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Taking the bar exam… then what?

Time flies. The crop of young 1Ls in the LARW (Legal Analysis, Research & Writing) class I used to teach during my 3L year at University of Baltimore are sitting for the Maryland bar exam as we speak. I have kept in touch with several of my former students, and I spoke with one of them on Monday as he was traveling through various stages of anxiety. The sad thing was that he was not completely consumed by the understandable trepidation that comes from the bar exam. The main topic of the conversation was the fact that he was still trying to find a job. After transferring from the University of Baltimore to a law school ranked in the top 25 — and after graduating from that law school in the top 25 percent of his class and applying to over 200 clerkships across the country — he found himself concerned about employment the day before the worst (but biggest) two days of his life. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is not how he envisioned the culmination of his law school career when he started a few years ago. Why are people still clamoring to go to law school? A couple major news outlets, the main one being the New York Times, are scratching their heads over the same question. Unfortunately, despite the huge toll the recession took on the legal industry in 2009, students are still sprinting toward law schools with the belief it will bring them career satisfaction through monetary bliss.

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One comment

  1. I graduated with honors from a top 30 school over a year ago, took the Maryland bar after graduation in July, passed, and have since been struggling to find a job. Well, a law job, that is.

    After passing the bar exam, I got (what I thought would be) a temporary job in editing to make money to pay off the loans until THE job came. A year has passed, and I’m still working that temp job.

    It’s extremely disappointing to know that all of the hard work that I did to get into law school, to graduate with honors from law school, and pass the bar exam has all been for naught.

    Why do we still go to law school? If you would have told me as a senior in college that I could do everything right and not find attorney work post-law school, my hubris would have blinded me into believing that all of those attorneys who couldn’t find jobs were doing something wrong, and *I* of course would make it, *I* would be different.

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