Tuesday, November 17, 2009

State Of The 2010 Law School Graduate: "I'll Take Anything"

I had the opportunity to talk with a group of law students over the weekend and get their thoughts on what they'll be doing after graduation.

Here's my unscientific analysis of the average law school graduate based on this group of 9:

[1] Most have no idea what they want to do.

[2] Most will take any job.

[3] Most will move anywhere to satisfy [2]

[4] BigLaw never came up.

[5] Very few are doing anything practical in law school that is relevant to their future.

[6] The only strong feelings they have is in what geographical area they'd like to live.

The collapse of BigLaw is akin to a power outage where everyone's looking for a flashlight that isn't around. Beginning in the 80's with "L.A. Law," graduates did not need to know what "law" they wanted to practice, they just needed to know that good grades got them the downtown penthouse office, mahogany furniture, and cool conversations in the office kitchen.

Now that's all over and law school graduates need to become "lawyers."

I see a generation of graduates who have responded to the collapse of BigLaw with goal of "just getting a job."

I don't know what's worse.

So I told them to be creative, stop with the bullshit cover letters and resumes. One responded, "but that's what they tell us to do" as they all shook their heads in agreement.

I told them to go where lawyers go, to try and meet the lawyer(s) with whom they want to work. I told them to differentiate themselves, and I told them to work for free while looking for a paid job if they must.

I did not tell any of them not to go solo out of law school because thankfully, none of them want to do that.

Yesterday one of them e-mailed me to say thank you. He also sent me his resume, on PowerPoint.


Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com


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