There are a million jokes about lawyers, and most exist because people are jealous of the profession. After all, television and movies tend to glamorize the life style. Yet those in the know are aware of the eighty hour weeks, the often low pay (especially in some sectors of the industry), and the significant toll practice can take on the mind and body. However, there are still some things that most people refuse to tell new graduates. Coming out of law school, you will have massive debt, an incredibly competitive job market, and you will need to purchase lawyers professional liability insurance.
The Market is More Competitive Than Ever
The sharp economic downturn that began only a few years ago affected the legal profession a bit more than other sectors. Every collapse, from major banks to the real estate sector, tended to put attorneys out of a job (or at least reduced their client load). What does this mean for you? There are fewer jobs available, and those hiring tend to have an incredible amount of competition. Attorneys with years, if not decades, of experience are now competing for the same jobs as recent graduates.
You Need Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance
If you are lucky enough to secure employment, you need to get lawyers professional liability insurance. Your ethics course likely outlined all the ways in which you may suffer a malpractice suit, but it is likely that your professor did not let you know that your chances of being sued are actually quite high over the course of your career. The sooner you get malpractice coverage, the lower the yearly premium will be. This sort of coverage will likely be mandated by most employers, so it is in your best interest to grab insurance as soon as you pass the bar.
Your Debt Is Going to Matter
Congratulations! You are graduating in to what is ostensibly a recovering economy, and you will be doing so with upwards of one hundred thousand dollars in debt. This bill, more than any other, is going to direct the flow of your life for quite some time. If you have sixty thousand dollars in debt, which is a cost that is on the very low side of the average, you will need to expect to pay around seven hundred dollars a months to the federal government. This is around one quarter of the income of the average attorney that works in a not-for-profit or aid society position.
The prospects for most recent law school graduates are actually quite dim, facts, which most recruiters are, loathe to tell their prospective students. Being prepared for the field before you graduate is not only a smart move, but is now a survival necessity. If you are ready to compete for a job, ready to pay off your debt, and ready to purchase lawyers liability insurance, you too may be able to compete in one of the most competitive fields available today.