Surprise, Georgetown Law grads! You probably don’t have jobs either.

On Friday’s broadcast of NPR‘s “All Things Considered,” host Robert Siegel spoke with five Georgetown Law students who found themselves in unexpected positions after graduating earlier this week.

The five graduates estimated that they each sent out “hundreds” of resumes, yet have all struggled to find jobs, according to Joel Florescu (LAW ’10).

Florescu claimed that the economic problems within the legal industry may have hit other schools previously, but are only now starting to impact Georgetown Law.

“I think that for a lot of the schools below us, it was a struggle for a very long time. Now, their struggle has become our struggle. Now, we have to deal with the same sort of problems that they have been facing,” he said.

Some took a unique approach to the poor job market—Aaron Rowden (LAW ’10) intends to run for the Maine State Legislature, while Becca Richardson (LAW ’10) will be working for the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, a small federal agency.

The reality of the job market seemed to surprise the former students, who expected to make lots of money, quickly.

“I don’t know what I necessarily expected my job prospects would be, but I certainly thought I would be making, you know, six figures the first year out,” Jason Lewis (LAW ’10) said. “That is not going to be the case.”

Sorry, Jason. Maybe you should try freezing yourself in a block of ice?

Photo from Flickr user umjanedoan used under a Creative Commons license.

15 Comments on “Surprise, Georgetown Law grads! You probably don’t have jobs either.

  1. I don’t know how they’re surprised. Layoffs at big law firms have been happening for a couple of years now, and the market has frozen up. The industry has been talking about this since these people started law school, basically. Thankfully, things *might* get better for my year (L’ 12), but I’m not counting on it. Also, how incredibly condescending was that comment about the “schools below us”? The layoffs and hiring freeze have impacted students from schools ranked higher than Georgetown, which barely clings to its #14 rank. In conclusion, these students are idiots. Clearly, the prestige of a school does not equate to the common sense of its students; if anything, it seems to be an inverse relationship.

  2. Meredith – Seriously?

    The difference between this year’s class and L’12 in terms of what was expected is pretty substantial, particularly if you compare what they expected from EIW to what happened to this year’s 2Ls. Of course everyone’s been impacted, but you can’t deny that lower ranked law schools have been hit worse in terms of hiring, especially at BigLaw.

    I’d say they all came off as pretty humbled, yes, given the situation, but here’s the thing – you expect more if you’re in a T14. A lot of our problems are a reflection of the failures of OCS to be useful. Seems endemic at this university if you’re not in the business school.

    No reason to think these people are idiots.

  3. It’s a sad day when Americans lack the money to sue each other.

  4. I will concede your points, gc. Frankly, I think one of the real problems definitely lies with OCS, and this might be what you were getting at: all they preach is BigLaw and all they train us for is BigLaw, and they kept on singing the praises of BigLaw as the whole market went down the toilet. They’re still doing it! We’re better off than other schools, but we’re not immune to this economy, and it’s not getting substantially better any time soon as far as I can tell.

    I went to the town hall meeting a few weeks ago about the externship debacle, and there was definite agreement among the students present that GULC needs to be more proactive in talking about other options and not just vaguely mentioning them. Yes, many of us are in it for the money, but at a school with a wide array of top-ranked clinical programs, most of which involve public service, there are definitely people not interested in that track, and now there are a lot of people who have been forced off that track. Georgetown is known for its ability to send students to great firms, but that’s a lot harder now, and they need to acknowledge that.

  5. Oh, and one more thing: OCS is totally useless on main campus as well, as you said. (You sound like you might possibly be a “double Georgetown” as well?) They were absolutely no help with anything, including my pre-law “counseling,” which consisted of a very brief skim of my resume and a pat on the back. I would not have relied on them in the least for job assistance had I not gone to law school, but I also would have had a hard time figuring out where to even begin my search or how to plan it.

  6. I’m sorry to hear about the tough times in the law job market… though I am curious why the industry hasn’t come back in terms of hiring? My friends are all doing business, and it appears all of them were able to secure jobs at firms in finance (Bulge Brackets) that is comparable to the “BigLaw” ?

  7. Hmm… anecdotal evidence in a largely unrelated industry. Can’t beat that. Game, set, and match. I also happen to know several nurses being hired at large and prestigious hospitals. I hope this makes you law students feel better.

    I am not well-versed in either finance or law, but the differences here should be abundantly obvious (ignoring the trivial fact that, you know, they’re entirely different professions). Wikipedia just told me the top law firm in the world by revenue is $2.66B. The largest US law firm employs 3,785 people. Compare those numbers to any of the bulge-bracket firms and the uncertainty faced by smaller businesses as opposed to the pooled resources of larger firms, and it’s not surprising that hiring isn’t coming back as quickly.

  8. Part of the problem is oversaturation. One too many lawyers, and a system that doesn’t really work well. It sucks for anyone who isn’t a rising 2L because, as the students in the NPR piece said, BigLaw likes to groom you as a summer associate first. It’s very difficult to break in afterward, and that’s what is so frustrating. Whether or not the firms change this in the future remains to be seen. One too many associates has been let go/deferred, that the collateral damage is just there. It was much more difficult for 1Ls to secure jobs this year also because so many 2Ls shifted to other opportunities that they wouldn’t have before.

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  13. I have been hearing about this problem quite a bit lately. Students are graduating from stellar schools only to find out there are no jobs for them. It seems as though law school ranking plays a small role in today’s job market, which is unfortunate for students graduating from top schools. The job market does not discriminate, all different types of people are having trouble getting work. It must be bad when Georgetown law students are unemployed. I certainly hope unemployment goes down in the near future, thanks for the informative post.

  14. Georgetown Law is a TTT law school now? Is that what this means? Having a huge graduating class does not bode well.

  15. I often hear people who are studying law for the money. Why? Probably, mislead by movies or magazines.

    None of the top 100 richest people in the world are lawyers. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Law is not in any way related to making money, nor does it develop the skills you need to know how to manage it.

    If money is what you’re looking for, you may be better of studying something related to money making or money management, such as: economics, finance, accounting, business administration, etc.

    Or related to new technologies and science (low supply), such as: engineering, computers, science, patents, etc.

    In every company (lawfirms aside) there is need for just 1 or 2 lawyers. There just aren’t as many companies being incubated every year, as much as there are new lawyers being graduated. The only way to create employments in a depressed market, is with more entrepreneurs, not with more employees. (I wish I had been told this, when before I studied law).

    An oversaturated supply of lawyers in the US may in the coming years bring the price down to nothing. In the same way, India has done so over the last years with Software Engineers. It’s a simple economics principle of supply and demand.

    My advices is, people, if you can’t get a job as a lawyer, start practicing your other studies or working in something else. Al least in the US, all lawyers in the US have a first degree on something else. Or else your loan installments will get to you soon.

    Good luck!

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