Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Is law still the right profession for you?

Q. I'm in my second year of law school. When I began it seemed like a great career, especially for women since we were getting equal treatment at most firms. Suddenly it seems there are no openings at law firms. Older, experienced lawyers are being laid off and new ones are told there' are no longer any entry-level positions. I really wanted to be an attorney to right some of the many wrongs in our society. Now I wonder if it's all "pie in the sky."

Ans. You do have to consider the economics and realities of any profession, but you can't rule out those for which you have a real desire and aptitude. If the law is your dream, your passion and your need for satisfaction, stay there. You're right that this year law students are competing for half as many openings at big firms as they were last year and most firms are cutting back on recruitment for next year. The days of exciting internships and big salaries are over. But that doesn't mean  you change your dreams completely. Consider a second set of skills that will work with a law background in the event you don't get the job  you want right away. Courses in marketing and sales will sharpen your skills needed to bring in new clients and that will make you more attractive to law firms. Also consider training in a specialty that you are interested in, such as real estate, banking, or retailing, so you will have something to offer that other law grads won't. Then, when the economy turns, you'll be ready for action.

Days of entitlement ending for teen

Use old skills in new ways