Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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Job Shaming for Lawyers

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | September 14, 2018

No. 1,557

Image: freedomringsnews

The former TV actor who played the son on the Cosby Show, Geoffrey Owen, was photographed bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s and publicly humiliated in the world media. But he courageously turned the situation around when he was interviewed on the national news.  Any job is a good job, he stated. He turned the shame onto the shamers — exposed them for the mean, petty people that they are.  In his case,  this unsought publicity resulted in an acting job on NCIS New Orleans. An apparent calamity can sometimes turn into an opportunity. When called for a TV interview, he was ready and grabbed that brass ring.

Once in a while, I encounter a credentialed lawyer who is struggling after a year or more to enter the profession.  It is always an embarrassment for both of us.  I feel their fear and frustration and humiliation by proxy, but only for a short while. They feel it all of the time, especially during sleepless nights and during social events that cannot be avoided.

Graduation from law school is a daunting task.  It is a strenuous intellectual exercise spanning at least three years and it costs a lot of money.  After that, there is admission to the bar.

Just accomplishing all of that is something to be proud of, no matter what the future holds. But, for a long time our law schools have been producing a surplus of new lawyers compared to the ability of the marketplace to absorb them.

To you, my brother and sister lawyers who are still looking for a real job, be aware that you have more friends than you think.  Stop believing that its your own fault.  You were good enough to get this far and with a bit of luck and persistence you can make the next step.  I know you’ve heard this before.  Maybe you’ve even told it to yourself. But do you truly believe it?

Don’t hide.  Do what other lawyers have to do to get clients. Do it all day, every day. Join church and community organizations.  Volunteer. Go to every bar association event you can.  After a short while, the fear will go away.

Practice your elevator speech. Be interesting.  Be proud of who you are.  When the opportunity comes, and it will, shine.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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