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Very interesting perspective.


Great blog! I will be graduating in May 2010 and I am scared as hell about not finding a job and not being able to pay back the student loans. I went to an out of state private law school by choice, because my home state of WV has one law school. I didn't want to get stuck in the "Appalachian Bubble." Now, I'm in debt $200,000 because of law school. My tuition has increased from $687 a credit hour to $995 a credit hour. On top of that, I almost died from a ruptured appendix the 2nd semester of my 1L year (one week before finals). Did my law school help me out? Nope.. they flunked me, took all my money and since I was already $47,000 in debt from that year they told me I would have to restart again. So two years later here I am. I love law, it is my dream, it is my passion. If I had to do it over again... I'd be a teacher. Summers off, $42,000 starting salary. Compare that to Legal Aid... I'm destined for bankrupcty and life as a pauper...


Interesting post. While I think you're discounting the dissatisfaction, disorientation, and even despair out there (law school graduates may not be "ending up on skid row", but far more of us have come much closer than you'd expect), the important thing is that you're offering an idea and a way forward here. I appreciate that.

However, I'm not at all sure how someone in my position would get started. I have been a member of the Bar for some years now, but never practiced. I've been working in non-legal (and poorly-paid) jobs all my life so far, both before and after law school. The sum total of my legal experience consists of: a) a summer spent evaluating petitions for cert for a state Supreme Court justice, b) going through a hard-fought divorce, and c) helping my parents navigate a nuisance suit when the lawyer representing them grew unreliable and possibly senile.

In the absence of getting a legal education such as you propose to offer (I bet that even if it weren't allowed to replace traditional law school, you could get plenty of takers for it in the form of a one-year post-JD program), do you have any suggestions on how to start? Specifically:

1) How does someone with a law degree but no law firm experience get the minimal knowledge and savvy to start handling clients as a solo and not get sued or disbarred?

2) Then, how does that person market himself in the current legal environment? Maybe I'm just not very creative, but the only pitch I can think of is "I may not be an expert in what I'm doing, but I'm conscientious and trustworthy and very cheap."

I'm asking these things not because I've already decided it's impossible, or because I'm looking to have someone do the work and thinking for me. I just plain have no idea how I would begin to any part of this. (How could I have learned enough to graduate in the top 10% of my class yet still have so little clue about lawyering?)

Any ideas or suggestions of things to read would be appreciated.

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    The opinions expressed in this weblog represent only the opinions of the author(s) and are in no way intended as legal advice upon which you should rely. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
    Charles (Chuck) Newton is licensed to practice law in all courts in the State of Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and all United States District Court and Bankruptcy Courts in the State of Texas.
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