California Bar Journal
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Dashed hopes
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But so far, Beloate says, he's landed just two interviews - and the rejections keep rolling in. Sometimes they come on little postcards. Sometimes they even mistake him for a woman.

For a while, he said, he took to putting on a suit and going to federal district court to watch big cases unfold. The attorneys in the courtroom would invariably approach him. "But that didn't get me anywhere," he says.

"In my first interview, I had convinced myself that all I needed was one chance," he recalls. But that belief was quickly dashed. And then he began to wonder where he would be if he had simply graduated a year earlier. Beloate recalls one interviewing attorney assuring him that if it weren't for the "dot.bomb," he would have had a job by now.

Beloate, who hails from a Montana town with a population of 5,000, worked his way through the University of California at Santa Cruz to graduate with a major in psychology and a minor in biology. In fact, he has worked since he was 13 and has never gone more than a week without a job - until now.

A one-year credential for substitute teaching in grades K-8 has helped Beloate make ends meet. He also was recently hired for a one-week stint doing legal research at a Redwood City law firm and continues to get occasional work on a contract basis. But he has yet to come close to anything more permanent.

Still, Beloate clearly is not alone in his job struggles. One of his friends moved back in with his parents in Los Angeles and recently became a military attorney so that he could practice law. Another landed a civil litigation job, only to be laid off in late 2001; she later switched practice areas.

Beloate says he sees the expiration of his teaching credential this summer as a deadline of sorts. If he

doesn't land a job by then, he will probably have to move out of the area. However, he doesn't feel sorry for himself, he says, because he still believes his law degree gives him more opportunities than are afforded many other people.

"I just try not to think too far ahead," he said, "because if I do, it would probably be too overwhelming."