I graduated in May 2016. Passed the bar and started working in November 2016.
I’m lucky enough to have graduated multiple times, so leading up to this moment, I wasn’t very excited, if I had to be honest. But at the actual graduation, as I was sitting there in the crowd, listening to my professor speak. This feeling of an overwhelming joy had come over me. Law school was hard for me…I went through a breakup my first year and turned 21 all at once. It was a lot for me to handle, and yet I had pulled up my grades, found multiple positions during school, and finally graduated. I literally felt like I could take on the world.
I didn’t graduate top of the class. I graduated in the middle…with basically everyone else. But I wasn’t worried about jobs because I had so much experience, I figured I was a valuable asset.
Cut through bar prep, which was so hard….and then finding out I passed. I was convinced that I was meant for the law. I was meant to be an attorney and to help people. Granted I was more interested in working for the city, but I still viewed that as helping people.
I got a job at one of the nation’s top firm. *enter sly look* I know right. Well, whatever you’re thinking. You’re wrong. I wasn’t hired as an associate. I was hired as a contract based employee– with the sole purpose of document review. What I realized during my time there was that we were not treated as real employees. We were there to work every minute with no freedom. If we wanted to take any time off for ourselves- we were not permitted to bill for it.
I get it. It’s a law firm, they gotta make money. And making money is only possible if you bill clients. But you can’t bill clients if you’re not actually working.
Concept wise– yes I understand. But being in that situation, understanding that each time you go to the bathroom, that’s two more minutes you have to stay after work to get that full hour.
On top of the fact that you are, quite possibly, performing a job that any high school graduate could do. More often than not, it’s not like you’re actually reading information that is legal in any sense. You’re just reading and marking to see if it’s worth while to the case.
Ok, so what about applying to other jobs? It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. First off, the minimum requirements were constantly 3-5 years. And the jobs that did state 0-2 years were almost always given to the attorneys that actually had the 2 years of experience. In addition to applying to jobs that were way out of my experience level, I also was accustomed to getting rejection letters via snail mail.
I never understood that. Heck, I still don’t understand it. Why is it, that when it comes to scheduling an interview or asking for your resume/work sample, firms can email you or call you. But when it comes to rejection, a response is absolutely taboo. For instance, one firm had snail mailed me a rejection letter, but I didn’t know this. So after a week had passed after my interview, I (very naively) sent a follow up email to the HR Manager, politely asking her if they needed anything from me since it had been a week since I had the interview. Let’s cut to the next day– I had received my rejection letter via snail mail.
So now I’m sitting here looking out the window at work. Straight up wondering if this is why I paid $140 grand for a law degree.
…..So I could read over thousands of moldy documents……