program sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools that is available in a podcast. TaxProf Blog noted Matasar’s remarks and highlighted a Forbes article that questions whether students are being misled into believing that large school debt translates into a life of economic privilege. The article featured a lawyer couple divorcing amid overwhelming stress because of $190,000 in student debt.

    “We own our students' outcomes," Matasar said at the AALS program. "We took them. We took their money. We live on their money. … And if they don't have a good outcome in life, we're exploiting them. It's our responsibility to own the outcomes of our institutions. If they're not doing well ... it's gotta be fixed. Or we should shut the damn place down. And that's a moral responsibility that we bear in the academy.”

    At 50 law schools, 20 percent of the students either flunked out, can’t find jobs or have unknown outcomes, according to another speaker at the program, Indiana University law professor William Henderson. TaxProf Blog also transcribed some of his remarks.

    Matasar questioned whether students are beginning to understand that law school does not guarantee a good job. He said registrations for the law school admissions test are flat or below the norm for this year. “That's never happened in a downturn in the economy before,” he said. “They're catching on. Maybe this thing they are doing is not so valuable. Maybe the chance at being in the top 10 percent is not a good enough lottery shot in order to effectively spend $120,000 and see it blow up at the end of three years of law school.”
    My firm recently was looking to replace a paralegal, and the hiring partner figured that, given the current job market, we could get a licensed attorney for the price of a paralegal, and get the benefit of having somebody to do all the idiotic court appearances none of the actual lawyers felt like wasting time on. So we placed an ad for an attorney, with the only requirements being "licensed in New York" and "some firm experience" (we'd accept somebody with summer intern experience). The salary offered was $50K. Entry level all the way. We were totally expecting to hire some recent BLS or Fordham grad just looking for a place to start out.

    Within 24 hours of putting the ad out -- one day, people -- we had received over 200 responses. For one job. At least half of them were from people with V200 firm experience. It felt like we got resumes from every single associate who used to work at Thacher Proffit before they imploded, along with about a dozen people from Latham Watkins. We had a smattering of former Proskauer, Shearmen Sterling, Hogan Hartson, and Dewey Lebouf associates. And a lot of them weren't particularly recent graduates; while the majority of applicants were 2008 or 2007 grads, we got some people applying from as early as 2001. And from basically every top school.

    In the end, we went with a UVA grad who'd been laid off from Cadwalader last Christmasish because he'd failed the bar the first time, and hadn't been working since. We didn't want to hire anybody with too much experience, since somebody used to making $200K over the last couple years would likely jump ship the second a better offer came along. Also, somebody who'd spent only four months at a big firm would be used to doing grunt make-work paralegal stuff, and wouldn't complain about it.

    Should you go to law school? Follow this graph:
    e1656e942317a22a9aff19ba7502aa3dff18ec86.png

    Jesus, I almost went to law school for precisely that reason (what else can I do?). Reading that makes me feel like I dodged a bullet there.

    How feasible would it be to do just start closing down schools in order to decrease the glut of lawyers in the market?
    Why you gotta throw the army under the bus like that? Thread derailing, immenent.

    Lol, no true hate intended. I respect all my brothers and sisters in arms, no matter what branch they are.

    Aeneas on
    Hear about the cow that tried to jump over a barbed-wire fence? It was udder disaster.
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah, all that spoiled stuff echoes everything I heard and read about law school which was why I decided agaisnt it.

    Kyougu on
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Heh, well I think I meet enough of those criteria to want to go. I think I've done a pretty good job of educating myself on why being a lawyer is a shitty job, and I still want to do it. And all the schools I'm looking at are tier 1, if I don't get into any of those I think I'd probably give it up.

    SageinaRage on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Kyougu wrote: »
    This is similar to the position I find myself in. Except that right now I'm gainfully employeed in a job that pays me well enough to live comfortably enough.

    I got a BA in Political Science, and I always wanted to do the Graduate School or Law school, but reading stuff like the OP and thinking about the debt I'll get just scares the hell out of me.
    The price of law school has gone up pretty substantially since I graduated in 2000. I was fortunate that my parents were well-off enough to afford to pay for almost all my schooling. I graduated with only about $30K in debt. My law school roommate graduated with about $120K in debt (though, he went to Harvard undergrad while I went to a State school).

    However, we went to a top-10 law school, so we landed jobs with big NYC law firms paying their first-years about $150K, incuding the bonus. I was able to pay off my debt in about a year and a half, while my roommate went debt-free after about 4 years.

    So, if you can get into a top-tier school which is a pipeline to big law firm jobs, even a high debt load is petty manageable. On the other hand I'd be hesitant to rack up huge amounts of debt from a law school where the top-tier jobs are not a realistic option.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    FWIW, I had a roommate who went to Yale Law School and graduated 3 years ago, and is now working in a marketing/advertising agency (not as a lawyer, but as a high end sales rep) because he could make more money than he could as a starting lawyer in NYC in this market.

    Even the top tier really isn't any kind of guarantee right now.

    Jealous Deva on
  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Good for your friend. Never the less, that is fucked up.

    I'm in a position similar to his, except I didn't go to law school.

    Endomatic on
  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I always hear that Yale Law is where law professors come from, while the rest of tier 1 is where the top firms go.

    KalTorak on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I always hear that Yale Law is where law professors come from, while the rest of tier 1 is where the top firms go.
    I think a majority of Yale law students don't go into private practice after law school. The top students go into academia and a lot of other grads will do a clerkship with a judge somewhere.

    Though, a degree from Yale Law is a ticket into pretty much any career path you want, regardless of how bad the economy might be. Your resume goes to the top of every hiring pile. So, a Yale grad who wants to go work in a top-tier law firm can do so just as easily, if not more so, than a grad from more "corporate" law schools.

    Yale is so exceptional, it's not even worth talking about in the context of this discussion. It opens up doors that are closed to probably 90% of grads from even the other top ten law schools.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I always hear that Yale Law is where law professors come from, while the rest of tier 1 is where the top firms go.
    I think a majority of Yale law students don't go into private practice after law school. The top students go into academia and a lot of other grads will do a clerkship with a judge somewhere.

    Though, a degree from Yale Law is a ticket into pretty much any career path you want, regardless of how bad the economy might be. Your resume goes to the top of every hiring pile. So, a Yale grad who wants to go work in a top-tier law firm can do so just as easily, if not more so, than a grad from more "corporate" law schools.

    Yale is so exceptional, it's not even worth talking about in the context of this discussion. It opens up doors that are closed to probably 90% of grads from even the other top ten law schools.


    Yeah, I think the reason he took the job he did was, in addition to the money, the lifestyle was better. More normal hours, regular trips to South America, Europe, and the Middle East to woo clients, etc.

    Compared to being a drone in a law firm which is pretty much like doing a medical residency as far as hours and general level of respect, I think he has a pretty good deal. I do know that there would be pretty much 0 chance that he'd have his current job if he'd tried to get it just out of undergrad, so in that way the degree paid off.

    Jealous Deva on
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