It's always amusing to see the kind of shit job listings young lawyers are expected to jump at, such as the two auto mechanic jobs listed on Loyola - Chicago's Symplicity database. But, every once in a while a job pops up that is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Take a look at this gem, from the San Fran Craigslist:
$85 an hour. Eighty-five-freaking-dollars-an-hour. Let's do a little math here... $85/hr x 40hr/wk comes out to:
$3,400 per week.
By comparison, for you BigLaw types, $160,000 divided by 52 weeks is $3,077.
The job pays, literally, 10% better than first year BigLaw associate work. And, that's actually just the floor. It's a minimum of 40 hours per week. The BigLaw types are working typically 50-70 hours a week. If you were putting 60 hours a week at this gig (assuming they have that many hours for you, but since 40 is the minimum, that's probably a reasonable assumption), you'd be raking in $5,100 a week. Do that for a month, and you've got a cool $20,400.
Of course, there are a few big drawbacks to this kind of work. First, it's short term. These projects are hard to find, and they dry up fast. But, if you were to find just three a year, you'd be doing much better than most young attorneys, and enjoying a ton of vacation. Second, there's no benefits, so all that will have to come out of pocket. But, that's somewhat minor, especially when you consider that ShitLaw isn't exactly known for its Cadillac health insurance.
Most obvious of the drawbacks though is that you have to be fluent in Japanese. Not exactly a common talent, or something you're likely to have learned in law school. If you're a prospective student still in undergrad, add some foreign language classes to your schedule; something where there's going to be a lot of business with US companies, so Chinese, Japanese, and maybe Arabic. If you're a current law student ...pick Spanish, since you actually have a chance of learning that in a short time, and that might help you land some immigration work.