Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The real cost

Every few weeks I get an email like this one:



Dear Professor Campos:

First I want to commend you on your excellent blog.  I have begun to read through your articles.  The positive thing that I'm getting from the blog is that I don't feel so lonely anymore thinking that I got scammed when I went to law school.  I started law school in 2002 and graduated in 2005.  Prior to going to law school I had heard rumblings about how being an attorney was not as profitable as the schools made it out to be.  I was also warned by other attorneys that it was very stressful.  Unfortunately that information did not sink in and I bought the hype that [average-ranked law school] offered.  So I spent three good years of my life working on a degree that I believe should have only taken two.  

Then reality really hit when I entered the job market.  It was not good.  You could find jobs but for $40,000 to $50,000.  At first I thought that it was me, that I had not done the right things, ie kiss up to the right people, done unpaid internships, etc.  So I decided to hang up my own shingle.  I opened my own office, and tried to make a go of it.  It has been an incredibly difficult five years.  For many of those years I would blame myself for not doing better; I began to believe that there was huge mistake that I was making or I had made that had alienated clients, or that I wasn't advertising properly, or any number of things that could be attributed to an office that produced income, but not that much.  I worked long hours by myself trying to satisfy clients that could not be satisfied.  I panicked at little mistakes, and thought the worst case scenarios for every misstep.  It was a miserable existence and it put me in a depressive state with bouts of anxiety that were difficult to control.   

So I went to therapy to get my head back on straight and that has helped a little.  I also found blogs (like yours) and additional information that has allowed me to put my career in perspective.  The conclusion that I came to was that after I beat myself over the business not going as well as I would like, the reality is that the current situation was stacked against me.  It is very difficult to succeed in today's environment, and I don't feel like my school has addressed that at all.  Which leads me to my point in to this rambling email.  Perhaps you have written about this, but I cannot stress this enough; there is a mental toll taken on attorneys.  Depression and anxiety have taken the wind out of my life.  I'm getting help, a lot of help.  I am aware of the dangers of allowing somethings to go untreated.  People need to know how destructive this profession can be to some people, it has been for me.  I suspect it is for most attorneys because we all share the same stories. . .   If you can, please write something on your blog about the dangers of depression, substance abuse, and suicide among attorneys.  When I called the local state legal assistance program, one of the first things they asked me if I was thinking about hurting myself (unfortunately that had crossed my mind).  It never occurred to me that it is so prevalent, it's quite scary actually.


Relevant posts:

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/01/depression-and-denial.html

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/02/stigma-and-silence.html

This blog has focused primarily on the most straightforward economic aspects of the failure of the American system of legal education.  It's important not to lose sight of the fact that, as a consequence of that failure, lawyers and law graduates deal with much more than crushing debt burdens and career options that bear no rational relationship to those debt levels.

On a related note, both student loan debt levels and delinquency rates are skyrocketing.



186 comments:

  1. The stigma post is the best one of the whole blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The number of lawyers in the Long Island Yellow Pages is staggering. There are over 50 pages of ads, and many full page ads and some are two pages and in color, and on the spline sometimes, or little pull off refrigerator magnets on the cover.

    My all time favorite firm is the one with the number: 1-800-BEDSORES (True Story)

    The competition must be fierce, and maybe getting out of the law field altogether is serendipity and a blessing if staying in it can lead to such unhappiness and lifetime financial struggle along with crushing, if not impossible Sl debt.

    On the other hand the schools and faculties draw a straight pay and have no risk whatsoever. Whatever happened to the notion of the poor, undercompensated and under appreciated scholar?

    As in Goodbye Mr. Chips

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  3. 40mg of citalopram; .5mg of ativan (when needed); a quarter bottle of bushmills; and I'm through another day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to have access to health care to do that. Many uninsured solos don't.

      Delete
    2. I don't expect to get an answer, but I'd love to hear precisely what would be accomplished by Paul Campos' resignation - aside from depriving his critics of this particular red herring.

      Delete
    3. Whoops replied to the wrong post

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  4. On some levels, the writer of this post was telling my story as well.

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  5. The U.S. lawyer job market is shrinking. Hell, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will only be an additional 73K more EMPLOYED attorneys in 2020 than there were in 2010. Do the math, lemmings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How a projected 73k MORE employed attorneys mean the market is shrinking?

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    2. "How a projected 73k MORE employed attorneys mean the market is shrinking? "

      The ratio of JD's to jobs will definitely increase, and by a lot. This has been covered before on this blog (google search this blog for 'BLS').

      TL;DR The classes of 2011-12 will graduate enough lawyers to fill projected demand through 2020.

      Delete
  6. So why, Professor Campos, are you still a law professor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Impossible Moral Standard Troll hops on his horse again.

      Delete
    2. So he can have some standing to she'd light on the murky deceit of the law school number people.

      Note: after two schools were caught fabricating numbers for LSAT scores and GPAs , data they report to the ABA as well as USNews, the LSAC is auditing the numbers that schools submit. They even lie to the regulators who govern them- how much more likely are they to lie and continue lying to their students?

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  7. There are cracks in the educational-industrial complex dam. In 5 years the system will look very different than it does today. Hopefully, it will look better.

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  8. I graduated law school in 1987. It took me years to establish my personal injury solo practice. I couldn't have done it without the support of my husband, generous loans from my parents, and a fairly large advertising budget.

    One of my biggest regrets is that I bought the law school party line for years that legal advertising would cast you in a scuzzy light. This is a business people! Businesses have to advertise. A lawyer must learn about marketing (which law schools could teach the third year). However, I'm quite sure that the majority of the law professors at my law school (Tennessee) would treat with great disdain upon finding out that I am "one of those" advertising attorneys. (Of course, this fact doesn't stop my law school from, on a near constant basis, trying to solicit contributions from my pool of money made by advertising.)

    To all you would be and/or discouraged solos out there, you are no less capable than me and you can do it. Figure out, if possible (and I know with crushing debt it is hard), how to find a friendly banker to give you the start-up capital to do some advertising and then stick with it. And if your big firm colleagues look down on you . . . well . . . f*** 'em.

    Tricia Dennis

    Tricia Dennis

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    Replies
    1. Well said Tricia. I agree with you.

      The problem is the prestige whore mentality of many 0Ls.

      The 0Ls and law faculty view advertising and helping real individuals with real legal problems (criminal, divorce, tort injuries, or comp) as vulgar. For some reason, though, 0Ls and the leftists in the Ivory Tower think it's just fine to work at a white shoe firm on behalf of Fortune-100 companies overbilling at $400+ per hour. And isn't it neat to work as a prosecutor or -- be still my heart -- a federal prosecutor.

      Their priorities are out of whack.

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    2. Very thoughtful post Tricia.

      I also think more people should consider hanging a shingle versus feeling sorry for themselves that they didn't get picked up by Biglaw. In the coming years, more of the Biglaw jobs are going to go to offspring of the partners anyhow. And there are thousands of middle class people who need reasonably priced help with things like child support, traffic tickets, minor drug busts, drunk driving, etc. All of these are growing areas where the local municipalities are adding more and more fines to cover their budgetary shortfalls. Lawyers may not get rich, but they can definitely impact lives and make a living, more so than the $10 per hour Starbucks or call center job.

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    3. How much money is someone going to pay to contest a $200 traffic ticket? How much time will that require?

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    4. To the previous anonymous - this has already been covered on this blog. The trick is that 'modestly-priced' services don't cover really, really large loan payments + even frugal business expenses.

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    5. I'll graduate without debt (I'm paying for this from savings and current earnings). Nonetheless, I do not believe that I could "definitely … make a living" by defending against traffic tickets and such.

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    6. "And there are thousands of middle class people who need reasonably priced help with things like child support, traffic tickets, minor drug busts, drunk driving, etc."

      There may be "thousands" of such people. The problem is that there are ALREADY "TENS of thousands" of lawyers to service this need. Just open up your phone book.

      If there is all this "unmet need" as you suggest, most solos wouldn't be struggling but they do, MOSTLY BECAUSE THERE AREN'T ENOUGH PAYING CLIENTS.

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    7. And even paying clients won't pay very much. How many traffic tickets does it take to make an income of even $20k ($10/hr full time)? Keep in mind that billings will have to be far higher than $20k in order to account for business expenses, self-employment taxes, non-payment, and the like.

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    8. Not all tickets are $200, in fact if you visit any metropolitan courthouse traffic court, you will find that probably 75% of the people in there have issues such as speeding and no license, or speeding and no license and no insurance, etc. These fines easily top $2,500 in most cases. And of course, then there are financing fees, since most people that can't afford license, registration and insurance probably can't afford to whip out the AMEX and pay...lol

      You could make a business just out of plea bargaining those cases and helping negotiate the payment plans. Since those transgressions are criminal in nature, legal representation is a must, but instead most people just plead guilty/civilly responsible and the cities collect the dough.

      Again, my original point was that people need to cut out the special snowflake crap and actually learn how to service the legal business that is actually out there right now, since unless you have money and/or connections, Biglaw is not an option. And the lawschools would do well to actually teach 3L's how to handle these types of typical cases, since 95% of the lawyers out there are going to handle those types of things (drunk driving, family law, accidents, minor contract disputes).

      The days of getting hired and working for the next 40 years with one company, has all but ended for most people, except maybe cops, and medical personnel. So, pretty soon, everyone is going to have to figure out how to feed themselves, besides a paycheck.

      I am sure there are other ways to make money. I was just giving a real life example of what I have seen in CA, NV and AZ, YMMV...lol

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    9. I understand your point but the point that I and others are making is that while the business "opportunity" you are talking about exists, it doesn't exist to anywhere near the extent that you are implying AND FURTHERMORE MOST SOLOS ALREADY ARE DOING THIS (i.e. trying to find clients for "drunk driving, family law, accidents, minor contract disputes")

      You are making it sound like everyone is trying to go work for "BigLaw" while there are all these middle class clients begging to get lawyers to help them because the work is "beneath them". That is far from the truth. Again just open up your yellow pages.

      The thing to realize is that while there might be a lot of unmet legal needs, the number of such people that can actually pay you is actually much smaller than the number of people with these supposed unmet needs.

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    10. Oh, yes, people who don't have the money to pay a traffic ticket make the greatest paying clients for a lawyer.

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    11. Also, while I do agree that everyone should have access to criminal defense, I do not relish the prospect of spending my whole "career" bargaining down valid charges such as speeding while driving without a license.

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    12. With all due respect to the OP above: trust me---you can't make a living with parking tickets. For that matter, it is very hard to make a living off the middle class with anything but good contingency fee cases. Having said that, some (not all) presently discouraged lawyers can make as solos. You have to have a great deal of family backing, care not what your peers think of you, and stick with it through all the ups and downs. In other words, it isn't impossible. However, the best thing to do is avoid going to law school in the first place.

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    13. You do not need a lawyer for most of these tickets. Most people do not drive without insurance. Speeding can be handled by a 21 year old going into court to get the fine reduced. Most of this stuff does not require lawyers. How much do you think a lawyer would get paid to fight a $750 speeding ticket? The problem is that 99% of these cases can be and are resolved without a lawyer.

      Delete
    14. NY State already has a program to collect unpaid child support:

      https://www.childsupport.ny.gov/dcse/home.html

      The only time one needs a lawyer is for a real criminal offense like DUI or a drug bust or alcohol arrest under 21. Problem is that there are not tons and tons of these cases. It is not like everyone drives drunk or uses drugs and gets caught. If you look at the number of solos in each city (using West Haven, CT as example) there are pages and pages of lawyers to handle events that are not everyday occurances for every person living in West Haven, CT. Each lawyer in Martindale in this area might get one or 2 cases a year if they were allocated equally. There are just too many lawyers in relation to the population to make a living with these types of cases.

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    15. Other areas people talk about needing lawyers for are foreclosures and domestic violence. Foreclosures are not going to be a good business. You have a client that has breached a contract and has no money to pay a mortgage. How is that client going to pay a lawyer, and how far can a lawyer go to keep a client that cannot pay the mortgage in his or her home? If the bank is willing to renegotiate, fine, the client may not need a lawyer. If not, a lawyer is expensive for uncertain results.

      Similarly, much domestic violence means getting the violent person out the door. That is a personal issue and not a legal one in the first instance. There are tons of lawyers doing divorce, custody and the like for tiny amounts of money. There is no shortage of experts on family law for just a few hundred dollars.

      The unmet legal services myth is a myth. There is a huge unmet demand for legal services in the middle class just like there is an unmet demand for mansions and Carribean vacations. If someone cannot pay for it, it is not an unmet demand. More like wishful thinking and excess.

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    16. While I appreciate Tricia's comments, I see this as an extension of the "special snowflake syndrome" that got most of these kids in this in the first place. I wasn't top 10% so I'll borrow even more money and advertise and schmooze my way to a decent living. i'm so charming; everyone will love me.

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    17. Actually a lot of foreclosure clients have money since the bank stops collecting payments once they miss a few mortgage payments. I agree with your last paragraph completely though.

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    18. Not everyone has a spouse who can support them or parents who can just loan them a lot of money to get their business started.

      And, she is talking about competition as it existed in 1987. How long ago was that?

      That makes her a clueless boomer, right?

      Delete
    19. I'm sorry, 10:29 / 12:49, but you are a complete and utterly clueless f()cking idiot.

      I think you should know that I comment here fairly regularly, and have done so for a year or so, and this is the first time I have ever felt the need for even the simulated profanity above.

      Congratulations, you azzwipe (there, did it again).

      And I do apologize to anyone who may find the simulated profanity offensive, but felt it was called for this one time.

      Delete
    20. I don't believe there is a great demand for legal services. I feel that the demand is dropping fast with the advent if legal zoom.

      The only unmet need I can see is for free or lie cost legal help- not work that will pay you enough to create a business.

      Delete
  9. I am am already so depressed without job lined up in my 3L year. I can't imagine actually finding a lawyer job and getting more depressed.

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    Replies
    1. 8:06 AM:

      I don't mean to be rude, but you must not have much of an imagination, OR you must come from a life of privilege.

      Can you imagine working hard at undergrad, law school, job search and NOT get ANY job at all? How about after passing the bar? How about 18 months after passing the bar?

      Or perhaps even worse, you get a job that works out to single digit pay $9.50/hr. (when you factor in commute & actual hours worked). In addition to low pay, you have terrible clients, co-workers & boss..

      Or struggling as a solo for several years before you finally go bust.

      At the end, you realize you would have done better as a barista at Starbucks...

      Believe me, it can get worse, a LOT worse.

      Delete
    2. I know it can get worse, you should work on your critical reading skills. I'd bet you are the only one on this blog who thought i was speaking literally.

      Apparently my very very very simple point flew over your head. Right now I'm so focused on getting a job as a lawyer, any job, I don't even consider that the job I may get could make my depression worse. I hope it wont, I hope if i get a job it wont make me more depressed, but I am certainly aware that may not be the case.

      Delete
    3. 8:06, I'm pretty sure the majority of readers (unlike 12:03) got your joke.

      Delete
    4. WAIT so when someone says "I can't even imagine" they are . . . actually capable of imagining?

      Delete
    5. Well, within reason. For example,November 28, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      ...when we say we can't imagine you actually have a brain betwixt your ears - in that case, we actually mean it.

      Delete
    6. Hmmm:

      Mr. 8:06 AM,

      How am I to know what your cognitive abilities are? you are the one currently in law school.

      Good luck to you, you will need it!



      Delete
  10. That original post pretty much sums up my experience in the legal profession--so glad I graduated from a top twenty law school.

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  11. I enjoy the cocksure, gung ho blindness of 0Ls. If you try to caution them, you are: (1) either bitter because you are a failure; (2) jealous that you lack their special snowflake talent; or (3) are coyly trying to limit competition by discouraging future competitors one at a time.

    The only ones I kind of get are the ones who ask, "well, what else can I do with my bachelor's degree?" This is not a good argument, mind you, but at least it is understandable. "I'm unemployed and unemployable, I might as well go back to school and spin the law school roulette wheel."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My theory on this is that the savy 0Ls are the ones who actually listen and do something else even if they have high scores.

      There is something in that- the smartest, savviest kids will listen and not insist that economic reality does not apply to them.

      The special snowflakes and the ones who claim to are trying to limit competition are probably the average or belie average kids.

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  12. It's easy to imagine this email coming in a few years from the TLS "prestige" poster discussed here a couple days ago...

    The cognitive dissonance resulting from career expectations colliding with post-grad reality is common in our profession. And this goes back decades - it is not unique to the current "crisis" in legal employment.

    Clearly undergraduate education does a very poor job of instilling in students the ability to think rationally and independently. Otherwise they would be better equipped to resist the influence of peers, parents, media, and the law schools in determining whether law school is a wise investment for them. The perceived social status that comes with being a lawyer (a dubious proposition at best) should receive only marginal consideration when making this decision.

    Easier said than done, I know.

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  13. Regarding the mental health aspects of the horrible profession, I'm amazed this law review article has not been cited/discussed more on this blog: http://www.averyindex.com/happy_healthy_ethical.php

    This article was assigned reading for the Prof. Resp. classes at my Big10 law school.

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  14. I find the irony cruel indeed when Boomer judges (see the NYLS and Cooley opinions) and Boomer profs decry the "hand out" generation. It'd be funny if it weren't so tragic. Leaving aside the generational good timing many had, the Boomer profs feed from the public teat and look indifferently at the wrecked lives their industry leaves in its wake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed...

      The karma part will be revealed when, in the near future, these boomers will expect people who make $5 to $10 per hour (once minimum wage is killed), to fund their SS and Medicare needs...lol

      So don't lament, payback is coming...

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    2. Yeah, that's a big part of the problem. There simply isn't a generation alive today that went through what the 18-29 demographic is going through right now. Those who were in that demographic in the Great Depression are all dead. 18-29 has 25% unemployment and a staggering 50.9% underemployment (part-time). The boomers have picked on a minority. I couldn't go to college right after high school because FAFSA guidelines didn't adjust for my parents credit card debt (taken out to buy food). So, I worked, hard. Very hard. When I got out of undergrad (very expensive I had scholarships) I was 17k in debt. Soon after I got a "statement" from Social Security showing what I had contributed to date...17k. That was just social security. Fuk it. Fuk them.

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    3. From a boomer, I think it is outrageous that the cases against the law schools are being dismissed.

      My very top law school scammed a lot of people. Maybe not me directly, because the lawyer surplus was not acute when I went to law school. Surely they scammed a lot of people directly after me, and surely they blinded themselves to the degree of unemployment and underemployment of their grads that has been going on for at least 10 years. Surely they almost doubled their class size from my class' size ignoring the plight of their experienced grads.

      They scammed me after I graduated by spewing an overpopulation of their grads into the system where these newer grads actually took the jobs of my classmates away, long before we were ready or able to retire.

      I am sorry these suits have not had success. Someone needs to stop this life ruining course of conduct of law schools, the ABA and the federal government before more and more people have their lives ruined and even commit suicide.

      The people from my law school are not taking the type of jobs being discussed here. They are mostly former BigLaw associates and vast numbers of them are underemployed or unemployed. They face exactly the type of challenges described by the writer of the letter though even though they may have expertise in real estate, trusts and estates or IP and years of experience in BigLaw.

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  15. Lawyer advertising, when done tastelessly, IS vulgar, and cheapens the image of the whole profession.

    That guy on TV with the firm that's open New Years Eve at midnight makes this video look like something Emily Post would create:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir_QNLJiZoc&playnext=1&list=PL6F4991BA1DD357E9&feature=results_video

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  16. Mental health guy will be in his glory with this post.

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  17. There are too many solos. It ranges from lawyers who cannot get jobs initially and go solo to partners in top firms who get thrown out, and everything in between. The problem here is that it gets worse every year. The law schools are producing a surplus and BigLaw is training a surplus in every practice area and then spitting these people out to a very anemic job market.

    It is miserable to be in a position where no matter what you do, the odds are against you in making a living. No question that mental health will suffer, people will drink or take drugs if they cannot pay their bills or support a reasonable middle class lifestyle after trying so hard to make a living.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "It is miserable to be in a position where no matter what you do, the odds are against you in making a living. No question that mental health will suffer, people will drink or take drugs if they cannot pay their bills or support a reasonable middle class lifestyle after trying so hard to make a living."

    ...and because of this, the competition within law firms is also fierce...and the working environments in law firms are largely toxic, malignant, malicious and miserable...as far as I have observed for almost everyone, associate, partner, of counsel, paralegal, secretary etc. alike

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    Replies
    1. In house is not different. You can be eaten alive by the people at the same level or below you. One wants your job. The other wants to make the competition look bad. I have never seen anything like this in my life. It is a function of a career with a severe supply demand imbalance.

      Delete
    2. It's the same in many government law jobs, too. I know everyone thinks government is some kind of fancy "cushy" easy job, but many offices have just as much backstabbing office politics, plus a hefty helping of republican/democrat politics on top of it, if you're dealing with/working for political appointees.

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    3. The difference is in law firms and in house, back stabbing means you will almost always wind up unemployed. In the government, there is at least a chance to remain employed

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    4. Yep, you can remain employed in a job that causes you daily stress and misery AND does nothing to pay down your debt. That's the "best case" scenario for law practice, so there you go.

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    5. It's also very common for government lawyers to get "pushed out" (if they're past the probationary period) or outright fired (if they're still in the probationary period). I've seen the outright firing for no reality-based reason and the pushing out, and I've only been in practice for about a decade.

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  19. I've said before that there are 3 factors to look at re: jobs--low stress (e.g. hours and working conditions), how interesting the job is, and the pay. These days you are doing well if you find a job with high marks in ONE of these areas. A lot of JDs now can't find jobs, or the jobs they do find have none of these qualities (e.g. doing doc review in a basement for low pay). And they look around and see college classmates who are making good money as medical technicians, pharmacists, physicians, dentists, etc. No wonder so many lawyers are alcoholics or drug addicts or mental cases.

    I can't honestly say I was scammed, as I started law school in the late 90's and have been able to find rewarding jobs which paid enough to live OK on. But at the same time, the opportunites and income potential I thought were there when I enrolled just are not.

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    Replies
    1. Doesn't sound like the OP has it so bad if he/she could have made 40-50K (depending on location obviously).

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    2. He/she is an idiot; allegedly a finance person who doesn't understand that Rosie Scenario isn't real.

      Delete
  20. Where would this person be had they decided to try to be a cop or fireman instead?

    Scenario 1: He succeeds in getting on the job. He spent a month studying for the test and spends money on the test fee. He works a shit job for a year while waiting to get called on. Total cost (including opportunity): 10k max, total debt: 0. He lives like a shit for another year (and shit means 40k). He statrts doing better progressively for every year thereafter. In 2010, he is making 100k plus benefits. In 2012, he can buy a condo or something. He puts in another 12 years, retires at 45 with a pension of 75k a year. This assumes no promotions. Heck, lets say the city gets nasty and cuts his pay and pension. Lets say they cut his salart to 80k and his pension to 45k, still not a bad outcome (and thats worst case scenario). if he gets promoted, he could easily make 200k.

    Scenario 2: He fails. He doesnt get the job because its too hard to get (so Im told). Total cost, including opportunity, 10k, total debt: 0. He can continue working his shit job, with no debt, and with alot less stress. Even if he makes a little less than what he would make as a lawyer (which is doubtful), he will not be prejudiced for his failure or his education. He would have some political protection by not having the degree, whereas now, its politically beneficial to fuck him. He would have his mental health, whereas now he is fucked up in the head. He would have had 3 of the best years of his life to party, whereas now those years were wasted on garbage. He would have had no debt, or at worst dischargeable debt, whereas now he has six figures of permanent slave debt.

    Thats the situation. We need to provide an answer to this question: what do I do with my useless Bachelors degree?

    Answer: 1) Apply to every municipal job in every major city while working a minimum wage job. What happens if I fail? Answer: 2) Apply to every unionized trade and oil field in America (or enlist in the military). What happens if I do not like manual labor and/or dont want to, or cant get in, shape? Answer: Stay at the minimum wage job and try to rise up and open up your own bussiness with what you learn. Isn't unlikely to succeed like that? Answer: Very unlikely, but no more so
    than succeeding as a lawyer, but if you fail as a lawyer, you will have all the shit you are dealing with now + debt + hate and schadenfrude from society + high stress and mental issues.

    The End.

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    Replies
    1. Why do you assume this person can make $40K at a shit job? Scale that back to $10 per hour at a retail job...at least try to keep it honest. Also, the only cop/fireman jobs that are paying that amount of money are in NYC, northern jersey and possibly a few other large cities with a high cost of living.

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    2. For those on the police officer kick:

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

      http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm

      Remarkably similar numbers, but police officers are growing LESS than lawyers. Also, despite the glut of law grads, in there are far more applicants for police jobs than law jobs (by orders of magnitude, I was taking a different Civil Service test when they had the 500 or so taking the fireman test in the gym.). For completeness sake:

      http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/firefighters.htm

      Also, don't forget, when police departments choose, they just choose from the "passed" list. As there are usually far more people on the list than there are jobs, they can then use the same discrimination you see in the private sector.

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    3. In all of NY State, the governmental pensions are pretty uniform, and based on a fixed system written into the NY statutes that depends on when the employee was hired. Once hired, the NY State Constitution prohibits changing the benefit. In other words if the pension promised to you at age 65 is 103% of salary and they hired you in 2011, if you are still working in 2050, they need to provide the pension on the same formula and can never amend the formula. What a ripoff for taxpayers in NY State, but there is no movement to amend the NY State Constitution. Needless to say, private sector workers do not get this type of protection.

      Delete
    4. A professor of my age confided that she hates baby boomers, every single one of them. I agree. They set up these rackets of 103% pensions and such. They've eaten the seed corn, knowing that they won't be around for the next harvest.

      God damn them.

      Delete
    5. Trust me, when they kill the minimum wage in the next 36 or months, just like they are about to kill the mortgage interest deduction right now, then they will also put the nail in the coffin of the governmental unions. Once the Supremes okay states going BK, all those union contracts are toast. So the police, firemen and all other government union members will be as hosed as the rest of us.

      Already cities are going belly-up and trying to re-negotiate union contracts. The money isn't there any more. Further, there is no way in H*ll that the unwashed masses are going to eat top ramen and have no health insurance, while the retired cop's wife motors down the highway in her new Tahoe/Suburban. Either hook or crook, the public won't go along. It's already happening in Cali and WI.

      Delete
    6. Has it happened in Cali and WI respect to cops, firemen and the like?

      Delete
    7. @11:13,

      I meant to say he lives like shit for the year he is in the police academy.

      Delete
    8. @11:54,

      The numbers do not reveal the true story. If you think they do, please take a look at some sample questions associated with the NYPD test, etc. Let me know what you think is harder: getting a 155 on the LSAT or getting a perfect score on said test.

      Moreover, even if the numbers told the whole story, as I displayed above, if you play and fail at the municipal lottery, you know what happens? Nothing. You know what happens if you play and fail at the Law School Lottery? See Campos post above.

      Delete
    9. The "lottery" trope is inappropriate. Law school is not a lottery in which a haphazard few win; it's a rigged contest that's more or less determined in advance.

      The aristocrats invariably win, whether they practice law or not.

      For some people, by contrast, it is all over before it even begins; not even excelling in law school is good enough. For the wrong sort of person, a hand full of aces and kings plays no better than a yarborough.

      Delete
    10. 1:36,
      I think the point is that a lot of people get a perfect score on that test (it's not a very difficult test). You get points for various other things (living locally in NYC, minority, vets pref, etc.) that are usually the deciding factor in who gets those jobs.

      Delete
    11. Not sure above poster is correct about union contracts. Many state constitutions prevent changes to public employee pension plans for existing employees, just like NY State.

      Delete
  21. "1L enrollment fell by 3,751 individuals last year and by another 4,216 this year, according to the ABA. Three-fourths of the 201 ABA-accredited law schools enrolled fewer students this year. Of the 149 schools that havefewer 1Ls, 90 saw enrollment reduced by 10 percent or more. Forty-eight lawschools saw increased enrollment this year, but only 10 saw boosts of 10 percent or more."

    I think it is interesting that the decline in enrollment in accelerating.

    http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202579603745&Law_school_enrollment_continues_its_decline&slreturn=20121028142443

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this 3,700 student decline nationwide, or just at Cooley?

      Zing!

      Delete
  22. This is the lowest 1L enrollment since 2000.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It is not declining fast enough and 0Ls are still buying into the $160,000 scam set up by the top law schools even though most of their experienced lawyers do not make anything close to that and may be in many cases unemployed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. Some OL on TLS calculated how many lawyers are currently working in biglaw. That was his evidence that the claim of a terrible job market was overblown. He wants to believe that everyone telling him there are no jobs is just trying to limit the competition. If a 3L is telling him not to go, he thinks they are looking ahead to the day when they would both be after the same job.

      This 0L doesn't understand why someone who is in law school would be telling people not to go. He feels that if it was really that bad, then current students wouldn't be in law school. Because people are in law school, he feels they have decided it is a great idea.

      Therefore, if they tell him not to go, it must be because of fear of competition down the line; not because they are trying to get the word out.

      Delete
    2. Link or it didna happen.

      Delete
  24. I despair of finding anything. Despite a sterling record, I can't even get a goddamn interview.

    What little time I have to spare outside law school, work (unrelated to law), law review, the court, and so on, I spend looking into trade schools, clerical jobs, and other occupational options that would make zero use of my legal studies. Up at the top of the class of a leading law school, I'm exploring the possibility of becoming a plumber.

    I am one of the walking dead, finishing a degree that will get me nowhere. Every day I think of dropping out of my last year in law school.

    I just don't know what to do anymore. Every door appears to be closed.

    I've never asked for much. Certainly I've never expected anything to be handed to me on a silver charger. I've done all that I could, yet it amounts to nothing.

    Now my money is gone, and I appear to have worse prospects than a high-school senior.

    I have lost hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do not finish. Start on a menial job and then pick an area you want to go into and work like the devil to get into that area.

      Delete
    2. I have worked like the devil to get into law, to no avail.

      Delete
    3. I wish I had some good career advice for you, but I don't. I just wish there was a way to not let the constant grind for a job take such a toll on everyone. But I understand how tough it can be to be unemployed.

      Just don't give in to despair. You have to fight those feelings because if you get too down then everything looks insurmountable.

      It isn't your fault that this happened. You have been lied to by schools and the media.

      Delete
    4. It may not help you but there are plenty of 3Ls in this situation. There is a thread on TLS of people who were no offered or who have gotten some interviews and then been dinged. Don't think that it is just you and that everyone else is finding jobs.

      There aren't enough jobs.

      Delete
    5. At least those people had interviews. I don't even get that little.

      I got an interview at one firm. During the interview, it turned out that they, because of a fluke, had been unaware that I am in my forties. Suddenly they interrupted with a question about my age, and the answer made them gasp in unison.

      One firm in a distant city that apparently has only ever hired local candidates was willing to interview me for a summer job if I went there at my expense. I had to turn them down, though, because I couldn't afford to spend $1000+ and three days to travel there for a remote chance at a summer job.

      Top grades, top law school, law review, research for a judge, multilingualism, publications, experience in business—aught it avails me. More than a hundred applications have all gone more or less directly into the wastebasket.

      I don't know why I shouldn't give up. What can one do in third year to find a job? The jobs are all gone.

      My last hopes are a clerkship (I probably have a good shot) and a job in the government. If neither of these works out, it's all over. I'm not going to set up a solo practice; that's just glorified unemployment made worse by expenses.

      Delete
    6. "Up at the top of the class of a leading law school, I'm exploring the possibility of becoming a plumber."


      You're too old to become a lawyer.

      You're also beginning to repeat yourself - sure evidence that you've advanced into Olde Fartehood.

      Delete
    7. "You're too old to become a lawyer."

      Edit: "You're too old to become a lawyer or a plumber".

      Delete
    8. Oh, I'm not going to become a plumber either. I wouldn't even have the money for training, now that I've blown it all on law school.

      Delete
    9. ^^^^^^

      (Goose) "Hey Mav, what's the name of that truck driving school?"

      Delete
    10. @ 8:54

      Really snotty.

      Delete
    11. ^^^ Thanks Man, We Aim To Please.


      Seriously, this Olde Fartehead who has:

      "Top grades, top law school, law review, research for a judge, multilingualism, publications, experience in business—aught it avails me. "

      has been posting this diatribe over and over and over.

      And, frankly, "aught has it availed" him.

      Olde Fartehead's rant is getting a little stale. Old, you might say.

      Delete
    12. Once you come up with a useful, reasonable, and realistic suggestion, I'll have no need to repeat my "rant".

      Those today that don't die young are very likely to end up in my situation—except that most of them won't have stellar credentials. Come back when you're my age and tell me what an old fart I was.

      Delete
    13. A number of us came up with suggestions for you yesterday (or day before - I may have lost a day). At that time, you indicated they were both useful and realistic.

      Then a bit later you went back on your "never going to apply to another law firm again, ever!" rants. (Paraphrased - not saying you used those actual words)

      Yet here you are again, whinging about failure to obtain law firm interviews.

      Sorry, maybe I'm just crabby - been a long night of work/almost 3am here/gotta be up at 6 to head back. I'm just tossing a comment out here every hour or so as a thought-clearer.

      I don't wish you any ill will, but you really do seem (from this reader's perspective) to have ingested a victim mentality virus.

      Delete
    14. "—except that most of them won't have stellar credentials. Come back when you're my age and tell me what an old fart I was."

      Oh, and stop being so effing smug about your "stellar" credentials. You never know when you might be corresponding with a 178/4.0 etc.

      And I'm actually quite a bit older than you, based on what you've said about your age, and I started LS as a 3rd career and worked throughout LS (in my second career).

      For a 40-something, you really do need to grow up a bit.

      Delete
    15. I have responded before and my experience is that 100 applications and 100 rejections is normal for lawyers. There is a supply demand imbalance, a severe supply demand imbalance. I know that there is no a lot of BigLaw hiring going on right now at the first year level. Smaller firms and other employers hire few first years. Maybe there are real jobs for not even 15% of all law students, when you are talking about jobs that people want before they go to law school. Even with Harvard, Yale or Columbia Law Schools and even with honors grades, there are plenty of lawyers without jobs. They include very experienced lawyers who would take that $160,000 first year job in a heartbeat. You picked the wrong profession. No amount of credentials will change the imbalance. There is a huge surplus of unemployed lawyers with excellent credentials - Harvard, Yale and Columbia honors grads among them, and the numbers are not insignificant. So if you are coming from the top of the class at Duke or UCLA, you have a lot of competition for jobs that probably have 35 no joke applicants each or more.

      Delete
    16. My advice to you is to go back to your first or second career. You are going to have a judgment problem that will cost you your legal jobs even if you get such a job. You have too much life experience and too much attitude about what should be and your skills to successfully navigate being a first year lawyer. I can see from your posts, you are going to get in trouble the minute you start working. It is a function of being older in a job for young people and in a market that is so lopsided against the worker. If you can use your work experience and what you learned in law school to do something that is not law, you will be a lot better off.

      Delete
    17. More than a hundred rejections without so much as an interview? No, that's not normal. Age-based discrimination is operating here. Professors, lawyers, even the dean of the law school have all told me so; some have even said that applying for jobs in law firms at my age is a waste of time.

      I'm perfectly aware that jobs do not abound these days. Yet numerous K–JDs down in the bottom half of the class have found jobs at the supposedly excellent white-shoe law firms, while older students are rejected out of hand.

      Whole groups of people are illegally kept out of the legal profession. The individual gets the blame: you must have earned poor grades, come off poorly in the interviews, and so on. Well, in my case that is all demonstrably untrue. The middle-aged applicant with undistinguished grades will hear that the firms have their choice of the people at the top of the class; in other words, it's her fault (she should have worked harder in law school) that she is being rejected. But that can't be said of me. So then it's my performance in interviews. Well, no, because I don't even get interviews. So then it's my attitude. How this would be evident from a résumé is never established.

      All these ad hoc justifications are simply wrong. The explanation is that illegal age-based discrimination, defended here by various people who call the practice of law "a job for young people".

      I want older people (and one is over the hill by thirty or so) to know that the legal profession is closed to us.

      Delete
    18. "I want older people (and one is over the hill by thirty or so) to know that the legal profession is closed to us. "


      So start yourself a blog and shout if from the rooftops day and night.


      Call it, "Stellar Credentials Boy (No More)".

      Delete
  25. Cops in NY State leave with hefty pensions that they can start collecting at an early age. They can get a job when they retire and collect the pension at the same time. There is an outflow of people from the force every year on account of the generous pensions. In law, few people have good enough pensions to leave before they are too old to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. see my post at 1:01pm...

      Delete
  26. back to the OP. many of my friends are struggling. The work is hard, the jobs hard to find and the hours suck. I was lucky to get in with the state/county when I started working in 2004. Many of my classmates are solos and are finding it hard to meet the monthly expenses. Drinking, drugs, and stress on relationships appear to be the norm. 0L's run - do anything, but do not attend law school.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Cops in New York most assuredly retire in great numbers in their early 40s. Why don't you check what they earn, and what their pensions thus are, in the northern suburbs of New York? BTW, did you know that NYC cops who retire after 20 years get health insurance for life? Did you also know that they ride the railroads/subways for free for life too? OTOH, they do work nights, weekends, holidays and deal with a lot of unsavory characters. However, someone who can pass the bar is probably bright enough to move up in the ranks via civil service exams to at least Lt./Cpt.
    Have you also considered that in the Northern suburbs, teachers make over 135K? They do where I live. And they retire in their late 50s. And they get stipends for all sorts of activities. Have you heard about their holidays? Their pensions? For those who are ambitous, have you met any Superintendants in the Northern Suburbs who make less than 230K? Please advise if you find one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here you go fuckhead: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Wallington_superintendent_to_step_down_next_year.html

      Delete
  28. Let's not forget the damage that the stress causes to your body. Even if you can "cope" and "be resilient" it catches up with you eventually.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sadly very true. Luckily, the less than stellar job market and my unwillingness, at least initially, to take another bar exam right away led to good things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that's funny - I don keer who y'ask!

      Delete
  30. Instead of turning this pain and anguish inward - it is time for the armies of the defrauded to inflict it *effectively* upon the schools and the personnel who have profited from their ongoing, shameless immorality.

    There are dozens of mechanisms inside the law, and outside of it, to achieve justice.

    Determination and persistence are the key.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree.

      It is so sad to read posts by people struggling to find jobs.

      They have to understand that there aren't enough jobs. They have been lied to by law schools for decades. This lack of jobs is not just due to the recession. It is a huge systemic problem.

      Articles that say that the demand for lawyers has dropped due to the recession are missing the story.

      People are not going to law school because the true employment numbers are finally coming out of the schools.

      Delete
    2. You could always be like that Buffalo grad that sent a letter threatening to sue his school.

      Delete
  31. Stop with the ridiculous COP bullshit. You CAN NOT get hired as a cop these days without active military in a combat role, great physical fitness, a perfectly clear background (traffic tickets will fuck you, let alone anything more serious), perfect credit, and a demonstrated desire to have been a cop for many years.

    And even then, as someone above pointed out, for every position, there are hundreds of applicants.

    It is worse than legal hiring.

    Add in the countless billions of bullshit online criminal justice degrees (another scam) that allow applicants to check the "do you have a degree?" box on the application forms, and 99.9% of law school grads are screwed.

    A JD does not get any preference at all. What gets preference is combat experience, veteran status, physical fitness, how well you interview with the senior cops (who can spot a law school bullshitter a mile away), etc.

    I find it amusing that so many people here seem to think that their law degrees are actually impressive outside the legal world. They are not. Law degrees are a dime a dozen, and they are not getting you preferential treatment for government hiring. It is this very attitude - insulting to those with "lesser" educations - that makes law grads so unappealing; they tend to be rather arrogant!

    "Yeah, we can walk into a cop job in NYC because we've got JDs and we're so much smarter than those dumbfucks who end up being cops."

    Yeah, so smart that they went into the military and then got cop jobs, while we're all here in debt up to our eyeballs and desperate for any work.

    So please stop with the cop/firefighter shit. It's false, it's Fox News talking points, and it makes us all look like whiners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +10000000. Thank you.

      Delete
    2. YES thank you. This "cops have an easy life and great pensions that could never possibly be cut or reneged upon by strapped state and local governments" crap needs to get OFF this blog...

      Delete
    3. No one is suggesting that 28 year olds who have graduated from law school apply for police jobs. They are probably too old. Commenters on the blog are comparing what you get in the two professions.

      It is hard to believe one needs combat experience to be a cop. I have seen plenty of women cops in NY City and would doubt that any of them have been in combat. My understanding was that the United States generally does not put women into combat roles.

      Most people applying to be cops would be younger than college grads, but a few will be college grads. Military service surely helps, but if one has spent enough time in the military, one might be too old to appy to be a cop.

      I think that what cops get paid and the benefits they get are a good benchmark to measure whether a legal career is a good idea. I think we have found out on this blog that most lawyers do not do anywhere as well as most cops, if the lawyer can work at all, which is not the case almost two thirds of the time.

      Delete
    4. The age limit is increased for most cop / fireman jobs by the number of years you've spent on active duty.

      More importantly, NYC cops are not most cops with regard to compensation.

      Delete
    5. What is the point of telling everyone to be a cop then? Is it just to berate them for not knowing that before they went to law school?

      I looked on the NYC police site- over the past 5 years they hired 15,600 people from over 200,000 applicants.

      I looked at the New York State troopers website- they last gave the required exam in 2008 and have no plans to give it soon. Though it is only good for 4 years, and you had to register in 2007.

      I looked at 3 smaller torn upstate county police websites- no one is hiring.

      So please stop promoting cops as a solution unless you have actual information about employment.

      This cop scam is like the law school scam- it just costs less to enter.

      Delete
    6. 3 smaller "town" upstate websites

      Delete
    7. @ 3:59

      I know 5 people that i) didnt finish high school, ii) didnt hold a job until they were in ther mid-20s, iii) have no military experience, etc. and are on the force making 100k plus right now.

      I never suggested a JD would help you get a cop gig, quite the opposite. However, the position that people that get these jobs are superior to most law school or college graduates is laughable. These are not navy seals ot FBI types, nor are most of them veterans who served this country. The latter groups are superior to most law grads. These are average and below average people that will vote and do as they are told because they know they dont have a prayer to make those kind of salaries elsewhere.

      You can tow the political correctness line till you turn blue in the face, i.e. educated people should be happy to earn minimum wage and these guys "who risk their life," and the like (note there is a far less than 1% chance of dying on the job, actually far less than 0.1%) should earn six figures on the backs of oppressed private sector workers.

      Im trying to help young kids see that what they were fed their whole lives is bull shit. Im trying to help them see that by getting an education people like you will take a shit on them, but if they dont get an education, because of jaded and outdated stereotypes held by people like you, there is at least a chance that the politicians will watch their back.

      That is all. So, if you are out there lemmings, be humble and average so you can get the political goodies, dont aspire for something more, lest you be crushed.

      Delete
    8. @9:30,

      The point is to demonstrate the lie. We have been told since childreb these jobs are no good and pay shit. Yet this is not true. Cops, firemen, oil riggers, garbagemen, tradesmen, etc. make more money and live better lives than most attorneys and most educated professionaks period. This has happened because there is an expectation that educated people work for peanuts, whereas blue collar people and teachers should be protected. Whether you believe this should be the way thing should be is material. What is.material is that things are that way.

      People can keep spouting the numbers all day long. If you think the average law grad cant get these jobs, loook at the tests associated witg getting such a job and have a conversation with someone that has a job like that. (Are there exceptions? Sure. Look at the average person on one of those jobs though and make your own decision).

      Even if the numbers tell the whole story, are those odds worse than winning the LS lottery? Is your life ruined if you fail attrying to get a job like that (as it is if something goes wrong in LS)? No to both.

      By showing people that there are real options out there, we can save tons of lives.

      Delete
    9. As a pointy-headed intellectual, I never had a chance of becoming a police officer.

      Hailing as I do from a small town, I never had a chance of becoming a police officer in New York.

      Delete
    10. Stop backtracking. You have been here for months telling everyone that cops and firefighters and all government employees are having some easy, goldplated life right now and it's just NOT TRUE!

      It is anti-union, anti-government BULLSHIT that you've heard from some very right wing sources that want to see government slashed.

      And it's jealousy. I'm sorry that a few years ago when the economy was better that you shunned public service and government jobs because you could earn far more in the private sector, and I'm sorry that the tables have turned. But don't think that because your gamble on the private sector didn't pay off, that government workers should be punished too!

      (Not that they are overpaid right now. Cops and teachers are still underpaid for what they do. Stop with the bullshit "I know five people who are mentally retarded and have GEDs who are now NYPD detectives at age 20 pulling down $250K per year with full retirement at age 25". Most cops earn under $40K, because most cops don't work in NYC.)

      You are falling into the same thinking that led you to believe that Biglaw was a huge employer paying $160K. Don't look at a handful of extreme outliers (i.e. the few NYPD cops who make bank) and claim that all cops must be making bank. Like law, only a few are in Biglaw, and the rest earn nothing.

      And as someone who works in a legal department for a law enforcement agency, I can 100% say that the following is correct:

      - Most SUCCESSFUL applicants are in their late 20s and early 30s. This is because the have degrees AND some former military (yes, even for women!) experience. They are not high school grads in their early 20s. (So yes, cops aren't uneducated fools.) Veterans have preference points that push them to the top of hiring lists. Some agencies are required by law to hire veterans first.

      - Agencies are slashing their budgets and few are expected to be hiring anytime soon because of the "lie" spread by the right that there are too many public service employees and that they are all getting paid too much.

      In the most recent academy class for the large agency I work for, there were over 3000 applications for what ended up being a class of 25. Nobody was hired without a college degree. About two thirds had active military experience, some with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The average age was 26 years, ranging from one guy aged 22, through two guys aged 36 (we don't hire after age 37), with most being in their very late 20s and early 30s.

      And I would trust my life with any of them. Which is more than I can say for the average law student, who is a backstabbing, untrustworthy, feeble, cowardly piece of shit.

      Stop spreading lies and "statistics" that you pluck out of thin air to make yourself look important. It makes you look foolish.

      Delete
    11. @ 11:03 and 11:17 (same person):

      Wow. What an extraordinary cunt you are!

      “I know 5 people that i) didnt finish high school, ii) didnt hold a job until they were in ther mid-20s, iii) have no military experience, etc. and are on the force making 100k plus right now.”

      A lie created to try to prove a point you know nothing about, and which suits your strange right wing agenda. You do not know these people.

      “However, the position that people that get these jobs are superior to most law school or college graduates is laughable. These are not navy seals ot FBI types, nor are most of them veterans who served this country. The latter groups are superior to most law grads. These are average and below average people that will vote and do as they are told because they know they dont have a prayer to make those kind of salaries elsewhere.”

      What an insulting, uninformed opinion you have! I wonder why you’re an unemployed graduate? Perhaps because any person of average intelligence can see through your hatred of others? Perhaps twenty years ago, cops were rather lower in quality when it came to education. But these days, you’d be lucky to get invited to the initial test without a degree, and you’d be unlikely to be hired without far more. And no they’re not all seal or FBI types, but they’re far superior, in general terms, to the slimy, deceptive, risk-averse, cowardly weaklings who shelter themselves in law school!

      “(note there is a far less than 1% chance of dying on the job, actually far less than 0.1%”

      Yes, you cleverly ignore the mental stresses of seeing suicide victims, dealing as a first responder at traffic accidents, seeing abused kids, wives beaten to shit, and having the threat of being attacked, killed even, simply because of what they chose to do for a living. And the physical wear that police work takes on the body, not just from being injured on the job, but from the rotating shifts, night work etc. It wears people down. While you sit behind a desk, with a 0.000% chance of dying on the job, except from a very large papercut.
      “loook at the tests associated witg getting such a job and have a conversation with someone that has a job like that.” (Also, check the death rate in the military - it's similarly low.)

      “loook at the tests associated witg getting such a job and have a conversation with someone that has a job like that.”

      You fucking retard. Yes, you could ace the police test. But that is the first step. You would not get selected because you have no veteran preference points. You would not ace the physical tests, certainly not the psychological. You would not get through rounds and rounds of interviews with senior cops, none of whom would want you in their department. You would not get through a background investigation with flying colors because you made some “mistakes” in your past. You would not get through the training because you prefer to sit behind a computer and insult people. There is far more than a written test to get the job, and your failure to see this demonstrates that you are a K-JD softie whose life thus far has been governed by written tests – SAT, LSAT etc. Sadly in the real world, there is more to getting a job than doing well on a test and having the right numbers on your resume. Perhaps that is why you are unemployed? You expect to have things handed to you based upon a test, rather than based upon who you are as a person?

      Law might be a shithole when it comes to employment opportunities, but the odds of getting into Biglaw these days are actually far higher, by many orders of magnitude, than striking it rich as a cop or firefighter or other public sector worker.

      You’ve been destroyed. I know that it’s embarrassing, and I know that you’ll have the urge to fight back and counter my points with more made up facts. Don’t. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and you’ll just make yourself look more stupid than you already have. Enjoy the fact that you posted anonymously, and that we don’t know who you are, and move along to another subject like a good little boy.

      Delete
    12. Im not advocating the elimination of the public sector, although I havent seen the kind of vitriole and aggressive defense levied against those suggesting that educated professionals make less than minimum wage as I have here defending whats going on in the public sector.

      Very few people have their lives destroyed by trying to get these jobs, which is not the case for many private sector educated professionals, and MOST lawyers. Even if you dont get a job like this, your life doesnt get ruined by trying. Im advocating that more young people try this as an alternative for that reason.

      As to my personal anecdotes, they are true. I know many, many, many people in these jobs that ft these profiles. If it came off that I was insulting them, that is not the case. I am saying that they wound up in a far better place in life with a lot less effort that what many, many educated people have seen. Maybe that makes them smarter. You can say Im making this shit up. You can say that all these guys and gals have fouryear degrees and military experience, etc., but that just isnt the case.

      I meant no offense. If a lemming is reading this, think about what will give you a better life, or at least a not so bad life. No one is going to defend you if you get that JD, but if you dont, see above...

      Delete
    13. ENTITLEMENT TROLL ALERT! ENTITLEMENT TROLL ALERT! WE ARE ENTITLED TO SUCCESS BECAUSE WE PAID FOR OUR JDS ALERT!!!!!

      "Im not advocating the elimination of the public sector, although I havent seen the kind of vitriole and aggressive defense levied against those suggesting that educated professionals make less than minimum wage as I have here defending whats going on in the public sector."

      So let me get that straight, so we're all on the same page. You think that because you're more 'educated' that you should earn more than other people? In other words, your JD entitles you to a higher salary than someone who didn't get those three extra years of schooling?

      I sense the core of the "scam" - too many people believing that the JD should lead to wealth. How dare a mere cop earn more than a lawyer! (Ignoring the fact that most cops could walk through a JD curriculum...)

      "Very few people have their lives destroyed by trying to get these jobs, which is not the case for many private sector educated professionals, and MOST lawyers. Even if you dont get a job like this, your life doesnt get ruined by trying. Im advocating that more young people try this as an alternative for that reason."

      So go be a cop. Stop complaining that others have it better than you when you CHOSE law school. Nobody forced you into law school. Nobody forced anyone to be a cop. Sometimes, life deals us a good hand, sometimes a shitty hand. But we need to recognize that, rather than turn to internet trolling to complain that life isn't fair!

      "As to my personal anecdotes, they are true."

      Ok. Well I work with hundreds of cops, and they are all very well educated, very hard working, and very dedicated. So that trumps your bullshit lie that you know five cops who are dummies.

      "I know many, many, many people in these jobs that ft these profiles."

      And I have many leatherbound books, and my house smells of rich mahogany, or whatever the fucking Anchorman quote is.

      "If it came off that I was insulting them, that is not the case."

      No, you come across as insulting US - the countless people who have decided that their JDs are useless, and who have gone on with their lives in regular, shitty little jobs like those you sneer at.

      "I am saying that they wound up in a far better place in life with a lot less effort that what many, many educated people have seen. Maybe that makes them smarter."

      And good for them. Sometimes, luck is a huge part of life. They made their choice, you made yours. Deal with it. Don't try to destroy their lives because your own didn't turn out right.

      "You can say Im making this shit up. You can say that all these guys and gals have fouryear degrees and military experience, etc., but that just isnt the case."

      You fucking retarded clown cunt licker. Do you not know that I am an attorney for one of the largest police departments in the country? I know hundreds of cops to your five fictional friends. Am I a liar? Do you have no fucking idea how stupid you sound? How fucking wrong you are? How your fucking dumb cunt friends are NOT GOOD EXAMPLES of the competitive nature of police recruiting?

      "I meant no offense."

      Yes, you did.

      "If a lemming is reading this, think about what will give you a better life, or at least a not so bad life. No one is going to defend you if you get that JD, but if you dont, see above..."

      On that we agree - a JD is a shitty bargain. But just because you failed, doesn't mean you have to destroy everything in a fit of rage.

      What a piece of shit...

      Delete
    14. "(Ignoring the fact that most cops could walk through a JD curriculum...)"


      Now that's funny raht there - I don' care who y'are!

      Delete
    15. Right, good for them. Thats why I am advising kids to try to get jobs like this over going to school. I dont believe what you say with regards to the profile of most people who get these jobs is that of an educated veteran. If the majority of people that get these jobs are veterans, then that is a very equitable result considering what veterans risked for this country, especially if we are talking about educated veterans. Perhaps I am wrong, do you have stats to back up your claim? Also, from what I have seen, a very large number of these people cannot finish a BA in basketweeving, let alone graduate from LS with anything resembling a decent outcom, i.e. pass the bar.

      I will certainly agree that people that become cops have EXCELLENT moral backgrounds. Most of the people I know who got those jobs, did not, as you say, even have a traffic ticket.

      Based on this, I believe people with above average work ethics, intellect, and clean background are much better suited pursuing these options over law. Moreover, even if you are right, what happens if you try to become a
      cop and fail? Nothing. But if you try to go to LS and fail, you are fucked.

      I believe, again, many, many people who can do decently in school can get these jobs. I dont believe what you say, but I could be wrong (Im also not a politician that has to bend the knee though).

      I dont see whats wrong with this view. Whether I am right or you are right, the outcome is the same: people are better suitedtrying to get these jobs, rather than going to school.

      Now, as to the entitlement mentality, it seems to me thatsuch a criticism is more appropriately levied at a groups that are demanding more and more money from a beleagured private sector. I also find it amusing that people that faare part of these groups, are so very quick to call others entitled for wanting to make a decent living and/or wanting a modicum of the same kind of political protection they receive. This double standard, while temporarily beneficial, is difficult to maintain. Convincing people that are getting hammered that you should be protected from that by taking more of their already diminished income to secure that protection, while telling them they are entitled, is a tough thing to do. I see this attitude levied by the public sector against all sorts of professionals, not just lawyers, and business owners, while at the same time they foam at the mouth that they should not have to deal with the problems people in tbe private sector are dealing with. Usually they win, sometimes they lose.

      Whatever happens, despite this disgusting mentality, I feel this country is headed down such a bad road, that no matter how bad things get for those in the public sector, and whatever bad means, young kids are still better suited at trying to get those jobs than doing anything else. I think you probably agree as well, despite the vitriole youve spouted.

      Delete
  32. alcoholism.....

    http://www.americanlawyer.com/PubArticleFriendlyALD.jsp?id=1202579403595

    ReplyDelete
  33. Isn't really sad that this is what the profession of law has to offer? Even if you do make it, you will most likely be so damaged, disgusted, depressed or jaded to even enjoy any bounties. Many child performers suffered from the same issues...one who comes to mind is Michael Jackson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The people I work with seem to enjoy life just fine.

      Delete
  34. I feel for the man/lady who sent the email. i've been there and it sucks. i bailed out. i hope this person finds a way out.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you, OP. Your story is similar to my own. Looking back, I could have been happy with other careers. But, I believed that law would provide me with an intellectually stimulating job and the economic stability to buy a house, raise a family and take a vacation once in awhile. Fast forward 8 years-- I don't have a house, a family or health insurance and my last real vacation was during my 2L year. I am smart and hard working but feel like a complete failure. I can't get out from underneath my huge debt burden. The stress from which has caused major health problems that I cannot successfully treat because of my lack of insurance. However, all these issues are fixable. The real costs for me include feelings of hopelessness, bitterness over my failed American dream and a complete distrust of higher education.

    ReplyDelete
  36. There is a thread on TLS that reminded me of the lessons learned in the OP and how we need to work to get the message out.

    A person posted who is in the bottom quarter of their T2 who wants to know if they should drop out. They aren't taking on debt, but their parents are investing money into this enterprise, no word on how wealthy the parents are. The question: if you take a job making $40,00 a year, will things get better or are you screwed for life because of bad grades?

    So the 0Ls answer this post with stuff like:
    if you are ok with a job making 40,000 or so to start you will be fine. After a few years people don't care about grades.

    (not kidding.)

    Nowhere does the forum mention that the poster would be lucky to get and keep a job practicing law with those credentials. The idea still exists that a 40,000 job is the bottom. And, no one discusses the quality of that $40,000 job.

    ( Though, to be fair to TLS, several people do recommend dropping out, so not everyone is delusional. )

    I just don't understand why even on a forum like TLS where people are starting to get the news about employment reality, that not everyone knows the score. If you add in all the people who get terrible advice from their families, friends and pre-law advisors, we still have a long way to go to get this message out.

    The poster does mention a back up of taking the CPA exam. I hope he or she decides to drop out now, save the rest of their parents' money and become a CPA.

    http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=198942&p=6115408#p6115408

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, this person has rich parents. Even if she had a full scholarship (unlikely if she's in the bottom quarter of the class), her parents must have a lot of money in order to cover the rest of her costs (notably living expenses).

      Will she get a job? Maybe. Several nincompoops in the bottom third or so of the class at my law school have been hired by white-shoe law firms. Those wealthy parents of hers may well know the right people.

      I wouldn't want this person as a CPA, still less as a lawyer.

      Delete
    2. I don't know how wealthy the parents are - the poster says in a later post that he or she has a lot of undergrad debt.

      The point is that that TLS poster should without question drop out now. There is no reason to continue in law. What I don't understand is why so few people actually see that, several people are telling this poster to stay in school. If the poster really could do something else, they are well advised to get out of law school now, before they waste more money and time.

      Delete
    3. Unwarranted Ass-umptionsNovember 28, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      "First of all, this person has rich parents. Even if she had a full scholarship (unlikely if she's in the bottom quarter of the class), her parents must have a lot of money in order to cover the rest of her costs (notably living expenses)."


      That's a kind of stupid statement. You know nothing other than they're covering LS expense.

      They could be re-mortgaging their house, or mortgaging their retirements in the "hope" of giving Junior a "chance at success" (barf, yeah).

      Delete
    4. If they have enough money to cover an adventure that can easily cost the equivalent of a respectable full-time salary before taxes while also supporting themselves, they're wealthy. I don't care whether the source of the money be current income or assets.

      Delete
    5. Of course I'm not jealous. I'm making points that should be obvious to anyone not bent on unreasonably imputing jealousy.

      Delete
    6. Your imputation of the label "wealthy" or "rich" to someone able to suck 100K or so out by re-mortgaging their house or draining their 401(k) account is pretty ludicrous.

      Of course you're jealous.

      Just admit it. You'll feel better.

      Delete
    7. The problem is that 'wealthy' is undefined, as it usually is, in these conversations. Is some middle-class schlub pulling out all his net worth to pay for his kid's college wealthy? Compared to the median person in Chad, sure. Compared to Barack Obama, no way.

      Delete
    8. They're not doing themselves out of a house in order to pay for this D– poster child's law school. Even if they're borrowing against the equity in their house, they have the means to pay that loan back on top of all of their other expenses. That makes them wealthy.

      Delete
    9. Income =/= wealth. High income + low wealth (i.e., mortgaged house) means a job loss destroys one's lifestyle. High wealth + low income means job loss has very little impact on lifestyle. Totally different experiences (you see this in voting patterns, BTW).

      For example, Warren Buffet can easily afford to pay sticker for his kids to go to law school, because he has high wealth. This is true even if Warren earns zero dollars next year. Our example middle-class Joe, on the other hand, most likely cannot really afford it, as a layoff (and subsequent foreclosure) will immediately make obvious.

      Delete
  37. I was never a law student, though there is one lawyer in my family who has hung up his shingle and has had a rough few years. He did okay before then. My perception of law schools, before the topic was covered in the New York Times and Washington Monthly, came mostly from movies.

    The Times has decided to post an article written by a law school dean about the value of law school. He mentions blogs like this one, with his argument being law school is worth the money. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/opinion/law-school-is-worth-the-money.html?hp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "To take the most recent low before this era, in 1998, 55 percent of law graduates started in law firms. In 2011, that number was 50 percent. A 9 percent decline from a previous low during the worst economic conditions in decades hardly seems catastrophic. And this statistic ignores the other jobs lawyers do."

      How many of those graduates in 1998 instead went into government jobs, academic jobs, or other positions that have since become rare?

      How much did law school cost in 1998? How much debt did graduates have?

      Which other jobs do lawyers do, exactly, when they're fresh out of law school? Dispensing coffee into paper cups?

      "Even so, the focus on first jobs is misplaced. We educate students for a career likely to span 40 to 50 years."

      Shopworn canard. If you can't even get an entry-level job, forget a forty-year career.

      "Moreover, the career for which we educate students, done through the medium of the law, is a career in leadership and creative problem solving."

      Oh, yes, there are so many openings for leaders and creative problem-solvers. And so little competition.

      "Looking purely at the economics, in 2011, the median starting salary for practicing lawyers was $61,500;"

      So what? Those are the people that do have jobs in law. We're talking about the large numbers that don't. Also, the data above include only the survivors, not the many people who abandon the practice of law.

      "The average student at a private law school graduates with $125,000 in debt. But the average lawyer’s annual salary exceeds that number."

      Irrelevant comparison. The average lawyer is a success in law. The average lawyer isn't right out of law school. And few people right out of law school will make that kind of money immediately, or even at any point while they're saddled with that monstrous debt.

      What is the salary of the average new law graduate with the average debt?

      "Investment in tuition is for a lifelong career, not a first job."

      A career without a first job is illusory.

      "Creative, innovative and entrepreneurial lawyers will find ways to capitalize on this."

      In other words, if you can't find a job, you're just not creative, innovative, or entrepreneurial enough. It's your fault.

      Delete
    2. http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=198984

      Please respond law prof and call him out on his lies. Also, the timing with this OP in this thread is a perfect time to bring up the additional cost of law school and practice.

      That Dean just wants to keep his job and keep the money rolling in. I bet he doesn't even know the actual average debt of students at his school or the employment rate. Case western law schoo actually drags down the reputation of case western as a whole.

      Delete
    3. That guy can go straight to the head of the line of lying liars who lie.

      Delete
    4. Can't wait for LawProf's takedown of the Case Western dean. What a ridiculous bunch of bullshit!

      Delete
    5. I hate too that he is playing the shame game with his law grads. If you read the OP you can see how much of that shame is internalized. And how harmful that is to anyone.

      We must fight this by reminding people that they have nothing to be ashamed of and that they have been scanned by a con that has lasted for decades.

      Delete
    6. To continue my earlier message (8:52), how exactly are the students of Case Western faring? How many of them start with annual salaries that exceed $125k—or for that matter ever reach that level (in constant dollars)?

      And why is The New York Times publishing free advertisements for the law-school industry?

      Delete
    7. Here ya go. 46% employed in JD-required jobs, about 32% starting in law firms.

      Why is NYT permitting this blatant advertising and also not permitting any comments? Or has NYT turned off it's comments feature? (Haven't been a subscriber in a while.)

      http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=casewestern&show=ABA

      Delete
    8. Anyone else think it is inappropriate for a Dean to single out an applicant in the New York flipping Times?

      Delete
    9. I bet that what she actually told him was that borrowing that sort of money to attend Case Western didn't make sense. And she was quite right. Attending Case Western free of charge probably doesn't make sense.

      Also, I doubt very much whether attendance would have meant borrowing only $5k per year. Does he mean that Case Western was proposing to pay the bulk of her living expenses?

      Let's face it: they were whoring after her because her LSAT score was about the highest that they could hope to get, and they're bitter because she wouldn't sell out to them.

      Delete
  38. RE: the stress of the law profession---

    Everyone feels stress about their job. Everyone fears un/under-employment. Everyone worries whether their employer will let them go.

    This is a function of capitalism. How else could a cut-throat, self-interested, competition-based system make people feel? It's abusive and painful.

    But it's the 21st century, and the labor-for-income model is dying. Too many people for too few jobs; such a system is unsustainable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not everyone has borrowed 6 figures of non-dischargeable debt and not everyone has been seduced by decades of false employment figures to take on that debt.

      Why are people still going to New York Law School? One of the biggest scams and charges as much as Harvard. Because they are buying into the lie that law is the way into money and job security. That lie is what got people to borrow their way into a miserable life.

      Delete
    2. They don't even think about the cost. Probably most of them would still attend if it cost twice as much. After all, if it's that expensive, it has to be good. Besides, it's not real money; it's just a few signatures on a few forms. What matters is that I got into New York Awful. That shows how great I am. Just think of all the schmucks who did not get in!

      Delete
  39. I graduated in the top third of a very good law school. I busted my butt and hung a shingle because there were no jobs in the late 80s. I'm a very good attorney. Since the Great Recession, I have closed my office, filed bankruptcy and now my house is in foreclosure. So there you go.

    ReplyDelete
  40. On Dean Mitchell's NYT opinion piece linked above (see 8:36 pm) -

    Why doesn't the NYT permit comments for this article? I comment on NYT articles all the time, but for this one (unless I'm missing something), there's no comment feature.

    Why are they coddling him?

    Here's a great little nugget: "historical perspective will reveal that the law job market has been bad — very bad — before. To take the most recent low before this era, in 1998, 55 percent of law graduates started in law firms."

    Taking the Dean's assertion above as true (not going to bother to try to verify or not, as it doesn't matter):
    - WHY DIDN'T THE DEAN POINT OUT THAT CW 2011 GRADS ONLY HAD 31% STARTING IN LAW FIRMS?

    Wouldn't his readers have liked to have such a nugget as that for comparison?


    How about this little gem? "in 2011, the median starting salary for practicing lawyers was $61,500"
    - Oh Goodie - what about the other 50% of 2011 grads WHO CAN'T GET A JOB AS A PRACTICING LAWYER? (Unfortunately, that little sleight of hand will bypass most uninformed readers.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Median = highest person plus lowest person divided by two.

      Delete
    2. 10:49, you appear to have missed the point.

      The half of 2011 new lawyers who didn't get jobs as "practicing lawyers" are NOT practicing lawyers.

      Get it?

      That means their retail salaries are not included, at all, in a calculation of median salary "for practicing lawyers".

      Get it now?

      /handholding

      Delete
    3. Notice the deceptive presentation of their data on employment:

      http://law.case.edu/CareerServices/ProspectiveStudents/EmploymentStatistics2011.aspx

      For example, they list percentages "[f]or graduates known to be employed". It would be more reasonable to show percentages of the whole graduating class—and include a category entitled "Unemployed".

      Similarly, the data on salaries are "for 49% of employed graduates". It would be more appropriate to include all graduates for whom data were available. In particular, the unemployed ones would be counted as earning $0. And that would drive down all figures but the maximum (which probably represents one or two rich kids whose daddies pulled strings at a white-shoe law firm).

      I'm assuming here, arguendo, that the data are accurate. If (as I suspect) that isn't the case, then the outcomes are even worse than these deceptively presented data suggest.

      Also, 10:49 above is wrong about the definition of median. The median is the central figure (average of the two most central figures if the number of items is even) in a list sorted from lowest to highest. If the data are 0, 1, and 100, the median is 1, not 50.

      Delete
  41. Dean Mitchell: "the career for which we educate students, ... is a career in leadership and creative problem solving."

    Oh Yeah! We musta fergits, Deanie - itsa ver-see-tyle degree!

    ReplyDelete
  42. "the law job market has been bad — very bad — before. To take the most recent low before this era, in 1998, 55 percent of law graduates started in law firms. In 2011, that number was 50 percent. "

    I have a different critique of this statement.

    I just ran the ABA's numbers for 2011. If you count all full-time long-term law firm jobs, you get 14627 of 43979 grads for 33%.

    If you count all full-time, part-time, short-term, and long-term law firm jobs all together, you get 16364 of 43979 grads for a bit over 37%.

    So where does Mitchell get his 50% number that are supposedly employed in "law firms"?

    And did the 1998 numbers include such a substantial amount of part-time and short-term firm jobs? (What are those, anyway?)

    I just can not believe this is not an apples-oranges comparison.

    If only about 54% of 2011 got jobs requiring JD at all (and these include for ABA purposes all law clerks and a fair number of the reported government jobs), then there's simply no way it's correct to say 50% of 2011 grads got law firm jobs.

    ReplyDelete
  43. From the linked thread above:

    "Case Western, by the numbers:

    Tuition (3 years): $127,692
    USNWR Rank: #67

    Not Working: 13%
    Working Part-Time: 19.4%
    Working at a Firm (2-10 attorneys): 15.9%

    Salary - 25% (all employed): $46,500

    That's a whole lot of shitty outcomes right there. The not working, part-time, and shitlaw adds up to almost half of all grads."

    ReplyDelete
  44. "Why doesn't the NYT permit comments for this article? ... Why are they coddling him?"

    It's an op-ed, standard procedure: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/opinion/index.html

    I was dissapointed, too. Got all excited reading it, and then I got to the bottom and ... nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  45. 80s geezer grad here. One statement by yhe Dean of Case Westtern makes his whole op-ed suspect--1998 was a boom year for the economy-the economy, including the legal business, was not in the doldrums.

    ReplyDelete
  46. 1997 grad here. 1997 and 1998 were very good years for attorneys. we hired an attorney from a tier 3 school who graduated near the bottom of his class and paid him about 100k to start at our 50 attorney botique firm.

    no way someone like that would even get an interview today.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Just to put it differently, the business model law schools are selling does not work. The demand is not there for people who do not actually get law jobs. No amount of solo practice incubator or practice readiness will change the lack of demand. To go into a practice where you will be unlikely to make a living is a lot like banging your head against the wall.

    The second point is that this is purely a function of lawyer overpopulation. A right sized population of lawyers could on the whole hang out shingles and make a living.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Fuck Dean Mitchell and his lies!!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I just read the NYT op-ed and that is some good magic math going on there...since the average salary for lawyers is more than then the average debt load, it's all fine. What a crock. Try paying back six figure, non-discahrageble, non-renegotiable debt on a $40-50k/year salary Dean Mitchell. I think of all the attorneys I actually know, only a handful were breaking the 6 figure barrier on salary, and of that handful, the attorneys went to law schools in the T-14, of which CWR is not. Can someone please tell Dean Mitchell that those Bureau of Labor stats are not reflective of the whole "law practice" profession. Is anyone sick and tired of law schools focusing so much on BigLaw and seeming to use those salaries as some sort of strange justification for 6 figures of tuition and COL in order to study mental gymnastics?

    ReplyDelete
  50. To the 3L above who is suicidal. You should have known this would happen. It is your own damn fault. Were you too busy working to pay for law school to research whether it was a good idea to start law school in 2010 in the first place? If you had researched it properly, you would have known that the likelihood of a bad employment outcome was substantial, even from a good school with good grades.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for being so considerate as to compound a suicidal person's problems by blaming her. No doubt you have a fine career in helping people.

      Delete
    2. 7:50 is so arrogant, he must be trolling.

      Delete
    3. Anyone who started law school in 2010 is a fucking idiot. The victims of the scam are those who went to LS from 2000 to 2007, before the news of misleading stats broke.

      2010 (the class of 2013) is waaaaaayyyy to late to be claiming that they didn't have any idea what was going on.

      So fuck you and your "if I cry 'troll' then the facts will go away" bullshit.

      Delete
    4. I'm Scammier Than Thou!November 29, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      9:59, get a grip. The misinformation campaign in 2009-2010 was just as free flowing as in 2007, or 2005.

      And who, exactly, was decrying the "law school scam" in 2009 (relevant to the person who started in 2010)?

      That's right. Nut jobs like Freaky Fernando and his Filthy Festering Commoditorium, and JDPainterguy.

      So I frankly don't shive a git that you feel like you've been "scammed harder" because you were scammed earlier.


      Heck, even today, the misinformation superhighway keeps driving along. What is a starry-eyed 0L to do - believe the 3 LawProf's who say it's a bad deal? Or believe all of the other law profs and law school deans who uniformly say that people like Campos/Merritt are just over-acting alarmists?

      Delete
    5. The internet has been pretty widely available since the year 2,000. You would think that anyone who is about to drop a huge sum of money on law school would do the diligence.

      In 2009, Abovethelaw covered BigLaw layoffs blow by blow. There was even a layoff tracker. Unemployment among lawyers was widely publicized.

      In 2001 - 2004, there was a recession, the press covered lawyer layoffs and unemployed lawyers. The topic was easily searchable on the internet.

      It should be apparent to a law student before investing in third year whether or not he or she had a paying summer job after second year that was likely to lead to a post-law school offer. Such a job is an important step to getting a legal job in a bad job market.

      0Ls need to be realistic. The legal profession is filled with superstars. Superstars were high school valedictorians, class presidents, got scholarships to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, were Rhodes or Fulbright scholars and son.

      Superstars get paying offers for summer jobs that generally lead to post-graduation jobs after their second year of law school and get interviews for federal clerkships, which are filled no later than mid-December. Everyone else is not a superstar, and is rolling the dice for an entry level job in an awful legal job market.

      Delete
    6. The truth is that the average income of graduates of the top colleges in the U.S. is not much less than the average for law school grads. In other words, if you went to a top college you may not increase your income much in the long term by going to law school.

      That being said, why anyone who had a reasonably successful 18 year career would want to commit suicide over not getting a legal job - it is not rational. If the person had a good college record, the missed opportunities from not getting a legal job may not be much in terms of job satisfaction or income.

      Delete
  51. Maybe law school deans are better lawyers than I thought. They massage data and employ sales pitches and editorials in the NYT to get students (and their federal dollars) in the door. When the students then sue them for fraud, they defend by saying that everyone knows law is a bad deal and that you should have known that coming in. Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least the published article can be cited against them in future lawsuits.

      Delete
    2. ^^^
      Nope. An Op-Ed by definition is an Opinion, not a statement of fact.

      That means (to that Dean, apparently) that he was entitled to lie like a rug throughout his Op-Ed. But you just know that any judge in Ohio will say, "oh, it's just his opinion, no rational prospective law school student, sophisticated as they are, would reasonably have relied upon Dean Mitchell's lies (oops- read, "opinion")".

      Delete
  52. This blog, other blogs, and LST have done--and are doing--a great job picking apart the stats from law schools regarding salary/employment outcomes for recent graduates. But we keep hearing about "average" salaries for practicing attorneys. Where does that info come from? IRS/tax returns? Self report (which is just as subject to selection bias and exaggeration as stats about recent graduates)?

    And of course, as others noted, this doesnt even address the 50%+ of JDs who end up dropping out of law practice, or never get there to begin with.

    I suspect the "average" income figures for experienced lawyers, quoted by law school shills, is just as misleading as the figures for recent grads. I know a number of lawyers making six figures, but the majority appear to be making mid to upper five figures. Can anyone shed some light on this?

    ReplyDelete
  53. 8:36 here. A few people asked why NYT was coddling the law school dean by not allowing comments. I'm a daily Times reader who learned about what was going on with law schools from the NYT. I've observed that outside opinion writers do not allow for comments (nor do hard news stories). Comments are reserved for staff and contributing writers. Also, to be fair to NYT, there have been numerous investigative articles and columns exposing the "law school scam," starting as early as 2009. This is the first pro law school piece I've read in the NYT. The dean's arguments sounded ridiculously flimsy.

    ReplyDelete
  54. If I was trying to get into law school today, I would probably not make it.
    I went a long time ago,
    People today face daunting odds to get into law school, good ones.
    Then, they face the insult of being called 3rd tier trash if don't get into an Ivy League school, or in some top 20 tier. Then, I read the emails on the above, and it is staggering. Most of the top law(IVY) schools spin out lawyers, who stack the decks, for corporations against ordinary citizens.
    Most litigation is on motion practice to keep cases from advancing in court. Only about 2 % of civil cases in federal court ever go to a trial.
    A large percent are motioned out on assorted procedural grounds.
    But, don't law schools claim, they teach people to think better....?
    When I went to law school, it was to stay out of Viet NAM.
    I suspect that many of the people expressing they candid views are far smarter than me. Back in the 70's it was far easier to get a job, than today. I wish you all good luck, what ever road lies ahead , 2013 and beyond,








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