Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Legal job market is a joke

National u.e. rate is 4.0 percent or full employment. Your o cantimaginenocountry03/12/18
Most jobs are PI, WC, or ID because most litigation falls in tcpaul03/12/18
What kind of PI do you do and in what market? If you don't m goorange88803/13/18
I would call it low level PI work. Lots of fender benders an tcpaul03/13/18
Categories 2-5 describe probably 70% of all lawyer jobs. bucwild03/12/18
This. lilgub03/13/18
Throw in family law and criminal defense and you're at 98% jd4hire03/13/18
I thought family law would be much higher then 20% cocolawyer03/13/18
Exactly. This is kind of like going to garbage man school t jackiechiles03/13/18
And its going to be even more of a joke in the next decade. irishlaw03/12/18
Meh. I’ll believe it when I see it. Tax and immigration themapmaster03/13/18
Are you seriously suggesting Supreme Court justices will be bucwild03/13/18
As for scotus, note there's a difference between predicting dogdaypm03/13/18
That's the great irony. Everyone assumed that the jobs most onehell03/15/18
Whoever thinks computers will replace all of litigation shou khazaddum03/13/18
Thomas Edison invented the electric candle and predicted the aknas03/13/18
“AI is here.” Where? They can’t even navigate roads wi khazaddum03/13/18
This is why I don't practice law anymore. Life outside of flyer1403/13/18
What do you do? cocolawyer03/13/18
I've been working in defense contracting for about three yea flyer1403/13/18
If only we could all work for the government the way they di trickydick03/13/18
We can't. But I view it as a viable alternative to the toxic flyer1403/14/18
http://www.jdunderground.com/pol/th read.php?threadId=154665 trickydick03/14/18
E for effort... the bull market run has little to do with th flyer1403/15/18
Glad to hear the Trump economy is working for you. trickydick03/13/18
Full employment. Adding 200k jobs a month. Rates are rising cantimaginenocountry03/13/18
“Full employment.” Fake news. “Adding 200k jobs trickydick03/13/18
You said you were in a non-law job for decades I thought? At khazaddum03/13/18
I was a biglaw para for 9 yrs. in a specialized area: bankru cantimaginenocountry03/14/18
Was your micro-practice also bankruptcy? If so, you are pige wolfman03/14/18
It isnt in bankruptcy but it is related. I have filed and re cantimaginenocountry03/14/18
Ignominy leads to further ignominy. trollfeeder03/15/18

cantimaginenocountry (Mar 12, 2018 - 10:14 pm)

National u.e. rate is 4.0 percent or full employment. Your only options seeking legal employment are:

1 numerous paralegal opportunities where u get nickel and dimed. You want too much or you dont have 7 yrs of t&e experience
2 the ubiquitous pi opportunities
3 even more ubiquitous insurance d opportunities
4 wc or immigration
5 ssi work

That is IT. DOES IT EVER IMPROVE?

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tcpaul (Mar 12, 2018 - 10:26 pm)

Most jobs are PI, WC, or ID because most litigation falls into these categories. It's not the legal job market, it's the law itself.

For what it's worth, I do PI and love it. You can do very well for yourself and have a lot of fun im the process. You just have to get past the stigma and all the desire for "prestige." I may not have prestige but I make a lot more than all but the most senior associates at the largest firms in my market and I'm pretty sure my quality of life is way better. Billing 2000 plus hours a year ain't living.

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goorange888 (Mar 13, 2018 - 10:59 am)

What kind of PI do you do and in what market? If you don't mind.

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tcpaul (Mar 13, 2018 - 10:19 pm)

I would call it low level PI work. Lots of fender benders and slip and falls. They don't give me the big cases (wrongful death), which I'm okay with as I only have two jury trials under my belt. In a large midwest market (not Chicago). Large "big law" firms in my area start 1st years off at between $100k and $120k.

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bucwild (Mar 12, 2018 - 10:31 pm)

Categories 2-5 describe probably 70% of all lawyer jobs.

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lilgub (Mar 13, 2018 - 8:37 am)

This.

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jd4hire (Mar 13, 2018 - 12:46 pm)

Throw in family law and criminal defense and you're at 98%

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cocolawyer (Mar 13, 2018 - 5:24 pm)

I thought family law would be much higher then 20%

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jackiechiles (Mar 13, 2018 - 6:06 pm)

Exactly. This is kind of like going to garbage man school then complaining that most of the jobs available to graduates are 1) drivers of garbage trucks; 2) loaders of garbage cans; 3) maintenance on garbage trucks.

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irishlaw (Mar 12, 2018 - 11:29 pm)

And its going to be even more of a joke in the next decade. I was reading this article about AI and law a few weeks ago. You have computers winning brief awards, successfully defending people in traffic court, doing 1st-3rd year biglaw associate work, even the SCOTUS isn't safe with AIs predicting the outcome 85% of the time...the article said expect 95% in just a few years.

...unless the legal work you do is so niche that no one is going to design a computer program to do that sort of law, your job is in trouble. In 100 years there won't be any need for lawyers.

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themapmaster (Mar 13, 2018 - 2:19 am)

Meh. I’ll believe it when I see it. Tax and immigration software has made income tax preparation and green card applications 95% a matter of simple data entry, but folks with resources still pay professionals to do this stuff because they don’t want to pay for the software or take the time to do the data entry and they value the 5% of intangibles a professional offers that robots of the foreseeable future lack. Another thing to consider is that more capital in society means more wealth out there to pay lawyers.

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bucwild (Mar 13, 2018 - 6:52 am)

Are you seriously suggesting Supreme Court justices will be replaced with AI? Because that is hilariously awesome.

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dogdaypm (Mar 13, 2018 - 7:34 am)

As for scotus, note there's a difference between predicting winner/loser and setting out the rationale in an opinion setting precedent with a roadmap for the lower courts to follow.

Scotus itself does a poor job at this from time to time, but that's the aspiration anyway.

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onehell (Mar 15, 2018 - 2:18 pm)

That's the great irony. Everyone assumed that the jobs most susceptible to automation would be the dirty and dangerous jobs, making education the way to security in the new era.

Truth is, it's a lot harder to get a computer to do the things we do simply by instinct, like walking on two legs or discerning the meaningful data from background noise, which may seem simple to us but are actually monumentally complex. That's why Tesla Autopilot, for example, could not recognize a stationary truck it was about to plow into at 60mph: Other cars, it assumes, will be moving. Otherwise it couldn't disregard all the millions of other stationary things that zoom by like road signs and stuff:

https://www.wired.com/story/tesla-autopilot-why-crash-radar/

Our brains are constantly doing all kinds of things we're not even aware of, and those things are actually far more complex than the conscious functions we use when we sit down to write a brief or something. So the kinds of work most susceptible to automation may be the exact opposite of what we assume them to be.

This kind of disconnect is not new. According to old sci fi movies and TV shows, we should be in flying cars by now. But the truth is, the fundamental technology related to physically moving around hasn't really changed all that much since the Model T. The only major seismic technological change is the internet and later, computers got so small they fit in our pocket and we called it a smartphone. We can create and exchange information much more quickly and cheaply than ever before, but the physical world hasn't really changed very much.

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khazaddum (Mar 13, 2018 - 8:28 am)

Whoever thinks computers will replace all of litigation should spend less time in matrimony and housing court. I have 4 district court cases between TN and IL dealing with 1 appellate decision, BUT all 4 are heading in different directions.

Anyone dealing with Spokeo motions knows how unsettled it is. There are what, a thousans district court judges? Each can have their own application of the esoteric SCOTUS ruling in play.

Even in matrimony or housing/collections, the lawyer is there foremost as a negotiator who can feel out the judge. The law is settled in almost every case. But a robot can’t determine the child’s best interest. Nor can it discern legislative purpose to emerging laws that make collections or housing evictions less punishing than a cold application of facts to basic tenets.

The prediction tools? Sure it works once a human programs the software to associate paricular key words with case types. The computer wasn’t given a random guy off the street rambling on and on with the expectation the computer would end up with a trial or summary judgment verdict.

Keep in mind that telephones have been in wide use since 1950, yet very few courts today are okay with phone hearings unless its a trivial matter.

Likewise, video conferencing has been around sincw the mid-1990s, while law firms and many courts in 2018 struggle to understand how wifi or the cloud work.

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aknas (Mar 13, 2018 - 8:45 am)

Thomas Edison invented the electric candle and predicted the end of houses burning down and the need for firemen.

Then, in 1969, came Yankee Candle.

As the Massachusetts business journal BusinessWest put it in 1993, "How can a company succeed so well selling a product that's been around for thousands of years — and that has been functionally obsolete for almost a century, thanks to Thomas Edison? Kittredge does not sell pieces of wax and string. He sells entertainment, fantasy, nostalgia, romance."



Yes, AI is here. Yes, lawyers are obsolete. Yet, enough fools will pay ungodly some of money to buy the services of some TV-worthy Perry Mason and his young hot female co-ed attorney to satisfy the need for nostalgia.

The other ten million unemployed attorneys can go back to candle-making and competing against Yankee Candle.

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khazaddum (Mar 13, 2018 - 9:09 am)

“AI is here.” Where? They can’t even navigate roads without causing accidents. We will all be long dead before the legal system is digitized.

This all sounds like those Twilight Zone episodes in 1959 that earnestly predicted space colonies by 1982.

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flyer14 (Mar 13, 2018 - 1:33 pm)

This is why I don't practice law anymore.

Life outside of law is far better.

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cocolawyer (Mar 13, 2018 - 2:45 pm)

What do you do?

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flyer14 (Mar 13, 2018 - 4:27 pm)

I've been working in defense contracting for about three years. I get paid more and I work way better hours than I ever did in garbagelaw.

I Poast far more than I should considering I don't practice anymore. Most of my /law responses generally extol the virtues of government employment and a steady paycheck without having to deal with toxic lawyer personalities on a daily basis.

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trickydick (Mar 13, 2018 - 6:54 pm)

If only we could all work for the government the way they did in the Soviet Union.

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flyer14 (Mar 14, 2018 - 9:39 am)

We can't. But I view it as a viable alternative to the toxic field of garbagelaw practice... some place where that million dollar JD can be leveraged into at least not losing out on a lifetime of lost QOL and earnings.

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trickydick (Mar 14, 2018 - 4:00 pm)

http://www.jdunderground.com/pol/thread.php?threadId=154665

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flyer14 (Mar 15, 2018 - 9:09 am)

E for effort... the bull market run has little to do with the toxicity of garbagelaw except perhaps to remind most garbagelawyers their garbage firms don’t offer 401k’s.

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trickydick (Mar 13, 2018 - 6:55 pm)

Glad to hear the Trump economy is working for you.

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cantimaginenocountry (Mar 13, 2018 - 8:32 pm)

Full employment. Adding 200k jobs a month. Rates are rising and qe getting unwound. Obama had a decade of zero rates and 4 trillion in qe. Job market for lawyers just sux.

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trickydick (Mar 13, 2018 - 10:36 pm)

“Full employment.”

Fake news.

“Adding 200k jobs a month.”

Same as under Obama.

“Job market for lawyers just sux.”

So Trump’s policies have done nothing to help you. Got it.

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khazaddum (Mar 13, 2018 - 10:52 pm)

You said you were in a non-law job for decades I thought? At this point you going back in warrants 1L law clerk pay until you relearn stuff.

Can’t you work in business or government? Why would you take on document reviews now?

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cantimaginenocountry (Mar 14, 2018 - 3:09 pm)

I was a biglaw para for 9 yrs. in a specialized area: bankruptcy. I then worked in JD advantage job for 9 yrs. as a manager also in the bankruptcy area. In the last 7 yrs. I also set up a micro practice out of my job. 5-8 hrs. a week. Not enough to live off but it was all profit because there was no overhead. I lived off the paycheck and pocketed all the rest. 40k a year for 6-7 years is alot when it all goes to savings. No rent, phone, internet, postage etc etc. I also worked non conventional hrs. noon to 8pm which allowed me to meet clients or attend hearings in the am.

Well bankruptcy seems slow right now and my other experience doesnt seem to count for much.

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wolfman (Mar 14, 2018 - 5:48 pm)

Was your micro-practice also bankruptcy? If so, you are pigeonholed into one area that is almost completely counter-cyclical: literally, when the economy is good and there is full or nearly full employment, you don't have much work. Not that i don't agree that the law job market is insane in general, for lots of reasons, but your if your specialty area is hurting/not hiring, then what's left are the unwashed masses, and your assessment of that is pretty accurate...

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cantimaginenocountry (Mar 14, 2018 - 6:21 pm)

It isnt in bankruptcy but it is related. I have filed and resolved cases in state court however. Motions etc etc. It doesnt seem to do much good or carry much weight. It isnt exactly 7 yrs experience but it is way way more than a newbie or someone who has practiced 6-12 mos FT.

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trollfeeder (Mar 15, 2018 - 5:22 pm)

Ignominy leads to further ignominy.

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