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Colin Fritz thought he had a job waiting for him after his 1991 graduation from the University of Iowa law school.
But the recession dissolved his chances of landing that $72,000-a-year job when the Los Angeles law firm he was headed for hired just half of its applicants.
That left Fritz, 32, to send resumes to government agencies and private law firms from his Lancaster home while doing some temporary legal secretarial work.
"You're not just competing with other law school graduates. You're competing with the three-, four- and five-year attorneys who just got laid off," he said.
Rose Pedone, 45, who graduated from the University at Buffalo law school last May, tells a similar tale.
She applied to the U.S. Labor Department and the National Labor Relations Board and got an interview for one of 50 U.S. Justice Department jobs for which 3,000 others applied. She wasn't hired.
"I've got no offers and no prospects and it's depressing. I want to work, I know I could be an asset, and here I sit," said Pedone, who lives in Cheektowaga.