Unemployed/underemployed lawyers don't believe that they can leverage their education to make a good living outside the law. They might also be convinced that they are the first generation stranded because demand shifted in their field.
Back in the early 1970s, there was a similiar shift in the number of slots open in academic positions for humanities professors. We who had toiled in the vineyards of intellectual excellence were shut out. Employers outside academia asked us why in the world did we waste our youth studying linguistics and literature. Our (blue collar) families said they told us so.
That story, though, continues to have serial happy endings. I made a good buck in ghostwriting and speechwriting, which used my analytical skills and sensitivity to language. More recently, my linguistics background is in demand in China. I have a growing number of firms using my services to do everything from editing material composed by the Chinese for publication in western trade media to advising Chinese strivers on how to position and package their communications for constituencies around the world. This began when I created marketing materials for a tourist agency in China which targets American adults and college students.
As the cliche goes, they can't take your education away. The rub is breaking open to leveraging it in offbeat ways. Often once we suffer big time because our education isn't immediately marketable pain becomes our comfort zone.