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Seniority Sucks at BigLaw Firm

At one BigLaw firm, there was good year-end news and bad new-year news.

The good news: some associates got extra year-end bonuses. The bad news: others got six months to find a new job.

It's the same old, same old in business -- especially in the up-and-down law business. But in this case, the senior associates are feeling it more than others.

Government 'Hiring' Unpaid Prosecutors

If you take a job that doesn't pay, are you actually being hired?

Just saying because the Department of Justice is apparently "hiring" Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys. What they mean is you can work, but you won't get paid.

So yeah, not sure if that's good news or bad news. Here's the job:

Over the last year, some BigLaw firms have made headlines for dumping mandatory arbitration clauses from associate employment contracts, at least when it comes to claims involving sexual harassment.

And while arbitration clauses don't seem to be getting any weaker, top talent candidates are starting to think twice about whether they want to be subject to one, and one group of students at Harvard Law have banded together to tell employers just that. The Pipeline Parity Project is a student run group demanding that BigLaw and other firms get rid of mandatory arbitration clauses, and it has been rather successful thus far.

400,000 Reasons to Be a Supreme Court Clerk

Supreme Court law clerks are like professional athletes; they work under the bright lights of a world stage.

But there are 400,000 more reasons that those law clerks are like the pros. That's how many dollars some law firms will pay them as a signing bonus.

Not to compare apples and oranges, but many pro athletes don't command that much coming out of college. At this clip, some rookie attorneys will be looking for endorsement contracts, too.

Landing a job at a prestigious law firm that's going to pay the BigLaw bucks while you're still in law school is unattainable for most law students. At this point, there are just so many more students than there are prestigious summer associate gigs, or even law firm clerking jobs for that matter.

It's a competitive market, and setting yourself apart is getting harder and harder. But that doesn't mean a law student can't work somewhere else without having it hurt their resume. There are plenty of non-law firm jobs that can help set you up for career success down the road, particularly if you don't envision yourself working at a law firm anyway.

Below, you can read about seven non-firm jobs that are good for law students to take, that is, if they can get it.

Cornell Law Grads Make the Most Money

They say that money isn't everything, but that's not what law school students say.

Just walk around any law school and listen to the chatter. It doesn't take a formal survey to know that for most law students it's (at least in part) about the money.

But to make it official, a recent report says that Cornell Law School graduates get the top salaries. Now listen to that sucking sound coming from the top 10 law schools.

Do the Math: Law School Excellence Doesn't Equal Law Practice Success

Jack was great at law school, but struggled in law practice.

A top law school, law review, and honors didn't seem to matter. There was a big disconnect between law school and law life.

He had to face it: excellence in law school doesn't equal law practice success. What he didn't know is, it happens all the time.

Law School: Not the Deal It Used to Be

Unless you have a DeLorean time machine, you're stuck with the cost of a legal education today.

But if you could go back to the 1980s, the average tuition at a private law school was about one-fourth the cost today. So you had a choice: buy a DeLorean or go to law school.

Today, the old "Back to the Future" cars are worth about their original investment. If you are looking at the comparable cost of a legal education, you are talking about a quarter-million-dollar Ferrari.

While being a competent lawyer is one thing, being competent with technology is another thing entirely.

Tech is like a language of its own, and some people know how to speak it, while the rest are left to learn what they can through crude hand gestures, step-by-step guides, and seemingly endless, frustrating hours of point-and-click-trial-and-error. But the truly tech savvy don't just know how to do everything, they know how to figure out how to do the things they don't (and fast).

And while legal employers thankfully aren't too hot on requiring tech literacy tests, some might be quick to figure out when a new associate can't figure out the software, or if they drop the ball and forget to scrub work-product metadata out of a document production.

Below, you'll find the secret to at least appearing to be tech savvy and finding the answers to all your tech questions.

Go Mostly West, Paralegal Practitioner!

Back in the day, paralegals had to toe the line between helping lawyers and practicing law without a license.

But that line is fading as another state has authorized nonlawyers to practice law. Washington led the nation with limited license legal technicians in 2012, and Utah will start licensing paralegal practitioners in 2019.

These legal professionals can handle a variety of cases without a lawyer's supervision -- as if that never happened before.