You've probably heard this story by now. It's gone viral in the last few weeks. But in case you've missed it, take a look here for the details and here for a comic take on the matter.
Long story short, a small law firm in Boston is offering an annual salary of $10,000.00 for a new associate. Keep in mind, that at least according to this article, the average rent in Boston is $2,218.00 per month. So just rent for a year costs over $26,000.00 a year. That's not counting little things like food or the student loan debt that so many attorneys are saddled with. Sure, you can find cheaper rentals by leaving the city and getting roommates, but overall it's still very expensive to live in the Boston area.
Over the last couple of weeks, my co-workers and I have been talking about this firm. One person said to me, "This guy is a cheese ball! I have no respect for people who take advantage of people who find themselves in tough circumstances. What does it say about their character?"
Another person suggested that the firm should just get an intern and not pay them at all. The whole story is very demoralizing. All of us agreed that we'd rather volunteer for an organization that we believe in. I'm not mentioning the name of the firm here. You can find it in the stories that I've linked to.
What makes the whole thing worse is that one of partners seems so happy with the amount of money that they are offering and how this position could be a real opportunity for someone.
Further according to the article, they have received over 50 applications for the position! Seriously??!! Well, I did a little digging and found a tweet from the firm's Twitter account and they were looking for an attorney to join them in November 2010. I imagine that whoever they hired has since moved on.
See for yourself the the screen grab showing the original job posting. From what I understand, the job listing is no longer up. However, people have started commenting on the firm's Facebook page.
While this job posting is rather extreme, it has opened the conversation to a wider audience regarding lack of attorney jobs. They are few and far between and the pay is not what people think. Most attorneys aren't working in big firms making six figures. A recent article states that we've reached a new low. Only 65% of 2011 law school graduates have jobs that require Bar passage.
However, as much as people are talking about this issue now, it's been an issue for years. It just wasn't being discussed in wider circles.
Here's an interesting interview on YouTube with a discussion about law student debt, the lack of jobs for attorneys and the issue of whether some law schools may need to close. It's a brave new world my friends.
*Updated 6/22/2012* In a related issue, UMass School of Law in Dartmouth, MA announced a three year tuition freeze.
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