By AnnMarie McIlwain, Founder and CEO, CareerFuel.net
When Larry Hardcastle entered law school in 2007, the job outlook was promising. By the end of his three years in law school, the picture had changed dramatically. In 2011, only 55% of the graduating class of 2011 had found full-time, long-term jobs requiring a law degree within nine months of graduation according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. To overcome this challenge, Larry threw out the handbook. He searched on Craigslist, took a job as a contractor for a law firm, built on his experience at that firm and "trialed" at another firm, quickly netting a full-time, permanent job offer. Interning your way at a law firm to a full-time job offer is no longer the guarantee it once was. For those attorneys negatively impacted by this market, consider opening up the playbook and trying new strategies. Right now, a search on Craigslist for "attorney" jobs in Philadelphia produced 61 listings over the past month. Several are for contract positions. Join the ranks of Larry Hardcastle— find full-time work by choosing a nonconventional path to get the experience you need for permanent employment.
For those who are considering law school as a way to ride out the jobs crisis, you may want to reconsider. The average debt load for law school is $100,000 alone. In today's environment, you almost need a business plan to see if this kind of investment makes sense for you and your goals. This is another addition to CareerFuel's "How America Works" series.
Video production by darQlight Studios. Still images courtesy of Ashley Hudson.
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