Thursday, November 29, 2012

How low can we go?

I've written a critique of Larry Mitchell's op-ed in this morning's NYT, which I hope will appear elsewhere later today.

Mitchell isn't happy about the effect criticisms of legal education are having on the willingness of prospective law students to actually drop a couple of hundred thousand bucks to get a law degree.  The financial effect of those criticisms on law school bottom lines appears to be considerable:  First-year enrollment has dropped from around 52,000 to 44,500 (a 15% decline) over the past two years.  That's a loss of about $240,000,000 in revenue, or around an average of $1.2 million per ABA law school.

A law professor writes:

I have two comments (a question and a comment, really) about your November 14 post.  First, don’t you think there is a lot of room for law schools to cut spending?  I certainly think there is here at [   ].  In about 10 minutes, I could come up with a long list of things we could either stop spending money on altogether, or stop spending so much money on.  If my cuts were enacted, nobody would really notice except for some people who would lose their jobs, and a few others who would have slightly more work. 

Second, it seems to me that the number of law school applicants is perhaps not quite as important as your post suggests, because all but the worst handful of law schools can simply lower their admissions standards as much as necessary to enroll the same number of students as last year.  Sure, you take a big hit in the rankings, but given the choice between sliding in the rankings and losing tuition revenue, I’m afraid most law schools would choose the former.  Law school applications would have to really plummet—by 50%?  80%?—before even a relatively low-ranked school like mine is actually forced to have smaller first-year classes.  Put differently, if we really just want 420 students in our 1L class, ranking and quality be damned, all we really need is 420 applicants who will accept our offer of admission.  I submit that we are a looooooooooong way from not having that. 
 I agree completely with the point in the first graph: From what I know of law school budgets, most could be slashed by half or even two thirds with little or no loss of educational quality.

As to the second claim, this seems to me to be a rather complicated question.  The constraints on filling seats by dropping admission standards are:

(1)  The rankings.  This is a collective action problem, and therefore a relatively trivial barrier in the long run.  I agree with the writer that when push comes to shove schools would rather drop standards that cut class sizes, and we're already seeing a good deal of this (for example American let its median LSAT decline by three points -- a huge statistical drop -- in order to avoid a massive cut in the size of its entering class this fall).

(2)  Bar passage rates.  If enough of a school's graduates fail the bar it can threaten the school's ABA accreditation.  Many low-ranked schools have reacted to this threat by doing as much as possible to transform themselves into something like three-year bar review courses.  That strategy seems fairly successful, as the gap between bar passage rates is not nearly as large as the differences between admissions standards between high and low ranked schools would suggest they ought to be. Still there are limits to this strategy.  It's unlikely that people with 135 LSAT scores can achieve acceptable bar passage rates no matter how much effort schools put into that goal.

(3) Loss of cultural cachet.  This seems to me to be the biggest long-term problem with simply dropping all pretense to selectivity in admissions.  If law school comes to be regarded as something of an academic joke -- if 100 Cooleys bloom -- this could have some dire long-term effects on the willingness of prospective students to chase the "prestige" of a law degree -- and prestige is a big part of what law schools have left to sell.

148 comments:

  1. Meanwhile, you're butt still smells.

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    1. http://static.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/MjAxMi05MmM0ODIzZWUxMDExYzI1.png

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  2. To the Editor:

    Re: "Law School Is Worth the Money" (Op-Ed by Lawrence Mitchell, Nov. 29)

    In citing the average salary of all lawyers as part of his argument that law school is a good investment, Lawrence Mitchell misses the point: nearly half of law school graduates will never secure jobs as lawyers. There are scarcely enough jobs in the legal profession to employ half of the graduates that law schools churn out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 73,600 new lawyer jobs will be created between 2010-2020. Dean Mitchell argues that the retirement of aging lawyers will create additional opportunities for new graduates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 154,900 such "replacement" workers will be needed in the legal profession between 2010-2020. Adding those figures, there will be 228,500 "new" jobs in the legal profession between 2010-2020. But how many graduates will be competing for those jobs? The graduating classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012 numbered 44,004, 44,258, and 44,495, respectively. If it is assumed that 44,000 people will graduate from law school each year from 2013-2019, there will be 440,757 graduates competing for those 228,500 jobs. In other words, just 51.8% of law school graduates from 2010-2020 will find jobs in the legal profession. That dismal percentage does not even account for the thousands of graduates of unaccredited law schools.

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    1. Excellent letter.

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    2. Sources:

      (1) 73,600 new lawyer jobs between 2010-2020 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
      (2) 154,900 replacement workers needed (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
      (3) # of law school graduates, 2010-2012 (American Bar Association)


      THE ABOVE WAS TAKEN FROM THE ABOVE REPLY: THAT IS AN EXCELLENT BIT OF INFO, AND WE SHOULD DRIVE IT HOME RELENTLESSLY....

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  3. Can you update with a link of your critique?

    Oh, and I just watched Dean Minow and Mitch Daniels debate school choice. The free-marketeers still think they are riding high. But when educational bubbles start to pop, people will recognize that many of these schools (both law and otherwise, such as charters)are scams.

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  4. For a curious law student: what are the typical things that a law school could cut to reduce its spending by 50-66% without seeing a reduction in educational quality? I'd love to have a list.

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    1. Start at the library.

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    2. You know what's sad? I could probably do at least a good a job as a lot of my professors at teaching something like Contracts or Torts. Right now. Today. And, I would do it for half of whatever their salary was. (I don't even know what they made, on average or independently. Only a few rumors, really.)

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    3. Administration.

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    4. Start with salaries. Professors would accept half of what they make.

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    5. Next, force professors to teach. No more of this teaching one course per semester and (supposedly) spending the rest of the time on scholarshit; teach three courses per semester and write little or no scholarshit.

      That will enable us to lay off large numbers of professors. No harm done; after all, white-shoe firms are just champing at the bit to bring them in as senior partners.

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  5. You've gotta love the fact that there's a Cooley ad running right under the op-ed.

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  6. To curious law student @10:26

    I know a gigantic expense law schools could cut immediately that would significantly cut costs. During my final semester of law school, my law school spent 10 million to rename a baseball stadium after the school. Just think of all the programs it could have set up w/ those funds to help graduates find jobs, thereby truly improving its rankings.

    If you are unsure what could be cut, take a good look around your campus. I bet you will see some new buildings being built. In addition to renaming the baseball stadium, my final semester at my law school, they were adding on to the library, which already was the largest law library in the country. I have a feeling that the students would have done just fine w/out the school naming an unrelated baseball stadium after itself or adding on to the library.

    I would imagine if schools cut back on their building in an effort to move up a few places in the rankings, they would easily be able to reduce spending w/out reducing education in the least.

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    1. pure comedy

      http://media.mlive.com/lansing-news/photo/10492431-large.jpg

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    2. This is the business model adopted by most colleges apparently which was enabled by near-infinite federal college loans. Always be expanding. If you're not expanding you're dying. Build, upgrade, sponsor, whatever it takes - just give the impression that your college is growing, expanding, vibrant.

      Given that price is a very low priority to most students and their parents, the main thing is prestige. A growing college is prestigious and will attract more students. A "stagnant" college is not. Of course this is unsustainable long term and will not end well.

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    3. Which toilet of a law school wasted $10 million to name a goddamn baseball stadium after itself?

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    4. It was t 10 million. The stadium itself only cost 12.6 million.

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  7. Please keep us updated on your response, Prof. Campos, and where it will appear.

    Thanks!

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  8. When I saw that piece of crap piece in the Times today I thought oh man, I can't wait for Campos' response. Please update when and where it appears.

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  9. I don't know that a shift in teaching focus by low-ranked law schools really explains why the gap in bar passage rates is narrower than the gap in the credentials of students at high- and low-ranked schools. Intuitively, the more likely explanation is that the bar exam is easy enough that higher credentials do not help very much. There is a huge gap between Nobel-winning physicists and Univ. of Phoenix online graduates, but the gap in their relative skill at Monopoly is almost certainly smaller.

    Of course, I'd be open to actual evidence to the contrary.

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  10. Remember also that the Cooleys and JMLS 's have other tricks to inflate bar passage rate higher than what would be expected. The most obvious is failing out a large portion of their 1L class. I have also heard of law students being required or encouraged to defer taking the bar for another year in order to juke the stats through remedial programs.

    For the reasons outlined in point 3, moderate and higher-ranked law schools are prevented from doing this. The higher you go in the USNWR rankings, the fewer people fail and the easier the grading curve. And a student at a top 50 school is less likely to be told that they can't take the exam they've spent three years and 200K trying to sit for.

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    1. I think failing out a large portion of the class is a good thing. It will keep people from burdening themselves with even more debt in a hopeless cause.

      More schools should fail people; or rather, more students should self-fail, by dropping out if they are below median. I think people who strike out at OCI if they need Biglaw should also drop out.

      There is a kid posting on TLS who has his law school tuition paid for by a mortgage his parents took out on their house. Here is his post:

      Lower T-14, no journal, moot court, below median. No debt, but family taking out loans on mortgage to pay for the tuition. liberal arts major undergrad, but could potentially go back to job pre-law school in an industry that pays 50k/year.

      He wants to know if he should drop out.

      Yes, yes,yes, you should drop out. Don't risk your family's financial future on you getting a job at below median at a T14. Go back to your 50k job.

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    2. Here is the thread: called "bet the farm or drop out?"

      http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=198906

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    3. I'm not sure, as I have not read the OP, but it sounds as if his family's financial future is already at risk.

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    4. Yes, expelling a large part of the class is a good thing. It's standard practice in France. In Germany, about a third of law students fail their first exam, taken after some five years of study. They're mercilessly expelled without a degree or any other consolation prize.

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    5. Crux of law: that wasn't the OP but it was someone else in the thread.

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    6. Sorry, I misspoke. I had not read the referenced post(s) to TLS.

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  11. If schools would actually cut costs by one half to two thirds, I think that would make a huge difference.

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    1. I disagree. I pay $10k/year for law school due to "scholarships," but even if I had no scholarship I'd pay only $20k/year for tuition (public school). I also have $20k/year in COL loans, and lowering tuition will never get rid of that burden. The ABA needs to lift the 20 hour/week employment rule. If classes were more flexible, particularly first year classes, I could earn my living costs instead of having to borrow.

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    2. What ABA don`t know won`t hurt itNovember 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      "The ABA needs to lift the 20 hour/week employment rule. "

      Work full time anyway - just don't advertise it on your resume (as a classmate of mine did!).

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  12. He's a complete waste of time and space. They will rationalize themselves into bilking students until there is no more money left to bilk (lol - like thats going to happen). The only way to deal with scum like this is a punch in the mouth until he shuts the f*ck up.

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  13. Nando, you know what to do.

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  14. Unemployed NortheasternNovember 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Case Western Law had 201 grads last year. 14 got long-term, full-time, JD-required jobs at large law firms (>250 attorneys). That’s 6% of the class. Only 94 of 201 grads have full-time, permanent, JD-required jobs at all. That’s 46% of the class. In contrast, 30 grads are either unemployed and seeking work or have unknown employment status. That’s 15% of the class. That’s also basically double the national unemployment rate, which reflects a labor pool in which barely 30% have any college degree. [all figures are from the ABA’s employment summary page]

    It costs $65,180 per year to attend Case Western Law, assuming you live in a tent and fast for the summer, as the budget only includes 9 months of living expenses. So, let’s call it $70k/year. That’s $210k to attend, plus another $5k in bar loans and living expenses, plus probably $25,000 in accumulated and principalized interest from newly unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Throw in even nominal undergrad debt, and we are talking about a cool quarter million dollars in student loan debt, at 6.8% interest for the Stafford and 8% for the GradPLUS loans. All for a 6% chance of a well-paying job, a 54% chance you won’t join the profession, and an unemployment rate twice the national average. Awesome.

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    1. It is horrible. I would love to see him explain why he thinks the education he is selling should cost $70,000 a year.

      I'm sure he is promoting IBR as a great option for his students.

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    2. I think I've spotted one of the first articles to explicitly justify the cost of attending with references to IBR. The article takes the form of a review of Brian Tamanaha's book, arguing that he exaggerates the negative effects of debt larger than $100K. From the abstract: "many law graduates will find typically law school debt manageable if they repay federal student loans through income-based repayment plans, particularly the new Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plan. Tamanaha disparages income-based repayment, however, because he incorrectly believes that total debt, rather than the ratio of current repayment obligations to current income, primarily determines a borrower’s credit-worthiness for mortgages and other large loans." The takeaway point: we don't need to make radical changes to the law school program.
      http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2179625

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    3. wow.

      So he is sayingthat owing $200,000 that you can't pay won't affect your credit rating at all? Does he see banks be lining up to finance the purchase of a house by someone on IBR?

      No lender will take that risk. If you owe $200,000 you will double that just by buying a relatively simple home in many places. No bank is going to lend money to a person with high debt and low income.

      (I can see down the road that the government will have to start lending to people on IBR if they want to keep the housing market going. )

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    4. That's disgusting. Just a cursory run-through:

      -Suggesting that law students put too much emphasis on the rankings to the exclusion of other factors, then listing a bunch of factors they should consider that have nothing to do with employment prospects or overall debt.
      -A ridiculous hypo where "Sarah" jumps from making 75K per year to 150K per year in her seventh year of practice.
      -Assuming there are plentiful public service jobs for students to take.
      -Citing made up salary figures without a word about the actual state of the job market.
      -Irrelevant rants about the provision of services to middle and lower income clients.
      -Trying to paint 10 year loan repayment as the abnormal, or accelerated, repayment plan, and 20 year repayment as the "normal" plan. Good to know that somebody who doesn't have to pay back the loan gets to tell students what they should consider a "normal" repayment program.
      -And of course, nowhere does he justify why exactly schools need to be charging this much.
      This is like a position paper from a lobbying organization defending continued government subsidies.

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    5. Professor Schrag has been promoting IBR for some time.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703686304575228350476040366.html

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    6. "-A ridiculous hypo where "Sarah" jumps from making 75K per year to 150K per year in her seventh year of practice. "

      Ridiculous? In my second year of practice I interviewed at Skadden which would have doubled my small-firm salary. I've had three colleagues from my small firm lateral to big law within seven years making a move close to the one in the hypo.

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  15. I have a professor who is brand new this year and someone in the administration (Dean of something I've never heard of) sat in on our classes a few times and managed to sit directly behind me. Each time she did so, I made sure to be reading this site or other scamblogs just to make sure she knew what the typical law student thinks about law school.

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  16. The 240,000,000 in lost revenue is actually just $240,000,000 of less money borrowed by students. This isn't made clear at all. It looks like this is real money that is being lost - but it is really just a greedy grab for government guaranteed cash.

    There needs to be more clarity and emphasis on this massive wealth transfer from the government to the schools via the backs of students.

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  17. I have to disagree with the LP's point that it is "unlikely that people with 135 LSAT scores can achieve acceptable bar passage rates no matter how much effort schools put into that goal." Let's say a state four law schools. And, say two of those schools seriously lower their admission standards. Assuming the schools are all graduate approximately equal numbers of people, about one half of bar exam taking population (excluding those from other states, of course) would be comprised of folks with those same lower credentials. Since the bar exam is curved to create some semblance of an equally difficult exam from year to year, the overall bar passage rate could, and probably would, remain constant. Or, at least close enough to constant. Thus, a whole lot of those "135" folks are going to pass the bar along with the graduates of the two state schools that did not lower their admission standards. And, this is if the schools change nothing in regards to their, ahem, teaching methods.

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    1. True, the bar exam tests very different skills then the LSAT. The bar exam tests actual substantive knowledge. If people study for the bar exam, the can probably pass.

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  18. Matt L over at LSTB has this argument on Mitchell's op-ed:

    http://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/if-law-school-is-worth-the-money-why-subsidize-it/

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  19. Whenever I see "costs could be cut in half," I think about how the faculty at the law school where I work say that and mean "most of the staff could be cut while we faculty are totally necessary and could not teach more than ten hours per year." They have no clue what most of the staff do, and they wouldn't do it if they did know. You can cut costs anywhere, but 50% is alot, and students will scream at some point if you cut all of the staff who actually take care of them day-to-day.

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  20. www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-27/scariest-chart-quarter-student-debt-bubble-officially-pops-90-day-delinquency-rate-g

    Interesting article and graphs (you know those hockey-stick-shaped ones?)re: student loan delinquencies.

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  21. UnemployedNortheastern--that is an excellent, concise analysis of why this dean is full of shit. You should consider starting your own scam blog.

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    1. Unemployed NortheasternNovember 29, 2012 at 6:16 PM

      I already spend way too much time trolling Higher Education site (Chronicle and Inside) and The Atlantic. Keeps my mind occupied, and I've flipped a fair number of college profs, through hard data and decent prose, of the perils of modern debt-finance college education. I have a Disqus profile under this pseudonym, which is my sole online outlet.

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    2. Thank you for sharing the information you find.

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  22. Why in the world would the NY Times allow this shyster to put an op-ed up without a comments section? Sweet jesus....

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    1. The quality of the NYT has declined. In a world of shrinking news, it's determined to be the voice of the progressive left and academics.

      Also, law school stories are always top rated at NYT. Always. It's good print for upper middle class readership.

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    2. I know. I was screaming at my computer screen when I saw there was no comment section.

      Do these law schools have any consideration for what their alumni relations will be like in 15 years. My guess is that most alumni will be like me-- not one cent to my school while I'm still repaying my loans.

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    3. this has been a paid advertisement

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  23. I think Dean Mitchell's article was great. The hysterical sad saps on this blog would do well to take note. Life can be hard and times are tough, but just because some people are struggling does not mean that law school is a bad choice for everyone. In fact, law school can be a great choice for a lot of people. Here's some advice for prospective law students that will help make sure law school works for you:

    1) Don't overborrow - look for moderately priced state schools, seek out scholarships. But do be aware of IBR and PAYE. If you don’t know what those two things mean, learn about them. http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/pay-as-you-earn.

    2) Be realistic - yes, some law graduates make six figures at graduation. That is the exception, not the rule. Shoot for the top, but plan on starting out with a normal salary.

    3) Be cognizant of the risk - not everyone who goes to law school ends up rich or even having the chance to practice law. For some folks law school was a bad decision. For students graduating now, that risk is higher than it should be. But today is 2012, when you graduate in 2016 things will likely have improved.

    4) Be cognizant of the rewards - despite all the fear mongering and hysteria on this and other sites, law is still a good career to get into. For most folks, law school was a good decision. According to the BLS, among the 570,950 folks who are classified as attorneys, the average salary is $130,490. The median salary is $113,310. Using the median figure, about 285,000 people in the United States make at least $113,000 as attorneys. The 75th percentile salary is $166,000, meaning 142,500 attorneys earn in at least the 90th percentile of incomes. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes231011.htm.

    And that's just the financial benefits. Depending on the type of law you practice, law can be one of the most intellectually rewarding careers you can choose. It can have dramatic impacts on people's lives. And so on.
    People tell me that pharmacists make more than attorneys. Not sure if that's true, but I'm not sure that really matters. Some people like to push pills into bottles. That's fine and I'm glad they make good money doing that. If that interests you - go for it. But people interested in law have higher aspirations. For those people, I say do the research, choose wisely, then go for it.


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    1. Go away.

      You need to focus more on the huge number of grads who will never practice law. You mention them briefly as a risk. But then you talk about a normal salary, as if such a thing exists.

      You mention the intellectual challenge - of what fighting DUIs for drunks?- but where do you mention the stress and long hours?

      I bet you have never practiced law, other than maybe a couple of training years. I bet you have never been $200,000 in debt with no job in the field you spent a fortune to join.

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    2. I know tons of lawyers and none of them make this much. One year I cracked $60k. My brother with twenty years in private practice has cleared $2k (no typo) each of the past two years.

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    3. Every single person who cites mean or median salary numbers for attorneys is being intellectually dishonest. There is a bi-modal salary distribution curve for lawyers salaries, as seen here: http://abovethelaw.com/uploads/2012/07/NALP-2011-Salaries-Graph-540x366.jpg

      "Mean salary of $130k+" really means "Pray for biglaw or make ~$45-50k a year."

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  24. Unemployed NortheasternNovember 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    @12:10

    The dean who wrote that op-ed works at a school that costs $65k for tuition & nine months' living expenses, doofus.

    There are only 570,000 attorneys? That's odd, as law schools have been pumping out 45,000 graduates annually for at least a decade. Were there only 130,000 attorneys in 2002?

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    1. UN,

      I didn't see the 570k atty claim in the NYT piece but regardless, the ABA itself lists 1.245 *million* licensed lawyers.

      http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/marketresearch/PublicDocuments/lawyer_demographics_2012_revised.authcheckdam.pdf

      Feel free to republish this link - the ABA has many other "interesting" statistical ones as well.

      Including the following, which lists JD's granted by year - going way way back...

      http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_education_and_admissions_to_the_bar/statistics/enrollment_degrees_awarded.authcheckdam.pdf

      Hope these are of use

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  25. I am curious on what basis do you assert " But today is 2012, when you graduate in 2016 things will likely have improved.", and I'm also hoping you wiped it off after pulling it from whence it was drawn and before displaying it here to the public.

    I'm also curious for your basis to assert "For most folks, law school was a good decision", and whether (again) you wiped it off after pulling it from that dark place.

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  26. When Dean Mitchell can make a good argument as to why a student should borrow full freight for his law school, I'll listen up.

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    1. An argument that doesn't include IBR as a fallback.

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  27. 12:10 "For most folks, law school was a good decision. According to the BLS, among the 570,950 folks who are classified as attorneys, the average salary is $130,490."


    Reciting salaries of those employed as lawyers does not follow an assertion that law school is a good decision.

    It still ignores the 50% of people who went to law school but who could NOT get jobs as lawyers.

    And live by the sword, etc - you can't recite part of that BLS report without reciting the rest.

    BLS says an average of 22000 law jobs will become available annually now through 2020. But we're graduating >44000 new JDs per year.

    What are you going to do with the extra 22000 people per year?

    After all - they're your responsibility. It's your fault they're going to LS. You're the one encouraging them with misleading use of statistics.

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    1. There are actually 1.5 million law grads of working age and 1.25 million licensed lawyers, so a little more than one third of law grads are working as lawyers. According to Harvard Law School, 113,000 lawyers are in BigLaw. If you take those salary figures off the top, since most grads and even older grads of top law schools do not meet the qualifications for BigLaw, this great salary distribution goes way down. In other words, the median might be $90,000 and the 75th percentile would be much lower than $166,000. There are also only about 32,000 law jobs outside BigLaw that pay more than $166,000.

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    2. The ABA counts 1.245 licensed lawyers. That includes about 13% who are over the age of 65, making the total 1.083 of what most people think of as working age. And if you're going to take BigLaw jobs out of the picture, I'm going to use your logic and take anyone making less than $50,000 out of my analysis. Boom - the average and median salaries just rose significantly. Does that make sense? No. But neither does excluding BigLaw jobs from your analysis.

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  28. @12:17 I didn't suggest you should attend Case Western without a scholarship.

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  29. The use of average salaries is just ridiculous anyway. So if some make 1.4M per year and some make 20K per year, hey, check out the average six figure salaries. Everybody's making bank, law school is so worth it.

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  30. @ 12:18 Two things. The national entering class has shrunk 15% in the past two years and will likely shrink again this cycle. Fewer inputs means fewer outputs means less competition. Second, we're exiting the most severe economic downfall since 1933. Sure there have been structural changes and few expect legal employment levels to match pre-recession levels for a long time. But most reasonable people expect legal employment to grow along with the national economy.

    In a nutshell, less law graduate supply, more law graduate demand = better employment prospects in 2016 and beyond.

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    1. "But most reasonable people expect legal employment to grow along with the national economy."


      See 12:24 for response to this. Even if the classes drop to 40K, that's still 10's of thousands too many for the available jobs projected by BLS.

      And "better prospects" is an odd way to term an over-supply that will still range in the 180-190% area.

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    2. Not to mention the oversupply from previous classes. Do those people not count? They are not going to be getting jobs all of a sudden should hiring for lawyers pick up.

      Not only that, but all indications is that hiring remains sharply down or at best flat from last year. There is no evidence of strong improvement in hiring for new grads, even though the economy is getting back on track.

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    3. Recall that the BLS data already has economic recovery built in. We already established that the BLS data might be optimistic if people don't retire and state governments don't hire.

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  31. @12:28 Good point - that's why I cited the median and 75th percentile salaries.

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    1. The Dean used average salaries in his Op-ed, but you "thought it was great."

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  32. The parallels between law school administrators and subprime lenders are striking. Law school admins and subprime lenders quote glorious statistics of the merit of their products but both just want their cash upfront and do not have much vested interest in the ultimate outcome. So let me list several ideas that have been tossed around with respect to subprime lending and apply them to law school:

    1) Instead of having the federal government lend law students money, have the law schools themselves lend the money. If the schools are taking the credit risk, watch how quickly things change.

    2)Have faculty and administration pay tied to some type of rolling average of graduating student salaries. If students are unemployed, or working at a dead-end minimum wage job, there’s no reason for faculty to be living large.

    3) Have tuition costs tied to some type of rolling average of graduating student salaries. It’s immoral to charge students $250,000 for a degree which for the overwhelming majority, will not yield a salary capable of servicing such debt. I can’t believe that New York Law School charges more than Harvard. I’m even more dumbfounded at the amount of students who are willing to pay full price for a NYLS degree.

    4) Have some type of meaningful audit of employment statistics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are all dumb/impractical ideas, except for #4.

      Delete
    2. #1 might not be so dumb/impractical if the risk is shared by schools and the gov't

      Delete
    3. #1 could be tweaked so that if too many people are on IBR/default, then the fed govt can claw back money and/or limit the amount of money that said school can receive in future.

      Would accomplish the same goal of having the school assume at least SOME of the risk of failure of their grads.

      Delete
    4. #2 isn't fair since some students genuinely want to take low-paying public interest jobs. Many students might also be happy with the quality of life in mid-law, where they would be paid less than biglaw.

      Delete
    5. Generally, public interest jobs and mid-law jobs are acceptable outcomes. I think they mean jobs like waitress and barista.

      Delete
  33. Suggestion for a future blog post (apologies if this has already appeared, and I missed it): A detailed LawProf Law School "ideal" budget and personnel listing, complete with recommended salary ranges.

    Do law librarians, for instance, have a future in the LawProf's ideal law school of the future? Alumni outreach administrators? Career services personnel?

    ReplyDelete
  34. @12:24 The Class of 2009 enrolled 51,646 in 2009 and graduated 44,495 in 2012 meaning 86% of students who start will finish. This year 44,481 enrolled and about 37,000 will graduate and will go chasing after those 22,000 legal jobs.

    Let's talk JD advantage and professional for a moment. I know you don't like to hear this, but many graduates (not all) are happy in JD preferred and other professional positions. You can quibble with me if you want, but I'm going to say 10% of students happily end up in non JD-required positions where the JD helped them get that job. That's another 3,7000 jobs bringing the total to 25,700 out of 37,000.

    I don't think folks selecting a for-profit law school or a law school that pays to name a stadium should expect employment. That's my point of view, you can quibble with that. So let's say it's fair that about another 2,000 grads can't find jobs. That's like saying it's fair that I didn't make the NBA even with my experience playing basketball for Chaminade. That gets me to 25,700 jobs for 35,000 graduates of legitimate law schools.

    With this math, about 10,000 per year will graduate without making use of their JD at graduation. You can look at that as a glass two-third full or one-third empty. Keep in mind that nothing precludes those 10,000 unlucky grads from using that JD later in their careers. I can easily see a JD helping someone rise in the corporate ranks. Or someone with a business opportunity understanding the contract they're signing. Is law school a perfect option? No. Are folks who choose law school doomed to a life of failure? No. Does earning a JD benefit most people? Yes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Let's talk JD advantage and professional for a moment. I know you don't like to hear this, but many graduates (not all) are happy in JD preferred and other professional positions. You can quibble with me if you want, but I'm going to say 10% of students happily end up in non JD-required positions where the JD helped them get that job. "

      Hi Larry - I am 12:24 and several other places upthread challenging your comments.

      I'll challenge this one also, and with more than a quibble. I do NOT quibble that about 10% end up in JD pref jobs. I do quibble that those 10% are happy at it. The stats are readily available, please look them up if you haven't already. The vast majority of those in JD Pref jobs ALSO STATE THEY ARE LOOKING FOR OTHER WORK.

      This is in distinct contrast to those working at real firm jobs ("real" means not a solo and not 2-3 new solos huddled together for warmth).


      "Keep in mind that nothing precludes those 10,000 unlucky grads from using that JD later in their careers. I can easily see a JD helping someone rise in the corporate ranks."

      If you believe that your magical 10K will be able to later magically become working lawyers, sorry, not. But what about the corporate aspect?

      I know many (guessing ca. 15 off top of my head) for whom being a lawyer helped in corporate life. For the most part, these fall into 2 categories. Regulatory management and supply chain/procurement management.

      But in every case, these people were long term practicing attorneys. They were NOT people who just happened to have the JD.

      And after 29 years in corporate America, I have strong doubts that the JD alone will amount to a hill of beans in corporate life.

      Delete
    2. If you beat Ralph and UVa in the early 80's, then the NBA should have given you a look.

      Delete
    3. No, you are wrong. The only reason to go to law school is to get a job as a lawyer. To spend the time and money to get a degree you don't use in your job is a huge waste when you are talking about 6 figures of COA.

      A law degree doesn't help you get any job that you couldn't get without a JD. There is no evidence that a JD suddenly becomes useful in a career when you haven't been practicing for years. If you have any proof of that, and I don't mean people who succeeded and became president of the NFL who also went to law school, but people who got a promotion or a better job because they had a JD.

      Delete
    4. There is no such thing as JD preferred. For most of these, you do not need the JD, and equivalent work experience or a certificate from a trade organization that costs a few thousand dollars suffices. The JD helps very few entry level lawyers get non-legal jobs. Some actual lawyers go to jobs they got through their work experience, but these people worked as lawyers.

      Delete
    5. "The stats are readily available, please look them up if you haven't already. The vast majority of those in JD Pref jobs ALSO STATE THEY ARE LOOKING FOR OTHER WORK."

      The stats may be readily available somewhere, but not in your post. Without citation or at least some specificity, I will disregard your comments as unsupported, vague and worthless.

      Delete
    6. http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/11/jd-other.html

      Delete
    7. "The only reason to go to law school is to get a job as a lawyer." Except for a few folks who have very specific plans, I tend to agree with your statement. But one of the benefits of gaining a JD is that even if you can't find a job in law, you still have a very strong professional degree and a valuable skill set.

      The idea that there is no such thing as a JD preferred job is bunk. I have friends in compliance, venture capital, the FBI, human resources, state government, journalism, higher ed, etc. who all have told me that their JDs helped them get their jobs or helped them get ahead in their careers.

      Delete
    8. Yes I am sure you can point to and find people whose JD actually helped them even in non-legal jobs.

      But a lot of people can point to having to REMOVE the JD from resumes in order to get interviews because the JD actually hindered them.

      The bottom line is that getting the JD with the belief that there is all these JD-preferred jobs out there (if an actual law job can't be had) is foolish.

      Delete
    9. @ Law Prof. Thanks for doing your poster's work by posting the link to NALP data about JD Preferred and other professional jobs. The data pretty much proves my point that many folks (not all) are happy with these positions. The data shows that only 46% of JD Preferred and 52% of other Professional are seeking another job. Thanks for supporting my argument with the link.

      I know this data must disappoint the folks here who seem to think that JD preferred or other professional jobs are all just part of the scam. Everything less than a full-time job at a firm with at least 11 attorneys (or law clerk) within 9 months of graduation equals failure for the graduate and proof that legal education is a deck stacked against the students.

      But once again, these extreme views do not match reality. This blog thrives on overblown rhetoric, chicken little hysteria, and an enlarged sense of entitlement. I feel bad for the posters here who went to law school only to see struggle after graduation. With the current market, there is way too much of that and law schools need to do a better job addressing the reality. But that doesn't mean that this blog serves any purpose other than to foment anger, promulgate misleading, doomsdayish information about the employment market and the cost of legal education, and accuse honest folks of acting dishonestly. Grow up.


      Delete
    10. I don't see how the data that shows "only" 46% of JD preferred and 52% of other Professionals seeking another job supports you argument at all.

      Yes these jobs exist. But those numbers indicate that they don't exist to the extent that attending LS for 3 years at tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year is a good "bet". And don't tell me about how IBR mitigates that risk because then you are already admitting that it is a scam if law schools require IBR to make sense in the first place.

      Delete
    11. To the 4:18 shill:

      With respect to JDs who find work in

      "compliance, venture capital, the FBI, human resources, state government, journalism, higher ed,"

      Failed lawyers are unlikely to get these job once they have a JD and are unemployed or interning for free. To suggest that a JD that results in unemployment is going to be helpful in getting any of these jobs is selling prospective students a crock of bull. Your failed JDs are competing with top college grads with unblemished records, and guess who is going to get hired? Not the failed JD.

      As an experienced lawyer who has years of BigLaw experience that is relevant to compliance, human resources and venture capital, I can tell you that making a move to any of these areas is incredibly difficult today, almost impossible, after working in BigLaw. Of all the lawyers I know, only one has done this in the last 5 years, a minority woman with an incredible past employment history and several years of BigLaw experience.

      The job market is too tight and there are too many desperate lawyers applying in droves to every one of these open non-law jobs. The reaction of employers is like someone who has been swarmed by bees - we don't want lawyers for these non-legal jobs.

      You are just selling 0Ls an expensive crock of bull. If you have never applied for human resources jobs or compliance jobs, as I have, again and again with my top college, top law school degrees, and years of relevant BigLaw experience, with no interest from the employers. I have the relevant experience, only it is as a lawyer, not an HR professional and not a compliance professional. To tell 0Ls that a law degree is useful for these other jobs is a blatant lie. Sure it may be useful, but with that law degree you will have a 1 in 1000 chance to use your experience in those capacities.

      Delete
    12. @4:04 PM - "The stats may be readily available somewhere, but not in your post."

      Sorry, child, it's not my responsibility to educate you if your parents did not do so. I'd tell you to go and spend the 1.35 seconds required to google it yourself, except I see now that LawProf generously took the time to contribute to your education just after your post at 4;16.

      So? What's your answer?

      Delete
    13. Wow. See 4:41 p.m.

      Just curious, when you file motions, do you include the citation Simpson v. Burns (look it up)?

      Delete
    14. ^^^ 7:00 a.m., once again, please explain why you thing that law school is "worth the money" when only about 30% of law school graduates will ever be able to get law jobs that enable them to service their student debt?

      Or, if you are really in some sort of sneaky way trying to say that law school is "worth the money" only for that (less than) 1/3 cohort, you should grow a pair of testes and just come out and say so.

      EndTrans.

      Delete
  35. @ 1:12- Want to point out a few problems with your analysis: Many graduates classified as working in a “JD Advantage” and “Other Professional” jobs are working in jobs where a different graduate degree would be required and the JD is a substitute for that degree. So a Case Western JD, with their 125K in debt, competed against, and is likely working next to, someone with a masters in teaching, or non-profit management or accounting from the local community college with maybe 25K in debt. Putting aside whether they are happy to be employed in the job, you need to ask who is better off in the long run, and who looks and feels like a chump? Also, my understanding is that happy or not JDs actually have a harder time landing these jobs because the employer rightly figures the JD will bolt in the unlikely event a real law job comes around. Call me a cynic, but one could say that the 10,000 completely unemployed grads may have actually gotten a job if they had NOT gone 125K in debt for the JD and had, rather, gotten a cheaper degree in something else. Also, the idea that these 10,000 unemployed JD holders will use their degrees in the future is laughable but I guess it’s not the type of assertion that can be debated. May be they will get a DUI and represent themselves or do their friend's parents' will. Who knows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've said very clearly that for some folks law school will not have been a good choice. Some folks will never use their JDs and going to law school will have been a mistake. Although too many law grads are facing this reality, it's not unique to law grads (see http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/2005/05/23/why-you-should-not-go-to-medical-school-a-gleefully-biased-rant; http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-46940101/thinking-of-getting-an-mba-here-are-five-reasons-not-to). It's also the minority, not the majority. And this number will decrease as the number of law grads decreases and demand picks up.

      But even for my projected one third of folks in 2016 who do not find a law job by February 15 of 2017, a good number of people will find use for a JD at some point in their lives. Some will end up in a legal job, even if takes them a year or two. Many won't but will nevertheless one day benefit greatly from having a JD. I didn't say all. I didn't say the majority. I said a fair number. That plus IBR plus PAYE should take the sting out of law school not working out the way folks planned it to.

      And for the majority of folks like me who made the right choice by going to law school, they will read a blog like this and be thankful that they did not fall for the overly pessimistic hysteria of this blog.

      Delete
    2. The people whose circumstances are such that going to law school might be the right choice will most likely still go despite the "pessimistic hysteria of this blog".

      The people whose circumstances are such that going is the wrong choice however will have been done a great service by this blog if it helped them to not make the bad choice of attending LS.

      In any case:
      # of People dissuaded by this blog to quit LS who in fact should quit

      IS MUCH MUCH MUCH HIGHER THAN
      # of People dissuaded by this blog to quit LS who may have worked out if had attended



      Delete
    3. The things you mentioned, the fear that an overeducated employee would bolt for something better, are not limited to JDs. The debt isn't limited to JDs either. The person with a masters in education likely has 2/3 the debt of the law student. This is still pretty significant.

      Trust me, the teacher getting paid 40k while having 80k debt doesn't feel great either, particularly when that skill set is useless for anything outside of teaching.

      Delete
    4. @3:58

      Hey, your career is just starting, right? You have plenty of time to realize how difficult the law market is for experienced lawyers post biglaw.

      But if you are already experienced - are you a boomer? Understand your experience is different than the market of today.

      If neither of these and life is great, good for you.

      Delete
    5. "The person with a masters in education likely has 2/3 the debt of the law student. "

      bunk. pure, flabbergasting bunk.

      No way the average EdMasters has anywhere close to 2/3 the average LS grad debt.

      No even close.

      Go ahead, pull another rabbit out of your hat - or pull something else out of your butt, whatever.

      Delete
    6. You can get an eD masters degree at the local upstate SUNY school for about $4600 a semester in tuition. Include fees and call it 10,000 a year in tuition.

      You can't compare that to law school.

      Delete
    7. ^^^
      Thank you for providing some context and info (I'm 6:27 who called bunk earlier).

      Delete
    8. Law schools with tuition around $10K per year: UDC, U. North Dakota, Southern, North Carolina Central, BYU.

      Delete
    9. To the guy who mentioned SUNY, that's great, but I don't live in New York. Where I live, the local public school charges 20k a year. That's the thing about public schools, that vary from state to state.

      Delete
    10. To the idiot at 9:58, we're very sorry you don't understand the concept of averages.

      The concept of averages may be useful to a person when, for example, that person is comparing over 200 law schools to over 10,000 schools offering degrees in education.

      When one is discussing in general terms "the cost of law school" and "the cost of an advanced degree in education", one has to rely on averages.

      Grow up a bit, then once you do, come back and talk with the grown ups.

      Delete
  36. @1:12

    Why shouldn't those who go to a school who pays to name a stadium after itself expect employment after graduating? If such students worked their asses off to pass the bar, did so like the rest, and can litigate the hell out of anything in a courtroom, can you be big enough to drop the elitism that props up your insecurity and ask yourself why the hell they should be relegated to shitdom?

    For the record, I graduated from such a school and graduated cum laude from my undergraduate school. I speak several languages, lived and worked overseas before attending law school and attended such a lower-ranked law school because it offered me one hell of a scholarship.

    For little elitists such as yourself who think you are so much better simply because daddy could pay for you to go to a better school than my daddy could, try to wrap your head around the fact that some of us didn't have 'beaucoup bucks' and so chose the lower ranked law school because of the scholarship. I guess in your little head, we all deserve to look forward to no jobs, simply because daddy didn't have the money to pay for a really good law school.

    Such elitism is kind of funny when you realize that regardless of the school one comes from, it really doesn't make much of a difference, because half of all graduates will end up unemployed or in non-legal jobs anyway. I wonder if they'll be happy that daddy spent all that money for law school or that they took out a heap of loans for it then...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't have beaucoup bucks and my daddy didn't pay a dime. I went to a state law school, got a half scholarship, and ate ramen for three years straight. It wasn't elitism that kept me from attending a for profit school or one that spent money on a stadium. It was common sense. And this was before transparency. I looked at the stats, as paltry as they were back then, and determined that going to those schools bore a very high risk of unemployment after graduation. I'm not trying to be a jerk. I feel bad for anyone who made a mistake of attending a school with dismal job prospects and is suffering the consequences. But I stand by my statement that no one attending the 10-15 "usual suspects" schools should expect employment at graduation. There's just too much information out there for anyone to think it's a smart idea.

      Delete
    2. And for the record, I also passed up an expensive, higher ranked private school in NYC. Thought it was too risky to graduate with that much debt for a school that only gave about a 50/50 shot at biglaw jobs.

      This was the early 00's before the transparency movement. Me and my many classmates who made the same move were able to figure out, despite whatever was in those schools' glossy brochures, that going massively into debt for a law school not named Harvard was a risky bet.

      Right now I pay about $300 a month in student loan repayments - gladly. With IBR and PAYE, lower-income grads shouldn't have to pay much more than that. Incurring that level of future obligation for a decent shot at a very good career seems pretty reasonable to me.

      Delete
    3. Dude, if you were smart then you could've gone to a good school with a scholarship. No one, scholarship or not, goes to Cooley if they can do any better.

      Delete
  37. I agree with the prof you quote. Schools will not close soon. The crash is happening now, but the ultimate consequences will still take years. Low ranked schools WILL lower their admission standards as far as possible, until their students can't pass the bar and the ABA deaccredits them. If the 2012 entering class was the beginning of the crash, I don't think that class' talent is so much lower as to threaten ABA accreditation due to bar exam failure. More likely the entering class of 2013, who will take the bar in 2016. The ABA will notice the results and put a few schools on probation, which will give them at least another year. A few will claw to accreditation by hammering the bar exam into the ground (hire barbri professors?. The ABA may give others another year. A school or two MIGHT close in 2017. A few in 2018... The heart of the crash will likely be seen/felt around 2019/2020, unless there is some kind of unprecedented economic boom that suddenly requires armies of lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You forgot the following additional steps:

      * The deans write opinion pieces stating that it's not the students, it's the test. (See De Luc, Cooley)

      * The school blames its class (See TJSL)

      * The school holds back a percentage of its grads and asks them to take the test in February (I want to say it was someone like Duquense or Temple).

      The ABA will put the mainline TTTs on probation only as a last resort.

      Before that happens, the word of mouth among recent college grads will have trashed law school completely, which is ultimately what Mitchell is complaining about.

      Delete
  38. Would you buy a used car from this man?

    http://law.case.edu/Dean/images/welcome_to_the_class_of_2014.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, the TLS posters were rioting over that photog. Larry really needs to get it replaced.

      Delete
    2. I would love to see this in a caption contest.

      Delete
  39. @1:12PM

    Thhhaatst truuhue. THAAATHS TRHUUE!

    Ahhnd thuuh Pahhpisst basskleehtbuhl teems is no guud ahhnd thuh AY BEE A Prufussionul leegues dhont need Pahypists tuu play.

    Muuny thu thuh guhvurnmunt iss ghuud 2 ohww ahhn luh schuul uis guud beecuse iht mahde me reely smardt annd lerned me tuu pruhblum sholve ahhns tu bee ahnuh...annnh.....aaana...annhhulhiiticuulll!

    Wheen I ghet myu u[purashuun thu Doctur shays I whiil mahhhake muuny thuu pay bhack my qhuadruuplud dheebt thu thuh guhvurnmint :)

    Charley

    ReplyDelete
  40. If you have to borrow 150K+ for school - don't go. If you did, and you can't deal with the debt payments, it's your own fault. No one should expect a 100K+ job right out of school, no one. Everyone should examine the risk before taking on the debt required to attend law school. If you have to take on outsized debt, you shouldn't go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So the schools with their deceptive or outright false marketing and people like Dean Mitchell telling people how law school is still worth it bear NO responsibility?

      Sure, the students bear SOME responsibility. But so do the law school scammers.

      The thing to realize though is that while the students might bear SOME responsibility, they bear ALL of the burdens while the scammers, who arguably bear even more responsibily bear almost NONE of it.

      Delete
  41. @1:12 is wrong: the unranked school with its name on the stadium spent money doing that rather than offering larger scholarships to attract better students or a decent career services department, leaving their students at a disadvantage in the job market. True that employment outcomes are likely similar for both, but one pretended to give a crap and used your hard earned tuition dollars for something arguably of some value to you. The other named a stadium. And that is why you probably should not expect to be employed after graduation when you went to a school with a stadium named after it but may have such an expectation if you went to another school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This makes no sense.

      But I'm trying to figure out what law school spent 10 million on naming a sports stadium. So far no luck with google. I don't think that really happened.

      Delete
    2. Here's a clue.

      http://www.theballparkguide.com/graphics/lansing-lugnuts/cooley-law-school-stadium-front.jpg

      Delete
  42. LP I'd add 4) to your list: the localness of a non-neglible number of law students. Schools don't have access to the whole population of applicants, only those able and willing to move to market X. Once the numbers get tighter this will surely have an effect on some schools.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I wonder how many present law school students read this site. It is written by an actual law school professor telling you the present state of this profession. Does this have any effect upon them?

    ReplyDelete
  44. wasn't there a handful of schools that lost ABA accreditation? what were the effects on their class sizes?

    ReplyDelete
  45. http://m.gawker.com/5964383/second+tier-law-school-dean-desperately-assures-you-that-law-school-is-still-a-great-buy

    ReplyDelete
  46. 1:12 - I came from a poverty stricken background and am far from an elitist, although I did graduate summa cum laude and top of the class and was a Law Review editor at a T10 school. I paid for it all on my own with no debt, something not possible today, a situation which all too often pains me for young people today. And my reasons for going to the T10 school were sound - not necessarily for prestige, but simply for the opportunity to compete against the brightest, which was similar to my college experience, where I attended on a Division 1 athletic scholarship and both won and lost in competition against the best in the country. The ultimate measure of opportunity in this country is whether a poor, but bright and ambitious student can succeed - the measure all schools, from K-12 to college to professional schools should use. The fact is that most of our educational institutions are failing against this metric.

    Your rants about elitists are immature. I was poorer than most of my classmates, but most of them were no more than middle class. They were, however, very bright - with very smart people found in numbers much, much greater than law schools in the stadium advertising genre. No offense, but attending a school like you did would have been akin to me competing in a low level Division III athletic conference, where performance levels I reached in 10th grade would have easily won the conference. This would have held no appeal to me - there were a lot of other interesting challenging things to do in life - this doesn't make me an elitist, either.

    The problem in all law schools today, but particularly those at the stadium advertising level, is that they are simply a very poor value. Yes, some rage against the machine anti-elitists such as yourself may survive these low value institutions and go on to a career. But most don't. The value proposition is terrible. And the institutions are dominated by effete, "progressive" minded rent seekers who have very little understanding of what constitutes real work. I know - the Teamsters job put me through school.

    By the way, the advertising is obnoxious because only an institution completely out of touch with the needs of its customers could sponsor stadium advertising as it is so unrelated to what should constitute the essential value proposition of the commodity known as legal education. The view is not elitist either.

    ReplyDelete
  47. You know what's missing from this law professor's email message?

    ***Even if law schools can reduce costs, if their graduates can't get jobs in large numbers, it's still reprehensible to take their money.***

    Full stop.

    ReplyDelete
  48. It's a baseball stadium in Lansing, Michigan. named after the Cooley Law School. I would seriously doubt the $10 million figure, more likely something like $1,000 a year forever (with outs for both sides) so you can put whatever figure on it you wish.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The scamDeans like Mitchell and others keep touting how going to law school is still a good "bet" on "average". So IF THIS IS TRUE, why don't the law schools put their money on the line?

    How about all LS agree to clawbacks on money lent to them for every dollar that gets paid by the govt via IBR or default or whatever.

    I mean since "on average" LS students do well enough to justify the COA, then why don't the LS bet on the students to do well. Better yet, let the LS lend the money themselves.

    The point is that if law school outcomes are, "on average" so good, what's wrong with asking them to put SOME skin in the game (sort of like how if subprime lenders had SOME skin in the game, this whole subprime lending might have been mitigated somewhat)?

    Won't do it? Then STFU about how law school is a good bet UNLESS you and your LS are willing to put your own money and skin in the game!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Law school is so expensive, that I'll still be paying my debt off 25 years from now when I'm a lawschool dean fleecing unborn future law school students!

    - future TTT dean.

    ReplyDelete
  51. " I've written a critique of Larry Mitchell's ... which I hope will appear elsewhere later today."

    So, crushed dreams or wot? Just checked LP's favorite outlet (Salon.com) and there's nothing there.

    Who else would pub him on short notice? HuffPo? (Didn't find it there, either).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here ya go:

      http://www.salon.com/2012/11/29/too_many_lawyers_says_who/

      Delete
  52. Oh crap, that Gawker article linked above about Dean Larry's Op-Ed is hilarious (link reproduced below, thanks @4:11 p.m. above). Butthurt, lol.

    Liked his little dig here.... "It's strange that a law school dean would write what might be colloquially referred to as a "butthurt" op-ed, because it is completely out of character for lawyers to be self-righteous, defensive little crybabies. ..."



    http://m.gawker.com/5964383/second+tier-law-school-dean-desperately-assures-you-that-law-school-is-still-a-great-buy

    ReplyDelete
  53. A bunch of lying shills are posting on this thread telling people how great law school is.

    If 1.5 million lawyers for 570,000 legal jobs is not bad enough, the 570,000 jobs include solos (a third of the total) as well as temporary workers.

    It is very very difficult to make a go of a solo practice today because of the oversupply of solos and oversupply of lawyers.

    Another big problem is that there are not enough post-BigLaw jobs for BigLaw alumni to go to. BigLaw alumni are often stuck in solo practice, which simply does not work for most people. Not every lawyer is a born salesperson.

    Sure some lawyers do great. Most lawyers do not do great.

    I would never go to law school today. I would not want the almost 50% risk of unemployment at graduation, the much greater risk that my law degree will not pay off financially to pay the cost of attending, and I particularly would not want the risk of being unemployed after I worked in BigLaw because of up or out policies and not enough ongoing jobs for the lawyers forced to leave BigLaw.

    Just to say it, when I went to law school, supply and demand were matched. I think everyone from my top law school class got a summer job with a large law firm. I knew of no one from my law school class who did not get a large firm job or clerkship after law school, and who did not get those jobs before Christmas. My experience was always being able to work in high paying jobs, with no break, for years and years. Law school was also cheap back then. Honestly, if anything had gone wrong- bad news from others about employment outcomes, no summer job, no third year job, unemployment as a younger lawyer, I would have skipped out and tried something else.

    The last ten years have been very hard for me. My career has taken a bad turn, and it relates to the oversupply of lawyers. The careers of most of my law school classmates have also taken a bad turn and it relates to the oversupply of lawyers.

    I do not understand the decision of 0Ls to attend much riskier law schools than my very top school in this awful environment for lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well said. Thank you for posting.

      Delete
    2. Weeeeellll then....November 29, 2012 at 6:55 PM

      "My experience was always being able to work in high paying jobs, with no break, for years and years. Law school was also cheap back then. "

      Well, then; guess you're set for life, no?

      Delete
    3. You know, an apartment in Manhattan, a nanny, housekeeper and private schools for the kids cost a lot.

      The problem is assuming you will always be making good money, instead of living like you are making 50,000.( or other relevant amount if $50,000 is too low.)

      Delete
    4. Only set against running out of money because I inherited some money from my immigrant grandparents and invested some of it well. I still need to work to pay my bills now and for the forseeable future because I live in an expensive area and because lawyers have lousy retirement plans generally.

      Would not be set at all but for the inheritance. I did not pay much for law school and was not able to save much while I worked because of the high cost of living in my big city and the need to live near work to hold the job for as long as I did.

      We are a two income family, and the second income ALL went to the cost of living near work and child care. We would be at the same place net financially if only one of us had worked and we had lived about a 2 hour plus commute to and from work each day.

      In New York City, $45,000 to $60,000 is a starting salary for the first year out of college. You do not need to go to law school to make that much, and should not go to law school if you want to work in the private sector and will only make that much. There are good jobs for new college grads. It is a matter of a harrowing job search often that can take months and months, but there are plenty of good jobs for BAs (not for lawyers though) in this area once you really really apply yourself to months and months of looking. Someone I know from the class of 2012 just scored a $60,000 job after moving back here from an out of town college and I know college grads in banks and hedge funds.

      Delete
    5. By the way, I see ads for internships for recent college grads on every job site I visit. I think these are paid entry level jobs. It is not clear if college grads actually know how to approach a job search, and maybe that is part of the disconnect on this site when people say they cannot find jobs. I also think that applying to posted jobs is a good idea because these are legitimate openings. Sometimes, networking puts people into less than optimal job situations where the employer is hiring a temp because there is really not an opening.

      Delete
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