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."