Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Great New Article


I found this article in The Week magazine entitled "The Law School Lie" and it will shock you!

I suggest everyone read it!

-The Poor Paralegal

Friday, April 22, 2011

Confessions of a Car Salesman

I am really into cars, repairing automobiles and if worse comes to worse I will become a mechanic with my own auto body shop. A good friend of mine was recently looking for a new car and so she decided to bring me along with her to go car shopping for a new sedan. She looked into Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, etc. and we went to several different dealerships. We went to the Cerritos auto square and Tustin auto mall, looking at different cars.

We ended up at one foreign automotive dealership to look at Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys. Most of them were used and only had low mileage, so it would be a much better buy for her other  than buying a new car and losing money on depreciation.

The car salesman was Sam* the sales executive.

He began to talk to me about selling cars and how he was the #1 sales guy two years ago, but due to the bad economy his sales have fallen drastically. He used to pull down 7-8 grand a month but now he only makes about 3-4 thousand dollars a month.

He started asking me about my background and I told him I was in sales, too. I told him I was also a paralegal, notary and tax preparer. He said, "It is very hard to make it as a Paralegal these days" and I told him that there are no jobs to be found anywhere.

We talked about how horrible it was and I said "I don't get these news articles about how great it is to be a paralegal and how there are all these jobs. There are no jobs anywhere!" and he said "Yes, I know. All of my friends from law school are working as paralegals and legal assistants!"

I took a step back.

I was in shock. He told me he graduated from a fourth tier law school in San Diego and struggled to find any legal job after finishing in 2007. He has done internships and worked in different firms, but no one offered him a job. He was offered a shit law job paying $15.75 an hour, but he was making more than that selling used cars. He said he doesn't know if he wants to stay in the car business forever, but when you have $128,000 in student loans, you need to find a way to pay back your loans.

He said the worst part of it all is that once you leave the legal profession, it is extremely difficult to get back into the law and find a job as an attorney. He doesn't like to tell a lot of people that he has a law degree, but he knew since I was a poor paralegal that I would understand his dire financial situation.

I told him about how I lost a job offer that paid over 70k a year because they thought I was going to be a "flight risk", but I am still trying hard to get a full time job with benefits.

This is the biggest misconception that many people don't understand.

He said, " A law degree is not a Super MBA, you can't do anything with a law degree. If you apply to banks, financial firms, consulting firms, marketing and management positions, they won't even look at you. I have been turned down for those types of jobs with my JD, and this is why I'm still selling cars."

He was really impressed with knowledge of cars and automotive repair, and said he would ask the dealership if they had any openings. I wouldn't mind working in service or sales, but man ....it must fucking suck to have 128k in student loans and find whatever job you can to pay them back.

I told him that I doubt I will ever find any legal position, and said that about half of his graduating class in 2007 is working in non legal positions. At this point, most of them are so desperate, they are willing to do anything just to pay the bills.

We ended up leaving without buying a car, but will do some more shopping next weekend. I was really surprised to have such an insightful conversation with a car salesman. It makes me wonder about how many other JD's are out there selling used cars?!

That's all for now, and everyone have a happy Easter!

-The Poor Paralegal

*Name has been changed to protect privacy

Monday, April 18, 2011

Second round Interviews

I have been going on some final round interviews for some sales and contracts management positions. Things have been going okay for me thus far, but I was very sad by a letter I received from a recruiter this afternoon. It turns out that with my education and experience, I was considered to be "overqualified" for a position.

I was thinking "WTF!?!? How can I be freaking overqualified for a job in IT sales?"

I have a BA in Business Economics, an ABA certified Paralegal certificate, a California certified Tax Preparer and a Notary Public ( I do a LOT of freelancing on the side to make extra money, thats how I am surviving).

She was impressed with my work history with VAR's, OEM's, Salesforce.com and other technology related applications.

However, she said that she was afraid I wouldn't last long in sales because once I found a "lucrative job in the legal profession" that I would bail and find something "better." She said I was their top and first choice for the job in their El Segundo office, but she was scared that I would be a "Flight risk" so they chose another candidate. The job pays $76,000 a year.

Why the fuck would I want to work as a Paralegal if I can make $76,000 a year working for a firm that does business with Boeing?!?!?

Such bullshit!

Let this be a lesson for anyone who thinks any sort of legal education will "help you in all sorts of fields", because it FUCKING WON'T!

People will think you are overqualified to work in other areas or that you won't want to stay in anything else but the legal profession.

-The Poor Paralegal

Monday, April 11, 2011


It's been a while since I have updated my blog. I have been very busy and I have gone on 18 job interviews, done odd jobs and have done other things to keep myself busy.

I even talked to my friends dad who was nice enough to help me try to get a job in his law firm. He graduated from Harvard and went to Yale law school, where he was on law review. He is a very smart, intelligent and insightful guy. He is a litigation partner at one of the 10 largest law firms in the nation.

I had lunch with him a while ago and told him about how I have several job offers on the table that are in the final stages. They are all non legal related and he flat out told me " I am glad you did the paralegal program when you lost your old job!"

I thought he was a bit crazy for telling me that, since I haven't been able to find any job what so ever in the legal profession. He said, "Now you know the ugly truth about how the legal profession is not as glamorous as tv makes it out to be. At least you did your paralegal program for free and now you have no debt. Imagine going to a third or fourth tier law school, having six figures in debt and making around $40,000 to try to pay off your debt. How would that make you feel?"

He wasn't trying to be mean to me or hurt my feelings, but he was right about one thing: The legal profession is very overrated! At least I had a first had look by doing my internship, working in a courthouse and seeing how few law jobs there are in corporate America.

A while back, he even advised me that I should only go to law school if I got a job after my paralegal program working with an attorney, and to do night school. This way I would at least have some experience, learn the industry and be able to start my own practice after graduating. I have had no luck finding ANY legal jobs whatsoever, so I am 99.99% sure I will never go to law school.

I will keep you updated on my job search and post more money saving websites soon!

-The Poor Paralegal