If BigGov is the new Biglaw, where does that leave contract attorneys in the legal hierarchy? Unemployed, according to a recent National Law Journal article (and discussed by ATL and Temporary Lawyer).
That’s right, the legal recession has gotten so bad that if you graduate law school without a job, you might not even be able to get irregular document review work that pays $35 an hour or less with no benefits.
As the article points out, the misery of contract work has been well documented in the blawgosphere. No respect, no benefits, boring work, and a paltry hourly wage are the usual complaints. Add Biglaw style competition for jobs to the list, and it becomes difficult to understand why anybody would take a job as a contract attorney.
Until you look at the alternatives. Thinking that I would compile a smart-alecky list of less horrific jobs that pay $35 an hour or more, I did a few quick internet searches. The results were disheartening.
If you aren’t really interested in earning thousands of dollars a month from your own home, and have a humanities BA and a JD, there doesn’t seem to be a wealth of realistic options unless you want to go back to school.
At the end of the day, if you’re unemployed after graduation, contract jobs it may be the only way to survive when those loan bills start rolling in. It’s brutal work, if you can get it.