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The Unemployed Attorney's Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on November 21, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The unemployed attorney is in a tough spot these days.

Maybe you've been having a hard time sleeping lately. Is it because of the stress of finding a job in these uncertain times? Is it because you're struggling to make ends meet?

No, it's because something even worse is looming on the horizon: T-day, or Thanksgiving. Your family is about to descend upon you, peppering you with questions about (1) your life, (2) your lack of a love life, and (3) why you can't find a job. In an effort to avoid those awkward and uncomfortable silences when someone asks you a piercing question you simply can't answer, it's advisable to think ahead and map out your answers beforehand.

Q: "So, I heard you failed the bar exam. When are you retaking it?"

A: I'll retake the bar exam soon. Excuse me while I go take a shower so I can cry without embarrassment, as the sound of the water falling into the tub will mask both my sobs of pain and my salty tears of failure.

Q: "Any leads on jobs?"

A: No, any leads on Bigfoot or Nessie?

Q: "How are you paying for holiday presents this year?"

A: Oh, didn't I tell you? Because of my part-time gig as a bagger - or "Supermarket Customer Experience Engineer" as I like to call it - I get massive discounts at the grocery store now! So don't worry, your stocking will soon be "stuffed" full of discounted, nearly-expired treats.

Q: "What's the deal with your student loans now?"

A: Shhh!! Don't call it by its name, it will hear you ...

Q: "Hey! So you just graduated from law school? I'm thinking about applying! What did you think of your experience?"

A: [Blank stare ...]

Q: "Now that you're an attorney, why don't you draft my will for me?"

A: Oh no no, dear family member, you are sorely mistaken. For whatever reason, you seem to believe the $160,000 in tuition I spent on my legal education teaches me how to do something practical, like draft a will or practice law. Yeah, it really doesn't. Sorry.

So there you have it: once you get the proper answers prepared, you are free to enjoy your holiday vacation with minimal pain and emotional trauma - though you might want to keep your favorite drink on hand to help you along.

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