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Article Review - Big Debts Keep Law Grads out of Low-Paying Public Service Jobs”- James V. Grimaldi

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Essay title: Article Review - Big Debts Keep Law Grads out of Low-Paying Public Service Jobs”- James V. Grimaldi

http://www.ourpublicservice.org/pressroom/pressroom_show.htm?doc_id=147617

“Big Debts Keep Law Grads Out of Low-Paying Public Service Jobs”- James V. Grimaldi

For many college students the idea of working in the public sector is fascinating. The thought of having first hand knowledge of how the United States government is run is an appeal to many; however it is not enough to include these students in the workforce. Perhaps the number one reason why many potential employees do no choose the public sector is a lower salary than those offered by the private sector. While many agencies have implemented reforms such as locality pay, pension portability, and pay-for-performance plans, as well as health benefits and job security , actual cash is still important to potential employees, especially those just out of college.

James Grimaldi, a columnist for the Washington Post states that recent law school graduates are turned off by working in the public sector because the salary earned does not compare to the amount of school debt they owe.

A survey was conducted by the Partnership for Public Service, Equal Justice Works, and the National Association for Law Placement in November of 2002. This survey covered 1622 graduating law students from 117 different law schools. Grimaldi states that the average salary for a private practice lawyer is anywhere from $50,000-$90,000; while the salary for government lawyers is $31,500-$45,000.

He also noted that the survey found that nearly half of law school students owe more than $75,000. Most students must borrow money in order to go to school because in-state tuition has increased “140%”, and private school law schools increased “76%.” One can see why most recent graduates are unable to work in the public sector; the school debts are almost double what the employee can make in salary.

Not only is this an issue for the law student, but it is also a matter for concern for the public sector. Grimaldi states that there are 28,000 lawyers working in the federal government and that nearly half of them are due to retire shortly. If no one is willing to work in the public sector for the salary offered, then the public sector will have a serious manpower issue; there will not be a large enough pool of qualified candidates to choose from to fill current vacancies and those positions of the retiring workforce.

Lloyd and Felix Negro address this issue in their book The New Public Administration. In their book they talk about the Competitive Strategy (page 62) in human resources. A basic definition of the competitive strategy

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