Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tax LL.M. Grad: $150k Student Loans, 300 Letters to Law Firms, 1 Interview, 0 Job Offers

Scary news from CNN Money and the ABA Journal: Andrew Magdy (J.D. 2007, Michigan State; LL.M. (Tax) 2008, Washington University) has $150,000 in student loans and has been unsuccessful in his search for a law firm tax job.  He has sent out letters and CVs to 300 law firms but has received only one interview.

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I wonder if he has considered targeting the specialty tax practices at the Big 4 accounting firms (International, State & Local, Controversy, etc.)- it's a solid career option for tax LL.M.s especially in this market.

As sad as this situation is, it is good that word gets out that incurring 6 figure debt to attend a non top 15 law school is a reckless financial gamble, especially now, although it has been true for at least a decade.

Posted by: Hang in there... | Dec 3, 2008 1:43:25 PM

I would say this is typical for over 50% of law grads. It took me a while to find a legal job and I eventually left legal practice because I could not afford to work for such a low salary and afford my student loans. I now make 3x as much as I did as a lawyer in a field that does not require a law degree. I graduated from a "Top 50" school with decent grades and still could not get a decent job after years of networking, resumes and recruits. Heck, I couldn't get an interview. The fact is that there are way too many law grads for the few decent law jobs that open up.

Posted by: dave | Dec 3, 2008 5:08:32 PM

Too many law schools producing too many lawyers - that's news?

Ohio should close at least two law schools, Michigan one or two.

Posted by: save_the_rustbelt | Dec 3, 2008 6:42:26 PM

The ABA needs to limit the outsourcing of attorneys (see recent WSJ article), and they need to limit the number of graduates from ABA schools.

It is simply unacceptable, and making our profession look pathetic, that we do not have jobs for entry level attorneys. Doctors would never have this problem.

However, the fact this young man attended a non top 3 LLM program does not help.

Posted by: Scott | Dec 3, 2008 7:50:23 PM

Yeah, the ABA will get right on that, just after they stop forcing law schools to violate state law.

The ABA isn't a professional organization. They are a political organization with an agenda. They stopped taking care of the legal profession years ago.

Posted by: Borris | Dec 4, 2008 1:48:32 AM

Should have gone to state school.

Posted by: | Dec 4, 2008 3:24:55 AM

Umm, this happened to me at U of A(Z) from 2004-2007. This isn't news. This is what has happened in the legal fielf over the last 4 years. I ended up sending out over 650 resumes in four years before I finally landed a position and it wasn't with a firm. I only had one law firm interview and that firm dissolved.

Posted by: Old News | Dec 4, 2008 6:17:27 AM

Here's his problem: J.D. 2007, Michigan State; LL.M. (Tax) 2008, Washington University

Posted by: | Dec 4, 2008 6:29:37 AM

Maybe it isn't the market or the credentials that is stopping him from landing a job....

Posted by: | Dec 4, 2008 6:47:56 AM

Its easy for all you professors to say that on this blog. But, I doubt that you tell students who visit for admissions. You are part of the problem not the solution. You are working for a business - just like any other business, your business wants to make a profit at whatever cost.

Posted by: Fed Up | Dec 4, 2008 7:01:26 AM

I am at NYU Tax LLM - it does not matter. We had about 10 firms interview LLMs on campus this semester. I have sent 300 resumes and have 0 interviews. I too have 150,000 in debt.

Posted by: Worried Student | Dec 4, 2008 7:03:41 AM

But, but.......this will affect, RACISTS!

Posted by: Steven | Dec 4, 2008 7:10:44 AM

I agree with post from rustbelt about the medical field and doctors having an easier time getting hired. People pay a lot of money for law school and get no placement services in return. A reality check after the fact does not help. Law schools need to develop relationships with firms and be more directly involved in the hiring process. Law schools need to take responsibility for their students' success after they have taken their students' money.

Posted by: JC | Dec 4, 2008 7:22:44 AM

Set up your own practice with vengeance and screw these big establishments--each time you get a chance to confront them in legal practice-work hard and break their knees. Big firms are a hoax and gaseous. They have one weapon, deluging you in discovery demands, if you have the right fire, smoke shall wither away. Work hard, focus and law practice is easy now with all research facilities. There is no field that is saturated for a talent.

Posted by: karta | Dec 4, 2008 8:05:44 AM

This is bigger than one guy not having a job. This is a failure of the law school system. It almost seems like a scam. 30,000 jobs, 80,000 students. What other profession has such an imbalance? This is sad. It is about time someone did something and spoke up about this.

Everyone that is employed, including myself, might have a hard time relating, or understanding, but this isn't rare. That's the problem. This is very very common, how many resumes do you get per week? Our firms gets hundreds. There should be more balance.

Posted by: Zach | Dec 5, 2008 5:25:17 AM