Monday, November 13, 2006

The Underemployed Lawyer

I appologize to those who look forward to reading my musings on a regular basis for my failure to keep up with regular posting. The fact of the matter is, I have been at a loss for words. What can I say, really, that hasn't already been said? This feeling of lackluster worth is driven by a couple of things. First, general uncertainty about life. Second, general uncertainty about the goings on of the world. And, third, this sinking feeling that everything in my life is spinning out of my usually iron-tight control. The first and the third are the most important. While I can say that I will be employed as a lawyer come the first of December, I can't say that I am entirely happy with the position. However, this comes down to unrealistic expectations.

As law students, we (lawyers/lawyers-to-be) lack any concept of of the real world. We are lulled, quitely, by the sanctimonious words of law school rercuirters. Then, with high hopes and delusions of grandure, we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars pursuing what we think will be the next great chapter in our professional lives. Three years later, the reality is much more horrifying.

Truth be told, very few of my classmates graduated with jobs, even the ones everyone expected to be employed by the time we finished. For those from out of state schools moving back home can be even more of a shock. This year in Illinois, there are 2800 new lawyers, and a rough total of 83,000 lawyers in the state. We are left with a gap between the number of new lawyers and the number of entry level positions.

This lack of motivation is no doubt driven by the fact that after being so sure of my professional security at the beginning of this journey, I am left with a mountain of debt and the uncertainty of whether I will obtain gainful employment.

Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to my new job, but it certainly wasn't what I was expecting. The experience will be great, but it will only put me farther into debt. The net result of this equation of experience and wage could result in the nullity of bankruptcy, which for a lawyer spells professional ruin.

Bare with me, this too shall pass, but I fear that in the interim, blog posts of any substantive value will be slow in coming. Thank you for reading.

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