Unfortunately, this is a new era. The jobs just aren’t there.
Personally, after seven years of school, a six figure loan balance (undergrad and LS), rent to pay, car payments, insurance, gas, etc etc, I cannot afford to cherry pick employment. I would never grovel or sound deseprate either, but I did have to accept emplyoment in a practice area I am certainly not enamored with. This is not a sense of entitlement. This is reality.
Not all recent LS grads are as bad as you paint them to be BT.
Yes, I would love to go solo and do what I love, but my Landlord, the bank who holds the note on my car, and Sallie Mae and a whole host of other creditors don’t give a rats ass about what I want, they want their check every month, so I have to take what the defense gives me and keep my eyes peeled for other opportunities…
He’s right. The creditors don’t care. But neither does anyone else, including Tannebaum. Or me, for that matter. It’s not that we don’t wish happy things for others, including (if not especially) new graduates. I do and I’ve no doubt Brian does as well. It’s that our “feeling your pain” doesn’t do much to help your status. A good, swift kick in the pants is a lot more useful.
When I left law school, the going rate was $32,000 a year. I’m a bit older than Brian, who says that the rate when he graduated was $55,000. Big money back then, but not nearly as big as $160,000 is today. In relative terms, we were pikers. But many things were different back then, not just the going rate. There were no Tier whatever law schools. Some were great and some were lousy, but nobody cared after you got your ticket. Back then, U.S. News and World Reports did stories about things like U.S, news and world reports.
The other thing that was different was us, the law students. For one thing, we appreciated the fact that we were a bunch of snot-nosed kids who didn’t know anything. We weren’t busy demanding that lawyers respect us, and getting all sad and weepy when they treated us like the kids we were.
Since I’m so fascinating (aren’t I? You certainly are, when you tell me all about you since you’ve no doubt that I want to hear every detail of your lives, so suck it up and read a little something about mine), here are some more reflections of the good old days.
I drove a used ’69 Beetle that had been in a tiny front end collision. If you know anything about the old Beetles, the engine was in the rear and the front crumbled when you looked at it too hard.
I had a 13 inch black and white TV, with rabbit ears. I was the envy of my friends.
I bought my mattress for $10 from the guy upstairs who was moving out.
My desk was made of a discarded door and two saw horses that I got on sale at Rickles.
I went to Beefsteak Charlie’s once a month with a package of plastic bags hidden under my coat to take home the free shrimp, on which I would feed for the rest of the month.
I washed windows. I was a warm body for a Tandem Van der Graaff Accelerator. I was towel boy in a low rent sex club. I tended bar. I was a counterman in a deli. I was a law clerk for an old time lawyer.
I didn’t suffer. Not one bit. This was just the normal stuff that one went through to reach a goal. My goal was to become a lawyer. It never occurred to me that, once I became a lawyer, I would earn $32,000 a year. That was crazy talk. I just wanted to be a lawyer. Once I was, I would do lawyer stuff. That’s what I would spend my life doing. That would be my career.
At the beginning of my third year of law school, I took the money that I would otherwise have used to buy books and purchased a blue suit made of the finest double-knit polyester I could afford. I wore it to a few interviews. The only one who thought I looked snappy was the CIA guy, who kept talking about Ivan and Igor.
And one day I became a lawyer, and I went to work. I was blessed to have the opportunity to be what I wanted to be.
It’s tough out there? The hardest thing you had to endure up to now was your Gameboy running out of juice before you saved the high score. Now you’ve dug yourself into a hole and there’s nobody pulling you out of it. It’s my fault (as I’m told regularly) since us boomers ruined everything that matters in life. So what? If you think complaining about us boomers is going to get you anywhere, you might as well be staring at your dead Gameboy.
You’re lawyers now. Figure something out. And stop whining to those of us who try to tell you that whining isn’t going to solve your problems. Life sucks. Life is unfair. And it’s not going to get any fairer.
What do you plan to do about it?