These are a couple of my favorite legal blogs: Big Debt, Small Law; Temporary Attorney. They document the current state of the legal profession far better than I can. However, sometimes I feel compelled to share a personal story.
Every time my former law school calls to ask me for money I go off on the same angry tirade that goes something like this:
School: Good afternoon. We just wanted to check on your employment situation for our alumni statistics.
Me: Are you going to ask me for money at any point?
School: We just want to check on status of your employment.
Me: You didn't answer my question.
School: We just want to check on the status of your employment.
Me: You still didn't answer my question, but I'll humor you just to see where this goes. I can't find a real lawyer job, so I'm still clerking at a small firm.
School: What's the name of the firm?
Me: Dewey, Cheatham & Howe.
School: Are you actively seeking other employment? Have you used our career services?
Me: Actually, this was my dream after law school - to be a clerk.
Me: Of fucking course I'm actively seeking other employment. And, yes, I've used career services. They gave me a bunch of websites to look at. It was pretty helpful.
School: I'm glad we could help.
Me: Maybe my phone doesn't convey sarcasm properly.
School: I'd also like to talk about your law school experience. I'm sure you enjoyed the time spent at Loyola and the valuable education it provided you.
Me: It sounds a lot like you're about to ask me for money.
School: We're just curious about how we're doing as a law school.
Me: Ok, law school was a waste of my time and every day I wish I could get those three years back. Even more so now that I can't even find a real job.
School: Well, wouldn't you want to give back to a place that did so much for you?
Me: I fucking knew you were going to ask me for money!!
School: But, since you received such a valuable education, don't you want to help your school?
Me: Have you not been listening? Oh, you're just reading from a script aren't you? Listen, law school was useless and I will never give you money.
School: Wouldn't you want to make it a better place for future classes? Maybe help fund a scholarship?
Me: No. Seriously, I make $15/hour. I couldn't give away any money even if I wanted to.
School: ...can we contact you in the future?
School: ...do you have an email address?
Me: You're not allowed to hang up before I do are you?
I told you that story to tell you this story. A while ago I went on my school's website to look at the employment stats for people in my graduating class. Let's take a look at these stats. Obviously they're in a pie chart designed to mislead people into believing everyone is employed. That's to be expected. But wait, there's more.
Is that my firm listed as one of the firms employing recent graduates? It couldn't be. I clearly told them I was not employed as a lawyer. They wouldn't include me to bulk up their employed alumni stats, would they? Yes, they would. Also, are several county/city offices listed that were actually on hiring freezes at the time this list was made? Of course.
Basically, if you graduated in 2008 and are employed in any capacity (be it as a clerk, aid, bike messenger or sex slave), you are on this list. I suppose this is my fault really. I shouldn't have expected a law school employment chart to reflect alumni actually employed as lawyers. That was silly of me.