New Lawyers Enter Unemployment or Work Temp Jobs
For many new lawyers who are now able to call themselves "an attorney" after four hard years of study and a huge student loan debt (not to mention the Bar exam), the disillusionment has hit. The high unemployment has quashed the dreams of making serious, big money, per hour, like, $125-200 for these new lawyers. While it may not always be like this, many have been humbled out of big name law schools when they remain unemployment or working as a "temp". This is something they did not expect and thought they had left far behind in their work history. After all, just getting into a prestigious law school or any any law school is difficult in itself. The new lawyers face the same competition as someone applying at ACE hardware, it is just at a "higher" level. One entry level attorney job paying $6000 a month can easily have 50-100 applicants and the panel of 3-4 interviewers grill the newbie as to what they know and would their personality fit into the culture of the office. Applicants coming from prestigious law schools (Harvard, Stanford etc) have a huge advantage over those coming from a small local school like, Empire. Although the students learn identical subjects and take the identical Bar exam, big name law schools give the law student a great advantage-this is something you pay for.
Many new lawyers are from other careers and are from 35-55 yrs. Many graduate with $100,000 in debt. These new lawyers are then shocked, dismayed, depressed when they are earning only $15 hr. at huge law firm reviewing legal documents. This is common. Most take them because it is short term and could lead to a temp job paying as much as $33 hr. Even this decent rate is half of what an RN makes in many places. These new lawyers work at a computer of 10-12 hrs a day reading legal docs and code them according to litigation. About 10% of all the new lawyers out there landed only a temporary job. Many new grads are getting unemployment. The average wage for a new lawyer is $75 hr. Many new lawyers do fill their dreams, earning $160,000 at big corporate law firms, but many do not. They compete for whatever legal bits are left over. The temp jobs are better than nothing even though a worker who earns $20 hr., their agency bills the law firm $40 hr. Law firms bill from $325 to 500 for one hour's work from a new attorney.
Temp lawyers have their own competition, over 14,000, go online to look at legal specific jobs and postings. The new grads also face the competition from laid-off seasoned lawyers also looking for work. Some larger firms may hire 100 temp lawyers at $32 hr. to code the mountains of legal docs.
Even the "attorney" has been hit by the 10% unemployment.