Monday, February 28, 2011

Where are all the young lawyers?

In the past few months since I've been working as a litigator it is rare for me to encounter a young attorney. In fact the majority of the lawyers I deal with are at least in their 40's and usually in their fifties. As one who practices in California, my bar number is approximately 280,000 while most of the defense attorneys have numbers in the low 100,000's. Time and time again when I see an answer to a complaint the answering attorney is a veteran with at least 20 years experience. Even in court when I attend CMC's, TSC's and MSC's the vast majority of the attorneys have grey hair. This truly is a older persons game. So it begs the question: where the hell are all my peers?

The other day I was at defense counsel's office for a deposition of my client. The attorney taking the depo was a guy in his late 50's. I told him about a funny video on youtube and he responded with "what is youtube?" Me and the court reporter started laughing our heads off. This guy didn't know what YOUTUBE WAS!! Holy fucking shit! Don't get me wrong he took a mean depo but still, with so many unemployed JD's out there desperate for work I'm sure these firms can use some young blood that are somewhat internet savvy.

Working in the personal injury field I deal with tons of files and thus, tons of attorneys. To date, I have only encountered ONE attorney my age. The rest of them have been men and women at least 20 yrs older than me, some of them in their 60's. Attorneys generally work much longer than the rest of the general population, but with housing in the shitter and many attorneys themselves underwater on their mortgages I expect these dinosaurs to continue plugging away until they croak during a cross examination of a witness lol.

For the new attorneys that are struggling out there looking for work, a good place to find some solace is JD underground. There you will encounter all types of attorneys, from miserable and unemployed to self made millionaires. I personally enjoy good laughs every time I go to that site lol. Shout out to ohiodocreviewer, tiredjd, severian, daleycenter, TTTheaven, headofshit, DopeSmokerEsquire, MississippiLawyer, sazerac, AlLordpwnsU and the rest of the lunatics over there.

Good luck with the job search class of 2010. You will need it. And for a job tip, do not be afraid to "puff" the resume lol.


  1. That is a very interesting question: Where are all the young lawyers?

    I've also wondered that myself. Every time I go to the court house I usually see older guys in their late 40's+ and not many young people.

    Also, I recently put an entry on my blog about how JD's are applying for jobs as paralegals. I think a lot of underemployed JD's are working as paralegals or legal assistants because thats all they can find.

    I'm sure it has been a real struggle for you to find a job, but just be thankful that as a JD you actually have a job practising law. I've met so many educated attorneys working in sales, retail, selling cars, and doing just about anything but practice law with their law degree.

    Have many members of your graduating class found jobs yet? Or are they doing anything just to get by?

  2. I worked for an attorney who did ethics investigations for the state agency charged with such things.

    I remember one case where the old codger regularly forgot to file pleadings, motions, forgot to consult with his client, would file cases that were clearly out of time...etc, etc.

    Just like in FL, they stay behind the wheel well past the time they should have given up the license.

  3. My daughter asked the same question...But she has also found that the Firm she is working for & the Firm her friends are working for can hire more Attorneys.. Instead they have all the young Lawyers overworked..At 26 She took over the office of one of the Attorneys who retired..She knew months before that he was leaving & he did very little in those months..Another Attorney is very ill & 3 went to other Firms & she said that before she got there the Firm was under staffed..They have Offices in MANY States...and it is the same story all around...They pay them a Top 10 University Law School Salary..With all the Benefits & Bonus'...If they would hire between 5 & 10 Unemployed Lawyers for each office that will make a little dent for those Unemployed Lawyers
    She is hoping that her Firm & the Firms where her friends
    work would do so.....

    When she graduated from Law School ALL..Each & every single Law student was offered a job..Some were waiting to start..3 of her friends who waited almost a year went on a long trip and started in the Fall of 2010.. Only one person is waiting and he is going to start in Fall 2011..

  4. "Where are all the young lawyers?"

    Answer: Have you ever looked out over a lake (of debt) and wondered what's buried beneath it, under hundreds of feet of water? Man, that's about as 'buried' as you can get!"

  5. Interesting question you pose. I'm a youngish (35) litigator in CA and though I've been in the field I'm in for almost ten years, and though I've worked with at least 60 lawyers, in three different medium to large firms, I have always been the youngest lawyer in the office. Now I'm the second-most senior partner in the office and still the youngest lawyer here. Its beginning to get silly.

    For any prospective law students, meditate on this.


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