Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fixing a hole

One of my college roommates had a cat which had a remarkable ability to feign nonchalance if, for instance, it tried to jump onto a high ledge and failed.  Within a split second of crashing to the floor, Toonces would immediately begin an unhurried and dignified exit away from the scene of the disaster, to the point where you could almost hear him say "I meant to do that."

In the next couple of weeks, as 1L orientation starts at most law schools, I suspect we're going to hear a lot about the institutional sense of prudence and social responsibility that has led to enrolling a class x% smaller than usual.  What seems to have happened is that by this spring it was becoming obvious to a large number of schools that they would have to either enroll a significantly smaller class than normal, or enroll a class with lower LSAT/GPA numbers, or throw a lot more money at applicants, or some combination.

The same thing happened last year, but preliminary indications are that this year will feature even more stress on enrollment numbers, to the point where over the last few weeks word is beginning to trickle out regarding reduced class sizes at various schools, including:

Texas: 300 1Ls, down from 375 last year and 400 the year before.
Minnesota:  220 1Ls (normal graduating class is around 275).
Arizona:  125, down from 158 last year.
Wake Forest: 130, down from 185
Hastings:  320, down from 400
Penn State: 170, down from 220
Hamline: 134, down from 200
William Mitchell: 250, down from 309

In addition, Rutgers-Camden is looking at a class one half its normal size, and Cooley is projecting another big drop after last year's 29% decline (in its case this represents several hundred fewer 1Ls compared to the class of 2013).

Of course schools don't know exactly what a class's size will be until students actually enroll, since people deposited at one school will be getting pulled off wait lists at other schools until the last minute, plus some people will decide not to go to law school at all, or at least not this year.  So it's going to be an interesting couple of weeks.

At schools where the operating budget is largely tuition-driven (a category that includes the vast majority of law schools) an unplanned or planned as of six weeks ago shortfall in the size of the first year class is likely to create fiscal problems. Some faculties will take the opportunity to reassess things such as hiring plans and other new major expenditures for this coming year, while others will ignore the first rule for dealing with the discovery that one is in a hole, and will continue full steam ahead.  The most common rationalizations employed by schools in the latter category are likely to include:

(1) As soon as the economy gets back to normal, so will we.

Leaving aside that in terms of the broader economy the present situation may well now represent a new normal, this ignores that the market for lawyers has been contracting for at least 20 years, and that there's every indication it will continue to do so.

(2) We can retool ourselves in such a way as to ensure we'll get a comparatively bigger piece of a shrinking overall pie.

This of course is just Special Snowflake Syndrome at the institutional rather than the individual level.

(3) We need to spend even more than we're spending now, because in a hyper-competitive environment rankings are more important than ever.

This is my personal favorite, as it is much favored within my own institution, despite the fact that we increased tuition from $7,600 to $31,100 between 2003 and 2011, without any apparent effect on the school's ranking, which actually declined slightly.  In any case this argument ignores that law school ranking in general and reputational ranking in particular -- the latter is inevitably the main justification for new major expenditures -- is quite sticky.

It also ignores that prospective students are getting much more sophisticated about how meaningless law school rankings are outside of very wide bands.  There's essentially no evidence that employers care at all about whether a school is ranked 31st or 54th, despite the fact that law schools treat much smaller movements within the rankings as of apocalyptic significance.  Prospective students are figuring this out much faster than law schools are, which means there's less excuse than ever for schools in an increasingly deeper hole to keep digging.



184 comments:

  1. we increased tuition from $7,600 to $31,100 between 2003 and 2011, without any apparent effect on the school's ranking, which actually declined slightly.

    Dewey has nothing on you guys.

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  2. One more year of steep declines, and law schools may actually start churning out a number of graduates that relates somewhat to actual demand!

    Oops! Forgot about 3/4 of a decade's worth of unemployed and unemployable law school grads. Water under the bridge I guess.

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  3. Is this a complaint?

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  4. There's essentially no evidence that employers care at all about whether a school is ranked 31st or 54th

    This statement initially struck me (a practitioner and interviewer) as an exaggeration. But then I went and looked at the schools listed in that swath at USN&WR, and I have to agree. They're pretty much the same, candidate-wise, all other things being equal.

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  5. So what's the problem? Seems like the system is working as it should then...

    Just as in anything else, there is a lag between when a market tanks and the public realizes and reacts to it.

    If "the law" doesn't "bounce back" then neither will the numbers.

    Too bad the unemployed got in on the bubble, but that's how the free market works...

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  6. Having taken classes at several law schools up and down the spectrum, it's clear that there's no pedagogical difference between law schools. It's really just a false construct of "prestige" and perception. The material is exactly the same no matter where you go. The only real difference is the intelligence of the students around you.

    In other words, legal education itself is a scam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WELL WRITTEN.
      You wrote--- it's clear that there's no pedagogical difference between law schools. It's really just a false construct of "prestige" and perception. The material is exactly the same no matter where you go. The only real difference is the intelligence of the students around you.

      ABA/ EACH STATE IN US, knew the law but plays on the law, they ruled--- JD GRADS , no license to practice of law , can not give legal advice , which violated US constitution-- FIRST AMENDMENT --- FREE SPEECH.

      IN England, all law grads are --LAWYER. able to do all of legal works. Licensed --is called attorney able present client in the court.

      In Mexico country---law grad is a lawyer able to do all of legal works, present client in the court. Many other countries respect law grads as a lawyer able to do all of legal works.

      ONLY US inhibited law grads abilities? It's called know the law plays on the law. ----Adversary law systems.----pays back.

      Delete
  7. That doesn't make legal education a scam.

    That just indicates that law schools function pretty much the same as all institutions of higher learning.

    How does the fact that the subject gets taught basically the same way in all places make it a scam? That makes no sense.

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  8. The intelligence of the people around you matters a lot. Schools that can get them all together in one place can provide a different educational experience.

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  9. The kids should sit it out for 2 or 3 years.

    Avoid possible personal financial catastrophe and do not enroll. The lives they save might be their own.

    In that time they just might discover something else they can do for a living and that they might even enjoy more than law, and without the lifetime of toxic debt.

    In 2 or 3 years there will surely be some changes and developments and if they still want to go they can.

    But if I was a kid now I would be very wary about taking out student loans for just about anything.

    God if I could only go back in time.


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  10. "The intelligence of the people around you matters a lot. Schools that can get them all together in one place can provide a different educational experience."

    I agree. Smarter classmates mean that you're challenged more, class discussion is better, and the professors (if they're so inclined) can move through the material more quickly and cover more topics.

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  11. @6:34 Excellent advice. A 0L has nothing to lose, and much to gain, by postponing for a few years.

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  12. I am loving it.

    I really hope that my former crim law prof, professor Walker, who in the first couple of week of 1L told the class that we would be driving beemers and benzes, will get laid off due to dropping enrollment. Hey, prof Walker, I will trade my '98 dodge caravan for your beemer/benz. Oh, wait, you might be needing the $$$. Try Craigslist, prof Walker!

    This drop in enrollment for this year's 1L class is the culmination of about 4 years work for me and many others. I first made the first law school scam video ever more than 4 years ago. Then I started my now-terminated Exposing the Law School Scam blog about 4 years ago. So I and a lot of others have been working toward this goal for years. I have to say though that I did not think we would succeed this early. Congrats to Law Prof and all the others that have joined in this battle.

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  13. legal education is a scam, and the pedagogical methods are IRRELEVANT for the vast vast majority of grads. Here is a shocker for you -- for 99 percent of the cases out there, the judges rule how they want to, and if they even bother justifying their ruling, they just FIND A WAY THROUGH THE LAW to get the end result they want.

    Have you ever tried a case in family court????

    Family court has little to do with what happened in law school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See this responses ---- ABA/ EACH STATE IN US, knew the law but plays on the law, they ruled--- JD GRADS , no license to practice of law , can not give legal advice , which violated US constitution-- FIRST AMENDMENT --- FREE SPEECH.

      IN England, all law grads are --LAWYER. able to do all of legal works. Licensed --is called attorney able present client in the court.

      In Mexico country---law grad is a lawyer able to do all of legal works, present client in the court. Many other countries respect law grads as a lawyer able to do all of legal works.

      ONLY US inhibited law grads abilities? It's called know the law plays on the law. ----Adversary law systems.----pays back.

      Such even make law systems worse, became--monopoly controlling. We rally need to revive / protest rigorously it.

      Delete
  14. Two points:

    First, while I agree with rationalisations that Prof. Campos has suggested the schools will use, I wonder will they "cut much ice" with the larger university or college administration which has budgeted on receiving a certain amount of money as its tax, cut or "rakeoff" - an amount typically of the order of 20-35% Some of these declines in 1L numbers, especially when combined with the "scholarships" the law schools are offering could mean that they go revenue negative, especially if a lot of 2Ls and 3L transfer. I would like to know how Prof. Compos sees this issue playing out.

    Second, I see that the law school death watch blog has been taken down and I would like to know from its author what instigated that.

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  15. JustAClown...good name considering your view of the situation.

    This is the market at work...your shitty video and blog and the other blogs had little to do with it.

    A little, maybe, if you take ALL of the negative press into consideration (blogs are the least relevant), but taking credit for dropping enrollment is laughable.

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    Replies
    1. You are completely wrong. The market was skewed by increased false demand because schools lied about employment for so long. The trickling out of the truth DUE SOLELY to the scaMbloggers is causing this correction

      Delete
  16. Mack,

    Why would you care how Prof. Compos sees this playing out?

    He's a law professor and has hardly demonstrated any proficiency in the economics of running a university, or anything else for that matter.

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  17. MacK, that's a good question about how central administrations will handle not getting their expected cut, or even having to subsidize law schools which were formerly profit centers.

    My guess is "fairly ruthlessly."

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  18. And 7:03 is demonstrating a venerable proficiency in... what? Meaningful dialogue? Intelligent, substantive commentary?

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  19. And it's "Magic Ball anyway. Without the internal numbers for the schools, any knowledge of the personalities involved, there is no way to come to any informed judgment. I know that doesn't stop people who want to just muse about this kind of thing for the sake of the exercise. But, it's near useless. Why would LawProf want to do that?

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  20. "Magic 8 Ball", of course

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  21. Now, as one of the people that usually proposes the blue collar and muni alternative to law school, I have to admit that I have overlooked something. Without law school and useless bachelor degrees, would society produce such masterful, subtle, and sublime trolling:

    “Too bad the unemployed got in on the bubble, but that's how the free market works...”
    I mean, this is so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. Notice the succinct structure of the sentence, the implied “fuck you” to the unemployed debt-slaves, the description of the present situation as a “free market,” and of course, the ellipsis that follow the statement (tempting us to respond in an erratic and emotional manner).

    This is top shelf stuff. It’s so good that even though I know we are being trolled, I just have to respond.

    The free market you say? Yes, of course, this is exactly how the free market works: the government tells a business, which is selling its customers a disastrous product at a price said customers cannot afford, charge whatever you want and we will cover the bill no matter what because if there is literally one person that will benefit from your shit product, it justifies both the expense thrust on the tax payer and the destruction of the slew of people that buy said product.

    Delicious trolling champ, top shelf. Maybe every single person should have to get a useless BA/JD where tuition is 250k a year, courtesy of the U.S tax payer of course; after all, what would the world do without masterpieces like this.

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  22. Somebody's butthurt this morning.

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  23. How much woul law school enrollment have to decrease and for how many years to shift the likelihood of finding a job from 50% to 80% (assuming the economy essentially flatlined)?

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  24. I'm talking long term JD required jobs. Is it possible this year's enrollment could significantly affect class of 2015 employment outcomes?

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  25. By the way, did Toonces know how to drive?

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  26. I am actually surprised that the schools--even Cooley--are allowing enrollment to decline. I thought that some would would go full-bore-scam and enroll anybody and everybody with access to student loan money, using disappearing scholarships to bait the trap.

    Maybe the notorious rankings are, for once, having a virtuous effect on law school scamming, and restraining the schools from scraping the bottom of their applicant pool and accepting the 140 LSAT/2.1 GPA kids.

    Now, maybe, law faculty will start being grateful for what they have and what they can preserve from the wreckage, rather than getting all pissy about losing their paid summer vacations, aka summer research stipends, and threatening to take their enormous talents elsewhere.

    http://www.chicagolawbulletin.com/News-Extra/2012/08/dean.aspx

    dybbuk

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  27. A young man in my community went to Columbia Law School and got an excellent job. Then after a few years he was laid off. He reviews documents for $30 an hour now and he owes over $200,000. What happens to him now?

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  28. @8:00 am-- A car. YouTube "Toonces".

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  29. I imagine they think that, if their law school has a smaller class now, it will keep or improve its ranking. Then, they will get a bunch of transfer students from lower-ranked schools to fill in the 2L class next year.

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  30. "What happens to him now?"

    Here's what he can do:

    (a) sad to say: he can be grateful for the $30/hr, since the going rate for DR is often considerably less than $20; (NB: "grateful" is not to imply he has to be either satisfied or happy with it)

    (b) castigate himself for having not front-loaded payments on a considerable chunk of that $200K during the 4 years he had the excellent job?

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  31. @ 8:18, no doubt that's true. But the pool of potential transfers itself will be smaller, and it seems like based on the numbers that have come out that class of 2015 will be at least 10% smaller than class of 2014.

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  32. and probably more like 20%.

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  33. "Major Legal Employment Study Shows Law Graduate Employment Better Than Expected"

    http://cooleylawschoolblog.com/

    Some people may call this recent blog post self serving.

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  34. Like all businesses in our economic system, law schools attempt to achieve infinite growth (more $$$ every year) in a finite world, whether that's through tuition increases, enrollment increases, or both. Of course, this model is obviously unsustainable, and now we see law schools feeling the pinch of this structural failing.

    And while this contraction is a consequence of design, I think it's a mistake to underestimate the grassroots pressure that the many scamblogs have exerted on the system.

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  35. Re the hiring of new graduates - i.e., the classes of 2015 and beyond. Demand for the 25,000 that get hired each year is in part a function of the number of junior and midlevel lawyers law firms "wash out" each year. That is to say large law firms cull their 3-6th year associates because they see some cost advantage with replacing them with new first year associates - or at least the rising first and second year associates. In effect the glut of new JDs each year has an impact on the up or out decision.

    The issue for the firms to consider may be twofold. One the one hand, to be harsh, but I think fair, most of the 1Ls going to law school now must be even more complete naïfs and fools than those who went last year, and much worse than the year before that. As such they may not actually make particularly good associates, especially as law schools have to reach lower, maybe much lower in the ability pool. So on that front it may make sense to reduce the churn rate of associates - because the ones you recruited between 2006 and today are better than most of those on offer in 2013 and out.

    On the other hand, if you are really ruthless, perhaps it makes sense to take account of the desperation of so many graduates and wonder - is there some mill town in the middle of nowhere - say West Virginia - or better the US Marianas where I could ship a bunch of associates and offer them say 1/2 of what I am paying the current crop - it might be cheaper than say Wheeling West Virgina, see:

    http://abovethelaw.com/orrick-herrington-sutcliffe/

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  36. "to be harsh, but I think fair, most of the 1Ls going to law school now must be even more complete naïfs and fools than those who went last year, and much worse than the year before that. As such they may not actually make particularly good associates, especially as law schools have to reach lower, maybe much lower in the ability pool"

    That's an excellent point. It will be interesting to see the year-over-year changes in the LSAT-score ranges accepted by various schools.

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  37. Anon 6:34 ,

    That's the best advice you can give 0L's. Just wait.

    Any 0L's who read this: You're young, you're healthy, and you're unencumbered. Just wait. Lose the deposit fee. Strap on a backpack and go see the world. Get a job at the coffee shop and work on that novel. Start that business growing organic corn. Law school can wait.

    Most of us who post here would say that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Employment is going to get worse. But maybe the admins are right. Why don't you wait three years to see if they are?

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  38. @ 8:42. As a OL (about to start school Friday) I think the mindset that you outline in the second paragraph is very unlikely to match the way that any current lawyer would think, although paragraphs one and three sound right to me. I'm attending a tier one law school with a full tuition + books + stipend scholarship, and I want to practice in the area. Even with the horrible law school debacle and the flailing economy there are still intelligent, rational, and highly capable people attending law school--we are not all "naifs and fools."

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. i took down those blogs because of work-related reasons. Just got nervous. No pressure from the law schools.

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  41. @8:53

    My paragraph 2 - wait and see. Views will be driven very much by how the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014 perform. If there is a drop in quality that problem wil be attributed to you.

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  42. @ 8:42. Are you actually in a position to know what you are talking about? The notion that law firms are just going to view today's 0Ls as dumb is...dumb.

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  43. I just read that Cooley blog and simultaneously puked in disgust, while shooting out my nostrils laughing...Cooley "Cooley Law School has released a series of reports on legal employment in the United States. The purpose of this study is to insert the nation’s most authoritative data into the public dialogue about the national legal employment picture." bwahahahahaha

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  44. MacK--

    This really makes little sense. I'll be doing 2L OCI in a year. So your prediction is that between now and then there will be a sea change in the way current law students are viewed? My prediction is that in the next few years there will be many more people taking the path of less prestigious school + full ride over T14 + six figure debt. I did. I'm biased, but I think for lawyers fully informed on the law school situation will view those who are able to successfully navigate it if anything more favorably.

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  45. "Texas: 300 1Ls, down from 375 last year and 400 the year before"

    "Hastings: 320, down from 400"

    400 1Ls from one school in the jurisdiction? Really? In what universe was that ever sustainable? I'm from Texas, and there is no way one school needs to turn out approximately 300-400 graduates a year when there are, like, 36 law schools in Texas, let alone other states. Puh-leeze.

    Economics is a harsh mistress, so suck it up, lol skools!


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  46. " the market for lawyers has been contracting for at least 20 years"

    There was a cartoon in the New Yorker, I think it was in the early to mid 90's, where a jaded yuppie thirty-something couple was hanging out lazily at an outdoor café, and the girl said to the guy, "I think going to law school helped my painting."

    If anyone has time to dig it up, this might be a nice piece of fodder for the scambloggers, to show that attorney under-employment is not a new problem.

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  47. @9:15. That cuts both ways.

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  48. Hey, let's not forget the classic rationale that law schools use to explain a smaller class:

    "This was our target class size all along; we were over-enrolled the last several years!"

    I love that one.

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  49. "Strap on a backpack and go see the world."

    http://jasonjeffrey.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/awjeeznotthisshitagain.jpg

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  50. Does anyone have statistics concerning the 3rd to 6th year "washouts" referred to above? All I've heard are reports that this practice does exist and is very prevalent in the legal field without any hard data. I think this is an important aspect of employment the legal sector that needs some light shed on it.

    I remember reading a post on this blog with some data attorneys in Alabama whose salaries decreased (on average) as they gained more experience. Aside from this, I don't remember seeing anything else.

    If anyone has more information about this phenomenon please share it. I would love to hear some more statistics reinforcing my decision to be at work instead of LS orientation right now.

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  51. Has anyone looked at the Cooley law school blog entry referenced in the earlier comment? I briefly looked at the entry but haven't had time to tease apart the actual reports. It looks like Cooley is trying to spin the numbers to show that employment opportunites for law school graduates are just dandy.

    I can't wait for Nando to do an entry on his blog regarding this.

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  52. LAWPROF: Where is the data on the market for new lawyers contracting for the last 20 years? Last I read, the share of GDP taken up by the legal profession has for the most part increased steadily since the 1950s.

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  53. @9:27 I have no hard data, but my suspicion, from talking to a large number of BigLaw lawyers, is that the washout is in most cases at least partially self-imposed, accompanies a substantial drop in salary, and is welcomed by both sides. Practitioners, please confirm or deny!

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  54. 8:35 of course legal employment prospects are good when you go to the second best law school in the country. http://www.cooley.edu/rankings/overall2010.html

    9:15 The phenomenon of struggling JD's is not a new one. The difference is that in the mid 90's tuition was about 12k per year instead of 40k. You could still work a non-legal job or low paying legal job and service your debt. That is no longer the case.

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  55. 9:15AM - you will be doing 2L OCI with a view to being a 2014 summer associate and you hope getting an offer in 2 years' time - i.e., at the ned of the summer of 2014. SO what matters is what the perceptions are of the those doing OCI this year when they are summers and of those starting as first years this fall and next fall. If the classes of '12, '13 and '14 seem to be less able than expected it will effect you.

    The question I am raising with respect to new JDs is how does the quality of the supply influence the demand driven by associate churn. If law firms start to think associate churn is a bad thing economically and in their ability to replace that "wash out" they will easy out less associates in the 3rd to 6th year classes and hire less new JDs and summers associates.

    The point I am raising is that a perception that the quality of the intake this year into law schools is declining may lead firms to decide to forgo the usual firing and hiring round. You are of course aware that most of the job openings that someone in the class of '15 expects to be recruited for are created (directly or indirectly) by washing out members of the classes of '09-'13 and if they don't get fired, you likely don't get hired.

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  56. "There's essentially no evidence that employers care at all about whether a school is ranked 31st or 54th, despite the fact that law schools treat much smaller movements within the rankings as of apocalyptic significance. Prospective students are figuring this out much faster than law schools are."

    That's a misleading statement. The LSs know. They just care about tuition revenue from the rankings and hope that 0Ls don't know. LSs are betting on 0Ls matriculating into the highest ranked LS they could possibly get into.

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  57. 9:33: Legal services as a share of GDP declined 32% between 1978 and 2008.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2102702

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  58. @9:39

    uh no - I don't think that associates truly-voluntarily depart law firms as 2nd to 7th years. They may "resign" and get some sort of severance package that is enhanced if they do so and they may be given some months to go (known as "easing out") but unless the associate is:

    - lateraling to another job nearly as well paid or better,
    - going to a more secure in-house or government position
    - a "gilded child" off the professoriate
    - from a wealth background and free of loans
    - leaving with a lateraling practice group

    all fairly rare, they got "canned," whatever the euphemism applied.

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  59. - a "gilded child" off to the professoriate

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  60. when reporting turnover rates (if it even mentioned in a post at all), there needs to be a distinction between washouts and people who moved onto better careers. for example, at the big4 firm i work at, it is always stated that 2-4% of 1st year staff members become Partners. The fact is that most leave for better paying opportunities and a better lifestyle, and are not willing to sacrifice 10-40K (or whatever the difference is depending on their experience and opportunity) annually in compensation so that they can make Partner and pull in 300k to 4M.

    the point is, these stats are very nuanced and probably hard to get. and the blog is called ITLSS, focusing specifically on law schools and their scams.

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  61. 9:50AM -

    By Big 4 do you mean accounting - because if so the career track is quite different from law firms.

    Even so, most law firms would like to give the impression that most of the departing associates are leaving for better paid opportunities and a better lifestyle. In that respect I can believe that if someone is already well off they would leave BigLaw for a better lifestyle, but not someone with a large law school debt burden - or even without, since the pay cut would be large. In mid-sized and boutique firms it does make sense for some that you might leave because another firm was putting more money on the table for your particular skill set and even dangling partnership - this was the case in say hi-tech and IP 10-15 years ago, but it is not so today, earlier it happened in ERISA and every time their is a recession it seems to happen in bankruptcy and dumping/CVD (which are contra-cyclical.)

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  62. Well, it is better for everyone if someone who's going to wash out gets a sign and leaves before being fired. This would have a real impact on whatever stats one might find.

    Anecdata is pretty easy to figure out, though. Pick 5 AmLaw 50 firms, and look at staffing in their litigation or corporate/securities departments. It's going to be pretty common to see people in years 1-3 outnumbering pretty substantially people in yours 7-9.

    CC

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  63. Good point made regarding this year's 0Ls.  While I think the law schools' misbehavior can and should be evaluated entirely apart from whether the 0L ought to know better....they really ought to know better.  I don't think there is a hard line to be drawn as to when exactly the scam became obvious, but it becomes more so every year and this past year in particular has seen an explosion of scam coverage in the news unlike any in history.  If you are starting law school next week, you really are dumb.  That goes double (triple?) for anybody both reading this blog and starting law school next week.

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  64. LOL at 10:24. These type of blanket statements are really harmful, although the overall scamblog movement is helpful and useful. No, that's not true. If you're about to start at Harvard/Yale/Stanford you aren't dumb, even if you are taking on debt. If you are about to start law school with a complete tuition coverage plus books plus cost of living you aren't dumb if you have reason to believe this is a good professional fit and you are walking away from a lucrative or semi-lucrative career. Yes, at least 80% and probably more of the students about to start are making a clear mistake or almost definitely a mistake.

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  65. I've mentioned before that I was on the assocs comm for my AmLaw100 firm for a number of years. It's pretty natural when you're doing annual evals to switch from 'are they doing valuable work' for 1-3 years to 'and what sort of future do they have in their practice group' as the years go by. By years 6-7 and up, you'd be asking yourself 'what sort of path to partnership do we imagine for this person.'

    Nobody* really wants to pass people over for partnership -- it's better all around if only people likely to be elected get to eligibility. And you really only want to elect people who are going to fit in well while making the pie bigger -- it's no surprise that this would be a very small percentage of the small percentage that get into biglaw at all.

    *OK, nobody but a sociopath, the presence of whom cannot be discounted in the law business.

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  66. @6:33 and 6:39

    No it doesn't matter who is sitting next to you. What matters is if you can pass the Bar. Last time I checked law wasn't rocket science. An intelligent would care more about their finicial well being than the prestige of the law school.
    Oh wait that would require looking beyond just getting into law school, and actually thinking about what type of law and firm you would want to work for. As well as realizing how debt will affect you after graduating. Maybe 1 or 2 percent of law students go into with a realistic idea of what they are going to do when they graduate. Those type of students are older late 20 and beyond.

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  67. MacK:

    What is your background? You seem in-the-know, but your perspective seems...interesting.

    You seem to be focusing on some things but not others. A lot of associates leave BigLaw and are happy when they do, right? Many such people take pay cuts, right? BigLaw has extensive non-pay-related downsides, do we forget? Many join BigLaw expecting to leave in a few years, no? Even if BigLaw doesn't ease out as many year 3 through 7 associates this year, many of those remaining will leave, one way or another, you agree. They'll quit, get eased-out later, or will be partnered-up. BigLaw will have to plan to replace them, no? Would BigLaw rather replace them all at once, or little by little, so they can be more selective as they do?

    You cast the decline in law school enrollment like a Shakespearean tragedy. Despite much talk, BigLaw hasn't yet drastically changed their hiring model.

    As to this notion of "perceived quality:" If LSATs hold, what's the decline? We are not talking about bottom tier schools, since we are talking about BigLaw. It seems most schools that have been able to adapt (i.e. schools outside the bottom tier) have adapted, mostly by declining incoming class size and increasing scholarship offers, both of which have a positive effect on incoming class LSATs. Do we really think law schools who so jealously guard their representational integrity would willingly just bring in a bunch of losers to let loose at OCI? And even if they do, that's what OCI is for, no? To interview people and see who fits? Do all 0Ls this year have such a black mark simply because, what...please fill in the blank. Otherwise, your suggestion that 0Ls will be losers smacks of extreme prejudice and stereotyping in the kind of which a BigLaw partner is unlikely to participate.

    Are you a professor? Are you just mad that us 0Ls extracted so much cash from your pockets?

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  68. 9:50,

    This large firm associate washout seems like an important part of the scam, Especially with regards to higher ranked school that have decent big law placement. If it turns out that the 160k starting salary from nabbing a big law job turns out to be the most money you ever make, it makes less sense to take out enormous non-dischargable loans.

    I want to figure out what number of people who "win" the law school game and get a job at a large firm are still in serious financial trouble a few years down the road. If they're loans aren't sufficiently paid down after their stint at a large firm, they aren't really "winning" at all.

    At least from my perspective, I always assumed the people who made Big Law were set (in terms of paying back their loans and making a decent living). This is how these jobs are marketed by schools and it doesn't appear to be an unambiguously good outcome as advertised. I think some numbers would be helpful to figure out what percentage of Big Law jobs could be considered a good/bad outcome.

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  69. @10:32. You are probably right re: older, more thoughtful students being more impressive to the legal community. I think you are wrong that this is due to the recent crash in the legal market. Even in the heyday of the last decade, law school cost too much, no? During that time, BigLaw never provided that oft-cited prudential 1:1 debt to salary ratio at sticker. Since when, in the history of law school, have law students been particularly thoughtful about their futures? You, in fact, probably went to law school for bad reasons.

    A lot of this smacks as bull shit Boomerism. "These young folk, don't think about their future, they are all such low quality." These are convenient excuses for hiring partners not to feel bad about no-offering their summer classes. Let's snap to an economy that wasn't ruined (by citizens not members of the generation of current 0Ls), and we don't hear these excuses, because everything would be "fine."

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  70. To all young twenty- something year olds: Law school can wait for a few years.

    Take it from an older person and don't rush so much into the future. You might someday wish you had your youth back and regret not having tried other things.

    Besides, you will be avoiding potential financial catastrophe and will have some more time to watch and wait to see what happens.

    If you have college debt you can try to clear that up.

    It is a great big, wonderful world out there and law school and law are just one small part of it.

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  71. 10:41 -- Your assumption is completely unfounded. Really. Set for 3 years, yes barring screw-ups or strange changes in the relevant microeconomy, five with luck. Beyond that, we're talking 20% or fewer, I would think.

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  72. @ 10:28, "aren't" what?

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  73. 10:39

    Are you a professor? Are you just mad that us 0Ls extracted so much cash from your pockets?

    I am an international lawyer, partner, ex-general counsel and I make a fairly hefty income that you are very unlikely to every be in a position to threaten and I am at 20 years plus experience and I'm admitted in multiple countries and states. I also see a good few of the "washed out" as candidates and other people on this forum can comments as to what I have said is the quality, variety and usefulness of the experience they typically get in BigLaw today - and the comparison between that and mid-law and high end boutiques.

    You are a 0L panning to make what may be a big mistake - putting up postings that show that you think you are a special snowflake.

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  74. I don't think the intelligence of your fellows students matters in the least. Fact is, you're all going to learn the thing, and it's really not all that difficult. What makes your classmates really important, though, is 10+ years down the road what sort of engagements can they refer to you. A classmate who is the general counsel in his uncle's company is going to be a better source than a classmate who is an agency lawyer.

    Classmates who live in Atlanta aren't going to do you much good if you're practicing in western Nebraska.

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  75. Check Yer Numbers, NeighborAugust 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    @ 10:48, " Even in the heyday of the last decade, law school cost too much, no? During that time, BigLaw never provided that oft-cited prudential 1:1 debt to salary ratio at sticker. "

    This is simply not correct. BigLaw hit 130 over 10 years ago and ca. 150 shortly thereafter.

    Average student LS debt 10 years ago was no where near 130.

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  76. As for "associate churn" it makes GCs furious because they end up paying to bring the replacement up to speed. I have seen in billing guidelines and imposed in them too a rebate/credit for departing associates on major projects of 1/4 to 1/3 of their hours on the project against the new replacement - it has an interesting effect, lowering costs, improving results (they usually have multiple matters) and making the junior lawyers on the projects happier and more effective (timekeepers have to see the guidelines.) 1/3 of the hours is typically all the profit on that matter for that associate.

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  77. @11:01

    I had classmates $100k in the hole 20 years ago (total debt) though they may have been outliers.

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  78. Question: does anyone here really think MacK is who he says he is? He is a gas though.

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  79. In the interest of full disclosureAugust 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    @ 10:56, "I am an international lawyer, partner, ex-general counsel and I make a fairly hefty income that you are very unlikely to every be in a position to threaten and I am at 20 years plus experience and I'm admitted in multiple countries and states" { and am paunchy, pale and balding } (Just trying to help out here.)


    @11:07 - I've read enough of his posts to believe he either is or was what he claims or not far from it. He rings truest when he goes off on his "war stories". On the other hand, I've also read enough of his posts to realize that many times he's "winging it" when it comes to projections and assertions stated as fact that are really more like opinions...

    My two cents.

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  80. Anyone who thinks that BigLaw departures are mostly voluntary or mutual in this economy is putting their head in the sand.

    Most people leave BigLaw because they have to. Most people in BigLaw work hard, but manageable hours from a nice office and earn from okay to great salaries for their geographic area. Most people would spend their life in BigLaw if they could.

    In the good law firms, and outside of a few really economically based layoffs, no one knows why the lawyer is leaving. The firm gives adequate time so the lawyer is moving to another job. A number of firms, however, engage in "stealth layoffs" and do not place a huge percentage of their lawyers.

    The problem is that now there are just not enough jobs for these BigLaw lawyers to all go to. It is a very tight legal job market.

    The numbers left at BigLaw in any law school class decrease as the class gets older. While a few lawyers marry rich spouses and then quit, most people need to get another job.

    One of the problems of this system is that BigLaw does not need to disclose its placement rates. Some firms are notorious for firings and not placing their people. Others are better about it.

    Another problem is that a number people at BigLaw are specialists. Those specialties may not be much in demand outside of BigLaw. So people leaving BigLaw with those specialties cannot get jobs once they age out of BigLaw associate age.

    In house, a lawyer is taking a risk - downsizings, mergers and acquisitions and individual managers who are given total discretion on hiring and firing and can and do run through lawyers at breakneck speed, just because they can. Once that second job does not work, it is much harder than coming directly from BigLaw. All of this is because the legal job market is so tight.

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  81. @11:07-- No. No one who had any serious commercially-oriented job could afford to spend as much time commenting on this site -- during the week, all through the day--as he does. To come on now and then and make a short comment, sure. But he writes long comments on this and other sites. No person in business would want to do that. Time is money. It takes a lot to concentrate on clients' business. So, no.

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  82. Question: does anyone here really think MacK is who he says he is?

    I'm a practitioner and have been following this blog off and on since it started. I can't recall reading anything posted by MacK that caused me to doubt that he is who he says he is. What he says makes sense and is consistent with my own experience.

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  83. No one who had any serious commercially-oriented job could afford to spend as much time commenting on this site -- during the week, all through the day--as he does.

    It's not that hard, especially if you spend all day on the computer anyway as most lawyers do.

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  84. Check Yer Numbers, NeighborAugust 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    @ 11:04, "I had classmates $100k in the hole 20 years ago (total debt) though they may have been outliers."

    I would guess outliers. This thing seems to say average LS debt 1992 was under 38K, so at 100K, even throwing in UG debt, your classmates seem unusual.

    http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/legalservices/downloads/lrap/lrapfinalreport.authcheckdam.pdf

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  85. If you actually have work to do, you cannot comment. Also, most people are not allowed to comment on their office computers (unless you are in your own under 20 or so law firm), and a blackberry or phone does not lend itself to commenting quite as easily as a computer.

    I do not believe this guy is as busy as he says because he would be online mostly at lunch, after hours, and over the weekend for most of the year if he were so busy.

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  86. In the interest of full disclosureAugust 15, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    11:23, "No one who had any serious commercially-oriented job could afford to spend ... all through the day..."

    Maybe. But you also may want to consider that your concept of what is "through the day" may not be the same as for others.

    Today for example I'm at GMT-5, but I also spend a lot of time in the MEZ...

    So if Mack travels a lot, "day" may be "evening" or "night" for him.

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  87. If I were traveling, I would be on this blog at night in my hotel period. And that would only be if my meeting was over and I had fully prepared for it. I would not be on it for many hours on end. My impression was that he is a professor or someone in a smaller practice who sets his own schedule.

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  88. and 11:36 is a winner - and 11:41 has scored a little

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  89. Dybbuk and MacK,

    The odious Marcia McCormick has started a new post on the Workplace Prof Blog. The post is a codicil for her post of 8/10/12 lamenting the developments at SLU and how no one understands the importance of "scholarship" produced by TT and TTT faculty.

    She alleges that there was a software glitch on the site and posts a number of "lost" comments intended for Friday's post. You guys should check it out and engage as appropriate.

    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2012/08/comment-glitch.html

    Keep up the Fire!

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  90. 11:36 -- Perhaps. But it is not likely. He sounds wifty to me, a character (caricature).

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  91. @11:07
    I too am a practitioner. Just about everything MacK says is consistent with what I've observed/heard/experienced. Like me, he has his own firm, which means he sets his own hours and can do whatever he wants as long as he is meeting client expectations. The truth is, after you've practiced for a while you become pretty efficient and you can get a lot done in a short period of time---particularly with a good staff (with which I am blessed). The truth is, what we lawyers do is really not that hard. After you get a little more experience, you will realize this.

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  92. 11:36 -- Perhaps. But it is not likely. He sounds wifty to me, a character (caricature).

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  93. ^^^, 11:36 here. Philly area?

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  94. The truth is, what we lawyers do is really not that hard.

    IMO, it's not that hard if you're the kind of person for whom it's not that hard. There aren't a huge number of people like that.

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  95. TDennis-- you are not on here as much as he is.

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  96. @ 10:56. "You are a 0L panning to make what may be a big mistake - putting up postings that show that you think you are a special snowflake."

    You (claim to be) a big time lawyer putting up postings that show you make a lot of money and have an impressive resume (that is to say, that show you think you are a special snowflake. I believe you said something about never "threatening your salary?")

    Now now, Mr. Partner, let's review.

    Instead of making the default assumption that declining enrollment will mean better per-capita outcomes for this year's class, all things being equal, you propose that outcomes will get worse. How? By magically supposing the operation of a brand-new force that will blight the entry-level hiring market beginning THIS YEAR: the contempt hiring partners will have for 0Ls, due mostly to their having decided to go to law school this year. This, you suppose, will force BigLaw hiring partners to suspend their normal employment management and hold on to all their incompetent older associates and shut out all new law students at OCI.

    Excuse me, but you're insane. And considering how impressive you are, if you can't muster a coherent response to my exception, perhaps I am more special than I think.

    By the way, how much do you make?

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    Replies
    1. Enrollments are declining because the smartest students are getting out. If you are going to law school because you think the numbers are in your favor now , you might want to rethink that.

      Delete
  97. 12:34 -- Don't quit your day job.

    CC

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  98. DU apparently doesn't expect much of a hole to fix, they plan on hiring:

    https://performancemanager4.successfactors.com/career?career%5fns=job%5flisting&company=DU&navBarLevel=JOB%5fSEARCH&rcm%5fsite%5flocale=en%5fUS&career_job_req_id=2401&selected_lang=en_US&jobAlertController_jobAlertId=&jobAlertController_jobAlertName=&_s.crb=cIgHJFtm%2bus1YsaeyIiCCodTHD4%3d

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  99. LP, please delete my comment of 12:44. Waste of everyone's time.

    CC

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  100. Toonces the driving cat.

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  101. @12:34 p.m.:

    I'm not specifically defending MacK as a personality, nor do I believe that hiring partners will see 2012 as the year that law schools started letting all of the morons in.

    However, I think that the demand at NLJ 250 firms and boutique firms paying comparable rates to the NLJ 250 will remain pretty much as it is - i.e., focused almost entirely on the more successful students at less than ten percent of the law schools nationwide. It won't matter to a hiring partner at Pepper Hamilton that Temple and Rutgers-Camden have lost a point or two in their median LSAT scores, because he's not hiring anybody from either of those schools regardless of their grades (exceptions made for the odd federal appeals clerk, or the more frequent Child of an Important Person). He's hiring the kids who went to Penn or another T14, if he's hiring anybody. He doesn't need to broaden his pool.

    There's also the problem of whether the supply of BigLaw continues to exceed the demand even as the economy stabilizes in other sectors. In a world where clients are beginning to demand that no junior associates be allowed to bill on their matter, it may be that BigLaw is starting to see the virtue of hiring more laterals who fit their profile. It's not like there aren't a lot of experienced attorneys with their hands out right now.

    Bottom line: going to law school with the idea that BigLaw is somehow easier for all but a handful of law students to get because there are fewer law students nationwide is silly.

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  102. Check Yer Numbers, NeighborAugust 15, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    @ 12:34, "Instead of making the default assumption that declining enrollment will mean better per-capita outcomes for this year's class, all things being equal, you propose that outcomes will get worse. How?"


    Your question wasn't directed to me, but here goes.

    If indeed the LS system has been pumping out per year, for the last few years at least, ca. 44K new lawyers for ca. 22K new jobs, then there are already a few extras hanging about, right?

    Enter this year - 15% or more under-enrollment. Good stuff.

    But 15% fewer new attorneys when you graduate will still be over 18,000 too many attorneys for the available jobs. Just in the year you graduate. That doesn't count all those guys who pile up in the 2014-13-12-11-10 etc graduating classes. So to my way of looking at it, I guess one could say that this year's numbers will worsen the situation less than previously. But the situation still worsens.

    All the above said, I don't really agree with Mack's comments that seem to say anyone going now is dumb to do so. Someone last night asked about going to a 50-60 ranked school full ride, manageable stip on the scholly, I think COL included and my answer was, "sure, go for it". OTOH, I don't think I would encourage anyone to borrow $150K range, even for T6.

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    1. WRONG ANSWER!! They need to negotiate off the stipulation. No stip is managable.

      Delete
    2. Also- did they have ties to the area? Is it dominant in its market or are there other schools nearby?

      Delete
  103. @1:11. Sounds good. Barring an uptick of lateral hires, at the top 20 or so schools, declining enrollment then should cause a slight but significant increase in BigLaw outcomes per-capita, right?

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    1. No. Firms won't lower their standards.

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  104. @1:15 p.m.:

    That would also assume that BigLaw outcomes in general are at least not declining. Texas is down 100 students to 300 since 2010. For argument's sake, let's say that 80 of their graduates got BigLaw two years ago. With 300 students now, 61 BigLaw outcomes this year would represent a per-capita increase for BigLaw outcomes over two years ago, even though the number has declined in absolute terms by 19.

    In the last three years, only about 10 law schools have offered their graduates as much as an even-money chance at BigLaw. The 10 below them have offered their graduates as much as one chance in three. For all that it matters, Iowa was #25 five years ago, and is in the low #30s now, but your chances of making BigLaw out of there aren't very different than they would be at Chicago-Kent, Loyola or DePaul.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Now everyone knows the truth. Fewer people will go to schools with poor out. Comes.

      Delete
  105. @12:34

    Don't go to law school if you cannot make sense of the argument I made or understand the difference between suggesting a possibility and saying it is true. As an apparent member of the class of 2015 you are perhaps an example of the decline I suggested may happen. You are also clearly upset at the idea that you are not embarking on a gilded career path, which makes you a clear case of special snowflake syndrome.

    I raised two points about the current environment - that it may increase hires in 2015 but at lower salaries, because law firms will decide that it is cheaper to hire a lot of associates at lower pay (what Orrick and Reed Smith are doing in West Virginia and a few other firms have done in India) - and the flip-side, that law firms may decide that the quality of law school output has dropped because of falling intake standards, and this may lead law firms to lower their associate churn reducing demand for first year associates. I did not say either was true, I raised the possibility, although if firms like Orrick are doing their own outsourcing it looks bad for first and second years.

    Moreover in describing what I said you mischaracterised the point. I did not say that hiring partners would have contempt for the naïfs who went to law school to be in the class of 2015 (arrogant naïfs if you are anything to go by), rather I suggested that they will encounter the falling standard of graduates in the classes of 2012-14 and reach the reasonable conclusion that the class of 2015 can only be worse - and you will observe that admission criteria are slipping all the way up to the T6.

    There are other pressures leading firms to not want to hire new JDs, in particular that major clients are refusing to pay for first year associates and even in many cases for second years. Though you may not be aware of it from your position, in many areas lateral demand for mid level associates is better than new graduates probably for this reason.

    You also seem to be unwilling to accept that most hires in BigLaw require more senior associates to lose their jobs. Which leads to an even bigger question - since you are so expert at the legal business, has employment in BigLaw been growing or falling (net) in the last 4 years - and do many people expect it to grow or shrink in the next 5. If the answer is shrink (yes) hiring associates means losing associates. Now, for a little reading comprehension exercise (you remember what they are) is the typical law graduate of the last 6 years heavily in debt? Does a refugee from BigLaw typically secure a paycheck of say $160k plus? In your mind a bunch of BigLaw associates are quitting big law to live in penury and debt servitude..... Are you sure you have the "cop on" to be a lawyer?

    As far as what I earn, none of your business, that's between me, my accountant and the tax authorities. rest assured, you have zero chance of taking any of it away. I would say FYVM but as far as I can see you are about to do that to yourself - enjoy law school, I'm sure you'll be a big hit at OCI next year.

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  106. But people will always need lawyers!

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  107. Back to life, back to reality, in the Denver area job market. Here is a PARALEGAL position for the Social Security Administration. Want to be paid at GS-9 level? Better have a JD! Want to be paid at GS-11 level? Better have an LLM!

    I'm thinking of the person who wrote this job advertisement, and can't help but conclude that middle age people, and their view of the world, and understanding of higher ed costs, are so, so, so stupid.

    http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/323820400

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  108. "I raised two points about the current environment - that it may increase hires in 2015 but at lower salaries, because law firms will decide that it is cheaper to hire a lot of associates at lower pay (what Orrick and Reed Smith are doing in West Virginia and a few other firms have done in India)."

    Also, as WilmerHale has done, with the discovery center the firm opened in 2010, in Dayton, Ohio. Wilmer pays discovery attorneys $55,000 to $60,000 a year to start, with no chance of ever becoming partner.

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  109. @1:11 and 1:13. From your posts, I make out two downward pressures and one upward pressure: available laterals, available prior graduates (downward) and declining enrollment (upward). The downward pressures will exert more influence for today's 0Ls than they already have for 2011 graduates because in three years' time (when today's 0Ls would be offered jobs in BigLaw), there will be more available laterals and more available prior graduates. That is the consequence of the next three years' of poor legal market performance and law school classes' being "under-employed" due to too few jobs. Okay, that's the argument. But summer class sizes continue to tick up over the last two years, during which time the downward forces intensified, and the likelihood of another recession falls (albeit slightly). This suggests that at least for BigLaw (which traditionaly is less inclined to hire laterals or prior graduates), at "baseline," the downward pressures will exert no greater effect than they already have for 2011 graduates. That leaves the upward pressure to move numbers for today's 0Ls positive versus numbers for 2011 graduates.

    In the near term, I would expect an improvement in the BigLaw job placement rather proportional to declining enrollment.

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    Replies
    1. Outside of big law firms in new York , dc and maybe Texas, big law hiring is tiny .

      Delete
  110. With regard to your Columbia guy in the comment above who is now making $30 an hour after having been laid off from a good job- There has long been a conflict of interest between the law schools and their grads. This guy comes back to Columbia, goes to the placement office, and they hand him a list of 10 open jobs, if that, most of which require a fixed number of years of very specialized experience, which almost no one has. In the meantime, the law school is bulking up on students who are going out and getting BigLaw jobs at $160,000. Columbia's ability to attract students is in many senses a function of the market being able to screw older grads of that school in exactly this way. One reason why this system has worked so well for the law schools is that neither they nor Biglaw has to disclose any employment outcomes beyond 9 months after graduation.

    To put it another way- Some of these layoffs were bona fide economic layoffs that were necessary on account of the Great Recession. However, the bigger layoff factor in BigLaw is the ongoing process of firing lawyers to bring in new lawyers.

    It is not clear that if one looks at the grads of top law schools that the median salaries in private practice or the private sector for that matter really do exceed $160,000. It would be interesting to see the income distributions by class of graduation and sex and minority status to see if even the top law schools are selling a scam and to what percentage of grads they are selling a scam.

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  111. @1:41. I am a special snowflake, but that's not the point.

    RE: Mischaracterization: My apologies.

    RE: The admissions criteria: It is slipping? Are you sure? I think that's false.

    RE: Lateral demand: I was vaguely aware that lateral demand remains steady. But clients have always paid to train new BigLaw lawyers. Neither you nor I are BigLaw lawyers, but I suspect BigLaw will still have money to train new lawyers. Training new talent is a cost of business in any industry and it's not clear what "structural" changes render BigLaw's capitulation to BigCorp certain.

    RE: Reading Comprehension (or new BigLaw hiring): In the last 2 years, BigLaw hiring has ticked up slightly. So it would seem you are wrong.

    RE: Motivation for older associates to quite voluntarily: Anecdotally, I know many do. They make substantial payments on their loans and then quit with remaining balances to do work that makes them happier. There's not much more I can offer. I understand that you would consul these associates to stay in BigLaw, but they think otherwise.

    RE: Whether BigLaw will continue to ease out those older associates who don't make the grade and won't leave voluntarily: To suppose they won't we have to accept your premise that the new crop of lawyers are morons. That hasn't played well in the comments so far.

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  112. tdennis:

    Yep. I work long hours on complicated stuff, but I write quickly and more accurately when it is a brief or a contract (sorry, but what I post here is not proofed much if at all.) I find that I spend a lot of time absorbing a complex pile of information, some legal, some commercial, some scientific or engineering, some international and then I need time for it to "perk." Since I have weird hours (I recently took a 3am conference call followed by a 5am, followed by a 7am, followed by a 10am, followed by a hearing, followed by a 5pm, followed by cooking dinner (I was at home)) and my time zone can shift either way by 8 hours, and I spend a lot of time away from family ... well I do what I need to keep me occupied. A few years ago I wrote two books just to deal with jet lag and being awake at 3am in a hotel over a period of week long intervals every few weeks with nothing else to do - they came out 6 weeks apart (and I don't think they are that good.)

    It is interesting how much more efficient you get with experience. Things seem to take me of 15-45 minutes now that 20 years ago seemed to take me all day, but my billing rate is only 2-3 times a junior associate. I can answer questions "off the cuff" that I would have been perplexed for days at when I started. The first time I drafted a complex contract from scratch was maybe 17 years ago (well it was 7 contracts and licenses flying in formation) and it took me weeks, now it takes a day or two.

    But the thing that surprises me is how much time you have to devote to thinking as you spend more time in the profession. I remember when I was very junior a partner explained to me what he called the wholesale-retail theory of billing.

    As he put it, consider the hours you are working in the office and divide them up in proportion to the effort you remember devoting to each client that day. Remember that when you are in the shower you don't have a time sheet and you think about the case, when you are having a shit - you think about the clients business and you don't have a time sheet, when you are - it gets indecent here.

    I was somewhat scandalised - but 20 years later - well, clients call me on the weekend, or when I'm asleep somewhere (("did I wake you" "no-no, what's up") and when I'm on vacation or my honeymoon (my wife threatened to stick the phone somewhere painful.)) I try to walk for 1 hour a day in a park and I do my best thinking then. Right now I am mulling over a problem of apparent authority as I type, and it very late here. This month was supposed to be quiet and I had planned a wonderful vacation with my wife - however, one of my assistants is putting a chunk of what is on our servers on a portable hard-drive because two huge matters came in and went hot so my vacation will be with work (but my wife just had a pile arrive for her too.



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  113. If you are a 0L and have no special plans for law school (like starting a business after working for a few years in a law firm), the biggest most important point is the income distribution from the law school you attend going years out. It is not whether BigLaw will hire you off the bat. It is whether you can make a career of being a lawyer.

    Ask for access to the alumni directory at the law school you want to attend. Check people in there against the state bar directory and against Martindale. Call 20 grads at random and ask them how they are doing. Do not limit this to more recent classes. Reach out to grads at all stages of their careers.

    Even if law school is free and you can live with your parents during law school, there is going to be a big opportunity cost in terms of doing something else with your life. If you wash out at age 35 or 45, you probably will not be able to turn back, and risk having to take a job as a residential real broker, or working in retail.

    Find out what those grads are doing, so you satisfy yourself that a reasonable percentage have good jobs. Look at firm sizes for people in private practice. A small firm may produce very little income for most lawyers. Ask about the income level for people at different levels at the grad's firm. Do your investigation before your sign up for law school.

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  114. @1:50 p.m.:

    The career services folks at Northwestern are ahead of us on this one.

    I'm not persuaded that there will be "an improvement in the BigLaw job placement rather proportional to declining enrollment," except perhaps at the handful of schools where BigLaw tends to hire. And that effect will be mitigated by the fact that enrollment is probably declining the least at those schools. The bigger issues for would-be NLJ 250 hires are (a) where the NLJ 250 will find the business to hire the 10,000 attorneys they released in 2009 and 2010, and (b) how much the NLJ 250 firms will turn to lateral hiring, LPOs and just beating their current employees harder to generate the billing that the new business will permit.

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  115. I managed to lard myself up with $120,000 in debt a little over a decade ago from a T14. That was with a small scholarship.

    My law school roommate actually larded himself up to the maximum possible amount and he got cut off to the point where the school had to make special accommodations so that he would actually graduate. I think that was nearly $200,000. He had done two years for an Ivy League Masters, so he was essentially doing 5 years of law school.

    However, I also paid off the debt in about four years being that I didn't need to pay it off for the rest of my life. I miss the dot-com days.

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  116. MacK, you really are a special snowflake yourself. These comments are generally worthwhile reading, but my eyes glaze over every time I encounter one of your four-paragraph masterpieces. I know your type well from working with accomplished practitioners and other lights of the legal world. Being in the right place at the right time and knowing how to wine & dine bigger men than yourself has caused you to develop a massive superiority complex. Your comments evidence some knowledge about the legal profession but an utter paucity of intelligence. Yes, yes, we know, darling, we can't touch your salary. You sound like a little boy guarding his toy truck.

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  117. just FYI, MacK: you're mistakenly assuming that a bunch of anon comments above are the same person. I'm the original poster who is doing full ride + stipend + books at a strong regional. I'm really not that arrogant, and I've been out of school for five plus years so I realize that there are many other people as talented or more talented than me. My view is just that a) there are people right now who should go to law school b) it is possible to get a desirable legal job (including big law) c) the decrease of class of 2015 students by thousand will help the situation, but its far from a remedy d) basically, bottom line, law school is no longer a sure thing for anyone, but doing it without the debt is the best course of action outside of Harvard/Yale/Stanford, and even then I would be reluctant to do it.

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  118. I think MacK is so right in pointing out that BigLaw hires require as a prerequisite BigLaw firings. That is where the Special Snowflake Syndrome is kicking in on this blog. 0Ls are only interested in whether they can get BigLaw. They all think they are special enough to last for their entire careers in BigLaw or to get another great job that will last forever. This is part of the lack of reality about the legal profession that 0Ls have. They are not asking the right questions. OLs not asking the right questions is how the law school scam was inflicted on so many people. You deserve what you get if you only look at the BigLaw statistics a year or so out from the school you want to attend and then sign up. You may be falling down a cliff and may never be able to pick yourself up. Or that cliff could come a few years down the road after your BigLaw and great in house job go up in flames. Look at what the other grads are doing. Get out of your bubble. Get out of your special snowflake syndrome.

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  119. @2:49...calm down. Many of us 0Ls know exactly what we are talking about.

    RE: special snowflake. You Boomers think assaulting a young person's self confidence is good for him. Whether or not anyone who claims to be a special snowflake is or is not correct is beside the point.

    Also, some of these self-declared special snowflakes are just that, and you boomers should watch out, because they are coming up and willing to work for less. You should hope that if they're special, they don't know it. (Perhaps convincing talented people they are not is your self-preserving object.)

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    Replies
    1. Your first point is never true. 0Ls know nothing about law school or employment.

      Delete
  120. http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/I-think-going-to-law-school-helped-my-painting-New-Yorker-Cartoon-Prints_i8542699_.htm

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  121. 2:46

    I'm tired, it is late where I am, I have an early am phone call and I have had a very long day. On your points:

    (a) there are people who should go to law school - yes, but most of those going, maybe 80% should not - say 2:41PM who thinks he knows a lot about me (he is one of the "bigger men" he thinks I "wine & dine."

    (b) it is possible to get a desirable legal job (including big law) - there are two issues here. Yes, obviously BigLaw will hire some, but less than in the past - and is BigLaw a desirable legal job for a good long term career or just one that allows you for 2-5 years to pay off your debts?

    (c) the decrease of JDs in 2015 will help the situation - probably, but outside HYS as I said there may be issues with the declining quality of the intake - below the T14 this is likely to be a big issue - and even HYS are probably lower standards but not very obviously as applicant numbers to law schools as a whole decline;

    (d) Law school without debt is a good idea (I did it more or less 20 years ago) but even so. Someone that can get a full ride at a top tier law school (including a cost of living stipend) ought to really really want to be a lawyer, because by the time you have those credentials you almost certainly have better choices. As for HYS, things are not really that rosy 5-10 years out, read a few postings here.

    I have been very fortunate as a lawyer (although there are times when I thought I was permanently screwed) and yes there are others more fortunate than me. Vanity means that I ascribe some to my own ability, some to my personal contacts, but a lot to luck. Luck is a big factor and for current graduates the supply of luck is a lot lower than it was for me, the odds a lot longer.

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  122. 3:01 The problem is you do not know what you are talking about because you have not seen employment and salary statistics beyond 9 months from graduation from any of these law schools, nor do you have a big set of acquaintences who are and were lawyers and can give you the score. For you to say that OLs do know what they are talking about under these circumstances is a fool's game, and that is how you get scammed.

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  123. MacK,

    Your services are needed over at the Workplace Prof Blog stat. Marcia McCormick, a professor at SLU, where all of her colleagues are "fabulous teachers", keeps digging her own deep rhetorical hole. Get a load of this whopper:

    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2012/08/comment-glitch.html#comments

    "I'm so sick of the argument too that practice someone makes you a better teacher. The point of law school isn't to learn to write interrogatories -- that can be learned in a day, or at least in one litigation and you've got it. The point of law school is to provide a template to any POTENTIAL area you choose to work in. It requires a more theoretical approach b/c it's not an apprentice system. And that's good -- most people graduating from a 3-year law school can go into any field and eventually get it b/c they have the right tools. Of course they're not ready to practice yet - nor is any other professional leaving school. But teaching and practice are totally different skill sets and writing motions for 20 years doesn't mean anything one way or the other about your ability as a teacher. Mitchell -- I'm sorry you've had bad luck on the AALS market. But a lot of people with the sort of resume you dislike also have had back luck on the AALS market - it's not necessarily b/c you've practiced or worked for an union (which is awesome by the way). But honestly, you're being so extreme that it all sounds like sour grapes. Law schools costs come more from administrative growth -- and from having to pay the main university -- than from faculty growth. Good full-time faculty are necessary to teach this template. And yes, the people who write the most are the ones who frankly work the hardest, and are likely to be the best teachers. My hope is that a lot of this is just bitterness b/c of the economy. But it would be a shame if a combination of resentment and Republican state legislatures destroyed one of the few things America does better than everyone else in the world -- provide top-quality graduate education."

    These people are incorrigible!

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  124. Voodoo94: Serenity now, serenity now . . .

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  125. Apropos of nothing, or something (god I'm tired) - 20 odd years ago when I was a law clerk and a junior associate I would sometimes meet colleagues and old classmates in a bar on Fridays, if I go out before 8pm. In those days a junior lawyer was considered a "real catch" by somewhat mercenary but not very bright young ladies we called the pirhanas and other names.

    We would arrive in the bar, rumpled, in crushed shirts, often without ties or jackets (in hot weather leave them in the office.) There would be a bunch of preppy looking guys, perfectly pressed suits, ties slightly loosened, shorts crisp and white. The pirhanas practically swooned on them. They were the BigLaw associates ........

    Except that they claimed to work for firms like Dewey, Hogan, A&P and to have gone to Harvard, Yale, Georgetown - and none of us recognised them and most of us had the at least some of the same credentials ... but the pirhanas loved them, and we were too tired to care. I always wondered who those perfectly pressed guys were though.

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  126. Voodoo -

    I have a limited stock of meanness in me and I have used most of it up this week - and it is only wedn...thursday.

    ReplyDelete
  127. And voodoo, when she says:

    "Law schools costs come more from administrative growth -- and from having to pay the main university -- than from faculty growth. "

    She has somewhat of a point. However, a lot of the cost increase comes from: (a) faculty declining to do the administrative tasks they used to do; (b) reduced teaching loads for faculty too; (c) soaring faculty pay "to compete" with non-tenured private practice.

    She is right to identify those contributors to the current mess - and the perceived financial surpluses that a law school can generate explains why so many colleges and universities have added one or expanded the school they have.

    I want to turn myself off now.

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  128. As for HYS, things are not really that rosy 5-10 years out, read a few postings here.

    Of course, one man's rosy is another man's intolerable, but (as an HYSer 10 years out) I've observed that you won't want for work with an HYS degree even if you don't make it in BigLaw -- provided that you're not a wombat and you don't shoot yourself in the face career-wise.

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  129. I think the biggest percentage of problems for HYS grads may arise later than 5-10 years out. I do know some who washed out early though from HYS. However, people under 45 or so tend to have good employment options. After that, becomes touch and go. Even HYS does not save one in an overcrowded market at that point.

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  130. So, as you cut class size, do you raise tuition or reduce scholarships to compensate for the loss of individual law student debt units?

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  131. There is no school that guarantees success for the rest of anyone's life. After 10 years out, if not before, it's not the school's fault.

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  132. Why does a lot of the commentary on this blog end up ignoring the 3rd and 4th tier toilets and turn out to be the petty gripes of so many HYS Little Lord Fauntleroys that look upon us lower tier Groundlings with disdain?

    Damn! At least they had a shot, and it is pretty hard to feel sorry for the narcissistic HYS people that feel like the world owes them a living or even wants to listen to them ride a grouch in the saddle 10 to 15 or 20 years out.

    Sorry about the adverts, but the Mickey Rooney character shining shoes here is like the t3 and t4 Reality grads, and the little lord of course represents the HYS aristocracy that are so delicately peeved, but will always land on their feet somehow.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNLWEeACdQs

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  133. It seems from these comments that trying to convince most 0Ls not to go to law school is a hopeless task. They are always going to find "reasons" why the problems in the legal job market won't apply to them. They are always going to assume they will be the ONE person to have an amazing and fulfilling legal career for 40 years, and that everyone bitching about how much most legal jobs blow, and how hard they are to get and keep, is a bitter old failure. They won't be like that! They are talented, brilliant, loveable young people! It's just pointless to try to convince some people otherwise. The ones who will listen to reason have already decided not to go to law school at this point, as this information has been out now for a number of years.

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  134. "Why does a lot of the commentary on this blog end up ignoring the 3rd and 4th tier toilets and turn out to be the petty gripes of so many HYS Little Lord Fauntleroys that look upon us lower tier Groundlings with disdain?"

    Uh, because the commenters in question went to HYS.

    The guy in the office next to me went to newly created school, did contract work for a bit, and then got the in the office next to me. I specifically asked him how his classmates were doing. He said that they seemed generally employed in law.

    I was actually surprised.

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  135. @ 3:59PM

    May I have the pleasure of addressing you as a like-minded fellow or person and call you an A-OK "Dude" or "Dudette?"

    Assuming you are talking purely about careers as the issue, and not Sl debt, or how the two issues end up snarled together in a great big knot?



    ReplyDelete
  136. "Uh, because the commenters in question went to HYS."

    Maybe so, but it is like reading Rudyard Kipling's novel: "Captains Courageous" and maybe the lower tier law grads ought to slap some sense into all the (out of touch with most of us) entitled feeling and arrogant HYS people alongside the head with a codfish.


    "Under the guidance of Manuel, and observing his equally tough crew-mates, Harvey thrives, coming to learn that his former practices of evil, Poison ivy league cheating, bragging and whining by narcissistic HYS law grads are not an acceptable way of life."

    Rudyard Kipling, 1737



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  137. Check Yer Numbers, NeighborAugust 15, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    @ 2:46 - you're the guy I was commenting to yesterday p.m. You're going to be fine - don't forget, though, do the grade gutcheck at end 1L (not end 1st sem), and use top 1/3 as your guide (not the stricter top 1/10 as some mentioned).

    Like I said yesterday, if I had your deal in front of me, I'd take it any day of the week.

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  138. ^^^ Or it is like in the Steve Martin movie, "The Jerk" where a man comes pleading for charity money to pay for new leather seats in his airplane.

    HYS people go away! Or try to see that your problems are kinda surreal and petty, and that even the lower tier law people got your number by now and see you as so many misfits rightfully kicked down and out of mount Olympus.

    I mean, take it up with your fellow HYS people on some other blog somewhere. What the hell do you want from us? Sympathy?


    And dammit, stop talking in lockjaw to the lower tier people you are slumming with here!

    ReplyDelete
  139. Check Yer Numbers, NeighborAugust 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    LOL McCormick quoted at 3:10, learn to write rogs in a day. Uh-humnh. Riight.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Check Yer Numbers, NeighborAugust 15, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    @ 3:10, "You Boomers think assaulting ... Also, ... you boomers should watch out.... You should hope"

    Huh? Whoosaboomah?

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  141. "Talking in lockjaw"? Did you mean "lockstep" perhaps? Maybe there is something to those law school rankings after all...

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  142. "Tetanus, commonly called lockjaw, is a serious bacterial disease that affects muscles and nerves."

    Maybe it was a creative way of saying that the HYS commentators are speaking, but saying nothing...

    #lulzskoolftwimaboss&etchashtagmania

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  143. Hey! We HYS grads DO TOO have REAL PROBLEMS. Why, just yesterday I had to choose between buying an Audi and a Jaguar. I chose the Audi; almost just purchased both, but I'm saving up for a helicopter.

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  144. Mqny HYS wash out and lower tier grads wind up on top later on. Problem is that the numbers work against most lawyers. In other careers there is less of a chance of losing one's shirt. So 0Ls are taking a pretty big risk by enrolling in law school.

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  145. Check Yer Numbers, NeighborAugust 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    " "Talking in lockjaw"? Did you mean "lockstep" perhaps? "


    What? Lockjaw? Did you say, "Lockjaw"?? Was it Lockjaw when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
    (Otter: "Germans?"... ... Boon: "Forget it, he's rolling.")

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  146. I think the point of people commenting on "HYS" grades having poor outcomes is that even going to a tippy top school does not protect lawyers from struggling to find good work later in their careers. So if even the people at the top of the educational pile are struggling, what do you third/fourth tier grads think is going to happen to you? Oh, I forgot, you're going to be different. Yes, you will magically beat the odds and end up on top.

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  147. Voodoo 94:

    Unlike MacK, my supply of meanness is ample.

    Here is my post on Marcia McCormick's "Law Professors are so Unappreciated Thread, Part 2," just in case it is moderated out of existence:

    Is anonprof06 an actual law professor, or a trollish parody of same? Contrary to his cartoonishly inflated self-image, the scholarship produced by law professors is not, I repeat NOT, saving the practicing bar from becoming Nazis. Practitioners overwhelmingly and correctly disregard the vast bulk of your scholarship as jargon-filled careerist nonsense written by persons who wouldn't know a courtroom from a faculty lounge. If anonprof6 wants a career as an English or a philosophy professor, fine, let him clearly and honorably pursue that goal. But he should not "profess" a field he has never practiced, and should not deceive his students into thinking they are getting a professional education.

    I certainly prefer Marcia's instant "template" metaphor to her prior Derrida inspired "order and chaos" hokum. Unfortunately, the "template" of law school teaching is informally known as "hide-the-ball," under which nine weeks worth of doctrinal material and associated analytical framework, or tests, is inflated to fill three long years. In a way, anonprof6 is right to assert that nonpractitioners do better in providing such a fraudulent educational experience. The practicing bar would have a hard time displaying such contempt for their own profession.

    Law is a learn-by-doing field, and law school is, allegedly, a professional school. I believe law students would prefer a doctrinal crash course followed by clinical training in a few practice areas of their choice. I believe that that is a preferable "template" for training able young lawyers to your order-and-chaos puffery, or whatever other metaphor or narrative you invent to rationalize milking them for three years' tuition (at levels that will sink many into a lifetime of debt servitude). And I believe that the students, who are paying for your lives of wealth and ease, should have the choice.

    dybbuk

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  148. I will kneel by my bed tonight and pray to a merciful God to help all the slumming among the middle class (and therefore in their own minds poor) and morally abused and misunderstood and underpriveledged HYS law grads that speak in Long Island, Locust Valley upper crust "Lockjaw."

    May the always listen to the preposterously wealthy old boomer, wall street greedy shill, Neil Young, tell them about how to rock in the "free" world.

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  149. HYS is included in these discussions because there are consequences of the super-saturated job market that transcend rankings. Nobody is completely insulated from the downward pressure this puts on salaries and job openings.

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  150. I think the NBA should follow the law school model. After all, there are a lot of people who want to be professional basketball players. I say the league should expand to fill the demand. Have you ever looked at a basketball? Congrats, you are now a member of the NBA. Granted, the quality of the play will go down but dang it, these people want to be NBA players and who are we to tell them no?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it. But I always wanted to play centerfield for the Yankees.

      Delete
  151. @6:27PM

    Yes, I feel raised up because the HYS commenters are here.

    Now if I can only put up that 500K bond to join the Country Club like all the HYS people clamour to do......

    ReplyDelete
  152. Let's shoot some brickAugust 15, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    "Have you ever looked at a basketball? Congrats, you are now a member of the NBA. "

    Edit: "Have you ever looked at a basketball? Congrats, you are now a --coach in-- [[member of]] the NBA.

    ReplyDelete
  153. You're Quite Welcome, SirAugust 15, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    "Yes, I feel raised up because the HYS commenters are here."

    Well then, you're welcome.

    Now, be a good fellow and fetch me a Martini, extra dry.

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  154. This MacK character seemingly lives to post all the many breathtaking details of his marvelous income and jet-setting lifestyle ==> "I am an international lawyer, partner, ex-general counsel and I make a fairly hefty income that you are very unlikely to every be in a position to threaten and I am at 20 years plus experience and I'm admitted in multiple countries and states."

    He has no idea what anyone else who posts is earning yet he presumes his own income is superior; and presumes that his income is somehow relevant.

    Would any well-adjusted adult choose to trade places with this "man"?

    How insecure can a middle-aged "ex-general counsel" possibly be?

    Truly pathetic.

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  155. http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/8079374/college-players-see-failure-their-future-reach-nba-college-basketball

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  156. One other thing that is not apparent from this blog is that if you are not a white male, you may suffer a downward trajectory in private practice. Many women wash out of partnerships in larger law firms maybe partly because of family needs but a big part is that it is harder to get business as a woman. Same thing for most minorities. Of course, larger law firms as equal opportunity employers apply the same business minimums to everyone. That means that there are few older women and almost no older minorities (unless you count administrative staff) left in these equal employment opportunity institutions.

    In house is a little better for women and minorities, but not always. You are not going to be terribly welcome if you arrive in house when you are over the hill so to speak (like over 50) unless you have a very high level position.

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  157. "Would any well-adjusted adult choose to trade places with this "man"?"


    Would we get to get his miles? I hear he's got a lot of miles....

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  158. @ 8:33. I can only speak to my own experience of several in-house depts. Minorities and women did fine in them, as long as they weren't bad lawyers or idiots who thought they could "dictate law" to client groups/management. Those who were bad lawyers were generally eased out, as were their white male counterparts who suffered from being poor lawyers or being idiots who they could "dictate law" to client groups/management.

    I've also had 2 black male GCs, one white female GC, one white female local/regional GC that I nominally reported to, and worked with but not for one black female local/regional GC. At multi-billion dollar corps, by the way, not mom-pop shops.

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  159. 8:58 While in house legal departments are more diverse than law firms, in house legal departments are much more in the drivers seat in this job market and some are quite different today from the past. In house legal departments are waking up to the lawyer glut. While some are good employers, others take advantage of the glut by giving managers discretion to serial fire a large percentage of protected groups that happen not to be a "fit". Some managers like to flex their muscles this way and of course they can in this market if the company allows the manager complete discretion. It is not good if you happen to be the person who came in and was churned like in a high school fraternity, but it happens more today than in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  160. I've seen your earlier comments about lawyer churn or serial hire/fire (assuming you are that particular Anonymous and not some unrelated Anonymous).

    I'm sorry, but I just can't reconcile the idea of churn with my experience of in-house departments.

    I've been on hiring committees in more than one corp. It's an incredibly painstaking process. You go through a hundred+ resumes, do 25 PIs, have a second person do a PI on the most promising, and then have maybe 3-5 come in for interviews. All-day, 10-person interviews (on the first day) with dept lawyers and client group managers. Then a second visit with more interviews. On both days, there are dinner/breakfast/lunch with a number of colleagues ("fit" assessments for the most part, although you also instruct these colleagues to watch for judgment, decisiveness, etc.). Usually also try to schedule during the second visit some other small gathering social event with the candidate's likely colleagues. It's not unusual to invite a spouse/partner to join second visit dinners.

    Start to finish, maybe 5-10 months from the time the vacancy was identified and authorized to be filled.

    You don't "churn" when you've got that kind of investment. You don't.

    Maybe other companies, and maybe in particular small companies, put less effort into hiring and thus aren't averse to the churn you mention.

    Now - a second aspect you mention may relate to mass firings. My last two companies haven't (yet!) engaged in this, but a company I was at about 10 years ago started doing serial RIFs (corp-wide, not just in legal). I made it through the first two waves and decided if my mother's son was smart, he'd better figure out it was time to get gone while the getting was good.

    They've had two more RIFs since I left. The first 2 (back when I was still there) had been somewhat polite - most senior people got an enhanced severance and a couple of month's notice, and were supported to the extent that the severance period was counted as time in service in some fashion. The latter 2 (after I left) were pretty vicious. HR, security, and the target-employee's manager would just pop into the employee's office, pack up his personals, and march him out like he was a criminal. Not what you expect of a "collegial and professional law department" of a major (F-50) corp, eh?

    But that's just business, as they say. As mentioned, the RIFs are across-board/across-function. Not "lawyer churning".

    Good chatting with you, but my kids are (finally!) about done bugging me for homework help, so it's about time for bed.

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  161. 9:42

    The interview process varies by company and the structure within the legal department. A big company could have a much more decentralized hiring process where there are not so many bodies involved in hiring.

    The company's bad behavior you are describing may be the norm in many companies because of the supply demand imbalance in the profession.

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  162. Yes in house legal departments are in more of the drivers seat but also are many law firms. Remember with cost cutting measures everyone does more and more work with less, which means less outside counsel costs. Unfortunately there is a "fit" in every in house counsel job in my opinion--as you work you learn whether or not you fit in. Those who don't fit either or fired/downsized, merged out, or quit. There is a burn out level too for in house and law firm work so quitting on one's own is not so out of the range. I know many attorneys who just quit their jobs with no notice because they could't do the work anymore--it happens more frequently than not. I found myself envying MacK's contract drafting turn around time--if only I had days for some deals.

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  163. @6:37PM

    LOL! Yes, and I will shine your shoes and then wave peacock and/or ostrich plumes over your head as you drink your martinti!

    Thank you soooo much for condescending to help out the lower tier people.

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  164. My bet is MacK is a college student whose father is a lawyer.

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  165. Lawprof- students are figuring out much faster than schools are that employment is the only statistic that matters.
    Unless schools focus on hiring and employment, they will never attract the students they need to win the USNews ranking game.
    Outside of a few national schools , students are learning that hiring is regional and ties are crucial. People view Columbia and NYU as strong mostly because they place so well into the large new York big law market. Penn is now also getting more respect because of that.
    If CU wants to improve its rank it should invest heavily in getting graduates jobs.
    If I were in charge of a law school now, I would put enormous effort into placing every student. Once I had that in place, top students would come running to me.
    These lower ranked schools only succeeded for so long because they lied about employment outcomes . Now that cat is our of the bag, they are not going to attract the students they need to keep their rankings.

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  166. @3:03-- Good find! So we can date the decline in the legal job market to at least 1990.

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  167. Law prof- I think there must be a huge correlation between the over supply of lawyers and the lies schools have been selling for years about employment and salary income. They used lies to entice people who would not have otherwise gone. This has continues for decades. Now that the truth is starting to be told, students are making the choice not to go.

    The schools hold a great deal of the blame for creating the oversupply of lawyers by lying to get students to attend.

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  168. Law prof- I think there must be a huge correlation between the over supply of lawyers and the lies schools have been selling for years about employment and salary income. They used lies to entice people who would not have otherwise gone. This has continues for decades. Now that the truth is starting to be told, students are making the choice not to go.

    The schools hold a great deal of the blame for creating the oversupply of lawyers by lying to get students to attend.

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  169. to be fair with your data, Wake Law's typical class size is around 160-165. The 185 class was an outlier class, so to say the class of 2015 is down from 185 is misleading

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