Lawyers and the Big 3

November 17, 2008
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There’s been a lot of talk lately in the news about the Big Three automakers – Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors – and how the companies are struggling in the current economy. The automakers are turning to Congress for possibly $25 billion from the bailout plan to help them attempt to weather this economic storm.

The fear is if even one of the car makers collapses, the repercussions will be felt throughout the country, including Indiana. Workers for the car company, suppliers, dealers, and other companies would be laid off; other companies tied to the automakers could also face closures.

Perhaps it’s because I work for a legal publication, but I immediately thought – what about the attorneys who work for these companies? There are several large firms in our state that deal with either the Big Three or companies that supply parts to automakers. Some firms work with car dealers; others with credit companies tied to the automakers or car auctions. What will happen to the general counsel for these companies who rely on the auto industry?

If Chrysler, Ford, and/or GM go under, how much of an impact will that have on our legal community? I don’t know how much of a firm’s business is tied to the auto industry, but will firms in Indiana have to make cuts to staff or practice groups if the auto makers file bankruptcy, go under, or merge to become one U.S. automaker? Any thoughts?
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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