Monday, February 15, 2010

Law Weekly on Jobs, Pt. 2: "Third Years Adjust to Changing Market"

Last Friday, the Law Weekly came out with its second article in a series of three articles on the whole "jobs situation" at the law school. This article - as the title suggests - looked at the situation from a student perspective:
Although the numbers are still unknown, there is a sense that a significant portion of third-years are still looking for work. “I know so many qualified people in our class who do not have jobs lined up,” remarked a female third-year who asked to remain anonymous, “either because the market tightened up so much during our OGIs or because their firms had a bad offer rate.”
Some students were optimistic, however:

While a severe recession is challenging at best, some students have found a silver lining. Because many students are now unable to secure a position with larger firms, they are free to explore options they might never have thought of. As one third-year male speaking on the condition of anonymity observed, “So many people don’t like firms and get burned out after a few years; I almost feel like the job market is saving people the unpleasantness of working two or three years in a job they hate.”

In the past, though, substantial debt led many students to large firms without much consideration for alternatives. “I’ve looked back to why I came to law school in the first place,” remarked Fiske. “It was really tough to ignore the six-figure salaries that were pretty much guaranteed to our class. But when those jobs shrunk, it forced me to re-examine why I was here. I’m much happier and more comfortable knowing that I’m going to be doing something I want to do, not doing something primarily for the money.” From that perspective, the economic recession has created a shortcut for some law students to their desired career path.

For third-year Logan Marguiles, the economy opened up the kind of opportunity most Call of Duty enthusiasts dream about. He will be working at Riot Games, which he describes as an “independent [start-up PC] game developer and publisher in Los Angeles,” in a role that is “part business development and part legal.”

. . .

Another third-year, who asked to remain anonymous, is “contemplating a return to my former career, journalism, while waiting for things to turn around in the legal economy.” He remarked that while he has not been able to find employment in the legal field, law school has taught him more about what reporters should cover.

There was also a bit (which we contributed to) on debt and new federal program, which relates to our most recent post:

Alternative careers present an interesting option for third-years, but the issue of repaying debt looms large for law graduates in any field. A student with $160,000 in debt, with the Federal Stafford Rate of 6.8 percent interest, will end up paying about $1,840 per month if she is on the default 10-year repayment plan. Altogether, that student would pay nearly $221,000.

Some third-years hope to benefit from the federal Income Based Repayment Plan, a new option for student loans. The Plan uses a sliding scale to determine what percentage of income goes to loans. For most, the payment is around 10 percent of total income. Interest is only covered in some cases, but debt is forgiven after 25 years. For a student with $160,000 of debt, making around $50,000 per year, the monthly payment would be about $420.

For students interested in public service, in addition to UVA’s own Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (“LRAP”), Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a new federal program for students working in public service jobs. This program also reduces monthly payments, and will forgive debt after 10 years. As the Law Weekly reported last fall, the LRAP program is currently being “re-tooled” in ways that will make it “more generous than the current [program].”

Read more.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

there's been a lot of real journalism in the law weekly recently.

*head explodes*

Anonymous said...

I want to know what is going on with the 2L class. I hear frightening rumors about the numbers without summer employment. Class of 2011 is the lost class.

Rule 12 (f) said...

"I want to know what is going on with the 2L class. I hear frightening rumors about the numbers without summer employment. Class of 2011 is the lost class."

A lot of folks are still looking. CS will release #s of who does what, but not until the summer actually comes, I think.

Anonymous said...

Why do they keep using 6.8% for the interest rate? If you sign up for automatic payments, you get a 2.5% discount. So for the majority of the loan, your interest rate will be 4.3%.

Also, I believe LRAP doesn't cover undergrad loans. Just something worth noting when making decisions.

Anonymous said...

Who gives 2.5% discounts?! I think mine is .25%. I know for Class of 2011, a lot of the lenders scaled back their deals right before we started, so if you're '10, you may have a better deal. Otherwise, tell me your lender!

Anonymous said...

11:05,
I graduated in 2009 so you're probably right that they changed the deal. I think BOA was a preferred lender back when I started. UVA stopped giving BOA that status because of all the student loan issues. It's also possible I have terrible reading skills and mine is only a .25% discount as well.

And yes, I still like reading this blog even though I'm an alum. :)