Many men and women do not think about acquiring a law firm until they are in desperate need. The legal matter could be personal, like family law, for a breakup or if you are hunting for a bankrupcy or trust lawyer or attorney. It may be a criminal circumstance you want to be defended on. Companies require legal representatives as well, regardless if they are being sued for discrimination, sexual harassment, or maybe unjust business methods. Tax attorneys are also useful while dealing with government complications. Just like doctors, lawyers have areas. A huge, full service law firm has a lot of attorneys with numerous areas of abilities, so relying on your own legal issue, you can promptly hold on to the most effective law firm to fulfill your current need without having to commence your search each time you need legal support.It is ideal to obtain a law firm you can have faith in. You want one with a decent track record, who istrustworthy, reliable, and wins cases. You need to have assurance that they will defend you correctly and charge you fairly for their services. Occasionally a reference from a pal or business affiliate can be helpful, having said that you should continue to keep your options open and examine all the firms available, simply because when you require legal support, you need it instantly and you want the finest you can afford. Thank you for hunting for a lawyer or attorney with us. Your time is important, and Action Pages, at Actionyp.com, is pleased to supply specific search variables to fulfill your needs. We constantly strive to focus on the most popular phrases so you can quickly find whatever you are looking for.
ACTIONPages is your local directory publisher. Serving markets in Arizona, California, Washington, and Canada. ACTIONPages the best local choice for cost-effective advertising.
Some of the cites we server are,
Legal Advice Online Free?
My Friend Needs Legal Help But Cant Afford It Yet. We Have Been Calling Lawyers And None Will Give Her Any Real Advice Unless She Use Their Services, Which Atthe Moment Cant Be Afforded. We Have Been Lookng On Line For Free Advice But All The Ones That Say Free Take Her To The Same Place That Charges. Are Their Any Sites That Really Offer Free Advice? Its Happening In Kentucky.
Your sister is probably on state assistance and would qualify for Legal Aid, it may not be a lawyer but a Para Legal and they could handle it easily, call your county welfare department and get the number for legal aid they will help her.
Does This Sound Like Medical Malpractice ?
I Had Surgery To Remove My Right Ovary And Tube It Was Done Laparoscope And Out Patient. I Was Only Home About Two Hours When I Passed Out And My Husband Said It Looked Like I Was Having A Seizure So He Called 911 I Went Back To The Hospital Er Where They Told Us I Had Gas Pains And My Chest Pains Were Anxiety To Stop Shallow Breathing And I Wouldn'T Feel Like That. They Were Going To Send Me Home Like This. Very Very Long Story Short I Layed From 9:00P.M. Til 1:30 Or 2:00 A.M. Before They Pulled My Blood And Said They Called My Dr. In And They Are Getting The Or Ready For Me To Go To Surgery And I Need A Couple Blood Transfushions, I Have A Few Other Things Going On From All This . I Still As Of Oct 6Th Cannot Lay Down To Sleep I Have Very Bad Shoulder Pain , A Dr Said Maybe They Pulled My Shoulder Out Of Place When Moving Me ? My Dr Said He Thinks The Reason I Cannot Lay Down Is That I Still Have Blood Clot In By My Liver And Spleen And Thats The Pain And Pressure I Feel In My Arm When I Lay Down. The Damage From The Blood Inside Takes Up Almost All Of My Body From My Ribs Past My Knees I Have 16 Days Of Pics To Show What It'S Done To Me And The Pain Is So Bad All I Can Do Is Cry Even With Pain Meds. They Treated Me Like I Was Garbage Taking Up Space Til They Seen I Was Bleeding. So I Would Like To Know If This Sounds Like Medical Malpractice ? They Pulled Over 1,300 Cc Of Blood Out Of Me And There Is Still Alot They Couldn'T Get My Dr. Said My Body Will Have To Do It. My Blood Count Is Still Low And I'M Just Plan Sick.
Medical malpractice is defined as is professional negligence by "act or omission" by a health care provider. Therefore, if they failed to find out what was wrong with you in a timely manner and that caused additional harm, the doctor or hospital could be accused of an act of negligent omission. But you would have to prove that the delay in treating you caused harm.
If the complications you are now experiencing occurred because of an accident made by the doctor during the surgery, you have a different medical malpractice case on your hands. It may help to go to another doctor and have him look at you in order to find out if something was done wrong during surgery.
Here's an article on post-operative complications that may help: http://www.medicalmalpracticenj.com/arti...
Harrassed By Neighbor Over My Approved Service Dog, Need Legal Advice?
I Have Been Prescribed By My Psych Doc & Therapist To Have A Service Dog To Help My Depression And Social Anxiety Panic Disorder. Since I Have Gotten Her My Life Has Changed Dramatically For The Better. With That Said, The Owner Of My Apt Was Given The Necessary Paperwork And Approved My Service Dog. After Having Her For About A Month My Neighbor Who Works Graveyard Complained That She Can Hear The Dog Pacing In The Bathroom And Hallway And Barking While I Am At Work. I Kept The Dog In This Small Area Because She Was Still Being Potty Trained. Respectfully I Went To My Neighbor, Apologized, Worked With The Dog On The Barking With A Trainer And Took Her To Day Care Most Days. Even When I Apologized The Neighbor Was Very Rude Stating &Quot;You'Re Not Supposed To Have A Dog Anyways! A Week Later I Injured My Arm Was Home On Disablity Putting Together A Cabinet, The Neighbor Complained I Was Waking Him Up. A Few Days Later, After Returning From The Dog Park Less Than 30 Mins After The Police Were At My Door Because The Neighbor Called And Said I Was Walking Too Hard. I Took The Police To The Apt Managers Door And She Began To Reprimand Me About Controlling My Dog Running Around When That Isn'T What The Police Were There For. I Asked The Apt Manager To Arrange For Myself, Her, And The Tenant To Talk, This Never Happened Instead She Hands Me A Note On Christmas Eve From The Owner Stating I Am In Violation Of My Lease And That The Neighbor Says My Dog Is Running Around Barking And Crying At 1:00 Am. This Issue Has Had Me In Tears. Its Not Fair, I Am A Quiet Student Who Doesn'T Bother Anyone And Just Returned Home To My Apt Manager Stating They Are Complaining Tonight They Could Hear The Dog Walking And Whining. My Dog By The Way Is A 7Lb Poodle And I Have Carpet Throughout My Apt. I Want To Move Because I Don'T Want To Fight Emotionally I Don'T Have It In Me. I Do Think This Is Harrassment And The Apt Manager Is Siding With The Tenant With No Proof. Please Advise Someone Help!
First, psychiatric service dogs ARE service dogs - not emotional support animals - and ARE covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). There is no legal registry required by federal law that makes one a "real" service dog. And small "lap dogs" can be service dogs, regardless of some peoples prejudice against them.
And first, before you read further, make sure it IS a service dog. Most therapists, mental health professionals and Dr's don't have a clue what the qualifications are to have a service dog. A doctors note can't get you a SD if you're unqualified. So first, lets review the law:
Service dog (SD): You must be disabled to have one. Must be specifically trained to perform a task, that the handler cannot perform themselves, that mitigates their disability. Is permitted to accompany the handler into no pets businesses, facilities and generally anywhere the public can go.
Emotional Support Animals (ESA): You must be disabled to have one. Does NOT have to be specifically trained to perform any task. Provides comfort, companionship and support through it's mere presence. Is not afforded public access. Only given special consideration in no pets housing and flying in cabin in a plane.
Disabled is by ADA standards - NOT your Dr's opinion. The disability must substantially effect a major life activity in every day life. For Psychiatric service dogs, the psychiatric disability would have to be very severe to make daily living a struggle, even with medication. According to the ADA and NIMH (National Institute of Metal Health:
"It is not enough to have a mental illness to qualify as a person with a disability under the ADA. According to the NIMH, 26.2% of adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental illness in any given year, but only 6% are severely mentally ill. So more than three quarters of those with a diagnosed mental illness are not disabled by that illness and would not qualify to use a service animal even if they would benefit from one."
Service dogs and ESA's must behave and cannot be a nuisance. They cannot bark excessively. Service dogs are supposed to accompany their handler wherever they go, so barking while left alone isn't usually an issue. For ESA's it can be and needs to be immediately corrected. Obviously they can walk - if she can hear a 7lb dog through the ceiling, that just says how shoddy the construction is. Saying that, it seems like the neighbor wanted a dog, got turned down and is now Pissed you got one and is hell bent on making sure you can't have one either.
ESA or Service Dog, the management already approved it's presence there. It's their responsibility to explain to your neighbor that you have a right to have the dog.
Although I'm not a lawyer, I investigate fake service dogs and file charges against people who have them, and this is what I would do.
A: Set up a webcam camera on your computer and record your dog while your gone. Watch the tape later and see if it's actually barking. If it's not, save the files for future proof if the courts get involved. If it does, do whatever is necessary to stop the behavior. Citronella bark collars work and they make shock collars for small dogs.
B: Send a registered letter to the apartment manager and owner, stating your neighbor is unjustifiably harassing you. State you have a federal right to have your service dog and it was approved by them in advance. Inform them that you have proof that the dog isn't barking. State that you feel the neighbor is jealous that you have a dog and instead of just agreeing with her, they need to back up your federal right to have the dog. Let them know that the harassment is aggravating your disability. State that if it doesn't stop IMMEDIATELY you will be forced to file an injunction against harassment against her - something you do not want to do. Tell them you will also file a discrimination complaint with the housing authority and the Attorney General's office against then if it doesn't stop IMMEDIATELY.
C. If it doesn't stop IMMEDIATELY, file an injunction against harassment against the neighbor. Demand the police arrest her if she breaks it.
E. Start writing down every and all problems you have with the neighbor, even if they're not serous enough to have broken the injunction against harassment. Send it by registered letter to the management every two weeks. Tell them it's just to inform them of the harassment you are receiving.
F. Just in case things don't improve, start looking for a new apartment. In the end, it may be better for your mental health to just move.
Need In Irs Lawyer Due To Identiy Theft?
Im Looking For A Good Lawyer In Houston.Tx. I Have A Identy Theft. So I Need Help.To Fixing It Irs Is Charging Me Like 40,000 In Yr 03 When I Was Like 14Yrs Old. Due To Unpaid Taxes I Would Like To Know Some One That Has Usexd This Lawyer To Know Ther Good. And I Really Dont Have Much Money I Have Heard If My Case Wins They Get Paid From Ther. There Is Much More To.My Case In Which I Can Win Something Back Just Didnt Put All Details. Thanks If Anyone Can Help.
No need for an attorney for this.
Contact the IRS Taxpayer advocate office for your area or the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free, at 1-800-908-4490. There is a set procedure for the IRS to handle victims of identity theft, including a specific form that you need to fill out (Form 14039). They will assist you in getting this cleared up.
How Do Lawyers Drum Up Business Besides Advertising And Referrals?
LOL, OK, the most important different types of lawyers are the employed, underemployed, and the unemployed. Actually, with the proliferation of law schools and lowering of standards the degree will be as esteemed as a truck driving school certificate. A lot of law schools admissions policy is if you got the dough, or are willing to take on debt, you can go. Look at Massachusetts School of Law and Appalachian Law School in Virginia for examples, it is a joke, they should have truck driving academies right next to their schools. You would not see those low standards at a dental or medical school. Some people talk about doctors being sued and high malpractice insurance, do not let the medical profession fool you, doctors and dentists make the most money in our society even after paying for their malpractice insurance. If you eliminated med-mal suits it would have little or no impact on the affordability and accessibility of health care, the docs would just pocket the extra money. By the way I have sued lawyers for malpractice but never a doc/dentist, I look forward to it.
I am an attorney. However, I went to a top 15 school and had mediocre grades. I found the job market to be depressing. So much time, planning, and money went into undergraduate school, I had a 4.0 GPA, and scored above the 95th percentile on the LSAT, 171. I naively thought going to a top school their would be plenty of lucrative and exciting jobs waiting for me and I would be set to have a good quality of life. I remember sending out 300 letters one time and getting no positive response, either they said some nonsense about you are great, you have good accomplishments, but at this time we cannot offer you a position, we will keep your resume on file. I took the Bar Exam in two states wasting time studying and not earning any money. I had to move back in with my parents, fun. Meanwhile many of my friends and people that I knew from High School and College were establishing themselves in their careers and making money, gettng promotions, etc. I worked post-law school as a car salesman and a mortgage broker. Finally, a family friend had a friend who was a solo attorney, I worked for him basically for free, actually it was negative because I spent money on travel, long distance phone calls, etc., still living at home with mom and dad, saddled with law school debts, the student loan people started calling wanting $$$. Eventually, I left that attorney. I struggled to find another attorney job. I got a job in 2003 at a firm paying the princely sum of $25,000 per year. I moved out of my parent's house but was still subsidized by them. Dad kept threatening to cut me off, but I lived in an expensive state the cheapest place to stay I found was $1,500 a month all inclusive. My paycheck was like $430.00 a week take home. Eventually, I did go solo, it was hard, but I did make some money in real estate closings for 3 1/2 years. Now the real estate market stinks and I have no income, and I am trying to plan my next move, which may be back to my parents temporarily. I have interviewed for some associate positions and the salary range was 38k-55k, this is pretty low for someone with 5 yrs experience and a doctorate degree. My wife works at a nail salon, as a manicurist, she took a three month course and makes 50K a year. It has been an exquisitely painful road for me. In my family I am the most educated and the least financially secure. My dad makes like $350,000K engineering+MBA degree, my younger sister makes $165,000K a year psyche degree and an MBA. My conclusion, LAW SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! Too many law schools fighting for tuition $$$, night programs, weekend programs, low academic standards, too many attorneys, lowering wages and limiting opportunities, compare to the AMA and ADA that insure a shortage of dentists and doctors. When I was solo it seemed like everyone was an attorney, or their cousin was an attorney, or their sister's friend was an attorney, or their brother was an attorney and so and so on, I lost a lot of business because of this. I do not think doctors and dentists face such client poaching. If you are in the top 5%, law review, and went to a good school, yes, you will probably get a good job right from the start. I would have been better off not going to College and instead picking up a trade like being an electrician. Heck, if I had all the money I wasted on education, worked at a gas station during all my non-earning years and put the money into a CD I could probably be able to retire. Looking back, if I had to do it again, if you want to through the hard work and invest the $$$ for education so it pays off you should go into healthcare. Heck their is a shortage of pharmacists and their median wage is $98,000K well above lawyers. Dentists 180,000K median and their is a shortage. Oh well this sucks but this is my life and I will deal with it, I spent my educational time and $$$, and the dye is cast.
From US News, Poor careers for 2006
By Marty Nemko
Attorney. If starting over, 75 percent of lawyers would choose to do something else. A similar percentage would advise their children not to become lawyers. The work is often contentious, and there's pressure to be unethical. And despite the drama portrayed on TV, real lawyers spend much of their time on painstakingly detailed research. In addition, those fat-salaried law jobs go to only the top few percent of an already high-powered lot.
Many people go to law school hoping to do so-called public-interest law. (In fact, much work not officially labeled as such does serve the public interest.) What they don't teach in law school is that the competition for those jobs is intense. I know one graduate of a Top Three law school, for instance, who also edited a law journal. She applied for a low-paying job at the National Abortion Rights Action League and, despite interviewing very well, didn't get the job.
From the Associated Press, MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A lawmaker who persuaded the Assembly to eliminate all state funding for the University of Wisconsin law school says his reasoning is simple: There's too many lawyers in Wisconsin.
From an ABA study about malpractice claims, More Sole Practicioners: There appears to be an increasing trend toward sole practicioners, due partly to a lack of jobs for new lawyers, but also due to increasing dissatisfaction among experienced lawyers with traditional firms; leading to some claims which could have been avoided with better mentoring.
New Lawyers: Most insurers have noticed that many young lawyers cannot find jobs with established firms, and so are starting their own practices without supervision or mentoring. This is likely to cause an increase in malpractice claims, although the claims may be relatively small in size due to the limited nature of a new lawyers
“In a survey conducted back in 1972 by the American Bar Association, seventy percent of Americans not only didn’t have a lawyer, they didn’t know how to find one. That’s right, thirty years ago the vast majority of people didn’t have a clue on how to find a lawyer. Now it’s almost impossible not to see lawyers everywhere you turn."
From a recent Wall Street Journal Article, Hard Case: Job Market
Wanes for U.S. Lawyers
Growth of Legal Sector
Lags Broader Economy;
Law Schools Proliferate
By AMIR EFRATI
September 24, 2007; Page A1
A law degree isn't necessarily a license to print money these days.
For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that's suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don't score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000. Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market.
The law degree that Scott Bullock gained in 2005 from Seton Hall University -- where he says he ranked in the top third of his class -- is a "waste," he says. Some former high-school friends are earning considerably more as plumbers and electricians than the $50,000-a-year Mr. Bullock is making as a personal-injury attorney in Manhattan. To boot, he is paying off $118,000 in law-school debt.
"Unfortunately, some find the practice of law is not for them," Seton Hall's associate dean, Kathleen Boozang, said through a spokeswoman. "However, it is our experience that a legal education is a tremendous asset for a variety of professional paths."
A slack in demand appears to be part of the problem. The legal sector, after more than tripling in inflation-adjusted growth between 1970 and 1987, has grown at an average annual inflation-adjusted rate of 1.2% since 1988, or less than half as fast as the broader economy, according to Commerce Department data.
Join a discussion on the state of the legal market.Some practice areas have declined in recent years: Personal-injury and medical-malpractice cases have been undercut by state laws limiting class-action suits, out-of-state plaintiffs and payouts on damages. Securities class-action litigation has declined in part because of a buoyant stock market.
On the supply end, more lawyers are entering the work force, thanks in part to the accreditation of new law schools and an influx of applicants after the dot-com implosion earlier this decade. In the 2005-06 academic year, 43,883 Juris Doctor degrees were awarded, up from 37,909 for 2001-02, according to the American Bar Association. Universities are starting up more law schools in part for prestige but also because they are money makers. Costs are low compared with other graduate schools and classrooms can be large. Since 1995, the number of ABA-accredited schools increased by 11%, to 196.
Evidence of a squeezed market among the majority of private lawyers in the U.S., who work as sole practitioners or at small firms, is growing. A survey of about 650 Chicago lawyers published in the 2005 book "Urban Lawyers" found that between 1975 and 1995 the inflation-adjusted average income of the top 25% of earners, generally big-firm lawyers, grew by 22% -- while income for the other 75% actually dropped.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the inflation-adjusted average income of sole practitioners has been flat since the mid-1980s. A recent survey showed that out of nearly 600 lawyers at firms of 10 lawyers or fewer in Indiana, wages for the majority only kept pace with inflation or dropped in real terms over the past five years.
The news isn't any better for the 14% of new lawyers who go into government or join public-interest firms. Inflation-adjusted starting salaries for graduates who go to work for public-interest firms or the government rose 4% and 8.6%, respectively, between 1994 and 2006, according to the National Association for Law Placement, which aggregates graduate surveys from law schools. That compares with at least an 11% jump in the median family income during the same period, according to the Census Bureau. Graduates who become in-house company lawyers, about 9%, have fared better: Their salaries rose by nearly 14% during the same period.
Many students "simply cannot earn enough income after graduation to support the debt they incur," wrote Richard Matasar, dean of New York Law School, in 2005, concluding that, "We may be reaching the end of a golden era for law schools."
Meanwhile, the prospects for big-firm lawyers are growing richer. While offering robust minimum salaries, those firms are paying astronomical amounts to their stars.
Now, debate is intensifying among law-school academics over the integrity of law schools' marketing campaigns. Defenders argue that the legal profession always has been openly and proudly a meritocracy: Top entrance-exam scores help win admittance to top schools where top students win jobs at top firms. Even the system that is used to issue law-school grades -- a curve that pits student against student -- reflects the law profession's competitiveness.
David Burcham, dean of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, considered second-tier, says the school makes no guarantees to students that they will obtain jobs. He says it is problematic that big firms only interview the top of the class, "but that's the nature of the employment market; it's never been different."
OK, I have to interject right here. Did a dean of a law school basically say you could go through all the nonsense of getting into law school, law school, ethics exam, bar exam and you should not expect some sort of gainful employment after you are through? You might as well go to Las Vegas and put your tuition money on the rouelette table and let it ride, you may have better odds of making money than going to his school and getting a decent paying law job. This guy is a jerk.
For the majority of students and alumni, he says, Loyola "turned out to be a good investment."
Yet economic data suggest that prospects have grown bleaker for all but the top students, and now a number of law-school professors are calling for the distribution of more-accurate employment information. Incoming students are "mesmerized by what's happening in big firms, but clueless about what's going on in the bottom half of the profession," says Richard Sander, a law professor at the University of California-Los Angeles who has studied the legal job market.
"Prospective students need solid comparative data on employment outcomes, [but] very few law schools provide such data," adds Andrew Morriss, a law professor at the University of Illinois who has studied the market for new lawyers.
Students entering law school have little way of knowing how tight a job market they might face. The only employment data that many prospective students see comes from school-promoted surveys that provide a far-from-complete portrait of graduate experiences. Tulane University, for example, reports to U.S. News & World Report magazine, which publishes widely watched annual law-school rankings, that its law-school graduates entering the job market in 2005 had a median salary of $135,000. But that is based on a survey that only 24% of that year's graduates completed, and those who did so likely represent the cream of the class, a Tulane official concedes.
On its Web site, the school currently reports an average starting salary of $96,356 for graduates in private practice but doesn't include what percentage of graduates reported salaries for the survey.
"It's within most individuals' nature to keep that information private, unless it's a high amount," says Carlos Dávila-Caballero, assistant dean for career development at Tulane, who adds that his office tells prospective students to use the median figure as a guide because starting salaries vary widely.
Academics who have studied new-lawyer salaries say that the graduate surveys of many law schools are skewed by higher response rates from the most successful students. The National Association for Law Placement, which aggregates and publishes national data based on those surveys, concedes that it can't vouch for their accuracy. "We can't validate the figures; we have to rely on schools to report to us accurately," says Judy Collins, NALP's director of research.
A prospective student studying NALP data might conclude that the study of law is a sure path to financial security. For 2006 graduates who entered private practice, or nearly 60%, NALP shows a national median salary of $95,000, a rise of 40%, adjusted for inflation, from 1994 graduates.
The NALP data also show that the percentage of graduates employed in private practice has been steady, fluctuating between 55% and 58% for more than a decade. But in law schools' self-published employment data, "private practice" doesn't necessarily mean jobs that improve long-term career prospects, for that category can include lawyers working under contract without benefits, such as Israel Meth. A 2005 graduate of Brooklyn Law School, he earns about $30 an hour as a contract attorney reviewing legal documents for big firms. He says he uses 60% of his paycheck to pay off student loans -- $100,000 for law school on top of $100,000 for the bachelor's degree he received from Columbia University.
A glossy admissions brochure for Brooklyn Law School, considered second-tier, reports a median salary for recent graduates at law firms of well above $100,000. But that figure doesn't reflect all incomes of graduates at firms; fewer than half of graduates at firms responded to the survey, the school reported to U.S. News. On its Web site, the school reports that 41% of last year's graduates work for firms of more than 100 lawyers, but it fails to mention that that percentage includes temporary attorneys, often working for hourly wages without benefits, Joan King, director of the school's career center, concedes.
Ms. King says she believes the figures for her school accurately represent the broader graduating class. She says the number of contract attorneys is "minimal" but declined to give a number.
The University of Richmond School of Law in the last couple of years started to be more open about its employment statistics; it now breaks out how many of its grads work as contract attorneys. Of 57 2006 graduates working in private practice, for example, seven were contract employees nine months after graduation. Schools "should be sharing more information than they are now," says Joshua Burstein, associate dean for career services who put the changes in place. "Most people graduating from law school," he says, "are not going to be earning big salaries."
Adding to the burden for young lawyers: Tuition growth at law schools has almost tripled the rate of inflation over the past 20 years, leading to higher debt for students and making starting salaries for most graduates less manageable, especially in expensive cities. Graduates in 2006 of public and private law schools had borrowed an average of $54,509 and $83,181, up 17% and 18.6%, respectively, from the amount borrowed by 2002 graduates, according to the American Bar Association.
Students taking on such debt may feel reassured by incessant press reports of big firms scrambling to hire and keep associates. Making headlines this year was a bump up in big-firm starting salaries to $160,000 from $145,000 in many cities.
And indeed, some law graduates of lower-tier schools do find high-paying private-practice law jobs. In recent years big firms have boomed thanks in part to the globalization of business and Wall Street deal making; firms have been casting a wider net for new lawyers, though they still generally restrict their recruiting at lower-tier schools to students at the very top of the class or on the law review. Some students have leads on a job at a family member's or friend's practice.
But just as common -- and much less publicized -- are experiences such as that of Sue Clark, who this year received her degree from second-tier Chicago-Kent College of Law, one of six law schools in the Chicago area. Despite graduating near the top half of her class, she has been unable to find a job and is doing temp work "essentially as a paralegal," she says. "A lot of people, including myself, feel frustrated about the lack of jobs," she says.
Harold Krent, Chicago-Kent's dean, said it's not uncommon for new lawyers to wait a few months to more than a year to find a job that's a good fit. He added that there is a "small spike" in employment after his school's grads receive their bar-exam results, several months after graduation, because some firms wait until then before hiring.
The market is particularly tough in big cities that boast numerous law schools. Mike Altmann, 29, a graduate of New York University who went to Brooklyn Law School, says he accumulated $130,000 in student-loan debt and graduated in 2002 with no meaningful employment opportunities -- one offer was a $33,000 job with no benefits. So Mr. Altmann became a contract attorney, reviewing electronic documents for big firms for around $20 to $30 an hour, and hasn't been able to find higher-paying work since.
Some un- or underemployed grads are seeking consolation online, where blogs and discussion boards have created venues for shared commiseration that didn't exist before. An anonymous writer called Loyola 2L, purportedly a student at Loyola Law School, who claims the school wasn't straight about employment prospects, has been beating a drum of discontent around the Web in the past year that's sparked thousands of responses, and a fan base. ("2L" stands for second-year law student.) Some thank "L2L" for articulating their plight; others claim L2L should complain less and work more. Loyola's Dean Burcham says he wishes he knew who the student was so he could help the person. "It's expensive to go to law school, and there are times when you second-guess yourself as a student," he says.
Some new lawyers try to hang their own shingle. Matthew Fox Curl graduated in 2004 from second-tier University of Houston in the bottom quarter of his class. After months of job hunting, he took his first job working for a sole practitioner focused on personal injury in the Houston area and made $32,000 in his first year. He quickly found that tort-reform legislation has been "brutal" to Texas plaintiffs' lawyers and last year left the firm to open up his own criminal-defense private practice.
He's making less money than at his last job and has thought about moving back to his parents' house. "I didn't think three years out I'd be uninsured, thinking it's a great day when a crackhead brings me $500."
See the problem is that we have this huge, growing, out of control population of lawyers, not unlike an animal population that gets out of control, the end result is famine.
--Mark Whitehouse contributed to this article.
Here is an example ad in Massachusetts for an experienced attorney, that mentions salary, it was posted this week. Most jobs don't state salary in the ad cause the pay is pretty low.
Office of the District Attorney, criminal attorney, for the Bristol County District seeks staff attorney for the Appellate Division. Excellent writing skills and a passion for appellate advocacy are a must. Salary $37,500. Preference given to candidates who live in or will relocate to Bristol County.
LOL, secretaries with no college can make more. What is even more sad is there will probably be like 50-100 lawyers that send in their resume for this ad.
Is It Good Rule Of Thumb For A Criminal Defense Attorney To Never Ask A Question They Don'T Know The Answer To?
Not only is it a good rule of thumb for a criminal defense attorney to never ask a question they don't know the answer to, it is a good rule of survival. Most attorneys don't like surprises during a trial, and the defendant certainly does not. A lawyer who violates the non-surprise rule is doing a disservice to his client and will find himself changing jobs fairly quickly as word gets out.