Friday, April 12, 2013

Yes, I am still here....

It has been one year since  I last posted and  a lot of changes have occured in my life! I am still working and trying to hustle may way through the corporate world. I will update with some new posts very shortly!

Thank you everyone for all your kind e mails, letters and requests for me to post most insightful tips on how to save money, cut debt and money matters.

-The Poor Paralegal


Monday, April 9, 2012

Fewer LSAT test takers and more class action lawsuits

Happy Easter and Happy Passover everyone!

I recently came across a great new article in the New York TimesA Sharp Drop in LSAT test takers

The article goes on to say that the number of students taking the LSAT has dropped from 171,000 at the peak in 2009 to around 129,000 this year. This is great news! It seems as if the word is getting out from our blogs and the lawsuits that legal education is no longer a sure bet.

The article goes on to say,

"Many lawyers and law professors have argued in recent years that the legal market will either stagnate or shrink as technology allows more low-end legal work to be handled overseas, and as corporations demand more cost-efficient fee arrangements from their firms." and goes on to add that "The idea that law school is an easy ticket to financial security is finally breaking down.”       

I really hope this opens peoples eyes to what is happening to all the unemployed legal professionals. Many law schools have been sued in class action lawsuits and most legal professionals are working in non legal careers.

I also have some sad news to share with all of you: My company has recently laid off quite a bit of people. They are going through some restructuring and had to let go of a few managers and even attorneys who were doing contracts work. Many of my colleagues talk about how the economy is getting better, and there are some more opportunities out there. However, many of the attorneys and paralegals have a sense of sadness.

Many of us have heard of the class action lawsuits and how applications are dropping, but many of the laid off workers I have talked to try to remain optimistic. Many of them talk about how they will try to get jobs with a firm, get a job in government or work in public service. However, watching the current judgement in New York as 9 graduates lose case against New York Law School has been a very sad thing to see.

Many of us entered the legal profession with a great admiration of the judicial system and the courts. Most of us entered the legal field in order to have a living wage and work for change and justice. To watch one of the courts which we all admired so greatly be so vehemently opposed to the idea that we were "scammed" and "misled" is both heartbreaking and disillusioning. We all try to remain optimistic with all the other lawsuits. However, regardless of all the class action lawsuits, there is little hope that any of us will ever find employment or work  in the legal profession. Many of my colleagues know this, but no one has the heart to even utter these words.

I don't know what the future will bring, but I have come to realize that I must constantly reinvent myself to survive in these troubled times. All I can do is hope and pray that things work out for me, my friends and all of you struggling legal professionals.

-The Poor Paralegal

Monday, February 20, 2012

10 ways to Eliminate Debt

It’s been a while since I have last updated. I have been busy with work, life and trying to keep up with all my social activities. I have barely had any time to attend meetings with my cooking club or my investing club lately. However, I was fortune enough to go to my investing club meeting this past Valentine’s day and I got some great advice from a guy who does credit counseling and helps students with massive graduate school get out of debt. He gave a wonderful lecture and told us ways to live frugally and simple ways to cut costs to pay back student debt. If you are a college graduate or a law school graduate with heavy student loans (over $100,000 in debt), there are some ways you can cut your expenses and find ways to save money to pay back student debt sooner than you think.

If you are overwhelmed with student debt, here are some ways you can drastically cut your costs and save money to pay back those massive student loans:

Tip # 1.     Move back in with your parents after college or law school.

I know that this is a total blow to personal freedoms, and it’s hard to move back home after you finish college and grad school. This tip applies mostly to single professionals, because if your parents let you live rent free, you can knock out a good chunk of student loans instead of paying rent. You can easily put an extra $1,000 or more towards student debt per month if you aren’t paying rent and you can live for free with the parents. I know it’s tough on the social life, but it would only be short term and it will help you save a fortune. The speaker said that one guy paid of $24,000 in loans by living rent free at home with parents, and he only made $55,000 a year. He put every penny towards student loans and they were gone in a year.

Tip # 2.      Only go shopping with Cash.

Whenever I go to the grocery store or drug store, I always bring cash. I will not bring more than maybe $50.00 in cash. If I want to buy more things and “splurge” it will force me to think twice, because I won’t have enough money to buy the things I want, but don’t necessarily need. I can't spend more money than I have, and it will help me save money and not splurge.

Tip # 3     Drive a good used car.

The best advice I ever got was to not have a car payment in my youth. Think about it, a car is a DEPRECIATING asset: You are paying principal and interest on something that is LOSING value. He told us that a good way to get money for a used car is to use your tax return (For example $4,000-5,000 dollars) and buy a used car, and drive it until its dead beyond repair. Good used cars are Toyota Corollas, Honda Accords, Civics, etc. You should shop around and find a low mileage used car with a CARFAX so you know your car is in good condition. By not having a car payment you will have another $300-500.00 a month in your pocket. You can use that money to pay back loans and other debt.

Tip #4    Cut unnecessary costs and little expenses

Do you really need all those catalogs in the mail? Do you need to spend a lot of money on expensive pet food and pampering your pet? Are you paying for premium gas, but do you need it? Check your cell phone bill, you may be paying for more than you really should. Double check your utility bills and bank statements.

Tip #5   Drop the Store Credit Cards.

Do you really need a dozen credit cards? It’s good to have a Visa, MasterCard and/or American Express but you don’t need credit cards for every store in the mall. Unless, you really use a store credit card, then you should really think twice. Yes, you should have credit cards for emergencies, but are there really any emergencies at luxury department stores? The half yearly sale at Nordstrom doesn’t count.

Tip #6   Change your eating habits!

A friend of mine recently decided to stop eating out completely, except for on the weekends. He brings his lunch to work every day and avoids eating out during the week. Of course, he may eat out here and there, but he tries to only eat out on weekends. He has more time and money to enjoy dinner with friends on the weekend, rather than spending so much on lunch. Another friend became a vegetarian because of his girlfriend, and saves money by not eating meat.

Tip #7     Don’t buy fancy brands for generic items.

To me, hand soap is hand soap. I don’t buy all the weird smelling fruity anti bacterial hand soaps and hand sanitizers you see in the mall. I only buy the general hand soap in a big gallon bottle, because it lasts forever. Also, I don’t buy expensive brands of generic goods: Bleach, some cleaners and detergents, dry spices, greeting cards, Milk, and toilet paper. There is really no difference in quality when it comes to generic goods, and you shouldn't pay more money.

Tip # 8       Find a  Second part time job.

If you are working 14-16 hour days, I know how hard it is just to find time to sleep and do laundry. It’s not easy, but if you have some time free in the evenings or weekends, then you should find another job. Get creative, maybe start a business? I used to work as a bouncer for a lesbian night club. The money was good and it was only 2 nights a week. Be creative, think of ways to make money.

Tip #9           During the holidays, ask for “productive presents” whenever you receive gifts.

You will likely receive a lot of presents for your Birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, Wedding, or whenever. When people ask you want or what’s on your “wish list” think of things that you actually need. During my holiday party last year, we had a “Secret Santa” and my co workers thought I was crazy. Everyone asked for money, clothes, chocolates, etc., but I asked for a Costco membership. My Costco membership expires in December, so by getting a membership as a gift, I save money. It’s a productive present, because its something I know I will use for the whole year.

Tip #10        You need to get educated!

Find out more about personal finance from online websites and figure out ways to keep track of your expenses, and find out ways to cut your debt and new legislation regarding student debt and changes in student loans that you should be aware of. Some great websites are :

Wise Bread's motto is "Living large on a small budget," and its community of bloggers informs and advises readers on a variety of personal finance topics. This is a very resourceful site to learn more about managing your debt, credit cards, and how to live frugal.

This is a website that is devoted to helping you live debt free and they have an email they send out every day called “The Everyday Cheapskate” with tips and tricks to help you save money and life a fulfilling life, without excess debt and even include shopping tips and recipes.

The U.S. government has built a site to help assist and teach all Americans the basics about money, saving, getting out of debt, loans, and retirement. It’s a great resource to learn more about the personal finance and government resources that are available to you with up to date news information.

Well it’s late and I have to get up early tomorrow. I hope these great tips will help all of you save money and help you pay off those high interest loans faster than you think.
-The Poor Paralegal

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I have been very busy lately, but I recently came across something very interesting. I found a great new video online of David Segal discussing the state of legal education and the realities that many law school graduates face. David wrote the New York Times article "Is Law School a Losing Game?" and here he discusses the current state of legal education. Watch the video below or you can also see it on Youtube.

-The Poor Paralegal

Monday, December 26, 2011

Law Schools could face a wave of lawsuits in 2012

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy Kwanzaa!

It has been a while since I updated, but I have some time off and I have been busy with my job, my investment club and my cooking club. At a recent holiday party with my investment club, I met Linda who told me that she has heard a lot of bad news about the legal profession lately. She is an MBA  who works in high tech public relations and meets many attorneys who have switched careers or wound up temporarily unemployed. Most who can't find jobs end up leaving the law once they find a decent paying plum job in corporate America. I told her that many lawyers are unemployed and she sarcastically told me that they should sue their alma maters.

Ironically when I came home that night, I was browsing through the online news. I came across this witty and insightful article in the Sacramento Bee, Law Schools could face a wave of class action lawsuits in 2012

You should read the article yourself to get an insiders view of what many legal professionals feel will be a very painful 2012 for many law school deans and administrators. Some are even calling 2012, " The year of law school litigation."  All of the bogus employment statistics and job placement information that many schools publish are very questionable, and the awareness has now reached the masses. Legal professionals who read these blogs are no longer the only ones taking note of the fraudulent practices happening in many o these law schools. Many law firms and even some public policy advocates anticipate multiple class action lawsuits throughout 2012.

I still have hope that I can find some part time job in the legal profession on the side. I am kind of sad because I really enjoy learning about the law and I would have loved to find a job with my education and experience. However, the cliche is true: once you leave the legal field it is EXTREMELY hard to go back.

On a lighter note, my investment club has recently brought in some personal finance speakers to help us figure out ways to eliminate student debt. I have found some useful new tips that I will post in the near future.

In the meantime, enjoy your holiday weekend and have a happy new year! I think the worst of the recession is over, and 2012 should be a much better year for us than 2011. I hope all of you who are unemployed and underemployed find good jobs and work towards a great 2012! It should be a great year for all of us..except maybe the deans of the law schools.  :)

- The Poor Paralegal

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

CNN is right: Law school is a waste of time


My job has been ho hum. Working hard, making some decent money and basically just getting by. I get funny looks from strangers and co workers when they find out I am also a parlegal, and they think I should leave and get a job in a law firm. Unfortunately there are no jobs in law firms. I make more money now than most TTT and TTTT grads make their first year out of law school. I am just thankful for the job that I have, but today one of the VP's in the company had their son come and visit the office. His son is a student at one of those liberal arts colleges (Williams/Amherst/Swarthmore types) and majoring in Philosophy or some other useless major. He sat next to meet today at break and was flipping through his LSAT book and I told him that law school really isn't worth going to unless you go to a to a T14 school, because most lawyers won't make enough money to pay back their loans. I told him that I was doing better at my current job than if I had gone to a law firm.

Sadly, he is denial. All those fancy liberal arts colleges feed their students ego's about how they can do whatever they want and how they are all "special" students. Its such bullshit. I told him he should only go if he gets into a top school and it would be better for him to get a job with his dad's connections.

He really believes he will get a job making $160,000 starting from ANY law school he goes to. I told him to look at articles on the internet exposing the realities of the legal profession. As my break was ending, he came across this CNN article on his laptop. It really opened his eyes and it will probably open your eyes, too!

-The Poor Paralegal

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lawyers join the "OCCUPY WALL STREET" movement

Lawyers are now getting involved to protest the corporate greed in the US! Make your voice heard and fight the greedy bastards  who are ruining this country. To find out more please visit :

-The Poor Paralegal