Thursday, February 21, 2013

An apology

DJM's new post below has alerted me to a very serious mistake in my post yesterday, in which I criticized two law school deans for touting, without any statistical basis, the purported versatility of JD degrees:

Something that would be even more interesting to know is the extent to which arguments that a JD is or at least was "versatile" have any basis in reality, since as even Smith acknowledges there's simply no longitudinal data on this  issue.

I've just discovered NALP has done a careful and comprehensive study of this issue, and is in the process of publishing its findings:

It turns out that the JD degree prepares you for a variety of exciting jobs and careers. While many law school graduates go on to practice law, many others go on to play leadership roles in a variety of settings. Many law school graduates obtain positions for which Bar Passage, or even a JD, is not required, but their legal training is deemed to be an advantage or even necessary in the workplace. As the saying goes "you can do almost anything with a law degree!"

You will see that JD Advantage positions are jobs that do not require bar passage, an active law license, or involve practicing law in the traditional sense. However, in these positions, a JD provides an advantage in obtaining or performing the job. In fact, many graduates view entry-level opportunities with the federal government or in business/industry as a primary goal. For every law firm, public sector, or in-house legal position, there is an equally important law-related position for which a JD is a significant competitive advantage. (emphasis added)
It's hard to overstate the significance of this finding, since the federal government currently estimates that the economy is generating 21,700 new jobs for attorneys per year, which is slightly less than half the number of people graduating from ABA law schools.  In other words, NALP's research has discovered that the combined total of new annual jobs that require bar admission, and those new professional positions for which a JD provides a significant competitive advantage is or should be close to providing full employment in appropriate positions for new law graduates.

NALP's announcement is especially encouraging, in that the individual profiles it uses to put faces on this longitudinal study, which are no doubt representative of the underlying data, indicate that these "JD Advantage" jobs are especially advantageous to minorities, women, graduates of low-ranked law schools, and minority women graduates of low-ranked law schools. This finding makes me especially embarrassed that I asserted in yesterday's post that law school promotional efforts are intentionally targeting members of traditionally under-represented groups, who are especially vulnerable to suffering long-term damage from what I (mistakenly it turns out) characterized as the poor state of the employment market for new law graduates.

I will post much more about this as soon as I have a chance to analyze the study itself, which does not appear to be linked on NALP's web page announcing these extraordinarily important conclusions.  In any case, it appears this entire blog has been based on a serious misapprehension, and apologies are in order to a great many people within legal academia who have been arguing that a law degree remains an excellent long term investment for almost everyone who acquires one.

See also (h/t commenter)



212 comments:

  1. Hehehe.

    Campos admits his errors after all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarcasm is often lost .

      Delete
  2. Dang, you had me for a moment there.

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  3. Ok, Campos, you got me. At first, I was like "What what whaaa-t? How did I miss this? What planet have I been living on?"

    One thing is for certain - even for a cracker-whitey low-ranked graduate like me, that fears the sun like a Law School Dean fears drops in enrollment, there is no such thing as "JD Advantage." Trust me, I know.

    The smoke-and-mirrors continues...

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  4. But what do these JD Advantage jobs pay, and is it enough to service law school debt?

    Oh wait, most of the lawyer jobs don't even pay enough to service the debt...

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  5. Is Professor Campos joking, inasmuch as there seems to be no real "study" to evaluate, and the claim that "[f]or every law firm, public sector, or in-house legal position, there is an equally important law-related position for which a JD is a significant competitive advantage" is nothing more than an unsupported supposition?

    If so, I don't think I would have posted in this manner, as it does seem to suggest that no reform is necessary.

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  6. Feeling a little snarky today, eh?

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  7. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

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  8. Damn, until the last two paragraphs I thought this was serious.

    Well played, LawProf.

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    Replies
    1. Me too... thought LP was having his Kimber moment.

      Whew!

      Delete
  9. Huh well there is something to chew on. Here I was looking forward to another searing indictment of everything wrong with legal education and instead I need to read the Professor's profuse apologies. I guess I need to move on and.......WAIT A SEC.

    I C WUT U DID THAR.

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  10. Can I hand this "study" to Catbert, the evil HR director when I apply for a non-legal job? Will it be impressed?

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  11. LawProf just can't apologize enough!

    It's a Golden Employment Era for law school graduates!

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    1. It's a Golden Shower Employment Era for most law school graduates.

      Guess who are the one's on the receiving end of the yellow discipline stream?

      Delete
  12. You should have saved this post for April 1. Here's your JD advantage:

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/lgl/3601269548.html

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  13. One industry that really needs law school expertise in their practitioners is exotic dancing, especially the entertainers that travel from venue to venue where the local laws can vary widely on how much of what can be shown.

    And not only can attractive straight women take advantage of this need, in brave new America there is growing opportunity for legal advice to LGBT dancers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A strip club featuring only recent law school graduates is indeed an interesting marketing concept.

      The only problem is that the patrons would worry that the strippers would sue them if they don't tip enough...

      Delete
    2. Probably better to have law graduates as the dancers than as the patrons: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/02/miami-dade_prosecutor_loses_jo.php

      Delete
    3. Think of the possibilities, you could have "ACC Night", "SEC Night"' " Big Ten Night", and "Ivy League Night" - the last for the LGBT crowd, of course.

      Delete
    4. Someone please start writing a script for this show.

      Delete
    5. True story: I know a JD who got to arbitrate a dispute between a stripper and a regular patron of the strip club, regarding a dispute whether the transfer of certain assets from the patron to the stripper constituted a gift or a loan.

      Kids! Go to law school, and then you can join the burgeoning field of strip club law!

      Delete
    6. Funny, I know a 2011 graduate of Western New England law who will be making her fourth attempt at the bar exam next week. IMHO she hasn't got any more brains than what God gave dirt, but she is hawt and I was thinking that her smartest move would be to get a gig at a high-end gentlemen's club where the tips tend to be big. She will do a lot better killing a mountain of student loan debt doing that than she will trying to explain why her bar admission was two or more years post-graduation. Cash in now, before your boobs start sagging and before King Cellulite rears his terrible head.

      Delete
    7. One could argue that having a law degree might help in becoming a high-end escort, by making you a more educated and proficient conversationalist.

      After all, someone has to service the Eliot Spitzers of this world...

      On the other hand, a degree in art history would probably do just as well, and be a lot cheaper.

      Delete
    8. I had two friends in law school who made money off of a "seeking arrangements" website. It is an entire online dating market where older, wealthier individuals befriend students for "companionship" and in return help the students financially. The two people I knew who did this were typical law students at respectable Boston area law schools. I think they were just really desperate, and it was sad to watch them sink that low.

      Delete
    9. "it was sad to watch them sink that low."

      True, but it is the law school deans who are the biggest pimps and prostitutes of all.

      Delete
  14. That NALP testimonial page is on par with simply listing famous and infamous people throughout history (starting or concluding with our current President, of course)who happened to have attended law school, and then claiming that "a law school graduate can do almost anything with their degree."

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    1. Right up there with this: "In the coming decade there will be a vast assortment of new jobs available to those with law degrees including, he predicts: the legal knowledge engineer, legal technologist, legal hybrid, legal process analyst, legal project manager, online dispute resolution practitioner, legal management consultant, and legal risk manager."

      From "Book Review: Tomorrow's Lawyers — An Introduction to Your Future"

      http://www.law.com/jsp/lawtechnologynews/PubArticleFriendlyLTN.jsp?id=1202588261328&slreturn=20130121133838

      Delete
  15. "Let them revel in the advantages of versatility!"

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  16. As if the pigs make any effort to track graduating classes, after nine months. Since no one produces longitudinal data, the law school swine can say whatever they want, i.e. "Law degrees are highly versatile" "One can do anything with a JD" and "Those who don't go into law still land rewarding careers."

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  17. Tears pour down my face, as I think of all the wonderful, public-spirited people working for NALP, tirelessly working on behalf of all the confused liberal-arts graduates of America, by pointing out the wonderful opportunities open to them by going to law school!

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  18. one of my female friends in law school was a stripper while in law school. so I am not sure is being a stripper is a jd advantage job

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  19. I am pretty sure the pathetic guy trying to sell my firm westlaw would be a jd advantaged job.

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  20. The tagline on the NALP videos state: “It is true what they say. . . You can do anything with a law degree.” (the word "anything" is in bold type). From the featured speakers, “anything” includes being a spokesperson for a congressman, being a lobbyist, being a “human resources generalist,” and getting a two-year Presidential Leadership fellowship to work in a federal government agency. Of course, you can do these things without a JD, but the JD provides some unquantifiable “competitive advantage.”

    And I think there is such an advantage. Scamming is a valued skill in the USA, circa 2013, and a student’s exposure to three years of expensive scamming is bound to provide him or her with some scamming abilities. The featured young professions, for instance, use the words “leadership” or “communication” and “managerial,” “innovation,” and “liason” in virtually every sentence. Now, anyone can be a scammer, but maybe law school can provide that special competitive scammer’s edge.

    dybbuk

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    1. As long as they "think outside the box" and find someone to "partner with" in whatever "exciting initiative" it is.

      Delete
  21. As a current Presidential Management Fellow, I am somewhat angry that two of my cohort decided to join the NALP propaganda campaign. The PMF program had about 10000 applicants last year from soon-to-be graduates of graduate school programs. Some, perhaps many were law students, but not all. Ultimately, ~600 were selected. These are terrible, terrible odds for a law student. And yet the NALP posts PMF stories as if they are something tangible for law students to achieve when they are really just yet another extremely competitive non-legal gig. Many of these students could have gotten into the PMF program without a JD, saved a year of school, and just gotten an MPP or MPA.

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    1. This is absolutely correct. I went to work for Uncle Sam as a PMF with a JD several years ago. In recent years, I have been asked to assist with screening/interviewing candidates. The number of applicants has exploded in recent years and the bulk of the increase seems to be in JD applicants. This has actually led to some calls to exclude JDs from the program, which was originally designed for MPA/MPP grads. Probably fewer than half of PMFs hire (i.e., less than 300) are JDs in any given year.

      An insignificant percentage of JD graduates get PMF positions. And those that do generally could have gotten their position with another graduate degree and saved a year of educational expenses.

      Delete
  22. Stripper is a JD- Advantage job:

    http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/09/13/7730301-lawyer-turns-topless-dancer-to-pay-the-bills?lite

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You didn't include the best quote from the article:

      "Carla agreed to talk about her experience in part because she said it has been profound – in one sense, the job is less hostile than any law office she’s worked in, she said. Coming from the cutthroat legal profession, she has been stunned by the camaraderie among the women she works with."

      At least stripping has a better work environment than working in a law office!

      Delete
  23. Law Prof,

    22,000 annual non-law jobs for which employers would look at a JD as an Advantage strikes me as about right. Many government jobs (recording deeds, recording and vacating judgments) come to mind. Claims reps for insurance companies. Westlaw sales, etc.

    There are two problems with NALP's touting. First, I'd imagine that the JD-Disadvantaged jobs dwarf the JD-Advantaged jobs. Many white collar positions, sales positions, blue collar positions, no collar positions (e.g. stripper), likely look at the JD holder as a departure risk or an unemployable loser.

    Second, price and return appear no where in NALP's disclosure. What do these JD-Advantaged jobs pay? And does that remuneration come anywhere near enough to warrant a six figure and three year investment in education that closes more doors than it opens?

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  24. 34th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  25. I find it really sinister that the amount of JD jobs plus the amount of JD-advantage jobs seems to equal almost FULL JD Employment.

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  26. Classic LawProf burn...

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  27. Thanks very interesting blog!

    Check out my website ... augmenter vues youtube logiciel
    my page > achat vues youtube

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fuck off, Diamond.

      Delete
    2. Nah. That one was Leiter.

      Delete
    3. Eff you Leiter.

      Delete
  28. Glad to see that the unemployment and retail employment that my friends and I have experienced has only been a figment of our imaginations. When can we wake up from this nightmare?

    In fact, since NALP asserts that there are so many non-legal jobs available for graduates, my question is, where can I get one? I mean, really, where? I have been applying for the last 7 months to every non-legal job you can think of - yes, even to those wonderful federal jobs that NALP asserts considers the JD an advantage - and I have yet to get one interview...

    "For every law firm, public sector, or in-house legal position, there is an equally important law-related position for which a JD is a significant competitive advantage."

    Oh God, show me where! Show me! I am sincere when I say that I will apply today, NOW, this moment - there is no need for me to wait. If the jobs are there, I am ready, able, and willing to take them - just show me where, because after 7 months of applying, I haven't been able to get a single one.

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    1. Have you tried running for President?

      Delete
  29. These are the times when the hysteria on this website reaches obnoxious levels. We get it, it's tough finding a job out there and the legal market, shock of all schocks, is competitive.

    But it really undermines your argument when you just completely discount the possibility that a JD can be an advantage outside of practice. For example, I love the poster who said that the PMF positions were not realistic for law students because they're really hard to get. Except he got one, so I guess they must be realistic in some sense.

    Let me just list a few of my JD bearing friends who never practiced, but used their JD to help them advance. They are FBI agents, state legislators, social media director at a major law firm, HR management at a major corporation, journalist, higher ed administration. Talk to them all and they'll tell you that the JD helped them get these jobs and advance in their careers.

    An even larger category are friends who practiced for a time and then moved into other work. From real estate investment to business owners to politicians. They all will tell you that the JD helped them get where they are.

    Just because it hasn't worked for you doesn't mean it doesn't work for others. For every one of your anecdotes or personal stories about what a waste you've made of your life, I have many more of folks who made it in part because of their JD. Also, not everyone finds success within nine months of graduating, or even nine years. For many folks finding a path to success can take time. I suggest spending less time whining on this website and more time making it happen.

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    1. LOL. Appreciate it shill. I look forward to watching you whine after you lose your comfortable law school gig.

      Delete
    2. On of my PI clients works for a defense contractor doing contract approval. The JD didn't help him land the job (back in the 80's) but it wasn't the kiss of death that it is nowadays, either. You could make the mistake of going to law school back then and not pay the same price that you do now; if nothing else, the tuition was affordable.

      What you are trying to do in your post, if attempted against my client in trial by the ins. defense lawyers, will be labeled by myself as "blaming the victim."

      Delete
    3. "Hi, Mr. Infinity!"

      Delete
    4. "They all will tell you that the JD helped them get where they are."

      Let's see the list of names so I can verify your ludicrous claims.

      Most ex-lawyers I know see no remaining importance in the JD. And I can tell you for a fact that a JD is now a hindrance in many of the fields listed.

      Delete
    5. You are delusional. The JD is a fucking scarlet (two) letter(s) for non legal jobs.

      Delete
    6. 7:55 has a point. Perhaps the availability of JD advantage jobs is not quite what NALP claims, but I have several friends from my 2011 class at a second tier law school who obtained government jobs as policy analysts. One of my friends told me that his boss explicitly told him that she hired him because he had a law degree. Sure, this is anecdotal, and his experience may not be the norm. However, his experience is also not an extreme outlier. Some JD advantage jobs do exist, although I fully concede that the salaries in these jobs are insufficient to repay loans.

      Delete
    7. All that we know about "JD advantage" jobs for certain is:

      (a) NALP's criteria for "JD advantage" categorization of jobs amounts to the belief of those JDs that the degree made a difference in their hiring, without any other corroboration required;

      (b) 5,214 of the class of 2011's 44,495 graduates (11.7%) believed that they had obtained such positions;

      (c) 1,771 of those 5,214 employed in JD-advantage positions (33.9%) reported a salary, compared to 58.7% for those in bar-required positions;

      (d) Underreporting of salaries tends towards lower salaries rather than higher ones;

      (e) What JD-advantage salaries we do have show that they are consistently lower than salaries in bar-required positions, and at the 75th percentile, $40,000 lower;

      (f) They are held distinct from bar-required positions in the survey, which suggests that these are not jobs where the respondents in JD-advantage positions will be afforded an opportunity to develop their skills in the practice of law.

      You might begin to understand why most of the posters here might take little comfort in so-called "JD advantage" positions.

      Delete
    8. Well, I don't think anyone could seriously argue that there are NO JD advantage jobs. The problems are (1) there are very likely far, far less of them than would be required to make up for the number of JD graduates that do not obtain employment as attorneys; (2) the number of JD advantage jobs does not take into account the number of jobs for which having a JD is a disadvantage, due to the perception that a JD graduate would not really want the job or would leave as soon as possible; and (3) the fact that most JD advantage jobs do not pay enough to pay back the loans required to get the JD (of course, many attorney jobs don't either).

      Delete
    9. Oh, and of course (4) holding a JD advantage job likely hinders the employee from pursuing a career in law in the future. The potential for career advancement in a JD advantage job may be minimal.

      Delete
    10. Beyond which ... it's doubtful that those people who found such jobs, went to law school for that purpose. A small portion of law grads may change their minds after graduation, and a lot more may make the best of a bad situation, but who spends three years and six figures for that?

      Delete
    11. 7:55 - Repeat this several times and try to understand. "The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data.'" The fact that you know some JDs with non-lawyer jobs does not mean that that is the norm. It also does not mean that the JD helped, rather than hindered, them in getting their current jobs.

      Also, as you note, "An even larger category are friends who practiced for a time and then moved into other work." Most of the JDs in non-lawyer jobs I've met fall in this category, as do the vast majority of those I've seen touted by law schools in do-anything-with-a-law-degree advertising.

      Delete
  30. The "lawyers" on that NALP page make me very, very sad. Of course, they're all way better off than me.

    Time to go back to bed ...

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  31. @7:44 - yeah, what a coincidence, huh? What I find equally strange is that NALP seems to assert that because these jobs exist, that they must go to JD holders. There are also probably 400,000 truck driving jobs in America. Does that mean that the overproduction of JDs is now solved?

    What NALP of course hasn't actually answered is how many of these jobs are going to recent law graduates. I don't care how many jobs there are if they aren't going to JD holders. My personal experience applying to NUMEROUS federal and non-profit jobs without any call backs (and I am multi-lingual, have 18 years work experience and an excellent work and academic history) leads me to believe that few of these jobs are going to JD holders. My friends aren't getting these jobs as well. Since that seems to be the case, the number of federal jobs is irrelevant and hardly helps the legal educational establishment, because such jobs aren't going to law graduates.

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    1. Exactly. That JDs are in principle eligible for those jobs doesn't mean that JDs will, or even can, get those jobs.

      Delete
  32. in regard to the person recording deeds (and others mentioned) as a jd advantage job, these used to be jobs requiring a high school diploma because that is the only qualifications that are needed. And they pay accordingly. The fact that a jd is competing for a job with a high school graduate, and getting comparably paid, is sad.

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  33. @7:55:

    Just curious, when did your marvellous friends who all ended up w/ wonderful non-legal jobs from their JDs graduate? Any chance it was w/in the last 5 years, or did they graduate at a different time when a JD was actually worth something and didn't cost the same as a mortgage?

    Of course, we all know times don't change and are static, so if your friends made it 15 years ago, it's just a given that the same thing should automatically happen today, right? After all, there has been absolutely no change in the economy since then, right?

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  34. @7:55 - I agree with your assssment. I have many friends with similar stories. And they are from Lawprof's school!

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    1. Oh, you have "many friends," too?

      Name names. I'd like to independently verify your claims.

      Delete
  35. I don't think that there is such a thing as JD Advantage in today's employment marketplace. That is, accountants are accountants. They're not JDs who know something about accounting. Product managers for small tech companies know a lot about technological linkages. They don't need to know a thing about law -- becuase their tech company has an outside attorney.

    Some fields -- say, a highly regulated field like pharmaceuticals -- have law-related positions. But they're not likely to hire recent law school graduates in this economy because there are experienced compliance folks looking for work.

    Any way you cut it, a law degree is prohibitively expensive in today's employment environment. And as long as the comployment situation remains "stable," there is no way the $200,000 you borrow to attend school is a good investment.

    One more note: I had dinner w/ a daughter of a professor of mine recently. The prof. is 70 and has no plans to retire. Why would he? He heads up international trips for the law school. He's going to Vienna next summer. Went to Israel last summer.

    And the beat goes on.

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    1. The other day I saw a posting for a compliance investigator. "This is perfect for a JD like me!"

      So I click on the link. Do they want health care attorneys? Nope! They want experienced nurses. No legal background required.

      I've found similar things with financial compliance/auditing, environmental compliance, etc. They want practical skills people who can be fact finders. They have all the "law" people they need.

      Delete
  36. @8:20am

    Your argument proves too much.

    Given how poor the prospects are for current new 18- and 21- year olds (like the NYT story that BA = mail room if you're lucky), your argument suggests that you really should just skip education and join the military/go the Carla route. After all, there are no jobs for this generation - the boomers will never retire.

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    1. "After all, there are no jobs for this generation - the boomers will never retire."

      The job market is tough, but it is even tougher if you are six figures in debt.

      Delete
    2. The majority of people joining the military are in a better financial situation than the majority of law school grads.

      The military gives you cost of living, practical skills training, a salary that while small you cannot really waste, and military-advantage in hiring when you get back to the states.

      A JD gives you . . . ?

      Delete
  37. 7:55 here. Although my post probably reads that way, I swear I'm not trying to blame the victim. Even when I graduated less than ten years ago (T2 public school), I had friends who struggled to make it (and with no IBR!!). And certainly it's tougher now than it was then. You question the examples I used, but I graduated less than ten years ago, which was already the era of high tuition (but no IBR!!). Even ten years later, the FBI still hires agents, colleges still hire compliance officers, and politicians still get elected. I mention these three, because these are all JD Advantage positions taken by very recent grads. I could list more.

    But I know the posters here can list lots of friends who are not making it. Today there are definitely grads out there who did all the right things and still struggle. And legal education needs to account for this. As evidenced by declining class sizes, I think you are seeing a positive response, although more is certainly needed.

    My main complaint about this website is that Law Prof and the posters here aren't doing anything constructive to change things. Instead its just a stream of hyperbole, sarcasm, exageration and whining. Reading this site you'd think the employment rate for law grads was 0% with a 100% certainty of a lifetime of failure. Not true. You'd also think that it's impossible for a JD to help someone in a non-legal career. Stupid. Whether you choose to believe it or not, JD advantage jobs really do exist and a JD can be a real advantage in non-legal careers.

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    1. "Whether you choose to believe it or not, JD advantage jobs really do exist and a JD can be a real advantage in non-legal careers."

      But the question is whether the "real advantage in non-legal careers" is worth an expenditure of $100,000 - $200,000 in tuition, plus three years of your life.

      Viewing the real cost of a law degree (including your time) conservatively at $250,000, you would need to make at least $25,000 more after taxes per year as a result of the law degree - particularly if you have to repay a substantial loan with interest. That would imply at least a $40,000 permanent increase in your salary as a result of going to law school.

      How many "JD Advantage" jobs increase your salary by $40,000 a year over the job you could get without a law degree?

      What is the chances of landing a "JD Advantage" job that will permanently increase your salary by $40,000 a year?

      Delete
    2. The blog is titled Inside the Law School Scam.

      If it were titled Chicken Soup for the Underemployed JD's Soul, your complaint might have been more germane.

      Delete
    3. No one doubts that there are actual JD advantage jobs. No one except self-interestedly stupid legal academics doubt that there are JD disadvantage jobs.

      Given this, here's the question: Is having a JD on net a positive or a negative for law graduates, without regard to the direct and indirect costs of going to law school? The answer is that nobody knows. People who do claim to know are either idiots or crooks or both.

      Delete
    4. No one doubts that there are actual JD advantage jobs???

      "I don't think that there is such a thing as JD Advantage in today's employment marketplace."

      "The JD is a fucking scarlet (two) letter(s) for non legal jobs."

      "The law degree doesn't make you marketable in the non-JD work."

      I'm sure I could find hundreds more such statements from the ILSS archives.

      Delete
    5. No one doubts that there are winning lottery tickets for a non-trivial amount of money.

      However, I've never seen one, and I'm not planning my retirement around one.

      Delete
    6. Meant to write "is having a JD a positive or a negative for law graduates who don't get jobs as lawyers without regard to the costs of getting a law degree?" It's far from clear that the answer is yes. It's quite clear that the answer is no when you do take into account those costs.

      Delete
    7. What is the point of considering the benefit of anything without also considering the cost.

      Delete
    8. I think the problem that although this blog is entitled "Inside the Law School Scam", it's acting like "Chicken Soup for the Angry and Lazy Soul" today.

      The point being that most people here are quick to make outrageous claims about the problems with their JDs, yet when it comes to doing anything about it, they're all like, "Uh, yeah, not interested in doing anything more than posting on a blog."

      Few commenters here are actually working towards change. For such disgruntled, passionate commenters, it's kinda pathetic to see so few who are willing to do anything other than sitting in their underpants, firing off more e-resumes to job sites and complaining here. No creativity in their job search, no drive to make things better through action, just a quick comment here and there and fingers crossed that someone else will do the hard work for them.

      One wonders if this lethargy and lack of "get up and go" is the root cause of the problem, not the JD.

      By the way, I'm a JD grad working in a job that doesn't require a JD, but I damn well make it sound like they could use someone with my education. Half the time, it's all about how you spin it. If you go into an interview (or even write a cover letter) with the attitude that you've got to hide your useless JD, or downplay it, then you'll come across as a dick or a loser who lacks any confidence in themselves.

      Oh, and another BTW: I was also unemployed for a year after my firm closed down. It's unpleasant, I know, and there are days (weeks) where you just lose all hope. And that's when you get sloppy, start "phoning in" job applications, and start to see everything as a barrier to you getting work.

      Seriously, everyone spouting the bullshit about how their JD is an anchor around their necks needs to get a grip. It's an expensive degree, it's not the most practical qualification, but you just gotta get out there and convince employers that it *is* a fucking awesome degree that they *need*.

      And it might only work 0.5% of the time, but you only need one job, right?

      Life is tough for everyone, not just JD grads. Everyone is having a hard time with employment. Blaming it solely on the JD shows more about your lack of character and drive than it does about the JD.

      Yes, I know the JD has its faults, but really, the true colors of some commenters are shining bright today.

      Delete
    9. "Law Prof and the posters here aren't doing anything constructive to change things."

      Not that at all. This blog, and others like it, and the stories they generate in the media, are apparently convincing many people not to apply to law school. The declining application figures that are attributed to bad publicity (which largely originated with these blogs) about the legal job market, show that.

      There is a widespread pattern of denial and evasion in the legal education sector about the job prospects of law grads in terms of full-time employment that requires a JD, which is what most people go to law school for, not to get some kind of additional degree for another profession. You can't possibly think that isn't true. I would like to repost this:

      "Barbara Weinzierl, director of career planning and placement for the [University of Akron] law school ... said the placement rate for Akron’s law school graduates is 90.5 percent — compared to the national average of 87.9 percent — with an average salary of $57,856."

      http://www.cantonrep.com/newsnow/x1959344572/Ohio-law-schools-see-drop-in-enrollment?zc_p=1

      What law school (OK, maybe Harvard or Yale) is "placing" 90.5% of their grads in anything? What is "placing"? Does it mean "we referred them to an unpaid internship"? Placing is a sufficiently vague word that could mean anything. You don't think that people have any right to be angry about this? That's right up there with "It depends on what the meaning of 'is', is."

      "Reading this site you'd think the employment rate for law grads was 0% with a 100% certainty of a lifetime of failure. Not true."

      Nobody says so. You're the one engaging in hyperbole here. If you read this blog carefully, numerous topics over numerous days, what you'll come away with is the information that: there are about half as many "real" law jobs as law grads, that too many intending law students don't understand this; that they take out huge debt to get a law degree they can't use for the intended purpose, and schools are being less than candid about their post-grad job prospects.

      That's what I get from it.

      "You'd also think that it's impossible for a JD to help someone in a non-legal career." Not at all. For example, there are JD/MD programs for people intending to be medical administrators. Clearly a JD would be useful to that person.

      And people already working at a company or organization that wants them to have a law degree could benefit too -- maybe you're in HR, compliance or regulatory affairs in a large corporation and they want you to get (and they'll pay for) a law degree. So, fine, helpful. But not in general why most people go to law school in the first place.

      Also, timeframes are shorter than they used to be. "Less than 10 years ago", weren't people still avidly collecting CDs/DVDs, using floppy disks and using the VCR to tape cable shows? Netflix and Blackberry were new and hot.

      Facebook and Twitter didn't exist, nor did Coursera, legal e-discovery was rudimentary, becoming a best-selling self-published novelist via downloads was unheard of (50 Shades of Grey would not have happened 10 years ago, and the big NYC publishing houses were still sitting pretty) ... on and on.

      Delete
    10. To be fair, few people here went to law school to be lawyers. They went there to make money. That's why there is so much analysis of the financial side, and so little analysis of any satisfaction that lawyers (those who *want* to be there) get from their work.

      So when we talk about using JDs for their intended purposes, let's be clear: we're talking about people making bank, not people being employed as lawyers.

      Delete
    11. And I think that the comment about people here not doing anything to change things is more about their own personal situation, not the broader law school reform movement. Posting here and changing law school does not solve your own personal employment crisis. Only lots of legwork and persistence and a little luck will do that.

      Delete
    12. Don't forget about Old Guy and his rants.

      Delete
    13. "Whether you choose to believe it or not, JD advantage jobs really do exist and a JD can be a real advantage in non-legal careers."

      Leiter, you just don't stop.

      Delete
    14. @11:49 a.m.:

      By your own admission, you were unable to find work as a lawyer for twelve months after termination of your last job, and now are working in a non-legal capacity elsewhere in spite of your education, experience and perseverance.

      Based on that, it would look as though your degree or the skills conferred by law school just weren't that much help to you, though you succeeded in finding work anyway. Is that a fair statement?

      Delete
    15. You're better than that, MCfJ. I actually wrote:

      "I'm a JD grad working in a job that doesn't require a JD, but I damn well make it sound like they could use someone with my education."

      Which, to someone not trying to score cheap points (which I never thought was your MO, but you live and learn), is fairly clear that my JD was a big reason that I got my current job. A huge reason, in fact. You gotta get out there and sell yourself. That's what law is about, and it's what getting jobs outside law is about. Hustle, not qualifications. Pieces of paper don't mean shit unless you've got the mouth, balls, and common sense to back it up (and by that I don't mean you need an A-type personality, just a little respect, politeness, intelligence, and give off an air of being loyal, trustworthy, and hardworking. Paper alone doesn't do that.)

      And the unemployed for 12 months really meant "not using my JD for 12 months". Unlike most commenters here, I got my ass out there the day after I was laid off and didn't stop getting my ass out there until I had paying work - any work, which came about three weeks later - which helped lessen the financial beatdown I received that year. Remember kids, it's easier to find a new job when you already have one, even if it's a piece of shit job. Most employers respect hard work, respect the drive, and respect a little humility - goes a long way to remove any of those "this guy has a JD so will be gone when something better comes along" barriers to getting employment which I really don't see as existing. Just another self-serving excuse for why they prefer to sit at home and whine on the internet.

      Delete
    16. Sorry, but there is a much greater chance one would be shackled with a six figure non dischargeable debt with a JD, as compred to a MBA or a degree in Accounting.

      Delete
    17. If you thought I was trying to belittle you, I apologize. That wasn't my point.

      My point here is that you sold yourself to your present employer on the basis of personal attributes that you would have had even if you had never gone to law school. A related point is that perhaps most "JD-advantage" positions could be obtained as easily by that same someone, but with less education.

      It's fine that your will to obtain employment overcame the barriers in front of you. But you aren't everyone. And I find it hard to believe that the people who spent seven years in school and took bar exams to become attorneys are lazy in sufficient numbers to explain underemployment and unemployment.

      Delete
    18. I agree, but on this blog we consistently have ten or twenty regular posters who through their comments demonstrate that they are really waiting for a handout or they are unmotivated to change their situation. I don't think that the commenters here are a good cross section of unemployed lawyers.

      The thousands (and vast overwhelming majority) of unemployed lawyers who don't post here, they are being screwed by the scam. But half the commenters here are clearly being screwed by some internal faults that have nothing to do with the scam.

      Delete
    19. "I agree, but on this blog we consistently have ten or twenty regular posters who through their comments demonstrate that they are really waiting for a handout or they are unmotivated to change their situation.

      [H]alf the commenters here are clearly being screwed by some internal faults that have nothing to do with the scam."

      Clearly? How long does it take to read a blog entry and make a post? And the fact that lots of people can do this relatively simple, brief thing from their smartphones suggests that you have absolutely no idea what commenters here are doing or not doing.

      MacK, for example, is an active practitioner. So are lots of other people who post here regularly. Not long ago, I was working full-time on a temporary gig. Now I'm unemployed and looking for something else. There was no difference between my reading/commenting habits then or now.

      So piss off, Jack Marshall. Posting on a blog doesn't mean you're unemployed and it doesn't mean you're sitting on your butt doing nothing, and it doesn't mean you lack creativity in your job search. I've had weeks where I posted here a lot while making contacts at places most JDs wouldn't think of.

      The jobs simply are not there for the generic JD holder. I've broached the subject with non-traditional employers and told them the skills one learns in law school. Doesn't matter. They want people with industry-specific experience who can hit the ground running. The recession left a lot of small- and mid-size businesses having to cut staff, so they have to be far more efficient with their hiring. The days of just hiring a smart generalist and investing in human capital are over, if they ever were. They want cogs who fit now. People with HR-specific training, actual health care experience, actual banking experience, computer networking certifications/experience, etc. Hiring a JD on future ability for a traditional non-law position is a risk most HR people have no interest in taking given the glut of other talent.

      Delete
  38. Well what the hell we supposed ta do ya MOE-RON?!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Grow some balls.

    ReplyDelete
  40. @8:36: I think that this is true for many fields. The law school business is focused on this idea -- right now -- that law school graduates are really good at a variety of things. They're good fact finders. They're good legal analysts. They're good public speakers. They're good at interpreting language. Multi-talented.

    The problem is that so many employers that are not looking for traditional lawyers don't see it that way. A compliance representative who is a lawyer is going to leave when they see a decent-paying law job. Or, they're going to spend hours each day searching for law jobs. But a compliance rep -- say, a nurse who knows health care requirements -- is going to happily take the compliance job and diligently perform his/her duties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a lot of employers view hiring JDs as a risk for non-JD positions, because JD's are viewed as more litigious than the general population.

      Anybody who employs people is going to spend some time worrying about getting sued over employment issues - hiring JD's for non-JD positions likely increases the risk of subsequent employment litigation.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  42. @9:17 I am an in-house lawyer and I tend to agree with you on this front: if there is an experienced JD who has relevant non-JD experience for a compliance gig, the employer will happily consider him/her. This is because the course of conduct/career path of the candidate suggests that they're happy in non-JD jobs.

    And this is where law schools have it wrong. You don't graduate from law school and expect to land a job in a corporate setting doing nonJD work unless you already have experience in the non-JD work. The law degree doesn't make you marketable in the non-JD work.

    I'm not sure on the litigious claim. I think that employers just look at a resume and see, from a brand new lawyer, "she wants to be a practicing attorney. She doesn't want to be filling out/analyzing spreadsheets for clinical trials." It's a tough nut to crack. And of course everyone owes all this money, too.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @7:55 & 8:53:

    I see your point. I think you are correct that nothing is 100%. I don't think anyone can say that a JD is absolutely worth nothing and perhaps it is an exaggeration to say so. Somewhere, out there, I am sure there are employers who think a JD may be of value.

    The problem is, how many? And does the amount of those employers justify saying that the JD is an advantage? I would argue not. As someone who decided to be constructive and take the job search into my own hands, I applied to over 750 non-legal positions. (Less than 5% of legal positions are open to new grads - most require a few years of legal experience, so I abandoned looking for legal positions early on, after a year or so.) I had my resume reviewed by 2 job agencies and one professional. I did not receive ANY requests for interviews and when I did follow up contact, I was told that there were numerous applicants - one HR rep indicated that about 1050 people had applied for one position.

    In short, while there are jobs out there, they are just as competitive to get as legal jobs and many (including numerous federal jobs) require several years of experience, so a JD is not much help. While I agree that it is not 0 or 100% - there are some jobs that a JD might be an advantage - the true and more important question is just how much and whether such odds justify the expense incurred today to attend law school. I would argue they do not, because my experience as a recent grad and as a person knowing a majority of unemployed graduates indicates that there are a lot of unemployed law graduates who are doing everything possible and are not getting those jobs. Therefore, for NALP to represent what it did - that there are jobs out there without indicating that those jobs aren't really going to law grads as there is a huge portion of them that are unemployed - is misleading and exacerbates the problem.

    Last thing: I have to take issue w/ your characterization that this site is filled w/ hyperbole. Never write off someone's struggle w/ unemployment as hyperbole. I assure you, it is not. If you haven't walked their shoes and don't even know their situation, at least give them the dignity of allowing them to be believed. It is extremely frustrating to do whatever you can and to take whatever job possible (I currently work a $13,000 a year job and am just grateful for that) only to be told that your employment problems and the problems you see your other fellow graduates experiencing are just hyperbole and an exaggeration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not trying to write off the struggles law grads are having. They are real and they're happening to too many grads who "did all the right things." Legal education needs to adapt to the new employment situation and also needs to do something about the cost of education. That's not hyperbole.

      The hyperbole I'm referring to are the constant stream of hyperbolic statements on this site, a few of which I quoted above.

      Delete
    2. And statements like this are not hyperbolic?

      "Our graduates have a 90%+ employment rate!"

      "A law degree opens many opportunities for graduates outside of law!"

      "You need to get over your sense of entitlement."

      Delete
    3. I suppose you're of the "two wrongs make a right" school of argument?

      Delete
    4. Probably.

      But before you can tell disgruntled graduates to do something constructive and stop whining, you should first tell the law school establishment to stop misleading students.

      Care to take your diatribe over to Prawfsblawg, Voloch, and Faculty Lounge?

      Delete
    5. While two wrongs don't make a right, the "hyperbole" about the risks of law schools, even if perhaps sometimes slightly overstating it by some, is still much closer to the truth than the "hyperbole" from the likes of various deans about 90%+ job placement, bogus out-of-context 2% BLS lawyer unemployment, "versatility of the JD", etc.

      So no two wrongs don't make a right. But the "wrongs" are not even close to being equivalent. Furthermore, very very few people are making the strawman argument that a JD is 100% worthless and 100% of people pursuing it will fail regardless of individual circumstances. Even Campos' book doesn't say you should 100% not go but merely that for a lot (BUT NOT ALL) of people it is very risk to do so.

      Delete
  44. Wait a minute... I want my money back for reading all the previous blog posts! Oh... I didn't pay any, well that's a better deal than law school... I guess!

    MBA/JD/LLM

    ReplyDelete
  45. This can't be correct.

    ReplyDelete
  46. There is only one problem with being facetious - just wait for a law school apologist to cite this posting as evidence that Prof Campos endorses the NALP "study"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, the apologists are too stupid, corrupt, or both to pick up on the facetiousness of this piece.

      Delete
  47. "In fact, many graduates view entry-level opportunities with the federal government or in business/industry as a primary goal."

    After they find out that they won't be able to work as lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
  48. @Mack:

    "There is only one problem with being facetious - just wait for a law school apologist to cite this posting as evidence that Prof Campos endorses the NALP "study"

    Yes, LOL. I anticipate several of Campos's quotes from this post to make it into Dean Katz's next 'analysis on students' investment attending law school,' where he will hail that even Campos, law school's most open price critic, agrees that a JD is indeed versatile.

    ReplyDelete
  49. NALP is a nice, nice, oustanding organization. An outstanding organization ... ... ... ...
    ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...(squirt of breath freshener spray; raises megaphone to mouth) FOR ME TO POOOOOOOOP ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Assistant US Attorney position open in Houston until March 1.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/337948800

      Any recent grads out there with three years of full-time experience in federal criminal appellate practice? Oh, you'll probably also need to be a veteran. With a two week open period, this will get thousands of applications.

      Delete
    2. ALL OUR PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED!!!!!!!

      PRAAAISSSEEE BE TO THE LAWWWWDDDDD!!!!!!!!!! YAYUHSSSSS!!!!!

      Fuckin' 'tard.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, the Justice Department always requires a bare minimum of one year of experience for its Assistant US Attorney job postings. So, absolutely no help for recent graduates.

      Delete
  51. Yes, you recovering lemmings, you can put that JD to work upcharging misdemeanors to life-wrecking felonies...

    ReplyDelete
  52. Check out this faculty lounge post on VAPs trying to go on the job market because the faculty hiring market has cratered. Note the comment by Villanova professor Michael Risch, who suggests that the VAPs will be fine trying to find jobs in the private sector, since their credentials blow those of his own school's graduates out of the water. I wonder if he's talking about entry-level jobs or jobs for experienced attorneys?

    http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02/are-we-sustaining-a-vap-trap.html?cid=6a00e54f871a9c8833017ee8a71e19970d#comment-6a00e54f871a9c8833017ee8a71e19970d

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "First, part of the sea change is that we need MORE professor to student contact, so VAPs help more than adjuncts. Second, part of the sea change is that we need to keep costs down, so VAPs help more than permanent hires."

      It doesn't even cross his mind that tenured professors could accomplish these goals by taking a larger workload.

      Delete
    2. VAP: like doc review, but without the career potential.

      Delete
    3. "95% of our VAPs are employed nine months after their term expires with an average salary of $200,000."

      Delete
  53. LOL, point being, at today's prices, even landing a "JD advantage" position only means you can service your debt because of IBR. No one is making >$1000 loan payments with the salaries available today. So even the JD Advantage jobs DO EXIST argument has nothing to do with whether law schools as currently structured can continue to exist.

    On another topic, how does NALP get most of its revenue? That's a pretty sweet address. I would like to understand better the financial ties between companies like NALP, ABA, law schools, bar review courses, and any other business that is so closely knit to the Stafford Loan revenue train...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. Ooooh ooooh oooh pleeeeeeease let me help with that! Forget finding jobs or trashing law schools or warning future generations of applicants about the scam or making suggestions to solve this whole mess. Let's all nitpick the smallest thing we can find like the (obvious) financial and professional ties between NALP and the ABA, and I can't wait to figure out the financial ties between law schools and bar review courses! What a delight, and what an important topic!

      Delete
  54. @11:38: I just want to say -- i feel like i have to say it -- the phrase "effing 'tard" serves no purpose (other than to explain to the rest of us why you have no job). It's duragatory. It's insulting. It's useless.

    There are many insults. That one is as bad as calling someone the N word or some other racial or gender-specific insult. Like I said, if you want to know why jobs aren't coming your way, you may want to reconsider the language you use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finally, an explanation of the last five years: about 50,000 law graduates were insufficiently polite to obtain bar-required jobs.

      Delete
    2. No it isn't. "Fuckin' 'tard" is funny, and even gramatically correct. How about you take your complaint over to "Inside the Down Syndrome Scam"? And aren't the best insults the most, er, insulting?

      You fuckin' 'tard.

      Delete
    3. I'm sure his cover letters are loaded with a whole assortment of slurs.

      Delete
    4. lol @12:02, I love it.

      Delete
    5. duragatory? is that how you say it with that giant protruding down syndrome tongue of yours, 'tard? or maybe you cant see to spell properly because of your funny shaped eyes.

      now get lost, fuckin' 'tard. what are you, the 'tard police? im real scared of you. maybe you'll chase me with your head looking at the sky and your arms flailing, making a weird noise. then when you catch me youll hurt me with one of those tard monster strength hugs.

      law prof needs to do a post on which school clearly took advantage of that retardianoid and let her - its gotta be a her - get a jd when she cant even tie her fuckin' shoes. thats a scam victim.

      Delete
    6. er, lawprof, its me, the person who wrote the post above. I just re read it and even im a bit ashamed. like, it's funny - to me, im still laughing - but its probably a bit over the top. you might want to delete it.

      Delete
  55. Can't We All Just Get Along?February 21, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    "effing Leiter." TFTFY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad that "Leiter" has become a pejorative, much like "quisling."

      Delete
    2. Yeah....we need to create some Leiter memes.

      Delete
    3. @12:12 - same. I long for the day first poster doesn't post 'First', but 'F*** off Leiter'.

      Delete
  56. The new Santorum for the legal theory realm...

    ReplyDelete
  57. I posted the following comment on the ABA Journal. Dean Katz was the honored guest and he so graciously offered up some comments on how Sturm improved legal education, along with a link to his school's website indicating that Sturm really didn't need to do anything, since there really wasn't an unemployment problem in the legal field at all. That kind of stunned me - I guess all my law school graduate friends are lying about all the horrible job conditions out there.

    Anyway, ABA moderator Ms. McDonough suggested that posters not focus on Mr. Katz's suspect motives, as he was a guest of the ABA Journal. I replied with the following, which I think is relevant:

    "If the ABA has any sense of integrity, I ask it to be fair. If you are going to offer guest space to deans who can hardly be said to be disinterested parties when it comes to discussing the employment situation for legal graduates, I ask, as a show that the profession still has some integrity left, that the ABA at least make an attempt to let others who are equally affected by this crisis have an equally prominent guest space to discuss the situation from their perspectives. For too long - years, actually - this discussion was defined by those who controlled legal educational institutions and they were allowed to report and define employment statistics in ways that were beneficial to them at the expense of the student investors who took out loans, relying on the accuracy and integrity of the reported employment statistics and those doing the reporting. As a result of this policy of allowing only school administrators to tell the story that they wanted everyone to hear, despite what Mr. Katz wants to represent, there are numerous individuals in the legal field today who are unable to justify the enormous expense they paid for law school.
    I invite you, Ms. McDonough, as an online editor and sometimes moderator, to invite these people to tell their side of the story as guest contributors because I assure you, they have an equally important story to tell and the ABA should listen to it. For too long, their story has been ignored by those ‘established’ in this profession. Let these people tell you what it’s like to have taken out over $100,000 worth of debt, only to find out with horror that 95% of all legal jobs today require several years of lawyering experience and will not permit new graduates to even apply. Let them tell you what it’s like to work at Home Depot after having gone 3 years without pay to attend law school. Let them tell you what it’s like to work for free at your fourth unpaid internship even though you come from a low-incomed background and can hardly afford to work without pay while your student loans from law school stack up. Let them tell you what it’s like to accept that $15 an hour law clerk position even though you are an attorney, have $100,000 worth of debt, and know that the attorney who is hiring you is billing out your time at $225 an hour and there’s nothing you can do because you need the money. Let them tell you about the exploitation that is going on because they are new graduates and the feeling they get when they see deans describing the high unemployment they are experiencing as a ‘myth’ to prospective students.
    If you despair that you will find such people to tell their true stories, feel free to contact me, Ms. McDonough. I know many new ‘attorneys’ in the legal profession who feel deeply disillusioned with the profession and the dishonest way they have been treated and will be happy to talk - if only you and those in the ABA want to actually listen instead of hearing the same old safe platitudes from self-interested individuals who merely enforce what everyone wants to hear."

    http://www.abajournal.com/legalrebels/article/adding_value_managing_costs_and_participating_in_the_conversation/

    I am eagerly awaiting the ABA to take me up on my offer...


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or how about putting that same effort and passion into applying for a real job?

      Yes?

      Delete
    2. What if he already has?

      It's not as though redoubled efforts on the part of disgruntled graduates in applying for positions will lessen the overwhelming glut of attorneys or create more of these "real jobs."

      Delete
    3. On what basis can you conclude that he has not put in the same effort and passion into applying for a real job?

      All this person did was spent a few minutes writing that letter to the ABA. Its highly doubtful that the effort to write the ABA comes anywhere close to the time and effort it takes to apply to hundreds of jobs.

      Anyway, if there are not enough legal jobs, "effort and passion" isn't going to magically create jobs or extra legal demand that just don't exist.

      Delete
    4. Actually on what basis can you ever conclude that this person doesn't have a "real job"?

      A lot of the anti-scammers actually have real jobs and are some of the lucky ones, including of course lawprof himself.

      Delete
    5. He has no basis to conclude that 12:36 doesn't have a real job. All of his comments are nothing more than speculations and bootstrapping fantasies.

      Delete
  58. ".. this discussion was defined by those who controlled legal educational institutions and they were allowed to report and define employment statistics in ways that were beneficial to them."

    The figures aren't "literally" false -- and I guess that's why so many lawsuits over the matter fail -- if (IF) one includes all the qualifications/omissions that accompany them ("of those reporting" etc.)

    Like the career officer at Akron cited above: she didn't say that 90.5% of the law grads had full-time JD-required jobs: she just said "placement rate." You want to sue? Over what?

    You have to think like a lawyer to parse these "statistics" for their true meaning. But most people who haven't been to law school, don't yet think like lawyers.

    Once they've been to law school, they do. But then it's too late.

    ReplyDelete
  59. @12:59

    I actually have a real job. Nice try at trying to discredit me in order to discredit my message. Sorry that your target proved to be employed. Must be a disappointment for you.

    And next time, to improve your chances for success, why don't you try asking questions before making idiotic assumptions? Not everyone who thinks this profession screwed up in allowing legal educators to describe the facts on their own terms because it benefitted them is unemployed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. um yeah, or you could just get a job.

      Delete
    2. No TRUE Scottsman would do that.

      Nice post, 12:36. I really hope that the Law School Deans find out what havoc they have wrought like some day.

      They after all, are the collective Angelo Mozillos of this decade.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  61. I knew I should've gone to Med School.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Med school is going to suck ass too. Just wait.

      Delete
    2. I doubt it. Once the MD / DO scam bubble bursts, you'll see the AMA rush in to help, you'll see public outcry as doctors organize and strike, you'll have widespread sympathy.

      People don't hate doctors. But our biggest downfall as JDs is that people actively hate us, and most are rubbing their hands in glee that we're fucked.

      Which is why the scam will go on and on and on. People other than lawyers just love it!

      Delete
  62. @1:15. This is exactly right. Just because we have jobs doesn't mean the law schools are off the hook for misrepresenting their data year after year.

    What schools need to provide is disclosure on debt and income:

    1. Our law school tuition is $x per year.
    2. On average, based on our student loan data, our students spend an additional $y per year for living expenses.
    3. Upon graduation, you will owe $z if you finance all of your law school education. Your loan repayment will be $zzzz each month for 120 months.
    4. Of the students who graduated in May of 20xx, a% passed the bar exam on the first try.
    5. Of the students who graduated in May of 20xx, b% had a job that required them to pass the bar on the first try.
    6. Of these students, the average salary was $c.
    7. For all of our students who graduated in May of 20xx, the average salary was $d.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8. Only d% of students reported a salary, and among those who do not, the numbers trend below the median.

      Delete
    2. #1 is obvious. #2 should be pretty obvious. #3 how hard is it to calculate this? Also, standard repayment plan for over $50K of loans is 25 years. #4 is provided by a lot of schools. #5 delete "on the first try". 6 and 7 ok.

      Delete
    3. Great plan guys. Now how about you spend as much time and effort trying to find jobs?

      Delete
  63. Meanwhile....

    K&L Gates LLP posted its 2012 results on the firm’s web site on Thursday in an unusually detailed accounting that also included the firm’s bank debt ($0.0) and its obligations for long-term leases and retirement plans.

    The firm, which has roots in Pittsburgh but has grown to more than 2,000 lawyers worldwide through a series of mergers, reported revenues of $1.06 billion, roughly flat compared to 2011. In 2012 K&L Gates netted $320.5 million in profits, and had profits per partner of $899,960 for the firm’s roughly 250 full equity partners, according to the results.


    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/02/21/the-full-monty-kl-gates-posts-detailed-2012-financials/

    ReplyDelete
  64. The leiters are out in droves today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The real Leiter is still keeping a close watch on this blog (while affecting not to.)

      http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2013/02/paul-campos-admits-he-doesnt-even-know-what-it-means-to-think-like-a-lawyer.html

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The spam is getting more and more charming as it goes on.

      Delete
  66. Sorry, this isn't necessarily that related to today's post, but I just thought it was hilarious. Here is an upcoming event at my alma mater--the target group of which I presume either prospective or out of work grads:

    Meet the Lawyer: Legal and Research Opportunities in the Arctic (yes, the ARCTIC).

    I can't say the name of this event without laughing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once met a tour group of attorneys from a isolated northern part of Russia visiting the US (I speak some Russian).

      I asked one of them: "What city are you from?"

      Her response: "No city - tundra."

      Obviously an unexplored legal practice area!

      Delete
    2. Probably government work.

      Delete
  67. Does anyone else just wish that schools hadn't gone down the path of deception and thereby caused their own ruin?

    If they had simply been ethical and truthful and if all of them had held their endless greed in check, we wouldn't be here now.

    Makes me very sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right.

      Applicants visit school after school and website after website, almost all touting high "employment" and "placement" rates, which are "kind of true ... BUT".

      It's hard for applicants, many of whom are very young, to believe that there is this vast pattern of half-truths.

      If everything was as great as all these "employment rates" imply, there shouldn't be any problem. The schools' continued evasiveness shows there is a problem and law schools know it.

      If schools would simply post their "true" figures, applicants could (and should) make much better decisions. Seems to me schools could easily post a spreadsheet list for each graduating class with identifying details omitted.

      Delete
    2. This is why the law school lawsuits should be reinstated. If there's no fear of litigation, there will be no self-policing of content.

      For example, Cooley's touts must make their faculty blush.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go to hell Leiter

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  70. Both Eaton and AXA are advertising positions in Houston where a JD or MBA or CPA would be considered an desired qualification. Just sayin' .......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are always positions being advertised. The relevant question though is the number of positions vs the number of applicants vs the desired qualifications and experience.

      If positions exists but there are 100x the number of applicants and/or the experience and qualifications sought will disqualify most freshly minted JDs, it doesn't matter.

      Delete
    2. Wow, you really know nothing about the current job market.

      AXA constantly advertises all over the country. This is because they run the same high-turnover business model CutCo does. I’ll break it down for you (it may come in handy when your school closes and you’re looking for a job). Applicant X will be will be brought in for a mass "interview" and pretty much hired on the spot. He is now Employee X, AXA’s new Financial Professional. A position that pays a small salary (~$200/wk) at first, then quickly switches to a 100% commission pay structure (he may even have to rent his cubicle and buy their laptop). Naturally, Employee X will first hound friends a family, which AXA calls his "natural market," to buy an insurance policy or switch their current policy to AXA. Naturally, Employee X’s friends and family will oblige because they love Employee X, and they know he's been struggling. Once his natural market is exhausted, it's off to cold calling complete strangers and trying to sell them insurance. Of course, Employee X can't sell enough policies to complete strangers to live off a 100% commission pay structure, and he’s forced to leave AXA and find a job that actually pays. All those policies he sold to friends and family, well they stay with AXA and so do the monthly payments and residuals. AXA brings in the next crop, and the cycle repeats. It’s a pyramid scheme, and anyone who applies won’t be on top. Ask someone from your CSO about it. I’m sure AXA is posting on your school’s symplicity site.

      That Eaton job, it requires at least 8 years of tax experience at accounting firm or fortune 500 company. Something I doubt the average law grad has.

      Delete
  71. @5:30:

    Just curious: how many years experience do you need to get those jobs? Ten to one, I bet you need a couple of years worth of experience - I have seen very few jobs nowadays that don't require it. Just sayin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like they are looking for recent graduates to train. The Eaton position seemed especially interesting.

      Delete
    2. Wrong. You need eight years at a minimum.

      http://eaton-jobs.com/houston/tax/jobid3249558-manager-%E2%80%93-federal-tax-strategy-jobs

      Delete
    3. You are right, I misread the ad in an edited format. My bad.

      But there is KBR seeking an attorney for their international division. They want 0 to 3 years experience. In Houston.

      Delete
  72. One of the more idiotic comments on this blog is that many of the posters would have great jobs right now if only they didn't attend law school. Somehow a JD is supposed to be a scarlett letter that prevents people from being hired. The NALP's cite is effective, through the use of counterexamples, of disproves this ridiculous myth.

    The sad truth is that the posters on this site slacked off in college so they couldn't get prestigious jobs when they graduated. Fearful of being unable to impress potential dates, they enrolled in law school which allowed them, for three years to give a respectable answer to the question of what do you do.

    Sadly, they continued to be slackers and, with law school now over, are in the same place they were before law school; looking at retail jobs.

    The truly pathetic thing is that they somehow think it is the law schools fault when in fact it is due to their lack of inteligence and unwillingness to work. Jobs are out there, they may not pay that well (but with IBR at least you can pay your loans) or impressive potential dates but, as the NALP site shows, they exist.

    Now I expect lots of self pitying, unemployed lawyers to attack me. Sorry, I'm just keeping it real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Next time, enable spellcheck when you keep it real.

      Delete
    2. Damn, you got our number. Pack it up, guys. He's on to us.

      Delete
    3. Im with you broski. I think that half the people here see the most recent "thing" that happened in their lives as being the JD, and that must therefore be the cause of every problem they have. Forget that they fucked around in college and developed no work ethic. That was erased by the JD in their minds. Or forget that they might be ugly or fat (Nando). They just see the JD and assume that the most recent factor is the sole factor.

      But then again, the more whiners who congregate here and argue about bullshit, the more jobs that are waiting out there for the real men, the hot chix, the peeps who can get over themselves and fight for success instead of pulling down their pants, applying the lube, and letting self pity give them an anal raping they'll never forget.

      Delete
    4. Here is my employment history of the last 10 years or so:

      1. College (work part-time years 3/4)
      2. Job 1 (months 4-9 after graduating college, roughly 40 hours a week)
      3. Job 2 (solid professional position, next 3 and 1/2 years)

      At this point, I started applying to other jobs to see I could transfer to a better position. I had some interest/callbacks/interviews and with patience could have probably landed a job that made ~50k annually in the industry I was in at the time without much issue.

      Instead, I decided to go to law school.

      I now apply to positions similar (and worse than) the one I left to attend law school.

      No interest. No callbacks. No nothin'.

      Yes, the JD is a Scarlett Letter. I want my old job back. I can't have it despite 3 years of experience, and the only thing that has changed is that I got a law degree and have done some legal work.

      Delete
  73. Big generalizations here, neatly summarized with "whining millenials with a sense of entitlement." A grain of truth to it, I'll concede. But as the hiring partner of a mid-sized firm, I can tell you there are very, very few jobs, the supply of law grads is endless and distorted by easy credit from the fes, and plenty of good kids walked away from decent jobs to go to law school and are now worse off. Sad but true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The saddest thing though is that you feel the need to lie about being a hiring partner, while your trolling of this blog strongly suggests otherwise.

      Goodbye, hiring partner. Or should I say unemployed liar who is prolly ATL-TABbing between this site and YouPorn in his sad little apartment.

      Delete
    2. I wish that more law firm partners would help get out the news that there are few jobs.

      Delete
  74. There are very few prestigious jobs available to candidates who have done little more than spend their lives partying and sitting in class rooms.

    However, as one of my clients who owns 34 Starbucks shops points out, there are plenty of jobs out there that provide enough money to live on (with IBR to pay tuition) and health benefits. The problem is these jobs just aren't good enough for today's law school grads, they expect to be able to slack off in college and law school and then walk into a job as an attorney or some other professional position.

    Sorry kids, life doesn't work that way. You really should be grateful to society. It paid for your college and law school, even though you were to lazy to learn anything. You got seven years to party and impress people by telling them your were in college or, better yet, in law school. Now the party's over and you've got to work like everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Imagine that, expecting the return on investment law school's advertised.

      Delete
    2. It's funny you mentioned starbucks. There was a relevant post on reddit a while ago.

      http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/168nag/i_just_graduated_law_school_a_teenage_girl_just/

      Delete
    3. "She has tits."

      Delete
    4. Ho-hum. Another day, another "you were all slackers in college and law school and you're whining entitled unemployed losers" post.

      Nice ad hominem argument, leiter.

      Delete
    5. I'd like to apply to work for your friend, in whatever capacity he's willing to offer me and my worthless JD.

      Please post his contact information or suggest a way I can get in touch with him.

      Delete
  75. National Law Journal reports today:

    "The American Bar Association's ... Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has put out a request for proposals for a process by which it can better police the postgraduate employment data that law schools release.

    "We want to know, if we wanted to audit a school's employment data or force schools to give us an audit, how would you do that? What would it look like?" said Barry Currier, the ABA's interim consultant on legal education. "Maybe we would look at how law schools go about collecting their employment data, but we're not really sure right now how that would be done."

    The request for proposals is the ABA's latest effort to boost confidence in the data that it requires law schools to release each year."

    http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202589105681&ABA_seeks_help_monitoring_law_graduate_employment_statistics

    ReplyDelete
  76. "The number of new lawyers entering solo practice has jumped from 2.8 percent to 6 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to findings of a special bar group committee. The Illinois State Bar Association’s Committee on Law School Debt also found that about a quarter of attorneys working in private practice in Illinois who graduated in 2011 made less than $50,000 in their first year out of school.

    Unable to properly finance a new law practice, the committee’s findings show that many of these new attorneys consider leaving the practice of law and are more likely to commit ethics violations and face malpractice suits.

    One of the recommendations the committee is considering would be for the federal government to place reasonable limits on the amount of money law students can borrow. Another ... would be for Congress to “restrict loan eligibility to schools whose graduates meet certain employment and debt-repayment outcomes,” similar to the model currently used by the Department of Education for for-profit and vocational schools.

    From "Thies shares preliminary findings of ISBA’s law school debt committee"

    http://madisonrecord.com/news/252957-thies-shares-preliminary-findings-of-isbas-law-school-debt-committee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Restricting federal students loans would be a death blow to many schools. I bet deans have nightmares about it.

      Delete
  77. Some of the earlier comments suggested that JD-advantage high paying jobs include being a stripper or a paid escort. But law prof John Banzhaf was able to get a similar position long before he got his JD - he worked his way through law school as a gigolo.

    "Professor Banzhaf knew the value of money. He worked his way through law school as a gigolo – that is, a man who is paid to dance a jig with a woman. He spent his summers traveling the world as an employee on a cruise ship. His main duty: to dance with the ladies at dusk."

    http://www.thenotabene.org/2011/10/19/office-hours-professor-john-f-banzhaf-iii-by-stephanie-levitt/

    ReplyDelete
  78. I see the psychotic shill Mr. Infinity is back on ITLSS again, with double the delusion.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Apparently, there is no JD or Prosecutorial Advantage when it comes to VIP treatment at the GoGo bar:

    http://abovethelaw.com/2013/02/florida-prosecutor-who-used-badge-for-strip-club-perks-is-stripped-of-his-job/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DAMMIT! WHAT THE HELL DID I GO TO LAW SCHOOL FOR!?

      (This is just a joke.)

      Delete
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