Friday, December 18, 2009

In a world where work is sparse $80K to not work sounds good

Apparently, some law firms are offering attorneys large sums of money to defer their acceptance for a year. According to some of the comments posted after this ABA article, accepting that money could compromise their career and it would look bad to have a year of unemployment on their resume. Do you agree? I think that it would be great to not have the pressure of the big firm life and be able to use that time in other ways to advance the legal field while not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from. But I work for the government, so what do I know?!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I'm an avid user of Vistaprint. I used it to get free business cards in law school. You can read that post here. Now I use it to make address labels, invitations, calendars, and even holiday cards. Right now you can Save 25-50% off on custom printed products at VistaPrint.

It's an early Christmas gift! Enjoy :) Maybe you can design your address labels or holiday cards when you're not studying or looking for a job... better yet, design awesome and professional address labels to put on all those job applications!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Contract Work For Attorneys

Recently, I was talking to some law students who will be graduating next spring about their job search. They expressed concerns regarding finding a job upon graduation, studying and passing the bar, and paying back student loans. I was thinking back to when I graduated law school (which wasn't that long ago) with those some concerns. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was also looking for the job. He ended up doing some temporary legal work with a company called Hire Counsel. It pays decently, but the work isn't terribly interesting. I know its not the best solution, but it did offer my husband with something substantive to do while looking for a full time position. We have friend who live in DC where there are many more opportunities for contact work for attorneys and if you can speak a second language, it might help you secure a position. Be prepared for boring tasks, long hours, but plenty of dough. (not big firm dough, but enough to live off of anyway) To apply for this kind of work, you have to pass the bar in your state.

Contract work is a good temporary solution, but some worry that if they do it for too long, they'll be unmarketable for other legal positions. Check out this blog post from lateralattorney related to the subject. So if you're ultimate goal is to do anything but contract work for a living, keep pushing out those resumes and go ahead and put that contract work on your resume and highlight skills that your potential employer would benefit from.

I guess some attorneys do contract work to make a living. Check out this ABA article.

P.S. My husband now has a full-time job, no more contract work for him :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Check out this blog by Kenneth David Westphal, the author of Law School Red Ink White Collar Blues (Letters from Law School). He blogs about the law student’s search for a legal position during second year of law school. I also noticed some lawyer jokes in his posts for those of you who enjoy a good lawyer joke!

Actually I heard a funny lawyer joke at a retirement dinner I went to for my husband's job. Here's another version of it. Enjoy!

A truck driver would amuse himself by running over lawyers. Whenever he saw a lawyer walking down the side of the road he would swerve to hit him, enjoy the load, satisfying "THUMP", and then swerve back onto the road.

(at this point some of you are probably wondering how the trucker could distinguish the lawyers from the humans. Obviously he saw the trail of slime they left!)
One day, as the truck driver was driving along he saw a priest hitchhiking. He thought he would do a good turn and pulled the truck over.

He asked the priest, "Where are you going, Father?"

"I'm going to the church 5 miles down the road," replied the priest.

"No problem, Father! I'll give you a lift. Climb in the truck." The happy priest climbed into the passenger seat and the truck driver continued down the road.

Suddenly the truck driver saw a lawyer walking down the road and instinctively he swerved to hit him. But then he remembered there was a priest in the truck with him, so at the last minute he swerved back away, narrowly missing the lawyer. However even though he was certain he missed the lawyer, he still heard a loud "THUD". Not understanding where the noise came from he glanced in his mirrors and when he didn't see anything, he turned to the priest and said, "I'm sorry Father. I almost hit that lawyer."

"That's okay", replied the priest. "I got him with the door!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

Do these lyrics apply to jobs? If you can't get your dream job out of law school or if you are currently not in your dream job or even just a job you like, should you just consider yourself lucky and blessed for having a job and suck it up or should you continue your search for "the one"? I think if you dread going to work every day, you won't be a productive worker, so you should "love the one you're with" while keeping your eye out for other options. I also came across this article regarding job satisfaction.

Any thoughts?

Friday, June 5, 2009

When choosing law schools, think about the long term ramifications

Check out the featured answer to this ABA Journal Poll. You might want really think before applying to law school about where you want to end up and about the realities of the current job market! school is demanding and expensive. You might want to consider going to best law school in the area where you actually want to practice, rather than just aiming for the top 20 or 40. You may also consider working while in law school so that you don't have to borrow as much, but I would not recommend this for first year students unless you work a job where you can study as well. When I was in law school, I was able to work at the library and still get some homework done at the same time. I know other law students who worked at campus computer clusters, at the bookstore, or as graduate assistants to undergraduate classes.

Also don't be like me and borrow the max you are allowed to borrow and also work. I would figure how much money you will make with your part-time job and reduce your loan amount by that much. Believe me, you will be thankful that your loan payments are lower when you're out in the "real world" and paying your loans back.

Be smart about where you go to law school, how much you are going to borrow, and managing your money in law school, so that you are not still living like a law student 5 years after you graduate!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

You can't befriend a witness

Check out this ABA article about an attorney's attempt to use a third party to "friend" a witness on facebook to access character information. I think its interesting! Also check out the comments below the article.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Great Stress Reliever: Wii Fit

Its nearing finals time and there's nothing like a little stress reliever to break up all that study time. I hightly recommend Wii Fit. I really enjoy doing the yoga and hula hoop. But there's also boxing and tennis for you more athletic types. Or you can just take a walk or a jog to take a break from studying. My advise is to just take a break every 2-3 hours just to give your mind and body a break.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Job after law school?

69% of my blog readers are worried about their job prospects after law school!

What are you all doing to find jobs? I know it took me about 6 months or so to find a full-time job and the job I found is not even a legal one. Are any of you willing to find a semi-legal job just to pay the bills? Law firms are reducing their number of new hires or even firing. But the economy has to improve, right? Good luck to all you job seekers out there!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lawyers should have white teeth

In light of the fact that I believe its very important for one to maintain a healthy and sparkling smile, I'd like share this freebie with you. Get free sample of Crest White Strips! You have to register, but you'll get your sample shortly. I got mine last week!

**Update** March 31, 2009. I think the free white strips offer has expired, but you may want to check back from time to time to see if it comes back.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Free Motown music!!!

This makes me so happy! Free Motown Music from Itunes:

We hope you enjoy your free Motown 50th Anniversary Sampler featuring 10 Motown classics. Be sure to redeem the code before it expires and check back often for more free music, TV shows and more. And spread the love around, share this with your friends so they can get their free 10 song Motown 50th Sampler as well!

Get the song from iTunes here

If that doesn't work or if you don't already have iTunes downloaded, follow these directions:

* Download iTunes for Mac or Windows, free of charge, at
* Open iTunes and click iTunes Store.
* Click Redeem.*
* Enter the code below. Your download will start immediately. Enjoy.

Free Music Code: YAH9MLE6WK34
Code Expiration Date: 3/31/09

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lumen Legal

This article may be of interest to you readers out there due to our current economic state. It is an interview with Lumen Legal's founder David Galbenski. He discusses best practices for the legal industry. Also Lumen Legal is a great place to look for a legal job or a temporary job to tide you over while looking for full-time work.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

From Student to Lawyer: The Transition to the Real World

I've been out of law school for about a year and half and I can honestly say that nothing in law school prepared me for life afterwards. Okay maybe not nothing (sorry for the use of a double negative), but few things prepared me for some of the things that I did face after I took the bar, packed up my apartment, and moved back to my home city into an affordable apartment with no job and anxiety about the future.

When you graduate you are studying for the bar exam, looking for a job or getting ready to start one, your loans are still in deferment and life is basically at that stage of transition.

I paid rent in law school out of the abundance of loans, I didn't really budget or anything like that. It wasn't until after law school when I was unemployed for a few months, that I knew what it was really like to struggle, to budget, and to cut corners to make ends meet. I sold books and cds to make money while waiting for job interviews.

With this economy I understand that many law students, recent graduates, and newly minted lawyers are worried about their job prospects. My advice: Be wise and creative and take any job that pays the bills. You can always transfer or move to a new position once better opportunities arise. I know I got desperate and started applying for internships and temp positions with temp agencies. You can even ask if any law professors need research done and see if the law school would be willing to pay.

Eventually times will get better and more jobs will be available for lawyers. In the meantime, you may have to take a non-legal position or a job that pays less than you want. Just make the best of whatever job you do get, shine in that job, and learn from every experience, because that's what will make you a better employee and a better job candidate in the future.

This post feels rather rambly! Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Also now I do have a full-time job with benefits! Nope, it doesn't pay as well as I would like, but I am gaining valuable experience and learning a lot. I was unemployed several months after law school and that was not fun at all. I had to live a different lifestyle in order to survive. Now that all my loans are coming due, I also have to be careful and budget so that I can make my payments. This is the real world! I no longer live off borrowed money. Furthermore, God was in control of this situation the whole time. Even though I did have to cut back on spending, I always had enough to pay my rent and utilities, buy groceries, and get the necessities. He took care of me and continues to and I'll trust Him to do what's best.

If you are in law school, please be wise about how much you borrow. Just because you can borrow the maximum amount, don't unless you really need to, because you will end up paying that back three times over! Try not to live to frivolously in law school, because again you will end up paying for it for many years, maybe even 20-25 years! Do you really want to be paying off your 2008 Spring Break Trip in 2038!!

Anyway, this is just my unsolicited advice. Good luck for all you job hunters out there and for those of you who have a job, consider yourselves blessed!

Also check out some books that offer advice and tips for transitioning from law student to lawyer!

-The Legal Career Guide, Fifth Edition: From Student to Lawyer
-The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
-A Lawyer's Guide to Networking
-What Can You Do With a Law Degree?: A Lawyer's Guide to Career Alternatives Inside, Outside & Around the Law