January 8, 2010

"When informed that a job offer is being revoked or delayed, job candidates should remain calm, express gratitude..."

"... for the support the firm has showed in the past, and ask what they can do to help the firm weather the downturn.... Students could offer to work as law clerks until the economy picks up, and should project a positive attitude about the firm and the legal profession even when, below the surface, they feel panicky and frustrated."

44 comments:

LarsPorsena said...

Sounds like the kind of advice George's Clooney's character from "Up in the Air" would give them.

michael farris said...

Just kill everything you have inside and happiness will follow ... somehow.

rhhardin said...

Don't burn any bridges.

Also speak highly of your previous employer. The next interviewer sees himself as the next previous employer.

Pogo said...

And keep voting Democrat, because that has nothing whatsoever to do with the job offer being revoked or delayed.

And if you're a conservative or libertarian, fake it. They only hire those Of The Party, or so I have read.

MikeDC said...

This seems like generally good advice for job-seekers, not just lawyers.

The next thing the person should do, of course, is re-start their job search, but handling the loss with some grace and keeping your options as open as possible is obviously the best response.

At a deeper level, the "kill everything you have inside" sort of response is only necessary if you have nothing but shallow, superficial rage and fear inside.

Developed, rational people know that even though these things suck, these things happen. Unemployment is high and lots of businesses find themselves in trouble. Everyone knows this, so it seems that someone who can't keep themselves in perspective and acts like it's the end of the world is probably a shallow, overly emotional, and blindly self-centered twit.

Life can't happen to me!

Oh yes it can. How are you going to deal with it.

Pogo said...

"remain calm, express gratitude...project a positive attitude ...even when, below the surface, they feel panicky and frustrated.""

The advice applies widely.

Seems much of life involves faking it.

Almost Ali said...

Bring in a client.

AllenS said...

If you're a woman or a minority, sue the company for not hiring you. Obviously, they must be racist/sexist. The company would probably settle out of court.

Why else would you want to be a lawyer, if not to sue people.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Whatever you do, don't hold law firms to the same standards you'll be asking courts to demand from every other sort of business once you become a lawyer.

traditionalguy said...

The Law Schools can't get anyone a job that's not in the top 5% of the class anyway. The Schools just want to keep up the pretense of finding jobs for their graduates to keep their cash cow filled from the student loans debt bubble. The answer is to open your own office, and share expenses with other young attorneys. Be honest and ethical and serve clients instead of fleecing them and they money will start to flow.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I graduated law school last spring, and let me tell you, it's miserable out there. Try not to be too hard on us baby lawyers; we're the types that are used to success and a lot of us are just shocked that things are not going the way we always thought that they would. (I know that sounds petty, and shit happens, and that we'll look at this as a character-building experience in the future, but right now I'm in the present.)

I got no-offered twice from my summer jobs, despite being near the top of the class and having a lot of experience and positive reviews. I honestly don't know what happened (yes, I should have asked, but I was too busy licking my wounds), but it sucks. I'm a high achiever, and I've not been turned down for things very often in my life.

I'm working as a judicial clerk for the year, which is a great job (I do research for and draft opinions for judges), and has always been considered the tip of the top of experience, but I'm still not finding anything to pay the bills after this gig ends, and my dreams of quickly paying off student loans and supporting a family are rapidly disintegrating.

God, I sound depressing. Sorry about that. Life is actually pretty good, I'm just concerned about the future and still sad about the past.

Zach said...

ask what they can do to help the firm weather the downturn ... students could offer to work as law clerks until the economy picks up

Does this sound like crummy advice to anyone else? It sounds like being a doormat. I remember Bill Veeck (longtime baseball owner/operator) saying he would never sell baseball tickets for less than face value -- he didn't mind if other people bought them and gave them away as promotions, but he didn't want to undermine the value of the tickets he was selling.

It's one thing to be polite and helpful, but I'd worry about giving your work away for free or taking an entirely different job just because the firm doesn't want to hire lawyers right now. (I am not a lawyer, but I do like eating.)

Peano said...

It amuses me to see how a simple statement of common sense can ignite so many blowtorches.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

remain calm, express gratitude...

bagoh20 said...

I became a pretty successful businessman by my standards, and my big break came in the form of asking my new boss to allow me to work unlimited hours for the same $56/day. He agreed and this gave me the opportunity to produce great results and left him terminally appreciative and respectful. I eventually ran that company. The best career decision I ever made was to ask for longer hours and a pay cut. I know many other successful people have succeeded through the same type of sacrifice. Success comes from what you do period, pride just gets in the way. After you accomplish your goals, then you can get uppity.

Pogo said...

"how a simple statement of common sense can ignite so many blowtorches"

Because it's pablum.

Their advice might in fact work for a few people, for others it won't make any difference because there was no job to be had.

Douglas Adams said it best: Don't panic.
He also offered: "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"The best career decision I ever made was to ask for longer hours and a pay cut."

I don't see any of these baby lawyers offering the same work at lower pay. That would be an interesting strategy. "Hey, pay me $2500 a month for a year and I'll work anyway." The law firm would have no idea what to do with that. They'd probably turn it down. Bad precedent or something.

knox said...

It amuses me to see how a simple statement of common sense can ignite so many blowtorches.


Most threads that involve lawyers are this way.

c3 said...

I have to admit that a story about fewer lawyers finding work didn't engender much sympathy on my part.

And some of my best friends...

Scott said...

The United States has a surfeit of lawyers.

Like most third-world nations, we are developing a byzantine web of laws and regulations that keep us safe from such atrocities as unlicensed hair braiding services or fish pedicures. The legislation and bureaucracy industry keeps a lot of lawyers employed, and creates new opportunities every day.

I would rather live in a society that teaches its kids how to evaluate risks, rather than how to rely on the government to protect them.

And most law school students ought to be doing some alternative service to society that adds value, like clipping hedges or selling shoes.

wv: ickfings

Zach said...

He agreed and this gave me the opportunity to produce great results and left him terminally appreciative and respectful.

By all means, if there's any opportunity to be had, seize it. I just doubt there's any opportunity in a situation like this.

A law firm bills at an hourly rate; if they had enough work to go around, the job offer wouldn't have been revoked in the first place.

bagoh20 said...

"The law firm would have no idea what to do with that. They'd probably turn it down. Bad precedent or something."

Yea, what do you do with a person with initiative and drive and willing to sacrifice? You exploit them. Being exploited is the best thing that can happen to a smart person. It leads to you becoming indispensable.

andrew said...

bagoh20:

Ding! I practically run my day job, and I have authority that the guy 2 positions above me envies.

The NAS ran across this piece on why our new lawyer crop is screwed.

http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=2281

The National Association of Scholars is a pretty good group to have going in this present age.

http://www.nas.org/

I'm all for the establishment of market driven schools that teach professional skills, such as law and accounting.

I'd pay more to get my CPA in less than 3 years as opposed to 5, I'm pretty sure any future attorney would do the same.

In fact, with the friends and connections in the legal and professional world that my family has, I will probably start one in the next decade if San Antonio is still lacking.

Yes Althouse I am whining about the cold. If its 102 outside, I'm a happy camper. I just can't tolerate the cold.

michael farris said...

"the "kill everything you have inside" sort of response is only necessary if you have nothing but shallow, superficial rage and fear inside."

I would say my rage and fear is pretty profound.

kathleen said...

sounds like this generation, and the ones following, better get used to the idea of working for free. the logical extension to this is to blow off higher education, with its concomitant debt and general uselessness, and start apprenticing for people.

bagoh20 said...

"better get used to the idea of working for free"

This, more often than not, is the first step to getting rich. It's hard to do and counterintuitive - that's why most people are not rich.

ken in sc said...

My son once got a job by showing up and working for free at a steel mill where he had several friends working. I think it was after the 3rd or 4th day he got a job offer even though the mill was not officially hiring. BTW, This was a non-union mill in Alabama. Prove what you can do and people will hire you.

Brian said...

As others have said, the issue with law firms isn't a lack of qualified individuals, it is a lack of work. Attorneys are profit centers, if there was work to be had they'd be hiring. There is nothing to prove, associates at most firms are hoarding work.

Second, a law firm isn't a steel mill, it is much more small c conservative with respect to these sort of things, and having unpaid clerks doing work is something they'd probably have to report to their malpractice insurer, and they'd certainly be sensitive to potential lawsuits for unpaid wages.

PatCA said...

"Wait until you leave the building before you vomit with fear over your future."

Beau said...

Their advice might in fact work for a few people, for others it won't make any difference because there was no job to be had.

Actually, no. Time and time the strategy of working for less, making yourself useful and throwing false pride out the window works. Ever heard of creating your own reality? It's not just a slogan. It works if you have the personality type to make a success of yourself based on your own creativity and willingness to think out of the box and just get on with it.

When you're back at the starting line it's impossible to see the opportunity that may come from a willingness to take this route.

I'm a couple of years away from retiring and have hired and worked with hundreds of people throughout my career. This is the best advice to give to anyone starting out. You never know who you're going to meet along the way and the successful creative people in business love nothing better than meeting a younger person with the same mindset.

Maxine Weiss said...

Y'all know nothing.

This is all about looks. Top 5% means nothing if you're a chick who's easy on the eyes.

Bad economy or not, law firms never skimp on eye-candy and hotties always get work, at top payscales, no matter what.

Gals: Hike up that skirt, lacquer thy face with rouge and false eyelashes. Hair extensions.

Guys: Surround yourself with beautiful women, and/or make it clear you can provide the firm with a steady flow of 'em.

_____________________________

Plenty of jobs to be had for the aesthetically pleasing. But then, I've been saying that for the last three years of my tenure here.

Cheers,

Davey Jones said...

Althouse is part of this racket, of course. Our society has plenty of lawyers. But Althouse helps crank out more each year. Part of that Grand Con that going to law school is somehow noble--or even worthwhile. Obviously, it isn't.

But we know what Althouse will keep doing--profiting from this expensive, awful farce called law school.

Maxine Weiss said...

Look at some of the sad-sacks that unload (offload) themselves at Recruiting offices....

Gals who don't know how to wear a tight skirt, and don't do hosiery. Chipped nail polish.

--Guys with moles and whatnot who refuse to put bronzer.

It's not an jobs-crisis; it's a grooming-crisis.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

This just in:

Unemployment Rate Among Hot, Young Women Holding at Zero.

http://www.recoilmag.com/news/unemployment_rate_zero_percent_0304.html

bagoh20 said...

", and they'd certainly be sensitive to potential lawsuits for unpaid wages."

Which would require a lawyer to defend the firm against you, the plaintiff. TaDa a job! And now it pays. See the magic of creating your own reality?

Brian said...

"When you're back at the starting line it's impossible to see the opportunity that may come from a willingness to take this route."

No personal offense meant, but if you're near retirement I'd proffer that in a marathon if you are near the finish line it may be impossible to see the difficulties for those now at the starting line that you may not have faced.

The fact is we have a different market reality for young people today and a different procedural reality. From a market reality standpoing this is the worst job market since the great depression in terms of opportunities and security, regardless of one's desire to work for less or nothing. The unemploymet rate may have been greater in the early 80's. Even though those days were bad, often times when folks were laid off it actually meant laid off until the work came back. Today laid off is a nice way of saying your job is gone.

From a procedural standpoint, at a lot of workplaces, particularly larger workplaces you can't just network and schmooze your way into even a volunteer position which you could do in previous decades. There are liability concerns, security concerns, confidentialy concerns, etc. It is difficult to employ people today. My father in law is President of a moderate sized division of a Fortune 25. He couldn't hire me, or anyone else that matter for any position until we go through his company's procedures, which include submitting your resume through their website - no exceptions. They aren't alone in doing that. The days of walking up to the plant manager who goes to church with pawpaw and telling him you'll work hard for an opportunity for full-time employment are pretty much over.

It is just different today than what many in the baby boom generation experienced. You can still network and put on a happy face, but you can't change this reality. You can't.

Eric said...

The fact is we have a different market reality for young people today and a different procedural reality.

This job market is no worse than the one I faced as a new top-of-my-class engineering grad in the late '80s. I sent my resume to 70 companies and got one response. The vast majority didn't even send me the standard "so sorry" form letter.

And eventually I found a job for less money than I was hoping to make, just like today's law grads will.

traditionalguy said...

Davey Jones...You are really an ignorant fellow. Law schools may be making lawyers that no one needs this year, but so is every other professional school except the Military Academies.The entire country is in a credit lockdown and no job is safe today. Legal problems will always need solutions and preventative work every bit as much as health problems do. A lawyer is as important to people as a good harbor pilot or an experienced mountain guide. Right now we are not traveling much since economic life is frozen. But when we resume traveling life's journey, don't try to reinvent the legal wheel yourself when an honest lawyer can hand it to you.

bagoh20 said...

I was a college drop out with zero money, no family, no unemployment, no computers or internet, which makes job hunting infinitely easier.

There are far more safety nets and much more diversity of opportunity now than then. We were educated and trained for industries that were as good as gone by then.

Young people today simply have no idea what being broke or desperate is. It's a motivator, that's what.

There are lots of opportunities, they just aren't what you want or expected. It never is for most people. Your door is not the one you had in mind all these years, it's the one you are going to invent or discover now.

My plans were to be an industrial engineer, I never did anything like that. I changed plans one semester short of graduation. The job market had already dried up in my field, and I'm glad it did.

My point is: be creative you don't have to follow a path just because you are on it. If you are young, you underestimate the number of paths out there and how fruitful many of them are.

There are two graduates looking for jobs today: One is waiting and looking, the other is acting and building. who do you think will be happier in 5 years. I
don't know either, but I know the second guy will eventually succeed no matter what, and probably fantastically.

bagoh20 said...

I still used and benefited from my education, but in an unexpected and vastly more rewarding way. Setbacks can be the greatest of gifts.

Beau said...

No personal offense meant, but if you're near retirement I'd proffer that in a marathon if you are near the finish line it may be impossible to see the difficulties for those now at the starting line that you may not have faced.

None taken.

My response to Pogo was strictly to suggest that even though the evidence appears otherwise the current state of affairs can change. (whatever the situation, not necessarily about the job market)

You can still network and put on a happy face, but you can't change this reality. You can't.

Given the situations cited in your post I am in agreement.

Having worked my entire career for small (200 people) non-profit agencies the nature of these organizations allows for a more individualistic approach to approaching a prospective employer with a novel idea. While it may be easier to find employment with a non-profit the downside is the compensation isn't anywhere close to what a lawyer will make in their career...but then student debt isn't as high either.

On the other hand, have you tried to find a plumber lately? Trade schools where I live are experiencing a huge influx of students who are having no difficulty finding work on graduation (BC).

I really feel for young US professionals at this time.

baobao said...

There was this guy who believed very much in true love and decided to take his time to wait for his right girl to appear.
nike shox nz shoes
cheap nike shox nz shoes
nike shoxs
Chaussures puma
wholesale nike shox nz shoes
cheap ugg boots
nike womens shoes
hommes nike chaussures
femmes nike
mens puma shoes
hommes puma chaussures
femmes puma chaussures
Nike Air Max 360 chaussures
Nike Air Max 90 Chaussures
Nike Air Max 95 Chaussures
Nike Air Max Ltd Chaussures
nike shox
Nike Max Tn Chaussures
nike 360 air max
nike running shoes
NIKE air shoes
nike shox nz shoes online store
nike air max
Nike Air TN Spider Chaussures
Nike Max Plata Chaussures
Nike R4 Plating Chaussures
Nike Shox Rival Velcro
Nike Shox Deliver Chaussures
Nike Shox Classic Chaussures
Nike NZ Plating Chaussures
wholesale nike shoes
nike shox torch
sneakers shoes
Nike Tn
discount nike shoes
nike shox r4
tn dollar
cheap nike shoes
nike tennis shoes
cheap nike shox
free shipping shoes
Paypal Credit card Accept
nike shoes
nike discount shoes
cheap puma shoes
nike shox shoes
chaussures nike
nike free shoes
buy shoes online
You may painfully regret, only to realise that it is too late.