Friday, July 20, 2012

Should you stay?


Many commenters have asked whether rising 2Ls and 3Ls should remain in law school.  Would some students be better off leaving now rather than taking on more debt?  I plan to make several posts on this important topic--and to draw significantly on crowd wisdom.  I apologize that this post comes relatively late in the summer; there has been so much to unearth about law schools during the last two months.  Ideally, all law students would review their options at the end of both the first and second year, giving more time to implement their plans.  But if you're wondering whether to buy another year of law school, there's still time to weigh your options.  Here are some steps to take right now.  I’ll follow up with more posts, and will credit useful comments in that advice.

1.  Confront the Issue.  If you’ve wondered at all about leaving law school, confront the issue head-on.  No one has locked you into a three-year contract.  You can always choose to leave, and weighing that choice is healthy both psychologically and financially.  Even if you decide to remain in law school, analyzing your options will clarify your commitment.  You may decide to make less radical changes, such as electing different courses or pursuing a particular externship.

2.  Don’t just leave, take a leave.  Check with your school about options for taking a leave of absence.  An approved leave gives you a guaranteed option to return.  Even if you think you never want to set foot inside a law school again, why not give yourself some insurance?  If the school is willing to grant a leave of absence, it’s better to line up that right-of-return.

In another post, I’ll offer some ideas for how to secure an approved leave if your school resists.  For now, check on your school’s basic policy.  Are you entitled to take a leave of absence?  For how long?  What paperwork is necessary?  If you have a scholarship, how will a leave affect that scholarship?  Can you keep the scholarship or do you forfeit it?  If you lose the scholarship and decide to return, is there any chance of competing for new scholarship money?

3.  Learn about your loan.  If you have any educational debt, make an appointment right now with one of your school’s financial aid advisors.  In a separate post, I’ll address the critical issue for many students:  Can you afford to leave, or is your loan the only thing keeping you afloat?  But first you need to know all of the specifics about your loan.  Some of the questions you should ask:
  • How much do I owe right now?
  • If I stay in law school, how much will I owe at graduation?  Get the most precise calculation you can.  Remember that, in addition to rising tuition and living costs, law school loans are no longer subsidized.  This is a good time to recalculate your loan numbers—whatever you decide to do.
  • What are the grace periods for my loans?  If you leave school, you will have start repaying your loans.  But for most loans, there’s a grace period of six months before the first payment is due.  Confirm with your counselor whether all of your loans have grace periods and, if so, how long those periods last. 
  • How does the grace period interact with our school’s calendar?  Pin down exactly when your grace period will start (or already started) and when it will end. 
  • If I take a leave, use my grace period, and then return to school, do I get another grace period after graduation?
  • If I take a leave, use my grace period, and can’t find full-time employment, will I qualify for loan deferment?  How hard is that to arrange?
  • What kind of repayment plans are available to me if I take a leave?  These plans should be the same as ones available after graduation so, even if you decide to stay in school, you’ll be getting a head start on planning for repayment.
  • If I take a leave, enter a repayment plan, and then return to law school, will I be able to change the repayment plan later?
4.  Gather very specific career data.  Make an appointment with a member of your Career Services Office.  Explain that you know how difficult the job market is and that you’re trying to lay the best possible foundation for your own employment.  Note that you’re considering whether a leave of absence might help you develop skills that will make you more marketable at graduation.  Even if you’re thinking of leaving law school for good, talking about a leave of absence is a more constructive way to obtain information and explore options. Then ask for this information:
  • A copy of the school’s full NALP report for 2011.  If the school resists, explain that you are serious about planning for your career, and that you take personal responsibility for your future—you don’t expect anyone to hand you a job.  But you can’t take that responsibility unless you have relevant data.  Detailed information about the school’s recent graduates—the people most like you—is essential to assume the responsibility you want to take for your own career.
  • Recommendations for jobs you could pursue while on leave.  Are there law-related jobs that might help you lock in a job after graduation?  Is there a law firm, government agency, or other employer that might hire a clerk who has finished 1-2 years of law school?  Are there other positions (e.g., entry-level administrative, government, or corporate jobs) that you could pursue?  Your CSO may not have suggestions for jobs like this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  If you’re thinking about leaving law school, gather all the free advice you can get.
  • A list of specific “alternative jobs” that recent graduates have obtained.  This list will be helpful in three ways: 
    • You may qualify for some of these jobs now.  Even if you have finished just one year of law school, you already have many of the skills that law schools say are valuable in the workplace.  If employers do value these skills, then this list may give you employment leads.  If employers don't really value law school skills, well, better to learn that now.
    • You may realize that you are not interested in or qualified for any of these jobs—ever.  For example, if most of your school’s alternative jobs are corporate jobs taken by JD/MBA graduates, and you’re not earning an MBA, then you can’t count on following that route.  If the alternative jobs are baking cupcakes, and you’re allergic to gluten (or kitchens), that option’s not for you.  Gaining this knowledge is important in deciding whether to stay in law school.  On the one hand, if you have a realistic chance of obtaining a JD-required job (based on your personal record and recent outcomes for your school), you may recommit to staying in law school.  On the other hand, if the prospects of a JD-required job are low—and you were counting on one of these alternative jobs—you may decide that earning a JD doesn't make sense. 
    • You may like some of these alternative jobs but, after talking to your career counselor (or doing informational interviews with some alternative employers), realize that the JD makes a difference in securing these jobs.  Some employers are degree conscious:  You may not learn any more with an additional year or two of law school, but the degree itself may matter.  If that's the case, you'll have the information you need to calculate whether obtaining the JD makes sense for obtaining one of these jobs.
5.  Look at the rules I suggested for 0Ls.  Figure out whether you fall within one of the “don’t go” guidelines.  I.e., are you enrolled at a school with an employment score below 50%?  Is your projected debt more than your school’s reported median salary for 2011?  Falling within one of these guidelines doesn’t necessarily mean you should withdraw, but you should at least make those calculations.  
*   *   *
Coming soon:  How to use this information to plot next steps.


69 comments:

  1. Calm down, Leiter.

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  2. Excellent advice, especially no. 2. As in so many other areas of life, don't burn your bridges, no matter how disgusted you may be with the institution.

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  3. If you can get a good job that does not require a JD and has the opportunity for promotion to a six figure job, you are better off than staying in law school. The 9 month placement figures do not nearly take into account the oversupply of lawyers that has been building up for years. The problem is that the lawyer jobs once you get them tend to be very unstable. They disappear at the drop of a hat, and it is because the legal profession is undergoing adverse changes and there is such a glut of lawyers waiting to fill any open job.

    To give you an idea, the medical profession has about 12% less jobs than the legal profession, but graduates maybe a third as many people as law schools.

    What is even worse about this, if you are unemployed and forced to start your own practice, you face ethics rules of the ABA and the state bar associations that prohibit you from soliciting work from clients. Most of the normal things that a reasonable person would try to do to get his or her business off the ground are solicitation. Sending out hundreds of resumes to non-lawyers- that is solicitation and can get you disbarred. Newworking among non-lawyers is also solicitation. In short the ABA has it tied up to keep the existing big firms in their monopoly with most of the clients that can pay sizeable bills and keeping new lawyers who do not find work with a sizeable firm from earning a living.

    If you can get a job that leads to another job you would like before finishing law school, you are crazy not to take it.

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  4. This is implied by No. 4, but a rising 2L or 3L should take a cold, hard look at the indicators of whether s/he will be able to get a "real" job as a lawyer if s/he finishes school. ("Real" meaning full-time, non-temporary, JD-required, and paying a decent salary.)

    1. What did you do during the summer just ended? Were you able to get a job with a firm or government agency that hires new grads from your school? If not, did you at least get some callbacks at such places?

    2. What's your class rank? Top ten? Top 10%? Top third?

    3. Are you on law review? Another journal? Moot court?

    4. What is your school's rank in USNWR? A strong showing on 2 and 3 becomes much more important if you're at a school below T14. If you're at a school below the top 100, you're pretty much wasting your time if you're not in the top 5 and on law review. I know that sounds harsh, but the point is to be completely realistic here.

    If the above indicators are not favorable, I think you should take a leave. You gave it a shot, things didn't work out, and you were smart enough to know when to cut your losses. No shame in that.

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  5. It is worse than those statistics though because the long-term job market for law grads is pretty awful. In NY, where I live, a small firm partner without a book of business who is lucky enough to find work will make about 55% of what an experienced school teacher gets. Outside Biglaw and a small group of in house positions, legal jobs do not pay unless you have your own book of business. If you think you are a born salesman, it may be a factor in favor of staying in law school. For everyone else, forget it.

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  6. Use alumni contacts to find out how what practitioners are saying. I work in a non-profit and I get maybe one email or phone call a year from someone interested in non-profit work from my law school. I graduated Northwestern and live in Chicago - I'm really easy to find, but law students don't seem to be looking.

    I just found out that my group will have a least two law school funded fellows - 2012 graduates. Neither is expected to last a year - seem designed to get the students employed at the nine month mark. We have more summer law students than I ever recall seeing before.

    On a more optimistic note - I expect that my agency (and several others in Illinois) will be posting attorney positions soon.

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  7. I cannot overemphasize the fact that law jobs do not last. Law firms are extremely unstable places with extremely high turnover. Even if you believe that you will get a biglaw high paying job, the data demonstrate that your chances of remaining in biglaw after 5 years are no more than 20%, and after 7 years no more than 10%...at best. Some government jobs are perhaps more stable. Realize that if you stay in law school and are successful in finding a first job, it will only be the beginning of recurrent job searches among recurrent episodes of job instability for the rest of your career in law. If I had known what the law job situation really is, I would have definitely quit after the first year, even being among the top 5 at a t2 school with a half tuition scholarship.

    Sensible students must make a cost benefit analysis that accounts for the crippling student debt that many are incurring. Students must acknowledge that the chances of reasonably dealing with the student debt and having a reasonable middle class life are low if working as a lawyer. A reasonable person considering the facts would most often cut their losses and quit. There is absolutely no shame in quitting. Dropping out of law school is a sensible and informed decision for the majority of law students.

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  8. Cooley lawsuit has been dismissed: http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/100657078?width=320.

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  9. Here's a rough rule of thumb for whether a law student should continue attending law school after her/his first year. Go to the Law School Transperancy website. Click on to their data clearinghouse. Look up your own school and get its employment score. This is the percentage of its graduates that get a long term job that requires bar passage less solo practitioners. If your schools score is 50% and you're in the bottom half of your class, drop out. By way of example, the Duke score is 82% so the bottom 18% of its 1L class should leave. Illinois is 51% so the lower 49% should leave. New York Law School is 35% so 65% would drop out. Golden Gate out in San Francisco has an employment score of 19% so the bottom 81% goes. This may seem harsh and it may not apply to people with very large scholarships or guaranteed jobs. But the employment score substancially overstates the long term career prospects for law graduates. William Ockham

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  10. Just read the opinion on the suit against Cooley. Not sure the opinion was a win for Cooley. The facts section was scathing and was an indictment against Cooley in and of itself - I don't believe a prospective student would attend Cooley or go near the school after reading that. Obviously, the school realized that the opinion wasn't a win for it: it announced on its website the decision but of course conveniently left off links to the actual decision itself. Probably didn't want prospective students to read that it is ranked last in almost every survey of law schools in the country and has made up its own, ludicrous ranking systems. Way to go, LeDuc! Under your leadership, Cooley's reputation has become stellar and will guarantee prospective students for years to come!

    As Cooley spends galore on its legal defense, it is increasingly losing the battle of public perception.

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  11. How many people will read the opinion? They will, at most, read the headline that says the suit was dismissed. Another group will read the first few paragraphs of the news reports about the case.

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  12. I second the comments from the above poster emphasizing the instability of a legal career. I attended a TTT with a strong science background. I was able to land a good associate position in patent law at a non-NALP firm. I excelled at the job and the partners thought highly of me. After three years, I was gone. Unable to land back on me feet, I now toil in sweatshops doing document review ... when I can find it. My current project ends in two weeks - they at least gave me the courtesy of telling me in advance - and once again, I will be on the unemployment merry-go round. Luckily I worked long enough to qualify for unemployment. Many assignments don't last long enough to even qualify in my state. So this could be your future. It isn't pretty.

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  13. Am I the only one irritated by the phrase "rising 2L"?

    Yes, there should perhaps be a term to denote a person during the summer between academic terms, but the word "rising" is so self-aggrandizing.

    Many programs of study last for multiple years. Do any others use this pompous terminology? "Back when I was a rising post-doc."

    As this and other blogs have documented, the only thing most law students are rising toward is a life of disappointment and limitations.

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  14. "Caveat Emptor" - If you're too stupid, dumb, or naive, the law cannot help you. At the entrance to my law school (which itself is a monolithic structure, from a wealthy donor I suppose) is a quote about "laboring in the law to seek truth and justice." What a load of garbage.

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  15. According to one federal judge, it appears, that fraud and misrepresentation are no longer exceptions to caveat emptor. Even if we are lied to, we should have known better. We should have known that the full-time employment statistics included jobs that don't require or "prefer" a law degree like day-laboring and waitressing.

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  16. Chill out dude - everyone uses the term "rising" 2L and understands what it means. It may be specific to law because whether you are a rising 2L going into OCI or a 1L or 2L have different connotations in terms of the advice you are given.

    I think that all rising 2Ls who want to be lawyers should give OCI a fair shot and see what they can get. If there are no takers or no interest from firms that would allow them to pay their loans, then they should drop out.

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  17. I do think that dropping out will become the next thing to do.

    I'm not sure that DJM's advice is the way to go. I suggest that people start considering dropping out as soon as 1L and the LR write on is finished. They should start looking for other jobs if they can't get a law job. They should test the market hard. They should also consider returning to undergrad to get another major in something that might lead to a different career. It would only take at most 2 or 3 years and would be far cheaper than law school.

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  18. 8:08,
    No, he's saying that the statistics were so inconsistent that a reasonable person would have conducted further inquiry. It does seem like if they had asked more questions there could have been a claim.

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  19. What enrichment classes should my rising Kindergartener take this summer?

    Has my rising high school sophomore finished her required summer reading?

    Is that rising 67-year-old looking forward to filling out his Social Security form?

    The phrase is cringe-worthy -- brimming with status anxiety and arriviste longing.

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  20. @8:37

    I doubt it. Even if they had conducted further inquiry and Cooley continued to obfuscate, the onus would still be on the prospective purchaser to weigh sales talk against their own intuition. Cooley would literally have to make a false statement, along the lines of "All of those people who responded to our survey were employed in positions as lawyers, guaranteed!" EVEN then, the court would probably not hold Cooley accountable, because honestly, how dumb do you have to be to believe them?

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  21. It is an absolutely fine phrase.

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  22. Who cares whether anyone likes the phrase "rising 2L"? Everyone in the field uses it, and we all know what it means.

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  23. I'm not sure that trying for a leave of absence is really a good idea. There may be a very few students who really will be well served by returning to law school and finishing the degree. And there will be a few more, I suspect, who need the fig leaf of calling their departure a leave of absence in order to placate family members, or even themselves.

    But for most students, I suspect, a clean break is the best way. They're like people in an abusive relationship--they need a divorce, not a separation. Keeping the door open simply enhances the chances that they'll, be slapped around again in the future.

    Publius

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  24. I've updated the post to make clear that, ideally, students should start weighing their options at the end of each academic year. The timing of this post reflects how much else has been going on (blogwise and in other life), not the best time for students to begin thinking about these issues. Thanks, 8:36, for bringing that to my attention.

    Not sure I can do anything about the term "rising 2L/3L." I remember my joy when I discovered there was a phrase for this concept. Maybe to underline the fact that the choice remains with the student throughout law school, we should call them "prospective 2Ls and 3Ls"? But that might call out all of the schools' marketing instincts. Right now, one advantage these students have is that the schools are leaving them in peace--assuming, naively perhaps, that they are contentedly "rising" and will docilely return to the fold next month.

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  25. I second these commenters. The problem is that even people who are in the 55% and get first jobs will be on the unemployment line again and again. The profession has changed to one of termination without notice. It happens again and again. Very few of my classmates at a T6 law school have jobs that would count towards being employed under the new NALP rules. I graduated a while ago. Just do the math - 45,000 people entering the profession each year and just over 700,000 legal jobs in the United States. That would mean if only new lawyers were employed and not older ones, that almost every lawyer over the age of 41 would be unemployed. It is not different from the actual situation because legal jobs disappear so quickly. One day you are killing yourself at work giving it your heart and soul and every bit of effort in your body and mind. Very soon after that you are facing mind numbing unemployment with no way out because there are not enough jobs and because no one wants to hire the unemployed.

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  26. @ 5:21. Did you graduate from Franklin Pierce too? The same happened to me. When I enrolled in 2005, it was ranked 4th in IP. At the time, I thought specialty rankings meant something. Now FPLC's IP ranking has dropped to 10th place as the Ivys get on the patent/IP bandwagon. I wonder what the FPLC's administrators will brag about now?

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  27. I am so sorry I did not drop out of my top law school after the first year. I have had recurrent periods of unemployment for the last decade. I have been offered only employment that is either low paying or temporary in this period. I have worked very hard and done everything I can to have a stable career at a reasonable salary. In fact I have devoted more effort to this career than to anything else in my life. It just does not work for most people.

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  28. Hey, Im just curious, why don't those of you that are unemployed and have IP backgrounds try to get a job with the USPTO as examiners?

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  29. I do not have an IP background.

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  30. What do you mean you don't have an IP background?

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  31. I have done one contract with IP issues my whole career. I work in totally different practice areas. I could no more convince anyone that I have expertise in IP than could any recent law school grad. However, I am a very experienced lawyer in other areas. In my areas, few experienced lawyers are able to hold on to their jobs and there are very very few openings. Many experienced lawyers in my areas are unemployed. I do not want to disclose these areas but the job market is horrible.

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  32. The real problem is that the 50% and better employment figures put out by these schools are unduly rosy. Many more graduates of these schools are suffering from unemployment and underemployment than is expected to be the case from looking at the 9 months number. The law schools are getting away with not disclosing experienced placement and salary figures as they did for first year numbers until recently. Only when the truth breaks will the bottom drop out of the law school game. It is a very treacherous game for most people.

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  33. "Rising" is used in all education, not just the LS context. It aint goin away so mebbe you best just get used to it. For example, I have a rising 9th grader, 8th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader...

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  34. Cooley won the lawsuit filed against it by disgruntled former students complaining that it's employment data was bogus and violated consumer protection laws. The district court ruled that consumer protection did not apply because the students were planning on practicing law for a living which is a business. It also ruled buyer beware when dropping $100,000 on a bottom tier law school.

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  35. I liked the passage where he described the ranking system published by Cooley.

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  36. @ 9:30 am - rather than directing your annoyance at the "rising 2L" terminology, why not focus on the recurring inability of many writers here to distinguish between "its/it's" and "there/they're/their."

    A much more serious problem, with scope beyond lawyers/law students.

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  37. Very few of my classmates at a T6 law school have jobs that would count towards being employed under the new NALP rules.

    Define "very few."

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  38. If you look at women and minorities and take out people working for the government in the numerator it is none of the minorities to my knowledge and about one in ten women again to my knowledge. I could be wrong, because I have not done a survey, but this is my distinct impression. A number of people who work for the government in these categories are employed and have done better. It is the private law firms and in house jobs that do not employ the more experienced law grads of the T6 except in tiny numbers

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  39. "Rising" in grades is commonly used. It's confusing when signing your kids up for summer camp because they will be in one grade when registering them during the school year but technically in another grade during the summer when they attend. Camps will say "rising fifth graders" so you know it's okay for your fourth grader to apply.

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  40. @5:23 I'm not sure I followed all of that, but (as a practitioner) I find the claim that "private law firms and in house jobs ... employ the more experienced law grads of the T6 ... in tiny numbers" far from credible.

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  41. You need to look at how experienced though. With each year of experience more people go off the track. It gets progressively worse for people in the second halves of their careers. THe point is that a lot of people have difficulty earning a living after their mid-forties or so. The numbers are much higher for employed people say 10 years out of law school. If you are paying $250,000 for a T6, you better have a longer shelf life as a lawyer than 20 years, or you will barely pay off your debt.

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  42. Very few African-Americans over the age of 45 are employed by larger law firms in New York City. We do not have numbers, but from my observation the numbers are awful. The numbers are not great for women over that age either. If you look after age 50 or 55, the numbers are even worse. Unlike the medical profession where women and minorities are in high paying jobs, the legal profession, particularly in private practice and especially in New York, is much more difficult to crack. Women and minorities have more difficulty bringing in business because much of the business is controlled by white males. There is no excuse but the law firms can always use the excuse that the woman or minority was not productive enough.

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  43. So ... how does all that translate into "very few" and "tiny numbers"?

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  44. "I second the comments from the above poster emphasizing the instability of a legal career."

    "I am so sorry I did not drop out of my top law school after the first year. I have had recurrent periods of unemployment for the last decade. I have been offered only employment that is either low paying or temporary in this period. ...It just does not work for most people."

    "You need to look at how experienced though. With each year of experience more people go off the track. It gets progressively worse for people in the second halves of their careers. THe point is that a lot of people have difficulty earning a living after their mid-forties or so. The numbers are much higher for employed people say 10 years out of law school. If you are paying $250,000 for a T6, you better have a longer shelf life as a lawyer than 20 years, or you will barely pay off your debt."

    Thank you, 11:11, 11:28 and 5:58...

    This is the truth. No law job is stable. You are always at risk of losing your job as a lawyer and joining the ranks of hundreds of thousands with a JD degree not working as a lawyer. If this truth was really known by and understood by incoming law students and current law students, the law schools would be shut down immediately...all of them.

    No reasonable person would buy this largely worthless degree. No one in their right mind would buy this largely worthless degree on credit or not on credit.

    Law is, unfortunately, a miserable business. I cite to Will Meyerhofer's book "Way Worse Than Being a Dentist." It is all true. He writes about his experience at a tip top firm on the East Coast. I can verify that everything he writes is equally true of top firms on the West Coast. I have been there, and I have lived it. I hope that my contributions to this site exert some small pressure to closing these snake oil salesmen (law schools) down. Every single one, including HYS, is a blight on society and a source of immeasurable misery for their victims (graduates). I say this and I am still employed and doing reasonably well.

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  45. To clarify,I am talking about my class at a T6.

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  46. I disagree with much that is said on this board. For example, I see a bunch of adults whining about their lives. I see people making excuses as to why they could not find work. I agree with Prof. that the law profession has way too many unemployed individuals and there are WAY too many students. However, making an excuse for everything in life will do you very little in actually getting anywhere. For example, people (no names mentioned) state that it's impossible to find a job with a JD. However, I do not see that to be the case.

    Further, many will grab at straws, conjuring the most asinine of arguments one can imagine. Law school is not right for everyone, but some of the arguments not to go are ludicrous. If you are having trouble with your life, finding employment, or your debt, you need to get up and do something about it. Whining on an internet forum is going to do you absolutely no good at all.

    World Traveling Law Student

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  47. you need to get up and do something about it.

    It worked well for the Joads in Grapes of Wrath.

    The employment and debt problems are structural. Not enough jobs to pay back the non-dischargable debt incurred.

    All the pluck and heratio alger bullshit in the world isn't going to save you when the bank won't loan you a dime to start a business, and you can't find a permanent job with health insurance.

    Also, if you're still a student you are still in the warm bosom of the student bubble. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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  48. The point is that for many people who graduate from the T6, they in fact will not have any opportunities in the private sector a few years out other than setting up their own firm and eat what you kill. A T6 lawyer 25 years or more years out may be able to get two thirds of what a fireman or a teacher of that experience earns in their city. The schools are advertising $160,000 for the private sector but the private sector is not open to many older T6 grads, especially women and minorities.

    The problem is structural. It is not disclosed by the T6 because they do not have to disclose it. Honestly, would you pay $250,000 plus high interest to attend a T6 and end up in a job that will pay two thirds of a teacher of fireman makes in your city and has a fraction of the job stability. We are not talking about people who are retired or working less than full steam. We are talking about killing ones self trying to get and hold a job.

    This is such a scam. Law students may think that this is a bunch of older people unsatisfied with their lives. In fact, it relates to a system, particularly at the T14 schools that relies on LAWYERS BEING FIRED TO CREATE FIRST YEAR JOBS. You are talking about a system where most of holders of those six figure jobs outside the government are forced to leave their jobs to make room for the masses of lawyers coming out of law school. Unlike medicine or dentistry, there is not nearly enough room for the new people unless the existing people are fired.

    If you go to a T6, you are entering a systematic program of being fired from your job that affects a high percentage of law school grads. The law schools have a conflict of interest -their older grads have to be fired to make room for new grads in a profession where the law schools systemically produce not twice but probably three or four times the number of lawyers our country needs, taking into account those who already graduated.

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  49. 4:58 sounds very much like Jack Marshall stopping by to troll.

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  50. What happens when less people start going to law school (as is the case we are seeing now) AND people start retiring/dying off. I think we may actually see an influx of law jobs opening up and not enough people to fill them. Keep up the hope guys. Things are about to get sweet.

    The World Traveling Law Student | 18%

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    1. Not. There is no demand for legal services anymore.

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  51. Two district courts have described the apparent promises embodied by two law schools' reported employment rates and median starting salaries as pure bullshit, which a reasonable adult should see right through. (All of them except the suckers who attended, perhaps.)

    Bear that in mind as you decide whether to walk away or finish your JD.

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  52. The World Traveling Law Student | 18%

    Is 18% a troll meter? Are you 18% to leveling up to super troll?

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  53. 7:56 You are not in reality. Right now there are probably three times as many law graduates out there as there are jobs. You are probably dealing 2 million law graduates in the United States as compared to 700,000 jobs for lawyers. Many if not most of these grads would be delighted to work as lawyers in onte of the jobs. A fair number of these jobs are actually solos who make little money, so you may be talking about 2 million lawyers for 500,000 or fewer real lawyer jobs, likely a surplus of 1.5 million lawyers or so in the U.S.

    When many of the baby boomers were in law school classes were 17,000 or 18,000 in total. Even if you kill off ten years of baby boomers and add 50% of that figure for retirements, for a total of 300,000 exits, and assume that happens today, you still have a surplus of 1.2 million lawyers.

    You have 45,000 new grads a year coming into the profession.

    There is no relief from huge oversupply here at any time in the next 20 years absent structural changes - real regulation of the law schools (not by the ABA) so they need to produce lawyers with legal jobs, no free ride for the law schools on government-funded debt where they take people's money and leave their students indebted and unemployed. In short the market works too well for the law schools to have any meaningful possibility of change.

    My life has been ruined by the oversupply of lawyers, and I went to law school when there was not this degree of oversupply. Many more lives will be ruined by this horrific situation benefiting the law schools at the cost of our nation's brightest citizens' lives.

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  54. This piece of shit, the World Traveling Law Student, was banned from the Third Tier Reality for posting his senseless drivel there. He posted under false pretenses of being a law prof, a successful lawyer on East and West coast, a banker and so on while using the same IP address. Now this puke surfaced here. Do not waste your time and ban the scumbag.

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  55. I would respectfully request that LawProf institute registration for comments. That wouldn't prevent trolling, but it would make it harder. It would also make it easier to conduct and follow conversations.

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  56. Registration is a bad idea. Few of us experienced lawyers in the know are willing to talk truthfully on this site. I surely could not comment and tell the real story where I had to give my real contact information. Essentially anyone who tells the truth and is not in a tenured position would be subject to potential job loss or not working again if negative comments about job opportunities in the legal profession were attributed to that person. You would never get the truth, and I think the commenters fill in the truth in areas where the law schools have not been forced to make disclosures.

    People know who is telling the truth and who is scamming as a general matter so I would not worry seriously about someone saying (either because they are trying to scam people or they are ignorant of the real numbers) that there will soon be a shortage of lawyers. Other commenters quickly will discredit the comment.

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  57. I am not here to spread trouble, nor am I here to lie to you. Further, I never said I was a professor. You are mixing me up with another individual that used to post on Nando's board. The truth is, I have seen people literally wasting their lives whining over their past mistakes or blaming something outside of them for not getting on with their lives. Sure, law school wasn't good for you, but the truth is, you are making it sound a LOT worse than it really is.

    It is time to man up and be accountable for your own actions AND at the same time to make your life something worth living. It's really pathetic that some people have taken to whining on the internet instead of getting up and fixing their lives. In fact, it's disgusting. Many of you complain about not being able to find a romantic partner, yet, I find that if I was a female, I would be absolutely disgusted by the amount of whining coming from some of the people here (no names mentioned. JDpainter, I'm looking at you).

    World Traveling Law Student | 18%

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  58. You have many people whose skills (lawyer) do not match job openings. You have people who are unemployed and losing jobs through no fault of their own. People here are not whining. They are trying to warn others of the true extent of unemployment, debt and job loss in the legal profession. Getting a job requires a skill that is in demand. If you have incurred a lot of debt and have a skill that no one needs, you are quite simply not going to get a job using that skill. It puts people with law degrees in the same pool of unemployed as recent college grads. The difference is the law grads are older, more indebted and often have families so they have much fewer options than a college grad who never went to law school. It is very important to spread the message of how few legal jobs there are relative to the number of people with law degrees. It greatly helps people plan for a better future.

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  59. And no one should buy the argument that baby boomer lawyers are going to retire and open up jobs. Most of the baby boomer attorneys I know have never made enough money in the course of their careers to ever retire.

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  60. They have to die sometime^

    World Traveling Law Student

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  61. Registration is a bad idea. Few of us experienced lawyers in the know are willing to talk truthfully on this site. I surely could not comment and tell the real story where I had to give my real contact information.

    Registration doesn't have to (and usually doesn't) require giving your real name. Normally, all it requires is setting up a yahoo or gmail account and then using that to register. The benefit is that it makes it somewhat more difficult to troll and use sock puppets.

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  62. Regarding baby boomers retiring, etc. My mother is one of those baby boomers and she intends to "retire" in the coming year. But that means she takes a year off and then takes the exact same job or a similar one part-time. The baby boomers are only 60-something and they won't be out of the work force for a long time.

    Also, I don't believe WTLS is really a law student. If he or she were, he/she would have seen 2L classmates with decent grades (top 1/3) strikeout completely at OCI and then struggle to find ANYTHING for 2L summer. He would have seen 3L classmates with nothing lined up by graduation and frantically searching while they should be studying for the bar. No one who is in law school now can be this clueless.

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  63. I'm torn on this one. I soldiered through and finished my JD. Mid-pack at a lower tier school. They gave me a nice piece of paper that I keep in the back of the closet (soon to be packed into a box). I'm only a year out and the results have been, well, unimpressive. At best. In five years? I don't know. Ask me then?

    It would take a lot of spine, but I can see how the one-and-out plan would be a good one. Hit it hard that first year, then see where the grades and class rank fall. Oh, and try and "summmer" somewhere beneficial. If the outcome isn't optimal, leave law school.

    Personally, I don't know if I could have done it. I wanted the degree in the same way I wanted to believe what the school was telling me. Trust in education or something. Sad but true.

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  64. I was really surprised after I read this post. I currently live in South Korea and I graduated both high school and college in the US a few years ago. I was actually planning
    to go to Law School in the US sooner or later. After I read this post, I finally decide not to go to Law School. Anyhow, thanks a lot sharing the realistic information related with Law School.

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