ABA offers help to lawyers

April 8, 2009
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Lawyers, are you down on your luck, looking for somewhere to turn in this tough economy? Look no further than the American Bar Association, which has launched a new online resource for attorneys struggling to cope with the recession.

Its new Economic Recovery Resources Web Portal  has job search information, personal development and career transition info, law practice management tips, and even ideas on how to handle stress.

The overall concept of the resources is great for several reasons. First, it shows the ABA isn’t turning a blind eye to what’s happening out there in the legal community and knows it needs to help its members. Second, whether you haven’t found your first legal job or you’ve been practicing for 30 years, the site offers information for everyone. Third, it’s not just for those who’ve been laid off but also offers help to those worried about losing their current job or wanting to know how to keep their practice growing.

But there was something a little alarming in the press release touting this new resource. The release said each section offers an array of resources including, “Practical advice from ABA publications, such as ABA Journal articles on what to do if you’ve been laid off and how to make over your résumé if your years of experience make you appear old, on paper…”

If I was an older attorney reading that, it would make me nervous that because I’ve got years of work experience, I’m worse off than my younger counterparts fresh out of law school or with just a couple years of experience. I’ve read how some older workers can have a more difficult time finding a job than younger people because they are older and may command higher salaries, but doesn’t it seem a little ageist to say that you need to “young up” your résumé to get a job?
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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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