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Unemployed Lawyers

Updated on July 25, 2012

Unless you are from the top eight law schools in the country, there is 45% chance you might be working at a Pizza joint until you score that first gig as an attorney. Jumping for $10 hr to $80 or $100 hr. has got to be a shock.

The other gig you might score is working as a temp attorney, yet, they have them! But.... but...they may require a special skill not taught in law school- a foreign language. Yes, can you imagine such travesty, going to law school for 3-4 years, sending well over $50,000 for, enduring the arrogant professors, studying into wee hours of the morning, just to lack a language!

Just what is the world coming to?! Already, at the low end of skilled labor, many jobs discriminate in their ads, to wit, "bilingual preferred" or " Must speak Spanish". While some call it language discrimination, most lawyers call it just another skill.

The most popular temp gigs for attorneys require fluency in Chinese or Korean or Spanish. The temp jobs are usually short term. Hourly rates differ. For just contract review, it is $20-40 hr. For a patent attorney, $85 to $100. For all others, anywhere from $45 to $75.

The lawyers are usually working for large international firms with documents in non-English formats and need to be translated for English understanding. The reason for the temps is because even large law firms cannot afford or need to keep bilingual attorneys on their staff since most documents still are in English. The contract attorney working for $40 hr. through a staffing firm, will work for that agency. The staffing agency will then bill the client between $80 to $150 for the temp. Global litigation does happen and it is far better than delivering pizza!


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    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      That is so true!

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Despite what many say, if you go to a lesser, small,local law school, while they teach the same courses etc., to employers, they do not have the prestige or status as one of the top 8 schools. So, you have one strike against you especially at big law firms. A law degree does help in certain non-legal fields, but it still does not top experience.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Very informative and interesting article. A former coworker of mine graduated from a third rate law school. She in now in her 40s. She NEVER practiced law. In fact, she was doing the same type of work I did, being an investigative Human Rights Specialist I. Many of those who did this type of work just possessed a regular Bacculaureate Degree in the Liberal Arts. She was one of ten law school graduates who was not a lawyer; the majority of lawyers who worked for my former agency did graduate from a well known law school in the top tenth of their classes. However, she did not!