Friday, June 15, 2012

Blessed are the scambloggers

Today at the Washington Marriott:

3:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.          Plenary III: Is the Legal Education Bubble (Still) Bursting?
                                                Salons A, B, C & D
                                                This distinguished group of law school deans and professors, some of whom have been most intimately involved in assessing the state of the legal profession and legal education, will have a conversation focused on providing answers to the following questions:  How would you describe the current job market for recent law school graduates?  How are the employment numbers in 2011-12 different than in 2005-06?  Are these changes likely to disappear as the economy improves, or are they becoming structural, long-term changes? What legal employment information will the ABA require law schools to disclose in future years and how will this information be made available? Is full disclosure enough?  Are there too many law schools, given the available job opportunities?  What advice would you give to a person considering law school and the legal profession?  Who should be going to law school?   How should cost, scholarships, geography and specialization be factored into one’s decision about whether or where to go to law school?  What level of debt is advisable?  How does or should Income Based Repayment factor into one’s decision to consider going to law school? How should law schools change to better prepare students for the changing legal employment economy?
                                                Moderator:           Jerry Organ, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
                                                Panelists:               Paul F. Campos, University of Colorado Law School
                                                                                Ken Gormley, Duquesne University School of Law
                                                                                William D. Henderson, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
                                                                                Maria Pabon Lopez, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
                                                                                Brian Z. Tamanaha, Washington University School of Law

 A message:

A year and a half ago I finished my first year of legal studies at a private top 50 law school.  Although I was awarded a fairly generous scholarship, I was still looking at a total of somewhere between $80,000 and $100,000 in debt for tuition, living expenses, books, etc. to complete my degree.  After my first year of studies, I was ranked square in the middle of my class.  Although I was able to keep my merit scholarship, I was becoming very concerned about the odds of finding suitable employment after graduation to repay my debt.  Despite my school having a “solid reputation,” it seemed every student I spoke with, whether current or recent graduate, had the same story to tell… no job yet… but next summer will be different…. or in two years when we graduate the market will be better… or when I pass the bar…  Reality started to set in when even the top students from my class had nothing lined up after OCI.  Reality sank in when only a couple of “employers” contacted me for interviews for the volunteer positions for which I had “applied.”  Reality bit when I was turned down for one volunteer position because recent graduates were also interviewing for the “opportunity.”  I figured, if I can’t even give my services away for free, what employer in their right mind would pay a decent wage for what I have to offer?  It was at that point that I seriously started to contemplate dropping out of law school and trying to move on.  

At that point, the full extent of the “law school scam” had not been fully revealed.  There were whispers of the true grim reality, but most of my classmates were still stuck in the bargaining phase of mourning and hadn’t moved on to full depression.  I contacted my mother, the wise old sage of down-home common sense, for guidance.  I explained the situation… I explained how it seemed the rules had changed – abruptly – that it seemed a law school education no longer made economic sense… the legal profession would never be the same.   Then my mother asked me how much debt I was looking at if I finished.  I almost couldn’t tell her the figure, because the figure sounded absurd when you said it out loud, “At least $80,000, probably $100,000 by the time interest and deferrals are figured in.”  And then a moment of silence on the other end.  I figured my mother must be thinking… “that’s more than we had paid for our house… that’s more money than you ever hope to see son.”  Instead, my mother, the same woman who grew up without electricity and running water, whose feet were deformed because she couldn’t afford proper shoes as a child, and who never took out a credit card or a car loan because, “you don’t buy something unless you have the money to pay for it,” replied,  “well that doesn’t sound too bad.”  It was at that moment that I knew this whole thing was a bubble waiting to burst.  

Despite an assurance that, “You’re bound to find something when you graduate,” I knew, thanks to websites like jdunderground, that it was entirely too possible not to find any kind of legal employment after graduation.   In fact, the JD might actually disqualify me for the kind of employment I held prior to beginning law school.  So I made the gut wrenching decision to drop out.  One year of law school had wiped me of everything.  I moved in to my girlfriend’s place with no savings, no car, no job, and $30,000 in law school debt.  Still, I felt like I had made the right decision for the long-term. 

Today, while my fellow classmates are graduating with six figures of debt and no jobs - at least I haven’t talked to a friend that has secured employment… “yet” – I have a decent job with good benefits.  The job, in case you’re curious, is nearly identical to the job I left for law school hoping for more financial security.  I’m also now married to my wonderful girlfriend who took me in with nothing after I left law school.  I figured if we could survive that together we could last through anything together.  After I found a job, we were able to purchase a house - a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath house for $97,000 – ironically almost exactly what it would have cost me to finish my law degree.  With the security of two incomes and manageable debt, we were able to start our family and recently welcomed our first child into this world.  I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that [people like Brian Tamanaha, Law School Transparency, Bill Henderson, Deborah Merritt, Nando, JD Underground, Matt Leichter and others] willing to discuss the truth about law school and the legal employment market, saved my life.  Without the knowledge being disseminated, I know I would have kept soldiering through law school, glossy brochure in hand, to land that mythical high paying firm job after graduation.  I would likely be unemployed and in a 6 figure hole with no bottom in sight.  I certainly would be in no position to purchase a house and start a family.  I am so grateful for what I have now and I know I wouldn’t have what I do had I decided to finish law school.  Please continue the work all of you are doing.  Remember, “Whoever saves a life, saves the world entire.” 



  1. Painterguy first :)

  2. The law schools are knowingly or at least negligently placing the hapless law grad's financial plight onto the shoulders of the US taxpayer.

    And don't forget that the debt coming out of school is just the beginning.

    Wait until the compounded interest gets piled on.

    $30K of debt with monthly payments of 300 to 400 dollars a month can be dealt with.

    But $100K to 150K of debt with monthly payments of 700 bucks a month or more will have to be turned over to IBR and the taxpayer.

    And IBR doesn't stop the interest accrual, for which the borrower will be handed a tax bill when all is said and done some 20 years later.

  3. To 4:38, our careers services advises all of us "don't be so picky" and to rely on IBR. It's like they've given up on even helping us look for work that doesn't need IBR, or maybe something that pays a decent wage doesn't exist.

  4. I"m interested in what he does now for a living and what his undergrad was... if he had any undergrad debt, and if not, how did he pay for undergrad...

    Then was it difficult finding a non-law job.


    I didn't go to law school but I'm burdened with undergrad debt and then after school it took a good 3 years to find a job.

  5. If there is a transcript or video please post a link

  6. The joke's on this kid!

    2012 Cost to raise a child was just updated to $235,000. PLUS he DOES get to be labled a QUITTER and DOES NOT get to call himself a LAWYER!

    It was a net loss to drop out, fool!

    Dean Gormley

  7. Maybe this is a better approach when discussing the Law School Scam: The duty of care a law school or any university owes to the taxpaying public when handling federally backed student loan money.

    Viewed from that angle, Transparency becomes all important.

    So perhaps it is the taxpayer rather than the former students that should be bringing class action lawsuits against the law schools that knowingly continue to pour more lawyers into an oversaturated job market.

  8. Taxpayer class action...that's funny.

  9. Tell me 5:25AM was a joke and not really Dean Gormley.

  10. Recently I heard a rather conservative talk radio host discussing the student loan crisis and to paraphrase: the taxpayer is an unwilling participant, dragged into the mess created by too much government involvement in higher ed, and the abuses in handling of the funds by greedy universities.

    That kind of sums it all up though.

  11. @5:32 AM, it continues a disturbing and heart-wrenching trend: well-meaning, guilty, upper class liberals trying to spread the wealth around end up making things worse for the people than they otherwise would have been.

    It's heartbreaking, whether it is the war on poverty, education, or housing.

  12. It's nice to see that the Pre-Law Advisors National Council is willing to host this discussion.

    Maybe in ten years, the AALS will follow suit.

  13. I hope that idiot Gormley denies any sort of problem and references $$$hiTTTTy Duquesne as a producer of NFL presidents.

  14. Stories such as this makes it all worth the struggle. I also occasionally receive emails from people who express dark thoughts - including general hopelessness, contemplation of suicide, and anger. Of course, the law school pigs don't care about these former customers. After all, the swine were paid up front, in full - on the backs of the students. I fully intend to keep flushing these toilets and individual turd "professors" until the average person associates law school with diploma mill.

  15. This kid's mother might have grown up without running water, but most parents of kids in their early 20s grew up in economy that was stronger than today, where the phrase "upwardly (class) mobile" and "young professional" were yoked together in the famous acronym "yuppie"-- which I haven't heard in a good long time.

    That is a problem. The influencers, the parents and teachers, grew up in a society where the bottom had fallen out of the economy for the working class, but where the educated and credentialed were bound to land white collar jobs. Over 40, and your first instinct is to tell a kid who is struggling: "enroll in school." The right answer, unfortunately, is usually: "drop out."


  16. There’s a guy in his 20's who works at a supermarket near me collecting shopping carts in the parking lot and emptying the bottle deposit machines. Although I don’t know the details, he is clearly on the Autism spectrum. And you know what, he gets a paycheck every two weeks, as well he should. Meanwhile, graduates from T50 schools who are admitted to the bar literally can’t give away their services for free. On a very basic level, that tells you all you need to know about the wisdom of attending law school.

  17. 5:11 AM writes, "...our careers services advises all of us "don't be so picky" and to rely on IBR. It's like they've given up on even helping us look for work that doesn't need IBR..."

    What struck me very hard as I read this comment was its similarity to the news published a few years back, about how WalMart store managers were trained by WalMart Corporate on how to get their associates signed up for food stamps and other public assistance.

    Amazing that a LS CSO would draw that parallel...

  18. @6:50 AM - sounds like Publix supermarkets in the Eastern US region.

    They make a commitment to hire people like the young man you've mentioned, who are clearly well fit for the jobs they are given there, even though they may never be able to work the front desk or the checkout.

    These are folks who do a fine job but because of their [autism, Down syndrome, etc.] would normally be passed over by other employers.

  19. IBR is like wrapping Tiger Patch tape on a leaky exhaust pipe.

    It's a temporary, patchwork fix, and it won't last.

  20. IBR is like pouring a bottle of that Gunk sealer stuff into a leaky radiator.

    It will work for a while, but as sure as God made little green apples with worms in them, that radiator is going to leak again and probably when you are on the road.

  21. IBR is like using Stop Leak to repair a flat tire.

    It might get you home today, but it wont last, and sooner or later you are going to have to fix that tire properly.

    IBR kicks the can down the road and is not a real solution such as bankruptcy protections or forgiveness for Student Loan Debt.

  22. It's annoying when people overstate the situation, as in the post above: "every student I spoke with, whether current or recent graduate, had the same story to tell… no job yet." That's just not true. Even at Cooley law school it isn't true. The situation is dire and very difficult, but there are people getting jobs out of the T14 and the top of the class at schools below this. I went for an interview last week (I'm a 0L) at a law firm that does traffic cases. Three attorneys and a paralegal. They wanted to hire me to work for free (summer internship) doing office work like sending letters to people recently ticketed for speeding or charged with DUI. The attorney I spoke with told me point blank that this is the kind of job I will have when I graduate. That biglaw doesn't exist any more, and to get used to this kind of work. I told her that big law jobs are contracting, and it is much much harder to get them, but they still exist. The law school scam blog movement is important, and has done a great job, but it's crazy to make it sound like no one has a reasonable job.

  23. @7:29:

    Oh, Big Law jobs do exist. You just won't have one.

  24. How does that negate his point?

  25. @733:

    statistically, this statement is likely true. In my case, it's not.


  26. 7:29 am:
    The fact that you think it's even your place to argue with an experienced attorney about what the job market is like -- before you have started law school -- is a very clear indication that you a) have an inflated perception of your standing in the world, and b) are going to be completely f***ed by law school and the profession.
    Good luck out there, not that it's going to help you.

  27. It doesn't. Though it may be better to focus on what you can have, not what someone else can have.

    Magical thinking is magical. I try not to entertain thoughts of dating keira knightley. And I certainly wouldn't go 150K in non-dischargable debt chasing the dream of dating keira knightley.

    The fact that someone can, in fact, date keira knightly shouldn't enter my decision-making.

  28. In my case, it's not

    Ha. I'll believe it when I see your business card in four years.

    Free internship for a traffic offense shop. Justice Roberts did that 1L year, didn't he?

  29. Inertia and sunk costs are near impossible to overcome. That's why the "scholarship" game is so successful.

    This is human nature and will not change in our lifetimes, so the only solution is to stop folks from enrolling in the first place.

    Unfortunately, changing the perception of what it means to be a "lawyer" has such a long history of being glamorized that it too has a near irreversible inertia going for it.

    Believe it or not, things are going to have to get a lot worse than they even are now for there to be change. In fact, the best bet is that the student loan/higher ed scam in general is what prompts the change, NOT the microcosm that is the law school scam.

    The law is glamorous (to most people).
    All lawyers are wealthy or can be wealthy (to most people).
    Lawyers are shysters and deserve any ill-fortune that comes their privileged way (many people).

    And the fact that the student loan "bubble" may burst suffers from the fact that we, the people, can't grasp the importance of things that are more than a year or so in the future. People can't plan their budget for next month, so they don't care about a trillion dollar loan bubble that may leak and burst years from now.


  30. I misread. 0L. I take back my traffic shop snark.

    So you've never received a single law school grade. Maybe you're a yalie or can hide in big daddy's wallet. If so, go with god.

  31. 7:29 - Law School isn't going anywhere...even though SOME people do get decent jobs, since there are many who apparently do not AND have huge debt, what is the harm in postponing your dream to see if the situation improves?

    If you've "got what it takes," then you'll still have what it takes in a year or two and be all the wiser.


  32. Ken Gormley is a worm.

  33. 7:29, "Even at Cooley law school it isn't true. "

    Let's take a look at Cooley's 2011 numbers. They report a total of 39% with non-temp employment (361 of 927).

    Of those, 62 are known to have hung their own shingle. Do you count those as real law jobs? I don't - more like a starvation diet. So if you permit discounting solos, you're down to about 33% of the class employed.

    And 110 reported being in firms of 2-10 lawyers. No clue how many of those firms are actual, established firms vs. being new "firms" of newgrads banding together to hang a shingle. But let's say they are all with real, established firms and keep them in the total.

    So, looking at all reported law firm employment (including the "2-10" for the benefit of doubt), you get 142/927 or about 15% employed in law jobs.

    Another 18 grads reported public interest work (including public defender), so assuming those are also real law jobs, you get up to about 17%.

    No way of knowing what the other 120 people who reported being in business and government are actually doing. Are they law jobs? I kind of doubt it.

    So, anyway, you're correct that even at Cooley, it's not as if none are getting to practice law. But it's a pretty small percentage, considering the outlay.

    Wonder what the salary numbers are like for the 110 in the 2-10 lawyer firms? Or the 15 in the 11-25 lawyer firms? But for the 8 grads (of 927 - that'd be less than 1 percent) who made it to firms of bigger than 100 lawyers, salary's probably not too bad, eh?

  34. Henderson is not much better.

  35. Am I the only one amazed by a 3 bed / 2 bath house for $97K? Is this a midwest thing?

  36. Don't you matter the numbers you through out there, an unemployed kid is going to look at law school as a decent deal since loan money isn't understood.

    If you categorically prove that only 1 person out of each law school graduating class will find work that allows him to pay his monthly loan payment and still eat, each 0L is going to assume that they are that 1 person.

    The sophisticated consumer is bunk...and not just for law school applicants. People overestimate their abilities and totally f-up risk/reward analysis. Even the professionals...check the news lately?


  37. I don't recall any scamblogger asserting that "No one has a shot at a reasonable job." They are saying that there are far too few jobs for the number of JDs graduating each year, that students at lower-ranked schools are the most severely impacted, but that even graduates of higher ranked schools are having tremendous difficulty finding a job, or at least one that pays enough to justify the cost and commitment of law school. And that many of these JDs are graduating with crushing, life-destroying, non-dischargeable debt. And that law schools are obfuscating the truth about their graduates' job prospects. And that the JD are scarlet letters when it comes to getting a non-law job.

    The truth is out there. If you think you can beat the odds, have at it. But at least understand the odds first.

  38. Remember I mentioned the Henrey Bunsow case against Dewey Lebeuf yesterday - I received a copy of the complaint (it is zipping around, lawyers are gossipy) and there was this paragraph which makes a point that will be so familiar to people who complain about the US News Rankings:

    13. During 2008 and continuing to the present, Davis, Kessler, Sanders, DiCarmine, Woods, and Does 1 through 200 concocted and participated in a scheme and conspiracy intended to misrepresent the financial performance of Dewey. In particular, Davis, Kessler, Sanders, DiCarmine, Woods, and Does 1 through 200 conspired to publicly and privately misrepresent the financial performance, history and stability of Dewey in order to attract successful partners from other law firms to join Dewey.

    14. Beginning as early as 2009 and continuing to the present, Davis, Kessler, Sanders, DiCarmine, Woods, and Does 1 through 200 formulated false and misleading financial performance reports and provided them to the publications that report on law firm performance, including, in particular, the American Lawyer. At that time, Davis, Kessler, Sanders, DiCarmine, Woods, and Does 1 through 200 knew that the American Lawyer rankings and, in particular, the Am Law 100 published financial information, was typically the first and most important information relied upon by potential lateral partners in making decisions about joining other firms. Defendants and each of them confirmed the accuracy ofthe Am Law financial information in recruiting lateral partners, including Plaintiff, to join Dewey and Plaintiff relied on these representations.


    For example, Defendants and Does 1 through 200 reported to the American Lawyer for public dissemination that gross revenues for the firm during 2010 were $910 million and profits per equity partner exceeded $1.7 million. Similarly, for 2011, Defendants reported grossly inflated financial performance figures to Am Law 100 in an effort to continue the fraudulent acts perpetrated on Plaintiff. Defendants reported gross revenues of$935million; profits of $335 inillion; and profits per equity partner of over $1.7 million.

  39. It isn't really that "no one has a shot..."

    And it doesn't matter if some do have a shot.

    The problem is being sure enough that YOU will be one of the successful ones that you're willing to mortgage your future on it.

    Top that off with not understanding what "mortgaging your future" means, along with an inflated idea of how much better you will do than the other students, and what you end up with is more than enough applicants to fill enough law school seats to continue to the oversupply of JDs already out there.

    I'd say unless you have connections and a guaranteed job because of it, or if you can go basically for free (including most living expenses--i.e. living at home with mom and dad or a working spouse), then the risk isn't worth it anywhere right now. Even at the top schools.

    Of course, if you're an older student and have a decent income, then opportunity cost makes the decision to go even worse, but for most people this is not a consideration.

    But still the seats will have a bunch of K-JD overfed American asses in them come August 2012.

    D & G

  40. My point is just that I think the passage I quoted is hyperbole. I'm about to attend law school with full scholarship + books stipend. I turned down a couple T14s to do this. The people who have had this scholarship in the past have done very well (all of them, very surprisingly, in the classes of 2011 and 2012 are headed to big law). And still I'm scared. It's a time commitment of three years. I will tutor the LSAT along the way, but that's minimal income. All I'm saying is that the fact that 10% or 15% from a given school get big law should be very scary. No one is a special snowflake. I know I'm not. But, it's not true that it's impossible to have a good legal career. It's just much harder than in the past. And that's why I turned down the prestige and $100-150k in debt for what I think is a solid shot from a good but less esteemed school.


  41. Assuming you don't have a decent income currently, then I think you're fine going with a full scholly and stipend.

    If you lose that though, most definitely drop out and choose another path.

    D & G

  42. "But, it's not true that it's impossible to have a good legal career."

    Who said that it was?

  43. D&G-

    I make less than $40k now. I'm a teacher.

    The scholarship is guaranteed. I get full tuition no matter what, even if I finish dead last. I lose the free books/small stipend per semester if I fall out of the top quarter. I'm going to be working my ass of to try and get as good grades as possible. All I'm saying is that it's discouraging to get the sense that anyone who chooses law school in 2012 is an idiot/lemming/fool because I have done a ton of research and I think there are circumstances, including mine, where it is good choice.

  44. @5:32, 5:40
    re: "government made the problem/just makes it worse"

    Please, don't buy in to this meme. It's only half the story. Yes, the current student loan structure makes it worse -- but it's virtually impossible to imagine it getting better without government.

    Student loans as currently structured do nothing but inflate tuition. But other forms of government intervention would go a long way to reversing the situation. First, greatly increasing (doubling or more) the subsidies to public institutions would directly help everyone at those schools, and would also serve as an anchor on further tuition rises/force tuition to drop at the private schools, provided this intervention is made contingent on lowering tuition.

    Second, the government could easily use the student loan system to set tuition caps. There is no school in the country outside the Ivies and Stanford that could afford to stop taking loan monies.

    In both cases, the problem is that the government has failed to regulate the market. This is not a market that will function to anything like a just outcome without government involvement -- instead you'd just have basically the demise of American higher education, with far fewer people able to get educations and those who can, doing so only at usurious rates of interest.

    While I'm on the topic, though, keep in mind that institutions will need protection too. Part of what drives those ever-increasing tuition rates is that universities, like everybody else, have mortgaged to the gills to pay for facilities enhancements and otherwise participate in the general higher-ed expenditure arms race. They will need some form of structured default to get out from under those loans in order to start bringing their fees down.

    At most schools -- the "tuition-driven" majority of universities -- schools are not jacking up tuition to swell the endowment coffers; they're doing it because it's the required blood offering for the Wall Street types who broker their loans.

  45. Huey--

    the kid quoted in this post says he doesn't know any classmates or recent graduates who are employed. I'm saying that is impossible given the facts, and its also impossible that some of them are not at good firms.

  46. If you are not at a "top" 5-6 school, let alone a "T14," nowhere near 10-15% of your graduating class is going to get biglaw jobs in 2015. The larger economic and profession-specific trends that have led to the hollowing out of biglaw hiring are not going to change in that time. If anything, they will become more acute.
    Just my opinion, I know, but I struggle to understand how anybody could think the situation is going to improve in the next 3 years. There is literally no factual basis for that kind of optimism.

  47. Assuming $35,000 per year teaching (benefits?), you're still sacrificing over $100k + advancement/seniority (maybe).

    Keep in mind that law school is generally tedious and boring, and that by the looks of it, many MANY graduating JDs would love to find a job making "less than $40,000."

    I now do not think it's an especially good idea for you to go. Can you defer for a year and still keep the scholarship? If so, there's no harm in waiting a year, is there?

    D & G

  48. 9:30 - It is certainly not impossible, especially given the presumably small sample of recent graduates with whom he is in contact. I find his observations credible, but of course it's possible he's exaggerating, or is even a troll. To each his own.

    But you're right, there will always be some winners in the law school game on an ROI basis. But their numbers are dwindling, and I think things will get worse before they get better.

    You appear to be satisfied that you've done due diligence, and are comfortable with your decision to attend law school. I hope everything works out for you.

  49. @7:29 / 9:26: Given your described circumstances (full no-strings tuit, book stipend etc.), in your shoes and yes even today I would make the same decision you are making.

    This despite the (true) opportunity cost that D & G mentions.

    Best of luck to you.

  50. "If you are not at a "top" 5-6 school, let alone a "T14," nowhere near 10-15% of your graduating class is going to get biglaw jobs in 2015. The larger economic and profession-specific trends that have led to the hollowing out of biglaw hiring are not going to change in that time. If anything, they will become more acute.
    Just my opinion, I know, but I struggle to understand how anybody could think the situation is going to improve in the next 3 years. There is literally no factual basis for that kind of optimism."

    this is genuinely crazy. even at lower T14 (duke, northwestern, etc.) 35-45% percent of graduates are getting big law. So your prediction is that this will reduce 2/3 in the next three years? Can you point me to any evidence for this absurd claim?

    D&G--I am an older student (late 20s). My wife works, we have savings. There is no risk of financial ruin. I've read the comments thread on this site before and thought it was reasonable, but I'm wondering if this is mainly just mentally ill people with a jd.

  51. ^^^ "I've read the comments thread on this site before and thought it was reasonable, but I'm wondering if this is mainly just mentally ill people with a jd."

    LOL. Aren't we all mentally ill? (JDs?).

  52. Teacher,

    Keep in mind, I'm not saying that it would be a mistake to accept the offer and attend LS, in your situation.

    Regardless of whether you are able to obtain legal employment, it seems that this will not be a "life destroying event" if you attend, so that's great. We do have to take risks in life, but just realize that you are, in fact, taking a risk.

    You very well may decide in 1, 2, 3, or more years that you made a poor decision and wish that you had not gone. You may reflect and say, "Yes, the grass did look greener, but I didn't realize that I had it pretty damn good with that teaching gig!"

    But, if you truly have in interest in the PRACTICE of law, if your wife supports you, and if you won't drain your savings in order to go, you'll survive even if it's a mistake.

    Best of luck,

    D & G

  53. Graphs of ABA Data

    Look at how the Biglaw number drops like a stone outside the top 14-18ish.

    Find your school. Look at the percentage. Know that it hasn't gotten better since 2011.

  54. Law Prof, if you have a chance during the seminar, can you ask Ken Gormley if he has a conflict of interest in defending the law school scam since he rakes in over $300K a year as dean of a 4th tier trash pit? Thank you.

  55. Remember, Teacher, that getting into biglaw, and staying in biglaw for 5 years or more are very different things.

    Best of luck.


  56. A back of the envelope calculation.

    BigLaw - depending how how it is defined is between 100 and 250 law firms. The bottom of the AMLaw 100 firms has 450 odd lawyers, the top has in the US maybe 2000. In a good year they add 30-40 associates on average (and lose 25-45) - so that is 3,000 to 4,000 first year associate positions. The AMLaw 250 is smaller (minus the 100) and adds say 10-15 - so that is another 1,500 jobs. The T14 law schools output around 7,000 and the total output is around 50,000 for all law schools - say 20,000 in the 1st tier (lower tier schools are typically smaller.) That means that there are BigLaw jobs for about one quarter of the Top Tier at best.

    And gentle reader, did you notice my attrition point - assume that whatever the recruitment number is per annum, that firm will fire or encourage to leave some 85% of that recruitment number from its existing associate ranks. For most BigLaw recruits an associate position is a well paid temp job with a 2-5 year life expectancy, but mostly 3 years.

  57. @9:41AM

    this is genuinely crazy. even at lower T14 (duke, northwestern, etc.) 35-45% percent of graduates are getting big law

    What do you define as BigLaw? I am genuinely curious - not mocking. I want to know what you - a rising 0L think is BigLaw, what BigLaw does, what working in BigLaw means? Because before you can say that 35-45% of a law schools graduates are getting a job in BigLaw in a way that I can understand, I need to know what the denominator is

  58. @9:30am

    Based on your situation, it MAY have been a good choice. Just realize though that if only people in your situation attended LS, there be like only 10% of people attending than presently.

  59. dear lp- ever play mortal kombat? please "flawless victory" ken gormley.

  60. @10:08 And...did you notice my attrition point - assume that whatever the recruitment number is per annum, that firm will fire or encourage to leave some 85% of that recruitment number from its existing associate ranks. For most BigLaw recruits an associate position is a well paid temp job with a 2-5 year life expectancy, but mostly 3 years."

    Thank you MacK. You are completely correct. This is a fact that is not generally known by law school students and prospective students. Even if you get a job in BigLaw as defined by NLJ250 firms, we know from accounting audits that the chances of you keeping that job for 5 years are 20% or less. From 12 years experience in NLJ250 firms, the chances of advancing to partner are 10% at best and probably more like 5% these days. Then, becoming a partner does not bring security. Partners are demoted and fired routinely at least since the early 1990's. So, my point is that as a long term career, in my opinion lawyering is an awful choice, even if you do get a high paying first job in BigLaw. If law schools were decent and honest, they would also reveal the pyramid structure of law firms and frankly warn that jobs in BigLaw can realistically be seen as nothing more than temporary gigs.

  61. The scamblogs warn about the pitfalls. No scamblog ever said that no one will ever get a job or make it in law.

    But I wonder just what is an acceptable casualty rate?

    If half of all law grads end up with six figure debt for life and on IBR, is that OK for the likes of Gormley?

    BTW, IBR is a sweet setup for the lenders and the Universities. It throws a bone to the debtor, but the same old lending $ystem remains virtually intact, and the taxpayer paid excessive interest keeps rolling in as usual.

    And how much of the one trillion dollars owed on SL debt today is due to excessive and compounded interest on student loans?

  62. I read about Ken Gormley last year. I believe Nando listed this fucker in his rogues' gallery of the law school scam industry. What I remember the most about this cretin was that he had the nerve to chastise recent law grads who could not find a job and told these same grads to help people who lived recklessly over their means by purchasing $500K McMansions and were losing them in foreclosures. Gormley told these grads to shut the fuck up, ignore your grumbling stomach and help those that are "less" fortunate than you. This SOB makes $300 grand a year to write such tripe. He is a hypocrite of the first order and I hope law prof rips that Ned Flanders looking assclown a new asshole.

  63. I could be wrong because I'm no BigLaw associate, but aren't most people in one of those positions miserable? Soul-drainingly long hours, mind-numbingly tedious assignments, and you're treated like crap because so many other people want your job?

    So, one of the absolute best possible outcomes of law school is this miserable AND has an 80% chance of being temporary? This is a "best" outcome?

  64. Dear Professor Campos:

    Is a video conference going to be posted online somewhere?

    I am pretty interested in hearing what these people have to say. Even though half of the law schools represented at the conference are defunct.

  65. Dear Teacher: how do you feel about the fact that your law school career will be subsidized by your fellow students in the bottom half of the class?

  66. It is a best outcome for paying loans, making contacts, and, in some cases, learning how to work hard. I did not care for it, but I do not regret it at all. Some close friends stuck it out, made partner and seem satisfied with their lives.

  67. @11:07, please consider the fact that it is only the cost of a really nice new car. What's better a Lamborghini that will last for 10 years or debt that will last for 20?

  68. Anonymous: I actually feel badly about that. It sucks that the best case scenario is to emerge from the employment carnage with a job where many classmates have no job + a ton of debt. I don't know what else to say. I tutor LSAT on the side and I have turned down students who are willing to pay good money because I've told them given where they are scoring (sub 140) there is no way they should apply to law school or go. Each time I've told someone that they've been pissed, but I think it's the least I can do. In law school I won't try and give advice to anyone. I think the system is deeply unfair, and it up to students to do research to figure out what makes sense.

  69. 11:18 I'm not understanding what you're saying to "please consider". What part of my post are you referring to as being "only the cost of a really nice new car"? --11:07

  70. For example, Law Grad X has 100K of Student Loan debt.

    20 years of IBR later, and and no tolling of the interest, which gets compounded.

    After 20 years the loan is "abated" (the term of art used I think) or in other words forgiven.

    Now the late forty something year old debtor will owe income taxes of five hundred thousand dollars.

    If the debtor has a low income or little net worth I think the IRS will take that into consideration.

    And that is IBR in a nutshell

    Then the debtor has to pay income taxes on the inflated debt

  71. ^^^^ I mean income taxes on 500K or more will be owed.

    But it is out of the student loan frying pan and into the IRS frying pan.

    Some say it is better to deal with the IRS than the Dept of ED, and some say the opposite.

    Who knows?

  72. a Lamborghini is just a Volkswagen modified by an agricultural tractor company to be driven at high speed in reverse - it is tacky and tasteless and the only person I know who drives one is a racist swine.

  73. MacK-
    Fix It Again Tony, 'eh? Take the JD for sure.

  74. In re IBR: my understanding is that the interest accrues but does not compound.

    eg. 100,000 @ 10%
    IBR payment 500
    Period 1 -
    *accrue 1,000(10% of 100K)
    *pay 500
    *balance 100,500

    Period 2 -
    *accrue 1,000
    *pay 500
    *Balance 101,000

    Which is much nicer than compounding in the long-run.

  75. 1%.

    I am bad with zeros.

  76. @ 7:29:

    "They wanted to hire me to work for free (summer internship) doing office work like sending letters to people recently ticketed for speeding or charged with DUI. "

    a) this is the type of "legal work" [hey, even YOU describe it as "office work"] that would normally be done by a secretary [not even a paralegal]; and

    b) you are not "hired" when you're being asked to work for FREE. "Slavery," "serf," or "taken advantage of" would be a more apt description.

    Hope this verbal parsing doesn't show up on your LSAT

  77. For one of the few times in my life I wish I was back in Washington. I am dying to hear about this Panel!

  78. @ 11:14, who writes, "Dear Teacher: how do you feel about the fact that your law school career will be subsidized by your fellow students in the bottom half of the class?"

    Isn't this the case for any type of merit-based scholly, anywhere, that is available from any college (UG/Grad)?

    Why try to lay a guilt trip on this guy for accepting something he has earned ("earned" according to the rules of the system in any college)?


  79. @1:13, It's the American Way; blame the poor guy picking up the crumbs and ignore the people hoarding all of the bread.

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. @12:02 - not recommending the JD, just suggesting that if one compares it to a Lambo, well it is pretty expensive and and largely owned by ....

  82. @1:13, actually, this (cross-subsidization) really isn't how merit-based scholarships work. At the undergraduate level, they're usually funded by the school's endowment or a specific named scholarship funded by a group/individual. At the graduate level, scholarships are normally assistantships or fellowships were you're working and producing research, something of value to the school. The method of funding "scholarships" in law school is completely different and contributes to the inflation of tuition. Moreover, getting a "scholarship" in law school is hardly special as most of the class isn't paying sticker anyway.

  83. I'm always impressed when I meet somebody who had the foresight and will to drop out. It's so much easier to find some way to rationalize your situation.

  84. IBR is a scam and just another way to keep the student loan money flowing.

    My life is now absolute shit and debt, and ruined credit, and with that comes depression and despair. On some days it is worse than others.

    I have soooo much regret over having thrown away all chance of happiness in life by going to a lower tier law school.

    Why is the method for dealing with a debtor in America to pile on more and more debt until the debt becomes impossible to pay off?




  85. 2:20 - I absolutely agree. The easiest thing to do for this guy was to spend without a care for tomorrow and just finish law school. And to all you guys out there, if you find a truly nice and supportive woman out there, keep your priorities straight. Someone who has your back when times get rough is invaluable (I lucked out with my marriage in this regard).

    11:44 & terry malloy - I appreciate discussions over IBR. But from a consumer perspective, I think a great deal more accurate information must come to the market. And the information should be presented in the context of law student debt - which is considerably higher than undergraduate debt. No criticism intended - thanks for raising the issues.

    Compounding interest is obviously a big deal. I hope Mr. Malloy is correct. Assume he is. But I am a fiscally conservative guy. If I am forgiven, let's say, $100,000.00 in debt at the conclusion of IBR, that debt forgiveness could well be taxable. By this, I mean I don't know if it is taxable, but even if it is not by current regulation, gee, how can anyone rely on this being the case 5 years from now? 10 years? The Government (taxpayer) subsidizes the shortfall between IBR amounts paid and the outstanding balance on the loan, and then the fisc takes a hit via income tax foregiveness? Gee, I can see even a liberal Congressman howling at this. Again, I have been at this law game a awhile and never had any debt from any of my education, so I have not yet found reason to examine the flawed debt instruments that my generation has foisted upon 22-25 year olds these days. But I would like to really be informed. Ok, call me a bit lazy, but there are a lots of bright people who post here. I would like to see a true consumer based analysis of IBR. At least then I would know exactly what kind of loan shark terms law schools expect students to sign up to. Perhaps Professor Campos could explore the same? And let's be honest - no matter what criticism one may lob at Professor Campos' way, what a wonderful job he has done making a woefully inefficient market at least a bit more efficient, with more information coming to the market. And yes, I believe it has saved a life (and I am not the least bit prone to drama).

  86. I taped recorded telephone conversations between myself and GC Services, a Private Company Debt Collector,

    and in those conversations the GC Services rep. explained how IBR/ICR works, and how I will owe income tax on the forgiven amount after (in my case 25) years.

    And once more I want to shove this flow chart under the noses of everyone, because I really do suspect that Sallie Mae gets the second bite at the apple mentioned in the chart through GC Services:

    Like Suze Orman said in so many words, there is no other way to make money in America anymore except for the student loan scam, and so the banks and lending people and the universities are not going to let this baby go until the gravy train runs off the rails.

    Which it will.

  87. "I explained how it seemed the rules had changed – abruptly – that it seemed a law school education no longer made economic sense"

    The rules did change abruptly, but not quite as abruptly as you might think. Things have been trending in this direction for at least a couple of decades, but law schools were always able to sweep it under the rug until the post-2008 recession pushed things to a point where they couldn't hide it anymore. In 2006 (or 1996, for that matter), this person would certainly have been in a better position to find a legal job, but likely not as much better as they think. At median from a Top 50, assuming that's where their grades ended up, six figures might have been a stretch. I'd go so far as to say that some people fitting that general description might have never found "real" legal jobs at all, even back then.

  88. Today I attended a swearing in ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts. While I was standing in the guest line I heard many of the inductees talking about how they can't find a job, I also heard multiple passersby (people unconnected to the event) comment on how there aren't any jobs for lawyers because there are too many lawyers, then inside the ceremony the keynote speaker talked about how most of the inductees probably don't have jobs and that the market was the worst he'd ever seen in his long, illustrious and lucrative career and that these newbies should give their services away for free

  89. With faith in America, and a firm reliance upon Divine Providence, may God help us against the inhumane university and student loan banking cartel:

  90. Many years ago, before the Great Recession, I ran into a colleague who was double HYS and was unemployed. Had been at one or more major firms and had been inhouse and clearly lost all of those jobs. Nothing wrong with that person mind you, but the person was unemployed with all those great skills and all that great experience. Another colleague, also double HYS, lost a bigfirm partnership during a recession, also years ago, and spent the rest of his/her days underemployed and temping when there was a gig. Today it is worse, there are far too many lawyers. Evil bosses will prey on lawyers they simply don't like because it is known how many lawyers there are seeking jobs and how those who have those jobs can be squished like ants if they are not super popular. Even top schools don't matter any more after the first several years of law practice. There should be truth in education. The legal profession today is a very risky career, even for the double HYS's and even more so for anyone else. For those of us who went to law school not understanding the risk (I am one of them), we are kicking ourselves. I went long before the internet, and my parents were able to pay, but it was still the worst decision of my life. Even with my top top degrees and brutally hard work, I have only worked sporadically over the last 8 or so years. I have been treated like absolute dirt by my employers. To those who are enrolling in top schools- don't do it unless you are SURE YOU ARE A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE. Special snowflake means A in popularity, A in people seeking you out for invitations, clubs, offices of every type in addition to that top law school or top record at a somewhat lesser law school. If you were not a high school cheerleader, or the star athlete or fraternity/ sorority president in addition to that great paper record, forget. Your double HYS degree will have little or no economic value by the second part of your career.

  91. @ 6:34 P.M.

    "Yale and fail."

  92. 7:53 & 8.28- Yes, it is Yale and fail because the profession is that saturated and because the age pyramid exists in the vast majority of jobs (large law firms) that do pay over $100,000. You need to remember, an ordinary teacher in NYC earns over $100,000 in salary and an equal amount in benefits with long vacations. For a lawyer not clearing six figures, with no benefits, and working day and night, it is a horrendous deal, even without figuring in law school debt. That is the way it goes for someone who went to law school before it was widely known that law school is a scam and before tuition skyrocketed. My point -TOP LAW SCHOOLS (TOP 3, TOP 6, TOP 14) ARE SCAMS FOR THE SECOND HALF OF YOUR CAREER - YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO GET LONG-TERM SUSTAINABLE FULL-TIME LEGAL EMPLOYMENT THAT PAYS ANYWHERE CLOSE TO THE LAW SCHOOL'S PUBLISHED MEDIAN STARTING SALARY. It is a much worse scam than anyone would think even at the top levels of the profession.

  93. "@5:32 AM, it continues a disturbing and heart-wrenching trend: well-meaning, guilty, upper class liberals trying to spread the wealth around end up making things worse for the people than they otherwise would have been.

    It's heartbreaking, whether it is the war on poverty, education, or housing."

    This is not a new phenomenon. The Nazis, with malice and genocide aforethought, killed what, 15 million peple?

    Yet Communism, with it's utopian ideals of a "worker's paradise" and intentions so pure that it is even today embraced by many intellectuals and academics, outpaced the Nazis in total deaths anywhere from four to six fold. We literally can't accurately count the vast number of dead bodies left in the wake of Communism's desire to create heaven on earth. Could be 60 million. Could be 90 million.

    I find this quote by C.S. Lewis instructive:

    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

  94. @5:54 --that no school can ever (has ever) guaranteed lifetime employment does not make school a scam. School has never done anything but put people in position. That is all. What happens after that is a function of many things, some that are in an individual's control, many more that are not. That is life. To say that going to Yale Law school is to automatically "fail" in life is silly.

  95. Have you guys seen this piece? If anyone wondered what a sympathetic recent graduate looked like, the Roger Williams grad mentioned in this post would be one:

  96. @6:55,

    So what happens when you have a dynamic, as with law schools, where educational institutions neither a) put people in a position to be able to find work b) teach a version of the law that is completely non germane to legal practice c) saddle students with hundreds of thousands of dollars in nondischargeable debt that most of them will never be able to pay off, to sustain compensation and pay for faculty who barely work 15 hours a week all while d) practicing a form of pedagogy that was declared obsolete almost a century ago and e) continuing to accredit more and more law schools to add to a glut in the supply of JD holders that is well beyond the scope of actual demand?

    You don't have to call it a scam (IMHO, it is something more morally hazardous than a scam: it's more like complete epistemic failure), but it is the height of folly to assume that some kind of market efficiency is taking place here and people simply need to accept it.

    ANd yes, there is no such thing as "Yale and fail". Doors open for you with a HYS JD that simply would not be available to most law school matriculants elsewhere (other than Columbia and Chicago). Whoever made this remark, it's an incredibly silly one.

  97. I was just wondering - law schools (with few exceptions) grade on a curve. Why not demand that the ABA grade on a curve for accreditation and fail a bunch of law schools? You could base it on bar passage rate, post-law-school-employment, etc.

    I wonder how attached some law school deans would be to a grading curve if their law school was going to be put on one?

  98. Wow, I'm waiting for a report on this little get-together!

  99. Does anyone want to comment on this thread?

  100. Whoever is disputing Yale and fail must be under age 50. Truthfully there is a high rate of Top Law School and Fail If you are young, you are too young to see it among your peers. It is there and is a calamity of a system where top law schools are advertising temporary associate jobs as if they were permanent jobs. There is nothing to replace most of those jobs when you are too old.

  101. Courtesy of the Taxprof blog, I found a list of best and worst schools as measured by Law School Transparency's "long term, full time" job placement rates. Only the top 25 are shown (and the bottom 25), but if you go to LST's site, you can sort the entire list and find any school's position.

    My own school, Ohio State, is ranked in the 70s by this measure. That's quite a bit different from its spot in the 30s by USNews. There were some other interesting results, like Georgetown ranked in the 50s and Alabama ranked 14.

    I really hope this somehow takes off as an alternative ranking system to rival USNews. I guess LST doesn't have the same brand recognition that USNews does, but the methodology seems to be far more relevant to 0Ls.

  102. @11:45-- pretty slippery stuff to go from talking about Yale to talking about "failure" rates at "Top Law Schools". You do not have the data to say that a "high rate" of people who attended Yale Law School have "failed " in life. Not working in a firm your entire career is not a definition of failure. Yale grads are famous for not wanting to do that in large numbers anyway.

  103. So a good broad brush Conservative argument goes like this:

    Liberals want big government to get involved and to open up the taxpayer public funds so as to fix most anything.

    That is a fallacy because pouring public money into a problem (such as the supposed need to make higher education accessible to as many as possible) only leads to a skewing of natural market forces, and an inevitable inefficient bureaucratic conttrol or oversight.

    Hence the abuses, such as private (University and banking) vendor greed.


    This article targets 4th tier law schools. While we all know the problem extends well up the first tier, articles like this remain good signs even if they are not entirely accurate, and momentum can be built upon them.

  105. I am one of the few that does think picking law school in 2012 and 2013, etc. year in the future where there is a surplus of lawyers is a bad career move. With that said I encourage the law school interns who work at my office to go for their dreams. My opinion is based on the fact that if they get high debt and a good salary which isn't at the upper level (which based on their own admissions about grade and work preferences appears likely) the opportunity costs for them are high. So many folks mention its just 3 years---law is not just 3 years folks of study. Paying off the study of law can live a lifetime if not properly dealt with. Not to mention dealing with taxing and regulating agents like the Bar Associations are a pain. If I were to really push them in a direction I would push them towards another professions where the start up costs are not so great and their is more career mobility options.

  106. Let me offer another explanation for why the value of a law degree has fallen:

    In the old days, there were three ways to get a law degree: (a) to be intelligent enough to get a scholarship, (b) to be rich enough to have your parents pay for it or (c) to have the high work ethic needed to put yourself through law school.

    All three characteristics were associated with the upper crust of society - the smart, the wealthy or the exceptionally hard working.

    Today, all you need to get a law degree is the ability to sign your name to a student loan form. Any damn idiot can do that. As a result of these lower quality folk entering the profession, the quality of our ranks has fallen, and along with it the value of a law degree.

    Loans are the problem. A bunch of rich kids going to Cooley will do fine. They will have the connections to make it, as will those putting themselves through a place like Cooley. But when some wretched piece of shit who barely has enough discipline to sign a student loan form gets in, such as some of the well known commenters on this blog, he's not getting anywhere. Nowhere but as some loser commenting incessantly on shitty blogs like this.

  107. Stating something like "Yale and fail" says a lot more about someone's distorted conception of failure and the job prospects for most 22 year olds than it does about the current value of an HYS law degree.

    It is either trolling or a warped sense of reality. And, yes, I know plenty of HYS 50+ grads. Few professions are as pedigree sensitive as law and their careers bear this out.

  108. 5:56 is right. Education loans devalued education.

  109. 5:56, Your conclusion that loans are the problem is correct; your reasoning is flawed. First, the ABA either prohibits or strongly discourages 1Ls from working and prohibits all law school students from working more than 20 hours per week.

    Asuming law students are supposed to ignore these rules, which itself would be a potential problem for their future character and fitness exams, law school students average about $125k in debt over three years, so assuming a super-duper hard working student wants to avoid loans, could you explain which part time job a law student is supposed to get that will pay approx 40k a year so he can "work his way through school?"

  110. 7:48 thinks 5:56's argument is impossible, if you can't work during the first semester of 1L and/or that working during 1L will get you a C&F issue. Typical "reasoning" from the lazy dumbfuck imbeciles you see in law school these days.

    The point is that the problem is not law schools; it's you, and the fact that you losers can now go to law schools.

  111. I am a lawyer who hung his own shingle, which I don't think is any less prestigious than working at a big firm. It is something that is often down played as being only one step from being unemployed. Most of my cohorts make good money, no one makes less than probably 60k, some of the more successful solos I know make well over 500k, however to do this job you have to really want to be a lawyer. If you don't want to be a lawyer, if you want to sit around never go to court, never talk to a client and make 100k those days are long over. I left law school with no job. I knew very early that even though I went to a top 25 school that I had finished in the bottom half and that pretty much excluded me from a government paying job which is probably all I could hope to get since all the government jobs were laying off. So I went to NYC hung out my own shingle and I do pretty well.

    Morale of the story go to law school only if you have spent time with lawyers, you know what you want to do and you have a concept or an idea of how you are going to get there. Lawyering is just fancy customer service work and if you are not in the business of providing it, and are not willing to bring in your own clients than don't even attempt to go to law school.

  112. @June 16 5:56PM

    Yes student lending is a problem, but it is wishful thinking and impossible to turn the clock back to your old ideal of 30 or 40 years ago, no matter how morally superior you think it is.

    What is needed is a fix for the problems of today, and since you did not offer one, I will guess that it seems like you would be in favor of restoring consumer bankruptcy protections for student loan debt, especially in the case of law grads.

    If bankruptcy were possible, there would be hardly any, as you say: "losers commenting incessantly on shitty (sic) blogs like this"

    The scammed class of debtors would have a second chance at life and the law schools would also have skin in the game, and perhaps stop admitting people that should not be in the profession at all.

    But as for morality, the law schools will claim that they occupy the high ground because student loans and lower admission standards provide "opportunity" for entry into the noble profession.

    What a mess.

  113. Shut the hell up Ernest dubose. I just googled you and there's no way your practice gives you $500k per year

  114. 1:16 am Problem is that $60,000 is less than half of what an experienced cop in New York City earns. They earn $165,000 or more factoring in benefits. If you are a 20 year lawyer from a T14 law school earning $60,000 as a solo, working day and night, you are really in the wrong line of work. That is not even a middle class wage in New York City. Your law degree has no economic value. It may be fine to earn $60,000 in your startup years or in a small town, but is very low wage, especially if you are paying all of your taxes and all of your own benefts as a self-employed person, in the big city.

  115. 6:35 I call failure having a great education, top schools, wonderful experience, real expertise and no job. Oh, I take it back - the job is as a solo and I need to bring in all my own business. Depending on my expertise, the area where I have all this experience may not lend itself to solo practice.

    There are many T3, T6 and T14 grads in this position - no job. Call it what you want in terms of success. Problem is that people need to put food on the table and all of that success and experience does not translate to $$$ to live on. If you have been forced out of a series of jobs like most of my classmates have in the T6, and you cannot put food on the table other than as a solo singing for your supper, you have got a problem. It has happened to my T3 colleagues the same way. It is very hard to sustain a living as a lawyer. An entry level job at Cravath does not guarantee that you will not be begging for employment 20 or 30 years later. It is Yale and fail or T3 and fail or T6 and fail for many people, likely a large percentage of grads. When you take out white males from the equation, the numbers in Twhatever and fail become very high as a percentage of the class, starting 20 or more years out of law school.

  116. Just look at the latest data on Law School Transparency. Even HYS have only in the range of 90% employment 9 months after graduation. All three have unemployment/ underemployment scores in the range of 5%. Since the lions share of the jobs people get from these schools (clerkships, associate positions) are not permanent jobs and require all or most people to move on, you need to understand where people are moving to. My anecdotal evidence is that if you are from HLS and you have a local lawyer practice in a 10 lawyer firm where you actually have clients, or are an assistant AG where you can stay, you are in good shape. Problem is that many HYS/T6 grads are solos, or counsel to smaller firms where the work is sporadice at best. If you are working full time with a HYS degree and not earning six figures with many years experienced, that HYS degree was a poor choice. You had a good record. You could have and should have done something else with better employment prospects. It is a killer to try and try and try and to not be able to hold a job or make a living. It is horrible to temp or constantly be looking for a job. That is the case for a huge percentage of top law school grads after age 50, especially when you remove white males from the equation.

  117. 6:06 Where are you getting this information from? Citations please. LST has done no longitudinal study on HLS grads.

  118. This article quotes Professor Tamanaha:

    "If too many graduates of a school are failing to get career jobs, then perhaps it's time to put limits on the amount of student loan money those schools receive.

  119. I like how dumb, lazy, do-nothing TTT losers who only have a "J.D." because they INTENTIONALLY stole money from taxpayers like to compare themselves to HYS graduates.

    Shut the hell fuck up you assholes. The problem with the law is you. The government let you low life rabble in and now all of us look back. Burn your JDs, go on welfare and/or get a job at 7-11 where you belong.

  120. And IF we're going to forgive your intentional theft from the taxpayers, where you lied about your desire to pay back money so you could take a three year vacation, there has to be something given in return.

    They should whip you lazy low life bums in public, scumbags.

  121. Go to LST website and look up HLS. If you are not old enough to have been in this profession for more than 25 years, there is something you need to understand. Legal jobs are like walking on a tightrope. Nowhere else is there such a squeeze of too many grads in such droves and then 90% plus short-term jobs that grads are being forced to leave. Have a job? If you are not a substantial business producer in private practice, there are hundreds of resumes coming in for your job, unsolicited, every year. In no other profession is there such a surplus of people created at every level by the existing law school and employment system and then pushed out onto the market. There is huge pressure to move people who have jobs in the legal profession out of those jobs to make room for newbies. It is not covered in this blog, but if you have a job, the bar is so high to keep it. You can do everything right and end up out on the street again and again. Particularly older lawyers are not desirable to employers in this brutal system with too many bodies chasing too few jobs. There is nothing you can do to change the fact that you are old, but a high percentage of the older people I see who have jobs are put out on the street with no job. These people have formerly unblemished records and top credentials. It is systemic in the legal profession. My point is that when you take into account the median income level after age 50 and the instability of many legal jobs, you would be better off not having attended HYS, a T6 or a T14. For a big percentage of the class, was the biggest mistake of their lives. A straight path to unemployment and underemployment after age 50. We ought to know what that percentage is, because America is burning bodies by sending this many people to the top law schools. There are not long-term jobs for them. The jobs do not exist. The top law schools need to shink massively before even half their grads have sustainable careers.

  122. If I go there I will find the results of a study of HLS graduates over 50 years old? The 9 month after graduation standard is important, but does not tell the whole story. There is no question that it is harder--takes longer--to find jobs now. But to write as if all law students are in the same boat makes no sense. That people do not stay in the law their whole careers is not evidence of failure. As has been said before, law school does nothing but put you in position. HYS puts graduates in better positions. That is all.

  123. My first inkling that there was something wrong with the legal profession came years ago. I had been happily employed in relatively high paying jobs for several years after graduating from top schools. My law school classmate was getting a divorce and had dropped out of the legal profession to go to medical school. He had to pay his wife half of the difference between the value of his medical and law degrees and the difference was substantial. Before then, I did not know my top law school degree was worth so much less than a medical degree. I had a great record and could have gone to a highly ranked medical school, but chose law instead. In the second half of my legal career, where I have had huge trouble staying employed, I discovered just how little my top law degree is worth. It is not just me. Most of my classmates like me are in the same boat, except for the few who work for the government. My law degree was a mistake. It got me good jobs when I was young, but is an absolute disaster since I hit my 50s. If it were just me, you could say I am the problem. It is not me. It is systemic.

  124. 6:42 If you have access to the HLS Alumni Directory, go there. Probably best information you can get on people several years out of law school. The results are not pretty for my law school class, particularly if you are not a white male.

  125. Your directory tells you that many of your classmates work sporadically?

    The preparation for a medical degree is so much longer and more intense than prep for a law degree. Why would the outcomes be the same?

  126. @6:23AM is really nuts and wrote:

    "I like how dumb, lazy, do-nothing TTT losers who only have a "J.D." because they INTENTIONALLY stole money from taxpayers like to compare themselves to HYS graduates"

    But I will try to reason with this lunatic and say that as far as Harvard, Yale, Stanford grads go as compared to a 4th tier grad, it is a little difficult to understand how the HYS can complain.

    I have just a wee bit of incredulity when hearing of the woes on Mount Olympus, and about how poor little Lord Fauntleroy (now writing from a mental institution) isn't getting all the respect he thinks he deserves.

    So maybe being a 4th tier debtor isn't so bad. At least I still have a bit of comparative sanity left.

  127. God, the way all these self important hoity-toity HYS people talk on this blog about us 3rd and 4th tier grads, you would think we were the Dead End Kids, or so many angels with dirty faces!

  128. If you are a top law school grad and your job is as of counsel to a firm that no one has ever heard of, it is a fair assumpion that you are not making huge amounts of money. If you offering to temp as a top grad and applying to every permanent job that comes up, it is a fair assumption that you want to work full time and are not able to. If you worked for many years at a big firm and are now a solo without even a decent website, it is a fair assumption that your practice is mediocre. These are people I know - HYS grads. I could go on. Oh, I do know a few HYS grads who are older who still have good jobs, but just as many of the older HYS grads are out of the system where people are paid $160,000 plus to work.

  129. My take on 4th tier is not the same as LawProf's. A number of lower tier grads end up on top.

    I am one of the people who has that top record. In the second half of your career, school fades in importance. Your book of business, contacts, expertise and record is paramount at that point.

  130. The medical degree takes a year longer than the law degree. I went into law without the information I needed to make an educated decision. I could have done medicine easily. One more year is not that critical. Anyone can take the science classes in college, or later if needed. Once you are out, you have more training, but there is pay - $50,000 a year plus for your residency. The one year difference should not be such a big factor in favoring law over medicine if the long term employment outcomes are radically better in medicine than in law.

  131. "0f counsel to a firm that no one has heard of". Wow, that definitely means you have failed and are unhappy. I am not disputing that you know HYS grads who are un/underemployed. But why would anyone think that a school guarantees them lifetime employment? It has never worked that way, and it never will. I know some HYS grads who are unemployed . Therefore, it makes no sense to go to HYS.

  132. lol now these dumb janitor qualified losers want to get medical degrees. PLEASE shut the hell up you loser bums. When someone comes to have a physical defect cured, they don't want to have that task performed by a total defect.

  133. 7:30 am The problem is that the eat what you kill, temporary work, home office options or become a real estate broker are the only options for a large percentage of top law school grads after age 50. The living is generally well under the $160,000 mark for lawyers in this situation. This is what LawProf calls unsustainable employment, and mostly it does not count towards first year employment. Who would want to go to a top law school if a substantial percentage of the class, or at least of the non-white male class, ends up in non-sustainable employment. My observation is that that is the case- high percentage of top law school grads who are older and in non-sustainable employment. That is not a good result. It is brutal to be in a profession where you cannot work long-term, as I have not been able to for several years. it ruins your life. Mine is a bad outcome. Prospective applicants to top law schools need to know the percentage of bad outcomes. It it is say 33% among non-white males, and I am making an educated guess at that number from my class at a top law school, that number is unacceptable. This is a poor, poor career choice.

  134. The fact that older lawyers on the whole make less than starting lawyers, assuming that is true, is an important thing for the profession to know. Once the older classes at the T14 or T20 are surveyed, and that is the result, what do you think is going to happen the age pyramid at large law firms? What do you think will happen to first year hiring? What type of pressure do you think there will be on law school class sizes and tuition? All of this will happen once the long-term outcomes are known. The T14 should go first. Anecdotally their long-term employment outcomes are poor in a high percentage of cases, so the outcomes of other schools will be worse. Only with all of the information in the public eye wiil the law school bubble burst and the law of supply and demand take over. But for me, it is lost. My life is ruined by having taken the law school path.

  135. @6:31 and 8:39 You are exactly correct. I can verify that after 20 years in this pathetic business, an ever smaller percentage of lawyers are able to stay employed in sustainable jobs. This is a fact. I know scores of unemployed or barely employed at "the law firm of X" graduates of top schools. I know unemployed lawyers who have medical degrees, PhD in economics, engineering degrees, etc. The dirty little secret that there are precious few sustainable long term law jobs has not been well publicized. All of the people I know who are unemployed or underemployed would gladly take a full time real sustainable job if they could find it, but such jobs do not exist. It is completely true that the best employment statistics are those from 9 months after graduation. The employment statistics get worse over time. Moreover, it is completely true that no law firm job is ever secure. I know dozens of partners who have been pushed out. If these truths were well known and data provided to demonstrate these facts, any rational person would stay far away from the lawyering business as a career choice.

  136. I know the Ivies 20 years out of law school might not care about this, but

    RE: Student Loan Reform including a White House link explaining how to qualify for and enroll in IBR:

  137. Here is the link to the Presidential Momorandum:

  138. RE: Mitt Romney seems to be saying that Higher Education is a risk in this Martin Bashir feature on MSNBC:

  139. 10:13 all that memo does is make it easier to apply for IBR, which says A LOT about the kind of imbeciles going to school these days.

    If you can't even figure out how to apply for fucking IBR, such that the President has to create an idiot proof system for you, then holy fucking shit.

    Basically that memo is the President saying, "holy shit our graduates are fucking morons; o.k. well I guess we have to make a retard proof process for these dumb assholes."

    wow what a fucked up country. if any of you lazy do nothing bums lived in china, or any other meritocracy, you would starve.

  140. 10:35-
    Well written and pursasive post.

  141. @10:35

    Yeah but IBR is the only thing going on right now and for what it is worth I passed along the link to the memorandum.

    It seems that a lot more people can get on IBR if they are aware they can do it, and if they know how.

    Copulation with IBR has nothing to do with any of this, nor does the sanctification of solid waste matter, nor does the the intelligence of a certain irrelevant bodily orifice.

  142. 11:24, but how stupid are our graduates if they can't figure out something as basic as IBR?

    If you can't figure out IBR in your own life, why should ANYONE give you a job?

    This country is a bunch of whiny do-nothing retard bums.

  143. 211:30AM:

    "This country is a bunch of whiny do-nothing retard bums."

    Really? The entire country?

    Then go to China if you think it is so great and a "meritocracy" as you say.

    But seriously and this is not for 11:30AM, who has a degenerate mind, and is a cruel and self centered motherfucker and a pig eyed, obnoxious asshole and an inhumane and unsympathetic shithead and also an inappropriate and offensive boner with no empathy for others less fortunate, and a real dick and a general creepy piece of scummy crud with a filty toilet mouth that should be washed out with a cake of brown soap:

    IBR seems to be the only, imperfect fix that will be available for quite some time, and it is best to structure one's life around it.

    In time the world will move on and change, and I'm sure we will all live to see the day when the Student Lending bubble bursts like the housing bubble did.

    And yes, the law school scam will dealt with too.

    Patience is needed. Time heals all wounds.

  144. I am, and at the same time gratified and dismayed when I contemplate the intelligence level of 10:35AM and 11:30AM.

    I am gratified to know that far better heads (than the one 11:30AM possesses) have emerged in this world, and continue to do so every single day.

    But I am also dismayed by the realization that all heads in the Western World superior to 10:35AM and 11:30AM have mostly emerged from behind buttons and zippers.

  145. You Are the Only Human Being Left On Earth Not In Graduate School: A Post-Apocalyptic Nightmare.

  146. Look Campos, it's really simple, but you're too retarded to understand.

    Some people get to where they are thro connections; some get their thro some combination of native intelligence and hard work. Running up 4.0 in school and college, getting scholarships, doing good ECs are all products of the latter.

    You are a disgusting piece of scum who "teaches". Lol, don't make me laugh. Do you wanna get gang raped by all the people you've defrauded?

  147. 10:35, I agree with what you say, seriously. Although I have no student loan debt, I consider myself a bum and a degenerate because I am doing very poorly in life. I am doing poorly because, as you say, I lake the qualities necessary for success in this country.

    Now, I believe you and I can both agree that the metric of success in this country is money. I also believe that you and I, as stated, agree that bums, such as myself, and others on this blog lack the ability to recognize how to succeed.

    I also believe that as our lives become a rightfu illustration of the paradigm of failure, the more motivated and intelligent members of society will look at our trajectories as something to be avoided. In fact, I believe most people will figure to not follow in our foot steps, and they will pursue the primary path that produces results.

    For instance, I like to tell people not to be a bum like me, and to not follow in my foot steps. I was the first in my family to go to college (STEM degree) and I also went to LS. I went through both without debt because of schollies and working. Taking the bum's path, I rightfully failed. In contrast, I like to give them the prescription for success, which is to get a job that involves protection from politicians:

    Naturally, these hard working folk, were able to achieve extreme success because of their hard-work, grit, tenacity and savy. I think that when everyone figures out this.formula for success, and stops taking the bummish paths, the fiscal standing of the nation will improve vastly, and it will greatly ease the burden placed on the the tax payer. Don't you agree?

  148. I wish to God I had gone into the police force instead of enrolling in a law school.

    I know of several police officers here in New York that are living the full middle class life style.

    They are able to raise a family.

    It must be wonderful.

    In addition I know of several 30 plus year public school teachers on the same pay scale who refuse to retire.

    And why should they when life is so good?

    The biggest mistake of my life was going to a bottom of the barrel law school and every day I feel nothing but remorse.

    Oh God I feel so much remorse.

  149. What you people need to do is get an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue, buy a couple of outfits, get yourself some cologne, put all that shit on and go walking around the mall feeling cool.

  150. @4:15PM--You sound like a young and woefully uninformed priveleged and miserable and inhumane cruel bastard, with no frame of reference or context other than the rather uncultured and sleazy capitalistic A and F catalogue.

    And Joe Walsh is a far, far superior and enduring artist in Human terms than James Joyce could have ever hoped to be.

    The by now torturous baby boomer iconic jingle "Hotel California" (which makes me want to literally vomit after hearing it for the 2 millionth time) points the way for the salvation and hope of capitalistic commodity musical humankind for the next 2000 years at least.

    And by comparison James Joyce is a poor and unenlightened hack:

    And Ozzy Osbourne and wife are extraordinarily wealthy, and great teachers and cultural leaders for all of humankind to follow:

    And that is what happens when Capitalism and Democracy end up completely destroying the Humanities and reduce everything in life to a bottom line.

    So why shouldn't Albert Lord with his Whartons School of Business degree end up shitting all over the rest of educated America?

    This is all satire. But really, let us all take a step back and admit that the educated are severely punished in this society, while at the same time the rather barbaric wall street artists and shills and creeps all seem to prosper.

  151. What I think makes Campos different from many scam bloggers is that he states the economic problems with going to law school and then presents a clear and strong argument. There are few good scam bloggers out there and they deserve credit their part in a larger discussion but a lot of scam bloggers don't seem to be making a strong case. I get disappointed when people like Nando are given legitimacy by people who do not put pictures of poop on the internet or when DJM is put in the same group as the potty mouths at JD Underground. There are some very grim economic realities that need to be addressed and when Campos gives these types of bloggers too much legitimacy it weakens the ethos of his arguments. While I understand that Campos is trying to capture the right type of character to bring attention to a terrible business model that needs to be fixed, I can't help but think that at least some of Ron Paul's fans must feel the same disappointment when their guy talks with Alex Jones.

  152. Forgive me, LawProf.

    For I have just witnessed this:


    Why don't you have a donor button?

  154. oh for god's sake, 9:43. these videos can't be real. this is like fiddling while rome burns. the bloated, bespectacled, oblivious administrators and faculty make me want to scream.

    tjsl should be closed for that nonsense alone.

  155. FWIW, the same scam exists in allied health care as in law school. Gov statistics claim 14% growth in med lab tech. University claims 100% employment (fails to mention employment doing what). Local hospital overstates starting salaries to 2 different students, conveniently adding 25% (enough to cover student loan payments and then some). Reality bites. In a class of 14 or so, 3 had full time job offers at graduation. 1 of those offers will never materialize. 1 of them is for a (much) lower level, summer job. 4 or 5 students have "per diem" offers for 2 days/week. You find out what days you're scheduled for at the end of each month, so it's virtually impossible to schedule another part time job around it. 8 students did their clinicals at one hospital with 2 openings; 7 are vying for those 2 openings (I opted not to waste my time since the handwriting was on the wall). At least one young student had applied all over the country and not even gotten an interview. The school official had the effing gall to start talking about how great the job market was going to 5 years!

    I was one of the lucky ones with a per diem and have been there for a year. I am now being pushed out and my replacement will start at the end of this month. The story is the same for his class.

    IBR prevented my suicide last December. To 10:35 and 11:whatever I forget, it's not that people don't know *how* to apply for IBR. It's that too many had no idea it existed. It's not like it was advertised anywhere that I am aware of. Some of us were working, in school, studying 18 hours/day. Not much time to get your head up and look around. Had I known about it a year earlier, I would have dropped out, stayed in the job I had and at least had smaller loans accruing.

    Almost all of us were ruined by the string of lies. If I could sell my house I could pay off the effing loans and start age 59. Others like me -- industry crashed while in our 50s. Too old to get hired, to young to retire, have been thrown to the wolves. If I can find some other work here fast and hang on, then my loan forgiveness will happen, complete with taxes due, when I'm in my 80s. If I live that long...

    Words cannot express how sorry I am that I put myself into this hell. And I absolutely despise the work and most of the people I work with, who have treated me like shit. I graduated summa cum laude, btw.


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