Lawyers Suiting Up for Low-Paying Contract Work

Recession brings major changes to legal community
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2011 3:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – The economic downturn has left an ever-growing group of law school graduates with one question: Where is the fancy, high-paying job to go with my pricey degree? As companies in virtually every industry look to cut costs, the legal community is far from immune, reports the Wall Street Journal. Businesses and law firms are paying 'contract' lawyers as little as $15 an hour and doling out all the benefits an hourly, short-term employee normally gets—which is to say, none. Unemployed lawyers have to fight with a huge class of recent law school graduates to find even that kind of work.

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Many graduates from higher education are in similar straits, but for lawyers, it occurs on a grander scale. One New York lawyer spent $100,000 on education at a prestigious law school, not to mention the years it took to earn the degree, but has found himself out of work for as long as 7 months and scrambling for contract jobs. "A case can settle at any time," he says. "One night they'll call you, and the next day the project ends." Click to read about one law school graduate's bid to get even. (Read more law school stories.)

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