Super high paying, easy job? I think I saw one of those around here…

Many of you have probably already read the letter a 1L student sent to ATL asking whether he should drop out after his first semester, before racking up even more debt (another $21,000 to finish out the year).

Fewer of you will have read the introductory post by Professor Mariam Albert (Hofstra) over at the Prawfs’ Blawg.  She addresses the issue of students dropping out after one semester, which is to say she addresses it like an academic. She mentions it’s something some people consider, but provides no real insight in to the issue.  And then the post goes down hill.

Here is how she described the ATL 1L contemplating throwing in the towel:

This student seems to be more considered with the ultimate cost/benefit disparity between his likely massive law school debt and unlikely prospects of a super high paying and easy job [where can I get that gig, by the way, because it sounds good to me].

If you didn’t read the 1L’s letter to ATL, scroll up, click the link, and read it now.  If you did already read it, scroll up, click the link, and read it again. This includes you too, Ms. Albert.

I think I know my readership well enough to know you’re not actually going to go read the articles (WordPress tracks what you guys click on, by the way), so here’s the relevant part of the 1L’s letter where he talks about job prospects:

I know that if you want to suceed at anything, you may have to sacrifice work-life balance. However, from what I understand, private practice is an exercise in the permanent sacrifice of work-life balance. Late nights at the office every week or two is very different from working 12 hours every day. It’s very unlikely I’ll be able to make good money in private practice and have a healthy work-life balance. I don’t want to work 60-70 hours a week until I’m 40. The psychological and physical costs of this lifestyle are real and don’t typically fit well alongside goals of having a happy life outside the office.

Somehow, the phrase “good money” got interpreted by Professor Albert as “super high paying.” Not just high paying, but super high paying.  Maybe the kid just thinks of “good” the same way many struggling graduates do, a job that will allow you to pay all of your bills in the same month. Of course, it’s possible he considers “good money” to be nothing less than $160,000 a year, with a hefty bonus on top, but there’s not really anything in his letter to indicate that.

Now let’s look at the article part of Professor Albert’s take on the letter, that he wants a job that’s “easy.”

The kid certainly doesn’t say he wants an easy job. What he says is that he doesn’t want a job that’s going to demand 60-70 hours every week from him until he’s 40. (And a little note to the youngins out there, if at 40 you’re no longer putting in 60-70 hours, it’s because you were promoted to service partner and are now putting in 90-110).

All he’s asking for is a job that leaves some opportunity to have a life outside of law. There is a middle ground between easy and insanely life-consuming.  I mean, in theory this is.  In reality the options are to set up a cot in your office or hit the bread line. But, let’s not deny a kid the mere opportunity to dream about having a life worth living. There’s plenty of time in the future for him to be crushed by reality.

And, the reality is that the situation isn’t going to improve for 1Ls trying to decide whether sticking with law school is worth it. Many professors simply don’t care about the welfare of their students.

My first semester torts professor turned in her grades well past the deadline (and if you think NFL player fines are pitifully low, consider that there’s no real penalty for missing the grades deadline).  She had turned in grades that did not meet the school’s mandatory curve.  It’s a pretty straight forward process. Figure out percentage of the class got what grades, see if it fits.  You’d think a professor of law would be able to handle following simple rules.

But really, what’s the problem, right? You get your grades a few weeks later than other people, no biggie.  Except when it comes to looking for jobs. It was first semester, and our legal research and writing class was pass/fail. That means we only had 2 grades on our transcript until we got ours for torts, and it’s really hard to get an interview with an incomplete set of grades.  Being a few weeks behind everyone else means that many fewer interview slots are available, and some jobs have already been filled.

Exams ended December 22nd (I don’t recall the date of the Torts exam, but that’s the end of the entire exam period), and grades were due January 20th.  That’s only 5 exams a day, …if you waited until New Years to get started.  If you spent 30 minutes per exam, and worked one 60 hour week, you would finish before even hitting that 60 hour mark.  You really have to try to miss the deadline.

Of course, Professor Albert doesn’t fall in to the “doesn’t care so little about her students she may have wrecked their careers because she spent too much time watching old Humphrey Bogart movies” category. The fact that she wrote about the dilemma many 1L students face over the prospect of dropping out shows that she is concerned.

No, Professor Albert falls in to a completely different category, the people who imagine law students to be nothing buy whining, entitled brats based on absolutely no evidence.

Wait, sorry, it’s worse. Professor Albert, with a complete lack of evidence that this student want either a “super high paying” or “easy” job, declares this must be his main concern on a the freaking Prawfs’ Blawg. And it’s in her introductory post there! Cripes! You’d think you’d want to make a good impression rather than completely misrepresenting the intentions of a 1L going through what will probably be the most difficult decision of his young adult life.


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4 Responses to “Super high paying, easy job? I think I saw one of those around here…”

  1. chris Says:

    You, you have taught me to hate.

  2. bl1y Says:

    And that’s the greatest gift of all.

  3. Ellen B Says:

    I would like a better job. Can this websight start posting good jobs in the New York CITY area?

    I know there are jobs in the UPSTATE area, but I do NOT want to go to anyplace that is not in Manhattan, or mabye Brooklyn, NY.

    I do NOT want to work on Long Island, and prefer to be on the NY Subway lines. I do NOT want to have to take a bus.

    I have 3 years of experience in corporate law for a small NYC firm, with a focus on OSHA, but came in 5th in my MOOT court in LAW school.

  4. bl3y (still no relation) Says:

    Ellen, you will never get a better job because you are a moron. If I were in a hiring position I would throw your application in the trash simply based on the fact that you can’t seem to differentiate website from websight. You don’t even know how to spellcheck?!? Don’t even get me started on your odd sense of capitalization. Do us all a favor and walk into oncoming traffic.

    As for the point raised in the post, I’d allow myself to be sodomized by a pack of ravenous kangaroos in return for a decent paying job that called for 40 hours a week.

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