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#DearFindLaw - Advice for New Lawyers and Law Students from @FindLawLP

This week in #DearFindLaw, we discuss a question that's increasingly common: If you're looking for work, should you take that non-legal, but legal-ish job?

An anonymous law school friend had a career question for me. A recent graduate like myself, he's doing contract document review but has been offered a job at a company that produces document review software.

It's a non-legal job, but because it involves legal software, it's tangentially law-related. Should he take it?

There is something surprising about this story, and it is not that an adult film star passed the California bar exam.

Women go into porn for many reasons: empowerment, desperation, enjoyment, and everything in between. There are intelligent women in the adult film industry just as there are intelligent women in every industry.

No, what is surprising is that a for-profit, unranked law school has nearly the same bar passage rates as "superior" California state schools. Well done, Western State College of Law at Argosy University, and well done Heather Swift a.k.a. Holly Price.

Sometimes, you no longer want The Law. And sometimes, The Law no longer wants you. For many recent graduates, the latter is the case, thanks to that whole "tens of thousands of graduates into an oversaturated job market replete with failing firms" nonsense.

Alternative careers: That's the ticket. That's what keeps popping up in our most popular posts lists, and why our "Law Sucks. What Else is There?" series continues. In today's installment, we look at a USC law grad who left the confines of BigLaw to make ugly Christmas sweaters. Stifle your laughter, dear lawyers, because his company is almost certainly making more money than you ever will. And he gets to make phallic snowman jokes via intricate sweater designs.

In a paper published in The University of Chicago Law School's Journal of Legal Studies, Michael Simkovic, a professor at Seton Hall University School of Law, and Frank McIntyre, a professor of finance and economics at Rutgers Business School, wanted to know whether it's worth it to go to law school. Their conclusion: A law degree adds about $1 million on average to a person's lifetime earnings.

We've heard about the dearth of law practice jobs and the lousy doc-review-on-contract ones that are available. Couple that with an increase in the cost of law school.

Given this horror show, is it still worth it? And how did Simkovic and McIntyre arrive at their $1 million figure?

Ron Klain has served as Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents: Al Gore and Joseph Biden. He's a Democratic Party bigwig. Heck, he was even a Supreme Court clerk once upon a time.

Now? Klain just been appointed to the position of Ebola "czar" (formally known as the one-man "response coordinator"). He's set to begin his new duties Wednesday, CNN reports.

Here are a few fun facts about the guy with the worst title in the entire Obama administration, courtesy of the questionable source that is Wikipedia:

It seems like a perfect fit: Only 57 percent of the Class of 2013 found full-time, long-term lawyer gigs. And in rural areas of America, there are a whole lot of people (20 percent of the population) and not a lot of lawyers (2 percent). What's more, many of those lawyers are retiring, leaving entire counties without any counsel.

This is why many states are pushing (or bribing) recent grads to go rural with their practice, and it's why the ABA announced a Legal Access Job Corps last year that would do the same.

One year later, how are those programs working out? And how are debt-laden grads surviving in the rural areas?

Just over a year after receiving his law license, Texas criminal defense attorney Maverick Ray -- his real name -- is representing a client in a capital murder case. One year out of school, what were you doing? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Ray, a 2012 graduate of South Texas College of Law in Houston, is the lead attorney for Howard Wayne Lewis, who was indicted by a grand jury for the 2013 murder of his infant son.

Practice-ready, for the most part, is a myth. Yeah, you may do some clinical work, but it's a whole different game when you don't have a professor double-checking all of your work, and when you have to handle everything, from intake to trial to appeal, all on your own.

So how do you go solo out of school without crashing, burning, and ending up as the defendant in a malpractice suit? Here are a three ideas for getting practical experience, listed from best to worst:

Another website is testing the boundaries of what constitutes "legal advice" -- in much the same way your friends criticize you and then walk it back with, "Just sayin'."

Pro Se Planning Inc. operates websites where non-lawyers can fill in some forms and get customized legal paperwork. Except that allegedly, they don't always work. Latoisha Van Buren is suing Pro Se Planning in Louisiana, Courthouse News Service reports, because "the company is not licensed to practice law in Louisiana and any contracts for legal services with nonlawyers in the state 'are absolutely null.'" (An employee with Pro Se Planning declined to comment to CNS about the suit, which seeks class certification and an injunction.)

What could this website possibly be offering that's so offensive to our noble profession? I put on my hazmat suit and ventured to their website to plan my perfect divorce.

#DearFindLaw - Advice for New Lawyers and Law Students from @FindLawLP

Greetings from Louisiana, where I got to laugh along as my brother spent $300 on a single Contracts casebook -- what in the blue-bound hell is academia coming to when a textbook costs more than my second car? At least he isn't paying California rent.

Speaking of law school orientation, one of our regular readers wants to know what to expect when he enters those hallowed halls. (Hint: It's mere puffery.) And another desperate and anonymous reader wants to know what exactly he should do about his dead-end job.

Here's our take on those topics in this week's edition of #DearFindLaw: