Catherine Rampell of the New York Times wrote an article that, unfortunately, reports on an all-too-common problem, the increase in the long-term unemployed population, on December 2, in a story entitled “Dwindling Prospects.” I know people who fit her description. In fact, I have spoken to a local support group of individuals who are part of the long-term unemployed population, in one of the wealthiest communities in the world, Darien Connecticut.
I was effectively unemployed once in my life, for about a 4-month period (January, 1979, through May, 1979) between my second law firm job and my hiring by Pitney Bowes. I was told in October, 1978, that I would not be offered a partnership, was given a few months to look for a job while on the payroll, and then was put in an “of counsel” status, meaning that I would be hired only for hourly project work. I had a little work, but nowhere near enough to support my family. It was initially scary, and I felt all the self-doubt that Ms. Rampell described in the people she profiled. When I became unemployed, despite a Harvard Law degree, I did not know when I would be hired to work again.