Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's blues

Given that I've spent the better part of my last three weeks boxing up and organizing all of our closed collection files to ship them off-site, I've had a lot of time to reflect.  The result of all that reflection is that I've bummed myself out.  Again.  Here's a brief comparison of the state of my life five years ago versus now:

2004: Graduated college with a degree in philosophy. Began clerking at the County Clerk's Office in my home town and spent my time alphabetizing and doing general data entry.

2010: I am a licensed attorney.  I'm currently clerking for a law firm where I fill in blanks and stand in line all day.  As previously mentioned, I also spent the past three weeks boxing up files.

You might be thinking that I haven't made any progress during the past five years of my life....and you would be correct.  2010 better be a big year for me.


  1. hi nick, i just stumbled onto your blog. Have you thought of just asking the attorneys at your firm if you can just do some substantive work in addition to what you're doing now at the same rate? You may as well get the experience since you're there already. Think of it as an associate at law clerk salaries. I'm an 07 grad that had trouble finding a job, graduating from a Tier 2 school with nothing too special. But I took some jobs that I wasn't that excited about financially, but just did it to get the experience. It opens up doors eventually, but you just have to swallow your pride a bit. I'm an associate at a small firm with crappy pay, but I'm respected and I love what I'm doing. Good luck.

  2. Not to pile on, but I suspect you've already asked about that, and they said something like; "we'll see what we can do, but you're not covered on our malpractice insurance so another attorney will just have to make sure you've done it all correctly, which takes longer than doing it themselves.."

    My advice would be to give up, the winter class of 2010 has already graduated and the real class of '10 is right around the corner. That means in a few short months there will be FOUR classes of law students that have graduated after you, each of which has at least as much real experience, and less baggage to explain.

    Think about it. If my group was reviewing your resume it would probably go like this;

    Attorney #1: "This dude graduated in '08 and has been working as a clerk at Other Law Firm."

    Attorney #2: "Two years as a clerk at the same firm, something must be wrong with that dude if they won't hire him."

    Attorney #3: "That's not fair, the economy has been beyond awful,he probably just got fucked by it."

    Attorney #1: "But what if it's NOT the economy..."

    Attorney #2: "What about this girl, class of '09, concentration in our area..."

    Attorney #4: "Get on facebook and find out if she's hot..."

    And so it goes.

    I suggest the merchant marine. I'm not being an ass. I know guys that work six months a year, make $95K, and have girlfriends on three continents. If I could I do it over, I wouldn't think twice.

    Good luck partner.

  3. Calling yourself a "law clerk" sounds like you are clerking for a judge, a prestigious job that only goes to the most successful law school graduates. You clearly are not successful and your job is not prestigious.

    It would be more accurate to say you are a "file clerk" who happens to work at a law office and, entirely coincidentally, holds an unused license to practice law. But even that kind of glorifies your job. So does "courier" though that comes closer to reality.

    I think the most accurate thing to call yourself, given the vernacular you have established on this blog, is "Secretary 3." Count yourself among those people who are excluded from the holiday gifts from clients. In fact, the only thing separating you from the secretaries is that you don't mutter out loud to yourself.

    Try to make yourself feel less inferior by making fun of fat people at bars. Because man oh man, are there a lot of people laughing at you after reading this blog!

    Thank you for the delightful schadenfreude.

  4. To the first three commenters, happy new year and thanks for the constructive advice. Although I have asked for more substantive work, the result was pretty much what you predicted. Also, I take no offense to the suggestion of "giving up." I completely agree with your reasoning and am busy looking for non-legal work.

    To the most recent commenter, (who I have to assume is a fat, German, secretary) I'm glad you have fun reading my blog! The approval of anonymous commenters is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

  5. Gosh, these commenters are tough! I truly believe (perhaps the first sign of delusion setting in - I'm in a similar situation) that if you do get a better job and are given an opportunity to prove yourself, you will indeed be able to explain away the earlier years of your career by referencing the economy.