Furthermore, 18% of those applicants in the 2010 pool who were admitted to law school did not end up enrolling. If all these percentages were to remain constant, that would mean only 37,300 people will enroll in ABA law schools this fall (last year's total first year class was around 52,000).
Of course that's not going to happen.
It's safe to surmise that far more than 69% of all applicants in this cycle will be admitted to at least one school, and schools will do everything they can to lower the percentage of non-enrolling accepted applicants (what they can do, of course, is cut real mean tuition, which is what as a functional matter the sudden explosion in "merit scholarships," i.e., tuition cross-subsidization between students, is all about). Still, one would think there are practical limits on the extent to which admissions standards can be cut. If significant numbers of schools have to start admitting people with LSAT scores of 140 and 2.45 GPAs, this will surely have a marked effect on the bar passage rates of their graduates (I've been told by someone in a position to know that at a number of schools the bottom of the class in terms of entrance qualifications already consists of people whose LSAT/GPA numbers predict a zero per cent probability of bar passage).
Nevertheless, there's a real possibility that the 1L class of 2012 is going to be significantly smaller than that of 2011. Keep in mind that a large percentage of those prospective 66,000 applicants are people who simply aren't willing to consider attending a low-ranked school, even for "free." The conventional wisdom in legal academia right now is that as the economy (slowly) gets better the drop in applicants will be reversed, but this is far from clear.
In fact, an overall economic turnaround will harm the financial structure of legal education to the extent that growth in the legal sector lags behind average, since this will drive up the opportunity cost of going to law school relative to the likely return. (In fact in December employment grew in every professional sector except legal services, which lost another 1800 jobs).
Another factor at play here is the strong lag effect at work, as law schools are hit with negative publicity, lawsuits, and prospective Congressional investigations, and as a consequence slowly disgorge something that begins to resemble actual employment and salary data. As we are apparently witnessing, it takes some time for all this to percolate into the cultural conversation about law and law schools. We can expect the 2013 admissions cycle to be even more daunting for law school budget officers, their deans, and the central university administrators who collect the
I wonder how the class sizes will affect schools' LSAT numbers. Didn't the number of LSAT takers drop as well?ReplyDelete
The curve stays the same, but the actual number of people with, say 170+, will be smaller. HYS will still fill their classes with those students, but there will be further to share further down the ranks, with UVA, Texas, etc. Those schools will have to reach down to slightly lower scoring students than they're used to, and so on.
If that happens, the unranked bottom schools will be really hurting ...and in 3 years, those students are going to start failing the bar exam in record numbers. The bar exam is also curved, but failing students will be even more concentrated in bottom schools, perhaps to the point of schools losing their accreditation.
That should read "fewer to share further down the ranks."ReplyDelete
Guess I need a second cup of coffee.
This blog's theme is, of course, but one aspect (albeit a profoundly sad and disturbing one) of the disruptive changes affecting the practice of law and thus the education of "lawyers". This morning's NY Times article "How Big-Time Sports Ate College Life" http://nyti.ms/xBpnHt is an unhappy reminder that the context framework is even wider than "just" law schools. Bigger, fancier, and vastly more expensive is the Leitmotiv of U.S. higher education today. The price we pay is a terrible one!ReplyDelete
"The conventional wisdom in legal academia right now is that as the economy (slowly) gets better the drop in applicants will be reversed, but this is far from clear."ReplyDelete
I thought that the conventional wisdom in general is that a better economy results in a smaller percentage of graduate students. In econo speak, it's because the opportunity cost of attending is lower during a bad economy. Attending grad school gives you a good explanation for your working career being on hold during a bad economic period, whereas it's harder to explain that you didn't manage to climb the ranks for 5 years because the economy was horrible. Of course, it also gives you a credential that opens up new jobs.
The ABA journal report is nothing to cheer about if you are already a young lawyer. There is a domino effect going on here. Fewer applicants means schools will start scraping the bottom of the barrel and accept mediocre candidates who will either have a hard time passing the bar exam or will squeak by and be released into an already saturated bar. Like a Cancer, these marginal lawyers will metastasize and provide subpar legal services and representation. The public will take note about stories involving "lawyer screw-ups" and malpractice premiums will soar across the board. There will be less public trust in the profession than there already is.ReplyDelete
This is bad news. The ABA really works in insidious ways. As was previously mentioned, the only way to reverse the negative trend in this profession is to close down marginal law schools and cut government student loan lending or at least impose lending standards. I wouldn't mind seeing a return to the pre-1998 bankruptcy standards regarding the dischargeability of student loans. This will make banks think (and hopefully analyze using criteria such as student loan default rates, employment stats, etc.) and adopt strict underwriting standards when approving a student loan application. Sadly, I doubt this will happen.
A common theme here is what can we do? We need a revolution. Our government is sacked with an ineffective two party system that really shares the same principles but for the sake of the cameras, are at odds with each other. If I went into a coma in 2005 and woke up today, read the sorry state of affairs of our nation without knowing who was President, I would believe GW Bush was still President. Congress is the banking industry's pockets. We need a shake up, just like when Jesse Ventura shocked the two party system in Minnesota back in 1998. The best candidate out there (not perfect) is Ron Paul. Notice how the media won't pay him any attention. Who controls the media? The same interests that control Congress, the Presidency and our government. Think about it for a minute. We live in a country where the Supreme Court said a corporation has the same rights as an individual yet corporations don't go to jail for malfeasance.
You want to change the tide in the legal profession? It has to start with our own backyard. Vote the bums in your district out. Support other parties and shake yourself from the blue/red pavlovian paradigm.
Prof. Campos, I am always apologizing to you. I did not mean to inject politics into this thread but on some level it is related to what you are trying to accomplish.
8:46: Right, a general economic turnaround will, all things being equal, have a negative effect on law school enrollment. The law school CW is something along the lines of the assumption that the legal employment sector has been hit unusually hard, and will therefore (?) enjoy a particularly strong recovery.ReplyDelete
"A number of schools the bottom of the class in terms of entrance qualifications already consists of people whose LSAT/GPA numbers predict a zero per cent probability of bar passage."ReplyDelete
I'm not shocked by this, but it's horrible and it highlights a big problem with legal education. I can only hope that lower bar passage rates will drive some of these lower ranked schools out of business. I also think that the ABA should scrutinize schools' admissions standards and remove accreditation for those who admit larger numbers of students who are very unlikely to succeed (or does it do so already?).
One recurrent theme among the comments on this blog is that the ABA and legal community should take steps to reduce the number of new lawyers in light of decreased demand, so that the remaining lawyers can make higher salaries. Personally, I'm not psyched about the fact that professional organizations are anti-competitive cartels: that's supposed to be a bug, not a feature. They're not supposed to exist to raise the costs of consumers.
If the legal community is going to take those types of steps, I personally think it should be by increasing the standards for entering the profession and for remaining in it. In my view, passing the current Bar exams is a very low bar to meet. I'm also shocked by the low quality of representation that some lawyers provide, and it's very hard to be disbarred for poor performance.
Raising standards should reduce the number of law schools because the lower schools will be unable to maintain reasonable bar passage rates, and more applicants won't attend them. The tragedy is that this ripple effect will ruin numerous people's lives in the process. I'd personally prefer for the ABA to remove their accreditation if they're admitting lots of students who don't the skills and aptitudes necessary to succeed as lawyers.
The boom of the mid-2000s didn't create a surge in legal hiring. From 2002-2007, the legal industry grew by only 1.2% (in population-adjusted terms). Salaries went up, but hiring did not.ReplyDelete
There's two good reasons to not expect hiring to pick up during a recovery or an economic boom.
First is the costs. It's cheaper to pile more work on your current associates than to hire new ones.
Second is lack of people to hire. Law is skilled work. If there's a sudden increase in work, you can't create mid-level associates out of thin air, and an inexperienced lawyer (or one with experience in an irrelevant practice area) doesn't help you much. Again, you'll increase the workload of your current employees rather than hiring new ones.
This is great news. Just a bit more and Cooley won't be able to fill their seats, and then we can have a champagne party for saving livs.ReplyDelete
"Fewer applicants means schools will start scraping the bottom of the barrel and accept mediocre candidates who will either have a hard time passing the bar exam or will squeak by and be released into an already saturated bar. Like a Cancer, these marginal lawyers will metastasize and provide subpar legal services and representation."ReplyDelete
This notion that somehow the "quality" of lawyers will be decreased needs to die. Lawyers, at least litigators, are generally the scum of the earth. The best ones come from TTTs and win by tactics that shock the public. Just please do not repeat this well-intentioned but self-deluded load of bullshit again.
This is the first victory in a long Conflict.ReplyDelete
I can't wait till the NYLS dean gets on Good Morning America to pitch the "affordability" of law school, like Babs Corcoran did regarding houses all during the crash.
It's happening even sooner than people realize. Take a look at the California Bar Exam pass rate for Thomas Jefferson, probably the worst accredited law school in the state:ReplyDelete
July 2008 - 76%
July 2009 - 46%
July 2010 - 58%
July 2011 - 33%
The last time a California law school did this poorly was Western State in 2005-06, when they were having trouble remaining accredited even under the lax standards of the ABA. TJ would be at the top of my list of "law schools that won't be around five years from now."
This post makes sense to me because I saw how graduate school enrollments decline during the economic boom of the 1990's. And, it seems that trends in law school enrollment track those of other grad schools, at least to some degree.ReplyDelete
Please don't forget JDPG. See more comments on yesterday's post.ReplyDelete
Question for the group and maybe this goes for all four-year uni's as well:ReplyDelete
What about making the schools ultimately responsible for these student loans? In other words, the government lends the money to the schools, the schools to the borrower. If the borrower cannot pay, the schools become the guarantor.
All consumer protections are returned to the borrower, not the schools. Federal laws could be written so that the government loans to the schools at 1%, the schools charge the borrower 2%, the 1% difference is retained by the school to fund future loans.
In the event of a school filing BK, federal laws could be written so that the fed government gets paid first. In essence, the schools became banks. Use students as a part of work-study to be bill collectors.
To follow up on Anonymous JANUARY 21, 2012 9:43 AM, a second notion we should really brush aside is that the bar exam measures competency. It is a filtering device, and nothing more. I have looked at the data from states with only a public school before and after the opening of a private "for-profit" school (with a lower LSAT/GPA cohort). The bar passage rate stays the same. In other words, the same percentage pass & fail with and without the bottom barrel school in the mix. If it were to really measure competency, the bar passage rate would vary wildly from year to year with a 95% passage a very really possibility.ReplyDelete
Instead, the passage rate is a constant. The bar exam is scaled from year to year in an attempt to create an equivalence in test "difficulty." This, of course, is impossible to do when the two uncontrolled variables are the test taking population and different questions used. Saying the test is equal in difficulty because 20% failed it last year too is baloney.
One point made earlier (in this thread and others) which is true is that when TTTT comes to town, the state's bar failures are centered in those students from the lower ranked of the two (or more) schools. A beneficial aspect of this is that the higher ranked school suddenly sees their own bar passage rate increase as their graduates simply exchange places with the necessary "failures" in this zero-sum game.
This occurrence negates the proposition that the bar exam measures competency because the sudden increase in the higher ranked school's bar passage rate has nothing to do with either the GPA/LSAT ranking of the higher school's graduates or the quality of legal education they received. If competency were actually measured, there is no reason the higher ranked schools bar passage rate would change because TTTT came to town. It does change, so it follows that competency is not measured.
I should note, I am not saying competency should not be measured. I am saying we are not doing so now. Or, we are only doing so indirectly because the changes I've noted are at the bottom end of the bar exam curve. Those test takers who score at the top are certainly competent and have displayed a mastery of the material.
JDPG is an attention whore and nothing more. Please stop mentioning him. Thanks.ReplyDelete
10:28 -- No, I will not. Please don't tell me what to do.ReplyDelete
Oh, and while you're up there taking notes on your colon, give a thought to other people. Note to others on this blog: I'm not going to continue to interrupt the thread for today's blog. I want to remind people that the JDPG issue does not seem closed to me and to direct anyone who's still interested to yesterday's thread. So, 10:28, untwist your panties.ReplyDelete
If you're going to burden people - people who are already burdened - by telling them in advance of your plan to kill yourself, at least also tell a few law professors as well like Brian Leiter and Dan Markel so they have to deal with it too.ReplyDelete
Can someone start forwarding JDPG's suicide letter/website to their law professors, law deans and others as an example of what happens, and tell them that it's their responsibility to deal with it? Start with professors at Touro where he went to school.ReplyDelete
@9:50AM, I wonder how much of that decline is attributable to deficient students, and how much is attributable to graduates not being able to pay for BarBri (another scam).ReplyDelete
IMHO, Barbri is far from a scam. They charge you a few measily thousand dollars, and teach you more than you learned in all of law school.ReplyDelete
I agree that BarBri isn't a scam.ReplyDelete
It's crazy expensive, and some of the lectures are painful, but it generally delivers exactly what it advertises.
I'm looking at an LLM program in Europe. Tuition is 5,600 euros. 5.6!!ReplyDelete
"In fact, an overall economic turnaround will harm the financial structure of legal education to the extent that growth in the legal sector lags behind average, since this will drive up the opportunity cost of going to law school relative to the likely return. (In fact in December employment grew in every professional sector except legal services, which lost another 1800 jobs)."ReplyDelete
In the economic downturn of the early '90s, legal hiring took longer to recover than just about every other sector of the economy. It remained poor well into the middle part of the decade (the NALP described the job market faced by the Class of 2010 as the worst since the "Mid-1990s.”) and probably wasn't back to something that could be described as "normal" until 1997. By then the ecomony as a whole was basking in the Clinton-era boom, but law was still just emerging from the Bush-era recession.
11:01, Exactly. The law isn't exactly a huge part of the economy. The ONLY reason that schools open law instead of X,Y or Z school is because law is opportunism. You don't need labs, you don't need professors who know what they're doing, all you need is (a) a lecture hall and (b) entry into the federal student loan program - both of which are very easy to acquire.ReplyDelete
The legal profession is like 1% of the entire GDP. It's miniscule. Lawyers are basically the "monkey scribes" for the people who really create economic activity.
Why is there an idea that law hiring has been hit harder than other industries? Both my sister and her husband, and most of the small town they live in in Virginia lost their jobs more than two years ago when the printing plant they worked for drastically scaled back. They have not been able to find any work at all. My sister ended up going back to school via a free program to become a massage therapist.ReplyDelete
While that is anecdotal, I haven't seen any data showing that law has been hit harder. I think people were scared by the Lathaming of associates and drastic cutbacks, but many firms have managed to keep doing well. I don't see many firms going back to late 1990's-early 2000's level of hiring any time in the near future. At least not near enough for current students to depend on.
"My sister ended up going back to school via a free program to become a massage therapist."ReplyDelete
You need a school for that?
Yes, there is a licensing requirement in Virginia. She had to study a lot of anatomy, etc. I don't know if you can take the licensing exam without going to school. She was also able to get the state to pay the $250 fee for the exam. I guess there are programs for people who have been unemployed for an extended period of time.ReplyDelete
She had to study anatomy? How hard is it to find a penis?ReplyDelete
"One recurrent theme among the comments on this blog is that the ABA and legal community should take steps to reduce the number of new lawyers in light of decreased demand, so that the remaining lawyers can make higher salaries. Personally, I'm not psyched about the fact that professional organizations are anti-competitive cartels: that's supposed to be a bug, not a feature. They're not supposed to exist to raise the costs of consumers."ReplyDelete
There are certain professions the public has given the "right" to maintain cartels in order to keep quality high. Doctors and lawyers are traditionally the two most prestigious ones, and I think this lay prestige is what separates them from the trades. The public is paying a premium for the security of knowing that their medical and legal problems are being handled by qualified people.
Law students may not enter the profession with this in mind. Maybe they just think they will make 160K out of law school. But the real benefit of spending three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school is for the opportunity to join that cartel and benefit from decreased competition and the "protection" of the guild.
That's the way it would work in an ideal world. What we have today is that the "leaders" of the profession have abdicated their ethical and moral obligations to maintain the status of the guild. Call it base self-interest or some noble crusade to increase access to the profession, but they've absolutely failed and the whole profession will suffer down the line. I fear that by the time the entering generation of lawyers rises to power, it's going to be too late for reforms to solve anything (a problem with a lot of American society).
While the standards for bar passage should probably be higher, I would hate to see more kids waste three years and go hundreds of thousands in debt only to see the gates closed right in front of them. That's a huge waste of money and human capital that could be spent elsewhere (like rebuilding this country). As we know, students are great at deluding themselves into thinking they will be top 10% and get biglaw, why wouldn't they delude themselves into thinking they will be one of the 60 or 50% who pass the bar? Better to limit entry into law school as a way of cutting the number of lawyers.
" Doctors and lawyers are traditionally the two most prestigious ones, and I think this lay prestige is what separates them from the trades. The public is paying a premium for the security of knowing that their medical and legal problems are being handled by qualified people."ReplyDelete
Comparing the right to have your health cured, with the right to BE GIVEN YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW is absurd and laughable beyond words.
Again, there is no evidence that I know of, that better schools produce better lawyers - at least not in litigation.
11:31: But better schools produce, on average, wealthier lawyers and more law students who get jobs.ReplyDelete
I'd suggest that people show a little more respect to massage therapists. Massage therapists improve the quality of people's lives, which is more than I can say for some licensed lawyers.ReplyDelete
Massage therapy has significant medical benefits:
Massaging someone effectively requires actual knowledge and training. A licensing requirement to ensure that someone actually knows what they're doing before holding themselves out as a therapist seems like a reasonable regulation, though I'm not versed in the issue well enough to have a strong opinion.
"11:31: But better schools produce, on average, wealthier lawyers and more law students who get jobs."ReplyDelete
The second statement is true. The first, not necessarily.
Top 10 schools for mid-career salary:
Yay! Progress! Goal for 2012 - have applications drop by at least 20%.ReplyDelete
And guys, may I suggest (if you haven't already done so) contacting Senator Boxer, Grassley and other senators who have already put pressure on the ABA to change things to let them know that federal financing of student loans should be contingent on a school's employment and/or IBR rate for it's students?
And don't forget to let the Department of Education know that more work needs to be done on accreditation and/or possibly removing the ABA's power to accredit (is that the verb of accreditation?) schools due to their lack of oversight. I let them know that my $13,000 salary a year in a non-legal job won't allow me to pay back my student loans and that sucks for the federal taxpayer, especially in this economy.
Keep up the pressure!
"Top 10 schools for mid-career salary:"ReplyDelete
. . .
1. What part of "inspect the methods used to produce the statistics, before quoting the statistics" do you not understand? If you're going to criticize law schools for lack of transparency, then you can try not pulling out bullshit from some amateur website whenever it suits you.
2. Even if that chart were true, it disproves your point because those are not the ten best law schools.
It is ironic that the high cost of a legal education is based, at least in part, by the ABA messing about with the "supply and demand" of a legal education at an ABA accredited law school. If one could sit for the bar without such an education at limited number of schools, it seems plausible that the cost of legal education would be lower due to more competition in the marketplace as more schools could open their door and fight for business. This argument is not my own, of course. It has been said many times before.ReplyDelete
And, @ bored3L JANUARY 21, 2012 11:28 AM, I disagree with your point that the ABA should act as a cartel. I haven't spoken with a doctor lately about anything aside from a recent vasectomy (it was awesome, high five later), but I have spoken with a nurse and a vetrenarian about state accreditation in their respective fields (& don't knock 'em as "dog doctors," there is real money in animal husbandry). As I understand it, neither group takes an exam where 30% fail as a matter of course. The exam is difficult, it requires real study and measures a mastery of the material. The passage rate changes year to year.
The public has in interest in the education and competency of nurses. But no one is suggesting keeping a lid on the number of nurses in order to inflate salaries. It seems a fair assumption that most people would like their health care costs to decrease, if anything, while maintaining the present level of care. Why should law be any different?
lol @ bored3l's link:ReplyDelete
"13. Santa Clara University School of Law (tie)
Mid-career pay: $188,000"
He also lied about the top 10 schools,
"5. Boston University School of Law
Mid-career pay: $206,000"
Bored3L, you're either a shameless liar or really bad with numbers. Either way I recommend you become a law school CSO. Your posts just lost all their credibility.
1) So where are your statistics? Where's your evidence that schools that can't even get half their class or more full-time legal jobs upon graduation have graduates that are making more, on average, than graduates of schools that send 80% of their grads into biglaw?ReplyDelete
2) 8/10 of those schools are in the T14, and 9/10 in T20. Pretty heavily slanted towards the top 10% of law schools, wouldn't you say?
Bored3L you are the posterboy for intellectual dishonesty. Please go create a geocities website to "prove" your next point. Go Santa Clara!
12:05: If school rank had no effect on mid-career salary you would expect to see the schools on the list randomly distributed up and down the USNWR ranking. They're not. I posted the top 10 schools on the list so you could see that, with the exception of BU and UCLA, they're all in the top T14 of USNWR. How is that hard to understand?ReplyDelete
Keep in mind that "bored3L" could be a law school administrator or "professor" seeking to hold onto his job. He has no credibility.ReplyDelete
This entry is right on the money. The law schools/diploma mills will steadily lower their "standards" further - in order to keep their enrollment high. (Anyone with a shred of integrity, decency, honesty and an IQ above 80 recognizes that ABA-accredited law schools DO NOT GIVE ONE DAMN about their students, future pupils, or recent graduates.) Perhaps, we will see schools accept applicants who can complete a Word Search puzzle. Other schools will choose to be more "selective," and will only accept those who can score above a 145 on the LSAT - and (somewhat) legibly write their name with their left and right hand.
Crux: Would you also be in favor of removing the AMA's abilities to limit the number of med schools and doctors?ReplyDelete
Thanks for the link Bored3L. I was about to choose Harvard over Boston University, and Cornell over Santa Clara law.ReplyDelete
But now that I saw your link I see that BU is better than Harvard, and that Santa Clara is better than Cornell. Those suckers at SC are giving me scholarship money too!
I'm so glad that I have an intellectually honest person to steer me away from those fraudulent folks who were telling me to go to Harvard. Thank you. Please continue to add your truth to this site as readers are really helped by hearing what comes out of your mouth.
"Would you also be in favor of removing the AMA's abilities to limit the number of med schools and doctors?"ReplyDelete
No, I would not, because I want my doctor to be smart. Unlike my lawyer, who should be a scumbag lying idiot who will win my case.
Nando, what exactly about my argument that "it is better on average to go to a higher ranked law school because their graduates make more money on average" did you not understand?ReplyDelete
If SC is up there with Harvard or Stanford, then it is an outlier. That doesn't refute my argument that top school graduates generally command higher salaries than graduates of lower-ranked schools.
At 11:28, "bored3L" posted the following drivel:ReplyDelete
"There are certain professions the public has given the "right" to maintain cartels in order to keep quality high. Doctors and lawyers are traditionally the two most prestigious ones, and I think this lay prestige is what separates them from the trades. The public is paying a premium for the security of knowing that their medical and legal problems are being handled by qualified people.
Law students may not enter the profession with this in mind. Maybe they just think they will make 160K out of law school. But the real benefit of spending three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school is for the opportunity to join that cartel and benefit from decreased competition and the "protection" of the guild."
Does this come across as a soon-to-be JD/lawyer? Or does the language and tone sound more like a "law professor" who detests his "spoiled" and "entitled" students, and merely wants to justify the current job market?
Depending on the school, first year law students can figure out that there will be few jobs, where recent grads of their school will start out making $160K. By the way, I have seen and heard "law professors" mention the supposed "prestige" of a law degree. This is usually done, as a selling point.
In the end, "prestige" does not necessarily pay the bills, or even lead to a decent job. Does anyone want to argue that a TTT law degree has any "prestige." Hell, a highly-skilled chess player has more prestige than the typical law student or graduate. (And I am not simply talking about grandmasters. Someone who is the best under-16 chess player in their city or region is CERTAINLY more skilled and intelligent than someone who sat in a chair for seven years of postsecondary education. After all, there are more than 44K law degrees awarded every year, in this country.)
Bored3L, Your mind is an impenetrable fortress of idiocy, but let me attack it with one more FACT.ReplyDelete
Joe Jamail is literally a billionaire. Average $1.5 billion into a bunch of mid-career salaries and it will push the average up, by a lot.
So why isn't Texas #1 on your list? It's like they didn't even factor Joe Jamail's salary in there. Maybe they didn't average a lot of high earning ATLA salaries in there. Actually, that link is just some bullshit from payscale.com and is worth absolutely nothing.
I hope that breached the fortress walls. Pardon me as I run away so as not to get hit with the smelly green ooze of idiocy and lies pouring out.
"In the end, "prestige" does not necessarily pay the bills"ReplyDelete
The notion that lawyers are prestigious is highly controversial. You hear it a lot in law school circles, such as TLS, but I don't hear it too often among non-lawyers. They use other terms to describe lawyers.
@12:24: One does not use averages to find the median.ReplyDelete
Nando, you need to read more closely. This is my argument, very simply.ReplyDelete
Lawyer command high rates because law is a cartel. There are too many law schools pumping out too many students. At some point, unless we reduce the number of law schools and law students, law will lose it's prestige and cartel status because people will begin to wonder why they pay high rates to people who couldn't figure out that taking out 150K in debt to attend Cooley was a bad idea. Therefore, we should reduce the number of law schools and law students.
Do you need me to spell it out for you more clearly?
"with PayScale.com to find out the average mid-career salary"
This board is like teaching a special education class.
Nando please do not waste any more time.ReplyDelete
Bored3L, you win on all counts. Congratulations.
12:24: That's the same argument used by lower-tier law schools all the time. Look at graduate X, our millionaire trial lawyer.ReplyDelete
Would you tell someone to attend Loyola because Johnnie Cochran went there?
"12:24: That's the same argument used by lower-tier law schools all the time. Look at graduate X, our millionaire trial lawyer."ReplyDelete
And it's a perfectly valid argument for mid-career average salaries.
But not starting salaries.
Mid-career average salaries of a group =/= starting salaries of a group.
Wow. This might be the best comment thread yet.ReplyDelete
@12:31: Go back to the original article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2011/03/08/the-best-law-schools-for-getting-rich/ReplyDelete
It's median, not average. The content farmer hack just screwed up the terminology.
When the site uses both median and average to describe a process, that doesn't prove that it's median. That only proves that the site is bullshit, which any moron could have discovered when they ranked Santa Clara above Cornell and Northwestern.
Now all this thinking is probably making you tired. Please go have a juice box and socialize in the sandbox.
12:40: We're talking past each other at this point. Every school can claim their fair share of super rich graduates that will mess with the numbers. Charlie Munger went to Harvard. Gerry Lenfest went to Columbia. Riley Bechtel went to Stanford.ReplyDelete
But I guarantee the Harvard c/o 1980 or 1990 is doing better as a whole than the Suffolk c/o 1980 or 1990.
Back to the original topic...ReplyDelete
The recession only accounts for about 2/3 of the legal job loss.
If the legal industry grew in proportion to the population since 2002, there would be 100,000 more law jobs than there are now. (I think this is all legal sector jobs, not just attorney jobs, and not counting government lawyers - not sure on this, but it doesn't matter much; we can assume attorney jobs rise and fall with the legal sector.)
The recession accounts for a loss of 67,000 law jobs. You can probably blame the recession for a bit more in terms of lost growth as well. But, the recession doesn't account for all of the 100,000 missing jobs.
Does anyone have a reliable source for number of law graduates per year from 2002-2011? Would be good to compare that directly to the industry size over those years.
"But I guarantee the Harvard c/o 1980 or 1990 is doing better as a whole than the Suffolk c/o 1980 or 1990."ReplyDelete
Thank you for that.
12:50: "When the site uses both median and average to describe a process..."ReplyDelete
It doesn't. There's not "the site;" there are two sites. There's the Forbes page, and the MN page. Forbes is the original source of the data and doesn't mention averages, only medians. MN then took that information and republished it, but got the terminology wrong.
LP: I expect a little more hide-the-ball from a professor.ReplyDelete
The data comes from payscale.com. And nothing you quoted reveals or proves anything about the process.ReplyDelete
Why can't you just admit that you were wrong, and that the "ranking" is bullshit? You're really spending all this time defending a ranking that places BU over Harvard and Santa Clara over a bunch of T14 schools?
Stupidity = getting stuff wrong a lot. Extreme stupidity = getting stuff wrong and defending your wrong answers, over and over and over again.
@1:00PM, you forgot to include a picture of George W. Bush for the latter definition.ReplyDelete
While there are no good statistics for the average mid or late career earnings of individual law school graduates, a rough proxy for this is provided by the the endowment funds of individual schools, which are largely although not wholly based on alumni fundraising. The following figures are dated (they're from 2000), but I doubt they would look much different today:ReplyDelete
Figures are in millions of dollars:
1. Harvard University (926)
2. Yale University (350)
3. Columbia University (280)
3. Stanford University (280)
5. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (248)
6. New York University (211)
7. University of Chicago (209)
8. University of California, Berkeley (198)
9. University of Texas, Austin (168)
10. University of Virginia (165)
I agree that the ranking has plenty of methodology problems and isn't particularly useful.ReplyDelete
But, I don't see any reason to question the author when he says the numbers are medians. They may well be medians based on incomplete and misleading data, but they're probably still medians.
I also know that Paul Pless lied about the median LSAT at Illinois, but I don't doubt that the number was still a median.
Again, quoting from the link that bored3l provided:ReplyDelete
"with PayScale.com to find out the average mid-career salary"
This is my last post on the topic as, fortunately, I am bright enough to move on.
Any way to get the complete list LawProf? I'm wondering where my TTT ranks.ReplyDelete
I guess you missed the plot:ReplyDelete
The link that bored3l provided is not the source of the data. That's the MN site, which just stole the data from Forbes, and in doing so MN got the terminology wrong. The Forbes article, where all the data comes from, only refers to medians.
BL1Y how do you know who got the data from where and how it was calculated? Stop arguing with people online and get a jerb.ReplyDelete
This is just painful to read. Can we stop the mudslinging and calling each other names? Also, I'd encourage everyone to begin using an identifier other than anonymous so I know who I can safely ignore in the shouting-matches.ReplyDelete
A: "Avatar was a really bad movie. The filmography sucks, and the guy coughing throughout the whole thing really took me out of it."ReplyDelete
B: "I dunno, the visuals were pretty stunning, and I don't think there was a guy coughing..."
A: "Here, I'll prove it."
A puts on a bootlegged copy, filmed by an audience member using his iPhone.
A: "See, terrible visuals, and there's that coughing."
B: "Well, that's not actually the film, that's just a bootlegger's crappy version of it. Avatar had plenty of problems, like the lousy characters and non-existent plot, but it's not fair to judge the visuals based on the iPhone's inability to record it properly."
A: "OMG! You so stupid!"
Wikipedia says Harvard's endowment is now $1.7 billion. If LawProf's numbers are correct that represents an $800 million increase over 11 years, or $72 million per year.ReplyDelete
Total tuition per year is about 450 x $40,000 = $18 million a year.
Why is Harvard Law allowed to pile up money like that when their studnets have to take out student loans?
I never understood how these "nonprofits" (determined purely by an arbitrary tax rule) are allowed to be so wealthy.
I agree 1:27, let's move on to LawProf's ranking of endowments.ReplyDelete
@1:23: The MN article identifies Forbes and PayScale as the source of the data.ReplyDelete
Good, now hit the want ads.ReplyDelete
FYI, the PayScale data is based on about 28,000 law grads from 98 schools.ReplyDelete
Is JD PainterGuy online by any chance?ReplyDelete
I know your life sucks, but I wanted to give something that you can honestly feel good about - you're not fat, you have all your hair, and you're not old.
Very seriously, many biglaw partners would envy you. Don't get too down and count your positives.
Here's a potential explanation for Santa Clara's #13 position on the list of mid-career salaries. Santa Clara sits in the middle of Silicon Valley. The people on the mid-career salary survey went to law school in the mid 80's when high tech took off. For example, the long time general counsel of Intel was a Santa Clara graduate (and engineer). It's probable that a lot of the high wage Santa Clara grads were in high tech before they went to law school and went back to it after they they got their law degree. William OckhamReplyDelete
Thanks for making the board's fat old bald readers suicidal.ReplyDelete
@2:36: There's also the likelihood that many grads from top schools are in better-than-BigLaw jobs. Average pay for a full law prof is about $140k-150k. Federal judges make $174k. Those are great salaries, but could easily drag down the median of schools like Harvard and Yale.ReplyDelete
2:36 why would you take a swipe at poor lawprof like that after all he's done? besides leiter is balder and fatter.ReplyDelete
William Okham, what distinguishes law from science - i.e. spreaders of truth from spreaders of idiocy is that science distinguishes hypothesis (imagination) from reality (hypothesis that survives rigorous experimentation).ReplyDelete
Law school, OTOH teaches you that whatever possibility you pull out of your ass is gospel. This, I think, is the biggest reason why the JD adds nothing to a resume. It teaches you to bullshit, which is something useful in front of an equally dumb judge or jury of morons, but which has absolutely no value to business or any other field choosing to embrace reality.
This thread reads like a dumb convention.
How on earth can the GAO say that the ABA Standards aren't the reason LS is so expensive?ReplyDelete
I agree 3:14. I would like to see some community college type law schools open with very low tuition.ReplyDelete
@ 2:02 PMReplyDelete
Painterguy is still here, and the local police paid him a visit today, worried if I wanted to commit suicide.
I assured the Officer that I am OK.
The Officer couldn't have been nicer, and I really feel badly that this whole higher education mess has to involve the people that are among those I admire the most, namely the Police.
Just as I was dismayed to see the whole Occupy Wall Street Movement involved in confrontations with New York's Finest as well.
The Police did not cause the Law School/Student Loan Tuition Bubble.
Nor did they cause the one trillion dollars in student loan debt that exists now.
Really by now the larger media has to pay attention and return to fundamental ideals about journalism: as in seeking truth, and resisting being bought out by other interests.
Call it a Journalist's equivalent of taking a Socratic Oath, or something like that.
Based upon what I have heard, there is a Financial Industry lobby that seems to be able to control media coverage of the pertinent issues that have given rise to this blog and lots of others which are related.
But how long can the control of said lobby over this whole and complete mess.....last?
So, Law Prof, I see that you school just hired this person:ReplyDelete
So is this the type of faculty that will prepare your students for practicing law?
She's a feminist, looks black or hispanic, or native american, and came from Harvard. She's a first round pick in the law school academic draft. And to be fair, she also practiced.ReplyDelete
Besides, why do you people keep attacking LawProf? I mean, there are so many other professors out there that you can call, write or whatever, but you're always trying to start trouble for LawProf, or giving him assignment - which I guess proves that no good deed goes unpunished.
@3:14: I think the ABA standards play a big role in preventing prices from coming down, but it's pretty easy to argue they're not the cause. You just point to the increase in education prices across the board.ReplyDelete
The problem with the ABA isn't so much that it started the fire, but that when people say it's perhaps time to grab a fire extinguisher, the ABA's response is "Oh, yes, we're going to discuss the possibility of having a meeting on that next term. In the meantime, it's important to make sure that the right mix of women and minorities are getting burned."
BL1Y - its much worse than that. Its more like, "Oh, yes, we're going to discuss the possibility of having a meeting on that next term but first we need to get our marching orders from the legal elite."ReplyDelete
I think you two fail to ascribe the proper scienter to the ABA. This is all very intentional.ReplyDelete
So, JDPainterGuy, if not suicide then what was your "I'm going to be on TV" post about?
Scienter? So what year of law school are you?ReplyDelete
wth? I just worked on a securities law document. Scienter was used throughout. What's wrong with the word scienter?ReplyDelete
Is Prof. Campos fat? He's old and bald but he looks thin in his profile picture.ReplyDelete
I can help with that if he needs a trainer.ReplyDelete
Can you imagine looking like this, and then seeing huge bitch tits when you take your shirt off?ReplyDelete
There are definitely worse things to be down about. Meanwhile JDPG looks perfectly normal.
No one else appreciates my humor re: the dark topic of earlier? OK I'll stop.ReplyDelete
2:53 - An intersting subject, law and science and their overlaps. A subject that I'd enjoy discussing with you. I had some science in undergraduate and have spent some time thinking about it. (Well let's say "science", I mentioned my psychology degree to a friend in law school, a physics major, and he dismissed it as the "toy department".) I'd like to help you on this, or at least have an intelligent discussion but I can't. Science and law and their differing approaches to truth, interest me and I have some strong opinions, but they're all incompatible. So no help from me. One thing that bothered me in law school and since, is that legal thought and political discussion is normative and not empirical. An appellate opinion or a commentator would set forth a policy or rule and then would justify it by stating that it increased competition, furthered racial equality or whatever. But that was it. It was just something that they came up with in their chambers before lunch. It seemed reasonable enough. But then it seemed that it didn't. Don't you think that we ought to look into it a little I thought. The law and economics people, Posner and Bork, in the 80's started to hammer away at this in antitrust. Here's something that you might be interested in. There is a new Law and ____ discipline called empirical legal studies with their own journal and websites. (But what movement doesn't have this. Somewhere there must be a Journal of Law and Phrenology, published by an upcoming law school, with a couple of endowed chairs out there sponcered by wealthy chiropractors.) William OckhamReplyDelete
Antitrust is the battleground for legal bullshit. It was antitrust case that led to the new Iqbal/Twombly pleading rules, precisely because SCOTUS got tired of all the bullshit antitrust cases.ReplyDelete
@4:00, she seems like a very good acquisition; a great student, a prestigious clerkship, and practice experience.ReplyDelete
I recall when the Iqbal decision came out, law professors criticized it as being a high obstacle for plaintiffs to have their day in court.
Personally, I like the Iqbal decision. It has lead to many TTT plaintiffs' lawyers to have their BS cases torpedoed by a 12b6 motion.
yup. although it's strange that we are happy about something that is increasing unemployment among lawyers.ReplyDelete
11:14 asks whether of masseuses ("massage therapists"), "You need a license for that?" Yes you do. And for hundreds and hundreds of other occupations that you never would have guessed or never even heard of. The metastatis of licenses, trade schools and occupational barriers to entry. The law school scam writ small. The tragedy of it all is that you used to be able to watch a friend or your uncle do something, try it for a month. Maybe you got a lifetime job doing a useful thing that people pay you for. If it didn't work out, you walked none the worse for wear. Now it takes 6-12 months of school, and $25,000 (borrowed and not dischargible). Plus it forces you into the hands of an industry composed almost entirely of scrafulous parasites. Now in the news: D.C. is arresting people for unlicensed hair braiding. "What are you in for here for buddy?" "Hair braiding, felonius hair braiding" William OckhamReplyDelete
"@4:00, she seems like a very good acquisition; a great student, a prestigious clerkship, and practice experience."ReplyDelete
But how is taking a class in feminist law or any of the other PC-BS courses going to prepare someone for practicing law? And just because someone has practice experience doesn't (or shouldn't) mean they will be a good prof. Heck, lots of people have practice experience. And what relevance is a prestigious clerkship? All that proves is that she went to HYS and has connections.
It depends on what kind of law you want to practice. Gender issues are a big part of American law, whether you think they should be or not. Arguments can grow out of theory. They do, even when the person may not be aware of it. So, these classes can be useful to people who are interested in that area of law, and many peope are.ReplyDelete
I mentioned practice because it is common on this site to ridicule profs who have never practiced. She has, which gives her a different perspective. It also means she can give students access to lawyers and places where she worked, can talk to them about opportunities, and write good and informed letters of recommendation. Same thing with having a clerkship. Many law students want to clerk. It is important to them. So, she will be able to offer advice about the process and write effective recommendations. You might not have been interested (or are not interested) in clerkships, but many, many law students are. Having faculty members who were clerks helps those students. There are other things to say about this, but enough.
Law school cannot just be about the things you personally feel are important.
No one is saying that gender is not a part of law. But how "Relational Feminism, Separate Spheres, and Good and Bad Mothers" is related to gender issues in law is, at best, tangential. After all, lots of things are part of the law but that doesn't mean that someone who has an interest in those things makes a good professor. And honestly, from a trade school perspective, what is the value of feminist legal theory?ReplyDelete
Plus a little known secret is that many profs who tout practice experience in reality did very little in practice. I have no idea if that is the case here, but I can say that just because she has practice and clerkship experience is nothing unusual when one thinks of all of the prospective law professors out there trying to get a position in the academy.
I have no personal animus against Hendricks, but I find it quite disappointing that Law Prof refuses to discuss how mainly leftist ideological areas of legal scholarship drive so much hiring (and how the courses these folks teach are mainly unhelpful to law students). Yes, very disappointing.
"I have no personal animus against Hendricks . . ."ReplyDelete
To be fair, it seems like you have a personal animus against her and LawProf.
Again, what you cannot see does not define the parameters of everyone's vision. Yours is not a complaint about practice. It is a complaint about politics. You admit you know nothing about Hendricks. Yet,you talk about her.ReplyDelete
Man I'd better turn spell check back on or start drafting these comments earlier in the evening. William OckhamReplyDelete
The commenter going on about Hendricks both sounds sexist and doesn't seem to have picked a very good target. She seems like a great hire to me, especially because she has the practice experience that we always criticize people who do not have.ReplyDelete
Some of the complaints also just sound sore and jealous. I'm an HYS alum who held a federal appellate clerkship -- but I didn't have ANY connections to the judge who hired me - or to any other appellate judge, for that matter. The same is true of most of my classmates. It's one thing to say that our school name gave us an advantage, as it certainly did -- but you are wrong to assume that all or most HYS circuit clerks had preexisting connections to their chambers. Anyway, she NOW has a connection to a chambers, which can be to the benefit of students who do well enough in her classes to warrant a phone call to that chambers.
The fact that this professor has a research interest in feminist legal theory does not mean that her courses will primarily be "law and." In fact, at UTK, she currently teaches four bread-and-butter classes: civil procedure, complex litigation, con law, and advanced con law -- with one "law and" elective, "law and gender." That seems like a very reasonable balance to me.
As for the "trade school" value of classes like "law and gender," I can see several practical applications, including: employment discrimination cases, FMLA/pregnancy issues, reproductive rights litigation, LGBT rights/sexuality issues, constitutional law and Equal Protection challenges (just off the top of my head).
Finally, much of this professor's scholarship seems to have a practice-based bent to it - a quick skim of her CV discloses articles: (1) analyzing amicus briefs on the family; (2) abortion as a legal right; (3) equal protection analyses; (4) FIFRA and common-law preemption; and (5) ENDA/Title VII, for starters. There are some pieces that seem more theoretical (of which I'm not personally a fan), but she's striking a better balance than a lot of profs. And, she seems to have maintained some degree of involvement with practice since becoming a law professor - making her more likely useful to her students. Further, she's got great public interest practice experience (as opposed to the silliness of people who just do a year or two at a big firm - which doesn't really count as practicing before going to academia) *and* she seems involved in her community, to boot.
I'm deeply skeptical of the legal academic establishment, but this woman honestly seems like one of its least problematic members. I don't know her from Adam (or should that be Eve?), but I'd be interested in listening to her lecture, based on her resume experiences. I'm really baffled that you would choose to pick on her, and I think that your underlying issue here is likely to be sexism.
Discrimination, especially employment discrimination, is a HUGE practice area in the real world of law. It's unfortunate because most of these lawsuits are filed by bitter women looking for revenge and parasite plaintiff's lawyers looking to punish companies that hire American workers, but regardless the law firms make a ton of money on these suits.ReplyDelete
Attacking women professors is a recurring theme among some commenters on this blog. Go back throughout the comments from the beginning, and you will find a wildly disproportionate number of negative comments about female profs, mentioning them by name. I promise you that is the case. There have been negative comments about male profs--Leiter, Horwitz, and Markel. But these are people who have actually talked about this blog in critical ways. The female professors mentioned by name have not. The comments about Hendricks do not surprise me at all.ReplyDelete
"I promise you that is the case. There have been negative comments about male profs--Leiter, Horwitz, and Markel."ReplyDelete
That has to be the most idiotic juxtaposition I have read in a long time. On the one hand you "promise" something that you admit to knowing is not true in the next sentence.
How do we know the person who started this whole idiotic tangent isn't bitch tits (see earlier comment) trying to derail a thread?
It is not idiotic at all. The point is that Leiter and the others in talking about this blog-- and in some cases its commenters-- can be said to have invited comments by those who post here. Hendricks and others have done nothing to warrant being brought into this. This does not derail the thread. Or do you mean the person who brought up Hendricks?ReplyDelete
Please sthu already.ReplyDelete
You go first.ReplyDelete
I, for one, think any person who chooses to enter the law teaching profession in today's law school environment is either ignorant or an opportunist - man or woman. It's one thing to have entered 20 years ago when things weren't bad, and everyone with a pulse got a job, but today law school is a vehicle of victimization.ReplyDelete
I agree with that, 5:23, and it's the reason that I've decided not to pursue academia myself. But that still doesn't justify selecting Hendricks for criticism: she started teaching in 2005, at which point graduates were faring far, far better than today.ReplyDelete
What happened to the idea of getting the LSAC email list that the law schools use, to send a concise email listing the risks of law school?ReplyDelete
As soon as someone provides a mechanism by which a law school skeptic can get ahold of LSAC's email list that isn't illegal, I imagine lots of folks would be happy to send such an email.ReplyDelete
How do TTTs get the list?ReplyDelete
This makes me think twice about my future. I have one and a half years left before I apply (or don't and go for the MBA in finance). I'd have to take out loans but would only go if I was accepted into one of my tier-one choices. So far I have a solid resume and have been interning at a local firm also and doing community service.ReplyDelete
I'd appreciate any personal advice that hasn't been posted thus far on this thread.