Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Over Educated, Under Employed

I can't figure this one out. I finished law school in May and then spent the entirety of June and July preparing and taking the Illinois Bar Exam and corresponding Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. That means the one major hurdle in my professional life down, provided I pass, is down. Now, I am trying to bypass hurdle number two. I remeber coming into law school as an aspiring 1L thinking how great it will be to have no problem finding a job when I graduate. That I would participate in as many practical skills programs and extra-curriculars in order to insure I had solid experience to offer a firm as a prospective entry level associate. I competed in Moot Court competitions and Mock Trial competitions. I worked for a law firm one summer, clerked for a state agency for another, and externed for a prosecutor's office where I got to litigate part of my own bench trial...

Where did it get me? Nowhere. Here I am mired in what can only be described as incomprehensible confusion regarding the job market. I understand that I am stuck in a kind of professional purgatory, that I am not really useful to a law firm until I pass the bar, but the fact is, now that I have a J.D., it's as though I can't work for the minimum wage jobs either, just to make ends meet. Maybe this is something specific to my geographic location, but I have found that I am not the only one stuck in this particular state of affairs.

The moral of this story is two-fold. First, don't put all your eggs in one basket, because in this job market, one that will no doubt last until the baby boomers finally retire and there is a longstanding positive upturn in the markets, there is no such thing as a sure thing. Second, don't waste your time while in school, use the time to make contacts in the area you want to practice both professionally and geographically.

Anyone have any recomendations?

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