Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Erosion of Trust

I am a child of the 70s, a teen of the 80s – by most definitions, I am firmly planted in Gen-X.

With the rise of yuppies, “no pain, no gain” culture, be-boppy hair bands and recreational lines of coke in Manhattan penthouses, one message that came through in the 1980s was rugged American individualism. Work hard, play hard. Fight the commies. Make a lot of money. And be happy, because you deserved it!

One of the working-world truisms was the relentless pursuit of “the top”. Winners job-hopped every few years, took risks, while increasing their income and title along the way. Losers kept their head down, plugged away, never changing anything, and got what they deserved – lower pay, fewer prospects.

Only now, looking back with more seasoned hindsight, it wasn’t true. Like most mythologies, the risk-taking winner was an anecdote, not the broad norm. Later in life, I saw people leave good jobs to pursue a risk, only to come back years later with their tail between their legs. Or to be never heard from again, destination unknown (one can only presume the results were luke-warm, else you would have heard about it non-stop in good American fashion). Not that there is anything inherently wrong in taking a risk – after all, that is the predicate of our entrepreneurial economy, correct?

However, the schizophrenic, nasty truth of our economy and culture came through – despite the cultural messages of the 80s, we punish failure. Strongly. Mercilessly. We revel in the hardship and failure of others, if recent political debates are any indication. It’s as if we culturally lead people astray on purpose – create an image that hard work and mettle are all that one needs to achieve the American Dream, when in reality, what matters is connections and backing, period. All I can figure is that by scamming people, it is easy to profit off of their failure.

Enter higher education, self-proclaimedly free from the bonds and constraints of business and economics. The “non-profit” world of education and ideas, advancing human understanding and knowledge. The noble, ivory tower of human betterment, preparing the future leaders of tomorrow.

At tuition rates that increase at several times the rate of inflation. That leave most students debt-strapped with few to no prospects. With “innocent” educators, deans, and administrators looking on with well-rehearsed shock and horror when the manufactured statistics don’t square with reality, while simultaneously buying large homes and sending their children to private school.

I can’t fault anyone for wanting to go to school to better themselves. And I take no pleasure in the difficulties that others face, whether it be a failed business venture or a career chosen “in error.” There is plenty to trip over in this world that you can’t predict, let alone the things that are in plain sight. Why we want to hold the little-people’s feet to the fire for their good-faith American Dream efforts, while the very wealthy and extremely connected get every kind of break imaginable for the exact same behavior, even when they crash the system, is a form of cognitive dissonance and mean-spiritedness I will never fully understand.

My error, however, was thinking that higher education (and law school in particular) was different than the “truth behind the 80s” of the business world and politics. Looks like I was wrong, and I am now worse off for it.

Congratulations, higher-ed, your scam worked! I believed in you and what you stood for, yet you were more than happy to take my money and wave your handkerchiefs farewell as I drove off the cliff. Not your fault, of course. How could anyone, with inside information and superior knowledge, have *ever* seen this coming, what with a huge oversupply of law school graduates with no prospects? Just like the investment bankers on Wall Street couldn’t have predicted the consequences of the increasingly tangled web that they weaved. Truly shocking, I tell you.

One thing is for certain – the continued erosion of trust will only hamper our nation as a whole. One can only be mislead so many times by so many institutions without there being long-term consequences for everyone. Our nation and our world is suffering from the gestalt of this erosion, and it will not recover quickly.

Another thing is for certain - this “education” I received, this erosion of trust, I will not soon forget. And this is not the kind of result that anyone would have rationally hoped for, either for an individual or for our nation at large.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tom Tomorrow And Seeing Into the Future

When things go awry, as they will from time to time, what is the typical response?

"Well, you should have known better."
"Well, you should have tried harder."
"Well, you should never have gotten into that mess in the first place."
"Well, you should have done your research first."

I'm sure we can all think of others. Regardless, the point is: you should have been able to see into the future and understand exactly how this was all going to play out, even if the odds were stacked against you. Yes, you, an army of one, should have been able to dig through the (questionable) statistics, the (self-serving) publications and the (rosy) anecdotes, and realized that it was all put there to make you bet the farm against your best interests. Yes, you, should have been able to predict the future for you and your career!

Nope. Despite what the legal shills say, nobody actually has any answers. It is much easier to blame the victim (as usual) rather than admit to any culpability in aiding or abetting the failed processes that led us to where we are today. The good-faith desire to be a journalist, a lawyer, or anything else is irrelevant - you have only yourself to blame, and the sooner you blindly accept what the shills say, the better (as it will get them off the hot seat, and that is all they care about anyway).

Now, go out there and get a job! People were able to do it in the 1960s, so can you! Whiny entitled brats.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hybrid Careers - The Second (or Third) Time is (Allegedy) the Charm


"Maria Manano, a UNC-Chapel Hill Law School graduate and now director of career services at the law school, finds that older students have an advantage. "As career changers, they can blend their former career and their new career as a lawyer into a hybrid career which makes them more valuable in the job market," she says."

This is an oft-repeated canard that I am especially sick of hearing. You should be too.

Going back through the misty shrouds of time, you will see various numbers from various sources regarding all kinds of education and employment statistics. For the sake of argument, grant me that in the 1960s tuition was approximately 20% of family income at a four-year institution. While not chump-change by any means, it wasn’t going to break the family piggy bank, either. It was a stretch, but it could be done. Maybe throw in a part-time job, a grant or some other form of assistance, and you were largely there.

In 1960, around 10% of the population had a four-year degree. Out of 175 million people or so. When you spread 17.5 million jobs around the country, it isn’t that many on a relative basis. A four-year degree looks like an achievement. Heck, it’s not that expensive to boot. If you got another degree, especially a graduate degree – wow! Aren’t you a go-getter! When you blend, say, a law degree with a CPA designation, you are the bee’s-knees all of a sudden. “You’re the kind of person we need around here at ABC Corporation…!” says the CEO while putting his arm around you, giving you a noogie, and breaking out the brandy snifters. Life is good.

In 2000, almost 25% of the population had a four-year degree, Out of 275 million people or so. That is four times as many people as 1960, not counting the influence of the 40 intervening years along the way. All of a sudden, that four-year degree isn’t so shiny. In fact, neither is that JD or other graduate degree, because people were getting those in order to stand out. The hybridization effect, so allegedly effective in 1960, seems rather ho-hum now.

What happened to four-year tuition during that time? Well in 2000, it was approximately 50% of family income. In 2010, it was approximately 80% of family income. Graduate school has largely fared worse (or better, depending upon which side of the table you sit) than yearly undergraduate tuition, as law school tuition in particular has skyrocketed in the last ten years.

But, as we all know, academia is not all that well-known for venturing outside the confines of the ivory tower. The world is kind of messy out there. Kind of ugly at times. Best to stay in where it is warm and safe. Nonetheless, that old canard, seemingly so-true in 1960, is dusted-off, polished, and re-used in 2011 to entice the next round of prospective non-trad JDs.

Numbers don’t lie, folks. The world has changed a lot in the last few decades, the major difference being a simple numbers game. There are more people. Check. There are more students. Check. Tuition has increased drastically. Check. What was “unique” is now more “common.” Check.

Non-trads, do not believe the hype about the value of a JD as a valuable part of a “hybrid career”. It is just not true. With the ever-increasing amount of cookie-cutter resumes out there, employers are looking for a hand-in-glove fit, not a juxtaposed-rarity fit. Your investment in higher education is just too much to double-down on for the whim of someone thinking “Hey, this basket-weaving undergrad with basket-weaving experience, now turned JD, will be a perfect fit for our international bogbite practice! We just don’t see many basketweaver/JDs, and for that reason alone, I will hire this person!”

Nope, employers are looking for people with the “perfect fit” who can just “jump in” and make money now with little to no training, i.e. no hybridization at all. Outside of the halls of the elite, you go to School A to do Job A. If you go back to School B, you do it to do Job B. Period. It’s as if that prior education and experience evaporated. While I don’t like it, as it gives higher-education the depreciation value of an automobile, such are the times we live in. Any value that hybridization would have conferred, in some universe, has been counterbalanced by the cost to achieve said hybridization, the numbers game/passage of time cited above, and general labor arbitrage overall.

But the higher-education industrial complex will be blind to the irony of this, and instead of making education more affordable will instead place the blame elsewhere. Like on the backs of their non-achieving graduates, for example. You certainly can’t invite them around to the school fundraisers now, can you? At least not in any serious capacity. Best to advertise the one who “made-it”, a few years ago, as the subject of the fundraiser. See, it worked for that one. Money and pedigree cover a multitude of sins.

No, because there are so many look-alike "hybrid" credentials out there, so much more then is the need to stand out based on CONNECTIONS, which in turn impart the skills necessary to truly succeed. Which was always true, 1960 or 2010.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tearing Away the Veil, and in Defense of Mr. Rakofsky

Something didn’t feel right.

At first, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the voice inside my head. It kept saying “something is wrong here.” I chalked it up to taking on a new challenge, to taking a big step and changing things. And, going back to school full time, voluntarily, would certainly generate some doubt.

So I concentrated on what was in front of me. Contracts. Torts. Constitutional Law. Those were the first challenges.

However, I was looking at the 3Ls, too. I saw their cynical malaise. I saw their insider joking and putting on airs. I figured that was part of the process of law school – it was probably inevitable at some level. The “Band of Brothers” approach. I saw too, however, that it masked a legitimate fear – what do I do next, after the bar exam? Where do I go?

A select few weren’t worried. These were the ones who came from families of lawyers. They knew law school was just a rite of passage. They also tended to have the better grades, too, in much the same way SAT scores correlate with zip codes. Just punch the clock and get through it.

Everyone else, though, smoked and drank. A lot. They were worried. I could see it.

But I was worried too at some level, too. After all, we were all taking the plunge. Things were uncertain, but that is life sometimes.

As a 2L, the voice got louder. I saw that all that mattered was the crucial summer clerkship that lead to a job upon graduation, and that the competition for the handful of OCI options were few. This was so critical in that there was nothing else out there to mentor students. Nothing to help them learn the ropes and gain some useful skills other than this one narrow path, through the neck of an hourglass. Surely I was missing something.

Internships/externships? Just a resume bullet-point. Clinics? If you could get in, they were a meager attempt to pass something on, for 10 hours a week during a whole whopping three months at best. Classes? They were preparation for the bar exam (maybe), nothing more. However, all these “choices” lead to one place - NOWHERE.

No, outside of fantastic pre-made connections you either had to run the gauntlet and be the lucky one that made it through to a firm, or you had to be a self-starter. Hang out a shingle. Network. Meet other experienced lawyers in your field. Drum up business. That’s what other respectable members of the bar did. So should you.

That would be great, the voice in my head finally shouted, if you ACTUALLY HAD SOME MARKETABLE SKILLS at graduation.

Take the case of Mr. Rakofsky, an attorney who arguably took the “get out there and make it a happen” approach, which is the lauded path of the self-starter. A non-whining, non-entitlement seeking member of the bar. He was reprimanded by a Judge for being incompetent at a murder trial.



There will be those who attack Mr. Rakofsky. That he shouldn’t have been doing this sort of case at his experience level. That he should have sought better training. That it was arrogant to think he could handle this sort of thing; that he should be disbarred and that he deserves everything he gets.

Perhaps he did indeed do too much, too quickly. But the attacks from others will only serve one point – to distract from the real truth that this is the result of the law school machine. That thousands of grads are pumped out into the market who have no business doing what they are doing, except that they have no other choice. That armies of unprepared lawyers are trying to do what they can to survive, most with the crack and whip of student loans behind them. This is the monster that the system has created.

Then it hit me, all too late. The worry, the fear, the 3L cynicism. I kept waiting for something to materialize. For something I had been missing to become clear. I thought with perseverance and hard work, the light would shine through the clouds. I just needed to keep at it until I saw a path. Surely law school just doesn’t take your money and dump you into shark-infested waters, does it?

Yep. It does. It is the responsibility of the public/private sector, not law school, to train you, and it is up to you to score that training. Granted, some people will never have to hustle – merely the ones who didn’t come from the right families or are otherwise unlucky. Which is the majority.

Good luck, law grads. You are the ones turned out there with no skills, in a let-the-market-decide-who-will-succeed system. It will be you who take the fall for your mistakes, and it is you – not your alma mater, not the ABA, not your bar licensing committee – who will be branded with a scarlet letter as insult to injury. They will blame you for trying to earn a living, for trying to “do justice.” Clearly it is not the fault of the law school machine, but YOUR fault. Your sub-standard representation. Your sub-standard service to society.

Just like the mortgage industry piled circuitous, unintelligible risk on their own investors to make their profits, the legal industry piles that same risk on you for their profits. But trust me…your alma mater will be all too happy to ask you for a donation after you graduate, after all they did for you.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Higher Education = Buying Connections (if only!)

This is a post that is not really non-trad-specific, but bears discussion all the same.

Back in say, oh, the 16th century, the nobility ran the show, and the peasants did all the hoeing and picking.

Did the best and the brightest of the peasantry go to university? No. You couldn’t leave the confines of your lord’s estate, let alone think about improving your station in life. Neither did you want to, supposedly – God had ordained all things, from King to Pauper, and you accepted your station in life with grace and perseverance.

While everyone has difficulties to overcome in this vale of tears, let’s be honest: as the immortal Mel Brooks said, “It’s good to be the King.”

It was the sons of nobility that went to university. In between partying and sowing wild oats, they learned a thing or two before assuming their Dukedom, Earlship, or other letters patent. Ostensibly it made them better able to fulfill their role, or at least keep them occupied until messy succession issues were worked out.

Fast-forward a few centuries, and we still don’t have education as a fundamental right. We do, however, at least preach that an educated society is the most desirable society. We mandate a public school education as a minimum, and subsequently turn people loose to seek their fortunes. Some career paths require accredited programs from universities that specialize in said career path. All you have to do is get in, use your connections, and a lucrative career with service to society is all yours.

If you are the son of a senator (SPQR-variety or otherwise), for example, it’s ostensibly easier to get into an elite university and an elite career. Family money and connections go a long way.

But what if, like most peasants, you have no connections and no family money? What if the government officials that oversaw the leaking sieves that are state governmental budgets ended up firing all your teachers, leaving you with a sub-standard education? Simple – you “buy” your connections by taking out loans and graduating from university.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, nice shootin’, Tex! That’s a rather harsh indictment of higher education, isn’t it? I can’t wait to see what bitter bias you lather on law school in particular, you legal loser!”

Am I wrong? Why, then, do people care what university they get into? Why are children subjected to flash cards and educational tapes while in the womb? Why all this talk of rankings overall? Why are there first-tier / second-tier / TTT law schools in particular? Why is USN&WR changing its ranking system yet again?

The rationale for rankings is that certain universities are the “go to” institutions for a given field. However, there is also the mythology of “it shouldn’t matter where you go, the point is to go.” Education is democratizing, correct? Knowledge is power, correct? And, with law school in particular, the books are all the same, right? It should all be about the “love of learning” and “passion for the vocation”, not mere financial gain or employment opportunities afterward.

Until, as a student, it becomes time to pay the piper his $100k+. At that point, you care very much where you went, how respected the degree is, and who your alumni are and what strings they can pull. It becomes critical that the reputation and credentials of the school demonstrate that you are a viable, valuable candidate. In other words, for your “connections” to place you in a job.

If you have wealth and connections already, there is no need to worry. Higher Education is merely the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket, nothing more. Write a check for your student loans and be on your way. Also, cut another nice donation check to the institution that “opened doors” for you so much – just make sure they put your name on the new building addition or dormitory when it’s built.

For those without connections, this is where the prestige of the school allegedly steps in to fill the vacuum. Its respect in the marketplace. The rigors of its academic program. The success of its graduates. “See, Large Fancy Institution, you too want the high-caliber individuals from our program!”

To be fair, while the various Offices of Career Services cannot manufacture jobs out of whole cloth, neither can they help anyone who is not top of the class – there has to be something to barter with. The truth is that even the most respected program only goes so far…what matters is who you know and what business that brings to the table.

Law is, after all…well…law. Other than “prestigious” professors and “well-respected” programs, there is not a lot of difference between accredited program “A” and accredited program “W” except that “A” is higher up the alphabet than “W”. “A” and “W” are both letters, after all (and make a good root beer). Is “A” inherently more valuable than “W”? You wouldn’t think so at face value. They both have classrooms, libraries, and fax machines, after all.

Oh, but it matters. Ye shall not mingle the progeny of nobility with the plebeians, nor allow the plebeians to occupy a noble’s spot. The bottom line: if you must go to law school, get into the best program, period. Otherwise, do not go.

Sadly, these days even the best programs are still no guarantee, but if you are going to spend the money, spend it well. And make sure your have the support of the King and the Lord Privy Seal long before you go.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

(Non)Assumption of the Risk

Back in the day, when a prospective homebuyer wanted to buy a house, for example, the local bank scrutinized the finances of the prospective borrower. The bank had to decide whether the applicant was a worthwhile risk or not, and whether the investment in the borrower would pay off.

In this scenario, the applicant was weighing risk as well. Were they dependent on a job for income, or did they own a business? Did they have the finances to continue making their mortgage payments in the event of stormy weather? Would the property appreciate over time? Could it be a lucrative rental property?

Both sides were weighing risk but were also weighing return. Both sides were “invested” at some level. It was to their mutual detriment if things went badly, but it was to their mutual benefit if things went well. Risk was part of the game. Fast forward a few decades, and here we are. A crashed housing market, tight credit, high unemployment, and a sluggish world economy. While the events that led to this predicament are many and varied, one clear culprit is the attempt to transfer, rather than assume, risk. Somewhere along the way, people decided that instead of having some skin in the game, all investments should be high return with zero risk. This illogic of this position seems to contradict the core assumptions of the barter system let alone medieval contract and property law, but don’t you worry your collective pretty little heads - out came the Collateralized Debt Obligations backed by Credit Default Swaps. Hedge upon hedge upon hedge, in the pursuit of risk-free profit, created a tangled web bigger than anyone (except people like Warren Buffett) could comprehend or foresee. Like an anti-Ouroboros, what we thought was progress and creative investment was in actuality us consuming our own tail to our mutual detriment.

Nice history lesson, so what? My thesis is that Higher Education, like the mortgage investment crisis, turned into the pursuit of profit with the 100% transference of risk.

Just like the for-profit world, the “non-profit” institutions of Higher Learning wear whatever cap they need to wear to suit the prevailing winds, much like our politicians. One day, they are wearing the “Molding Minds and Preparing Future Leaders” cap. Another day, they wear the “School is a Business, just like any other” cap.

When criticism mounts regarding tuition or meager job prospects, the line is “Hey, we’re just the educators, it’s up to the student to succeed! We’re not in control of the market! If you want something as crass as vocational training, go to a technical school!” If a student does well and becomes famous, however, they get trotted out at fundraising events and milked for all they are worth. If a student does not do well, the message is past performance is no indicator of future results, they clearly didn’t try hard enough, or other blame the victim causes. Meanwhile, at Law Schools in particular, the deans and professors continue to rake it in.

Unfortunately, in the higher education world, risk has been piled on those most unable to bear it in exchange for higher returns for those who assumed no risk at all. What could have been characterized as noble in prior decades, the education of a human being, has resulted in a crash of thousands upon thousands of college and graduate students burdened by debt and no skills that are valued by the marketplace. When any group or institution has no skin in the game, be it Banks, Government, or Universities to name a few, society as a whole suffers. It appears that now that the educational and student loan market is “broken”, the time may nigh for a long-overdue market correction.

Non-trads, you know all this. Think long and hard before playing the game again, and don’t get distracted by the rosy projections and outcomes. Most importantly, if you are looking at student loans, bear in mind that you will be starting that multi-year payback later than when you went to school as a traditional student – juggling mortgages, child care, and student loans is a tough burden. Weigh the Law School investment in particular very carefully, as you likely have much more to offer them (tuition) than they have to offer you (connections to employment worthy of the investment). With tuition alone averaging $40k per year, not including cost of attendance, who is taking on the lion’s share of the benefit versus the risk here?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Work Experience Trap

One of the alleged advantages to being a non-trad is that you are a “Grown-Up.” You’ve worked. You’ve held down a career. You are used to juggling multiple priorities. You’ve been through the shin-dig of higher education already. You can focus and budget your time.

All valuable skills, to be certain. In a more reasonable job market, these things alone could help you edge out another candidate because you “know how to work.”

However, the legal market is predicated on the Cravath “up or out” model (although this may be in flux, depending on who you read). Essentially, the trade off is that as a straight-through attorney, everybody knows that (1) you don’t know anything, and (2) you’ve never really worked before.

Geez, give the guy a break, y’know? He/she is 25.

So, in exchange for no social life and a strong back, you work 80 hour weeks for mediocre (or high-dollar BigLaw) pay. For most, you earn just enough to pay your student loans and rent a match-box-sized apartment. You learn some stuff along the way (allegedly), work hard, and then after a few years YOU are the partner billing out at higher rate while retaining new clients and directing an army of 20-somethings below you in exchange for big bucks. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Or, so that is how it was supposed to work. You don’t have to look far in the news to see the current pressures on the old model or the low-balling of newly minted attorneys. But I digress.

The problem is as an non-trad, you are a 30, 40, 50-something. You don’t fit the cherished mold. You haven’t “paid your dues”. The person you work for could be significantly younger than you. Most importantly, due to your position and responsibilities in life, you likely can’t afford to be paid what a new associate is paid - yet you cannot command more income because you do not have the clients, hourly bill rate, or experience for an attorney of your commiserate age.

All of a sudden, all those so-called non-trad “advantages” go out the window. Even though you pulled out the gumption from your first round of college and are planning to excel for “Round 2”, you are now the odd-ball that doesn’t fit the model. You may look like a partner, but you aren’t one. You could be an age discrimination case waiting to happen for all “they” know. Most importantly, why not just get a young person to run through the wringer on the cheap, because you don’t bring in anything (i.e. money) that makes it worth hiring you oven them.

Be wary of Law School Admissions Office claims as well. They will try to sell you on how successful you will be in law school due to your demonstrated record of hard work and discipline, which will clearly translate into that prestigious law career later. While that is probably some truth to this, their argument lies squarely within the pre-bar-exam part of the experience, not the post-bar-exam part of the experience.

The number-three student in my class was a non-traditional student. She had worked for a law firm as a paralegal forever. Needless to say, she blew law school out of the water, both based on experience, natural smarts, and hard work. She “survived” and found employment, I believe even as an attorney (which was a good result compared to the majority of my class), but fame and fortune and high-powered deals were not the endgame for her – not in the way the Law Schools report employment and salary data, at any rate.

“But I was a business executive before and now I want to do M&A work at a big firm." Great. Make sure those people absolutely love you before you go to law school, and that you are a shoe-in once you pass the bar. Hell, get them to pay for it.

“But I did social work for senior citizens and I want to get involved with end-of-life issues, like Wills, Trusts, and Estates.” Great. Make sure those people absolutely love you before you go to law school, and that you are a shoe-in once you pass the bar. Hell, get them to pay for it.

“But I was a chemist and now want to be an attorney for an environmental law firm.” Great. Make sure those people absolutely love you before you go to law school, and that you are a shoe-in once you pass the bar. Hell, get them to pay for it. (By the way, you won’t use your science background AT ALL doing environmental law. It’s law, remember, and the applicable CFRs list in nice big charts what the rules and regulations are. Go be on the “science” side of the house at the EPA instead – you will probably enjoy the work more. Most environmental lawyers don’t have science backgrounds, anyway.)

Catch my drift? Do not go to law school…but if you must go to law school, GO…WITH…MAJOR…BACKING. Do not think that law school will be anything like your previous college experience, which most likely had some sort of moderately happy ending, at a minimum, which in turn helped lead you to where you are now. As the old saying goes “You can’t go home again,” so eschew that previous “hard work and positive thoughts” ethic from your undergraduate/graduate school daze in exchange for “certainty” in these 9.5% unemployment times.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Choice Quote from the New York Times

Much has already been said about the New York Times Article "Is Law School a Losing Game?", which does not bear repeating again in that it is well covered elsewhere. What I want to point out is the following statement which still makes me cringe:

Mr. Thacher has managed about 2,500 people in his six years in the temporary legal business, and maybe five of them have gone on to associate jobs in law firms, the kind of work that nearly everyone aspires to when entering law school.

“Most of us either went to the wrong law school, which is the bottom two-thirds, or we were too old when we graduated,” he said. “I was 32 when I graduated, and at 32 you’re washed up in this field, in terms of a shot at the real deal. They perceived me as somebody they can’t indoctrinate into slave labor and work to death for seven years and then release if they don’t like you.”

There it is, non-traditionals. I was going to discuss this further in a later post anyway, but this article drives the point home. At 32 you are already "washed up", let alone if you are older, because of the pure economics and "stright-throughness" culture of the legal profession.

You are taking a risk anyway if you are a traditional student. So much more as a non-traditional.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Short Post on JD Degree for Sale on Ebay

This has been addressed more fully by others already, but here is a reference to it courtesy of the Jobless Juris Doctor:


My point is the seller's reference to a "mid-life" attempt at law school and her resulting frustration. She has given it the old college try for six years, and now she feels like selling her degree is the only way to recoup her investment.

Don't take it from me non-trads, take it from her.