Monday, July 16, 2012

Law school creates first-year course on how to get a job

Oregon's career development office sent out an email last week from its new director, who after assuring recipients that she has been studying the job market, announced the following:

Reorganized Career Center with New Positions.  To meet the evolving demands of the legal job market, we have created two new positions in the Career Center.  An employer outreach and alumni opportunity specialist will work from our Portland campus, while in Eugene we will add a team member who is knowledgeable about the wide array of professional paths beyond the traditional practice of law that are available to our graduates.  These staffing enhancements will allow us to further develop our subject matter expertise, expand our outreach efforts, and increase our availability to students and graduates.
New 1L Course.  I am pleased to announce that, starting this fall, the first-year curriculum will include a course on career exploration and professional planning and preparation.  This class offers every student early exposure to professional opportunities, expectations, and responsibilities;connections with experienced professionals; and one-on-one attention from a career counselor focused on helping each student identify individualized goals and strategies.  The course will serve as a foundation for the Career Center’s ongoing work with each student and will help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a highly competitive job market.  The components of this course – including programs, workshops, and counseling – will be available to all law school students.  (emphasis in original)
Your Role in this Effort.  The Career Center reorganization and professional planning course are among the many steps we will be taking to help students succeed in the job market.  We have also asked our alumni and friends to keep supporting you in your career pursuits.  Students, your responsibility is to work hard, be open-minded, and call, write, or stop by anytime you have a question.  Our mission is to facilitate your transition from the classroom to the workplace; our passion is to help you secure exciting opportunities by partnering with you on your professional development.

Although it's nice that lots of respectable law schools are finally beginning to understand that their graduates really aren't getting jobs, this sort of response deflects attention from why that's the case (because there aren't enough jobs) by engaging in a combination of expensive and largely useless gestures and implicit victim-blaming.

If there's one proposition on which almost all law students and law graduates seem to agree it's that career development offices are a huge waste of money.  Students and grads complain bitterly that their particular law school's CDO is unusually incompetent, but this is in most cases probably a misperception.   The baseline level of competence for the typical law school CDO seems to be very low, because law schools, as is their wont in regard to almost everything, tend to hire people who have no particular expertise or training in what they're expected to do, but rather are washed out lawyers. (This hiring pattern, ironically enough, is apparently based on the assumption that a law degree is Versatile, and mysteriously prepares you for all sorts of careers besides being a lawyer.)

Besides even competent career development people can't create legal jobs that don't exist, nor can they make a JD any more attractive to non-legal employers than it is, which is not very.  Still, legal administrators prefer to indulge in the theory that a combination of better (meaning more, and more expensive) CDO personnel, along with students who really know how to look for jobs, will solve the problem that law schools are cranking out far too many graduates at far too high a cost, since the alternatives to that theory are too horrible to contemplate.

The logical end point of this train wreck of thought is to actually spend first-year class time on [not] learning how to get a job, rather than on [not] learning how to be a lawyer.

A crucial aspect of all this is the assumption that students and grads need to learn how to find and get jobs, which is nonsense on pretty much every level (I guarantee you that current law students and recent grads are vastly more knowledgeable about these things than their professors, who were simply issued large firm jobs, along with a copy of Rumours, back in the day).  But it's much more fun to indulge in images of "unprofessional" immature entitled Facebook-addled kids, failing to get that job with Davis Polk because they didn't properly understand "professional opportunities, expectations, and responsibilities."

Speaking of which:

Representatives from all corners of the legal world are coming together in New York to try to solve the riddle of the worst legal job market in 20 years.

The New York City Bar Association has conscripted law-school deans, legal aid directors, in-house counsel and law-firm partners into a search for a solution to a job market in which only 55% of the class of 2011 had found full-time positions requiring a law degree nine months after graduating.

The task force includes representatives from the New York County District Attorney's Office, Harvard Law School, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Pfizer Inc. PFE +0.62% and the Legal Aid Society, to name a few.

Carey R. Dunne, the new president of the bar association, said the group will convene for the first time in September. He has charged the group with isolating the causes of the job shortage and making recommendations, which he expects in about a year.

"This isn't just a hand-wringing exercise," said Mr. Dunne, chairman of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's litigation practice.

The economic downturn accelerated what many experts believe are irreversible shifts in the legal profession. Corporate clients that are cutting back are more likely to seek alternative billing models. Legal staffing companies, which supply temporary lawyers who are paid as little as $25 to $30 an hour to review documents, have eaten into the work that had been done by law-firm associates for several hundred dollars an hour.

Law-school tuition, meanwhile, has continued to rise. In the past year, disgruntled graduates have filed more than a dozen lawsuits accusing law schools of dressing up their employment figures to attract protective students. (The American Bar Association has since demanded more detailed data from schools.)

Mr. Dunne said finger-pointing was short-sighted. One purpose of the task force, he said, is to expose the participants to one another's perspectives. Too often, he said, the focus has been on large firms and top-flight law schools. "A different story needs to be told at the other levels of the market," he said.

Again, it's nice to see some panic in New York, but contrary to what you may have seen on TV or heard in a commencement day speech, very few people go to law school on the assumption that they'll get jobs with Davis Polk, or Skadden, or DANY, or in-house at Pfizer, or for that matter the Harvard Law School.  They're going to law school on the assumption, mistaken though it increasingly is, that they will get jobs as lawyers.  And unless these august personages can magically conjure up a whole lot more of those kinds of jobs, this kind of task force is indeed going to be another hand-wringing exercise.

126 comments:

  1. Its not complicated. Too many JD's, not enough jobs. Expect the law school industry to continue shuffling the deck chairs until the water is up to their necks.

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  2. Do you have any evidence to support your blanket insult of career services staff around the nation?

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    1. It's generally accepted knowledge that most grads believe that career services is worthless. If you interacted with any students who aren't successful at OCI, maybe you'd know that too.

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  3. The same naivete from law schools -- to win you can't just change the player, you have to change the game.

    At the same time, I want to be fair. I've made the argument that you can't blame "lemmings" for going to law school when it seems to be their only (or the best of a bucket of bad) option(s). To turn that around, short of lobbying for stimulus spending and a federally-funded legal access scheme a la Medicare, what can we really expect law schools to do that will help their current students?

    "No, Dean Bond, I expect you to close," I suppose. But unwinding a law school is a far more complicated proposition than we seem to think. What happens to your 2Ls if you close this year? They all transfer out I guess? What do you do with those who can't? Alternatively how do you have a functional law school once you've announced that the Class of 201x will be final one -- you'll hemorrhage everybody with the slightest qualifications, staff- and faculty-wise. Not to mention paying off the bondholders that funded all those new buildings.

    Quite apart from the large-game-of-Chicken dynamic among schools, there's a lot of complications that mean that a school voluntarily falling on its sword would have a mess of problems. Don't look shocked that they aren't taking cyanide en masse.

    Not that substantial closures won't happen, or doesn't need to happen, or shouldn't happen. Just that it's really hard to do responsibly. We here all know change is a-comin' -- maybe the schools know it too; but whoever's left after the Reaping will be in a much better position, and only half the schools will really have to close entirely. For the ones left, things will be grand again.

    ...wait... big debt load, substantial winnowing by market forces, 50% chance of getting an acceptable outcome... almost sounds like law students, doesn't it?

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  4. @ 6:12 A.M.

    "Hi, Joan King!"

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  5. Tiercelet:

    Law schools could start doing all sorts of things well short of committing suicide. Like gradually cutting back on expenditures instead of raising them every year, downsizing responsibly instead of in panicky reaction to plunging applications etc.

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  6. Lawyers need the same type of advocacy group that the police have in NYC. Someone needs to limit the supply of lawyers so it does not vastly flood the demand.

    The effect of the ABA not advocating for the profession is dire- many lawyers in unemployed, in mountains of debt they cannot repay, lawyer compensation dropping to the point where even for many who work it does not make sense to get a law degree. Even the top schools are placing a good number of their experienced grads in professions like real estate broker, involuntary solo practioner and eat what you kill counsel to tiny firms.

    Look at the link below to NYC Police salary and benefits. The benefits have decreased under the new contract but people hired to the police force till now get these benefits.

    http://www.nypdrecruit.com/benefits-salary/overview


    Compare it to hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt lawyers need to incur, the real unemployment rate for lawyers and the $25 an hour paid for legal temp jobs.

    Someone needs to be sure the supply and demand for lawyers are somewhat matched. The current situation is a disastrous hardship and it is the equivalent of Marie Antoinette's Let them eat cake for the ABA to ignore the problem of double the number of law grads that are needed, not to mention many many experienced lawyers who are out of work.

    We still do not have long term legal employment outcomes. They are bad and they may seem irrelevant to a new grad who cannot get a first job. When that first job lasts a few years and the person is again out of work, the length of time one can actually work as a lawyer will be very relevant. They are not going to say then, focus only on entry level jobs.

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  7. 6:29 - Given the constraints of tenure, the financial arrangements the law schools have with their universities, and the fact that lay-offs and reductions of staff would cut those who actually do work, it is very difficult for most of them to downsize responsibly. I don't mean this in an argumentative tone, but law schools do not have the options private businesses do, which can reduce costs in relative lockstep with revenue reductions. This is why I think so many law schools will close. The death knell for most of them will come from the "main" universities to which they are attached. They are used to law schools being a profit center. They will not tolerate bleeding money on behalf of law schools.

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  8. @6:34,

    Yeah my man/lady, such an organization would be nice, but it doesn't work that way.

    The public believes police work is dangerous and not lucrative. No one knows that there is a far less than .1% chance of dying on the job as a cop. No one knows that cops make more than pediatricians either. Even the cops themselves thinks that they are underpaid because they use the following logic: well, if they pay me X, then the lawyer must make X+.

    On the other hand, every one knows that lawyers make bank, and everyone knows that the ones who cannot are lazy and incompetent. Moreover, everyone knows lawyers are liars and immoral.

    Politicians use this stuff with devastating efficiency. There is no stopping it, its game over.

    This is the rule: If your ancestors didn’t leave you the cash for fees, forget about college degrees. Ride the government gravy train to happiness.

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  9. Median annual wage for police officers and detectives in the US per the Bureau of Labor statistics: $55,000.

    Projected total job growth over the next decade: 7% (this is worse than the projected job growth for attorneys).

    I realize a few cops in a few particularly well politically protected departments are making big salaries. Some law graduates do end up getting jobs with Davis Polk.

    http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Protective-Service/Police-and-detectives.htm

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. I am inclined to agree with 7:03 when it comes to law schools that are part of a larger institution. That is to say that I think that law school "cash cows" will be closed rapidly by their parent institutions when they become a cash drain and look like being one for the forseeable future, but also that the larger institutions will look to close the school in a manner that does the least reputational damage to that parent college or university - so do't expect a closing mid-semester, but rather an announcement say this coming September that the school will close on - and then a date that might be May 2013 - or May 2015 - with assistance to transfer being made available for any who have not graduated as of the end date.

    Some stand-alone law schools through will close abruptly - as in "we are closing at the end of the month/30 days" because they will find that the credit rating just "went down the pan," they are in default of loan/bond/line of credit covenants, they cannot pay for heating, rent, etc., they won't make payroll next month, etc. I though this day was further away, but given the desperation with which some schools are seeking students - I don't know anymore - things may be a lot worse than I thought. The tuition those schools have received will probably carry them until say January/February and then ... their current students will be in a hell of a bind.

    Anyway, I started a list of law schools for a law school death watch, but I don't have the time to do more. Can some posters give it a shot - and if anyone can come up with a few credit ratings for some of the law schools - I suspect some have really bad D&Bs - which may be the first sign that they are going over a cliff.

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  12. @6:12 a.m.:

    I just picked five non-elite schools at random (okay, except for my alma mater) and all of their CDOs/CSOs are run by people who worked as lawyers for five minutes and then did something else (compliance officer, consulting, etc.) for a while before being picked up by their university.

    55% of recent law graduates have permanent, full-time jobs in the law. If you're saying that counts as some kind of victory for career services people around the country, you're welcome to defend that proposition right here.

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  13. Law Prof,

    A very fair point. Also, I do appreciate you letting us make certain comments on your blog about these alternative careers.

    However, it is a little bit more complicated than that. I know you have better things to do than do what I am about to ask, but if you have some time, please take a look at the entrance exam for the politically protected departments. Now, ask yourself, if any law graduate, let alone a T20 or T100 graduate, would have difficulty acing the shit out of those exams.

    I am not here in an effort to troll your blog by consistently replying to or initiating comments of this kind. I am here because very bright kids go to law school due to their erroneous belief that they do not have options. My objective is to show them that there are quite a few options for people of their caliber. Are these options as good as getting jobs with Davis Polk? I would say no. However, these options are far superior to what the outcome will be for the overwhelming majority of graduates.

    The average salary of 55k you cited is not what you can make in LA, NYC, NJST, NYST, etc. Moreover, I maintain that even that salary is vastly superior to what most lawyer outcomes because i) there is no 7 year opportunity cost, ii) six figure student loan debt, and iii) extreme public hatred associated with even the less politically protected departments that skew the average down.

    You are a central voice in combating a serious injustice: bright and ambitious young people interested in improving their livers are being obliterated because they trust/trusted institutions with vast social capital. One of the primary tools employed by the more insidious perpetrators of this scam is to point to the lack of opportunity in other fields.

    When I graduated Law School and couldn’t find a job, I saw one of my professors in the hallways of my law school. I told him “I wish I did not do this, I wish I did something else” and he replied in a snarky tone: “Oh yeah, like what?” Younger students heard what he said to me, and this implicit “oh yeah, like what?” undertone is what keeps the momentum of destruction going.

    I would never-ever- say that being a cop, plumber, fireman, sanitation worker, etc. is better than getting one of the few “good” legal jobs out there, but Professor Campos, you have to believe me when I tell you that these jobs beat unemployment and they beat shit-law jobs hands-down.

    I realize that some of the profession’s most elite read this blog, and my message might appear to damage the credibility of the movement to said readers, but when the lemming asks you “what do I do other than LS,” what do you tell them?

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  14. LawProf wrote this: "The baseline level of competence for the typical law school CDO seems to be very low, because law schools, as is their wont in regard to almost everything, tend to hire people who have no particular expertise or training in what they're expected to do, but rather are washed out lawyers." Morse Code has adduced no evidence in support of this.

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  15. I hope this new course at Oregon will include instruction on how to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether students should continue after their first year.

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  16. "Solve the riddle" of the job market? "Isolate the causes" of the current situation? No need for a conference to do that. 5:56 summed it up well in 6 words. "Too many JDs, not enough jobs."

    Solution--people stop applying to law school, bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of law schools shut down. Simple, though it will not be easy or pretty.

    Problem solved.

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  17. "Carey R. Dunne, the new president of the bar association, said the group will convene for the first time in September. He has charged the group with isolating the causes of the job shortage and making recommendations, which he expects in about a year."

    What is wrong with these people? No, really, I want to know! Did Clueless Carey never learn to "think like a lawyer" (aka analytical skills) in law school? Its math. 44K graduates every year for less than 22K positions, every year. His newly comprised think tank really needs a year to figure this out? These people's deliberate stupidity just staggers my imagination at times.

    And of course there is always the obligatory statement about the futility of fingerpointing. God-forbid we insist that anyone, particularly law-school deans and professors take any responsibility for this mess. I am so ashamed of my generation.

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  18. I think they will start out with saying no finger pointing so they don't freak everyone out. By the end of the day there is going to be finger pointing. And I'm looking at you NYLS.

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  19. I hope this new course at Oregon will include instruction on how to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether students should continue after their first year.

    And . . . Boom goes the dynomite.

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  20. Oregon's behavior demonstrates how this situation is basically the tragedy of the commons. Each school will consume (acting in their own self interest) an increasingly finite exhaustable resource - law school applicants - until the resource is effectively depleted.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

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  21. @7:41 a.m.:

    Let's look first at LawProf's alma mater and its CDO assistant dean, Todd Rogers. Todd's career path after graduating from the University of Texas in 1998 is: clerking for 2 years in a state appellate court, working for 2 years in a large litigation firm, and then spending 8 years in the CSO at the University of Kansas.

    At Pepperdine, Selina Farrell runs the career services shop. She spent a couple of years with Latham & Watkins, and then "briefly" as a litigation associate with Debevoise & Plimpton. While teaching as a writing instructor at Whittier, she worked for a private attorney placement firm. Afterwards, she went to Pepperdine to run its CSO, interrupted only by a stint teaching legal writing again for three years (probably for some benefit to her tenure).

    If I wanted to Google all morning, I could show you pretty convincing proof that LawProf accurately describes the archetypal admissions dean. Whether they went to a "good" school or not (as if there really are such things as "good" schools that can't assure three-quarters of their students jobs in the career field they chose), they spend a minimal amount of time in the sort of jobs for which OCI is a useful gateway. Then those people return to the mothership as assistant deans, never having had to hang a shingle in lieu of unemployment or get any jobs outside of law which weren't law-flavored managerial positions in government. It's no wonder they're useless to people outside of OCI, because what else would they know to offer?

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  22. From the ABA:

    "The erosion in BigLaw jobs is depressing the salaries for all class of 2011 law graduates, according to new statistics from NALP–The Association for Legal Career Professionals.

    Law grads from the class of 2011 are earning median pay of $60,000, a 5 percent drop from 2010 and a 17 percent drop since 2009. Average pay is $78,653, a 15 percent drop since 2009. The figures are for grads who found full-time employment in jobs lasting at least a year.

    The drop in starting pay is even more pronounced when only private practice jobs are considered, according to a press release. Median pay for 2011 law grads in private practice is $85,000, an 18 percent drop from 2010, when the median was $104,000, and a 35 percent drop since 2009, when the median was $130,000. Average pay in private practice is $97,821, a 15 percent drop since 2009."



    http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/median_starting_pay_for_associates_is_no_longer_in_the_six_figures_figure_d/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email

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  23. "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for inviting me to give the introductory address this morning at the inaugural meeting of the task force to address the difficulties of law-school graduates in finding jobs as lawyers.

    The reason why law-school graduates are having so much trouble finding jobs as lawyers is that the number of law schools, law students, and law-school grads far, far exceeds the need for lawyers in this country. This situation will not change until the number of law schools and law students is drastically reduced.

    Thank you. Please enjoy the rest of your day."

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  24. All smoke & mirrors and utter bullshit. They are just trying buy time and set up the illusion that they are working on it. What needs to happen is that the Dept of Education immediately needs to revoke the ABA'S accreditation powers and set up rationale gainful employment rules. How much longer will this perverse circus freakshow go on?

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  25. *Newly hired NYPD officers can expect to receive nearly $2.2 million in pension payments and City paid health benefits over 32 years of retirement, based on the current average salary including overtime pay and other compensation; the average age of 26 for newly hired Police Officers; retirement at age 48 after 22 years of service, and assuming the average life expectancy of 80 years. Persons retiring above the rank of Police Officer will earn higher retirement payments based on their respective ranks.

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  26. Why not try to join in with the ABCNY committee? It is likely that the partners of biglaw firms are clueless about the situation. We can help educate them quickly and not let the Deans mislead the committee. Just because we know about it, it doesn't mean that everyone knows.

    You should volunteer to address them or send them information. I think supporting their efforts will only advance the cause of getting information out to the public about the crises in law employment.

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  27. The partners of the NYC biglaw firms are clueless about the situation? You mean the same partners that have been pimping out the unemployed coding monkeys at 25 bucks an hour for the last 15 years?

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  28. Adding to above: if the bar association starts complaining about the law school scam, people will take them much more seriously than scam bloggers, Nando and JDPainterguy. They add credibility to the whole chorus of critics.

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  29. Why not try to join in with the ABCNY committee? It is likely that the partners of biglaw firms are clueless about the situation.

    Assuming for a moment that your assumption is correct, that biglaw partners are clueless "about the situation", just what do you expect the partners of biglaw firms to do once they are educated? The oversupply of bright, freshly trained lawyers benefits their bottom line. More to grind up in the associate track machine.

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  30. "we will [hire]... a team member who is knowledgeable about the wide array of professional paths beyond the traditional practice of law that are available to our graduates."

    Sounds like another well-paid law school career services functionary to advise graduates to parlay their legal education into jobs as baseball manangers, art dealers, celebrity chefs, and Presidencies of the United States.

    Why don't they use that money to hire a part-time adjunct from the ranks of the local legal community who can tutor interested kids on some of the basics of representing a client in his or her practice area? Or why not simply cut tuition rather than add staff?

    The scam is making adjustments and acknowledgements at the level of appearances, but it is still every bit a scam. So I fully expect a bunch of self-serving nonsense from the conference in NYC. Until they recommend: 1) massive cuts in tuition and enrollment; and 2) a skills-based legal education with no more disgraceful "hide the ball" doctrinal teaching, the response from the scamblogger community must continue to be "Ecrasez l'infame!"

    dybbuk

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  31. Oregon wants to talk "about the wide array of professional paths beyond the traditional practice of law".

    This is precisely the crap that I get from our worthless Career Development Office: go and find a job in another field, such as the one in which you worked before coming to law school. Well, odd though this may sound to some, I came to law school specifically to become a lawyer.

    By the way, I'm not one of the inferior students who feel put out because their C– at Cooley hasn't landed them a cushy six-figure legal job; I'm at the top of my class at one of the most prestigious law schools. The obstacle in my case appears to be age (I am in my forties).

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  32. No you are wrong. The partners at biglaw firms don't need a host of unemployed indebted grads. They will always be able to hire the associates they need, they don't have to worry about the supply.

    I don't know why you think people at top law firms are knowledgeable about the whole scam movement. A good friend of mine who is a partner at one of the top litigation firms in the city, who does interviewing for Chicago as an alumni and is well-connected enough to have been asked about recent Supreme Court appointments, had no clue what the cost of tuition at Chicago was. This partner has no idea how many lower tier law schools there are or even how much his/her own alma mater costs.

    I had to look up the tuition page online and show them what it costs.

    I think having these very successful and powerful people looking into the scam will only be a plus to the movement.

    Do any of you guys work as associates in biglaw in NYC? I'm really surprised there isn't more support for this committee.

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  33. The craziness of government is how in the name of good intentions (ie, helping students, providing access to education for all, breaking down barriers, etc.) the government creates a system that unintentionally does just the opposite.

    And since only intentions matter, when you point out the unintended negative side-effects, you're branded as a student-hater, elitist, protectionist.

    The current system is very bad for recent graduates, very bad for practicing lawyers, and not great for clients.

    But the scammers have a monopoly on the talking points so real reform cannot be enacted.

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  34. TJDennis,
    Students from the lower tier schools never really had a shot at being in the biglaw machine so I don't think an oversupply of grads from lower tier schools really benefits them very much.

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  35. Look at it this way - two years ago a committee like this would never have been considered as important. Now the President of the Association is calling for it.

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  36. When the NY bar task force meets, every unemployed law grad in the tri-state area should show up to "occupy" it.

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  37. There will likely be no judicial or legislative "solution" to this problem. Hell, many of the solutions, i.e. band-aids, exacerbate the problem. However, this nation is ultracapitalist.

    Corporations, including the supposedly "non-profits" churches and universities, care about their image. This is a consumer-based economy, and with the internet and mainstream news sources documenting the GLUT of attorneys, college grads can become better informed. For $ome rea$on, Cockroach Melvin Schweitzer believes that all college graduates are "sophisticated consumers" of "legal education."

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  38. It's "Rumours" with a U (assuming that you mean the Fleetwood Mac album and not the Neil Simon play.)

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  39. For shits and giggles, here is my alma mater state, the Sooner state, Oklahoma, and the career service TOP officials for the three law schools in the state ( listing all staff in CSO would take too long and their stories usually only get worse):

    OU - http://www.law.ou.edu/content/delaney-casey-t

    Summary: Graduated from OU in 2005, works in private firm for 4 years, goes to work in CSO at Pepperdine for some short period (started in 2009) and then comes back to beloved alma mater.

    Tulsa University: http://www.utulsa.edu/academics/colleges/college-of-law/Student%20Services/Professional%20Development/Meet%20the%20Staff.aspx

    Summary: Baylor grad 2003; goes to work in private firm for 3 years, hangs shingle for 3 years, heads to CSO at TU.

    Oklahoma City University: http://law.okcu.edu/index.php/pcdc/about-the-pcdc/meet-the-staff/

    Summary: Now, he's only "interim" but he seems to have graduated from OCU in 2010.


    I guess I don't necessarily have a "model" CSO boss in mind, but these people are the top people responsible for giving students a clear picture of what working in the legal field is like; the ones that were happy to leave the field (or were never in). Odd position to be in. Anyway, when I was a student at my alma mater (2009 grad), the head was a graduate of the year before (not an OCU grad BTW).

    Something I've noticed, between CSO, Admissions, and Alumni, there is a LOT of turnover in these offices. My alma mater's alumni office is now led by a 2010 grad. I think more and more it will take a certain kind of "person" to lead these offices.

    Also, the Dean that retired last year continues to make $30,000/month, as does his replacement, as he has all year long in an "emeritus" capacity. At a public school.

    Think they're worried about recent grads? How can you be when the backyard swimming pool feels so nice :)

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  40. Nando,

    You have done a tremendous amount of good to expose the incredible injustice surrounding this scam, but this is not a problem stemming from “ultra-capitalism.” An ultra-capitalist system has its flaws for sure, but this is not one of them.

    This is about corruption and government capture. There has been a total merger of financial and government powers. That is not capitalism.

    Guaranteed federal student loans backed by Federal Dollars without meaningful restrictions is not a product of ultra-capitalism. That is something else entirely, i.e. fascism.

    I want to ask you a question. I am genuinely curious about this. Why do you put faith in liberalism? I am not saying pure capitalism or conservativism is the way to go, but don’t you see that this problem, i.e. higher education and law school scam is primarily perpetrated by people that claim to be “liberals”?

    It was liberal teachers that educated you since birth, and it was said teachers that did not prepare you for the war of globalization. It was liberal professors that told you to go to college, and it was liberal law professors that sold you the poison bag that is a law degree.

    Liberal politicians were the standard bearers for globalization, and now that they have created this mess, they tell you they have the answer.

    These people sit on a podium and lecture the world about selflessness, yet in conducting themselves they are behaving in the most selfish and rapacious way possible: they are profiting from the destruction of naive young people by using tax-payer dollars that the have secured without regulations and via political connections. This is one of the purest scams in America, and the people profiting from it are lecturing the whole world about selflessness and the need for regulations in every industry except this one. It’s true that some of these people are honest, moral, and brave, i.e. Professor Campos, but the overwhelming majority of “liberals” in power are far from it.

    I know we agree about what is happening here, but I am really curious about why you think this is a product of ultra-capitalism.

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  41. The situation would have corrected itself long ago if the feds had not distorted the market by making it so easy for 0Ls to borrow money.

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  42. More smoke and mirrors. Tuition too high. Salaries need to drop. Expansion needs to drop. Law schools should not be a "growth" injury when said growth bankrupts young adults.

    That's the only real crisis here

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  43. @ 9:43 A.M.

    "Growth injury." What a Freudian slip. A growth injury--like a metastasizing tumor.

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  44. @8:44am ==> you went to law school in your forties amidst a complete economic disaster?

    How are you enjoying your great performance at a prestigious law school?

    Well done.

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  45. Dan and 9:47, you win the internests for today.

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  46. The folks in the CSO didn't cause the problem, so why slam them? Whatever their backgrounds, the staff at my CSO know much more about the curent state of affairs than the rest of the administration does. They are working their tails off to do as much as they can for every student who seeks their help. They can't work magic, but they are beating the bushes and giving great advice, and calling in chits. They certainly DO make a difference on the margins.

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  47. 9:55:

    Nobody is blaming them. Maybe you should go back and reread the article. The article is saying that they are viewed as incompetent and unable to handle the obvious solution (too many lawyers, too few jobs). Hiring more people who are "trained" in the CDO office will not solve the oversupply problem.

    I told me law school to fire their entire CDO office in order to save costs. They are useless.

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  48. Okay, so sorry. I confused "viewed as incompetent" with "blaming." My point is that the staff at my school's CSO are NOT incompetent, don't cost much because they are poorly paid, and do make a difference (i.e. are not useless).

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  49. "They certainly DO make a difference on the margins."

    I certainly agree with that. Usually about a $300,000-$1,000,000 difference, depending on the size of the office.

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  50. "When they came for the CSO personnel, I did nothing."

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  51. I don't understand the question about going to law school in my forties amidst an economic disaster. Are you suggesting a nexus of age and economic conditions that makes law school a bad idea? It appears that age alone is the problem: people past their late twenties just aren't wanted, no matter how much they have to offer. It's the twentyish dumb-dumbs from rich, well-connected families who are getting the jobs. And there are plenty of rich dumb-dumbs even at the so-called top schools (which is why I said "prestigious" rather than "best").

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  52. 10:04:

    Then say that. There are 197? ABA approved law schools. I know many lawyers from these schools. ALL of them say their CDO department is useless. My school is no exception. Just because YOU think your school has a good staff, it does not necessarily follow that they are actually good.

    I think MOST lawyers would agree that the CDO department at their law school is a waste of space. Not one of my classmates had good things to say about them. These opinions are not conclusive either but they do give a snapshot into the number of dissatisfied "customers".

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  53. 10:09,
    Right or wrong, there is a belief that older students lack the stamina necessary for Biglaw (if those are the jobs you're referring to).

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  54. 10:09 -

    That has been a problem with BigLaw forever. When I went to law school [T6] in the early 80's, I had several friends who were in their mid- to late-30's/early 40's, all of whom had a hard time landing BigLaw jobs despite being in the top 10% of the class.

    The reason is rather obvious. Childless, spouseless 20-somethings are much more likely to grind out 2400 billables a year. Folks in their mid-30's and beyond actually have lives which inevitably interfere with their ability to work 70-hour weeks. They don't make very good worker bees.

    Sorry you didn't figure this out sooner.

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  55. Oh, I know. A senile old codger like me couldn't have the stamina to work in a big law firm. Why, I only earn top marks while working to pay my way through law school, serving as an intern at an appellate court, editing the law review, serving as a teaching assistant for a first-year course, and attending to many other responsibilities. That counts for very little.

    The rich wastrels with mediocre grades who get pig-drunk six nights a week and skip class for weeks on end in order to go yachting or fly off to the Turks & Caicos Islands--now, *they're* the ones with stamina.

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  56. I'm at the top of my class at one of the most prestigious law schools. The obstacle in my case appears to be age (I am in my forties).

    Did you try MidLaw? Age is usually not an obstacle there. It's often a plus.

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  57. Meanwhile, the following reputable institutions don't have jobs to offer their own graduates, but do have jobs for lawyers who couldn't hack it:

    Arizona State
    Chapman
    Case Western
    SUNY Buffalo
    Suffolk

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2012/07/hiring-committees-2012-2013.html

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  58. Childless, spouseless twenty-somethings are pretty likely to cease to be childless and spouseless. (Not that it's anyone's business, but I'm childless and spouseless.)

    Similar arguments have been advanced to justify discrimination against racialized people (not presentable to our white clients), women (she'll announce a pregnancy before the ink on her contract is dry), and people with disabilities (we can't be bothered to adjust the furniture).

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  59. Not likely to happen within their shelf life (max 7 years).

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  60. 10:30AM,

    Speaking of SUNY Buffalo, it looks like they just hired an underemployed 2010 graduate to serve as their Assistant Director of Career Services. She's a 2010 graduate barely 2 years from graduation and is now responsible for helping kids find jobs in this awful economy. It looks like her own career search history wasn't that great itself...

    http://law.buffalo.edu/links/06-2012/classAction.asp#10

    "Joanna T. McKeegan '10 has become assistant director of career services at SUNY Buffalo Law School. She was previously a senior legal fellow with the voting rights organization FairVote in Washington, D.C. McKeegan lives in Buffalo."

    This seems to nicely support Law Prof's main point about the qualifications (or lack thereof) in most CSO offices.

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  61. I'll try MidLaw, if only I can figure out what exactly it is. As far as I can tell, it's BigLaw's hours for half the money.

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  62. http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6361570/honest-grad-school-ad

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  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  64. Twenty years ago the careers services office at GULC was a joke - I mean just terrible - and Judy Areen and Peter Edelman were able to override their objections for OCI in 1991 to move private OCI to November - after public-interest and non-profit because Edelman's friends had complained that the students they wanted to hire were all picked up by law firms by the time the non-rpofits came to OCI. Notably the public-interest and non-profits could not be bothered to try to set up an pre-private OCI week - they just wanted everyone else to conform with their needs and Edelman and Areen (both Yale) agreed. Result, when the OCI rolled around in November, there were nearly no firms because there were nearly no jobs left - ouch.

    By late 1992 the screaming and abuse heaped on Edelman and Areen and the leaks from the students with jobs in administration (funny how Areen and Edelman were such a lousy lawyers they did not see that this would happen) meant that they flung some money at the careers office. Today the GULC office may be the subject of complaints - but it is light years better than it was 20 years ago. This of course does not address the basic issue - there are 6 large law schools in DC (GW, GULC, Catholic, AU, UDC, Howard), one just outside (George Mason) plus the University of Maryland and UVA and Harvard, Yale and Columbia all trying to sell their students into the DC market - and at least UVa, GULC, GW, Harvard, Yale and Columbia are shooting for the same set of jobs - with Catholic, American and George Mason not uncompetitive. The career services people at GULC, UVa and GW could be brilliant - complete geniuses and they would not get far.

    However, there is one thing a career services office could do. Right now law firms and companies pay headhunters a fee - usually 25-30% of salary to find candidates for a job - laterals - which is typically around $30k - $75k That is a lot of money - and by the way, when a headhunter who has placed you calls afterwards with a good candidate - you take the call.

    However, I only every hear from GULC when they want me to donate. In 20 years of practice and 3-4 job changes I never head anything else from them, they never offered to help - and several classmates say the same. I owe them nothing - zero! I would not take a call from GULC for any reason because I would expect them to be inevitably looking for a donation. But imagine GULC placement had helped me change jobs - or a classmate, or when I was looking for lawyers had filtered good GULC graduates with experience for me - and they then called up trying to place someone from the class of 2012 if they had been of any value in the past I would have answered the phone and listened.

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  65. Wow a bitter old guy. Lots of people can't find jobs, you aren't the only one. Why do you think you should be special? You might have most of the qualifications but people don't want to work with an old associate. Too bad. Other people don't get jobs because they bid poorly or because they changed their minds about PI too late or because they tried to get hired in a tiny regional home market instead of NYC. And these are top people from top schools.

    Not hiring an older associate may have a lot to do with culture, not that people don't think you have stamina. The partners are older than you and they have tons of stamina.

    I think that perhaps your bitterness coupled with your insane over-achieverness make you look desperate and hampered your interviews.

    Or you just may not be a fit for the firm culture, you don't sound like someone I would want to spend 80 hour weeks with, it doesn't have to be your age.

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  66. Continued... do you really think a NYC biglaw firm wants to hire an old status-obsessed guy who calls his wealthy classmates "dum-dums?"

    Try to act like you have some class and status in your background. When you interview act like you have been there before. Don't act like every associate is a pampered product of wealth who coasted into a job.

    Your attitude is killing you.

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  67. I am thrilled to see UO, my alma mater, finally get the ITLSS treatment. The crap they spend their money on is beyond ridiculous, my personal favorite being this: http://adr.uoregon.edu/cnc/.

    I graduated in the '90s, and even then it seemed like half the class had real trouble finding jobs because guess what? Even back then, there were far fewer jobs than there were law school grads. Yet these folks preach the virtues of taking a low-paying public interest job (like those even exist anymore) while sitting in a freaking multi-million dollar palace funded by the sweatshop labor of Nike's outsourced manufacturing empire.

    Even grading on a curve (because it's law school!) these folks are hyoooge hypocrites.

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  68. Sorry that should have been "dumb-dumbs" not to misquote you.

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  69. @11:09, a uo 2L here, also glad its finally got some itlss treatment

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  70. Good discussion of the NALP salary data in the NYTimes:
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/the-toppling-of-top-tier-lawyer-jobs/?hp

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  71. I've known both excellent and poor CSO staff members. The excellent ones really care about the students, have great contacts within the legal industry, and labor against very difficult odds. A shout out of thanks to them! And a pox on deans who hire CSO staff who don't fit that description.

    The real problem, as LawProf points out, is that schools give even excellent CSO people an impossible task: There aren't enough jobs; the available jobs don't pay enough to support the ever-increasing tuition and loans; deans hold onto the impossible notion of "alternative careers"; and very few faculty members understand the job market at all.

    Take OCI: Nationally, only 12.7% of 2011 grads obtained their jobs through fall OCI. Even in 2008, the percentage was just 24.4%. (See the NALP site for these figures.) I would expect OCI to continue declining because it doesn't fit today's fluid economy. Even for the limited jobs available, employers are less likely to commit one or two years in advance--that's true in all fields, including law.

    But faculty don't understand this. Almost all of them got jobs (or jobs offers that they declined) through OCI. Through casual comments in class and elsewhere, they constantly reinforce the notion that most people get jobs through fall OCI. Worse, many professors start docking students for missing class for winter/spring interviews, assuming that everyone must have gotten jobs through OCI.

    It is FACULTY who need a required course on the job market, not only to inform their work with current students but to force hard thoughts about legal education and law school tuition.

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  72. fuck all you mfers

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  73. @ 11:32 A.M.

    "Hi, Ice Cube!"

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  74. 9:18 you hit the nail on the head. This is not the result of a free market, it is crony capitalism (aka fascism, as you pointed out) where the plunderers make friends and buy influence in Washington, and where Congress and the president get to pick the winners and losers. In a free market no one would be forced to guarantee another person's loan and student loans would be treated like any other type of loan.

    This is a symptom of the political system we have, where the country is being ruled by an economic and political elite who are in bed with each other, and unaccountable to the people they are supposed to serve. Im not sure why people think that giving the govt. even more power would change this, since money and power always find each other ("in a capitalist society the wealthy become powerful; in a communist society the powerful become wealthy"). The answer is to reduce the scope and power of govt. itself so there is less influence to peddle. The Occupiers are wrong about the solution, though they have correctly identified the problem.

    10:20 and 10:28--the prejudice against older applicants in biglaw is partly related to concerns about "stamina" and needing time for spouse/kids but there are also personality factors. The firms want impressionable, pliable associates who are easy to boss around. If you have significant life experience/wisdom and a strong personality that is not a good "fit."

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  75. "It is FACULTY who need a required course on the job market, not only to inform their work with current students but to force hard thoughts about legal education and law school tuition."

    Now that would be a required course worth creating.

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  76. I don't know how you could know enough about me to assess how I come across in interviews--when I even get interviews.

    Of course I don't consider every wealthy classmate a dumb-dumb (or dum-dum; both spellings are in use). But one would be awfully naïve to suppose that the people at these so-called élite schools are all brilliant. Sorry if this news bursts some readers' bubbles, but many people are admitted largely because of who their parents are. And, yes, plenty of them are decidedly inferior students.

    You say that "people don't want to work with an old associate". Again, "people" don't want to work with a Black associate, a female associate, a queer associate, a disabled associate, an immigrant associate, a visibly Muslim associate. That's why there are now laws against preferences that ice entire populations out of jobs on the basis of irrelevant criteria.

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  77. Yes, it's true that firms want wet clay, which is why they go for people in their mid-twenties and exclude people who are significantly older. That sort of thinking bodes ill for the profession—such as it is.

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  78. Is the course teaching you how to find jobs free? Or does the school charge you tuition for that bullshit?

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  79. 9:08 here @ Bam-Bam,

    I also read many of your posts, and I agree with most of what you say (you are one of few that gets the whole muni blue collar thing).

    However, I want to point something out that many people with Tea-Party and Conservative leanings fail to comprehend (I am not sure if you fit into this category or not): the finance-investor machine will always seek to buy out the government no matter how small it is. If we reduce the size of the Federal Government, they will begin to buy the local governments.

    Those that amass fortunes want to keep them and expand them. Furthermore, they want to do so as easily as possible and with minimal competition. The best way to eliminate competition is to buy the government and shut out your competitors. They also want to minimize any power or resistance that the lower classes have by any and all means. This means they will always support policies that involve increasing the labor supply, doing business with abhorrently corrupt countries, and preventing legislation that interferes with their goals.

    Innovating, producing, working, etc., whether you are wealthy, rich, upper-middle class, middle class, poor, etc. is hard. The top of the food chain wants easy money and total control. You can only have this if you own the Government.

    However, eliminating the Federal Government will not solve this problem, even though expanding the Federal Government in its current form will exacerbate the problem (this is what the Occupy folks and well meaning liberals like Nando fail to understand).

    Remember, it was the monopolists that secured the first massive expansion of Federal power via the Commerce Clause; and before they did that, they ensured that all the major states changed their corporate laws so to make granting a corporate charter much easier and less restrictive.

    This enemy has resurfaced again, but it is much more virulent this time. They tell you its socialism when it suits them (wall-street bail outs), they you its capitalism when it suits them (de-regulation of financial industries), but in reality they give you fascism.

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  80. 11:49 sad isn't it? The big firms just want highly paid drones so they can suck the best years of their lives out of them, and then discard them a few years down the road. I guess 25-year-old K-JD's don't know any better than to sign on to that deal.

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  81. 9:08 here @ Bam-Bam,

    I also read many of your posts, and I agree with most of what you say (you are one of few that gets the whole muni blue collar thing).

    However, I want to point something out that many people with Tea-Party and Conservative leanings fail to comprehend (I am not sure if you fit into this category or not): the finance-investor machine will always seek to buy out the government no matter how small it is. If we reduce the size of the Federal Government, they will begin to buy the local governments.

    Those that amass fortunes want to keep them and expand them. Furthermore, they want to do so as easily as possible and with minimal competition. The best way to eliminate competition is to buy the government and shut out your competitors. They also want to minimize any power or resistance that the lower classes have by any and all means. This means they will always support policies that involve increasing the labor supply, doing business with abhorrently corrupt countries, and preventing legislation that interferes with their goals.

    Innovating, producing, working, etc., whether you are wealthy, rich, upper-middle class, middle class, poor, etc. is hard. The top of the food chain wants easy money and total control. You can only have this if you own the Government.

    However, eliminating the Federal Government will not solve this problem, even though expanding the Federal Government in its current form will exacerbate the problem (this is what the Occupy folks and well meaning liberals like Nando fail to understand).

    Remember, it was the monopolists that secured the first massive expansion of Federal power via the Commerce Clause; and before they did that, they ensured that all the major states changed their corporate laws so to make granting a corporate charter much easier and less restrictive.

    This enemy has resurfaced again, but it is much more virulent this time. They tell you its socialism when it suits them (wall-street bail outs), they you its capitalism when it suits them (de-regulation of financial industries), but in reality they give you fascism.

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  82. "Sorry if this news bursts some readers' bubbles, but many people are admitted largely because of who their parents are. And, yes, plenty of them are decidedly inferior students."

    This is true of the undergrad colleges of elite schools, but not of elite law schools. Their rankings are too precious for them to dilute their LSAT and GPA numbers with inferior legacies. I won't say it never happens in elite law schools, but as far as I could tell, it's very rare. (I went to HLS. I met a fair number of students who were lazy but no one who struck me as anything other than very bright.)

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  83. 12:02 PM Not conservative or tea party here, more of a small-l libertarian. Reasonable people can disagree on the ideal scope of govt. but it clearly has gotten too large and intrusive, esp. at the federal level. Im not for eliminating the fed. govt., but would like to see it restricted to its enumerated powers, which certainly don't include running the mortgage or student loan industries.

    I agree with everything you say--it is easier to buy off the people who run things, as opposed to actually earning a living thru voluntary exchanges with others. Im not sure what the solution is, except to try to educate enough people so that voters demand change (yes, I know probably a lost cause).

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  84. can a current or former student of UVA confirm the following: I vaguely recall a couple of years ago that UVA hired a biglaw senior partner to head up the Career services office - it was heralded as representing a paradigm shift in career advising since this guy allegedly had plenty of real-world experience and presumably the connections that went along with it

    - anybody have insight on this?

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  85. I'm curious. Do you really need to be that "bright" (whatever that means) to have a high GPA and a high LSAT score? Maybe you took a bunch of easy classes at a college where everyone else was partying all the time. Maybe you invested time and money in LSAT prep courses when many other people, for whatever reason, prepared less for the LSAT.
    Now, working hard while everyone else is partying and then having the foresight to invest time and money in LSAT preparation are smart moves that maybe should be rewarded. This is wise career planning and may indicate an aptitude for legal practice. But does it indicate some sort of innate intelligence that everyone seems to be referring to?

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  86. First 12:33,
    He came in right as I was leaving and I've heard good things about him. It may also have been a paradigm shift because the guy before him was so bad.

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  87. @12:33 The LSAT is basically a test of fluid intelligence (a/k/a analytic ability). While it's coach-able to some extent, by and large it correlates pretty well with intelligence (or IQ or cognitive ability or whatever people want to call it).

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  88. Would love to see a chart depicting size of student body by school rank. I don't think size of student body is distributed evenly across school rank.

    Many of the very large schools are also in the T14 or T50: Harvard, Georgetown, Columbia, NYU. At least one huge school, Cooley, is not, but I believe many of the bottom 100 are smaller than the T100. Talking about national JD oversupply, when local bar membership is a requirement, is a bit like talking about a national housing market.

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  89. ...as is talking about fourth tier JD oversupply.

    -12:47

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  90. Some people spend thousands and thousands of dollars to bone up for the LSAT. Similarly, there's a cottage industry of "admissions consultants" that help people to prepare their applications to law schools. The bill for these services runs to four or five figures.

    Needless to say, not everyone has tens of thousands of dollars to spend just on applying to law schools. And no federally guaranteed student loans are available for this purpose. This is one way in which the scions of the wealthy essentially buy their way into law school. The problem has become so egregious that Yale for some years now has required disclosure of the use of these services. (Presumably there's nothing to stop the so-inclined from lying about that.)

    I, incidentally, didn't spend a red cent on LSAT training or admissions consulting.

    As for GPA, just sign up for a whole raft of easy courses, and voilà! At least for the purposes of the cretinous rankings, only the raw numbers matter, so an A in Underwater Basketweaving 101 beats the hell out of an A– in Partial Differential Equations.

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  91. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  92. "The problem has become so egregious that Yale for some years now has required disclosure of the use of these services."

    Source, please.

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  93. Implicit in this is that the students "work hard", per the letter. That way if things don't work out, the student clearly didn't work "hard enough". A brilliant out for the skools.

    In any event, I don't expect CSOs to manufacture jobs out of whole cloth. At the same time, as other posters have noted, my CSO folks were wives of professors and/or washed out private practice types, so there you go. Not a lot of "contacts" and "experience" there.

    It's tough all around. But despite the good intentions, it is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. They have to look like they are "doing something," which unfortunately is not much more than appearing busy. See? Look how hard your CSO is working FOR YOU. But how many workshops does a person need, really, when it is all about connections?

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  94. It's a game of musical chairs, involving 500 people and 5 chairs.

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  95. @ 1:11 PM

    This comment contains an ethnic slur. Please delete it.

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  96. I read this blog everyday, but never comment. It has kind of become the source I use to reaffirm my decision not to go to Law School after graduating from UPENN with a History degree in 2010 - I am fairly confident I made the right choice judging by this blog and the outcomes of fellow college friends around me.

    Instead, I started a tutoring company and have been taking accounting classes and working towards my CPA, a profession that I hope will keep me employed and reasonably financially stable into the future - but who knows?! There could be a CPA scam blog one day in the not to distant future.

    I am thankful to LawProf and all the comments on this blog for helping me!

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  97. Also, not sure if anyone has linked to this NYTimes piece, but it's spot-on.

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  98. BamBam gets it.

    --Porsenna

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  99. I would like to know how law school changed your dating life, starting right from undergrad. How did people react when you dropped the "L" bomb on them? All those peons who started working for a measly $40k while you took LSATs. For the 5 years of law school, tons of vacation and partying, the year for the bar exam, and even that year of job hunting, you told every person you ever met that you're going to be a big shot lawyer. You got immediate respect. Deference. You were technically an unemployed loser, yet enjoying the benefits of being a successful surgeon or pro athlete. What did this do to your confidence level? Did your mouth just salivate just waiting for the woman to ask what you did for a living? L BOMB. It works best when you're out of context, and it catches her off guard like a left-hook. Like at a rave or NASCAR event.

    How did it feel to be in the pantheon of the upper crust elite? Do you still list "attorney" or "lawyer" in your online dating profile? Have you ever changed it to "plumber" and see the reactions?

    Even if you never work a day in your life as a lawyer, no one can ever take back the 5-7 years of more advantageous dating and sex that you leveraged from your mythical lawyer status!

    For the socially and IQ challenged that the scamblog movement attracts, this does not mean you had women lining up to service you because of the JD. It just means it prevented you from being passed over because of a low prestige career that is not up to her standards, like a debt-free $125k blue collar plumber or cop.

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  100. Has anyone on this site ever discussed alternatives to becoming a lawyer, perhaps as a plumber or as a cop? There could even be discussion of salaries cops earn and whether they exceed six figures.

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  101. Also, perhaps someone could describe the protected status of these jobs and what sort of political power they have.

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  102. fat guy -

    No, no one has ever discussed those topics on this blog ad nauseum. Troll you very much for asking.

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  103. I think fat guy was poking fun at whoever it is who keeps posting that stuff.

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  104. Hi LawProf,

    There was a recent article in the ABA journal, something about the "pedigree problem," that seemed like it related to some of your themes. Any interest in discussing it in one of your posts?

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  105. MacK

    I found a paralegal position advertised in the career office at Catholic Law. This was last century I might add. Also, I really did not need to go to law school for this job. I should add that my co worker in the job graduated from GW Law with a master in public health to boot.

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  106. Women have a way of figuring things out. Once it becomes more widely know what the future entails for lawyers, the attention will drop.

    Yeah, the love life was good in the past for lawyers. But, like so many other things about that life, it will change.

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  107. 11:43am is priceless! Upset with everyone else because, in his FORTIES, he chose to become a lawyer in a horrendous economy. Now he's dismayed, outraged, etc. that no one wants to hire him. After all, he's getting the prestigious degree with all the resume trimmings. And he's reported that he is not a "rich wastrel" like his classmates with mediocre grades. Our hero is teeming with envy of those he derides all the while wailing about the unfairness of it all.

    Obviously, down labor markets should impede only those who can't match his achievements; he is a veritable superman who can juggle myriad responsibilities and yet excel nonetheless. Can no one else detect his obvious superiority? What happened to the meritocracy on which he placed all of his chips? Oh where, oh where is the justice?

    If only there had been some clue, some way to foresee that law firms might not leap at the chance to choose an old guy from among scores of bright youngsters. Seriously, is there any way that this guy impresses anyone else nearly as much as he impresses himself? Based on his comments today, this seems like one case in which the market is working perfectly so far.

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  109. Envy those hollow shells their daddies' money? You don't know me at all. What I feel for them, if anything, is pity. After all, they'll never be more than shadows, someone's skin-deep trophy kids.

    Yes, we all know how splendidly the Market™ works. Prof. Campos's blog is all about that.

    I'm not concerned about finding a cog's position in the legal profession. I'll finish my studies with zero debt, everything (including living expenses) having been paid from scholarships, earned income, and savings. I won't have to go whoring after a job in some white-shoe law firm. If the legal profession turns its back on capable people, well, that's no shame of mine; it's just proof—as if more were needed—of the decadence that has fucked so much up.

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  110. Yes, of course, none of them are fit to shine your shoes, such is your superiority. You are all substance and they are mere "shadows." In fact, so superior are you that you've devoted several prime earning years as well as "earned income and savings" to join a profession that apparently has properly discerned how very little you can offer. And so poetic [classy too, the resort to profanity]...why it's the "decadence" that is to blame.

    In retrospect, at night as you contemplate circumstance and all that someone of your surpassing intellect might have done instead, it seems unlikely that your brilliance shines quite so bright. That is, when there is no audience for your preening, strutting, and cackling. In any event, decency requires a respectful coda, so good luck Grandpa.

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  111. 4:45,
    Thank you, that made my night!

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  112. So glad I clicked refresh, the follow up at 6:16 was awesome too!
    6:20

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  113. Oh, indeed. A few law firms are the universal arbiters of merit. Anyone not in their esteemed favor is just a hopeless, jilted zero, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

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  114. I don't get all you guys who are piling on the over-forty geezer. It's not as if he was actually "teeming with envy of those he derides all the while wailing about the unfairness of it all".

    At least, I've gone back and read his comments and he seems to have lodged a genuine complaint, by my reading.

    Think about it - he's another person who (other than starting LS in his late 30's or early 40's) "Did Every Think Right".

    Got into and is succeeding at a top LS.

    But can't buy a job.

    Why isn't he as welcome as anyone else here who feels like they did what they were supposed to do, and ended up getting chawed up by the scam?

    Have a little common humanity, ye azzwipes.

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  115. It's because he thinks he's so much better than everyone around him.

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  116. Where did you get that, from anything s/he actually wrote? (As opposed to filtering what other people perceived from his/her writings?)

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  117. From what he actually wrote ==> "Envy those hollow shells their daddies' money?" "After all, they'll never be more than shadows, someone's skin-deep trophy kids."

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  118. In Australia it is called tall-poppy syndrome.

    As for starting law school rather late in life, that's something that I couldn't really have done differently, for reasons (financial) that I'd rather not discuss in this company. Suffice it to say that K–JD isn't an option for everyone.

    For that matter, many a K–JD will find herself wanting to do something else at 40+. And that may require taking the risk of going back to school with people half her age while carrying on with her other responsibilities and striving to do well. What exactly should she do? Give up on the idea and try to stay in law until retirement?

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  119. @kattanj:

    Can you tell me a little more about how you started a tutoring company? I would like to know more because right now I am an unemployed attorney, who never made more than $13,000 a year since graduating from law school and I desperately need to find another source of income. Like most recent legal graduates, it is unlikely I will ever be employed in the legal field.

    I was recently sitting on a plane next to someone who indicated that she charged about $35 an hour for tutoring. She said it was a good living and she has done well. Can you tell me how long it took for you to get your tutoring company off the ground and how you solicit your clients? Also, can you make a reasonably living off it and is the income pretty consistent?

    Thanks for any assistance you can give me,
    - An unemployed attorney who wants to be a tutor

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  120. @8:33

    I do not have any tutors that I contract out though there are many companies that do that. I just tutor myself and have found many clients through family friends, craigslist, and reaching out to high school advisers in the area. It took me about a year to build up a self-sustaining system of references that has lead to relatively consistent work and income. I'm not talking anything crazy, but it is possible to gross around 5k or even more in a busy month.

    In big cities such as Los Angeles and New York, you can command between $60-80 an hour in SAT tutoring especially. That is the area I'd focus on. Even in a down economy, the demand is there from parents and students who feel immense pressure to score well. With larger companies like Kaplan, Kompass, and Revolution charging $120/hr and up, you are a value provider that cuts out the middle man while still providing high quality service, ideally that is.

    The most important things I've learned is that you really have to become an expert on the SAT, or any subject you tutor, because references will be your life blood. Craigslist has surprisingly been a great tool for finding clients. Take less money at first to get clients and go from there - even consider offering first hour free and traveling to the student's home.

    Being a "tutor" is not the prestige of being a professor or lawyer, but as an interim job for someone in their mid or late twenties trying to transition into another career or just trying to find supplemental income, it is a great alternative. The major long term concern is that tutoring into your 40s and 50s, assuming you don't start an incredibly successful tutoring business, is that income flat lines and you might become too old for your clientele. Who knows though? My plan is to ride this as long as I can and hopefully do it on the side into the foreseeable future.

    Hope that helps!

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  121. Thank-you so much, kattanj! As for the not having the 'prestige' of being a lawyer, I'd give that up any day to have food on the table. Prestige doesn't feel so great when you are living at home with your parents and can't afford to live on your own because you are doing yet another unpaid internship. (Ah, the secrets the law schools won't tell you about the true job market!)

    You have done extremely well for yourself and should be proud. I don't think you missed anything by not going to law school. If you had, you might be stuck like I was, making $13,000 a year years after graduating and being grateful for it, because you would have been told so many times that you were just so lucky to get a job in the legal field that actually pays something. Sometimes, what we wish for is not actually what we think it is. A respectable living is something to be proud of and your income and success is something that most lawyers (particularly the younger ones) would be envious of.

    Thank-you for the info. I will be seriously considering a new career, because I just can't keep affording the unpaid internships, unemployment, and poverty wages of the legal field. And if you should ever again find yourself doubting whether you made the right decision not to go to law school, just imagine your current income with about 20% taken out of it for student loan payments and realize that that is the best-case scenario. Thanks, again.

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  122. Law school was the worst mistake of my life. Colorado killer had great difficulty in obtaining employment. The link between depression and economics is strong.

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